Chemometrics is the science of extracting information from chemical systems by data-driven means. Chemometrics is inherently interdisciplinary, using methods frequently employed in core data-analytic disciplines such as multivariate statistics, applied mathematics, and computer science, in order to address problems in chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, biology and chemical engineering. In this way, it mirrors other interdisciplinary fields, such as psychometrics and econometrics.
Chemometrics is applied to solve both descriptive and predictive problems in experimental natural sciences, especially in chemistry. In descriptive applications, properties of chemical systems are modeled with the intent of learning the underlying relationships and structure of the system (i.e., model understanding and identification). In predictive applications, properties of chemical systems are modeled with the intent of predicting new properties or behavior of interest. In both cases, the datasets can be small but are often very large and highly complex, involving hundreds to thousands of variables, and hundreds to thousands of cases or observations.
Chemometric techniques are particularly heavily used in analytical chemistry and metabolomics, and the development of improved chemometric methods of analysis also continues to advance the state of the art in analytical instrumentation and methodology. It is an application-driven discipline, and thus while the standard chemometric methodologies are very widely used industrially, academic groups are dedicated to the continued development of chemometric theory, method and application development.
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