A UK developer of information retrieval software has inked a massive deal with the US government to help track suspected terrorists.
According to the New York Post, the US General Services Administration has awarded Autonomy the multimillion dollar contract, and licences for the software are being made available to the 21 agencies that may one day make up the proposed Department of Homeland Security.
The software uses statistical techniques to search for patterns of information across large masses of data. It makes it possible to build automatically updated indexes of disparate databases that are maintained separately by different government agencies.
Industry analysts have said that Autonomy's software could play a role in the effort to bring together information held by different agencies with incompatible computer systems.
Once the Autonomy indexing system is established, it could be used both to search all of the repositories simultaneously as well as to generate alerts automatically in response to certain inquiries.
The software searches names and words with variable spellings and retrieves information based on patterns that are related but may not match exactly.
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