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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Computer Science and Engineering
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
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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Boosting for Learning From Imbalanced, Multiclass Data Sets

Boosting for Learning From Imbalanced, Multiclass Data Sets

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Date: December 2013
Creator: Abouelenien, Mohamed
Description: In many real-world applications, it is common to have uneven number of examples among multiple classes. The data imbalance, however, usually complicates the learning process, especially for the minority classes, and results in deteriorated performance. Boosting methods were proposed to handle the imbalance problem. These methods need elongated training time and require diversity among the classifiers of the ensemble to achieve improved performance. Additionally, extending the boosting method to handle multi-class data sets is not straightforward. Examples of applications that suffer from imbalanced multi-class data can be found in face recognition, where tens of classes exist, and in capsule endoscopy, which suffers massive imbalance between the classes. This dissertation introduces RegBoost, a new boosting framework to address the imbalanced, multi-class problems. This method applies a weighted stratified sampling technique and incorporates a regularization term that accommodates multi-class data sets and automatically determines the error bound of each base classifier. The regularization parameter penalizes the classifier when it misclassifies instances that were correctly classified in the previous iteration. The parameter additionally reduces the bias towards majority classes. Experiments are conducted using 12 diverse data sets with moderate to high imbalance ratios. The results demonstrate superior performance of the proposed method compared ...
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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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VLSI Architecture and FPGA Prototyping of a Secure Digital Camera for Biometric Application

VLSI Architecture and FPGA Prototyping of a Secure Digital Camera for Biometric Application

Date: August 2006
Creator: Adamo, Oluwayomi Bamidele
Description: This thesis presents a secure digital camera (SDC) that inserts biometric data into images found in forms of identification such as the newly proposed electronic passport. However, putting biometric data in passports makes the data vulnerable for theft, causing privacy related issues. An effective solution to combating unauthorized access such as skimming (obtaining data from the passport's owner who did not willingly submit the data) or eavesdropping (intercepting information as it moves from the chip to the reader) could be judicious use of watermarking and encryption at the source end of the biometric process in hardware like digital camera or scanners etc. To address such issues, a novel approach and its architecture in the framework of a digital camera, conceptualized as an SDC is presented. The SDC inserts biometric data into passport image with the aid of watermarking and encryption processes. The VLSI (very large scale integration) architecture of the functional units of the SDC such as watermarking and encryption unit is presented. The result of the hardware implementation of Rijndael advanced encryption standard (AES) and a discrete cosine transform (DCT) based visible and invisible watermarking algorithm is presented. The prototype chip can carry out simultaneous encryption and watermarking, which ...
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Qos Aware Service Oriented Architecture

Qos Aware Service Oriented Architecture

Date: August 2013
Creator: Adepu, Sagarika
Description: Service-oriented architecture enables web services to operate in a loosely-coupled setting and provides an environment for dynamic discovery and use of services over a network using standards such as WSDL, SOAP, and UDDI. Web service has both functional and non-functional characteristics. This thesis work proposes to add QoS descriptions (non-functional properties) to WSDL and compose various services to form a business process. This composition of web services also considers QoS properties along with functional properties and the composed services can again be published as a new Web Service and can be part of any other composition using Composed WSDL.
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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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New Frameworks for Secure Image Communication in the Internet of Things (IoT)

New Frameworks for Secure Image Communication in the Internet of Things (IoT)

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Date: August 2016
Creator: Albalawi, Umar Abdalah S
Description: The continuous expansion of technology, broadband connectivity and the wide range of new devices in the IoT cause serious concerns regarding privacy and security. In addition, in the IoT a key challenge is the storage and management of massive data streams. For example, there is always the demand for acceptable size with the highest quality possible for images to meet the rapidly increasing number of multimedia applications. The effort in this dissertation contributes to the resolution of concerns related to the security and compression functions in image communications in the Internet of Thing (IoT), due to the fast of evolution of IoT. This dissertation proposes frameworks for a secure digital camera in the IoT. The objectives of this dissertation are twofold. On the one hand, the proposed framework architecture offers a double-layer of protection: encryption and watermarking that will address all issues related to security, privacy, and digital rights management (DRM) by applying a hardware architecture of the state-of-the-art image compression technique Better Portable Graphics (BPG), which achieves high compression ratio with small size. On the other hand, the proposed framework of SBPG is integrated with the Digital Camera. Thus, the proposed framework of SBPG integrated with SDC is suitable ...
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Comparison and Evaluation of Existing Analog Circuit Simulator using Sigma-Delta Modulator

Comparison and Evaluation of Existing Analog Circuit Simulator using Sigma-Delta Modulator

