IIIT-Hyderabad professor uses machine learning to predict the spread of Coronavirus

Professor Vikram Pudi is trying to explain the importance of social distancing and its need in such times.

Jescilia KarayamparambilUpdated: Friday, March 27, 2020, 08:46 PM IST
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IIIT-Hyderabad | IIIT Hyderabad official website.

It all started with an aim to create a game around Coronavirus, but later Professor Vikram Pudi of the Data Sciences and Analytics Centre at IIIT-Hyderabad (III-H) adapted his idea to create an experimental simulation.

“Seeing is believing that is the whole point of the experimental simulation,” said Pudi. This simulation, which is developed with the help of machine learning, displays the way Coronavirus can be transmitted among the people across the world. Through this, Pudi is trying to explain the importance of social distancing and its need in such times.

He added that the close distance travel undertaken by an individual infects far more people than in case of distance travel. This increase could also be because the number of people in real-life who travel is much less than those who do not travel. So, hover-distance is more critical than travel probability.

“However, this is based on a simulation experiment. If there were some real data that was accessible then this experiment could have been proven.” Pudi added if real data is used then the scope to understand the spread will be more accurate.

“The real data can help understand the speed of the spread and at what parameters the transmission of the disease stops,” said Pudi, who developed this system on his own. He added he hopes to get access to real data to prove the experiment and use this simulator in the real world.

There is no backend server for this webpage. So, there will not be an issue in case it has to be scaled up and even a large number of people visit the site, professors revealed.

When quizzed what prompted him to try this, he said, “I was mulling over creating a game. But I realised that Google stopped accepting any android app around Coronavirus in order to prevent any form of misinformation that could arise.”

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