Call for Papers: Semantic eScience special issue in Earth Science Informatics journal


Earth Science Informatics, Special Issue - Semantic e-Science
Guest Editors:
  • Xiaogang Ma, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
  • Peter Fox, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
  • Thomas Narock, University of Maryland, Baltimore County,
  • Brian Wilson, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
Science has fully entered a new mode of operation. E-science, defined as a combination of science, informatics, computer science, cyberinfrastructure and information technology, is changing how people in science disciplines conduct both individual and collaborative work. As e-Science flourishes and the barriers to data are being lowered, other more challenging questions are emerging, such as, "How do I use this data that I did not generate?" or "How do I use this data type, which I have never seen, together with the data I use every day?" or "What should I do if I really need data from another discipline but I cannot understand its terms?" As the volume, complexity, and heterogeneity of data resources grow, scientists increasingly need new capabilities that rely on "semantic" approaches (e.g., in the form of ontologies and vocabularies-machine encodings of terms, concepts, and relations among them) to help understand the meaning of data. The field of semantic e-Science fosters the growth and development of data-intensive scientific applications based on semantic methodologies and technologies, as well as related knowledge-based approaches. In recent years, semantic methodologies and technologies have been gaining momentum in e-Science areas such as solar-terrestrial physics, geology, ecology, oceanography, meteorology, and life sciences, to name a few. The developers of e-Science infrastructures are increasingly in need of semantic-based methodologies, tools, and middleware. This infrastructure will in turn facilitate scientific knowledge modeling, logic-based hypothesis checking, semantic data integration, application composition, integrated knowledge discovery and data analysis for different scientific domains, and building systems for use by scientists, students, and, increasingly, non-experts.

This special issue invites research papers that demonstrate how semantic methodologies and technologies are currently meeting scientific or engineering goals in Earth and space science domains. Papers should highlight the innovative designs, methods or applications associated with the semantic technologies. Review papers presenting state-of-the-art knowledge about a subject in semantic e-Science and methodology and software papers about a new algorithm or software package are also welcome. Authors should prepare their papers following the instructions for authors provided by Earth Science Informatics. Papers should be submitted on-line indicating the special issue "Semantic e-Science". Authors may contact a guest editor about their intention to submit, including a short description of the intended submission. Earth Science Informatics is a widely indexed and circulated international journal:

Full papers due: Mar. 15, 2014
End of the first review cycle: Jun., 2014
End of the second review cycle: Aug., 2014
Tentative publication date: Second half of 2014

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Associated Projects

The Tetherless World Constellation (TWC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) proposes to facilitate the vocabulary and ontology development within the context of the overall development of semantic prototypes for the National Climate Assessment (NCA) portals using a combination of environmental inter-agency collaborations in a use-case focused workshop setting, information modeling, and software developments and deployments.

The goals of this effort is to design and implement a configurable and extensible semantic eScience framework. Configuration will require some research into accommodating different levels of semantic expressivity and user requirements from use cases. Extensibility will be achieved in a modular approach to the semantic encodings (i.e. ontologies) performed in a community setting, i.e. an ontology framework into which specific applications all the way up to communities can extend the semantics for their needs.

Recent advances in data generation techniques, whether by experiments, measurements or computer simulation, quickly provide complex data characterized by source heterogeneity, multiple modalities, often high volume, high dimensionality, and multiple scales (temporal, spatial, and function).

VSTO is a collaborative project between the High Altitude Observatory and Scientific Computing Division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and McGuinness Associates. VSTO is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) in the Shared Cyberinfrastructure (SCI) division.

The overall goal of this effort is to bring together key aspects of intelligent systems, namely data mining / knowledge extraction and semantic knowledge representation, and to prove the benefit of this approach by applying it to a science problem that is representative of NASA Science Mission Directorate research interests.

The goal of this project is to develop at the RPI Tetherless World Constellation, based within the NCAR High Altitude Observatory and in collaboration with the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Michigan and McGuinness Associates a semantically-enabled data ingest capability. The project is entitled: Semantic Provenance Capture in Data Ingest Systems (SPCDIS). Initially, we will limit our focus to a set of solar coronal physics instruments, but over time, we will target the broader area of solar and solar-terrestrial physics.