Nazarbayev University ISSAI scientists developed a particle-based COVID-19 simulator

With the use of their new development, scientists from the Institute of smart systems and artificial intelligence have revealed that the joint use of mass testing, and contact tracing of the infected people using a special mobile application, can effectively suppress the epidemic spread and avoid strong restrictions and quarantine regime.  

In their work, the scientists used their new development – a particle-based COVID-19 simulator. It presents people as small particles on a 2D map with their position, velocity, and epidemiological state (infection state), availability of contact tracing application that informs in case of contacting the particles that is later found to be infected, and the results of the COVID-19 testing. 

In their study, researchers used the real data from the province of Lecco in the Lombardy region, which was the epicenter of the infection in Italy. In the course of modelling the spread of infection, the researchers found that the use of the above two measures as contact tracing of infected people and population testing would significantly reduce infection and mortality rates. 

In the model, particles (or people) are divided into different categories, each with different color, depending on their epidemiological status/infection state. On a 2D map the model visually presents and divides people into infected and healthy ones by color, and shows their movement and the spread of disease. This, in turn, helps to have an idea of the volume of infected and healthy citizens on the 2D map, the number of people in each epidemiological status, the speed of infection spread, and also to understand the effectiveness of the measures taken.

The results can be presented as a graph or as in a visual interface (2D map).