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- Evaluation Techniques and Graph-Based Algorithms for Automatic Summarization and Keyphrase Extraction
- Automatic text summarization and keyphrase extraction are two interesting areas of research which extend along natural language processing and information retrieval. They have recently become very popular because of their wide applicability. Devising generic techniques for these tasks is challenging due to several issues. Yet we have a good number of intelligent systems performing the tasks. As different systems are designed with different perspectives, evaluating their performances with a generic strategy is crucial. It has also become immensely important to evaluate the performances with minimal human effort. In our work, we focus on designing a relativized scale for evaluating different algorithms. This is our major contribution which challenges the traditional approach of working with an absolute scale. We consider the impact of some of the environment variables (length of the document, references, and system-generated outputs) on the performance. Instead of defining some rigid lengths, we show how to adjust to their variations. We prove a mathematically sound baseline that should work for all kinds of documents. We emphasize automatically determining the syntactic well-formedness of the structures (sentences). We also propose defining an equivalence class for each unit (e.g. word) instead of the exact string matching strategy. We show an evaluation approach that considers the weighted relatedness of multiple references to adjust to the degree of disagreements between the gold standards. We publish the proposed approach as a free tool so that other systems can use it. We have also accumulated a dataset (scientific articles) with a reference summary and keyphrases for each document. Our approach is applicable not only for evaluating single-document based tasks but also for evaluating multiple-document based tasks. We have tested our evaluation method for three intrinsic tasks (taken from DUC 2004 conference), and in all three cases, it correlates positively with ROUGE. Based on our experiments for DUC 2004 Question-Answering task, it correlates with the human decision (extrinsic task) with 36.008% of accuracy. In general, we can state that the proposed relativized scale performs as well as the popular technique (ROUGE) with flexibility for the length of the output. As part of the evaluation we have also devised a new graph-based algorithm focusing on sentiment analysis. The proposed model can extract units (e.g. words or sentences) from the original text belonging either to the positive sentiment-pole or to the negative sentiment-pole. It embeds both (positive and negative) types of sentiment-flow into a single text-graph. The text-graph is composed with words or phrases as nodes, and their relations as edges. By recursively calling two mutually exclusive relations the model builds the final rank of the nodes. Based on the final rank, it splits two segments from the article: one with highly positive sentiment and the other with highly negative sentiments. The output of this model was tested with the non-polar TextRank generated output to quantify how much of the polar summaries actually covers the fact along with sentiment.
- Effects of UE Speed on MIMO Channel Capacity in LTE
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With the introduction of 4G LTE, multiple new technologies were introduced. MIMO is one of the important technologies introduced with fourth generation. The main MIMO modes used in LTE are open loop and closed loop spatial multiplexing modes. This thesis develops an algorithm to calculate the threshold values of UE speed and SNR that is required to implement a switching algorithm which can switch between different MIMO modes for a UE based on the speed and channel conditions (CSI). Specifically, this thesis provides the values of UE speed and SNR at which we can get better results by switching between open loop and closed loop MIMO modes and then be scheduled in sub-channels accordingly. Thus, the results can be used effectively to get better channel capacity with less ISI. The main objectives of this thesis are: to determine the type of MIMO mode suitable for a UE with certain speed, to determine the effects of SNR on selection of MIMO modes, and to design and implement a scheduling algorithm to enhance channel capacity.
- Data-Driven Decision-Making Framework for Large-Scale Dynamical Systems under Uncertainty
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Managing large-scale dynamical systems (e.g., transportation systems, complex information systems, and power networks, etc.) in real-time is very challenging considering their complicated system dynamics, intricate network interactions, large scale, and especially the existence of various uncertainties. To address this issue, intelligent techniques which can quickly design decision-making strategies that are robust to uncertainties are needed. This dissertation aims to conquer these challenges by exploring a data-driven decision-making framework, which leverages big-data techniques and scalable uncertainty evaluation approaches to quickly solve optimal control problems. In particular, following techniques have been developed along this direction: 1) system modeling approaches to simplify the system analysis and design procedures for multiple applications; 2) effective simulation and analytical based approaches to efficiently evaluate system performance and design control strategies under uncertainty; and 3) big-data techniques that allow some computations of control strategies to be completed offline. These techniques and tools for analysis, design and control contribute to a wide range of applications including air traffic flow management, complex information systems, and airborne networks.
