What is ASTROINFORMATICS? What does ASTROINFORMATICS mean? ASTROINFORMATICS meaning - ASTROINFORMATICS definition - ASTROINFORMATICS explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
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Astroinformatics is an interdisciplinary field of study involving the combination of astronomy, data science, informatics, and information/communications technologies.
Astroinformatics is primarily focused on developing the tools, methods, and applications of computational science, data science, and statistics for research and education in data-oriented astronomy. Early efforts in this direction included data discovery, metadata standards development, data modeling, astronomical data dictionary development, data access, information retrieval, data integration, and data mining in the astronomical Virtual Observatory initiatives. Further development of the field, along with astronomy community endorsement, was presented to the National Research Council (United States) in 2009 in the Astroinformatics "State of the Profession" Position Paper for the 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. That position paper provided the basis for the subsequent more detailed exposition of the field in the Informatics Journal paper Astroinformatics: Data-Oriented Astronomy Research and Education.
Astroinformatics as a distinct field of research was inspired by work in the fields of Bioinformatics and Geoinformatics, and through the eScience work of Jim Gray (computer scientist) at Microsoft Research, whose legacy was remembered and continued through the Jim Gray eScience Awards.
Though the primary focus of Astroinformatics is on the large worldwide distributed collection of digital astronomical databases, image archives, and research tools, the field recognizes the importance of legacy data sets as well—using modern technologies to preserve and analyze historical astronomical observations. Some Astroinformatics practitioners help to digitize historical and recent astronomical observations and images in a large database for efficient retrieval through web-based interfaces. Another aim is to help develop new methods and software for astronomers, as well as to help facilitate the process and analysis of the rapidly growing amount of data in the field of astronomy.
Astroinformatics is described as the Fourth Paradigm of astronomical research. There are many research areas involved with astroinformatics, such as data mining, machine learning, statistics, visualization, scientific data management, and semantic science. Data mining and machine learning play significant roles in Astroinformatics as a scientific research discipline due to their focus on "knowledge discovery from data" (KDD) and "learning from data".
The amount of data collected from astronomical sky surveys has grown from gigabytes to terabytes throughout the past decade and is predicted to grow in the next decade into hundreds of petabytes with the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and into the exabytes with the Square Kilometre Array. This plethora of new data both enables and challenges effective astronomical research. Therefore, new approaches are required. In part, due to this data-driven science is becoming a recognized academic discipline. Consequently, astronomy (and other scientific disciplines) are developing sub-disciplines information and data intensive to an extent that these sub-disciplines are now becoming (or have already become) stand alone research disciplines and full-fledged academic programs. While many institutes of education do not boast an astroinformatics program, the most likely will in the near future.
Informatics has been recently defined as "the use of digital data, information, and related services for research and knowledge generation". However the usual, or commonly used definition is "informatics is the discipline of organizing, accessing, integrating, and mining data from multiple sources for discovery and decision support."....