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XDATA Tackles the Big Data Challenge
XDATA Tackles the Big Data Challenge

JPL technologists continue work on developing new software tools to process and analyze Big Data for DARPA’s XDATA project.


metadata exploration interface
Top: Thai Phan, USC/Institute for Creative Technologies, demonstrating design for metadata exploration interface in collaboration with JPL, MDA Information Systems and USC/Information Sciences Institute.
Bottom: Beta demonstration and deployment of interface on touch screen display.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. has just completed its first year of effort on the next generation Big Data initiative called XDATA. Sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Arlington, Va., XDATA is a research effort to develop new computational techniques and open-source software tools for processing and analyzing big data, motivated by defense needs, but applicable across many government agencies and other civilian purposes.

The team at JPL is leveraging its expertise in data-intensive systems and in the design and development of popular open source technologies. This expertise comes from building, adapting and deploying these technologies on many NASA missions and other government-sponsored projects.

“JPL’s selection as a core performer amongst 24 other strong teams from academia, industry, FFRDCs and government, demonstrates the institution’s world recognition in data management; in data triage, and in text classification, and analytics,” says Chris A. Mattmann, principal investigator of the task. “We have been leading open source efforts in a number of these areas for years, and we are excited about deploying these technologies beyond NASA missions.”

In addition to the XDATA program, JPL has also been selected to lead DARPA XDATA’s Open Source Center of Excellence and to work with the other groups and agencies in the XDATA program on open source policies, including the selection of open source licenses, and the release of source code into appropriate hubs to foster collaboration and development with the broader community. The Open Source Center of Excellence will be led by Chris Mattmann at JPL, and will report to Christopher White, the XDATA program manager at DARPA.


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