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  1. Abstract

    Human mobility is a primary driver of infectious disease spread. However, existing data is limited in availability, coverage, granularity, and timeliness. Data-driven forecasts of disease dynamics are crucial for decision-making by health officials and private citizens alike. In this work, we focus on a machine-learned anonymized mobility map (hereon referred to as AMM) aggregated over hundreds of millions of smartphones and evaluate its utility in forecasting epidemics. We factor AMM into a metapopulation model to retrospectively forecast influenza in the USA and Australia. We show that the AMM model performs on-par with those based on commuter surveys, which aremore »sparsely available and expensive. We also compare it with gravity and radiation based models of mobility, and find that the radiation model’s performance is quite similar to AMM and commuter flows. Additionally, we demonstrate our model’s ability to predict disease spread even across state boundaries. Our work contributes towards developing timely infectious disease forecasting at a global scale using human mobility datasets expanding their applications in the area of infectious disease epidemiology.

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  2. Abstract Privacy protection is paramount in conducting health research. However, studies often rely on data stored in a centralized repository, where analysis is done with full access to the sensitive underlying content. Recent advances in federated learning enable building complex machine-learned models that are trained in a distributed fashion. These techniques facilitate the calculation of research study endpoints such that private data never leaves a given device or healthcare system. We show—on a diverse set of single and multi-site health studies—that federated models can achieve similar accuracy, precision, and generalizability, and lead to the same interpretation as standard centralized statisticalmore »models while achieving considerably stronger privacy protections and without significantly raising computational costs. This work is the first to apply modern and general federated learning methods that explicitly incorporate differential privacy to clinical and epidemiological research—across a spectrum of units of federation, model architectures, complexity of learning tasks and diseases. As a result, it enables health research participants to remain in control of their data and still contribute to advancing science—aspects that used to be at odds with each other.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2022
  4. The Mumbai Suburban Railways, locals, are a key transit infrastructure of the city and is crucial for resuming normal economic activity. Due to high density during transit, the potential risk of disease transmission is high, and the government has taken a wait and see approach to resume normal operations. To reduce disease transmission, policymakers can enforce reduced crowding and mandate wearing of masks. Cohorting – forming groups of travelers that always travel together, is an additional policy to reduce disease transmission on locals without severe restrictions. Cohorting allows us to: (𝑖) form traveler bubbles, thereby decreasing the number of distinctmore »interactions over time; (𝑖𝑖) potentially quarantine an entire cohort if a single case is detected, making contact tracing more efficient, and (𝑖𝑖𝑖) target cohorts for testing and early detection of symptomatic as well as asymptomatic cases. Studying impact of cohorts using compartmental models is challenging because of the ensuing representational complexity. Agent-based models provide a natural way to represent cohorts along with the representation of the cohort members with the larger social network. This paper describes a novel multi-scale agent-based model to study the impact of cohorting strategies on COVID-19 dynamics in Mumbai. We achieve this by modeling the Mumbai urban region using a detailed agent-based model comprising of 12.4 million agents. Individual cohorts and their inter-cohort interactions as they travel on locals are modeled using local mean field approximations. The resulting multi-scale model in conjunction with a detailed disease transmission and intervention simulator is used to assess various cohorting strategies. The results provide a quantitative trade-off between cohort size and its impact on disease dynamics and well being. The results show that cohorts can provide significant benefit in terms of reduced transmission without significantly impacting ridership and or economic & social activity.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 3, 2022
  5. The COVID-19 (COrona VIrus Disease 2019) pandemic has had profound global consequences on health, economic, social, behavioral, and almost every major aspect of human life. Therefore, it is of great importance to model COVID-19 and other pandemics in terms of the broader social contexts in which they take place. We present the architecture of an artificial intelligence enhanced COVID-19 analysis (in short AICov), which provides an integrative deep learning framework for COVID-19 forecasting with population covariates, some of which may serve as putative risk factors. We have integrated multiple different strategies into AICov, including the ability to use deep learningmore »strategies based on Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) and event modeling. To demonstrate our approach, we have introduced a framework that integrates population covariates from multiple sources. Thus, AICov not only includes data on COVID-19 cases and deaths but, more importantly, the population’s socioeconomic, health, and behavioral risk factors at their specific locations. The compiled data are fed into AICov, and thus we obtain improved prediction by the integration of the data to our model as compared to one that only uses case and death data. As we use deep learning our models adapt over time while learning the model from past data.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 22, 2022
