Virginia Tech collaboration with General Dynamics Mission Systems
Virginia Tech Computer science professor Chris North, left, is leading a collaboration with General Dynamics Mission Systems to develop the “smart” software shown in the background, which will help an intelligence analyst find important information more quickly. (Photo Credit: Virginia Tech)

General Dynamics Mission Systems is partneringwith leading universitiesto researchhow emerging and disruptive technologies can help overcomenational security challenges.Researchers atVirginia Tech and General Dynamics engineers are collaboratingon intuitive software that could help intelligence analysts identifyunexpected connections in large data sets faster.

Below is an excerpt from an article published by Virginia Techthat highlights how the software uses a graphical interface and algorithms to make intelligence data analysis easier to read the full story, visit

Enhancing national security by making intelligence software smarter

By Eleanor Nelsen

An intelligence analyst hunting for answers in a sea of data faces steep challenges: She must choose the right search terms, identify useful results, and organize them in a way that reveals new connections.

Making that process quicker and more intuitive could yield faster answers to key national security questions, which is why a research group at Virginia Tech is collaborating with Fairfax-based defense company General Dynamics Mission Systems on intelligence software that allows analysts to interact more closely with their data.

According to Chris North, a professor of computer science in the College of Engineeringand the associate director of the Discovery Analytics Center, analysts currently have to approach huge data sets with independent, consecutive searches.

You search, and then you read. And you read and you read and you read. And then you might figure out from all that reading something else you might search for, and then you do that, and its a slow, painful iterative process, North said.

Norths research group is developing software that uses a visual interface and computer learning algorithms to allow to the analysts interactions with the data to guide future searches.

To read the full story,

Source: Eleanor Nelsen,Enhancing National Security By Making Intelligence Software Smarter,, 9/13/2016