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Long-term Regional Influenza-like-illness Forecasting Using Exogenous Data
  • Eirini Papagiannopoulou ,
  • Nikos Deligiannis ,
  • Hichem Sahli
Eirini Papagiannopoulou
Department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO)

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Nikos Deligiannis
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Hichem Sahli
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Disease forecasting is a longstanding problem for the research community, which aims at informing and improving decisions with the best available evidence. Specifically, the interest in respiratory disease forecasting has dramatically increased since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, rendering the accurate prediction of influenza-like-illness (ILI) a critical task. Although  methods for short-term ILI forecasting and nowcasting have achieved good accuracy, their performance worsens at long-term ILI forecasts. Machine learning models have outperformed conventional forecasting approaches enabling to utilize diverse exogenous data sources, such as social media, internet users’ search query logs, and climate data. However, the most recent deep learning ILI forecasting models use only historical occurrence data achieving state-of-the-art results. Inspired by recent deep neural network architectures in time series forecasting that benefit from self-attention, this work proposes the Regional Influenza-Like-Illness Forecasting (ReILIF) method for regional long-term ILI prediction. The proposed architecture takes advantage of diverse exogenous data, that are, meteorological and population data, introducing an efficient intermediate fusion mechanism to combine the different types of information with the aim to capture the variations of ILI from various views. The efficacy of the proposed approach compared to state-of-the-art ILI forecasting methods is confirmed by an extensive experimental study following standard evaluation measures.