Biomedical Science in the Net of the 21st Century: Discovering Emergent Properties of Everyday Life

Bruce Schatz, schatz@uiuc.edu, Head, Department of Medical Information Science Professor, Institute for Genomic Biology University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Net is the global network, which enables users worldwide to interact with information. As such, it provides the base functionality for the information infrastructure for biomedical science. The Evolution of the Net has already proceeded from data transmission in the Internet to information retrieval in the Web. This talk projects the trends in information infrastructure and their application to biomedical science. Model examples are given from large research projects led by the speaker, supporting complex systems in biology with third wave technology and complex systems in medicine with fourth wave technology. Waves of the Net evolve towards capturing the structures of everyday life with continuous features and clustering vectors to discover useful patterns.

The global protocols are evolving towards knowledge navigation in the Interspace, moving from syntax to semantics. In the short-term future, the protocols will support analysis, for interactive correlations across knowledge sources. Analysis environments will directly support scientific discovery from community knowledge, by providing biomedical scientists with semantic federation across distributed collections. In the long-term future, the protocols will move beyond semantics to pragmatics. Feature vectors relating to all aspects of human health will be universally available for whole populations at the level of individual persons. Becoming one with all the world’s knowledge can be achieved via discovering emergent properties within the feature vectors of the Net.