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Scalable and Demography-Agnostic Confinement Strategies for COVID-19 Pandemic with Game Theory and Graph AlgorithmsIn the past, epidemics such as AIDS, measles, SARS, H1N1 influenza, and tuberculosis caused the death of millions of people around the world. In response, intensive research is evolving to design efficient drugs and vaccines. However, studies warn that new pandemics such as Coronavirus (COVID-19), variants, and even deadly pandemics can emerge in the future. The existing epidemic confinement approaches rely on a large amount of available data to determine policies. Such dependencies could cause an irreversible effect before proper strategies are developed. Furthermore, the existing approaches follow a one-size-fits-all control technique, which might not be effective. To overcome this, in this work, we develop a game-theory-inspired approach that considers societal and economic impacts and formulates epidemic control as a non-zero-sum game. Further, the proposed approach considers the demographic information that provides a tailored solution to each demography. We explore different strategies, including masking, social distancing, contact tracing, quarantining, partial-, and full-lockdowns and their combinations, and present demography-aware optimal solutions to confine a pandemic with minimal history information and optimal impact on the economy. To facilitate scalability, we propose a novel graph learning approach, which learns from the previously obtained COVID-19 game outputs and mobility rates of one state (region)more »
Abstract Hard-to-predict bursts of COVID-19 pandemic revealed significance of statistical modeling which would resolve spatio-temporal correlations over geographical areas, for example spread of the infection over a city with census tract granularity. In this manuscript, we provide algorithmic answers to the following two inter-related public health challenges of immense social impact which have not been adequately addressed (1) Inference Challenge assuming that there are N census blocks (nodes) in the city, and given an initial infection at any set of nodes, e.g. any N of possible single node infections, any $$N(N-1)/2$$ N ( N - 1 ) / 2 of possible two node infections, etc, what is the probability for a subset of census blocks to become infected by the time the spread of the infection burst is stabilized? (2) Prevention Challenge What is the minimal control action one can take to minimize the infected part of the stabilized state footprint? To answer the challenges, we build a Graphical Model of pandemic of the attractive Ising (pair-wise, binary) type, where each node represents a census tract and each edge factor represents the strength of the pairwise interaction between a pair of nodes, e.g. representing the inter-node travel, road closure andmore »
null (Ed.)Understanding the dynamics of the spread of COVID-19 between connected communities is fundamental in planning appropriate mitigation measures. To that end, we propose and analyze a novel metapopulation network model, particularly suitable for modeling commuter traffic patterns, that takes into account the connectivity between a heterogeneous set of communities, each with its own infection dynamics. In the novel metapopulation model that we propose here, transport schemes developed in optimal transport theory provide an efficient and easily implementable way of describing the temporary population redistribution due to traffic, such as the daily commuter traffic between work and residence. Locally, infection dynamics in individual communities are described in terms of a susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered (SEIR) compartment model, modified to account for the specific features of COVID-19, most notably its spread by asymptomatic and presymptomatic infected individuals. The mathematical foundation of our metapopulation network model is akin to a transport scheme between two population distributions, namely the residential distribution and the workplace distribution, whose interface can be inferred from commuter mobility data made available by the US Census Bureau. We use the proposed metapopulation model to test the dynamics of the spread of COVID-19 on two networks, a smaller one comprising 7 counties in themore »
No versatile web app exists that allows epidemiologists and managers around the world to comprehensively analyze the impacts of COVID-19 mitigation. The
http://covid-webapp.numerusinc.com/web app presented here fills this gap. Methods
Our web app uses a model that explicitly identifies susceptible, contact, latent, asymptomatic, symptomatic and recovered classes of individuals, and a parallel set of response classes, subject to lower pathogen-contact rates. The user inputs a CSV file of incidence and, if of interest, mortality rate data. A default set of parameters is available that can be overwritten through input or online entry, and a user-selected subset of these can be fitted to the model using maximum-likelihood estimation (MLE). Model fitting and forecasting intervals are specifiable and changes to parameters allow counterfactual and forecasting scenarios. Confidence or credible intervals can be generated using stochastic simulations, based on MLE values, or on an inputted CSV file containing Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) estimates of one or more parameters.
We illustrate the use of our web app in extracting social distancing, social relaxation, surveillance or virulence switching functions (i.e., time varying drivers) from the incidence and mortality rates of COVID-19 epidemics in Israel, South Africa, and England. The Israeli outbreak exhibits fourmore »
Our web app provides policy makers and health officers who have no epidemiological modelling or computer coding expertise with an invaluable tool for assessing the impacts of different outbreak mitigation policies and measures. This includes an ability to generate an epidemic-suppression or curve-flattening index that measures the intensity with which behavioural responses suppress or flatten the epidemic curve in the region under consideration.
In the last decades, emerging and re-emerging epidemics such as AIDS, measles, SARS, HINI influenza, and tuberculosis cause death to millions of people each year. In response, a large and intensive research is evolving for the design of better drugs and vaccines. However, studies warn that the new pandemics such as Coronavirus (COVID-19) and even deadly pandemics can emerge in the future. The existing confinement approaches rely on large amount of available data to determine policies. Such dependencies could cause an irreversible effect before proper strategies are developed. Furthermore, the existing approaches follow a one-size fits all approach, which might not be effective. In contrast, we develop a game-theory inspired approach that considers societal and economic impacts and formulates the epidemic control as a non-zero sum dynamic game. Further, the proposed approach considers the demographic information leading to providing a tailored solution to each demography. We explore different strategies including masking, social distancing, contact tracing, quarantining, partial-, and full-lockdowns and their combinations and present demography-aware optimal solutions to confine a pandemic with minimal history information and optimal impact on economy.