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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: Computer Science and Engineering
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Influence of Social Network Graph Structure on Disease Dynamics in a Simulated Environment

The Influence of Social Network Graph Structure on Disease Dynamics in a Simulated Environment

Date: December 2010
Creator: Johnson, Tina V.
Description: The fight against epidemics/pandemics is one of man versus nature. Technological advances have not only improved existing methods for monitoring and controlling disease outbreaks, but have also provided new means for investigation, such as through modeling and simulation. This dissertation explores the relationship between social structure and disease dynamics. Social structures are modeled as graphs, and outbreaks are simulated based on a well-recognized standard, the susceptible-infectious-removed (SIR) paradigm. Two independent, but related, studies are presented. The first involves measuring the severity of outbreaks as social network parameters are altered. The second study investigates the efficacy of various vaccination policies based on social structure. Three disease-related centrality measures are introduced, contact, transmission, and spread centrality, which are related to previously established centrality measures degree, betweenness, and closeness, respectively. The results of experiments presented in this dissertation indicate that reducing the neighborhood size along with outside-of-neighborhood contacts diminishes the severity of disease outbreaks. Vaccination strategies can effectively reduce these parameters. Additionally, vaccination policies that target individuals with high centrality are generally shown to be slightly more effective than a random vaccination policy. These results combined with past and future studies will assist public health officials in their effort to minimize the effects ...
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Process-Voltage-Temperature Aware Nanoscale Circuit Optimization

Process-Voltage-Temperature Aware Nanoscale Circuit Optimization

Date: December 2010
Creator: Thakral, Garima
Description: Embedded systems which are targeted towards portable applications are required to have low power consumption because such portable devices are typically powered by batteries. During the memory accesses of such battery operated portable systems, including laptops, cell phones and other devices, a significant amount of power or energy is consumed which significantly affects the battery life. Therefore, efficient and leakage power saving cache designs are needed for longer operation of battery powered applications. Design engineers have limited control over many design parameters of the circuit and hence face many chal-lenges due to inherent process technology variations, particularly on static random access memory (SRAM) circuit design. As CMOS process technologies scale down deeper into the nanometer regime, the push for high performance and reliable systems becomes even more challenging. As a result, developing low-power designs while maintaining better performance of the circuit becomes a very difficult task. Furthermore, a major need for accurate analysis and optimization of various forms of total power dissipation and performance in nanoscale CMOS technologies, particularly in SRAMs, is another critical issue to be considered. This dissertation proposes power-leakage and static noise margin (SNM) analysis and methodologies to achieve optimized static random access memories (SRAMs). Alternate topologies ...
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Exploring Privacy in Location-based Services Using Cryptographic Protocols

Exploring Privacy in Location-based Services Using Cryptographic Protocols

Date: May 2011
Creator: Vishwanathan, Roopa
Description: Location-based services (LBS) are available on a variety of mobile platforms like cell phones, PDA's, etc. and an increasing number of users subscribe to and use these services. Two of the popular models of information flow in LBS are the client-server model and the peer-to-peer model, in both of which, existing approaches do not always provide privacy for all parties concerned. In this work, I study the feasibility of applying cryptographic protocols to design privacy-preserving solutions for LBS from an experimental and theoretical standpoint. In the client-server model, I construct a two-phase framework for processing nearest neighbor queries using combinations of cryptographic protocols such as oblivious transfer and private information retrieval. In the peer-to-peer model, I present privacy preserving solutions for processing group nearest neighbor queries in the semi-honest and dishonest adversarial models. I apply concepts from secure multi-party computation to realize our constructions and also leverage the capabilities of trusted computing technology, specifically TPM chips. My solution for the dishonest adversarial model is also of independent cryptographic interest. I prove my constructions secure under standard cryptographic assumptions and design experiments for testing the feasibility or practicability of our constructions and benchmark key operations. My experiments show that the proposed ...
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Physical-Layer Network Coding for MIMO Systems

