Undergrad Research Project - Modeling Real-time Disease Spreading Through a Population

Spring 2017

Shihan Wang
Radu Marculescu
Project description

In recent years, the Ebola and Zika virus epidemics have made international headlines and underlined the need for further study in epidemic spreading and propagation. By understanding how, where, and when these diseases propagate, we can create preventive measures to suppress further outbreaks. For example, two important vectors of Zika are humans and the mosquito Aedes aegypti. If we can model humans and Ae. Aegypti movements and the interactions between these two species, we could predict how the disease would spread through a population. In this research project, it is our goal to create algorithms that are able to model and project human and Ae. aegypti mobility and their interactions. These algorithms will need to be energy-efficient (for energy-harvesting hardware platforms) and distributed (for performance-constrained platforms) so that they can be deployed on computational platforms in the field. We will also develop a simulation platform that will simulate an environment that incorporates people, insects, and terrain. This will provide us scenarios that will allow us to test and validate our algorithms for human and Ae. aegypti mobility. By creating accurate, detailed models for these aspects, we can use them as inputs into state-of-the-art epidemiology simulators to see how a disease would spread throughout a population at resolutions never seen before. This will provide us the information to control epidemics and prevent them from ever spreading.

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