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International Journal of Advanced Computer Science, Vol. 3, No. 7, Pp. 363-367, Jul., 2013.

A Computational System for Support to Actions on Dengue Fever Control and Management
Rogrio Luis Rizzi, Claudia Brandelero Rizzi, Reginaldo A. Zara, Andr Luiz de Barros Luchesi & Ptterson Vincius Pramiu
Manuscript
Received: 26,Mar.,2013 Revised: 14,Apr.,2013 Accepted: 21,May,2013 Published: 15,Jun.,2013

Keywords
Dengue; Information System; Agent-Based Modeling; Dengues Simulation

Abstract This paper describes the construction of a computing system whose goal is articulate specific actions aiming to provide tools and strategies for the combat and control of dengue fever. The system is composed by three independent modules which could work together in a multi-level structured system. The first module is an information system to collect and record data about dengue fever. The georeferencing module provides tools to build maps, statistical and environmental analysis of dengue events and their respective georeferenced exhibition. Finally, a module for simulations of plausible scenarios about dengue spreading in a given area. When fully completed the system is expected to provide useful tools for the design control strategies and political policies for public health related to dengue fever. The built system has as a case of study the city of Cascavel, Parana, Brazil.

1. Introduction
The epidemiology deals with the frequency, distribution and determinant aspects of the events related to health states in specific populations as well as the application of respective gathered knowledge in the control of health problems. Among other additional goals the epidemiology aims to identify and provide a better comprehension of the causal agent and the factors related to health disorders, identify and clarify the patterns of geographical distribution of diseases, establish goals, control strategies and preventive measures against the diseases and provide support for planning, management and evaluation of public health policies [1]. In this context, the relevance of this theme induces and justifies all the studies, research and
This work was supported by the Programa de Apoio a Ncleos de Excelncia (Grant N0550030/20107, CNPq, PRONEX-Dengue - Brazil), Fundao Araucria, Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paran (UNIOESTE).

Dr. Rogrio Lus Rizzi, UNIOESTE, CCET (rogero.rzz@unoeste.br) Dr. Claudia Brandelero Rizzi, UNIOESTE, CCET (clauda.rzz@unoeste.br) Dr. Reginaldo A. Zara, UNIOESTE, CCET (regnaldo.zara@unoeste.br) Andr Luiz de Barros Luchesi, UNIOESTE, CCET (andre _luches@msn.com) Ptterson Vincius Pramiu UNIOESTE, CCET (ppramu@gmail.com)
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activities related to epidemiology such as the present work. Dengue fever is a vector borne infectious disease caused by a virus and could be benign or severe and, depending on the form that it expresses itself could be classified as silent or unapparent infection, dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, dengue shock syndrome. In Brazil the dengue vector transmitting is the female mosquito Aedes aegypti. The mean lifetime of an adult female mosquito is about 45 days and once infected by the virus, she will remain infected until the end of her life. The cycle of transmission occurs from an infected person to the susceptible mosquito which becomes infected and from infected mosquitoes to human susceptible individuals (considering an initial scenario in which all the individuals are susceptible). The transmission and spreading of the dengue fever are supposed to be directly affected by the contact patterns of individuals (such as small-world phenomenon) [2], the places that those individuals attend, the environmental characteristic of these places, the local climatic conditions, etc. In this way a myriad of elements should be considered when one aims to perform modeling and simulations of realistic models of dengue spreading. Compartmental modeling divides the populations of humans and mosquitoes into categories or compartments according to their relative state of health and defines flow rates between a pair of compartments taking into account the characteristics of the disease, the habitude of vectors transmission among other features. The host (human) population is divided into classes being the most common the susceptible (S), exposed (latent) (E), infected (I) and removed (R) classes. In this case, for closed populations, it is considered that the number of individuals of the population, N, is such that N = S + E + I + R, where S is the number of susceptible individuals, E is the number of exposed individuals, I is the number of infected individuals and R is the number of recovered individuals. Since the vectors do not recover themselves from the disease only the states susceptible and infected may be considered for adult vectors in a such way that the number of vectors V is given by V = SV + IV, where SV and IV are the number of susceptible and infected vectors, respectively [3]. This paper aims to present the current stage of development of a computer system to monitoring dengue events. This system is composed of three main modules which, when fully completed, will interact with each other: a module that is an Information System for Acquisition, Handling and Processing of Data on Dengue events

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International Journal of Advanced Computer Science, Vol. 3, No. 7, Pp. 363-367, Jul., 2013.

