Graph Structure Learning from Unlabeled Data for Early Outbreak Detection

Sriram Somanchi, Daniel B. Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Processes such as disease propagation and information diffusion often spread over some latent network structure that must be learned from observation. Given a set of unlabeled training examples representing occurrences of an event type of interest (such as a disease outbreak), the authors aim to learn a graph structure that can be used to accurately detect future events of that type. They propose a novel framework for learning graph structure from unlabeled data by comparing the most anomalous subsets detected with and without the graph constraints. Their framework uses the mean normalized log-likelihood ratio score to measure the quality of a graph structure, and it efficiently searches for the highest-scoring graph structure. Using simulated disease outbreaks injected into real-world Emergency Department data from Allegheny County, the authors show that their method learns a structure similar to the true underlying graph, but enables faster and more accurate detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7887641
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Intelligent Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • artificial intelligence
  • disease surveillance
  • event detection
  • graph learning
  • intelligent systems
  • spatial scan statistic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Graph Structure Learning from Unlabeled Data for Early Outbreak Detection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this