SATNAC 2009 Conference Papers


Title:                A Panoramic Video System


Authors:            Imran Achmed (University of Western Cape), James Connan (University of Western Cape)


Abstract:           Video systems are used to present visual data to users. In this paper we discuss the development of a panoramic video system using off-the-shelf commodity hardware. This system captures multiple video sequences using multiple cameras, with each camera at a specified angle. Each video sequence has a limited field-of-view. The video sequences are transferred to a computer where the panoramic video system merges the video sequences to form a single wide field-of-view video. The system makes use of tools such as Barrel Transformation, Perspective Transformation, Gray-scaling, Edge Detection and Chamfer Distance Transformation.


Title:                Talker Dependencies Factor in Analyzing Listening Quality on Perceptual Speech Quality Measurements


Authors:            Philip Adar (Telkom Kenya, Kenya), Damien Chatelain (Tshwane University of Technology), Marcel Odhimabo (University of South Africa)


Abstract:           Talker dependency attributes of the voiced speech such as pitch and harmonic characteristics have considerable importance and influence on speaker identification. The loss of these attributes, especially on a speech signal transmitted through a communication network may render the received speech difficult to recognize. This is one aspect of speech quality degradation which has not been exhaustively researched in the context of perceptual speech quality estimation in cellular networks. This paper proposes an enhancement algorithm that is useful as a refinement technique of the existing perceptual quality measurement algorithms. Laboratory and field experiments conducted in this study indicate that considerable improvements on Mean Opinion Score (MOS) correlations can be achieved by incorporating these new parameters as factors that influence overall speech quality.


Title:                Impact of Consumer Involvement in Grid SLA Creation


Authors:            Tarirai Chani (University of Zululand), Edgar Jembere (University of Zululand), Salah Kabanda (University of Zululand), Bethel Mutanga (University of Zululand), Mathew Adigun (University of Zululand)


Abstract:           Service Level Agreements (SLAs) have been identified as an important tool in guaranteeing QoS in Grid service provisioning and consumption in commercial Grids. SLA templates are commonly drawn and predefined by Grid service providers. However, due to the rigidity exhibited by this existing provider initiated (PI) technique, service consumers are reluctant to take up the use of commercial Grid. We propose a consumer-initiated approach to SLA template creation (C-SLA) which makes use of the Weighted Euclidean Distance Function to select an SLA template appropriate to an individual consumer. Furthermore, we evaluate the impact of this approach on consumer satisfaction as compared to the classical PI approach to determine the possibility of our approach, C-SLA, being a viable solution to be implemented to strengthen the uptake of SLAs by SMMEs in the commercial Grid enterprise.


Title:                Designing an Adaptive Mobile Tourist Guide


Authors:            Ryan Hill (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), Janet Wesson (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)


Abstract:           Today’s mobile computing devices provide a convenient means to search for points-of-interest (POIs) such as restaurants and accommodation. These devices however, have several design constraints including limited screen space and hardware capabilities. Adaptive User Interfaces (AUIs) have been proposed to address these issues but have not been extensively applied to mobile tourist guides. A recent field study was conducted in order to determine the adaptation requirements for an existing mobile tourist guide called POInter. This paper discusses the analysis of the field study results and details a list of user requirements for an adaptive mobile tourist. A model-based design approach for an adaptive mobile tourist guide is discussed together with appropriate algorithms to achieve the adaptation required.


Title:                Augmenting an e-Commerce Service for Marginalized Communities: A Rewards Based Marketing Approach


Authors:            Nobert Jere (University of Fort Hare), Mamello Thinyane (University of Fort Hare), Alfredo Terzoli (University of Fort Hare)


Abstract:           Information and Communication technologies (ICTs) have been widely deployed in developmental programmes and this has lead to the creation of a new field – ICT for development (ICT4D). Many e-Commerce platforms now exist in rural areas of developing countries. ICT4D allows Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in rural areas to increase sales and gain the market share on the global market. However, many of these ICT4D projects in marginalized areas fail because, marginalized areas lack the required resources to support ICTs. SMMEs in rural areas face problems in marketing their products on the global market. Therefore, ensuring sustainability of such systems in marginalized areas is important. This paper explains an e-marketing strategy through a reward based negotiation application, aimed at improving the existing e-Commerce platform. The e-Commerce platform has been deployed for the Dwesa community. Dwesa is a rural area in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.


Title:                Rich Representation and Visualisation of Time-Series Data


Authors:            Simon Kerr (Rhodes University), Greg Foster (Rhodes University), Barry Irwin (Rhodes University)


Abstract:           Currently the majority of data is visualized using static graphs and tables. However, static graphs still leave much to be desired and provide only a small insight into trends and changes between values. We propose a move away from purely static representations of data towards a more fluid and understandable environment for data representation. This is achieved through the use of an application which animates time based data. Animating time based data allows one to see nuances within a dataset from a more comprehensive perspective. This is especially useful within the time based data rich telecommunications industry. The application comprises of two parts - the backend manages raw data which is then passed to the frontend for animation. A play function allows one to play through a time series. Which creates a fluid and dynamic environment for exploring data. Both the advantages and disadvantages of this approach are investigated and an application is introduced which can be used to animate and explore datasets.


