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  1. 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
  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. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 25, 2024
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  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 14, 2024
  8. Real-time forecasting of non-stationary time series is a challenging problem, especially when the time series evolves rapidly. For such cases, it has been observed that ensemble models consisting of a diverse set of model classes can perform consistently better than individual models. In order to account for the nonstationarity of the data and the lack of availability of training examples, the models are retrained in real-time using the most recent observed data samples. Motivated by the robust performance properties of ensemble models, we developed a Bayesian model averaging ensemble technique consisting of statistical, deep learning, and compartmental models for fore-casting epidemiological signals, specifically, COVID-19 signals. We observed the epidemic dynamics go through several phases (waves). In our ensemble model, we observed that different model classes performed differently during the various phases. Armed with this understanding, in this paper, we propose a modification to the ensembling method to employ this phase information and use different weighting schemes for each phase to produce improved forecasts. However, predicting the phases of such time series is a significant challenge, especially when behavioral and immunological adaptations govern the evolution of the time series. We explore multiple datasets that can serve as leading indicators of trend changes and employ transfer entropy techniques to capture the relevant indicator. We propose a phase prediction algorithm to estimate the phases using the leading indicators. Using the knowledge of the estimated phase, we selectively sample the training data from similar phases. We evaluate our proposed methodology on our currently deployed COVID-19 forecasting model and the COVID-19 ForecastHub models. The overall performance of the proposed model is consistent across the pandemic. More importantly, it is ranked second during two critical rapid growth phases in cases, regimes where the performance of most models from the ForecastHub dropped significantly. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 17, 2023
  9. Abstract Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) constitute the front-line responses against epidemics. Yet, the interdependence of control measures and individual microeconomics, beliefs, perceptions and health incentives, is not well understood. Epidemics constitute complex adaptive systems where individual behavioral decisions drive and are driven by, among other things, the risk of infection. To study the impact of heterogeneous behavioral responses on the epidemic burden, we formulate a two risk-groups mathematical model that incorporates individual behavioral decisions driven by risk perceptions. Our results show a trade-off between the efforts to avoid infection by the risk-evader population, and the proportion of risk-taker individuals with relaxed infection risk perceptions. We show that, in a structured population, privately computed optimal behavioral responses may lead to an increase in the final size of the epidemic, when compared to the homogeneous behavior scenario. Moreover, we find that uncertain information on the individuals’ true health state may lead to worse epidemic outcomes, ultimately depending on the population’s risk-group composition. Finally, we find there is a set of specific optimal planning horizons minimizing the final epidemic size, which depend on the population structure. 
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  10. Abstract Academic researchers, government agencies, industry groups, and individuals have produced forecasts at an unprecedented scale during the COVID-19 pandemic. To leverage these forecasts, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered with an academic research lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to create the US COVID-19 Forecast Hub. Launched in April 2020, the Forecast Hub is a dataset with point and probabilistic forecasts of incident cases, incident hospitalizations, incident deaths, and cumulative deaths due to COVID-19 at county, state, and national, levels in the United States. Included forecasts represent a variety of modeling approaches, data sources, and assumptions regarding the spread of COVID-19. The goal of this dataset is to establish a standardized and comparable set of short-term forecasts from modeling teams. These data can be used to develop ensemble models, communicate forecasts to the public, create visualizations, compare models, and inform policies regarding COVID-19 mitigation. These open-source data are available via download from GitHub, through an online API, and through R packages. 
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