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Web-based spatiotemporal simulation modeling and visualization of tsunami inundation and potential human response

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Modeling spatiotemporal phenomena can provide insight into potential behavior of simulated objects during hypothetical events. Simulation frameworks can be a useful method of modeling these scenarios, and become more flexible when developed in a fashion that facilitates automated generation of output based on variable input parameters. By connecting a simulation framework to a web-based system, a user can assign input parameters of their choosing, run a simulation, and explore the output data in a dynamic, animated, map-based context using a standard web browser. The framework described here utilizes tsunami simulation data and user input to generate a combined web-based visualization and simulation model of human response to tsunami inundation. Input parameters pertaining to human population and community of interest are provided by the user and guide automated development of a simulation model scenario of spatiotemporal human response to a hypothetical tsunami inundation event. Simulated human movement is calculated at each time step using casualty model algorithms informed by behavioral research and variables such as water depth and road networks, while a mix of server-side and client-side code renders the mapping interface and supports user interaction within the web browser. Interactive controls included in the web-based simulation viewer allow the user to manipulate the map display and query underlying data either manually by time step or interactively while animation is underway. Although modeling of human movement has inherent limitations, integration of a formal casualty model with the automated simulation framework represents a unique quantitative approach for casualty determination and simulation modeling.
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Keywords: geocomputation; geovisualization; simulation; spatiotemporal data modeling; web GIS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA 2: School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA 3: Department of Geography, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA

Publication date: May 4, 2014

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