November 2008 - Vol. 51 No. 11

November 2008 issue cover image

Features

Opinion CEO's letter

On the 10th Anniversary of ACM’s Digital Library

 When ACM launched its pioneering Digital Library a decade ago, it was one of the first professional societies to offer its members—and the broader computing community—a digital repository of its publications. At launch, the ACM Digital Library contained the full text of all articles published by ACM from 1991 forward, and the metadata for articles published back to 1985.
Opinion Letters to the editor

Letters to the Editor: Even Science Would Benefit From Auctions

In "designing the Perfect Auction" (Aug. 2008), Hal R. Varian noted that such auctions have many practical and obvious applications, including in Web advertising, cooperative robotics, digital business ecosystems, digital preservation, and network management. Auctions, by means of complementary community currencies, can also radically shift the way we conceive scientific cooperation. As we advocated in our paper "Selecting Scientific Papers for Publication via Citation Auctions" (IEEE Intelligent Systems, Nov./Dec. 2007), replacing peer review with an auction-based approach would benefit science in general. The better a submitted paper, the more complementary scientific currency its author(s) would likely bid to have itpublished. If the bid would truly reflect the paper's quality, the author(s) would be rewarded in this new scientific currency; otherwise, the author(s) would lose the currency.
Research and Advances Research highlights

Zyzzyva: Speculative Byzantine Fault Tolerance

A longstanding vision in distributed systems is to build reliable systems from unreliable components. An enticing formulation of this vision is Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) state machine replication, in which a group of servers collectively act as a correct server even if some of the servers misbehave or malfunction in arbitrary ("Byzantine") ways. Despite this promise, practitioners hesitate to deploy BFT systems at least partly because of the perception that BFT must impose high overheads.
Opinion Last byte

Puzzled: Circular Food

Welcome to three new challenging mathematical puzzles. Solutions to the first two will be published next month; the third is as yet unsolved, so you may need extra luck with that one. Here, I concentrate on circular food, so you might want to eat something before jumping in.
Research and Advances Virtual extension

SME Strategies: An Assessment of High vs. Low Performers

Little has been known about how and to what extent small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are implementing supply chain management (SCM) initiatives and e-business practices. This article presents some preliminary survey results of relationships between environment, firm strategy and performance. It also discusses the comparative characteristics of strategies and practices between high and low performance SMEs.
Research and Advances Virtual extension

Conceptually Modeling Windows and Bounds For Space and Time in Database Constraints

A variety of application areas involve spatial and temporal data. Spatial data is used in GIS, logistics, CAD/CAM, robotics and medical imaging to name a few. Systems in financial markets, inventory management, professional sports, consumer research and payroll regularly use historical or temporal data. Within these kinds of systems, spatial and temporal integrity constraints are of key importance. Modeling business rules in traditional applications has strongly been advocated.
Research and Advances Virtual extension

Exploring the Dark Side of IS in Achieving Organizational Agility

Organizational agility is currently a popular topic in the academic and practitioner communities. While Information Systems (IS) has been identified as having a positive impact in the pursuit of the goal of the agile organization, we also want to present a set of forces that may act against agility by means of inefficient or ineffective design, use or understanding of the role of IS in the process of acquiring signals, responding and learning from experience.
Research and Advances Virtual extension

Six Strategies For Electronic Medical Records Systems

The health care sector, despite its importance, is still behind most other industries such as retail, manufacturing, and financial services to leverage IT for operational and strategic purposes. Effective development and successful implementation of IT systems are critical in health care as these systems have direct implications for patient safety, mortality, and better quality of life. Here, we discuss several potential drawbacks of current EMR systems and offer six key strategies for development and improvement based on a case study of one of the largest health care providers in the nation—the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
Research and Advances Virtual extension

Technical Opinion: Motivational Affordances: Reasons For ICT Design and Use

Organizations hoping to improve employee productivity, increase strategic advantages, and gain or hold the competitive edge have invested heavily in information and communication technology (ICT). A motivational approach to ICT study can address questions such as "Why do people initiate, continue, stop, or avoid using ICT?" "Why do ICT use behaviors vary in intensity?"

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