- Sensing and Decoding Brain States for Predicting and Enhancing Human Behavior, Health, and Security
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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. In healthcare, measures were developed for understanding brain-body interactions by correlating cerebral autoregulation with brain signals. The variation in estimated blood flow of brain (obtained through EEG) was detected with evoked change in blood pressure, thus, enabling EEG metrics to be used as a first hand screening tool to check impaired cerebral autoregulation. To enhance road safety, distracted drivers' behavior in various multitasking scenarios while driving was identified by significant changes in the time-frequency spectrum of the EEG signals. A distraction metric was calculated to rank the severity of a distraction task that can be used as an intuitive measure for distraction in people - analogous to the Richter scale for earthquakes. In cryptography, brain-environment interactions (BBEI) were qualitatively and quantitatively modeled to obtain cancelable biometrics and cryptographic keys using brain signals. Two different datasets were used to analyze the key generation process and it was observed that neurokeys established for every subject-task combination were unique, consistent, and can be revoked and re-issued in case of a breach. This dissertation envisions a future where humans and technology are intuitively connected by a seamless flow of information through ‘the most intelligent sensor', the brain.
- Network Security Tool for a Novice
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Network security is a complex field that is handled by security professionals who need certain expertise and experience to configure security systems. With the ever increasing size of the networks, managing them is going to be a daunting task. What kind of solution can be used to generate effective security configurations by both security professionals and nonprofessionals alike? In this thesis, a web tool is developed to simplify the process of configuring security systems by translating direct human language input into meaningful, working security rules. These human language inputs yield the security rules that the individual wants to implement in their network. The human language input can be as simple as, "Block Facebook to my son's PC". This tool will translate these inputs into specific security rules and install the translated rules into security equipment such as virtualized Cisco FWSM network firewall, Netfilter host-based firewall, and Snort Network Intrusion Detection. This tool is implemented and tested in both a traditional network and a cloud environment. One thousand input policies were collected from various users such as staff from UNT departments' and health science, including individuals with network security background as well as students with a non-computer science background to analyze the tool's performance. The tool is tested for its accuracy (91%) in generating a security rule. It is also tested for accuracy of the translated rule (86%) compared to a standard rule written by security professionals. Nevertheless, the network security tool built has shown promise to both experienced and inexperienced people in network security field by simplifying the provisioning process to result in accurate and effective network security rules.
- New Frameworks for Secure Image Communication in the Internet of Things (IoT)
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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 for high performance imaging in the IoT, such as Intelligent Traffic Surveillance (ITS) and Telemedicine. Due to power consumption, which has become a major concern in any portable application, a low-power design of SBPG is proposed to achieve an energy- efficient SBPG design. As the visual quality of the watermarked and compressed images improves with larger values of PSNR, the results show that the proposed SBPG substantially increases the quality of the watermarked compressed images. Higher value of PSNR also shows how robust the algorithm is to different types of attack. From the results obtained for the energy- efficient SBPG design, it can be observed that the power consumption is substantially reduced, up to 19%.
- 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
- 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 the corresponding pathogen-carrier vector to increase the specificity of the vector-borne disease has been integrated. Last, automation for requesting, retrieving, parsing, and storing specific weather data and geospatial information from federal agencies to study the differences between homogenous and heterogeneous populations has been implemented.
- Exploring Analog and Digital Design Using the Open-Source Electric VLSI Design System
- 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 efficiency and functions that it can provide, this thesis explains all the analysis and synthesis tools that electric provides and how efficient they are. Hence, this thesis is of benefit for students and teachers that choose Electric as their open-source EDA tool for educational purposes.
- An Empirical Study of How Novice Programmers Use the Web
- Students often use the web as a source of help for problems that they encounter on programming assignments.In this work, we seek to understand how students use the web to search for help on their assignments.We used a mixed methods approach with 344 students who complete a survey and 41 students who participate in a focus group meetings and helped in recording data about their search habits.The survey reveals data about student reported search habits while the focus group uses a web browser plug-in to record actual search patterns.We examine the results collectively and as broken down by class year.Survey results show that at least 2/3 of the students from each class year rely on search engines to locate resources for help with their programming bugs in at least half of their assignments;search habits vary by class year;and the value of different types of resources such as tutorials and forums varies by class year.Focus group results exposes the high frequency web sites used by the students in solving their programming assignments.
