Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

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


Micro Back-Markers on Thin Film of Scaffold to Measure Repetitive Local Contraction of Myotubes in Vitro
Shigehiro Hashimoto, Yuta Saito
Pages: 1-7
The repetitive contraction of the myotube has been measured by the local movement of micro-markers on the thin film of the scaffold during the electric stimulation in vitro. The scaffold is made of the thin polydimethylsiloxane film (6 μm thickness), of which the back side has an arrangement of micro-protrusions (4 μm diameter, 2 μm height, and 30 μm interval) made using the photolithography technique. Mouse myoblasts (C2C12) were seeded on the film at the counter surface to the protrusions at the density of 50000 cells/cm2. The cells differentiated on the scaffold into myotubes over 12 days in a medium containing 10% FBS (fetal bovine serum) and 1% penicillin/ streptomycin in the incubator. The electric pulses (30 V amplitude, 1 s pulse cycle, and 1 ms pulse width) were applied between electrodes of titanium wire dipped in the medium. The contraction of the myotube was observed by a microscope through the transparent scaffold. The experimental results show that the amplitude of the cyclic variation of the distance between micro-markers relates to the distance and the alignment. The designed scaffold can be applied to analyze the local contractile movement of the layer of myotubes in vitro.

Goal Setting and Executive Function Using Matrix Graphic Organizers
Russell Jay Hendel
Pages: 8-14
The paper first reviews the pedagogic usefulness of the matrix graphic organizer. This usefulness is well established in the literature. The paper then shows how the matrix graphic organizer meets the pedagogic excellence criteria of executive function, goal-setting, and several educational hierarchies. This paper also points to the need to use a unified approach to pedagogy and assessment. Illustrative examples are provided using the topics quadratic equation and solving simultaneous linear systems.

Canadian Academic Librarians as Online Teachers
Heather McTavish, Lorayne Robertson
Pages: 15-23
In 2020 major changes took place at Canadian colleges and universities in response to the pandemic, one of these being a shift toward offering all courses online. Before the pandemic, many higher education institutions were already on a clear trajectory to offer more online learning. According to a public report, by 2018, 80% of colleges and 90% of Canadian universities offered distance education, and 98% offered online courses. Changes to online learning have required changes for the roles of academic librarians – not the least of which are new pedagogies for online and open learning.

This paper describes findings from a survey of Canadian academic librarians capturing the realities of their online roles, including the pedagogical knowledge and technology skills required. Research findings indicate that academic librarians have varied online learning roles, working across a range of online learning environments and teaching with technology, which requires significant technology and pedagogy competencies. This research has led to the development of a competency framework for academic librarians which indicates that librarians needed blended skills to teach on a continuum from physically co-present to fully online environments. This research identifies key pedagogical and instructional design skills needed as online learning alternatives in post-secondary institutions expand.

Preservation of Mediterranean Intangible Cultural Heritage Through Virtual Gaming and Informatics: The Case of Sardinian Mùrra
Luigi Serra
Pages: 24-30
Human-Machine interaction has always presented fascinating challenges for researchers. In the context of humanities, history and social sciences, games have played an important role in human relations. As UNESCO points out, the dazzling variety of forms taken by traditional games is part of the social practices, rituals and festive events we inherit from our ancestors. In the spirit of safeguarding this cultural richness, digitization of games like the traditional Mediterranean Mùrra (or Morra) could contribute to preserving the rich European cultural heritage. Though there are many regional variants of the game, here we will focus on the Sardinian version. This research project proposal could be developed by computer scientists interested in human-machine interaction as well as by humanists and psychologists interested in human reactions to interfacing with an intelligent machine and negotiating wins and losses with a form of AI. This work could be further developed by scholars in the fields of psychology, sociology, history and cultural anthropology.

Learning in the Process of Work - Wish or Reality? An Interdisciplinary Approach to Designing Technology-Based Learning and Assistance Systems to Promote Learning
Tina Haase, Wilhelm Termath, Dirk Berndt, Michael Dick
Pages: 31-36
A high number of variants, small batch sizes, and changing market requirements demand resilient production processes. The employees are increasingly supported in the necessary adaptation processes by digital assistance systems. These provide the necessary content directly in the work situation. The authors present an approach that complements this often mere presentation of information with content preparation and a systematic technology selection and design to facilitate learning in the work process.

