Coding that led to lockdown was ‘totally unreliable’ and a ‘buggy mess’, say experts

5/16/2020 3:49:00 PM
Coding that led to lockdown was ‘totally unreliable’ and a ‘buggy mess’, say experts

The code, written by Professor Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London, was impossible to read, scientists claim

Technology, Imperial College London

🚨 The Covid-19 modelling that sent Britain into lockdown, which was provided by Professor Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London , was 'totally unreliable'

The code, written by Professor Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London , was impossible to read, scientists claim

Read more: The Telegraph »

He is an excellent epidemiologist not a software engineer. Sounds like you are trying to destroy his career and life. ^ This is rushing people to their deaths so their paymaster can avoid paying tax torygraph liars fascist Putting this story into the 2400 year old context of the roots of academia in peer review and the requirements of Open Source for Peer Review. The interesting question is: why did it take so long for the source code to be reviewed?

The only thing nf got wrong was that he didn’t stipulate lockdown earlier ( and trace and track) and that was because to some extent policy drives the science If you want a real life example not relying on modelling there is Sweden, who’s per capita death rate is horrendous. So the Prof was right anyway.

Yes it should have been earlier! Standards of reporting get worse every day. This is dangerous and irresponsible Ahhh Lockdown was totally unnecessary, who would have guessed. They now not following the science. Just when they need us to think it was wrong. Morally inept media.

Government faces legal action over refusal to publish Sage minutes

Government faces legal action over refusal to publish Sage minutesBusinessman Simon Dolan says ministers must disclose science behind lockdown Classic Dom. This tosser again? Now why would they refuse to do that? How odd 🤔🤔🤔

When's Eton reopening? The Government relied on it. Their fault. The Telegraph is totally unreliable. How's circulation? Any idea when you'll be out of business? Just asking so we can plan the celebration. Now, who do I believe? a scientist with all the know-how or a media platform with an agenda? 'TOTALLY UNRELIABLE' - now you tell us ... still can't ... take any chances !

Which “Experts” would those be ? Telegraph owners obviously seeing their multi billions turning into, well, still multi billions & they need the uneducated & easily led to get back to their inadequately rewarded jobs on the front line to make sure it stays that way. They are prepared to sacrifice you for that!

Let's all go die for a billionaire! Priiicks. Just who at the Telegraph is: a) working from home? b) working at the office? c) travelling to work on the tube/bus every day? d) currently living at a 2nd home in the country? Funny how pretty much every other country in the world came to the same conclusion that lockdown was a good idea.

Coronavirus latest news: Regional lockdowns 'prudent and necessary', says scientist as minister refuses to rule out London reopening first

Coronavirus latest news: Regional lockdowns 'prudent and necessary', says scientist as minister refuses to rule out London reopening firstLondon could be coronavirus-free in a fortnight, new modelling by Public Health England and Cambridge University suggests. Follow the latest coronavirus news on our LIVE blog Lads yis are holding the model upside down. 😂😂😂😂wtf are u on Tory funded study - no doubt!

What a sausage. Got caught hand in the cookie jar. Should never be allowed to get another high-profile job. Total muppet. But he’s a Professor! Surely he’s infallible... And do they still have a job? This anti-lockdown propaganda will kill people needlessly As a simulation designer who works on diseases we are 8% through a pandemic with uk deaths numbering in the 60k range. This is an attempt to frame a discourse - we are on track for 400k deaths over 36 months

Tory lies It wasn't at all unreliable. The government got exactly what they wanted from it. The facts never mattered, and they never will. Ferguson is a shill, and governments do love their shills. His track record was utterly crap ...as was his last effort. One professor in the uk, doesn't explain how science is also wrong in every other country. It's to this government's credit that they in the end locked down and it didn't listen to the sections of media that consider our lives expedient for their bottom line.

‘Experts’ LOLZ

People playing football and sunbathing in groups can still be fined despite lockdown relaxation, police say

People playing football and sunbathing in groups can still be fined despite lockdown relaxation, police sayPublic urged to stay away from beaches and beauty spots amid fears 'sudden influx' of visitors will increase transmission Exactly as it should be! COVIDIOTS bloody Brighton hippies Yes and they should be there breaking the rules of lockdown.the independent must be thick doing reports like these

Who do I believe? A former newspaper turned Boris Johnson fanzine or the British Medical Journal? Did he put New Zealand in lockdown? The Tory press just want the plebs back at work regardless of the health risks When does Eton reopen? Which model has worked the best? His modelling didn't put Italy, Spain, France, Germany or Argentina into lockdown. If his modelling was unreliable, it stands to reason the the modelling done by Ferguson's counterparts in various other countries must also be unreliable. How likely is that?

