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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents


On the 10th Anniversary of ACM's Digital Library

 When ACM launched its pioneering Digital Library a decade ago, it was one of the first professional societies to offer its members—and the broader computing community—a digital repository of its publications. At launch, the …
DEPARTMENT: Executive editor's corner

Jim Gray: Humble Visionary: Humble Visionary

"Visionary" and "humble" are words often used in the same breath by friends and colleagues to describe Gray. His contributions to computer science are too numerous to tackle on …
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the editor

Letters to the Editor: Even Science Would Benefit From Auctions

In "designing the Perfect Auction" (Aug. 2008), Hal R. Varian noted that such auctions have many practical and obvious applications, including in Web advertising, cooperative robotics …

A First Look at the Redesigned Site

Here's a first look at the revised Communications Web site. The design is mostly complete, and development is in full swing. These images convey the site's energy and abundance, …

Damage Control

The U.S. patent system is overdue for reform, but what needs fixing, and how, is a matter of some dispute.

Analyzing Online Social Networks

Social network analysis explains why some sites succeed and others fail, how physical and online social networks differ and are alike, and attempts to predict how they will evolve.

The Limits of Computability

Computational complexity and intractability may help scientists better understand how humans process information and make decisions.
COLUMN: Viewpoints

Economic and Business Dimensions: Search Engine Advertising

Examining a profitable side of the long tail of advertising that is not possible under the traditional broadcast advertising model.

Cyber Privacy and Security Pose Difficult Problems

It's not just science or engineering that will be needed to address security concerns, but law, economics, anthropology, and more.

Legally Speaking: Quantafying the Value of Patent Exhaustion

Should patents confer power to restrict reuses and redistributions of products embodying the whole or essential parts of inventions?

Education: Reprogramming College Preparatory Computer Science

The college preparatory computer science education curriculum must be improved, beginning with the earliest phases of the process.
SECTION: Practice

Real-World Concurrency

What does the proliferation of concurrency mean for the software you develop?

Software Transactional Memory: Why Is It Only a Research Toy?

The promise of STM may likely be undermined by its overheads and workload applicabilities.

CTO Roundtable on Virtualization: Part I

Virtualization technology is hot again, but for the right reasons?
SECTION: Contributed articles

A Tribute to Jim Gray

We knew him as both scholar and friend.

Jim Gray, Astronomer

How he helped develop the SkyServer, delivering computation directly to terabytes of astronomical data.
SECTION: Review article

The Convergence of Social and Technological Networks

Internet-based data on human interaction connects scientific inquiry like never before.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: The Polaris Tableau System

Jim Gray nominated the Polaris paper for the Research Highlights section and wrote the first draft of this Technical Perspective in November 2006. David Patterson revised the essay in August 2008.

Polaris: A System For Query, Analysis, and Visualization of Multidimensional Databases

In this paper, we address these demands by presenting the Polaris formalism, a visual query language for precisely describing a wide range of table-based graphical presentations of data.

Technical Perspective: Safeguarding Online Information Against Failures and Attacks

Users need storage that is highly reliable (it is not lost) and highly available (accessible when needed). Guaranteeing these requires replication, which …

Zyzzyva: Speculative Byzantine Fault Tolerance

A longstanding vision in distributed systems is to build reliable systems from unreliable components. An enticing formulation of this vision is Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) state machine replication, in which a group of servers …
COLUMN: Last byte

Puzzled: Circular Food

Welcome to three new challenging mathematical puzzles. Solutions to the first two will be published next month; the third is as yet unsolved, so you may need extra luck with that one. Here, I concentrate on circular food, so …
SECTION: Virtual extension

SME Strategies: An Assessment of High vs. Low Performers

Little has been known about how and to what extent small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are implementing supply chain management (SCM) initiatives and e-business practices. This article presents some preliminary survey results …

A European Perspective of VoIP in Market Competition

The debate on the future of VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) is not new. For some time now this technological innovation has been considered one of main drivers for reshaping the telecommunications industry.

Technology Acceptance and ERP Documentation Usability

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) Systems have a reputation for being complex, problematic to implement and difficult for users to learn. The technology puts pressure on organizations to change their processes, leaving users …

Conceptually Modeling Windows and Bounds For Space and Time in Database Constraints

A variety of application areas involve spatial and temporal data. Spatial data is used in GIS, logistics, CAD/CAM, robotics and medical imaging to name a few. Systems in financial …

User-Centric Services Provisioning in Wireless Environments

To date, services provided for mobile users are still hard to build. Two main challenges need to be considered. The first challenge is about the personalized access to services. …

Exploring the Dark Side of IS in Achieving Organizational Agility

Organizational agility is currently a popular topic in the academic and practitioner communities. While Information Systems (IS) has been identified as having a positive impact in the pursuit of the goal of the agile organization …

Six Strategies For Electronic Medical Records Systems

The health care sector, despite its importance, is still behind most other industries such as retail, manufacturing, and financial services to leverage IT for operational and strategic …

Technical Opinion: Motivational Affordances: Reasons For ICT Design and Use

Organizations hoping to improve employee productivity, increase strategic advantages, and gain or hold the competitive edge have invested heavily in information and communication technology (ICT). A motivational approach to ICT …