BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Researchers from the University at Buffalo and
elsewhere will receive $2.5 million to develop tools that help the
U.S. military process massive amounts of data and improve national
Department of Defense agencies gather data from many sources,
including remote satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and
observations made by soldiers. Because so much data is being
collected at any given time, it can be difficult to streamline the
data into coherent and valuable information.
Under a grant issued in 2009 by the Army Research Office,
researchers at UB, Pennsylvania State University, Tennessee State
University and Iona College are developing computer models and
other techniques that fuse the data together. Part of the Army's
Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, or MURI, the
initial award was for $3.75 million over three years. The Army
recently extended the grant by two years for a total of $6.25
Researchers classify data into two categories: "hard" and "soft"
data. Hard data includes, but is not limited to, video and sound
recordings, and tracking devices such as radar. Soft data includes
anonymous phone calls to police, observations made by soldiers,
local media reports and other sources.
"The diverse and massive amounts of data being collected can
sometimes result in conflicting information. We are developing
methods that will help intelligence analysts to accurately
correlate that information," said Rakesh Nagi, PhD, professor and
chair of UB's industrial and systems engineering department, who is
leading eight UB researchers working on the project.
The computer models, algorithms and other techniques developed
by the researchers could be useful for other government agencies,
such as the Department of Homeland Security and CIA, as well as
have business applications.
UB's portion of the research is being conducted through the
university's Center for Multi-Source Information Fusion Research.
Operated jointly with CUBRC, an independent not-for-profit company
in Buffalo, the center was created in 2006 with a $1 million
Defense Department grant. CUBRC was formed in 1983 by UB and the
former Calspan Corp.; its mission is to generate technological and
economic growth in Western New York through a variety of research
and development programs.