The technological basis is formed by virtual and augmented reality, which are selected and designed according to their didactic potential.

The contribution is characterized by an interdisciplinary approach that combines perspectives from technological, pedagogical, psychological, and organizational sciendes. In addition to the participatory design of a digital learning and assistance system, measures to promote organizational integration are described.

The procedure is presented using an example from the automotive industry, which is currently being developed in the research project LeARn4Assembly.

Meta-rules for Networks (Invited Paper)
Gianfranco Minati
Pages: 37-40
This article proposes conceptual approaches for both the design and implementation of network linkages, that dependent on context, should respect interlinking topological and parametric constraints, possess formal properties, be compatible with configurational features and combine with an external meta-network as a service option. The purpose is to allow for alternative design and management of networks by adding flexibility, but to also enable design appropriate for highly specific applications.

A Multi-Disciplinary Analysis of Catholic Social Teaching with Implications for Engineering and Technology
Justin Anderson, Fr. Joseph R. Laracy, Thomas Marlowe
Pages: 41-49
In this article we view Catholic Social Teaching (CST) in the larger context of history, culture, philosophy and theology, and social services, and consider three perspectives on its modern instantiation: social science and economics, modal and non-monotonic logics, and second-order cybernetics. We then apply these perspectives to questions of interest in the field of software engineering and issues of digital (or network) security as well as intellectual property. In each application scenario, there are potential conflicts between the rights and dignity of differing individuals and groups. We conclude that CST allows for ethical navigation of such conflicts and offers many helpful insights.

Video Summarization Using Deep Action Recognition Features and Robust Principal Component Analysis
Daniel M. Claborne, Karl T. Pazdernik, Steven J. Rysavy, Michael J. Henry
Pages: 50-58
In an instance where desired pre-defined actions, behaviors, or other categories are known a priori, various video classification and recognition models can be trained to discover those classifications and their location within the video. Absent that information, one might still be tasked with identifying interesting portions within a video, a process which—if done manually—is onerous and time-consuming as it requires manual inspection of the video itself. Recognizing high-level interesting segments within a whole video has been a general area of interest due to the ubiquity of video data. However the size of the data makes storage, retrieval, and inspection of large collections of videos cumbersome. This problem motivates the task of generating shortened clips highlighting the primary content of a video, relieving the burden of having to watch the entire video. This paper presents an unsupervised method of creating shortened clips of videos, enabling the rapid review of the most interesting content within a video. Our method uses features extracted from pre-trained action recognition models as input to online moving window robust principal component analysis to generate summaries. The procedure is tested on a publicly available video summarization dataset and demonstrates comparable performance to state-of-the-art in an un-augmented setting while requiring no training.

Second-Order Management – How Second-Order Concepts Contribute to Solutions within Complex Environments
Philipp Belcredi, Tilia Stingl de Vasconcelos Guedes
Pages: 59-65
In our daily practice as management consultants we observe disorientation, misconceptions, and open questions about the suitability, limitations, and/or benefits of novel management approaches. Certainly, there is a strong demand for up-to-date management practices, though at the same time there exist the dangers of misuse and misleading expectations, not necessarily from malice but rather, according to our experience, from lack of self-observation. In this context, second-order concepts are revealed to be useful and solution-oriented.

Even though in literature we can find approaches to distinguish first-order cybernetics (FOC) from second-order cybernetics (SOC), none of those focus on organizations as social living systems or the organization’s basic operation: decision making.

Consequently, in this paper we discuss the essential ideas of SOC-based management methods and tools, focusing on the dissimilarities of posture and potential performance of these concepts. To contrast them, we compare Design Thinking with Comparative Systemic (CS) Management, two concepts that use SOC ideas, with two well-known FOC management approaches: the Plan-Do-Check-Act-Cycle (PDCA Cycle) and Systems Dynamics.