(SIGDENGUE) and other two being a module containing Georeferencing mechanisms that allow the actions including visualize data on dengue in maps, select regions for application of mosquitoes control strategies, select specific points of interest in a given area and a Simulation module, which includes epidemiological models that makes possible to simulate the dynamics of spreading dengue in given area. This article presents an overview of the modules composing the computational environment. Moreover, general aspects of an epidemiological model based on computational agents to be included in the simulation module are discussed. This work is included as an action of the project PRONEX-Dengue (Support Program for Centers of Excellence), whose purpose is to develop mathematical models for application in Dengue control and has been supported by Brazilian Research agencies, mainly the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). The development of this computer system (Modules I, II and III) is one action which aims to contribute to decision making about the control of dengue and covers, as a case of study, the city of Cascavel, Parana, Brazil. It is necessary to say that this work fulfills all the requirements of ethics laws currently in effect in Brazil.

mentioned since the system provides other applications such as the registry of health field agents, record of insecticide application, indication and management of places with high concentration of mosquitoes breeding (classified as strategic points). At the current stage of development the SIGDENGUE has been already fed with available registered data. These data include the recorded information collected by the staff of health agents during field visits carried out in the city over the period 2007 to 2010 and the reported cases of disease in the same period. The data collected in the period 2011 and 2012 are being manually recovered from the physical forms and gradually included in the SIGDENGUE system. Fortunately, the data about the year 2013 are being registered directly into the system. It is expected that historical series about the occurrence of dengue cases in Cascavel for the period 2007/2012 could be constructed soon.

2. The SIGDENGUE Information System


The main goals of the SIGDENGUE as a georeferenced information system are twofold. In first place it aims to integrate data and information on dengue events that are currently available in a scattered and disordered way, as well as other important data related to the disease occurrence such as meteorological information, density of host population and their geographic distribution over the municipality. The second goal is to enable a quick recovering of data stored in different kinds of reports and build statistical analysis, as well as the visualization map of the cases (suspected, reported and confirmed) of dengue. The SIGDENGUE allows the filling of information about different cases of dengue including the record of suspected cases of the disease. Among other data to be inserted in the register of cases are the addresses that the person frequently attends such as the home address, working place, study and leisure, as shown in the Figure 1 and Figure 2. Once a particular suspicious case of dengue is notified to the system, the SIGDENGUE points to a control operation performed by the Division of Disease of the Cascavel City Hall around the registered address. This operation named Raio aims to visit all places in an area bounded by a radius of 300 meters from the registered address. In this the operation the inspection, treatment of mosquitoes breeding points, collecting larvae and pupae are carried out. Information about each breeding vessels are registered in the system including the results of the laboratory examination of these samples as seen in the Figure 3. Additional functionalities of the system should also be

Fig. 1 Data entry for identification of a suspicious case of dengue fever.

Fig. 2 Registration form gathering information about the workplace of a suspicious case individual.

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data. Some representative views provided by the GeoVisi may be seen in the Figure 4. The functionalities of the software are sorted in taps at the left side of the interface. In each tap are collected information about specific subjects to be used in simulation and which could be combined in the preprocessing phase. In the right side of the interface a partial view of Cascavel downtown together to the icons representing workplaces like markets, stores, groceries (green icon) and educational places such as schools, College or Universities (red icons).

Fig. 3 Register form of samples of recovered mosquitoes at the locus of a dengue suspicious event.

