Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

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


Lessons Learned by Comparing On-line Education Strategies Across Disciplines
Stephen H. Edwards, Diane M. Hodge
Pages: 1-6
When choosing how best to employ educational technologies for on-line learning, there is much to be gained by examining the experience of educators in other disciplines. This paper presents four brief case studies in the disciplines of computer science and social work. Lessons learned by comparing these diverse experiences are discussed, including creating a community of learners, supporting asynchronous student communication, using synchronous on-line meetings, and providing social support. In addition, the experiences presented indicate that stereotypes of student capabilities and expectations may often be inaccurate, and revising one’s views may be helpful in achieving better results in on-line education.

Towards the Design of a WAP-based Environmental Information Service
Joerg Westbomke, Michael Haase, Renate Ebel, Dieter Lehne
Pages: 7-12
Cellular phones have almost replaced conventional telephones for public use in Western European countries. Modern WAP enhanced phones or smart phones offer mobile access to the internet, anytime and anyplace. This technique therefore appears to be very attractive for transferring up-to-date information about the environmental situation to the public, i.e. air and water quality measurements or weather conditions as well as forecasted values of these processes. The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is the key technology in this respect. According to the upcoming importance of mobile internet access the WAP technology has great potentials to play an important role in the design of modern information services which are user centered. Because of upcoming environmental laws in Europe the citizen will gain the right to access the environmental information collected and stored by the public authorities. But due to size and resolution of the displays used in the actual versions of the cellular phones it is not sufficient to transfer the concepts and architectures known from internet information systems to WAP-based systems. It is rather necessary to develop special concepts for the design of WAPbased services, with a special focus on the appropriate structuring and presentation of environmental data. This paper gives an overview of the main problems WAP system designer had actually to deal with and shows concepts how to solve them. At the end of the paper we present two mobile environmental information services, which were realized on the basis of the presented concepts.

A Hardware Lab Anywhere At Any Time
Tobias Schubert, Bernd Becker
Pages: 13-16
Scientific technical courses are an important component in any student's education. These courses are usually characterised by the fact that the students execute experiments in special laboratories. This leads to extremely high costs and a reduction in the maximum number of possible participants. From this traditional point of view, it doesn't seem possible to realise the concepts of a Virtual University in the context of sophisticated technical courses since the students must be “on the spot”.
In this paper we introduce the so-called Mobile Hardware Lab which makes student participation possible at any time and from any place. This lab nevertheless transfers a feeling of being present in a laboratory. This is accomplished with a special Learning Management System in combination with hardware components which correspond to a fully equipped laboratory workstation that are lent out to the students for the duration of the lab. The experiments are performed and solved at home, then handed in electronically. Judging and marking are also both performed electronically.
Since 2003 the Mobile Hardware Lab is now offered in a completely web based form.

The Format Converting/Transfer Agent and Repository System based on ebXML
KyeongRim Ahn, ByeongChan Im, JinWook Chung
Pages: 17-21
As introducing XML in EC-environment, various document formats have been used due to XML characteristic. Also, other document format except XML have been used to exchange EC-related information. That is, as increasing trading partner, as increasing exchanged document format and business processing being complex. So, management difficulty and duplication problem happened as trading partners increasing. And, they want to change plural business workflow to general and uniform form as defining and arranging BP(Business Process). Therefore, in this paper, we define XML as future document standard agreement and discuss about service system architecture and Repository. Repository stores and manages document standard, information related to Business Processing, Messaging Profile, and so on. Repository structure is designed to cover various XML standards. Also, we design system to support ebXML communication protocol, MSH, as well as traditional communication protocol, such as X.25, X.400, etc. and implement to exchange information via FTP.

