Issue No.09 - Sept. (2011 vol.44)
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2011.269
Who needs technology assessment? Apparently not the US Congress, since it has just closed down its Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), effective October 1, 1995, after only 20 years of existence.
CURRICULA (p. 3) "While we continue to assist educators in carrying out the intent of the committee's 1976 Model Curriculum at the undergraduate level, we have set as a goal the designing of three other curricula reports at the graduate, community college, and pre-college (elementary and secondary) levels. The first draft of the curricula materials guidelines for software engineering at the master's level has passed through an extensive study by the Executive Committee of the society."
SCHOOLS (p. 4) "Elementary and secondary schools have now acquired many microcomputers and significant terminal access; however, there is a great need to bring to this level of education the benefits of better educational software maintenance and delivery systems. This might now be provided by advanced downloading techniques from educational networks to microcomputer systems, for example. We hope that computer communications and pre-college professionals will join hands in this effort."
NETWORK PROTOCOLS (p. 8) "One of the primary reasons for the rapid growth of networking is the greater understanding of how to best organize, design, and implement the protocol necessary to support efficient network operation."
"However, all recent protocol work has been moving in the direction of a hierarchical multilayered structure, with the implementation details of each layer transparent to all other layers in the hierarchy."
INTERFACING (p. 12) "A number of characteristics define a complete interface. They include electrical, physical, and functional characteristics, as well as procedures needed to facilitate transfer of control information and data across the interface. There are a number of protocols that can be involved in different applications and modes of operation; therefore, ISO and ANSI are defining a basic architecture that identifies the interface levels so that they may be independently treated."
PROTOCOL FORMALISM (p. 20) "A great deal of confusion surrounds the words 'specification' and 'verification' as they apply to computer communication protocols. Hence our first goal will be the definition of these concepts in the context of a layered model of protocols. Next, an overview of various approaches emphasizes the use of more formal specification and verification techniques. We conclude by reviewing some recent applications of these techniques, and suggesting some directions for future work."
INTERHOST PROTOCOL (p. 29) "When computer communication development first entered the present era (with the beginning of construction of the Arpanet in 1968), researchers unaccountably used the word 'protocol' to mean a set of communication procedures and conventions. Thus, we use the term 'host-to-host protocol' for the subject of this paper."
RESOURCE SHARING (p. 47) "There are two major classes of protocols in a general-purpose computer network: communications protocols and resource sharing protocols. Communications protocols, often referred to as lower-level protocols, are primarily concerned with the reliable transfer of data, while resource sharing protocols, often referred to as higher-level protocols, are primarily concerned with performing remote operations. This article discusses two basic classes of resource sharing protocols: terminal and file transfer job protocols."
NETWORK ARCHITECTURES (p. 58) " General-purpose networking mechanisms must serve a wide range of applications, be very adaptable to changes in these application requirements, and integrate new hardware and software components as necessary. The structure, interfaces, and capabilities that comprise these networking mechanisms define the architecture of the computer network.
"This article presents some of the current conceptual and implementation developments in computer network architectures. The material is presented in the order that a designer of a network architecture might follow in pursuing that design. "
SEMICONDUCTOR TECHNOLOGY (p. 92) "The impact of semiconductor technology on computer systems has been felt mainly due to two elements—memory and microprocessors. The most widespread influence has been exerted by semiconductor random access memory, which has already displaced magnetic core as the dominant main memory technology. Future trends in memory technology will affect computer system organizations. Emerging charge-coupled device and magnetic bubble memory technologies will shape the structure of the memory hierarchy in mass storage systems."
PROGRAMMING (p. 122) "The problem is that computer scientists want to make people think and express themselves in a way that is easy to translate into machine code. The much harder problem of understanding how people really think and express themselves, and translating this into a machine language, has been dropped by the computer scientists."
PATENTS (p. 6) "Today, the US patent system (as well as patent systems in other countries) is arguably used in a manner not anticipated by the framers of the Constitution. Companies use the patent system as a method of competing in the global economy. The real question is, should the patent system be used in this manner?"
THE INFO AGE (p. 8) "What is the Info Age? Everyone uses the term, but nobody defines it. So here goes. In this and subsequent essays, I formulate the principles of the Info Age and use the computer industry as proof of its existence. In this series, I answer some burning questions: What is the Info Age, how does it differ from the Machine Age, where is it leading, and what does it have to do with computers?"
IMAGE RETRIEVAL (p. 18) "Images are being generated at an ever-increasing rate by sources such as defense and civilian satellites, military reconnaissance and surveillance flights, fingerprinting and mug-shot-capturing devices, scientific experiments, biomedical imaging, and home entertainment systems. For example, NASA's Earth Observing System will generate about 1 terabyte of image data per day when fully operational. A content-based image retrieval (CBIR) system is required to effectively and efficiently use information from these image repositories. Such a system helps users (even those unfamiliar with the database) retrieve relevant images based on their contents.…"
IMAGE CONTENT (p. 23) "One of the guiding principles used by QBIC [Query By Image Content] is to let computers do what they do best—quantifiable measurement—and let humans do what they do best—attaching semantic meaning. QBIC can find 'fish-shaped objects,' since shape is a measurable property that can be extracted. However, since fish occur in many shapes, the only fish that will be found will have a shape close to the drawn shape. This is not the same as the much harder semantical query of finding all the pictures of fish in a pictorial database."
IMAGE RETRIEVAL (pp. 40-41) "… One goal of the Chabot project is to integrate image analysis techniques into the retrieval system so that image requests do not depend solely on stored textual information. As a first step, we have implemented a simple method for color analysis, which we describe in this article. By using both color and textual information for the images, we can locate pictures of red flowers (like anemones and azaleas) and Lake Tahoe sunsets."
CAPTIONED IMAGES (p. 49) "The interaction of textual and photographic information in an integrated text/image database environment is being explored at the Center of Excellence for Document Analysis and Recognition (CEDAR), SUNY, Buffalo. Specifically, our research group has developed an automatic indexing system for captioned pictures of people; the indexing information and other textual information is subsequently used in a content-based image retrieval system. Our approach presents an alternative to traditional face identification systems; it goes beyond a superficial combination of existing text-based and image-based approaches to information retrieval.…"
SHAPE RETRIEVAL (p. 57) "An object's shape is typically described through an image or drawing. Large collections of object drawings or images, called shape databases, already exist or are being created in several application areas. Selecting or retrieving a subset of shapes or images that satisfy certain specified constraints is a central problem in shape database management. This article addresses the problem of similar-shape retrieval, where shapes or images in a shape database that satisfy the specified shape-similarity constraints with respect to the query shape or image must be retrieved from the database.…"
TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT (p. 82) "Who needs technology assessment? Apparently not the US Congress, since it has just closed down its Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), effective October 1, 1995, after only 20 years of existence. Others, including this author, are not so sure. I believe the nation will sorely miss an important experiment in incorporating a better understanding of technology into government policy making."
COMPLEX SYSTEMS (pp. 85-86) "We thus define the engineering of complex computer systems as all activities pertinent to specifying, designing, prototyping, building, testing, operating, maintaining, and evolving complex computer systems. While in the past, relatively noncomplex 'traditional' systems sufficed for most computer control applications, the new and emerging demands of applications and the evolution of computer architectures and networks now essentially force systems to be complex, given our current understanding of how to engineer these systems.…"
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