. 24/7 Space News .
Leveraging AI to accelerate development of scientific models
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 06, 2021

AI Exploration project demonstrates AI-tools that aid discovery, curation of scientific models and generates new DARPA program to continue efforts to automate scientific process

In August 2018, DARPA released its first AI Exploration (AIE) opportunity called Automating Scientific Knowledge Extraction (ASKE). Unlike DARPA's typical four-year programs, AIEs are designed to be fast-tracked (~18 months in duration) research efforts that help determine the feasibility of an AI concept.

The goal of the ASKE project was to develop AI technologies capable of automating some of the manual processes of scientific knowledge discovery, curation, and application. It identified how and where AI could accelerate the process of scientific modeling, and ultimately improve researchers' ability to conduct rigorous and timely experimentation and validation.

Scientific models - or conceptual representations of complex systems - are used by myriad communities to understand and explain the world around us. Computationally creating these models is a largely manual, cumbersome task that requires scouring mountains of research for relevant content, and then executing multi-step processes to build, validate, and test the resulting model.

The challenges to model creation are compounded by the many opportunities to lose information at each step of the process, or for other errors to occur. ASKE's goal was to address these challenges by developing approaches to locating new data and scientific resources, comb them for useful information, compare those findings with existing research, and then integrate the relevant data into machine-curated expert models and execute them in robust ways.

The project's research efforts were split across two technical areas. One focused on machine-assisted curation, where researchers explored ways to use AI to extract useful information from research and build it into new models. The second area focused on machine-assisted inference, where AI uses those newly developed models to help researchers understand the modeled system, answer complex questions, or make predictions.

Leveraging streamlined contracting procedures and funding mechanisms, DARPA was able to get researchers on board within three months of the initial opportunity announcement. Things kicked-off quickly, and the ASKE teams began developing a number of novel approaches. Researchers from academic institutions and commercial companies devised ways to automate the extraction of knowledge and information from existing models (including across diverse data types such as written text, equations, and software code), and created technologies to query and link information across literature.

They created ways to universally represent and explain different modeling frameworks, while also developing tools that allow computational models to be automatically maintained and/or updated as new discoveries and information becomes available. "The ASKE AIE demonstrated a 50x speedup, extending an existing epidemiology model with additional dimensions and states when compared to state-of-the-art manual processes," said Joshua Elliott, the DARPA program manager that led ASKE. "Using the same tools, it also showed that a new computational model in a different domain could be created 8x faster with ASKE than with current procedures."

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, researchers had an opportunity to test their developments and demonstrate their effectiveness. Scientists, researchers, and medical experts the world over generated hundreds of models to help understand and predict various aspects of the virus' spread and impact, creating a proliferation of scientific knowledge that was difficult to compare, verify, and validate.

Much of the knowledge was locked in code, especially legacy code, which makes it harder to understand the parameter choices and assumptions made in the model. As new information and insights became available, an already challenging situation was exacerbated by the difficulties of extracting and representing these new findings, and modeling their effect on the evolving COVID-19 knowledgebase. Authorities rely on expert generated insights to create public policy interventions, making the quality and verification of these models exceedingly important.

ASKE researchers sought to enable better model understanding, inter-comparison, and contextualization by applying their tools to assess, compare, refine, and validate models extracted from code and documentation. The developed tools were used to rapidly auto-extract multi-modal information from publications and assimilate mechanistic fragments to knowledge graphs and executable models to inform the community's understanding of the virus and possible treatments.

Working in partnership with the scientific community and government agencies, the ASKE tools proved effective across multiple domains. As one example, researchers from Galois worked with government officials and applied their ASKE component to contextualize and adapt national epidemiology models and data to local conditions.

Their efforts enabled local planners to evaluate which models provided the best estimation of the impact of the pandemic on vital hospital resources, such as ICU beds and ventilators, using local demographic, geographic, and social behavioral data.

In another effort, researchers from Harvard Medical School partnered with the scientific community to use ASKE tools to produce candidate drug lists and gene targets for wet lab experiments. The work resulted in positive early results for Vitamin-D and MDL-28170. Other experiments with these tools are currently in progress.

The success of ASKE has led to the creation of a larger DARPA program called the Automating Scientific Knowledge Extraction and Modeling (ASKEM) program. ASKEM aims to create a knowledge-modeling-simulation ecosystem, empowered with the AI approaches and tools needed for the agile creation, sustainment, and enhancement of the complex models and simulators necessary to support expert knowledge- and data-informed decision making in diverse missions and scientific domains.

