Basic inequalities for weighted entropies
The concept of weighted entropy takes into account values of different outcomes, i.e., makes entropy context-dependent, through the weight function. We establish a number of besic inequalities mirroring similar bounds on standard shannon entropy and related quantities
Described approach delivers opportunities for unstructured information utilization in order to increase efficiency of innovation in education activity for separate tutors, science workers, professors and for scholarship, university as a whole for creating and automation of innovative process and therefore for maximization of ROI (return on investments) in universities intellectual and social capital. As a result, virtual community with a multiple content centres is created presenting a prototype of intellectual neural network with distributed association nodes. These nodes are formed during non-standard educational process similar to brainstorming where participants have quite different knowledge levels and limitation due to ‘traditional thinking’, for example, classical seminar in auditorium in parallel with webinar. In this process all steps except final (gathering of experts) are human non-dependant, what increase efficiency of this process in general.
The paper deals with the engineering training problems in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT). It analyzes the content and relationship of ICT educational and professional standards, formulates a number of engineering education problems under a two-level system of personnel training and proposes their solutions.
This proceedings publication is a compilation of selected contributions from the “Third International Conference on the Dynamics of Information Systems” which took place at the University of Florida, Gainesville, February 16–18, 2011. The purpose of this conference was to bring together scientists and engineers from industry, government, and academia in order to exchange new discoveries and results in a broad range of topics relevant to the theory and practice of dynamics of information systems. Dynamics of Information Systems: Mathematical Foundation presents state-of-the art research and is intended for graduate students and researchers interested in some of the most recent discoveries in information theory and dynamical systems. Scientists in other disciplines may also benefit from the applications of new developments to their own area of study.
The paper presents a dicision rule forming a mathematical basis of earthquake forecasting problem. We develop an axiomatic approach to earthquake forecasting in terms of a multicomponent random fields on a lattice.
ICT are dramatically changing people’s lives. Industrial processes are becoming more and more intellectual, with their growing efficiency. ICT constant development and appearance of new functions are driving large-scale economic changes. Under the influence of Information Communication Technologies, relations between government, companies, and people are significantly transforming. However, practices show that ICT, having influence on economic growth and sustainable development, appear to have certain drawbacks. It is extremely important to note that their positive and negative characteristics are not only economic, but social and ecological. To maximize positive effects and neutralize drawbacks, ICT should be managed by government, businesses and societies together. The ICT market growing quickly, ICT use is expanding in businesses, public administration, and social developments. Along with these ongoing processes, there are studies which are being developed at both the national and region levels in Russia. This paper describes the mutual influence between businesses and ICT in Russia. This paper aims at considering the main trends and major consequences of these interactions, as well as how to study them. It does so from theoretical researches in this area as well as domestic and international practices.
The 7th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, ICEGOV2013, took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 22 to 25 October 2013. The conference was organized under the patronage of the Ministry of Security and Public Administration of the Republic of Korea (MOSPA) by the National Information Society Agency and by Macao-based Center for Electronic Governance at United Nations University International Institute for Software Technology (UNU-IIST) as the founder and organizer of the ICEGOV series. The conference took place under the theme "Beyond 2015 Smart Governance, Smart Development". It was co-located with the Global e-Government Forum, organized by MOSPA in collaboration with United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
The ICEGOV series focuses on the use of technology to transform relationships between government and citizens, businesses, civil society and other arms of government (Electronic Governance). Established in 2007, the series looks beyond the traditional focus on technology-enabled transformation in government (Electronic Government) towards new forms, new paradigms, and new foundations for technology-enabled governance, collaboration and sustainable development. ICEGOV is a platform where researchers, policy-makers and practitioners meet; a platform where theories are tested, insights are shared and experiences are reported; a platform for network- and capacity-building where keynote lectures and paper sessions are complemented by plenary discussions, town hall debates and poster exhibitions; a platform for international dialogue attended by participants from developing, developed and transition countries, from the United Nations system, and from many academic, governmental, non-governmental and private sector organizations. Since its establishment, the series has traveled globally from Macao (ICEGOV2007), through Cairo (ICEGOV2008), Bogota (ICEGOV2009), Beijing (ICEGOV2010), Tallinn (ICEGOV2011) and Albany (ICEGOV2012), to Seoul (ICEGOV2013) all generating significant local interest and stakeholder engagement.
