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Veranstaltungskalender der Bergischen Universität Wuppertal

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Mathematical Modeling and Optimal Control of the COVID-19 pandemic

Kategorie: Kolloquium
Termin Kategorie Veranstaltung Ort
16:30 Uhr -
17:30 Uhr
Kategorie: Kolloquium

Mathematical Modeling and Optimal Control of the COVID-19 pandemic

Markus Kantner


Mathematical Modeling and Optimal Control of the COVID-19 pandemic

Mathematisches Kolloquium

Matthias Ehrhardt, Birgit Jacob

When effective medical treatment and vaccination are not available, non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, home quarantine and far-reaching shutdown of public life are the only available strategies to prevent the spread of epidemics. Based on an extended SEIR (susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered) model and continuous-time optimal control theory, we compute the optimal non-pharmaceutical intervention strategy for the case that a vaccine is never found and complete containment (eradication of the epidemic) is impossible.

In this case, the optimal control must meet competing requirements: First, the minimization of disease-related deaths, and, second, the establishment of a sufficient degree of natural immunity at the end of the measures, in order to exclude a second wave. Moreover, the socio-economic costs of the intervention shall be kept at a minimum. The numerically computed optimal control strategy is a single-intervention scenario that goes beyond heuristically motivated interventions and simple “flattening of the curve”. Careful analysis of the computed control strategy reveals, however, that the obtained solution is in fact a tightrope walk close to the stability boundary of the system, where socio-economic costs and the risk of a new outbreak must be constantly balanced against one another. The model system is calibrated to reproduce the initial exponential growth phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany.