I was directed to GoActuary based on a question I asked in Reddit’s r/actuary community. As the question below will reveal, I am not an actuary, or even a competent statistician, so I apologize in advance for the ignorance of the question.
I am writing a simulation that utilizes mortality tables to determine, at each step of the simulation, the members of the simulation that should die (or “expire”, if you prefer). At the beginning or initiation of the simulation, I am given a population of members, and then at each step of the simulation I would like to determine the members of the simulated population who should die. A simulation step corresponds to the advancement of time t=x to t=x+1, where a simulation step is one year.
I believe this would be easy to do using the appropriate male or female probability of death, q(x), provided by the mortality table, if I was simulating a population of homogenous members of the same gender and age. For a homogenous population, I believe I could just multiply q(x) by the size of the population and then remove that many members from the population? (I would also be interested in an acceptable approach to handling fractional deaths; i.e. the simulation needs to work with discrete members, so, for example, it cannot mark the 0.23% of the population in 3.23% of the population dead.)
Unfortunately, I am not working with a homogenous population. Instead, the populations I am working with are composed of men and women of both genders and various ages. So, the crux of my question is, given an individual from my simulated population at a specific simulated time step, and, therefore, the q(x) for individuals matching that individual’s attributes, is it possible to and is there an accepted/preferred method for determining if that individual should be marked as dead?
While I’m most interested in guidance of answering the above question, if there is a resource that explains the rationale for this guidance, I would appreciate being pointed at it (although, my knowledge in this space may prevent me from understanding it).
I was told I should make sure to tag @meep on this post.
Thank you in advance for your assistance.