Heterogeneity among susceptibles in epidemic models

Ian C. Marschner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When the infection rate associated with an epidemic appears to decline over time, one explanation is a constant level of infectiousness combined with heterogeneity among the susceptible population. In this paper we consider random effects models for such heterogeneity, particularly in discrete time. Maximum likelihood techniques are discussed as well as a more convenient approach based on martingale estimating equations. An application to data on a smallpox outbreak is considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-207
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Statistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Chain binomial model
  • heterogeneity
  • martingale estimating equations
  • random effects
  • smallpox data


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