44 R&DMagazine October 2013 51st Annual R&D 100 Awards
Trimming Port Operations
Container ships are designed to always be at sea, transporting
goods. But slow loading and unloading—a common occurrence at congested ports—can cost them money. To help
speed this process, researchers at the Institute for Information Industry (III) have developed CraneAbide Technology,
a container transship management technology that applies
existing technologies to help manage an often overlooked
factor at many ports: trailer positioning.
RFID is already sometimes used, but flexibility suffers in
the interest of efficiency. III instead chose a wireless sensor
network (WSN) based on low-cost, reliable Zigbee technology. This allows a management scheme in which the deviation room for a trailer’s position can be maximized while still keeping the crane operating at an optimized loading/
unloading route. WSN provides the communication backbone for an e-paper system, which acts as a dynamic job
assignment device installed on outside trailers. Applying this network to Taiwan’s major seaport in Taipei, III achieved
almost double the previous trailer transfer rate.
; Institute for Information Industry, http://www.iii.org.tw
Digging Through the Mess
Every person, company and government organization is faced with continuously flowing, massive streams of data that can’t be manually analyzed.
Computers help, but the sheer volume of data has foiled many approaches.
Software engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have now developed a new way of dealing with this seemingly intractable problem.
The Distribute the Highest Selected Textual Recommendation
(DTHSTR) engine combines advanced analytic technology with a low
computing footprint, allowing for analysis of large and dynamic text data
with unprecedented speed and accuracy. The engine is designed to help
users find documents related to their interest regardless of the application
domain. DTHSTR operates by leveraging example documents or infor-
mation provided by a user as a means of defining what content is relevant
to the user and creates a profile based on this content. Next, DTHSTR
analyzes this profile to identify significant words and phrases that are
then used to perform a series of searches in a much larger target data set
in order to find other documents with these significant words and phrases. Documents returned from the series of
searches are then compared to the user profile in order to identify the most relevant documents and sort the result set
according to similarity to the user profile.
; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, http://www.ornl.gov
Clearing Big Data
For Big Data applications I/O
needs to be efficient and scalable so
that large data sets can be accessed
quickly and fed to applications for
processing. With this goal in mind,
a team led by Oak Ridge National
Laboratory has created ADIOS,
a software framework designed to
handle the I/O requirements of Big
Data projects. ADIOS consists of
an application programming inter-
face (API) and an associated code
library. The API is used to describe
the application’s I/O activities in a
declarative manner. An extensible
markup language (XML) config-
uration file, which describes user
I/O characteristics, then describes
the variables that comprise the I/O
data. Attributes of the variable,
such as name, type and dimen-
sionality, are specified in the XML,
along with the desired I/O plugin.
A tool called GPP leverages the
I/O description in the XML file
to insert automatically generated
ADIOS calls into the code, making
integration faster and easier. The
ADIOS library is then linked to
the application at compile time,
and I/O operations are performed
when the application is running.
; Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Unmanned underwater vehicles have proliferated in recent
years as the combined interests of academic research and
industry have required close contact with the sea floor with-
out the added hassle, expense or risk of sending a human
crew. At the same time, manned vehicles are still required for
a variety of tasks, ranging from complex engineering jobs to
security and defense.
Until now, users had to choose between the two types
of vehicles. However, Proteus, developed by Battelle Memorial Institute, Bluefin Robotics Corp. and The Columbia
Group, Engineering Solutions Div., offers both modes in a single, submersible platform.
Measuring 7. 6 m in length and weighing 3,737 kg, the Proteus has been designed with flooded-hull architecture,
storing critical elements in pressurized vessels for protection. Powered by rechargeable lithium-polymer batteries, the
vehicle can carry and deploy large payloads internally or externally. It can, for example, deliver a crew to an operations
site and then move autonomously to another location for pickup, or act as an autonomous “mule” to transport cargo
from point to point.
; Battelle Memorial Institute, http://www.battelle.org