Numerical and analytical solutions of Volterra’s population model. (English) Zbl 0892.92020

Summary: To illustrate various mathematical methods which may be used to solve problems of engineering, mathematical physics, and mathematical biology, Volterra’s model for population growth of a species in a closed system is solved using several methods familiar to junior- or senior-level students in applied mathematics. Volterra’s model is a first-order integro-ordinary differential equation where the integral term represents the effect of toxin accumulation on the species. The solution methods used are:
(i) numerical methods for solving a first-order initial value problem supplemented with numerical integration, (ii) numerical methods for solving a coupled system of two first-order initial value problems, and (iii) phase-plane analysis. A singular perturbation solution is also outlined. While conclusions drawn using the four methods are correlated, the student may analyze and solve the problem using any of the methods independently of the others.


92D25 Population dynamics (general)
65R20 Numerical methods for integral equations
45J05 Integro-ordinary differential equations
34-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to ordinary differential equations
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