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Proceedings Paper

Modeling emergent border-crossing behaviors during pandemics
Author(s): Eunice E. Santos; Eugene Santos; John Korah; Jeremy E. Thompson; Qi Gu; Keum Joo Kim; Deqing Li; Jacob Russell; Suresh Subramanian; Yuxi Zhang; Yan Zhao
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Paper Abstract

Modeling real-world scenarios is a challenge for traditional social science researchers, as it is often hard to capture the intricacies and dynamisms of real-world situations without making simplistic assumptions. This imposes severe limitations on the capabilities of such models and frameworks. Complex population dynamics during natural disasters such as pandemics is an area where computational social science can provide useful insights and explanations. In this paper, we employ a novel intent-driven modeling paradigm for such real-world scenarios by causally mapping beliefs, goals, and actions of individuals and groups to overall behavior using a probabilistic representation called Bayesian Knowledge Bases (BKBs). To validate our framework we examine emergent behavior occurring near a national border during pandemics, specifically the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in Mexico. The novelty of the work in this paper lies in representing the dynamism at multiple scales by including both coarse-grained (events at the national level) and finegrained (events at two separate border locations) information. This is especially useful for analysts in disaster management and first responder organizations who need to be able to understand both macro-level behavior and changes in the immediate vicinity, to help with planning, prevention, and mitigation. We demonstrate the capabilities of our framework in uncovering previously hidden connections and explanations by comparing independent models of the border locations with their fused model to identify emergent behaviors not found in either independent location models nor in a simple linear combination of those models.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 2013
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8711, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense XII, 87110Z (6 June 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2018201
Show Author Affiliations
Eunice E. Santos, The Univ. of Texas at El Paso (United States)
Eugene Santos, Dartmouth College (United States)
John Korah, The Univ. of Texas at El Paso (United States)
Jeremy E. Thompson, Dartmouth College (United States)
Qi Gu, Dartmouth College (United States)
Keum Joo Kim, Dartmouth College (United States)
Deqing Li, Dartmouth College (United States)
Jacob Russell, Dartmouth College (United States)
Suresh Subramanian, The Univ. of Texas at El Paso (United States)
Yuxi Zhang, Dartmouth College (United States)
Yan Zhao, Dartmouth College (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8711:
Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense XII
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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