European consortium develops new instruments for analysis of big data
The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), the University of Amsterdam and TNO, together with thirty other partners, are developing several instruments for the analysis of big data. The European Commission awarded the project with a funding of approximately 12 million euros. On behalf of UvA the Informatics Institute is taking part in this project.
Researchers will develop search tools to find and connect biometric data in large quantities of information. For example, in case of a suspect who recurs on a great many photographs and can be recognized based on biometric characteristics such as face, clothing and/or posture.
The consortium will also work on so-called weak signal detection. These are tidbits of information that in isolation might seem insignificant, but in larger context can prove to be essential in tracking down suspects. ‘Think for example of certain words suspects use to cover up their crimes. The method we aim to develop in the coming years should be able to recognise patterns in the large sea of tiny, weak signals,’ says Zeno Geradts, researcher at the Informatics Institute.
The thirty partners will take four years to develop a ‘forensic toolbox’ that should ultimately result in a large number of open source search instrument. This will allow parties across the globe to use the toolbox after the project is finished. The NFI can incorporate these search tools in the forensic search engine Hansken, that they developed together with law enforcement and has been in use since October 2015.