Journal of
Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics

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


A Framework for Agent-based Human Interaction Support
Axel Bürkle, Wilmuth Müller, Uwe Pfirrmann, Manfred Schenk
Pages: 1-9
In this paper we describe an agent-based infrastructure for multimodal perceptual systems which aims at developing and realizing computer services that are delivered to humans in an implicit and unobtrusive way. The framework presented here supports the implementation of human-centric context-aware applications providing non-obtrusive assistance to participants in events such as meetings, lectures, conferences and presentations taking place in indoor “smart spaces”. We emphasize on the design and implementation of an agent-based framework that supports “pluggable” service logic in the sense that the service developer can concentrate on coding the service logic independently of the underlying middleware. Furthermore, we give an example of the architecture’s ability to support the cooperation of multiple services in a meeting scenario using an intelligent connector service and a semantic web oriented travel service.

A Grid-Based Cyber Infrastructure for High Performance Chemical Dynamics Simulations
Khadka Prashant, Yu Zhuang, Upakarasamy Lourderaj, William L. Hase
Pages: 10-15
Chemical dynamics simulation is an effective means to study atomic level motions of molecules, collections of molecules, liquids, surfaces, interfaces of materials, and chemical reactions. To make chemical dynamics simulations globally accessible to a broad range of users, recently a cyber infrastructure was developed that provides an online portal to VENUS, a popular chemical dynamics simulation program package, to allow people to submit simulation jobs that will be executed on the web server machine. In this paper, we report new developments of the cyber infrastructure for the improvement of its quality of service by dispatching the submitted simulations jobs from the web server machine onto a cluster of workstations for execution, and by adding an animation tool, which is optimized for animating the simulation results. The separation of the server machine from the simulation-running machine improves the service quality by increasing the capacity to serve more requests simultaneously with even reduced web response time, and allows the execution of large scale, time-consuming simulation jobs on the powerful workstation cluster. With the addition of an animation tool, the cyber infrastructure automatically converts, upon the selection of the user, some simulation results into an animation file that can be viewed on usual web browsers without requiring installation of any special software on the user computer. Since animation is essential for understanding the results of chemical dynamics simulations, this animation capacity provides a better way for understanding simulation details of the chemical dynamics. By combining computing resources at locations under different administrative controls, this cyber infrastructure constitutes a grid environment providing physically and administratively distributed functionalities through a single easy-to-use online portal

Automated Energy Calibration and Fitting of LaCl3(Ce) y-Spectra Using Peak Likelihood and Tabu Search
Timothy P. McClanahan, Murray H. Loew, Jacob I. Trombka
Pages: 16-20
An automated method for ?-emission spectrum calibration and deconvolution is presented for spaceflight applications for a Cerium doped Lanthanum Chloride, (LaCl3(Ce)) ?-ray detector system. This detector will be coupled with a pulsed neutron generator (PNG) to induce and enhance nuclide signal quality and rates, yielding large volumes of spectral information. Automated analytical methods are required to deconvolve and quantify nuclide signals from spectra; this will both reduce human interactions in spectrum analysis and facilitate feedback to automated robotic and operations planning. Initial system tests indicate significant energy calibration drifts (>6%), that which must be mitigated for spectrum analysis. A linear energy calibration model is presently considered, with gain and zero factors. Deconvolution methods incorporate a tabu search heuristic to formulate and optimize searches using memory structures. Iterative use of a peak likelihood methodology identifies global calibration minima and peak areas. The method is compared to manual methods of calibration and indicates superior performance using tabu methods. Performance of the Tabu enhanced calibration method is superior to similar unoptimized local search. The techniques are also applicable to other emission spectroscopy, eg. X-ray and neutron.

Infrastructure Systems Interdependencies and Risk Informed Decision Making (RIDM): Impact Scenario Analysis of Infrastructure Risks Induced by Natural, Technological and Intentional Hazards
Rudolph Frederick Stapelberg
Pages: 21-27
This paper reviews current research into infrastructure systems interdependencies with regard to safesty risks induced by natural, technological and intentional hazards. The paper further considers risk informed decision-making.

MLS-Net and SecureParser®: A New Method for Securing and Segregating Network Data
Robert A. Johnson
Pages: 28-35
A new method of network security and virtualization is presented which allows the consolidation of multiple network infrastructures dedicated to single security levels or communities of interest onto a single, virtualized network. An overview of the state of the art of network security protocols is presented, including the use of SSL, IPSec, and HAIPE IS, followed by a discussion of the SecureParser® technology and MLS-Net architecture, which in combination allow the virtualization of local network enclaves.

