Award Abstract #2029626

IIII: RAPID: Interventional COVID-19 Response Forecasting in Local Communities Using Neural Domain Adaptation Models

See grant description on NSF site

Program Manager:

Amarda Shehu

Active Dates:

Awarded Amount:



Xifeng Yan

Yu-Xiang Wang

Awardee Organization:

University of California-Santa Barbara


Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)


There is still much we do not understand about the spread of COVID-19, and how our mitigation strategies are affecting the spread. Demography, population density, business structure, and social culture differ across regions. Correlating these local factors with the number of infections and the availability of hospital resources can provide precious scientific and data-driven guidance to local policy makers. Different from existing, classic epidemic models, in this project we aim to build novel forecasting models based on cutting-edge AI techniques. The goal is to provide timely, localized information needed by administrators for strategic allocation of resources and planning towards reopening business. One key advantage of our approach is that it is able to combine the data from regions with more COVID-19 cases with the US Census microdata that characterize each local community, hence helping us to make fine-grained predictions of the localized effects of a policy decision.Existing simulation models for COVID-19 cases forecasting either ignore the fine-grained demographical, social and cultural difference at local communities, or often require complicated, manual parameter setting for estimating the effect of interventions. Existing statistical models, on the other hand, require substantial amount of data to be available, hence are not able to obtain sufficiently confident predictions on each local level. We propose a fundamentally different approach that is built on the newest neural network models like Transformers to overcome these weaknesses. The proposed approach performs domain adaption and few shot learning, so that knowledge learned from other regions can be adapted to local communities even when only a few data points are available. Specifically, our approach will creatively draw information from the US Census’s American Community Survey data, COVID-19 related data from other regions at home and abroad, as well as other related kinds of epidemics under the clinical guidance of our collaborators from the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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