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Opening Ceremony of UBDA

8 May 2018

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) established the University Research Facility in Big Data Analytics (UBDA) on 16 October 2017, the first university-wide research facility in big data analytics among universities in Hong Kong. Equipped with big data expertise in PolyU and the most advanced computing infrastructure and tools, UBDA is expected to foster cross-disciplinary research collaborations in PolyU, establish a strong partnership with industries on big data analytics applications, and promote big data education in Hong Kong.

Big Data Analytics is an analytic process of a huge volume of scattered and dynamic data sets from multiple data sources to uncover hidden patterns, explore unknown correlations, and predict future events. The use of Big Data Analytics will result in better optimization of decision making, resource utilization and planning. This technology has become essential in our economy and society, and its applications have continued to grow in different areas and industries.

At the opening ceremony of UBDA, PolyU's President Professor Timothy W. Tong said, "As a university which moves with the times and caters for the needs of society, PolyU thus pulled together our expertise in computing, applied mathematics and information technology to establish UBDA. We hope we can bring together not only colleagues from different disciplines, but also external partners in different sectors, to do some joint research."

The Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Dr David Chung, said, "With the set-up of this new University Research Facility in Big Data Analytics, I believe that the researchers in The Hong Kong Polytechnic University will be able to use the facility for carrying out more forward-looking research projects that will benefit the society and supporting a vibrant big data innovation ecosystem in Hong Kong."

For a wide range of research domains, the demand for big data analytics is increasing and therefore an open platform for cross-disciplinary collaborations is needed. UBDA initially focuses on three major research areas, namely Smart City and Smart Internet of Things (IoT), Finance and Healthcare. Managed by big data experts from Department of Computing, Department of Applied Mathematics and representatives from other disciplines, UBDA will provide consultancy service and technical support to PolyU research community and industry partners, assisting them to develop innovative solutions to research problems and application challenges by capitalising on the use of models, algorithms and platforms for big data analytics and processing.

For instance, UBDA team has been collaborating with Airport Authority Hong Kong, Hong Kong R&D Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies to develop a Big Data-Driven Airport Resource Management (BigARM) Engine to improve the efficiency and intelligence in resource management at the airport, including the baggage reclaim carousel allocation. To achieve a balanced usage and efficient allocation of baggage reclaim carousels for the handling of 500 arrival flights each day is a major challenge. The effectiveness of reclaim carousel allocation is affected by an array of influencing factors, including actual flight arrival time, number of arrival bag, ground handling equipment arrival time, apron traffic condition, bag unloading speed, bag dwell time on reclaim carousel, etc. The current phase of the project focuses on developing an intelligent application which can provide allocation recommendations through an analysis of the various influencing factors at play. The objective is to enhance the allocation plan and provide supports for real-time dynamic adjustments. The project is also sponsored by MongoDB and iTran.

The University also announces today the establishment of Consortium for Innovation in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, which serves as an open platform for industries and organizations to collaborate with PolyU on research domains of big data analytics and artificial intelligence, aiming to solve challenging problems and develop advanced applications.

As of today, UBDA has already kicked off collaborative big data analytics projects with colleagues in PolyU and external partners including Alibaba, GogoVan, Huawei, the Hong Kong Police Force, and Microsoft.

Research Units University Research Facility in Big Data Analytics

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