Using Mathematical Modeling And #Tableau To Predict The Flu

Introduction

Normally I only write about my own work, but today I saw something that was so innovative that I feel the need to write about it.The work that caught my attention uses observed flu data in a mathematical model to predict the spatial and temporal occurrence of the flu. This work is creative and innovative and belongs in this blog!

The cool part about the work is that the authors use Tableau to visualize their simulation results. Figure 1 shows what the predicted flu distribution for Weeks 44 through 48 for Austin, TX.  Figures 2 and 3 shown at the end of this post are graphical links that will take you to the live dashboards for this work.

Figure 1 - Flu predictions for Austin, TX, using data from weeks 44 through 48.

Figure 1 – Flu predictions for Austin, TX, using data from weeks 44 through 48 (click for larger view).


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Information on Their Work

Since I have only begun studying what they did, I cannot offer any insight into the validity of the models. I have looked at their Tableau Public workbooks and can see the potential for expanding upon their graphical presentation. This example has the potential to be extended in many ways, which is exciting to me as a numerical modeler.

I primary reason I am writing this initial post is so that I can begin assembling the information into one location so that I can continue to learn from their work. I want to understand more about the simulation methodology used, how they assembled and updated the flu data, and what their future plans are for extending the work.

This type of application is exactly what my blog has been eluding to when I have discussed using Tableau for scientific applications. For more on my “Tableau Scientific” thoughts, click here.  You can expect that I will be working on this blog post over time as I uncover more interesting aspects of this work, including adding some biographical information about the authors of the study.

Hyperlinks to This Work

 Additional Graphics and Live Links to Dashboards

Figure 2 - US Flu cases (click to go to live dashboard).

Figure 2 – US Flu cases.

 

Figure 3 - Austin, TX flu projections and occurrences in previous seasons  (click to go to live dashboard).

Figure 3 – Austin, TX flu projections and occurrences in previous seasons.

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