Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

 ISSN: 1690-4524 (Online)    DOI: 10.54808/JSCI


Computer Agent’s Role in Modeling an Online Math Help User
Dragana Martinovic
Pages: 1-8
This paper investigates perspectives of deployments of open learner model on mathematics online help sites. It proposes enhancing a regular human-to-human interaction with an involvement of a computer agent suitable for tracking users, checking their input and making useful suggestions. Such a design would provide the most support for the interlocutors while keeping the nature of existing environment intact. Special considerations are given to peer-to-peer and expert-to-student mathematics online help that is free of charge and asynchronous. Examples from other collaborative, Web-based environments are also discussed. Suggestions for improving the existing architectures are given, based on the results of a number of studies on on-line learning systems.

Integrative Technologies Complicate Communication during Development Work Context: Industry-Academy Collaboration
Pauliina Mansikkamäki, Matti Mäntysalo, Risto Rönkkä
Pages: 9-15
A competition in the electronics industry is hard. For most companies, strong technological know-how will be a competitiveness factor in the future. The future technologies will be increasingly based on a combination of innovations from several branches of science. Also, many innovations are based on external technology integration. The days are over when one company could internally create all of the technology it needs to maintain its competitiveness. One approach of promising framework for the development of a new integrative technology is an industrial R&D network combined with industrial-academic collaboration. However, this kind of collaboration is a challenging undertaking.

Companies in a value network might have very different expectations regarding a new technology due to differences in their position in the value network or their company strategy. One of the main challenges in an R&D network is to translate the expectations of all parties involved into new technology solutions so that all in the R&D network feel they have obtained benefit. One of key factors on creating successful industrial-academic collaboration is open and trustful communication. But, there are communication challenges, intellectual property sharing problems, and discussions regarding the sharing of cost and benefits. Developing a new integrative technology structure requires seamless teamwork, holistic and interdisciplinary understanding, and open communication throughout the R&D team and the industrial-academic network. The focus of this paper is on network communication, knowledge communication and team communication. The results of this study indicate that successful communication in an industrial-academic R&D network to develop a new integrative technology improves knowledge creation and accelerates commercialization of the technology.

Organising Documentation in Knowledge Evolution and Communication
Cristina De Castro, Paolo Toppan
Pages: 16-22
The knowledge of a subject evolves in time due to many factors, such as better understanding, study of additional issues within the same subject, study of related work from other themes, etc. This can be achieved by individual work, direct cooperation with other people and, in general, knowledge sharing. In this context, and in the broader context of knowledge communication, the appropriate organisation of documentation plays a fundamental role, but is often very difficult to achieve. A layered architecture is here proposed for the development of a structured repository of documentation, here called knowledge-bibliography KB. The process of knowledge acquisition, evolution and communication is firstly considered, then the distributed nature of nowadays knowledge and the ways it is shared and transferred are taken into account. On the basis of the above considerations, a possible clustering of documentation collected by many people is defined. An LDAP-based architecture for the implementation of this structure is also discussed.

Process Performance Measurement for E-Government: A Case Scenario from the German Ministerial Administration
Oliver Thomas, Christian Seel
Pages: 23-29
During the last years, the realization of the E-Government driven benefits was in the center of interest at various public administrations. The article at hand outlines a process driven approach for the evaluation of technology-based performance impacts. From the German perspective, existing concepts of performance evaluation are concretized for the case scenario of the German Plan Approval Procedures.

SOFTICE: Facilitating both Adoption of Linux Undergraduate Operating Systems Laboratories and Students’ Immersion in Kernel Code
Alessio Gaspar, Sarah Langevin, Joe Stanaback, Clark Godwin
Pages: 30-35
This paper discusses how Linux clustering and virtual machine technologies can improve undergraduate students’ hands-on experience in operating systems laboratories. Like similar projects, SOFTICE relies on User Mode Linux (UML) to provide students with privileged access to a Linux system without creating security breaches on the hosting network. We extend such approaches in two aspects. First, we propose to facilitate adoption of Linux-based laboratories by using a load-balancing cluster made of recycled classroom PCs to remotely serve access to virtual machines. Secondly, we propose a new approach for students to interact with the kernel code.

Utilizing Wireless Polling Devices to Enhance Classroom Participation
Cathy Hall, William Swart
Pages: 36-41
Actively engaging students in learning processes, especially as class sizes increase, has become a major challenge for many in education. While technological advances have begun to provide viable options, it can be a daunting task to choose among the technology available that will serve one’s specific needs. The first part of this paper discusses some of the options that allow for more active learning, discussion of faculty/student factors in adoption considerations, and a focus on wireless polling devices (WPD) in particular. The second section discusses data obtained from student opinion surveys on the use of WPDs in undergraduate classrooms and assessment of WPD technology on student learning via course grades.

Developing Software Simulations
Tom Hall, Cathy Hall, William Swart
Pages: 42-47
Programs in education and business often require learners to develop and demonstrate competence in specified areas and then be able to effectively apply this knowledge. One method to aid in developing a skill set in these areas is through the use of software simulations. These simulations can be used for learner demonstrations of competencies in a specified course as well as a review of the basic skills at the beginning of subsequent courses. The first section of this paper discusses ToolBook, the software used to develop our software simulations. The second section discusses the process of developing software simulations. The third part discusses how we have used software simulations to assess student knowledge of research design by providing simulations that allow the student to practice using SPSS and Excel.

