Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Xiaolin Hu

Second Advisor

Saied Belkasim

Third Advisor

Wenzhan Song

Fourth Advisor

Yichuan Zhao


As sensor data becomes more and more available, there is an increasing interest in assimilating real time sensor data into spatial temporal simulations to achieve more accurate simulation or prediction results. Particle Filters (PFs), also known as Sequential Monte Carlo methods, hold great promise in this area as they use Bayesian inference and stochastic sampling techniques to recursively estimate the states of dynamic systems from some given observations. However, PFs face major challenges to work effectively for complex spatial temporal simulations due to the high dimensional state space of the simulation models, which typically cover large areas and have a large number of spatially dependent state variables. As the state space dimension increases, the number of particles must increase exponentially in order to converge to the true system state. The purpose of this dissertation work is to develop localized particle filtering to support PFs-based data assimilation for large-scale spatial temporal simulations. We develop a spatially dependent particle-filtering framework that breaks the system state and observation data into sub-regions and then carries out localized particle filtering based on these spatial regions. The developed framework exploits the spatial locality property of system state and observation data, and employs the divide-and-conquer principle to reduce state dimension and data complexity. Within this framework, we propose a two-level automated spatial partitioning method to provide optimized and balanced spatial partitions with less boundary sensors. We also consider different types of data to effectively support data assimilation for spatial temporal simulations. These data include both hard data, which are measurements from physical devices, and soft data, which are information from messages, reports, and social network. The developed framework and methods are applied to large-scale wildfire spread simulations and achieved improved results. Furthermore, we compare the proposed framework to existing particle filtering based data assimilation frameworks and evaluate the performance for each of them.