Data-mining for fisheries
Cefas’ fisheries division is working on an on-going data warehouse project called the ‘Integrated Biological Information System’ (iBIS) using Olap Cube technologies, for the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
iBIS’ primary goal is to standardise fisheries data from multiple domains into a common format which will allow for cross examination and analysis. These data include:
- Market sampling
- Commercial fish sales and catch
- Observer programmes
By standardising data, the Cube's mining facilities allow for extremely powerful methods of searching and comparing data which would not otherwise be easily achieved. The speed at which the Cube outputs this information has also allowed for the data to be exposed to web and mobile applications.
The project was initially intended to assist solely in stock quota assessments. The Cube has been so successful, however, that its influence is spreading into other areas such as otolith processing and geographic information systems (GIS). The wider Defra network is now becoming interested in the Cube’s potential applications. Such applications could include linking fish migrations to oceanic geography while also having powerful applications in hydrodynamics.
"As the end-user/project manager of this software development, I’ve been impressed at the concept that within the cube, all the possible answers you need already exist, you just need to work out what the question is!" Ian Holmes, Cefas.