Research team wins $2.7 million award from DARPA

Georgia Tech wins outside of football too

Serious football fans may be holding their noses at Georgia Tech's Sun Bowl bid this week despite its losing 6-7 record, but the school's research team was likely dancing in the street when it received a $2.7 million award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, to develop technology to help meet the challenges of big data.

DARPA's XDATA program was designed to develop open-source software tools for processing and analyzing data. DARPA chose Georgia Tech to perform research in scalable analytics and data-processing technology. The Georgia Tech team will produce machine-learning technologies and pursue the development of distributed computing methods for faster processing using supercomputers, parallel-processing environments and networked distributed computing systems.

Richard Fujimoto, the chair of Georgia Tech's School of Computational Science and Engineering, and leader of the Georgia Tech team, said the algorithms, tools and other technologies this team develops will all be open source and customizable.

The XDATA award is part of a $200 million multi-agency, federal initiative for big data research and development that was announced in March. The initiative is aimed at improving the ability to extract knowledge and insights from the nation's fast-growing volumes of digital data. The Georgia Tech XDATA effort will build upon foundational methods and software developed under the Foundations of Data and Visual Analytics research initiative, a 17-university program led by Georgia Tech and funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security.

Investigators from the Georgia Tech Research Institute will also contribute to the XDATA initiative. Senior research scientists Barry Drake and Richard Boyd will tackle the computational demands of processing the machine-learning algorithms developed by the School of Computational Science and Engineering team.

GTRI's task involves enabling these algorithms to run on a networked distributed computing system. By configuring the software so that it operates on multiple processors simultaneously, the researchers believe they can ensure that the algorithms solve problems very rapidly--a requirement of the DARPA award.

For more:
- see DARPA's big data initiative

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