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Computer

Issue 3 • Date March 1999

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Displaying Results 1 - 19 of 19
  • Alone on the road less traveled [Letters]

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 4
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • No shortage of qualified faculty [Letters]

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 4
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • What's new about cots headaches [Letters]

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 4 - 6
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • New technologies take the network home

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 11 - 14
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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  • Will 1999 be the year of IP telephony

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 15 - 17
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  • Groups duel over new I/O standards

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 18 - 20
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  • Society activities attract new members

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 80 - 81
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Innovation in the small

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 120 - 119
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  • Cryptography: the importance of not being different

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 108 - 109, 112
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    Cryptography is difficult. It combines mathematics, computer science, sometimes electrical engineering, and a twisted mindset that can figure out how to get around rules, break systems, and subvert the designers' intentions. Even very smart, knowledgeable, experienced people invent bad cryptography. In cryptography, there is security in following the crowd. A homegrown algorithm can't possibly be subjected to the hundreds of thousands of hours of cryptanalysis that DES and RSA have seen. A company, or even an industry association, can't begin to mobilize the resources that have been brought to bear against the Kerberos authentication protocol, for example. No one can duplicate the confidence that PGP offers, after years of people going over the code, line by line, looking for implementation flaws. By following the crowd you can leverage the cryptanalytic expertise of the worldwide community, not just a few weeks of some analyst's time View full abstract»

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  • Scientific components are coming

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 115 - 117
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Reliability is even more of an issue for scientific programmers than it is for other programmers. Since the correctness of a program is relative to its specification, the greatest difficulty of scientific programming is that the specification for a program is almost always an abstract mathematical or physical statement, not something specific. The way scientific programmers most frequently verify that their programs are correct is to examine their results on a series of problems that have known solutions. Since the program must be prepared to solve a general problem, it produces only an approximate answer to a specific problem. It takes judgment to decide whether the program is operating correctly-that is, if the differences between the actual and desired answer are a result of numerical noise, the approximations chosen, inaccurate models of physical properties, or actual coding errors. Many bugs are indistinguishable from errors in modeling or deficiencies in numerical techniques. At worst, a bug may cause us to make an erroneous decision to revise a model or abandon a certain approach. At best, bugs can be found only through considerable effort. Scientists are slowly coming to appreciate the merits of OO languages, unit testing, sophisticated source control systems, and other modern techniques. From a scientist's perspective, the most important thing about reusing a component is not the time saved, but the reliability gained View full abstract»

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  • Making RAD work for your project

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 113 - 114, 117
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    For several good business reasons, rapid application development has become increasingly popular. In general, RAD gives you earlier product payback and more payback time before the pace of technology makes your product obsolete. For software product sales, RAD also helps you debut a product earlier in a market window, which lets the product capture more market share, revenues, and profits. To gain maximum benefit from RAD, however, you must choose the RAD form that best suits your project. The article presents the various forms of RAD available and give advice on which to choose View full abstract»

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  • The BT intranet: information by design

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 59 - 66
    Cited by:  Papers (1)  |  Patents (1)
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    British Telecom's intranet hosts an array of information products that are an integral part of the way its employees do business. The article presents a glimpse of how BT uses concepts like media engineering to develop usable and maintainable information products-information by design. The BT intranet supports several information products that are now an everyday part of business within BT: the desktop directory not only supplies contact information, but also shows where people fit into the organization; a validated software site contains packages that have been tested and approved for use within the company; administrative services, such as expense claims, can be filled out and validated automatically as they flow through the organization, removing much of the manual work; internal news and guidance documents are posted on the intranet; and proposals for research and development projects, including their subsequent approval and delivery record, are recorded and tracked by an online system. Other documents provide details of the company's systems architecture, training programs, internal job vacancies, standards activities, and business strategy. We describe two applications of particular interest-a company-sponsored degree program and an engineering project data exchange site View full abstract»

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  • Beyond spreadsheets: tools for building decision support systems

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 31 - 39
    Cited by:  Papers (15)  |  Patents (3)
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    The complexity and long development time inherent in building decision support systems has thus far prevented their wide use. A new class of tools, DSS generators, seeks to cut the lead time between development and deployment. DSS generators provide tools that make it easier and faster to develop models, data, and user interfaces that are customized to the application's requirements. Using a DSS generator reduces DSS development to a decision analysis task-which requires expertise in decision analysis and mathematical modeling-rather than a programming task. DSS generators are crucial to the success of DSSs in practice. We describe the state of the art in DSS generator software, specifically in the realm of decision analysis methods. Decision analysis techniques account for the uncertain, dynamic, and multicriteria aspects of decisions. Essentially, they aid the evaluation of alternatives in the face of trade-offs. Well known decision analysis methods include decision trees and influence diagrams. We briefly describe the features of 11 commercially available DSS generators that specialize in decision analysis. Although not a comprehensive, complete analysis of these tools, the article clarifies the idea of DSS generators as DSS development environments and presents an overview of the progress in this area View full abstract»

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  • Have we witnessed a real-life Turing Test?

