Parametric dependence in model epidemics. i: Contact-related parameters

W. M. Schaffer, T. V. Bronnikova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


One of the interesting properties of nonlinear dynamical systems is that arbitrarily small changes in parameter values can induce qualitative changes in behavior. The changes are called bifurcations, and they are typically visualized by plotting asymptotic dynamics against a parameter. In some cases, the resulting bifurcation diagram is unique: irrespective of initial conditions, the same dynamical sequence obtains. In other cases, initial conditions do matter, and there are coexisting sequences. Here we study an epidemiological model in which multiple bifurcation sequences yield to a single sequence in response to varying a second parameter. We call this simplification the emergence of unique parametric dependence (UPD) and discuss how it relates to the model’s overall response to parameters. In so doing, we tie together a number of threads that have been developing since the mid-1980s. These include period-doubling; subharmonic resonance, attractor merging and subduction and the evolution of strange invariant sets. The present paper focuses on contact related parameters. A follow-up paper, to be published in this journal, will consider the effects of non-contact related parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-195
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of biological dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Bifurcations
  • Continuation
  • Epidemiology
  • Mathematical models
  • SEIR equations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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