IARPA launches “Morgoth’s Crown” challenge

On July 21, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, launched the Modeling of Reflectance Given Only Transmission of High-concentration Spectra for Chemical Recognition Over Widely-varying eNvironments —“MORGOTH’S CROWN” —Challenge as part of the Standoff ILluminator for Measuring Absorbance and Reflectance Infrared Light Signatures—“SILMARILS”—program. The Challenge will launch later this month and invites solvers from around the world to develop algorithms to accurately predict the changes in a chemical’s infrared spectrum caused by changes in its molecular environment. Participants will join a global community working to benchmark research and foster innovation in chemical detection through crowdsourcing.

Detection and identification of specific trace chemicals on surfaces are important for a variety of security, anti-terrorism, and quality control applications. Current libraries for chemical detection consider each combination of particle conditions to be a separate, independent library entry. This limits the number of chemicals a reasonably sized library can hold and requires a lot of time and effort to acquire data for all of the needed combinations. The goal of the MORGOTH’S CROWN Challenge is to develop models and algorithms to accurately predict how the bulk spectrum of a chemical will shift depending on the environment in which it is deposited.

The MORGOTH’S CROWN Challenge invites experts from across government, academia, industry and developer communities, with or without experience in infrared spectral chemical detection, to create fast and accurate IR spectral models using new approaches that will advance technology and potentially foster enormous humanitarian impact. IARPA will provide solvers with spectra of a set of bulk chemicals and surfaces, as well as spectra of a subset of the combinations of the chemicals deposited on various surfaces as training data. Participants are asked to generate an algorithm to predict the spectra of the remaining combinations of chemicals on surfaces.

The Challenge will officially run through August 2017. Throughout the Challenge, an online leaderboard will display solvers’ rankings and accomplishments, giving them various opportunities to have their work viewed and appreciated by stakeholders from industry, government and academic communities. Solvers who are eligible to win a prize and with the most accurate and complete solutions will be eligible to win cash prizes from a total prize purse of $50,000.

Register today at crowdsourcing.topcoder.com/morgoths-crown.

Source: ODNI