South African Computer Journal - Volume 52, Issue 1, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 52, Issue 1, 2014
Source: South African Computer Journal 52, pp 1 –12 (2014)More Less
As long as software has been produced, there have been efforts to strive for quality in software products. In order to understand quality in software products, researchers have built models of software quality that rely on metrics in an attempt to provide a quantitative view of software quality. The aim of these models is to provide software producers with the capability to define and evaluate metrics related to quality and use these metrics to improve the quality of the software they produce over time. The main disadvantage of these models is that they require effort and resources to define and evaluate metrics from software projects.
This article briefly describes some prominent models of software quality in the literature and continues to describe a new approach to gaining insight into quality in software development projects. A case study based on this new approach is described and results from the case study are discussed.
Self-perceived intrinsic and extrinsic differences between Information Systems and Computer Science university students : research articleSource: South African Computer Journal 52, pp 13 –28 (2014)More Less
Strong arguments exist that the sub-disciplines of Information Systems (IS) and Computer Science (CS) can be meaningfully distinguished, and the literature indicates that teams in which there are variety of personalities and divergent career interests are more likely to successfully complete computing projects. This paper set out to identify differences in terms of personality and career objectives between those entering universities with the intention of pursuing a career in CS and those intending to study IS. First-year students from South African tertiary institutions in 2010 and 2012 were studied in terms of self-reported personality factors (using the Five Factor Model as frame of analysis) as well as perceived environmental factors associated with career choice. Surprisingly, the only persistent significant difference found was that IS students consider well-paid employment as soon as possible after graduating to be more important than CS students do. In terms of the other factors studied no significant differences were found to occur in both years for which data was analysed. Hence, the results show that combining data collected from the students studying different sub-disciplines of computing is justified for research that specifically studies personality or factors such as interest, self-efficacy, career outcomes and how the career choice impacts on quality of life. At a practical level, the findings inform efforts in attracting, retaining and teaching students in these sub-disciplines.
Source: South African Computer Journal 52, pp 29 –41 (2014)More Less
The Internet is becoming increasingly interwoven in the daily lives of many individuals, organisations and nations. It has, to a large extent, had a positive effect on the way people communicate. It has also introduced new avenues for business; and it has offered nations an opportunity to govern online. Nevertheless, although cyberspace offers an endless list of services and opportunities, it is also accompanied by many risks, of which many Internet users are not aware. As such, various countries have developed and implemented cyber-security awareness and education measures to counter the perceived ignorance of the Internet users. However, there is currently a definite lack in South Africa (SA) in this regard; as there are currently, little government-led and sponsored cyber-security awareness and education initiatives. The primary research objective of this paper, therefore, is to propose a cyber-security awareness and education framework for SA that would assist in creating a cyber-secure culture in SA among all of the users of the Internet. This framework will be developed on the basis of key factors extrapolated from a comparative analysis of relevant developed countries.
Source: South African Computer Journal 52, pp 42 –54 (2014)More Less
The mining industry in South Africa contributes significantly to the national economy. Training is an important component in these environments and e-Learning is often used to train the large workforce. In the face of current labour unrest and job cuts in this sector, it is foreseen that e-Learning might play an increasing important role to upskill the remaining work force. However, it appears that low motivation and resistance to e-Learning exist amongst learners. The aim of this research was to examine the factors that may contribute to this resistance and/or adoption as perceived by e-Learning managers and practitioners. An interpretive approach was used to conduct two case studies. Activity theory was used as the theoretical lens and its main elements (tools, subjects, rules, objects, community) were used to analyse interviews with participants from two mining companies. Potential contradictions or tensions were identified in order to explore resistance to e-Learning. The main findings indicate that:
- proper communication of expectations by different stakeholders of e-Learning is imperative,
- top management support for e-Learning should stem from integration into the organisational goals,
- quality content is a necessary condition for successful adoption,
- more attention should be given to interaction between learners and facilitators and also between learners,
- a focus on people development rather than only compliance may lead to lower resistance, and
- top management support and involvement should be made visible.
Source: South African Computer Journal 52, pp 55 –70 (2014)More Less
The benefits of incorporating Semantic Web Services in web applications are well documented. However, both the real-world implementation and adoption of these services are still rather limited in practice. This is despite the promises that extend syntactic Web services with capabilities such as automatic service discovery, composition, and execution. Some of the barriers to the real-world implementation are the complexities and tool support related to the development of Semantic Web Services. In this article, the main challenge that is addressed is the tight coupling of existing Semantic Web Services (SWS) development platforms to specific semantic description languages and service description languages, which unintentionally lead to unbending service development environments. The main contribution in this article is therefore a model-driven approach called iSemServ that exploits mature technologies, such as UML, and model-transformation techniques for simplifying and semi-automating the development of SWS using description languages of choice, such as Web Ontology Language for Services (OWL-S) and Web Application Description Language (WADL). A design science research methodology was employed in conducting the study. The suggested approach was practically implemented as an Eclipse plug-in and evaluated based on a real-world use case scenario and comparative analysis of related solutions. The evaluation results show that our proposed solution is relevant and appropriate in aiding the semi-automatic development of SWS, albeit with a number of limitations that could be addressed by extending the proposed practical solution.
The integration of computerised accounting in the accounting curriculum as an educational learning curve for students entering the business world : research articleAuthor Elmarie PapageorgiouSource: South African Computer Journal 52, pp 71 –81 (2014)More Less
At universities, educating students on real-life practices is one of the key drivers in a changing academic environment. Academic institutions encourage the study of the learning environment and ensure that appropriate strategies are in place for educating students. A first-year Accounting I student stated the importance of computerised accounting: "Computerised accounting is used in the workplace and therefore using it in varsity grants students a view on how things will be after completion of their respective degrees." Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to empirically investigate the perceived acquisition of information technology (IT) knowledge and determine the skills required for students to convert the knowledge gained into actions, as a learning curve for accounting students entering the business world. The results indicated that students' knowledge of Accounting I increased with the integration of computerised Accounting in the Accounting I Curriculum.
Extracting salient features for network intrusion detection using machine learning methods : research articleSource: South African Computer Journal 52, pp 82 –96 (2014)More Less
This work presents a data preprocessing and feature selection framework to support data mining and network security experts in minimal feature set selection of intrusion detection data. This process is supported by detailed visualisation and examination of class distributions. Distribution histograms, scatter plots and information gain are presented as supportive feature reduction tools. The feature reduction process applied is based on decision tree pruning and backward elimination. This paper starts with an analysis of the KDD Cup '99 datasets and their potential for feature reduction. The dataset consists of connection records with 41 features whose relevance for intrusion detection are not clear. All traffic is either classified 'normal' or into the four attack types denial-of-service, network probe, remote-to-local or user-to-root. Using our custom feature selection process, we show how we can significantly reduce the number features in the dataset to a few salient features. We conclude by presenting minimal sets with 4-8 salient features for two-class and multi-class categorisation for detecting intrusions, as well as for the detection of individual attack classes; the performance using a static classifier compares favourably to the performance using all features available. The suggested process is of general nature and can be applied to any similar dataset.