Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Planning For a Disease Outbreak? There's a Game For That.

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
Players collaborating on a multiplayer game.

Researchers at Colorado State University are working on software that can predict, simulate, and analyze a major disease outbreak in the form of a multiplayer game.


Colorado State University researchers are developing new software that can predict, simulate, and analyze a major disease outbreak in the form of an intuitive, multiplayer game called Symphony.

The project is aimed at connecting the best computing and data management technology to the fight against widespread livestock disease. "Given a national scale outbreak scenario, we generate 100,000 variants, run them in a computing cloud that generates several billion files, and then do the analytics on all this data," says Colorado State professor Shrideep Pallickara. This technique involves a lot of back-end processing, which enables researchers to make real-time predictions.

Disease planners often work in isolation and do not understand each other's rationale or how decisions affect one another. The Colorado State project addresses that problem by enabling collaborative decisions, enabling planners to work together using the Symphony multiplayer game. The researchers used group gaming to plan for disease outbreaks because concepts tend to be retained better when people use them in game playing, according to to the researchers.

"From a computer scientist's perspective, creating a disease outbreak planning tool introduces a host of interesting challenges," Pallickara says.

From Colorado State University
View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account