Mobile Computing at Acadia University - Computer Science

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Nov 24, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Mobile Computing

at Acadia University

Tomasz Müldner

Jodrey School of Computer Science

Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada

October 13, 1998

Contents


Electronic campus at Acadia University


Related software projects:


Automated Courseware Management Environment


Shared Workspace


Distributed Marking System


Jersey


Other related commercial software


Mobile agents vision

Contents


Electronic campus at Acadia University


Related software projects:


Automated Courseware Management Environment


Shared Workspace


Distributed Marking System


Jersey


Other related commercial software


Mobile agents vision

Acadia University

Acadia University:

Overview


Acadia University was born in 1838


It is small (< 4,000 students)


Concentrates on undergraduate programs


In 1996, partnership with IBM formed


All faculty members and students get an
IBM laptop

Acadia University:

Electronic Classrooms


All classrooms will have:


instructor’s console


network connection for every
student


Two kinds of classrooms:
lecture and studio

Acadia University:

Electronic Classrooms

Contents


Electronic campus at Acadia University


Related software projects:


Automated Courseware Management Environment


Shared Workspace


Distributed Marking System


Jersey


Other related commercial software


Mobile agents vision

Related Software:

ACME

ACME (AITT) provides a single place for:


course
-
related information:



course outline



office hours


discussion groups


on line testing


upload and download of notes

Related Software:

ACME

Related Software:

ACME

Related Software:

ACME
, Sample Experience

Related Software:

Implementation
of ACME


Server
-
based, CGI scripts written in Perl


Dynamic HTML pages


JavaScript for visual enhancements


Standard file system for persistence

Related Software:

Discussion
of ACME


Popular: used in many courses


Does not require any installation (Web browser)


Tends to overload a Web server


Support for
pull
, no support for
push



Does not provide collaborative facilities


Does not automate various tasks


No support for disconnected operations

Contents


Electronic campus at Acadia University


Related software projects:


Automated Courseware Management Environment


Shared Workspace


Distributed Marking System


Jersey


Other related commercial software


Mobile agents vision

Related Software:

Shared Workspace, SW

Provides support for:



asynchronous exchange of information



synchronous collaboration in electronic


(virtual) classrooms

Related Software:

SW:

Exchange of Information


Asynchronous sharing of homogenous,
centralized information systems, IS


Each IS consists of classifications and
information


Every SW can fetch and provide

Related Software:

SW: Example Repository

Related Software:

SW:

Collaboration


Support for collaborative editing with a
single
controller

and multiple
ghosts


Various floor control policies


Chat room for “raising a hand”

Related Software:

SW:

Collaboration

Related Software:

SW:

Implementation


Every SW is a server and a client


Client/Server implementation using Java
and RMI


JSDT implementation of shared editing

Related Software:

SW:

Discussion


Limited support for collaborative editing


Inefficient updates of ghosts


No support for filtering, locating, automatic
organization, or alerting


Each IS is centralized rather than distributed


No support for disconnected operations

Contents


Electronic campus at Acadia University


Related software projects:


Automated Courseware Management Environment


Shared Workspace


Distributed Marking System


Jersey


Other related commercial software


Mobile agents vision

Related Software: DMS

Functionality



Electronic maintenance of assignments



Management of distributed information resources:



assignment descriptions



assignment solutions



marks

Related Software: DMS

Functionality



Instructor

submits assignment descriptions



Student

downloads assignments and uploads
solutions



Marker

downloads solutions, and marks
them off
-
line using specialized marking
software; then uploads results



Student

gets a notification

Related Software: DMS

Student

Related Software: DMS

Marker

Related Software: DMS

Implementation



DMS consists of a central server and set of
“users”:
Students
,
Markers
,
Instructors



A user may need to download its application
and run it locally. DMS will package the
application and deploy it to the user

Related Software: DMS


Implementation


Shared resources and the software that
controls access to them resides at a server site


Java and CORBA are used (for language
independence and speed)


Java Applets are used for the user
-
side client
(for (re)deployment)

Related Software: DMS


Discussion



Centralized server creates a bottleneck



Very limited support for
push



For marking each assignment, a marker has
to develop an ad
-
hoc marking strategy

Contents


Electronic campus at Acadia University


Related software projects:


Automated Courseware Management Environment


Shared Workspace


Distributed Marking System


Jersey


Other related commercial software


Mobile agents vision


Related Software:

Jersey
(Tomek, Giles, Nicholl)


MOO/MUD (Multi
-
User
-
Dialogs) based systems


real world emulation (spatial)


Users, places, objects


Navigation, communication


Creating, modifying, transporting objects


Run
-
time customizability, expendability

Related Software:

Jersey
: Implementation




Client/server written in VisualAge Smalltalk



Communication with the user by Smalltalk
messages (extended with the list of messages)



“Agents” used to automate user queries,
automatically capture events, etc.

