Article - post-print
Recently we developed a model composed of five impulsive differential equations that describes the changes in drinking patterns (that persist at epidemic level) amongst college students. Many of the model parameters cannot be measured directly from data; thus, an inverse problem approach, which chooses the set of parameters that results in the “best” model to data fit, is crucial for using this model as a predictive tool. The purpose of this paper is to present the procedure and results of an unconventional approach to parameter estimation that we developed after more common approaches were unsuccessful for our specific problem. The results show that our model provides a good fit to survey data for 32 campuses. Using these parameter estimates, we examined the effect of two hypothetical intervention policies: 1) reducing environmental wetness, and 2) penalizing students who are caught drinking. The results suggest that reducing campus wetness may be a very effective way of reducing heavy episodic (binge) drinking on a college campus, while a policy that penalizes students who drink is not nearly as effective.
This is an author-manuscript of an article accepted for publication in Mathematical and Computer Modelling following peer review. The version of record Ackleh, A. S., Fitzpatrick, B. G., Scribner, R., Simonsen, N., & Thibodeaux, J. J. (2009). Ecosystem Modeling of College Drinking: Parameter Estimation and Comparing Models to Data. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 50(3-4), 481–497 is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mcm.2009.03.012.
Ackleh, A. S., Fitzpatrick, B. G., Scribner, R., Simonsen, N., & Thibodeaux, J. J. (2009). Ecosystem Modeling of College Drinking: Parameter Estimation and Comparing Models to Data. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 50(3-4), 481–497. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.mcm.2009.03.012