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Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Gutierrez C.,Complutense University of Madrid | Garcia-Magarino I.,Open University of Madrid | Fuentes-Fernandez R.,Complutense University of Madrid
Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Communication design is usually complex in Multi-Agent Systems (MAS) because of dynamic emergent behaviours. The lack of proper quantitative measures to assess alternative solutions and guide an iterative development makes this design even harder. The aim of this work is to efficiently find and describe communication patterns that should be avoided in these systems and identify the agents involved in these patterns. For this purpose, this research presents a suite of novel metrics and classification rules that, respectively, measure agents' communication and classify their results to describe patterns. This work also provides tools for automatically measuring the metrics and applying the classification rules. In order to evaluate this work, the results of applying these metrics and classification rules have been compared with the quality attribute of performance in several MAS. Performance is measured as the time between a user's request and the MAS response, and partially represents the factor of the quality of service. The experiments gather four agent-oriented communication designs that belong to two different domains: Crisis-management and Cinema ticket selling. The study reveals that the detected communication patterns are related with performance, and that the proposed metrics can arguably guide the design of communications improving the overall performance of systems. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Rodriguez D.,University of Alcala | Sicilia M.A.,University of Alcala | Sanchez-Alonso S.,University of Alcala | Lezcano L.,University of Alcala | And 2 more authors.
Interactive Learning Environments

The online interaction of learners and tutors in activities with concrete objectives provides a valuable source of data that can be analyzed for different purposes. One of these purposes is the use of the information extracted from that interaction to aid tutors and learners in decision making about either the configuration of further learning activities or the filtering of learning resources. This article explores the use of an affiliation network model for such kind of purposes. Concretely, the use of techniques such as blockmodeling - a technique used to derive meaningful patterns of relationships in the network - and the analysis of m-slices - a technique helpful to study cohesion in relationships - are explored as tools to decide on the configuration of topics and/or learner groups. In particular, the results of the case study show that such techniques can be used to (i) filter participants for rearranging groups; (ii) rearrange topics of interest; and (iii) dynamically change the structure of a course. The techniques presented can be considered a case of collaborative filtering based on social network structure. © 2011 Taylor & Francis. Source

Lizcano D.,Open University of Madrid | Alonso F.,Technical University of Madrid | Soriano J.,Technical University of Madrid | Lopez G.,Technical University of Madrid
Information and Software Technology

Context: This paper addresses one of the major end-user development (EUD) challenges, namely, how to pack today's EUD support tools with composable elements. This would give end users better access to more components which they can use to build a solution tailored to their own needs. The success of later end-user software engineering (EUSE) activities largely depends on how many components each tool has and how adaptable components are to multiple problem domains. Objective: A system for automatically adapting heterogeneous components to a common development environment would offer a sizeable saving of time and resources within the EUD support tool construction process. This paper presents an automated adaptation system for transforming EUD components to a standard format. Method: This system is based on the use of description logic. Based on a generic UML2 data model, this description logic is able to check whether an end-user component can be transformed to this modelling language through subsumption or as an instance of the UML2 model. Besides it automatically finds a consistent, non-ambiguous and finite set of XSLT mappings to automatically prepare data in order to leverage the component as part of a tool that conforms to the target UML2 component model. Results: The proposed system has been successfully applied to components from four prominent EUD tools. These components were automatically converted to a standard format. In order to validate the proposed system, rich internet applications (RIA) used as an operational support system for operators at a large services company were developed using automatically adapted standard format components. These RIAs would be impossible to develop using each EUD tool separately. Conclusion: The positive results of applying our system for automatically adapting components from current tool catalogues are indicative of the system's effectiveness. Use of this system could foster the growth of web EUD component catalogues, leveraging a vast ecosystem of user-centred SaaS to further current EUSE trends. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Lizcano D.,Open University of Madrid | Alonso F.,Technical University of Madrid | Soriano J.,Technical University of Madrid | Lopez G.,Technical University of Madrid
Journal of Systems and Software

Enabling real end-user development is the next logical stage in the evolution of Internet-wide service-based applications. Successful composite applications rely on heavyweight service orchestration technologies that raise the bar far above end-user skills. This weakness can be attributed to the fact that the composition model does not satisfy end-user needs rather than to the actual infrastructure technologies. In our opinion, the best way to overcome this weakness is to offer end-to-end composition from the user interface to service invocation, plus an understandable abstraction of building blocks and a visual composition technique empowering end users to develop their own applications. In this paper, we present a visual framework for end users, called FAST, which fulfils this objective. FAST implements a novel composition model designed to empower non-programmer end users to create and share their own self-service composite applications in a fully visual fashion. We projected the development environment implementing this model as part of the European FP7 FAST Project, which was used to validate the rationale behind our approach. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Guillen-Gamez F.D.,Open University of Madrid | Garcia-Magarino I.,University of Zaragoza
Journal of E-Learning and Knowledge Society

Nowadays, one of the key challenges for distance education is to be able to verify the students’ identity in order to check if they are actually who they claim to be when they are doing their online tasks and to avoid identity thief. This can be achieved through facial authentication software. In e-learning, thanks to this technology there is a way to confirm that the students are not committing fraud in their studies and besides to improve this kind of education by equaling its validity and prestige to traditional face-to-face education. The goal of this research is to avoid fake users that perform educational tasks on behalf of others in the Learning Management Systems (LMSs), and more specifically to develop a new technique to design activities with glossaries that properly allow control of the student learning process through facial authentication software. The presented technique is composed of several steps that guide instructors in the elaboration of this kind of activities. This work has used Moodle platform for the experimentation, and analyzes the experience of 67 students with the activities designed with the presented technique. © 2015, Giunti. All rights reserved. Source

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