A New Decision Support Framework for Managing Foot-and-mouth Disease Epidemics

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Animal disease epidemics such as the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) pose recurrent threat to countries with intensive livestock production. Efficient FMD control is crucial in limiting the damage of FMD epidemics and securing food production. Decision making in FMD control involves a hierarchy of decisions made at strategic, tactical, and operational levels. These decisions are interdependent and have to be made under uncertainty about future development of the epidemic. Addressing this decision problem, this paper presents a new decision-support framework based on multi-level hierarchic Markov processes (MLHMP). The MLHMP model simultaneously optimizes decisions at strategic, tactical, and operational levels, using Bayesian forecasting methods to model uncertainty and learning about the epidemic. As illustrated by the example, the framework is especially useful in contingency planning for future FMD epidemics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-62
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • hierarchical markov-processes
  • eradication
  • prevention
  • costs
  • fmd

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