Detection of Infectious Outbreaks in Hospitals through Incremental Clustering

  • Timothy Langford
  • Christophe Giraud-Carrier
  • John Magee
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2101)


This paper highlights the shortcomings of current systems of nosocomial infection control and shows how techniques borrowed from statistics and Artificial Intelligence, in particular clustering, can be used effectively to enhance these systems beyond confirmation and into the more important realms of detection and prediction. A tool called HIC and examined in collaboration with the Cardiff Public Health Laboratory is presented. Preliminary experiments with the system demonstrate promise. In particular, the system was able to uncover a previously undiscovered cross-infection incident.


Nosocomial Infection Public Health Laboratory Incremental Cluster Expansion Rule Symbolic Comparison 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Althoff, K., Auriol, E., Barletta, R. and Manago, M.: A Review of Industrial Case-Based Reasoning Tools. AI Intelligence (1995)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bouchoux, X.: HIC Dataset Report. Unpublished Manuscript, Advanced Topics in Machine Learning, University of Bristol, Department of Computer Science (1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bull, M., Kundt, G. and Gierl, L.: Discovering of Health Risks and Case-based Forecasting of Epidemics in a Health Surveillance System. In Proceedings of the First European Conference on Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (PKDD’97). LNAI, Vol. 1263, Springer (1997), 68–77Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kolodner, J.: Case-Based Reasoning. Morgan Kaufmann (1993)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Langford, T.: A Prototype System for Hospital Infection Control. Technical Report PR4-99-09, University of Bristol, Department of Computer Science (1999)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Leake, D. (Ed.): Case-Based Reasoning: Experiences, Lessons, and Future Directions. AAAI Press (1996)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Langford
    • 1
  • Christophe Giraud-Carrier
    • 1
  • John Magee
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.Department of MedicineMicrobiology and Public Health LaboratoryCardiffUK

Personalised recommendations