SATNAC 2007 Conference Papers


Title:                   ** An Information Filtering Agent for Customer Service Delivery Using Single Authoring

Authors:              Michael O. Adeyeye  (University of Cape Town),
Neco Ventura (University of Cape Town), Atayero A. Aderemi (Covenant University, Nigeria)

Abstract:             Many customers are displeased with the customer service responses given by their service providers or product suppliers while there may not be any response in some cases. In Human-to-Human interaction (H2H), problems encountered by customers include delayed response time, inconsistent solutions to enquires and inadequate access channels. A Human-to-System (H2S) interaction is proposed here. This proposed solution is a multi-channel application called Interactive Customer Service Agent (ICSA). It will provide three media of interaction namely phone, web and voice browsing with a customer service centre using Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT); and it will filter response based on Full-Text Search Technique.


Title:                   An Investigation into the Hardware Abstraction Layer of the Plural Node Architecture for IEEE 1394 Audio Devices

Authors:              Nyasha Chigwamba (Rhodes University),
Richard Foss (Rhodes University) 

Abstract:             Yamaha Corporation introduced the concept of a music Local Area Network (mLAN) which uses IEEE 1394 as its underlying network technology. Second generation mLAN is based on the Plural Node Architecture which splits connection management of audio devices over two nodes, namely a Transporter and an Enabler. A client/server implementation exists which enables mLAN connection management to be done via TCP/IP. The Open Generic Transporter (OGT) specification was introduced to provide an open interface between the Enabler and Transporter. This paper describes how the current mLAN Transporter Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) Application Programming Interface (API) has been modified to exploit all the benefits introduced by the OGT concept while maintaining backwards compatibility with Transporters based on the current HAL API.

Title:                   Development of a web-based interface for remote monitoring long-distance power transmission overhead lines

Authors:              Sibukele Gumbo (University of Fort Hare),
Hyppolite Muyingi (University of Fort Hare) 

Abstract:             The system described in this paper aims at acquiring, storing and displaying data collected from a wireless sensor network. Various open source tools have been used in the development and implementation of the system for remote monitoring and reporting temporal changes of a long distance power transmission line.


Title:                   ** Intelligent User Interfaces for Contact Centres

Authors:              Bronwin Anastasia Jason (Nelson Mandela Metroploitan University),
Andre Calitz (Nelson Mandela Metroploitan University) 

Abstract:             Contact centres have had a major impact on the way business is conducted today and have become an important component in the service industry. Researchers initially believed that contact centres represented the first wave of electronic commerce i.e. conducting business online. Companies are expecting higher productivity from their contact centre personnel to remain competitive and reduce costs. Contact centres must take advantage of the latest technological advancements such as improved computer-user interfaces. Intelligent User Interfaces can be considered the next wave of computer-user interfaces. They aim to amplify the rate of information flow by delivering interaction between the user and the computer that is efficient, effective and natural. The focus of this research is to develop and evaluate an intelligent user interface for a service desk at the NMMU in order to determine if the interface could possibly be extended to provide more efficient and effective contact centre customer support.


Title:                   A Requirements Metamodel Framework for Enhancing Product Adoption

Authors:              Salah Kemilembe Kabanda (University of Zululand),
Matthew Adigun (University of Zululand), Tarirai Chani (University of Zululand)

Abstract:             The body of knowledge on Product Line Software Engineering is an emerging paradigm alternative to developing software systems from scratch. However, it will only be adopted if it helps enterprises maximize their profits. Whether this investment results in greater profit depends on the particular methodologies and strategy adopted. A number of methodologies have been proposed, with most requiring a requirement metamodel to be constructed as a basis for documenting domain artifacts using three components, namely (i) functional requirement; (ii) non functional requirement component; (iii) and a variation component, which captures variation points. In this paper we argue that a domain is not only comprised of these elements, but in addition is a merger of those components with operating context such as users, policies, and culture which affect product adoption and acceptance rate. The paper proposes a requirement metamodel framework that not only serves as a construct of the business sub process, but also serves as a basis for understanding, interpreting and predicting user’s views and adoption rate.


Title:                   An Open-Source Forensics Platform

Authors:              Renico Koen (University of Pretoria),
Martin Olivier (University of Pretoria) 

Abstract:             Digital forensics plays a crucial part in the investigation of crimes involving electronic equipment. Masses of digital evidence collected at a crime scene will have to be analyzed by digital forensics experts in an attempt to discover how a digital crime was committed and by whom. This is a labour-intensive and timeconsuming process which can be improved using specially designed digital tools. This paper proposes an open-source forensics platform that may be used as a base for other digital forensics projects. The proposed forensics platform may be used by researchers as a base to develop digital forensics research prototypes and by industry to conduct digital investigations after it has become apparent that a digital crime has been committed. This aim of proposed platform project is enable researchers to develop forensic prototypes more rapidly and help to ensure the quality of the forensics tools making use of the platform.