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 27 - 30
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    Did Deep Blue ace the Turing Test? Did it do much more? It seems that the IBM creation not only beat the reigning chess World Champion Gary Kasparov, but also took a large step, in some people's eyes, toward true artificial intelligence. For AI professionals, a computer defeating a human in chess is probably neither surprising nor really significant. After all, they contend, chess can be described in terms of a nondeterministic alternating Turing machine. Despite the enormous number of possible positions and available moves, the task does not present a challenging theoretical AI problem of NP completeness. There are many well-developed AI strategies that limit the search for the best move to an analysis of the most promising positions. Therefore, the progress in logical and numerical methods of AI and a computer's computational speed and available memory made the computer's victory inevitable. Deep Blue's victory, then, was attributable to its ability to analyze 200 million positions per second and a refined algorithm that accounted for positional-in addition to material-advantage. In summary, most AI professionals conclude that the computer won by brute force, rather than a sophisticated or original strategy. What most AI experts have overlooked, though, is another aspect of the match, which may signify a milestone in the history of computer science: for the first time, a computer seems to have passed the Turing Test View full abstract»

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  • Defining stakeholder relationships

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 110 - 112
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    Jointly developed by the ISO and IEC in 1995, the ISO/IEC 12207 standard, Software Life Cycle Processes, provides specific guidance in defining the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in the life cycle of a software project, product, or service. And the software community is beginning to take heed. The standard itself is relatively brief, detailing 17 processes in less than 40 pages. The 17 processes are divided into three main process groups: primary processes include acquisition, supply, development, operation, and maintenance; supporting processes include documentation, configuration management, quality assurance, verification, validation, joint review, audit, and problem resolution; organizational processes include management, infrastructure, improvement, and training. Each process breaks down into relevant activities and tasks that reflect a clear plan-do-check-act cycle. One further process, tailoring, specifies the activities and tasks to follow in adapting the standard to a particular situation or application. But just how useful is this standard? Based upon personal mentoring experiences, the author describes two case studies that demonstrate the standard's importance and versatility: Haldex Traction AB of Landskrona, Sweden, the supplier of a safety-critical automotive component; and Cambiot Healthcare Systems AB of Linkoping, Sweden, the supplier of a medical information system for hospitals and clinics. In these two cases, ISO/IEC 12207 has provided important value-added guidance in both systems and software engineering View full abstract»

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  • Making business sense of electronic commerce

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 67 - 75
    Cited by:  Papers (20)
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    Although its infrastructure is still very young, e-commerce continues to create new business models and innovative marketing and technology strategies. To avoid unraveling their core processes, organizations considering e-commerce applications must take time out to evaluate the many facets of adoption and integration. Arguments for not investing in e-commerce are rapidly dissolving. It is now widely accepted that a business cannot ignore e-commerce investment without incurring heavy penalties over the long run. We believe organizations that want to invest in e-commerce must have a significantly higher degree of technological fluency and a bolder approach to experimentation with unfamiliar business models than they would for investments in other areas. Successfully exploiting e-commerce requires creatively linking an organization's strategy and its supporting technology as well as managing pervasive IT applications that change very quickly and are becoming increasingly integrated and convergent. Only then can enterprises achieve the flexible and adaptive behavior that is central to effective e-commerce View full abstract»

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  • Transforming business through information technology

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 40 - 41
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Information technology has made major strides this past decade, improving significantly the process of doing business. These changes have permeated every aspect of our lives from grocery shopping to banking to manufacturing to managing a profitable business. And the trend is expected to accelerate as we move into the new millennium View full abstract»

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  • Reinventing GTE with information technology

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 50 - 58
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    In response to shifting business demands, evolving information technologies play a key role in first reengineering and then reinventing GTE (telecommunications company). To illustrate the growing impact of IT within GTE, we chronicle the evolution of GTE's Network Management System (NMS). Although we focus primarily on the NMS, we broadly identify three major phases in the application of IT within GTE: the initial, reengineering, and reinvention phases. Each phase exemplifies the larger forces at play, both from a business and an IT perspective. During the initial phase, IT served a business support function within GTE, meeting day-to-day needs but not significantly affecting the business as a whole. Next, IT enabled the reengineering of many of our core business processes. Finally, IT has allowed us to make significant steps in reinventing our telecommunications business View full abstract»

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  • The changing role of information technology in manufacturing

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 42 - 49
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
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    Although its role in manufacturing has keen move to support processes, IT is evolving to become a catalyst for process and product change. In this case study, an apparel manufacturer used an enterprise modeling framework (EMF) developed by Georgia Tech (USA) to implement multiple IT solutions. It was then able to rapidly shift production resources between two separate product lines View full abstract»

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Computer, the flagship publication of the IEEE Computer Society, publishes highly acclaimed peer-reviewed articles written for and by professionals representing the full spectrum of computing technology from hardware to software and from current research to new applications.

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Editor-in-Chief
Ron Vetter
University of North Carolina
Wilmington