Modeling the Temporal Population Distribution of Ae. aegypti Mosquito using Big Earth Observation Data.

Over 50% of the world population is at risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Female Ae. aegypti mosquito species transmit Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya. The spread of these diseases correlate positively with the vector population, and this population depends on biotic and abiotic environmental factors including temperature, vegetation condition, humidity and precipitation. To combat virus outbreaks, information about vector population is required. To this aim, Earth observation (EO) data provide fast, efficient and economically viable means to estimate environmental features of interest. In this work, we present a temporal distribution model for adult female Ae. aegypti mosquitoes based on the joint use of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, the Normalized Difference Water Index, the Land Surface Temperature (both at day and night time), along with the precipitation information, extracted from EO data. The model was applied separately to data obtained during three different vector control and field data collection condition regimes, and used to explain the differences in environmental variable contributions across these regimes. To this aim, a random forest (RF) regression technique and its nonlinear features importance ranking based on mean decrease impurity (MDI) were implemented. To prove the robustness of the proposed model, other machine learning techniques, including support vector regression, decision trees and k-nearest neighbor regression, as well as artificial neural networks, and statistical models such as the linear regression model and generalized linear model were also considered. Our results show that machine learning techniques perform better than linear statistical models for the task at hand, and RF performs best. By ranking the importance of all features based on MDI in RF and selecting the subset comprising the most