We remain dedicated to aiding in the creation of a society in which information is integrated into the real world, based on interdisciplinary research on information and systems technologies and on issues in the human and social sciences.
Constructing a next-generation information-sharing infrastructure system ARAI Noriko
My area of expertise is research and development of information communication technology (ICT) that enables effective sharing of knowledge and information along with collaboration without the need for great attentiveness or effort. Specifically, I am developing a next-generation information-sharing infrastructure system called NetCommons and performing an experimental study on the system by offering it for free. I am simplifying the tool as much as possible as I aim at a society in which even organizations with insufficient technology or budget can share information and distribute it online.
A smart method for next generation natural language processing UEKI Kouichirou
Access to the Internet by natural language will increase the number of the World Wide Web users. However, further improvements in the current situation of natural language processing require revolutionary technological advancement. My research theme is development of the next generation technology utilizing a neural network and a genetic algorithm in ways similar to our brains. My research goal is to achieve reliable natural language processing by the neural network and the genetic algorithm.
Meeting the information needs behind the search queries KANDO Noriko
It is essential for people to collect useful information to live better. Yet current search methods using keywords to find information are not effective when users are unsure of what they are searching for. I am studying a search system that gives appropriate help even when users are looking for something they could not have foreseen or have no idea where they should begin their search. The direction in which I am heading is meeting the information needs behind the search queries.
Designing systems that allow computers to recognize objects GOTODA Hironobu
To enable computers to recognize the world outside their own, we have to provide them with systems equivalent to human sensory and imaging functions. To do that, we have to express real-world objects and phenomena so that computers can process them. We call this modeling.My research focuses on the modeling of three-dimensional figures. Successful modeling of such figures lets computers recognize objects and create drawings. The results of this research may someday give computers the power to process information that needs to be "seen to be understood."
Aiming to construct a more effective information search system KOYAMA Teruo
Information search systems have now become an essential tool. When we try to extract information we need from the enormous amount of electronic data on PCs and the Internet, we often conduct keyword searches. Yet the search results sometimes fall short of our expectations. Why is this, and how can we select what we need from among the abundant information? This is the major goal of my research.
Humans use various communications media—telephones and letters, to name a couple. Information systems, including e-mail, are now an essential part of our lives. But because communication via information systems is still in its development stages, information isn't always conveyed accurately. In some cases, these problems can even lead to conflicts in human relationships. These problems occur because information systems lack a human perspective. From the perspective of psychology—my area of expertise—I'd like to address the development of an information system with a human perspective. It's not an approach typically taken by researchers with engineering backgrounds.
Creating a union catalog database of academic information MIYAZAWA Akira
Library catalogs used to be in card format. Once computers were introduced, users were able to search the catalog information on a network, which was more convenient. Behind the scenes, however, a variety of mechanisms are required to make this system work. For example, if libraries and parties that own books on a network input their catalog information in one single database, they can save the trouble of having to repeatedly input information and, moreover, they can create a larger-scale union catalog. Against this backdrop, 20 years ago we developed a system called NACSIS-CAT to create a union catalog database of books and academic journals mainly owned by university libraries in Japan. Since then, I have been engaged in research on issues related to creation of union catalogs.
My research seeks to empirically disclose a precise portrait of research activities conducted by humans. It is, in a sense, "research of research," and sometimes this field is referred to as scientometrics or scientific sociology. The goal of this research is to provide more accurate information for making decisions on the direction of science and technology policies.
Understanding academic trends in Japan through database SHIBAYAMA Mori
Understanding academic trends in Japan and their characteristics helps us recognize our academic standing in relation to other countries. This understanding is also central to planning effective strategies for promoting academic activities. I'm currently doing research on quantitative analyses of academic conditions in Japan, using information like data from research funds acquired by researchers and numbers of published research reports.
Grasping the increasingly complex and diversified world of research SUN Yuan
Comprehending the full picture of what is happening in the world of research is growing increasingly difficult, not only for the general public but even for researchers themselves. However, objective evaluation and analysis of research activities is necessary to clarify the features or issues of the current research system and to make a system that is even more efficient and effective. For this purpose, I have focused on the literature concerning research papers and patents, which are the products of research activities, and using a statistic methodology called bibliometrics I have been involved in evaluation of research activities from various angles. Through research, I wish to clarify the state of the complexly entwined world of research and contribute to providing a new outlook for scientific policies of the future.
Identifying the origins of excellent research, based on data on research papers NISHIZAWA Masaki
My research goal is to enable appropriate investments in R&D that offer great future potential. To that end, I'm examining what kind of support and funds have been provided to research activities that led to high-quality achievements to probe the origins of research excellence.
Information Public Policy
The ideal information infrastructure for the economy and society UEDA Masashi
The tendencies and technologies of our current information-intensive society affect our economy and lifestyles in various ways. As information technology advances, public policies must change to keep pace. This includes revised laws and market structures. I'm exploring the question of ideal information public policy, particularly with regard to how information infrastructures affect markets and how the information infrastructure can be improved to ensure ideal market functioning.
Creating social systems that promote electronic commerce OKADA Hitoshi
My research concerns public policies on consumer behavior in the world of electronic commerce and security policies for universities and other organizations. Right now, the Internet has spread fairly widely. It lets people easily do business with people located far away, or with people in other countries. Japanese laws—for example, Civil Law—didn't foresee the nature of these business transactions when they were established. So unexpected circumstances have to be handled through the flexible interpretation of existing laws or by passing new laws. New laws have to comply with not just existing domestic laws, but international and overseas legal systems, too.
Making democracy more productive with information communication technology KOBAYASHI Tetsuro
In society, networks are formed by people being connected, and by serving as places where people communicate with each other. This generates the dynamics of the whole society. Recognizing such dynamics as social capital, I would like to explore the potential of this capital to build a more productive democratic society.
Studying fundamental technology and policies for new information services SONEHARA Noboru
For resource-poor Japan to survive, the country needs to sell not only things but also information and services overseas. Though packaged content has already been distributed via the Internet as products that have value, the majority of the distributors are major companies and the products distributed are mainly movies and music that already have an established form and the relation of their rights is clear. I believe that from here forward we should be selling the world more varied and diversified information and knowledgeable services like those distributed by small to midsize Japanese companies and individuals on their websites and blogs. I would like to increase the value of this information by increasing its quality so it can be sold around the world. In other words, I want to increase the dignity of these products. My research seeks what types of technology and public policies are needed to achieve this goal.