Pandemic Modeling

and Ethics of Care

 

 

 

Carol Cuesta-Lazaro

IAIFI Fellow - Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions (MIT)

Medical Imaging

Agent Based simulations

Observed

Simulated

Cosmology

Astrophysics

Simulations

HPC

Scientific question

Statistics ML

The JUNE epidemiological model

June Dalziel Almeida

A virtual society

Viral transmission

How does an epidemic propagate through a population?

Why does it affect some sectors of the population more than others?

How do we best stop it?

The importance of complex models

 

  • Abstraction (and avoiding biases!) can sometimes be difficult, due to caring for your the subjects of your research

 

  • Trading speed for correctness when timeliness matters

 

  • Communicating effectively is as important as doing the right work

What I learned from JUNE that I couldn't have learned from Astrophysics

Limited understanding

1. How the virus behaves

2. How effective are different preventive measures

3. What is the current state?

The challenges of complex detailed models

Find the model under which the data is most likely

There isn't one single model that explains reality

Uncertainty

Goal: Provide a tool for understanding the impact of operational interventions during the COVID-19 crisis in constrained and difficult operational contexts (e.g. Cox’s Bazar) based on data, alerts and evidence to aid in decision making


 

Adapting JUNE to refugee settlements

Cox's Bazar

  • Largest settlement in the world

  • In some areas, the settlement is denser than New York City (44,000 people estimated to be living per square kilometer)

  • High risk of COVID transmission

Scenario modelling

Challenges

Building a digital twin, data?

biases?

Monitoring: Infections, hosptilizations and deaths?

DATA

Access to health care?

Model assumptions and cultural differences

Need for more creative policies

POPULATION DIFFERENCES

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By carol cuesta

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