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Issue No.03 - March (2009 vol.42)
pp: 4-5
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
The IEEE Computer Society offers a lineup of 13 peer-reviewed technical magazines that cover cutting-edge topics in computing, including scientific applications, design and test, security, Internet computing, machine intelligence, digital graphics, and computer history. Select articles from recent issues of IEEE Computer Society magazines are highlighted below.
Software
In "The Decision View's Role in Software Architecture Practice" ( IEEE Software, March/April 2009), Philippe Kruchten, Rafael Capilla, and Juan Carlos Dueñas propose augmenting architectural view models using a decision view that can help record and document key decisions with an acceptable overhead. This lightweight approach is based on the well-known 4+1 view model but can easily be extended to other models.
Also, software luminaries Magne J⊘rgensen and Barry Boehm engage in a point-counterpoint discussion that addresses this question—Which is better for estimating software project resources: formal models, as instantiated in estimation tools, or expert judgment?
Computing
Spectral kernels used for spatial discretization are a common computational bottleneck when running direct numerical simulation algorithms on distributed memory architectures. One way to increase DNS algorithms' efficiency is to parallelize spectral kernels using tightly coupled single-program-multiple-data multiprocessor units with minimal interprocessor communication latency. The authors present techniques for mapping DNS computations to modern graphics processing units, which are characterized by very high memory bandwidth and hundreds of SPMD processors.
A CiSE article by George Stantchev, Derek Juba, William Dorland, and Amitabh Varshney, "Using Graphics Processors for High-Performance Computation and Visualization of Plasma Turbulence," compares the performance of the authors' parallel algorithm running on a GPU with the associated CPU implementation of a solver for one of the fundamental nonlinear models of turbulence theory. They also demonstrate a prototype of a scalable computational steering framework based on turbulence simulation and visualization coupling on the GPU.
IT Professional
Inspired by the new US president's call to build a smarter federal government, Wushow "Bill" Chou, former editor in chief of IT Pro, offers his own unique viewpoint in "Build a Smarter Government, Build a Smarter Federal IT Operation" in the magazine's January/February issue. In particular, Chou describes how an operation that's long on management but short on technical expertise will end up bogged down in policies and rules instead of addressing technological implementation issues.
Security & Privacy
In Norway, BankID is the banking industry's public-key infrastructure of choice for authenticating Internet customers. But do BankID's differences from standard PKIs make it a riskier choice? The article "Risk Assessment of a National Security Infrastructure" in the January/February issue of S&P addresses this question and its implications for banking infrastructures in other countries.
Computer Graphics
CG&A's January/February issue on advances in computer graphics features an article titled "Ubi-Pen: A Haptic Interface with Texture and Vibrotactile Display," by Ki-Uk Kyung and Jun-Young Lee of Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute.
Haptics has emerged as a promising component of computer interfaces. For tasks such as physical manipulation and exploration, the demand is increasing for interaction enhanced by haptic information. As computer interfaces evolve, haptic interfaces will likely become more essential and one day seem as common as today's visual and audio interfaces.
The Ubi-Pen is a pen-like haptic interface incorporating a compact tactile display and a vibrating module. It can represent tactile patterns and provide feedback with the click of a button. It's also applicable to combined force- and tactile-feedback displays.
Intelligent Systems
The January/February issue of IS reports on the state of the art in semantic e-Science, focusing on research bridging the semantic technologies and scientific information technology communities in the area of knowledge integration.
"Annotation and Image Markup: Accessing and Interoperating with the Semantic Content in Medical Imaging," by Daniel L. Rubin and Kaustubh Supekar of Stanford University and David S. Channin, Vladimir Kleper, and Pattanasak Mongkolwat of Northwestern University, describes a project to make large distributed collections of medical images in cyberspace and hospital information systems accessible using an information model of image content and ontologies. Widespread implementation of this system would allow medical researchers to access large volumes of medical image data such as x-rays based on simple-image queries, image classifications, and computer reasoning applications. Eventually, explicit semantic image contents could allow researchers to exploit non-image data to discover patterns that predict biological characteristics of the structures the images contain.
Internet Computing
E-mail addresses, like telephone numbers, are opaque identifiers. They're often hard to remember and, worse still, change from time to time. The January/February issue of IC includes an article titled "Semantic E-mail Addressing: The Semantic Web Killer App?" by Michael Kassoff, Charles Petrie, Lee-Ming Zen, and Michael Genesereth.
Semantic e-mail addressing lets users send e-mail to a semantically specified group of recipients. It provides all of the functionality of static e-mail mailing lists, but because users can maintain their own profiles they don't need to subscribe, unsubscribe, or change e-mail addresses. Because of its targeted nature, SEA could help combat unintentional spam and preserve the privacy of e-mail addresses and even individual identities.
Micro
The January/February issue of Micro features the 12 best papers from the top computer architecture conferences in 2008, as selected by the Micro editorial board. The articles appearing in this special issue highlight key trends in current computer architecture design and research, including the:

    • growing importance of thread-level parallelism;

    • increasing complexity of software and the need for architectures that improve programmability, analyzability, and correctness;

    • urgency of controlling chip-wide power; and

    • emerging problem of process variation.

This is Micro's sixth annual Top Picks special issue. Top researchers regard inclusion in this issue as a high honor.
Design & Test
In its January/February issue, D&T features "The Challenges of Nanotechnology and Gigacomplexity," an article taken from a keynote address given at the 2007 International Test Conference by Gadi Singer, vice president of the Mobility Group and general manager of the SOC Enabling Group at Intel. It provides Intel's perspective on evolving computing trends, continuing and future challenges of nanoscale device integration, gigascale complexity, and the resulting implications for test.
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