Title:                Open Source VoiceXML Interpreter Over Asterisk for Use in IVR Applications


Authors:            Lerato Lerato (National University of Lesotho, Lesotho), Lehlohonolo Khoase (National University of Lesotho, Lesotho), Maletšabisa Molapo (National University of Lesotho, Lesotho)


Abstract:           Much research into building the voice extensible markup language (VoiceXML) interpreters has taken place under commercial setup. This limits researchers who investigate VoiceXML-based IVR applications. This paper presents the upgrading of the open source VoiceXML interpreter, Voxy, which operates over Asterisk as its telephony platform. This software will later be released for open source consumption.  So far the open source VoiceXML interpreters include: JVoiceXML, OpenVXI and Voxy.  Voxy is the only one that works with Asterisk and therefore was regarded as a starting point. The result found is that the enhanced Voxy has now improved from 6.33% to 96.20% compliancy with the W3C VoiceXML 2.1 standard. The interpreter only uses DTMF for interaction with users. The utilisation of text-to-speech and automatic speech recognition related components will be dealt with as part of the future work.


Title:                Enhancing Human Capacity and Empowerment: A Heuristic Approach in Designing an Efficient Help and Support Application in a Marginalized Setting


Authors:            Farai Makombe (University of Fort Hare), Mamello Thinyane (University of Fort Hare), Alfredo Terzoli (University of Fort Hare)


Abstract:           The massive roll-out of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT’s) has led to a drastic rise in the use of  the technology on a global scale resulting in society shifting from a hierarchical industrial model to a vertically organized networked society where people participate and contribute rather than only consuming information. As a way of bridging the digital divide, developing countries have also joined the ICT bandwagon allowing the disarmament of social stereotypes and prejudices at the same time empowering members of disadvantaged communities or other minority groups. Empowering people by giving them access to ICT facilities enhances, liberates and nourishes human capacity provided the necessary education and training structures are in place to use them effectively. In a bid to avoid a digital dilemma where deployed ICT’s are not helping to improve the lives of marginalized communities, our paper discusses the critical factors behind designing an integrated help and support application to promote the maximum utilisation of the multi-purpose ICT platform which has been deployed in Dwesa a marginalized setting in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.


Title:                M-Payment System for Service Delivery in a Wireless Village Context


Authors:            Handsome Mpofu (University of Fort Hare), Mamello Thinyane (University of Fort Hare), Alfredo Terzoli (University of Fort Hare)


Abstract:           Poverty, poor infrastructure and insufficient skills development in rural regions present a stumbling block in improving the socio-economic conditions of the marginalised regions. Identifying opportunities to introduce Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has seen researchers emerge with solutions to help alleviate poverty and create employment for the inhabitants in the rural regions. With the cellular networks in South Africa covering approximately 90% of the country, mobile phones have opened an opportunity for researchers to offer mobile based solutions. This paper presents a mobile payment system called M-Payment which consists of two user-driven mobile services for marginalised regions. The M-Payment system allows rural users to buy electricity and transfer airtime money using available service infrastructure and their mobile phones.


Title:                Gesture Recognition Using Feature Vectors


Authors:            Nathan Naidoo (University of Western Cape), James Connan (University of Western Cape)


Abstract            This paper presents a unique approach to sign language recognition. Central to this approach is a dynamic segmentation procedure, which extracts a high level description of hand movements. A distinct sign signature is generated for each sign and is described by a feature vector.  Several feature vectors of a signed phrase or word is then used to train a Hidden Markov Model (HMM). A database of HMM which denotes different signs is then constructed.  A feature vector of an “unknown” sign is then sent to the database. The HMM which produces the highest probability is then chosen as the most likely to have produced sign. 


Title:                gPF: A GPU Accelerated Packet Classification Tool


Authors:            Alastair Nottingham (Rhodes University), Barry Irwin (Rhodes University)


Abstract:           This paper outlines the design of gPF, a fast packet classifier optimised for parallel execution on current generation graphics hardware. Specifically, gPF leverages both the potential for both the parallel classification of packets at runtime, and the use of evolutionary mechanisms, in the form of a GPGPU genetic algorithm, to produce contextually optemised filter permutations in order to reduce redundancy and improve the per-packet throughput rate of the resultant filter program. This paper demonstrates that these optimisations have significant potential for improving packet classification speeds, particularly with regard to bulk packet processing and saturated network environments.


