By Topic

IT Professional

Issue 6 • Date Nov.-Dec. 2003

Filter Results

Displaying Results 1 - 11 of 11
  • The growing role of IT in transportation

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 5 - 6
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (578 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The automobile and railway industries have grown more reliant on IT, but future intelligent transportation systems must also address potential security breaches. This article focuses on the security issues that ITSs must address before a full-blown implementation becomes feasible. The broad spectrum of our transportation-related articles is simply the tip of the iceberg. On 25 August 2003, the Altamont Commuter Express train that serves the San Francisco bay are became one of the first commuter rail systems in the US to serve as a mobile IEEE 802.11 hot spot for commuters. IEEE 802.11 is a family of specifications that the IEEE developed for wireless LAN (local area network) technology. Now, for better or for worse, commuters can maintain nearly door-to-door broadband connectivity between their homes and their offices. Even in automobiles, phones based on Bluetooth - an open standard for short-range digital transmissions - and personal digital assistants are likely to become integrated with fully wired onboard dashes. Meanwhile, government agencies are continuously enhancing traffic-monitoring systems to better route highway resources and increase public safety. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Tailoring IT support to communities of practice

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 24 - 28
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (532 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Many organizations have benefited from recognizing communities of practice (COPs) operating in their midst. By identifying a group as a COP, an organization has made a critical skill area visible. Without this awareness it would be more likely, for example, that the corporate talent in auditing software processes could quietly disappear. With the importance of COPs established, organizations can now turn their attention to ensuring that their IT and knowledge management systems enable COPs to flourish. A simple folder on a corporate server to share documents is an example of such support. More comprehensive support to a COP may include virtual space on the corporate intranet for synchronous and asynchronous collaboration, expertise location, and content structuring (B. Lewis, "On-Demand KM: A Two-Tier Architecture", IT Professional, Jan.-Feb. 2002, pp. 27-33). As organizations decide how to support COPs, they should know that COPs are not in any way uniform entities. There is wide variation among COPs and understanding these differences can go a long way toward providing support that is truly well matched to the needs of each one. Two observations are keys to understanding the variety of COPs that are candidates for organizational support: The number of potential COPs is great, and, there are many kinds of groups and communities; not all of them are COPs. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Toward a cooperative architecture for delivering government services. I

    Publication Year: 2003
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (392 KB)  

    In 2002, the Italian government proposed its "The Government's Guidelines for the Development of the Information Society". These guidelines are part of an action plan to make Italy a leader in the digital age (http://www.mininnovazione.it/ita/news/linneguida.shtml). The document outlines the modernization of the public and private sectors through the widespread use of new information and communication technologies. The goal is to boost the country's competitiveness by accelerating the spread of an online economy. Developing such an information society would also improve the quality of life and give all citizens equal opportunities. The plan supports widespread use of information technology in the entire modernization process and for all public administrations of PAs (government agencies) in Italy. The plan involves a project to secure the cooperation of some central PAs. The project called Repository for Agents in Economics (RAE), this project seeks to reduce enterprises' burden in performing required bureaucratic functions. In the course of developing this federated system, the RAE project had to provide interfaces among the various PAs as well as provide an interface for user interaction. Part 2 of this article describes the framework that RAE developed for providing these interfaces. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Software for the next-generation automobile

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 7 - 11
    Cited by:  Papers (4)  |  Patents (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (528 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Automotive electronic systems are changing rapidly, requiring connectivity of all types. Ford's prototype software framework lets manufacturers rapidly tailor features and handle diverse communication modes. Ford Research and Advanced Engineering is working on a software architecture that provides the layers of abstraction necessary to realize this goal. The system, vehicle consumer services interface (VCSI), offers the ability to flexibly personalize and upgrade systems with the level of security required for mobile services, as well as a plug-and-play approach to device connectivity. It uses XML (eXtensible Markup Language) to communicate with portable devices and off-board systems, providing Ford the freedom to offer the highest degree of branding and personalization possible. Ford's proprietary XML-based interface, VUML (vehicle user-interface mark-up language) separates the MI from the core application, which lets designers use many HMI component types - from knobs, switches, and buttons to touch screen displays and conversational voice-activation systems. Thus, manufacturers can offer various features and functions in their products by choosing the HMI type that best aligns with their brand attributes and their customers' preferences. Using various input methods, consumers can easily control a particular function from more than one location. The driver, for example, can use voice commands to set the vehicle's temperature, while the front-seat passenger might use a button or touch screen for the same function. VCSI is based on Java, so designers can use a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to abstract it from the platform and operating system (OS). We are currently using the QNX platform for embedded devices, but designers can implement VCSI on any platform that meets the specification and provides a JVM. With the CDC, foundation profile (one of the standard profiles for handheld devices that use Java) enables a VCSI-based solution to perform very well, providing all the desired functions and services. Ford has established a set of OS criteria that focuses on robustness and real-time execution specifications. One key element is that the OS must be able to start and stop device drivers and applications without having to reboot. This is especially important in- a vehicle because consumers need devices and off-board connectivity at different and unpredictable times. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • From unstructured data to actionable intelligence

