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In Information sciences

Early warning is a vital component of emergency repsonse systems for infectious diseases. However, most early warning systems are centralized and isolated, thus there are potential risks of single evidence bias and decision-making errors. In this paper, we tackle this issue via proposing a novel framework of collaborative early warning for COVID-19 based on blockchain and smart contracts, aiming to crowdsource early warning tasks to distributed channels including medical institutions, social organinzations, and even individuals. Our framework supports two surveillance modes, namely, medical federation surveillance based on federated learning and social collaboration surveillance based on the learning markets approach, and fuses their monitoring results on emerging cases to alert. By using our framework, medical institutions are expected to obtain better federated surveillance models with privacy protection, and social participants without mutual trusts can also share verified surveillance resources such as data and models, and fuse their surveillance solutions. We implemented our proposed framework based on the Ethereum and IPFS platforms. Experimental results show that our framework has advantages of decentralized decision-making, fairness, auditability, and universality, and also has potential guidance and reference value for the early warning and prevention of unknown infectious diseases.

Ouyang Liwei, Yuan Yong, Cao Yumeng, Wang Fei-Yue


blockchain, collaborative early warning, federated learning, learning markets, smart contracts