A multi-agent system for on-the-fly web map generation and spatial conflict resolution

Authors: Jabeur, Nafaâ
Advisor: Moulin, Bernard
Abstract: Abstract Internet is a fast growing medium to get and disseminate geospatial information. It provides more and more web mapping services accessible by thousands of users worldwide. However, the quality of these services needs to be improved, especially in term of personalization. In order to increase map flexibility, it is important that the map corresponds as much as possible to the user’s needs, preferences and context. This may be possible by applying the suitable transformations, in real-time, to spatial objects at each map generation cycle. An underlying challenge of such on-the-fly map generation is to solve spatial conflicts that may appear between objects especially due to lack of space on display screens. In this dissertation, we propose a multiagent-based approach to address the problems of on-the-fly web map generation and spatial conflict resolution. The approach is based upon the use of multiple representation and cartographic generalization. It solves conflicts and generates maps according to our innovative progressive map generation by layers of interest approach. A layer of interest contains objects that have the same importance to the user. This content, which depends on the user’s needs and the map’s context of use, is determined on-the-fly. Our multiagent-based approach generates and transfers data of the required map in parallel. As soon as a given layer of interest is generated, it is transmitted to the user. In order to generate a given map and solve spatial conflicts, we assign a software agent to every spatial object. Then, the agents compete for space occupation. This competition is driven by a set of priorities corresponding to the importance of objects for the user. During processing, agents take into account users’ needs and preferences in order to improve the personalization of the final map. They emphasize important objects by improving their legibility and using symbols in order to help the user to better understand the geographic space. Since the user can stop the map generation process whenever he finds the required information from the amount of data already transferred, his waiting delays are reduced. In order to illustrate our approach, we apply it to the context of tourist web and mobile mapping applications. In these contexts, we propose to categorize data into four layers of interest containing: explicitly required objects, landmark objects, road network and ordinary objects which do not have any specific importance for the user. In this dissertation, our multiagent system aims at solving the following problems related to on-the-fly web mapping applications: 1. How can we adapt the contents of maps to users’ needs on-the-fly? 2. How can we solve spatial conflicts in order to improve the legibility of maps while taking into account users’ needs? 3. How can we speed up data generation and transfer to users? The main contributions of this thesis are: 1. The resolution of spatial conflicts using multiagent systems, cartographic generalization and multiple representation. 2. The generation of web and mobile maps, on-the-fly, using multiagent systems, cartographic generalization and multiple representation. 3. The real-time adaptation of maps’ contents to users’ needs at the source (during the first generation of the map). 4. A new modeling of the geographic space based upon a multi-layers multiagent system architecture. 5. A progressive map generation approach by layers of interest. 6. The generation and transfer of web and mobile maps at the same time to users.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2006
Open Access Date: 12 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/18745
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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