Physical-Layer Network Coding for MIMO Systems

Date: May 2011
Creator: Xu, Ning
Description: The future wireless communication systems are required to meet the growing demands of reliability, bandwidth capacity, and mobility. However, as corruptions such as fading effects, thermal noise, are present in the channel, the occurrence of errors is unavoidable. Motivated by this, the work in this dissertation attempts to improve the system performance by way of exploiting schemes which statistically reduce the error rate, and in turn boost the system throughput. The network can be studied using a simplified model, the two-way relay channel, where two parties exchange messages via the assistance of a relay in between. In such scenarios, this dissertation performs theoretical analysis of the system, and derives closed-form and upper bound expressions of the error probability. These theoretical measurements are potentially helpful references for the practical system design. Additionally, several novel transmission methods including block relaying, permutation modulations for the physical-layer network coding, are proposed and discussed. Numerical simulation results are presented to support the validity of the conclusions.
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Joint Schemes for Physical Layer Security and Error Correction

Joint Schemes for Physical Layer Security and Error Correction

Date: August 2011
Creator: Adamo, Oluwayomi Bamidele
Description: The major challenges facing resource constraint wireless devices are error resilience, security and speed. Three joint schemes are presented in this research which could be broadly divided into error correction based and cipher based. The error correction based ciphers take advantage of the properties of LDPC codes and Nordstrom Robinson code. A cipher-based cryptosystem is also presented in this research. The complexity of this scheme is reduced compared to conventional schemes. The securities of the ciphers are analyzed against known-plaintext and chosen-plaintext attacks and are found to be secure. Randomization test was also conducted on these schemes and the results are presented. For the proof of concept, the schemes were implemented in software and hardware and these shows a reduction in hardware usage compared to conventional schemes. As a result, joint schemes for error correction and security provide security to the physical layer of wireless communication systems, a layer in the protocol stack where currently little or no security is implemented. In this physical layer security approach, the properties of powerful error correcting codes are exploited to deliver reliability to the intended parties, high security against eavesdroppers and efficiency in communication system. The notion of a highly secure and reliable ...
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Scene Analysis Using Scale Invariant Feature Extraction and Probabilistic Modeling

Scene Analysis Using Scale Invariant Feature Extraction and Probabilistic Modeling

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Shen, Yao
Description: Conventional pattern recognition systems have two components: feature analysis and pattern classification. For any object in an image, features could be considered as the major characteristic of the object either for object recognition or object tracking purpose. Features extracted from a training image, can be used to identify the object when attempting to locate the object in a test image containing many other objects. To perform reliable scene analysis, it is important that the features extracted from the training image are detectable even under changes in image scale, noise and illumination. Scale invariant feature has wide applications such as image classification, object recognition and object tracking in the image processing area. In this thesis, color feature and SIFT (scale invariant feature transform) are considered to be scale invariant feature. The classification, recognition and tracking result were evaluated with novel evaluation criterion and compared with some existing methods. I also studied different types of scale invariant feature for the purpose of solving scene analysis problems. I propose probabilistic models as the foundation of analysis scene scenario of images. In order to differential the content of image, I develop novel algorithms for the adaptive combination for multiple features extracted from images. I ...
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Indoor Localization Using Magnetic Fields

Indoor Localization Using Magnetic Fields

Date: December 2011
Creator: Pathapati Subbu, Kalyan Sasidhar
Description: Indoor localization consists of locating oneself inside new buildings. GPS does not work indoors due to multipath reflection and signal blockage. WiFi based systems assume ubiquitous availability and infrastructure based systems require expensive installations, hence making indoor localization an open problem. This dissertation consists of solving the problem of indoor localization by thoroughly exploiting the indoor ambient magnetic fields comprising mainly of disturbances termed as anomalies in the Earth’s magnetic field caused by pillars, doors and elevators in hallways which are ferromagnetic in nature. By observing uniqueness in magnetic signatures collected from different campus buildings, the work presents the identification of landmarks and guideposts from these signatures and further develops magnetic maps of buildings - all of which can be used to locate and navigate people indoors. To understand the reason behind these anomalies, first a comparison between the measured and model generated Earth’s magnetic field is made, verifying the presence of a constant field without any disturbances. Then by modeling the magnetic field behavior of different pillars such as steel reinforced concrete, solid steel, and other structures like doors and elevators, the interaction of the Earth’s field with the ferromagnetic fields is described thereby explaining the causes of the ...
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Incremental Learning with Large Datasets

