Simplified method for including spatial correlations in mean-field approximations

Markham, Deborah C., Simpson, Matthew J., & Baker, Ruth E. (2013) Simplified method for including spatial correlations in mean-field approximations. Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), 87(6), pp. 1-10.

View at publisher


Biological systems involving proliferation, migration and death are observed across all scales. For example, they govern cellular processes such as wound-healing, as well as the population dynamics of groups of organisms. In this paper, we provide a simplified method for correcting mean-field approximations of volume-excluding birth-death-movement processes on a regular lattice. An initially uniform distribution of agents on the lattice may give rise to spatial heterogeneity, depending on the relative rates of proliferation, migration and death. Many frameworks chosen to model these systems neglect spatial correlations, which can lead to inaccurate predictions of their behaviour. For example, the logistic model is frequently chosen, which is the mean-field approximation in this case. This mean-field description can be corrected by including a system of ordinary differential equations for pair-wise correlations between lattice site occupancies at various lattice distances.

In this work we discuss difficulties with this method and provide a simplication, in the form of a partial differential equation description for the evolution of pair-wise spatial correlations over time. We test our simplified model against the more complex corrected mean-field model, finding excellent agreement. We show how our model successfully predicts system behaviour in regions where the mean-field approximation shows large discrepancies. Additionally, we investigate regions of parameter space where migration is reduced relative to proliferation, which has not been examined in detail before, and our method is successful at correcting the deviations observed in the mean-field model in these parameter regimes.

Impact and interest:

12 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
14 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

81 since deposited on 03 Jun 2013
8 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 60570
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Cell migration, Cell proliferation, mean-field model, moment closure, correlation
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.87.062702
ISSN: 1550-2376
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > APPLIED MATHEMATICS (010200) > Biological Mathematics (010202)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 American Physical Society
Deposited On: 03 Jun 2013 01:56
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2016 02:25

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page