The rise of informatics as a research domain

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Authors:Peter Fox

Abstract:

Over the past five years, data science has emerged as a means of conducting science over many disciplines and domains. Accompanying this emergence is the realization that different informatics approaches, i.e. the science of data and information underlying the developments, have also emerged independently and empirically in many areas, e.g. astro, bio, geo, hydro, ocean and over different timescales, funding models and corresponding appreciation by their communities. To fully enable both interdisciplinary research and cope with increasingly complex data within domains, a move to a more repeatable and interworkable mode is required, i.e. adding a research component to the application component of informatics that enables data science as a means to address integrative science grand challenges areas such as water, environment and climate, ultimately resulting in the discovery of new knowledge. This contribution details some key elements of research informatics, the class of people who appear in this discipline, and the state of some current research challenges.

History

DateCreated ByLink
July 29, 2011
09:35:17
Peter FoxDownload

Related Research Areas:

Data Frameworks
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
Description: None.
Concepts: eScience
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
Knowledge Provenance
Lead Professor: Deborah L. McGuinness
Description: Knowledge Provenance
Concepts: Provenance,
Semantic eScience
Lead Professor: Peter Fox
Description:
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
X-informatics
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: , eScience