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What Is a Knowledge Grid?

L.S. Ware
L.S. Ware

A knowledge grid is software architecture utilized in supercomputing to scan for, gather, distill and disseminate information and data sets that are on the Internet in disparate physical locations. The amount of knowledge available on the Internet is vast and constantly expanding. A knowledge grid is the evolution of data mining and knowledge discovery methods imposed onto a computational grid.

Grid computing came about in 1995 with the Information Wide Area Year (I-WAY) experiment. The scientific community sought to connect 17 sites across North America via high-speed networks to enable the connection and sharing of resources. Since then, grid computing has grown to be seen as a conglomerate that can link all resources in such a way that a participant at any site can utilize any of the grid's resources and that can be built upon and become a resource in and of itself.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

The purpose of developing a knowledge grid is to enable all Internet users associated with the grid to be able to search, access and share knowledge and resources. Knowledge grids are primarily utilized by the scientific community, with a gradual expansion into industrial and commercial applications. As more data is stored in computers, more grids and knowledge discovery platforms are expected to develop to correlate these data.

Knowledge discovery in databases (KDD) systems are put in place to analyze data across singe-site computational grids. Parallel and distributed knowledge discovery (PDKD) platforms have been developed to assimilate extreme amounts of data across multiple sites. This is where the knowledge grid comes in, as researchers have sought to create standards for knowledge discovery and grid computing.

There are many uses for a knowledge grid. In the scientific realm, a knowledge grid allows for deep collaboration where data sets are held in different locations. Similarly, in a management scenario, a knowledge grid assists in the collaboration of team members in a way previously impossible. Educational collaborations and research efforts can be moved forward with the use of this evolving computing platform. As computer speeds increase and Internet connectivity becomes ubiquitous, knowledge grids are expected to become more and more prevalent.

The ability to access, share and manage knowledge that exists anywhere, from any location, is paramount to a knowledge grid. It can cull knowledge from across the world and is always improving because all data are stored dynamically. Problem solving, collaborations and research efforts are all expected to benefit from the evolving technology of knowledge grids.

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