Telephony Over IP: A QoS Measurement-Based End to End Control Algorithm
Luigi Alcuri, Francesco Saitta
Pages: 22-30
This paper presents a method for admitting voice calls in Telephony over IP (ToIP) scenarios. This method, called QoS-Weighted CAC, aims to guarantee Quality of Service to telephony applications. We use a measurement-based call admission control algorithm, which detects network congested links through a feedback on overall link utilization. This feedback is based on the measures of packet delivery latencies related to voice over IP connections at the edges of the transport network. In this way we introduce a close loop control method, which is able to auto-adapt the quality margin on the basis of network load and specific service level requirements. Moreover we evaluate the difference in performance achieved by different Queue management configurations to guarantee Quality of Service to telephony applications, in which our goal was to evaluate the weight of edge router queue configuration in complex and real-like telephony over IP scenario. We want to compare many well-know queue scheduling algorithms, such as SFQ, WRR, RR, WIRR, and Priority. This comparison aims to locate queue schedulers in a more general control scheme context where different elements such as DiffServ marking and Admission control algorithms contribute to the overall Quality of Service required by real-time voice conversations. By means of software simulations we want to compare this solution with other call admission methods already described in scientific literature in order to locate this proposed method in a more general control scheme context. On the basis of the results we try to evidence the possible advantages of this QoS-Weighted solution in comparison with other similar CAC solutions ( in particular Measured Sum, Bandwidth Equivalent with Hoeffding Bounds, and Simple Measure CAC), on the planes of complexity, stability, management, tune-ability to service level requirements, and compatibility with actual network implementation.

Corporate Training in Virtual Worlds
Charles Nebolsky, Nicholas K. Yee, Valery A. Petrushin, Anatole V. Gershman
Pages: 31-36
This paper presents virtual training worlds that are relatively low-cost distributed collaborative learning environments suitable for corporate training. A virtual training world allows a facilitator, experts and trainees communicating and acting in the virtual environment for practicing skills during collaborative problem solving. Using these environments is beneficial to both trainees and corporations. Two system prototypes – the sales training and the leadership training virtual worlds – are described. The leadership training course design is discussed in details.

Network Transfer of Control Data: An Application of the NIST SMART DATA FLOW
Martial Michel, Vincent Stanford, Olivier Galibert
Pages: 37-42
Pervasive Computing environments range from basic mobile point of sale terminal systems, to rich Smart Spaces with many devices and sensors such as lapel microphones, audio and video sensor arrays and multiple interactive PDA acting as electronic brief cases, providing authentication, and user preference data to the environment. These systems present new challenges in distributed human-computer interfaces such as how to best use sensor streams, distribute interfaces across multiple devices, and dynamic network management as users come an go, and as devices are added or fail.

The NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY SMART DATA FLOW system is a low overhead, high bandwidth transport mechanism for standardized multi-modal data streams. It is designed to allow integration of multiple sensors with distributed processing needed for the sense-recognize-respond cycle of multi modal user interfaces. Its core is a server/client architecture, allowing clients to produce or subscribe to data flows, and supporting steps toward scalable processing, distributing the computing requirements among many network connected computers and pervasive devices.

This article introduces the communication broker and provides an example of an effective real time sensor fusion to track a speaker with a video camera using data captured from multi-channel microphone array.

Systems Thinking as a Major Skill of Business Students – A New Teaching Concept at the University of Zurich, Switzerland
Verena Adam
Pages: 43-47
In our world of growing complexity, linear thinking and the belief that the whole is only the sum of its parts are evidently obsolete. Systems thinking, which promotes a holistic view of reality, is a situation-adequate handling of complex systems, and is therefore one of the most important skills of future executives in the business world. A new teaching concept was introduced one year ago by the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. This concept was designed to help the students to develop abilities in thinking in models, operating complex systems and handling dynamic, non-linear situations. By use of a computer-simulated game the business students should gain knowledge about systemic realities and improve their complex-problem-solving skills. In the semester when the newly designed lecture started, the highly motivated class became aware of the problems in dealing with complexity. Documenting any significant improvements in our students’ performance in playing the game was not possible, but we observed a change in their behaviour and ways of thinking in situations of complex problem-solving. Some necessary changes and adjustments in the teaching concept were made and the next class will be investigated in autumn 2003.

Information Sharing Mechanism among Mobile Agents In Ad-hoc Network Environment and Its Applications
Kunio Umetsuji, Kyoji Kawagoe
Pages: 48-52
Mobile agents are programs that can move from one site to another in a network with their data and states. Mobile agents are expected to be an essential tool in pervasive computing. In multi platform environment, it is important to communicate with mobile agents only using their universal or logical name not using their physical locations. More, in an ad-hoc network environment, an agent can migrate autonomously and communicate with other agents on demand. It is difficult that mobile agent grasps the position information on other agents correctly each other, because mobile agent processes a task while moving a network successively. In order to realize on-demand mutual communication among mobile agents without any centralized servers, we propose a new information sharing mechanism within mobile agents.

