DARPA looks to GPUs to help process big data in the military

The US defence agency is appealing for developers to re-purpose XDATA cloud for military decision-making

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking to GPUs to help them master big data in support of governmental and military efforts.

Chris White, project manager at DARPA, told attendees at the GPU Technology Conference the agency is looking for people to help them understand real-world battlefields using GPUs.

DARPA has more than a dozen data science projects on the go, but at present, only two of them use GPUs - one of which is the agency's XDATA cloud, which develops ways to process and analyse large data sets.

Now the company needs expertise to help develop the XDATA cloud to process data from military sensors and communications systems, helping soldiers make informed decisions, quickly.

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White said although GPUs can provide help to process the data, such a complex and specialised solution needs investment to make it work more effectively.

The military landscape is always changing and DARPA doesn't yet have the resources to meet the demands and react quickly enough.

"There are many analytics problems that need solutions, but right now we can't do it well or quickly enough with the GPU," he said.

He hoped speaking at the conference would help the GPU community understand the opportunities and technical approaches taken by DARPA.

Earlier this year, DARPA showed commitment to big data with the launch of the Mining and Understanding Software Enclaves (MUSE) program.

Suresh Jagannathan, DARPA program manager, said: "Our goal is to apply the principles of big data analytics to identify and understand deep commonalities among the constantly evolving corpus of software drawn from the hundreds of billions of lines of open source code available today.

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"We're aiming to treat programsmore precisely, facts about programsas data, discovering new relationships (enclaves) among this big code' to build better, more robust software."

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