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A comparison of non-standard solvers for ODEs describing cellular reactions in the heart

Abstract:

Mathematical models for the electrical activity in cardiac cells are normally formulated as systems of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The equations are nonlinear and describe processes occurring on a wide range of time scales. Under normal accuracy requirements, this makes the systems stiff and therefore challenging to solve numerically. As standard implicit solvers are difficult to implement, explicit solvers such as the forward Euler method are commonly used, despite their poor efficiency. Non-standard formulations of the forward Euler method, derived from the analytical solution of linear ODEs, can give significantly improved performance while maintaining simplicity of implementation. In this paper we study the performance of three non-standard methods on two different cell models with comparable complexity but very different stiffness characteristics.

Authors: Mary C. MacLachlan, Joakim Sundnes, Raymond J. Spiteri

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