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Information Technology
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book coverLetter Report to the FBI   (CSTB)
Released 2004-06-07

This letter report presents a review of actions taken by the FBI that address many of the concerns discussed in the NRC report, A Review of the FBI’s Trilogy Information Technology Modernization Program. That report was released in early May. After its release, the FBI noted that it had taken such steps and requested the NRC to review them in light of the recommendations and findings of the first report. In addition, Rep. Frank Wolf, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations, asked the NRC to undertake this follow-up study. The letter report presents the NRC assessment of those steps, noting where progress is apparent in addressing earlier concerns and where additional efforts are needed.

book coverSummary of a Forum on Spectrum Management Policy Reform   (CSTB)
Released 0000-00-00

In 2003, the Department of Commerce’s Spectrum Policy Initiative was established with the objective of promoting a more efficient and beneficial use of the spectrum. As part of that Initiative, a series of public forums about spectrum management policy was held. The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board was asked to organize one of these forums, a public forum to gather the views of a variety of government and private sector stakeholders about the impact of spectrum policy on their activities. This report presents a summary of those views. Among those included are those representing national defense, homeland security, aviation, science, public safety, amateur radio, cellular voice and data, and terrestrial broadcast uses of the spectrum. Although prepared by the NRC, the report does not present NRC findings or recommendations. A broader study of spectrum policy, including findings and recommendations, will be issued in early 2005.

book coverA Review of the FBI's Trilogy Information Technology Modernization Program   (CSTB)
Released 2004-05-10

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is in the process of developing a modern information technology (IT) system—the Trilogy program— that is designed to provide a high-speed network, modern workstations and software, and an application—the Virtual Case File (VCF)—to enhance the ability of agents to organize, access, and analyze information. Implementation of this system has encountered substantial difficulties, however, and has been the subject of much investigation and congressional concern. To help address these problems, the FBI asked the National Research Council (NRC) to undertake a quick review of the program and the progress that has been made to date. This report presents that review. The current status of four major aspects of the program—the enterprise architecture, system design, program management, and human resources—are discussed, and recommendations are presented to address the problems.

Report in Brief
book coverSummary of a Workshop on Software Certification and Dependability   (CSTB)
Released 2004-10-20

Certification of critical software systems (e.g., for safety and security) is important to help ensure their dependability. Today, certification relies as much on evaluation of the software development process as it does on the system’s properties. While the latter are preferable, the complexity of these systems usually makes them extremely difficult to evaluate. To explore these and related issues, the National Coordination Office for Information technology Research and Development asked the NRC to undertake a study to assess the current state of certification in dependable systems. The study is in two phases: the first to frame the problem and the second to assess it. This report presents a summary of a workshop held as part of the first phase. The report presents a summary of workshop participants’ presentations and subsequent discussion. It covers, among other things, the strengths and limitations of process; new challenges and opportunities; experience to date; organization context; and cost-effectiveness of software engineering techniques. A consensus report will be issued upon completion of the second phase.

book coverComputer ScienceReflections on the Field, Reflections from the Field   (CSTB)
Released 2004-10-06

book coverGetting Up to SpeedThe Future of Supercomputing   (CSTB)
Released 2005-02-03

Supercomputers play a significant and growing role in a variety of areas important to the nation. They are used to address challenging science and technology problems. In recent years, however, progress in supercomputing in the United States has slowed. The development of the Earth Simulator supercomputer by Japan that the United States could lose its competitive advantage and, more importantly, the national competence needed to achieve national goals. In the wake of this development, the Department of Energy asked the NRC to assess the state of U.S. supercomputing capabilities and relevant R&D. Subsequently, the Senate directed DOE in S. Rpt. 107-220 to ask the NRC to evaluate the Advanced Simulation and Computing program of the National Nuclear Security Administration at DOE in light of the development of the Earth Simulator. This report provides an assessment of the current status of supercomputing in the United States including a review of current demand and technology, infrastructure and institutions, and international activities. The report also presents a number of recommendations to enable the United States to meet current and future needs for capability supercomputers.

book coverRadio Frequency Identification TechnologiesA Workshop Summary   (CSTB)
Released 0000-00-00

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is gaining rapid acceptance as a means to track a wide array of manufactured objects. Currently, RFID technologies have shown promise in transportation (e.g., smart fare cards) and commerce (e.g., inventory control) for a variety of uses and are likely to find many new applications in both military and civilian areas if and when current technical issues are resolved. There are a number of policy concerns (e.g., privacy), however, that will become more crucial as the technology spreads. This report presents a summary of a workshop, held by the NRC at the request of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to explore many of the key technical and policy issues. Several important themes that are likely to govern expansion of RFID technology emerged from the workshop and are discussed.