Open Access iconOpen Access



An Eigenspace Method for Detecting Space-Time Disease Clusters with Unknown Population-Data

Sami Ullah1,*, Nurul Hidayah Mohd Nor1, Hanita Daud1, Nooraini Zainuddin1, Hadi Fanaee-T2, Alamgir Khalil3

1 Department of Fundamental & Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, 32610, Perak, Malaysia
2 Center for Applied Intelligent Systems Research (CAISR), Halmstad University, Halmstad, SE-301 18, Sweden
3 Department of Statistics, University of Peshawar, Pakistan

* Corresponding Author: Sami Ullah. Email: email

Computers, Materials & Continua 2022, 70(1), 1945-1953.


Space-time disease cluster detection assists in conducting disease surveillance and implementing control strategies. The state-of-the-art method for this kind of problem is the Space-time Scan Statistics (SaTScan) which has limitations for non-traditional/non-clinical data sources due to its parametric model assumptions such as Poisson or Gaussian counts. Addressing this problem, an Eigenspace-based method called Multi-EigenSpot has recently been proposed as a nonparametric solution. However, it is based on the population counts data which are not always available in the least developed countries. In addition, the population counts are difficult to approximate for some surveillance data such as emergency department visits and over-the-counter drug sales, where the catchment area for each hospital/pharmacy is undefined. We extend the population-based Multi-EigenSpot method to approximate the potential disease clusters from the observed/reported disease counts only with no need for the population counts. The proposed adaptation uses an estimator of expected disease count that does not depend on the population counts. The proposed method was evaluated on the real-world dataset and the results were compared with the population-based methods: Multi-EigenSpot and SaTScan. The result shows that the proposed adaptation is effective in approximating the important outputs of the population-based methods.


Cite This Article

S. Ullah, N. Hidayah Mohd Nor, H. Daud, N. Zainuddin, H. Fanaee-T et al., "An eigenspace method for detecting space-time disease clusters with unknown population-data," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 70, no.1, pp. 1945–1953, 2022.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • 1954


  • 744


  • 0


Share Link