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Date: December 2006
Creator: Ale, Anil Kumar
Description: In the world of VLSI (very large scale integration) technology, there are many different types of circuit simulators that are used to design and predict the circuit behavior before actual fabrication of the circuit. In this thesis, I compared and evaluated existing circuit simulators by considering standard benchmark circuits. The circuit simulators which I evaluated and explored are Ngspice, Tclspice, Winspice (open source) and Spectre® (commercial). I also tested standard benchmarks using these circuit simulators and compared their outputs. The simulators are evaluated using design metrics in order to quantify their performance and identify efficient circuit simulators. In addition, I designed a sigma-delta modulator and its individual components using the analog behavioral language Verilog-A. Initially, I performed simulations of individual components of the sigma-delta modulator and later of the whole system. Finally, CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) transistor-level circuits were designed for the differential amplifier, operational amplifier and comparator of the modulator.
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Exploring Analog and Digital Design Using the Open-Source Electric VLSI Design System

Exploring Analog and Digital Design Using the Open-Source Electric VLSI Design System

Date: May 2016
Creator: Aluru, Gunasekhar
Description: The design of VLSI electronic circuits can be achieved at many different abstraction levels starting from system behavior to the most detailed, physical layout level. As the number of transistors in VLSI circuits is increasing, the complexity of the design is also increasing, and it is now beyond human ability to manage. Hence CAD (Computer Aided design) or EDA (Electronic Design Automation) tools are involved in the design. EDA or CAD tools automate the design, verification and testing of these VLSI circuits. In today’s market, there are many EDA tools available. However, they are very expensive and require high-performance platforms. One of the key challenges today is to select appropriate CAD or EDA tools which are open-source for academic purposes. This thesis provides a detailed examination of an open-source EDA tool called Electric VLSI Design system. An excellent and efficient CAD tool useful for students and teachers to implement ideas by modifying the source code, Electric fulfills these requirements. This thesis' primary objective is to explain the Electric software features and architecture and to provide various digital and analog designs that are implemented by this software for educational purposes. Since the choice of an EDA tool is based on the ...
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Real-time Rendering of Burning Objects in Video Games

Real-time Rendering of Burning Objects in Video Games

Date: August 2013
Creator: Amarasinghe, Dhanyu Eshaka
Description: In recent years there has been growing interest in limitless realism in computer graphics applications. Among those, my foremost concentration falls into the complex physical simulations and modeling with diverse applications for the gaming industry. Different simulations have been virtually successful by replicating the details of physical process. As a result, some were strong enough to lure the user into believable virtual worlds that could destroy any sense of attendance. In this research, I focus on fire simulations and its deformation process towards various virtual objects. In most game engines model loading takes place at the beginning of the game or when the game is transitioning between levels. Game models are stored in large data structures. Since changing or adjusting a large data structure while the game is proceeding may adversely affect the performance of the game. Therefore, developers may choose to avoid procedural simulations to save resources and avoid interruptions on performance. I introduce a process to implement a real-time model deformation while maintaining performance. It is a challenging task to achieve high quality simulation while utilizing minimum resources to represent multiple events in timely manner. Especially in video games, this overwhelming criterion would be robust enough to sustain ...
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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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Resource Efficient and Scalable Routing using Intelligent Mobile Agents

Resource Efficient and Scalable Routing using Intelligent Mobile Agents

Date: May 2003
Creator: Amin, Kaizar Abdul Husain
Description: Many of the contemporary routing algorithms use simple mechanisms such as flooding or broadcasting to disseminate the routing information available to them. Such routing algorithms cause significant network resource overhead due to the large number of messages generated at each host/router throughout the route update process. Many of these messages are wasteful since they do not contribute to the route discovery process. Reducing the resource overhead may allow for several algorithms to be deployed in a wide range of networks (wireless and ad-hoc) which require a simple routing protocol due to limited availability of resources (memory and bandwidth). Motivated by the need to reduce the resource overhead associated with routing algorithms a new implementation of distance vector routing algorithm using an agent-based paradigm known as Agent-based Distance Vector Routing (ADVR) has been proposed. In ADVR, the ability of route discovery and message passing shifts from the nodes to individual agents that traverse the network, co-ordinate with each other and successively update the routing tables of the nodes they visit.
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Resource Management in Wireless Networks

Resource Management in Wireless Networks

Date: August 2006
Creator: Arepally, Anurag
Description: A local call admission control (CAC) algorithm for third generation wireless networks was designed and implemented, which allows for the simulation of network throughput for different spreading factors and various mobility scenarios. A global CAC algorithm is also implemented and used as a benchmark since it is inherently optimized; it yields the best possible performance but has an intensive computational complexity. Optimized local CAC algorithm achieves similar performance as global CAC algorithm at a fraction of the computational cost. Design of a dynamic channel assignment algorithm for IEEE 802.11 wireless systems is also presented. Channels are assigned dynamically depending on the minimal interference generated by the neighboring access points on a reference access point. Analysis of dynamic channel assignment algorithm shows an improvement by a factor of 4 over the default settings of having all access points use the same channel, resulting significantly higher network throughput.
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Space and Spectrum Engineered High Frequency Components and Circuits

