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Neurocomputing

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/neucom

and analysis for parallel computing

Yingjie Xia a,b,c,n, Jinlong Chen b, Chunhui Wang b

a

Hangzhou Institute of Service Engineering, Hangzhou Normal University, 310012 Hangzhou, China

c

Provincial Key Laboratory for Computer Information Processing Technology, Soochow University, 215006 Soochow, China

b

art ic l e i nf o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:

Received 21 March 2014

Received in revised form

5 October 2014

Accepted 5 October 2014

Available online 16 May 2015

Nowadays, trafc data can be collected from different types of sensors widely-deployed in urban

districts. Big trafc data understanding and analysis in intelligent transportation systems (ITS) turns out

to be an urgent requirement. This requirement leads to the computation-intensive and data-intensive

problems in ITS, which can be innovatively resolved by using Cyber-Infrastructure (CI). A generic process

for the solution contains four steps: (1) formalized data understanding and representation, (2) computational intensity transformation, (3) computing tasks creation, and (4) CI resources allocation. In this

paper, we rstly propose a computational domain theory to formally represent heterogeneous big trafc

data based on the data understanding, and then use data-centric and operation-centric transformation

functions to evaluate the computational intensity of trafc data analysis in different aspects. Afterwards,

the computational intensity is leveraged to decompose the domain into sub-domains by octree

structure. All the sub-domains create computing tasks which are scheduled to CI resources for parallel

computing. Based on the evaluation of overall computational intensity, an example of fusing Sydney

Coordinated Adaptive Trafc System (SCATS) data and Global Positioning System (GPS) data for trafc

state estimation is parallelized and executed on CI resources to test the accuracy of domain decomposition and the efciency of parallelized implementation. The experimental results show that the ITS

computational domain is decomposed into load-balanced sub-domains, therefore facilitating signicant

acceleration for parallelized big trafc data fusion.

& 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords:

Intelligent transportation systems

Computational intensity

Computational domain

Formalization

Parallel computing

1. Introduction

The quantity of trafc data collected from different types of

sensors widely deployed in urban districts have increased dramatically in the recent few decades, with the data quality improving

signicantly. This trend will continue in the foreseeable future,

and lead to the urgent requirement of big trafc data understanding and analysis in intelligent transportation systems (ITS)

[1]. A solution involves the use of Cyber-Infrastructure (CI) which

can support the analysis of computation-intensive and dataintensive problems in high performance [2]. This solution generically consists of four steps: (1) formalized understanding and

representation of heterogeneous big trafc data; (2) computational

intensity evaluation on ITS applications; (3) algorithmic parallelization to create computing tasks; and (4) CI scheduling and

allocation for parallel computing. For each step, the output of its

previous step is used as its input. Therefore, in order to efciently

n

Corresponding author at: College of Computer Science, Zhejiang University,

310012 Hangzhou, China. Tel.: 86 571 28866898; fax: 86 571 28866717.

E-mail address: xiayingjie@zju.edu.cn (Y. Xia).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neucom.2014.10.104

0925-2312/& 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

formalize the computational intensity of big trafc data analysis

based on the formalized data understanding and representation in

steps (1) and (2).

Traditional computational complexity theory is used to assess

the computational intensity of trafc data analysis on the algorithmic complexity notation [3]. However, this notation merely

focuses on the evaluation of algorithmic structure, and does not

adequately capture spatio-temporal characteristics of data and

operations for analysis. These characteristics are always dependent

on spatio-temporal clustering, neighborhood, autocorrelation, and

interaction dynamics of big trafc data, and their transformed

computational intensity can be measured in different aspects.

Following the aforementioned solution steps and characteristics of computational intensity, in this paper we propose the

architecture of our work as the owchart in Fig. 1. We rstly

dene an ITS computational domain to represent multi-sensor

heterogeneous data in an accommodating structure. The computational domain is dened as a high-dimensional data space

consisting of a large amount of cell tuples, whose attributes

include spatio-temporal information and trafc features. Based

on the domain, two types of computational intensity transformation functions, data-centric function and operation-centric function, are adopted to elucidate the computational intensity of a

particular big trafc data analysis in three principle aspects,

memory, I/O, and computing time. Different aspects of computational intensity are synthesized to decompose the computational

domain into load-balanced sub-domains, which create computing

tasks to be executed in parallel. CI resources are allocated to all

tasks according to the matching of computing capability and

computational intensity, to improve the efciency of the parallel

computing. The formalization of computational intensity provides

a comprehensive evaluation of algorithmic complexity and correlation between neighboring data cells, and therefore can facilitate

to accelerate big trafc data analysis because of the accurate

domain decomposition by overall computational intensity.

The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Some related work

about data-driven ITS and computational complexity analysis is

reviewed in Section 2. Section 3 introduces the ITS computational

domain theory to formally represent multi-sensor heterogeneous

trafc data. Section 4 species the data-centric and operationcentric transformation functions to implement the computational

intensity transformation into different aspects. We also dene the

overall computational intensity in Section 4. An example application of data-driven ITS, multi-sensor data fusion for trafc state

estimation, is illustrated in Section 5. Section6 analyzes the

utilization of computational intensity for parallel computing by

using real trafc data, and conducts load-balance, accuracy, and

efciency tests on the data. Finally, the conclusion with remarks

on future work is drawn in Section 7.

