Reports

Scientific Report for the year 2015

Project manager: Octavian Dospinescu

Contract no. 207/01.10.2015   PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0748

Project name: Advanced Research of global information systems in the field of university education (ARGIS)

 

According to the research contract no. 207/01.10.2015, the main goal of the project during the period nov-dec 2015 was the identification of possible architectures to achieve a global information system model in university education.

 

The proposed activities were:

  • Generating a long list of architectures;
  • Generating a list of criteria.

 

The members of the project team generated a list of architectures, according to the specialized literature and based on our own research. We identified three kinds of main architectures:

  • Monolithic architecture;
  • Service Oriented Architecture;
  • Micro-services architecture.

Also, we identified the challenges for the integration of software systems in the university environment, preparing the research for the next year of the project. Based on business and technical challenges, we developeda complete list of criteria.

The article is identified by:

  • Title: Software Architectures – Present and Visions;
  • Authors:StrimbeiCatalin, Dospinescu Octavian, Strainu Roxana-Marina, Nistor Alexandra;
  • Acknowledgments: “This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0748”
  • Journal: InformaticaEconomica Journal;
  • ISSN: 1453-1503;
  • Listed in 11 International Scientific Databases: DOAJ, Cabell’s, EBSCO, Index Copernicus, ProQuest, RePec, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, Index of Information Systems Journals, ICAAP, Inspec, Open J-Gate;
  • Status: In Review.

The website for the project is www.argiss.ro.

More details about our articles can be found here.

————————————————————————————————————————-

 

 

Scientific Report for the year 2016

Project manager: Octavian Dospinescu

Contract no. 207/01.10.2015   PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0748

Project name: Advanced Research of global information systems in the field of university education (ARGIS)

 

According to the research contract no. 207/01.10.2015, the main goal of the project during the period January – December 2016 was the selection of the architecture to be used as a model for the proposed system and the building of a standard of type “University Information Bus”.

The members of the project team generated a list of specific elements for UIS (University Information Bus) in the article entitled The BMPN Approach of the University Information Systems was published and indexed in many BDIs: DOAJ, RePEc, EBSCO Host, Erihplus, Econlit, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, Bibliography Economics, BASE, DRJI, OAJI, ZBW, Open J-Gate, Research Bible, ResearchGate, Advanced Sciences Index, I2OR, AcademicIndex, Directory of Science, EuroInternet, IIFS, Infobase Index, SJIF Scientific Journal Impact Factor, CiteFactor, Tei, Sindexs. The article can be citedStrimbei, C., Dospinescu, O., Strainu, R.M., Nistor, A., “The BPMN Approach of the University Information Systems”, Ecoforum Journal, vol. 5, issue 2, pp. 181-193, 2016, ISSN: 2344-2174.:

In this article we provide a new vision about the enterprise modelling in the context of Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) and the university area. Although the flow objects, artefacts, connecting objects and swim lanes are very used in the process of Enterprise Modelling, they have specific roles in the university information systems. The paper will reveal a specific approach of BPMN in the context of university information systems based on a comparative analysis of some representative universities from United States and Central Europe. Our ideas are argued with a practical case study that includes 4 realistic and complex systems: study programs and curriculum, students’ admission, student roadmap, students’ exchange. The future directions of the article are some visions of BPMN orchestration of a SOA-based architecture for Student Record Systems.

Also, the paper entitled RoaML for Data Integration was presented at the 28th IBIMA Conference, Sevilla, Spain, during the session “TH1.2 – Software Engineering, Natural Language Processing and Data Mining” in the room TORNEO 5. The article can be citedStrimbei, C., Dospinescu, O., Strainu, R.M., Nistor, A., “RoaML for Data Integration”, Proceedings of the 28th International Business Information Management Association Conference”, 9-10 November 2016, Seville, Spain, ISBN: 978-0-9860419-8-3, Editor Khalid Soliman, pp. 2782-2791. In response to SoaML initiative to build UML models for SOAP services, in a previous paper it was proposed a new modeling framework, RoaML, as a specific profile to model RESTful web services. In this paper we described an extension of RoaML specialized on integration of REST Data Services, taking into consideration that Web Data Integration using the Restful principles could became a significant stream of the Data Integration field.

