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Computers, Volume 7, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) As augmented reality (AR) has evolved into a mainstream technology across fields, I embarked on an [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Mobile Educational Augmented Reality Games: A Systematic Literature Review and Two Case Studies
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 March 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
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Abstract
Augmented reality (AR) has evolved from research projects into mainstream applications that cover diverse fields, such as entertainment, health, business, tourism and education. In particular, AR games, such as Pokémon Go, have contributed to introducing the AR technology to the general public. The
[...] Read more.
Augmented reality (AR) has evolved from research projects into mainstream applications that cover diverse fields, such as entertainment, health, business, tourism and education. In particular, AR games, such as Pokémon Go, have contributed to introducing the AR technology to the general public. The proliferation of modern smartphones and tablets with large screens, cameras, and high processing power has ushered in mobile AR applications that can provide context-sensitive content to users whilst freeing them to explore the context. To avoid ambiguity, I define mobile AR as a type of AR where a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) is used to display and interact with virtual content that is overlaid on top of a real-time camera feed of the real world. Beyond being mere entertainment, AR and games have been shown to possess significant affordances for learning. Although previous research has done a decent job of reviewing research on educational AR applications, I identified a need for a comprehensive review on research related to educational mobile AR games (EMARGs). This paper explored the research landscape on EMARGs over the period 2012–2017 through a systematic literature review complemented by two case studies in which the author participated. After a comprehensive literature search and filtering, I analyzed 31 EMARGs from the perspectives of technology, pedagogy, and gaming. Moreover, I presented an analysis of 26 AR platforms that can be used to create mobile AR applications. I then discussed the results in depth and synthesized my interpretations into 13 guidelines for future EMARG developers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Augmented Reality)
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Open AccessArticle A New Method of Histogram Computation for Efficient Implementation of the HOG Algorithm
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 1 March 2018
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Abstract
In this paper we introduce a new histogram computation method to be used within the histogram of oriented gradients (HOG) algorithm. The new method replaces the arctangent with the slope computation and the classical magnitude allocation based on interpolation with a simpler algorithm.
[...] Read more.
In this paper we introduce a new histogram computation method to be used within the histogram of oriented gradients (HOG) algorithm. The new method replaces the arctangent with the slope computation and the classical magnitude allocation based on interpolation with a simpler algorithm. The new method allows a more efficient implementation of HOG in general, and particularly in field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), by considerably reducing the area (thus increasing the level of parallelism), while maintaining very close classification accuracy compared to the original algorithm. Thus, the new method is attractive for many applications, including car detection and classification. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Editorial of the Special Issue of the 10th Workshop on Biomedical and Bioinformatics Challenges for Computer Science—BBC 2017
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
In this special issue, we present two of the papers presented at the 10th Workshop on Biomedical and Bioinformatics Challenges for Computer Science—BBC2017, held in Zurich, 12–14 June 2017. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical and Bioinformatics Challenges for Computer Science)
Open AccessArticle Improved Capacity and Fairness of Massive Machine Type Communications in Millimetre Wave 5G Network
Received: 8 January 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2018 / Accepted: 10 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
In the Fifth Generation (5G) wireless standard, the Internet of Things (IoT) will interconnect billions of Machine Type Communications (MTC) devices. Fixed and mobile wearable devices and sensors are expected to contribute to the majority of IoT traffic. MTC device mobility has been
[...] Read more.
In the Fifth Generation (5G) wireless standard, the Internet of Things (IoT) will interconnect billions of Machine Type Communications (MTC) devices. Fixed and mobile wearable devices and sensors are expected to contribute to the majority of IoT traffic. MTC device mobility has been considered with three speeds, namely zero (fixed) and medium and high speeds of 30 and 100 kmph. Different values for device mobility are used to simulate the impact of device mobility on MTC traffic. This work demonstrates the gain of using distributed antennas on MTC traffic in terms of spectral efficiency and fairness among MTC devices, which affects the number of devices that can be successfully connected. The mutual use of Distributed Base Stations (DBS) with Remote Radio Units (RRU) and the adoption of the millimetre wave band, particularly in the 26 GHz range, have been considered the key enabling technologies for addressing MTC traffic growth. An algorithm has been set to schedule this type of traffic and to show whether MTC devices completed their traffic upload or failed to reach the margin. The gains of the new architecture have been demonstrated in terms of spectral efficiency, data throughput and the fairness index. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Users’ Perceptions Using Low-End and High-End Mobile-Rendered HMDs: A Comparative Study
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
Currently, it is possible to combine Mobile-Rendered Head-Mounted Displays (MR HMDs) with smartphones to have Augmented Reality platforms. The differences between these types of platforms can affect the user’s experiences and satisfaction. This paper presents a study that analyses the user’s perception when
[...] Read more.
