Disrupting Improvised Explosive Device Terror Campaigns: by National Academy Press

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In fact, a key discovery was made by a schoolteacher who accessed the database. There are obvious 33 security concerns in making IED-related data available to the public, but this demonstrates the potential that increasing the number of people reviewing data can hold for increasing the likelihood of anomaly identification. For IED detection and surveillance, it is conceivable that outdoor, distributed sensor networks that send wireless signals for analysis may be used. Szalay’s experience with sensors in and outside the laboratory provides valuable, practical lessons on wireless sensor networks.

A prediction is tested against a series of functions that have been increasingly conditionally constrained to test the limits and accuracy of prediction. Each successive function describes the model system more narrowly by imposing conditions on the analysis that have been derived from known contextual information.

That approach is being used at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) with the GrayWulf database cluster, which has a capacity of over 1 petabyte (1 petabyte = 1015 bytes). Szalay discussed other projects under way at JHU that must extract information from massive datasets, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), which can be thought of as the genome project for the cosmos; the PAN-STARRS project, which tries to detect asteroids that may strike Earth and is currently the largest astronomy database in the world; and the Life Under Your Feet project, which uses a wireless sensor network to measure, for example, carbon dioxide emission from soil.

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