Minority Report-Style 'Discovery Informatics' At Purdue University
In Minority Report, Tom Cruise plays a detective who uses an immersive computer environment to solve crimes. The 'data CAVE' (Configurable Automatic Virtual Environment) brings together information from disparate souces, making it easier for detectives to see patterns and perpetrators. The film is based on Philip K. Dick's remarkable 1956 short story of the same name; in the story, the Precrime analytical wing stands by to interpret the fevered words of the three precogs (from "precognitive") who see into the future.
(Minority Report interface from the movie)
Purdue University researchers are developing a visual display environment with high-performance computers and artificial intelligence software, with interactive features similar to the display Tom Cruise works with in the film. The new 'data CAVE' takes a new approach to working with large volumes of data. James Caruthers, professor of chemical engineering at Purdue, explains:
"Instead of mining for a nugget of gold [data-mining], knowledge discovery is more like sifting through a warehouse filled with small gears, levers, etc., none of which is particularly valuable by itself. After appropriate assembly, however, a Rolex watch emerges from the disparate parts."
(From Knowledge Discovery at Purdue)
Chemical engineers are able to take huge amounts of data and turn the information into interactive images. They are able to approach the research process in a new and more efficient way. Dr. Venkat Venkatasubramanian explains:
"What we are talking about is an advanced method for product design. The product design problem is this: I want some material that would have the following mechanical, chemical, electrical properties and so on.
Scientists face a new challenge in dealing with the flood of data that results from hundreds or thousands of experiments that are conducted simultaneously. The Purdue team's approach is designed to work with the voluminous results of this "high-throughput" experimentation.
"I know what properties I want in order to get my job done, but I don't know what material, what molecular combinations, will give me that. It is a bit like 'Jeopardy.' You know the answer, but you are looking for the question."
The new approach, called "discovery informatics," enables researchers to test out new theories and see how well their ideas work in real-time using a 3D display. Data is visualized on a 3D 12'x7' display. This allows scientists to see an entire problem, including chemical and atomic structures, graphs and charts.
Discovery informatics depends on a two-part repeating cycle made up of a "forward model" and an "inverse process" and two types of artificial intelligence software: hybrid neural networks and genetic algorithms.
It will be tested in a new Center for Catalyst Design; catalysts account for billions of dollars in annual business revenues - even slight improvments can result in significant increases in profits.
For recent advances in computer-aided data mining techniques, see Data Mining In Three Dimensions. Read more about how discovery informatics goes beyond data-mining; learn more about CAVEs.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/20/2004)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...' - William Gibson, 1986.
'Princess Leia Project' Images That Float In The Air
Help me, Daniel Smalley; you're our only hope.
LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.' - Larry Niven, 1976.
Foldable Galaxy Phones, I Swear They're Coming (Maybe)
Apparently, it is very hard to do. We've been patient, though.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Sleeep PRO Earplug For Maximum Rest
'Merton... placed the electrodes of the sleep-inducer on his forehead.'
Inspired By Japan, Nap Pods For Hajj
It's always a good time for a nap.
Amphibio 3D Printed Gill Shirt
'... we can descend and live down there at one of those year-round aquatic resorts.'
How Do You Put An Asteroid Into Earth Orbit? Carefully!
'...she would have to be coaxed by another series of pats into a circular orbit.'
PD Aerospace Space Plane By 2023
'The sleek, tapered space shuttle lay immobile upon the private landing field...'
Foldimate Folds Your Clothes Perfectly
Look ma, my room is clean! I can hear you now.
Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.
International Space Station Leak Plugged - With Finger
'These tag-alongs search out stray leaks.'
Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but still amazing.
IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...'
ZKZM-500 LASER Assault Rifle
'The Iranian reached back into the locker and got a pair of laserifles.'
LA Subway Scanner, As Seen In 'Total Recall'
'I'm afraid to tell you this Mr. Quaid, but you have suffered a schizoed embolism...'
Sion Electric Car Covered With Solar Panels
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'
PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."
Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories