Corentin van den Broek d'Obrenan ; Frédéric Galliano ; Jeremy Minton ; Viktor Botev ; Ronin Wu - Searching for carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands across disciplines, using Natural Language Processing

jimis:9388 - Journal of Interdisciplinary Methodologies and Issues in Sciences, August 12, 2023, Vol 11 - Thinking interdisciplinarity in practice - https://doi.org/10.46298/jimis.9388
Searching for carriers of the diffuse interstellar bands across disciplines, using Natural Language ProcessingArticle

Authors: Corentin VAN DEN BROEK D'OBRENAN ; Frédéric Galliano ORCID1; Jeremy MINTON ; Viktor BOTEV ; Ronin Wu ORCID2

  • 1 Département d'Astrophysique (ex SAP)
  • 2 Iris AI, Bekkestua, Norway

The explosion of scientific publications overloads researchers with information. This is even more dramatic for interdisciplinary studies, where several fields need to be explored. A tool to help researchers overcome this is Natural Language Processing (NLP): a machine-learning (ML) technique that allows scientists to automatically synthesize information from many articles. As a practical example, we have used NLP to conduct an interdisciplinary search for compounds that could be carriers for Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs), a long-standing open question in astrophysics. We have trained a NLP model on a corpus of 1.5 million cross-domain articles in open access, and fine-tuned this model with a corpus of astrophysical publications about DIBs. Our analysis points us toward several molecules, studied primarily in biology, having transitions at the wavelengths of several DIBs and composed of abundant interstellar atoms. Several of these molecules contain chromophores, small molecular groups responsible for the molecule's colour, could be promising candidate carriers. Identifying viable carriers demonstrates the value of using NLP to tackle open scientific questions, in an interdisciplinary manner.


Volume: Vol 11 - Thinking interdisciplinarity in practice
Section: Subject Area 1: Interdisciplinarity as a field of research
Published on: August 12, 2023
Accepted on: August 12, 2023
Submitted on: April 26, 2022
Keywords: natural language processing,astrophysics,interstellar medium,diffuse interstellar bands,maching learning,[SDU.ASTR.GA]Sciences of the Universe [physics]/Astrophysics [astro-ph]/Galactic Astrophysics [astro-ph.GA],[CHIM.ORGA]Chemical Sciences/Organic chemistry,[INFO.INFO-AI]Computer Science [cs]/Artificial Intelligence [cs.AI]

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