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Software-Based Fault Tolerance
Concept Map-Based Learning

Ubiquity, Volume 2008 Issue June | BY Goutam Kumar Saha 


Full citation in the ACM Digital Library

This paper aims to visually describe the important concepts of software-based fault tolerance and the relationships thereof using a concept map.

This paper aims to visually describe the important concepts of Software- based fault tolerance and the relationships thereof using a Concept Map.

Concepts are the generalization of knowledge of ideas conveyed in some forms for example, books, documents, speeches or lectures. Concept is nothing but a perceived regularity in events or objects. Propositions state how concepts are linked together. A Concept Map comprises of concepts and propositions. Concept Maps are the graphical representations of knowledge that are comprised of concepts and the relationships among them. Concept maps are 2-dimensional representations of cognitive structures showing the hierarchies and interconnections of concepts involved in a discipline or a sub-discipline. This is an important tool for developing our both sensing and intuitive skills. Sensing skill is important to focus on already known and new information, whereas intuition skill helps us to construct relationships. It is to organize the information by groups. In a concept map, the nodes (in circles or rectangles) have been used to enclose the key concepts and these nodes have been linked with lines (normally directed downward) and words (e.g., verbs, preposition etc.,) that describe the connection. Professor Joseph Novak developed concept maps that represent organized knowledge. A domain expert has hierarchically structured knowledge. Organized knowledge is comprised of concepts and propositions that are hierarchically structured in cognitive structure to aid creativity that begins with infants. Creativity is must to see interrelationships between various map segments. We need context dependent organized knowledge for effective teaching and effective learning and for answering focus questions. Creativity only can produce a very high level of meaningful statement. Concept is the highest level of "abstraction" for the map but it is the lower level of abstraction in the ontology.

Characteristics of concept map:

(a) A hierarchical concept map contains the most general concept at the top and the most specific one at the bottom,
(b) Cross links are to link different map segments,
(c) Examples are to clarify the meaning of a concept.

In order to construct a concept map we must have familiarity with the general topic as well as an in-depth knowledge on a specific topic such as on software - based fault tolerant computing system here.

Guidelines on Concept Map:

While developing Concept Maps, we may follow the following guidelines in order to develop a good concept map:
(a) To note the major concepts,
(b) To note more specific concepts for each major concepts for grouping related ideas,
(c) To inter link the major ideas,
(d) To write linking words,
(e) To do cross-linking between map segments (arrowhead for upward linking), and
(f) To label these lines with linking words or phrases to form meaningful statements.


Software - based fault tolerance concepts and their relationships have been described lucidly by this Concept Map. More specific concepts about Software - based fault tolerance could be described in details by other concept maps and those could be integrated for navigating between them through hyperlinks. Concept maps are very useful as a means for representing the emerging science knowledge and for increasing meaningful learning in sciences in contrast to simply memorizing the text. Representing the expert knowledge of individuals or of teams in research, government, business and in education becomes easier by this useful concept mapping tool. It is to stimulate our idea generation and creativity. It is definitely carving out a strong position for brainstorming, complex ideas communication, and formal argument representation. Formalized concept maps are being used in software design or in UML. It is a first step in ontology building.


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