Statistics and Its Interface

Volume 14 (2021)

Number 1

Heterogeneity learning for SIRS model: an application to the COVID-19

Pages: 73 – 81



Guanyu Hu (University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., U.S.A.)

Junxian Geng (Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany)


We propose a Bayesian Heterogeneity Learning approach for Susceptible-Infected-Removal-Susceptible (SIRS) model that allows underlying clustering patterns for transmission rate, recovery rate, and loss of immunity rate for the latest corona virus (COVID-19) among different regions. Our proposed method provides simultaneously inference on parameter estimation and clustering information which contains both number of clusters and cluster configurations. Specifically, our key idea is to formulates the SIRS model into a hierarchical form and assign the Mixture of Finite mixtures priors for heterogeneity learning. The properties of the proposed models are examined and a Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling algorithm is used to sample from the posterior distribution. Extensive simulation studies are carried out to examine empirical performance of the proposed methods. We further apply the proposed methodology to analyze the state level COVID-19 data in U.S.


Bayesian nonparametric, cluster learning, infectious diseases, MCMC, mixture of finite mixtures

Received 4 July 2020

Accepted 9 October 2020

Published 18 December 2020