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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Computer Science and Engineering
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Split array and scalar data cache: A comprehensive study of data cache organization.

Split array and scalar data cache: A comprehensive study of data cache organization.

Date: August 2007
Creator: Naz, Afrin
Description: Existing cache organization suffers from the inability to distinguish different types of localities, and non-selectively cache all data rather than making any attempt to take special advantage of the locality type. This causes unnecessary movement of data among the levels of the memory hierarchy and increases in miss ratio. In this dissertation I propose a split data cache architecture that will group memory accesses as scalar or array references according to their inherent locality and will subsequently map each group to a dedicated cache partition. In this system, because scalar and array references will no longer negatively affect each other, cache-interference is diminished, delivering better performance. Further improvement is achieved by the introduction of victim cache, prefetching, data flattening and reconfigurability to tune the array and scalar caches for specific application. The most significant contribution of my work is the introduction of novel cache architecture for embedded microprocessor platforms. My proposed cache architecture uses reconfigurability coupled with split data caches to reduce area and power consumed by cache memories while retaining performance gains. My results show excellent reductions in both memory size and memory access times, translating into reduced power consumption. Since there was a huge reduction in miss rates ...
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Intelligent Memory Manager: Towards improving the locality behavior of allocation-intensive applications.

Intelligent Memory Manager: Towards improving the locality behavior of allocation-intensive applications.

Date: May 2004
Creator: Rezaei, Mehran
Description: Dynamic memory management required by allocation-intensive (i.e., Object Oriented and linked data structured) applications has led to a large number of research trends. Memory performance due to the cache misses in these applications continues to lag in terms of execution cycles as ever increasing CPU-Memory speed gap continues to grow. Sophisticated prefetcing techniques, data relocations, and multithreaded architectures have tried to address memory latency. These techniques are not completely successful since they require either extra hardware/software in the system or special properties in the applications. Software needed for prefetching and data relocation strategies, aimed to improve cache performance, pollutes the cache so that the technique itself becomes counter-productive. On the other hand, extra hardware complexity needed in multithreaded architectures decelerates CPU's clock, since "Simpler is Faster." This dissertation, directed to seek the cause of poor locality behavior of allocation--intensive applications, studies allocators and their impact on the cache performance of these applications. Our study concludes that service functions, in general, and memory management functions, in particular, entangle with application's code and become the major cause of cache pollution. In this dissertation, we present a novel technique that transfers the allocation and de-allocation functions entirely to a separate processor residing in ...
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Mobile agent security through multi-agent cryptographic protocols.

Mobile agent security through multi-agent cryptographic protocols.

Date: May 2004
Creator: Xu, Ke
Description: An increasingly promising and widespread topic of research in distributed computing is the mobile agent paradigm: code travelling and performing computations on remote hosts in an autonomous manner. One of the biggest challenges faced by this new paradigm is security. The issue of protecting sensitive code and data carried by a mobile agent against tampering from a malicious host is particularly hard but important. Based on secure multi-party computation, a recent research direction shows the feasibility of a software-only solution to this problem, which had been deemed impossible by some researchers previously. The best result prior to this dissertation is a single-agent protocol which requires the participation of a trusted third party. Our research employs multi-agent protocols to eliminate the trusted third party, resulting in a protocol with minimum trust assumptions. This dissertation presents one of the first formal definitions of secure mobile agent computation, in which the privacy and integrity of the agent code and data as well as the data provided by the host are all protected. We present secure protocols for mobile agent computation against static, semi-honest or malicious adversaries without relying on any third party or trusting any specific participant in the system. The security of ...
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Adaptive Planning and Prediction in Agent-Supported Distributed Collaboration.

Adaptive Planning and Prediction in Agent-Supported Distributed Collaboration.

Date: December 2004
Creator: Hartness, Ken T. N.
Description: Agents that act as user assistants will become invaluable as the number of information sources continue to proliferate. Such agents can support the work of users by learning to automate time-consuming tasks and filter information to manageable levels. Although considerable advances have been made in this area, it remains a fertile area for further development. One application of agents under careful scrutiny is the automated negotiation of conflicts between different user's needs and desires. Many techniques require explicit user models in order to function. This dissertation explores a technique for dynamically constructing user models and the impact of using them to anticipate the need for negotiation. Negotiation is reduced by including an advising aspect to the agent that can use this anticipation of conflict to adjust user behavior.
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Procedural content creation and technologies for 3D graphics applications and games.

