Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Universal software, universal appeal

01.09.2005


The vision of global applications is a step closer with the development of tools to create software that can work on any device.



The DEGAS project initially defined the key elements of a software program that are common to all devices, like security, and then separated those device-specific functions.

"Essentially, we wanted to address the problem caused by heterogeneous networks, because currently content and software cannot be used on any device or operating system," says project coordinator Mr Corrado Priami of the computer and telecommunications department of Italy’s University of Trento.


Heterogeneous networks – ones with a wide variety of different devices like PCs, PDAs and even mobile phones – are already a major part of modern life.

But designing software for such networks is a nightmare. Each device uses a different operating system, and uses different applications, which can’t easily talk to each other. It’s a costly problem creating enormous inefficiencies and DEGAS has gone a long way to solving it.

The project developed a theory to handle heterogeneous networks and produced a set of tools to write software for use on a broad range of devices. Specifically, they developed a mobile adventure game and a mobile commerce solution.

In fact, the project was so successful that industrial partner Motorola immediately began commercial deployment of the mobile e-commerce software it developed, which works on a wide variety of handsets.

The team used a standard protocol, called Universal Modelling Language (UML) to design the key elements of the game and e-commerce software. "The main idea is that when you have to compile an application towards a specific device you can decide at which level of the process you start differentiating the application for a particular architecture," says Priami.

So, the team developed a core programme that’s the same for all devices. With this approach they simply required compilers to adapt the very low-level intermediate language to individual devices.

One of the team’s coups was to develop most analysis tasks – like performance predictions for instance, or security checks – at the logical or universal level. This simplifies application development enormously. Another coup was the development of formal analysis and validation tools for application development. "We were able to push these tools in the standard development process of applications. That is now for instance used inside Motorola," says Priami.

This ensures that the software works correctly, making the program more secure and easier to develop. The team also got a very practical demonstration of the power of formal analysis and validation. They were able to find faults with real protocols that are currently in use.

"Project partner IMM found a flaw in version 1.1 of the Single Sign-On Protocol through analysis." Says Priami. "It’s another guarantee for producing high-quality software. The team developed tools that ensure that there cannot be a breach in security when the software is running in a network if certain conditions are satisfied. What’s more, performance in the final application will not suffer when the customer places constraints on the system." These constraints are customer personalisation, like allowing his or her device to receive incoming messages, for example.

The team did build one demonstrator, a mobile massive multiplayer online role-playing game – or MMMORG for short. Essentially it’s a mobile adventure game, which many people can play at once. DEGAS’ trick here was to keep the server at the centre of the game very small, with most of the game controls run on the specific device. That way the latency issues that dog wireless games – where slow connections can ruin good games – are overcome, because the games need to send very little information to the server.

"We also developed a peer-to-peer protocol that allowed the devices to talk to each other without having a central control, and this is very good application. In particular, our formal analysis and validation tool were able to refine the communication protocol for security and performance. We made a demonstration of this application. I felt it was very impressive," says Priami proudly.

Theoretically this approach could be applied to any architecture, or device, running any operating system. "Yes, theoretically, because we make no underlying assumptions about the physical hardware," says Priami. "This is another of our breakthroughs."

The team will now continue their work to develop their innovations. Currently the tools are in prototype, they are suitable for academic research but they are not ready to be used in the market.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smart Computers
21.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>