Currently, it is possible to combine Mobile-Rendered Head-Mounted Displays (MR HMDs) with smartphones to have Augmented Reality platforms. The differences between these types of platforms can affect the user’s experiences and satisfaction. This paper presents a study that analyses the user’s perception when using the same Augmented Reality app with two MR HMD (low-end and high-end). Our study evaluates the user’s experience taking into account several factors (control, sensory, distraction, ergonomics and realism). An Augmalpha-lowerented Reality app was developed to carry out the comparison for two MR HMDs. The application had exactly the same visual appearance and functionality for both devices. Forty adults participated in our study. From the results, there were no statistically significant differences for the users’ experience for the different factors when using the two MR HMDs, except for the ergonomic factors in favour of the high-end MR HMD. Even though the scores for the high-end MR HMD were higher in nearly all of the questions, both MR HMDs provided a very satisfying viewing experience with very high scores. The results were independent of gender and age. The participants rated the high-end MR HMD as the best one. Nevertheless, when they were asked which MR HMD they would buy, the participants chose the low-end MR HMD taking into account its price. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Augmented Reality)
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Open AccessEditorial Editorial of the Special Issue on Quantified Self and Personal Informatics
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
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Abstract
In recent years, we witnessed the spreading of a plethora of wearable and mobile technologies allowing for a continuous and “transparent” gathering of personal data [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantified Self and Personal Informatics)
Open AccessArticle CPS-Based Smart Warehouse for Industry 4.0: A Survey of the Underlying Technologies
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 28 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
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Abstract
This paper discusses how the state-of-the-art techniques in cyber-physical systems facilitate building smart warehouses to achieve the promising vision of industry 4.0. We focus on four significant issues when applying CPS techniques in smart warehouses. First, efficient CPS data collection: when limited
[...] Read more.
This paper discusses how the state-of-the-art techniques in cyber-physical systems facilitate building smart warehouses to achieve the promising vision of industry 4.0. We focus on four significant issues when applying CPS techniques in smart warehouses. First, efficient CPS data collection: when limited communication bandwidth meets numerous CPS devices, we need to make more effort to study efficient wireless communication scheduling strategies. Second, accurate and robust localization: localization is the basis for many fundamental operations in smart warehouses, but still needs to be improved from various aspects like accuracy and robustness. Third, human activity recognition: human activity recognition can be applied in human–computer interaction for remote machine operations. Fourth, multi-robot collaboration: smart robots will take the place of humans to accomplish most tasks particularly in a harsh environment, and smart and fully-distributed robot collaborating algorithms should be investigated. Finally, we point out some challenging issues in the future CPS-based smart warehouse, which could open some new research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced CPS for Industry 4.0)
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Open AccessArticle Visualizing the Provenance of Personal Data Using Comics
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
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Abstract
Personal health data is acquired, processed, stored, and accessed using a variety of different devices, applications, and services. These are often complex and highly connected. Therefore, use or misuse of the data is hard to detect for people, if they are not capable
[...] Read more.
Personal health data is acquired, processed, stored, and accessed using a variety of different devices, applications, and services. These are often complex and highly connected. Therefore, use or misuse of the data is hard to detect for people, if they are not capable to understand the trace (i.e., the provenance) of that data. We present a visualization technique for personal health data provenance using comic strips. Each strip of the comic represents a certain activity, such as entering data using a smartphone application, storing or retrieving data on a cloud service, or generating a diagram from the data. The comic strips are generated automatically using recorded provenance graphs. The easy-to-understand comics enable all people to notice crucial points regarding their data such as, for example, privacy violations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantified Self and Personal Informatics)
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Computers in 2017
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Computers maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle High-Precision Control of a Piezo-Driven Nanopositioner Using Fuzzy Logic Controllers
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 16 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents single- and dual-loop fuzzy control schemes to precisely control the piezo-driven nanopositioner in the x- and y-axis directions. Various issues are associated with this control problem, such as low stability margin due to the sharp resonant peak, nonlinear
[...] Read more.