The program of ICEGOV2013 was built upon contributions from researchers and practitioners from around the world. In response to the call for papers, the conference received 133 papers from 54 countries and economies. The papers were evaluated in five categories: 1) Completed Research Papers providing the outcomes of complete research in one or more aspects of EGOV, with proven capability to advance the state of research in the field, limited to 10 pages; 2) Ongoing Research Papers providing the outcomes of ongoing research in one or more aspects of EGOV, with potential capability to advance the state of research in the field, limited to 4 pages; 3) Completed Experience Papers describing completed experience concerning EGOV policy or practice innovations, with proven capability to advance the state of practice in the field, including critical success factors and insights on the challenges encountered and how they were addressed, limited to 10 pages; 4) Ongoing Experience Papers describing ongoing experience concerning EGOV policy and practice innovations, with potential capability to advance the state of practice in the field, including critical success factors and insights on the challenges encountered and how they are being addressed, limited to 4 pages; and 5) Poster Papers presenting novel ideas and initiatives with potential to advance the state of research or state of practice in the field, limited to 2 pages. In total, 43 Completed Research Papers, 45 Ongoing Research Papers, 17 Completed Experience Papers, 21 Ongoing Experience Papers and 8 Posters were received. After anonymous peer-review process carried out by the members of the Program Committee at least three independent reviews were obtained for each submission as a basis for acceptance decisions: 13 submissions were accepted as Completed Research Papers, 8 as Completed Experience Papers, 29 as Ongoing Research Papers, 11 as Ongoing Experience Papers and 21 as Poster Papers. All accepted submissions, revised to address review comments, and presented at the conference within 6 paper tracks, 11 thematic sessions and one poster session, are included in this volume. Among them, like the last three ICEGOV conferences, the authors of selected papers were invited to submit extended versions of their papers for possible publication in the special issue of Government Information Quarterly, Elsevier.
Based on the submitted and invited contributions and continuing the ICEGOV tradition, ICEGOV2013 featured a rich academic, capacity-building and network-building program comprising keynote lectures, plenary discussions, town hall debates, paper tracks, thematic sessions and the doctoral colloquium and poster exhibition. The program engaged individuals from over 60 countries and economies as authors, reviewers, committee members or resource persons. The details of the program are provided below.
The conference included six keynote lectures on various aspects of Electronic Governance (EGOV), conducted by distinguished experts and practitioners in the area: 1) Park Chan Woo, Vice-Minister of Security and Public Administration of the Republic of Korea; 2) Alikhan Baimenov, Chairman of the Agency for Civil Service Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan; 3) Moon Suk Ahn, Chair Professor of e- Government, Korea University, Republic of Korea; 4) Mohammed Ali Al, Chief Executive Officer, e-Government Authority, Kingdom of Bahrain; 5) Henk G. Sol, Professor of Business and ICT and Founding Dean, University of Groningen, Netherlands; and 6) Edwin Lau, Head of Division, Reform of the Public Sector, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Three plenary sessions followed the keynote lectures on the second, third and fourth day of the conference, focusing on specific questions of interest to the EGOV research and policy community:
1. Are international EGOV rankings having a mobilizing or distracting influence on development? Chaired by Tomasz Janowski, Head of the Center for Electronic Governance at UNU-IIST and attended by: Vincenzo Aquaro, Chief of E-Government Branch, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, UNDESA; Bikesh Kurmangaliyeva, Deputy Chairwoman of the Board of "Zerde" National CT Holding, Kazakhstan; Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, CEO of eGovernment Authority, Kingdom of Bahrain; Mesfin Belachew Tefera, Technical Advisor to the Minister, Ethiopian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology; and Saleem Zoughbi, Former Regional ICT Advisor, UNESCWA and consultant for UNU-IIST.