- Analysis and Optimization of Graphene FET based Nanoelectronic Integrated Circuits
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Like cell to the human body, transistors are the basic building blocks of any electronics circuits. Silicon has been the industries obvious choice for making transistors. Transistors with large size occupy large chip area, consume lots of power and the number of functionalities will be limited due to area constraints. Thus to make the devices smaller, smarter and faster, the transistors are aggressively scaled down in each generation. Moore's law states that the transistors count in any electronic circuits doubles every 18 months. Following this Moore's law, the transistor has already been scaled down to 14 nm. However there are limitations to how much further these transistors can be scaled down. Particularly below 10 nm, these silicon based transistors hit the fundamental limits like loss of gate control, high leakage and various other short channel effects. Thus it is not possible to favor the silicon transistors for future electronics applications. As a result, the research has shifted to new device concepts and device materials alternative to silicon. Carbon is the next abundant element found in the Earth and one of such carbon based nanomaterial is graphene. Graphene when extracted from Graphite, the same material used as the lid in pencil, have a tremendous potential to take future electronics devices to new heights in terms of size, cost and efficiency. Thus after its first experimental discovery of graphene in 2004, graphene has been the leading research area for both academics as well as industries. This dissertation is focused on the analysis and optimization of graphene based circuits for future electronics. The first part of this dissertation considers graphene based transistors for analog/radio frequency (RF) circuits. In this section, a dual gate Graphene Field Effect Transistor (GFET) is considered to build the case study circuits like voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) and low noise amplifier (LNA). The behavioral model of the transistor is modeled in different tools: well accepted EDA (electronic design automation) and a non-EDA based tool i.e. \simscape. This section of the dissertation addresses the application of non-EDA based concepts for the analysis of new device concepts, taking LC-VCO and LNA as a case study circuits. The non-EDA based approach is very handy for a new device material when the concept is not matured and the model files are not readily available from the fab. The results matches very well with that of the EDA tools. The second part of the section considers application of multiswarm optimization (MSO) in an EDA tool to explore the design space for the design of LC-VCO. The VCO provides an oscillation frequency at 2.85 GHz, with phase noise of less than -80 dBc/Hz and power dissipation less than 16 mW. The second part of this dissertation considers graphene nanotube field effect transistors (GNRFET) for the application of digital domain. As a case study, static random access memory (SRAM) hs been design and the results shows a very promising future for GNRFET based SRAM as compared to silicon based transistor SRAM. The power comparison between the two shows that GNRFET based SRAM are 93% more power efficient than the silicon transistor based SRAM at 45 nm. In summary, the dissertation is to expected to aid the state of the art in following ways: 1) A non-EDA based tool has been used to characterize the device and measure the circuit performance. The results well matches to that obtained from the EDA tools. This tool becomes very handy for new device concepts when the simulation needs to be fast and accuracy can be tradeoff with. 2)Since an analog domain lacks well-design design paradigm, as compared to digital domain, this dissertation considers case study circuits to design the circuits and apply optimization. 3) Performance comparison of GNRFET based SRAM to the conventional silicon based SRAM shows that with maturation of the fabrication technology, graphene can be very useful for digital circuits as well.
- Learning from small data set for object recognition in mobile platforms.
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Did you stand at a door with a bunch of keys and tried to find the right one to unlock the door? Did you hold a flower and wonder the name of it? A need of object recognition could rise anytime and any where in our daily lives. With the development of mobile devices object recognition applications become possible to provide immediate assistance. However, performing complex tasks in even the most advanced mobile platforms still faces great challenges due to the limited computing resources and computing power. In this thesis, we present an object recognition system that resides and executes within a mobile device, which can efficiently extract image features and perform learning and classification. To account for the computing constraint, a novel feature extraction method that minimizes the data size and maintains data consistency is proposed. This system leverages principal component analysis method and is able to update the trained classifier when new examples become available . Our system relieves users from creating a lot of examples and makes it user friendly. The experimental results demonstrate that a learning method trained with a very small number of examples can achieve recognition accuracy above 90% in various acquisition conditions. In addition, the system is able to perform learning efficiently.
