Purdue University receives funding from $26.7 Million NSF initiative to forge the future of Open Knowledge Networks
A team of Purdue University researchers is among 18 multidisciplinary, cross-sector teams that will create knowledge graphs, connections, and educational materials for a trustworthy open knowledge network. In collaboration with five other U.S. government agencies, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has invested $26.7 million through its Building the Prototype Open Knowledge Network (Proto-OKN) program. An open knowledge network is a publicly accessible, interconnected set of data repositories and associated knowledge graphs to enable data-driven, artificial intelligence-based solutions for a broad set of societal and economic challenges.
Jing Gao, Associate Professor in Purdue’s Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the PI on the project titled “A Knowledge Graph Warehouse for Neighborhood Information.” The goal is to create a strong and lasting system for collecting and organizing information about neighborhoods. Working with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and other expert entities, the proposed knowledge graph warehouse is designed to manage and maintain pertinent neighborhood-level information, such as demographics, land use, local incidents and injuries, and proximity to trauma centers.
To do this, Gao’s team will gather data from sources like local records and census data and put it all in a centralized enhanced database. Researchers will also develop software to manage this information. The goal is to make it easy for people to search for information and find trends in the data. Gao’s team will design the system to keep growing and adding new data to remain functional over time.
“This grant provides a valuable opportunity for our interdisciplinary team to develop a fundamental data infrastructure that could empower decision-makers in various domains with the tools and information they need to make informed and effective decisions,” said Gao. “In addition, by breaking down data silos and integrating data, the infrastructure may have the potential to support researchers in making transformative discoveries within their respective domains.”
There is also an educational component to the effort, which includes integrating outcomes from this project into course content, fostering student mentoring, and promoting educational innovation focusing on inclusivity and diversity within the associated STEM programs.
The resulting Proto-OKN will benefit a broad range of people and organizations — including government agencies, businesses, nonprofits, researchers, and others — by providing access to integrated information for various uses, such as pursuing societal and economic opportunities, driving evidence-based policies, and developing novel AI capabilities. Proto-OKN will provide an essential public data infrastructure to power the next information revolution, transforming the nation's ability to unlock actionable insights from data by linking information about related entities.