Data volumes are in a stage of continuous growth, particularly in the areas of science, industry, and the military. Thus, the issue of authenticated federated sharing and the breadth and depth of information available, as well as the capacity to process it in a timely manner, are ongoing challenges as it pertains to information management.
In order to satisfy the demand for enhanced information management and to fulfill the desires of the
The type of database desired is one that empowers discovery, makes better use of network resources, and promotes security.
Scientists and analysts at the
The goal of the CWP, sponsored by the
Much of the continued research conducted on the Gaian Database occurs in the
"The NSRL is an ideal facility for understanding the real-world limits of this capability. Using our virtualized experimentation environment, we can subject the Gaian Database, or any other application, to the limitations of tactical networks in a repeatable way," said
The project was led by ARL researchers
The Gaian Database is a Dynamic Distributed Federated Database, meaning that its structure combines the capabilities of distributed databases, database federation, automated discovery and the semantics of data, allowing for controlled access to data and the flow of data through the network of distributed nodes within the database.
The nodes discussed have the ability to logically connect through a fully autonomous process that is biologically inspired and have the capability to access multiple federated data sources.
"The basic concept of Gaian was to answer the question, "What would be required to connect every data source in the world?" To accomplish this, database nodes would need automated discovery of other nodes," Toth said.
"Discovery only gets you part of the way. Another facet of the challenge is data movement. Rather than repeatedly replicating all of the data to a centralized data store in anticipation of some future need, the data is kept at its source, whether sensors, smartphones, or servers, and retrieved through a distributed query only when needed. This 'store locally query anywhere' approach is a more efficient use of resources," added Toth.
For the Gaian Database and the organizations, that it has the potential to support, much of the data to be queried is in the form of textual reports, email, and analyst notes.
In order for relevant, mission critical information to be federated and retrieved from these reports, Natural Language Processing rules were developed using the IBM LanguageWare tool.
The combination of NLP rules for parsing raw data, a triplestore and content analysis create the capability to target people, places, organizations, dates, times, and measurements as well as improvised explosive devices, weapons, and vehicles when information is queried and are able to be linked together by event.
"The solution transitioned to
When it comes to security, Toth said that the Gaian Database uses a combination of Policy Based Access and Kerberos user authentication.
Once the user has authenticated, the application server creates the query key for that user, which is then passed encrypted down a connection of nodes.
This key is generated by applying a one-way function to the user's Kerberos session key, which is then used to create message integrity codes for the queries performed by that user.
"Kerberos authentication was a key challenge of the
In terms of benefits to the
"By treating everything as a data source and enabling access to that data, the Soldier can have the latest intel to support the mission," he said.
"In addition, the policy enforcement mechanism that is an integral part of the Gaian Database means the analyst can easily share data sources with coalition partners based on mission needs," added Toth.
The final step of this CWP project was a demonstration of the Gaian Database technology to senior management at
The ultimate intent is to work with
"What we have is an excellent example of ARL's involvement in the creation and transition of an exciting new capability that will benefit the Soldier," concluded Toth.
ARL is part of the
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the
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