Incremental Learning with Large Datasets

Date: May 2012
Creator: Giritharan, Balathasan
Description: This dissertation focuses on the novel learning strategy based on geometric support vector machines to address the difficulties of processing immense data set. Support vector machines find the hyper-plane that maximizes the margin between two classes, and the decision boundary is represented with a few training samples it becomes a favorable choice for incremental learning. The dissertation presents a novel method Geometric Incremental Support Vector Machines (GISVMs) to address both efficiency and accuracy issues in handling massive data sets. In GISVM, skin of convex hulls is defined and an efficient method is designed to find the best skin approximation given available examples. The set of extreme points are found by recursively searching along the direction defined by a pair of known extreme points. By identifying the skin of the convex hulls, the incremental learning will only employ a much smaller number of samples with comparable or even better accuracy. When additional samples are provided, they will be used together with the skin of the convex hull constructed from previous dataset. This results in a small number of instances used in incremental steps of the training process. Based on the experimental results with synthetic data sets, public benchmark data sets from ...
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Metamodeling-based Fast Optimization of  Nanoscale Ams-socs

Metamodeling-based Fast Optimization of Nanoscale Ams-socs

Date: May 2012
Creator: Garitselov, Oleg
Description: Modern consumer electronic systems are mostly based on analog and digital circuits and are designed as analog/mixed-signal systems on chip (AMS-SoCs). the integration of analog and digital circuits on the same die makes the system cost effective. in AMS-SoCs, analog and mixed-signal portions have not traditionally received much attention due to their complexity. As the fabrication technology advances, the simulation times for AMS-SoC circuits become more complex and take significant amounts of time. the time allocated for the circuit design and optimization creates a need to reduce the simulation time. the time constraints placed on designers are imposed by the ever-shortening time to market and non-recurrent cost of the chip. This dissertation proposes the use of a novel method, called metamodeling, and intelligent optimization algorithms to reduce the design time. Metamodel-based ultra-fast design flows are proposed and investigated. Metamodel creation is a one time process and relies on fast sampling through accurate parasitic-aware simulations. One of the targets of this dissertation is to minimize the sample size while retaining the accuracy of the model. in order to achieve this goal, different statistical sampling techniques are explored and applied to various AMS-SoC circuits. Also, different metamodel functions are explored for their ...
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Sentence Similarity Analysis with Applications in Automatic Short Answer Grading

Sentence Similarity Analysis with Applications in Automatic Short Answer Grading

Date: August 2012
Creator: Mohler, Michael A.G.
Description: In this dissertation, I explore unsupervised techniques for the task of automatic short answer grading. I compare a number of knowledge-based and corpus-based measures of text similarity, evaluate the effect of domain and size on the corpus-based measures, and also introduce a novel technique to improve the performance of the system by integrating automatic feedback from the student answers. I continue to combine graph alignment features with lexical semantic similarity measures and employ machine learning techniques to show that grade assignment error can be reduced compared to a system that considers only lexical semantic measures of similarity. I also detail a preliminary attempt to align the dependency graphs of student and instructor answers in order to utilize a structural component that is necessary to simulate human-level grading of student answers. I further explore the utility of these techniques to several related tasks in natural language processing including the detection of text similarity, paraphrase, and textual entailment.
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Modeling Synergistic Relationships Between Words and Images

