A hybrid epidemic model: Combining the advantages of agent-based and equation-based approaches

Georgiy V. Bobashev, D. Michael Goedecke, Feng Yu, Joshua M. Epstein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Agent-based models (ABMs) are powerful in describing structured epidemiological processes involving human behavior and local interaction. The joint behavior of the agents can be very complex and tracking the behavior requires a disciplined approach. At the same time, equation-based models (EBMs) can be more tractable and allow for at least partial analytical insight. However, inadequate representation of the detailed population structure can lead to spurious results, especially when the epidemic process is beginning and individual variation is critical. In this paper, we demonstrate an approach that combines the two modeling paradigms and introduces a hybrid model that starts as agent-based and switches to equation-based after the number of infected individuals is large enough to support a population-averaged approach. This hybrid model can dramatically save computational times and, more fundamentally, allows for the mathematical analysis of emerging structures generated by the ABM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2007 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2007
Event2007 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Dec 9 2007Dec 12 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings - Winter Simulation Conference
ISSN (Print)0891-7736


Other2007 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, DC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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