Law of mass action and saturation in SIR model with applications to coronavirus

Speaker: Theodore Kolokolnikov

Date: Wed, Jun 24, 2020

Location: Zoom

Conference: CAIMS - PIMS Coronavirus Modelling Conference

Subject: Mathematics, Mathematical Biology

Class: Scientific


It is common in SIR models to assume that the infection rate is proportional to the product S*I of susceptible and infected individuals. This form is motivated by the law of mass action from chemistry. While this assumption works at the onset of the outbreak, it needs to be modified at higher rates such as seen currently in much of the world (as of June 2020). We propose a physics-based model which leads to a simple saturation formula based on first principles incorporating the spread radius and population density. We then apply this modified SIR model to coronavirus and show that it fits much better than the ``classical'' law of mass action.