EpiMine: Workshop on Mining and Policy-Making for Epidemic Surveillance

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at IEEE 21st International Conference on Data Mining, Dec. 7-10, 2021, Auckland, New Zealand


Epidemics of infectious diseases are triggered by factors such as changes in the ecology of the host population, genetic changes in an established virus, or a novel pathogen. An example of such a pathogen is Covid-19. Its rapid spread led to it being declared an epidemic at a global level, i.e., a pandemic, by the World Health Organization (WHO). Several epidemics have occurred in the past, e.g., the Spanish flu, HIV, and SARS, which resulted in a substantial burden for the world in terms of health risks and unnecessary deaths, economical risks, and global financial turmoil. Undeniably, the need for effective prevention measures and mitigation strategies for Covid-19 and future pandemics is highly urgent.          

At the same time, we are currently observing the effects of various mitigation measures taken by different countries at a national and international level. These measures mostly involve lockdowns at different granularities, durations, and frequencies. Moreover, social media plays a detrimental role during pandemics by monitoring and reflecting the opinion and sentiment of the population. The use of social media has also been increased due to the need for physical social distancing as a mitigation strategy, resulting in the rapid rise and adoption of social media platforms for educational, professional, and social purposes.

This workshop will focus on knowledge discovery, mining, and understanding of mitigation strategies and measures during a pandemic so as to facilitate effective and timely policy- and decision making. Examples of the main topics to be covered in EpiMine include:

  • understanding the effects of lockdowns
  • movement tracing under lockdowns
  • effects of lockdowns on social media usage
  • understanding the role of social media during lockdowns
  • moving from the physical to the virtual world during lockdowns
  • mining and understanding epidemics
  • reinforcement learning for prevention and mitigation of pandemics

Download the call for papers [.pdf]

Important Dates

  • Paper submission: September 3, 2021
  • Notification: September 24, 2021
  • Camera-ready deadline and copyright forms: October 1, 2021
  • Conference dates: December 7-10, 2021

Paper Submission

Authors are required to follow the IEEE ICDM author guidelines.

Authors are invited to submit original papers, which have not been published elsewhere and which are not currently under consideration for another journal, conference or workshop.

Paper submissions should be limited to a maximum of 10 (8 + 2 extra chargeable) pages, in the IEEE 2-column format (https://www.ieee.org/conferences/publishing/templates.html), including the bibliography and any possible appendices. Submissions longer than 10 pages will be rejected without review. All submissions will be triple-blind reviewed by the Program Committee on the basis of technical quality, relevance to scope of the conference, originality, significance, and clarity.

Manuscripts are to be submitted via CyberChair. Each submitted paper will be evaluated by three PC members with respect to its novelty, significance, technical soundness, presentation, and experiments.

The journal Frontiers in Big Data will accommodate the closely relevant Research Topic on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence of Epidemic Surveillance, organized by Myra Spiliopoulou, Panagiotis Papapetrou, Pedro Pereira Rodrigues, and Uli Niemann. We particularly encourage prospective EpiMine authors to consider the option of extending their EpiMine work for submission to this Research Topic and have therefore aligned the Research Topic submission deadline accordingly.

Invited Speakers


 Martin Atzmueller, Osnabrück University, Germany

  • Title: Mining Social Interaction Networks: From Modeling Social Contacts towards Epidemiological Insights
  • Abstract: In the world of today social interaction networks have become ubiquitous - both online and offline. In such environments, a variety of heterogenous multi-relational data is generated, e.g., by sensors and social media. In particular, such data and information can then be applied e.g., for modeling human social encounters and epidemiological simulation scenarios, in order to support learning, mining and ultimately decision support. This talk presents a structured overview and discussion on according approaches and methods. I will focus on data capture, modeling and analysis; this will relate to according social interaction networks, e.g., induced by social media as well as those generated by sensor devices in social interaction contexts, and their prospective implications and further directions.



Muhammad Imran, Qatar Computing Research Institute, Qatar

  • Title: COVID-19 Pandemic Through Social Media Lens: A Comprehensive Dataset and Analysis
  • Abstract: The past several years have witnessed a huge surge in the use of social media platforms during mass convergence events such as health emergencies, natural and human-induced disasters. These non-traditional data sources are becoming vital for disease forecasts and surveillance when preparing for epidemic and pandemic outbreaks. This talk will present a diversified analysis of a large-scale COVID-19 multilingual dataset consisting of more than 2 billion tweets collected worldwide. I will present how different countries and societies embarrassed COVID-19 as perceived from their views on social media, their sentiment and perception on measures taken by authorities such as lockdowns, and the challenges they faced amidst the pandemic such as food insecurity, shortage of masks and supplies. I will also present the broad coverage of the data using trends representing different topics such as education, employment, tourism, economy, sports, the environment.


Programme Committee


Workshop Organizers

  • Myra Spiliopoulou, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ Magdeburg
  • Panagiotis Papapetrou, Stockholm University
  • Uli Niemann, Otto-von-Guericke-Univ Magdeburg
  • Maria Bamba, Stockholm University

Contact Information of the Organizers

Contact email: epimine_team@iti.cs.uni-magdeburg.de

Last Modification: 03.08.2021 - Contact Person:

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