South African Computer Journal - Volume 2006, Issue 37, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 2006, Issue 37, 2006
Source: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 1 –11 (2006)More Less
This paper proposes the use of Amartya Sen's Capability Approach as an appropriate conceptual framework for Information Systems research. This will be demonstrated by using the Capability Approach as the theoretical framework underpinning an exploratory study into the information flows required to make the ideal of administrative justice an attainable goal. The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act of South Africa requires administrators to provide those who have been negatively affected by a decision with reasonable explanations if these are requested. Fair and accountable administration, that is, administrative justice, is identified as a basic right in the South African constitution. However, ensuring that state departments can provide information on request to even remote and poorly resourced citizens is a major undertaking and, other than taking grievances to court, it is difficult to initiate, respond to and monitor the process. The information flows pose the most significant challenges. An investigation is underway into how rural communities can use Information and Communication Technology to access this right and it is this study that will be used to illustrate the use of Sen's Capability Approach in Information Systems research. More specifically it is used to relate the role of ICT to an expansion of the capabilities of individuals and communities. The paper proposes an information flow incorporating facilitators and a 'clearing house' in addition to the citizens and administrators. Finally, the information flow is related to a schematic representation of the Capability Approach proposed by Robeyns.
Source: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 12 –18 (2006)More Less
This paper presents an attack on anonymity networks. The nature of the attack is one which falls into a category that has received little attention in the field of anonymity: an external attack. External attacks on anonymity networks maybe more useful in the near future as anonymity networks are used more and more for abusive / fraudulent purposes, for example, in the case of click fraud. The attack presented relies on two principles. The first principle is the unlikelihood of a sender representing himself in an anonymity network and the second principle is that of recognising relating requests from an anonymous network. The anonymity model used for the attack in this paper is that of crowds. Crowds is an eligible candidate for attack since it satisfies the two principles required for the attack. An example is presented in which we discuss the details of the attack. We then present and discuss the results of a simulated attack (using much larger numbers) conducted against crowds.
Using action research in information systems design to address change : a South African Health Information Systems case study : reviewed articleAuthor Elaine ByrneSource: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 19 –29 (2006)More Less
This paper advocates for the use of Action Research (AR) approaches in the designing of Information Systems (IS). Following a brief overview of the history of AR as a research methodology and its use in IS research, a framework for describing the AR process is developed. This framework is then used to describe the AR process involved in the design and development of a paper based and orally communicated child health IS. However, a common criticism of AR in IS design is the focus on the output of the AR and the lack of rigour in the description of AR projects. This paper addresses this gap by focusing on the process of the design and development of the IS in the case study. It also contributes to the contemporary debate in AR literature by outlining four ways in which the AR approach can be conducted and described in a more rigourous manner. The four concerns which need to be addressed in describing the process and output of an AR approach are the need to: make explicit the epistemology of the researcher(s) or practitioner(s) in any AR project; adopt a participatory AR and longitudinal approach to avoid the conflict of 'serving two masters'; develop networks of action, and; develop and disseminate generalisations and learnings from the research.
Source: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 30 –40 (2006)More Less
We discuss TABASCO, a method for constructing Domain-Specific Toolkits (DSTs). We present TABASCO in the context of domain engineering and generative programming. We discuss the steps of TABASCO in detail, suggesting a new approach for taxonomy creation based on concept lattices as an enhancement of previous approaches. We focus on the software construction side, giving examples based on actual applications of the method. In doing so, we show that TABASCO is a domain engineering method aimed at a particular kind of software domain, and how this method is applied in practice.
The influence of organisational factors in small tourism businesses on the success of Internet marketing : reviewed articleSource: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 41 –50 (2006)More Less
Much of the previous research into the use of the Internet for marketing is either anecdotal in nature, conceptual or based on case studies. The focus of this study is to identify whether marketing objectives have an impact on the success of the use of the Internet for marketing of small tourism businesses tourism services. A hypothesis is developed and tested by making use of a large-scale empirical study. The results indicate that setting appropriate and realistic goals will have an impact on Internet marketing success.
