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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

In the Virtual Extension

Choc'late: A Framework for Specification-based Testing

Pak-Lok Poon, Sau-Fun Tang, T.H. Tse, and T.Y. Chen

Software testing based on informal specifications has remained popular. The authors present a CHOiCe reLATion framEwork (CHOC'LATE) that allows testers to systematically reenact an unstructured informal specification in a more formal representationchoice relation tablefrom which a test suite can be generated automatically. Unlike formal specifications, the choice relation table is easy to understand by software developers with little training. Furthermore, CHOC'LATE incorporates mechanisms for consistency checking, automatic deductions, and prioritization of choices for test suite generation. Because of these merits, the authors contend that CHOC'LATE will have a significant contribution to software quality assurance in the industry.

Designing for Collective Intelligence

Dawn Gregg

Collective intelligence is a fundamentally different way of viewing how applications can support human interaction and decision making. Historically, applications have focused on improving the productivity of individuals, providing tools and data to fulfill specific job functions. Under the collective intelligence paradigm, the focus is on harnessing the intelligence of groups of people to enable greater productivity and better decisions than are possible by individuals working in isolation. The processes involved in designing and implementing specialized collective intelligence applications are discussed in the context of DDtrac, a Web-based application that allows for the collection and summary of special education data.

Data Mining and Revenue Management Methodologies in College Admissions

Surye Rebbapragada, Amit Basu, and John Semple

While colleges want to admit the best students, competition with other colleges and the limited admission time window create a complex decision problem. This article presents a novel approach to the college admission process by partitioning the process into two phases in which data mining and revenue managementtwo powerful technologiescan be applied to find win-win solutions for both applicants and colleges. Using the process outlined by the authors, student applications can be processed dynamically, and the college can select the best possible candidate at each point throughout the admission season.

WWW Recycling for a Better World

Stefano Ferretti, Marco Furini, Claudio E. Palazzi, Marco Roccetti, and Paola Salomoni

Is the World Wide Web becoming World Wide Waste? Indeed, by comparing the immense benefits that Web 2.0 could bring to society, with its factual employment, one could provocatively change the meaning of the acronym WWW. The authors propose to redesign the utilization paradigm of Web 2.0 and, in general, of the Internet in order to recycle unused parts of Web 2.0 into altruistic bricks that can be appropriately rerouted and composed for alternative (unselfish) employment.

Individual Resistance To It Innovations

Rhoda C. Joseph

Adoption of an information technology (IT) innovation is a much more attractive and frequently examined area to study than non-adoption. This is mainly due to the pro innovation bias that is found in the existing IT and information systems literature. Companies spend millions of dollars advertising their new gadgets to consumers. However, many IT innovations face varying degrees of resistance in their lifetimes. As researchers and IT professionals it is important to understand the subtle nuances of technology resistance and actively engage in strategies to better understand the individual needs of users.

A Tale of Two Internet Service Providers

Robert J. Aalberts, Percy S. Poon, and Paul D. Thistle

Taking a risk management perspective, this article introduces a potentially far-reaching case from New Jersey: Doe v. XYC Co. The Doe case establishes for the first time a legal duty for employers to protect third parties (non-employees) from illegal behavior by any employee conducted on a workplace computer. The article is instructive because it contrasts the flawed management style found in Doe with the facts in Delfino v. Agilent Technologies, Inc. where management effectively handled an employee's unlawful activity thus preventing costly legal problems.

Capstone Programming Courses Considered Harmful

M. Keith Wright

Enrollment in U.S. computer-related degree programs has plummeted in the past decade as has the demand for U.S. programmers. This article examines the steady decline in programmer demand from the viewpoint of the author's experiences as a professional programmer for many Fortune 500 companies. Ideas are presented on how to redesign computer curriculums to address modern economic needs, including replacing capstone (senior) programming courses with internships that emphasize ethical IT service-level management and standard platform training.

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