- Simulink(R) Based Design and Implementation of a Solar Power Based Mobile Charger
- Electrical energy is used at approximately the rate of 15 Terawatts world-wide. Generating this much energy has become a primary concern for all nations. There are many ways of generating energy among which the most commonly used are non-renewable and will extinct much sooner than expected. Very active research is going on both to increase the use of renewable energy sources and to use the available energy with more efficiency. Among these sources, solar energy is being considered as the most abundant and has received high attention. The mobile phone has become one of the basic needs of modern life, with almost every human being having one.Individually a mobile phone consumes little power but collectively this becomes very large. This consideration motivated the research undertaken in this masters thesis. The objective of this thesis is to design a model for solar power based charging circuits for mobile phone using Simulink(R). This thesis explains a design procedure of solar power based mobile charger circuit using Simulink(R) which includes the models for the photo-voltaic array, maximum power point tracker, pulse width modulator, DC-DC converter and a battery.The first part of the thesis concentrates on electron level behavior of a solar cell, its structure and its electrical model.The second part is to design an array of solar cells to generate the desired output.Finally, the third part is to design a DC-DC converter which can stabilize and provide the required input to the battery with the help of the maximum power point tracker and pulse width modulation.The obtained DC-DC converter is adjustable to meet the requirements of the battery. This design is aimed at charging a lithium ion battery with nominal voltage of 3.7 V, which can be taken as baseline to charge different types of batteries with different nominal voltages.
- Detection of Ulcerative Colitis Severity and Enhancement of Informative Frame Filtering Using Texture Analysis in Colonoscopy Videos
- There are several types of disorders that affect our colon’s ability to function properly such as colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome and colonic polyps. Automatic detection of these diseases would inform the endoscopist of possible sub-optimal inspection during the colonoscopy procedure as well as save time during post-procedure evaluation. But existing systems only detects few of those disorders like colonic polyps. In this dissertation, we address the automatic detection of another important disorder called ulcerative colitis. We propose a novel texture feature extraction technique to detect the severity of ulcerative colitis in block, image, and video levels. We also enhance the current informative frame filtering methods by detecting water and bubble frames using our proposed technique. Our feature extraction algorithm based on accumulation of pixel value difference provides better accuracy at faster speed than the existing methods making it highly suitable for real-time systems. We also propose a hybrid approach in which our feature method is combined with existing feature method(s) to provide even better accuracy. We extend the block and image level detection method to video level severity score calculation and shot segmentation. Also, the proposed novel feature extraction method can detect water and bubble frames in colonoscopy videos with very high accuracy in significantly less processing time even when clustering is used to reduce the training size by 10 times.
- Integrity Verification of Applications on Radium Architecture
- Trusted Computing capability has become ubiquitous these days, and it is being widely deployed into consumer devices as well as enterprise platforms. As the number of threats is increasing at an exponential rate, it is becoming a daunting task to secure the systems against them. In this context, the software integrity measurement at runtime with the support of trusted platforms can be a better security strategy. Trusted Computing devices like TPM secure the evidence of a breach or an attack. These devices remain tamper proof if the hardware platform is physically secured. This type of trusted security is crucial for forensic analysis in the aftermath of a breach. The advantages of trusted platforms can be further leveraged if they can be used wisely. RADIUM (Race-free on-demand Integrity Measurement Architecture) is one such architecture, which is built on the strength of TPM. RADIUM provides an asynchronous root of trust to overcome the TOC condition of DRTM. Even though the underlying architecture is trusted, attacks can still compromise applications during runtime by exploiting their vulnerabilities. I propose an application-level integrity measurement solution that fits into RADIUM, to expand the trusted computing capability to the application layer. This is based on the concept of program invariants that can be used to learn the correct behavior of an application. I used Daikon, a tool to obtain dynamic likely invariants, and developed a method of observing these properties at runtime to verify the integrity. The integrity measurement component was implemented as a Python module on top of Volatility, a virtual machine introspection tool. My approach is a first step towards integrity attestation, using hypervisor-based introspection on RADIUM and a proof of concept of application-level measurement capability.
- Freeform Cursive Handwriting Recognition Using a Clustered Neural Network
- 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 characterizations, and 3) the use of overlapping bigrams as the textual working unit to assist in context analysis and reconstruction.
