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Epidemic Spreading in Urban Areas Using Agent-Based Transportation Models

1
Institute of Construction and Infrastructure Management, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Institute for Transport Planning and Systems, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Future Internet 2019, 11(4), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi11040092
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 April 2019 / Published: 8 April 2019
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Abstract

Human mobility is a key element in the understanding of epidemic spreading. Thus, correctly modeling and quantifying human mobility is critical for studying large-scale spatial transmission of infectious diseases and improving epidemic control. In this study, a large-scale agent-based transport simulation (MATSim) is linked with a generic epidemic spread model to simulate the spread of communicable diseases in an urban environment. The use of an agent-based model allows reproduction of the real-world behavior of individuals’ daily path in an urban setting and allows the capture of interactions among them, in the form of a spatial-temporal social network. This model is used to study seasonal influenza outbreaks in the metropolitan area of Zurich, Switzerland. The observations of the agent-based models are compared with results from classical SIR models. The model presented is a prototype that can be used to analyze multiple scenarios in the case of a disease spread at an urban scale, considering variations of different model parameters settings. The results of this simulation can help to improve comprehension of the disease spread dynamics and to take better steps towards the prevention and control of an epidemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: transport simulation; agent-based modeling; MATSim; epidemic spreading; influenza transport simulation; agent-based modeling; MATSim; epidemic spreading; influenza
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Hackl, J.; Dubernet, T. Epidemic Spreading in Urban Areas Using Agent-Based Transportation Models. Future Internet 2019, 11, 92.

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