2. Related work

Recently, the conventional ITS is evolving into the data-driven

ITS where data collected from multiple trafc sensors play an

essential role in ITS. Based on the types of trafc sensors used, the

way to process data, and the specic applications, a full datadriven ITS can be classied. The main classied categories include

vision-driven ITS, multisource-driven ITS, learning-driven ITS, and

visualization-driven ITS [1].

Vision-driven ITS takes the trafc data collected from video

sensors as input, and uses the processing output for ITS related

applications, such as (1) trafc object detection [4], monitoring [5],

and recognition [6], (2) trafc behavior analysis [7], (3) trafc data

statistical analysis [4], and (4) vehicle trajectory construction [8].

However, vision-driven ITS suffers from the environmental constraints, e.g., snow, static or dynamic shadows, and rain [9].

Therefore, multisource-driven ITS uses multiple types of sensors,

such as Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Trafc System (SCATS) loop

159

Microwave Sensor (RTMS), to play complementary roles for each

other. The collected heterogeneous trafc data can be fused for

trafc state estimation [10], clustered for urban advertising value

evaluation [11], and combined to improve the reliability of vehicle

classication [12]. Although video devices and multiple sensors

can generate trafc data for different applications in ITS, they still

require some learning tools, including online learning [13], rough

set theory [14], adaptive dynamic programming (ADP) [15], and

fuzzy logic [16], to extract intrinsic mechanisms from historical

and real-time data in specic applications. This is named learningdriven ITS. The output of data processing by learning tools can be

visualized to help people understand and analyze trafc data

intuitively in visualization-driven ITS [17]. Some visualization

packages, such as CubeView, are developed to identify abnormal

trafc patterns and accordingly take the system back to the normal

track [18].

Although all the aforementioned work is related to the datadriven ITS, to the best of our knowledge, little research has been

carried out on how to deal with the data growing in a large scale.

For example, Google cooperates with INRIX to use the GPS data

collected from more than 30,000,000 taxies, transit vehicles, and

trucks, to estimate the trafc states plotted on the Google map

[19]. These massive GPS data are processed by high performance

computers (HPC), which divide the data by cities and create the

corresponding multiple computing tasks. The performance of this

implementation is limited by the unbalanced computing loads of

different cities, and can be improved by achieving load-balance. As

the solution, the goal of this paper is to create load-balanced

computing tasks based on the evaluation of computational complexity. The computational complexity theory dates from 1960s,

and is rstly used to evaluate the polynomial time on Turing

machines [20]. This topic came into the picture owing to the

discovery of NP-complete problems in 1970s. The NPcompleteness can indicate the computational complexity of problems by using enumerative optimization methods and approximation algorithms [21]. Loosely speaking, an algorithm can be

described as a nite sequence of instructions, and its computability can be quantied as the computational complexity measured by how fast a computer works out all instructions [22]. The

analysis of computational complexity leads to various postprocessing models, such as parallel computing, probability calculation,

and decision tree. For example, the evaluated complexity of rules

extraction from massive trafc data is used to parallelize the

attribute signicance calculation in bootstrapping rough set algorithm to estimate trafc state more accurately and efciently [23].

The work in [23] focuses on the evaluation of algorithmic complexity for the algorithmic parallelization of computationintensive problems. However, massive trafc data analysis

urgently requires the evaluation of data-centric computational

complexity to parallelize the data-intensive problems. It is also

argued that the computational complexity is different from the

computational intensity. The computational complexity theory

addresses how much the intrinsic complexity of computing tasks

are, while the computational intensity requires much extra consideration on the spatio-temporal correlated characteristics in

massive trafc data and algorithms. In geographical information

systems (GIS), the computational intensity of spatial analysis has

been proposed to discover the difcult nature of spatial domain

decomposition. This work is fundamental to analyze computationintensive spatial problems which focus on the geographic data in

two-dimensional space [24]. However, in current ITS research, few

efforts have been made to formalize the computational intensity

with respect to the trafc data characteristics, quantity, and spatiotemporal distribution. Therefore, this is what we aim to elucidate

in the following parts.

160

As an essential preparation for formalizing the computational

intensity of big trafc data analysis, the ITS computational domain

theory is proposed to understand and represent multi-sensor

heterogeneous trafc data set. This theory is inspired by spatial

computational domain, which is designed to represent twodimensional computational surface in GIScience [25]. Comparatively, the ITS computational domain is dened as a highdimensional data space consisting of a large amount of cell tuples

projected to a three-dimensional spatio-temporal domain [26].

By taking the SCATS loop detector and GPS as example trafc

sensors, the cell tuple can be dened as t; lx ; ly ; s; v; f , where t and

lx ; ly denote the discretized time and location indices of a road

segment, s denotes the trafc sensor type, and v and f are the

estimated speed and ux of that road segment at that time

respectively. The location indices are dened in Fig. 2. We use a

location matrix M whose elements represent the existence of a

road segment from one intersection to another, e.g. Ma; b 1

indicates the existence of a road segment from intersection a to b,

while Ma; b 0 indicates the inexistence of that road segment.

Both speed and ux can be estimated from SCATS data and GPS

data by the corresponding algorithms [23]. The tuple format is

exible to be adjusted by adding or removing attributes. In ITS

computational domain, the cell reorganizes the attributes of

original cell tuples, and can be formally represented as D ci;j;k

in three-dimensional Euclidian space RN shown in Fig. 3, where

N xt nylx nzly . The cell ci;j;k denotes the vector s; v; f at position

i; j; k. xt, ylx , and zly are the discretization number of cells in the

respective t, lx, and ly.

