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Last update: 2005-05-20

End: 2003-01

AHA! progress report, February 5, 2003

transparent adaptive functionality for web servers


The NLnet AHA project has started on July 1, 2001. The current team at the TU/e consists of the following people:

  • Natasha Stash is employed full-time by the AHA! project for the duration of the project.
  • Brendan Rousseau is a junior researcher working on AHA! for 3 months.
  • David Smits, Barend de Lange and Bart Berden are (full-time) thesis students at TU/e.
  • Tomi Santic is a (full-time) thesis student working at the University of Pittsburgh.

Progress (since previous report) up to this date

The status of the AHA! project as of February 5, 2003 is described below. It lists the items that have been realized or worked on since the previous progress report.

  • The AHA! 2.0 system is ready to be released in “beta” version. All planned bug fixes and improvements for 2.0 are ready. The tutorial is being written (and almost ready).
  • The graphical authoring tool developed by Brendan Rousseau is ready (but small suggested improvements will come later). The concept/rule editor has been updated so that it uses the same files (in the same directory) as the graph author.
  • All conversion tools are fully functional (from authoring format to internal XML or mySQL format, and from XML to mySQL and back).
  • Barend de Lange has a demo available of the inclusion of objects/fragments. Fragments are treated as concepts. Their presentation can be controlled through the new conditional inclusion developed by (intern) Monique Ansems.
  • Bart Berden has a demo available of stable presentations, including fully stable presentations and updates that require a “threshold” in order to be applied.
  • Tomi Santic is working on the inclusion of Interbook functionality into AHA!, with the ultimate goal of replacing Interbook by AHA!. (Interbook is the only other adaptive hypermedia system that is at least as well-known as AHA!.)
  • Koen Aben is finishing his internship work (done at the University of Southampton. He has developed a “procedural adaptation language” and is completing a compiler from that language to AHA! adaptation rules.

Future Milestones until June 30, 2003

Work on AHA! Version 2.0 will continue, and result in a “final” release. The tutorial being completed is the main test-case for this version.

  • Two students are working on a showcase: the Adaptive Hypertext and Hypermedia Homepage. Completion of this process depends partially on the availability of the new server (being installed now). Since the AH&H Homepage is visited regularly by the whole adaptive hypermedia community, the whole community will get to experience AHA!.
  • In the period until April 30, 2003, Barend de Lange and Bart Berden will write the main additions for AHA! 3.0: the integration of fragments in the concept structure and the creation of stable presentations. This will imply that the main document format will become XHTML (without any AHA!-specific tags). Barend and Bart will also develop a demo that uses SMIL instead of XHTML.
  • David Smits will start a thesis on the analysis of termination and confluence, and the inclusion of detection into the authoring tools.
  • The work of Tomi Santic includes the presentation of abstract concepts and support for navigating between concepts and pages. This in effect implements page selectors. The work of Barend de Lange includes what we previously described as page constructors.
  • Natasha Stash will work on improvements to the form editor and also write a multiple choice test editor that works in the same way.

The period of May 1, 2003 to June 30, 2003 will be used to integrate the tools and the documentation, and to prepare the AHA! 3.0 release.

Dissemination of results

The following specific actions will be taken to bring AHA! to the public:

  • AHA! 2.0 will be sent to people who have been actively using AHA! in the past, or are using it now.
  • A registration procedure will be added to the AHA! website to collect addresses of people interested in obtaining AHA! (and updates of AHA!).
  • AHA! 2.0 will be used to update the Adaptive Hypertext and Hypermedia homepage (as described above). This will attract more people to the AHA! system.
  • AHA! will be used in the ADAPT project, A Socrates/Minerva project about adaptive educational technology (TU/e, UT, Univ. of Southampton, Univ. of Nottingham, Polit. di Milano and IRST, Trento).
  • AHA! will be submitted to Sourceforge.
  • A new Hypermedia Course text will be published in the summer of 2003. It will use AHA!. (It is the only hypermedia course in the Netherlands because students from other universities take this course.)
  • An Adaptive Hypermedia Course will be developed and published in the summer of 2003. It will not only use but also explain AHA!. (It will most likely also be the only adaptive hypermedia course available on-line.)

The following publications are planned:

  • A poster/demo will be submitted to the World Wide Web Conference (Budapest, Hungary, May 20-24, 2003).
  • A paper will be submitted to the NLUUG Conference (Ede, May 22, 2003).
  • AHA! will be demonstrated at the User Modeling Conference (Johnstown, PA, June 22-26, 2003).
  • A paper will be submitted (abstract has been submitted) to the PEG Conference (Powerful ICT Tools for Teaching and Learning) (Sint Petersburg, Russia, June 28 - July 1, 2003.
  • A technical briefing will be submitted to the ACM Hypertext Conference (Nottingham, August 26-30, 2003).

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