In this paper, we present a new information sharing mechanism within mobile agents. The method is a complete peer based and requires no agent servers to manage mobile agent locations. Therefore, a mobile agent can get another mobile agent, communicate with it and shares information stored in the agent without any knowledge of the location of the target mobile agent. The basic idea of the mechanism is an introduction of Agent Ring, Agent Chain and Shadow Agent. With this mechanism, each agent can communicate with other agents in a server-less environment, which is suitable for ad-hoc agent network and an agent system can manage agents search and communications efficiently.

A Technology-based Model for Learning
Michael Williams
Pages: 53-55
The Math Emporium, opened in 1997, is an open 7000-squaremeter facility with 550+ workstations arranged in an array of widely spaced hexagonal "pods", designed to support group work at the same time maintaining an academic air. We operate it 24/7 with math support personnel in attendance 12 hours per day. Students have access to online course resources at all times, from anywhere. We have used this unique asset to transform traditional classroom-based courses into technology based learning programs that have no class meetings at all. The structure of the program is very different from the conventional one, having a new set of expectations and motivations. The results include: more effective students, substantial cost savings, economies of scale and scope and a stream-lined process for creating new on-line courses.

Acoustic signal localization through the use of Head Related Transfer Functions
Jaka Sodnik, Rudolf Susnik, Saso Tomazic
Pages: 56-59
An acoustic image of space is an acoustically described visual image intended to help blind people orient themselves in space. Description is made with the aid of spatial sounds created using HRTF filters. HRTF filters are empirically acquired FIR filter sets that describe changes to the sound as it travels from its source towards the human eardrum. They include changes related to body shape, ears, ear canal, etc. Our research focused on finding the maximum resolution of the human auditory system when determining the location of a sound source in space. This is also the maximum resolution for creating an acoustic image. We were interested in minimum azimuth and elevation change resolution – we tried to establish the minimum angle between two sources that could still be detected. Resolution dependence on signal bandwidth was also measured. The results were encouraging, especially in the horizontal plane, where most of subjects were able to tell the difference between two sources only 5° apart. Edge resolution, with 80° – 90° azimuth, was still satisfactory if a wide bandwidth signal was used. If elevation is increased, the resolution deteriorates quickly and is no longer satisfactory. To address this problem, different coding should be used to create an acoustic image of elevation.

An HARQ scheme with antenna switching for V-BLAST system
Bonghoe Kim, Donghee Shim
Pages: 60-65
Bell-labs layered space-time (BLAST) achieves high spectral efficiency in rich scattering environments by transmitting independent data streams via each transmit antenna. However, this high spectral efficiency is significantly reduced if the signals ate the receiver go through correlated channels. In this paper, we propose a hybrid automatic request (HARQ) scheme to alleviate the adverse effect of the channel correlation by simply switching the transmission in retransmission. With the proposed scheme, we can achieve significant improvement over the correlated channels with negligible complexity increase.

Application of Trend Detection Methods in Monitoring Physiological Signals
Alex Kapps, William W. Melek, Ziren Lu, William Fraser
Pages: 66-71
This paper presents a comparative study of various trend detection methods developed using fuzzy logic, statistical, and regression techniques. A new method that uses noise rejection fuzzy clustering is also proposed in the paper to enhance the performance of trend detection methodologies. The comparative investigation has produced systematic guidelines for the selection of a proper trend detection method for different application requirements. This paper has resulted from work on military applications of on-line trend analysis, such as monitoring of wounded soldiers by first-response medical staff at the battlefield and high-acceleration protection of fighter jet pilots. Efficient trend detection methods can provide early warnings, severity assessments of a subject’s physiological state, and decision support for firstresponse medical attendants. Representative physiological variables such as blood pressure, heartbeat rate, and ear opacity are considered in this paper.

Design of the Information Science and Systems (IS) Curriculum in a Computer and Information Sciences Department
Behrooz Seyed-Abbassi
Pages: 72-77
Continuous technological changes have resulted in a rapid turnover of knowledge in the computing field. The impact of these changes directly affects the computer-related curriculum offered by educational institutions and dictates that curriculum must evolve to keep pace with technology and to provide students with the skills required by businesses. At the same time, accreditations of curricula from reviewing organizations provide additional guidelines and standardization for computing science as well as information science programs. One of the areas significantly affected by these changes is the field of information systems.