The ITS computational domain in three-dimensional Euclidian

space can be divided and normalized into multiple unit cubes,

which provides a unied data input for different ITS applications.

The unit cube is dened according to the time slot which is used to

create data unit for processing. Once one data unit has been

processed, the next data unit will be input into ITS applications.

For example, the time slot is set as 15 min, and t of cell is set as

1 min. This means that the data unit consists of (15 min/1 min)

15 layers of cells in xt axis. These 15 layers of cells will be

processed entirely in the ITS applications. In the rest parts of the

paper, we use the computational domain with one data unit as the

example, for the computational intensity transformation and

parallel processing.

Based on the specication above, the normalized computational domain is dened as (1), where a cell at a position

i=xt ; j=ylx ; k=zly A I 3 , i 1,, xt ; j 1,, ylx ; k 1,, zly denotes a

three-dimensional vector as (2)

f : I 3 0; 1 0; 1 0; 1-R3

intensity of data-related ITS applications will be transformed in

data-centric and operation-centric ways.

4.1. Computational intensity aspects

For a particular data-driven ITS application, the data in computational domain can be used to analyze the computational

burden derived from the following three aspects:

(1) Memory: the memory to perform the computation for cells in

the computational domain.

(2) I/O: the amount of data input/output for cell interactions in the

computational domain.

(3) Computing time: the time to complete the computation for

cells in the computational domain.

The formalized representation of heterogeneous trafc data

facilitates to formalize the evaluation of computational intensity.

These three aspects are derived from the computational transformation which involves algorithmic and data analysis on ITS

applications. The aspects which have been adopted to measure

the consumption of major computer resources can also be

extended to include additional ones due to the requirements of

specic applications, such as the number of threads in multithreaded applications.

The computational transformation is performed to characterize

the three aspects of computational intensity for a particular datadriven ITS application based on its characteristics of data as well as

specic analysis algorithms. According to different objects conducted by transformation, two types of functions, data-centric

function and operation-centric function, are identied as follows:

(1) TRd denotes the data-centric transformation function, which

transforms the characteristics of trafc data in the context of

their corresponding operations into memory and I/O aspects.

Based on the ITS computational domain, the function used to

evaluate the memory consumption of operations on a cell

i; j; k is dened as

TRd m i; j; k memoryUnit nattr_numberci;j;k

attr_numberci;j;k_neighbors

specic application and means the existed interaction relationship.

Similarly, the amount of data input and output for a cell is

determined by the number of its neighboring cells which

interact with the cell in applications. Therefore, the transformation function to count I/O for a cell (i, j, k) is dened as

TRd IO i; j; k Input_Countci;j;k ; ci;j;k_neighbors

Output_Countci;j;k_neighbors

10

transformation of trafc data and applications characteristics

which can be acquired from the analysis on computational

domain.

intensity OCI, which can combine three computational intensity

aspects, memory, I/O, and computing time. OCI is calculated

depending on the performance of computing resources of computers, such as CPU and memory. The OCI calculation for one nonnull cell is designed as

OCI w1 nTRd m =CI m unit w2 nTRd I=O =CI I=O unit

w3 nTRo t =CI t unit

11

in memory, I/O, and computing time, and CI m unit ; CI I=O unit , and

CI t unit are the units to normalize the respective output of datacentric and operation-centric transformation functions. The

weights and the units depend on the real hardware conditions,

and they can be evaluated by the respective baseline conditions

and experience. In Section 6, we use a real example to evaluate the

OCI.

5. An illustrative example

5

to the cell by its neighboring cells, and the output count of a

cell is evaluated as the number of reading the cell by its

neighboring cells. The amount of the cell I/O sums the input

count and output count.

(2) TRo denotes the operation-centric transformation function,

which transforms the characteristics of operations related to

trafc data into a computing time aspect. The computing time

is mostly related to the operation algorithm which is directly

dependent upon the data characteristics. It can be evaluated

by the equation as (6), where timeUnit is a constant used to

convert the number of operations on the cell Oci;j;k and its

interactions with neighboring cells Oci;j;k ; ci;j;k_neighbors into a

computing time unit

TRo t i; j; k timeUnit nOci;j;k ; ci;j;k_neighbors

TRd and TRo can be comprised of multiple transformation subfunctions as (9) and (10), where represents function multiplication [27]. All these sub-functions output the same aspect and

their order should be consistent with the specic input and output

sequences between neighboring sub-functions, and thus the

function multiplication cannot obey the commutative law:

attributes calculated from the cell and its neighbors in operations into units of memory capacity. The neighbors in the

denition represent the cells adjacent to the cell (i, j, k) in

applications. Here we can formally represent the neighboring

cells (m, n, r) of the cell (i, j, k) as

fm; n; rp i; j; k; 8 q m; n; r;

Dp; q o d 4 i a m 3 j a n 3 k a rg

161

There are four combinations of these two types of computational transformation functions, data-centric and operation-centric, non-data-centric and operation-centric, data-centric and nonoperation-centric, non-data-centric and non-operation-centric. A

particular ITS data application must be placed into one of these

combinations to evaluate its computational intensity. Specically,

in this part an example on fusing a large amount of SCATS and GPS

data for trafc state estimation is provided to demonstrate how

computational transformation functions are used to derive computational intensity from the formalized data representation. Since

the example is a data-intensive and computation-intensive program, it requires both data-centric and operation-centric functions

to transform into memory consumption, I/O count, and CPU

computing time.