3. Georeferencing Module
The purposes of the georeferencing module within the SIGDENGUE are developing and providing tools to make easier perform simulations of realistic dengue spreading models based on the georeferenced the real cases extracted from the historical series as well as the exhibition of the registered cases over the space. To accomplish the goals, the maps have been handled in an ESRI Shape file format [4], containing three files: a .shp file which is the drawing of the map, an index file used as reference for the file. shp, aiming to speed up the reading of the shape file, and a .dbf file, that stores features, attributes and information related to the shape file. For subsequent changes on the map, such as insertion of points indicating some new information, the system transfers the map to a database (in PostGre Gis), in order to make the handle easier. In order to perform such kind of data processing a georeferenced system for information view (GeoVisi) have been designed and implemented. The GeoVisi classifies the information into categories according to their nature and allows to custom the final results in a visual map. The final maps could be customized through insertion, edition or removal of information about a particular geo-referenced place such as squares, schools, marketplaces, etc. Since these places could be classified by the GeoVisi according to their nature and filtering by their activities, for example, leisure, educational or commercial places, the map presents the relevant information corresponding to the customization choices. The GeoVisi also helps the simulation module in both the preprocessing and post processing. In the preprocessing the GeoVisi allows the insertion, edition, removal and selection of points in the map as well as the selection of maps used in the simulation, indicating the selected points in the map through customized icons containing all the required information. In the posprocessing the GeoVisi provides reports extracted from the resulting
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Fig. 4 GeoVisi interface exhibiting the functional taps and a partial view of Cascavel downtown in a map.

The GeoVisi interface allows an overview of a given area together the focal points indicated by the icons. The set of information gathered by each icon for the specific locus may be accessed by the user who may get knowledge about disease at focal point and its surrounding area. In this way the environmental situation and the influence on the life condition of infected individuals may be analyzed and control strategies to prevent the disease spreading could be designed.

4. Simulation Module
The simulation module deals with the data obtained from module I (SIGDENGUE) and module II (Georeferencing) to perform the computational modeling of dengue spreading dynamics. Different approaches are used for modeling, including compartmental representation of epidemiological models, complex networks representation for pattern of contacts between individuals, dynamic cellular automata and computational agents. The main goal of the simulation module is the analysis of plausible scenarios about dengue spreading in a given area providing a better comprehension of the causal agent and the factors

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International Journal of Advanced Computer Science, Vol. 3, No. 7, Pp. 363-367, Jul., 2013.

related to health disorders which could be useful for establish control strategies and preventive measures against the disease. Although different simulation approaches compose this module, in this section only the model based computational agent technique is discussed as a representative approach. In general, an unified definition of computational agents widely accepted by the community has not been founded. However, one can use the proposition of the Foundation of Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA) which defines a computational agent as an entity encapsulating a state, a behavior, control of processing, interaction skills and communication capability with other entities [8]. In this way, the computational agents constitute a useful technique when the focus is the individual behavior. Computer modeling based on individuals has been employed to investigation of the transmission of diseases because this kind of approach is supposed to handle complex emergent phenomena resulting from the interactions between the elements of the system and the environment. Moreover when computer simulations are performed one could include geographical variations besides temporal, social and ecologic aspects of the environment in order to provide a better comprehension about the different scenarios that represent different ecological or epidemiological situations. The simulations employ the approach of the compartmental model (S + E + I + R) considering that the hosts are organized in a complex network topology and takes into account the spatial-temporal dynamics of the interactions between individuals. In order to get insights about the behavior of the spread disease in realistic scenarios the simulation allows introduction of spatial and environmental aspects such as centers of breeding, feeding and motion of hosts. The host individualization is based on Agent Systems that, for the case of dengue spread, has shown versatility on the accuracy of the parameters, on monitoring individualized agent and in the global implications of their relationships. The computational agents are composed basically by sensors, actuators and a mental architecture. Sensors can be viewed as an entity consisting of all incoming messages to the agent and that are understood by it. The architecture of mental state is a simplification strategy BDI (Beliefs, Desire, Intention). The actuators are being modeled as messages from the overall stock of intention. For the development is being used the framework JADE (Java Agent Development Framework) [5]. JADE is a framework for multi-agent system implementation, working independently of the application in a simplified way. It has been designed following the FIPA specifications and using Java defined classes and offering support for life cycles and the logic of the agents core. Moreover, the communication occurs in a distributed way by means of messages exchange. It also provides graphical tools which help the simulation designed [9]. In an abstract way, the proposed agent model is may be described as a three interacting layers: the environmental layer, the mosquito agent layer and the human agent layer.

