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Issue No. 02 - February (2006 vol. 39)
ISSN: 0018-9162
pp: 95
Probabilistic Robotics, Sebastian Thrun, Wolfram Burgard, and Dieter Fox. A new and growing area in robotics, probabilistic robotics addresses perception and control in the face of uncertainty. Building on the field of mathematical statistics, probabilistic robotics endows robots with a new level of robustness in real-world situations.
This book introduces readers to a wealth of techniques and algorithms in the field, all based on a single overarching mathematical foundation. Each chapter provides sample implementations in pseudocode, detailed mathematical derivations, discussions from a practitioner's perspective, and extensive lists of exercises and class projects.
The book's Web site ( has additional material. Relevant for anyone involved in robotic software development and scientific research, this book may also be of interest to applied statisticians and engineers dealing with real-world sensor data.
MIT Press;; 0-262-20162-3; 668 pp.

Human-Centered Software Engineering: Integrating Usability in the Software Development Lifecycle, Ahmed Seffah, Jan Gulliksen, and Michel C. Desmarais, eds. The fields of human-computer interfaces and software engineering have evolved almost independently of each other until the last decade, when it became apparent that an integrated and combined perspective would benefit the development of interactive software applications.
Written by prominent researchers, this book brings to light the major integration issues and challenges, then offers a variety of solutions for bridging the HCI and SE gap. These include extending software engineering artifacts for UI specification, such as annotating use cases with task descriptions; enhancing object-oriented software engineering notations and models; and providing possible extensions of HCI methods for requirements gathering through field observations and interviews.
Springer;; 1-4020-4027-X; 391 pp.
Programming Language Pragmatics, 2nd ed., Michael L. Scott. With the rise of virtual machines, scripting languages, mobile code, and graphical user interfaces, the need for an integrated treatment of language design and implementation has never been greater. The author stresses this sort of integration while keeping his focus on programming language design.
This second edition offers many new sections and topics, including iterators, exceptions, polymorphism, templates and generics, scope rules and declaration ordering, garbage collection, and threads and synchronization. A new chapter describes scripting languages and covers Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, JavaScript, XSLT, and others. A comprehensive chapter on concurrency covers C# and the new Java concurrency package, JSR 166.
Both students and expert programmers might benefit from the book's comprehensive exploration of the fundamental concepts underlying the most important contemporary languages.
Morgan Kaufmann;; 0-12-633951-1; 912 pp.
Implementing Data Mining Algorithms in Microsoft SQL Server, C.L. Curotto and N.F.F. Ebecken. Data mining technology is growing rapidly and, in many industries, has become commonplace. The main reasons for this are advances in computer technology that acquire, store, and retrieve enormous amounts of data about everything from everywhere. In 2000, Microsoft introduced a data mining feature in its Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services. This book covers all the practicalities required to integrate a third-party data mining algorithm into SQL Server 2000.
Designed for use by data mining researchers and information technology workers, this book might also serve as a text for IT master and doctorate courses.
Witpress;; 1-84564-037-3; 160 pp.
Uncertainty and Information: Foundations of Generalized Information Theory, George J. Klir. This book contains comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of results that have emerged from a generalized information theory research program begun by the author in the early 1990s. The ongoing GIT research program aims to develop a formal mathematical treatment of the interrelated concepts of uncertainty and information in all their varieties.
The author examines each of several theories for dealing with particular uncertainty types at four levels: mathematical formalization of the conceived type of uncertainty, calculus for manipulating this particular type of uncertainty, justifiable ways of measuring the amount of uncertainty in any situation formalizable in the theory, and methodological aspects of the theory.
Examples and illustrations clarify complex material and demonstrate practical applications, while end-of-chapter exercises test readers' newfound knowledge. This book can serve as a graduate-level text and a reference for researchers and practitioners who deal with the various problems involving uncertainty and information.
Wiley-Interscience;; 0-471-74867-6; 499 pp.
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