Associative processing techniques aim at real-time network security

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Military users are evaluating new software packages optimized for pattern recognition not only to improve security on their networks, but also to perform intelligence functions beyond the reach of current microprocessor-based systems.

By John Rhea

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Military users are evaluating new software packages optimized for pattern recognition not only to improve security on their networks, but also to perform intelligence functions beyond the reach of current microprocessor-based systems.

The packages, developed by NeoCore LLC in Colorado Springs, Colo., use associative processing for complex real-time network surveillance, explains Ken Whittington, NeoCore`s senior vice president for business and product development.

Whittington contends that pattern processing can revolutionize these applications in a manner analogous to the way digital signal processing chips were specialized for such demanding applications as vector processing.

For example, monitoring a secure network for all mentions of such words as "bomb" or "assassin" — or the Internet for pornography — today is limited to about 1 megabit for a single stream of data. Still, the company has demonstrated 100 megabits of search capability without slowing down the network.

The packages are contained in what NeoCore officials call their PacketEyes application programming interface libraries. The four packages are: NeoCam for content addressable memory, NeoData for key data indexing, NeoSlider for sliding window pattern matching, and NeoFilter for priority pattern matching.

The same techniques work for either words or pictures. Whittington explains that a 100-megabyte picture can be compressed into a 64-bit symbol for processing.

In biometric applications, for example, he maintains that the software approach can go beyond today`s use of retina scans for physical security and pick out faces from crowds to track, say, known terrorists.

About 100 companies and several military organizations focusing on security issues are evaluating the packages. Whittington is reluctant to cite specific organizations, but the generic applications embrace target surveillance and acquisition, satellite identification, and network security.

This is a dual-use technology, he adds, and the same capabilities would be equally effective for civilian law enforcement personnel.

NeoCore is distributing a software development kit containing all four libraries for a development-only licensing fee of $5,000. The libraries are written in C and C++.

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