Experimental Investigation of Distance Graduate Studies of the Open Source Environment by Models of Optimal Sequential Decisions and the Bayesian Approach

  • Jonas Mockus
Part of the Optimization and Its Applications book series (SOIA, volume 4)


Development and applications of the open source software is a new and dynamic field. Important changes often happen in days and weeks. Thus some new non-traditional approaches of education should be investigated to meet the needs of open software adequately.

The general consideration of this problem is difficult. Therefore we start by relevant case studies. In this chapter we consider models of optimal sequential decisions with multiple objective functions as an example. The aim is to show that models can be implemented and updated by graduate students themselves. That reflects the usual procedures of the open source development. This way students not only learn the underlaying model but obtain the experience in the development of open source software.

In this case the step-by-step improvement of the model and software is at least as important as the final result that is never achieved in open source environment as usual. A short presentation of the basic ideas is in [Moc00]. Note that doing this we accumulate some experience in the completely new field of education when all the information can be easily obtained by Internet. The users are doing just the creative part by filtering and transforming the information to meet their own objectives, to build their own models. The natural way is computer experimentation.

To make the task as easy as possible all the algorithms considered in this chapter are implemented as platform independent Java applets or servlets therefore readers can easily verify and apply the results for studies and for real life optimization models.

To address this idea the chapter is arranged in a way convenient for the direct reader participation. Therefore a part of the chapter is written as some ‘user guide’. The rest is a short description of optimization algorithms and models. All the remaining information is on web-sites, for example http : //

Key words

sequential decisions recurrent equations Bayesian approach distance studies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonas Mockus
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Mathematics and InformaticsVilniusLithuania
  2. 2.Kaunas Technological UniversityKaunasLithuania

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