Title:                   Probabilistic Tracking of Moving Hands in Video Sequences with Applications to Dynamic Gesture Recognition on Mobile Handsets

Authors:              Addmore Machanja (University of the Western Cape),
Vladimir Bajic (South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI)) 

Abstract:             The ability for computers to visually recognize and track human hand motion is important for a wide range of applications in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). Though it is effortless for the human eye to locate and track gesturing hands in video sequences, it is far more complex for computers to achieve this tracking. Hand tracking typically fails in the absence of perfect hand segmentation. Many hand movement video-based segmentation algorithms have been proposed in the literature. However, these algorithms remain largely inefficient, imprecise and insufficient. This paper presents a robust segmentation and tracking algorithm. The algorithm first extracts a small list of candidate hand regions from the image data by combining edge, motion and skin color information. The resulting skin-colored maps are usually contaminated by noise, and hence morphological filtering techniques are applied to alleviate the impact of noise. We implement an improved bordertracing algorithm in order to isolate connected regions in the output image. A statistical feature set that uniquely defines each connected region is extracted. In each subsequent image frame, the tracking algorithm aligns each segmented region with the best candidate hand region from the previous set of hand candidates. This is achieved by grouping together all regions with similar data patterns and disposing of all regions with non-persistent data patterns. Simulation results of our algorithm demonstrate improved segmentation and tracking results.


Title:                   Acquisition of a Symbian Smart phone's Content with an On-Phone Forensic Tool

Authors:              Pontjho Matthew Mokhonoana (University of Pretoria),
Martin Olivier (University of Pretoria) 

Abstract:             A smart phone is a handheld device that combines the functionality of a cellphone, a personal digital assistant (PDA) and other information appliances such a music player. These devices can however be used in a crime and would have to be quickly analysed for evidence. This data is collected using either a forensic tool which resides on a PC or specialised hardware. This paper proposes the use of an on-phone forensic tool to collect the contents of the device and store it on removable storage. This approach requires less equipment and can retrieve the volatile information that resides on the phone such as running processes. The paper discusses the Symbian operating system, the evidence that is stored on the device and contrasts the approach with that followed by other tools.


Title:                   Bridging the gap for Next Generation Services: Presence Services on Legacy Devices

Authors:              Thamsanqa Moyo (Rhodes University),
Mamello Thinyane (Rhodes University), Madeleine Wright (Rhodes University), Barry Irwin (Rhodes University), Peter Clayton, (Rhodes University), Alfredo Terzoli (Rhodes University)

Abstract:             Next generation services are provided by applications that leverage packet-based domains. A challenge faced by such services is the support for multiple devices, including legacy devices. Our paper examines a strategy for the provision of next generation services on legacy cellular network devices. We advocate that the provision of next generation services via applications on the SIM card allows for the deployment of such services on legacy devices. We demonstrate this assertion through a proof of concept application, SIMPre, that resides on a SIM card. SIMPre implements a presence service by leveraging Java Card, the SIM Application Toolkit and the OMA IMPS standard. We show that it is possible to provide a next generation service on the SIM card such that it ubiquitously  integrates with the functionality of a legacy device. We conclude through this demonstration that the SIM card is a viable option for providing backward compatibility to legacy devices in the implementation of next generation services.


Title:                   Image Segmentation by Weighted Aggregation with Gradient Orientation Histograms

Authors:              Rory Tait Neilson (University of KwaZulu-Natal),
Bashan Naidoo (University of KwaZulu-Natal), Stephen McDonald (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Abstract:             This paper reviews the Segmentation by Weighted Aggregation (SWA) image segmentation scheme developed and proposes the use of gradient orientation histograms (GOH) to further differentiate between segment textures. The SWA approach uses an Algebraic Multi-Grid inspired technique to approximate regions that correspond to a minimum in a normalised cuts cost function. The SWA scheme is a multi-scale approach, decomposing an image into a hierarchical pyramid structure, allowing the detection of segments of all scales. The SWA algorithm allows the incorporation of a multitude of aggregate properties to better discriminate segments. This paper outlines the use of GOH’s in this respect as opposed to the traditional shape moments.


Title:                   Adapting Web Content for Telephone Users by transcoding XSLT

Authors:              Mduduzi Nxumalo (University of Cape Town),
Daniel Mashao (University of Cape Town) 

Abstract:             The goal of ubiquitous computing is to make information access available anytime, anywhere using any device. However, this comes at the expense of hard work from developers, producing multiple variants of the same information to cater for different user contexts. Different transcoding techniques based on annotating HyperText Markup Language (HTML) have been proposed. This paper proposes transcoding the Extensible Style Sheet Language (XSLT) which transforms back-end Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents into HTML or XHTML for presentation on the Web, to produce the XSLT which transforms the same XML documents to VoiceXML for presentation to telephone users.


