Improving epidemic testing and containment strategies using machine learning on ArXiv

Comparison of different evolution regimes of disease spreading: free evolution (bottom left half) vs network strategy (top right half). Image by L. Natali.
Improving epidemic testing and containment strategies using machine learning
Laura Natali, Saga Helgadottir, Onofrio M. Maragò, Giovanni Volpe
arXiv: 2011.11717

Containment of epidemic outbreaks entails great societal and economic costs. Cost-effective containment strategies rely on efficiently identifying infected individuals, making the best possible use of the available testing resources. Therefore, quickly identifying the optimal testing strategy is of critical importance. Here, we demonstrate that machine learning can be used to identify which individuals are most beneficial to test, automatically and dynamically adapting the testing strategy to the characteristics of the disease outbreak. Specifically, we simulate an outbreak using the archetypal susceptible-infectious-recovered (SIR) model and we use data about the first confirmed cases to train a neural network that learns to make predictions about the rest of the population. Using these prediction, we manage to contain the outbreak more effectively and more quickly than with standard approaches. Furthermore, we demonstrate how this method can be used also when there is a possibility of reinfection (SIRS model) to efficiently eradicate an endemic disease.

David Bronte Ciriza visits the Soft Matter Lab, Gothenburg, Sweden

From the 2nd to the 9th of November 2020, David Bronte Ciriza and Alessandro Magazzù (Post Doc at the CNR-IPCF Messina) have visited the Soft Matter Lab at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. During their visit, they have been working on a project related to the use of neural networks to improve optical forces calculations. This visit has also served as networking opportunity with the researchers at the Gothenburg University, including the ones that participate in the ActiveMatter network.

Alessandro Magazzù and David Bronte Ciriza in Gothenburg. Foto by Aukut Argun