News story: Trustworthiness of information from big data sets


War Hero
CountingLab Ltd is using Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) funding to develop a real-time, rapid response software system to autonomously and efficiently inform on events (such as natural disasters, terrorism, riots) as they unfold.

The system can extract relevant, truthful information from social media, using the public as observers, to supplement existing information systems. Crucially the emphasis is on determining information veracity, to enhance and accelerate tactical decision making. This autonomous filtering of massive open-source data will help optimise the workload of a defence analyst, prioritising data items for attention.

News breaks out on social media more quickly than on other media and in potentially large volumes. Capturing top relevant news items, tagging rumours and identifying the element of the truth of these rumours automatically will deliver a huge value to end users in defence and security as well as many other sectors.

The innovation could help to swiftly and automatically identify top events/rumours in a certain geographic area, online community, topic, theme or entity; identify the confidence in these rumours; identify participants in these rumours and track the progress of the rumours over time.

Gaining an early indication of what’s true or false could help provide a quick response for situations such as disaster-relief, terrorist incidents and riots.

Dr Colin Singleton, Technical Director, CountingLab Ltd says:

The support from CDE has been fantastic and dramatically improved how we develop our software; in particular how we focus the application towards the defence and security market. CDE have helped introduce us to and form relationships with other companies and individuals working in similar fields. The funding has allowed us to employ more extremely high-calibre staff and develop software that we simply could not afford otherwise.

Formed in 2010, CountingLab Ltd is a micro SME spinout from the University of Reading’s Centre for the Mathematics of Human Behaviour and is based at the University of Reading. Its core mission is translational data science, creating, translating, developing and applying the latest research techniques from academia into commercial solutions to solve real-world problems.

About CDE

CDE funds novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research. We work with the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to develop cost-effective capabilities for UK armed forces and national security.

CDE is part of Dstl.

Centre for Defence Enterprise

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