Issue No. 08 - August (2012 vol. 45)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2012.259
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.
With the pervasiveness of sensors, Internet-enabled devices and services, mobile phones, and wireless communication, the new field of social and community intelligence has emerged quite quickly. SCI aims to reveal individual and group behaviors, social interactions, and community dynamics by mining the digital traces that people leave behind while interacting with Web applications, static infrastructure, and mobile and wearable devices. In "Social and Community Intelligence: Technologies and Trends," Daqing Zhang from the Institut Télécom SudParis and his colleagues from Northwestern Polytechnical University introduce this field and highlight its various technologies.
Security & Privacy
In "The Clouds Roll By," S&P's May/June economics column, author Michael Lesk of Rutgers University describes how technology changes have driven us first away from centralized computer services and now back toward them in cloud computing. He speculates that security and reliability are likely to improve as expertise is also centralized and fewer demands are placed on relatively inexperienced individual users.
As smartphones get smarter, they'll start to understand our life patterns, help us navigate our day, and intervene on our behalf. In "From Smart to Cognitive Phones" in Pervasive Computing's July-Sept. issue, Andrew Campbell from Dartmouth College and Tanzeem Choudhury from Cornell University describe various smartphone systems they've built, arguing that these systems eventually will evolve into cognitive phones.
The sophisticated robots envisioned for the future will be increasingly collaborative in nature—not merely doing things for people, but also working with people and intelligent systems. Although engineers still seek to make agents and robots more independent for occasions when unsupervised activity is desirable, they must also endeavor to increase sophisticated interdependent joint activity with humans. In a March/April Intelligent Systems article titled "Autonomy and Interdependence in Human-Agent-Robot Teams," Matthew Johnson and his coauthors discuss these capabilities and their relationships.
In addition to helping astronomers, interactive visualization and simulation of astrophysical phenomena enable digital planetariums and television documentaries to take spectators on a journey into deep space to explore the wonders of our universe in 3D. In "Interactive Visualization and Simulation of Astronomical Nebulae" in the May/June issue of CiSE, Stephan Wenger and his coauthors describe some of the possibilities, challenges, and approaches associated with these tasks.
In November 2000, eBay launched its API, marking the beginning of an era in which Web applications offer services for third-party application integration. According to a leading service and mashup directory, the number of open Web APIs reached 5,000 in 2011. Internet Computing's July/August special issue, "Programmatic Interfaces for Web Applications," includes an introduction to the state of the art by guest editors Tomas Vitvar of Oracle, Steve Vinoski of Bash Technologies, and Cesare Pautasso of the University of Lugano, Switzerland. Five feature articles describe the emerging technologies and best development practices underpinning these interfaces.
Emerging markets represent two-thirds of the world's population and 20 percent of its gross domestic product. And they're fostering further growth and socioeconomic development by leapfrogging legacy communication infrastructures and embracing IT instead. IT Pro's July/August special issue, "IT in Emerging Markets," presents a snapshot of the progress and potential in these markets in five feature articles focusing on a range of relevant topics. The issue also includes four invited spotlights on IT in Argentina and India, mobile payments in emerging markets, and new middleware for digital TV in Latin America.
In "Kilo TM: Hardware Transactional Memory for GPU Architectures," the first of 12 articles in Micro's May/June ninth annual "Top Picks from Computer Architecture Conferences" issue, Wilson W.L. Fung and his colleagues from the University of British Columbia describe a hardware transactional memory extension to GPUs that eases expressing synchronization among thousands of threads. A speculative transaction validation mechanism and a novel bloom filter structure make up for the lack of multicore cache coherency in GPUs.
As the number of medical images and usage scenarios rapidly increases, so does the need for tools to help physicians and other health professionals manage and interpret them. In "The Anatomy of an Optical Biopsy Semantic Retrieval System" in MultiMedia's April-June issue, European researchers describe a case-based computer-aided diagnostic system that assists in making decisions about biopsies obtained through confocal laser endomicroscopy. Implementation test results show promise for inferring semantic metadata from low-level features.
Failing to properly visualize data can lead to a serious misinterpretation of the underlying phenomena. In "Watch Out for Superman: First Visualize, Then Analyze" in CG&A's May/June issue, Marcin Kozak from the University of Information Technology and Management, Rzeszow, Poland, presents an artificial dataset he developed to teach students about this problem. Analysis of this dataset requires some statistical skills, but that's not the point. Even people with only a basic knowledge of statistics will immediately understand the results. Even more important, they'll learn—and likely remember—that data visualization should come before data analysis.
"An Original Italian Dial Adder Rediscovered" in the April-June issue of Annals recounts the 2010 discovery and design of an almost unknown calculating machine, deemed lost, built in the mid-19th century by Niccola Guinigi-Magrini, a nobleman from Lucca, Italy. Authors Silvo Hénin and Massimo Temporelli describe the machine's unique, single-input design as well as its shortcomings that illuminate intricacies of the larger development process.