5.1. Trafc data fusion

be dened as a composite of TRd and TRo as Eq. (7), where

denotes function addition [27]. Since the output of TRd and TRo are

in different computational intensity aspects, the function addition

of TR obeys the commutative law as Eq. (8)

TR TRd TRo

collecting, processing, and transmitting trafc detector data aims

to provide travelers the real-time and accurate trafc states for

automatic control and guidance. The trafc state estimation is a

typical data-intensive ITS application, which meets two grand

challenges: how to combine heterogeneous data collected from

multiple types of trafc sensors, and how to efciently process a

large amount of data from numerous trafc sensors. In order to

implement the real-time and accurate trafc state estimation for a

large-scale urban road network, the parallelized fusion of trafc

data from heterogeneous multi-sensors is implemented and

162

operation-centric computational transformation for the fusion part.

5.3. Computational transformation for fusion algorithm

For a cell (i,j,k) which corresponds to non-null values to

represent an existed road segment, the computational intensity

of D-S evidential fusion in memory and I/O is transformed by the

data-centric functions as DSTRd m and DSTRd I=O :

DSTRd m i; j; k memoryUnit n2nBPA_number

Fig. 4. D-S evidential fusion of multi-sensor heterogeneous Trafc data.

consists of four steps, sensor data input, trafc features conversion,

D-S evidential fusion, and trafc state output. To be different from

the work in [28], in this paper we dene the computation load by

the features of trafc data, not the number of road segments.

Therefore, we can formalize the computational domain and

computational intensity to implement efcient parallel computing. Based on the formalized representation of SCATS and GPS data

in the computational domain, trafc data fusion only needs the

last two parts, which is evidential fusion and output, to be

implemented and parallelized for trafc state estimation. Therefore, we mainly evaluate the computational intensity of fusion

algorithm by data-centric and operation-centric transformation

functions, and provide a corresponding suggestion for parallelizing

the fusion.

The formalized trafc features are fused by D-S evidence theory

[29] as shown in Fig. 4. The algorithm can overcome the conicts

of evidences and compensate for the deciencies of data sources

mutually. Specically, the evidential fusion part fuses the same

trafc feature in the computational domain of SCATS and GPS data

on one road, and provides an overall trafc state evaluation for

that road.

The algorithm of D-S evidential fusion on the discretized speed

of each cell in the computational domain is shown as

mst m1 s1;t m2 s2;t

P

mX sX;t

mi si;t

1

Pi 1

ni;t s; d

ni;t d

X

si;t st i 1 mi si;t

X

Xi 1 si;t i 1 mi si;j

12

13

discretized speed as the fusion result at time t, and mi si;t ,

i 1; 2; ; X represents the BPA of this speed of a cell in the

computational domain of ith sensor at time t. The mi si;t of one cell

can be estimated by calculating the proportion which divides the

number of its neighboring cells ni;t s; d within a distance threshold d

and having that speed s by the number of all neighboring cells within

d and indicating some existed road segments. The speed discretization

is implemented by manual segmentation according to the data

distribution, i.e. three-level segmentation as smaller than 1=3V max ,

1=3 2=3V max , and greater than 2=3V max [30]. For each speed level, it

requires to run the fusion algorithm once to evaluate the trafc state

and its corresponding probability. The nal trafc state can be

determined following a certain decision rule, such as maximum belief

or maximum plausibility, which are typical measurement in D-S

evidence theory. Since the decision part is trivial in computational

14

where the number 2 indicates that there are two types of trafc

sensors, SCATS and GPS, and the value of BPA_number is determined by the number of speed segmentation levels. Towards a cell

set cs with n cells, such as data of one road segment (i, j) within a

time slice, the memory consumption can be directly calculated by

DSTRd I=O cs nnDSTRd I=O i; j; k

nnmemoryUnit n2nBPA_number

15

DSTRd I=O i; j; k N i;j;k_neighbors BPA_number

2

n2nBPA_number 2nBPA_number 1

3

16

neighboring cells of i; j; k for calculating BPA values, according to

Eq. (12) the rst BPA_number indicates the times to call the fusion

2

algorithm for all the speed levels, the rst 2nBPA_number

indicates the reading count of a pair of SCATS and GPS data cells

P

X

in the numerator

\ Xi 1 si;t st i 1 mi si;t of D-S evidential

2

fusion algorithm, the second 2nBPA_number indicates the reading

P

X

count in the denominator

X

\ i 1 si;t

i 1 mi si;t , and the

number 1 denotes the writing (input) count of the fusion result.

The computing time aspect of trafc data fusion can be

evaluated by the following operation-centric transformation function:

DSTRo t i; j; k timeUnit nBPA_number nN i;j;kn eighbors

2

3

17

calculate the BPA values for all speed levels, and also according to

2

Eq. (12) the second BPA_number and the two 2nBPA_number have

the same indications as Eq. (16) with respect to the count of CPU

cycles.

The transformed computational intensity is utilized to decompose ITS computational domain into sub-domains under the loadbalancing strategy, which can inherently enable an efcient

parallelization for big trafc data processing. The implementation

consists of computational intensity evaluation, computational

domain decomposition, and computing resources allocation.

