A proficient approach to forecast COVID-19 spread via optimized dynamic machine learning models

Yasminah Alali, Fouzi Harrou*, Ying Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This study aims to develop an assumption-free data-driven model to accurately forecast COVID-19 spread. Towards this end, we firstly employed Bayesian optimization to tune the Gaussian process regression (GPR) hyperparameters to develop an efficient GPR-based model for forecasting the recovered and confirmed COVID-19 cases in two highly impacted countries, India and Brazil. However, machine learning models do not consider the time dependency in the COVID-19 data series. Here, dynamic information has been taken into account to alleviate this limitation by introducing lagged measurements in constructing the investigated machine learning models. Additionally, we assessed the contribution of the incorporated features to the COVID-19 prediction using the Random Forest algorithm. Results reveal that significant improvement can be obtained using the proposed dynamic machine learning models. In addition, the results highlighted the superior performance of the dynamic GPR compared to the other models (i.e., Support vector regression, Boosted trees, Bagged trees, Decision tree, Random Forest, and XGBoost) by achieving an averaged mean absolute percentage error of around 0.1%. Finally, we provided the confidence level of the predicted results based on the dynamic GPR model and showed that the predictions are within the 95% confidence interval. This study presents a promising shallow and simple approach for predicting COVID-19 spread.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2467
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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