Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

SBIR Success Story: Categorical Informatics

250 Main St #426035
Cambridge, MA 02142

Contact Name:  Ryan Wisnesky
Phone:  650 387 9782
E-Mail: ryan [at] (ryan[at]catinf[dot]com)
Related Website (Optional):

Project Title:  A Category-theoretic tool for Manufacturing-related Information Integration

NIST Award(s) That Supported Technology Development: 70NANB15H290 and 70NANB16H178

Technology Developed: Our firm has developed a software tool for integrating manufacturing-related data.  The tool uses the the mathematics of category theory to integrate data with higher quality and less cost than existing tools based on SQL or RDF.

Key Words (Minimum 4): Manufacturing, information integration, category theory, software

Uses of Technology/Products/Service: Our technology is software that integrates information.  Unlike existing technologies based on SQL and RDF, the technology uses the mathematics of category theory to give higher-quality solutions to information integration problems with less effort by the user.  Users input schemas and data and mappings between them and the technology outputs integrated schemas and data which are mathematically proven to be “the best possible”.  The technology was initially developed in the MIT department of mathematics and applied to a manufacturing-related use case at NIST.  In this use case, a manufacturing service provider with an e-market portal wishes to integrate their services databases with additional information about materials so that users can more easily find services that fit their needs (for example, being able to search using either ‘ferrous’ or ‘iron’).  Our technology compared favorably to existing tools on this use case because it required only to identify overlaps between the e-market portal database and the additional information, rather than to characterize the portal database entirely in terms of the additional information as required by existing techniques.

Benefit to Company: Phase I SBIR funding allowed our company to spin out of the MIT math department and begin to commercialize many years of academic work.  Phase I allowed us to finish dangling research questions, evaluate the technology on a small use case, and test whether or not the technology can be made to scale.  Phase II will allow us to build an industrial-strength version of the technology.  Without NIST’s generous support, our company would not exist.

Technology’s Impact on Company’s Growth: Strategic

Created September 20, 2016, Updated August 23, 2023