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

IIS was established in 1982, at the dawn of the information technology (IT) revolution in Taiwan. Over the past three decades it has experienced extremely rapid growth. Since its inception, 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 full-time Research Fellows, 38 Postdoctoral Researchers, and 300 Research Associates and Specialists. Our faculty members have been among the recipients of many distinguished awards and honors both nationally and internationally.

Many Research Fellows supervise or co-supervise M.S. and Ph.D. students from top-ranked Computer Science departments in Taiwan and collaborate very closely with faculty members from the same institutions. In 2002, a Ph.D. program was established for Bioinformatics under the auspices of the Taiwan International Graduate Program (TIGP) at Academia Sinica. It has enrolled about 50 students, and biological research at Academia Sinica has benefited greatly from this program. In 2014, another Ph.D. program in Social Networks and Human-Centered Computing was inaugurated. In the past two years, it has already enrolled more than 20 students. Many of our Research Fellows hold joint faculty appointments at top universities in Taiwan. This allows IIS to play a significant role in training and fostering advanced research talents in the IT industry and academia in Taiwan.

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

Over the past few years, more than 30 principal investigators at IIS have racked up a number of impressive accomplishments across various research fields in computer science. To name a few, our colleagues were the first to explore multicast traffic engineering in Software- Defined Networks and develop approximation algorithms that achieve the tightest theoretical bounds. These efforts were recognized by a Best Paper Nomination at IEEE Globecom 2014 and a Best In-Session Presentation Award at IEEE INFOCOM 2016. Our compiler team has proposed an efficient and retargetable dynamic binary translator to transparently transform application binaries among different parallel execution models. This state-of-the-art result won the Best Paper Award at the 2016 IEEE International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems.

Our research in embedded systems is fruitful and inspiring. The sub-block erase techniques are the first efforts that utilize isolation hardware to enable sub-block erase in the software layer and significantly improve the garbage collection performance of 3D flash memory. These results received a Best Paper Nomination at ACM/IEEE DAC 2016. In addition, our joint research with colleagues from other universities have also been very successful. Notable recognition includes winning the 2016 WSDM Cup, from which our techniques will be deployed in the search service of Microsoft Academic Search, and delivering one of the plenary talks at the Quantum Information Processing Conference (QIP) 2014 for proposing theoretical protocols, which show that true randomness can be certified under the minimal assumptions on the existence of weak randomness, implying a strong form of a dichotomy theorem on the existence of randomness in fundamental physics and device-independent cryptography.

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

We lead a major research effort in Chinese language processing. 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, Microsoft, and Apple. Our intelligent Chinese input system, GOING, has been used by more than a million people in Taiwan. We have also developed Chinese word segmentation system that has processed more than a million documents. In addition, our Chinese question answering system has won a major international competition. The group has developed a pattern-based machine learning (ML) approach, SPBA, which possess the benefits of both rulebased and traditional statistical ML approaches. SPBA automatically corrects for variations and exceptions in rules, and is highly interpretable.

Our research in bioinformatics has also flourished recently. As most cancer biomarkers are glycoproteins and membrane proteins, we have become world leaders in biomarker identification by developing an automated glycoprotein identification system. We have also developed an automated tool for glycan synthesis. Furthermore, we played an integral role in analyzing chromosome 4 for the international Human Proteome Project. In next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis, we have produced a variety of computational methods and platforms, comprehensively covering short-read assembly, read alignment, and analysis of metagenomics and multi-omics data. Moreover, in August 2016, Taiwan was invited by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) to join the international Cancer Moonshot Project. A major goal that we are contributing toward is proteogenomic characterization of cancers.

Finally, we have initiated around 20 Sinica-wide seed projects in Data Science. This initiative is organized by Dr. Sheng-Wei Chen, and we believe the cross-disciplinary research will flourish in the near future. Many of our research efforts have significant practical implications, which may generate potential commercial opportunities. IIS investigators are encouraged to develop such endeavors. IIS, together with the newly established CITI, looks forward to a concerted effort in leading fundamental and practical research in this important field.

sign of hsu
July 2017


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