2. Who should drive smart conversations for sustainable development experts, citizens or politicians? Chaired by Marijn Janssen, Professor of ICT and Governance at Technology, Policy and Management Faculty, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands and attended by: Sunil Choenni, Head, Department of Statistical Information Management and Policy Analysis, Research and Documentation Centre (WODC), Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice; Harekrishna Misra, Professor in IT and Systems at the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), India; Henk G.Sol, Professor of Business and ICT and Founding Dean, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, Netherlands; and Evgeny Styrin, Senior Research Analyst and Associate Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia.
3. Is a common set of e-government principles, applicable to all countries and contexts, possible? Chaired by Samuel Chan, Member of Executive Committee, Macao Science and Technology Development Fund, Macao SAR Government and attended by: Wojciech Cellary, Head of the Department of Information Technology, Poznan University of Economics, Poland; Sharon Dawes, Senior Fellow, Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, USA; Edwin Lau, Head of Division, Reform of the Public Sector, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development; and Jeremy Millard, Associate Research Fellow, Brunel University, UK.
Three town hall debates took place in the afternoons of the first, second and third days of the conference. They focused on three salient questions for the EGOV research and policy community:
1. Catalyzing Smart Transformation: What Makes Governments Smarter? Chaired by Samia Melhem, Lead Policy Specialist, Transform Practice, Chair, eDevelopment Community of Practice, Transport, Water and ICT, Sustainable Development Network, World Bank Group; and Oleg Petrov, Senior Program Officer, ICT, World Bank; and attended by: Jabiri Kuwe Bakari, CEO, e-Government Agency, Tanzania; Rajendra Kumar, Senior Officer, Indian Administrative Service and Joint Secretary (e-Governance), Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India; Bikesh Kurmangaliyeva, Deputy Chairwoman of the Board of "Zerde" National CT Holding, Kazakhstan; Margareta Petrusevschi, Knowledge and Learning Coordinator, e-Government Centre, Government of the Republic of Moldova; James Saaka, Executive Director, National Information Technology Authority, Uganda; Mesfin Belachew Tefera, Technical Advisor to the Ethiopian Minister of Communication and Information Technology; and Jeongwon Yoon, Executive Director, National Information Society Agency, Korea. This town hall was organized by the World Bank.
2. Is Good Governance a Pre-Condition or a Consequence of the Development of Knowledge Societies? Chaired by Andrea Cairola, Adviser for Communication and Information, UNESCO Office Beijing, Cluster Office to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Peoples Republic of China and Republic of Korea; and attended by: Johanna Ekua Awotwi, Director of Research and ICT Operations, Centre for e-Governance, Accra, Ghana; Antonio Cordella, Lecturer in Information Systems, London School of Economics and Political Sciences, UK; Marco Peres, Director, Observatory for Society, Technology and Government Information, University Externado of Colombia, Colombia; Margareta Petrusevschi, Knowledge and Learning Coordinator, e-Government Centre, Government of the Republic of Moldova, Moldova; and Jeongwon Yoon, Executive Director, National Information Society Agency, Republic of Korea. This town hall was organized by the UNESCO Information for All Programme.
3. Striking the Balance of Security, Privacy and Openness: To Open or Not To Open? Chaired by Theresa Pardo, Director of the Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, USA, and attended by: Sharon Dawes, Senior Fellow, Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, USA; Ramon Gil-Garcia, Research Director, Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, USA; Louise Thomasen, independent consultant and expert in EGOV and technology, Denmark; and Lei Zheng, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, Fudan University, China.
