Modeling of epidemic spread in Indian urban conditions

Faculty, students, and staff from the Centre for Networked Intelligence, along with researcher from TIFR Mumbai, have developed a city-scale agent-based simulator to study the spread of epidemic diseases such as COVID-19. This project aims to model the epidemic spread taking a city’s demographics and interaction spaces into consideration. The goal is to provide a simulation tool and analysis for epidemiologists and decision makers to assess:

1. the effectiveness of various non-pharmaceutical interventions, particularly restrictions and the duration of the restrictions,
2. anticipated load on hospitals,
3. effectiveness of testing strategies.

The simulator creates a synthetic city (at the moment, Bengaluru and Mumbai of populations 1 crore and 1.24 crore, respectively), taking into account population distribution, employment rates, age distribution, and household size distribution drawn from 2011 Census data. Agents are assigned to households, schools or workplaces, community spaces and public transport, which also act as interaction spaces among individuals. The epidemic then spreads in a stochastic fashion based on expected meetings that happen in the interaction spaces in the synthetic city.