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More universities join Yahoo for Net-scale research

UC Berkeley, Cornell, and UMass Amherst will get access to Yahoo's M45 cluster for large-scale data-processing research using software called Hadoop.

Yahoo has signed up three new universities to participate in Internet-scale computing research, the Internet pioneer said Thursday.

The University of California-Berkeley, Cornell University, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst have joined an effort that already included Carnegie Mellon University, Yahoo said Thursday. The universities get access to a cluster of Yahoo computers called M45 that runs open-source software called Hadoop that can be used to process data rapidly.

Yahoo is a major contributor to Hadoop, a project within the Apache Software Foundation's collection, but Google created the underlying technology through its MapReduce algorithm. MapReduce and Hadoop can be used for tasks such as finding, relatively rapidly, all the Web sites that link to a particular Web site, a task that's essential to the companies' search engines.

Berkeley plans to investigate "societal-scale information" including voting records, polling data, and online news. Amherst plans projects involving the million scanned books in the Internet Archive. Cornell has its eye on biodiversity, socio-economic research, and renewable energy.

The universities also will get access to a research computing research project called Open Cirrus spanning several data centers internationally, Yahoo said. The M45 cluster is part of Open Cirrus, which is run by Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Infocomm Development Authority in Singapore, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, and the National Science Foundation.