UCSC-SOE-23-06: Designing a mixed-initiative multi-user VR interface for wildfire mitigation

Samir Ghosh, Yanglan Wang, Kecheng Cheng, Anthony Angeles, Andrew Moskovich, Kenichi Soga, Katherine Isbister
03/29/2023 10:46 AM
Computational Media
Climate change has led to increased occurrence of wildfires, calamitous natural disasters that pose threats to personal property, civil infrastructure, and human lives. Mitigation of these threats involves the use of predictive modeling for risk assessment to allocate firefighting resources and to direct evacuation. Recent research in Social VR environments shows promising results towards technical collaboration, but there are still existing limitations in navigating simulations. To address these limitations, we are engaging in participatory design in collaboration with civil engineering researchers to leverage HCI research towards needs in wildfire resilience. We discuss ongoing work on a prototype of a mixed-initiative interface for wildfire risk assessment that uses object detection algorithms to identify flammable material in immersive social VR environments generated from geolocated Google Street View images.