Three professors get nearly $1 million DARPA grant

Paul R. Cohen (pictured), founding dean and professor at the School of Computing and Information, along with Mark Roberts in the Graduate School of Public Health and Greg Cooper in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, have received nearly $1 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for their project titled, “Curating Probabilistic Relational Agent-based Models.”

Agent-based models, which simulate interactions between individuals to assess their effects on systems, are widely used in fields such as epidemiology, traffic engineering and systems biology.  However, the technology to build agent-based models is surprisingly primitive.  No algorithms exist to create large-scale ABMs semi-automatically, and current ABM development frameworks make no contact with modern knowledge technologies such as ontologies, machine reading, and machine learning.

This project aims to develop probabilistic models and algorithms for incremental, human-machine development of ABMs. These methods will be demonstrated in both a disease outbreak problem and a long-term economic risk-modeling problem.

More details here.