Rule-based models, a particular kind of graph rewriting system initially intended for use in molecular biology, are conspicuously useful for understanding epidemics. They enable formulation of complex processes that blends the ease of understanding of “compartmental” models with the expressiveness of individual- or agent-based models. We illustrate this with a story, told in graph rewriting rules, of how the adaptive immune response to a pathogen works (simplified version) and how this response influences the population level dynamics of an epidemic. This model can be calibrated against real-world data and we see how some of the individual heterogeneity that is normally treated phenomenologically in the study of epidemics arises naturally from this account of immune response.
Please note that the meeting will be recorded and live-streamed to YouTube: