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Japanese university uses big data to optimise social services

Jack Loo | Dec. 17, 2012
Research will be used to improve decision making in various disaster scenarios.

A research lab from Japan's Hokkaido University is using database server platform Vectorwise from big data vendor Actian to optimise social services such as snow plowing.

The Meme Media Laboratory of Hokkaido University selected Vectorwise to power its Social Cyber Physical System (CPS) Platform for Efficient Social Services.

The Social CPS Platform aims to enable fast analysis of snow fall, weather mesh data, road network data, public transport data, and probe car data to optimise social services such as the timing and routes of snow plowing and removal in Hokkaido's Sapporo city.

"The Social CPS Platform will allow us to monitor, share, and analyse our social services so we can make better decisions to cope with different disaster scenarios," said Professor Yuzuru Tanaka, project leader and director of Meme Media Laboratory at Hokkaido University Group.

"This is truly a collaborative project that analyses many external data sources and Vectorwise will enable our researchers and third parties to mine this data quickly in order to optimise social services and make better disaster preparedness plans. In addition, researchers will also be able to analyse citizens' reactions and find ways to modify behaviours by changing routes and times."

Data collected for the Social CPS Platform includes:

1) Real-time snow plowing and removal records, claim texts from residents, and statistical subway data provided by the city of Sapporo

2) Probe car data used to analyse traffic movement, measure surface freezing, drifting snow and the number of effective lanes provided by Honda and Fujitsu

3) Weather and snowfall mesh data provided by the Japan Weather Association

4) Meteorological multi-sensor data in 52 locations provided by the Sapporo Information Network

"We estimate the Social CPS Platform will collect approximately 250GB of data per month, measuring for six months a year, for six years," said Dr. Hajime Imura, specially appointed assistant professor at Hokkaido University.

"The CPS Platform at Hokkaido University is a valuable research platform and a great example of how data now touches every aspect of our lives," said Fred Gallagher, general manager of Vectorwise for Actian.

Hokkaido University joins a growing number of research institutions choosing Vectorwise to power research analytics, including Oxford University who use Vectorwise to research chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and strokes, added Gallagher.


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