Research domains - Theory4IT
The goal of the project in activities related to the development of theory (IT4Theory) is to carry out research focusing on mathematical theories of modern computation methods in the following three key areas:
- IT for Knowledge Management
- Soft Computing Methods with Supercomputer Applications
- Secure and Safe Architectures, Networks, and Protocols
Faced with large quantities of data from various sources, it becomes increasingly necessary to structure and store the data in suitable ways, to carry out effective data searching, and to analyze the data in order to acquire new information and knowledge that would not be accessible without the use of sophisticated methods and algorithms. Topics tackled by the research team of IT for Knowledge Management thus include: processing of extensive collections of weakly structured data, knowledge extraction from data, use of dimension reduction methods for high-dimensional data, use of linear algebra methods, neuron networks, statistical methods, and cluster methods for data analysis. Research, development and subsequent application of knowledge supported by the use of software systems require the introduction of a range of specific approaches. Another part of this research team’s focus will thus be in the field of formal methods. The fundamental topics of this research will include development of modern methods for the effective creation of software systems aimed both at computer technology and embedded systems, the use of formal methods for the specification of software processes and their effective control, research and development of formal tools for the specification and verification of software products, and knowledge-based approaches to software systems design.
Research activities in the area studied by the Soft Computing Methods with Supercomputer Applications research team will be focused mainly on the study of basic mathematical means of creating fuzzy models, including study of the mathematical theory of fuzzy approximation, formal methods for the representation of knowledge burdened with uncertainties, the study of fuzzy models of dynamic and self-organizing systems and systems controlled or influenced by events burdened with uncertainties, the development of special algorithms for fuzzy modelling including the solution of optimization tasks, development and implementation of automatic learning, self-organizing systems, the retrieval of relevant information from data, and the development of special algorithms for the control of mobile robots and their cooperation inspired by the behaviour of living systems. Other part of the project is focused on research of bioinformatics, where there exists great potential for the development of methods and approaches inspired by biological phenomena, such as: biological computation, artificial immune systems, evolution strategies, ant colony theory, pack theory, bacterial foraging, hybrid approaches, etc. However, the development of information science brings with it the need not only to draw inspiration from these biological phenomena, but also adequately to record and evaluate such phenomena. Examples of relevant phenomena and desirable applications include protein analysis, biosignal analysis, brain activity analysis, application of data analysis methods to the collected data, etc.
Main task of the Secure and Safe Architectures, Networks, and Protocols research team is systematic development of the concept of security and reliability in the field of information technologies (i.e. development of applications with respect to their security and reliablity). Both intentional and accidental abuse of information technologies (IT) represent one of major threats to modern society. In the context of knowledge and IT abuse the demand on the system security becomes as important as its functionality, price or maintainability. Current increase in the complexity of computer systems along with cumulative urgency of tasks they have to cope with requires solving a crucial and highly non-trivial question of how to ensure infallible operation of these systems also in situations in which they are not exposed to potential attacks. Contemporary security and reliability-focused IT research comprises a wide range of issues starting with solving purely mathematical problems (e.g. in the area of cryptographic algorithms or formal verification) up to applied research (e.g. authentication) while making use of the knowledge from a wide range of scientific fields (e.g. biomedicine). Within the research new methods and approaches are developed and investigated concerning the protection of computer systems against attacks, early detection and identification of the attacker, threat elimination, etc. However, these new methods are also intended for reliable computer systems that make a minimum number of mistakes and are capable of self-configuration and self-healing. Apart from sofware, the research pays special attention to hardware whose security, reliability and resistance to attacks need to be ensured as well. This concerns e.g. specialized embedded systems and networks providing wireless communication with the surroundings that also need to be secured against both intentional and unintentional abuse.
The entire complex of activities in Theory4IT is conceived both for theoretical and applied research. We consider this to be a key distinction, because the new workplace must retain its innovation potential, i.e. it must function as a source of new ideas which then find practical implementation – and such new ideas mainly emerge from theory. Innovation potential is further strengthened if there is a synergic interconnection of theories and their applications. The results achieved by the research in the Theory4IT part of the project will be applicable either directly or indirectly, as part of the application-based activities in other parts of the project.
Benefits of Theory4IT
The key benefit of the IT4Theory part of the project, focusing on theoretical approaches to computational methods and information technologies, is the search for new knowledge via basic research. The results of this part of the project are focused on the development of computer science and information technologies as such. The outputs will be measured primarily in the form of publications in impact factor periodicals.
However, in addition to these benefits – which are typical of basic research – IT4Theory will also make an important and beneficial contribution to the other parts of the Centre of Excellence. The results achieved in softcomputing, nature-inspired algorithms, knowledge management and other theoretical fields will form the basis for the use of these results in research and development in the application-focused activities of IT4People and SC4Industry. Another key benefit is the output of research focusing on formal methods of software engineering, because software development focusing on the above-mentioned areas requires a highly specific approach and the definition of adequate software processes, which must meet set quality standards. The planned outputs in the form of applications designed for crisis management must meet the most demanding quality criteria in the resulting software product.
Another significant benefit lies in the fact that research staff will be concentrated in one place – generating synergic cooperation effects among experts specializing in scientific disciplines that are currently still de facto isolated from each other.