IE Seminar: “Prioritizing Vaccination in the Social Network Against a Pandemic Outbreak”, Yang Zhang, 1:30PM December 23 (EN)

Speaker: Yang Zhang, Brunel University London

Date & Time: December 23, 2022, Friday 13:30

This is an online seminar. To request the event link, please send a message to department.

Title: Prioritizing Vaccination in the Social Network Against a Pandemic Outbreak

Abstract: Problem definition: We study the problem that how a social planner allocates limited vaccines to a society for containing a pandemic. Individuals in this society are divided into different sectors, and each of them may be hit by the pandemic at a certain probability, which is determined by the probability that he gets infected from other individuals or outside this society. Vaccination can reduce the health loss from being infected but incurs a fixed cost, and the social planner is desired to minimize the aggregate cost by allocating vaccines. Methodology/results: We find that the resulting probability of infection coincides with the compound Bonacich centrality of the weighted transmission network. We establish the optimal priority of vaccination upon joint consideration of vulnerability and transmissivity, and further extend our model to study the optimal design of subsidy for vaccination. Managerial implications: We calibrate our model using real data in NYC collected during the pandemic and identify the performance improvement of our proposed policy relative to the current practice. We find that the performance gap between the optimal policy and current practice increases with the level of lock-down, and therefore one can expect that the current practice performs reasonably well when little travel restriction is imposed.

Bio: Dr. Yang Zhang is an assistant professor in Brunel University London, and received his PhD in Business Administration & Operations Research (Dual title) from The Pennsylvania State University, USA.
Yang’s research falls into the realms of social & economic networks and behavioral operations management. His works have appeared on premium journals including Operations Research, Production and Operations Management, and Journal of Operations Management. Yang has principally investigated, co-principally investigated and co-investigated projects funded by British Council (UK), National Natural Science Foundation of China (with performance rating A+), National Science Foundation (United States), Beijing Natural Science Foundation, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) via Institutional Grant.