Research and Development
The aim of this project is the research of effective methods, tools and technologies to support the management of any software factory based on modern Software Engineering principles. Here is a list of the main subjects we have studied during the period 1998-2000:
• Software engineering processes to support object oriented software development
• Benchmarking of state-of-the-art software tools supporting the four basic activities of Software Engineering: Requirements definition, Design, Implementation and Testing
• Innovative tools for requirements definition: in particular we have analysed and tested the CIRCE system, a highly innovative tool developed by the University of Pisa, based on Natural Language Processing techniques. Two of our pilot research projects have used CIRCE in order to estimate its efficaciousness in realistic conditions
• State of art and analysis of tools to support activities such as configuration management, bug tracking, automatic document production and stress testing Definition of a general model to be employed within a software factory for web based applications.
At the moment we are focusing on the so-called “Light” software development methodologies that promise a smoother development process. In particular the eXtreme Programming methodology is being used for some of our projects, in order to identify advantages and drawbacks. This experimentation has allowed us to carry out a detailed and comparative analysis between eXtreme Programming and other methodologies, in order to identify when it is preferable to use this new methodology instead of traditional ones.
This project aims at studying and experimenting new technologies able to supply the existing range of offered telecom services through multiple communication channels. Our interest is focused on the integration and convergence of technologies such as SMS, WAP, Sim Application toolkit and speech recognition systems with traditional Internet technologies in order to give access to our services through multiple access points (mobile phones, PC, Web TV, palm PC).
Our activities are related to the following topics:
• Study of development environments for different access devices: Palm computers (Palm OS, Windows CE), GSM telephones (SAT)
• Content management: different access channels require different presentation procedures depending on the used access media. Our objective is to hold a unified representation of the information to be used to work out the best presentation for the selected communication channel. The technology used is XML/XSL
• Security architecture for wireless financial services and their integration with home banking and telephone banking services. We have also studied different methods of employing digital signature in wireless environment in full compliance with the Italian law in force.
This project focuses on the transmission of multimedia data over videoconferencing systems. Our main purpose is to study and evaluate all the relevant technologies, software applications, international standards and audio/video encoding formats, along with the integration of different tools. The ultimate goal is to design and deploy new videoconferencing services able to work over different network topologies.
This project involves the benchmarking of products and technologies currently available in the marketplace. These activities have led to the design of hybrid videoconferencing systems based on medium-to-low-cost solutions. Together with the study we have designed a demo service in order to run a number of performance tests.
For each system we evaluate:
• Its main features
• The degree of integration with other products
• Different network configuration with varying performance levels
• The integration between LAN and ISDN networks and the resulting services
• How it supports IP Multicast network communications
• The initial resources and time required to start up the enabled services
• Network performance and audio/video quality of available services through analysis tools.
All these activities focus on medium-to-low-cost systems. The demo service has been set up to create videoconference events within Intranets as well as across different networks. For instance, remote endpoints can take part in or simply receive broadcast content from conferences running in the Enterprise Intranet; this can be accomplished using either H323/IP or native H320/ISDN protocols. In order to evaluate this kind of services in a real-world film porno scenario, the demo service runs on the same main Fst network.