What is Neo-Informatics?

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Presented at the eScience 2019

Authors:Peter Fox

Concepts:eScience & Use Cases


The discipline of informatics, generically cast as the science and engineering of information system within a socio-technical framework, originating in the middle of last century has undergone generational adaptations as computer hardware, networks and software have evolved. Within the "eScience" era of the last two decades, discipline-specific fields of informatics have flourished, such as bioinformatics, geoinformatics, astroinformatics and many more. In fact, there may be few fields of study that have not added an informatics sub-field. Over the same time, efforts at systematizing the common (or core, i.e. discipline neutral) aspects of informatics have been successful: use cases, human-centered design, iterative approaches, information models and more are some of the key elements. However new pressures are being placed on functional and non-functional requirements of information systems: with underlying data that are high dimensional, heterogeneous, sparse and with uncertain quality. Demands arise from renewed attention to machine learning, neural networks and artificial intelligence in general, whose methods as implemented in software libraries produce results to be assessed and interpreted (often leading to decisions made) by "humans-in-the-loop". Informatics, revisited is a possible answer. This presentation features some history of informatics, recent successes grounded in, and around, mineral-informatics, and offers ideas for new directions, with the goal of advancing eScience in general.


DateCreated ByLink
October 2, 2019
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Related Research Areas:

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
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