Square-root biased sampling is a way to identify significant events that can be recognized when they are noticed but are otherwise lost in a sea of data. The model is not widely known but can be used to find specific snippets of DNA in vast seas of genomic information, said William H. Press, a computational biologist and computer scientist at the University of Texas, Austin. One day last summer while passing through an airport, "it hit me," Dr. Press said. The method could be used to improve the search for terrorists.
New York Times
Math Backs Limited Profiling in Airport Screening