[January 30, 2001] "AML, 'Astronomical Markup Language', is an XML language, aimed at being a standard exchange format for metadata in astronomy. AML now supports the following objects (in the object-oriented sense): astronomical object, article, table, set of tables, image, person, and project. This means that all these objects can be described with the same language, allowing easier establishing of links between them, and the creation of programs handling all these objects with the same user interface."
[1999 description] "We are currently defining a new XML language called AML, 'Astronomical Markup Language', aimed at being a standard exchange format for metadata in astronomy. AML now supports the following objects (in the object-oriented sense): astronomical object, article, table, set of tables, image, person. This means that all these objects can be described with the same language, allowing easier establishing of links between them, and the creation of programs handling all these objects with the same user interface. The following databases can already be queried in AML: Simbad, NED, ADS, and the Benn&Martin people database. A java AML browser can be used to retrieve AML documents and browse them with a common user interface. The creation of this language is a prerequisite for further work on information retrieval in astronomy, and it will allow the use of the same information by both humans and intelligent agents: the intelligent agents can use AML with an XML parser, while a browser for AML documents will be used to create an associated user interface."
See also the related "Astronomical Instrument Markup Language" - "a first implementation of the more general Instrument Markup Language (IML). Both AIML and IML are vocabularies based on the W3C standard, the Extensible Markup Language (XML)."
"Distributed Information Search and Retrieval for Astronomical Resource Discovery and Data Mining." By Fionn Murtagh and Damien Guillaume, Faculty of Informatics, University of Ulster, and Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg
"Clustering of XML Documents." By Damien Guillaume and Fionn Murtagh. Paper proposed for a workshop presentstion 'From Information to Knowledge Using Astronomical Databases'. June 23-25, 1999. "Self-organization or clustering of data objects can be a powerful aid towards knowledge discovery in distributed databases. The web presents opportunities for such clustering of documents and other data objects. This potential will be even more pronounced when XML becomes widely used over the next few years. Based on clustering of XML links, we explore a visualization approach for discovering knowledge on the web...Astronomical Markup Language, AML, is defined by a single DTD. But since AML describes different kinds of documents, it is composed of different parts. The first part is a meta-data block, which is used for all AML documents. This gives information about the AML file itself: the AML version, the date of creation, the author and so on. The other parts describe the different "AML objects": astronomical object, table, set of tables, article, person and image. An example of an AML document representing an astronomical object is given in Appendix 1. We have developed a Java applet to be used as an AML browser, instead of using XSL to describe the interface, because XSL is not yet supported by common web browsers, and because it gave us the possibility to add interactive facilities when browsing AML documents. The AML links are all using the XLink syntax, with a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier). The URI can be either a URL, linking two AML documents on the web, or a URN (Uniform Resource Name). A URN contains an identifier for the AML object, and the type of AML object. The format of the document (AML or HTML), the server to query and its location can also be specified. When these optional elements are not specified, a list of matching servers is proposed to the user in the user interface, based on a local list of servers, so that the URN can be transformed into a URL... Using the properties of XML which are ideal for information retrieval, and its associated language for the links, XLink, we have implemented a new tool for knowledge discovery and used it with astronomical documents. This tool seems very useful, and the only drawback is that, as it is using distributed resources dynamically, it cannot produce results in real-time. It is expected that XML will be very widely adopted in the immediate future, as soon as support software becomes widely available. XML, with its substantial support for information semantics, offers solutions for the burgeoning problems of web-based resource discovery and even knowledge discovery. Our work is particularly important in this context..."
"An Application of XML and XLink Using a Graph-Partitioning Method and a Density Map for Information Retrieval and Knowledge Discovery." By Damien Guillaume and Fionn Murtagh (Université Louis-Pasteur, University of Ulster). 1999. In ASP Conference Series, Vol. 172, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems VIII, edited by D. M. Mehringer, R. L. Plante, and D. A. Roberts. "We have defined an XML language for astronomy, called AML (Astronomical Markup Language), able to represent meta-information for astronomical objects, tables, articles and authors. The various AML documents created have links between them, and an innovative tool can cluster the documents with a graph-partitioning algorithm using the links. The result is displayed on a density map similar to Kohonen Self-Organising Maps. AML and its advantages will be briefly described, as well as the clustering program, which is one of the many possible applications of AML... Using the ideal features of XML for information retrieval, and its associated language for the links, XLink, we have implemented a new tool for knowledge discovery and used it with astronomical documents. This tool seems very useful, and the only drawback is that, as it is using distributed resources dynamically, it cannot be used in real-time because of the time required to download the documents. Its computational requirements are, however, not far from real-time, with access time dominating processing time..."
Contact: Damien Guillaume