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Patented Data Mining Technology Created at NDSU Licensed to Treeminer, Inc.

Fargo, N.D. –– A novel vertical data mining method developed at NDSU offers significant accuracy and scalability advantages over current methods. University Distinguished Professor Dr. William Perrizo and his team at North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo, have developed a technology tool to help government and businesses quickly process massive data sets. Treeminer, Inc., announced today that it has concluded a license agreement with the NDSU Research Foundation (NDSU/RF).  The agreement gives Treeminer exclusive rights to further develop, market, and sell the patented, award-winning data mining solutions developed at NDSU by Dr. Perrizo. Treeminer will begin select demonstrations of the technology in the first quarter of 2011.

The amount of data available to businesses and governments is growing far faster than their ability to analyze the information. Significant advantage can be gained by being able to quickly make sense of millions or even billions of pieces of data, and applying the resulting knowledge. By organizing data vertically and then compressing it into a patented data structure called a pTree (predicate tree), dramatic reductions in analysis times can be gained over existing methods. Applications for the data mining technology based on pTree algorithms range from defense and intelligence to satellite image analysis, agriculture, computer network security, medical diagnostics, bioinformatics, resource allocation and many more.

“Today, data mining vendors are asking their customers to make trade-offs between the speed of analysis and its accuracy,” observed Mark Silverman, CEO of Treeminer, Inc. “The truly novel approach taken by the team at NDSU enables incredibly dramatic decreases in analysis time while actually improving the accuracy of the analysis. We think that data mining technology will be a critical, fundamental building block technology across the information technology spectrum, and have formed the world’s first Vertical Data Mining Company to bring this technology to a large and growing market.”

Dr. William Perrizo, NDSU distinguished professor of computer science, developed the patented algorithms and software on which the technology is based. “In the information science sphere, new approaches can sometimes effect increases in both the speed and accuracy of knowledge discovery. The pTree technology is an example of that,” said Perrizo.

Representatives from the NDSU Research Foundation introduced Dr. Perrizo’s work in data mining to Silverman, the entrepreneur who founded Treeminer. “Online analysis of large databases demands analysis that happens in seconds instead of hours,” according to Silverman.

The technology developed by Dr. Perrizo and his team represents approximately a 15-year effort in data mining research. “Efforts such as Dr. Perrizo’s illustrate the expertise available at NDSU that contributes to the body of knowledge in many areas, and contributes to the strength and vitality of state and national economic interests,” said NDSU President Dean Bresciani. “We congratulate Bill and his team on reaching this milestone,” said Bresciani.

With the technology licensed to Treeminer, Inc., data mining operations on the pTree structure generated from large databases means data analysis becomes blazingly fast. The algorithms and software patented by Dr. Perrizo efficiently, accurately and elegantly mine the data for useful information, like an archeologist sifting through the dust to uncover hidden treasures.

The data is turned on its head, sliced up to change it into a vertical structure resulting in long, skinny pieces of data that are then compressed into a pTree to better manage it. “That wouldn’t be all that useful if you had to uncompress every time you wanted to process the information. But we don’t. We can process the compressed pTrees,” said Dr. Perrizo.  This approach enabled Dr. Perrizo to win the prestigious 2006 Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Cup in solving what had been once characterized as the “Holy Grail” of Computer Aided Detection (CAD) in medicine. Perrizo’s team on software development for pTree technology includes Dr. Greg Wettstein, chief computational scientist and principal engineer for Research Computing Services at NDSU. “Dr. Wettstein is one of the best systems programmers in the world today and we are fortunate to have him on this team,” said Perrizo.

“The coordinated efforts among NDSU researchers, the university’s Technology Transfer Office and the NDSU Research Foundation help lay the groundwork for commercialization of discoveries developed at NDSU,” noted Philip Boudjouk, vice president for Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer.

The NDSU Research Foundation’s technology and licensing income from NDSU research discoveries has grown from $1.20 million in fiscal year 2006 to $1.88 million in fiscal year 2010. NDSU inventors, colleges and departments actively involved in developing innovations share in net revenue distributed by the Research Foundation.

“We are thrilled to see Dr. Perrizo’s important work reach the market,” said Dale Zetocha, executive director of the NDSU Research Foundation. “It represents a great opportunity to commercialize this research.”

About Treeminer, Inc.
Treeminer, Annapolis, Md., is addressing a rapidly emerging challenge in data mining and analysis – the gap between the growing volume and granularity of data, and the lack of scalability of current data mining methods.  Treeminer’s patented and award winning Vertical Data Mining technology has shown the ability to address this gap by dropping analysis time from hours to almost instantaneous, by analyzing data vertically, rather than row by row as existing methods operate. Initially focused on the security, defense and intelligence segments, Treeminer is bringing to market a range of data mining solutions based upon vertical techniques, including classification and association rule mining methods.

About NDSU
With a reputation for excellence in teaching and multidisciplinary research, North Dakota State University, Fargo, links academics to opportunities. As a metropolitan land grant institution with more than 14,000 students, NDSU is listed in the top 40 research universities without a medical school in the U.S., based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. At the 55-acre NDSU Research & Technology Park, faculty, staff and students work with private sector researchers on leading-edge projects.

About the NDSU Research Foundation
The NDSU Research Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports NDSU in its teaching, research and public service missions. The Foundation manages the intellectual properties developed by faculty, staff and students doing research at NDSU and facilitates commercialization of these technologies.

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