November 30, 2010
Oak Ridge supercomputer will help identify producers of child pornography
Nov. 29 -- Consumers of child pornography break the law when they download photos and videos from file-sharing networks. But police are more concerned with the porn producers uploading the files. Every new posting means a child is in harm's way. To accelerate the acquisition of information needed to arrest child predators, law enforcement officers have teamed with data analytics experts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for a project that will use Jaguar, one of the world's fastest supercomputers, to speedily analyze the activities on file-sharing networks that pinpoint porn producers.
"A consumer can be put in jail, but we'd rather go after the producer because there's a child we can rescue," said ORNL principal investigator Robert Patton, who develops algorithms to search, count, and characterize data files so similar information can be clustered for faster processing. Patton works with Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to find new files entering file-sharing networks. "There is a likelihood new material was just generated," Patton said. "We want to know who put it out there."
Patton's project uses clustering algorithms that speed the search for a needle in a haystack of data. Clustering algorithms are employed in diverse applications, from finding flaws in the electronic controls of nuclear power plants to tracking suspected terrorists.
Patton has received funding from an industry sponsor, which applies the algorithm for cybersecurity, and an allocation during a one-year period spanning 2010 and 2011 of 1 million processor hours on Jaguar, a Department of Energy Office of Science supercomputer housed at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility. Jaguar is mainly used by scientists and engineers requiring maximal computing power to solve large scientific simulation problems in the shortest times possible. Patton has used part of the allocation for initial runs to test some clustering algorithms and later will use the remainder for further development and testing using data provided by law enforcement.
To read the rest of the story, go to http://www.olcf.ornl.gov/2010/11/29/jaguar-pounces-on-child-predators/.
Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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