- Automatic Removal of Complex Shadows From Indoor Videos
- Shadows in indoor scenarios are usually characterized with multiple light sources that produce complex shadow patterns of a single object. Without removing shadow, the foreground object tends to be erroneously segmented. The inconsistent hue and intensity of shadows make automatic removal a challenging task. In this thesis, a dynamic thresholding and transfer learning-based method for removing shadows is proposed. The method suppresses light shadows with a dynamically computed threshold and removes dark shadows using an online learning strategy that is built upon a base classifier trained with manually annotated examples and refined with the automatically identified examples in the new videos. Experimental results demonstrate that despite variation of lighting conditions in videos our proposed method is able to adapt to the videos and remove shadows effectively. The sensitivity of shadow detection changes slightly with different confidence levels used in example selection for classifier retraining and high confidence level usually yields better performance with less retraining iterations.
- Algorithm Optimizations in Genomic Analysis Using Entropic Dissection
- In recent years, the collection of genomic data has skyrocketed and databases of genomic data are growing at a faster rate than ever before. Although many computational methods have been developed to interpret these data, they tend to struggle to process the ever increasing file sizes that are being produced and fail to take advantage of the advances in multi-core processors by using parallel processing. In some instances, loss of accuracy has been a necessary trade off to allow faster computation of the data. This thesis discusses one such algorithm that has been developed and how changes were made to allow larger input file sizes and reduce the time required to achieve a result without sacrificing accuracy. An information entropy based algorithm was used as a basis to demonstrate these techniques. The algorithm dissects the distinctive patterns underlying genomic data efficiently requiring no a priori knowledge, and thus is applicable in a variety of biological research applications. This research describes how parallel processing and object-oriented programming techniques were used to process larger files in less time and achieve a more accurate result from the algorithm. Through object oriented techniques, the maximum allowable input file size was significantly increased from 200 mb to 2000 mb. Using parallel processing techniques allowed the program to finish processing data in less than half the time of the sequential version. The accuracy of the algorithm was improved by reducing data loss throughout the algorithm. Finally, adding user-friendly options enabled the program to use requests more effectively and further customize the logic used within the algorithm.
- Radium: Secure Policy Engine in Hypervisor
- The basis of today’s security systems is the trust and confidence that the system will behave as expected and are in a known good trusted state. The trust is built from hardware and software elements that generates a chain of trust that originates from a trusted known entity. Leveraging hardware, software and a mandatory access control policy technology is needed to create a trusted measurement environment. Employing a control layer (hypervisor or microkernel) with the ability to enforce a fine grained access control policy with hyper call granularity across multiple guest virtual domains can ensure that any malicious environment to be contained. In my research, I propose the use of radium's Asynchronous Root of Trust Measurement (ARTM) capability incorporated with a secure mandatory access control policy engine that would mitigate the limitations of the current hardware TPM solutions. By employing ARTM we can leverage asynchronous use of boot, launch, and use with the hypervisor proving its state and the integrity of the secure policy. My solution is using Radium (Race free on demand integrity architecture) architecture that will allow a more detailed measurement of applications at run time with greater semantic knowledge of the measured environments. Radium incorporation of a secure access control policy engine will give it the ability to limit or empower a virtual domain system. It can also enable the creation of a service oriented model of guest virtual domains that have the ability to perform certain operations such as introspecting other virtual domain systems to determine the integrity or system state and report it to a remote entity.
- Maintaining Web Applications Integrity Running on Radium
- Computer security attacks take place due to the presence of vulnerabilities and bugs in software applications. Bugs and vulnerabilities are the result of weak software architecture and lack of standard software development practices. Despite the fact that software companies are investing millions of dollars in the research and development of software designs security risks are still at large. In some cases software applications are found to carry vulnerabilities for many years before being identified. A recent such example is the popular Heart Bleed Bug in the Open SSL/TSL. In today’s world, where new software application are continuously being developed for a varied community of users; it’s highly unlikely to have software applications running without flaws. Attackers on computer system securities exploit these vulnerabilities and bugs and cause threat to privacy without leaving any trace. The most critical vulnerabilities are those which are related to the integrity of the software applications. Because integrity is directly linked to the credibility of software application and data it contains. Here I am giving solution of maintaining web applications integrity running on RADIUM by using daikon. Daikon generates invariants, these invariants are used to maintain the integrity of the web application and also check the correct behavior of web application at run time on RADIUM architecture in case of any attack or malware. I used data invariants and program flow invariants in my solution to maintain the integrity of web-application against such attack or malware. I check the behavior of my proposed invariants at run-time using Lib-VMI/Volatility memory introspection tool. This is a novel approach and proof of concept toward maintaining web application integrity on RADIUM.
- Unique Channel Email System
- 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.