The environment layer uses a map generated by the GeoVisi tool associating meteorological information, population density, geographical distribution of points of interest and other available data to compose and characterize the local environmental conditions of the area to be analyzed. The Aedes aegypty mosquito layer contains, described as a function of time, all the interactions of the agents in their geo-referenced environment. This layer is shall be useful to collect information about dynamic behavior of infestation by mosquitoes as well as to estimate the critical areas over the map, as have been done by Almeida et al [6]. The agents interaction reflects the relationship among the set of the agent sensors and the mental states architecture in a given time step. The simulation module aims to maximize the interaction among a mosquito agent and other agents, being or not a mosquito, under a set of suitable constraints. The human agent layer describes the human behavior as a function of time, simulating the dengue spreading as have been done by Tao et al [7]. The possible interaction among the agents is determined mainly by their connectivity to the neighborhood which defines their contact pattern. In this case graphs of small world connectivity pattern has been used to represent the social connections and the human motion through the available area, for example, the dislocations from workplace to home or to educational sites and so on. Due to the scope of the problem, the agents are characterized by low cognition level but the communication skills and social relationships are essential to the modeling and deserve continuous improvement. In this way, the specific features related to the social relations due the work, education and leisure of human agents and their impact on the dynamics of dengue fever spreading are being included in the agent based model. In order to perform the simulation it is necessary specify a set of parameters establishing the initial conditions of the environment and the internal agent based model. These parameters constitute by: Topological data: identify the graph nodes, edges and connectivity pattern as well as the mobility information needed for determine the local characteristics and establish the connect-mobility rules to the transport of agents over the geographical (and logic) area. Age structure data: specify the agents behavior according to their respective age, since it has been take into account that the social relationships are age-dependent. Demographic data: distribute the agents over the map taking into account realistic mean density population according to the local characteristics and time period. Epidemiological data: specify the effective contact, recovering and loss of immunity rates used to determine the change of health state. Initial population: inform about the initial density of agents in the states Susceptible, Infecting and Removed.

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5. Comments and Discussion


This paper discusses the present stage of development of a computational environment for recording, management and simulation of dengue fever events that could be used to design control strategies and political policies for public health. The computational system is composed by three modules: an information system, a georeferencing and a simulation module. The information system module named as Information System for Acquisition, Handling and Processing of Data on Dengue (SIGDENGUE) has two main goals: to integrate data and information on dengue events that are currently available in a scattered and disordered way and to enable a quick recovering of data stored in different kinds of reports building statistical analysis and the visualization map of the of dengue events. The georeferencing module provides tools to build maps, statistical and environmental analysis of dengue events and their respective georeferenced exhibition. The simulation module joins the data obtained from the first module (SIGDENGUE) and from the Georeferencing module to perform the computational modeling of dengue spreading dynamics using different approaches. The main goal of the simulations is the analysis of plausible scenarios about dengue spreading in a given area providing tools and knowledge for establishment of control strategies and preventive measures against the disease. The first release of the SIGDENGUE system is now in use by the Endemic Office under the Cascavel City Hall structure. Furthermore, the first release of GeoVisi is now ready to be used soon to build georeferenced maps reflecting the recorded dengue events. Statistical analysis of the available data gathered by the SIGDENGUE have being conducted aiming to find and describe eventual correlations among the variables containing information about environmental, meteorological and spatial-temporal distribution of dengue events. As explained before the simulation module have been designed to perform the computational modeling of dengue spreading dynamics using different approaches and using information loaded from the other modules. The interaction among the three modules occurs in a multi-level environment in which the geographic domain is represented in a discrete form of a lattice together the information coming from the georeferenced module. It is expected that when fully completed, each module of the system will interact with each other allowing that the actions including visualize data on dengue in maps, select regions for application of mosquitoes control strategies, selection of specific interest points in a given area and simulation of realistic epidemiological models providing useful tools for the design control strategies and political policies for public health related to dengue fever.

Acknowledgments
Support Program for Centers of Excellence (Grant N0550030/20107, CNPq, PRONEX-Dengue - Brazil), Fundao Araucria, Western Paran Sate University (UNIOESTE), SIMEPAR Meteorological Agency from Paran, Cascavel City Hall.

References
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