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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 5:29 pm
Posts: 4280
Location: Kamloops, BC
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Feeding a supercomputer with news stories could help predict major world events, according to US research.

A study, based on millions of articles, charted deteriorating national sentiment ahead of the recent revolutions in Libya and Egypt.

While the analysis was carried out retrospectively, scientists say the same processes could be used to anticipate upcoming conflict.

The system also picked up early clues about Osama Bin Laden's location.

Kalev Leetaru, from the University of Illinois' Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Science, presented his findings in the journal First Monday.
Mood and location

The study's information was taken from a range of sources including the US government-run Open Source Centre and BBC Monitoring, both of which monitor local media output around the world.

News outlets which published online versions were also analysed, as was the New York Times' archive, going back to 1945.

In total, Mr Leetaru gathered more than 100 million articles.

Reports were analysed for two main types of information: mood - whether the article represented good news or bad news, and location - where events were happening and the location of other participants in the story.

Data was fed into an SGI Altix supercomputer, known as Nautilus, based at the University of Tennessee.

The machine's 1024 Intel Nehalem cores have a total processing power of 8.2 teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second).

Based on specific queries, Nautilus generated graphs for different countries which experienced the "Arab Spring".

In each case, the aggregated results of thousands of news stories showed a notable dip in sentiment ahead of time - both inside the country, and as reported from outside.


The rest of the news article is here.

It's awesome to see SGI systems making it back into the news.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:43 pm 
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Location: Nor Cal
hExtra points if the name of the system was HariSeldon.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:54 am
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Location: Hillsboro, OR
The interesting thing here was the software.

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My computers including Alphas, MIPS, PA-RISCs, VAX, and SPARCs.


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