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Using Ant Colony Optimization to find the best precautionary measures framework for controlling COVID-19 Pandemic in Saudi Arabia


Raghad Alshamrani and Manal H. Alharbi


Vol. 22  No. 10  pp. 352-358


In this paper, we study the relationship between infection rates of covid 19 and the precautionary measures and strict protocols taken by Saudi Arabia to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease and minimize the number of infected people. Based on the infection rates and the timetable of precautionary measures, the best framework of precautionary measures was identified by applying the traveling salesman problem (TSP) that relies on ant colony optimization (ACO) algorithms. The proposed algorithm was applied to daily infected cases data in Saudi Arabia during three periods of precautionary measures: partial curfew, whole curfew, and gatherings penalties. The results showed the partial curfew and the whole curfew for some cities have the minimum total cases over other precautionary measures. The gatherings penalties had no real effect in reducing infected cases as the other two precautionary measures. Therefore, in future similar circumstances, we recommend first applying the partial curfew and the whole curfew for some cities, and not considering the gatherings penalties as an effective precautionary measure. We also recommend re-study the application of the grouping penalty, to identify the reasons behind the lack of its effectiveness in reducing the number of infected cases.


ant colony optimization (ACO), traveling salesman problem (TSP), optimization, algorithms, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and precautionary measures.