Epidemic spreading & forecasting


Basic geographical structure of GLEaM

One of the most important applications of network theory is the realistic modeling of disease spreading. We live in a geographically extended world. In addition, the structure of a single individual local social interactions can be quite intricate. These individual social networks can be seen as the basic components of a much more complicated (multiscale) system that goes all the way up to relations between groups of people, between different cities and between different countries and societies. This is the type of structure that information, fashions and even diseases exploit to propagate. In the particular case of diseases, specially for influenza-like illnesses (ILI), in order to model (predict) their pattern of propagation in a realistic way a good knowledge of the population mobility and traveling habits becomes of vital importance: From the local daily commuting from home to work to the intercontinental flights.

My research in this area can be framed within the GLEaM project. GLEaM is a GLobal Epidemic and Mobility modeler that incorporating data about population levels, daily commuting patterns and flights is able to generate realistic simulations of the propagation patterns of ILI's. Some of our recent publications (see the publication list for pdfs):