A GRASS GIS parallel module for radio-propagation predictions
L. Benedičič, F. A. Cruz, T. Hamada, P. Korošec
International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 2014, :1-25
Geographical information systems are ideal candidates for the application of parallel programming techniques, mainly because they usually handle large data sets. To help us deal with complex calculations over such data sets, we investigated the performance constraints of a classic master–worker parallel paradigm over a message-passing communication model. To this end, we present a new approach that employs an external database in order to improve the calculation–communication overlap, thus reducing the idle times for the worker processes. The presented approach is implemented as part of a parallel radio-coverage prediction tool for the Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) environment. The prediction calculation employs digital elevation models and land-usage data in order to analyze the radio coverage of a geographical area. We provide an extended analysis of the experimental results, which are based on real data from an Long Term Evolution (LTE) network currently deployed in Slovenia. Based on the results of the experiments, which were performed on a computer cluster, the new approach exhibits better scalability than the traditional master–worker approach. We successfully tackled real-world-sized data sets, while greatly reducing the processing time and saturating the hardware utilization.
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