Science & Technology

Using Parrondo’s Paradox to Reduce the Cost of COVID-19

Abstract Detailed Fractal

The outbreak of coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) has unfold quickly throughout the globe at an alarming tempo, inflicting appreciable nervousness and concern amongst the common public. In response to the rising quantity of new instances, many international locations have imposed lockdown measures to gradual the unfold of coronavirus. Nevertheless, practically each particular person, neighborhood, enterprise, and economic system has been adversely affected by lockdown measures — an impression to society that can’t be ignored.

The well being and well-being of the inhabitants might be affected if the neighborhood is saved open, however the lockdown technique additionally incurs financial and monetary impacts. Every technique by itself will enhance the complete ‘value’ to society. Can each shedding methods be mixed in a way that leads to a profitable final result? That’s the query that researchers from the Singapore College of Know-how and Design (SUTD) set out to reply in a latest paper printed in Superior Science.

The workforce, led by Assistant Professor Kang Hao Cheong from SUTD, seeks to reply this query by modeling the inhabitants utilizing Parrondo’s paradox with a view to relieving the value of the epidemic by means of a switching technique. The mannequin takes under consideration the well being and well-being of the inhabitants, in addition to financial impacts and describes the interplay and circulate between the completely different inhabitants compartments throughout the COVID-19 epidemic.

The researchers had been impressed by a phenomenon referred to as Parrondo’s paradox. The paradox states that it’s doable to alternate between a pair of shedding methods and nonetheless find yourself profitable. Their outcomes symbolize one of the first research to concentrate on the lockdown exit technique. Additionally it is one of the first to hyperlink Parrondo’s paradox to epidemiology.

From this examine, the researchers present that conserving the neighborhood open leads to a big quantity of contaminated people and a pointy enhance in the quantity of deaths over time, so naturally the ‘value’ will increase. At the similar time, a lockdown technique reduces the chance of an infection, however has an opposed impact on the socio-economic value.

“Because of this every technique can’t individually end in a decline to the ‘value’ in the long-term throughout an epidemic. Such rising ‘value’ permits us to classify them as shedding methods,” defined Tao Wen, a analysis scholar from SUTD and a co-author of the examine.

“When one switches between the shedding methods in accordance with any of the proposed alternating methods, the ‘value’ per day will decline. This, in itself, is a profitable technique to management the loss brought on by COVID-19,” he added.

It is a manifestation of the recreation concept Parrondo’s paradox: two shedding methods could be mixed into an final result that wins.

The researchers have launched three completely different switching guidelines. They’re the time-based switching, result-based switching, and random switching schemes. Every switching rule comes with its personal strengths and is relevant throughout a variety of real-world situations.

“Such novel methods could be carried out to curb the unfold of COVID-19 or future epidemics, and have the potential to alleviate struggling, protect and promote well being and well-being amongst the inhabitants,” noticed Assistant Professor Kang Hao Cheong, the principal investigator for this examine from SUTD.

“COVID-19 is a posh of medical situations and never a trigger. The final word causative agent will not be a virus in isolation, however a virus in complexity with explicit social components — the 4 Horsemen: a) overpopulation, b)globalization, c) hyperconnectivity, and d) excessive centralization and growing fragility of provide chains,” cautioned Assistant Professor Cheong.

Reference: “Relieving Cost of Epidemic by Parrondo’s Paradox: A COVID‐19 Case Examine” by Kang Hao Cheong, Tao Wen and Joel Weijia Lai, 1 September 2020, Superior Science.
DOI: 10.1002/advs.202002324
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