Sherlock hones in on data secrets

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) and YarcData, a Cray company, have announced the deployment of 'Sherlock', a uRiKA graph-analytics appliance from YarcData for efficiently discovering unknown relationships or patterns 'hidden' in extremely large and complex bodies of information.

Funded through the Strategic Technologies for Cyberinfrastructure (STCI) programme of the National Science Foundation, Sherlock features innovative hardware and software, as well as PSC-specific enhancements designed to extend the range of applicability to scales not otherwise feasible.

These techniques have been long used by the government and are coming into wider commercial use. Sherlock will focus on extending the domain of applicability of these techniques to a wide range of scientific research projects.

'Sherlock', says Nick Nystrom, PSC director of strategic applications, 'provides a unique capability for discovering new patterns and relationships in data. It will help to discover how genes work, probe the dynamics of social networks, and detect the sources of breaches in Internet security.'

Those diverse challenges, along with many others, he adds, have two important features in common: their data are naturally expressed as interconnected webs of information called graphs, and data sizes for problems of real-world interest become extremely large.

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