South African Computer Journal - Volume 50, Issue 1, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 50, Issue 1, 2013
Author Philip MachanickSource: South African Computer Journal 50, pp V –VI (2013)More Less
We have mostly cleared the backlog in reviewing since I took over editorship in June 2012. The paper longest under review published in this issue was submitted on 27 September 2012. The paper that had the shortest time to publication was submitted on 4 April 2013. We will continue to try to speed up publication. To do so, we need quality papers that need minimal changes after review, and I urge anyone wanting to help speed up the process to volunteer to review. The workload is not high, and the reward of helping your fellow academics to improve their work is worth it in itself - and my experience is that reviewing the work of others improves my own writing. The papers longest in the publication queue now are papers where the authors have been invited to make substantial changes after review, and have as yet not submitted a revision.
Synchronisation of fertility with carrying capacity : an investigation using classical and agent based modeling : research articleSource: South African Computer Journal 50, pp 1 –5 (2013)More Less
A generalized Verhulst model subject to seasonal change in both fertility rate and carrying capacity is outlined. Numerical solutions to the Verhulst equations are employed to obtain optimal fertility rate phase shift with respect to carrying capacity. Possible natural selection for a preferred season of conception is investigated using agent based simulations. Both experiments indicate that synchronization of fertility rate to environment carrying capacity is beneficial to species survival.
Source: South African Computer Journal 50, pp 6 –14 (2013)More Less
The explosion of Internet usage has drawn the attention of researchers towards online Social Networks Marketing (SNM). Research has shown that a number of the Internet users are distrustful and indecisive, when it comes to the use of social networks marketing system. Therefore, there is a need for researchers to identify some of the factors that determine users' acceptance of social networks marketing using Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). This study extended the Technology Acceptance Model theoretical framework to predict consumer acceptance of social networks marketing within Western Cape Province of South Africa. The research model was tested using data collected from 470 questionnaires and analysed using linear regression. The results showed that user intentions to use SNM are strongly and positively correlated with user acceptance of using SNM systems. Empirical results confirmed that perceived credibility and perceived usefulness are the strongest determinant in predicting user intentions to use SNM system.
Offline signature verification using locally optimized distance-based classification : research articleSource: South African Computer Journal 50, pp 15 –27 (2013)More Less
Although handwritten signature verification has been extensively researched, it has not achieved an optimal classification accuracy rate. Therefore, efficient and accurate signature verification techniques are required since signatures are still widely used as a means of personal verification. This research work presents efficient distance-based classification techniques as an alternative to supervised learning classification techniques (SLTs). The Local Directional Pattern (LDP) feature extraction technique was used to analyze the effect of using several different distance-based classification techniques. The classification techniques tested are the Euclidean, Manhattan, Fractional, weighted Euclidean, weighted Manhattan, weighted fractional distances and individually optimized resampling of feature vector sizes. The best accuracy, of 90.8%, was achieved through applying a combination of the weighted fractional distances and locally optimized resampling classification techniques to the Local Directional Pattern features extracted. These results are compared with results from literature, where the same feature extraction technique was classified with SLTs. The distance-based classification was found to produce greater accuracy than the SLTs by 8.5%.
Author Hannah ThinyaneSource: South African Computer Journal 50, pp 28 –40 (2013)More Less
This paper presents the results of a case study aimed at identifying the skills that lecturers in a computer science department value in an undergraduate student, and to determine if there is a departmental construction of an 'ideal' student. To answer this question, a case study was undertaken in the Computer Science Department at a small university in South Africa. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire and to take part in an interview to solicit feedback on their notion of an 'ideal' student. This study found that participants valued the following skills within undergraduate student: creativity; computer playfulness; planning, analytical or abstract thinking, and problem solving; introverted personality; engagement in class; working independently; self efficacy; and responsibility. It also found a strong correlation between participant's own performance as a student and their understanding of an 'ideal' student. These results are then discussed within the context of South African Higher Education, where student populations are becoming more diverse. The paper calls for academics to reflect on their own teaching, and the relevance of their practices to the present conditions of transformation in Higher Education in South Africa.
Source: South African Computer Journal 50, pp 41 –42 (2013)More Less
This edition of SACJ contains a special topic section on Health Informatics, with invited contributions from the authors of the most highly rated papers presented in the recent Health Informatics South Africa (HISA) 2013 conference organised by the South African Health Informatics Association (SAHIA).
South African physicians' acceptance of e-prescribing technology : an empirical test of a modified UTAUT model : research articleSource: South African Computer Journal 50, pp 43 –54 (2013)More Less
E-prescribing systems hold promise for improving the quality and efficiency of the scripting process. Yet, the use of the technology has been associated with a number of challenges. The diffusion of e-prescribing into physician practices and the consequent realisation of its potential benefits will depend on whether physicians are willing to accept and engage with the technology. This study draws on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and recent literature on user trust in technology to develop and test a model of the factors influencing South African physicians' acceptance of e-prescribing. Data was collected from a sample of 72 physicians. Results indicate a general acceptance of e-prescribing amongst physicians who on average reported strong intentions to use e-prescribing technologies if given the opportunity. Partial least squares (PLS) analysis revealed that physicians' performance expectancies and perceptions of facilitating conditions had significant direct effects on acceptance whilst trust and effort expectancy had important indirect effects. Social influence and price value perceptions did not add additional explanatory power. The model explained 63% of the variation in physician acceptance.
A review of interoperability standards in e-Health and imperatives for their adoption in Africa : research articleSource: South African Computer Journal 50, pp 55 –72 (2013)More Less
The ability of healthcare information systems to share and exchange information (interoperate) is essential to facilitate the quality and effectiveness of healthcare services. Although standardization is considered key to addressing the fragmentation currently challenging the healthcare environment, e-health standardization can be difficult for many reasons, one of which is making sense of the e-health interoperability standards landscape. Specifically aimed at the African health informatics community, this paper aims to provide an overview of e-health interoperability and the significance of standardization in its achievement. We conducted a literature study of e-health standards, their development, and the degree of participation by African countries in the process. We also provide a review of a selection of prominent e-health interoperability standards that have been widely adopted especially by developed countries, look at some of the factors that affect their adoption in Africa, and provide an overview of ongoing global initiatives to address the identified barriers. Although the paper is specifically aimed at the African community, its findings would be equally applicable to many other developing countries.