  6. Neighborhood e ects have an important role in evacuation decision-making by a family. Owing to peer influence, neighbors evacuating can motivate a family to evacuate. Paradoxically, if a lot of neighbors evacuate, then the likelihood of an individual or family deciding to evacuate decreases, for fear of crime and looting. Such behavior cannot be captured using standard models of contagion spread on networks, e.g., threshold, independent cascade, and linear threshold models. Here, we propose a new threshold-based graph dynamical system model, 2mode-threshold, which captures this dichotomy. We study theoretically the dynamical properties of 2mode-threshold in di fferent networks, and fimore »nd signi ficant diff erences from a standard threshold model. We build and characterize small world networks of Virginia Beach, VA, where nodes are geolocated families (households) in the city and edges are interactions between pairs of families. We demonstrate the utility of our behavioral model through agent-based simulations on these small world networks. We use it to understand evacuation rates in this region, and to evaluate the e ffects of modeling parameters on evacuation decision dynamics. Speci fically, we quantify the effects of (i) network generation parameters, (ii) stochasticity in the social network generation process, (iii) model types (2mode-threshold vs. stan- dard threshold models), (iv) 2mode-threshold model parameters, (v) and initial conditions, on computed evacuation rates and their variability. An illustrative example result shows that the absence of looting e ect can overpredict evacuation rates by as much as 50%.« less
  7. Web-based interactions enable agents to coordinate and generate collective action. Coordination can facilitate the spread of contagion to large groups within networked populations. In game theoretic contexts, coordination requires that agents share common knowledge about each other. Common knowledge emerges within a group when each member knows the states and the thresholds (preferences) of the other members, and critically, each member knows that everyone else has this information. Hence, these models of common knowledge and coordination on communication networks are fundamentally di fferent from influence-based unilateral contagion models, such as those devised by Granovetter and Centola. Moreover, these models utilizemore »different mechanisms for driving contagion. We evaluate three mechanisms of a common knowledge model that can represent web-based communication among groups of people on Facebook, using nine social (media) networks. We provide theoretical results indicating the intractability in identifying all node-maximal bicliques in a network, which is the characterizing network structure that produces common knowledge. Bicliques are required for model execution. We also show that one of the mechanisms (named PD2) dominates another mechanism (named ND2). Using simulations, we compute the spread of contagion on these networks in the Facebook model and demonstrate that di fferent mechanisms can produce widely varying behaviors in terms of the extent of the spread and the speed of contagion transmission. We also quantify, through the fraction of nodes acquiring contagion, di erences in the eff ects of the ND2 and PD2 mechanisms, which depend on network structure and other simulation inputs.« less
  8. We consider the simultaneous propagation of two contagions over a social network. We assume a threshold model for the propagation of the two contagions and use the formal framework of discrete dynamical systems. In particular, we study an optimization problem where the goal is to minimize the total number of infected nodes subject to a budget constraint on the total number of nodes that can be vaccinated. While this problem has been considered in the literature for a single contagion, our work considers the simultaneous propagation of two contagions. Since the optimization problem is NP-hard, we develop a heuristic basedmore »on a generalization of the set cover problem. Using experiments on three real-world networks, we compare the performance of the heuristic with some baseline methods.« less
  9. Abstract We use an individual based model and national level epidemic simulations to estimate the medical costs of keeping the US economy open during COVID-19 pandemic under different counterfactual scenarios. We model an unmitigated scenario and 12 mitigation scenarios which differ in compliance behavior to social distancing strategies and in the duration of the stay-home order. Under each scenario we estimate the number of people who are likely to get infected and require medical attention, hospitalization, and ventilators. Given the per capita medical cost for each of these health states, we compute the total medical costs for each scenario andmore »show the tradeoffs between deaths, costs, infections, compliance and the duration of stay-home order. We also consider the hospital bed capacity of each Hospital Referral Region (HRR) in the US to estimate the deficit in beds each HRR will likely encounter given the demand for hospital beds. We consider a case where HRRs share hospital beds among the neighboring HRRs during a surge in demand beyond the available beds and the impact it has in controlling additional deaths.« less
  10. We investigate questions related to the time evolution of discrete graph dynamical systems where each node has a state from {0,1}. The configuration of a system at any time instant is a Boolean vector that specifies the state of each node at that instant. We say that two configurations are similar if the Hamming distance between them is small. Also, a predecessor of a configuration B is a configuration A such that B can be reached in one step from A. We study problems related to the similarity of predecessor configurations from which two similar configurations can be reached inmore »one time step. We address these problems both analytically and experimentally. Our analytical results point out that the level of similarity between predecessors of two similar configurations depends on the local functions of the dynamical system. Our experimental results, which consider random graphs as well as small world networks, rely on the fact that the problem of finding predecessors can be reduced to the Boolean Satisfiability problem (SAT).« less