Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Ferhan Atici (Director), Tom Richmond, Richard Schugart

Degree Program

Department of Mathematics

Degree Type

Master of Science


Fractional calculus has been used as a research tool in the fields of pharmacology, biology, chemistry, and other areas [3]. The main purpose of this thesis is to calculate Green's functions of fractional difference equations, and to model problems in pharmacokinetics. We claim that the discrete fractional calculus yields the best prediction performance compared to the continuous fractional calculus in the application of a one-compartmental model of drug concentration. In Chapter 1, the Gamma function and its properties are discussed to establish a theoretical basis. Additionally, the basics of discrete fractional calculus are discussed using particular examples for further calculations. In Chapter 2, we use these basic results in the analysis of a linear fractional difference equation. Existence of solutions to this difference equation is then established for both initial conditions (IVP) and two-point boundary conditions (BVP). In Chapter 3, Green's functions are introduced and discussed, along with examples. Instead of using Cauchy functions, the technique of finding Green's functions by a traditional method is demonstrated and used throughout this chapter. The solutions of the BVP play an important role in analysis and construction of the Green's functions. Then, Green's functions for the discrete calculus case are calculated using particular problems, such as boundary value problems, discrete boundary value problems (DBVP) and fractional boundary value problems (FBVP). Finally, we demonstrate how the Green's functions of the FBVP generalize the existence results of the Green's functions of DVBP. In Chapter 4, different compartmental pharmacokinetic models are discussed. This thesis limits discussion to the one-compartmental model. The Mathematica FindFit command and the statistical computational techniques of mean square error (MSE) and cross-validation are discussed. Each of the four models (continuous, continuous fractional, discrete and discrete fractional) is used to compute the MSE numerically with the given data of drug concentration. Then, the best fit and the best model are obtained by inspection of the resulting MSE. In the last Chapter, the results are summarized, conclusions are drawn, and directions for future work are stated.


Applied Mathematics | Medicinal-Pharmaceutical Chemistry | Ordinary Differential Equations and Applied Dynamics