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  1. Networks allow us to describe a wide range of interaction phenomena that occur in complex systems arising in such diverse fields of knowledge as neuroscience, engineering, ecology, finance, and social sciences. Until very recently, the primary focus of network models and tools has been on describing the pairwise relationships between system entities. However, increasingly more studies indicate that polyadic or higher-order group relationships among multiple network entities may be the key toward better understanding of the intrinsic mechanisms behind the functionality of complex systems. Such group interactions can be, in turn, described in a holistic manner by simplicial complexes of graphs. Inspired by these recently emerging results on the utility of the simplicial geometry of complex networks for contagion propagation and armed with a large-scale synthetic social contact network (also known as a digital twin) of the population in the U.S. state of Virginia, in this paper, we aim to glean insights into the role of higher-order social interactions and the associated varying social group determinants on COVID-19 propagation and mitigation measures.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 2, 2025
  2. Abstract Efficient energy consumption is crucial for achieving sustainable energy goals in the era of climate change and grid modernization. Thus, it is vital to understand how energy is consumed at finer resolutions such as household in order to plan demand-response events or analyze impacts of weather, electricity prices, electric vehicles, solar, and occupancy schedules on energy consumption. However, availability and access to detailed energy-use data, which would enable detailed studies, has been rare. In this paper, we release a unique, large-scale, digital-twin of residential energy-use dataset for the residential sector across the contiguous United States covering millions of households. The data comprise of hourly energy use profiles for synthetic households, disaggregated into Thermostatically Controlled Loads (TCL) and appliance use. The underlying framework is constructed using a bottom-up approach. Diverse open-source surveys and first principles models are used for end-use modeling. Extensive validation of the synthetic dataset has been conducted through comparisons with reported energy-use data. We present a detailed, open, high resolution, residential energy-use dataset for the United States. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    The ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine has forced over eight million people to migrate out of Ukraine. Understanding the dynamics of forced migration is essential for policy-making and for delivering humanitarian assistance. Existing work is hindered by a reliance on observational data which is only available well after the fact. In this work, we study the efficacy of a data-driven agent-based framework motivated by social and behavioral theory in predicting outflow of migrants as a result of conflict events during the initial phase of the Ukraine war. We discuss policy use cases for the proposed framework by demonstrating how it can leverage refugee demographic details to answer pressing policy questions. We also show how to incorporate conflict forecast scenarios to predict future conflict-induced migration flows. Detailed future migration estimates across various conflict scenarios can both help to reduce policymaker uncertainty and improve allocation and staging of limited humanitarian resources in crisis settings.

     
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  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 25, 2024
  5. In response to COVID-19, many countries have mandated social distancing and banned large group gatherings in order to slow down the spread of SARS-CoV-2. These social interventions along with vaccines remain the best way forward to reduce the spread of SARS CoV-2. In order to increase vaccine accessibility, states such as Virginia have deployed mobile vaccination centers to distribute vaccines across the state. When choosing where to place these sites, there are two important factors to take into account: accessibility and equity. We formulate a combinatorial problem that captures these factors and then develop efficient algorithms with theoretical guarantees on both of these aspects. Furthermore, we study the inherent hardness of the problem, and demonstrate strong impossibility results. Finally, we run computational experiments on real-world data to show the efficacy of our methods. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 2, 2024
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 19, 2024
  7. Abstract Understanding the scope, prevalence, and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic response will be a rich ground for research for many years. Key to the response to COVID-19 was the non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) measures, such as mask mandates or stay-in-place orders. For future pandemic preparedness, it is critical to understand the impact and scope of these interventions. Given the ongoing nature of the pandemic, existing NPI studies covering only the initial portion provide only a narrow view of the impact of NPI measures. This paper describes a dataset of NPI measures taken by counties in the U.S. state of Virginia that include measures taken over the first two years of the pandemic beginning in March 2020. This data enables analyses of NPI measures over a long time period that can produce impact analyses on both the individual NPI effectiveness in slowing the pandemic spread, and the impact of various NPI measures on the behavior and conditions of the different counties and state. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 4, 2024
  9. Disease surveillance systems provide early warnings of disease outbreaks before they become public health emergencies. However, pandemics containment would be challenging due to the complex immunity landscape created by multiple variants. Genomic surveillance is critical for detecting novel variants with diverse characteristics and importation/emergence times. Yet, a systematic study incorporating genomic monitoring, situation assessment, and intervention strategies is lacking in the literature. We formulate an integrated computational modeling framework to study a realistic course of action based on sequencing, analysis, and response. We study the effects of the second variant’s importation time, its infectiousness advantage and, its cross-infection on the novel variant’s detection time, and the resulting intervention scenarios to contain epidemics driven by two-variants dynamics. Our results illustrate the limitation in the intervention’s effectiveness due to the variants’ competing dynamics and provide the following insights: i) There is a set of importation times that yields the worst detection time for the second variant, which depends on the first variant’s basic reproductive number; ii) When the second variant is imported relatively early with respect to the first variant, the cross-infection level does not impact the detection time of the second variant. We found that depending on the target metric, the best outcomes are attained under different interventions’ regimes. Our results emphasize the importance of sustained enforcement of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions on preventing epidemic resurgence due to importation/emergence of novel variants. We also discuss how our methods can be used to study when a novel variant emerges within a population.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 28, 2024
  10. Despite hundreds of methods published in the literature, forecasting epidemic dynamics remains challenging yet important. The challenges stem from multiple sources, including: the need for timely data, co-evolution of epidemic dynamics with behavioral and immunological adaptations, and the evolution of new pathogen strains. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic highlighted these challenges; in an important article, Reich et al. did a comprehensive analysis highlighting many of these challenges.In this paper, we take another step in critically evaluating existing epidemic forecasting methods. Our methods are based on a simple yet crucial observation - epidemic dynamics go through a number of phases (waves). Armed with this understanding, we propose a modification to our deployed Bayesian ensembling case time series forecasting framework. We show that ensembling methods employing the phase information and using different weighting schemes for each phase can produce improved forecasts. We evaluate our proposed method with both the currently deployed model and the COVID-19 forecasthub models. The overall performance of the proposed model is consistent across the pandemic but more importantly, it is ranked third and first during two critical rapid growth phases in cases, regimes where the performance of most models from the CDC forecasting hub dropped significantly.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 27, 2024