Mining aggregates of over-the-counter products for syndromic surveillance

Aurel Cami, Garrick L. Wallstrom, Ashley L. Fowlkes, Cathy A. Panozzo, William R. Hogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There has recently been a surge of research efforts aimed at very early detection of disease outbreaks. An important strategy for improving the timeliness of outbreak detection is to identify signals that occur early in the epidemic process. We have developed a novel algorithm to identify aggregates of "similar" over-the-counter products that have strong association with a given disease. This paper discusses the proposed algorithm and reports the results of an evaluation experiment. The experimental results show that this algorithm holds promise for discovering product aggregates with outbreak detection performance that is superior to that of predefined categories. We also found that the products extracted by the proposed algorithm were more strongly correlated with the disease data than the standard predefined product categories, while also being more strongly correlated with each other than the products in any predefined category.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-266
Number of pages12
JournalPattern Recognition Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009


  • Biosurveillance
  • Linear regression
  • Outbreak detection
  • Time series aggregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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