School of Computing - Research - Working Papers - 2002

Working Papers for 2002

An Analysis of Interactive Services in an Integrated Virtual Undergraduate Course System,
Claus Pahl

Computer-based teaching and learning environments play an increasingly important role in teaching and training in academia and industry. In order to be successful, such systems should support the active learning paradigm - students learn by doing - wherever and whenever possible. This is in particular important for virtual courses, i.e. courses without direct contact between student and teacher.
We investigate interactive services in virtual course environments in this report. We analyse the students' usage of such a system and their opinion. Our ultimate objective is the improvement of technology and pedagogy for interactive virtual course environments. A student survey forms the basis of this analysis. We use a statistical evaluation of the data in order to assess our system and approach in particular, but we will also relate our results to technology and pedagogy in general. A separation of different aspects - performance, opinion, experience, usage, and usability - provides a basic structure for the analysis and also allows us to determine the existence of dependencies between these aspects.
Keywords: Computer-based teaching and learning environments, interactive services, analysis, statistical evaluation, student survey, technology, pedagogy.

Authenticated ID-based Key Exchange and remote log-in with insecure token and PIN number,
Mike Scott

Authenticated Key exchange algorithms tend to be either token-based or password based. Token-based schemes are often based on expensive (and irreplaceable) smart-card tokens, while password-only schemes require that a unique password is shared with every correspondent. The magnetic strip swipe card and associated PIN number is a familiar and convenient format that motivates a combined approach. Finally we suggest an extension of the scheme for use in a client-server scenario.

The Implementation of a Distributed Hierarchical Mind on the Internet using the World-Wide-Mind,
Dave O'Connor and Mark Humphrys

In the standard Agents paradigm, the agent "mind" (or decision-making mechanism) interacts with some environment or "world". Using this terminology of "mind" and "world", the Internet has been used to date as a means of: (a) being able to share worlds, and: (b) being able to construct multi-agent systems.
In the "World-Wide-Mind" (WWM) scheme, the Internet is used as a means of: (c) being able to share minds and parts of minds for use as components in large multi-mind systems. This is not multi-agent systems, but rather a "society of mind" within a single agent. Each sub-mind is not free to take actions - only the agent as a whole can take an action. One of the main reasons for this scheme is to assist in the construction of large, complex minds by teams of multiple, dispersed authors. Similar to how the Web enables publishing, the WWM scheme is designed to make it as easy as possible for an agent mind author to "publish" - to put their mind online for re-use in other societies of mind.
This paper describes the first implementation of a multi-level mind using this system. A brief description of the architecture and protocol currently used is presented. This expands considerably on the previous implementation.

Modelling the Human Immune System using the Shape Space Paradigm,
J. Burns and H.J. Ruskin

We present a comparison study of various Shape Space approaches to modelling the human immune system. We review work from the following authors: Hershberg et al (2001), Perelson and Oster (1979), Carneiro and Stewart (1994) and Papa and Tsallis (1996). We conclude with some comments on possible future roles for shape space paradigm and what restrictions may be required based on our findings.