Source: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 51 –60 (2006)More Less
The Axial Line Placement problem has been shown to be NP-complete. This means that work into finding approximate solutions to the general problem is warranted. The majority of the research conducted so far has concentrated on the restricted case of axial line placement in collections of orthogonal rectangles. The only work done with convex polygons has been in the restricted case of deformed urban grids. This article presents the first heuristic for placing axial lines in collections of adjacent non-overlapping convex polygons.
Source: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 61 –74 (2006)More Less
Dynamic querying is a technique which has been used successfully to enable novice users to gain access to and insight into data in databases. Some multimedia archives (such as archives of African art) contain data which have vague locations in time and space, that is, although there is some idea of when and where the entity originated, the precise information is unknown. This uncertainty creates problems with the display and querying of the data and so the data is generally not accessible to novice users. In this study we extend dynamic querying techniques to work with African art data with uncertain origins in time and space. We present methods for storing, visualising and querying such uncertain data within the framework of dynamic querying. Results of user tests indicate that our approach was clear to users and that users could successfully perform simple queries using the visual query tools. A similar approach of extending dynamic querying techniques could apply to other domains with any one-dimensional attribute data with probabilistic uncertainty. In this way we show how it is possible for novice users to query large databases with complex uncertain attributes.
Availability and utility of Internet sources of information : farmers' perceptions : reviewed articleSource: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 75 –80 (2006)More Less
This paper assesses the availability and use of Internet sources of information among livestock farmers. Proportionate random sampling method was followed to constitute a sample size of 280 and information was collected from all the species owners using a pre-structured and pre-tested interview schedule. The study revealed that majority (89.13%, 86.96% and 80.43%) of the poultry owners perceived that technical, marketing and general information respectively, available through Internet sources followed by cattle, buffalo and sheep owners. The study emphasized that, there is agreement among the perceptions of investigator and farmers about the availability of information through web. Majority (47.96%, 47.69% and 43.42%) of the livestock farmers perceived that marketing of livestock products (Marketing information, education (General information) and fodder production (Technical information) respectively. Unlike their counter parts in urban area, rural farmers are less inclined to new technology and would experience many hiccups during information acquisition from using latest communication tools. Proper education, relevant training and combined efforts of administrators, policy makers, extension workers and web owners would definitely help the needy to avail and utilize this new and effective medium of communication.
Source: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 81 –89 (2006)More Less
Aspect Oriented Programming, is changing the way software is developed in various domains of computing and software engineering. In this article we discuss the main characteristics of AOP with a particular focus on distributed systems. The testbed for our investigation is our distributed algorithm framework, Algon. Our experiments support the hypothesis that the use of AOP will result in a better separation of concerns and thus in better maintainability and portability of such systems (in comparison with a classical OOP development approach). However, we detected some limitations of the approach when tackling functional concerns. The article serves as an introduction to AOP for the distributed systems domain, and also as a case study of its use in practice.
Source: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 90 –97 (2006)More Less
We report the development and evaluation of a software system for assisting face recall. The system has a user interface that presents whole faces for inspection rather than sectioned features, and witnesses can use it without an expert operator. Witness choices are evaluated through an optimization algorithm, which iteratively narrows an eigenface 'coefficient space'. Experiments and simulations showed the superiority of a customized optimization algorithm over a genetic algorithm, as well as the superiority of an Active Appearance Model (AAM) over bi-linear mapping to a common shape. Empirical evaluations of reconstructions produced by witnesses and experienced users show that the system is capable of rendering near-photographic, recognizable likenesses of faces - however, this is much easier to do when the face memory is well encoded, or in view. Successful reconstruction from memory remains elusive.
Source: South African Computer Journal 2006, pp 98 –106 (2006)More Less
With the advent of corporate governance and IT governance, many organisations wanting to conduct information security risk analysis may find selecting a methodology more than a challenge. Currently there are numerous risk analysis methodologies and tools available, ranging from qualitative to quantitative. These methodologies have a common goal of determining the overall risk value. To ensure maximum return on the investment in a risk analysis methodology, organisations must select the most appropriate methodology based on its specific needs and environment. This article addresses the problem by presenting a framework that can be used to objectively compare different risk analysis methodologies, irrespective of their nature.