TextOre license puts ORNL's Piranha in its tank

Apr 04, 2011

TextOre's licensing of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Piranha is enabling the Virginia-based company to introduce a powerful search and mining tool capable of processing large amounts of text data from the Internet.

Piranha, an award-winning knowledge discovery engine that won an R&D 100 Award in 2007, is an intelligent agent-based technology that will allow TextOre to analyze text data with unprecedented speed and accuracy. The software sorts huge numbers of text documents into groups that are easily processed.

CEO Robert Stewart envisions the acquisition of Piranha helping TextOre to add jobs in software development, sales and marketing for the new suite of products to be developed. With these new products, the company expects to compete on a global scale.

"All of the tools being developed between TextOre and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are multilingual and capable of searching, clustering and mining data in any language from large repositories of data around the world," Stewart said.

The technology, developed by a team led by Tom Potok of ORNL's Computational Sciences & Engineering Division, has already been vetted in the scientific community and been used in real-world applications by governmental agencies.

"The system can find similar documents to a document of interest, remove duplicated documents such as identical news stories from different sources, and automatically classify documents by topic," Potok said.

Because of the scalability of the agent architecture and better algorithms, Piranha runs 100 times faster than other search engines and can work with continuously changing data sets. Piranha has been used by the U.S. military and Department of Homeland Security to analyze large sets of streaming data.

TextOre and ORNL are also working to commercialize key ORNL technologies in the forensic computing areas, according to Stewart.

"The relationship with Oak Ridge National Laboratory will allow TextOre to rapidly accelerate our product development and bring these highly advanced technologies to the global market faster," Stewart said.

TextOre plans to expand its offices in Fairfax, Va., to support the anticipated growth from the licensing of Piranha.

Piranha also received an award from the Southeast Federal Laboratory Consortium. The R&D 100 Awards are presented annually by R&D Magazine in recognition of the year's top 100 technological innovations. Piranha was developed by Potok, Jim Treadwell, Mark Elmore, Brian Klump, Robert Patton and Joel Reed.

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