Presentation Title

Biosecurity Practices Through Multiplayer Simulations

Project Collaborators

UVM SEGS Lab

Abstract

The Livestock industries in the U.S. lose over a billion dollars annually to disease. To combat this loss there are biosecurity measures in place to lower the rate of disease outbreaks. To examine biosecurity practices we have created a computer simulation that could be played as a game with several users at once. In this simulation each user could control the level of biosecurity to be enforced in their own swine facility over the course of twelve in-game months, testing user compliance when they could see how other users act throughout the simulation.

The major conflict for these users came in the cost of keeping up with biosecurity standards, forcing users to spend in-game money to increase their biosecurity levels, which is very effective at preventing infection in the facility, but lowers revenue that could be gained by practicing fewer biosecurity standards, in turn risking possible swine infection, losing all of their revenue when infection is found.

By placing each user in an environment where other users can affect each facility, such as a user with lower biosecurity standards becoming infected leading to the infection of neighboring facilities, we obtain more realistic choices in terms of biosecurity compliance. As such, this simulation was highly effective in spreading information to policymakers and other users about the spread of livestock infections and how it could be prevented with proper biosecurity practices.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Scott C Merrill

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Program/Major

Computer Science

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

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Biosecurity Practices Through Multiplayer Simulations

The Livestock industries in the U.S. lose over a billion dollars annually to disease. To combat this loss there are biosecurity measures in place to lower the rate of disease outbreaks. To examine biosecurity practices we have created a computer simulation that could be played as a game with several users at once. In this simulation each user could control the level of biosecurity to be enforced in their own swine facility over the course of twelve in-game months, testing user compliance when they could see how other users act throughout the simulation.

The major conflict for these users came in the cost of keeping up with biosecurity standards, forcing users to spend in-game money to increase their biosecurity levels, which is very effective at preventing infection in the facility, but lowers revenue that could be gained by practicing fewer biosecurity standards, in turn risking possible swine infection, losing all of their revenue when infection is found.

By placing each user in an environment where other users can affect each facility, such as a user with lower biosecurity standards becoming infected leading to the infection of neighboring facilities, we obtain more realistic choices in terms of biosecurity compliance. As such, this simulation was highly effective in spreading information to policymakers and other users about the spread of livestock infections and how it could be prevented with proper biosecurity practices.