Modeling Synergistic Relationships Between Words and Images

Date: December 2012
Creator: Leong, Chee Wee
Description: Texts and images provide alternative, yet orthogonal views of the same underlying cognitive concept. By uncovering synergistic, semantic relationships that exist between words and images, I am working to develop novel techniques that can help improve tasks in natural language processing, as well as effective models for text-to-image synthesis, image retrieval, and automatic image annotation. Specifically, in my dissertation, I will explore the interoperability of features between language and vision tasks. In the first part, I will show how it is possible to apply features generated using evidence gathered from text corpora to solve the image annotation problem in computer vision, without the use of any visual information. In the second part, I will address research in the reverse direction, and show how visual cues can be used to improve tasks in natural language processing. Importantly, I propose a novel metric to estimate the similarity of words by comparing the visual similarity of concepts invoked by these words, and show that it can be used further to advance the state-of-the-art methods that employ corpus-based and knowledge-based semantic similarity measures. Finally, I attempt to construct a joint semantic space connecting words with images, and synthesize an evaluation framework to quantify cross-modal ...
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Source and Channel Coding Strategies for Wireless Sensor Networks

Source and Channel Coding Strategies for Wireless Sensor Networks

Date: December 2012
Creator: Li, Li
Description: In this dissertation, I focus on source coding techniques as well as channel coding techniques. I addressed the challenges in WSN by developing (1) a new source coding strategy for erasure channels that has better distortion performance compared to MDC; (2) a new cooperative channel coding strategy for multiple access channels that has better channel outage performances compared to MIMO; (3) a new source-channel cooperation strategy to accomplish source-to-fusion center communication that reduces system distortion and improves outage performance. First, I draw a parallel between the 2x2 MDC scheme and the Alamouti's space time block coding (STBC) scheme and observe the commonality in their mathematical models. This commonality allows us to observe the duality between the two diversity techniques. Making use of this duality, I develop an MDC scheme with pairwise complex correlating transform. Theoretically, I show that MDC scheme results in: 1) complete elimination of the estimation error when only one descriptor is received; 2) greater efficiency in recovering the stronger descriptor (with larger variance) from the weaker descriptor; and 3) improved performance in terms of minimized distortion as the quantization error gets reduced. Experiments are also performed on real images to demonstrate these benefits. Second, I present a ...
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Evaluating Appropriateness of Emg and Flex Sensors for Classifying Hand Gestures

Evaluating Appropriateness of Emg and Flex Sensors for Classifying Hand Gestures

Date: May 2013
Creator: Akumalla, Sarath Chandra
Description: Hand and arm gestures are a great way of communication when you don't want to be heard, quieter and often more reliable than whispering into a radio mike. In recent years hand gesture identification became a major active area of research due its use in various applications. The objective of my work is to develop an integrated sensor system, which will enable tactical squads and SWAT teams to communicate when there is absence of a Line of Sight or in the presence of any obstacles. The gesture set involved in this work is the standardized hand signals for close range engagement operations used by military and SWAT teams. The gesture sets involved in this work are broadly divided into finger movements and arm movements. The core components of the integrated sensor system are: Surface EMG sensors, Flex sensors and accelerometers. Surface EMG is the electrical activity produced by muscle contractions and measured by sensors directly attached to the skin. Bend Sensors use a piezo resistive material to detect the bend. The sensor output is determined by both the angle between the ends of the sensor as well as the flex radius. Accelerometers sense the dynamic acceleration and inclination in 3 ...
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Extrapolating Subjectivity Research to Other Languages

Extrapolating Subjectivity Research to Other Languages

Date: May 2013
Creator: Banea, Carmen
Description: Socrates articulated it best, "Speak, so I may see you." Indeed, language represents an invisible probe into the mind. It is the medium through which we express our deepest thoughts, our aspirations, our views, our feelings, our inner reality. From the beginning of artificial intelligence, researchers have sought to impart human like understanding to machines. As much of our language represents a form of self expression, capturing thoughts, beliefs, evaluations, opinions, and emotions which are not available for scrutiny by an outside observer, in the field of natural language, research involving these aspects has crystallized under the name of subjectivity and sentiment analysis. While subjectivity classification labels text as either subjective or objective, sentiment classification further divides subjective text into either positive, negative or neutral. In this thesis, I investigate techniques of generating tools and resources for subjectivity analysis that do not rely on an existing natural language processing infrastructure in a given language. This constraint is motivated by the fact that the vast majority of human languages are scarce from an electronic point of view: they lack basic tools such as part-of-speech taggers, parsers, or basic resources such as electronic text, annotated corpora or lexica. This severely limits the ...
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Finding Meaning in Context Using Graph Algorithms in Mono- and Cross-lingual Settings

