Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, Lori MacVittie, Kevin Jackson, Mark R. Hinkle

News Feed Item

Appirio's Crowdsourcing Community Creates Breakthrough Solutions to Support the Advancement of Space Science and Protect Planet Earth

Protecting Earth From Asteroids and Finding Anomalies in Saturn's Rings Are Just a Few Ways [topcoder] Is Helping NASA Push the Boundaries of Innovation for All Humankind

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/07/14 -- Appirio today announced that, in partnership with the Harvard NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), the company and its [topcoder]™ community are helping NASA and other government agencies solve some of their most complex real-world challenges. Over the last three years, the [topcoder] community of 630,000 data scientists, developers and designers have helped NASA and a number of other U.S. government agencies tackle issues ranging from tracking asteroids, to improving deep space networking, to predicting a chemical's systemic lowest effect level, just to name a few. To date, the crowdsourcing efforts have received thousands of different submissions from more than 20 countries with over $1.5 million awarded to [topcoder] community members.

The NTL was established in 2011 in a joint effort with NASA and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University to put the power of the fast-growing [topcoder] crowdsourcing development community to work solving complex challenges around human exploration, science and space technology. Following the successful crowdsourcing initiatives with NASA and the NTL, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) requested that NASA establish the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI). The purpose of the CoECI is to educate, share best practices and measure the impact of crowdsourcing and open innovation across other government agencies as well as within NASA.

Current challenges that NASA is working on with the [topcoder] community of more than 630,000 developers, designers and data scientists include:

  • Asteroid Data Hunter: The Asteroid Data Hunter challenge, part of the Asteroid Grand Challenge series, is running on [topcoder] and is being conducted in partnership with Planetary Resources Inc. (PRI). In the latest challenge, the community was tasked with developing an algorithm that can validate asteroid detections and reduce false identifications in images from ground-based telescopes by learning from years of human input. Phase two of the challenge is launching on August 11 and will aim to increase the detection sensitivity. The successful solution will need to minimize the number of false asteroid detections by leveraging the Phase one algorithms and ignore imperfections in the data. For more information or to sign up to compete in the Asteroid Data Hunter and Asteroid Tracker (which is now live) marathon matches visit topcoder.com/asteroids.

  • Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) Challenge Series: Sending email to and from the International Space Station (ISS) over a distance of 44,000 miles can be a complicated and unreliable process. Over the past year, the [topcoder] community has contributed to both the design and implementation of NASA's open source Disruption Tolerant Networking Protocol. In this latest effort, the [topcoder] community is adapting an existing enterprise email system to use DTN. The solution will convert email and calendar traffic to bundles instead of packets for sharing data between Earth and the ISS reliably, safely and securely.

  • ISS FIT (Food Intake Tracker): Living in a microgravity environment onboard the International Space Station makes humans susceptible to nutrient deficiencies and bone loss which can lead to osteoporosis. To help NASA scientists and doctors monitor and solve this problem, [topcoder] designed and developed an iPad-based application that provides astronauts on the ISS with an efficient, rapid, and accurate method for tracking their dietary intake. Recently, the iPad app was demonstrated at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco by former astronaut Leland Melvin.

  • Planetary Data Systems Challenge: The Cassini spacecraft is orbiting Saturn in an extended mission to study the planet. Using actual images from the spacecraft, the goal is to create an algorithm that will help scientists better understand ring phenomena, ring structure, and potentially find new moons. This is a set of challenges to help find anomalies and features of interest in the rings of Saturn that are not otherwise detectable by a computer due to false-positives. Results of this challenge will be available in Fall 2014.

"As NASA continues to push the boundaries of human imagination and innovation, we have seen the value in utilizing a citizen-based professional crowd to complement our internal efforts and solve complex real-world challenges," said Jason Crusan, NASA Tournament Lab director. "Tapping into a diverse pool of the world's top technical talent has not only resulted in new and innovative ways to advance technologies to further space exploration, but has also led to a whole new way of thinking for NASA, and other government agencies, providing us with an additional set of on-demand tools to tackle complex projects."

Additional government agencies working with [topcoder] through the CoECI structure include the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid (CMS), USAID, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

For example, the EPA pursued the ToxCast Prediction Challenge to address the lack of information on the thousands of chemicals that humans are exposed to every day. The diverse [topcoder] community was challenged to predict the lowest dose at which a chemical causes adverse effects in traditional chemical toxicity tests. The algorithm contest consisted of two phases with a total of 338 registrants, 49 competitors, and 804 submissions. The winning submission to the three-week contest provided an approach towards addressing the toxicity problem that heavily leveraged data science techniques and has potential for further advancement. Interestingly, but common to [topcoder] results, most of the highest-ranked solutions were provided by competitors without specific expertise in a chemistry-related field. These solutions matched or exceeded solutions provided by subject domain experts. As a result, the EPA will be showcasing the top two winners' findings at the 2nd Annual Data Summit on September 29 & 30 at the EPA Research Triangle Park Campus in North Carolina. Register for the Data Summit now to be a part of the dialogue about ways to use this new data to transform chemical safety evaluations.

"The [topcoder] community has really taken a leading role in the field of Data Science when it comes to providing the best expertise across the world in algorithmic and statistical work, as well as digitization, and computer science," said Dr. Karim R. Lakhani, Principal Investigator of Harvard-NTL and Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration. "These data scientists have been able take the complex, data intensive problems facing NASA and other federal agencies, analyze it, and then turn that analysis into creating actual solutions to advance some of their most important initiatives."

"The results [topcoder] has achieved impacting science and technology with NASA, the NTL and OSTP have inspired other parts of government to examine how they can use communities to redefine how research and development is done," said Narinder Singh, president of [topcoder] and co-founder of Appirio. "Just as many of our enterprise customers are utilizing the global talent pool of the [topcoder] community to execute disruptive strategies, the federal government is tapping into that same talent pool to solve some of its most pressing and complex problems. In some cases, the solutions that are created might literally change the world."

Additional resources:

About Appirio
Appirio is a global cloud consultancy that helps customers achieve results in weeks, not years by harnessing the power of the world's top talent. Appirio's 630,000 member [topcoder] community and crowdsourcing platform, combined with the company's business and technical expertise, have helped 800+ enterprises confidently use technology to increase innovation and transform business. Founded in 2006, Appirio is a trusted partner to companies such as Apria, Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Japan Post Network, L'Oreal, NetApp, The Four Seasons and Virgin America.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.