University of Texas at Arlington
The authors consider the problem of detecting an epidemic in a population where individual diagnoses are extremely noisy. The motivation for this problem is the plethora of examples (influenza strains in humans, or computer viruses in Smartphone, etc.) where reliable diagnoses are scarce, but noisy data plentiful. In flu/phone-viruses, exceedingly few infected people/phones are professionally diagnosed (only a small fraction go to a doctor) but less reliable secondary signatures (e.g., people staying home, or greater-than-typical upload activity) are more readily available.