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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5(4), 42; doi:10.3390/ijgi5040042

4D-SAS: A Distributed Dynamic-Data Driven Simulation and Analysis System for Massive Spatial Agent-Based Modeling

1
,
1,2,* , 1,2
and
1,2
1
The State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, 129 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430079, China
2
The Collaborative Innovation Center of Geospatial Technology, 129 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430079, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wolfgang Kainz
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 17 March 2016 / Accepted: 18 March 2016 / Published: 23 March 2016
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Abstract

Significant computation challenges are emerging as agent-based modeling becomes more complicated and dynamically data-driven. In this context, parallel simulation is an attractive solution when dealing with massive data and computation requirements. Nearly all the available distributed simulation systems, however, do not support geospatial phenomena modeling, dynamic data injection, and real-time visualization. To tackle these problems, we propose a distributed dynamic-data driven simulation and analysis system (4D-SAS) specifically for massive spatial agent-based modeling to support real-time representation and analysis of geospatial phenomena. To accomplish large-scale geospatial problem-solving, the 4D-SAS system was spatially enabled to support geospatial model development and employs high-performance computing to improve simulation performance. It can automatically decompose simulation tasks and distribute them among computing nodes following two common schemes: order division or spatial decomposition. Moreover, it provides streaming channels and a storage database to incorporate dynamic data into simulation models; updating agent context in real-time. A new online visualization module was developed based on a GIS mapping library, SharpMap, for an animated display of model execution to help clients understand the model outputs efficiently. To evaluate the system’s efficiency and scalability, two different spatially explicitly agent-based models, an en-route choice model, and a forest fire propagation model, were created on 4D-SAS. Simulation results illustrate that 4D-SAS provides an efficient platform for dynamic data-driven geospatial modeling, e.g., both discrete multi-agent simulation and grid-based cellular automata, demonstrating efficient support for massive parallel simulation. The parallel efficiency of the two models is above 0.7 and remains nearly stable in our experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: agent-based model; parallel computing; distributed simulation; dynamic-data driven; online visualization agent-based model; parallel computing; distributed simulation; dynamic-data driven; online visualization
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, Z.; Guan, X.; Li, R.; Wu, H. 4D-SAS: A Distributed Dynamic-Data Driven Simulation and Analysis System for Massive Spatial Agent-Based Modeling. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5, 42.

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