THE NUMERICAL FORECAST OF PANDEMIC SPREADING: THE CASE STUDY OF THE 2009 A/H1N1 PDM
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THE METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH TO EPIDEMIC MODELING presented in the previous chapters can be used to provide two different types of predictions. The first type concerns the classic scenario and “what-if” analysis. In this case, prototypical values for the basic disease parameters and other key parameters, such as time of implementation of specific policies, are assumed in the mathematical and computational model to produce plausible scenarios for the epidemics and to evaluate containment/mitigation procedures as a function of the explored parameter space. This is the kind of exercise we will perform in the next chapters: we will explore possible pandemic evolutions under different starting conditions and containment plans.
In the second type, we find a more challenging exercise, since the model is used for the real-time forecasting of unfolding epidemics. This is akin to employing atmospheric models to produce meteorological forecasts for future times at given locations. The model has to...