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 29 - 35
    Cited by:  Papers (8)  |  Patents (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (789 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    There's content everywhere, but not the information you need. Content analysis can organize a pile of text into a richly accessible repository. This article explains two key technologies for generating metadata about content - automatic categorization and information extraction. These technologies, and the applications that metadata makes possible, can transform an organization's reservoir of unstructured content into a well-organized repository of knowledge. With metadata available, a company's search system can move beyond simple dialogs to richer means of access that work in more situations. Information visualization, for example, uses metadata and our innate visual abilities to improve access. Besides better access, metadata enables intelligent switching in the content flows of various organizational processes - for example, making it possible to automatically route the right information to the right person. A third class of metadata applications involves mining text to extract features for analysis using the statistical approaches typically applied to structured data. For example, if you turn the text fields in a survey into data, you can then analyze the text along with other data fields. All these metadata-powered applications can improve your company's use of its information resources. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Top 10 architecture land mines [enterprise]

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 36 - 43
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (807 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    IT professionals hear plenty of advice regarding enterprise architecture. Although good in theory, many of the recommendations are impractical because they are time-consuming or just plain difficult. People and organizations tend to repeat common mistakes that make a mess of their enterprise architecture. The implications of these mistakes are not immediately apparent. By the time you take corrective actions, it is often too late to undo the direct damage, much less the collateral damage. Rather than offering recipes for success, this article points out the top 10 list of land mines along the architecture roadway. The list are as follows: declaring the architecture effort done; assuming that technical people make good architects; saying no; failing to communicate early and often; speaking in tongues; mistaking standards for architecture; forgetting to assess people and process impacts; aligning (and realigning) with strategies, rather than with business goals and cultural values; crashing the party when you are not invited; and introducing technology before its time. The correct measure of success is not how fast you can introduce a new technology. Instead, it is whether you can make the correct or appropriate investment decision. Avoiding the 10 pitfalls will not guarantee your architecture program's success, but will certainly increase your profitability of avoiding failure. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Covering the intangibles in a KM initiative

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 17 - 23
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (489 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    When we design the way work gets done in an organization, we often speak in terms of people, processes, and technology. In the KM area, the term intangibles refers to aspects that are not well defined or are outside the realm of technology; these likely include people and process issues. KM intangibles include such factors as a reward structure and organizational culture that encourage knowledge sharing; a system's compatibility with the employees' way of working and with the organization's processes; employees' feeling they have control over their work; the amount of effort it takes employees to enter, update, and retrieve content; and the complexity of using the technology (D. Cohen and L. Prusak, In Good Company: How Social Capital Makes Organizations Work, Harvard Business School Press, 2001). In designing products, engineers and computer scientists often deal with intangibles to some extent. User interface is often part of design, for instance, and designers draw upon disciplines dealing with intangibles - such as human factors and ergonomics. Gathering requirements from users often reveals what content they desire and how it should be presented. But the traditional design of technology applications typically doesn't cover motivation for use and for collaboration across parts of an organization - factors critical to the success of a KM initiative. Dealing with the KM (knowledge management) intangibles means actually getting knowledge shared and used. This article discusses the role of intangibles in KM initiatives, describes some specific intangibles, and presents some techniques for identifying and dealing with intangibles. Because IT Pro's readers come primarily from computer and engineering disciplines, this article will draw similarities between the techniques presented to design for intangibles and approaches used in engineering and IT. Addressing intangibles can be part of a more robust requirements phase that makes intangible requirements part of the design along with technology requirements. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • QFD in the architecture development process

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 44 - 52
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (596 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Quality function deployment ensures that the new design in an enterprise IT architecture project fully implements functional and nonfunctional requirements so that planned IT systems can support the business. In this paper, we outline an approach to designing architectures that fully support requirements, by leveraging a technique called quality function deployment. QFD is a systematic method for tying product and service design decisions directly to customer wants and needs. In the future, we plan to explore issues associated with defining and collecting architecture requirements, designing and collecting architecture requirements, designing efficient and elegant architectures, and creating architecture transition plans. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • IEEE 1472: an open-source communications protocol for railway vehicles

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 12 - 16
    Cited by:  Papers (7)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (653 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Railway vehicles are complex systems that are an essential component of any national transportation infrastructure. But railway vehicles are also mission-critical systems that must support the comfort and safety of passengers. It is therefore essential that these systems be the epitome of fault-tolerant control technology. The Rail Transit Vehicle Interface (RTVI) standards committee of the IEEE's Vehicular Technology Society developed IEEE 1473 (Standard for Communications Protocol Aboard Trains) for use on passenger rail vehicles in North America. As it turns out, the standard has become international and appears in a wide range of applications on freight and passenger trains. The adoption of the open 1473 protocol and the widespread use of wireless communications standards such as IEEE 802.11 provide additional opportunities for further integrating train line applications with emerging Web services promises exciting scenarios for travelers and enhanced operational success for systems maintainers. And maintenance engineers at wayside stations could integrate information from moving trains with diagnostic data in stationary repositories of service data for enhanced system safety and longevity. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Subject index

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 53 - 55
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | PDF file iconPDF (452 KB)  
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Author index

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 55 - 56
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | PDF file iconPDF (333 KB)  
    Freely Available from IEEE

Aims & Scope

IT Professional is a bimonthly publication of the IEEE Computer Society for the developers and managers of enterprise information systems.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
San Murugesan
BRITE Professional Services