One very useful task for the powerful parallelism inherent in GPUs is to
perform what is known as a sensitivity analysis. We would like to know, for
example, what the consequences are of there being 70,000 HIV+ adults as
opposed to 80,000 HIV+ adults. Ten thousand more people taking
anti-retrovirals implies more drugs being donated and some sort of
distribution system, as well as initial testing and medical supervision. Given
all the missing data, we can't really calculate AIDS inflection and threshold
values. Generally, the former is usually between 2 and 2.5% of adults, so it is
likely we can claim Guinea-Bissau is well past this milestone. That's not good.
So far, for most countries the threshold value is between 10 and 12%. Our
equations indicate once the threshold is passed economic collapse is
inevitable. There are two considerations: so far, the equations have been
correct AND no one has recovered.
In addition, we live on a small planet, so it turns out that the fate of Guinea-Bissau will exert an
influence on not only several neighboring countries but also the region as whole. Without Guinea-Bissau
it becomes mathematically more difficult to determine how accurate figures from Senegal and other
countries might be. As we lack the mathematical sophistication and the philosophical inclination to do
otherwise, our models ignore national boundaries and explicitly assign equal values to all human lives.
Were one statistically so inclined, it is possible to remove the State of Maine, whose area and population
correspond well with Guinea-Bissau, from calculations involving the United States of America without
perturbing the overall results. We do this routinely when simulating the acceptance or rejection of
educational innovations (standards-based learning) or logistics like maglevs. In western Africa routing
a maglev northwest through Mali toward Libya (in happier days) does not require a link to Bissau -
Conakry would do as well. However, a maglev along the coast from Casablanca south through Mauritania
and on the Nigeria becomes very difficult if one must go around Guinea-Bissau.