Finding Meaning in Context Using Graph Algorithms in Mono- and Cross-lingual Settings

Date: May 2013
Creator: Sinha, Ravi Som
Description: Making computers automatically find the appropriate meaning of words in context is an interesting problem that has proven to be one of the most challenging tasks in natural language processing (NLP). Widespread potential applications of a possible solution to the problem could be envisaged in several NLP tasks such as text simplification, language learning, machine translation, query expansion, information retrieval and text summarization. Ambiguity of words has always been a challenge in these applications, and the traditional endeavor to solve the problem of this ambiguity, namely doing word sense disambiguation using resources like WordNet, has been fraught with debate about the feasibility of the granularity that exists in WordNet senses. The recent trend has therefore been to move away from enforcing any given lexical resource upon automated systems from which to pick potential candidate senses,and to instead encourage them to pick and choose their own resources. Given a sentence with a target ambiguous word, an alternative solution consists of picking potential candidate substitutes for the target, filtering the list of the candidates to a much shorter list using various heuristics, and trying to match these system predictions against a human generated gold standard, with a view to ensuring that the ...
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Layout-accurate Ultra-fast System-level Design Exploration Through Verilog-ams

Layout-accurate Ultra-fast System-level Design Exploration Through Verilog-ams

Date: May 2013
Creator: Zheng, Geng
Description: This research addresses problems in designing analog and mixed-signal (AMS) systems by bridging the gap between system-level and circuit-level simulation by making simulations fast like system-level and accurate like circuit-level. The tools proposed include metamodel integrated Verilog-AMS based design exploration flows. The research involves design centering, metamodel generation flows for creating efficient behavioral models, and Verilog-AMS integration techniques for model realization. The core of the proposed solution is transistor-level and layout-level metamodeling and their incorporation in Verilog-AMS. Metamodeling is used to construct efficient and layout-accurate surrogate models for AMS system building blocks. Verilog-AMS, an AMS hardware description language, is employed to build surrogate model implementations that can be simulated with industrial standard simulators. The case-study circuits and systems include an operational amplifier (OP-AMP), a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), a charge-pump phase-locked loop (PLL), and a continuous-time delta-sigma modulator (DSM). The minimum and maximum error rates of the proposed OP-AMP model are 0.11 % and 2.86 %, respectively. The error rates for the PLL lock time and power estimation are 0.7 % and 3.0 %, respectively. The OP-AMP optimization using the proposed approach is ~17000× faster than the transistor-level model based approach. The optimization achieves a ~4× power reduction for the OP-AMP ...
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Automated Real-time Objects Detection in Colonoscopy Videos for Quality Measurements

Automated Real-time Objects Detection in Colonoscopy Videos for Quality Measurements

Date: August 2013
Creator: Kumara, Muthukudage Jayantha
Description: The effectiveness of colonoscopy depends on the quality of the inspection of the colon. There was no automated measurement method to evaluate the quality of the inspection. This thesis addresses this issue by investigating an automated post-procedure quality measurement technique and proposing a novel approach automatically deciding a percentage of stool areas in images of digitized colonoscopy video files. It involves the classification of image pixels based on their color features using a new method of planes on RGB (red, green and blue) color space. The limitation of post-procedure quality measurement is that quality measurements are available long after the procedure was done and the patient was released. A better approach is to inform any sub-optimal inspection immediately so that the endoscopist can improve the quality in real-time during the procedure. This thesis also proposes an extension to post-procedure method to detect stool, bite-block, and blood regions in real-time using color features in HSV color space. These three objects play a major role in quality measurements in colonoscopy. The proposed method partitions very large positive examples of each of these objects into a number of groups. These groups are formed by taking intersection of positive examples with a hyper plane. ...
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Detection of Temporal Events and Abnormal Images for Quality Analysis in Endoscopy Videos

Detection of Temporal Events and Abnormal Images for Quality Analysis in Endoscopy Videos