6.1. Evaluation of OCI

The sub-domains evaluate the OCIs to determine a threshold to

end the decomposing recursion. According to the OCI denition, by

the evaluation experience we can set the unit values as

CI m unit memoryUnit, CI I=O unit 2, and CI t unit 2ntimeUnit.

We can also set baseline conditions for different hardware devices

of computing nodes, such as 1G for memory, 667 MHz for memory

I/O speed, and 2 GHz for CPU frequency. Therefore, the weights are

163

w1 Memory=1G

18

w2 I=O_Speed=667 MHz

19

w3 CPU=2 GHz

20

evaluation of computational intensity just focuses on the memory

consumption, we set w1 1, w2 0, and w3 0. By taking the

multi-sensor trafc data fusion in Section 5 as an experimental

case, the hardware conditions of our computing node are 4G

memory, 667 MHz I/O speed, and 2.5 GHz Xeon CPU. The OCI can

be calculated as

OCI 4G=1GnmemoryUnit n2nBPA_number=memoryUnit

667 MHz=667 MHznN i;j;k_neighbors 4nBPA_number

of OCI.

3

3

2:5nBPA_number

3

3

8:5nBPA_number 4:5nBPA_number

0:625nBPA_number 0:5nN i;j;k_neighbors

21

Supposing that we adopt a three-level speed segmentation strategy, BPA_number 3, OCI of one cell can be calculated as

OCI 147 2:375nNi;j;k_neighbors

22

Fig. 6. The corresponding octree structure of domain decomposition in Fig. 4.

Therefore, the cells aggregate their OCI values, which will be used

to decompose ITS computational domain into load-balanced subdomains.

6.2. Octree-based computational domain decomposition

The octree structure is a representation of regular partition of

three-dimensional space into eight octants by recursively decomposing until achieving a tradeoff between the number of subdomains and their computational intensity [31]. Some kinds of

octrees have been dened, differing in the rules that govern data

decomposition, data type indexed, and other details [32]. A basic

octree in the three-dimensional space is an 8-way branching tree,

wherein at each level a cubic domain is decomposed into eight

equal-size cubes. By traversing all the leaf nodes of the octree, the

generated sub-domains are represented by a specic data structure which is linked and stored in a single directional list [33]. Big

trafc data in the computational domain can be decomposed into

data pieces in sub-domains by the octree structure.

In the fusion example, we take OCI as a metric, and calculate its

threshold for domain decomposition through dividing the OCI

value of whole computational domain by a specied number of

computing nodes. By representing SCATS and GPS data collected

from Shanghai downtown area into a computational domain, a

threshold can be calculated by

OCI threshold OCI computational_domain =N computing_node 1; 793; 152:6=64

23

where 1,793,152.6 denotes the sum of OCI values of all the subdomains and 64 denotes the number of common-used computing

nodes in CI resources. This threshold calculation can facilitate to

make full use of computing resources, and achieve better performance in load-balance. The octree-based domain decomposition is

shown in Fig. 5. Each sub-domain is tagged with A-B-C where A

denotes its level in the corresponding octree structure in Fig. 6, B

denotes its sequence number in that level, and C denotes its OCI

contained non-null cells. All the leaves of octree correspond to the

sub-domains which are generated from the decomposition of

whole ITS computational domain.

6.3. CI resources allocation

The computational intensity evaluated to the sub-domains from

domain decomposition enables the optimal scheduling of computing

tasks to CI resources under the load-balancing strategy [34]. Supposing that we use the cluster machine as CI resources and its nodes are

regarded as homogeneity, one node can be regarded as the data

repository to be allocated to contain the ITS computational domain,

and the other nodes can be simply allocated to process sub-domains

following the sequence of leaves in the octree. As an example, by

using the domain decomposition in Fig. 5 and the corresponding

octree structure in Fig. 6, the cluster nodes allocation to all the leaves

is shown as Fig. 7. If the number of nodes is less than the number of

sub-domains, some computing nodes have to be allocated more than

once to complete the fusion on all the sub-domains. Here we adopt

the maxmin scheduling algorithm [35], which schedules a subdomain with high computational intensity and a sub-domain with

low computational intensity to one cluster node. The target of this

resources scheduling to excessive tasks is to avoid the buckets effect

and achieve the computing loads on each nodes as balancing as

possible.

For the heterogeneous CI resources, e.g. there are two kinds of nodes

with different computing capabilities, we can set two different OCI

thresholds for the sub-domains decomposition. Supposing that the CI

resource contains 64 computing nodes, 16 of them are evaluated to

have the capability 1, and the remaining 48 nodes are evaluated to have

the capability 0.5. Therefore, the threshold for the sub-domains

allocating the nodes with capability 1 is set as OCI computational_domain

=16n1 48n0:5 OCI computational_domain =40 and the threshold for the

sub-domains allocating nodes with capability 0.5 is set as

164

manually extracted from trafc surveillance videos. The standard

for evaluating the ground-truth values is set as, from the captured

snapshots of roads in the videos, if the vehicles waiting in a queue

cannot be totally released during two periods of green light, the

trafc state is evaluated as congested. If the waiting queue can

be released during one period of green light, the trafc state is

evaluated as smooth. Otherwise, the trafc state is evaluated as

medium. The experimental metrics of computing efciency,

including average execution time and computational throughput,

are measured by parallel computing on 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128,

and 256 computing cores. The efciency test is conducted to

compare our method with two other common load-balancing

methods, octree-based domain decomposition by number of cells

and even domain decomposition by amount of data, which are

applied to the same example. The detailed experimental results

and analysis are listed below.

