Medallists of the 2000 Awards

This years medallists were as follows:

CASMIR - Collaborative Agent-based Systems for Multi-use Information Retrieval
Casmir has core, generic information retrieval functionality from which a diverse range of collaborative information retrieval products and services can be developed. Based on intelligent agent technology and incorporating an innovative neural network architecture, Casmir creates a profile of a user automatically based on their information search and retrieval behaviour. These profiles can then be used to aid user searching by proactively locating relevant material based on previous behaviour. The search process may also be made collaborative by considering the browsing patterns of other with overlapping interests. Latest evaluation results using 30 user specific attributes on 10,000 records show a response time of 1.3 seconds.

Currently, internet application performance monitoring revolves around either network, server and application monitoring applications, or site polling mechanisms. Neither of these provides an adequate insight into the end-user's experience of the application. In contrast, "Prophet", uses an applet stored in the pages of the monitored website. This applet enables the recording of all activity associated with any user's interaction with the site. Data gathered by this applet is compressed, encrypted and returned, in real-time, to the website operator or service provider. At this site further system components search this data stream for significant sequences of events (known as transactions) and analysis and visualisation tools let the site owner monitor both user behaviour and system performance.

Arjuna - WINNER
A research group of the University of Newcastle has spent several years researching into the development of concepts and techniques for building robust distributed systems. This has led to the development of a collection of programming systems for constructing fault-tolerant distributed applications using atomic transactions. Current research work is emphasizing reliability and fault tolerance issues in electronic commerce, network services and Web-based applications. The software developed by the group has been used regularly in a mission critical application by the University for electronic registration of students. The software has been made into a set of products by a company started by the group. The group has contributed to the development of a number of industry standards on open distributed computing.

The Digital Audio Broadcast System - WINNER
The project is a software based system for the transmission of digital radio. It supports both audio and data information in accordance with the Eureka 147 Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) Specification from ETSI. Currently all of the DAB broadcast systems available are hardware based, requiring the installation of proprietary hardware. RadioScape has developed a software solution to the needs of the broadcast companies which requires a standard Industrial PC, running Windows NT. This reduces of the cost of spares holding for the customer because the components are effectively commodity parts, and enable the customer to benefit from new functionality in a timely manner by installing simple software upgrades.

Marbles Credit Card Application
iE was chosen for the Marbles project as they were able to address all of HFC's concerns - functionality, security, performance, scalability and ease of use, as well the critical need to integrate with the back office card processing systems. The system using iE's ecommerce application software achieved the blend of consumer friendliness and technological sophistication which meant the product was straightforward enough to appeal to the technophobic consumer and clever enough to appeal to the seasoned Web buyer. The aim was to produce a conventional credit card with an unconventional design backed by a range of innovative online account management services.

TESSA -Text and Sign Support Assistant - WINNER
Avatar allows speech to be transformed into sign language for the benefit of deaf customers in Post Office locations, leading the way internationally in improving levels of service for deaf people. Further development will follow of more capable speech recognition, accommodating less constrained grammar, and the inclusion of additional languages. The Post Office is investing substantially into this initiative and it is hoped that the prototype will be developed into a final system within two years.

Flood Estimation Handbook CD-ROM 1999
The Flood Estimation Handbook (FEH) is seen by many as the definitive guide to rainfall and flood frequency estimation in the UK and is pioneering in its use of digital spatial data. Key catchment information, required by engineers to derive flood estimates, is presented on the FEH CD-Rom in a unique way. Using a powerful geographical interface the user can identify the required location along rivers, streams and drainage paths defined by digital terrain model. Having located the appropriate site, the user can retrieve comprehensive catchment information (from over 4 million such datasets) at the click of a button.