Identifying trending stories on Twitter and optimal temperature for data center computers

Jul 24, 2012

Papers on how best to identify trending stories on Twitter and on just how cool computers in data centers need to be kept has won accolades for faculty and students from UTSC's Department of Computer & Mathematical Sciences.

Nick Koudas, UTSC computer science professor, and his graduate students Albert Angel and Nikos Sarkas, won the Best Paper award for the Very Large Databases Conference, which they will present at the meeting in Istanbul in August.

The paper presents a new way of identifying stories of interest on Twitter and other streaming microblogging sites. It looks at ways to identify stories of interest by looking at "entities" that occur together in the same tweet.

"When these events happen, there are certain entities – events, people, locations – that are used together in a tweet," Koudas says.

For instance, tweets about the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden would likely contain "entities" including bin Laden, the CIA, Barack Obama, Abbottabad, and possibly others. By keeping track of these entities and how they are grouped together, the method Koudas and his students invented can determine which tweets are likely to be about a particular story.

What's more, it can do so in an efficient way, making it useful in real-time. That's important when you consider that adds 4,000 tweets a second to its stream, Koudas says.

In another paper, Bianca Schroeder, assistant professor of computer science, and students Nosayba El-Sayed, Ioan Stefanovici, George Amvrosiadis and Andy A. Hwang were awarded best paper at the ACM Sigmetrics conference in London in June.

Their paper examines the issue of temperature management in data centres, and suggests that allowing warmer temperatures than are normally recommended might be justifiable.

As data centres have proliferated they have required more energy, accounting now for about 1 percent of global electricity useage. A sizeable fraction of that is the cooling necessary to keep the machinery functioning properly.

But Schroeder's paper found that warmer temperatures than are normally recommended might be able to save energy without negatively impacting equipment reliability and longevity.

Data centres typically operate at temperatures from 20C to 22C. Estimates show that just 1 degree increase in temperature could save 2 to 5 percent of energy consumed.

By collecting data from a large number of centres, and also running tests in which they measured the effect of temperature on performance, the UTSC researchers suggested higher temperatures might be okay. Their data showed that higher temperatures either weren't associated with negative effects on the equipment, or else the negative effects were smaller than predicted.

"We see our results as strong evidence that most organizations could run their data centers hotter than they currently are without making significant sacrifices in system reliability," the authors say.

Explore further: Computer scientists win a major grant to network mobile devices in the cloud

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Blogger 'tweets' attack on Osama bin Laden

May 02, 2011

An IT consultant in the Pakistan city of Abbottabad was an Internet celebrity on Monday after unwittingly providing a real-time account of the attack that killed Osama bin Laden.

Servers perform well in cooler temperatures

Sep 22, 2010

Lots of energy can be saved by using outside air directly for cooling in data centers in the north. In a study by researchers of Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT and the University of Helsinki, ...

Finding your friends and following them to where you are

Mar 06, 2012

A man—or person—is known by the company he keeps. That old proverb takes on new meaning in the 21st century. Computer scientists at the University of Rochester have shown that a great deal can be learned about individuals ...

Beyonce pregnancy sets Twitter record

Aug 29, 2011

Twitter users fired off a record number of tweets per second following the announcement by pop diva Beyonce at the MTV Video Music Awards that she is expecting a baby.

Recommended for you

Cutting the cloud computing carbon cost

Sep 12, 2014

Cloud computing involves displacing data storage and processing from the user's computer on to remote servers. It can provide users with more storage space and computing power that they can then access from anywhere in the ...

Teaching computers the nuances of human conversation

Sep 12, 2014

Computer scientists have successfully developed programs to recognize spoken language, as in automated phone systems that respond to voice prompts and voice-activated assistants like Apple's Siri.

Mapping the connections between diverse sets of data

Sep 12, 2014

What is a map? Most often, it's a visual tool used to demonstrate the relationship between multiple places in geographic space. They're useful because you can look at one and very quickly pick up on the general ...

User comments : 0