DeepDynaForecast: Phylogenetic-informed graph deep learning for epidemic transmission dynamic prediction

PLoS Comput Biol. 2024 Apr 10;20(4):e1011351. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1011351. eCollection 2024 Apr.


In the midst of an outbreak or sustained epidemic, reliable prediction of transmission risks and patterns of spread is critical to inform public health programs. Projections of transmission growth or decline among specific risk groups can aid in optimizing interventions, particularly when resources are limited. Phylogenetic trees have been widely used in the detection of transmission chains and high-risk populations. Moreover, tree topology and the incorporation of population parameters (phylodynamics) can be useful in reconstructing the evolutionary dynamics of an epidemic across space and time among individuals. We now demonstrate the utility of phylodynamic trees for transmission modeling and forecasting, developing a phylogeny-based deep learning system, referred to as DeepDynaForecast. Our approach leverages a primal-dual graph learning structure with shortcut multi-layer aggregation, which is suited for the early identification and prediction of transmission dynamics in emerging high-risk groups. We demonstrate the accuracy of DeepDynaForecast using simulated outbreak data and the utility of the learned model using empirical, large-scale data from the human immunodeficiency virus epidemic in Florida between 2012 and 2020. Our framework is available as open-source software (MIT license) at

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computational Biology* / methods
  • Computer Simulation
  • Deep Learning*
  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data
  • Epidemics* / statistics & numerical data
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny*
  • Software