Co-Investigators Harvey Whitehouse and Pieter Francois, from the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, have recently completed collaborative work on the €4 million ALIGNED project. The three year project was a collaboration between industry and academia (Trinity College Dublin, The University of Oxford, The University of Leipzig, Adam Mickiewicz University, software and information companies) and it set out to develop new ways to build and maintain IT systems that use big data on the web. Funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 program, the ALIGNED project has successfully rolled out five trial platforms showcasing its success in applying the latest big-data research findings to solving the problems of industry.
One of the ALIGNED data sets was provided by the Seshat Global History Databank, an ambitious attempt to gather data sets describing every historical society that has ever existed. Dr Pieter Francois, founding director of Seshat, and research coordinator of the Cultural Evolution Laboratory in Oxford's School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, reports: ‘The ALIGNED tools have offered the Seshat research assistants a high quality work platform that allows the provenance of the data to be tracked in impressive detail.’
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