Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends
How new technologies are modifying our way of life

dimanche 11 juillet 2004

At Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), a data mining and visualization software suite developed in the last two years is now able to extract information from many sources of data and to return 3D images as results. In "Sandia's intelligence lab converts business data into 3-D images," the New Mexico Business Weekly reports that Sandia's Information Visualization Lab is able to search structured documents, such as scientific journals, or unstructured ones, such as the Web or an intranet. Since the lab has been established five months ago, this software has already been used to determine the potential of several partnerships with SNL. Other firms, such as Lockheed Martin, also are starting to use the lab. Let's hope that SNL releases this software as open source. It should be fun to use it.

Capable of analyzing unimaginable amounts of data, Sandia's Information Visualization Lab uses a software suite to search for meaningful relationships and patterns in any number of search topics, like individual companies or industry sectors.
Within minutes, technicians scanning patent databases can create a complete visual representation of New Mexico's high tech patent portfolio, for example. When applied to an individual company, the technology can visually depict internal changes, like funding allocations, over time.
Sandia's 3D visualization: Processes and Tools

This picture above shows some of the processes and tools used at SNL. You'll find many more illustrations in a presentation given in Seville, Spain, on May 13, 2004 (PDF format, 8 pages, 659 KB) (Credit: Kevin W. Boyack and Nabeel Rahal, SNL).

The lab can be used by any company which meets the Department of Energy laboratory's guidelines. And companies are impressed.

"They are blown away by our capability to make sense of massive amounts of information in their technology space," says Nabeel Rahal, information visualization team leader for the lab, which is run under Sandia's Corporate Business Development and Partnerships center.

The image below shows how you move from a set of results to another one (Credit: Kevin W. Boyack and Nabeel Rahal, SNL).

Sandia's 3D visualization: Results

Right now, the software is used by companies to look at patent portfolios or identify viable partnerships.

Earlier this year Kevin McMahon, manager of Sandia's Licensing and Intellectual Property Management Department, used the visualization software to determine that a proposed partnership with General Electric was not in the best interest for either party.
McMahon says the lab's work could be compared to performing a simple Google search -- but with the ability to view thousands of hits at one time, organized into a single, 3-D report.

Maybe SNL will identify Google as a partnership opportunity...

Source: Clay Holtzman, New Mexico Business Weekly, July 2, 2004

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