Date: August 2013
Creator: Nawarathna, Ruwan D.
Description: Recent reports suggest that measuring the objective quality is very essential towards the success of colonoscopy. Several quality indicators (i.e. metrics) proposed in recent studies are implemented in software systems that compute real-time quality scores for routine screening colonoscopy. Most quality metrics are derived based on various temporal events occurred during the colonoscopy procedure. The location of the phase boundary between the insertion and the withdrawal phases and the amount of circumferential inspection are two such important temporal events. These two temporal events can be determined by analyzing various camera motions of the colonoscope. This dissertation put forward a novel method to estimate X, Y and Z directional motions of the colonoscope using motion vector templates. Since abnormalities of a WCE or a colonoscopy video can be found in a small number of frames (around 5% out of total frames), it is very helpful if a computer system can decide whether a frame has any mucosal abnormalities. Also, the number of detected abnormal lesions during a procedure is used as a quality indicator. Majority of the existing abnormal detection methods focus on detecting only one type of abnormality or the overall accuracies are somewhat low if the method tries to ...
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Statistical Strategies for Efficient Signal Detection and Parameter Estimation in Wireless Sensor Networks

Statistical Strategies for Efficient Signal Detection and Parameter Estimation in Wireless Sensor Networks

Date: December 2013
Creator: Ayeh, Eric
Description: This dissertation investigates data reduction strategies from a signal processing perspective in centralized detection and estimation applications. First, it considers a deterministic source observed by a network of sensors and develops an analytical strategy for ranking sensor transmissions based on the magnitude of their test statistics. The benefit of the proposed strategy is that the decision to transmit or not to transmit observations to the fusion center can be made at the sensor level resulting in significant savings in transmission costs. A sensor network based on target tracking application is simulated to demonstrate the benefits of the proposed strategy over the unconstrained energy approach. Second, it considers the detection of random signals in noisy measurements and evaluates the performance of eigenvalue-based signal detectors. Due to their computational simplicity, robustness and performance, these detectors have recently received a lot of attention. When the observed random signal is correlated, several researchers claim that the performance of eigenvalue-based detectors exceeds that of the classical energy detector. However, such claims fail to consider the fact that when the signal is correlated, the optimal detector is the estimator-correlator and not the energy detector. In this dissertation, through theoretical analyses and Monte Carlo simulations, eigenvalue-based detectors ...
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Geostatistical Inspired Metamodeling and Optimization of Nanoscale Analog Circuits

Geostatistical Inspired Metamodeling and Optimization of Nanoscale Analog Circuits

Date: May 2014
Creator: Okobiah, Oghenekarho
Description: The current trend towards miniaturization of modern consumer electronic devices significantly affects their design. The demand for efficient all-in-one appliances leads to smaller, yet more complex and powerful nanoelectronic devices. The increasing complexity in the design of such nanoscale Analog/Mixed-Signal Systems-on-Chip (AMS-SoCs) presents difficult challenges to designers. One promising design method used to mitigate the burden of this design effort is the use of metamodeling (surrogate) modeling techniques. Their use significantly reduces the time for computer simulation and design space exploration and optimization. This dissertation addresses several issues of metamodeling based nanoelectronic based AMS design exploration. A surrogate modeling technique which uses geostatistical based Kriging prediction methods in creating metamodels is proposed. Kriging prediction techniques take into account the correlation effects between input parameters for performance point prediction. We propose the use of Kriging to utilize this property for the accurate modeling of process variation effects of designs in the deep nanometer region. Different Kriging methods have been explored for this work such as simple and ordinary Kriging. We also propose another metamodeling technique Kriging-Bootstrapped Neural Network that combines the accuracy and process variation awareness of Kriging with artificial neural network models for ultra-fast and accurate process aware metamodeling design. ...
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Monitoring Dengue Outbreaks Using Online Data