Finally, we present the fundamental differences between FOC and SOC based decision making in management. Basically, we differentiate between concepts based on FOC or SOC by means of three modes of action: how they propose to coordinate (temporal dimension), structure (factual dimension), or legitimate (social dimension) decisions.

Canvas Deceiver - A New Defense Mechanism Against Canvas Fingerprinting
Muath Obaidat, Suhaib Obeidat, Jennifer Holst, Taeho Lee
Pages: 66-74
Browser fingerprinting refers to a collection of techniques used to gather information about a user’s browser attributes. The information gained from a browser fingerprint can be used to partially or fully identify a user without using any other technique, e.g., cookies. One type of browser fingerprinting is canvas fingerprinting which utilizes HTML-canvas elements to identify users. Various defense algorithms against canvas fingerprinting have been developed, but unfortunately, have been shown to be penetrable and detectable.

In this paper, we present Canvas Deceiver, a new countermeasure against canvas fingerprint. Canvas Deceiver is a browser extension that uses a new algorithm that is different from existing problem-possessing algorithms. Canvas Deceiver does not rely on randomness, does not provide a unique identity, and is not detectable. To show its functionality and effectiveness, we tested Canvas Deceiver using different tools that provide browser fingerprint tests. According to the test results, Canvas Deceiver outperforms current countermeasures in detectability while providing sufficient anonymity to its users. For instance, in Browserleaks, the user originally was put into a group with 634 people. After using Canvas Deceiver, he is put into a group with 7847 people.

Value Stream Mapping: Effective Process Improvement Tool in the Certification Process
Maija Kavosa, Inga Lapina
Pages: 75-82
The potential of the construction industry resides in the knowledge, skills and abilities of its specialists. Certification bodies of construction specialists have become interested in using Lean methodology in order to measure or monitor their services efficiency. The aim of this case study is a practical demonstration of the Value Stream Mapping method or visualization and rationalization of the competence assessment process of construction specialists in order to develop possible solutions for the improvement of the certification process. The main finding is – the professional competence assessment process of construction specialists contains activities which are non-value-added and do not ensure compliance of the professional competence assessment procedure to the requirements laid down in the professional sphere.

Identification of the performance of the competence assessment process of construction specialists was made using Value Stream Mapping in order to visualize the activities creating value, as well as difficulties and challenges in each of the process stages of the competence assessment process in the construction field.

Enhancing Cognitive Presence through Videos in Online Courses
Madhumita Banerjee, Joy Wolf, Suresh Chalasani
Pages: 83-88
Quality online programs often demonstrate significant instructor presence through videos. This study analyzes video usage in online courses based on the Community of Inquiry framework. Videos can promote social, teaching, and cognitive presence in the online classroom. The purpose of this study is to explore how asynchronous videos and synchronous videoconferencing can be utilized to create higher levels of cognitive presence in the online environment. Module introduction videos, lecture videos, and video feedback of common test errors are analyzed for cognitive presence. Examples from multiple programs/disciplines, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels at a public Midwestern university (natural sciences, health sciences, and social sciences) are discussed. Faculty and student perception of videos demonstrate high levels of cognitive presence. This paper is applicable for programs and educational institutions currently designing or offering online programs.

Using Incremental Direction Searches to Stay Away From COVID-19
Wen-Chen Hu, Benu Bansal, Naima Kaabouch
Pages: 89-94
The COVID-19 pandemic causes a world catastrophe, but it also creates many research opportunities at the same time. Because of the COVID-19, people try to keep social distances and avoid the “hotspots” as much as possible. However, it is easier said than done since coronavirus is everywhere. This research uses incremental direction searches to find a “best” route to stay away from COVID-19 when traveling. Incremental direction searches are a progressive search, which finds the next changing direction as the subject moves. It begins the searching as soon as the subject starts moving. Intersection-by-intersection, possible directions away from the current path may be found and immediately presented. This immediate feedback allows the searching to take appropriate actions such as selecting a specific direction or terminating the searching. Preliminary experiment results show the proposed method is effective, but many details need to be filled in before it is put to work.