Expert System For Mobile Software Reliability

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Expert System For Mobile Software Reliability


Abstract


This research study was on implementation of an expert system for mobile software reliability a case study of Idems Electronics, Uyo. The research study was necessary so as to provide a automated system to evaluate the level of reliability of the different software available in the mobile industry. Limited research work had been conducted on assessment of mobile software reliability and this has also brought about limited information on the reliability index of mobile software. Since there are numerous mobile software applications in the market that perform specific functions, there is need to determine their level of ease of usage, fault detection rate, rate of break down, etc in relation to one another. This information will enable manufacturers and vendors of the software to determine which mobile software is more reliable and which needs improvement. The software development methodology used is Object Oriented Analysis and Design Methodology (OOADM) and the programming language used is Visual BASIC 6.0.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

This chapter presents the introduction to expert system for mobile software reliability. It presents the introduction, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study organization of the research and definition of terms.


1.1 Theoretical Background

Mobile software systems are sometimes characterized by their highly dynamic configuration, unknown operational profile, and fluctuating execution conditions. Most existing software reliability analysis approaches are geared to traditional desktop software systems, which are relatively stable and static throughout their execution. Therefore, assessing the reliability of mobile software systems requires new principles, models, and tools that incorporate the underlying uncertainties associated with such systems. At the same time, since often an accurate estimation of the mobile software system’s execution context is not available at design-time, it is infeasible to determine an optimally reliable architectural configuration for the software system prior to its deployment.

Therefore, a run-time reconfiguration of the software system may be necessary to improve its reliability. While application development for mobile devices goes back at least 10 years, there has been exponential growth in mobile application development since the iPhone AppStore opened in July, 2008. Since then, device makers have created outlets for other mobile devices, including Android, BlackBerry, Nokia Ovi, Windows Phone, and more. Industry analysts estimate that there are more than 250,000 applications available through the various stores and marketplaces, some of which are available for multiple types of devices. There are numerous comprehensive programming environments available for the major mobile platforms. Apple’s iOS Dev Center offers the Xcode package, which includes an Interface Builder, an iPhone emulator, and a complete development environment that can be used across all Apple products. For Android, developers can use the Android Development Tools plug-in for the Eclipse programming environment.

For Windows Phone, developers can use a specialized version of Microsoft’s Visual Studio environment. Similarly, there are application development tools for BlackBerry, Symbian, and other platforms. In addition, there are now some cross-platform development tools, such as RhoMobile’s Rhodes and the open source PhoneGap, which can be used to create native applications on various brands of Smartphones. Along the same lines, Netbiscuits, Appcelerator, Kyte, and other companies provides tools and frameworks to support the creation of mobile web and hybrid sites using their SDK or one of the previously mentioned environments. These powerful development tools and frameworks greatly simplify the task of implementing a mobile application (Agrawal, 2010).

As mobile applications become more complex, moving beyond inexpensive recreational applications to more business-critical uses, it will be essential to apply software engineering processes to assure the development of secure, high-quality mobile applications. To achieve this, expert system is needed to enable users to determine the solution to mobile phone problems. A wide variety of methods can be used to simulate the performance of the expert however common to most or all are 1) the creation of a knowledge base which uses some knowledge representation formalism to capture the Subject Matter Expert’s (SME) knowledge and 2) a process of gathering that knowledge from the SME and codifying it according to the formalism, which is called knowledge engineering. Expert systems may or may not have learning components but a third common element is that once the system is developed it is proven by being placed in the same real world problem solving situation as the human SME, typically as an aid to human workers or a supplement to some information system. The essence of this is to maintain the reliability of the mobile device. An expert system is a knowledge base system that mimics human expert.

An expert system is software that attempts to provide an answer to a problem, or clarify uncertainties where normally one or more human experts would need to be consulted. Expert systems are most common in a specific problem domain, and are a traditional application/subfield of artificial intelligence. To troubleshoot mobile software problems, an expert system can be developed that contains knowledge of the problems and solutions to known mobile software faults. This will enable those interested in knowing ways to solve mobile software problems gain knowledge even in the absence of human experts. The application is needed to give solution to common mobile software problems. Every mobile platform has a certain level of reliability and since it is not 100% reliable there is bound to be software problems. It is on this premise that this research is conducted to develop an expert system for mobile software reliability (Capra, 2003).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

  1. Mobile phone users usually encounter challenges in the usage of the device due to software malfunction or sometimes inability to use the mobile software system.
  2. Also, the mobile software reliability level may be low and there is no means to know how reliable it is.
  3. There is also limited information on how to determine the reliability index of mobile software systems.

It is in view of these situations that this research study is carried out.


1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to implement an expert system for mobile software reliability. The following are the objectives of the study:

  1. To design and implement a system for mobile software reliability evaluation.
  2. To develop a system that will assess mobile software features to determine their level of reliability?
  3. To develop a system that will maintain record of mobile software reliability records

1.4 Significance of the Study

The significance of the study is that it will provide users with expert solution to mobile software reliability evaluation. The study will also serve as a useful reference material to other scholars seeking related information on the subject.


1.5 Scope of the Study

This study covers expert system for mobile software reliability and it is limited to the development of software system that will evaluate mobile software reliability based on the failure rate, fault detection rate, ease of usage fault resolving rate.


1.6 Organization of Research

This research work is organized into five chapters.

  1. Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it presents the preliminaries, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.
  2. Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.
  3. Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It presents the research methodology used in the development of the system, it analyzes the present system to identify the problems and provides information on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed system. The system design is also presented in this chapter.
  4. Chapter four presents the system implementation and documentation, the choice of programming language, analysis of modules, choice of programming language and system requirements for implementation.
  5. Chapter five focuses on the summary, constraints of the study, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out.

1.7 Definition of Terms

Debug:

To search for and eliminate malfunctioning elements or errors in something, especially a computer program or machinery.

Mobile Phone:

A portable telephone that connects with the telephone network over radio wave transmission.

Reliability:

The quality of a measurement indicating the degree to which the measure is consistent, that is, repeated measurements would give the same result.

SDK – Software Development Kit:

An application that provides tools for the development of software applications.

Troubleshoot:

To analyze or diagnose a problem to the point of determining a solution.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.0 Introduction

This chapter presents the summary, , constraints of the study, conclusion and useful recommendations are offered based on the research study.


5.1 Summary

Mobile software companies want to make sure they provide software solutions with high level of performance. This cannot be achieved without a mobile software reliability software application. The necessity to evaluate the reliability of mobile software system has become more clear in this era of intensive software application in different sectors of life.


5.2 Constraints of the Study

In the course of the research work, some challenges were faced such as:

Time:

The time given for the research work is too short. A research of this magnitude requires time to be properly executed

Materials:

Few materials were found pertaining to the research study, and this limited the bulk of the literature.

Finances:

The high cost of transportation to different libraries as well as the high cost of internet browsing stood as limitation of the study.


5.3 Conclusion

Mobile software reliability evaluation metrics are vital to assess the effectiveness of mobile software systems and it is an important area of research as it will encourage mobile software developers to improve the reliability level of the applications they develop.


5.4 Recommendations

The following recommendations are offered based on the study”

  1. More research should be conducted on mobile software reliability assessment.
  2. Mobile software development companies should conduct survey programs to assess the reliability of the mobile system they develop.
  3. Raw data used for the assessment should be obtained from users of the mobile software system.

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