Fig. 7. Cluster nodes allocation for the computation on sub-domains in the fusion

example.

domain decomposition with the same threshold on the homogeneous

CI resources, we set different thresholds for the sub-domains running

on the heterogeneous CI resources. In the eight sub-domains from

decomposing the domain by octree, we choose (16/64)n82

sub-domains to be set the threshold OCI computational_domain= 40, and the

remaining 6 sub-domains are set the threshold OCI computational_domain =80.

The serial numbers of the 2 sub-domains set the higher threshold are

xed in the eight sub-domains by recursive octree-based domain

decomposition, e.g. the rst and the second octants. This threshold

set method and the corresponding octree-based domain decomposition

can support the heterogeneous CI resources allocation with the mapping of different computational intensity and different computing

capability and the matching of the number of different computing

nodes and then number of different sub-domains.

Because most of the CI resources are in the homogeneous

architecture, we take the cluster as the main CI resource category

and specify the work on it in this paper.

6.4. Experimental results and analysis

We conduct some experiments on the fusion example to

evaluate load-balance of computational domain decomposition,

accuracy of multi-sensor trafc data fusion after decomposition,

and computing efciency of parallelized implementation, which

are based on the formalization of computational intensity and

decomposition of computational domain. The experiments are

executed on a cluster which consists of 32 computing nodes, and

each node consists of two Quad-core Intel Xeon E5420 2.5 GHz

CPU, 4G memory, and 667 MHz I/O speed. We use the SCATS and

GPS data units collected on 393 road segments of Shanghai

downtown area every 15 min from 8:00 to 17:00 with their

representation and decomposition like Fig. 5. The source data

can be downloaded from the website.1

The load-balance of computational domain decomposition is

tested under different OCI thresholds. The accuracy of multi-sensor

trafc data fusion is also tested under different OCI thresholds, by

1

By using the computational intensity, we need to ensure the

load-balance of decomposing the computational domain, which

can improve the performance of acceleration by parallel computing. In this test, we use three different OCI thresholds calculated

like Eq. (23) in Section 6.2, to decompose the ITS computational

domain. The three OCI thresholds are 1,793,152.6/64 28,018,

1,793,152.6/32 56,036, and 1,793,152.6/8 224,144. Based on the

thresholds, the whole ITS computational domain is decomposed

into 71, 71, and 29 sub-domains, respectively. We show OCI values

of all the sub-domains in Fig. 8, and compare the maximum one

with the minimum one to evaluate the balance of load after

domain decomposition.

In Fig. 8(a), if the threshold is set as 28,018 or 56,036, the

decomposition results show that the OCI values of all 71 subdomains are less than the threshold and greater than 20,000. By

exploring the results, the maximum OCI value is 27,965.125, while

the minimum OCI value is 20,110.5. The minimum value is above

70% of the maximum value, and therefore the maximum one will

not delay the completion of all computing tasks for a long time.

However, in Fig. 8 (b), if the threshold is set as 224,144, there exists

a big gap between the maximum OCI value and the minimum OCI

value for the 29 sub-domains. The comparison between two

gures demonstrates that different thresholds can lead to different

levels of load-balance for sub-domains. Therefore, for domain

decomposition, we can try different OCI thresholds to nd a better

one for load-balance. In this experiment, decomposing the ITS

computational domain into 71 sub-domains can improve the

computing performance of parallelized fusion in high efciency,

which will be shown in the efciency test.

6.4.2. Accuracy test

Because the BPA calculation depends on the data of the neighboring cells in each sub-domain, the domain decomposition affects the

accuracy of trafc state estimation by using BPA to fuse SCATS and GPS

data. The metric for this accuracy test is dened as follows:

Ac Sc =Sall

24

of cells with correctly evaluated trafc states by fusing data within the

cells, and Sall denotes the total number of non-null cells with both

SCATS and GPS data. We calculate the average Ac of all the subdomains in each 15 min. The D-S evidential fusion applied in subdomains is compared with typical Bayesian fusion applied in subdomains, D-S evidential fusion applied in the whole ITS computational

domain, and trafc state estimation by using the single type of

sensors. The average Ac is also evaluated for the respective 71 and

29 sub-domains by domain decomposition under different OCI

165

Fig. 8. OCI values of all the sub-domains. (a) OCI values of 71 sub-domains by thresholds 28,018 or 56,036. (b) OCI values of 29 sub-domains by thresholds 224,144.

shown in Fig. 9.

As illustrated in the results of Fig. 9(a) and (b), the average Ac of

D-S evidential fusion applied in sub-domains is close to that of D-S

evidential fusion applied in the whole ITS computational domain.

Their results are all above 0.9, which means the D-S evidential

fusion works well for trafc state estimation. The results also show

that the domain decomposition does not affect the BPA calculation

seriously because in each sub-domain there are enough non-null

neighboring cells to calculate the BPA of either type of sensor and

the data fusion can lessen the impact of BPA calculation errors. In

this test, we compare the D-S evidential fusion with the typical

Bayesian fusion to evaluate the impact of domain decomposition

for different fusion methods. The Bayesian fusion is based on the

prior probability counted from the historical data in just time

series, which are affected by the domain decomposition more

seriously than D-S evidential fusion based on the BPA calculation

from the neighboring data cells in spatio-temporal series. The

results by all fusion methods are signicantly higher than those by

SCATS or GPS for the synergistic effect of multi-sensor data fusion

average Ac of trafc state estimation using SCATS data is higher

than that using GPS data. This is mainly caused by the errors

brought by GPS sampling and map matching.

