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)
and Intelligent Systems
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
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
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
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.