You lot in the Tory press just want a genocide don't you? What's wrong, fed up off having to clean your house yourself and look after your kids for a change? KeepTheLockdown We understand the plan is to destroy his life, profession and image .... So should this shag happy charlatan not be held accountable?

Third of patients develop dangerous blood clots

Third of patients develop dangerous blood clotsThe virus appears to be making people's blood much more sticky, medical experts say. تتعامل مع الفيروس بالمضاد المناسب ومهم تعالج أعراض الناجمه عن المرض مثل تجلط الدم وغيرها لابد معرفه الحاله الصحيه كامله A hypothesis on why COVID-19 patients are more prone to coagulation problems: Eparina

The Computer says, No! MaajidNawaz danwootton Iromg iancollinsuk Oh hail...now can we get the country opened up again ASAP. HOWEVER this should not excuse the CCP THEY still have heaps to answer as do WHO & I dare say our lot PHE & NHS Mgr + regional CEOs Any news on the modelling that sent the rest of the world into lockdown?

Brilliant….

Electronic voting system in Commons should be made permanent, say Lib Dems

Electronic voting system in Commons should be made permanent, say Lib DemsExclusive: Online system introduced for lockdown has dragged Westminster into 21st century and should not be dumped, says party Mogg believes it's the work of the devil. Absolutely.... By pass greedy narcissistic politicians and let us vote directly on our smart phones on legislation and without all the farmyard pig trough noises in parliament. We should have electronic voting and compulsory voting at all elections. It’s bizarre that we still enter a cross on a piece of paper which has to be counted by hand for hours. The secure technology is widely available now.

RSPB flooded with reports of birds of prey being killed

RSPB flooded with reports of birds of prey being killedCharity says lockdown has been seen as green light to target birds in belief there is less chance of getting caught This is horrendous LeagueACS Very simple solution, ban grouse shooting and develop the lands diversity & tourism. Не круто..

The Covid-19 modelling that sent Britain into lockdown, shutting the economy and leaving millions unemployed, has been slammed by a series of experts.Published on Sat 16 May 2020 11.Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has said the Government had 'forced Londoners to pay a heavy price for doing the right thing' after the two sides came to an agreement on Transport for London funding.couple blockaded a cycle path near Leyburn .

Professor Neil Ferguson's computer coding was derided as “totally unreliable” by leading figures, who warned it was “something you wouldn’t stake your life on". The model, credited with forcing the Government to make a U-turn and introduce a nationwide lockdown, is a “buggy mess that looks more like a bowl of angel hair pasta than a finely tuned piece of programming”, says David Richards, co-founder of British data technology company WANdisco. Simon Dolan, who owns Jota Aviation, said he received an unsatisfactory response to his challenge over the legality of the lockdown in a “letter before action” sent two weeks ago . “In our commercial reality, we would fire anyone for developing code like this and any business that relied on it to produce software for sale would likely go bust. He said: 'I want to be completely honest and upfront with Londoners - this is not the deal I wanted.” The comments are likely to reignite a row over whether the UK was right to send the public into lockdown, with conflicting scientific models having suggested people may have already acquired substantial herd immunity and that Covid-19 may have hit Britain earlier than first thought. He had sought to obtain minutes from meetings of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage). Scientists have also been split on what the fatality rate of Covid-19 is, which has resulted in vastly different models. “Cumbria has been one of the worst affected parts of the UK and coronavirus is far from over, we still have people being infected and people dying in the county on a daily basis,” he added.

Up until now, though, significant weight has been attached to Imperial's model, which placed the fatality rate higher than others and predicted that 510,000 people in the UK could die without a lockdown. “I believe it is absolutely crucial in holding the government to account – they have introduced entirely unprecedented restrictions on basic freedoms, caused the losses of millions of jobs, destroyed businesses, incurred eye-watering amounts of debt, which will take generations to pay back, and yet they refuse to share the basic information they say they rely on to make these devastating decisions. He added: 'We are running as many services as humanly possible given the number of staff off sick, shielding or self-isolating. It was said to have prompted a dramatic change in policy from the Government, causing businesses, schools and restaurants to be shuttered immediately in March. The Bank of England has predicted that the economy could take a year to return to normal, after facing its worst recession for more than three centuries. They have also argued that the lockdown, which must be reviewed every three weeks, was reimposed on a “disproportionate” basis in law, using an “over-rigid” test regarding its effect on containing the disease but not its impact on the economy, jobs and wider health; and third, that it breached the European convention on human rights covering the right to liberty, family life, education and property. The Imperial model works by using code to simulate transport links, population size, social networks and healthcare provisions to predict how coronavirus would spread.' Read our analysis by Chief Political Correspondent Christopher Hope here. However, questions have since emerged over whether the model is accurate, after researchers released the code behind it, which in its original form was “thousands of lines” developed over more than 13 years. “It is now apparent that the five tests are nothing more than another example of empty rhetoric,” he said. Watch more All prosecutions under new Coronavirus Act unlawful, review finds He added: “We do not want the relaxation of the restrictions to act as a green light for tourists to flock to our beauty spots and inadvertently spread the virus to local people … please think twice before coming to our county.

