SGI's Big Brain Computer Powers the Global Twitter Heartbeat

SGI's Big Brain Computer Powers the Global Twitter Heartbeat

Viewing the Hopes and Fears of the World Through the Analysis of Real-Time
Twitter Data on the SGI(R) UV(TM) 2000 -- #tweetbeat

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SGI (Nasdaq:SGI), the
trusted leader in technical computing has partnered with Kalev H. Leetaru of
the University of Illinois and Dr. Shaowen Wang of the CyberInfrastructure and
Geospatial Information (CIGI) Laboratory at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign to create the Global Twitter Heartbeat, a first ever
real-time combined population, tone and geographic analysis and visualization
of Tweets on a SGI UV 2000 Big Brain computer. The ability to analyze Big Data
in real-time, in sophisticated ways allows organizations from government to
enterprises to gain immediate and actionable insights applicable to a
multitude of applications. With this capability, researchers, scientists and
engineers who are facing increasingly data-intensive problems, can move
rapidly from data to insight.

The Global Twitter Heartbeat project performs real-time stream processing of
ten percent of Twitter's 500 million daily tweets as they are posted. The
project analyzes every tweet to assign location (not just GPS-tagged tweets,
but processing the text of the tweet itself), and tone values and then
visualizes the conversation in a heat map infographic that puts tweet
location, tweet density and tone into a unified geospatial perspective. With
SGI UV, the entire process from ingest to data analysis to heat map runs at a
speed that allows visualization of a map frame per second.

The project looked at two significant recent events - Hurricane Sandy and the
U.S. Presidential Election.In both events, millions of tweets were sent,
making Twitter a significant platform for communicating what was happening at
every moment.

For the U.S. Presidential Election, Twitter reported 327,452 tweets per minute
as news outlets began to predict an Obama victory. President Obama's victory
tweet quickly became the most-retweeted message in history, setting the record
in just 22 minutes after the tweet was posted^1.

As seen through time-lapsed animations of the heat maps, viewers are able to
re-live the events as they happened on Twitter. The project observed a massive
increase in Twitter traffic as Hurricane Sandy approached, made landfall and
took its course over the U.S. eastern seaboard.For the U.S. Presidential
Election, the heat maps showed the dynamics of intensity and location of
tweets favorable to either President Barack Obama or Governor Mitt Romney over
the course of Election Day, from the first polls opening to after President
Obama's victory speech.

"This real-time data analysis approach is like having a new telescope in our
hands.We are just seeing the Twittersphere in this way for the first time and
we're still not entirely sure how to make sense of it all and what it tells
us, but it is allowing us for the first time to peer in the messy chaotic
world that is the heartbeat of our society," said Leetaru. "SGI UV allows
users to turn the traditional approach of decision making on its head with the
ability to gain insights as they happen, to what I would call a
'post-demographic' world in which we can see people's hopes and fears in
real-time person-by-person, rather than just putting them into fixed
demographic labels." 

SGI UV: The Big Brain computer

SGI UV 2000 is the world's largest data-mining machine that can run up to 4096
cores and scale to 64 Terabytes of cache-coherent shared memory at a peak I/O
rate of four terabytes per second (14 PB/hour). It could ingest the entire
contents of the U.S. Library of Congress print collection in less than three
seconds. With as little as 16 cores and 32 gigabytes of memory, SGI UV 2 can
start small and seamlessly expand.SGI UV has been used for high performance
data analysis in research fields such as cosmology and genomics to commercial
applications such as fraud detection.

"We are proud to bring the tools and technology to scientists, data analysts
and engineers that enable them to find answers to their most challenging
problems," said Jorge Titinger, president and CEO, SGI. "Understanding Big
Data demands more than what the traditional data analysis approaches can
provide and is moving into the realm of high performance data analytics where
real-time data can be turned to real dollars and cents for any organization."

Please visit SGI at booth #2631 to see the live Global Twitter Heartbeat
displayed on the 3D PufferSphere® display.During the course of the show, the
live images of real-time Twitter analysis are available on the Global Twitter
Heartbeat project page on Tweet your feedback on the project
with hashtag #tweetbeat.

Learn more about the SGI UV and SGI Big Data solutions at

About CIGI

The CyberInfrastructure and Geospatial Information Laboratory (CIGI) at the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researches and develops
cutting-edge cyberinfrastructure to advance geospatial sciences and
technologies. Dr. Shaowen Wang is CIGI founder and director, and Eric Shook is
CIGI technical lead of this project. The project heat maps were generated
using cutting-edge data analytics of CyberGIS – a new generation of geographic
information systems (GIS) based on cyberinfrastructure and supercomputing
environments. Contributions of CIGI to the project are supported in part by
the National Science Foundation under grant numbers:BCS-0846655
andOCI-1047916. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations
expressed in the project are those of the CIGI members and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

About Gnip

Gnip is the world's largest provider of public social media data, serving
customers in a range of industries from social media monitoring and business
intelligence to finance and government. Gnip delivers more than 100 billion
social data activities each month, providing unparalleled access to data from
dozens of sources including Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress, Disqus and more. For
more information, email or visit

About SGI
SGI, the trusted leader in technical computing, is focused on helping
customers solve their most demanding business and technology challenges. Visit for more information.

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Contact Information:
Ogilvy Public Relations
Meghan Fintland

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Images provided courtesy of CIGI and Kalev Leetaru



*Please contact Meghan Fintland, Ogilvy PR to obtain an alternative file
format for the below videos.; 415 677 2704

  *Final Sandy video:
  *Final Election video:
  *Video interview, detailing the project with Kalev Leetaru at
    Supercomputing 2012:

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