Seminars and Events

Artificial Intelligence Seminar

Interview Seminar by Abigail Horn, USC: Tracing the source of large-scale outbreaks of foodborne contamination across complex food supply networks

Event Details

In today’s globally interconnected food system, outbreaks of contamination can spread widely and cause considerable impact on public health and safety. Tracing the spread and identifying the source of emerging large-scale contamination events are crucial steps in mitigating their proliferation. However, tracing contamination origins is a challenging problem due to the complexity of the food supply system. In this talk I will describe a model-based approach to identify the source of emerging outbreaks of foodborne contamination which involves (i) modeling the aggregate network structure of the food supply system by combining logistics models with multi-scale sources of data, (ii) formulating a model of foodborne contamination diffusion on these networks, and (iii) developing information-theoretic approaches to identify the food item carrying the contamination and the location source in the supply network. The combined approach is evaluated in application to simulated outbreak scenarios and a retrospective analysis of a major historical outbreak, demonstrating real-world applicability.

Speaker Bio

Abigail Horn is a Research Associate in Biostatistics in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at USC. She obtained her Ph.D. in Engineering Systems from the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society at MIT and an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before coming to USC she completed a joint postdoctoral fellowship at the Kuhne Logistics University and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. The general area of her research is the combination of approaches from network and computational social science and systems modeling with large-scale novel data sources to design solutions to pressing public health challenges.

Host: Muhao Chen, POC: Amy Feng


The recording for this Interview Seminar talk will be posted on our USC/ISI YouTube page within 1-2 business days: https://www.youtube.com/user/USCISI.