Mastitis is the most frequent and costly disease affecting dairy cattle. The disease shows different infection patterns and is associated with many risk factors. Due to this complexity it may be appropriate to approximate the unobserved development of the disease by a stochastic process. A stochastic process operate in some state space and move from one state to another with a certain probability. The state space can have an absorbing state which terminates the process if reached, and onset of a disease may be viewed as an absorbing state. The time from the process is initiated until it is absorbed (the first passage time) is a stochastic variable following some probability distribution. 

S. Saebo, T. Almoy, A. H Aastveit, B. Heringstad, G. Klemetsdal

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 2002. Session 16, , 16.16, 2002
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