Systems Research (GeoSimulations/Computational Steering)


Research on computational steering …

  • Computational Steering: Geographic modeling using geosimulations is a popular approach to explore outcomes from interacting geographic processes in a region. Geosimulations account for space, time, and complex spatial and spatiotemporal relationships to explore what-if scenarios and their potential impact in a region. However, most simulation systems are designed as black boxes, that take initial inputs from the user and produce final outputs at the completion of simulation. As a result, exploring what-if scenarios are cumbersome and time consuming. In addition, there is no easy way to interact with the simulation system (e.g., visualization) during runtime. To overcome these limitations, we developed a computational steering framework that allows web browser-based visualization and control of geosimulations. This First of a Kind computational steering system enables computationally expensive geosimulations to be modified during the middle of the simulation with new inputs (constraints) without stopping and restarting the simulation, thus allowing for dynamic exploration of what-if scenarios.
  • This initial work was presented as a research priority to the UCGIS summer assembly (2016), and our graduate student, Ashwin Shashidharan (now at ESRI), won the inaugural Microsoft/ACM SIGSPATIAL student research competition (2016).
    • Ranga Raju Vatsavai: Intertwining Computational Steering with Geosimulations, UCGIS-2016. (Research Priority)
    • Ashwin Shashidharan, Ranga Raju Vatsavai, Abhinav Ashish, Ross K. Meentemeyer: tFUTURES: Computational Steering for Geosimulations. The ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (SIGSPATIAL/GIS) 2017: 27:1-27:10