VR-Client for Scenario-based Response Training in Disaster Management

Johanna Donabauer
VR-Client for Scenario-based Response Training in Disaster Management
[image] [Master thesis]

Information

Abstract

In times of natural disasters like floods, the fast action of domain experts saves human lives and reduces high damages of the urban infrastructure. The training of different response plans of the responsible personnel should help in making the right decisions in time critical situations. As the creation of various physical training environments takes plenty of time, the use of virtual reality (VR) is a possible alternative. In recent years, different application domains with training purpose have been shifted to make use of the new developments in the field of VR. The desired benefits are a more flexible generation of different realistic training environments with low budget and material resources. Additionally, the VR application can serve as a public communication tool to raise the sense of awareness. Based on these considerations, the aim of this work is to create a VR training application to steer a remote flood simulation. The goal of the application is to provide a safe and realistic environment to train the responsible personnel. Through providing different scenarios, multiple flood events can be simulated and trained. The placement of barriers through interacting with the virtual environment offers possibilities to mitigate the results of the simulated floods. An Operator-Trainee setup enables the collaborative work between experts and trainees. While the expert works as an operator with a PC client, the trainee is able to perform instructions given by the operator within the virtual environment. VR applications demand for high and steady frame rates as well as two high resolution images for both eyes to provide an immersive VR experience. Based on these conditions, appropriate PC hardware is needed to run a VR application in general. Additionally, high computational power is needed to perform the different flood simulations in a fast way. In order to achieve the performance requirements, the VR application is implemented within a client-server architecture. The server is responsible for performing the flood simulation, while the client deals with the VR-related tasks. These tasks comprise the visualization of the simulation data in VR and a fast and efficient processing of the data. In combination with a high performance rendering engine and graphic commands suitable for the given data, the desired performance can be achieved. As the feeling of immersion is highly depending on the provided frame rates, the evaluation of this first prototype is based on the achieved rendering performance. This is measured and evaluated based on two different implementation strategies. Another important measurement is the update time of the water flow. A comparison of a CPU and a GPU implementation is presented within the evaluation.

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BibTeX

@mastersthesis{donabauer_2019_1,
  title =      "VR-Client for Scenario-based Response Training in Disaster
               Management",
  author =     "Johanna Donabauer",
  year =       "2019",
  abstract =   "In times of natural disasters like floods, the fast action
               of domain experts saves human lives and reduces high damages
               of the urban infrastructure. The training of different
               response plans of the responsible personnel should help in
               making the right decisions in time critical situations. As
               the creation of various physical training environments takes
               plenty of time, the use of virtual reality (VR) is a
               possible alternative. In recent years, different application
               domains with training purpose have been shifted to make use
               of the new developments in the field of VR. The desired
               benefits are a more flexible generation of different
               realistic training environments with low budget and material
               resources. Additionally, the VR application can serve as a
               public communication tool to raise the sense of awareness.
               Based on these considerations, the aim of this work is to
               create a VR training application to steer a remote flood
               simulation. The goal of the application is to provide a safe
               and realistic environment to train the responsible
               personnel. Through providing different scenarios, multiple
               flood events can be simulated and trained. The placement of
               barriers through interacting with the virtual environment
               offers possibilities to mitigate the results of the
               simulated floods. An Operator-Trainee setup enables the
               collaborative work between experts and trainees. While the
               expert works as an operator with a PC client, the trainee is
               able to perform instructions given by the operator within
               the virtual environment. VR applications demand for high and
               steady frame rates as well as two high resolution images for
               both eyes to provide an immersive VR experience. Based on
               these conditions, appropriate PC hardware is needed to run a
               VR application in general. Additionally, high computational
               power is needed to perform the different flood simulations
               in a fast way. In order to achieve the performance
               requirements, the VR application is implemented within a
               client-server architecture. The server is responsible for
               performing the flood simulation, while the client deals with
               the VR-related tasks. These tasks comprise the visualization
               of the simulation data in VR and a fast and efficient
               processing of the data. In combination with a high
               performance rendering engine and graphic commands suitable
               for the given data, the desired performance can be achieved.
               As the feeling of immersion is highly depending on the
               provided frame rates, the evaluation of this first prototype
               is based on the achieved rendering performance. This is
               measured and evaluated based on two different implementation
               strategies. Another important measurement is the update time
               of the water flow. A comparison of a CPU and a GPU
               implementation is presented within the evaluation.",
  month =      jan,
  address =    "Favoritenstrasse 9-11/E193-02, A-1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =     "Research Unit of Computer Graphics, Institute of Visual
               Computing and Human-Centered Technology, Faculty of
               Informatics, TU Wien ",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2019/donabauer_2019_1/",
}