Decision Theater

The Decision Theater Network employs technologies that enable better analysis and understanding.

Decision Theater locations in Tempe Arizona, and Washington D.C. can provide venues and support services for a variety of events. The Decision Theater provides meeting rooms with large-format ultra-high-definition displays and on-site computer systems, tools and personnel that can provide specialized geographic information systems (GIS), systems modeling, business intelligence, 3D spatial modeling and simulation to multi-site collaboration technologies that combine video conferencing with screen sharing and custom decision support tools housed in ASU datacenters.



Complex Systems Framework

Complex Systems Framework (CSF) is an initiative that provides a high-level environment that can link together different sophisticated computational models so that the output of one sub-model or process can provide input to another one. This allows workflows that automatically process and aggregate numerical and graphical output to be defined. It also enables the creation of graphical dashboards that are linked to models to permit interactive input and output in multi-screen environments as well as groups of desktops, laptops, tablets, or even smartphones.

Several partners across multiple disciplines at ASU are supporting the development of CSF which has been used to generate Decision Environments in areas such as solar market analysis, public health, crime analysis and cancer research among several others.





Community Geospatial and Temporal Visualization

MapStory is an online social cartographic platform that empowers a community of experts to crowd-source and peer review data within a geospatial and temporal framework. Mapstory uses GeoNode, a spatial data infrastructure solution that extends the OpenGeo Architecture with several advanced features such as participatory or collaborative mapping, advanced customization, social network capabilities and metadata catalog solutions. It serves as a data repository for thematic spatial-temporal visualizations uploaded by its users. Information can be organized into StoryLayers which serve as the building blocks of a MapStory and are organized based on theme, location, and region and time information. This categorization of StoryLayers facilitate easier access for users in creating developing a spatial-temporal narrative known as a MapStory.





Immersive visualization environments for better perception of complex environments

The best way for people with varying backgrounds and expertise to collaborate is through visual representations of what we know about problems and solution alternatives. Decision Theater’s visualization tools include:

  • Seven-screen panoramic QFHD displays
  • OpenSceneGraph and Google Earth for 3D spatial visuals
  • Tableau for rapid visualization of data
  • Development of custom visuals using open-source resources including OpenLayers, Google Maps and others





High-performance computation capabilities for analysis and simulation

The Decision Theater uses computer modeling to extend what we know in order to predict a range of outcomes of our choices, consider alternatives and act on better decisions. Multiple modeling approaches are needed to address the different ways of looking at systems encountered in the real world, including conceptual models, spatial modeling, agent-based, stock and flow, stochastic, networks and others. We have incorporated:





Large-capacity storage for tabular and object data

The virtual machine environment in the datacenter is used for modeling and computation. It has a 300TB NAS of dedicated high-performance storage in the datacenter. Researchers have access to unlimited storage through their ASU DropBox accounts.





Remote sites to allow sharing of expertise between locations

The Decision Theater Network is not just a facility or a building. It is an organization dedicated to prototyping tools and processes toward making better decisions and using the best available expertise, wherever it can be found. Current Decision Theater Network partners include:





Collaborative software to enable the sharing of applications across platforms

Integrating the work of networks of experts around visualizations of complex models allows the Decision Theater Network to tackle problems that cross traditional conceptual boundaries. We leverage the people, processes and technology available through the university system including the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development and the University Technology Office.