Uppsala University Department of Information Technology

Technical Report 2008-012

Simulation of Stochastic Reaction-Diffusion Processes on Unstructured Meshes

Stefan Engblom, Lars Ferm, Andreas Hellander, and Per Lötstedt

April 2008

Stochastic chemical systems with diffusion are modeled with a reaction-diffusion master equation. On a macroscopic level, the governing equation is a reaction-diffusion equation for the averages of the chemical species. On a mesoscopic level, the master equation for a well stirred chemical system is combined with Brownian motion in space to obtain the reaction-diffusion master equation. The space is covered by an unstructured mesh and the diffusion coefficients on the mesoscale are obtained from a finite element discretization of the Laplace operator on the macroscale. The resulting method is a flexible hybrid algorithm in that the diffusion can be handled either on the meso- or on the macroscale level. The accuracy and the efficiency of the method are illustrated in three numerical examples inspired by molecular biology.

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