CSC News

May 17, 2018

New Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics Tackles Faster than Life Analytics Challenges

Faster than life analytics is a way of looking at the leading edge of a smart data revolution, pushed by advances in Internet-based sensor hardware, diverse streams of continuous data, and new hardware platforms supporting accelerated Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.  Extracting value from massive and moving data hinges on balancing fundamental research, technological know-how, and commercial market intelligence.



In response to this need, The National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program recently selected the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) to lead the new Center for Accelerated Real Time Analytics (CARTA).  Partnering with North Carolina State University, Rutgers University New Brunswick, and Rutgers University Newark along with a diverse group of industry partners, CARTA will visualize and address the future advanced, real-time analytics needs of industry and society.  Dr. Rada Chirkova, Associate Professor of Computer Science, will be the director of the NC State University site (CARTA/NCSU). Dr. David Wright, Director for Project Management in the NC State Computer Science Department, will serve as the Associate Director.



Realizing that the whole of CARTA can be more than the simple sum of its member institutions, the Center will actively encourage multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary research projects.  Each of the member institutions bring their own specializations that, when combined, have capabilities far beyond their individual abilities.   Indeed, solving the problems of accelerated real time analytics must involve data wrangling, advanced hardware, scalable and configurable analytics algorithms, and new visualizations, each of which is an area of expertise among our member institutions.



CARTA/NCSU will focus on the data-readiness and data-value needs of "faster than life" analytics.  The new paradigm of analytics where heterogeneous data and knowledge are collected and aligned across boundaries of organizations in one way for one purpose, and then reorganized and realigned across the boundaries of other organizations for a different purpose is becoming more and more common.



A common thread of the research needs and problems resulting from this new paradigm is that of “data readiness” and “data value.” The challenge is to enable productive, efficient, and secure end-to-end value extraction from the data given specific analytics tasks and constraints on the availability and structure of the incoming data.  Facets of this challenge include identifying appropriate technologies for: storing and cleaning the data; modeling the data; making the data secure; asking the right analysis questions; pre- and post-processing the data with regard to the analysis; and finally, making the analysis results useful.



IUCRCs are nationwide research centers organized to address pre-competitive research areas that have been identified as national priorities.  They represent long-term partnerships among universities, industry and government that leverage an investment from NSF to catalyze primary support from the public and private sectors.  The five-year NSF award to establish CARTA at the four institutions will be for $3 Million, split among the four partner institutions.  The NSF support for CARTA initiatives is expected to be multiplied several-fold by memberships and direct project support provided from the private and public sector.



The nationally unique focus of CARTA will be to develop broad, foundational analytics technologies that will create an infrastructure capable of powering applications of national significance.  CARTA research will visualize and address the advanced, real-time analytics needs of industry and society now and in the future. The techniques developed by CARTA will have applications across industry sectors, including national security, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, energy, and business intelligence, delivering practical solutions to hard problems.



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