Considerations for a Social and Geographical Framework for Agent-Based Epidemics
Understanding the dynamics of disease spread is of crucial importance, in contexts such as estimating load on medical services to risk assessment and intervention policies against large-scale epidemic outbreaks. However, most of the information is available after the spread itself, and preemptive assessment is far from trivial. Here, we investigate the use of agent-based simulations to model such outbreaks in a stylised urban environment. For most diseases, infection of a new individual may occur from casual contact in crowds as well as from repeated interactions with social partners such as work colleagues or family members. Our model therefore accounts for these two phenomena.Presented in this paper is the initial framework for such a model, detailing implementation of geographical features and generation of social structures. Preliminary results are a promising step towards large-scale simulations and evaluation of potential intervention policies.