Procedural content creation and technologies for 3D graphics applications and games.

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Roden, Timothy E.
Description: The recent transformation of consumer graphics (CG) cards into powerful 3D rendering processors is due in large measure to the success of game developers in delivering mass market entertainment software that feature highly immersive and captivating virtual environments. Despite this success, 3D CG application development is becoming increasingly handicapped by the inability of traditional content creation methods to keep up with the demand for content. The term content is used here to refer to any data operated on by application code that is meant for viewing, including 3D models, textures, animation sequences and maps or other data-intensive descriptions of virtual environments. Traditionally, content has been handcrafted by humans. A serious problem facing the interactive graphics software development community is how to increase the rate at which content can be produced to keep up with the increasingly rapid pace at which software for interactive applications can now be developed. Research addressing this problem centers around procedural content creation systems. By moving away from purely human content creation toward systems in which humans play a substantially less time-intensive but no less creative part in the process, procedural content creation opens new doors. From a qualitative standpoint, these types of systems will not ...
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System and Methods for Detecting Unwanted Voice Calls

System and Methods for Detecting Unwanted Voice Calls

Date: December 2007
Creator: Kolan, Prakash
Description: Voice over IP (VoIP) is a key enabling technology for the migration of circuit-switched PSTN architectures to packet-based IP networks. However, this migration is successful only if the present problems in IP networks are addressed before deploying VoIP infrastructure on a large scale. One of the important issues that the present VoIP networks face is the problem of unwanted calls commonly referred to as SPIT (spam over Internet telephony). Mostly, these SPIT calls are from unknown callers who broadcast unwanted calls. There may be unwanted calls from legitimate and known people too. In this case, the unwantedness depends on social proximity of the communicating parties. For detecting these unwanted calls, I propose a framework that analyzes incoming calls for unwanted behavior. The framework includes a VoIP spam detector (VSD) that analyzes incoming VoIP calls for spam behavior using trust and reputation techniques. The framework also includes a nuisance detector (ND) that proactively infers the nuisance (or reluctance of the end user) to receive incoming calls. This inference is based on past mutual behavior between the calling and the called party (i.e., caller and callee), the callee's presence (mood or state of mind) and tolerance in receiving voice calls from the ...
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High Performance Architecture using Speculative Threads and Dynamic Memory Management Hardware

High Performance Architecture using Speculative Threads and Dynamic Memory Management Hardware

Date: December 2007
Creator: Li, Wentong
Description: With the advances in very large scale integration (VLSI) technology, hundreds of billions of transistors can be packed into a single chip. With the increased hardware budget, how to take advantage of available hardware resources becomes an important research area. Some researchers have shifted from control flow Von-Neumann architecture back to dataflow architecture again in order to explore scalable architectures leading to multi-core systems with several hundreds of processing elements. In this dissertation, I address how the performance of modern processing systems can be improved, while attempting to reduce hardware complexity and energy consumptions. My research described here tackles both central processing unit (CPU) performance and memory subsystem performance. More specifically I will describe my research related to the design of an innovative decoupled multithreaded architecture that can be used in multi-core processor implementations. I also address how memory management functions can be off-loaded from processing pipelines to further improve system performance and eliminate cache pollution caused by runtime management functions.
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Bayesian Probabilistic Reasoning Applied to Mathematical Epidemiology for Predictive Spatiotemporal Analysis of Infectious Diseases

Bayesian Probabilistic Reasoning Applied to Mathematical Epidemiology for Predictive Spatiotemporal Analysis of Infectious Diseases

Date: May 2006
Creator: Abbas, Kaja Moinudeen
Description: Abstract Probabilistic reasoning under uncertainty suits well to analysis of disease dynamics. The stochastic nature of disease progression is modeled by applying the principles of Bayesian learning. Bayesian learning predicts the disease progression, including prevalence and incidence, for a geographic region and demographic composition. Public health resources, prioritized by the order of risk levels of the population, will efficiently minimize the disease spread and curtail the epidemic at the earliest. A Bayesian network representing the outbreak of influenza and pneumonia in a geographic region is ported to a newer region with different demographic composition. Upon analysis for the newer region, the corresponding prevalence of influenza and pneumonia among the different demographic subgroups is inferred for the newer region. Bayesian reasoning coupled with disease timeline is used to reverse engineer an influenza outbreak for a given geographic and demographic setting. The temporal flow of the epidemic among the different sections of the population is analyzed to identify the corresponding risk levels. In comparison to spread vaccination, prioritizing the limited vaccination resources to the higher risk groups results in relatively lower influenza prevalence. HIV incidence in Texas from 1989-2002 is analyzed using demographic based epidemic curves. Dynamic Bayesian networks are integrated with ...
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An Integrated Architecture for Ad Hoc Grids

