Preparedness and Adaptive Response Models (PARM)

Principal Investigator: Joshua M. Epstein, PhD

In addressing large-scale infectious disease outbreaks there is an important role for modeling and simulation. To date, modeling has virtually ignored the operational challenges of actually executing containment plans, communicating risks, administering drugs, and ensuring compliance. The Project Arm 3 hypothesis is that there is, in fact, no single ‘organization chart’ that will make for an optimal public health system. Rather than a static organization chart, the optimal public health system possesses an adaptive repertoire from which it can self-organize and tip itself into a broad spectrum of structures—from flat market-like trading regimes among equals, to extreme military-type hierarchies, to oscillations between the two. The optimal system, the Project hypothesizes, is a variable geometry organization. But, central to its design is a deep appreciation of the incentives and impediments to information and resource sharing, trust, and coordination among all components at many scales.

The work of PARM has resulted in the development of several tools, all of which are currently in the draft stage. Click here for more information about these tools.

Inter-Region Epidemic Dynamics (IRED) Model – a computational model that simulates the spread of contagious disease throughout a large multi-patch region like the United States

Interactive Large Scale Agent Model (ILSAM) – a powerful, user-friendly, interactive desktop simulator used to evaluate disease interventions

Interactive Models for Public Health – interactive, dynamic models addressing various aspects of the public health system response to outbreaks including, but not limited to, people’s behavior, agency coordination and redundancy, school closure, and resource flow

The formal specific aims for Project Arm 3 as stated in the application to the CDC are:

  • Develop and deliver an agent-based computational model of the Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response System
  • Train PHASYS researchers in the use, refinement, and extension of the model
  • Apply the model to uncover novel and counter-intuitive approaches to improving the public health system

Project Arm 3 Publications
Project Arm 3 Presentations


Project Arm 3 Personnel

Joshua M. Epstein, PhD
Principal Investigator
Professor, Departments of Emergency Medicine, Economics, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health Sciences
Director, Center for Advanced Modeling in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University

Julia Chelen
Senior Research Program Coordinator
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University