Issue No. 06 - June (2009 vol. 42)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2009.180
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.
Over the past 20 years, software's impact on embedded-system functionality and new-product potential has grown rapidly. This has led to increasingly complex software, shorter innovation cycle times, and an ever-growing demand for extrafunctional requirements—software safety, reliability, and timeliness, for example—at affordable costs.
Techniques for systematically developing embedded software can hardly keep up with rising demands for new functionalities and technologies. New capabilities in safety-critical systems are useless without an assurance of their quality and safety. The May/June issue of Software includes "Trends in Embedded Software Engineering," which defines these systems' characteristics and describes solutions to ensure their quality.
Although transistors are becoming smaller, they're not getting much faster. Still, the demand for computing power grows. This challenge has led to a renewed interest in innovative computing architectures that can exploit shrinking transistor sizes. "Novel Computing Architectures," an article in the latest issue of Computing in Science & Engineering by Volodymyr V. Kindratenko of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, addresses recent developments in the field.
Establishing an effective enterprise cyberdefense is like building a fortress in ancient times, according to an article in IT Professional's May/June issue titled "From Ancient Fortress to Modern Cyberdefense." Just as fortified walls guarded against attacks, an enterprise's firewalls, security zones, and hardened servers guard against break-ins and unwanted accesses. As fortress gates controlled entry, identity management and authentication measures help enterprises control access to its cyberspace. These and other comparisons between ancient fortresses and today's enterprises can inform decision-making regarding security awareness, business continuity, and much more.
Security & Privacy
Modern society's reliance on software even in critical infrastructure systems makes software failures difficult to ignore. The cost of such failures manifests itself not only in lost dollars but also in lost lives. IEEE Security & Privacy's March/April Secure Systems department, titled "The Real Cost of Software Errors," presents several examples from diverse critical systems that show the dire consequences of software failures and discusses recent research efforts aimed at finding and eliminating such errors.
Tangible interfaces and ubiquitous-computing technologies are changing the human relationship to computing technology, and designers must take this into account when creating products and services. The May/June 2009 issue of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications features an article on interface design titled "Sketching Tangible Interfaces: Creating an Electronic Palette for the Design Community" by Matthew Cottam and Katie Wray of Tellart.
Multiagent systems and data mining are two of the most active areas in IT. Each is faced with intrinsic challenges and problems that can't be addressed solely within its confines. Bringing the two communities together into one research field, agent mining, has unveiled a tremendous potential for new opportunities and wider applications. "Agent Mining: The Synergy of Agents and Data Mining," in the May/June 2009 issue of IEEE Intelligent Systems, presents the field's driving forces, theoretical underpinnings, main research issues, and application domains while addressing state-of-the-art R&D in agent mining.
Design & Test
Embedded predesigned reusable cores, which are becoming more common, require a core-based test strategy. Accordingly, IEEE Standard 1500 on testability methods for embedded core-based integrated circuits is intended to simplify reuse and also facilitate interoperability for testing core-based system chips. The May/June issue is Part 2 of the IEEE Design & Test of Computers special issue on the status of IEEE Std 1500. Articles include "Automating IEEE 1500 Core Test—An EDA Perspective," "Are IEEE-1500-Compliant Cores Really Compliant to the Standard?," and "Test Data Volume Comparison: Monolithic vs. Modular SoC Testing."
This issue of Design & Test also features a special section on metamodeling—one survey article addresses metamodeling tools, applications, and projects in Europe; a second survey article considers metamodeling as an emerging representation paradigm for system-level design.
Recent news coverage in IEEE Internet Computing includes stories on new semantic Web technologies that are emerging as viable alternatives to the orthodox semantic Web framework defined by W3C, creating taxonomies and ontologies for deep Web databases.
Four articles in the April-June issue of IEEE Multimedia expand on those presented at the first International Workshop on the Many Faces of Multimedia Semantics, held in conjunction with the ACM International Multimedia Conference. The workshop provided a forum for practitioners, artists, and scientists to exchange ideas on developing adaptive media-retrieval techniques that satisfy individual user needs. Article topics include a multimedia semantics framework, music-related data on the Web, ontologies for visual data, and manual image annotation.
Roy Want, editor in chief of IEEE Pervasive Computing, writes in the magazine's most recent issue that one day your primary computer, the device you use for the majority of your work, will be mobile, fit easily in your pocket, and be completely integrated with your mobile phone. This is a vision held by a growing number of people in the computer industry, and as each new generation of mobile phone is released into the market, a more convincing case can be made.
A historiographical trend in technology is to concentrate heavily on progress, without giving due attention to the technological failures that can also be quite illuminating. While documenting and analyzing successes is important, neglecting failures runs the risk of providing a distorted picture of the past and, in many cases, losing opportunities to learn. The April-June 2009 issue of IEEE Annals of the History of Computing explores a variety of business application case studies, insightfully examining industry successes (such as IBM La Gaude's contributions to telecommunications), failures, and examples that blur the lines between such limiting definitions.