Pagliarini, L. & Lund, H.H. Artif Life Robotics (2012) 16: 441. doi:10.1007/s10015-011-0996-7
In this article we try to describe how the modular interactive tiles system (MITS) can be a valuable tool for introducing students to interactive parallel and distributed processing programming. This is done by providing a handson educational tool that allows a change in the representation of abstract problems related to designing interactive parallel and distributed systems. Indeed, the MITS seems to bring a series of goals into education, such as parallel programming, distributedness, communication protocols, master dependency, software behavioral models, adaptive interactivity, feedback, connectivity, topology, island modeling, and user and multi-user interaction which can rarely be found in other tools. Finally, we introduce the system of modular interactive tiles as a tool for easy, fast, and flexible hands-on exploration of these issues, and through examples we show how to implement interactive parallel and distributed processing with different behavioral software models such as open loop, randomness-based, rule-based, user interaction-based, and AI- and ALife-based software.