Effective vaccination policies

L. Shaw, W. Spears, L. Billings, P. Maxim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We present a framework for modeling the spread of pathogens throughout a population and generating policies that minimize the impact of those pathogens on the population. This framework is used to study the spread of human viruses between cities via airplane travel. It combines agent-based simulation, mathematical analysis, and an Evolutionary Algorithm (EA) optimizer. The goal of this study is to develop tools that determine the optimal distribution of a vaccine supply in the model. Using plausible benchmark vaccine allocation policies of uniform and proportional distribution, we compared their effectiveness to policies found by the EA. We then designed and tested a new, more effective policy which increased the importance of vaccinating smaller cities that are flown to more often. This "importance factor" was validated using US influenza data from the last four years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3728-3744
Number of pages17
JournalInformation Sciences
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2010


  • Epidemiology
  • Evolutionary algorithm
  • Influenza
  • Migration
  • Vaccination


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