Abstract for: A Two-Stage Hybrid Simulation Method to Model Disease Transmission through Calculating a Contacts Matrix: The Case of an ICU
We have used a two-stage hybrid simulation to model disease transmission in an intensive care unit (ICU) that is dedicated to COVID-19. The first stage utilizes agent-based and discrete events modeling to estimate the count and intensity of contacts between various types of human agents in the form of a contacts matrix. The second stage utilizes a system dynamics model of the same environment that is informed by this matrix (regarding the exposure rates between different populations of agents) to simulate transmission of the contagious disease (in a longer run) over time. While the setting for this research is an intensive care unit (ICU) of a real hospital, it can be customized to fit other similar settings where human interactions take place, such as schools, hospitals, shopping malls, offices, manufacturing facilities, places of worship, sports facilities, museums, etc. This type of mixed-method modeling is suitable for problem domains in which agents interact according to given procedural rules. This method can help decisionmakers to find about the most effective factors in controlling the viral spread of contagious viruses such as COVID-19 from infected individuals to susceptible people and what interventions can be most effective in controlling the virus propagation.