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A comparison of various modelling approaches applied to Cholera case data

F van den Bergh, JP Holloway, M Pienaar, R Koen, CD Elphinstone, S Woodborne


The application of a methodology that proposes the use of spectral methods to inform the development of statistical forecasting models for cholera case data is explored in this paper. The seasonal behaviour of the target variable (cholera cases) is analysed using singular spectrum analysis followed by spectrum estimation using the maximum entropy method. This seasonal behaviour is compared to that of environmental variables (rainfall and temperature). The spectral analysis is refined by means of a cross-wavelet technique, which is used to compute lead times for co-varying variables, and suggests transformations that enhance co-varying behaviour. Several statistical modelling techniques, including generalised linear models, ARIMA time series modelling, and dynamic regression are investigated for the purpose of developing a cholera cases forecast model fed by environmental variables. The analyses are demonstrated on data collected from Beira, Mozambique. Dynamic regression was found to be the preferred forecasting method for this data set.

Keywords:Cholera, modelling, signal processing, dynamic regression, negative binomial regression, wavelet analysis, cross-wavelet analysis.

ORiON Vol. 24 (1) 2008: pp. 17-36
AJOL African Journals Online