Issue No. 02 - Feb. (2012 vol. 45)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2012.48
The IEEE Computer Society offers a lineup of 12 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.
Software designers often switch strategically between exploration and problem-solving activities during a project's design phase. However, the specific way they do so can influence the final design's effectiveness. Choosing an approach that doesn't fit the problem can negatively impact the design outcome. In "Design Strategy and Software Design Effectiveness," in the January/February issue of Software, Antony Tang and Hans van Vliet describe the actual activities that took place during a software design experiment, and establish four archetypical strategies that designers can apply under different circumstances.
Despite the success of many cyberinfrastructure projects, group-based scientific efforts face a range of social and technical obstacles. Integrating social computing theories and empirical analyses, a team of researchers in the US and China have modeled and evaluated various collaborative modes and setups. Their article, "Next-Generation Team-Science Platform for Scientific Collaboration," appears in the November/December 2011 issue of IS.
Scientists frequently use visualizations of scientific data when disseminating findings to both peers and the general public. However, techniques for effective scientific storytelling have received little attention so far. "Scientific Storytelling Using Visualization," in the January/February issue of CG&A, explores how literary and theatrical narrative conventions can inform the design and presentation of visualizations, and discusses the challenges of adapting scientific visualizations for broader audiences. The article also summarizes recent workshops' findings on the role of storytelling in visualizations, and presents several successful examples. The authors conclude that scientific storytelling deserves greater support and recognition from the visualization community.
Computer simulation and visualization are having a substantial impact on biomedicine and other areas of science and engineering. As recent research in biomedical applications illustrates, visualization will be critical in making this vast amount of data usable; it's also fundamental to understanding models of complex phenomena. "Biomedical Visual Computing: Case Studies and Challenges," in the January/February issue of CiSE, looks at how advances in data acquisition, computational geometric modeling, imaging, and simulation are letting researchers build and test models of increasing complexity, generating unprecedented amounts of data.
Security & Privacy
All computers today operate in a hostile environment. The only difference between large enterprises, small businesses, governments, and home users is the degree of hostility faced. How we deal with these threats and what we do to improve the situation are vitally important to our future. In "Living with Insecurity," in the November/December 2011 issue of S&P, William Arbaugh of the University of Maryland and Deborah A. Frincke of the US Department of Defense introduce several articles in an issue dedicated to understanding and defending against security breaches. The issue tackles many salient points, from how we create these problems ourselves to what we can do to mitigate threats.
Ten years ago, PvC's inaugural issue provided a snapshot of the start of the art in pervasive computing and charted progress since Mark Weiser's seminal article in 1991. To mark the 20th anniversary, the most recent issue of PvC issue similarly contains a series of articles that reflect on Weiser's vision, consider how far the field has come, and ponder where it's headed.
The special theme of IC's January/February issue is Internet-scale data management. Guest editors Sam Madden of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Maarten van Steen of VU University Amsterdam introduce five articles covering the diverse range of technologies in this research area. The articles address relaxed data consistency, data heterogeneity, NoSQL databases, continuous aggregation queries, and the handling of large datasets in Web services. The guest editors also outline the broad questions posed by the future of "big data."
"Advanced Camera Technologies for Broadcasting" is part of Micro's November/December 2011 special issue titled "Cool Chips." NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) research engineers Hiroshi Shimamoto, Takayuk Yamashita, Misao Kubota, and Hirotaka Maruyama describe three recent innovations from their company: an 8,000-pixel by 4,000-line high-resolution camera, a high-speed camera that captures images at up to 1 million frames per second, and a camera that's 50 times more sensitive than conventional charge-coupled-device broadcast cameras.
"You Can Judge an Artist by an Album Cover: Using Images for Music Annotation," a feature article in MultiMedia's October-December 2011 issue, describes a computer-vision system that predicts music genre tags using content-based image analysis of the cover. A prototype system showed results comparable to the performance of humans when they don't recognize the artist. The system is biased for popular music, but authors Janis Libeks of the University of Toronto and Douglas Turnbull of Ithaca College see its query-by-image as a useful music-discovery paradigm.
IT Pro's January/February issue features a special theme on multitenancy in the cloud. The guest editors' introduction, "Enforcing Multitenancy for Cloud Computing Environments," surveys the methods for achieving multitenancy and managing multitenant data in the cloud. The issue includes three articles addressing the need for logical data model architectures and secure cloud services as well as the difficulty of merging heterogeneous resources from different domains.
"Vladimír Vand (1911-1968): Pioneer of Computational Methods in Crystallography," in Annals' October-December 2011 issue, examines the Czech scholar's contributions to the design of computational devices, particularly his use of computers to advance the field of crystallography. Authors Alena Šolcová of Czech Technical University and Michal Křížek of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic highlight Vand's most notable contribution to computing: the invention of a mechanical computer based on about 1 million little steel balls rolling sequentially through a series of guide bars. Vand used this research to collaborate with William Cochran and Francis Crick on the early analysis of the structure of helix molecules.