In its initial form, developers claimed the code had been unreadable, with some parts looking “like they were machine translated from Fortran”, an old coding language, according to John Carmack, an American developer, who helped clean up the code before it was published online. Yet, the problems appear to go much deeper than messy coding. Remember ‘Save the NHS’? It’s been running at 60% capacity across the board for the entire period. Many have claimed that it is almost impossible to reproduce the same results from the same data, using the same code. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh reported such an issue, saying they got different results when they used different machines, and even in some cases, when they used the same machines. Dolan says he is not opposed to the lockdown in principle, but to what he describes as a “totalitarian” approach involving lack of transparency over Sage advice and other key government advice. “There appears to be a bug in either the creation or re-use of the network file. Mike France, senior executive officer of Mountain Rescue England and Wales, also encouraged people to make a gradual return to hiking, saying:"No matter how much exercise people have been taking at home, in their gardens or local to home during lockdown, most of them may not be as hill fit as they were three months ago.

If we attempt two completely identical runs, only varying in that the second should use the network file produced by the first, the results are quite different,” the Edinburgh researchers wrote on the Github file. The government has been widely criticised in the last week for the lack of clarity in its lockdown guidelines. After a discussion with one of the Github developers, a fix was later provided. This is said to be one of a number of bugs discovered within the system. Johnson is also under pressure after epidemiological models suggested transmission rates. The Github developers explained this by saying that the model is “stochastic”, and that “multiple runs with different seeds should be undertaken to see average behaviour”. However, it has prompted questions from specialists, who say “models must be capable of passing the basic scientific test of producing the same results given the same initial set of parameters.

..otherwise, there is simply no way of knowing whether they will be reliable.” It comes amid a wider debate over whether the Government should have relied more heavily on numerous models before making policy decisions. Writing for telegraph.

co.uk, Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Principal at Jesus College, said that “having a diverse variety of models, particularly those that enable policymakers to explore predictions under different assumptions, and with different interventions, is incredibly powerful”. Like the Imperial code, a rival model by Professor Sunetra Gupta at Oxford University works on a so-called "SIR approach" in which the population is divided into those that are susceptible, infected and recorded. However, while Gupta made the assumption that 0.1pc of people infected with coronavirus would die, Ferguson placed that figure at 0.

9pc. That led to a dramatic reversal in government policy from attempting to build “herd immunity” to a full-on lockdown. Experts remain baffled as to why the government appeared to dismiss other models. “We’d be up in arms if weather forecasting was based on a single set of results from a single model and missed taking that umbrella when it rained,” says Michael Bonsall, Professor of Mathematical Biology at Oxford University. Concerns, in particular, over Ferguson’s model have been raised, with Konstantin Boudnik, vice-president of architecture at WANdisco, saying his track record in modelling doesn’t inspire confidence.

In the early 2000s, Ferguson’s models incorrectly predicted up to 136,000 deaths from mad cow disease, 200 million from bird flu and 65,000 from swine flu. “The facts from the early 2000s are just yet another confirmation that their modeling approach was flawed to the core,” says Dr Boudnik. “We don't know for sure if the same model/code was used, but we clearly see their methodology wasn't rigourous then and surely hasn't improved now.” A spokesperson for the Imperial College COVID19 Response Team said: “The UK Government has never relied on a single disease model to inform decision-making. As has been repeatedly stated, decision-making around lockdown was based on a consensus view of the scientific evidence, including several modelling studies by different academic groups.

“Multiple groups using different models concluded that the pandemic would overwhelm the NHS and cause unacceptably high mortality in the absence of extreme social distancing measures. Within the Imperial research team we use several models of differing levels of complexity, all of which produce consistent results. We are working with a number of legitimate academic groups and technology companies to develop, test and further document the simulation code referred to. However, we reject the partisan reviews of a few clearly ideologically motivated commentators. “Epidemiology is not a branch of computer science and the conclusions around lockdown rely not on any mathematical model but on the scientific consensus that COVID-19 is a highly transmissible virus with an infection fatality ratio exceeding 0.

5pc in the UK.” .