A Data-driven Understanding of COVID-19 Dynamics Using Sequential Genetic Algorithm Based Probabilistic Cellular Automata

08/27/2020 ∙ by Sayantari Ghosh, et al. ∙ 0

COVID-19 pandemic is severely impacting the lives of billions across the globe. Even after taking massive protective measures like nation-wide lockdowns, discontinuation of international flight services, rigorous testing etc., the infection spreading is still growing steadily, causing thousands of deaths and serious socio-economic crisis. Thus, the identification of the major factors of this infection spreading dynamics is becoming crucial to minimize impact and lifetime of COVID-19 and any future pandemic. In this work, a probabilistic cellular automata based method has been employed to model the infection dynamics for a significant number of different countries. This study proposes that for an accurate data-driven modeling of this infection spread, cellular automata provides an excellent platform, with a sequential genetic algorithm for efficiently estimating the parameters of the dynamics. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to understand and interpret COVID-19 data using optimized cellular automata, through genetic algorithm. It has been demonstrated that the proposed methodology can be flexible and robust at the same time, and can be used to model the daily active cases, total number of infected people and total death cases through systematic parameter estimation. Elaborate analyses for COVID-19 statistics of forty countries from different continents have been performed, with markedly divergent time evolution of the infection spreading because of demographic and socioeconomic factors. The substantial predictive power of this model has been established with conclusions on the key players in this pandemic dynamics.

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