Numerous processes across both the physical and biological sciences are driven by diffusion. Partial differential equations are a popular tool for modelling such phenomena deterministically, but it is often necessary to use stochastic models to accurately capture the behaviour of a system, especially when the number of diffusing particles is low. The stochastic models we consider in this paper are ‘compartment-based’: the domain is discretized into compartments, and particles can jump between these compartments. Volume-excluding effects (crowding) can be incorporated by blocking movement with some probability. Recent work has established the connection between fine- and coarse-grained models incorporating volume exclusion, but only for uniform lattices. In this paper, we consider non-uniform, hybrid lattices that incorporate both fine- and coarse-grained regions, and present two different approaches to describe the interface of the regions. We test both techniques in a range of scenarios to establish their accuracy, benchmarking against fine-grained models, and show that the hybrid models developed in this paper can be significantly faster to simulate than the fine-grained models in certain situations and are at least as fast otherwise.
- Received April 27, 2016.
- Accepted June 10, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.