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MOBILE TESTING SYSTEM

Štefan Beleš, Katarína Jelemenská, Matej Jurikovič, Peter Pištek, Tomáš Polák, Jozef Zeman, Marián Žucha Slovak University of Technology, Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies, Slovakia e-mail: Merlin2@centrum.sk; jelemenska@fiit.stuba.sk Abstract. The purpose of this contribution was to present an application for mobile laboratory. Application will be used for testing of practical knowledge of students in digital systems modeling with VHDL and SystemC languages. Communication in mobile lab works using wireless technology (Wi-Fi) together with self designed communication protocol. One of the goals was also to implement protection against plagiarism during the process of testing of student’s knowledge. Application uses an external compiler taken over from ModelSim SE software. It creates a complete solution optimized for Specification and description languages course.

6th

Int. Conference on

Emerging e-learning Technologies and Applications

The High Tatras, Keywords: skills assessment, virtual classroom, wireless communication technology, mobile Slovakia network, applications, VHDL, language September 11-13, 2008

1. INTRODUCTION Today it is very common to use Content Management Systems (CMS)-type e-learning tools for education purposes; however, most such systems test students’ knowledge only at the theoretical level. When we analyzed our options, we were unable to find an online solution, which would test practical knowledge in the field of design, modelling, verification and simulation of circuits. The goal of our project was to create this missing link in the chain by using modern options in the form of Hewlett-Packard’s mobile laboratory, in which we can see a big potential to contribute to education. Our ambition was to create an application, which would make it easier for instructors to evaluate tests and for students more effective to write the source code. Traditional education
Availability Costs of courses and education development Achieved skills and knowledge Costs of course delivery Costs of attendance on a course or education Testing and evaluation Hardly accessible – needed transport, timely specified, difficult to determine deadlines Rather high- preparation of presentations and training materials, preparation of trainings High –the most effective interactive education, verification, trainings High- investment into a class and equipment, lectors transport accommodation fees High-costs of transport, accommodation, time Not effective, time demanding, monothematic

2. TRADITIONAL FORMS OF EDUCATION, ELEARNING AND OUR APPLICATION E-Learning is an educational process, which uses information and communication technologies for the creation of courses, distribution of educational content, communication between students and instructors, and for study control. Traditional form of education under instructors’ lead is irretrievable nowadays. It’s important to realize, traditional form of education and e-learning represent 2 different forms of attitude to educational content and therefore it’s convenient to combine these forms. Both forms of education, the traditional form of education and e-learning, are compared in Table 1. For better comparison a possibility of education using “virtual class“ Virtual class
Conveniently accessible, timely specified, needed to determine the deadline Medium - preparation of presentations Rather high – effective, partially interactive education. Lower continuous verification Rather low- need of a PC and a lease of virtual class Low- internet and phone connection Immediate feedback and self testing

e-Learning
Highly available anytime and anywhere High- preparation of large groundwork for all eventuality, programming Medium – limited interactive education, mostly only final verification 1. low- need for a PC 2. middle with an investment into LMS Low- internet and phone connection Timely less demanding, automatic evaluation, test is created only once

Tab. 1. Comparison of particular forms of education is added, combining best both approaches [1]. In the proposed application for checking of correct VHDL language syntax we use external components borrowed 3. MODELSIM

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The input of parameters can be automated using *. When running VSIM.wlf extension. APPLICATION PART Securing the communication During the step by step creation of this product we met various important factors. in which it is important to set simulation parameters.1. Syntax of source code key words is automatically highlighted in periodic time intervals. Simulator VSIM Using of this tool is not as simple as using the VCOM compiler. Compiler VCOM VCOM manages the syntax checking and source code compilation described by VHDL. which the instructor creates for each assignment wording. to a file with *. final compilation and simulation takes place. where a sample of signal flows is created for the student. Simulation (transfer of inputs to outputs).wlf files (tested and referenced) and save the comparison in a text form. We have created a database of VHDL language reserved words. Both client and server have access to the ModelSim compiler (VCOM) and to the ModelSim simulator (VSIM).do scripts. for which the special frame format was designed. It is necessary to exactly specify names and number of inputs and outputs and the name of entity and architecture on the highest level of hierarchy. For the Wi-Fi solution we decided to secure the network using the WPA2 protocol. because students are familiar with it. Syntax checking. Output comparison is accessible to the instructor together with the submitted source code. Violation of these expectations will result in incorrect connection of the testbench to a model created by a student and therefore also a loss of continuous points. 2 . The work-flow of the application is illustrated in Fig. Verilog and SystemC languages (after including all related libraries). After a successful completion of each simulation. and in case of error an error message is generated showing the line number and error type. APPLICATION STRUCTURE We have designed a testing system with the structure displayed on the Fig. It is a command line tool. we designed our own communication protocol. which consists of signal flows. which would provide a better and more comprendious picture of simulation. Scheme of the testing principle and evaluation of source code 5. which had to be supported by the network cards on clients and also by the Wi-Fi router. Resolution match ratio with a reference sample can be a source of continuous evaluation. Also prepared is a testbench. which will be connected to the submitted code. so that the student is able to submit source code without syntax errors. In VSIM we can compare two *. We analyzed the possibilities of saving the comparison in the form of a picture. which are handed over to VSIM during its running. The student’s sample and the reference sample are compared. 2. The compiler output can be easily written to a file. we are presented with its internal command line interface. For the simulation checking a sample reference is prepared. so that the system is not exploitable.syntax checking and simulation. The testbench is connected to the code after the submission. We took over the system of syntax highlight from ModelSim. After adding the testbench. and the student is not able to prepare data in-step with the reference sample. which displays the loading of libraries. Fig. To increase the communication security. compilation of entities. 1.from the ModelSim SE [2] software environment compiler VCOM. 4. which communicates with the instructor’s server via a Wi-Fi network. Product is a 2 layer client-server application. Testing system Processing of the hardware description languages source code has two phases . VSIM saves its output. and simulator VSIM. Syntax checking is accessible for the student already during the test.

