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 Next stop Morocco: EU partners test innovative space robotics technologies in the Sahara desert
09.11.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht A burst of ”synchronous” light
08.11.2018 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>