Semantically Enabling Knowledge Representation of Metamorphic Petrology Data

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Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting 2012


More and more metamorphic petrology data is being collected around the world, and is now being organized together into different virtual data portals by means of virtual organizations. For example, there is the virtual data portal Petrological Database (PetDB, of the Ocean Floor that is organizing scientific information about geochemical data of ocean floor igneous and metamorphic rocks; and also The Metamorphic Petrology Database (MetPetDB, that is being created by a global community of metamorphic petrologists in collaboration with software engineers and data managers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The current focus is to provide the ability for scientists and researchers to register their data and search the databases for information regarding sample collections.

What we present here is the next step in evolution of the MetPetDB portal, utilizing semantically enabled features such as discovery, data casting, faceted search, knowledge representation, and linked data as well as organizing information about the community and collaboration within the virtual community itself. We take the information that is currently represented in a relational database and make it available through web services, SPARQL endpoints, semantic and triple-stores where inferencing is enabled. We will be leveraging research that has taken place in virtual observatories, such as the Virtual Solar Terrestrial Observatory (VSTO) and the Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO); vocabulary work done in various communities such as Observations and Measurements (ISO 19156), FOAF (Friend of a Friend), Bibo (Bibliography Ontology), and domain specific ontologies; enabling provenance traces of samples and subsamples using the different provenance ontologies; and providing the much needed linking of data from the various research organizations into a common, collaborative virtual observatory.

In addition to better representing and presenting the actual data, we also look to organize and represent the knowledge information and expertise behind the data. Domain experts hold a lot of knowledge in their minds, in their presentations and publications, and elsewhere. Not only is this a technical issue, this is also a social issue in that we need to be able to encourage the domain experts to share their knowledge in a way that can be searched and queried over. With this additional focus in MetPetDB the site can be used more efficiently by other domain experts, but can also be utilized by non-specialists as well in order to educate people of the importance of the work being done as well as enable future domain experts.


DateCreated ByLink
December 4, 2012
Patrick WestDownload
December 2, 2012
Patrick WestDownload
November 13, 2012
Patrick WestDownload

Related Projects:

MetPetDB LogoA Database for Metamorphic Petrology (MetPetDB)
Principal Investigator: Frank Spear
Co Investigator: Peter Fox and Boleslaw K. Szymanski
Description: MetPetDB is a database for metamorphic petrology that is being designed and built by a global community of metamorphic petrologists in collaboration with computer scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as part of the National Cyberinfrastructure Initiative and supported by the National Science Foundation.

Related Research Areas:

Data Science
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
Description: Science has fully entered a new mode of operation. Data science is advancing inductive conduct of science driven by the greater volumes, complexity and heterogeneity of data being made available over the Internet. Data science combines of aspects of data management, library science, computer science, and physical science using supporting cyberinfrastructure and information technology. As such it is changing the way all of these disciplines do both their individual and collaborative work.

Data science is helping scienists face new global problems of a magnitude, complexity and interdisciplinary nature whose progress is presently limited by lack of available tools and a fully trained and agile workforce.

At present, there is a lack formal training in the key cognitive and skill areas that would enable graduates to become key participants in escience collaborations. The need is to teach key methodologies in application areas based on real research experience and build a skill-set.

At the heart of this new way of doing science, especially experimental and observational science but also increasingly computational science, is the generation of data.

Concepts: eScience
Semantic eScience
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
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 the way all of these disciplines do both their individual and collaborative work.
As semantic technologies have been gaining momentum in various e-Science areas (for example, W3C's new interest group for semantic web health care and life science), it is important to offer semantic-based methodologies, tools, middleware to facilitate scientific knowledge modeling, logical-based hypothesis checking, semantic data integration and application composition, integrated knowledge discovery and data analyzing for different e-Science applications.
Partially influenced by the Artificial Intelligence community, the Semantic Web researchers have largely focused on formal aspects of semantic representation languages or general-purpose semantic application development, with inadequate consideration of requirements from specific science areas. On the other hand, general science researchers are growing ever more dependent on the web, but they have no coherent agenda for exploring the emerging trends on the semantic web technologies. It urgently requires the development of a multi-disciplinary field to foster the growth and development of e-Science applications based on the semantic technologies and related knowledge-based approaches.

Concepts: eScience
Web Science
Lead Professor: Jim Hendler, Deborah L. McGuinness
Description: Web Science is the study of the World Wide Web and its impact on both society and technology, positioning the Web as an object of scientific study unto itself. Web Science recognizes the Web as a transformational, disruptive technology; its practitioners study the Web, its components, facets and characteristics. Ultimately, Web Science is about understanding the Web and anticipating how it might evolve in the future.
Concepts: Semantic Web
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
Description: In the last 2-3 years, Informatics has attained greater visibility across a broad range of disciplines, especially in light of great successes in bio- and biomedical-informatics and significant challenges in the explosion of data and information resources. Xinformatics is intended to provide both the common informatics knowledge as well as how it is implemented in specific disciplines, e.g. X=astro, geo, chem, etc. Informatics' theoretical basis arises from information science, cognitive science, social science, library science as well as computer science. As such, it aggregates these studies and adds both the practice of information processing, and the engineering of information systems.
Concepts: Semantic Web, eScience