Congratulations to Aaron Lowe and Pankaj Agarwal for winning the 2018 Best Paper Award at the 26th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems in November.
Their winning paper was on “Flood Risk Analysis on Terrains under the Multi-Flow-Direction Model.” It examines the flooding query problem, using a data structure that quickly estimates how much rain has to fall in a region so that a query point is flooded. The goal of the paper was to develop algorithms to efficiently compute flood risk under a more realistic multi-flow-direction model, where water at a point may flow downward in multiple directions, versus previous work that mostly focused on the single-flow-direction model, namely water at any point flows in the direction of steepest descent. The implementation of this important research could help to predict the outcome of future rain events.
Aaron Lowe is a fourth year PhD student studying geometric algorithms in the Department of Computer Science at Duke University, and Professor Pankaj Agarwal is his advisor.