Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

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  • The goal of this project is to develop powerful algorithmic sampling techniques which allow one to estimate parameters of the data by viewing only a miniscule portion of it. Such parameters may be combinatorial, such as whether a large network has the "six degrees of separation property", algebraic, such as whether the data is well-approximated by a linear function, or even distributional, such as whether the data comes from a distribution over a large number of distinct elements.
  •   Big Data needs Big Processors, and Big Processors need Big Caches. Increasingly, however, power and thermal considerations dictate that many small processors and many small caches supplant the paradigm of few big processors and caches. The Execution Migration Machine (EM²) project aims to find the best way of using these resources.
  • Modern database management systems (DBMS) have been designed to efficiently store, manage and perform computations on massive amounts of data. In contrast, many existing visualization systems do not scale seamlessly from small data sets to enormous ones. We have designed a three-tiered visualization system called ScalaR to deal with this issue.
  • BlinkDB is a database system that runs on top of Hadoop (MapReduce), running SQL queries and translating them into MapReduce jobs. The key idea is that rather than running queries over the entire data set, it runs queries on a random (precomputed) sample of the data, and uses sampling theory to estimate the true query answer.
  • At a major Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence event held May 31, 2012 at the MIT Stata Center, a new CSAIL initiative known as "bigdata@CSAIL" was announced by MIT president Susan Hockfield as Intel’s CTO, Justin Rattner announced that MIT would house a new Intel research center to focus on techniques for the science and engineering of big data -- the huge amounts of information generated by Web users and networked sensors. In addition, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative to investigate how big-data technologies can improve government.
  • Research in Area I: Circuits emphasizes electronic circuits and systems, microprocessor based control, and digital and analog signal processing. Design and practical implementation are emphasized. 
  • Academic programs for graduate students in the field of computer science lead to the Master of Engineering, Master of Science, Engineer's, and either Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Science degree. 

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