An Integrated Architecture for Ad Hoc Grids

Date: May 2006
Creator: Amin, Kaizar Abdul Husain
Description: Extensive research has been conducted by the grid community to enable large-scale collaborations in pre-configured environments. grid collaborations can vary in scale and motivation resulting in a coarse classification of grids: national grid, project grid, enterprise grid, and volunteer grid. Despite the differences in scope and scale, all the traditional grids in practice share some common assumptions. They support mutually collaborative communities, adopt a centralized control for membership, and assume a well-defined non-changing collaboration. To support grid applications that do not confirm to these assumptions, we propose the concept of ad hoc grids. In the context of this research, we propose a novel architecture for ad hoc grids that integrates a suite of component frameworks. Specifically, our architecture combines the community management framework, security framework, abstraction framework, quality of service framework, and reputation framework. The overarching objective of our integrated architecture is to support a variety of grid applications in a self-controlled fashion with the help of a self-organizing ad hoc community. We introduce mechanisms in our architecture that successfully isolates malicious elements from the community, inherently improving the quality of grid services and extracting deterministic quality assurances from the underlying infrastructure. We also emphasize on the technology-independence of our ...
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Flexible Digital Authentication Techniques

Flexible Digital Authentication Techniques

Date: May 2006
Creator: Ge, He
Description: Abstract This dissertation investigates authentication techniques in some emerging areas. Specifically, authentication schemes have been proposed that are well-suited for embedded systems, and privacy-respecting pay Web sites. With embedded systems, a person could own several devices which are capable of communication and interaction, but these devices use embedded processors whose computational capabilities are limited as compared to desktop computers. Examples of this scenario include entertainment devices or appliances owned by a consumer, multiple control and sensor systems in an automobile or airplane, and environmental controls in a building. An efficient public key cryptosystem has been devised, which provides a complete solution to an embedded system, including protocols for authentication, authenticated key exchange, encryption, and revocation. The new construction is especially suitable for the devices with constrained computing capabilities and resources. Compared with other available authentication schemes, such as X.509, identity-based encryption, etc, the new construction provides unique features such as simplicity, efficiency, forward secrecy, and an efficient re-keying mechanism. In the application scenario for a pay Web site, users may be sensitive about their privacy, and do not wish their behaviors to be tracked by Web sites. Thus, an anonymous authentication scheme is desirable in this case. That is, a ...
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Group-EDF: A New Approach and an Efficient Non-Preemptive Algorithm for Soft Real-Time Systems

Group-EDF: A New Approach and an Efficient Non-Preemptive Algorithm for Soft Real-Time Systems

Date: August 2006
Creator: Li, Wenming
Description: Hard real-time systems in robotics, space and military missions, and control devices are specified with stringent and critical time constraints. On the other hand, soft real-time applications arising from multimedia, telecommunications, Internet web services, and games are specified with more lenient constraints. Real-time systems can also be distinguished in terms of their implementation into preemptive and non-preemptive systems. In preemptive systems, tasks are often preempted by higher priority tasks. Non-preemptive systems are gaining interest for implementing soft-real applications on multithreaded platforms. In this dissertation, I propose a new algorithm that uses a two-level scheduling strategy for scheduling non-preemptive soft real-time tasks. Our goal is to improve the success ratios of the well-known earliest deadline first (EDF) approach when the load on the system is very high and to improve the overall performance in both underloaded and overloaded conditions. Our approach, known as group-EDF (gEDF), is based on dynamic grouping of tasks with deadlines that are very close to each other, and using a shortest job first (SJF) technique to schedule tasks within the group. I believe that grouping tasks dynamically with similar deadlines and utilizing secondary criteria, such as minimizing the total execution time can lead to new and more ...
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Mediation on XQuery Views

