Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation

INFORMATION AND INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS $48,020,000

The FY 2002 Budget Request for the Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) Subactivity is $48.02 million, a decrease of $820,000, or 1.7 percent, from the FY 2001 Current Plan of $48.84 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

  

FY 2000
Actual

FY 2001
Current Plan
FY 2002 Request Change  
Amount Percent
Information and Intelligent Systems 41.43 48.84 48.02 -0.82 -1.70%
Total, IIS $41.43 $48.84 $48.02 ($0.82) -1.70%

The IIS Subactivity is the major source of support for research in the important and rapidly growing areas of human-computer interaction, databases, digital libraries, robotics, computers and society, and knowledge and cognitive systems.

Research in the IIS Subactivity is oriented broadly around two thematic areas: human-computer systems and information systems. Human-computer systems encompass activities in human-computer interaction, universal access, and robotics and human augmentation with approximately $19.0 million of support in FY 2002. Research addresses areas such as graphics and language to enable new ways to communicate between computers and humans, new techniques to support access for those with limited vision, hearing or dexterity, and robotic devices to assist or complement the abilities of humans.

Research in Information Systems in FY 2002 is approximately $29.0 million and includes programs in information and data management, knowledge and cognitive systems, computers and social systems and digital libraries. Research addresses topics such as visualization of data, data mining in scientific databases, analysis of imagery from medical and other sources, artificial intelligence and case-based reasoning, learning systems, understanding human learning and its relationship to machine learning, and the economic, ethical and social impacts of IT.

Major research efforts supported by IIS include:

  • Universal access projects exploit interface technology to assist the disabled, the elderly, and those with less experience with computer systems. Research in these areas is leading to new methods for voice synthesis and recognition, multi-media information interfaces, haptic (force-feedback) interfaces, and the synthesis of systems to ease interaction with computers. Expanding the choices for interacting with electronic systems will have wide benefits.

  • The Digital Libraries program (DLI), which combines support from NSF, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), is also supported in the "Information Management" theme of the ITR program. It has expanded its international activities, supporting joint research programs with the United Kingdom, Germany, and other European Union member states, as well as several Asian countries. Digital Library research now includes new applications of computer techniques to resources in education, for example in the use of digital libraries by children, and as further developed in the higher education digital library program (NSDL) in the Education and Human Resources Activity (aimed at helping teach sciences, engineering, mathematics and technology). Digital library research will be an important contributor to CISE's research to enable Cyber Infrastructure.

  • Data mining and data handling in general are rapidly expanding, with new work on long-term preservation of data, on understanding the provenance of data so that its reliability can be judged, and on extracting data from research to be used in many applications. For example, research on data mining in medical patient records not only assists doctors trying to treat a patient but also can help with epidemiological studies. Observational studies of experts using data may help teach us how to improve everybody's use of online information.

Successes from recent IIS supported research include:

  • Data mining in protein and genome databases has resulted in NSF-funded systems that can determine, for example, the gene sequences of the bacteria that cause Lyme disease and syphilis. New research on computer learning methods at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is helping scientists create new ways to design and discover new drugs using the information in large molecular databases.

  • Many projects investigating image processing and image searching are making dramatic progress. For example, work on 3-D image analysis at the University of Texas has resulted in the discovery of faked fossils and created the field of "forensic paleontology". Work on human motion has produced software that can analyze a video and recognize whether someone is running, jumping, or walking. The capability to search for images is allowing new kinds of access to museums and their holdings.

IIS plans to reallocate resources to support several priority areas:

  • Support of Cyber Infrastructure research will allow scientists to exchange and use original data, instead of only the papers they write about the data. Work is needed on protocols, interfaces, search systems, visualization, and social processes to encourage and facilitate data sharing across the domains of science. The intent is to enable the use of online data, in partnership with simulation and modeling, to accelerate research and solve problems that are vitally important to society.

  • A new effort in "telepresence" will use computer sensors to make 3-D images of people and places, and re-create views of these places at remote locations. Such systems could provide major improvements in our ability to work with people far away, enabling additional jobs to be done from new places such as homes in rural areas or remote parts of the U.S. Research is needed in methods of modeling and computing realistic images and in understanding the impacts of such research on collaboration, privacy, and other topics.

  • Additional effort in the "computational humanities" will improve scholarship and education in literature, geography, and other fields. Examples include the use of special optical and computer techniques to read burned manuscripts, the ability to make 3-D maps of cities - current or past - and systems to analyze music and provide musical accompaniment.

  • Expanded research in assistive technology will help groups such as the visually or hearing impaired, people with mobility or dexterity problems, and the elderly. Computer based systems that compensate for physical limitations or the natural processes of aging have promise to improve many aspects of living and to close a digital divide by giving a growing segment of the U.S. population access to information technology.

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