Mycroft (cleverer than Sherlock)

Prolog: "The conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearinghouse, which makes out the balance. All other men are specialists, but his specialism is omniscience. We will suppose that a minister needs information as to a point which involves the Navy, India, Canada and the bimetallic question; he could get his separate advices from various departments upon each, but only Mycroft can focus them all, and say offhand how each factor would affect the other. They began by using him as a short-cut, a convenience; now he has made himself an essential. In that great brain of his everything is pigeon-holed and can be handed out in an instant."
Say your interest is piqued by a stellar object (peculiar ZTF light curve, unusual location on the Gaia HR diagram, for its parallax etc). Then you would first gather all the available data ( It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.). Project Mycroft aims to be the "sly stellar sleuth" which in Phase I gathers all the available data; autonomously interprets the data in Phase II (solves the case); and writes the paper in Phase III (collects the rewards).

Mycroft is not meant for industrial analyses. It is aimed at initial exploration of a concept or analyzing small samples. The architecture of Mycroft is inspired by Unix. I am developing a suite of small tools that do specific data gathering (because each Observatory has its own slightly different flavor of data and file system), small analysis tools and reporting tools. As with Unix, the user has the freedom to pipe the output frome one tool to another. In fact, it is this pipe-lining that is expected to make Mycroft powerful and attractive.

Epilog: Shri, An anecdote for the youngsters: have a look at all the standards for interoperable data and services that the Virtual Observatory has produced ( over the past 20 years and some of which I produced. Now consider the most basic use case - I have a source of interest and want to find out everything that is known about it from all the various data sets out there. Is this easier to do than 20 years ago? No. Can I do it with a single line or few lines of code? No. And yet here is a senior astronomer offering Unix tools (and not even c-shell but bash) to do exactly this with piped commands -- Matthew Graham.

Return to SRKUnix

Potential Developers: Framework for Mycroft (developers)

Potential Users: A schematic display for Mycroft