Dengue forecasting in São Paulo city with generalized additive models, artificial neural networks and seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average models.
PLoS One. 2018;13(4):e0195065
Authors: Baquero OS, Santana LMR, Chiaravalloti-Neto F
Globally, the number of dengue cases has been on the increase since 1990 and this trend has also been found in Brazil and its most populated city-São Paulo. Surveillance systems based on predictions allow for timely decision making processes, and in turn, timely and efficient interventions to reduce the burden of the disease. We conducted a comparative study of dengue predictions in São Paulo city to test the performance of trained seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average models, generalized additive models and artificial neural networks. We also used a naïve model as a benchmark. A generalized additive model with lags of the number of cases and meteorological variables had the best performance, predicted epidemics of unprecedented magnitude and its performance was 3.16 times higher than the benchmark and 1.47 higher that the next best performing model. The predictive models captured the seasonal patterns but differed in their capacity to anticipate large epidemics and all outperformed the benchmark. In addition to be able to predict epidemics of unprecedented magnitude, the best model had computational advantages, since its training and tuning was straightforward and required seconds or at most few minutes. These are desired characteristics to provide timely results for decision makers. However, it should be noted that predictions are made just one month ahead and this is a limitation that future studies could try to reduce.
PMID: 29608586 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]