Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology

ISSN: 0974-7230

Open Access

Simulation Study on Effects of Order and Step Size of Runge-Kutta Methods that Solve Contagious Disease and Tumor Models


Wang Z, Wang Q and Klinke DJ II

Biological processes such as contagious disease spread patterns and tumor growth dynamics are modelled using a set of coupled differential equations. Experimental data is usually used to calibrate models so they can be used to make future predictions. In this study, numerical methods were implemented to approximate solutions to mathematical models that were not solvable analytically, such as a SARS model. More complex models such as a tumor growth model involve high-dimensional parameter spaces; efficient numerical simulation techniques were used to search for optimal or close-to-optimal parameter values in the equations. Runge-Kutta methods are a group of explicit and implicit numerical methods that effectively solve the ordinary differential equations in these models. Effects of the order and the step size of Runge-Kutta methods were studied in order to maximize the search accuracy and efficiency in parameter spaces of the models. Numerical simulation results showed that an order of four gave the best balance between truncation errors and the simulation speed for SIR, SARS, and tumormodels studied in the project. The optimal step size for differential equation solvers was found to be model-dependent.


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