Andrew Weekley demonstrates on-screen IODA;s capabilities of detecting bad data. Photo: Carlye Calvin (UCAR)
We rely so heavily on information gathered by satellites and weather instruments to help us program our daily lives, imagine what would happen if the data we received from these technologies went bad and foretold of cataclysmic outcomes in the days or weeks ahead? Panic could induce scenes on our streets reminiscent of Hollywood disaster movies. To avert such events - or just help get things right even if the forecast is more mundane - scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) have devised an innovative computational technique called Intelligent Outlier Detection Algorithm, or IODA, that draws on statistics, imaging, and other disciplines in order to detect errors in sensitive technological systems.