The New Zealand Government will launch a Data Science Investment.
In June 2019 Open Parallel registered a proposal leading a consortium towards securing funding, and -if successful, develop state-of-the-art technology platforms through the seven years of the project. New Zealand Government’s announcement is here. Our proposal essentially looks at the intersection of edge computing with HPC applied to agriculture with data processed in real time.
Whakarongo ki te whenua (Listen to the land) (L2L)
What the project will deliver
We will develop software and processes to combine state-of-the-art edge computing infrastructure with large-scale data curation, machine learning and computer vision to provide real-time interpreted data to primary producers. We will open-source our IP while ensuring that information owners’ rights are respected.
Recent developments in sensors, semi-autonomous mobile platforms, communications, and large-scale computing are converging to make possible multi-scale collection and integration of massive data sets. New Zealand must leverage them to remain competitive and to improve environmental management.
The real world domain: Agriculture
We will address the use and integration of land based environmental, climate and marine management data. Consultation will define our priorities, -particularly with iwi, to ensure that our work is relevant and culturally sensitive, building on existing knowledge.
The data science challenge
Core challenges are heterogeneity and integration. Complex spatial and temporal variation require learning models that are adaptive to our heterogeneous terrain. Today data are gathered at different scales and at different frequencies by different organisations using different types of devices. This creates an integration challenge: digesting data at the local scale, using it to update regional and nationwide scale models, and feeding thus learned models back to the local scale to inform local inference. Real-time advanced modelling and simulation for quick decision-making requires significant computing power.
Why this group
We have a unique blend of research and commercial experience in agritech and advanced computing. For 15 years Open Parallel has been working with multicore technologies, and in global endeavours like the SKA—a next-generation supercomputing and mega data science project—establishing our network of senior associates from leading organisations. They will be brought to collaborate with New Zealand Crown Research Institutes and universities, alongside our researchers from PlantTech, Otago University et al.
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