HPCgen: A hierarchical data driven network generator for the study of epidemics.

Friday, 27th August 2010, 10:00 am (PDCC Meeting Room)
Speaker: Zhang Tianyou (iHPC & NTU)
Title: HPCgen: A hierarchical data driven network generator for the study of epidemics.

Modelling and simulation are crucial tools to study the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases and provide a means of plausibly estimating the spread of epidemics. To model heterogeneity in disease transmission a network structure is required to represent the interpersonal contacts that may lead to the potential infections among the population. How to generate such networks then becomes an interesting topic in the study of epidemics. In this talk we present “HPCgen”, a fast, hierarchical, data driven network generator for constructing realistic contact networks of urban cities. The presentation will outline the design and implementation of HPCgen, highlighting the types of necessary data and how this data is utilized in the construction of the hierarchical network. An example is presented, which includes Singapore’s first data generated contact network with a population of 480,000. The network forms a hierarchy with six types of community structures, including households, schools, hospitals, workplaces, shopping places and public transport. This hierarchical network is then adapted to form a large person-to-person contact description of each of the 480,000 individuals. To conclude, the talk will briefly describe the parallel execution and scalability of the HPCgen system.


Zhang Tianyou graduated from Nanyang Technological University with 1st class honor B.Eng (computer engineering) and is currently a research officer in Institute of High Performance Computing, A*STAR Singapore. He is also a part-time PhD candidate in Nanyang Technological University. He has been active in the areas of computational epidemiology and large-scale data mining. His work has been not only presented to the science community, but also reached the public health agencies including Singapore Task Force for 2009 H1N1 Preparedness as well as exhibited in World Cities Summit 2010.

Selected publications are as below:
• Tianyou Zhang et al, “A Integrated Approach to Speed up GA-SVM Feature Selection Model", Computational Intelligence in Optimization-Applications and Implementations, Springer, 2010
• Tianyou Zhang et al, “A GA-SVM Feature Selection Model Based on High Performance Computing Techniques”, IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics 2009. 11-14 Oct 2009
• Tianyou Zhang et al, "HPCgen – A Fast Generator of Contact Networks of Large Urban Cities for Epidemiological Studies", International Conference on Computer Modelling and Simulation Brno, Czech Republic, 7 – 9 Sep 2009