Publications / SAND Report

PANTHER. Pattern ANalytics To support High-performance Exploitation and Reasoning

Czuchlewski, Kristina R.; Hart, William E.

Sandia has approached the analysis of big datasets with an integrated methodology that uses computer science, image processing, and human factors to exploit critical patterns and relationships in large datasets despite the variety and rapidity of information. The work is part of a three-year LDRD Grand Challenge called PANTHER (Pattern ANalytics To support High-performance Exploitation and Reasoning). To maximize data analysis capability, Sandia pursued scientific advances across three key technical domains: (1) geospatial-temporal feature extraction via image segmentation and classification; (2) geospatial-temporal analysis capabilities tailored to identify and process new signatures more efficiently; and (3) domain- relevant models of human perception and cognition informing the design of analytic systems. Our integrated results include advances in geographical information systems (GIS) in which we discover activity patterns in noisy, spatial-temporal datasets using geospatial-temporal semantic graphs. We employed computational geometry and machine learning to allow us to extract and predict spatial-temporal patterns and outliers from large aircraft and maritime trajectory datasets. We automatically extracted static and ephemeral features from real, noisy synthetic aperture radar imagery for ingestion into a geospatial-temporal semantic graph. We worked with analysts and investigated analytic workflows to (1) determine how experiential knowledge evolves and is deployed in high-demand, high-throughput visual search workflows, and (2) better understand visual search performance and attention. Through PANTHER, Sandia's fundamental rethinking of key aspects of geospatial data analysis permits the extraction of much richer information from large amounts of data. The project results enable analysts to examine mountains of historical and current data that would otherwise go untouched, while also gaining meaningful, measurable, and defensible insights into overlooked relationships and patterns. The capability is directly relevant to the nation's nonproliferation remote-sensing activities and has broad national security applications for military and intelligence- gathering organizations.