Mediation on XQuery Views

Date: December 2006
Creator: Peng, Xiaobo
Description: The major goal of information integration is to provide efficient and easy-to-use access to multiple heterogeneous data sources with a single query. At the same time, one of the current trends is to use standard technologies for implementing solutions to complex software problems. In this dissertation, I used XML and XQuery as the standard technologies and have developed an extended projection algorithm to provide a solution to the information integration problem. In order to demonstrate my solution, I implemented a prototype mediation system called Omphalos based on XML related technologies. The dissertation describes the architecture of the system, its metadata, and the process it uses to answer queries. The system uses XQuery expressions (termed metaqueries) to capture complex mappings between global schemas and data source schemas. The system then applies these metaqueries in order to rewrite a user query on a virtual global database (representing the integrated view of the heterogeneous data sources) to a query (termed an outsourced query) on the real data sources. An extended XML document projection algorithm was developed to increase the efficiency of selecting the relevant subset of data from an individual data source to answer the user query. The system applies the projection algorithm ...
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A Netcentric Scientific Research Repository

A Netcentric Scientific Research Repository

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Harrington, Brian
Description: The Internet and networks in general have become essential tools for disseminating in-formation. Search engines have become the predominant means of finding information on the Web and all other data repositories, including local resources. Domain scientists regularly acquire and analyze images generated by equipment such as microscopes and cameras, resulting in complex image files that need to be managed in a convenient manner. This type of integrated environment has been recently termed a netcentric sci-entific research repository. I developed a number of data manipulation tools that allow researchers to manage their information more effectively in a netcentric environment. The specific contributions are: (1) A unique interface for management of data including files and relational databases. A wrapper for relational databases was developed so that the data can be indexed and searched using traditional search engines. This approach allows data in databases to be searched with the same interface as other data. Fur-thermore, this approach makes it easier for scientists to work with their data if they are not familiar with SQL. (2) A Web services based architecture for integrating analysis op-erations into a repository. This technique allows the system to leverage the large num-ber of existing tools by wrapping them ...
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Keywords in the mist:  Automated keyword extraction for very large documents and back of the book indexing.

Keywords in the mist: Automated keyword extraction for very large documents and back of the book indexing.

Date: May 2008
Creator: Csomai, Andras
Description: This research addresses the problem of automatic keyphrase extraction from large documents and back of the book indexing. The potential benefits of automating this process are far reaching, from improving information retrieval in digital libraries, to saving countless man-hours by helping professional indexers creating back of the book indexes. The dissertation introduces a new methodology to evaluate automated systems, which allows for a detailed, comparative analysis of several techniques for keyphrase extraction. We introduce and evaluate both supervised and unsupervised techniques, designed to balance the resource requirements of an automated system and the best achievable performance. Additionally, a number of novel features are proposed, including a statistical informativeness measure based on chi statistics; an encyclopedic feature that taps into the vast knowledge base of Wikipedia to establish the likelihood of a phrase referring to an informative concept; and a linguistic feature based on sophisticated semantic analysis of the text using current theories of discourse comprehension. The resulting keyphrase extraction system is shown to outperform the current state of the art in supervised keyphrase extraction by a large margin. Moreover, a fully automated back of the book indexing system based on the keyphrase extraction system was shown to lead to back ...
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Exploring Trusted Platform Module Capabilities: A Theoretical and Experimental Study

Exploring Trusted Platform Module Capabilities: A Theoretical and Experimental Study

Date: May 2008
Creator: Gunupudi, Vandana
Description: Trusted platform modules (TPMs) are hardware modules that are bound to a computer's motherboard, that are being included in many desktops and laptops. Augmenting computers with these hardware modules adds powerful functionality in distributed settings, allowing us to reason about the security of these systems in new ways. In this dissertation, I study the functionality of TPMs from a theoretical as well as an experimental perspective. On the theoretical front, I leverage various features of TPMs to construct applications like random oracles that are impossible to implement in a standard model of computation. Apart from random oracles, I construct a new cryptographic primitive which is basically a non-interactive form of the standard cryptographic primitive of oblivious transfer. I apply this new primitive to secure mobile agent computations, where interaction between various entities is typically required to ensure security. I prove these constructions are secure using standard cryptographic techniques and assumptions. To test the practicability of these constructions and their applications, I performed an experimental study, both on an actual TPM and a software TPM simulator which has been enhanced to make it reflect timings from a real TPM. This allowed me to benchmark the performance of the applications and test ...
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Direct Online/Offline Digital Signature Schemes.

Direct Online/Offline Digital Signature Schemes.

