Mike Holcombe - MSc Projects 2003-4

WMLH-1: XP story tool (ASE or ACS only)
WMLH-2: Virtual reality and biology (ASE or ACS only)
WMLH-3: An X-machine environment (ASE or ACS only)

WMLH-4: Genesys Project (ASE only)
WMLH-5: easyTest (suitable for SST students).





WMLH-1: XP story tool.

Key words: testing, Java, X-machines.

Description

eXtreme Programming (XP) is a lightweight methodology that eliminates the design stage and concentrates on the evolutionary delivery of requirements driven by a carefully constructed set of test cases. The test sets are run almost continuously and tools are required to support this process. Another feature is that the sory cards are used to estimate the resources needed to implement the story.

A tool is needed to create stories in the format of the cards used in the notes used in COM2070 and to generate estimates and test sets from the information in the cards.

This project requires programming ability.

Resources

No specific requirements other than access to PCs and Java.

Reading



Module Links

Genesys

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Project description.

WMLH-2: Virtual reality and biology.

Key words: Java, HTML, PVM.

Key words: 3D graphics, Virtual reality.

Description

The Department has recently acquired a Virtual reality system, specifically a Fakespace RAVEII. This is located in Research Lab 2 on the first floor.

It is a sophisticated system with a large screen several meters square and with a vairety of devices such as data gloves and wands that allow almost immersive virtual reality interactions. See http://www.fakespace.com/products.shtml#

The system is being used by biology researchers who are interested in manipulating 3 dimensional representations of parts of insects. In particular, the project will determine the 3D spatio-temporal pattern of very long insect sperm in eggs. The project, called CRUMBS, involves taking a set of 2 dimensional microscopic sections (tiff images) and assembling them into a 3 d image that can be measured, rotated and manipulated in the RAVEII. Previous work on this project has involved SGI software called CRUMBS. This project looks to create similar software and data manipulation abilities for the software platform used in RAVEII. The joint supervisor is Dr. Rhonda Snook, Animal and Plant Sciences. For an example of these types of analyses, please see: Snook, R. R., and T. L. Karr. 1998. Only long sperm are fertilization-competent in six sperm-heteromorphic Drosophila species. Current Biology 8: 291-294.

See http://www.itg.uiuc.edu/publications/forums/1998-12-03/

The joint supervisor is Dr. Rhonda Snook, Animal and Plant Sciences.

Title

Background



Module Links 3D Computer graphics



Prerequisites - Good programming skills


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Project description.

WMLH-3: An X-machine environment.

Key words:

Description

There are a number of tools to support X-machine modelling and testing. This project is to provide an environment where they can be used in a convenient and seamless way.

X-machines are a generalised finite state machine with many useful features. They can model complex systems quite simply and effectively. A number of tools have been developed, at the core of these is the X-machine Description Language (XMDL) which provides a simple mechanism for describing, in machine readable form, an X-machine. Also there is an animator which can be used to assist with the building of the models. A basic X-machine model checker has also been developed together with a tool for generating test sets.

These tools are mostly written in Prolog. We envisage that the tools will be improved and connected together with a simple graphical user interface.

Resources

Existing tools – available from Supervisor.

Reading and resources

Prolog texts.

Papers and theses on X-machines – available from Supervisor.


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Project description.

WMLH-4: Genesys Project

Key words:

Description

This project will be a group project which will continue one of the current or future Genesys projects for an external client.

Students will work as a group, as usual, but will each submit a separate thesis.

Resources

Genesys Lab

Reading and resources


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Project description.

WMLH-5: easyTest.

Description

Testing is the most expensive part of the software development process consuming at least 50% of time and money in any typical project. Yet, despite this, testing is rarely dealt with in any detail, if at all, in programming courses. New approaches to software development, such as eXtreme Programming (XP) require you to write your tests FIRST, before starting to code and to run these tests regularly on the code as you develop it. This gives you much more confidence that your code is good. However, it is not easy to write tests and if the tests are poor the code will also be poor (buggy). This project will creat an on-line test support system, easyTest, which will be both a learning tool and a practical test tool. The focus is a ’learn and do’ approach for use in a first Java programming course. Part of the tool will be some simple pages of information and guidance on how to write simple tests with many examples and a practical and structured approach to thinking about simple programs and classes in order to create tests. The second part will be an integrated tool which will store tests and provide a mechanism for applying these to the developing code with minimal effort. There is already a popular program for running tests in this way - JUnit - and we will build on this. This is available from: www.XProgramming.com

The final product should be a powerful aid to novice programmers that will guide them in writing tests and provide a friendly environment so that they can do their testing as they try to develop their code. The tool must support programmer activity and not ’get in the way’.



Resources.

K. Beck, "eXtreme prograaming explained - embrace change" Addison-Wesley.

M. Holcombe, Notes on XP - from supervisor.


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