Nasdaq Deploys New Software Algorithms to Track Precise Modification Times

Google, Standford University and a whole mess of top computer scientists have announced they’ve now developed chronological technology that’s so precise it can track time down to 100 billionths of a second. By comparison, the ext4 file system only counts time down to nanoseconds. Most matrices can’t even keep track of file or database modification dates that are that specific.

Nasdaq stock exchange technicians have been testing deployment of an algorithm that they hope might someday power a network that needs to be that precise. Engineers have already assembled a prototype that they say can keep track of processes with resolution that’s better than anything currently on the market.

Stock exchanges have to have this kind of refinement in order to keep track of millions of stock trades that get placed every second. While day trading strategies might not be ideal for individual investors, institutional investment organizations have been utilizing greater and greater trade volumes as a result of improvements to network connectivity. By using the technology that Standford and Google engineers have developed, Nasdaq hopes to be able to better track the time different trades come in.

This might eventually lead to more accurate prices. Stock trading is increasingly dominated not by wise traders but instead by computers that make decisions much faster than a human ever could. Keeping trade orders on the exchange can mean the difference between profits and debts, so digital investors are demanding up-to-date price reporting that’s orders of magnitude better than what Nasdaq can currently offer.

Such high frequency brokerage houses have to place trades in fractions of seconds in order to move faster than much larger financial groups. Nasdaq hopes, as a result, that this kind of technology might better serve the needs of customers who have to have information all the time.

Some of these investors don’t even have information run past human eyes. More frequently, the data is only ever parsed by scripts that can do things mere regular people couldn’t.

Those with an interest in this kind of technology may wish to keep an eye on related developments, as there’s sure to be a question over the long-term influence of computer-aided decision making.

Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.