- Towards Resistance Detection in Health Behavior Change Dialogue Systems
- One of the challenges fairly common in motivational interviewing is patient resistance to health behavior change. Hence, automated dialog systems aimed at counseling patients need to be capable of detecting resistance and appropriately altering dialog. This thesis focusses primarily on the development of such a system for automatic identification of patient resistance to behavioral change. This enables the dialogue system to direct the discourse towards a more agreeable ground and helping the patient overcome the obstacles in his or her way to change. This thesis also proposes a dialogue system framework for health behavior change via natural language analysis and generation. The proposed framework facilitates automated motivational interviewing from clinical psychology and involves three broad stages: rapport building and health topic identification, assessment of the patient’s opinion about making a change, and developing a plan. Using this framework patients can be encouraged to reflect on the options available and choose the best for a healthier life.
- Adaptive Power Management for Autonomic Resource Configuration in Large-scale Computer Systems
- In order to run and manage resource-intensive high-performance applications, large-scale computing and storage platforms have been evolving rapidly in various domains in both academia and industry. The energy expenditure consumed to operate and maintain these cloud computing infrastructures is a major factor to influence the overall profit and efficiency for most cloud service providers. Moreover, considering the mitigation of environmental damage from excessive carbon dioxide emission, the amount of power consumed by enterprise-scale data centers should be constrained for protection of the environment.Generally speaking, there exists a trade-off between power consumption and application performance in large-scale computing systems and how to balance these two factors has become an important topic for researchers and engineers in cloud and HPC communities. Therefore, minimizing the power usage while satisfying the Service Level Agreements have become one of the most desirable objectives in cloud computing research and implementation. Since the fundamental feature of the cloud computing platform is hosting workloads with a variety of characteristics in a consolidated and on-demand manner, it is demanding to explore the inherent relationship between power usage and machine configurations. Subsequently, with an understanding of these inherent relationships, researchers are able to develop effective power management policies to optimize productivity by balancing power usage and system performance. In this dissertation, we develop an autonomic power-aware system management framework for large-scale computer systems. We propose a series of techniques including coarse-grain power profiling, VM power modelling, power-aware resource auto-configuration and full-system power usage simulator. These techniques help us to understand the characteristics of power consumption of various system components. Based on these techniques, we are able to test various job scheduling strategies and develop resource management approaches to enhance the systems' power efficiency.
- Predictive Modeling for Persuasive Ambient Technology
- Computer scientists are increasingly aware of the power of ubiquitous computing systems that can display information in and about the user's environment. One sub category of ubiquitous computing is persuasive ambient information systems that involve an informative display transitioning between the periphery and center of attention. The goal of this ambient technology is to produce a behavior change, implying that a display must be informative, unobtrusive, and persuasive. While a significant body of research exists on ambient technology, previous research has not fully explored the different measures to identify behavior change, evaluation techniques for linking design characteristics to visual effectiveness, nor the use of short-term goals to affect long-term behavior change. This study uses the unique context of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among collegiate musicians to explore these issues through developing the MIHL Reduction Feedback System that collects real-time data, translates it into visuals for music classrooms, provides predictive outcomes for goalsetting persuasion, and provides statistical measures of behavior change.
- Computational Methods for Discovering and Analyzing Causal Relationships in Health Data
- Publicly available datasets in health science are often large and observational, in contrast to experimental datasets where a small number of data are collected in controlled experiments. Variables' causal relationships in the observational dataset are yet to be determined. However, there is a significant interest in health science to discover and analyze causal relationships from health data since identified causal relationships will greatly facilitate medical professionals to prevent diseases or to mitigate the negative effects of the disease. Recent advances in Computer Science, particularly in Bayesian networks, has initiated a renewed interest for causality research. Causal relationships can be possibly discovered through learning the network structures from data. However, the number of candidate graphs grows in a more than exponential rate with the increase of variables. Exact learning for obtaining the optimal structure is thus computationally infeasible in practice. As a result, heuristic approaches are imperative to alleviate the difficulty of computations. This research provides effective and efficient learning tools for local causal discoveries and novel methods of learning causal structures with a combination of background knowledge. Specifically in the direction of constraint based structural learning, polynomial-time algorithms for constructing causal structures are designed with first-order conditional independence. Algorithms of efficiently discovering non-causal factors are developed and proved. In addition, when the background knowledge is partially known, methods of graph decomposition are provided so as to reduce the number of conditioned variables. Experiments on both synthetic data and real epidemiological data indicate the provided methods are applicable to large-scale datasets and scalable for causal analysis in health data. Followed by the research methods and experiments, this dissertation gives thoughtful discussions on the reliability of causal discoveries computational health science research, complexity, and implications in health science research.
