Foodborne disease risk prediction using multigraph structural long short-term memory networks: algorithm design and validation study

Yi Du, Hanxue Wang, Wenjuan Cui, Hengshu Zhu, Yunchang Guo, Fayaz Ali Dharejo, Yuanchun Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Foodborne disease is a common threat to human health worldwide, leading to millions of deaths every year. Thus, the accurate prediction foodborne disease risk is very urgent and of great importance for public health management. Objective: We aimed to design a spatial–temporal risk prediction model suitable for predicting foodborne disease risks in various regions, to provide guidance for the prevention and control of foodborne diseases. Methods: We designed a novel end-to-end framework to predict foodborne disease risk by using a multigraph structural long short-term memory neural network, which can utilize an encoder–decoder to achieve multistep prediction. In particular, to capture multiple spatial correlations, we divided regions by administrative area and constructed adjacent graphs with metrics that included region proximity, historical data similarity, regional function similarity, and exposure food similarity. We also integrated an attention mechanism in both spatial and temporal dimensions, as well as external factors, to refine prediction accuracy. We validated our model with a long-term real-world foodborne disease data set, comprising data from 2015 to 2019 from multiple provinces in China. Results: Our model can achieve F1 scores of 0.822, 0.679, 0.709, and 0.720 for single-month forecasts for the provinces of Beijing, Zhejiang, Shanxi and Hebei, respectively, and the highest F1 score was 20% higher than the best results of the other models. The experimental results clearly demonstrated that our approach can outperform other state-of-the-art models, with a margin. Conclusions: The spatial–temporal risk prediction model can take into account the spatial–temporal characteristics of foodborne disease data and accurately determine future disease spatial–temporal risks, thereby providing support for the prevention and risk assessment of foodborne disease.

Original languageBritish English
Article numbere29433
JournalJMIR Medical Informatics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Foodborne disease
  • Prediction
  • Risk
  • Spatial–temporal data


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