Simple Poisson Processes in JumpProcesses

In this tutorial we show how to simulate several Poisson jump processes, for several types of intensities and jump distributions. Readers interested primarily in chemical or population process models, where several types of jumps may occur, can skip directly to the second tutorial for a tutorial covering similar material but focused on the SIR model.

JumpProcesses allows the simulation of jump processes where the transition rate, i.e. intensity or propensity, can be a function of the current solution, current parameters, and current time. Throughout this tutorial these are denoted by u, p and t. Likewise, when a jump occurs any DifferentialEquations.jl-compatible change to the current system state, as encoded by a DifferentialEquations.jl integrator, is allowed. This includes changes to the current state or to parameter values.

This tutorial requires several packages, which can be added if not already installed via

using Pkg

Let's also load our packages and set some defaults for our plot formatting

using JumpProcesses, Plots
default(; lw = 2)


Our first example will be to simulate a simple Poission counting process, $N(t)$, with a constant transition rate of λ. We can interpret this as a birth process where new individuals are created at the constant rate λ. $N(t)$ then gives the current population size. In terms of a unit Poisson counting process, $Y_b(t)$, we have

\[N(t) = Y_b\left( \lambda t \right).\]

(Here by a unit Poisson counting process we just mean a Poisson counting process with a constant rate of one.)

In the remainder of this tutorial we will use transition rate, rate, propensity, and intensity interchangeably. Here is the full program listing we will subsequently explain line by line

using JumpProcesses, Plots

rate(u,p,t) = p.λ
affect!(integrator) = (integrator.u[1] += 1)
crj = ConstantRateJump(rate, affect!)

u₀ = [0]
p = (λ = 2.0, )
tspan = (0.0, 10.0)

dprob = DiscreteProblem(u₀, tspan, p)
jprob = JumpProblem(dprob, Direct(), crj)

sol = solve(jprob, SSAStepper())
plot(sol, label="N(t)", xlabel="t", legend=:bottomright)

We can define and simulate our jump process using JumpProcesses. We first load our packages

using JumpProcesses, Plots

To specify our jump process we need to define two functions. One that given the current state of the system, u, the parameters, p, and the time, t, can determine the current transition rate (intensity)

rate(u,p,t) = p.λ
rate (generic function with 1 method)

This corresponds to the instantaneous probability per time a jump occurs when the current state is u, current parameters are p, and the time is t. We also give a function that updates the system state when a jump is known to have occurred (at time integrator.t)

affect!(integrator) = (integrator.u[1] += 1)
affect! (generic function with 1 method)

Here the convention is to take a DifferentialEquations.jl integrator, and directly modify the current solution value it stores. i.e. integrator.u is the current solution vector, with integrator.u[1] the first component of this vector. In our case we will only have one unknown, so this will be the current value of the counting process. As our jump process's transition rate is constant between jumps, we can use a ConstantRateJump to encode it

crj = ConstantRateJump(rate, affect!)
ConstantRateJump{typeof(Main.rate), typeof(Main.affect!)}(Main.rate, Main.affect!)

We then specify the parameters needed to simulate our jump process

# the initial condition vector, notice we make it an integer
# since we have a discrete counting process
u₀ = [0]

# the parameters of the model, in this case a named tuple storing the rate, λ
p = (λ = 2.0, )

# the time interval to solve over
tspan = (0.0, 10.0)
(0.0, 10.0)

Finally, we construct the associated SciML problem types and generate one realization of the process. We first create a DiscreteProblem to encode that we are simulating a process that evolves in discrete time steps. Note, this currently requires that the process has constant transition rates between jumps

dprob = DiscreteProblem(u₀, tspan, p)
DiscreteProblem with uType Vector{Int64} and tType Float64. In-place: true
timespan: (0.0, 10.0)
u0: 1-element Vector{Int64}:

