Computational Model Library

Peer reviewed Minding Norms in an Epidemic Does Matter

Klaus Troitzsch | Published Sat Feb 27 10:04:04 2021 | Last modified Mon Sep 13 13:03:36 2021

This paper tries to shed some light on the mutual influence of citizen behaviour and the spread of a virus in an epidemic. While the spread of a virus from infectious to susceptible persons and the outbreak of an infection leading to more or less severe illness and, finally, to recovery and immunity or death has been modelled with different kinds of models in the past, the influence of certain behaviours to keep the epidemic low and to follow recommendations of others to apply these behaviours has rarely been modelled. The model introduced here uses a theory of the effect of norm invocations among persons to find out the effect of spreading norms interacts with the progress of an epidemic. Results show that norm invocations matter. The model replicates the histories of the COVID-19 epidemic in various region, including “second waves”, and shows that the calculation of the reproduction numbers from current reported infections usually overestimates the “real” but in practice unobservable reproduction number.

Virus Transmission with Super-spreaders

J Applegate | Published Sat Sep 11 05:14:27 2021

A curious aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic is the clustering of outbreaks. Evidence suggests that 80\% of people who contract the virus are infected by only 19% of infected individuals, and that the majority of infected individuals faile to infect another person. Thus, the dispersion of a contagion, $k$, may be of more use in understanding the spread of Covid-19 than the reproduction number, R0.

The Virus Transmission with Super-spreaders model, written in NetLogo, is an adaptation of the canonical Virus Transmission on a Network model and allows the exploration of various mitigation protocols such as testing and quarantines with both homogenous transmission and heterogenous transmission.

The model consists of a population of individuals arranged in a network, where both population and network degree are tunable. At the start of the simulation, a subset of the population is initially infected. As the model runs, infected individuals will infect neighboring susceptible individuals according to either homogenous or heterogenous transmission, where heterogenous transmission models super-spreaders. In this case, k is described as the percentage of super-spreaders in the population and the differing transmission rates for super-spreaders and non super-spreaders. Infected individuals either recover, at which point they become resistant to infection, or die. Testing regimes cause discovered infected individuals to quarantine for a period of time.

Digital social networks facilitate the opinion dynamics and idea flow and also provide reliable data to understand these dynamics. Public opinion and cooperation behavior are the key factors to determine the capacity of a successful and effective public policy. In particular, during the crises, such as the Corona virus pandemic, it is necessary to understand the people’s opinion toward a policy and the performance of the governance institutions. The problem of the mathematical explanation of the human behaviors is to simplify and bypass some of the essential process. To tackle this problem, we adopted a data-driven strategy to extract opinion and behavioral patterns from social media content to reflect the dynamics of society’s average beliefs toward different topics. We extracted important subtopics from social media contents and analyze the sentiments of users at each subtopic. Subsequently, we structured a Bayesian belief network to demonstrate the macro patters of the beliefs, opinions, information and emotions which trigger the response toward a prospective policy. We aim to understand the factors and latent factors which influence the opinion formation in the society. Our goal is to enhance the reality of the simulations. To capture the dynamics of opinions at an artificial society we apply agent-based opinion dynamics modeling. We intended to investigate practical implementation scenarios of this framework for policy analysis during Corona Virus Pandemic Crisis. The implemented modular modeling approach could be used as a flexible data-driven policy making tools to investigate public opinion in social media. The core idea is to put the opinion dynamics in the wider contexts of the collective decision-making, data-driven policy-modeling and digital democracy. We intended to use data-driven agent-based modeling as a comprehensive analysis tools to understand the collective opinion dynamics and decision making process on the social networks and uses this knowledge to utilize network-enabled policy modeling and collective intelligence platforms.

CINCH1 (Covid-19 INfection Control in Hospitals)

N Gotts | Published Sun Aug 29 13:13:03 2021

CINCH1 (Covid-19 INfection Control in Hospitals), is a prototype model of physical distancing for infection control among staff in University College London Hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic, developed at the University of Leeds, School of Geography. It models the movement of collections of agents in simple spaces under conflicting motivations of reaching their destination, maintaining physical distance from each other, and walking together with a companion. The model incorporates aspects of the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation of Behaviour (COM-B) Behaviour Change Framework developed at University College London Centre for Behaviour Change, and is aimed at informing decisions about behavioural interventions in hospital and other workplace settings during this and possible future outbreaks of highly contagious diseases. CINCH1 was developed as part of the SAFER (SARS-CoV-2 Acquisition in Frontline Health Care Workers – Evaluation to Inform Response) project
(https://www.ucl.ac.uk/behaviour-change/research/safer-sars-cov-2-acquisition-frontline-health-care-workers-evaluation-inform-response), funded by the UK Medical Research Council. It is written in Python 3.8, and built upon Mesa version 0.8.7 (copyright 2020 Project Mesa Team).

