Guilherme Pena, Salles de Magalhães, Marcus Andrade, Randolph Franklin, Chaulio Ferreira, Wenli Li, and Daniel Benedetti. An efficient GPU multiple-observer siting method based on sparse-matrix multiplication. In 3rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on Analytics for Big Geospatial Data (BigSpatial) 2014. Dallas TX USA, 4 Nov 2014.
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This paper proposes an efficient parallel heuristic for siting observers on raster terrains. More specifically, the goal is to choose the smallest set of points on a terrain such that observers located in these points are able to visualize at least a given percentage of the terrain. This problem is NP-Hard and has several applications such as determining the best places to position (site) communication or monitoring towers on a terrain. Since siting observers is a massive operation, its solution requires a huge amount of processing time even to obtain an approximate solution using a heuristic. This is still more evident when processing high resolution terrains that have become available due to modern data acquiring technologies such as LIDAR and IFSAR. Our new implementation uses dynamic programming and CUDA to accelerate the swap local search heuristic, which was proposed in previous works. Also, to efficiently use the parallel computing resources of GPUs, we adapted some techniques previously developed for sparse-dense matrix multiplication. We compared this new method with previous parallel implementations and the new method is much more efficient than the previous ones. It can process much larger terrains (the older methods are restrictive about terrain size) and it is faster.

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