We next create a JumpProblem that wraps the discrete problem, and specifies which algorithm to use for determining next jump times (and in the case of multiple possible jumps the next jump type). Here we use the classical Direct method, proposed by Gillespie in the chemical reaction context, but going back to earlier work by Doob and others (and also known as Kinetic Monte Carlo in the physics literature)

# a jump problem, specifying we will use the Direct method to sample
# jump times and events, and that our jump is encoded by crj
jprob = JumpProblem(dprob, Direct(), crj)
JumpProblem with problem DiscreteProblem with aggregator Direct
Number of constant rate jumps: 1
Number of variable rate jumps: 0
Number of mass action jumps: 0

We are finally ready to simulate one realization of our jump process

# now we simulate the jump process in time, using the SSAStepper time-stepper
sol = solve(jprob, SSAStepper())

plot(sol, label="N(t)", xlabel="t", legend=:bottomright)

More general ConstantRateJumps

The previous counting process could be interpreted as a birth process, where new individuals were created with a constant transition rate λ. Suppose we also allow individuals to be killed with a death rate of μ. The transition rate at time t for some individual to die, assuming the death of individuals are independent, is just $\mu N(t)$. Suppose we also wish to keep track of the number of deaths, $D(t)$, that have occurred. We can store these as an auxiliary variable in u[2]. Our processes are then given mathematically by

\[\begin{align*} N(t) &= Y_b(\lambda t) - Y_d \left(\int_0^t \mu N(s^-) \, ds \right), \\ D(t) &= Y_d \left(\int_0^t \mu N(s^-) \, ds \right), \end{align*}\]

where $Y_d(t)$ denotes a second, independent, unit Poisson counting process.

We can encode this as a second jump for our system like

deathrate(u,p,t) = p.μ * u[1]
deathaffect!(integrator) = (integrator.u[1] -= 1; integrator.u[2] += 1)
deathcrj = ConstantRateJump(deathrate, deathaffect!)
ConstantRateJump{typeof(Main.deathrate), typeof(Main.deathaffect!)}(Main.deathrate, Main.deathaffect!)

As the death rate is constant between jumps we can encode this process as a second ConstantRateJump. We then construct the corresponding problems, passing both jumps to JumpProblem, and can solve as before

p = (λ = 2.0, μ = 1.5)
u₀ = [0,0]   # (N(0), D(0))
dprob = DiscreteProblem(u₀, tspan, p)
jprob = JumpProblem(dprob, Direct(), crj, deathcrj)
sol = solve(jprob, SSAStepper())
plot(sol, label=["N(t)" "D(t)"], xlabel="t", legend=:topleft)

In the next tutorial we will also introduce MassActionJumps, which are a special type of ConstantRateJumps that require a more specialized form of transition rate and state update, but can offer better computational performance. They can encode any mass action reaction, as commonly arise in chemical and population process models, and essentially require that rate(u,p,t) be a monomial in the components of u and state changes be given by adding or subtracting a constant vector from u.

VariableRateJumps for processes that are not constant between jumps

So far we have assumed that our jump processes have transition rates that are constant in between jumps. In many applications this may be a limiting assumption. To support such models JumpProcesses has the VariableRateJump type, which represents jump processes that have an arbitrary time dependence in the calculation of the transition rate, including transition rates that depend on states which can change in between ConstantRateJumps. Let's consider the previous example, but now let the birth rate be time dependent, $b(t) = \lambda \left(\sin(\pi t / 2) + 1\right)$, so that our model becomes

\[\begin{align*} N(t) &= Y_b\left(\int_0^t \left( \lambda \sin\left(\tfrac{\pi s}{2}\right) + 1 \right) \, d s\right) - Y_d \left(\int_0^t \mu N(s^-) \, ds \right), \\ D(t) &= Y_d \left(\int_0^t \mu N(s^-) \, ds \right). \end{align*}\]

