The peripheral T cell repertoire is sculpted from prototypic T cells in the thymus bearing randomly generated T cell receptors (TCR) and by a series of developmental and selection steps that remove cells that are unresponsive or overly reactive to self-peptide-MHC complexes. The challenge of understanding how the kinetics of T cell development and the statistics of the selection processes combine to provide a diverse but self-tolerant T cell repertoire has invited quantitative modeling approaches, which are reviewed here.
Yates, A. J. (2014). Theories and quantification of thymic selection. Frontiers in Immunology. Frontiers Research Foundation. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2014.00013