Michael Feldman has an interesting blog post at HPCwire this week on big data
Fresh from ISC’08 and the associated petaflop-mania, I noticed that the latest issue of Wired magazine has a series of articles on the ramifications of petabyte data. The issue is titled “The End of Science,” and the main thesis is that these enormous data sets are forcing us to rethink the way traditional science is performed.
…In the Wired piece titled “The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete,” the author posits that when data reaches petabyte size, it’s not just more of the same. With such a quantity of data to from, researchers no longer need to bother with hypotheses to be tested; in fact, it’s often not practical to do so. Instead, statistical magic can be applied so that the data itself shapes the solution. For example, Google doesn’t “know” why one Web page is better than another; it just exposes the usage patterns. In a nutshell: correlation is in, models are out.
Its a thought-provoking post.