New Algorithm Tackles Everything from Insects to Earthquakes

At first glance, insects and earthquakes might not seem like they have a lot in common – but to researchers at the University of California, Riverside, they do. A pair of new algorithms tackle massive datasets faster and more efficiently, spotting patterns and allowing researchers to quickly gain insights into a myriad of problems.

“It is difficult to overemphasize how scalable this algorithm is,” said Eamonn Keogh, co-author of the research and professor of computer science at UC Riverside. “To demonstrate this, we did one quintillion—that’s 1 followed by 18 zeros—pairwise comparisons of snippets of earthquake data. Nothing else in the literature comes within one-tenth of a percent of that size.” The researchers’ earthquake analysis of the San Andreas fault uncovered a series of quiet, low-frequency earthquakes that might have been missed by lower-resolution analyses.

Author: Oliver Peckham

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