34 research outputs found

    Stochastic spatial models of host-pathogen and host-mutualist interactions I

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    Mutualists and pathogens, collectively called symbionts, are ubiquitous in plant communities. While some symbionts are highly host-specific, others associate with multiple hosts. The outcomes of multispecies host-symbiont interactions with different degrees of specificity are difficult to predict at this point due to a lack of a general conceptual framework. Complicating our predictive power is the fact that plant populations are spatially explicit, and we know from past research that explicit space can profoundly alter plant-plant interactions. We introduce a spatially explicit, stochastic model to investigate the role of explicit space and host-specificity in multispecies host-symbiont interactions. We find that in our model, pathogens can significantly alter the spatial structure of plant communities, promoting coexistence, whereas mutualists appear to have only a limited effect. Effects are more pronounced the more host-specific symbionts are.Comment: Published at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/105051605000000782 in the Annals of Applied Probability (http://www.imstat.org/aap/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Individual versus cluster recoveries within a spatially structured population

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    Stochastic modeling of disease dynamics has had a long tradition. Among the first epidemic models including a spatial structure in the form of local interactions is the contact process. In this article we investigate two extensions of the contact process describing the course of a single disease within a spatially structured human population distributed in social clusters. That is, each site of the dd-dimensional integer lattice is occupied by a cluster of individuals; each individual can be healthy or infected. The evolution of the disease depends on three parameters, namely the outside infection rate which models the interactions between the clusters, the within infection rate which takes into account the repeated contacts between individuals in the same cluster, and the size of each social cluster. For the first model, we assume cluster recoveries, while individual recoveries are assumed for the second one. The aim is to investigate the existence of nontrivial stationary distributions for both processes depending on the value of each of the three parameters. Our results show that the probability of an epidemic strongly depends on the recovery mechanism.Comment: Published at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/105051605000000764 in the Annals of Applied Probability (http://www.imstat.org/aap/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    A spatially explicit model for competition among specialists and generalists in a heterogeneous environment

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    Competition is a major force in structuring ecological communities. The strength of competition can be measured using the concept of a niche. A niche comprises the set of requirements of an organism in terms of habitat, environment and functional role. The more niches overlap, the stronger competition is. The niche breadth is a measure of specialization: the smaller the niche space of an organism, the more specialized the organism is. It follows that, everything else being equal, generalists tend to be more competitive than specialists. In this paper, we compare the outcome of competition among generalists and specialists in a spatial versus a nonspatial habitat in a heterogeneous environment. Generalists can utilize the entire habitat, whereas specialists are restricted to their preferred habitat type. We find that although competitiveness decreases with specialization, specialists are more competitive in a spatial than in a nonspatial habitat as patchiness increases.Comment: Published at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/105051606000000394 in the Annals of Applied Probability (http://www.imstat.org/aap/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Spatially explicit non-Mendelian diploid model

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    We introduce a spatially explicit model for the competition between type aa and type bb alleles. Each vertex of the dd-dimensional integer lattice is occupied by a diploid individual, which is in one of three possible states or genotypes: aaaa, abab or bbbb. We are interested in the long-term behavior of the gene frequencies when Mendel's law of segregation does not hold. This results in a voter type model depending on four parameters; each of these parameters measures the strength of competition between genes during meiosis. We prove that with or without a spatial structure, type aa and type bb alleles coexist at equilibrium when homozygotes are poor competitors. The inclusion of a spatial structure, however, reduces the parameter region where coexistence occurs.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/09-AAP598 the Annals of Applied Probability (http://www.imstat.org/aap/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Coexistence for a multitype contact process with seasons

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    We introduce a multitype contact process with temporal heterogeneity involving two species competing for space on the dd-dimensional integer lattice. Time is divided into seasons called alternately season 1 and season 2. We prove that there is an open set of the parameters for which both species can coexist when their dispersal range is large enough. Numerical simulations also suggest that three species can coexist in the presence of two seasons. This contrasts with the long-term behavior of the time-homogeneous multitype contact process for which the species with the higher birth rate outcompetes the other species when the death rates are equal.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/09-AAP599 the Annals of Applied Probability (http://www.imstat.org/aap/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Contact and voter processes on the infinite percolation cluster as models of host-symbiont interactions

