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The Transboundary Animal Diseases Simulator (TADSimulator) has been designed to simulate the course of a TAD epidemic in a given area and the effects of the surveillance and control measures that are undertaken.

It is intended that epidemiologist and disease managers will be able to use TADSimulator.

  • to increase their awareness of the early warning signs of epidemics and the importance of swift responses in the effective control of epidemics, and

  • to help them convince policy-makers of the need to take action.

The simulation model used in the TADSimulator focuses on a description of the complex interactions between an animal population, a given disease and the surveillance and control measures that are implemented.

The model has been designed as a generic model: its parameters have been chosen to allow the simulator to mimic various TADs (such as foot-and-mouth disease, rinderpest and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia), different animal populations (which may vary in herd density and the frequency of contact between herds), the most common disease contingency plans (e.g. with or without the slaughter of affected herds, and with or without vaccination) and the human resources needed to carry out these plans (such as the organization of the animal health services and the working capacities of the different teams of these services).

Therefore, TADSimulator can be used as an experimental tool that allows the user to conduct in silico experiments (i.e. experiments done by computer simulation) on TAD epidemics. However, it must be stressed that TADSimulator is not a predictive model: it has not been designed to predict the course of a particular epidemic of a specific disease in a particular context.


TADSimulator is intended to be used (directly or indirectly) by persons who may or may not be interested in the dynamic aspect of a simulation program and who may be interested in a specific TAD and in a specific regional context, or more generally in TAD epidemics in any context.

Therefore, three versions of TADSimulator are provided.

  • The Admin version is the most complete. It allows the user to export epidemics to Web pages that can be used to raise awareness and stimulate interest in people who are not interested in simulation programs or computers. All the parameters are available in this version, which also allows the user to configure the program in order to generate Dedicated versions of TADSimulator.

  • The Default version is targeted at persons who are interested in simulation programs and TAD epidemics in a general sense (e.g. students and epidemiologists). All the parameters are also available in this version, but it does not allow the user to export epidemics to Web pages or to configure the program.

  • The Dedicated version is for use by those who are interested in simulation programs, but only for a specific TAD and a specific regional context. In the dedicated versions that are produced for such users, the disease and animal population parameters are hidden; default values of these parameters are set at the beginning of each session, and the user cannot modify them (they do not appear in the parameter dialogue). This version does not allow the user to export epidemics to Web pages or to configure the program.

Before installing the above versions of TAD Simulator, it is necessary to install the following files (see installation procedures below):

  • Default.cfg (default parameter configuration file). This file is used to run the three versions of TADsimulator and to create dedicated versions of the program.

  • Template.web (default template for the generation of html files). This file is used to export simulated epidemics to Web pages.


Please note that it is recommended to download and read carefully the user manual before using the software.

TADSimulator is Java software, and in order to be executed it needs the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which runs any Java application. The program has been developed using version 1.3.0 of the Java Development Kit. It should be executed with this version of the JRE or a later version. The program has been tested with JRE version 1.3.0. However, it has also been tested successfully using JRE version 1.2.2. If the JRE is already installed, its version number can be obtained by opening a command window and typing java version.

The latest JRE version installation program may be downloaded freely from the Sun Web site. To avoid having to download this large file, the Microsoft Windows JRE 1.3.0 installation program is included in the distribution disk (this CD can be obtained on request by sending an e-mail to EMPRES-Livestock@fao.org; double-clicking on the bin/j2re1_3_0-win-i.exe will install it.

Once the JRE has been installed (or if version 1.2.2 or a later version is already installed), it is recommended to save (right clicking) the following files on the hard disk of your computer in a directory which will have been created for this purpose.


Once these steps have been completed, the program can then launched by double-clicking on one of the three program filename: tadsimulator.v4.admin.jar, tadsimulator.v4.default.jar and tadsimulator.v4.dedicated.jar.

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