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Professors Asgary and Solis co-publish distributed simulation paper addressing COVID-19 in an ICU

Professors Asgary and Solis co-publish distributed simulation paper addressing COVID-19 in an ICU

Two professors of York University’s School of Administrative Studies (SAS), Ali Asgary and Adriano O. Solis, along with Jalal Possik, until recently a postdoctoral research associate at SAS, and a team of co-researchers based in Canada and France, have co-authored a paper entitled “An Agent-Based Modeling and Virtual Reality Application Using Distributed Simulation: Case of a COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit”, which has been accepted for publication in the journal IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (TEM). The article was first published online on August 18, 2022 in IEEE Xplore preparatory to its publication in print in IEEE TEM, which is a highly regarded journal publishing original research in engineering, technology, and innovation management.

The research involved development of a distributed simulation (DS) system integrating two different simulations – one involving agent-based and discrete event modeling methods running on the AnyLogic simulation platform and the other involving virtual reality simulation running on the Unity platform – which were developed within the COVID-19 context for the intensive care unit (ICU) at Toronto General Hospital (TGH). The cloud-based DS system allows interoperability of heterogeneous modeling and simulation applications (involving predictive analytics and visual models) that could help find solutions to improve effectiveness, quality of services, and safety in healthcare environments that are made more complex in the face of COVID-19 and other similar highly communicable diseases. Interoperability between the heterogeneous applications is enabled using the high-level architecture (HLA), an IEEE DS standard. The DS system as developed enables end users to examine effectiveness of new training and management approaches and methodologies in order to improve ICU ward operations particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Possik is now assistant professor (Enseignant Chercheur en Informatique) at Université Catholique de Lille (France). In addition to Possik, Asgary, and Solis, other members of the international, multi-disciplinary research team are: Gregory Zacharewicz, professor at Institut Mines-Telecom (IMT) – École des Mines d’Alès (France); physicians Mohammad Ali Shafiee and Mehdi Aarabi of Toronto General Hospital; postdoctoral research associates Mahdi Najafabadi and Mohammadali Tofighi and research associates Nazanin Nadri and Abel Guimaraes of Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation (ADERSIM) at York; respiratory therapist Philip Ma of Toronto General Hospital; physician Christie Lee of Sinai Health System; Simon Gorecki, assistant professor at Université de Bordeaux; and Jianhong Wu, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at York.

This work was supported in part by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research under Grant OV4-170646 (Mathematics of COVID-19: Infection Risk Assessment and Intervention Evaluation, through the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences) and in part by the University Health Network under Grant GCS: 111163.1.