Modelling contagious viral dynamics: a kinetic approach based on mutual utility

Giulia Bertaglia, Lorenzo Pareschi, Giuseppe Toscani

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The temporal evolution of a contagious viral disease is modelled as the dynamic progression of different classes of population with individuals interacting pairwise. This interaction follows a binary mechanism typical of kinetic theory, wherein agents aim to improve their condition with respect to a mutual utility target. To this end, we introduce kinetic equations of Boltzmann-type to describe the time evolution of the probability distributions of the multi-agent system. The interactions between agents are defined using principles from price theory, specifically employing Cobb-Douglas utility functions for binary exchange and the Edgeworth box to depict the common exchange area where utility increases for both agents. Several numerical experiments presented in the paper highlight the significance of this mechanism in driving the phenomenon toward endemicity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4241-4268
Number of pages28
JournalMathematical Biosciences and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2024


  • Boltzmann-type equations
  • Cobb-Douglas utility function
  • Edgeworth box
  • epidemic models
  • irreversible processes
  • kinetic models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modelling and Simulation


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