Using Images to create a Hierarchical Grid Spatial Index

Lukasz A. Machowski, Tshilidzi Marwala

This paper presents a hybrid approach to spatial indexing of two dimensional data. It sheds new light on the age old problem by thinking of the traditional algorithms as working with images. Inspiration is drawn from an analogous situation that is found in machine and human vision. Image processing techniques are used to assist in the spatial indexing of the data. A fixed grid approach is used and bins with too many records are sub-divided hierarchically. Search queries are pre-computed for bins that do not contain any data records. This has the effect of dividing the search space up into non rectangular regions which are based on the spatial properties of the data. The bucketing quad tree can be considered as an image with a resolution of two by two for each layer. The results show that this method performs better than the quad tree if there are more divisions per layer. This confirms our suspicions that the algorithm works better if it gets to look at the data with higher resolution images. An elegant class structure is developed where the implementation of concrete spatial indexes for a particular data type merely relies on rendering the data onto an image.

Knowledge Graph



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