Fractional derivative models for the spread of diseases

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis considers the mathematical modelling of disease, using fractional differential equations in order to provide a tool for the description of memory effects. In Chapter 3 we illustrate a commensurate fractional order tumor model, and we find a critical value of the fractional derivative dependent on the parameter values of the model. For fractional derivatives of orders less than the critical value an unstable equilibrium point of the system becomes stable. In order to show changes in the observed areas of attraction of two stable points in the system, we then consider a fractional order SIR epidemic model and investigate the change from a monostable to a bistable system.;Chapter 4 considers a model for virus dynamics where the fractional orders for populations are different, called an incommensurate system. An approximate analytical solution for the characteristic equation of the incommensurate model is found when the different fractional orders are similar and close to the critical value of the fractional order of the commensurate system. In addition, the instability boundary is found as a function of both parameters. A comparison between analytical and numerical results shows the high accuracy of this approximation.;Chapter 5 consists of two parts, in the first part we generalise the integer Fisher's equation to be a space-time fractional differential equation and consider travelling wave solutions. In the second part we generalise an integer SIR model with spatial heterogeneity, which was studied by Murray [117], to a space-time fractional derivative model. We apply the (G0/G)-expansion method and find travelling wave solutions, although in this case we must consider the Jumarie's modified Riemann-Liouville fractional derivative. Finally, we consider the effect of changing the orders of time and space fractional derivatives on the location and speed of the travelling wave solution.
Date of Award19 Mar 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorAlison Ramage (Supervisor) & Nigel Mottram (Supervisor)

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