Development of a visual modelling software tool

Compartmental models are commonly used in epidemiology to understand and predict the spread and establishment of infectious disease in populations. Epidemiologists typically implement these mathematical models in complex statistical software packages that require a high level of technical expertise, limiting the accessibility for most audiences.

The software tool “Epidemix” targets both students and decision makers and aims to make epidemiological models more accessible. It provides guidance on aspects such as model selection, population, infection states and their relationships, as well as parameters (or data) to use. In particular, it enables users to estimate the impact of certain control strategies on an epidemic (e.g. culling or vaccination). This is supported by visual dashboards displaying the spatiotemporal spread of disease. The dashboards provide interactive elements to change or compare parameters and control strategies.

Features include:

  • Support of eight different model types: deterministic and stochastic models, incl. network and spatial models
  • Step-by-step parameter selection
  • Instantaneous data visualisation
  • Interactive visual outputs – users are able to further explore visual outputs
  • Online data table views and export functionality

Software used:

  • R, RStudio Shiny
  • D3.js graphics library
  • Bootstrap, JavaScript, HTML

Presentations:

  • Muellner U, Fournié G, Muellner P, Ahlstrom C, Pfeiffer D. Epidemix – an interactive application teaching the ins and outs of infectious disease modelling. Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) Science Week, Surfer’s Paradise, Australia, 2016.
  • Client:

    Royal Veterinary College (RVC), London

  • Categories:

    Epidemiology and veterinary public health, IT services, Training and learning, Information synthesis, visualisation and dissemination

  • Project completed:2016