Abstractions for designing and evaluating communication bridges for people in developing regions
Tucker, William David
Blake, Edwin H.
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This paper describes two novel abstractions that help soft- ware engineers work in developing regions to align social and technical factors when building communication systems. The abstractions extend two concepts familiar to engineers of computer networks and applications: the Open Systems Interconnect stack for design, and Quality of Service for eval- uation. The novel nature of the abstractions lies in how they help cultivate awareness of socio-cultural and technical is- sues when designing and evaluating communication bridges in the eld. Advantages of the abstractions are that they can be understood easily by software engineers, they aid communication with bene ciaries, and can therefore facili- tate collaboration. The paper makes an argument for these socially aware abstractions, describes the abstractions in de- tail, provides examples of how we used the new abstractions in the eld and then gives practical guidelines for how to use them. The simple nature of the new abstractions can help software engineers and end-users to work together to produce useful information technology based communication systems for people in developing regions.