Knowledge Networks and Science Data Ecosystems

Printer-friendly version

Authors:Peter Fox


In an era where results from inter-disciplinary science collaborations are widely sought after for assessement reports, and often policy development and decision making, the prospect of synthesizing and interpreting complex data from myriad sources has suddenly become daunting. Even more demanding is the increased need to explain science analysis results to non-specialists, or answer their questions. These multi-stakeholder networks are often poorly understood, or documented.

Recent network developments for an NSF-funded Data Interoperability Network project (Integrated Ecosystem Assessments for Marine Ecosystems) have highlighted the importance of formally characterizing the network of people, organizations (together these are stakeholders), resources, relationships, etc. in addition to the data and information networks.

Each stakeholder in a network (in particular the marine ecosystem community, broadly defined) is a repository of knowledge about her or his domain. Too often this knowledge is ‘grey’ (tacit) and not accessible in a way that questions of interest can be formulated, posed, answered and assessed. Knowledge networks provide representations of a look into a knowledge base with the goal of gaining insight and understanding into various attributes of a real network. A key aspect is that the relationships among the things in the network (e.g. Organization A has a memorandum of understanding with Organization B for personnel exchange, or Person B is director of Organization A and an advisory board member for Organization B). Simpler examples of knowledge networks, where there is only one or a few simple (less well defined relationships), are co-authorship networks in peer reviewed publication, or friends in a social network. The knowledge networks we seek here are richer and necessarily more complex.

In this contribution, we present an approach to model such knowledge networks and discuss how they may begin to address the questions of the non-specialist in an era of Big Data.


DateCreated ByLink
December 7, 2012
Peter FoxDownload

Related Projects:

ECOOP LogoEmploying Cyber Infrastructure Data Technologies to Facilitate IEA for Climate Impacts in NE & CA LME's (ECO-OP)
Principal Investigator: Peter Fox
Co Investigator: Andrew Maffei
Description: The purpose of this INTEROP proposal is to facilitate the deployment of an Integrated Ecosystem Approach (IEA) to management in the Northeast and California Current Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs). The direct result of the proposed activity will be application-level data and information enhanced communication for developing the consensus networks to define the specific components of interest to support the implementation of NOAA’s Driver-Pressure-State-Impact Response framework (DPSIR) decision framework and the cyberinfrastructure technologies to ensure data interoperability and reuse.