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Fujitsu today announced that it is launching the Fujitsu Intelligent Data Service Virtuora DX Data Distribution and Utilization Service (Virtuora DX), a cloud service that enables companies and organizations to bring visibility to the value in the data they have, share it, and accelerate co-creation across industries using outlines of the data. Sales of the service begin today in Japan.
Virtuora DX incorporates Fujitsu VPX(virtual private digital exchange) Technology from Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. that extends the function of the blockchain to create data interchanges among companies without placing the data in external environments.
While keeping data within their own environments, companies and other data providers register it with a consortium within Virtuora DX comprised of participants who have come together with the objective of using the shared data. In addition to an ID for the data and attribute information, the registration takes the form of a “Data Jacket”(1), devised by Professor Yukio Ohsawa, Department of Systems Innovation, School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo, which includes outline data, such as descriptions of the content, and the methods used to collect it. The registered Data Jacket is shared within the consortium in a form in which connections among related data can be seen, as text mining is automatically performed on the content, thereby promoting business co-creation and new services using the data among participants in the consortium.
Fujitsu will continually extend the features of Virtuora DX, such as adding a function to allow companies to encrypt the data they have and securely send it to specified parties, to contribute to the digital transformation of companies using data.
This service will be exhibited at Fujitsu Forum 2018, to be held May 17-18 at Tokyo International Forum.
In recent years, with the spread of the Internet-of-Things and other advances, there has been an acceleration of initiatives to take a variety of information relating to people or things, convert it into data, store it, and use it for big data analysis or artificial intelligence with the aim of creating new value. In many countries, data usage rules are in the process of being established, such as allowing data to be provided to third parties only after it has been processed so that particular individual cannot be identified.
In Europe, there is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which stipulates the legal requirements regarding personal data protections, in effect as of May 2018, and in Japan as well, there is the Amended Act on the Protection of Personal Information, also from May 2017. Moving toward the creation of a data usage society, for companies to maintain or increase competitiveness, it is becoming vital to take the information of companies and organizations, then use and share it across industries and different types of companies.
In light of these developments, Fujitsu is starting to offer Virtuora DX, a service that extends blockchain technology to enable the safe and secure distribution and usage of data, thereby supporting business transformation and the creation of new businesses through co-creation across industries.
Features of Virtuora DX
Virtuora DX is a data distribution and utilization service that accelerates co-creation between different industries by extending blockchain, which makes falsifying data essentially impossible, to safely and securely share and bring visibility to outline information about the data a company or organization has via a portal site. Service users can undertake co-creation activities using data by not only participating in existing consortiums, which have been grouped by specific data usage themes, but also by setting up a consortium relating to data the user would like to use themselves and recruiting participants.
The data can be registered on Virtuora DX through IDs and attribute information linked with the data, and by using a description technique called a Data Jacket to register summary information about the data a company owns, while the data itself remains in each company’s environment. Companies can then promote the co-creation of new services and businesses based on that information.
The major features of Virtuora DX are as follows:
1. Distributed data distribution platform using blockchain technology
Virtuora DX uses Fujitsu VPX Technology, an extension of blockchain, to register IDs and attribute information linked with the data on the blockchain’s distributed ledger, while the data itself remains in the provider’s environment. Data users can search for the data they need from the registered attribute information, requesting the use of the data from the provider. After approving the user’s request, data providers can encrypt the data for the user and transfer it. Functionality for encrypting and transferring data is planned for inclusion in Virtuora DX in fiscal 2018.
2. Adoption of the Data Jacket description technique, showing the value of the data
Because the contents of a collection of data are displayed as a list of digital information, only experts are able to understand its value. In order to resolve this issue, data providers not only register the IDs and attribute information linked with their data, they also register their data in Virtuora DX in accordance with the Data Jacket description technique, developed by Professor Yukio Ohsawa of the University of Tokyo, which records summary information about the data, including the contents, collection method, and conditions for sharing. This makes it possible for data users to easily determine which data they need, without needing to understand the value of a set of data by reading digital information.
3. Text mining technology to create a KeyGraph showing the connections between data
Virtuora DX incorporates proprietary text mining technology that can extract the most frequently used words from the data jacket description of a data set, and create a KeyGraph(2) mapping of the degree of association with other data sets using similar words. This enables users to intuitively grasp which data sets are closely associated within the massive volumes of data registered in a consortium, enabling users to promote the creation of ideas leading to new services and businesses combining data sets.
Fujitsu will continue to expand the functionality of Virtuora DX going forward, including the addition of the ability for each company to encrypt its data and securely transmit it to a specific partner. Fujitsu also aims to enable anyone to mutually utilize data safely and securely by setting up a consortium to accelerate co-creation activities using Virtuora DX, and develop and rollout a series of support services to promote the utilization of data, building a society where new value can be created.
By the end of fiscal 2020, cumulative sales to 5,000 companies, and formation of 500 consortiums (Fujitsu’s fiscal year ends March 31)
(1) Data Jacket A data description model devised by Professor Yukio Ohsawa of the University of Tokyo. By describing outline data or such information as when and where it was collected, without divulging the data details, it is a method for describing the actual data, consisting of lines of digital data, in a format that enables people to understand its value. The research of Professor Yukio Ohsawa relating to the system of Data Jackets was advanced with the support of grants, such as CREST JPMJCR1304 from Japan Science and Technology Agency.
(2) Key Graph
A method for bringing visibility to the connections between data, proposed by Professor Yukio Ohsawa of the University of Tokyo. By analyzing such data characteristics as the frequency of the appearance of terms included in multiple Data Jacket descriptions or related terminology, correlations among the data can be visualized in the form a network graph.
(3) Mentor License
A license that restricts access authority to chat functions, the viewing of Data Jackets and other features of a consortium.