A new RNN based machine learning model to forecast COVID-19 incidence, enhanced by the use of mobility data from the bike-sharing service in Madrid Articles uri icon

publication date

  • June 2023

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 15


  • 6(e17625)


  • 9


  • As a respiratory virus, COVID-19 propagates based on human-to-human interactions with positive COVID-19 cases. The temporal evolution of new COVID-19 infections depends on the existing number of COVID-19 infections and the people's mobility. This article proposes a new model to predict upcoming COVID-19 incidence values that combines both current and near-past incidence values together with mobility data. The model is applied to the city of Madrid (Spain). The city is divided into districts. The weekly COVID-19 incidence data per district is used jointly with a mobility estimation based on the number of rides reported by the bike-sharing service in the city of Madrid (BiciMAD). The model employs a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) to detect temporal patterns for COVID-19 infections and mobility data, and combines the output of the LSTM layers into a dense layer that can learn the spatial patterns (the spread of the virus between districts). A baseline model that employs a similar RNN but only based on the COVID-19 confirmed cases with no mobility data is presented and used to estimate the model gain when adding mobility data. The results show that using the bike-sharing mobility estimation the proposed model increases the accuracy by 11.7% compared with the baseline model.


  • Telecommunications


  • covid-19 short term forecast; lstm machine learning models; mobility enhanced models; open data driven models