, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 441-447
Date: 22 Feb 2012

An educational tool for interactive parallel and distributed processing

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Abstract

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.

This work was presented in part at the 16th International Symposium on Artificial Life and Robotics, Oita, Japan, January 27–29, 2011