The program included six paper tracks, chaired by leading international experts in the corresponding areas, comprising presentations of three to six accepted papers: 1) Building Smart Government chaired by Theresa Pardo, Director of the Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, USA and Gabriel Puron Cid, Professor at the Centre of Research and Teaching in Economic Sciences, Mexico; 2) Governing through Networks chaired by Sehl Mellouli, Associate Professor at Laval University, Canada and Adegboyega Ojo, Research Fellow and Leader of E-Government Group at INSIGHT, National University of Ireland, Ireland; 3) Policy and Governance Innovation chaired by Natalie Helbig, Senior Research Associate at the Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, USA and Marijn Janssen, Professor in ICT and Governance at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands; 4) Smart Governance for Smart Industries chaired by Wojciech Cellary, Professor and Head of the Department of Information Technology at the Poznan University of Economics, Poland and Antonio Cordella, Lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, UK; 5) Smart Governance for Smart Societies chaired by Jeremy Millard, Associate Research Fellow at the Brunel University, UK; and 6) Ethics, Transparency and Accountability chaired by Jeanne Holm, Chief Knowledge Architect at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USA. Each track took place across the whole duration of the conference, with tutorial introduction to the topic of the track organized on the first day, presentations of accepted papers on the second or third day, and workshop-style discussion on the last day.
Complementing the paper tracks, 11 thematic sessions were organized and chaired by industrial, academic, government and international organizations active in the theme of the session, comprising presentations of up to four accepted papers: 1) EGOV for Developmentchaired by Nag Yeon Lee, ICT Consultant and Instructor for e-Government on behalf of the Asia Pacific Center on ICT for Development, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific; 2) National Data Policies chaired by Zhanat Zhakhmetova, Head of the Office of State Informatization Policy, Department of State Information Technology Policy, on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Republic of Kazakhstan; 3) Governing Ageing Society chaired by Toshio Obi, Professor, Institute of e-Government on behalf of Waseda University, Japan; 4) Governing Smart Cities chaired by Yoon Chang So, Smart Cities Country Leader, IBM Korea on behalf of IBM; 5) Open Government Data Impact chaired by Edwin Lau, Head of Division, Reform of the Public Sector, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, on behalf of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development; 6) Interoperability Governance chaired by Jung Sik Hwang, Platform Strategy Lead at Microsoft Korea on behalf of Microsoft; 7) Government on Social Mediachaired by Jeanne Holm, Evangelist, Data.Gov and Chief Knowledge Architect at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA on behalf of the World Wide Web Consortium; 8) Innovative EGOV Applications chaired by Oleg Petrov, Senior Program Officer, ICT, World Bank on behalf of the World Bank; 9) Participatory Government chaired by Bernd Friedrich, Head of the Information and Communications Technologies for Development Project at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Germany on behalf of GTZ; 10) Mobile Governance chaired by Nestor Eduardo Fajardo Infante, Advisor for Research, Development and Innovation, Ministry of Information Technology and Communication, on behalf of the Government of Colombia; and 11) Open Data Ecosystem chaired by Jeanne Holm, Evangelist, Data.Gov and Chief Knowledge Architect, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA on behalf of the U.S. Government and Data.Gov.
The program also included poster exhibition, organized in the reception style to allow authors to present their ongoing work, receive feedback and engage in discussions and networking; and an interactive doctoral colloquium, jointly organized by the Center for Electronic Governance at UNU-IIST, Macao, University of Groningen, Netherlands and Chuo University, Japan. The colloquium provided doctoral students from different disciplines an opportunity to discuss a variety of EGOV topics and methods related to their research work, dissertations and career plans. The colloquium was co-chaired by Elsa Estevez, Academic Program Officer, United Nations University International Institute for Software Technology, Macao; Hiroko Kudo, Professor of Public Policy and Public Management, Faculty of Law, Chuo University, Japan; and Henk G. Sol, Professor of Business and ICT and Founding Dean, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, Netherlands; and attended by Adegboyega Ojo, Research Fellow and Leader of E-Government Group at the INSIGHT Center for Data Analytics, National University of Ireland, Ireland as invited academic.
