Influenza forecasting framework based on Gaussian processes

Jul 12, 2020



The seasonal epidemic of influenza costs thousands of lives each year in the USA. While influenza epidemics occur every year, timing and size of the epidemic vary strongly from season to season. This makes it complicated for public health authorities to adequately respond to such epidemics. Forecasting techniques to predict the development of seasonal epidemics such as influenza, are of great help to public health decision making. Therefore, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has initiated a yearly challenge to forecast influenza-like illness. Here, we propose a new framework based on Gaussian process (GP) for seasonal epidemics forecasting and demonstrate its capability on the CDC reference data on influenza like illness: our framework leads to accurate forecasts with small but reliable uncertainty estimation. We compare our framework to several state of the art benchmarks and show competitive performance. We, therefore, believe that our GP based framework for seasonal epidemics forecasting will play a key role for future influenza forecasting and, lead to further research in the area.



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The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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