The coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) is a public health challenge due to its rapid global spread. Its unprecedented speed and pervasiveness have led many governments to implement a series of countermeasures, such as lock-downs, stopping/restricting travels, and mandating social distancing. To control and prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is essential to understand the latent dynamics of the disease's evolution and the effectiveness of the intervention policies. Hidden Markov models (HMMs) capture both randomnesses in spatio-temporal dynamics and uncertainty in observations. In this paper, we apply an overall HMM that, based on multiple nations' COVID-19 data including the USA, several European countries, and countries that have strict control policies, explore different types of observations, and we use it to infer the severity state on small geographical states or regions in the USA and Italy as test cases. Further, we aggregate the severity level of each region over a fixed time period to visualize the time evolution and propagation across regions. Such an analysis and visualization provide suggestions for interventions and responses in a calibrated manner. Results from HMM modeling are consistent with what is observed in Italy and the USA and these models can serve as visualization and proactive decision support tools to policymakers.

Application of Hidden Markov Models to Analyze, Group and Visualize Spatio-Temporal COVID-19 Data

Marano S.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) is a public health challenge due to its rapid global spread. Its unprecedented speed and pervasiveness have led many governments to implement a series of countermeasures, such as lock-downs, stopping/restricting travels, and mandating social distancing. To control and prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is essential to understand the latent dynamics of the disease's evolution and the effectiveness of the intervention policies. Hidden Markov models (HMMs) capture both randomnesses in spatio-temporal dynamics and uncertainty in observations. In this paper, we apply an overall HMM that, based on multiple nations' COVID-19 data including the USA, several European countries, and countries that have strict control policies, explore different types of observations, and we use it to infer the severity state on small geographical states or regions in the USA and Italy as test cases. Further, we aggregate the severity level of each region over a fixed time period to visualize the time evolution and propagation across regions. Such an analysis and visualization provide suggestions for interventions and responses in a calibrated manner. Results from HMM modeling are consistent with what is observed in Italy and the USA and these models can serve as visualization and proactive decision support tools to policymakers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4771015
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