The conference awarded best paper titles in Best Research Paper and Best Experience Paper categories. The selection was carried out jointly by Elsa Estevez as the ICEGOV2013 Awards Chair, and Tomasz Janowski and Jeanne Holm as the ICEGOV2013 Program Chairs. Three papers were nominated to the Best Experience Paper award: 1) A Reputation Based Electronic Government Procurement Model by Hichem Klabi, Sehl Mellouli and Monia Rekik; 2) Government 3.0 in Korea: Fad or Fashion? byTaewoo Nam; and 3) Secure ID Management for Social Security and Tax Number System by Hisao Sakazaki, Dan Yamamoto, Akihiro Sugimoto and Shinji Hirata. The winner in this category was "A Reputation Based Electronic Government Procurement Model" by Hichem Klabi, Sehl Mellouli and Monia Rekik. Three papers were also nominated to the Best Research Paper award: 1) Harnessing the Duality of e-Participation Social Software Infrastructure Design by Lukasz Porwol, Adegboyega Ojo and John Breslin; 2) When Food Quality Control in China Meets Mobile and Wireless Technology: Interactions, Potentials and Pitfalls by Shuhua Liu; and 3) Cross-departmental Collaboration in Government One-Stop Center: Factors and Performance by Xinping Liu. The winner in this category was "Harnessing the Duality of e-Participation Social Software Infrastructure Design" by Lukasz Porwol, Adegboyega Ojo and John Breslin.
Many people and institutions contributed to the organization of ICEGOV2013. We wish to thank the official patron of ICEGOV2013, the Ministry of Security and Public Administration of the Republic of Korea for endorsing and supporting the conference. Our sincere thanks go to the National Information Society Agency, Republic of Korea (NIA) as the local organizer of the conference, particularly to Jeongwon Yoon for his vision and leadership, and to Dohyoon Kim and the whole team in NIA for their hard work and dedication to making the combined ICEGOV2013 and Global e-Government Forum event successful. We wish to express our most sincere thanks to the key sponsors Macao SAR Government and Macao Foundation and the sponsor Electronic Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan whose generous contributions allowed many academics and practitioners from developing countries to attend the conference. Special gratitude is due to Macao SAR Government, its Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau, and Macao Foundation for continuing support to the ICEGOV conference series and the origin of the series e-Macao Program. We also wish to thank ICEGOV2013 partners for their presence, support and in-kind contributions: Brunel University, London, UK; Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany, USA; Data.Gov, U.S. Government; German Cooperation, Deutsche Zusammenarbeit and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Germany; IBM; Information and Communication Technologies, World Bank; Microsoft; Ministry of Information Technology and Communication, Colombia (MINTIC); Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development; Poznan University of Economics, Poland; The Insight Centre for Data Analytics, National University of Ireland, Ireland; The Science and Technology Development Fund, Government of Macao SAR, Macao; UNESCO Information for All Programme; United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development; Vive Digital Programme, MINTIC, Colombia; Waseda University, Japan; and the World Wide Web Consortium. We also wish to express our thanks to ACM Press for publishing the ICEGOV2013 conference proceedings. We are most grateful to the whole Advisory Committee for supporting the conference and to all members of the Program Committee and additional reviewers for their efforts to carry out quality reviews and to help build a strong conference program. We thank keynote speakers; organizers, chairs and moderators of the plenary sessions, town hall debates, paper tracks, thematic sessions, the doctoral colloquium, and the poster session; and all panelists and speakers for their intellectual contributions. Last but not least, we are most thankful to all authors for their efforts in preparing, submitting and presenting papers at ICEGOV2013.
We hope that ICEGOV2013 will further contribute to building, growing and connecting global EGOV research, policy and practice communities, able to cross not only national and regional but also institutional and thematic borders, and that the contacts, discussions and ideas initiated in Seoul in October 2013 will continue well after the conference and towards ICEGOV2014 in Guimaraes, Portugal.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) radically transform many areas of human activity thus attracting great attention of researchers. However, the dynamics of ICT development depends on the global challenges and broader trends that define long-term S&T priorities. What factors that will influence the future of the ICT industry? What technological solutions will determine its characteristics in the next 15–20 years? These and similar questions were considered by the HSE ISSEK specialists in co-operation with the colleagues from other research entities while investigating trends in S&T at the global and national levels. The experts have analyzed socio-economic and S&T challenges affecting the ICT sector, advanced R&D fields, markets for innovative products and services, estimated the «windows of opportunities» for Russia. As a result, the strategic directions of blueprint research which ensure the basis for the creation of innovative products and new markets for the medium- and long-term (beyond 2020) perspective. Foresight results have been validated by the representatives of leading companies, research centers, universities and international organizations. Among the solutions expected in the period up to 2030 are the prototypes of systems implementing the new computing principles and multi-language software for extraction and formalization of knowledge, technologies dealing with «big data», new analytical tools (personal analytic systems, means of the real time data processing, mobile analytics, etc.). Markets for novel technology solutions are expected to be rapidly growing in healthcare, energy, engineering and transport, as well as in personal usage of ICT products and services. The study allows to conclude that in the medium to long term, the ICT sector will retain a high growth dynamic and will have transformative impact on virtually all areas of human life. The life cycle of technologies, related products and services will shorten. In this context, R&D development plays a crucial role for keeping up with competitors. Russian science has a certain potential in much of the considered areas, although one can hardly perceive Russia as gaining global leadership. A breakthrough level of research is observed, for example, in telecommunication technologies (communication, networking and content distribution).