Date: December 2008
Creator: Yu, Ping
Description: Online/offline signature schemes are useful in many situations, and two such scenarios are considered in this dissertation: bursty server authentication and embedded device authentication. In this dissertation, new techniques for online/offline signing are introduced, those are applied in a variety of ways for creating online/offline signature schemes, and five different online/offline signature schemes that are proved secure under a variety of models and assumptions are proposed. Two of the proposed five schemes have the best offline or best online performance of any currently known technique, and are particularly well-suited for the scenarios that are considered in this dissertation. To determine if the proposed schemes provide the expected practical improvements, a series of experiments were conducted comparing the proposed schemes with each other and with other state-of-the-art schemes in this area, both on a desktop class computer, and under AVR Studio, a simulation platform for an 8-bit processor that is popular for embedded systems. Under AVR Studio, the proposed SGE scheme using a typical key size for the embedded device authentication scenario, can complete the offline phase in about 24 seconds and then produce a signature (the online phase) in 15 milliseconds, which is the best offline performance of any known ...
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Variability-aware low-power techniques for nanoscale mixed-signal circuits.

Variability-aware low-power techniques for nanoscale mixed-signal circuits.

Date: May 2009
Creator: Ghai, Dhruva V.
Description: New circuit design techniques that accommodate lower supply voltages necessary for portable systems need to be integrated into the semiconductor intellectual property (IP) core. Systems that once worked at 3.3 V or 2.5 V now need to work at 1.8 V or lower, without causing any performance degradation. Also, the fluctuation of device characteristics caused by process variation in nanometer technologies is seen as design yield loss. The numerous parasitic effects induced by layouts, especially for high-performance and high-speed circuits, pose a problem for IC design. Lack of exact layout information during circuit sizing leads to long design iterations involving time-consuming runs of complex tools. There is a strong need for low-power, high-performance, parasitic-aware and process-variation-tolerant circuit design. This dissertation proposes methodologies and techniques to achieve variability, power, performance, and parasitic-aware circuit designs. Three approaches are proposed: the single iteration automatic approach, the hybrid Monte Carlo and design of experiments (DOE) approach, and the corner-based approach. Widely used mixed-signal circuits such as analog-to-digital converter (ADC), voltage controlled oscillator (VCO), voltage level converter and active pixel sensor (APS) have been designed at nanoscale complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) and subjected to the proposed methodologies. The effectiveness of the proposed methodologies has ...
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Social Network Simulation and Mining Social Media to Advance Epidemiology

Social Network Simulation and Mining Social Media to Advance Epidemiology

Date: August 2009
Creator: Corley, Courtney David
Description: Traditional Public Health decision-support can benefit from the Web and social media revolution. This dissertation presents approaches to mining social media benefiting public health epidemiology. Through discovery and analysis of trends in Influenza related blogs, a correlation to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) influenza-like-illness patient reporting at sentinel health-care providers is verified. A second approach considers personal beliefs of vaccination in social media. A vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in May 2006. The virus is present in nearly all cervical cancers and implicated in many throat and oral cancers. Results from automatic sentiment classification of HPV vaccination beliefs are presented which will enable more accurate prediction of the vaccine's population-level impact. Two epidemic models are introduced that embody the intimate social networks related to HPV transmission. Ultimately, aggregating these methodologies with epidemic and social network modeling facilitate effective development of strategies for targeted interventions.
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The Value of Everything: Ranking and Association with Encyclopedic Knowledge

The Value of Everything: Ranking and Association with Encyclopedic Knowledge

Date: December 2009
Creator: Coursey, Kino High
Description: This dissertation describes WikiRank, an unsupervised method of assigning relative values to elements of a broad coverage encyclopedic information source in order to identify those entries that may be relevant to a given piece of text. The valuation given to an entry is based not on textual similarity but instead on the links that associate entries, and an estimation of the expected frequency of visitation that would be given to each entry based on those associations in context. This estimation of relative frequency of visitation is embodied in modifications to the random walk interpretation of the PageRank algorithm. WikiRank is an effective algorithm to support natural language processing applications. It is shown to exceed the performance of previous machine learning algorithms for the task of automatic topic identification, providing results comparable to that of human annotators. Second, WikiRank is found useful for the task of recognizing text-based paraphrases on a semantic level, by comparing the distribution of attention generated by two pieces of text using the encyclopedic resource as a common reference. Finally, WikiRank is shown to have the ability to use its base of encyclopedic knowledge to recognize terms from different ontologies as describing the same thing, and thus ...
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Inferring Social and Internal Context Using a Mobile Phone