The main functions of server are as follows: • External running of a compiler and simulator of the ModelSim software. Connection of the testbench to the received source code from a client.Fig. Client side The client is the only allowed application for students during processing of a practical test. who will do the test. which consists of assignment wording for the particular test and a reference sample of simulation. • • • • Graphical interface. There also is an option to export the evaluation to a file. Displaying the list of connected clients. Server output is a data file. 3 . It is created based on the user needs and gives simple and a wellarranged menu with functions. specifically first and last name of the student and his ID number. Setting the time for completion of the test. The primary input is identification data (first name. 2. which are accompanied by help. System functions. are other inputs on the client side. Disconnection of clients after the allowed test completion time expires. which consists of a list of students. The first is a testing data file. Submission of compilation and simulation results to the client. last name. Output. • • • • • • Loading of inputs. Component diagram Server side Server is used specially for teacher during practical testing of students and it has full access to the network due to license server. 3. Assignment wording and test evaluation sent from the server and the text. The second input is a data file. Input. Automated weighted test evaluation according to specified criteria. Saving of outputs. Display of the source code in a text editor or in the ModelSim editor. which includes the samples of signal flows and the source codes of respective students. entered into a special component using the keyboard. A graphical interface is used for interaction between the user and the program. Client has more inputs. Input. student ID) of a student. Both inputs are entered by instructor before the test starts. • Display of simulation comparisons between the reference code sample and the submitted code sample in the ModelSim environment. Server has two inputs. Sending assignment wording to clients. An example of server screen is given in Fig.

Output is the source code of a student sent to a server as well as a compilation result or simulation from the server side. 4 . Client screen example Outputs.Fig. Functions. Server screen example Fig. 4. 3. The main functions of client are as follows: • Students log-in.