In Fig. 9(a) and (b), under the two different domain decomposition, the curves of D-S evidential fusion and Bayesian fusion

applied in 71 and 29 sub-domains are compared. By taking the

curve of D-S evidential fusion applied in the whole ITS computational domain as the reference line, the average Ac of D-S

evidential fusion and Bayesian fusion applied in 29 sub-domains

are higher than those of the fusion methods applied in 71 subdomains. This is because the sub-domains with bigger sizes

contain more non-null data cells which can improve the precision

of the calculated BPA and prior probability. In the gures it also

can be found that the distances between the two curves of D-S

evidential fusion and Bayesian fusion applied in 29 sub-domains

become closer. This can illustrate that the domain decomposition

affects Bayesian fusion more seriously than D-S evidential fusion.

The accuracy test is conducted not aiming to evaluate the

effectiveness of D-S evidential fusion in trafc state estimation, but

166

1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256 computing cores.

applied in sub-domains, D-S evidential fusion applied in the whole ITS computational domain, SCATS data, and GPS data by domain decomposition under different

OCI thresholds. (a) Average Ac of test cases for 71 sub-domains. (b) Average Ac of

test cases for 29 sub-domains.

domain decomposition.

(1) Execution time: The efciency test rstly uses execution

time as the metric to measure performance of parallelized fusion

on sub-domains. The execution time focuses on the time spent on

the execution of D-S evidential fusion part which is shown in Eqs.

(12) and (13). This experiment will explore the trend of execution

time as allocating 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256 computing

cores to 71 sub-domains. The execution time of parallelized fusion

using octree-based domain decomposition by OCI is compared

with two other load-balancing methods for domain decomposition, octree-based domain decomposition by number of cells and

even domain decomposition on amount of data. By number of

cells, based on the threshold denition in Eq. (23), the computational domain is decomposed into 64 sub-domains, which correspond to a three-level full octree. The amount of SCATS and GPS

data records on 393 road segments during 15 min is 7914, and

based on the threshold denition the amount of data records in

compare the execution time of parallelized fusion by these three

load-balancing methods on different number of computing cores

with the ideal acceleration trend. In order to enhance the visual

representation, we use Efciency (1/Execution Time) as the

y-axis. The experimental results are shown in Fig. 10.

In the gure, as the number of computing cores increases from

1 to 64, the efciency increases signicantly (as same as the

execution time decreases signicantly), along with the ideal

acceleration trend on cluster. Here we turn the efciency back

into the execution time. For example, the parallelized fusion using

octree-based domain decomposition by OCI takes more than

4500 s on 1 computing core, while decreasing to around 150 s

on 64 computing cores. However, the increasing rate of efciency

of parallelized fusion on the increment of number of cells or

amount of data is smaller than that by OCI. This is caused by that

compared with number of cells or amount of data the computational intensity is more exact to evaluate the computation load for

load-balancing methods. The efciency of parallelized fusion using

even domain decomposition on amount of data is greater than

that using octree-based domain decomposition on number of cells.

By the number of cells, in each sub-domain there are uncertain

number of non-null cells which make the computation load

seriously unbalancing. As an improvement, the computational

domain is evenly decomposed by amount of data, which is

equivalent to by the number of non-null cells. Although the

amount of data is more exact to evaluate the computation load

than the number of cells, both of them are not as exact as OCI

because the computation load of multi-sensor trafc data fusion

depends on not only the data amount for the memory aspect of

computational intensity but also the algorithmic complexity for

the I/O and computing time aspects of computational intensity.

The increasing rates of efciency of all the test cases are smaller

than the ideal acceleration trend because of the load-unbalancing

sub-domains and the computation overhead of domain decomposition and CI resources allocation. As the number of computing

cores increases from 64 to 128 and 256, the efciency of all the test

cases keeps nearly stable. This is for the reason that the numbers

of sub-domains are 71, 64, and 64 after the computational domain

decomposition by the respective load-balancing methods using

OCI, number of cells, and amount of data. The number of computing cores is much greater than the number of sub-domains.

In this experiment, by using OCI we decompose the ITS

computational domain into 71 sub-domains and the computing

task on each sub-domain is distributed to 1 computing core in the

program. Therefore, following the load-balancing method, the

maximum number of computing tasks assigned to one computing

167

cores, 18 by using 4 computing cores, 9 by using 8 computing

cores, 5 by using 16 computing cores, 3 by using 32 computing

cores, 2 by using 64 computing cores, and 1 by using 128 or 256

computing cores. Supposing that all sub-domains have the same

computational intensity, based on the execution time by 1 computing core, the execution time of parallelized fusion can be theoretically decreased as 36/71 by using 2 computing cores, 18/71 by

using 4 computing cores, 9/71 by using 8 computing cores, 5/71 by

using 16 computing cores, 3/71 by using 32 computing cores, 2/71

by using 64 computing cores, and 1/71 by using 128 or 256

computing cores, which are respectively greater than the ideal

rates, i.e. 1/2 by using 2 computing cores, 1/4 by using 4 computing

cores, 1/8 by using 8 computing cores, etc. In this experiment, the

evaluated results of efciency show that the actual acceleration by

respective number of computing cores is less than the aforementioned theoretical evaluation. This is because the actual different

OCI values of sub-domains bring unbalanced loads for computing

cores, especially in a worse case that the number of sub-domains

is greater than the number of cores, and also cannot be exactly

divided by the number of cores.