This paper presents single- and dual-loop fuzzy control schemes to precisely control the piezo-driven nanopositioner in the x- and y-axis directions. Various issues are associated with this control problem, such as low stability margin due to the sharp resonant peak, nonlinear dynamics, parameter uncertainty, etc. As such, damping controllers are often utilised to damp the mechanical resonance of the nanopositioners. The Integral Resonant Controller (IRC) is used in this paper as a damping controller to damp the mechanical resonance. A further inherent problem is the hysteresis phenomenon (disturbance), which leads to degrading the positioning performance (accuracy) of the piezo-driven stage. The common approach to treat this disturbance is to invoke tracking controllers in a closed-loop feedback scheme in conjunction with the damping controllers. The traditional approach uses the Integral Controller (I) or Proportional Integral (PI) as a tracking controller, whereas this paper introduces the Proportional and Integral (PI)-like Fuzzy Logic Controller (FLC) as a tracking controller. The effectiveness of the proposed control schemes over conventional schemes is confirmed through comparative simulation studies, and results are presented. The stability boundaries of the proposed control schemes are determined in the same way as with a conventional controller. Robustness against variations in the resonant frequency of the proposed control schemes is verified. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Improvement on Remote User Authentication Schemes Using Smart Cards
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract
In 2010, Yeh et al. proposed two robust remote user authentication schemes using smart cards; their claims were such that their schemes defended against ID-theft attacks, reply attacks, undetectable on-line password guessing attacks, off-line password guessing attacks, user impersonation attack, server counterfeit attack
[...] Read more.
In 2010, Yeh et al. proposed two robust remote user authentication schemes using smart cards; their claims were such that their schemes defended against ID-theft attacks, reply attacks, undetectable on-line password guessing attacks, off-line password guessing attacks, user impersonation attack, server counterfeit attack and man-in-the-middle attack. In this paper, we show that Yeh et al.’s schemes are still vulnerable to ID-theft attack, off-line password guessing attacks, undetectable on-line password guessing attacks and user impersonation attack. Notably, problems remain in situations where the user lost a smart card or the malicious legal user. To remedy these flaws, this paper proposes an improvement on Yeh et al.’s remote user authentication schemes using smart cards. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Performance Evaluation of Discrete Event Systems with GPenSIM
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 4 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
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Abstract
Petri nets are a useful tool for the modeling and performance evaluation of discrete event systems. Literature reveals that the Petri Net models of real-world discrete event systems are most frequently event graphs (a subclass of Petri nets). Literature also reveals that there
[...] Read more.
Petri nets are a useful tool for the modeling and performance evaluation of discrete event systems. Literature reveals that the Petri Net models of real-world discrete event systems are most frequently event graphs (a subclass of Petri nets). Literature also reveals that there are some simple methods for the performance evaluation of event graphs. The general-purpose Petri Net simulator (GPenSIM) is a new simulator that runs on the MATLAB platform. GPenSIM provides a Petri net language, with which Petri net classes and extensions can be developed. GPenSIM also provides functions for performance analysis. Since real-world discrete event systems usually possess a large number of resources, the Petri net models of these systems tend to become huge. Activity-Oriented Petri Nets (AOPN) is an approach that reduces the size of the Petri nets. In addition to the simulator functions, GPenSIM also realizes the AOPN approach on the MATLAB platform. Thus, AOPN is an integral part of GPenSIM. As a running example, a flexible manufacturing system is firstly modeled as an event graph, and then the size of the model is reduced with the AOPN approach. The advantages of GPenSIM and AOPN are discussed in this paper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Self-Monitoring of Emotions and Mood Using a Tangible Approach
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 8 January 2018
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Abstract
Nowadays Personal Informatics (PI) devices are used for sensing and saving personal data, everywhere and at any time, helping people improve their lives by highlighting areas of good and bad performances and providing a general awareness of different levels of conduct. However, not
[...] Read more.