Title:                A Customer Profile Model Using a Service-Oriented Architecture


Authors:            Felix Ntawanga (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), Andre Calitz (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), Lynette Barnard (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)


Abstract:           Customer profiling has gained much recognition in the e-commerce domain because of the benefits it is capable of bringing to online businesses. Online businesses utilise customer profiles to assist implementing one-to-one marketing strategies in order to attract new customers and retain existing customers. Personalisation is one successful method used by online businesses to implement one-to-one marketing strategies and research has revealed that personalisation can improve customers’ satisfaction levels, purchasing behaviour, loyalty and consequently increase sales. Organisations are increasingly adopting and implementing e-commerce systems using service-oriented architecture (SOA) principles. Incorporating customer profiling into SOA e-commerce systems is vital for survival and success on the competitive Internet environment. This research set out to investigate how a customer profile can be developed and implemented using SOA and how customer profiles can be used to provide appropriate personalisation in a SOA environment. The research further endeavour to complete a comparative study on customer profile implementation in SOA and other existing architectures such as client-server.


Title:                An Evaluation of a Mobile Phone Platform as a Convergent Technology for Text Based Communication


Authors:            Curtis Sahd (Rhodes University), Hannah Thinyane (Rhodes University), Mamello Thinyane (Rhodes University)


Abstract:           This paper investigates inexpensive means of communication through the use of instant messaging, text messaging over Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), and mobile email. It describes ThEm, a suite of applications consisting of an instant messenger, text messenger, and email application. All applications have been designed in such a way so as to make best use of the intermittent data connections on cell phone networks in South Africa. Mobile users have access to much fewer services and computing power than their wire-connected counterparts. Since the convenience of mobility is fast becoming a reality, it is important to pay considerable attention to the design and ease of use of software designed for such devices [1]. This paper first presents ThEm, and then describes an evaluation undertaken to compare one particular component of ThEm against Mxit, a leading off the shelf instant messaging client. This comparison is performed along the following three facets: core functionality timing, user interface evaluation and timing, and user testing and evaluation.


Title:                Implementation of an e-Judiciary Service for Traditional Justice Administration in Dwesa-Cwebe


Authors:            Mfundo Scott (University of Fort Hare), Mamello Thinyane (University of Fort Hare), Alfredo Terzoli (University of Fort Hare)


Abstract:           The digital divide is one of the main factors contributing towards slow rural development. One major area where the digital divide is still prevalent is in the administration of justice. This is a common scenario especially in the administration of justice using the traditional procedures. The legal and judiciary services are lagging behind in terms of technological developments and scientific advancements. This is due to the fact that the judicial officers and legal authorities have no adequate knowledge and experience about the benefits of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This paper describes an Electronic Judiciary Service from a developmental perspective for a rural marginalized community. The designed e-Judiciary service serves as a method of embedding ICT in the legal and judicial services of the Dwesa-Cwebe marginalized community.


Title:                Real-Time Gesture Recognition Using Eigenvectors


Authors:            Vaughn Segers (University of Western Cape)


Abstract:           This paper discusses an implementation for gesture recognition using eigenvectors under controlled conditions. This application of eigenvector recognition is trained on a set of defined hand images. Training images are processed using eigen techniques from the OpenCV image processing library. Test images are then compared in real-time. These techniques are outlined below.


Title:                An Adaptive User Interface Model Using a Service Oriented Architecture


Authors:            Emile Senga (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), Andre Calitz (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), Jean Greyling (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University)


Abstract            The advancement of computing technology has allowed organisations to store and manage an increasing quantity of data and information on a variety of platforms. Integrating systems on these platforms by way of enterprise architecture paradigms such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has become popular. However, the focus of this paradigm has been on functional services and the communication between services. The alignment between user interfaces (UI) and SOA is not widely discussed. As a result, SOA implementations do not take advantage of the potential of SOA in the delivery of the UI to end users. This problem is the main focus of the study. Furthermore, presentation of information is not based on the characteristics of the end users. In this paper a model is presented which utilises an SOA architecture and web services to generate an adaptive UI (AUI). AUI techniques are employed to adapt the UI of web services depending on the inferred expertise of users and the service profile.


Title:                Peer-to-Peer Web Services for Distributed Rural ICTs


Authors:            Ronald Wertlen (University of Fort Hare), Alfredo Terzoli (University of Fort Hare)


Abstract:           In this paper we look at the context and design of a distributed web services platform called P2PMW. P2PMW uses  P2P principles to automatically build a robust network with flexible routing and practically no administrative overhead in order to share resources between nodes. P2PMW uses open source and widely adopted standards. Our argument is that the context of rural ICTs is being shaped by high speed wireless networks with limited span that we call “islands” and that the architecture we introduce is a good fit for the context. We further argue that by employing widely adopted open standards and open source software, we can speed the development of effective custom made applications for marginalised rural areas. P2PMW is built in Java using the Spring framework and JXTA.


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