A Global Stochastic Modeling Framework to Simulate and Visualize Epidemics

Description:

Epidemics have caused major human and monetary losses through the course of human civilization. It is very important that epidemiologists and public health personnel are prepared to handle an impending infectious disease outbreak. the ever-changing demographics, evolving infrastructural resources of geographic regions, emerging and re-emerging diseases, compel the use of simulation to predict disease dynamics. By the means of simulation, public health personnel and epidemiologists can predict the disease dynamics, population groups at risk and their geographic locations beforehand, so that they are prepared to respond in case of an epidemic outbreak. As a consequence of the large numbers of individuals and inter-personal interactions involved in simulating infectious disease spread in a region such as a county, sizeable amounts of data may be produced that have to be analyzed. Methods to visualize this data would be effective in facilitating people from diverse disciplines understand and analyze the simulation. This thesis proposes a framework to simulate and visualize the spread of an infectious disease in a population of a region such as a county. As real-world populations have a non-homogeneous demographic and spatial distribution, this framework models the spread of an infectious disease based on population of and geographic distance between census blocks; social behavioral parameters for demographic groups. the population is stratified into demographic groups in individual census blocks using census data. Infection spread is modeled by means of local and global contacts generated between groups of population in census blocks. the strength and likelihood of the contacts are based on population, geographic distance and social behavioral parameters of the groups involved. the disease dynamics are represented on a geographic map of the region using a heat map representation, where the intensity of infection is mapped to a color scale. This framework provides a tool for public health personnel and epidemiologists to run what-if analyses on disease spread in specific populations and plan for epidemic response. By the means of demographic stratification of population and incorporation of geographic distance and social behavioral parameters into the modeling of the outbreak, this framework takes into account non-homogeneity in demographic mix and spatial distribution of the population. Generation of contacts per population group instead of individuals contributes to lowering computational overhead. Heat map representation of the intensity of infection provides an intuitive way to visualize the disease dynamics.

Creator(s): Indrakanti, Saratchandra
Creation Date: May 2012
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
UNT Theses and Dissertations
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Publisher Info:
Publisher Name: University of North Texas
Publisher Info: www.unt.edu
Place of Publication: Denton, Texas
Date(s):
  • Creation: May 2012
Description:

Epidemics have caused major human and monetary losses through the course of human civilization. It is very important that epidemiologists and public health personnel are prepared to handle an impending infectious disease outbreak. the ever-changing demographics, evolving infrastructural resources of geographic regions, emerging and re-emerging diseases, compel the use of simulation to predict disease dynamics. By the means of simulation, public health personnel and epidemiologists can predict the disease dynamics, population groups at risk and their geographic locations beforehand, so that they are prepared to respond in case of an epidemic outbreak. As a consequence of the large numbers of individuals and inter-personal interactions involved in simulating infectious disease spread in a region such as a county, sizeable amounts of data may be produced that have to be analyzed. Methods to visualize this data would be effective in facilitating people from diverse disciplines understand and analyze the simulation. This thesis proposes a framework to simulate and visualize the spread of an infectious disease in a population of a region such as a county. As real-world populations have a non-homogeneous demographic and spatial distribution, this framework models the spread of an infectious disease based on population of and geographic distance between census blocks; social behavioral parameters for demographic groups. the population is stratified into demographic groups in individual census blocks using census data. Infection spread is modeled by means of local and global contacts generated between groups of population in census blocks. the strength and likelihood of the contacts are based on population, geographic distance and social behavioral parameters of the groups involved. the disease dynamics are represented on a geographic map of the region using a heat map representation, where the intensity of infection is mapped to a color scale. This framework provides a tool for public health personnel and epidemiologists to run what-if analyses on disease spread in specific populations and plan for epidemic response. By the means of demographic stratification of population and incorporation of geographic distance and social behavioral parameters into the modeling of the outbreak, this framework takes into account non-homogeneity in demographic mix and spatial distribution of the population. Generation of contacts per population group instead of individuals contributes to lowering computational overhead. Heat map representation of the intensity of infection provides an intuitive way to visualize the disease dynamics.

Degree:
Discipline: Computer Science
Level: Master's
PublicationType: Thesi
Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): Computational Epidemiology | simulation | visualization model
Contributor(s):
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
UNT Theses and Dissertations
Identifier:
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc115099
Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
Holder: Indrakanti, Saratchandra
License: Copyright
Statement: Copyright is held by the author, unless otherwise noted. All rights Reserved.