Issue No. 08 - August (2011 vol. 44)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2011.236
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.
Making manifest, syndicating, and then governing a system's architecture facilitates understanding, reasoning about, and transforming that system with intention. This premise holds true for new systems as well as legacy ones, exploratory systems as well as production ones. Watson, IBM's reasoning system, is such a system—it's both new and exploratory. Managing its architecture has considerable payoff. Read "The Soul of a New Watson" by Grady Booch in the July/August issue of Software.
To relieve the continually increasing stresses on drivers and reduce the number of accidents, current intelligent vehicle research is attempting to understand and model driver behaviors. "Toward Cognitive Vehicles," in the May/June issue of IS, surveys recent work on cognitive vehicles that model drivers in a stimuli-decision-reaction mode and, on the vehicle system side, improve perception, suggestion, and function delegation of the traffic environment. The authors illustrate the relationships between recent models and methods and list-related research challenges, while introducing applications of the driver-cognition models in intelligent vehicle control systems.
Beginning to emerge is a new, robust generation of physics-based animation approaches that maintain a standard of visual quality as high as data-driven synthesis. And even with the Holy Grail of control principles that describe human motion still a mystery, the animation research community continues to forge its own path. Researchers have learned that they don't need to solve the problem of biological control, nor do they need to throw out the advantages of animator control and motion capture. Instead, current research aims to find the best of all worlds, judiciously combining physics with human-motion examples, animator input, or both. A July/August special issue of CG&A brings together four examples of the innovations in this exploding area.
The National Academy of Sciences recently released a National Research Council study that confirmed what many experts have been observing—computing is undergoing a radical change. The study summarizes why the processing speed of individual computer chips will no longer increase dramatically each year, discusses the implications of this for computing, and outlines what is needed to continue to improve computing performance in the future. Author Douglass Post examines the NRC study in "The Future of Computing Performance" in the July/August issue of CiSE.
Security & Privacy
Smartphone manufacturers and mobile-OS vendors are selling record numbers of units, and thousands of developers are forming communities around each of the popular smartphone platforms. In the May/June issue of S&P, "Secure Software Installation on Smartphones," an overview of iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Symbian security frameworks, includes a novel classification of third-party-application installation models. It also describes how controlled app marketplaces fit in the smartphone security ecosystem.
For many years, pervasive computing research has explored the potential benefits of creating a connection between the Internet's virtual world and the physical world we live in. The Near Field Communication (NFC) standard might, at last, be the technology that makes this vision—sometimes referred to as the Internet of things—a ubiquitous reality. Read "Near Field Communication" by Roy Want in the July-September issue of PvC.
Internet Computing's July/August issue features a special theme on Web technology and personal health records. Unlike electronic health records that only healthcare providers can manage, the consumer controls PHRs. For example, Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault both let users manage certain aspects of their care. Guest editors Chimezie Ogbuji of Case Western Reserve University, Karthik Gomadam of Accenture Technology Labs, and Charles Petrie of Stanford CS Logic Group describe PHR systems as a potentially disruptive technology and introduce three articles that address some of the challenges and opportunities they present.
As smart mobile devices become pervasive, vendors are offering rich features supported by cloud-based servers to enhance the user experience. Such servers implement large-scale computing environments, where target data is compared to a massive preloaded database. In "CogniServe: Heterogeneous Server Architecture for Large-Scale Recognition" in the May/June issue of Micro, a team of authors from Intel Labs and the Seoul National University of Science and Technology looks at recent advances in mobile/cloud technology. CogniServe is a highly efficient server for large-scale recognition that employs a heterogeneous architecture to provide low-power, high-throughput cores, along with application-specific accelerators.
Since Sutherland's SketchPad in 1961 and Xerox's Alto in 1973, computer users have long been acquainted with technologies other than the traditional keyboard for interacting with a system. Recently, with the desire for increased productivity, seamless interaction, immersion, and e-inclusion of people with disabilities, along with progress in fields such as multimedia, multimodal signal analysis, and HCI, multimodal interaction has emerged as an active field of research. Read "Using Modality Replacement to Facilitate Communication between Visually and Hearing-Impaired People" in the April-June issue of MultiMedia.
Healthcare organizations must test their network infrastructures for disaster recovery and emergency mode operations, yet most can't afford to operate the complicated protocols needed for safe testing. The Rapid Adjustable Network architecture offers a solution. Author James Teeter of Indiana State University looks at the new architecture in "Flexible Medical-Grade Networks" in the May/June issue of IT Pro.
Design & Test's July/August issue features seven theme articles on FPGA accelerator research. Guest editors George A. Constantinides of Imperial College London and Nicola Nicolici of McMaster University see the field as approaching a threshold that could expand its applications beyond high-data-rate digital signal processing to include high-performance scientific computing. "It is our hope," they write, "that bringing together the research in this special issue will help readers bridge the historically distinct FPGA, high-performance computing, and numerical analysis communities."
"Casinos and the Digitization of the Slot Machine, 1950-1989" is one of Annals' collection of articles from new voices on new topics for its April-June issue. Author Cristina Turdean of the University of South Carolina looks at the slot machine's transition from a crude mechanical device in the 1950s to a sophisticated digital gambling device by the early 1990s. "Suspicion and fraud, the gambling environment's two main descriptors," she writes, "guided the slot machine development toward protecting the game outcome and the machine's cash."