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PTI | Houston | Updated: 31-10-2018 17:00 IST | Created: 31-10-2018 17:00 IST

An Indian student in the US has

created a space-detecting algorithm that can help tackle the

problem of finding a parking spot by using big data analytics

and save a person's time and money.

Sai Nikhil Reddy Mettupally, who is studying at The

University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), has also won second

prize at the 2018 Science and Technology Open House

competition for his creation.

According to a university press release, Sai's

creation relies on big data analytics and deep-learning

techniques to lead drivers directly to an empty parking spot.

Big data analytics is a complex process of examining

large and varied data sets to uncover information including

hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends and

customer preferences.

Sai conceived the idea shortly after the university

transitioned to zone parking last fall.

"The data show that, on a typical day, there is a high

chance that students or faculty members will have difficulty

getting a parking spot between 11 am and 1 pm, leading to the

wastage of time and fuel, and adding to the pollution" He


"Hence, finding a parking spot as soon as a person

enters the parking lot is essential."

What he needed was to find a way to identify empty

spaces and then direct the driver to the location. But unlike

other parking apps in the market, he wanted to develop one

that didn't rely on the purchase, installation, and

maintenance of expensive in-ground sensors.

To help put his plan in action, Sai turned to Vineetha

Menon, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science.

As the director of UAH's Big Data Analytics Lab, Menon

also had access to the high-performance computing power that

Sai needed to create and train his machine-learning model,

which relies on a robust parking-lot data set provided by the

Federal University of Parana in Brazil.

"The goal of the Big Data Analytics Lab is to

establish Big Data Analytics and Data Science as mainstream

research areas of the university, so it can accommodate the

high computational and memory demands of Big Data generation

and processing," Menon says.

Sai, who graduated in electronics and communications

engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science

in Pilani, hopes to develop a parking-support mobile

appdubbed InstaParkthat can display the real-time grid

layout of empty and occupied parking spots using the phone's




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