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Zoonoses Public Health . Forecasting seasonal influenza activity in Canada-Comparing seasonal Auto-Regressive integrated moving average and artificial neural network approaches for public health preparedness

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  • Zoonoses Public Health . Forecasting seasonal influenza activity in Canada-Comparing seasonal Auto-Regressive integrated moving average and artificial neural network approaches for public health preparedness

    Zoonoses Public Health


    . 2024 Feb 8.
    doi: 10.1111/zph.13114. Online ahead of print. Forecasting seasonal influenza activity in Canada-Comparing seasonal Auto-Regressive integrated moving average and artificial neural network approaches for public health preparedness

    Armin Orang 1 , Olaf Berke 1 2 , Zvonimir Poljak 1 2 , Amy L Greer 1 2 , Erin E Rees 3 , Victoria Ng 2 4



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Introduction: Public health preparedness is based on timely and accurate information. Time series forecasting using disease surveillance data is an important aspect of preparedness. This study compared two approaches of time series forecasting: seasonal auto-regressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) modelling and the artificial neural network (ANN) algorithm. The goal was to model weekly seasonal influenza activity in Canada using SARIMA and compares its predictive accuracy, based on root mean square prediction error (RMSE) and mean absolute prediction error (MAE), to that of an ANN.
    Methods: An initial SARIMA model was fit using automated model selection by minimizing the Akaike information criterion (AIC). Further inspection of the autocorrelation function and partial autocorrelation function led to 'manual' model improvements. ANNs were trained iteratively, using an automated process to minimize the RMSE and MAE.
    Results: A total of 378, 462 cases of influenza was reported in Canada from the 2010-2011 influenza season to the end of the 2019-2020 influenza season, with an average yearly incidence risk of 20.02 per 100,000 population. Automated SARIMA modelling was the better method in terms of forecasting accuracy (per RMSE and MAE). However, the ANN correctly predicted the peak week of disease incidence while the other models did not.
    Conclusion: Both the ANN and SARIMA models have shown to be capable tools in forecasting seasonal influenza activity in Canada. It was shown that applying both in tandem is beneficial, SARIMA better forecasted overall incidence while ANN correctly predicted the peak week.

    Keywords: ANN; SARIMA; disease surveillance; seasonal influenza; time series.

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