We'll then re-encode the first jump as a VariableRateJump

rate1(u,p,t) = p.λ * (sin(pi*t/2) + 1)
affect1!(integrator) = (integrator.u[1] += 1)
vrj = VariableRateJump(rate1, affect1!)
VariableRateJump{typeof(Main.rate1), typeof(Main.affect1!), Nothing, Float64, Int64}(Main.rate1, Main.affect1!, nothing, true, 10, (true, true), 1.0e-12, 0)

Because this new jump can modify the value of u[1] between death events, and the death transition rate depends on this value, we must also update our death jump process to also be a VariableRateJump

deathvrj = VariableRateJump(deathrate, deathaffect!)
VariableRateJump{typeof(Main.deathrate), typeof(Main.deathaffect!), Nothing, Float64, Int64}(Main.deathrate, Main.deathaffect!, nothing, true, 10, (true, true), 1.0e-12, 0)

Note, if the death rate only depended on values that were unchanged by a variable rate jump, then it could have remained a ConstantRateJump. This would have been the case if, for example, it depended on u[2] instead of u[1].

To simulate our jump process we now need to use a continuous problem type to properly handle determining the jump times. We do this by constructing an ordinary differential equation problem, ODEProblem, but setting the ODE derivative to preserve the state (i.e. to zero). We are essentially defining a combined ODE-jump process, i.e. a piecewise deterministic Markov process, but one where the ODE is trivial and does not change the state. To use this problem type and the ODE solvers we first load OrdinaryDiffEq.jl or DifferentialEquations.jl. If neither is installed, we first

using Pkg
# or Pkg.add("DifferentialEquations")

and then load it via

using OrdinaryDiffEq
# or using DifferentialEquations

We can then construct our ODE problem with a trivial ODE derivative component. Note, to work with the ODE solver time stepper we must change our initial condition to be floating point valued

function f!(du, u, p, t)
    du .= 0
u₀ = [0.0, 0.0]
oprob = ODEProblem(f!, u₀, tspan, p)
jprob = JumpProblem(oprob, Direct(), vrj, deathvrj)
JumpProblem with problem ODEProblem with aggregator Direct
Number of constant rate jumps: 0
Number of variable rate jumps: 2
Number of mass action jumps: 0

We simulate our jump process, using the Tsit5 ODE solver as the time stepper in place of SSAStepper

sol = solve(jprob, Tsit5())
plot(sol, label=["N(t)" "D(t)"], xlabel="t", legend=:topleft)

Having a Random Jump Distribution

Suppose we want to simulate a compound Poisson process, $G(t)$, where

\[G(t) = \sum_{i=1}^{N(t)} C_i\]

with $N(t)$ a Poisson counting process with constant transition rate $\lambda$, and the $C_i$ independent and identical samples from a uniform distribution over $\{-1,1\}$. We can simulate such a process as follows.

We first ensure that we use the same random number generator as JumpProcesses. We can either pass one as an input to JumpProblem via the rng keyword argument, and make sure it is the same one we use in our affect! function, or we can just use the default generator chosen by JumpProcesses if one is not specified, JumpProcesses.DEFAULT_RNG. Let's do the latter

rng = JumpProcesses.DEFAULT_RNG

Let's assume u[1] is $N(t)$ and u[2] is $G(t)$. We now proceed as in the previous examples

rate3(u,p,t) = p.λ

# define the affect function via a closure
affect3! = integrator -> let rng=rng
    # N(t) <-- N(t) + 1
    integrator.u[1] += 1

    # G(t) <-- G(t) + C_{N(t)}
    integrator.u[2] += rand(rng, (-1,1))
crj = ConstantRateJump(rate3, affect3!)

u₀ = [0, 0]
p = (λ = 1.0,)
tspan = (0.0, 100.0)
dprob = DiscreteProblem(u₀, tspan, p)
jprob = JumpProblem(dprob, Direct(), crj)
sol = solve(jprob, SSAStepper())
plot(sol, label=["N(t)" "G(t)"], xlabel="t")