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Stochastic Non-Pharmaceutical Optimal Control Strategies to Mitigate COVID-19

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posted on 19.04.2021, 21:28 by Paolo Scarabaggio, Raffaele Carli, Graziana Cavone, Nicola Epicoco, Mariagrazia Dotoli
This paper proposes a stochastic non-linear model predictive controller to support policy-makers in determining robust optimal strategies to tackle the COVID-19 secondary waves. First, a time-varying SIRCQTHE epidemiological model (considering Susceptible, Infected, Removed, Contagious, Quarantined, Threatened, Healed, and Extinct compartments of individuals) is defined to get reliable predictions on the pandemic dynamics on a regional basis. A stochastic Model Predictive Control problem is then formulated to select the necessary control actions to minimize the arising socio-economic costs.
In particular, considering the unavoidable uncertainty characterizing this decision-making process, we ensure that the capacity of the network of regional healthcare systems is not violated in accordance with a chance constraint approach.
Furthermore, since the infection rate depends on people’s mobility, differently from the related literature, we model the control actions as interventions affecting the mobility levels associated to different socio-economic categories.
The effectiveness of the presented method in properly supporting the definition of diversified regional strategies for tackling the COVID-19 spread is tested on the network of Italian regions using real data from the Italian Civil Protection Department. However, provided the availability of reliable data, the proposed approach can be easily extended to cope with other countries' characteristics and different levels of the spatial scale.

Preprint of paper submitted to IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE)


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Politecnico di Bari

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