Noise induced chaos in population models

Lora Billings (Montclair State University)
Ira Schwartz (Naval Research Laboratory)
Erik Bollt (U.S. Naval Academy)

Population models are fascinating dynamical systems which capture all ranges of behavior, from periodic to chaotic time
series. The SEIR model is a commonly used base model to predict epidemic outbreaks in many diseases. Our work is the
first to identify the global mechanism to induce chaos by stochastic perturbations, or population noise, where it does
not naturally occur. This mechanism combines both random fluctuations and global topology to create a stochastic version
of a heteroclinic connection of the system. To refine the possibility of epidemic control, we have analyzed the
stochastic transport between large and small outbreaks.