This paper describes the evaluation and course structure for the undergraduate information science and systems program in the Computer and Information Sciences Department at the University of North Florida. A list of the major required and elective courses as well as an overview of the challenges encountered during the revision of the curriculum is given.

Complex Number Representation in RCBNS Form for Arithmetic Operations and Conversion of the Result into Standard Binary Form
Hatim Zaini, R. G. Deshmukh
Pages: 78-83
paper introduces a novel method for complex number representation. The proposed Redundant Complex Binary Number System (RCBNS) is developed by combining a Redundant Binary Number and a complex number in base (-1+j). Donald [1] and Walter Penny [2,3] represented complex numbers using base –j and (-1+j) in the classified algorithmic models. A Redundant Complex Binary Number System consists of both real and imaginary-radix number systems that form a redundant integer digit set. This system is formed by using complex radix of (-1+j) and a digit set of á= 3, where á assumes a value of -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3. The arithmetic operations of complex numbers with this system treat the real and imaginary parts as one unit. The carry-free addition has the advantage of Redundancy in number representation in the arithmetic operations. Results of the arithmetic operations are in the RCBNS form. The two methods for conversion from the RCBNS form to the standard binary number form have been presented. In this paper the RCBNS reduces the number of steps required to perform complex number arithmetic operations, thus enhancing the speed.

The Implementation of Distance Learning Education in Technological Educational Institute of Patras – Greece
Georgios Kabouridis, Anastasia Zafiropoulou, John Makrigenis
Pages: 84-86
This paper is aiming to present the experience that has been accumulated during the last three years in the attempt of Technological Educational Institute (TEI) to implement the distance learning techniques as an alternative and complementary mean of educational.

Higher education should apply the tools that make them able to solve complex problems and create models and development systems suited to each individual setting, but also should be related to the international ones. During the last ten years a set of factors have influenced dramatically the status of the traditional higher education.

These factors are the following:
1. Increase of the number of student.
2. Increase of the cost of the education.
3. Development of a national library network.

Under the pressure of the radical changes that brought in the Greek educational system of TEI of Patras the above factors put forward on experimental basis in e-learning program in order to accumulate the necessary experience.

The results of these practices are presented in this paper.

A Closer Look at Distance Learning From Students’ Perspective: A Qualitative Analysis of Web Based Online Courses
Nega Debela
Pages: 87-90
This paper attempts to analyze responses of 40 respondents from Marshall University. The on-line survey that was conducted in 2003 asks: “What are the advantages/disadvantages of taking college web-based courses?” on behalf of the university’s English As a Second Language program.

Nud*ist 6 and Sphinx Survey, were used to analyze the qualitative data gathered from the online students at Marshall University.

After reviewing and analyzing the survey, several themes have emerged. Online courses have also been perceived beneficial, because they are more convenient and are more accessible. Many students see Web CT as a great way to continue their education. Absence of long travel time was one of the major positive aspects listed by many of the students. A detailed examination of the qualitative data reveals that most disadvantages relate in some way to lack of face to face interaction.

Investigating The Fusion of Classifiers Designed Under Different Bayes Errors
Fuad M. Alkoot, Josef Kittler
Pages: 91-96
We investigate a number of parameters commonly affecting the design of a multiple classifier system in order to find when fusing is most beneficial. We extend our previous investigation to the case where unequal classifiers are combined. Results indicate that Sum is not affected by this parameter, however, Vote degrades when a weaker classifier is introduced in the combining system. This is more obvious when estimation error with uniform distribution exists.

A new Three Color Marker for TCP flows
Giovanni Neglia, Giuseppe Bianchi, Marilena Sottile
Pages: 97-102
In Differentiated Services networks, packets may receive a different treatment according to their Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) label. As a consequence, packet marking schemes can be devised to differentiate packets belonging to a same TCP flow, with the goal of improving the experienced performance. This paper presents an extensive performance evaluation of a new adaptive packet marking scheme, which relies on three different service classes, provided by the DiffServ network. The scheme provides protection of vulnerable packets in the TCP flows and adaptivity through “probes” packets. The performance have been evaluted in a traffic scenario composed of TCP flows with different length. The proposed marking scheme provides excellent performance in all utilization conditions.