Shredder Challenge solved

Dec 05, 2011

Almost 9,000 teams registered to participate in DARPA's Shredder Challenge. Thirty-three days after the challenge was announced, one small San Francisco-based team correctly reconstructed each of the five challenge documents and solved their associated puzzles. The ‘All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S.’ team, which won the $50,000 prize, used custom-coded, computer-vision algorithms to suggest fragment pairings to human assemblers for verification. In total, the winning team spent nearly 600 man-hours developing algorithms and piecing together documents that were shredded into more than 10,000 pieces.

“Lots of experts were skeptical that a solution could be produced at all let alone within the short time frame,” said Dan Kaufman, director, DARPA Information Innovation Office. “The most effective approaches were not purely computational or crowd-sourced, but used a combination blended with some clever detective work. We are impressed by the ingenuity this type of competition elicits.”

The Shredder Challenge represents a preliminary investigation into the area of information security to identify and assess potential capabilities that could be used by war fighters operating in war zones to more quickly obtain valuable information from confiscated, shredded documents and gain a quantitative understanding of potential vulnerabilities inherent to the shredding of sensitive U.S. National security documents.

DARPA Director, Regina E. Dugan emphasized, “The Shredder Challenge underscores the value of increasing the number and diversity of problem solvers. The varied methods used have potential implications for so-called 'wicked problems,' generally considered insolvable by conventional means, and offer the possibility of increased speed, agility and breadth in innovation.”

Explore further: Enabling a new future for cloud computing

More information: Puzzle solutions and pictures of the winning submissions are available on the Challenge website: www.shredderchallenge.com

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

DARPA Shredder Challenge sizzling but no winner yet

Nov 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- With only days left until the December 4 Shredder Challenge deadline, DARPA is still asking the sharpest-minded computer scientists and simply the curious if anyone among them has the skills ...

MIT wins Pentagon prize in social networking contest

Dec 07, 2009

A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has won a 40,000-dollar prize for using social networking tools to identify the locations of 10 large weather balloons in a contest sponsored by ...

Who killed Sly Vox?

Jun 30, 2011

Who killed rock ‘n’ roll star Sly Vox? Was it his ex-bandmate and ex-fiancée, Ivory Keyz? Fired security chief Hound Dawg? South American singer A. Capella, who accused Vox of stealing music and lyrics? Or ...

DARPA advances video analysis tools

Jun 24, 2011

A massive amount of data from video sensors is collected in theater, and there aren’t enough analysts or time available to review. Reducing the amount of data or the number of sensors isn’t the answer, and there ...

Recommended for you

Enabling a new future for cloud computing

12 hours ago

The National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced two $10 million projects to create cloud computing testbeds—to be called "Chameleon" and "CloudLab"—that will enable the academic research community ...

Hacking Gmail with 92 percent success

23 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A team of researchers, including an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering, have identified a weakness believed to exist in Android, Windows ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nerdyguy
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
Wow! Congratulations to this oddly named team.

I fully expected one of the big boys amongst the university teams to win this.
dschlink
not rated yet Dec 05, 2011
This will also be valuable in the reconstruction of ancient documents.
DirtySquirties
3 / 5 (2) Dec 06, 2011
This is why I burn my shredded documents, mix up the ashes, and bury some of it in random locations and depths in my backyard, spreading some across various locations around town, throwing some of it out in the trash, and flushing some of it down the toilet. I can only hope that is good enough.