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Funding Update: Nov 5, 2010

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NSF Bioinformatics Grants Awarded Sept 29 — Nov. 3, 2010

Collaborative Research: Machine Learning in Taxonomic Research
Start Date: Oct. 1, 2010
Expires: Sept. 30, 2013
This grant was awarded to two investigative teams:

  • $285,497, Henry Bart, Nelson Rios, Tulane University
  • $285,455, Yixin Chen, University of Mississippi

The funds will be used to develop new machine-learning methods for taxonomic research that can distinguish between species as well as be used to discover new species. According to the grant abstract, the researchers will explore existing feature subset-selection methods and develop new approaches that can be used to identify a set of "diagnostic characters" that distinguish one species from all of its known relatives and to develop a "novelty detection framework" for identifying new species. The team will use images of categorized specimens to train a collection of statistical models that will represent the known taxonomic grouping of organisms.

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