The Institute of Information Theory and Automation (UTIA) was established in 1959 as a merger of two academic laboratories: the Department of Information Theory of the Institute of Radio Engineering and the Laboratory for Automation and Telemechanics.
UTIA has been involved in basic research in systems, control, and information science. In the 1960s, it achieved significant results in research on the entropy of various sources and in the capacity of information channels with memory. The 1970s saw the development of an algebraic approach to control system design, which yielded numerous important results, including i.a. a parametrization of all stabilizing controllers. The main contributions of the 1980s include a Bayesian approach to self-tuning control, a theory of R-nyi distances in probabilistic spaces, and a method of mathematical modeling large-scale gas-distribution networks. UTIA currently holds research grants from European Communities/Union,? the National Science Foundation and the Czech Science Foundation.
The research library of UTIA contains 30,000 books and periodicals. The computational resources of UTIA include an IBM mainframe computer, a local area network of HP 720 workstations, an image processing system Pericolor, a transputer-based system for parallel computing, as well as a number of personal computers. In 1990, UTIA was given a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, to upgrade its facilities.
UTIA publishes the journal Kybernetika and is the seat of the Czech Society for Cybernetics and Informatics. It regularly organizes the Prague Conferences on Information Theory as well as other events sponsored by the International Federation of Automatic Control and the International Federation of Information Processing.
UTIA has developed close research and teaching ties with numerous academic and industrial institutions. It is affiliated with several institutions of higher education, including Czech Technical University and Charles University. It houses the Prague Technology Center, a joint research establishment with Honeywell, Inc.