Mycroft (cleverer than Sherlock)
"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.
Shri, An anecdote for the youngsters: have a look at all the standards
for interoperable data and services that the Virtual Observatory
has produced (https://www.ivoa.net/documents/) 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