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Group testing for connected communities

Pavlos Nikolopoulos · Sundara Rajan Srinivasavaradhan · Tao Guo · Christina Fragouli · Suhas Diggavi

Keywords: [ Information Theory ] [ Learning Theory and Statistics ]


In this paper, we propose algorithms that leverage a known community structure to make group testing more efficient. We consider a population organized in disjoint communities: each individual participates in a community, and its infection probability depends on the community (s)he participates in. Use cases include families, students who participate in several classes, and workers who share common spaces. Group testing reduces the number of tests needed to identify the infected individuals by pooling diagnostic samples and testing them together. We show that if we design the testing strategy taking into account the community structure, we can significantly reduce the number of tests needed for adaptive and non-adaptive group testing, and can improve the reliability in cases where tests are noisy.

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