- Computational Methods for Vulnerability Analysis and Resource Allocation in Public Health Emergencies
- POD (Point of Dispensing)-based emergency response plans involving mass prophylaxis may seem feasible when considering the choice of dispensing points within a region, overall population density, and estimated traffic demands. However, the plan may fail to serve particular vulnerable sub-populations, resulting in access disparities during emergency response. Federal authorities emphasize on the need to identify sub-populations that cannot avail regular services during an emergency due to their special needs to ensure effective response. Vulnerable individuals require the targeted allocation of appropriate resources to serve their special needs. Devising schemes to address the needs of vulnerable sub-populations is essential for the effectiveness of response plans. This research focuses on data-driven computational methods to quantify and address vulnerabilities in response plans that require the allocation of targeted resources. Data-driven methods to identify and quantify vulnerabilities in response plans are developed as part of this research. Addressing vulnerabilities requires the targeted allocation of appropriate resources to PODs. The problem of resource allocation to PODs during public health emergencies is introduced and the variants of the resource allocation problem such as the spatial allocation, spatio-temporal allocation and optimal resource subset variants are formulated. Generating optimal resource allocation and scheduling solutions can be computationally hard problems. The application of metaheuristic techniques to find near-optimal solutions to the resource allocation problem in response plans is investigated. A vulnerability analysis and resource allocation framework that facilitates the demographic analysis of population data in the context of response plans, and the optimal allocation of resources with respect to the analysis are described.
- Advanced Power Amplifiers Design for Modern Wireless Communication
- Modern wireless communication systems use spectrally efficient modulation schemes to reach high data rate transmission. These schemes are generally involved with signals with high peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR). Moreover, the development of next generation wireless communication systems requires the power amplifiers to operate over a wide frequency band or multiple frequency bands to support different applications. These wide-band and multi-band solutions will lead to reductions in both the size and cost of the whole system. This dissertation presents several advanced power amplifier solutions to provide wide-band and multi-band operations with efficiency improvement at power back-offs.
- Classifying Pairwise Object Interactions: A Trajectory Analytics Approach
- We have a huge amount of video data from extensively available surveillance cameras and increasingly growing technology to record the motion of a moving object in the form of trajectory data. With proliferation of location-enabled devices and ongoing growth in smartphone penetration as well as advancements in exploiting image processing techniques, tracking moving objects is more flawlessly achievable. In this work, we explore some domain-independent qualitative and quantitative features in raw trajectory (spatio-temporal) data in videos captured by a fixed single wide-angle view camera sensor in outdoor areas. We study the efficacy of those features in classifying four basic high level actions by employing two supervised learning algorithms and show how each of the features affect the learning algorithms’ overall accuracy as a single factor or confounded with others.
- Trajectory Analytics
- The numerous surveillance videos recorded by a single stationary wide-angle-view camera persuade the use of a moving point as the representation of each small-size object in wide video scene. The sequence of the positions of each moving point can be used to generate a trajectory containing both spatial and temporal information of object's movement. In this study, we investigate how the relationship between two trajectories can be used to recognize multi-agent interactions. For this purpose, we present a simple set of qualitative atomic disjoint trajectory-segment relations which can be utilized to represent the relationships between two trajectories. Given a pair of adjacent concurrent trajectories, we segment the trajectory pair to get the ordered sequence of related trajectory-segments. Each pair of corresponding trajectory-segments then is assigned a token associated with the trajectory-segment relation, which leads to the generation of a string called a pairwise trajectory-segment relationship sequence. From a group of pairwise trajectory-segment relationship sequences, we utilize an unsupervised learning algorithm, particularly the k-medians clustering, to detect interesting patterns that can be used to classify lower-level multi-agent activities. We evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach by comparing the activity classes predicted by our method to the actual classes from the ground-truth set obtained using the crowdsourcing technique. The results show that the relationships between a pair of trajectories can signify the low-level multi-agent activities.