Nowadays Personal Informatics (PI) devices are used for sensing and saving personal data, everywhere and at any time, helping people improve their lives by highlighting areas of good and bad performances and providing a general awareness of different levels of conduct. However, not all these data are suitable to be automatically collected. This is especially true for emotions and mood. Moreover, users without experience in self-tracking may have a misperception of PI applications’ limits and potentialities. We believe that current PI tools are not designed with enough understanding of such users’ needs, desires, and problems they may encounter in their everyday lives. We designed and prototype the Mood TUI (Tangible User Interface), a PI tool that supports the self-reporting of mood data using a tangible interface. The platform is able to gather six different mood states and it was tested through several participatory design sessions in a secondary/high school. The solution proposed allows gathering mood values in an amusing, simple, and appealing way. Users appreciated the prototypes, suggesting several possible improvements as well as ideas on how to use the prototype in similar or totally different contexts, and giving us hints for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantified Self and Personal Informatics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle 6DoF Object Tracking based on 3D Scans for Augmented Reality Remote Live Support
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 29 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
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Abstract
Tracking the 6DoF pose of arbitrary 3D objects is a fundamental topic in Augmented Reality (AR) research, having received a large amount of interest in the last decades. The necessity of accurate and computationally efficient object tracking is evident for a broad base
[...] Read more.
Tracking the 6DoF pose of arbitrary 3D objects is a fundamental topic in Augmented Reality (AR) research, having received a large amount of interest in the last decades. The necessity of accurate and computationally efficient object tracking is evident for a broad base of today’s AR applications. In this work we present a fully comprehensive pipeline for 6DoF Object Tracking based on 3D scans of objects, covering object registration, initialization and frame to frame tracking, implemented to optimize the user experience and to perform well in all typical challenging conditions such as fast motion, occlusions and illumination changes. Furthermore, we present the deployment of our tracking system in a Remote Live Support AR application with 3D object-aware registration of annotations and remote execution for delay and performance optimization. Experimental results demonstrate the tracking quality, real-time capability and the advantages of remote execution for computationally less powerful mobile devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Augmented Reality)
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Open AccessArticle DARGS: Dynamic AR Guiding System for Indoor Environments
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 24 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
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Abstract
Complex public buildings, such as airports, use various systems to guide people to a certain destination. Such approaches are usually implemented by showing a floor plan that has guiding signs or color coded lines on the floor. With a technology that supports six
[...] Read more.
Complex public buildings, such as airports, use various systems to guide people to a certain destination. Such approaches are usually implemented by showing a floor plan that has guiding signs or color coded lines on the floor. With a technology that supports six degrees of freedom (6DoF) tracking in indoor environments, it is possible to guide people individually, thereby considering obstacles, path lengths, or pathways for handicapped people. With an augmented reality (AR) device, such as a smart phone or AR glasses, the path can be presented on top of the real environment. In this paper, we present DARGS, an algorithm, which calculates a path through a complex building in real time. Usual path planning algorithms use either shortest paths or dynamic paths for robot interaction. The human factor in a real environment is not considered. The main advantage of DARGS is the incorporation of the current field of view (FOV) of the used device to visualize a more dynamic presentation. Rather than searching for the AR content with a small FOV, with the presented approach the user always gets a meaningful three-dimensional overlay of the path independent of the viewing direction. A detailed user study is performed to prove the applicability of the system. The results indicate that the presented system is especially helpful in the first few important seconds of the guiding process, when the user is still disoriented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mobile Augmented Reality)
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Open AccessArticle NEAT-Lamp and Talking Tree: Beyond Personal Informatics towards Active Workplaces
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 10 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
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Abstract
A growing number of personal informatics (PI) systems have been designed to break the habit of prolonged sitting and to encourage physical activity during workdays and leisure hours. Few studies, however, have investigated the nature of local movement and mobility in workspaces. Relatively
[...] Read more.
A growing number of personal informatics (PI) systems have been designed to break the habit of prolonged sitting and to encourage physical activity during workdays and leisure hours. Few studies, however, have investigated the nature of local movement and mobility in workspaces. Relatively little is known about how such movement patterns are shaped and in what ways micro-mobility in workplaces could be increased. By undertaking a concept-driven design approach, and on the basis of our ethnographic prestudy, we introduce a conceptual framework. In this conceptual framework, we indicate the five main agencies that shape local movement and mobility among office workers. On the basis of this empirical and conceptual work, two prototypes, the non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)-Lamp and Talking Tree, have been designed, implemented and observed in an office environment. This paper describes this design project and articulates the role of discussions in socially established settings in work environments in order to increase daily movement. The paper concludes by highlighting not only technology, but also collective reflections to spark behavioral change in office environments as social settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantified Self and Personal Informatics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Personalizing the Fitting of Hearing Aids by Learning Contextual Preferences From Internet of Things Data
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 9 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 23 December 2017
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Abstract
The lack of individualized fitting of hearing aids results in many patients never getting the intended benefits, in turn causing the devices to be left unused in a drawer. However, living with an untreated hearing loss has been found to be one of
[...] Read more.