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    We introduce spatially explicit stochastic processes to model multispecies host-symbiont interactions. The host environment is static, modeled by the infinite percolation cluster of site percolation. Symbionts evolve on the infinite cluster through contact or voter type interactions, where each host may be infected by a colony of symbionts. In the presence of a single symbiont species, the condition for invasion as a function of the density of the habitat of hosts and the maximal size of the colonies is investigated in details. In the presence of multiple symbiont species, it is proved that the community of symbionts clusters in two dimensions whereas symbiont species may coexist in higher dimensions.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/10-AAP734 the Annals of Applied Probability (http://www.imstat.org/aap/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Opinion dynamics: models, extensions and external effects

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    Recently, social phenomena have received a lot of attention not only from social scientists, but also from physicists, mathematicians and computer scientists, in the emerging interdisciplinary field of complex system science. Opinion dynamics is one of the processes studied, since opinions are the drivers of human behaviour, and play a crucial role in many global challenges that our complex world and societies are facing: global financial crises, global pandemics, growth of cities, urbanisation and migration patterns, and last but not least important, climate change and environmental sustainability and protection. Opinion formation is a complex process affected by the interplay of different elements, including the individual predisposition, the influence of positive and negative peer interaction (social networks playing a crucial role in this respect), the information each individual is exposed to, and many others. Several models inspired from those in use in physics have been developed to encompass many of these elements, and to allow for the identification of the mechanisms involved in the opinion formation process and the understanding of their role, with the practical aim of simulating opinion formation and spreading under various conditions. These modelling schemes range from binary simple models such as the voter model, to multi-dimensional continuous approaches. Here, we provide a review of recent methods, focusing on models employing both peer interaction and external information, and emphasising the role that less studied mechanisms, such as disagreement, has in driving the opinion dynamics. [...]Comment: 42 pages, 6 figure

    Behavioral Modernity and the Cultural Transmission of Structured Information: The Semantic Axelrod Model

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    Cultural transmission models are coming to the fore in explaining increases in the Paleolithic toolkit richness and diversity. During the later Paleolithic, technologies increase not only in terms of diversity but also in their complexity and interdependence. As Mesoudi and O'Brien (2008) have shown, selection broadly favors social learning of information that is hierarchical and structured, and multiple studies have demonstrated that teaching within a social learning environment can increase fitness. We believe that teaching also provides the scaffolding for transmission of more complex cultural traits. Here, we introduce an extension of the Axelrod (1997} model of cultural differentiation in which traits have prerequisite relationships, and where social learning is dependent upon the ordering of those prerequisites. We examine the resulting structure of cultural repertoires as learning environments range from largely unstructured imitation, to structured teaching of necessary prerequisites, and we find that in combination with individual learning and innovation, high probabilities of teaching prerequisites leads to richer cultural repertoires. Our results point to ways in which we can build more comprehensive explanations of the archaeological record of the Paleolithic as well as other cases of technological change.Comment: 24 pages, 7 figures. Submitted to "Learning Strategies and Cultural Evolution during the Paleolithic", edited by Kenichi Aoki and Alex Mesoudi, and presented at the 79th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Austin TX. Revised 5/14/1

    Opinion formation in multiplex networks with general initial distributions

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    We study opinion dynamics over multiplex networks where agents interact with bounded confidence. Namely, two neighbouring individuals exchange opinions and compromise if their opinions do not differ by more than a given threshold. In literature, agents are generally assumed to have a homogeneous confidence bound. Here, we study analytically and numerically opinion evolution over structured networks characterised by multiple layers with respective confidence thresholds and general initial opinion distributions. Through rigorous probability analysis, we show analytically the critical thresholds at which a phase transition takes place in the long-term consensus behaviour, over multiplex networks with some regularity conditions. Our results reveal the quantitative relation between the critical threshold and initial distribution. Further, our numerical simulations illustrate the consensus behaviour of the agents in network topologies including lattices and, small-world and scale-free networks, as well as for structure-dependent convergence parameters accommodating node heterogeneity. We find that the critical thresholds for consensus tend to agree with the predicted upper bounds in Theorems 4 and 5 in this paper. Finally, our results indicate that multiplexity hinders consensus formation when the initial opinion configuration is within a bounded range and, provide insight into information diffusion and social dynamics in multiplex systems modeled by networks