Issue No. 03 - March (2011 vol. 44)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2011.79
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 Computer Society magazines are highlighted below.
The computer industry is experiencing a major shift: improved single-processor performance via higher clock rates has reached its technical limits due to overheating. Fortunately, Moore's law still holds, so chipmakers use transistors to boost performance through parallelism in multicore and manycore processors. However, exploiting the full potential of these processors requires parallel programming. Many developers must now parallelize desktop applications, including browsers, business applications, media processing, and other domain-specific applications.
Guest editors Victor Pankratius of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Wolfram Schulte of Microsoft, and Kurt Keutzer of the University of California, Berkeley, introduce the January/February special issue of Software on programming methods, tools, and libraries for desktop parallelization.
It has been a tradition for Intelligent Systems to acknowledge every two years 10 accomplished AI researchers in their early careers. These researchers have all completed their doctoral work in the past two to three years. A wide range of senior AI researchers across the world, including academics and industry practitioners, were contacted to nominate young stars in all AI disciplines. IS congratulates these young researchers for winning this special recognition. "AI's 10 to Watch," by Fei-Yue Wang, in the January/February issue of IS, presents a glimpse of the future of AI and the practicing AI researchers who promise to be the leaders of the field.
In "Live Theater on a Virtual Stage: Incorporating Soft Skills and Teamwork in Computer Graphics Education," authors Marla Schweppe and Joe Geigel discuss their experiences providing collaborative opportunities for students via an interdisciplinary set of courses focused on the production of theatrical performances in a virtual space. The project, Virtual Theater, is a joint venture at the Rochester Institute of Technology between the School of Design and Department of Computer Science, and has the goal of enabling live performance in a virtual space with participants in different physical locales. Students work in teams, collaborating with other students in and out of their disciplines. Read the article in the January/February issue of CG&A.
Tropical cyclones (including hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons in the Pacific), often accompanied by severe winds, torrential rainfall, and flooding, are one of the most destructive natural hazards on Earth. Given their enormous economic and societal impact, the demand for more accurate forecasts with longer lead times is greater than ever. The authors propose a new approach that can find a particular forecast output's sensitivity to initial state changes in a mathematically rigorous and computationally feasible manner. Read "Diagnosing Tropical Cyclone Sensitivity" by James Doyle, Carolyn Reynolds, and Clark Amerault in the January/February issue of CiSE.
Security & Privacy
Construction of highly trustworthy systems is quite challenging and requires experienced leaders who can guide development teams through technical, political, and bureaucratic hurdles. Today's systems must be designed so that their security claims remain valid from inception through retirement. Security engineering must start at the earliest stages of development, when wise choices can have a major impact on system trustworthiness and fixing vulnerabilities is relatively inexpensive. January/February S&P guest editors Cynthia Irvine of the US Naval Postgraduate School and J.R. Rao of IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center note the apparent scarcity of large projects incorporating rigorous security engineering and enumerate topics for further investigation, such as compositionality, formal modeling and verification, RAS and resiliency, economic factors, user acceptability and usability, and extensibility.
The January-March issue of PvC focuses on smart energy systems. Smart energy management will be an important application area for pervasive computing, as the pressing societal need for a solution is clear and there is a close fit with technologies and approaches being developed under the pervasive rubric. PvC presents five full papers, including a comprehensive survey spanning four decades of smart energy research, recent results from a UK study of home-deployed smart energy systems that involved both persuasive media and diverse energy-consumption sensing, nonintrusive load identification and estimation, and minimally intrusive load shedding. A short Spotlight article highlights the need to systematically integrate human management into the complex control schemes that these smart grid schemes will enable.
Extending the capabilities of PC, Web, and mobile applications through on-demand cloud services will significantly broaden the research community's capabilities, accelerating the pace of engineering and scientific discovery in this age of data-driven research. The net effect will be the democratization of research capabilities that are now available only to the most elite scientists. To make this vision a reality, the computer systems research community must develop new approaches to building client-plus-cloud applications to support a new type of science, and many technical challenges exist. Read more in "The Client and the Cloud: Democratizing Research Computing" in the January/February issue of IC.
The January/February 2011 issue of Micro continues an eight-year tradition by featuring "Top Picks" from notable 2010 computer architecture conferences. Guest editors Yale Patt of the University of Texas at Austin and Onur Mutlu of Carnegie Mellon University participated in a program committee of 31 industry and academic professionals who reviewed 87 submissions, selecting 11 papers for update and inclusion in the special issue. The papers come from four major conferences and cover topics ranging from various aspects of multicore architectures to the reliable design of microprocessors and memory.
The explosive growth of the Social Web has made huge amounts of video freely available online, setting the stage for data-driven advances in multimedia information retrieval. "Data-Driven Approaches to Community-Contributed Video Applications" is one of five articles in the October-December 2010 special of MultiMedia, which focuses on knowledge discovery through community-contributed multimedia. Southwest Jiaotong University's Xiao Wu and City University of Hong Kong's Chong-Wah Ngo and Wan-Lei Zhao demonstrate three data-driven social media applications: near-duplicate Web video detection, video annotation, and video classification.
Web browsing has evolved to give users ever-richer content and services worldwide. In "Greening the Internet: Measuring Web Power Consumption," Aruna Prem Bianzino, Anand Raju, and Dario Rossi of Telecom ParisTech consider ways of reducing its power consumption. Writing in IT Pro's January/February special issue on IT for a greener planet, the authors evaluate power consumption on the Web from the end-user viewpoint, considering the variability of the websites, browsers, operating systems and hardware.
D&T's January/February issue presents seven articles highlighting the state of the art and emerging technologies in nanoscale embedded memories. These memories present unique circuit-design challenges but also offer one of the most effective ways to improve chip performance with a minimum increase in power dissipation. Guest editors Chris H. Kim of the University of Minnesota and Leland Chang of IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center have collected industry and academic contributions on the design of existing SRAM, DRAM, and flash technologies as well as the prospects for newer RAM technologies—magnetic, resistive, and phase-change, among others.
From the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, the US Department of Defense tried to enforce software standards on its system development contractors. Princeton University's Christopher McDonald traces the course of this effort and how its ultimate failure reflected on the professional independence of software developers. "From Art to Form to Engineering Discipline? A History of US Military Software Development Standards, 1974-1998" appears in Annals' October-December 2010 issue.