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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Wilson E. Sakpere, Nhlanhla Boyfriend Wilton Mlitwa and Michael Adeyeye Oshin

This research aims to focus on providing interventions to alleviate usability challenges to strengthen the overall accuracy and the navigation effectiveness in indoor and…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to focus on providing interventions to alleviate usability challenges to strengthen the overall accuracy and the navigation effectiveness in indoor and stringent environments through the experiential manipulation of technical attributes of the positioning and navigation system.

Design/methodology/approach

The study followed a quantitative and experimental method of empirical enquiry and software engineering and synthesis research methods. The study further entails three implementation processes, namely, map generation, positioning framework and navigation service using a prototype mobile navigation application that uses the near field communication (NFC) technology.

Findings

The approach and findings revealed that the capability of NFC in leveraging its low-cost infrastructure of passive tags, its availability in mobile devices and the ubiquity of the mobile device provided a cost-effective solution with impressive accuracy and usability. The positioning accuracy achieved was less than 9 cm. The usability improved from 44 to 96 per cent based on feedbacks given by respondents who tested the application in an indoor environment. These showed that NFC is a viable alternative to resolve the challenges identified in previous solutions and technologies.

Research limitations/implications

The major limitation of the navigation application was that there is no real-time update of user position. This can be investigated and extended further by using NFC in a hybrid make-up with WLAN, radio-frequency identification (RFID) or Bluetooth as a cost-effective solution for real-time indoor positioning because of their coverage and existing infrastructures. The hybrid positioning model, which merges two or more techniques or technologies, is becoming more popular and will improve its accuracy, robustness and usability. In addition, it will balance complexity, compensate for the limitations in the technologies and achieve real-time mobile indoor navigation. Although the presence of WLAN, RFID and Bluetooth technologies are likely to result in system complexity and high cost, NFC will reduce the system’s complexity and balance the trade-off.

Practical implications

Whilst limitations in existing indoor navigation technologies meant putting up with poor signal and poor communication capabilities, outcomes of the NFC framework will offer valuable insight. It presents new possibilities on how to overcome signal quality limitations at improved turn-around time in constrained indoor spaces.

Social implications

The innovations have a direct positive social impact in that it will offer new solutions to mobile communications in the previously impossible terrains such as underground platforms and densely covered spaces. With the ability to operate mobile applications without signal inhibitions, the quality of communication – and ultimately, life opportunities – are enhanced.

Originality/value

While navigating, users face several challenges, such as infrastructure complexity, high-cost solution, inaccuracy and usability. Hence, as a contribution, this paper presents a symbolic map and path architecture of a floor of the test-bed building that was uploaded to OpenStreetMap. Furthermore, the implementation of the RFID and the NFC architectures produced new insight on how to redress the limitations in challenged spaces. In addition, a prototype mobile indoor navigation application was developed and implemented, offering novel solution to the practical problems inhibiting navigation in indoor challenged spaces – a practical contribution to the community of practice.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2011

Nhlanhla Boyfriend Wilton Mlitwa and Dwain Birch

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of intrusion detection systems as an access control supplement in protecting electronic information resources…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of intrusion detection systems as an access control supplement in protecting electronic information resources and networks in information‐centric organisations. The study focuses on the strengths and vulnerabilities of intrusion detection systems (IDSs).

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study is conducted with a retail organisation, and an educational institution in Cape Town, South Africa. Using purposive sampling, interviews are held with network administrators of sample institutions to unpack security priorities and the functionalities of IDSs, the significance of the system in concept, whether it is understood within network departments, the cost factor, and its value in securing networks against all possible security challenges. The activity theory is applied as a lens to understanding the security process, and to inform a future security frameworks and research initiatives.

Findings

The findings are clear. Although IDSs have vulnerabilities, they offer an added cushion to conventional network access control efforts. Access control for example, guards the gate but IDSs are the watchdogs in your yard, and IDS closes a gap in a network security that only IDSs can. It alerts you of a potential attacker, enabling you to respond promptly, in whichever way you like. It does however, require deliberate reaction against a detected intrusion to be effective, but remains a useful security tool that should become standard to all network security initiatives. A framework presenting network security as a work activity – with actors who are guided by goals – is offered to guide planning, implementations of network security and further research in future.

Originality/value

Security awareness is crucial to effective e‐citizenry, but complacency could be a threat. As a unique contribution, the paper presents an activity‐theory work‐activity framework of analysing network security. Further, the paper presents original, industry‐specific interview findings, raising awareness that existing security measures need to be viewed as a continuous work‐activity whose planning and implementations are embedded on goals and processes towards pursued outcomes. Access controls themselves should be monitored. They should be supplemented by effective intrusion detection systems if unauthorised access is to be effectively minimised.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 October 2011

Theo C. Haupt

Abstract

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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