The Development of a Formative and a Reflective Scale for the Assessment of On-Line Store Usability
Timo Christophersen, Udo Konradt
Pages: 36-41
In usability research, difference between formative and reflective measurement models for the assessment of latent variables has been ignored largely. As a consequence, many usability scales are misspecified. This might result in reduced scale validity because of the elimination of important usability facets within the procedure of scale development. The aim of the current study was to develop a questionnaire for the evaluation of On-line store usability (UFOS-V2) that includes both a formative and a reflective scale. 378 subjects participated in a laboratory experimental study. Each participant visited two out of 35 On-line stores. The usability and intention to buy was assessed for both stores. In addition, actual purchase behaviour was observed by combining the subjects' reward with the decision to buy. In a two-construct PLS structural equation model the formative usability scale was used as a predictor for the reflective usability measure. Results indicate that the formative usability scale UFOS-V2f forms a valid set of items for the user-based assessment of online store usability. The reflective usability scale shows high internal consistency. Positive relationships to intention and decision to buy confirm high scale validity.

Entropy Based Analysis of DNS Query Traffic in the Campus Network
Dennis Arturo Ludeña Romaña, Yasuo Musashi
Pages: 42-44
We carried out the entropy based study on the DNS query traffic from the campus network in a university through January 1st, 2006 to March 31st, 2007. The results are summarized, as follows: (1) The source IP addresses- and query keyword-based entropies change symmetrically in the DNS query traffic from the outside of the campus network when detecting the spam bot activity on the campus network. On the other hand (2), the source IP addresses- and query keywordbased entropies change similarly each other when detecting big DNS query traffic caused by prescanning or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack from the campus network. Therefore, we can detect the spam bot and/or DDoS attack bot by only watching DNS query access traffic.

First, Assume a Monopoly: The Failure of Vertical Foreclosure Theory on the Never-Was-Neutral Internet
Douglas A. Hass
Pages: 45-52
Internet service providers and their customers have understood and debated the concepts of net neutrality since the beginning of the era of dial-up bulletin board systems. Commentators have only recently joined the debate, and often overlook history. No commentator, legislator, or regulator can be certain how networks and technologies will evolve over the next decade—especially when they misunderstand how those networks evolved over the last one. This paper refocuses the net neutrality debate by challenging the application of vertical foreclosure theory to today’s non-neutral Internet access and content markets. The paper finds that the current policy fascination with non-existent net neutrality is ill founded. Disclosure and a broader focus on both network and content providers’ non-neutral traffic policies would better enable the market to choose technologies and business models dynamically while still providing regulators with a potential enforcement mechanism.

Sustainable Virtual Utilities Based on Microgrids
Rune Gustavsson
Pages: 53-58
Next generation of energy systems, being dependant on Renewable Energy Resources (RES) and Distributed Generation (DG), will typically be based on flexible virtual cells of cells of balanced power consumption – generation, that is microgrids, rather than present day vertical hierarchical grid systems. Furthermore, the supporting information infrastructure and nonlinear dependencies will pose new dependability challenges to the systems involved. As a consequence, we have to decouple present day proprietary hierarchical SCADA systems into sets of services that allow for horizontal as well as vertical integration supporting operations and business models of future virtual utilities. The virtual utilities are integrating two critical infrastructures; power grids and cyber networks. To allow for this flexibility and assuring dependability we argue that the underlying infrastructures should be modelled as Service Oriented Architectures (SOA). We propose in this paper a methodology towards ensuring quality of service in virtual utilities based on microgrids.

Play games to grow up bilingual: The BlaSquare linguistic game
Andrea Valente, Emanuela Marchetti
Pages: 59-62
A new kind of computer game is proposed, to support the linguistic development of primary school children, growing in multilingual environments: with it players will be able to simultaneously learn multiple languages. The novel idea is to treat words in different languages as physical items, that the player can collect and exchange for other words or for concrete objects. A prototype is currently under development, and it will be tested in cooperation with local schools. By design this linguistic game will also be extensible, so parents and teachers can tailor it with respect to languages and learning contexts.

Mobility Impact in Initializing Ring-Based P2P Systems over MANETs
Wei Ding, Alban Moreau
Pages: 63-68
With the encouragement from success of P2P systems in real world application, recently we have seen active research on synergy of P2P systems and mobile ad hoc networks. The paper proposes a solution for mobility disturbance problem in initialization of ring-based P2P systems over ad hoc networks. It is a decentralized ring construction protocol in presence of mobility. A Mobile Ring Ad-hoc Networks (MRAN) protocol is presented. MRAN is an extension of RAN [1] under the mobile condition. Simulation result shows MRAN works well with mobility. Upper bound of maximum speed of moving nodes is investigated in simulation.