During our research,  the article entitled Support Management Decisions in Small and Medium Companies was published and indexed in many BDIs: Econlit, Ideas, RePec, DOAJ, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, Cabell Publishing, Index Copernicus, The Central and Eastern European Online Library (CEEOL), The International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication. The article can be cited: Strainu, P.R., Georgescu, M., “Support Management Decisions in Small and Medium Companies”, Review of Economics and Business Studies, vol. 8, issue 2, pp. 167-181, 2015, ISSN: 1843-763X. A system built to support management decisions and not only needs to be accurate and well adapted to the requirements of the decision and the variables involved in it, and this happens because a decision is still a human act in any type of business and institution. We can say that a decision support system has a part in it that cannot be determined by any software: the human decision which is not a determinist act. It depends on a lot of variables but also still involves the decision maker intuition and experience. This is why an important problem emerged to be discussed in this paper: the need to implement and develop an in house solution to help management decisions and not only, using existing tools and this with no additional fees. This can be a good opportunity to discover models and solutions. An identified solution using Microsoft Excel and Access is discussed in this paper and a model applied on a case study will be presented. The results of the case study showed a real support in making decisions and a better transparency in manipulating the data, improving also the time needed to collect, transform and present data. The model can be applied in any type of problem that needs a visual presentation of data as well as in situations that need working with a large amount of data.

The article entitled Support Management Decisions in Small and Medium Companies was published and indexed in many BDIs: Econlit, Ideas, RePec, DOAJ, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, Cabell Publishing, Index Copernicus, The Central and Eastern European Online Library (CEEOL), The International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication. We mention that this article was accepted and published after we presented the scientific report for the year 2015, so we include it in the current scientific report (for the year 2016). The article can be cited: Strainu, P.R., Georgescu, M., “Support Management Decisions in Small and Medium Companies”, Review of Economics and Business Studies, vol. 8, issue 2, pp. 167-181, 2015, ISSN: 1843-763X Mobile learning is a very wide term which encompasses not only learning principles, but also in most cases a bunch of smart devices, from smartphone to tablet or wearable devices. Any device that allows learning anywhere and anytime is a channel to information, a channel that helps gain knowledge and apply it, and this is the main goal of mobile learning. It is not so simple to develop such a system in practice. One of the most important question is how an app can be designed to support learning and to help the user and not to tangle him or her in mobile apps that are too sophisticated and difficult to be handled. In this purpose the Natural User Interface (NUI) principles help, and with this article we want to prove that the university students are interested in applications that are easy to use, fun and help learning in a natural way, without barriers like the dimension of the screen or the lack of features. The study will use data gathered from questionnaires, to extract the needs of the students, in the context of a mobile world, and to compare it with the principles of NUI design. We consider, this is necessary before trying to develop an app, to determine the degree of utilization in the future implementation, but also to meet and support the needs for learning and information of the students, which is one of the main goals of mobile learning and not waste our efforts and resources.

The article entitled Face Detection and Face Recognition in Android Mobile Applications was published and indexed in many BDIs: DOAJ, Cabell’s, EBSCO, ICAAP, Index Copernicus, Index of Information Systems Journals, Inspec, Open J-Gate, ProQuest Central, RePEc, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory. The article can be citedDospinescu, O., Popa, I., “Face Detection and Face Recognition in Android Mobile Applications”, Informatica Economica Journal, vol. 20, no. 1/2016, pp. 20-28. The quality of the smartphone’s camera enables us to capture high quality pictures at a high resolution, so we can perform different types of recognition on these images. Face detection is one of these types of recognition that is very common in our society. We use it every day on Facebook to tag friends in our pictures. It is also used in video games alongside Kinect concept, or in security to allow the access to private places only to authorized persons. These are just some examples of using facial recognition, because in modern society, detection and facial recognition tend to surround us everywhere. The aim of this article is to create an application for smartphones that can recognize human faces. The main goal of this application is to grant access to certain areas or rooms only to certain authorized persons. For example, we can speak here of hospitals or educational institutions where there are rooms where only certain employees can enter. Of course, this type of application can cover a wide range of uses, such as helping people suffering from Alzheimer’s to recognize the people they loved, to fill gaps persons who can’t remember the names of their relatives or for example to automatically capture the face of our own children when they smile. This kind of application could be integrated in a larger system based on University Information Bus.

 

The website for the project is www.argiss.ro.

More details about our articles can be found here.

 


Scientific Report for the year 2017

Project manager: Octavian Dospinescu

Contract no. 207/01.10.2015   PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0748

Project name: Advanced Research of global information systems in the field of university education (ARGIS)

 

According to the research contract no. 207/01.10.2015, the main goals of the project during the period jan-sept 2017 were:

  • the identification of the technologies to be applied in the implementation of the model;
  • testing and implementation of the main modules (prototype) according to the identified standard and technologies.

The proposed activities were:

  • testing the technologies in the context of the selected standard and architecture;
  • building and refining the prototype.

