Building macroscale models from microscale probabilistic models

a general probabilistic approach for nonlinear diffusion and multispecies phenomena

Catherine J. Penington, Barry D. Hughes, Kerry A. Landman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)


A discrete agent-based model on a periodic lattice of arbitrary dimension is considered. Agents move to nearest-neighbor sites by a motility mechanism accounting for general interactions, which may include volume exclusion. The partial differential equation describing the average occupancy of the agent population is derived systematically. A diffusion equation arises for all types of interactions and is nonlinear except for the simplest interactions. In addition, multiple species of interacting subpopulations give rise to an advection-diffusion equation for each subpopulation. This work extends and generalizes previous specific results, providing a construction method for determining the transport coefficients in terms of a single conditional transition probability, which depends on the occupancy of sites in an influence region. These coefficients characterize the diffusion of agents in a crowded environment in biological and physical processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number041120
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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