Space and Spectrum Engineered High Frequency Components and Circuits

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Date: May 2015
Creator: Arigong, Bayaner
Description: With the increasing demand on wireless and portable devices, the radio frequency front end blocks are required to feature properties such as wideband, high frequency, multiple operating frequencies, low cost and compact size. However, the current radio frequency system blocks are designed by combining several individual frequency band blocks into one functional block, which increase the cost and size of devices. To address these issues, it is important to develop novel approaches to further advance the current design methodologies in both space and spectrum domains. In recent years, the concept of artificial materials has been proposed and studied intensively in RF/Microwave, Terahertz, and optical frequency range. It is a combination of conventional materials such as air, wood, metal and plastic. It can achieve the material properties that have not been found in nature. Therefore, the artificial material (i.e. meta-materials) provides design freedoms to control both the spectrum performance and geometrical structures of radio frequency front end blocks and other high frequency systems. In this dissertation, several artificial materials are proposed and designed by different methods, and their applications to different high frequency components and circuits are studied. First, quasi-conformal mapping (QCM) method is applied to design plasmonic wave-adapters and couplers ...
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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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Privacy Management for Online Social Networks

Privacy Management for Online Social Networks

Date: August 2013
Creator: Baatarjav, Enkh-Amgalan
Description: One in seven people in the world use online social networking for a variety of purposes -- to keep in touch with friends and family, to share special occasions, to broadcast announcements, and more. The majority of society has been bought into this new era of communication technology, which allows everyone on the internet to share information with friends. Since social networking has rapidly become a main form of communication, holes in privacy have become apparent. It has come to the point that the whole concept of sharing information requires restructuring. No longer are online social networks simply technology available for a niche market; they are in use by all of society. Thus it is important to not forget that a sense of privacy is inherent as an evolutionary by-product of social intelligence. In any context of society, privacy needs to be a part of the system in order to help users protect themselves from others. This dissertation attempts to address the lack of privacy management in online social networks by designing models which understand the social science behind how we form social groups and share information with each other. Social relationship strength was modeled using activity patterns, vocabulary usage, ...
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Sensing and Decoding Brain States for Predicting and Enhancing Human Behavior, Health, and Security

Sensing and Decoding Brain States for Predicting and Enhancing Human Behavior, Health, and Security

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Date: August 2016
Creator: Bajwa, Garima
Description: The human brain acts as an intelligent sensor by helping in effective signal communication and execution of logical functions and instructions, thus, coordinating all functions of the human body. More importantly, it shows the potential to combine prior knowledge with adaptive learning, thus ensuring constant improvement. These qualities help the brain to interact efficiently with both, the body (brain-body) as well as the environment (brain-environment). This dissertation attempts to apply the brain-body-environment interactions (BBEI) to elevate human existence and enhance our day-to-day experiences. For instance, when one stepped out of the house in the past, one had to carry keys (for unlocking), money (for purchasing), and a phone (for communication). With the advent of smartphones, this scenario changed completely and today, it is often enough to carry just one's smartphone because all the above activities can be performed with a single device. In the future, with advanced research and progress in BBEI interactions, one will be able to perform many activities by dictating it in one's mind without any physical involvement. This dissertation aims to shift the paradigm of existing brain-computer-interfaces from just ‘control' to ‘monitor, control, enhance, and restore' in three main areas - healthcare, transportation safety, and cryptography. ...
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Unique Channel Email System

Unique Channel Email System

Date: August 2015
Creator: Balakchiev, Milko
Description: Email connects 85% of the world. This paper explores the pattern of information overload encountered by majority of email users and examine what steps key email providers are taking to combat the problem. Besides fighting spam, popular email providers offer very limited tools to reduce the amount of unwanted incoming email. Rather, there has been a trend to expand storage space and aid the organization of email. Storing email is very costly and harmful to the environment. Additionally, information overload can be detrimental to productivity. We propose a simple solution that results in drastic reduction of unwanted mail, also known as graymail.
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The Role of Intelligent Mobile Agents in Network Management and Routing

The Role of Intelligent Mobile Agents in Network Management and Routing

Date: December 2000
Creator: Balamuru, Vinay Gopal
Description: In this research, the application of intelligent mobile agents to the management of distributed network environments is investigated. Intelligent mobile agents are programs which can move about network systems in a deterministic manner in carrying their execution state. These agents can be considered an application of distributed artificial intelligence where the (usually small) agent code is moved to the data and executed locally. The mobile agent paradigm offers potential advantages over many conventional mechanisms which move (often large) data to the code, thereby wasting available network bandwidth. The performance of agents in network routing and knowledge acquisition has been investigated and simulated. A working mobile agent system has also been designed and implemented in JDK 1.2.
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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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A New N-way Reconfigurable Data Cache Architecture for Embedded Systems

