Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 80, Issue 6, pp 1578–1595 | Cite as

Forecasting and Uncertainty Quantification Using a Hybrid of Mechanistic and Non-mechanistic Models for an Age-Structured Population Model

  • John Lagergren
  • Amanda Reeder
  • Franz Hamilton
  • Ralph C. Smith
  • Kevin B. Flores
Original Article


In this paper, we present a new method for the prediction and uncertainty quantification of data-driven multivariate systems. Traditionally, either mechanistic or non-mechanistic modeling methodologies have been used for prediction; however, it is uncommon for the two to be incorporated together. We compare the forecast accuracy of mechanistic modeling, using Bayesian inference, a non-mechanistic modeling approach based on state space reconstruction, and a novel hybrid methodology composed of the two for an age-structured population data set. The data come from cannibalistic flour beetles, in which it is observed that the adults preying on the eggs and pupae result in non-equilibrium population dynamics. Uncertainty quantification methods for the hybrid models are outlined and illustrated for these data. We perform an analysis of the results from Bayesian inference for the mechanistic model and hybrid models to suggest reasons why hybrid modeling methodology may enable more accurate forecasts of multivariate systems than traditional approaches.


State space reconstruction Uncertainty quantification Structured population model Forecasting 



The research was partially supported by Grants RTG/DMS-1246991 and DMS-1514929 from the National Science Foundation.

Supplementary material

11538_2018_421_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (118 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 118 KB)


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Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematics, Center for Research in Scientific ComputationNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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