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Near real-time geoprocessing on the grid: A scalable approach to road traffic monitoring

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The geospatial sensor web is set to revolutionise real-time geospatial applications by making up-to-date spatially and temporally referenced data relating to real-world phenomena ubiquitously available. The uptake of sensor web technologies is largely being driven by the recent introduction of the OpenGIS Sensor Web Enablement framework, a standardisation initiative that defines a set of web service interfaces and encodings to task and query geospatial sensors in near real time. However, live geospatial sensors are capable of producing vast quantities of data over a short time period, which presents a large, fluctuating and ongoing processing requirement that is difficult to adequately provide with the necessary computational resources. Grid computing appears to offer a promising solution to this problem but its usage thus far has primarily been restricted to processing static as opposed to real-time data sets. A new approach is presented in this work whereby geospatial data streams are processed on grid computing resources. This is achieved by submitting ongoing processing jobs to the grid that continually poll sensor data repositories using relevant OpenGIS standards. To evaluate this approach a road-traffic monitoring application was developed to process streams of GPS observations from a fleet of vehicles. Specifically, a Bayesian map-matching algorithm is performed that matches each GPS observation to a link on the road network. The results show that over 90% of observations were matched correctly and that the adopted approach is capable of achieving timely results for a linear time geoprocessing operation performed every 60 seconds. However, testing in a production grid environment highlighted some scalability and efficiency problems. Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) data services were found to present an IO bottleneck and the adopted job submission method was found to be inefficient. Consequently, a number of recommendations are made regarding the grid job-scheduling mechanism, shortcomings in the OGC Web Processing Service specification and IO bottlenecks in OGC data services.
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Keywords: OGC; geoprocessing; grid computing; sensor web

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Geomatics Department,School of Civil Engineering & Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Publication date: 01 October 2012

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