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In Expert systems with applications

The COVID-19 virus outbreak has affected most of the world in 2020. This paper deals with artificial intelligence (AI) methods that can address the problem of predicting scale, dynamics and sensitivity of the outbreak to preventive actions undertaken with a view to combatting the epidemic. In our study, we developed a cellular automata (CA) model for simulating the COVID-19 disease spreading. The enhanced infectious disease dynamics  S E I R (Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, and Recovered) model was applied to estimate the epidemic trends in Poland, France, and Spain. We introduced new parameters into the simulation framework which reflect the statistically confirmed dependencies such as age-dependent death probability, a different definition of the contact rate and enhanced parameters reflecting population mobility. To estimate key epidemiological measures and to predict possible dynamics of the disease, we juxtaposed crucial CA framework parameters to the reported COVID-19 values, e.g. length of infection, mortality rates and the reproduction number. Moreover, we used real population density and age structures of the studied epidemic populations. The model presented allows for the examination of the effectiveness of preventive actions and their impact on the spreading rate and the duration of the disease. It also shows the influence of structure and behavior of the populations studied on key epidemic parameters, such as mortality and infection rates. Although our results are critically dependent on the assumptions underpinning our model and there is considerable uncertainty associated with the outbreaks at such an early epidemic stage, the obtained simulation results seem to be in general agreement with the observed behavior of the real COVID-19 disease, and our numerical framework can be effectively used to analyze the dynamics and efficacy of epidemic containment methods.

Medrek M, Pastuszak Z


Cellular automata, Epidemic spread model, Mathematical model, Novel coronavirus, SEIR model