Dynamic graph based epidemiological model for COVID-19 contact tracing data analysis and optimal testing prescription

by   Shashanka Ubaru, et al.

In this study, we address three important challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, namely, (a) providing an early warning to likely exposed individuals, (b) identifying asymptomatic individuals, and (c) prescription of optimal testing when testing capacity is limited. First, we present a dynamic-graph based SEIR epidemiological model in order to describe the dynamics of the disease transmission. Our model considers a dynamic graph/network that accounts for the interactions between individuals over time, such as the ones obtained by manual or automated contact tracing, and uses a diffusion-reaction mechanism to describe the state dynamics. This dynamic graph model helps identify likely exposed/infected individuals to whom we can provide early warnings, even before they display any symptoms. When COVID-19 testing capacity is limited compared to the population size, reliable estimation of individual's health state and disease transmissibility using epidemiological models is extremely challenging. Thus, estimation of state uncertainty is paramount for both eminent risk assessment, as well as for closing the tracing-testing loop by optimal testing prescription. Therefore, we propose the use of arbitrary Polynomial Chaos Expansion, a popular technique used for uncertainty quantification, to represent the states, and quantify the uncertainties in the dynamic model. This design enables us to assign uncertainty of the state of each individual, and consequently optimize the testing as to reduce the overall uncertainty given a constrained testing budget. We present a few simulation results that illustrate the performance of the proposed framework.


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