A Framework on Collaboration: an Interdisciplinary Project across Multiple Colleges
Andis Kwan, Lin Leung, Xiangdong Li, Michael Anshel
Pages: 48-52
The order of complexity in carrying out collaborative research at multiple campuses poses a challenge to standard knowledge management systems. In this paper, we present a collaboration framework in which computer science students work in partnership with computer scientists, mathematicians and physicists on an emerging field of research, quantum information science. We first develop a few heuristic criteria to determine the rationale that makes project a successful one. We then demonstrate that our knowledge management systems produce publishable results and grant proposals within our framework.

A Position on Effective Peer Reviews–Rationale, Qualification, Process, and Policy
Rayford Vaughn
Pages: 53-57
This paper argues for the value of the conference peer review process given certain constraints that include a proper process, qualifications of the reviewers, policy used in the review, and the motivation of the reviewers. The paper also addresses how the lack of proper criteria can be harmful in a peer review process. The peer review process for journals is not addressed as this is a universally accepted practice in academia. An analogy to software engineering code review processes is briefly presented.

Advancing Software Development for a Multiprocessor System-on-Chip
Stephen Bique
Pages: 58-63
A low-level language is the right tool to develop applications for some embedded systems. Notwithstanding, a high-level language provides a proper environment to develop the programming tools. The target device is a system-on-chip consisting of an array of processors with only local communication. Applications include typical streaming applications for digital signal processing. We describe the hardware model and stress the advantages of a flexible device. We introduce IDEA, a graphical integrated development environment for an array. A proper foundation for software development is a UML and standard programming abstractions in object-oriented languages.

The Sustainability Analysis Framework: An Effective Knowledge Communication Tool in a Whole of Government Context
Kendal Hodgman
Pages: 64-69
This paper focuses on the structural formation of the Sustainability Analysis Framework (SAF), which has proved to be an effective knowledge communication tool in the largest state administration in Australia, the Government of New South Wales. The SAF, devised by the author, has been implemented across thirty-eight state agencies and demonstrates that a whole of government Sustainability perspective is achievable. The level of the NSW Government’s commitment to this process is evidenced by the fact that it was coordinated at the highest levels of the administration and engaged high-level input from a comprehensive portfolio of its agencies. The SAF’s successful deployment across this significant bureaucracy shows that the generally applicable mechanism is effective in data collation, information sharing, knowledge organisation and the communication of Sustainability practice and wisdom. At the heart of the paper is the author’s contention that one of the key problems which jeopardises our common future on Earth is the lack of effective tools to communicate Sustainability thinking and practice. In the course of the project, upon which this paper is based, the author identified the need for a visually and conceptually accessible mechanism to accelerate the uptake of Sustainability practice in a whole of organization context. In designing the SAF, which has successfully bridged this knowledge communication gap, the author employed two of humanity’s fundamental learning tools – the diagram and the story.

Volunteer vs. Professional Management of Academic Conferences: A Comparison of Five Meetings
James Spee
Pages: 70-79
Academic conferences operate under a range of models from nearly all volunteer to a mix of volunteer and professional event management. This paper compares the event management practices of five conferences: The Organizational Behavior Teaching Conference (OBTC), The Western Academy of Management (WAM), The North American Case Research Association (NACRA), The Academy of Management (AOM), and The Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management (IBAM) The analysis will examine the mix of volunteer and professional management used to organize and operate the annual meeting of each organization separate from the program content; such as reserving the hotel, ordering meals, and offering special group events. Along a continuum, OBTC uses the least professional event management and IBAM uses the most. The other organizations fall somewhere in between. Professional event managers who organize conferences on a repeated basis have a distinct advantage over volunteers who change jobs every year, thereby losing large amounts of experiential learning. The all-volunteer organizations justify their choice of amateur event managers on the basis of lower up-front cost and "preserving our culture," but neglect to account for the wide variations in performance, lack of accountability, and burnout that can come with use of volunteers.

Iraqi public opinion on the Web: An exploratory study of opinions on invasion and election
Haidar Moukdad
Pages: 80-85
This paper presents an exploratory study of a selection of user contributions to a news feedback forum on the Web provided by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service to its Arab listeners. Contributions representing Iraqi public opinion on a variety of topics covering Iraq under occupation were categorized and analyzed to provide a glimpse of how access to the Web has allowed Iraqis to freely express their opinions, and of how Iraqi public opinion manifests itself throughout these contributions. The results provided insights into the feelings of Iraqis towards the invasion and occupation of their country, and they highlighted the role played by the Web as a vital communication vehicle for public opinion and political debates.

A Computerised Business Ethics Expert System -A new approach to improving the ethical quality of business decision-making
Bernie Brenner
Pages: 86-91
Abstract Where unethical business decision-making arises from failures of ethical perception, there is an important role for ethical training and decision-making tools. These may help business people to consider all relevant issues when assessing the ethical status of potential decisions. Ethical training programmes give business people a basic understanding of the principles which underlie ethical judgements and equip them with many of the necessary skills for dealing with the ethical dilemmas which they face in their jobs. Similarly, ethical decision-making tools may guide managers through the various ethical considerations which are relevant to business decision-making and help them to develop their ethical-perceptual skills. Furthermore, by establishing and reinforcing good ethical decision-making practices, training programmes and decision-making tools may also reduce the incidence of self-consciously unethical decision-making. A new approach to improving the ethical quality of business decision-making by the use of computerized business ethics expert systems is proposed. These systems have the potential to guide business people through a process of ethical evaluation while simultaneously fulfilling an educational role, thus providing many of the benefits of both training programmes and decision-making tools. While the prospect of a computer system which could simply make ethical judgements for business people is both unrealistic and undesirable, a system which leads human decision-makers through a structured assessment process has the potential for genuine benefits. Keywords: Expert Systems, Ethical Decision Making