The lack of individualized fitting of hearing aids results in many patients never getting the intended benefits, in turn causing the devices to be left unused in a drawer. However, living with an untreated hearing loss has been found to be one of the leading lifestyle related causes of dementia and cognitive decline. Taking a radically different approach to personalize the fitting process of hearing aids, by learning contextual preferences from user-generated data, we in this paper outline the results obtained through a 9-month pilot study. Empowering the user to select between several settings using Internet of things (IoT) connected hearing aids allows for modeling individual preferences and thereby identifying distinct coping strategies. These behavioral patterns indicate that users prefer to switch between highly contrasting aspects of omnidirectionality and noise reduction dependent on the context, rather than relying on the medium “one size fits all” program frequently provided by default in hearing health care. We argue that an IoT approach facilitated by the usage of smartphones may constitute a paradigm shift, enabling continuous personalization of settings dependent on the changing context. Furthermore, making the user an active part of the fitting solution based on self-tracking may increase engagement and awareness and thus improve the quality of life for hearing impaired users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantified Self and Personal Informatics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle TaPT: Temperature-Aware Dynamic Cache Optimization for Embedded Systems
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
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Abstract
Embedded systems have stringent design constraints, which has necessitated much prior research focus on optimizing energy consumption and/or performance. Since embedded systems typically have fewer cooling options, rising temperature, and thus temperature optimization, is an emergent concern. Most embedded systems only dissipate heat
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Embedded systems have stringent design constraints, which has necessitated much prior research focus on optimizing energy consumption and/or performance. Since embedded systems typically have fewer cooling options, rising temperature, and thus temperature optimization, is an emergent concern. Most embedded systems only dissipate heat by passive convection, due to the absence of dedicated thermal management hardware mechanisms. The embedded system’s temperature not only affects the system’s reliability, but can also affect the performance, power, and cost. Thus, embedded systems require efficient thermal management techniques. However, thermal management can conflict with other optimization objectives, such as execution time and energy consumption. In this paper, we focus on managing the temperature using a synergy of cache optimization and dynamic frequency scaling, while also optimizing the execution time and energy consumption. This paper provides new insights on the impact of cache parameters on efficient temperature-aware cache tuning heuristics. In addition, we present temperature-aware phase-based tuning, TaPT, which determines Pareto optimal clock frequency and cache configurations for fine-grained execution time, energy, and temperature tradeoffs. TaPT enables autonomous system optimization and also allows designers to specify temperature constraints and optimization priorities. Experiments show that TaPT can effectively reduce execution time, energy, and temperature, while imposing minimal hardware overhead. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Core Systems-On-Chips Design and Optimization)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Promises and Pitfalls of Computer-Supported Mindfulness: Exploring a Situated Mobile Approach
Received: 1 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
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Abstract
Computer-supported mindfulness (CSM) is a burgeoning area filled with varied approaches such as mobile apps and EEG headbands. However, many of the approaches focus on providing meditation guidance. The ubiquity of mobile devices may provide new opportunities to support mindfulness practices that are
[...] Read more.
Computer-supported mindfulness (CSM) is a burgeoning area filled with varied approaches such as mobile apps and EEG headbands. However, many of the approaches focus on providing meditation guidance. The ubiquity of mobile devices may provide new opportunities to support mindfulness practices that are more situated in everyday life. In this paper, a new situated mindfulness approach is explored through a specific mobile app design. Through an experimental design, the approach is compared to traditional audio-based mindfulness meditation, and a mind wandering control, over a one-week period. The study demonstrates the viability for a situated mobile mindfulness approach to induce mindfulness states. However, phenomenological aspects of the situated mobile approach suggest both promises and pitfalls for computer-supported mindfulness using a situated approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantified Self and Personal Informatics)
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