Summary of FY2002 Budget Request to Congress - National Science Foundation


The FY 2002 Budget Request for the Computer-Communications Research (C-CR) Subactivity is $64.39 million, a decrease of $1.1 million, or 1.7 percent, from the FY 2001 Current Plan of $65.49 million.

(Millions of Dollars)

   FY 2000
FY 2001
Current Plan
FY 2002
Amount Percent
Computer-Communications Research 60.24 65.49 64.39 -1.10 -1.7%
Total, C-CR $60.24 $65.49 $64.39 -$1.10 -1.7%

C-CR supports research underlying the design, construction, and utilization of information and communications systems of all kinds. It covers theory and implementation for both hardware and software research. The design of algorithms and architectures as well as the tools and technologies for exploiting them are in the scope of this Subactivity. The goal is to promote fundamental understanding of computing and communication and to enable development of the advanced, highly reliable systems needed for critical applications in science, engineering, transportation, environment, industrial control, commerce, national defense, education, and health care.

Because of the breadth of research it supports, C-CR has 8 standing programs and also takes part in other broader priority efforts. The C-CR programs address two broad areas:

  • Research on basic issues in computing and information that include the theory of computing, algorithms for scientific computation, computer graphics, operating systems, compilers, software design and productivity, computer architecture, and programming languages. This research provides the bridge from computing and communication systems to application systems with ideas used to design new types of computers and build operating systems and other software systems. Improvements in software quality and productivity are also important benefits of this research.

  • Research in the design and engineering of computer hardware and communications and signal processing systems addresses communications, signal processing, coding and compression techniques, design automation, and computer architecture. This research develops the ideas embodied in new computer and communications systems. Improvements in computing and communication speeds and capabilities come from this research and continue to provide rapid improvements in technology.

Some examples of the research promoted by C-CR are:

  • Terence Swift at SUNY-Stony Brook has developed a "tabled logic" approach to logic programming, called XSB, that has opened new applications areas for logic programming in data cleaning and integration, medical and psychiatric diagnosis, web agents, verification of concurrent systems, and circuit diagnosis and machine learning.

  • The Signal Processing Program funds a number of efforts, for example, the work of Gregory Wornell at MIT, that have made strides in overall efficiency in high-throughput, mixed traffic, mobile, multimedia, wireless communication networks. This is an area of current high demand and importance, where small advances have significant economic impacts.

  • The Design Automation Program currently supports Tamal Mukherjee at Carnegie Mellon University and others who are developing the basic algorithms to provide computer aided design (CAD) support for designing Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) chips.

In FY 2002, C-CR will emphasize two new research areas:

  • Molecular architectures. Computer science has developed a very successful tradition for analyzing and synthesizing complex systems by imposing on them a conceptual "architecture." The architecture utilizes multiple layers of abstraction to represent component interactions within these layers as well as provide clear interfaces between layers. The goal of this emphasis area is to develop new architectural notions for this emerging area of nanotechnology, with the goal of systematizing the design of nanoscale artifacts. The research will be coordinated through the NSF-wide Nanoscale Science and Engineering program.

  • Cyber-Trust. C-CR will increase support for research in critical infrastructure protection. Protection of computing and communications system is critical to the privacy of citizens, the safety of transportation systems, the financial health of business organizations, stability of the global economy, and national security. The information technology industry faces a crisis of confidence in its ability to design and build systems of acceptable trustworthiness. Cyber-Trust will focus on critical hardware and software technologies that are necessary to achieve high levels of system safety, security and privacy, and survivability. The research directions will include sound theoretical bases for assured construction of safe, secure systems; principles and methodology for secure and dependable hardware, software, and network design; and techniques to verify and validate high confidence systems against security breaches and hardware/software faults.

C-CR will also begin a program, in FY 2002, in Hybrid and Embedded Systems. Hybrid and Embedded Systems are typically small, stand-alone devices that are hybrids of digital and analog devices or devices, such as cell-phones, personal digital assistants (PDA's), or medical devices, that have embedded small digital systems along with other functions. Research challenges in hybrid systems range from developing a fundamental, mathematical understanding of how discrete (digital) and analog systems interact to developing techniques for design and optimization of systems. Research on embedded devices includes new techniques for low power computing and design methods for small systems in which neither processing nor memory is ample.

Other new emphasis areas that will be supported in existing programs include:

  • Untethered, two-way communication of multimedia information.

  • Computational topology to extend computational geometry investigations and applications from strictly discrete domains to continuous domains. This area is a joint undertaking with DARPA and NSF's Mathematical Sciences Subactivity.

  • Research contributing to increased productivity using component-based methods, domain-specific development, end-user programming and other approaches to software productivity.

  • Quantum, chemical, bio-inspired, and other non-silicon computing technologies. This area is a joint undertaking with the CISE Experimental and Integrative Activities Subactivity.

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