AutoODE: Bridging physics-based and data-driven modeling for COVID-19 forecasting
As COVID-19 continues to spread, accurately forecasting the number of newly infected, removed and death cases has become a crucial task in public health. While mechanics compartment models are widely-used in epidemic modeling, data-driven models are emerging for disease forecasting. In this work, we investigate these two types of methods for COVID-19 forecasting. Through a comprehensive study, we find that data-driven models outperform physics-based models on the number of death cases prediction. Meanwhile, physics-based models have superior performances in predicting the number of infected and removed cases. In addition, we present an hybrid approach, AutoODE, that obtains a 57.4% reduction in mean absolute errors of the 7-day ahead COVID-19 trajectories prediction compared with the best deep learning competitor.