Institute of Information Science
Director's Message
hsu     Welcome to the Institute of Information Science (IIS) at Academia Sinica.

Since the establishment of the Institute of Information Science (IIS) at the dawn of the information technology (IT) revolution in Taiwan in 1982, the institute has undergone rapid growth. In less than three decades, the IIS has emerged as one of the leading research institutes in both computer and information science and related technologies in Taiwan. Currently, we have 40 research fellows with approximately 43 post-doctoral researchers, and 270 full-time research associates and specialists. Many of them have received distinguished awards and honors, both nationally and internationally.

Many research fellows supervise or co-supervise MS and PhD students in top-ranked Computer Science departments in Taiwan, and collaborate very closely with their faculty members. In 2002, a PhD program was established in Bioinformatics under the auspices of the Taiwan International Graduate Program (TIGP) of Academia Sinica. It has enrolled about 45 students over the past ten years, which has been to the enormous benefit of the biological research conducted at Academia Sinica. Beginning this year, we have added a new TIGP PhD program, Social Networks and Human- Centered Computing, which should further attract new talents.

As the IT industry has long been the crown jewel of Taiwan’s economic miracle and the envy of the world, the IIS strives to play a unique role in this major endeavor. We have always focused on fundamental and longterm 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. For example, our research in bioinformatics is cross-disciplinary and requires close collaboration with researchers in biomedical sciences, social sciences, liberal arts, and other major fields.

We lead a major research effort in Chinese language processing. The IIS developed the first balanced Sinica Corpus with more than 5 million words and part-of-speech tagging. Licenses have been issued to major research groups and companies around the world, including Yahoo and Apple. Our intelligent Chinese input system, “GOING”, has been used by more than a million people in Taiwan. We have also developed a Chinese word segment system that has processed more than a million documents. In addition, our Chinese question answering system has won at major international competitions. Currently, the group is developing sophisticated Chinese natural language tools combining pattern matching and machine learning techniques to provide more concise and accurate results to users.

Over the past few years, more than 30 principal investigators at the IIS have racked up a number of impressive accomplishments across various research fields in computer science. In 2010, our colleagues developed a blurred license plate image recognition system, which is the first system in the world that can solve the associated problems in a systematic manner. The technique was transferred to the Industrial Technology Research Institute in the same year. In addition, the same group’s efficient multimedia technique for video inpainting to fix damaged and old films was made available (with the relevant software) to the National Archives Administration via technology transfer in 2011. Regarding embedded database systems, we have proposed multi-version index techniques, which can significantly improve the data collecting capability of sensors deployed in cyberphysical systems. In 2012, the virtualization team developed HQEMU, a high-performance and re-targetable dynamic binary translation system, which exhibits high performance and is the first reported case of successfully combining QEMU and LLVM. In 2013, our colleagues developed an influence maximization algorithm to find optimal solutions in online social networks, which was published in ACM KDD, and featured by MIT Technology Review, ACM TechNews, Phys.org, and Popsci.com. Our colleagues and Macronix Co., Ltd. have proposed a healleveling technique that can significantly enhance the lifetime of next-generation 3D flash-memory chips; the description was nominated as the best paper candidate of the ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference 2014.

Our research on bioinformatics has also flourished. As most cancer biomarkers are glycoproteins and membrane proteins, we are leading the world in developing an automated glycoprotein identification system that is capable of analyzing large-scale datasets. Furthermore, we have developed a variety of prediction methods for membrane proteins. We played an early and pivotal role in analyzing chromosome 4 in the international Human Proteome Project. In the field of metabolomics, we have succes


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July 2014

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