Towards a simulation environment for modeling of local influenza outbreaks


Toomas Timpka,Magnus Morin,Johan Jenvald,Henrik Eriksson,Elin A. Gursky


Objective: To analyze the design of a simulation environment for dynamic prediction of influenza transmission in local communities.

Methods: The technique trade-off method was used to identify and analyze basic design requirements on a simulation environment for modelling of influenza transmission. Data were collected through literature review and interviews with infectious disease experts. The identified requirements were matched to a set of design issues for the simulation environment, and a lo-fi prototype was implemented.

Results: Basic reproductive numbers for influenza transmission in a set of Swedish municipalities were calculated. Tradeoffs were necessary in the design between a focus on reproductive numbers vs. case fatality proportions, algorithm validity vs. model adaptability, and specificity in population description vs. generalizability.

Conclusion: Local authorities preparing for influenza outbreaks can use simulations proactively. Balanced tradeoffs between formal accuracy and analysis efficiency are important in simulation environment design