Computer Scientists to Develop Next-Gen Big Data Systems for Tomorrow’s App Builders

Posted on: 09 March 2015

Computer Scientists from Trinity College Dublin are leading a new Horizon 2020 research project to develop new ways to build and maintain IT systems that use big data on the web. ALIGNED (Aligned, quality-centric software and data engineering) is a Horizon 2020 research project with a European Commission investment of €4 million.

The chief goal of ALIGNED is the development of systems that will allow developers to incorporate big data from the web into their applications, such that flexible apps and analytics can use data that exists in a variety of formats. This will lay the foundations for the next generation of big data systems that lower costs and deal with the challenges of dynamism, complexity, scale, and data inconsistency on the web.

As more and more data is published on the web, enterprises and academic researchers need ways to build and maintain both data and applications that use the data.

The project will be led by Senior Research Fellows in Computer Science in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity, Dr Rob Brennan and Dr Kevin Feeney, who will be supported by Associate Professor of Computer Science, Declan O’Sullivan. These three are also researchers at the ADAPT centre.

The ALIGNED team are looking forward to developing new systems to help people tap into 'big data' more freely and easily.

Dr Brennan said: “ALIGNED is an exciting collaboration between leading computer scientists and innovative European companies poised to increase software development productivity and agility. It will develop technology to allow software developers to incorporate big data from the web into their applications.”

Dr Feeney added: “It builds on our collaboration with Leipzig University on web standardisation at the W3C and our key technology role in the ambitious Seshat Global History Databank, which seeks to revolutionise history, archaeology and social sciences by publishing expert-curated data on the web for every human society that ever existed. Both enterprises and academics see the power of sharing and re-using data on the web but cleaning and maintaining data so that flexible applications or analytics can be built on it is still a challenge, ALIGNED will address this need.”

ALIGNED will boost European IT industry productivity and competitiveness by providing new tools and techniques to build data-intensive systems on the web.

The Wolters Kluwer Jurion legal information system will be a major test-bed for ALIGNED technology, while the Software Engineering Research Group at the University of Oxford, an ALIGNED partner, is already helping the UK NHS and academic cancer research teams to share the results of drug trials to accelerate cancer research. This work will be generalised and extended in ALIGNED.

Throughout the duration of the project, ALIGNED will also offer consultancy services and advice to European businesses seeking to build data-intensive systems.

Dr Brennan added: “ALIGNED will train new Irish data scientists and help establish Trinity College Dublin as a worldwide centre of data quality research.”

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