syntax highlight.. Vydavateľstvo STU Bratislava. The server used by the instructor makes it possible to manage requests from multiple clients in parallel.. 3. Display the test remaining time. 2008. Computer Press. Marián Žucha He obtained his bachelor degree from Faculty of informatics and information technology STU with specialization Computer systems and nets. He publicised as a co author one contribution on IIT. Vydavateľstvo STU Bratislava. s. Bc. and its format is up to each request. Our application makes it possible to examine a large set of jobs in VHDL language.25. Display assignment wording sent from a server side. 2008. ISBN 978-80-227-2848-5 and won the Dean‘s award for „Remote control of a cell phone by computer via Bluetooth interface “ and IEEE award for „Mobile education classroom“. Mostafa.: Projektovanie aplikácií počítačov . Nagy A. 52s. [4] Transmission Control Protocol. ISBN 978-80-227-2848-5 and won the IEEE award for „Mobile education classroom“. At the present time he is engaged with his Master thesis: „Specialized functions of networking adapter realized in PLD“. pp. Verification of students’ results is done by comparing the simulation results. Plagiarism protection.com [3] Dostálek. 2006. ALT-TAB). It is possible to compile and simulate even more complicated combination and sequential circuits with the solution because libraries of ModelSim software are used. 2005.model. Matej Jurikovič He obtained his bachelor degree from Faculty of informatics and information technology STU with specialization Computer systems and nets. Type of data transfer and requests. Vydavateľstvo STU Bratislava.. 1981. Graphical interface works similarly to the server side. All participants of the examination have at their disposal a source code editor.. the communication protocol we created based on Ethernet II frame is an unique one[3][4]. International Journal of Information Technology. He publicised as a co author one contribution on IIT. E. Display the primary test evaluation (automaticaly generated and sent from a server side). ISSN 1305-2403. 2008. aktualizové a rozšířené vydání. 11. 2007 [2] ModelSim SE. [6] Čičák. Verilog and SystemC. VHDL language compiler and simulator outputs.. pp. L. Tatranské Zruby.it offers an option to work in language VHDL. Syntax highlight. available at: http://www. P. 201-204. Bc.: Handling the Connection Interruption in Mobile Internet In: Communication an Information Technologies. 2008. Display results of compilation and simulation.SRC conference published in almanac Informatics and Information Technologies Student Research Conference. E. Vol. H. 438. Protection against use of forbidden special keys (WINkey. The type of communication between the server and the client is specified in this protocol. 3. ISBN 978-80-227-2848-5 and won the IEEE award Graphical interface. ISBN 978-80-227-2848-5 and won the IEEE award for „Mobile education classroom“. CONCLUSIONS During the creation of the application we considered all requirements for the final product. Žucha M. 6. 23.: Early registration: Criterion to Improve Communication-Inter Agents in Mobile. H. 173 – 179. At the present time he is engaged with his Master thesis: “Programming support of GPS applications”. 83 [5] Čičák. P. 7. Kabelová. REFERENCES [1] Kimák P. s. At the present time he is engaged with his Master thesis: “Remote control of a cell phone by computer via Bluetooth interface”.. RFC 793. External use of compiler and simulator of ModelSim software is suitable mainly for its complexity ..IP Protocol. with International Participation. Primary test evaluation is automaticaly generated by the system. 3. It offers to the instructor a comfortable management of the testing system and a supervision of all examined participants at the same time. Bc.SRC conference published in almanac Informatics and Information Technologies Student Research Conference. Vydavateľstvo STU Bratislava.SRC conference published in almanac Informatics and Information Technologies Student Research Conference. Communication protocol As already mentioned.Virtuálna knižnica. No. An example of client screen is given in Figure 4.A. He publicised as a co author two contributions on IIT..SRC conference published in almanac Informatics and Information Technologies Student Research Conference. 3rd Scientific Conference 5 . Other advantages are in the simple control of the compiler and the simulator from the command line and the support for scripting.: Velký průvodce protokoly TCP/IP a systémem DNS. 2002. Jozef Zeman He obtained his bachelor degree from Faculty of informatics and information technology STU with specialization Software engineering. Tomáš Polák He obtained his bachelor degree from Faculty of informatics and information technology STU with specialization Computer systems and nets. He publicised as a co author one contribution on IIT. Mostafa. THE AUTHORS Bc.• • • • • • • • Sending of a source code to a server side.

faulttolerance and reliability. degree from Slovak University of Technology Bratislava. 2008. Peter Pištek He obtained his bachelor degree from Faculty of informatics and information technology STU with specialization Computer systems and nets. ISBN 978-80-227-2848-5 and won the Dean‘s award for „Remote control of a cell phone by computer via Bluetooth interface “ and IEEE award for „Mobile education classroom“. 207-219.Slovenia 1999. means of hardware specification. and PhD. PhD. At the present time he is engaged with his Master thesis: ”GIS and his usage in regional tourism”. 6 . and Schwarz J. Jelemenska K. 2008.SRC conference published in almanac Informatics and Information Technologies Student Research Conference. Jelemenska K. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This work was partially supported by Slovak Science Grant Agency (VEGA VG 1/3104/06 “Grid computing systems and its components“) and HP Technology for Teaching grant 2007 “Mobile Education Center”.CIT. She received her Msc. Huang Z. Dipl. Katarína Jelemenská. Ing.. vol. Journal of Computing and Information Technology . Babau J. She co-authored several scientific papers including: Schwarz J. Vydavateľstvo STU Bratislava. Bc. Sept.P. 2000. Vydavateľstvo STU Bratislava. pp. Štefan Beleš He obtained his bachelor degree from Faculty of informatics and information technology STU with specialization Computer systems and nets. At the present time he is engaged with his Master thesis: “VOIP attacks generator”.for „Mobile education classroom“. At the present time he is engaged with his Master thesis: “Automatic design of logical combinational circuits with multiplexers and SSI integrated circuits”.. Huang Z... He publicised as a co author two contributions on IIT. Her scientific interests include digital system design and modelling.SRC conference published in almanac Informatics and Information Technologies Student Research Conference.: From CRSM to a Tasking Design.: From CRSM Specification to a Real-Time Multitasking Execution Model.. Babau J.. Bc..J.P. Aubry R.J. Bled . He publicised as a co author one contribution on IIT. ISIE'99. Aubry R. 8.. ISBN 978-80-227-2848-5 and won the IEEE award for „Mobile education classroom“.