Real-time inverse distance weighting interpolation for streaming sensor data

Qinghan Liang, Silvia Nittel*, John C. Whittier, Sytze De Bruin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


With advances in technology and an increasing variety of inexpensive geosensors, environmental monitoring has become increasingly sensor dense and real time. Using sensor data streams enables real‐time applications such as environmental hazard detection, or earthquake, wildfire, or radiation monitoring. In‐depth analysis of such spatial fields is often based on a continuous representation. With very large numbers of concurrent observation streams, novel algorithms are necessary that integrate streams into rasters, or other continuous representations, continuously in real time. In this article, we present an approach leveraging data stream engines (DSEs) to achieve scalable, high‐throughput inverse distance weighting (IDW). In detail, we designed and implemented a novel stream query operator framework that extends general‐purpose DSEs. The proposed framework includes a two‐panel, spatio‐temporal grid‐based index and several algorithms, namely the Shell and k‐Shell algorithms, to estimate individual grid cells efficiently and adaptively for different sampling scenarios. For our performance experiments, we generated several different spatio‐temporal stream data sets based on the radiation deposits in the Fukushima region after the nuclear accident of 2011 in Japan. Our results showed that the k‐Shell algorithm of the proposed framework produces a raster based on 250k observation streams in under 0.5 s using a state‐of‐the‐art workstation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1204
JournalTransactions in GIS
Issue number5
Early online date26 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


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