Case Study

Profusion Analytics

Profusion Analytics Leverages Eureqa® to Optimize Networks

"The in-depth analysis of our data could not have been done without Eureqa®, especially at scale. Eureqa® turned out to be a lifesaver."
-Ray Harrison, VP of product development at Profusion Analytics

The status quo in Communications: more data, same results

Knowledge is power. For cable providers, it's also more efficient troubleshooting, happier customers and more revenue. Yet until recently, knowledge about how to optimize cable networks and detect service disruptions was underwhelming. If a customer or neighborhood faced a connection problem, cable companies would dispatch a number of vehicles in a "truck roll", sending employees and thousands of dollars worth of equipment to tap into the local cable nodes and take the pulse of the broadcast spectrum. From there, they relied on the expertise and hunches of their employees to diagnose and patch up the issue at hand.

Fortunately, advances in modem chip set technology have made virtually every modem and cable box smarter. Modems are now almost universally equipped with tiny data tracking mechanisms that give cable providers a transparent view of their downstream broadcast spectrum. This means that when a subscriber calls in with an issue, a customer service representative can work to solve it remotely, keeping subscribers happy and saving the cable company time and money. But streamlining the data acquisition process does nothing to fundamentally change how networks are monitored and mended.

The Eureqa® revolution: powerful answers, automatically

Profusion Analytics, a predictive analytics company in Greenwood, Colorado, empowers some of the largest cable providers in the country to pinpoint network problems quickly and accurately, often before the customer even knows an issue existed.

Profusion gathers petabytes of spectrum data from millions of cable modems (codeword error rate, micro-reflection, signal-to-noise ratio, group delay, etc.); stores it; and translates and normalizes it with Hadoop and Pig. The normalized spectrum data is then run through Eureqa® to distill the fundamental properties of different broadcast spectrums. The result is a "catalog" of mathematical equations representing various spectrums (video, high-speed internet, voice over IP, aeronautical band) under various conditions (non-linear amplitude with a high signal-to-noise ratio, etc.).

Profusion's interactive web/mobile application, Profusion XSA, maps real-time data from home modems and neighborhood nodes to identical spectrum formulas in its back-end catalog. When data from a modem or node indicates significant deviations from "healthy" formulas, an alert is triggered. The cable provider can drill into the troubled spectrum to pinpoint the exact variables responsible for the spectrum's variance. It can then take immediate action to fix the issue, mitigating lengthy customer service calls and frustrated consumers.

Data science for the masses

Spawning this new era of network health required a new era of analytic technologies, said Ray Harrison, VP of product development at Profusion. Despite being loaded with brilliant minds with backgrounds in network operations, data analytics, and business development, Profusion's ability to model and understand its data only became "cutting-edge" after implementing Eureqa®.

"The spectrum categorization and in-depth analysis of our data set could not have been done without Eureqa®, especially at scale," Harrison said. "We needed an effective strategy for modeling spectral variations. We utilized trial and error to ascertain what a formula might look like for a given spectrum category, but we weren't always successful. We modeled a few straightforward linear categories, but once we got past that, we needed a more robust approach."

"Eureqa® turned out to be a lifesaver. It's amazing. The fact that we've been able to progress our data science strategy so quickly has not only made a difference to our bottom line, but it's made a difference in the speed at which we've been able to update our catalog and product."

Powered by Eureqa®, Profusion Analytics is enabling cable providers to quickly and accurately understand the cause and effect of broadcast spectrum variances. Its XSA platform is creating a new paradigm for identifying, alerting and generating internal action to mitigate video interferences and outages. It's a Eureqa moment for the communications industry.

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