Monitoring Dengue Outbreaks Using Online Data

Date: May 2014
Creator: Chartree, Jedsada
Description: Internet technology has affected humans' lives in many disciplines. The search engine is one of the most important Internet tools in that it allows people to search for what they want. Search queries entered in a web search engine can be used to predict dengue incidence. This vector borne disease causes severe illness and kills a large number of people every year. This dissertation utilizes the capabilities of search queries related to dengue and climate to forecast the number of dengue cases. Several machine learning techniques are applied for data analysis, including Multiple Linear Regression, Artificial Neural Networks, and the Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average. Predictive models produced from these machine learning methods are measured for their performance to find which technique generates the best model for dengue prediction. The results of experiments presented in this dissertation indicate that search query data related to dengue and climate can be used to forecast the number of dengue cases. The performance measurement of predictive models shows that Artificial Neural Networks outperform the others. These results will help public health officials in planning to deal with the outbreaks.
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A Computational Methodology for Addressing Differentiated Access of Vulnerable Populations During Biological Emergencies

A Computational Methodology for Addressing Differentiated Access of Vulnerable Populations During Biological Emergencies

Date: August 2014
Creator: O’Neill II, Martin Joseph
Description: Mitigation response plans must be created to protect affected populations during biological emergencies resulting from the release of harmful biochemical substances. Medical countermeasures have been stockpiled by the federal government for such emergencies. However, it is the responsibility of local governments to maintain solid, functional plans to apply these countermeasures to the entire target population within short, mandated time frames. Further, vulnerabilities in the population may serve as barriers preventing certain individuals from participating in mitigation activities. Therefore, functional response plans must be capable of reaching vulnerable populations.Transportation vulnerability results from lack of access to transportation. Transportation vulnerable populations located too far from mitigation resources are at-risk of not being able to participate in mitigation activities. Quantification of these populations requires the development of computational methods to integrate spatial demographic data and transportation resource data from disparate sources into the context of planned mitigation efforts. Research described in this dissertation focuses on quantifying transportation vulnerable populations and maximizing participation in response efforts. Algorithms developed as part of this research are integrated into a computational framework to promote a transition from research and development to deployment and use by biological emergency planners.
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Modeling Epidemics on Structured Populations: Effects of Socio-demographic Characteristics and Immune Response Quality

Modeling Epidemics on Structured Populations: Effects of Socio-demographic Characteristics and Immune Response Quality

Date: August 2014
Creator: Reyes Silveyra, Jorge A.
Description: Epidemiologists engage in the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in human populations. Eventually, they will apply that study to prevent and control problems and contingencies associated with the health of the population. Due to the spread of new pathogens and the emergence of new bio-terrorism threats, it has become imperative to develop new and expand existing techniques to equip public health providers with robust tools to predict and control health-related crises. In this dissertation, I explore the effects caused in the disease dynamics by the differences in individuals’ physiology and social/behavioral characteristics. Multiple computational and mathematical models were developed to quantify the effect of those factors on spatial and temporal variations of the disease epidemics. I developed statistical methods to measure the effects caused in the outbreak dynamics by the incorporation of heterogeneous demographics and social interactions to the individuals of the population. Specifically, I studied the relationship between demographics and the physiological characteristics of an individual when preparing for an infectious disease epidemic.
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Procedural Generation of Content for Online Role Playing Games

Procedural Generation of Content for Online Role Playing Games

Date: August 2014
Creator: Doran, Jonathon
Description: Video game players demand a volume of content far in excess of the ability of game designers to create it. For example, a single quest might take a week to develop and test, which means that companies such as Blizzard are spending millions of dollars each month on new content for their games. As a result, both players and developers are frustrated with the inability to meet the demand for new content. By generating content on-demand, it is possible to create custom content for each player based on player preferences. It is also possible to make use of the current world state during generation, something which cannot be done with current techniques. Using developers to create rules and assets for a content generator instead of creating content directly will lower development costs as well as reduce the development time for new game content to seconds rather than days. This work is part of the field of computational creativity, and involves the use of computers to create aesthetically pleasing game content, such as terrain, characters, and quests. I demonstrate agent-based terrain generation, and economic modeling of game spaces. I also demonstrate the autonomous generation of quests for online role playing games, ...
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