MAY 2007 (Vol. 40, No. 5) p. 4
0018-9162/07/$31.00 © 2007 IEEE
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Empirical Test Observations in Client-Server Systems
Distributing software through Internet downloads simplifies updates for users and allows continued testing after delivery to reduce product-defect levels. A study of defect patterns in two commercial products with similar client-server architectures found that during continued testing, internal developers uncovered about half the product defects discovered after its release, before any external user became aware of them.
The author performed a formal statistical analysis on the defect databases for two products: Safer C and Gundalf. Although two case histories don't create a foregone conclusion, the research data should contribute to the fledgling status of empirical methods in computing science.
A Communication Support System for Older People with Dementia
Norman Alm, Richard Dye, Gary Gowans, Jim Campbell, Arlene Astell, and Maggie Ellis
The short-term memory loss associated with dementia makes ordinary conversation difficult and eventually impossible. However, because long-term memory is often well-preserved, those with dementia can potentially hold conversations based on reminiscence. The Computer Interactive Reminiscence and Conversation Aid system presents material from the past via a touch screen to stimulate long-term memories. A multidisciplinary team of software engineers, psychologists, and designers developed CIRCA with input throughout the design process from potential users, their families, and professional caregivers.
There's currently no way to check or reverse the physical causes of dementia. Consequently, until preventive measures are found, designing computer systems to support people with dementia will remain a growing priority.
A Language for Human Action
Gutemberg Guerra-Filho and Yiannis Aloimonos
In a human-centered system, the interaction focuses on human requirements, capabilities, and limitations. These anthropocentric systems also focus on the consideration of human sensory-motor skills in a wide range of activities. In turn, this leads to behavior understanding through cognitive models that allow content description and, ultimately, the integration of real and virtual worlds.
The authors seek to provide a flexible representation, proposed here as a human activity language (HAL), for compactly modeling hundreds of human actions. This structure—organized in terms of syntax, morphology, and kinetology—has the flexibility required to model numerous behaviors using a language's parsing and generation aspects.
An Interactive Multimedia Diary for the Home
Gamhewage C. de Silva, Toshihiko Yamasaki, and Kiyoharu Aizawa
Automated capture and retrieval of experiences taking place at home is interesting for several reasons. The home offers an environment where a variety of memorable events and experiences take place.
Sometimes these events, such as a child's first footsteps, occur without an opportunity for manual capture. Sometimes, people do not want to remove themselves from the experience to shoot photos or video. Captured media can serve as a "memory assistant" to help recall things that were forgotten. In the long term, a corpus of interactions and experiences recorded at home can provide valuable information for studies related to the design of better housing, evaluating human behavior, and so on.
Holistic Sensing and Active Displays for Intelligent Driver Support Systems
Mohan M. Trivedi and Shinko Y. Cheng
A 2006 study sponsored by the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that driver inattention contributes to nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes.
Embedded computing systems are increasingly used in today's vehicles to make them safer as well as more reliable, comfortable, and enjoyable to drive. However, to be effective, such technologies must be human-centric—they must incorporate an understanding of both general driver behavior and the vehicle operator's unique driving characteristics. These technologies also must be introduced carefully to ensure that they do not confuse or distract the driver, thereby undermining their intended purpose.
Caravela: A Novel Stream-Based Distributed Computing Environment
Shinichi Yamagiwa and Leonel Sousa
Grid computing exploits the anonymous use of idle, personally owned computing resources from around the world to create high-performance distributed systems, much like drawing on electric power from a wall outlet. A proposed new flow model considers the more important aspects of distributed computing as well as the main characteristics of stream-based computing.
This model makes it possible to easily share programs among computers connected to a network as well as executing them independently of their physical locations, with data flowing from and into the network through memory. Caravela is a novel distributed environment for applying the flow model on GPUs.