AIRFrame

Astrobiology Integrative Research Framework.

The goal of the AIRFrame project is to assess the extent to which publications by NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) researchers demonstrate actual and potential interdisciplinarity.

We have developed and tested several data mining techniques to cluster research publications and NAI report documents to identify implicit interdisciplinary connections, and are comparing the results of our clustering studies with the goals of the Astrobiology Roadmap in order to develop a scalable, data-driven method of identifying and measuring interdisciplinary research across all NAI teams.

This project directly addresses two elements of the NAI’s core mission:

  1. To carry out, support and catalyze collaborative, interdisciplinary research.
  2. To explore new approaches using modern information technology to conduct interdisciplinary and collaborative research amongst widely-distributed investigators.

What's New

Interactive Map of NASA Astrobiology Institute Research

We have used machine learning algorithms to group astrobiology-related articles and other documents submitted by the 14 NAI-funded teams in 3 years of their annual reports. The connections between documents found with this method have been plotted as a network graph or map. This graph has now been rendered as a fully interactive visualization of the structure of NAI research for you to explore:

Interactive Map

Current Work Areas

  • Interdisciplinary Research Metrics in Astrobiology (IRMA): NAI Director's Discretionary Fund grant, 2013.
  • Evaluation of diverse document representation and clustering methods.
  • Automatic clustering of astrobiology documents to reveal implicit relationships and potentially productive collaborations across fields.
  • Quantification of the disciplinary roots of astrobiology.
  • Investigating astrobiology researchers' career paths via document analysis.
  • Visualizing the framework of relationships between researchers and publications from diverse fields.

Publications

  • Identifying Crossover Documents in an Interdisciplinary Research Environment, Rich Gazan, iConference 2013 [Article]
  • Assessing Researcher Interdisciplinarity: A Case Study of the University of Hawaii NASA Astrobiology Institute, Mike Gowanlock & Rich Gazan, Scientometrics 94:133-161. [Preprint]
  • Rebroadcasting Astrobiology Information Through Social Media, Rich Gazan, AbSciCon 2012 [Poster] [Abstract]
  • Assessing Researcher Interdisciplinarity: A Case Study of the University of Hawaii NASA Astrobiology Institute, Mike Gowanlock & Rich Gazan, AbSciCon 2012. [Poster] [Abstract]
  • Information Theoretic Clustering of Astrobiology Documents, Lisa Miller & Susanne Still, AbSciCon 2012. [Poster] [Abstract]
  • Adaptation of an Open Source Semantic and Conceptual Retrieval Framework to the Astrobiological Domain, Lisa Miller & Rich Gazan, AbSciCon 2010. [Presentation] [Abstract]
  • The Practical Mechanics of Interdisciplinary Science, Rich Gazan & Lisa Miller, AbSciCon 2010. [Poster] [Abstract]

In Preparation

  • On the Auspiciousness of Astrobiology Ryan James & Mike Gowanlock
  • Unsupervised Classification and Visualization of Unstructured Text for the Support of Interdisciplinary Collaboration Lisa Miller, Susanne Still & Rich Gazan,under revision for CSCW 2014. [Supplemental Video]

Team Members

  • Rich Gazan, Associate Professor, University of Hawaii Dept. of Information & Computer Sciences,
  • Lisa Miller, Graduate Research Assistant NASA Astrobiology Institute, University of Hawaii Dept. of Information & Computer Sciences,
  • Mike Gowanlock, Graduate Research Assistant NASA Astrobiology Institute, University of Hawaii Dept. of Information & Computer Sciences,

Funding and Affiliation

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This research is supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration through the NASA Astrobiology Institute under Cooperative Agreement No. NNA08DA77A issued through the Office of Space Science.

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