Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Forging an anti-terrorism search tool

Filed under
Misc

Google is the No. 1 free tool to snoop on friends or strangers. But government agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration are investing in a new search engine being developed at the University of Buffalo to do some of their more sensitive detective work.

The technology, released as a prototype in recent weeks, is designed to mine a corpus of documents for associated ideas or connections--connections between two unrelated concepts, for example, that would otherwise go unseen or would take countless hours of investigative work to discover. The project was specifically funded for anti-terrorism efforts and initially was used for searching over data within the 9/11 Commission report and public Web pages related to the suicide bombings carried out by terrorists who hijacked three U.S. commercial planes.

"Say you have the kind of question that connects these two people that we don't know about. You could start reading through all those documents. But our system is designed to look specifically for those evidence trails" that connect those two people, said Rohini Srihari, UB professor of computer science and engineering.

John McCarthy, professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford University, said that linking between concepts is an old idea, but that a new way of doing it could be an important breakthrough. In general, search engines such as Google and Yahoo mine documents for textual clues, or matches to query terms, rather than on the occurrence of ideas. Still, Google is working in the area of searching for concepts.

"The tools that we already have would be more useful if we could search on concepts," McCarthy said.

Srihari and a team in the Center of Excellence in Document Analysis and Recognition in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have been developing the search engine for the last two years. She said that her team plans to have a deliverable system for the FAA and the intelligence community by the end of the year, but it will not be widely available to the public. The underlying research, co-funded by the National Science Foundation, will also be published.

The technology, called a concept chain graph, uses different mathematical algorithms for finding the best path for connecting two different concepts. It will then list the strongest to weakest links.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Real-time enabled Sitara SoC shows up on a COM

Variscite unveiled a Linux-friendly, SODIMM-style COM based on TI’s Sitara AM437x, supporting the updated SoC’s quad-core Programmable Real-time Unit (PRU). The VAR-SOM-AM43 is the first computer-on-module we’ve seen to use the Texas Instruments Sitara AM437x, a single-core Cortex-A9 system-on-chip that clocks to 1GHz. Last month, Adeneo announced an Android 4.4 BSP for TI’s Sitara AM437x development platform. Variscite is supporting its VAR-SOM-AM43 with a Yocto Linux, and soon, Android-ready hardware/software development kit of its own, which includes a VAR-AM43 CustomBoard development board, touchscreens, cables, and more Read more

High-end 'upstream' Linux laptop plans to ship in April

They said in working up hardware, they carefully designed the laptop "chip by chip" to work with open source software. The 4.4-pound laptop runs Linux. This is a GNU-based distribution, more specifically, the Trisquel GNU/Linux, "the strictest of distributions and strips all binary blobs from the Linux kernel." At the same time, they said laptop owners, if they want, can easily install anything less strict, such as Debian and Ubuntu. The machine has a 15.6" display in either 1920x1080 or 3840x2160 with a 60Hz refresh rate, 720p camera and HD Audio. It has a CD/DVD ROM drive. They used Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200. It has a 48 Wh lithium polymer battery with about eight hours of usage. Read more

Android essentials: 13 apps I can't live without

We spend a lot of time talking about Lollipop and OS-level issues with Android -- but you know what's just as important as the operating system on your phone or tablet? The apps that surround it. The right apps can make your device easier and more enjoyable to use. They can give it powers you didn't know were possible. They can make it feel like your own custom-tailored gadget -- whether you've been using it for two minutes or for two years. Read more

GHOST, a critical Linux security hole, is revealed

Researchers at cloud security company Qualys have discovered a major security hole, GHOST (CVE-2015-0235), in the Linux GNU C Library (glbibc). This vulnerability enables hackers to remotely take control of systems without even knowing any system IDs or passwords. Qualys alerted the major Linux distributors about the security hole quickly and most have now released patches for it. Josh Bressers, manager of the Red Hat product security team said in an interview that, "Red Hat got word of this about a week ago. Updates to fix GHOST on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5, 6, and 7 are now available via the Red Hat Network." This hole exists in any Linux system that was built with glibc-2.2, which was released on November 10, 2000. Qualys found that the bug had actually been patched with a minor bug fix released on May 21, 2013 between the releases of glibc-2.17 and glibc-2.18. Read more