The members of the team identified and tested the technologies in the article entitled “REST SOA Orchestration and BPM Platforms which was published and indexed in many BDIs: DOAJ, Cabell’s, EBSCO, ICAAP, Index Copernicus, Index of Information Systems Journals, Inspec, Open J-Gate, ProQuest Central, RePEc, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory. The article can be citedStrimbei, C., Dospinescu, O., Strainu, R.M., Nistor, A., “REST SOA Orchestration and BPM Platforms”, Informatica Economica Journal, vol. 21, no. 1/2017, pp. 30-42. BPM initiatives and SOA approaches emerged and developed as distinct efforts although they could be perceived as the two sides of the same coin in the context of online business and information systems. Thus, inherently, their modeling perspectives met (or collided) and generated some frameworks and languages like SOAML or SOAMF. Starting from these standards and initiatives we proposed a methodological approach that could lead to a feasible implementation of web service integration in a formal Business Process context.

Also,  the paper entitled Automating Business Processes Using a REST Based Model Integrated With JQuery Technology was presented at the 29th IBIMA Conference, Vienna, Austria, during the session “TH2.3 – Software Engineering and Natural Language Processing” in the room Jandl. The article can be citedDospinescu, O., Strainu, R.M., Strimbei, C., Nistor, A., “Automating Business Processes Using a REST Based Model Integrated with JQuery Technology”, Proceedings of the 29th International Business Information Management Association Conference”, 3-4 May 2017, Vienna, Austria, ISBN: 978-0-9860419-7-6, Editor Khalid Soliman, pp. 876-886. In this article we integrate different technologies (REST, JQuery, SOA) in order to automate some business processes that were already described in previous scientific papers. Starting from BPMN approach we build a rest based model for backend operations and finally we integrate REST API in JQuery Ajax calls in frontend operations. So, starting from processes, the article proposes a complete integrated model (from backend to frontend) based on various modern technologies, passing from data to tables, operations, resources and json inputs and outputs.

The team presented the work entitled Technical Issues Regarding the Higher Education Systems in Romania at The Fourth Annual Conference on Global Higher Education at Lakeland University Tokyo, Japan. There were presented the main modules of the prototype and the members of the team got very useful feedbacks from the specialists.

In order to refine the prototype, the article entitled Adaptive UIX Layer for University Information SOA-BUS was published and indexed in many BDIs: DOAJ, Cabell’s, EBSCO, ICAAP, Index Copernicus, Index of Information Systems Journals, Inspec, Open J-Gate, ProQuest Central, RePEc, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory. The article can be citedDospinescu, O., Strimbei, C., Strainu, R.M., Nistor, A., “Adaptive UIX Layer for University Information SOA-BUS”, Informatica Economica Journal, vol. 21, no. 2/2017, pp. 80-91. The user interface (UI) layer is considered one of the key components of software applications since it connects their end-users to functionalities. Well-engineered and robust software applications could eventually fail to be adopted due to a weak UI layer. In the current market, when creating sites, UI designers have to determine how to plan the best interface according to the devices of the users, namely desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones. Having this in mind, the current paper aims to present the adaptive UIX Layer for a University Information SOA-Bus (UISB) – a topic discussed in previous works. In this respect, we reviewed the literature on responsive and adaptive web design in order to identify the best front-end approach to the UISB. According to our findings, there is a strong debate in the academic field as well in the IT business in what concerns UI design. Recent interests have shown that the new trend in drafting the front-end layer is choosing between a responsive and an adaptive design. While arguments provided by both sides have failed to ease the decision makers’ choices on what type of design to choose, we aim to bring some light on the subject by proposing different layers for the UISB.

Regarding the behavior of the users and the graphical user interfaces, a particular research was made in the article the article entitled “The Analysis of E-Commerce Sites with Eye-Tracking Technologies which was published and indexed in many BDIs: Thomson-Reuters, DOAJ, EBSCO, Index Copernicus, Open J-Gate, Google Academic, Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory. The article can be citedDospinescu, O., Perca-Robu, A.E., “The Analysis of E-Commerce Sites with Eye-Tracking Technologies”, BRAIN: Broad Research in Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience, vol. 8, issue 3, September 2017, pp. 85-100. Making websites more usable and improving the users’ experience represents an important step when desiring to keep them from moving away. This study is examining the effects of the interactivity dimensions on users’ content comprehension and their attitudes towards e-commerce websites. By using the eye tracking technology, we investigate the websites interactivity dimensions, identified in the interactivity index, exploring the visual process and drawing the time spent on the site or on various regions of it, the heatmaps, the scanpaths, the percentage fixated, the fixations before, the time to first fixation or the total fixation duration.

In conclusion, we consider that all the project’s goals have been met. As a proof of this, we mention that our articles written during the current research project are already cited in the specialized literature.