Welcome to the Institute of Information Science (IIS) at Academia Sinica.
Since the establishment of the Institute of Information Science (IIS) in 1982,
at the dawn of the information technology (IT) revolution in Taiwan, it
has experienced very rapid growth in less than three decades. Since its
inception, IIS has emerged as one of the leading research institutes in
both computer and information science and related technologies in Taiwan.
It has grown from a handful of people to the current 38 research
fellows with about 30 post-doctoral researchers, and slightly more than
300 full-time research associates and specialists. Almost two-thirds of the
research fellows received their PhD degrees from major universities in
the USA or Europe, and another third from the top universities in Taiwan.
Many of them have also received distinguished awards and honors both
nationally and internationally.
Although IIS is not a degree-granting academic institute, nearly all the
research fellows supervise or co-supervise MS and PhD students in topranked
Computer Science departments in Taiwan, and collaborate very
closely with their faculty members. One exception is the international
graduate program in Bioinformatics under the auspices of the Taiwan
International Graduate Program (TIGP) in Academia Sinica. The PhD program
was established in 2002, and has enrolled about 31 students over
the last seven years. Many of our research fellows hold joint faculty appointments
at top universities in Taiwan. This factor has played a very
significant role in training and fostering advanced research talents in the
IT industry and academia in Taiwan.
As the IT industry has long been the crown jewel of Taiwan’s economic
miracle and the envy of the world, IIS strives to play a unique role in this
major endeavor. It has always focused on fundamental and long-term
research to further Taiwan’s competitive edge and sustain the growth
of this strategic enterprise.. At the same time, the Institute /manages a
research portfolio that includes cutting-edge, application-oriented information
technologies that are unique to Taiwan’s society and culture. Our
main research areas cover a wide spectrum of fields in both computer
and information science. Many are cross-disciplinary and require close
collaboration with researchers in bio-medical sciences, social sciences,
liberal arts and other major fields.
For example, we lead a major research effort in Chinese language
processing and its related technologies for knowledge extraction and acquisition.
Many indispensible tools and infrastructures used for research
in this field today were developed at IIS, including the first balanced Chinese
corpus (known as Sinica Corpus). It contains more than 5 million
words with part-of-speech tagging, and is available at http://www.sinica.edu.tw/SinicaCorpus
. The project has already issued more than 130 licenses
to major research groups around the world, as well as major commercial
enterprises like Yahoo and Apple. The group has also developed
knowledge acquisition techniques for Chinese language-based information
to construct ontology structures as well as linguistic and common
knowledge databases for information processing and logical inference.
Currently, the group is developing sophisticated Chinese search engines
that combine machine learning techniques to provide more concise and
accurate results to users.
In multi-media research, a group has been focusing on the restoration
and enhancement of digitized multi-media materials from archived old
and rare pictures and films of extremely poor quality, many with historical
significance. It developed advanced techniques that have successfully
restored and enhanced many of those archives with good visual details
and greatly improved quality. These are some of the key technologies
and research efforts that enable IIS to play a leading role in the National
Digital Archives Program - a 10-year national program supported by several
government agencies with a substantial funding level and a wide
spectrum of applications that involve maps, pictures, documents, and
audio and video data obtained and maintained by many academic, government,
and private organizations.
There are many other research projects in IIS, including research in spatial
information processing systems to develop standard data schema
and efficient conversion techniques for geographical information systems
(GIS) that could facilitate the sharing of spatial data across a variety
of different GIS systems; research in computer networking that
designs self-configurable, self-healing, and self-protecting mechanisms
to support effective data transmission in opportunistic ad hoc wireless
networks, such as those needed in a disaster area in which all the main
communication infrastructures were destroyed by an earthquake or a typhoon
- common occurrences in Taiwan; research in bio-informatics that
studies protein structures and predicts protein-protein interaction with
enhanced accuracy. It has also produced the first semantic role-labeling
system for biomedical literature and developed literature mining techniques
that could provide highly accurate gene and protein name identification,
currently an extremely tedious and time consuming process.
Finally, the Institute conducts research into complexity theory, with the
focus on the construction of various randomness extractors that could
be used in cryptography to derive extremely secure encryption schemes,
an increasingly critical technology for on-line transactions and communications.
The above projects are just a small sample of many highly visible
research projects being conducted in IIS.
Many of our research efforts have significant practical implications and
may even generate potential commercial opportunities. In addition,
many of our application-oriented and development-intensive projects
require different specialists to maintain and support application software
and interact with large user communities. To facilitate such efforts,
the Research Center for Information Technology Innovation (CITI) was
established in 2007 to work synergistically with IIS. Since the establishment
of CITI, IIS has transferred several large projects that are heavily
application oriented and have significant developmental components
to CITI. They include the above-mentioned National Digital Archives Program;
the Grid and Scientific Computing Program, which supports grid
computing by physicists; and the Taiwan Information Security Program,
which focuses on the training and recruitment of advanced information
security talents in Taiwan. There are also several projects, such as Free
and Open Source Software, Sensor Information Systems for Active Retirees
and Assisted Living (SISARL) and some components in Bioinformatics.
We look forward to working closely with CITI.
These are exciting and challenging times for IT research and the IT industry
in Taiwan. Many emerging technologies and opportunities are on the
horizon. IIS, in working with the newly established CITI, looks forward to
a concerted effort in leading the fundamental and practical research in
this important field.