The goal is to enable experts to maintain, reuse, and adapt large collections of heterogeneous data, knowledge, and models - with traceability across knowledge sources, model assumptions, and model fitness.

The ASKEM-developed tools will be demonstrated in several scientific domains, building on ASKE's work with viral epidemics such as COVID-19, as well as the physics and impacts of space weather.

"With ASKEM, we hope to enable expert modeling to adapt at the pace of the modern world, allowing decision-makers to get in front of disasters, global changes, and our adversaries in order to avoid damages and improve the timeliness and effectiveness of our responses," said Elliott.

"ASKE produced novel proofs of concept that enable users to extract models from legacy code, and to more efficiently update, enhance, and validate models. ASKEM will expand on this foundation to produce modeling tools that apply to multiple scientific domains and produce a complete, sustainable infrastructure."

Interested proposers can learn more about the ASKEM program during a Proposers Day that DARPA will host on December 8, 2021, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Eastern Time (ET) via Zoom. Advance registration is required to attend. More information is available on sam.gov.

ASKE demonstrated the potential for DARPA's AI Exploration program and its nimble approach to exploring new AI concepts. This fast-tracked AI research effort helped jump-start a long-term program that requires additional resources and expertise - but could conceivably generate significant benefits to both defense and commercial domains. Conversely, AIEs also allow DARPA to understand where additional advancement might be needed in other fields or areas before committing to a larger undertaking.

AIE is a key component of a broader agency-wide investment strategy in AI called the AI Next Campaign. AI Next is aimed at ensuring the United States maintains an advantage in this critical and rapidly accelerating technology area. To date, DARPA has launched nearly 30 AIEs that are exploring a wide range of AI and machine learning-relevant research topics - from advancing AI/game theory techniques to developing novel AI processing architectures and innovative photonics hardware capable of reducing hardware complexity. To learn more, please visit the AI Next Campaign page.

Related Links
AI Next Campaign at DARPA
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Tech 2022 trends: Meatless meat, Web 3.0, Big Tech battles
Washington (AFP) Dec 1, 2021
After a year that made the terms WFH (work from home) and metaverse instantly recognizable for many people, there are a new set of technological trends headed this way for 2022. Here's a selection of how technology may change lives in the coming year: - Meatless meat - Meat alternatives have become common in an increasing number of US households, thanks in part to Beyond Meat and Impossible Food plant-based products that come far closer to the texture and flavor of beef or pork. As the ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Leveraging AI to accelerate development of scientific models

NASA's latest astronaut trainees are already dreaming of the Moon

Russian rocket blasts off carrying Japanese billionaire to the ISS

Japanese billionaire arrives at ISS

European space firm to build small, reusable launcher

NASA awards Artemis contract for future SLS boosters

Galileo launch postponed

Rocket Lab readies Electron for lift-off in fastest launch turnaround yet

Rover escapes from sand trap

Ingenuity heading north into Seitah for Flight 17

ESA's Mars Express unravels mystery of martian moon using 'fake' flybys

Sols 3314-3315: Bountiful, Beautiful Boulders!

First crew of space station provide a full update on China's progress

Milestone mission for China's first commercial rocket company

China to livestream first space class from Tiangong space station

Tianzhou cargo craft to help advance science

Soon, 1 out of every 15 points of light in the sky will be a satellite

ESA moves forward with your ideas for 11 pioneering missions

Carrier rocket takes off from Sichuan province

ESA helps Greece to boost its space investments

Technique enables real-time rendering of scenes in 3D

Researchers develop novel 3D printing technique to engineer biofilms

New 'Halo' game debuts as Xbox turns 20

Researchers team up to get a clearer picture of molten salts

Airbus will build ESA's Ariel exoplanet satellite

Giant planets could reach "maturity" much earlier than previously thought

Bolstering planetary biosecurity in an era of space exploration

Discovery Alert: 172 Possible Planets? A New Roadmap to Distant Worlds

Planet decision that booted out Pluto is rooted in folklore, astrology

Are Water Plumes Spraying from Europa

Science results offer first 3D view of Jupiter's atmosphere

Juno peers deep into Jupiter's colorful belts and zones

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.