A model for organizing cargo transportation between two node stations connected by a railway line which contains a certain number of intermediate stations is considered. The movement of cargo is in one direction. Such a situation may occur, for example, if one of the node stations is located in a region which produce raw material for manufacturing industry located in another region, and there is another node station. The organization of freight traﬃc is performed by means of a number of technologies. These technologies determine the rules for taking on cargo at the initial node station, the rules of interaction between neighboring stations, as well as the rule of distribution of cargo to the ﬁnal node stations. The process of cargo transportation is followed by the set rule of control. For such a model, one must determine possible modes of cargo transportation and describe their properties. This model is described by a ﬁnite-dimensional system of diﬀerential equations with nonlocal linear restrictions. The class of the solution satisfying nonlocal linear restrictions is extremely narrow. It results in the need for the “correct” extension of solutions of a system of diﬀerential equations to a class of quasi-solutions having the distinctive feature of gaps in a countable number of points. It was possible numerically using the Runge–Kutta method of the fourth order to build these quasi-solutions and determine their rate of growth. Let us note that in the technical plan the main complexity consisted in obtaining quasi-solutions satisfying the nonlocal linear restrictions. Furthermore, we investigated the dependence of quasi-solutions and, in particular, sizes of gaps (jumps) of solutions on a number of parameters of the model characterizing a rule of control, technologies for transportation of cargo and intensity of giving of cargo on a node station.
Let k be a field of characteristic zero, let G be a connected reductive algebraic group over k and let g be its Lie algebra. Let k(G), respectively, k(g), be the field of k- rational functions on G, respectively, g. The conjugation action of G on itself induces the adjoint action of G on g. We investigate the question whether or not the field extensions k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G are purely transcendental. We show that the answer is the same for k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G, and reduce the problem to the case where G is simple. For simple groups we show that the answer is positive if G is split of type A_n or C_n, and negative for groups of other types, except possibly G_2. A key ingredient in the proof of the negative result is a recent formula for the unramified Brauer group of a homogeneous space with connected stabilizers. As a byproduct of our investigation we give an affirmative answer to a question of Grothendieck about the existence of a rational section of the categorical quotient morphism for the conjugating action of G on itself.
Let G be a connected semisimple algebraic group over an algebraically closed field k. In 1965 Steinberg proved that if G is simply connected, then in G there exists a closed irreducible cross-section of the set of closures of regular conjugacy classes. We prove that in arbitrary G such a cross-section exists if and only if the universal covering isogeny Ĝ → G is bijective; this answers Grothendieck's question cited in the epigraph. In particular, for char k = 0, the converse to Steinberg's theorem holds. The existence of a cross-section in G implies, at least for char k = 0, that the algebra k[G]G of class functions on G is generated by rk G elements. We describe, for arbitrary G, a minimal generating set of k[G]G and that of the representation ring of G and answer two Grothendieck's questions on constructing generating sets of k[G]G. We prove the existence of a rational (i.e., local) section of the quotient morphism for arbitrary G and the existence of a rational cross-section in G (for char k = 0, this has been proved earlier); this answers the other question cited in the epigraph. We also prove that the existence of a rational section is equivalent to the existence of a rational W-equivariant map T- - - >G/T where T is a maximal torus of G and W the Weyl group.