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"Extreme Blue" at IBM Research - Zurich

Zurich Extreme Blue project a success

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Zurich, Switzerland, 22 October 2002—The team of four students from Australia, India, Italy, and Poland did an outstanding job of creating a working prototype of a traffic prediction system within three months of intensive work at IBM Research - Zurich in summer 2002.

The prototype not only works well, but scales to the size of a large metropolis through the use of data boosters, while at the same time using 'off the peg' IBM components.

The data booster developed in this project preprocesses car position and speed data generated by data-gathering platforms installed in a vehicle. This preprocessing dramatically reduces the volume of data sent to the traffic prediction application at a main server, which would not be able to cope with the original amount of data. Traffic prediction information is then broadcast back to the vehicle, where software running on the same data-gathering platform is able to compute instantly the least congested route and therefore help the driver avoid traffic jams.

The project demonstrated that such an application can be built on existing IBM middleware products. The team members took a city simulator available from IBM's alphaWorks and adapted it to the specific needs of the project. They implemented publicly available traffic prediction algorithms on the IBM WebSphere platform in addition to route computation software on the data-gathering platform. The data-gathering platform was provided by the IBM Böblingen lab in Germany. An integral part of the project was a business study of the potential market for data booster functions.

The system and application developed in this project will be presented in a technical paper, and the significant enhancements to the city simulator will be made available on alphaWorks. Beyond, the results of this project provide a good basis for discussions with various IBM business organizations as well as with customers. And above all, the students so enjoyed the stimulating working environment that they all expressed a strong interest in finding a position at an IBM lab or elsewhere within IBM.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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