Validity and usefulness of COVID-19 models

Eker, S. ORCID: (2020). Validity and usefulness of COVID-19 models. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications 7 (1) 10.1057/s41599-020-00553-4.

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Mathematical models have become central to the public and policy debate about the recent COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, they provide guidance to policy-makers about the development of the epidemic and healthcare demand overtime; on the other hand, they are heavily criticized for their lack of credibility. This commentary reflects on three such models from a validity and usefulness perspective. Specifically, it discusses the complexity, validation, and communication of models informing the government decisions in the UK, US and Austria, and concludes that, although these models are useful in many ways, they currently lack a thorough validation and a clear communication of their uncertainties. Therefore, prediction claims of these models should be taken cautiously, and their merits on scenario analysis should be the basis for decision-making. The lessons that can be learned from the COVID models in terms of the communication of uncertainties and assumptions can guide the use of quantitative models in other policy-making areas.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2020 08:02
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:33

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