Issue No. 03 - March (2011 vol. 44)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2011.75
H andbook of Cloud Computing, Borko Furht and Armando Escalante, eds. Experts believe cloud computing is reshaping information technology and the IT marketplace. The advantages of using cloud computing include cost savings, speed to market, access to greater computing resources, high availability, and scalability.
This book includes contributions from experts in academia, research laboratories, and private industry describing the systems, tools, and services of the leading cloud computing providers, including Google, Yahoo, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft. The basic concepts of cloud computing and its applications are introduced, while current and future technologies applied in cloud computing are also dissected. Case studies, examples, and exercises appear throughout the text.
Other topics covered include data-intensive supercomputing in the cloud, high-performance computing, virtual private clouds, and scientific services and data management in the cloud.
Springer; ISBN: 978-1-4419-6523-3; 634 pp.
T he Game Maker's Companion, Jacob Habgood, Nana Nielsen, Kevin Crossley, and Martin Rijks. This book promises to advance readers' game development journey with challenging projects that can help them learn how to make professional-quality platform games with solid collision-detection and slick control mechanisms, while getting acquainted with a long-lost icon of platform gaming history.
Readers will also discover tech-niques that add depth and believability to the characters and stories in their games, including the monomyth, cut-scene storyboarding, and character archetypes. This work culminates in the creation of an original atmospheric platform adventure that could take readers' programming skills to new heights. A handy reference section at the back of the book helps them add common features to their own games.
With contributions from four game industry professionals and a highly respected member of the Game Maker community, this book can help readers as they contemplate additional projects.
Apress; www.elsevierdirect.com; 978-1-430-22826-4; 512 pp.
S elf-Reconfigurable Robots: An Introduction, Kasper Stoy, David Brandt, and David J. Christensen. Self-reconfigurable robots are constructed of robotic modules that can be connected in many different ways. These modules move in relationship to each other, which lets the robot as a whole change shape. This shapeshifting makes it possible for the robots to adapt and optimize their shapes for different tasks. Thus, a self-reconfigurable robot can first assume the shape of a rolling track to cover distance quickly, then the shape of a snake to explore a narrow space, and finally the shape of a hexapod to carry an artifact back to the starting point.
Significant progress has occurred in the field of self-reconfigurable robots over the past 20 years. This book collects and synthesizes existing research previously available only in widely scattered individual papers. The authors include descriptions of existing robots and a brief history of the field; discussion of module design considerations, including module geometry, connector design, and computing and communication infrastructure; an in-depth presentation of strategies for controlling self-reconfiguration and locomotion; and exploration of future research challenges. Ultimately, the authors focus on conveying the intuition behind the design and control of self-reconfigurable robots, rather than on technical details.
MIT Press; ISBN: 978-0-262-01371-0; 224 pp.
T he Quest for Artificial Intelligence: A History of Ideas and Achievements, Nils J. Nilsson. Artificial intelligence is a field within computer science that attempts to build enhanced intelligence into computer systems. This book traces the history of the subject from the early dreams of 18th-century pioneers to the more successful work of today's AI engineers, as AI becomes an increasing part of everyone's life. The technology is already embedded in face-recognizing cameras, speech-recognition software, Internet search engines, and healthcare robots, among other applications.
This book's many diagrams and understandable descriptions of AI programs will help casual readers gain an understanding of how these and other AI systems actually work. Its thorough end-of-chapter notes contain citations to important source materials and will be of use to AI scholars and researchers. This book offers a definitive history of a field that has captivated the imaginations of scientists, philosophers, and writers for centuries.
Cambridge University Press; ISBN: 978-0-521-12293-1; 578 pp.