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Affiliated institutions: The Lab @ DC

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Description: If you live in any city long enough, chances are you’ll come across a rat. Few people enjoy the experience, yet many DC residents don’t report every rat they see. So, DC’s 311 service request system only helps identify some of the places where rats live. To help the DC Health Rodent Control team find rats that go unreported, we built a statistical model to predict the locations of rat burrows. While our model wasn’t good at predicting where the Rodent Control team would find unreported rat burrows, it was very good at prioritizing which 311 complaints were most likely to lead to the discovery of a rat burrow. However, the Rodent Control team found that this information would not substantially improve their operations.

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