(2) Computational throughput: Because the parallelized fusion

will be employed as a public service for many users to invoke

simultaneously, the computational throughput needs to be considered to measure the efciency and collaboration capability of

the parallelization based on efciently allocating CI resources to

sub-domains. Computational throughput thrp, dened as the

amount of computing tasks performed continuously and stably

[36], can be evaluated by counting the average number of tasks

completed per time unit, as follows:

thrp of single fusion part and multiple parts exhibit a consistently

increasing pattern, and especially the increasing trend of thrp of

single fusion part is close to the ideal increasing trend of thrp by

the number of computing cores. This shows that the load-balance

of domain decomposition based on OCI facilitates the parallelization achieving high efciency. The thrp of single fusion part is

always greater than that of multiple parts. This is due to the

overhead parts occupying CI resources for some time to decrease

the computational throughput. The thrp difference per computing

core of these two categories of computing tasks also show an

increasing trend. By using 1 computing core, the thrp of single

fusion part and multiple parts are 0.22 and 0.21 instances per

1000 s respectively, and their difference is 0.01 instances per

1000 s per computing core. By using 256 computing cores, the

thrp of these two cases achieve 36.79 and 22.82 instances per

1000 s respectively, and the difference achieves 0.05 instances per

1000 s per computing core. This is because that the data fusion is

the only part which can be parallelized, and other overhead parts

become the bottleneck in the parallel computing on multiple

computing cores. When more computing cores taking part in

parallelizing the data fusion, the computing time of the fusion part

on each computing core decreases, while the bottleneck effect of

the overhead part on one computing core becomes more obvious.

Therefore, the thrp difference per computing core increases as the

number of computing cores increases, and the thrp difference

between the single fusion part and multiple parts becomes greater.

big trafc data understanding and analysis to facilitate the parallelization under the load-balancing strategy. The solution is based

on the preparation work on the computational domain theory,

which can formally represent multi-sensor heterogeneous trafc

data by a high-dimensional data space consisting of cell tuples.

Moreover, the computational domain is transformed into three

different computational intensity aspects, memory, I/O, and computing time by the corresponding data-centric and operationcentric transformation functions. Afterwards, the derived overall

computational intensity is used to decompose the computational

domain into load-balanced sub-domains by the octree structure.

Finally, these sub-domains are distributed to CI computing

resources for parallel computing.

An example about fusing SCATS and GPS data for trafc state

estimation is presented to demonstrate the data understanding

and representation, computational intensity transformation,

domain decomposition, and application parallelization. Its experimental results in accuracy of domain decomposition and efciency

of parallelized fusion demonstrate that the sub-domains derived

from the computational-intensity-based decomposition are evaluated to have close OCI values, which facilitate signicant acceleration of parallel computing in execution time and computational

throughput. Our work is much more computing efcient than the

sequential computing, and costs much less power than the parallel

computing without load-balance strategy based on computational

intensity. Therefore, our work achieves a better trade-off in the

computing efciency and power dissipation.

Further research will rstly explore the utilization of computational intensity in more cases about trafc data analysis to validate

the formalization. Afterwards, by extracting the commonality from

these cases, a generic computing framework which synthesizes

the data representation, computational intensity evaluation, and

application parallelization will be investigated for data-driven ITS.

The approaches presented in multimedia content analysis [37,38]

25

and dt is the number of time units. The computational throughput

can be regarded as the reciprocal of execution time. In this

experiment, we set the time unit as 1000 s, and concurrently

submit 10 instances of computing tasks to measure the computational throughput. The computing tasks are divided into two

categories, single D-S evidential fusion part and multiple parts

consisting of the fusion part accompanied with some overhead

parts, such as domain decomposition, task scheduling, and CI

resources allocation. We execute the computing tasks on 1, 2, 4, 8,

16, 32, 64, 128, and 256 computing cores, respectively. The

experimental results are shown in Fig. 11.

Fig. 11. Computational throughput of single fusion part and multiple parts by 1, 2,

4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256 computing cores.

168

is of particular interest to investigate the implementation on some

other types of CI devices, such as general-purpose graphics

processing units.

Acknowledgments

This research is supported in part by the following funds: National

Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant numbers 61472113

and 61304188, and Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of

China under Grant numbers LZ13F020004and LR14F020003.

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Yingjie Xia received his Ph.D. degree in computer

science from Zhejiang University, China. He has been

a Postdoc in the Department of Automation, Shanghai

JiaoTong University from 2010 to 2012, supervised by

Professor Yuncai Liu. Before that, he had been a Visiting

Student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

from 2008 to 2009, supervised by Professor Shaowen

Wang. He is currently an Associate Professor in Hangzhou Institute of Service Engineering, Hangzhou Normal University. His research interests include

multimedia analysis, pattern recognition, and intelligent transportation systems.

science and technology from West Anhui University,

China. He is currently a Graduate Student in Hangzhou

Normal University. His research interests include cloud

computing and intelligent transportation systems.

Chunhui Wang received his Bachelor degree in Department of Automation from Nanjing University of Posts

and Telecommunications, China. He is currently a

Graduate Student in Hangzhou Normal University. His

research interests include data fusion, data mining, and

intelligent transportation systems.

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