The purpose of this model is to explore the dynamics of residency and eviction for households renting in the greater Phoenix (Arizona) metropolitan area. The model uses a representative population of renters modified from American Community Survey (ACS) data that includes demographic, housing and economic information. Each month, households pay their subsistence, rental and utility bills. If a household is unable to pay their monthly rent or utility bill they apply for financial assistance. This model provides a platform to understand the impact of various economic shock upon households. Also, the model includes conditions that occurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which allows for the study of eviction mitigation strategies that were employed, such as the eviction moratorium and stimulus payments. The model allows us to make preliminary predictions concerning the number of households that may be evicted once the moratorium on evictions ends and the long-term effects on the number of evicted households in the greater Phoenix area going forward.

Holmestrand School Model

Jessica Dimka | Published Fri Jun 18 20:09:15 2021

The Holmestrand model is an epidemiological agent-based model. Its aim is to test hypotheses related to how the social and physical environment of a residential school for children with disabilities might influence the spread of an infectious disease epidemic among students and staff. Annual reports for the Holmestrand School for the Deaf (Norway) are the primary sources of inspiration for the modeled school, with additional insights drawn from other archival records for schools for children with disabilities in early 20th century Norway and data sources for the 1918 influenza pandemic. The model environment consists of a simplified boarding school that includes residential spaces for students and staff, classrooms, a dining room, common room, and an outdoor area. Students and staff engage in activities reflecting hourly schedules suggested by school reports. By default, a random staff member is selected as the first case and is infected with disease. Subsequent transmission is determined by agent movement and interactions between susceptible and infectious pairs.

EMMIT is an end-user developed agent-based simulation of malaria transmission. The simulation’s development is a case study demonstrating an approach for non-technical investigators to easily develop useful simulations of complex public health problems. We focused on malaria transmission, a major global public health problem, and insecticide resistance (IR), a major problem affecting malaria control. Insecticides are used to reduce transmission of malaria caused by the Plasmodium parasite that is spread by the Anopheles mosquito. However, the emergence and spread of IR in a mosquito population can diminish the insecticide’s effectiveness. IR results from mutations that produce behavioral changes or biochemical changes (such as detoxification enhancement, target site alterations) in the mosquito population that provide resistance to the insecticide. Evolutionary selection for the IR traits reduces the effectiveness of an insecticide favoring the resistant mosquito population. It has been suggested that biopesticides, and specifically those that are Late Life Acting (LLA), could address this problem. LLA insecticides exploit Plasmodium’s approximate 10-day extrinsic incubation period in the mosquito vector, a delay that limits malaria transmission to older infected mosquitoes. Since the proposed LLA insecticide delays mosquito death until after the exposed mosquito has a chance to produce several broods of offspring, reducing the selective pressure for resistance, it delays IR development and gives the insecticide longer effectivity. Such insecticides are designed to slow the evolution of IR thus maintaining their effectiveness for malaria control. For the IR problem, EMMIT shows that an LLA insecticide could work as intended, but its operational characteristics are critical, primarily the mean-time-to-death after exposure and the associated standard deviation. We also demonstrate the simulation’s extensibility to other malaria control measures, including larval source control and policies to mitigate the spread of IR. The simulation was developed using NetLogo as a case study of a simple but useful approach to public health research.

Peer reviewed JuSt-Social COVID-19

Jennifer Badham | Published Thu Jun 18 15:05:58 2020 | Last modified Mon Mar 29 13:30:02 2021

NetLogo model that allows scenarios concerning general social distancing, shielding of high-risk individuals, and informing contacts when symptomatic. Documentation includes a user manual with some simple scenarios, and technical information including descriptions of key procedures and parameter values.

The Netlogo model is a conceptualization of the Moria refugee camp, capturing the household demographics of refugees in the camp, a theoretical friendship network based on values, and an abstraction of their daily activities. The model then simulates how Covid-19 could spread through the camp if one refugee is exposed to the virus, utilizing transmission probabilities and the stages of disease progression of Covid-19 from susceptible to exposed to asymptomatic / symptomatic to mild / severe to recovered from literature. The model also incorporates various interventions - PPE, lockdown, isolation of symptomatic refugees - to analyze how they could mitigate the spread of the virus through the camp.

The Episim framework builds upon the established transportation simulation MATSim and is capable of tracking agents’ movements within a network and thus computing infection chains. Several characteristics of the virus and the environment can be parametred, whilst the infection dynamics is computed based upon a compartment model. The spread of the virus can be mitigated by restricting the agents’ activity in certain places.

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