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In order to rephrase the question. I would ask you to take a look at the following problem:

  1. I have this system of ODE: $$ \begin{cases} \dot{x}(t)= x(t)[r_1(t) -b_1(t)x(t- \tau(t)) - c_1(t)y^m(t)] & t\neq t_k\\ \dot{y}(t)= y(t)[- r_2(t)- b_2(t) y(t- \sigma(t)) +c_2(t) x(t) y^{m-1}(t)] & \\ \Delta x(t_k)= x(t_k^+)- x(t_k)=d_k x(t_k) & t=t_k\\ \Delta y(t_k)= y(t_k^+)- y(t_k) = f_k y(t_k) & \end{cases}. $$
  2. $x(t)$ and $y(t)$ are discontinuous function at points $t_k$.
  3. All these functions: $r_1(t), \, r_2(t), \, b_1(t), \, b_2(t), \, c_1(t),\mbox{ and } c_2(t)$ are positive and periodic with the same period $\omega$.
  4. $\tau(t)$ and $\sigma(t)$ are continuously differentiable positive periodic functions with the same period $\omega$ such that $\tau'(t) <1 \mbox{ and } \sigma'(t)<1$.
  5. $m\in (0,1)$
  6. $-1 < d_k \leq 0, \, -1 < f_k \leq 0$ are constants for $k=1,2, \cdots,$ such that there exists a positive integer $q$ $t_{k+q}=t_k + \omega$.

I am trying to make the right choice for these parameters to solve this with Mathematica.

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Do $r_1(t), \, r_2(t), \, b_1(t), \, b_2(t), \, c_1(t),\mbox{ and } c_2(t)$ have the same period? Also, do you have any other boundary conditions but the discontinuities? – rcollyer Jan 15 '13 at 6:27
thank you rcollyer for your comment to this post. I have improved the question as you have request. – Zbigniew Jan 15 '13 at 7:21
Are the $t_k$'s pre-defined or do you find them as you solve? – yohbs Jan 15 '13 at 7:25
We assume that $x(t)$ and $y(t)$ are discontinous functions at points $t_k$. – Zbigniew Jan 15 '13 at 7:30

The following simple example indicates that such a problem cannot be solved with NDSolve (in V10.0.2):

NDSolve[{x'[t] == 1 - x[t - (1 + Sin[t]/10)], 
  x[t /; t <= 0] == 0}, x, {t, 0, 8}]

NDSolve::cdelay: The method currently implemented for delay differential equations does not support delays that depend directly on the time variable or dependent variables. >>

DSolve ran for an hour on the same simple example without finishing before I had to abort it. Memory usage had gotten to 1.5GB. I would be surprised if DSolve could solve it, but it does not complain that it cannot.

Representing your system abstractly as $\dot X = F[X,t]$, with $X = (x,y)$, you might code up your own solver, for instance using an Euler integration scheme:

  1. $t' \leftarrow \text{step}[X, t]$
  2. If $t'$ is a $t_k$, then $X' \leftarrow X + \Delta X$, else $X' \leftarrow F[X, t] * (t' - t)$

As one accumulates values of $X$, one can interpolate to estimate past values, such as for $x(t- \tau(t))$. The step function should return a discontinuity $t_k$ instead of stepping over it. Potential problems are determining the appropriate step size, estimating the error, and controlling precision loss; one might also seek out a more robust integration scheme.

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