Giving Devices the Ability to Exercise Reason
Thomas Keeley
Pages: 69-74
One of the capabilities that separates humans from computers has been the ability to exercise “reason / judgment”. Computers and computerized devices have provided excellent platforms for following rules. Computer programs provide the scripts for processing the rules. The exercise of reason, however, is more of an image processing function than a function composed of a series of rules. The exercise of reason is more right brain than left brain. It involves the interpretation of information and balancing inter-related alternatives. This paper will discuss a new way to define and process information that will give devices the ability to exercise human-like reasoning and judgment. The paper will discuss the characteristics of a “dynamic graphical language” in the context of addressing judgment, since judgment is often required to adjust rules when operating in a dynamic environment. The paper will touch on architecture issues and how judgment is integrated with rule processing.

A Rate-Adaptive MAC Protocol Based on TCP throughput for Ad Hoc Networks in Fading Channels
Shoko Uchida, Katsuhiro Naito, Kazuo Mori, Hideo Kobayashi
Pages: 75-80
Wireless technology is becoming a leading option for future Internet access. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is one of the protocols designed on the basis of the transmission characteristics in wired networks. It is known that the TCP performance deteriorates drastically under a wireless communication environment. On the other hand, many wireless networking standards such as IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g have multirate capability. Therefore, adaptive rate control methods have been proposed for ad hoc networks. However, almost methods require the modification of the request to send (RTS) and clear to send (CTS) packets. Therefore, the conventional methods are not compatible with the standardized system. In this paper, we propose adaptive rate control mechanisms for ad hoc networks. Our mechanisms are based on the RTS/CTS mechanisms. However, no modifications to the RTS and CTS packets are required in the proposed method. Therefore, our proposed method can attempt to satisfy the conventional IEEE 802.11 standards. Moreover, an adequate transmission rate is selected based on an estimated TCP throughput performance. From simulation results, it is observed that the proposed method can improve the throughput performance without any modification of packet structures.

Building a Reduced Reference Video Quality Metric with Very Low Overhead Using Multivariate Data Analysis
Tobias Oelbaum, Klaus Diepold
Pages: 81-86
In this contribution a reduced reference video quality metric for AVC/H.264 is proposed that needs only a very low overhead (not more than two bytes per sequence). This reduced reference metric uses well established algorithms to measure objective features of the video such as ’blur’ or ’blocking’. Those measurements are then combined into a single measurement for the overall video quality. The weights of the single features and the combination of those are determined using methods provided by multivariate data analysis. The proposed metric is verified using a data set of AVC/H.264 encoded videos and the corresponding results of a carefully designed and conducted subjective evaluation. Results show that the proposed reduced reference metric not only outperforms standard PSNR but also two well known full reference metrics.

Evaluation of Power-Aware Routing for Sensor Networks with Forwarder Nodes
Katsuhiro Naito, Kazuo Mori, Hideo Kobayashi
Pages: 87-92
Wireless sensor networks are envisioned to consist of many small devices that can sense the environment and communicate the data as required. The most critical requirement for widespread sensor networks is power efficiency since battery replacement is not viable. Many protocols attempt to minimize the power consumption by using complex algorithms. However, it is difficult to perform these complex methods since an individual sensor node in sensor networks does not have high computational capacity. On the other hand, many sensor nodes should transfer the data packet to the sink node that collects the required data. Therefore, the operations of the sensor nodes over the route are terminated; it is difficult to deliver the data packet to the sink node even if some sensor nodes are active. In this paper, we propose a simple power-aware routing protocol for sensor networks. Our proposed protocol is based on the ad hoc on-demand distance vector (AODV) protocol, which is one of the reactive routing protocols. In addition, we introduce forwarder nodes in the sensor networks in order to extend the lifetime of the entire sensor network. From the simulation results, we evaluate the performance of the protocols and clarify the effect of forwarder nodes on the sensor networks.

Measurement of Mechatronic Property of Biological Gel with Micro-Vibrating Electrode at Ultrasonic Frequency
Shigehiro Hashimoto, Hajime Otani
Pages: 93-98
A measurement system has been designed with a micro-vibrating electrode at ultrasonic frequency to measure local impedance of biological gel in vitro. The designed system consists of two electrodes, where one of the electrodes vibrates with a piezoelectric actuator. The component of variation at impedance between two electrodes with vibration of one electrode is analyzed at the corresponding spectrum. The manufactured system was applied to measure impedance of a physiological saline solution, a potassium chloride solution, a dextran aqueous solution, and an egg. The experimental results show that the designed system is effective to measure local mechatronic property of biological gel.