GLEaMviz made available to the scientific community
The Global Epidemic and Mobility (GLEaM) computational platform has been developed over many years and it has been used mostly for research purposes. The final goal of this project is however the development of a computational tool to be used to forecast and anticipate the spreading of emerging diseases, as we have attempted and documented on this site and the ensuing scientific publications for the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. On the other hand, the use of such a tool cannot be limited to a few research groups with specific computational skills and we are working to make the GLEaM platform available to the scientific community at large. In particular we aim at developing an easy to use interface to the software.
For this purpose, we developed the GLEaMviz Simulator, which is a software that allows the simulation and visualization of the spread of epidemics at the worldwide scale. It allows the user to specify and remotely execute simulations, and retrieve and visualize the results. The Simulation Engine is based on GLEaM, and the Client is made of different components that enable a customizable compartmentalization to describe a specific infection dynamics, the set up of a specific simulation initialization (e.g. time and place of seed event in the world, presence or not of prior immunity, presence of seasonal effects, etc.), the remote execution of GLEaM simulations and the visualization of the results in forms of maps and plots for different geographic areas and levels of resolutions chosen by the user.
The Software architecture ensures great flexibility and maintainability as well as high speed in large-scale simulations. The Client is user-friendly and meant to be used to produce global simulations based on GLEaM with no specific knowledge on coding/modeling needed.
Have a look at this video presenting an overview of the GLEaMviz Simulator.
Developing the GLEaMviz simulator faces us with several computational challenges and requires to analyze the specific use of the simulator in the context of different decision making processes (crisis rooms, public health planning, research etc.). For this reason we are partnering with the JOINT RESEARCH CENTER (JRC) of the European Commission at Ispra, Italy. The Joint Research Centre is a research based policy support organisation and an integral part of the European Commission. The mission of the JRC is to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies. As a service of the European Commission, the JRC functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the Union. The objective of the collaboration is to share tools, including the GLEaM paltform to improve models for crisis management and decision making of emerging public health threats. We are proud to announce that the first version of the GLEaMviz Simulator has been released to JRC where usability tests have been started.
What is keeping us busy: we are now fine tuning the Software to include additional details and improve its usability.
We plan to post soon the first public release of the Client of the GLEaMviz Simulator. More info will soon be available on this website. Stay tuned!