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Mathematical Models for Society and Biology, 2nd Edition by Edward Beltrami

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Afterthoughts on Modeling

The goal of modeling is to gain insight into some problem that occurs in the natural world of real events. In a few cases there is sufficient data and enough understanding of the actual processes that it makes sense to test the model against numbers obtained from the field and to make predictions that can be verified in a relatively unambiguous manner, as in the crab model of Chapter 1. In other cases this is not possible, because a trustworthy database either is too meager or doesn’t exist or, as is the case in the restricted-access fishery model of Chapter 8, because an understanding of the underlying dynamics is inadequate. In the latter case, a model can still be useful, however, in providing a plausible metaphor ...

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