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Computer

Issue 2 • Date Feb 2004

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 27
  • A copper bullet for software quality improvement

    Page(s): 21 - 25
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    Fred Brooks long ago observed that there is no silver bullet to improve software quality. However, there are copper bullets-lesser steps that improve quality over time. One of these is the notion of software engineering, the practice of thinking carefully before immersing yourself in the minutia of coding. We offer a summary of his experience indicating that database reverse engineering offers a quality improvement strategy, that could benefit the entire software community. View full abstract»

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  • Computer lessons from pop songs

    Page(s): 7 - 9
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  • Energy-efficient area monitoring for sensor networks

    Page(s): 40 - 46
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    The nodes in sensor networks must self-organize to monitor the target area as long as possible. Researchers at the Fundamental Computer Science Laboratory of Lille are developing strategies for selecting and updating an energy-efficient connected active sensor set that extends the network lifetime. We report on their work to optimize energy consumption in three separate problems: area coverage, request spreading, and data aggregation. View full abstract»

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  • Mobile agents in wireless devices

    Page(s): 104 - 105
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    The networks that connect handheld wireless devices such as cell phones and PDAs suffer from low bandwidth and a high incidence of network errors. By employing mobile agents, such devices could provide a reliable technology for message transport over wireless links. Mobile agents are inherently distributed software entities that reduce the load on the network when they move. Mobile agents can be employed in wireless handheld devices in two ways: An agent platform could be installed on the device, enabling mobile agents to run directly on it, or devices could access and use remote mobile agents running on wired networks. Each approach is viable and has its own advantages and domain-specific applications. Some high-end devices would benefit from running a mobile agent platform that lets agents run locally, but this would not be beneficial to others because of processing power and memory constraints or for security reasons. View full abstract»

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  • Cross-layering in mobile ad hoc network design

    Page(s): 48 - 51
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    Mobile ad hoc network researchers face the challenge of achieving full functionality with good performance while linking the new technology to the rest of the Internet. A strict layered design is not flexible enough to cope with the dynamics of manet environments, however, and will prevent performance optimizations. The MobileMan cross-layer architecture offers an alternative to the pure layered approach that promotes stricter local interaction among protocols in a manet node. View full abstract»

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  • Ad hoc networks

    Page(s): 29 - 31
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  • Prioritized overlay multicast in mobile ad hoc environments

    Page(s): 67 - 74
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    Many proposed routing protocols for manets require nodes to maintain and update complicated route information, which incurs significant overhead when groups have different priorities. To address this problem, some researchers have begun focusing on application-layer, or overlay, multicast in which an overlay network forms a virtual network consisting of only member nodes atop the physical infrastructure. We propose a prototype of prioritized overlay multicast for manets in which participating nodes can carry out multiple functions and thus be associated with more than one overlay tree. View full abstract»

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  • Making computer programming fun and accessible

    Page(s): 106 - 108
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    Learning to program requires much hard work and dedication. Most students in introductory programming courses struggle to grasp programming concepts in general. Universities in the US, Canada, and elsewhere have reported withdrawal, failure, and D-grade rates approaching 50 percent in introductory computer programming courses. To address these problems, we recently designed and successfully offered a revolutionary one-semester course that integrates the use of HTML, JavaScript, and Java. This approach departs markedly from using a single general-purpose programming language such as Java or C++. View full abstract»

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  • Letters

    Page(s): 6
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  • Researchers develop self-assembling chip technique

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    IBM has developed prototype silicon-polymer flash-memory chips using a process based on self-assembling nanocrystals. The process uses a technique in which two polymers, when heated, self-organize into patterns that researchers can manipulate to make one of the stencils used to produce the chips. This self-assembly process could enable manufacturers to produce smaller chips and reduce the high cost and complexity of traditional lithography, which uses expensive tools to precisely draw on a silicon substrate the places where every transistor, wire, and other element will go. View full abstract»

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  • Routing and security in mobile ad hoc networks

