Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Modeling the outbreak, spread, and containment of tuberculosis

It seems my interest into disease models is growing. While the development of the cholera model is still underway, over the summer I have had been working with a very talented high school student looking at the outbreak, spread and containment of tuberculosis (TB). Why might you ask? TB is a global problem with 1.8 billion people having a TB Infection, 8.8 million people infected with the TB disease, and around 1.5 million annual deaths. It is the second most common form of death from an infectious disease with the majority of cases in developing countries.

So we have been developing a model that explores how TB might manifest itself, spread within an urban setting and the potential to contain the disease. We have chosen as our test case the Kibera slum within Nairobi, Kenya. Agents in this model represent the residents of the Kibera slum. They are mobile and goal-orientated, seeking to fulfill one goal before moving on to the next. Goals are determined based on the agent’s characteristics (age, sex, etc.) as well as their needs (water, food, health etc.). The exact location they choose to go to is also affected by the distance. When agents interact with one another, they can be infected with TB. Infection is determined upon the amount of bacilli absorbed by agents and their immune response. The transition from infection to disease for HIV positive patients is also dependent on the patient’s CD4 cell count.  What you see below is a poster we presented at Krasnow Institute Retreat.

To give a sense of the dynamics of the model, the movie below shows agents moving around the slum and how their health status changes as time progresses.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

US/Mexico border

One of the models we are working on is the movement of people across national boarders. Below is a visualization of our work looking at the movement of people across the US/Mexico border which a specific focus on Arizona.


More specifically we are building analytical tools for border security that incorporate social, cultural, behavioral and organizational aspects of interactions among border security forces, smugglers and the population and represent integrated technology architectures made up of fixed and mobile sensor and surveillance networks. These tools provide critical capabilities that influence border security operations, planning, analysis and training.

System architecture

Click here to download the model. But read the instructions here first.

Research Outputs:

Latek, M. M., Mussavi Rizi, S. M., Crooks, A. T. and Fraser, M. (2012), A Spatial Multiagent Model of Border Security for the Arizona-Sonora Borderland. The Computational Social Science Society of America Conference, Santa Fe, NM. (pdf)

Latek, M. M., Mussavi Rizi, S. M., Crooks, A. T. and Fraser, M. (2012), Social Simulations for Border Security, Workshop on Innovation in Border Control 2012, Co-located with the European Intelligence and Security Informatics Conference (EISIC 2012), Odense, Denmark. (pdf)

Latek, M., Crooks, A. T., Rizi, S. and Fraser, M. (2012), Social Simulations For Border Security, 4th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, 21st-25th July, San Francisco, CA. (pdf)

Crooks, A. T., Latek, M. M. and Mussavi Rizi, S. M. (2011) Computational Social Modeling of the Security of the Southern US Border, EADS North America Innovation Forum. 28th September, Arlington, VA.