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 Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2024), Pages: 20-31


 Original Research Paper

Forecasting the incidence of dengue fever in Malaysia: A comparative analysis of seasonal ARIMA, dynamic harmonic regression, and neural network models


 Nurakmal Ahmad Mustaffa 1, *, Siti Mariam Zahari 2, Nor Alia Farhana 2, Noryanti Nasir 2, Aishah Hani Azil 3


 1School of Quantitative Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia
 2School of Mathematical Sciences, College of Computing, Informatics and Mathematics, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia
 3Department of Parasitology and Medical Entomology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Cheras, Malaysia

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Currently, no vaccines or specific treatments are available to treat or prevent the increasing incidence of dengue worldwide. Therefore, an accurate prediction model is needed to support the anti-dengue control strategy. The primary objective of this study is to develop the most accurate model to predict future dengue cases in the Malaysian environment. This study uses secondary data collected from the weekly reports of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) website over six years, from 2017 to 2022. Three forecasting techniques, including seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA), dynamic harmonic regression (DHR), and neural network autoregressive model (NNAR), were first fitted to the estimation part of the data. First, several SARIMA models were run, and the best seasonal model identified was SARIMA (0, 1, 2) (1, 1, 1)52. The best DHR model was obtained with a Fourier term of 2, as this corresponds to the lowest Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) value. The NNAR (9, 1, 6)52 was considered the best choice among the NNAR models due to its superior performance in terms of the lowest error measures. The comparison among the three techniques revealed that the DHR model was the best due to its lowest MAPE and RMSE values. Thus, the DHR model was used to generate future forecasts of weekly dengue cases in Malaysia until 2023. The results showed that the model predicted more than a thousand dengue cases around weeks 27 to 32. The results showed an increase in dengue cases after the end of the monsoon season, which lasted about five months. This technique is proving to be valuable for health administrators in improving preparedness.

 © 2023 The Authors. Published by IASE.

 This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (


 SARIMA, Dynamic harmonic regression, Neural network autoregressive, Forecasting, Dengue

 Article history

 Received 7 August 2023, Received in revised form 11 December 2023, Accepted 18 December 2023


This research was supported by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) of Malaysia through the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS/1/2022/SS0/UiTM/02/20).

 Compliance with ethical standards

 Conflict of interest: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


 Mustaffa NA, Zahari SM, Farhana NA, Nasir N, and Azil AH (2024). Forecasting the incidence of dengue fever in Malaysia: A comparative analysis of seasonal ARIMA, dynamic harmonic regression, and neural network models. International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences, 11(1): 20-31

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 Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 


 Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Table 6 Table 7 


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