Liverpool gaming and tech studio models Covid-19 spread

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CGA Simulation is working with the government, to create a “pattern of life” mathematical model, which better predicts the spread of Covid-19.

The Baltic Triangle-based firm is looking at how the virus spreads in local communities, using Agent Based Modelling (ABM), which examines how it moves from person-to-person.

CGA said that what makes their tool different from most academic research, is because it assumes that each “thing” being modelled has its own free-will to interact independently with the world around it. Ordinarily, modelling operates with a hive mind.

“Our technology acknowledges that each person in a community has a different commute to work, school or the gym, different friends and hobbies. Each ‘person’ we model in our digital world makes independent decisions about where they go and what their daily activities are, giving a more realistic view of how people’s movements around a town or a city can impact on disease spread,” explained Jon Wetherall, Managing Director of CGA Simulation, and simulation modelling expert.

"Modelling that gives us more detailed insights into human/viral interactions  would help create ‘combination interventions’. We can model the risks associated with opening up different parts of society: cinemas + school + sports facility, to create mix and match interventions. We would open up and lockdown sections of society, activities or spaces at different times. We can also model risks associated with different numbers of friends and family meeting in groups, inside or outside at any one time, to find out what the upper limit of safer is.” 

The modelling is based on Southport, with the team designing a virtual digital twin copy of the town. Here they can simulate interactions between humans, their vehicles and frequently used buildings.

This will then enable them to analyse the data and the likelihood of transmissions as people travel between areas.

The algorithms used by CGA’s technology ‘feed’ off the detailed information we now have about how Covid19 spreads, when and where. This means it can be used to help identify where local lockdowns would be most useful. The technology can also be used to model the role of ‘super spreaders’ on viral transmission. 

CGA Simulation is a games development and emerging technology studio, which produces game titles for PC, Mobile and Nintendo Switch. 

More recently it’s introduced emerging tech into its work, such as VR, AR, Machine Learning and Robotics, using gaming knowledge to solve “real world” problems.