Graduate Students Win Best Paper at International Conference
School of Engineering computer science alumni Sheetal Bagga (MS ’15) and Rakeem Shelby (MS ’15) were awarded best paper at the 23rd Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Spatial Information (ACM SIGSPATIAL) International Symposium on Advances in Geographic Information Systems.
The paper, entitled “Component Moving Region Operations: Implementing Set Operations on Region Streams” and authored by Shelby, Bagga and Mark McKenney, PhD, associate professor of computer science, was selected by a committee of workshop organizers as the best paper of the workshop. The paper was an extension of Shelby’s thesis work and included work from Bagga’s master’s project.
The paper was later expanded and published in the Journal Geoinformatica. The work describes mechanisms to implement operations over moving regions. A moving region is an object that has spatial extent, but changes in shape and position over time. One example of a moving region is a hurricane, which at a specific time instant can be represented as a region that is affected by hurricane-force winds.
A moving region is able to represent the hurricane as it progresses over its lifetime, allowing the hurricane to be examined as it existed at any time instant, as well as the trajectory of the hurricane over time.
“In order to analyze moving regions effectively at a large scale, we need to be able to compute operations over them,” McKenney said. “It is useful to find if two hurricanes overlap. Such information is easy to obtain visually for a small number of moving regions, but we need computational mechanisms to enable such analysis on a large number of moving regions.”
According to McKenney, the work developed by Shelby and Bagga provides a general mechanism to efficiently compute a variety of operations over moving regions. “There are no commercial systems that provide such operations, and their contribution solves a long standing gap in the literature.”