    Page(s): 61 - 65
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    Mobile ad hoc networks remove the dependence on a fixed network infrastructure by treating every available mobile node as an intermediate switch, thereby extending the range of mobile nodes well beyond that of their base transceivers. We present four manet routing algorithms along with a hybrid approach, discuss their advantages and disadvantages, and describe security problems inherent in such networks. View full abstract»

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  • Cooperative cache-based data access in ad hoc networks

    Page(s): 32 - 39
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    Cooperative caching, in which multiple nodes share and coordinate cached data, is widely used to improve Web performance in wired networks. However, resource constraints and node mobility have limited the application of these techniques in ad hoc networks. We propose caching techniques that use the underlying routing protocols to overcome these constraints and further improve performance. View full abstract»

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  • Simplifying public key management

    Page(s): 101 - 103
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    Many security protocols in use today were designed under the assumption that some form of global distributed public key infrastructure would eventually emerge to address key management problems. These protocols go back to the early 1990s, when a universal PKI was thought to be just around the corner. Ten years later, it's still just around the corner, and it probably always will be. Consequently, existing protocols originally designed to rely on a global PKI must either employ ad hoc solutions or use any public key that turns up, because the only alternative is not to use any keys at all. In the absence of a PKI, system administrators can incorporate alternative approaches that are easy to use, transparent to end users, and have a low unit cost. View full abstract»

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  • Analyzing neural development mathematically

    Page(s): 94
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  • Using plastic to make high-capacity memory

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    Researchers are experimenting with a new type of compact, inexpensive, high-capacity electronic memory for small devices that uses a plastic material also sometimes employed as an antistatic coating for computer screens. A team of Princeton University and Hewlett-Packard scientists has used polyethylenedioxythiophene, called Pedot, to develop the memory system for deployment in cameras, MP3 music players, cellular phones, and other small devices. The new system is a type of WORM technology. "Write-once, read-many memory is very useful for large archival files such as digital photographs, music, etc.,". View full abstract»

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  • Group communications in mobile ad hoc networks

    Page(s): 52 - 59
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    Efficient support of group communications is critical for most ad hoc network applications. However, manet group communications issues differ from those in wired environments because the wireless communications medium has variable and unpredictable characteristics, and the signal strength and propagation fluctuate with respect to time and environment. We provide an overview of group communications issues such as protocol design, state maintenance, and performance. We also discuss representative protocols and examine related issues such as reliability, power conservation, quality of service, security, and areas requiring additional research. View full abstract»

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  • Interactivity, interfaces, and smart toys

    Page(s): 98 - 100
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    Although computers can represent a medium for children's social and intellectual development, some researchers believe that using computers before age seven subtracts from important developmental tasks and other types of learning. Those opposed to computers believe that computer-based activities are less effective in developing understanding and skills than are artifacts that young children can handle. These anxieties extend to technologies such as smart toys. Our recently completed research project, Computers and Children's Electronic Toys, investigated how children use smart toys. Cachet combines recent interest in mobile learning, tangible interfaces, and the home use of technologies. This research aimed mainly to explore interactivity and interfaces in the context of smart toys that children could use alone or in conjunction with a computer. View full abstract»

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  • Location-aware computing comes of age

    Page(s): 95 - 97
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    At the core of invisible computing is context awareness, the concept of sensing and reacting to dynamic environments and activities. Location is a crucial component of context, and much research in the past decade has focused on location-sensing technologies, location-aware application support, and location-based applications. With numerous factors driving deployment of sensing technologies, location-aware computing may soon become a part of everyday life. View full abstract»

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  • IEEE Computer Magazine

    Page(s): 01
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Table of contents

    Page(s): 03 - 1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • [IEEE Computer - Magazine's Staff]

    Page(s): 2
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Article summaries

    Page(s): 4
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  • IEEE names Fellows for 2004

    Page(s): 75 - 77
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Call for papers

    Page(s): 5
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE fellow nominations due 15 march

    Page(s): 78 - 79
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    Freely Available from IEEE

Aims & Scope

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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Meet Our Editors

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