Related Software:

Jersey
: Discussion




Spatial rather than functional organization



Traditional client/server



Agents are really daemons

Contents


Electronic campus at Acadia University


Related software projects:


Automated Courseware Management Environment


Shared Workspace


Distributed Marking System


Jersey


Other related commercial software


Mobile agents vision

Related commercial software


Outlook Express:


Scheduling


Email Rules

Contents


Electronic campus at Acadia University


Related software projects:


Automated Courseware Management Environment


Shared Workspace


Distributed Marking System


Jersey


Other related commercial software


Mobile agents vision

Mobile Agent Vision


“...
There is a growing danger
that agents will be a
deception and an empty
promise
...”


Benn Schneiderman

Mobile Agent Vision

“...
agent technologies are most
useful when presenting a
simpler abstraction of the
environment to the user
…”


Cybenko and Brewington



Mobile Agent Vision:

Justification


Rapid (re)deployment of applications


Automated work


Ability to find and filter information


Support for push


Customized views of information


Support for disconnected operations


Active network load balancing

Mobile Agent Vision:

Student Registration

Assumptions:


Student registers in five courses


When arrives, receives a laptop


Upon first connection to the network, five
course agents

arrive at her/his laptop

Mobile Agent Vision

Course Agent


Each
course agent

represents a single course


The user interacts with the course agent
through an
activity
-
based user interface


Standardized interfaces can be customized
(through wizards or an agent shell)

Mobile Agent Vision

Activity
-
based Interface

Translators Agent










Contact


Instructor




Read Notes


Get Marks

Mobile Agent Vision

Activity
-
based Interface

Translators Agent










Contact


Instructor


Do Assignment 1


Read Notes


Get Marks

Mobile Agent Vision

Assignment Agent

Assignment 1 on Translators









Read

Do

Submit

Get similar



Mobile Agent Vision

Marker Agent

Assignment 1 on Translators: John Doe









View

Execute

Mark



Mobile Agent Vision

Discussion


Agent bureaucracy

provides a functional
organization (course related agents, etc.)


Agents come built
-
in; can be further
customized (explicitly, or implicitly:
adaptive agents)

Mobile Agent Vision

Collaborative Work


Two modes of operation:


serial; here the agent moves to the next group
member and brings updates.


Group members may be on
-

or off
-
line


Mobile Agent Vision

Collaborative Work


Concurrent:


two modes of reintegration of data:


merging


versioning

Mobile Agent Vision

On Line Testing


A
test agent

can be broadcast to the test
group


Each test agent can control the test, mark it,
and then store results somewhere


The test agent may be “customized” to
remember past inputs, etc.


Mobile Agent Vision

Discussion Groups


Two kinds:


off
-
line (traditional); for push (
Informant)


on
-
line (chat rooms). You can create an agent to
be your proxy in a chat room

Mobile Agent Vision:

Distributed Information Systems

(Work in progress: D. Currie)



Each IS can be
distributed
(DIS)


Each DIS is a directed graph; leaves store
information, other nodes classification


Remote information nodes
are kept in cache


Cache is cleared based on priorities

Mobile Agent Vision:

DIS


Cached items can be marked
bad


Multiple views of the classification can be
maintained


Classification can be built explicitly or
implicitly

Mobile Agent Vision:

DIS + Agents


Agents can maintain priorities


Agents can find and filter information so that
it is copied into cache and available off
-
line

Conclusion

Mobile agents can automate
many tasks in mobile
computing.



Acknowledgments

Karine Blouin

Yao Chen

Duane Currie

Ali Elbashtiri

Soon Ping Phang

Eng Kian Tian