A New N-way Reconfigurable Data Cache Architecture for Embedded Systems

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Date: December 2009
Creator: Bani, Ruchi Rastogi
Description: Performance and power consumption are most important issues while designing embedded systems. Several studies have shown that cache memory consumes about 50% of the total power in these systems. Thus, the architecture of the cache governs both performance and power usage of embedded systems. A new N-way reconfigurable data cache is proposed especially for embedded systems. This thesis explores the issues and design considerations involved in designing a reconfigurable cache. The proposed reconfigurable data cache architecture can be configured as direct-mapped, two-way, or four-way set associative using a mode selector. The module has been designed and simulated in Xilinx ISE 9.1i and ModelSim SE 6.3e using the Verilog hardware description language.
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Multi-perspective, Multi-modal Image Registration and Fusion

Multi-perspective, Multi-modal Image Registration and Fusion

Date: August 2012
Creator: Belkhouche, Mohammed Yassine
Description: Multi-modal image fusion is an active research area with many civilian and military applications. Fusion is defined as strategic combination of information collected by various sensors from different locations or different types in order to obtain a better understanding of an observed scene or situation. Fusion of multi-modal images cannot be completed unless these two modalities are spatially aligned. In this research, I consider two important problems. Multi-modal, multi-perspective image registration and decision level fusion of multi-modal images. In particular, LiDAR and visual imagery. Multi-modal image registration is a difficult task due to the different semantic interpretation of features extracted from each modality. This problem is decoupled into three sub-problems. The first step is identification and extraction of common features. The second step is the determination of corresponding points. The third step consists of determining the registration transformation parameters. Traditional registration methods use low level features such as lines and corners. Using these features require an extensive optimization search in order to determine the corresponding points. Many methods use global positioning systems (GPS), and a calibrated camera in order to obtain an initial estimate of the camera parameters. The advantages of our work over the previous works are the following. ...
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Modeling and Simulation of the Vector-Borne Dengue Disease and the Effects of Regional Variation of Temperature in  the Disease Prevalence in Homogenous and Heterogeneous Human Populations

Modeling and Simulation of the Vector-Borne Dengue Disease and the Effects of Regional Variation of Temperature in the Disease Prevalence in Homogenous and Heterogeneous Human Populations

Date: August 2016
Creator: Bravo-Salgado, Angel D
Description: The history of mitigation programs to contain vector-borne diseases is a story of successes and failures. Due to the complex interplay among multiple factors that determine disease dynamics, the general principles for timely and specific intervention for incidence reduction or eradication of life-threatening diseases has yet to be determined. This research discusses computational methods developed to assist in the understanding of complex relationships affecting vector-borne disease dynamics. A computational framework to assist public health practitioners with exploring the dynamics of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue in homogenous and heterogeneous populations, has been conceived, designed, and implemented. The framework integrates a stochastic computational model of interactions to simulate horizontal disease transmission. The intent of the computational modeling has been the integration of stochasticity during simulation of the disease progression while reducing the number of necessary interactions to simulate a disease outbreak. While there are improvements in the computational time reducing the number of interactions needed for simulating disease dynamics, the realization of interactions can remain computationally expensive. Using multi-threading technology to improve performance upon the original computational model, multi-threading experimental results have been tested and reported. In addition, to the contact model, the modeling of biological processes specific to ...
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Freeform Cursive Handwriting Recognition Using a Clustered Neural Network

Freeform Cursive Handwriting Recognition Using a Clustered Neural Network

Date: August 2015
Creator: Bristow, Kelly H.
Description: Optical character recognition (OCR) software has advanced greatly in recent years. Machine-printed text can be scanned and converted to searchable text with word accuracy rates around 98%. Reasonably neat hand-printed text can be recognized with about 85% word accuracy. However, cursive handwriting still remains a challenge, with state-of-the-art performance still around 75%. Algorithms based on hidden Markov models have been only moderately successful, while recurrent neural networks have delivered the best results to date. This thesis explored the feasibility of using a special type of feedforward neural network to convert freeform cursive handwriting to searchable text. The hidden nodes in this network were grouped into clusters, with each cluster being trained to recognize a unique character bigram. The network was trained on writing samples that were pre-segmented and annotated. Post-processing was facilitated in part by using the network to identify overlapping bigrams that were then linked together to form words and sentences. With dictionary assisted post-processing, the network achieved word accuracy of 66.5% on a small, proprietary corpus. The contributions in this thesis are threefold: 1) the novel clustered architecture of the feed-forward neural network, 2) the development of an expanded set of observers combining image masks, modifiers, and feature ...
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