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CSCI 599 (Fall 2009)
Information Management

Course Summary Reading List Schedules Presentations
Projects Project Reports Related Web Sites Academic Integrity Policy


Prof. Cyrus Shahabi

University of Southern California
Computer Science Department
SAL 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0781
Office (PHE-306): (213) 740-8162
Lab (RTH-323): (213) 821-1462
Office Hours: MW 11-12, PHE-306A

  For projects and talks, email to make an appointment.

Course Summary


Geospatial information, in the form of traditional maps, has been used for several centuries for decision making tasks.  The oldest map is known to be from 2500 B.C. of a city near Babylon. In the past forty years, the field of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), with ESRI leading the industry, has been increasing the role of geospatial information in decision making tasks by allowing their digital manipulation. However, it was not until the last couple of years that the power of digital geospatial information has been brought to mass population through online map services such as Yahoo-map and most recently Google-Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth. Nowadays, you cannot see a news story without a screen-shot of Google Earth. According to US Department of Labor, the market for geospatial technologies in 2002 was estimated at $5 billion. This market is projected to have annual revenues of $30 billion by 2005, consisting of $20 billion in the remote sensing market and $10 billion in the GIS market.

 The focus of this seminar course is on studying an important class of geospatial queries, called Nearest Neighbor queries.  Under this running research theme, the students become familiar with a variety of real-world geospatial applications (e.g., location-based services, online maps) and datasets (e.g., road-network data, aerial imagery, 3D models).

Meanwhile, as part of the course projects, the students will learn to use the state-of-the-art geospatial software tools, applications and libraries such as those provided by Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth as well as our own GeoDec/GeoSIM platform.  

Class Format and Evaluation Method:

 In general, a class will consist of 2 paper presentations, each lasting 45-60 minutes followed by discussions, and a 30-minute implementation project update. Each paper will be presented by one student. The student is expected to go beyond the paper to seek online resources and examples that illustrate the principles and algorithms introduced in the paper. Every student is expected to complete the assigned reading, be prepared to discuss the articles in class, and to write a short critical summary of the presentations. The implementation of selected algorithms will be done in assigned teams of no more than four. Evaluation is based on: the team project (50%), the individual paper presentation(s) (30%) and the written paper summaries (20%).

Time and Location:
Wed. 15:30 - 17:50 at KAP145
CSCI-585 and Instructor Permission


Title Project Lead Team Members Project Description
Search Engine for Shoah Foundation Ali Khodaei Sangeetha Uthamalingam Santharam, Kaveh Shahabi  
Arc-GeoSIM Bei(Penny) Pan Grady Laksmono,Karan Ashar  
Location Privacy in GeoSim Ling Hu Nakul Desai,Jalal Kazemitabar  
TRANSDEC: Transportation Decision Making Ugur Demiryurek Afsin,Nima, Raghu, Vikas  


Week Date Presentation Presenters
1 8/26/2009 Course introduction, Paper assignment, Project groups

Traffic - Ugur
Arc-GeoSim - Penny
Privacy - Ling
Search Engine - Ali

2 9/2/2009 A1 , Ling(slides)
3 9/9/2009 Presentation of project proposals Traffic, Arc-GeoSim, Privacy, Search
4 9/16/2009 B1, B2 , Penny(slides),Kaveh Shahabi(slides)
5 9/23/2009 C1, D1 , Seyed Jalal Kazemitabar(slides),Afsin Akdogan(slides)
6 9/30/2009 D2 , D3 , Ugur(slides),Nakul Desai(slides)
7 10/7/2009 E1, F1 , Raghu(slides),Vikas Meka(slides)
8 10/14/2009 G1, G2 , Karan Ashar(slides), Ali Khodaei(slides)
9 10/21/2009 F2, F3 , Songhua(slides, slides)
10 10/28/2009 G3, H1 , Grady Laksmono(slides),Sangeetha Uthamalingam Santharam(slides)
11 11/4/2009 Conflict with ACMGIS, class canceled  
12 11/11/2009 H2, H3 , Jeff(slides),Jeff(slides)
13 11/18/2009 H4 , H5 Nima Najafian(slides),Sangeetha(slides)
14 11/25/2009 Project presentations Nima
15 12/2/2009 Project presentations  

A1 Ling
B1 Penny
B2 Kaveh Shahabi
C1 Seyed Jalal Kazemitabar
D1 Afsin Akdogan
D2 Ugur
D3 Nakul Desai
E1 Raghu
F1 Vikas  Meka
F2 Songhua
F3 Songhua
G1 Karan Ashar
G2 Ali Khodaei
G3 Grady Laksmono
H1 Sangeetha
H2 Jeff
H3 Jeff

Nima  Najafian

H5 Sangeetha

Directions for grading summaries:

A good summary with original thoughts
A- good summary
B+ cut&paste from the paper
F missing

Please use the following order for students
Afsin Akdogan
Karan Ashar
Nakul Desai
Ling Hu
Jalal Kazemitabar
Ali Khodaei
Grady Laksmono
Vikas Meka
Nima Najafian
Raghu Nallamothu
Bei (Penny) Pan
Kaveh Shahabi
Sangeetha Uthamalingam

Reference Book:

Foundations of Multidimensional and Metric Data Structures by Hanan Samet.  (A 20% discount coupon for the book is available here).

Reading List

Academic Integrity Policy

Academic Integrity

All homeworks must be solved and written independently, or you will be penalized for cheating. The USC Student Conduct Code prohibits plagiarism. All USC students are responsible for reading and following the Student Conduct Code, which appears on pp. 73-78 of the 1999-2000 SCampus.

In this course we encourage students to study together. This includes discussing general strategies to be used on individual assignments. However, all work submitted for the class is to be done individually.

Some examples of what is not allowed by the conduct code: copying all or part of someone else's work (by hand or by looking at others' files, either secretly or if shown), and submitting it as your own; giving another student in the class a copy of your assignment solution; consulting with another student during an exam. If you have questions about what is allowed, please discuss it with the instructor.

Students who violate University standards of academic integrity are subject to disciplinary sanctions, including failure in the course and suspension from the University. Since dishonesty in any form harms the individual, other students, and the University, policies on academic integrity will be strictly enforced. We expect you to familiarize yourself with the Academic Integrity guidelines found in the current SCampus.

Violations of the Student Conduct Code will be filed with the Office of Student Conduct, and appropriate sanctions will be given.

Created: Tue. 12 May 2009
Last modified: