Introduction

Synapse is a versatile central intelligence and analysis system created to support analyst teams in every stage of the intelligence life cycle.

The Vertex Project designed and developed Synapse to help analysts and algorithms answer complex questions which require the fusion of large data sets from disparate sources that span multiple disciplines.

Synapse’s data store (known as a Cortex) is organized as a hypergraph. Combined with its structured and extensible Data Model and the powerful and intuitive Storm query language, Synapse gives analysts unparalleled power and flexibility to ask and answer any question, even over large and complex data sets.

Key Features

Extensible Data Model

Synapse includes an extensive (and extensible) Data Model capable of representing real-world objects, relationships, and events in an intuitive and realistic manner.

Strong Typing

Synapse uses Type Normalization and Type Enforcement to apply meaningful constraints to data to ensure it is well-formed, preventing “bad data” from cluttering the knowledge store. Type Awareness simplifies use of the Storm query language and helps analysts discover novel relationships in the data.

Powerful and Intuitive Query Language

Synapse’s Storm query language is a powerful, intuitive “data language” used to interact with data in a Synapse Cortex. Storm frees analysts from the limitations of “canned” queries or hard-coded data navigation and allows them to ask - and answer - any analytical question.

Unified Analysis Platform

Synapse’s unified data store provides analysts with a shared view into the same set of data and analytical annotations, allowing them to better coordinate, collaborate, and peer-review their work.

Designed and Tested in Partnership with Analysts

Synapse is the product of a unique close collaboration between Vertex developers and analysts that leverages innovative software design and engineering to directly support analyst needs and workflows.

Modular Architecture

Synapse is extensible through Power-Ups (see Power-Up) that add functionality, integrate with third-party data sources, or connect to external databases.

Record Analytical Assessments

Synapse allows analysts to annotate data with assessments and observations through a flexible and extensible set of tags (see Tag). By recording assessments and data in a structured manner, analysts and algorithms can leverage both in their queries and workflows.

“Git for Analysis”

Synapse supports the use of layers (see Layer) to comprise a View into Synapse’s data store. Analysts can create a Fork of a given view and use it for testing or research without modifying the underlying production data. Once work in the fork is complete, changes can be merged into the production view or discarded.

Fine-Grained Access Controls

Synapse provides access controls and detailed permissions that can be applied to users or roles. Permissions can be specified broadly or to a level of detail that restricts a user to setting a single property on a single form.

Flexible Automation

Synapse allows you to create custom automation for both analytical and administrative tasks, ensuring consistency and eliminating tedious or time-consuming workflows. Automation (see Storm Reference - Automation) is provided using event-based triggers (Trigger), scheduled cron jobs, or stored macros.

API Access

Synapse includes multiple well-documented APIs for interacting with the data store and other Synapse components. (See Synapse HTTP/REST API and Synapse Python API.)

Lightning Fast Performance

Synapse uses LMDB for high-performance key-value indexing and storage, combined with asynchronous, streaming processing. This means queries start returning results as soon as they are available - so your “time to first node” is typically milliseconds, regardless of the size of your result set.

Horizontally and Vertically Scalable

A single Synapse Cortex can easily scale vertically to hold tens of billions of nodes. In addition, Synapse supports high-availability topologies such as mirroring.

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