Title:                   Cold-Starting Collaborative Filtering Content Recommenders for Mobile Phones

Authors:              Indika Piyasena (University of Cape Town),
Anthony Chan (University of Cape Town) 

Abstract:             Mobile phones coupled with 3G technology can provide technologically impoverished communities access to web services. Such access, however, is impractical because mobile phone interfaces are cumbersome to use. Hierarchical menus and search engines pose an interaction barrier to the unfamiliar. In order to address both these issues, we design a content recommender system to recommend relevant content to the user. Collaborative filtering is a technique that passively gathers user preferences, identifies users with similar interests, and then makes predictions on unobserved items. A multitude of the algorithms have been developed and have been evaluated for predictive accuracy. Yet, they have not been evaluated in the coldstart scenarios with respect to how quickly these algorithms can identify user preferences. Two user based collaborative filtering algorithms were evaluated empirically on the MovieLens dataset; Pearson correlation and vector similarity. Vector similarity  convincingly outperforms Pearson correlation by identifying preferred items ten times faster. This conclusion is to be confirmed on other datasets. The success of the collaborative filtering algorithms is attributed to a large density of user ratings. Further research is to be required on how to ensure reliable recommendations without the availability of such data.


Title:                   Connection Management Applications for High-Speed Audio Networking

Authors:              Phathisile Sibanda (Rhodes University),
Greg Foster (Rhodes University), Richard Foss (Rhodes University)

Abstract:             Traditionally connection management pplications, also known as patchbays, for highspeed audio networking have been predominantly developed using third generation languages such as C++ and C. Due to the rapid increase in distributed audio/video network usage in the world today, connection management applications that control signal routing over these networks have also evolved in complexity to accommodate the required functionality. This has led to a need among highspeed audio networking application developers for a tool that will enable them to develop connection management pplications easily and within the shortest possible time. In addition, this tool should provide them with the reliability and flexibility required by applications controlling signal routing in networks carrying realtime data. Highspeed audio networks are used for various purposes that include audio/video production and broadcasting. This paper presents an investigation evaluating the possibility of using Adobe Flash for developing connection management applications. Broadcast and Studio were considered for this investigation. Findings indicate that complex connection management applications can effectively be implemented with the Flash IDE and ActionScript.


Title:                   Designing an Intelligent User Interface for Contact Centres

Authors:              Akash Singh (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University),
Janet Wesson (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) 

Abstract:             Contact centres (CCs) are organisational units that aim to achieve an elevated sense of loyalty and satisfaction from customers and employees whilst keeping the operational cost at a minimum. Currently seventeen percent of all calls received by CCs are not resolved on the first call. This is due to the inability of the contact centre agents (CCAs) to diagnose the problem and find an adequate solution. The aim of this paper is to discuss the development of a model and prototype that employs an intelligent user  interface (IUI) in order to improve CC operations.


Title:                   Reflection on three years of rural wireless Internet Protocol communication research and fieldwork

Authors:              William D. Tucker (University of the Western Cape),
Edwin H. Blake (University of Cape Town), Gary Marsden (University of Cape Town), Murray Pearson (University of Waikato, New Zealand), Rudi Westerveld (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)

Abstract:             This paper reports on three years of research and fieldwork with a rural wireless Internet Protocol communication project. We built a long-range WiFi network and custom communication software to support a rural telehealth project in the remote Eastern Cape. We report on our work using cellular networks, devices and applications as reference technologies because our users and beneficiaries are very comfortable with them. Of most concern are the technological and contextual issues affecting take up of the systems we designed. The paper intends to provide a summary analysis of our experience so that others in the field can learn from our successes and mistakes with respect to rural Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) in a South African context.


Title:                   Development of a real-time face recognition system for access control

Authors:              Desmond van Wyk (University of the Western Cape),
James Connan (University of the Western Cape)  

Abstract:             Face recognition is an active field of research with many applications. This paper discusses the development of a face recognition system that operates in real-time. For our system we make use of Multi Layer Perceptron Neural Networks and use the backpropagation weight update rule for training. We train one network per person to perform face recognition. Evaluation of our system is performed with respect to false acceptance and false rejection errors to compute the equal error. One of our goals was to perform as little image pre-processing as possible and to still obtain a low equal error.


Title:                   Tuning the Linux Kernel

Authors:              Long Yi (University of the Western Cape),
James Connan (University of the Western Cape) 

Abstract:             Linux continues to attract telecommunication industry attention. Optimising the Linux kernel can improve system performance and reduce system total costs. The Linux kernel has a large number of parameters to fine-tune system performance available to the system administrator. We focus on the kernel parameters that are most relevant to adjust for improving performance for specific system classes. We optimise the Linux kernel for two important applications: Web servers and Database servers. The results show that our optimised GNU/Linux system running the Kernel 2.4.29 achieves effective performance improvements.

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