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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents


Predatory Scholarly Publishing

In a typical business, you have two parties: sellers and buyers. In scholarly publishing you also have sellers and buyers, these are the publishers and the research libraries. However, you have two additional parties. On one …
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the Editor

An Integral Number and Its Consequences

Pondering Moshe Y. Vardi's "What Is an Algorithm?" (Mar. 2012), one should consider that in its most abstract and tangible form an algorithm is simply an integral number and that an interpretation of an algorithm as an abstract …
DEPARTMENT: BLOG@CACM

CS and Popular Culture; Learning From Console Games

Mark Guzdial writes about why computer science should permeate popular culture. Judy Robertson discusses the educational benefits of using console games in the classroom.
COLUMN: News

Degrees of Separation

Researchers now have the capability to look at the small-world problem from both the traditional algorithmic approach and the new topological approach.

HTML5 Leads a Web Revolution

Propelled by a proliferation of mobile devices and social networks, an enhanced family of Web specifications is bringing new power to developers and new capabilities to users.

Patently Inadequate

The biggest change to U.S. patent law in nearly 60 years brings many changes, but fails to solve the software industry's most vexing problems.

Lost and Found

Researchers discover computer pioneer Konrad Zuse's long-forgotten Z9, the world's first program-controlled binary relay calculator using floating-point arithmetic.
COLUMN: Technology strategy and management

Business Models for Strategy and Innovation

While often ambiguously defined, business models are central to innovation.
COLUMN: Legally speaking

Can Online Piracy Be Stopped by Laws?

Considering the legal responsibilities of Internet intermediaries in the aftermath of the Stop Online Privacy Act controversy.
COLUMN: Computing ethics

An Information Strategy for Environmental Sustainability

Many proposed solutions to the species-threatening transformations born of human industrialization have an engineering orientation. Often the suggested remedies do not adequately recognize the potential of information systems …
COLUMN: Historical reflections

Alan Turing's Other Universal Machine

All computer scientists know about the Universal Turing Machine, one of the foundation stones of theoretical computer science. Much less well known is the practical stored program computer Turing proposed after the war in February …
COLUMN: Viewpoint

Google's Hybrid Approach to Research

By closely connecting research and development Google is able to conduct experiments on an unprecedented scale, often resulting in new capabilities for the company.

The Challenges of Privacy by Design

Heralded by regulators, Privacy by Design holds the promise to solve the digital world's privacy problems. But there are immense challenges, including management commitment and step-by-step methods to integrate privacy into systems …
SECTION: Practice

Controlling Queue Delay

Active queue management is just one piece of the solution to persistently full buffers.

My Compiler Does Not Understand Me

Until our programming languages catch up, code will be full of horrors.

Getting What You Measure

There are four common pitfalls to avoid when using software metrics in a project management setting.
SECTION: Contributed articles

Computational Folkloristics

A searchable meta-graph can connect even troublesome house elves and other supernatural beings to scholarly folk categories.

Large-Scale Complex IT Systems

The reductionism behind today's software-engineering methods breaks down in the face of systems complexity.

Why On-Chip Cache Coherence is Here to Stay

On-chip hardware coherence can scale gracefully as the number of cores increases.
SECTION: Review articles

Behavioral Programming

A novel paradigm for programming reactive systems centered on naturally specified modular behavior.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: For Better or Worse, Benchmarks Shape a Field

Like other IT fields, computer architects initially reported incomparable results. We quickly saw the folly of this approach. We then went through a sequence of performance metrics. When a field has good benchmarks, we settle …

Looking Back and Looking Forward: Power, Performance, and Upheaval

The past 10 years have delivered two significant revolutions. Microprocessor design has been transformed — leading to multicore processors. And an entirely new software landscape has emerged — revolutionizing how software is …

Technical Perspective: Why Study the Price of Anarchy?

In 1999, Elias Koutsoupias and Christos Papadimitriou initiated the study of "How much worse off are we due to selfishness?" They compared the worst case pure Nash equilibria to the optimal solution. This ratio was later called …

Intrinsic Robustness of the Price of Anarchy

The price of anarchy, defined as the ratio of the worst-case objective function value of a Nash equilibrium of a game and that of an optimal outcome, quantifies the inefficiency of selfish behavior.
COLUMN: Last byte

Future Tense: They Just Click

When glasses track glances, will eyes still meet across a crowded room?
SECTION: Contributed articles: Virtual extension

Do Small IT Firms Benefit From Higher Process Capability?

Evidence suggests small firms can reap rewards from developing a high level of formal process capability.