Inferring Social and Internal Context Using a Mobile Phone

Date: December 2009
Creator: Phithakkitnukoon, Santi
Description: This dissertation is composed of research studies that contribute to three research areas including social context-aware computing, internal context-aware computing, and human behavioral data mining. In social context-aware computing, four studies are conducted. First, mobile phone user calling behavioral patterns are characterized in forms of randomness level where relationships among them are then identified. Next, a study is conducted to investigate the relationship between the calling behavior and organizational groups. Third, a method is presented to quantitatively define mobile social closeness and social groups, which are then used to identify social group sizes and scaling ratio. Last, based on the mobile social grouping framework, the significant role of social ties in communication patterns is revealed. In internal context-aware computing, two studies are conducted where the notions of internal context are intention and situation. For intentional context, the goal is to sense the intention of the user in placing calls. A model is thus presented for predicting future calls envisaged as a call predicted list (CPL), which makes use of call history to build a probabilistic model of calling behavior. As an incoming call predictor, CPL is a list of numbers/contacts that are the most likely to be the callers within ...
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Design and Implementation of Large-Scale Wireless Sensor Networks for Environmental Monitoring Applications

Design and Implementation of Large-Scale Wireless Sensor Networks for Environmental Monitoring Applications

Date: May 2010
Creator: Yang, Jue
Description: Environmental monitoring represents a major application domain for wireless sensor networks (WSN). However, despite significant advances in recent years, there are still many challenging issues to be addressed to exploit the full potential of the emerging WSN technology. In this dissertation, we introduce the design and implementation of low-power wireless sensor networks for long-term, autonomous, and near-real-time environmental monitoring applications. We have developed an out-of-box solution consisting of a suite of software, protocols and algorithms to provide reliable data collection with extremely low power consumption. Two wireless sensor networks based on the proposed solution have been deployed in remote field stations to monitor soil moisture along with other environmental parameters. As parts of the ever-growing environmental monitoring cyberinfrastructure, these networks have been integrated into the Texas Environmental Observatory system for long-term operation. Environmental measurement and network performance results are presented to demonstrate the capability, reliability and energy-efficiency of the network.
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Socioscope: Human Relationship and Behavior Analysis in Mobile Social Networks

Socioscope: Human Relationship and Behavior Analysis in Mobile Social Networks

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Zhang, Huiqi
Description: The widely used mobile phone, as well as its related technologies had opened opportunities for a complete change on how people interact and build relationship across geographic and time considerations. The convenience of instant communication by mobile phones that broke the barrier of space and time is evidently the key motivational point on why such technologies so important in people's life and daily activities. Mobile phones have become the most popular communication tools. Mobile phone technology is apparently changing our relationship to each other in our work and lives. The impact of new technologies on people's lives in social spaces gives us the chance to rethink the possibilities of technologies in social interaction. Accordingly, mobile phones are basically changing social relations in ways that are intricate to measure with any precision. In this dissertation I propose a socioscope model for social network, relationship and human behavior analysis based on mobile phone call detail records. Because of the diversities and complexities of human social behavior, one technique cannot detect different features of human social behaviors. Therefore I use multiple probability and statistical methods for quantifying social groups, relationships and communication patterns, for predicting social tie strengths and for detecting human behavior ...
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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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A Framework for Analyzing and Optimizing Regional Bio-Emergency Response Plans

A Framework for Analyzing and Optimizing Regional Bio-Emergency Response Plans

Date: December 2010
Creator: Schneider, Tamara
Description: The presence of naturally occurring and man-made public health threats necessitate the design and implementation of mitigation strategies, such that adequate response is provided in a timely manner. Since multiple variables, such as geographic properties, resource constraints, and government mandated time-frames must be accounted for, computational methods provide the necessary tools to develop contingency response plans while respecting underlying data and assumptions. A typical response scenario involves the placement of points of dispensing (PODs) in the affected geographic region to supply vaccines or medications to the general public. Computational tools aid in the analysis of such response plans, as well as in the strategic placement of PODs, such that feasible response scenarios can be developed. Due to the sensitivity of bio-emergency response plans, geographic information, such as POD locations, must be kept confidential. The generation of synthetic geographic regions allows for the development of emergency response plans on non-sensitive data, as well as for the study of the effects of single geographic parameters. Further, synthetic representations of geographic regions allow for results to be published and evaluated by the scientific community. This dissertation presents methodology for the analysis of bio-emergency response plans, methods for plan optimization, as well as methodology ...
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