Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Accelerating Science: A Computing Research Agenda
- Author(s): Honavar, Vasant G
- Hill, Mark D
- Yelick, Katherine
- et al.
The emergence of "big data" offers unprecedented opportunities for not only accelerating scientific advances but also enabling new modes of discovery. Scientific progress in many disciplines is increasingly enabled by our ability to examine natural phenomena through the computational lens, i.e., using algorithmic or information processing abstractions of the underlying processes; and our ability to acquire, share, integrate and analyze disparate types of data. However, there is a huge gap between our ability to acquire, store, and process data and our ability to make effective use of the data to advance discovery. Despite successful automation of routine aspects of data management and analytics, most elements of the scientific process currently require considerable human expertise and effort. Accelerating science to keep pace with the rate of data acquisition and data processing calls for the development of algorithmic or information processing abstractions, coupled with formal methods and tools for modeling and simulation of natural processes as well as major innovations in cognitive tools for scientists, i.e., computational tools that leverage and extend the reach of human intellect, and partner with humans on a broad range of tasks in scientific discovery (e.g., identifying, prioritizing formulating questions, designing, prioritizing and executing experiments designed to answer a chosen question, drawing inferences and evaluating the results, and formulating new questions, in a closed-loop fashion). This calls for concerted research agenda aimed at: Development, analysis, integration, sharing, and simulation of algorithmic or information processing abstractions of natural processes, coupled with formal methods and tools for their analyses and simulation; Innovations in cognitive tools that augment and extend human intellect and partner with humans in all aspects of science.