Publications of Eduardo D. Sontag jointly with J Greene
Articles in journal or book chapters
  1. J Greene and E D Sontag. Minimizing the infected peak utilizing a single lockdown: a technical result regarding equal peaks. medRxiv, 2021. [WWW] [doi:10.1101/2021.06.26.21259589]
    Due to the usage of social distancing as a means to control the spread of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19, there has been a large amount of research into the dynamics of epidemiological models with time-varying transmission rates. Such studies attempt to capture population responses to differing levels of social distancing, and are used for designing policies which both inhibit disease spread but also allow for limited economic activity. One common criterion utilized for the recent pandemic is the peak of the infected population, a measure of the strain placed upon the health care system; protocols which reduce this peak are commonly said to { extquoteleft}flatten the curve." In this work, we consider a very specialized distancing mandate, which consists of one period of fixed length of distancing, and addresses the question of optimal initiation time. We prove rigorously that this time is characterized by an equal peaks phenomenon: the optimal protocol will experience a rebound in the infected peak after distancing is relaxed, which is equal in size to the peak when distancing is commenced. In the case of a non-perfect lockdown (i.e. disease transmission is not completely suppressed), explicit formulas for the initiation time cannot be computed, but implicit relations are provided which can be pre-computed given the current state of the epidemic. Expected extensions to more general distancing policies are also hypothesized, which suggest designs for the optimal timing of non-overlapping lockdowns.



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Last modified: Sun Feb 13 12:55:49 2022
Author: sontag.

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