Issue No. 01 - January (2008 vol. 41)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2008.6
Reaching the Goal: How Managers Improve a Services Business Using Goldratt's Theory of Constraints, John Ricketts. Managing services is extremely challenging, making traditional industrial-management techniques inadequate. This book presents a breakthrough management approach that embraces what makes services different: their diversity, complexity, and unique distribution methods.
The author draws on Eli Goldratt's Theory of Constraints, one of this generation's most successful management methodologies, and thoroughly adapts it to the needs of today's professional, scientific, and technical services businesses.
This book's practical techniques reflect several years of advanced IBM research and consulting with enterprise clients. Step-by-step, the author shows how to apply these techniques throughout the most crucial business functions, from project management to finance and from process improvement to sales and marketing.
IBM Press; www.ibmpressbooks.com; 0-13-233312-0; 400 pp.
Model-Driven Testing Using the UML Testing Profile, P. Baker, Z.R. Dai, J. Grabowski, Ø. Haugen, I. Schieferdecker, and C. Williams. Written by the original members of an industry standardization group, this book describes a systematic, model-driven test process in the context of UML. It shows readers how to use UML to test complex software systems and provides a definitive reference for the only UML-based test specification language.
Readers will learn how to use UTP concepts for functional and nonfunctional testing, with sample applications and best practices for user interfaces and service-oriented architectures. Model-driven development has become an important new paradigm in software development and has already demonstrated considerable impact in reducing time to market and improving product quality. However, developing high-quality systems requires not only systematic development processes but also systematic test processes.
Springer; www.springer.com; 978-3-540-72562-6; 183 pp.
Open Source: Technology and Policy, Fadi P. Deek and James A.M. McHugh. The open source movement is a worldwide effort to promote an open style of software development more aligned with the accepted intellectual style of science than the proprietary modes of invention characteristic of modern business. The idea is to keep the scientific advances created by software development openly available for everyone to use, understand, and improve. The very process of open source creation is highly transparent.
This book addresses prominent projects in the open source movement, along with its enabling technologies, social characteristics, legal issues, business venues, and public and educational roles.
Cambridge University Press; www.cambridge.org; 978-0-521-70741-1; 352 pp.
Advances in Applied Self-Organizing Systems, Mikhail Prokopenko, ed. Designers of self-organizing systems now face the challenge of validating and controlling non-deterministic dynamics. Overengineering the system might completely suppress self-organization with an outside influence, eliminating emergent patterns and decreasing robustness, adaptability, and scalability.
This book presents the state of the practice in engineering self-organizing systems and examines ways to balance design and self-organization in the context of applications. As demonstrated throughout, finding this balance helps developers deal with diverse practical challenges. Many algorithms proposed and discussed in this volume are biologically inspired. Readers will also gain an insight into cellular automata, genetic algorithms, artificial immune systems, snake-like locomotion, ant foraging, bird flocking, and mutualistic biological ecosystems, among others. Demonstrating the practical relevance and applicability of self-organization, this book might be of interest to advanced students and researchers in a wide range of fields.
Springer; www.springer.com; 978-1-84628-981-1; 376 pp.
Made to Break, Giles Slade. This book provides a history of 20th century technology as seen through the prism of obsolescence. America invented everything that is now disposable, the author notes, explaining how disposability was in fact a necessary condition for America's rejection of tradition and its acceptance of change and impermanence.
The author reveals the ideas behind obsolescence at work in such American milestones as the inventions of branding, packaging, and advertising, as well as the struggle for a national communications network, the development of electronic technologies and, with it, the avalanche of electronic consumer waste that could overwhelm America's landfills and poison its water within the coming decade.
History reserves a privileged place for societies that built things to last—forever, if possible. What place will it hold for a society addicted to consumption, a whole culture made to break? This book gives a detailed and harrowing picture of how, by choosing to support ever-shorter product lives, we might well be shortening our future way of life as well.
Harvard University Press; www.hup.harvard.edu; 0-674-02572-5; 336 pp.