- Space and Spectrum Engineered High Frequency Components and Circuits
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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 working at the optical frequency range. Second, inverse QCM method is proposed to implement flattened Luneburg lens antennas and parabolic antennas in the microwave range. Third, a dual-band compact directional coupler is realized by applying artificial transmission lines. In addition, a fully symmetrical coupler with artificial lumped element structure is also implemented. Finally, a tunable on-chip inductor, compact CMOS transmission lines, and metamaterial-based interconnects are proposed using artificial metal structures. All the proposed designs are simulated in full-wave 3D electromagnetic solvers, and the measurement results agree well with the simulation results. These artificial material-based novel design methodologies pave the way toward next generation high frequency circuit, component, and system design.
- Distributed Frameworks Towards Building an Open Data Architecture
- Data is everywhere. The current Technological advancements in Digital, Social media and the ease at which the availability of different application services to interact with variety of systems are causing to generate tremendous volumes of data. Due to such varied services, Data format is now not restricted to only structure type like text but can generate unstructured content like social media data, videos and images etc. The generated Data is of no use unless been stored and analyzed to derive some Value. Traditional Database systems comes with limitations on the type of data format schema, access rates and storage sizes etc. Hadoop is an Apache open source distributed framework that support storing huge datasets of different formatted data reliably on its file system named Hadoop File System (HDFS) and to process the data stored on HDFS using MapReduce programming model. This thesis study is about building a Data Architecture using Hadoop and its related open source distributed frameworks to support a Data flow pipeline on a low commodity hardware. The Data flow components are, sourcing data, storage management on HDFS and data access layer. This study also discuss about a use case to utilize the architecture components. Sqoop, a framework to ingest the structured data from database onto Hadoop and Flume is used to ingest the semi-structured Twitter streaming json data on to HDFS for analysis. The data sourced using Sqoop and Flume have been analyzed using Hive for SQL like analytics and at a higher level of data access layer, Hadoop has been compared with an in memory computing system using Spark. Significant differences in query execution performances have been analyzed when working with Hadoop and Spark frameworks. This integration helps for ingesting huge Volumes of streaming json Variety data to derive better Value based analytics using Hive and Spark.
- Investigation on Segmentation, Recognition and 3D Reconstruction of Objects Based on Lidar Data Or Mri
- Segmentation, recognition and 3D reconstruction of objects have been cutting-edge research topics, which have many applications ranging from environmental and medical to geographical applications as well as intelligent transportation. In this dissertation, I focus on the study of segmentation, recognition and 3D reconstruction of objects using LiDAR data/MRI. Three main works are that (I). Feature extraction algorithm based on sparse LiDAR data. A novel method has been proposed for feature extraction from sparse LiDAR data. The algorithm and the related principles have been described. Also, I have tested and discussed the choices and roles of parameters. By using correlation of neighboring points directly, statistic distribution of normal vectors at each point has been effectively used to determine the category of the selected point. (II). Segmentation and 3D reconstruction of objects based on LiDAR/MRI. The proposed method includes that the 3D LiDAR data are layered, that different categories are segmented, and that 3D canopy surfaces of individual tree crowns and clusters of trees are reconstructed from LiDAR point data based on a region active contour model. The proposed method allows for delineations of 3D forest canopy naturally from the contours of raw LiDAR point clouds. The proposed model is suitable not only for a series of ideal cone shapes, but also for other kinds of 3D shapes as well as other kinds dataset such as MRI. (III). Novel algorithms for recognition of objects based on LiDAR/MRI. Aimed to the sparse LiDAR data, the feature extraction algorithm has been proposed and applied to classify the building and trees. More importantly, the novel algorithms based on level set methods have been provided and employed to recognize not only the buildings and trees, the different trees (e.g. Oak trees and Douglas firs), but also the subthalamus nuclei (STNs). By using the novel algorithms based on level set method, a 3D model of the subthalamus nuclei (STNs) in the brain has been successfully reconstructed based on the statistical data of previous investigations of an anatomy atlas as reference. The 3D rendering of the subthalamic nuclei and the skull directly from MR imaging is also utilized to determine the 3D coordinates of the STNs in the brain. In summary, the novel methods and algorithms of segmentation, recognition and 3D reconstruction of objects have been proposed. The related experiments have been done to test and confirm the validation of the proposed methods. The experimental results also demonstrate the accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed methods. A framework for segmentation, recognition and 3D reconstruction of objects has been established, which has been applied to many research areas.
- The Procedural Generation of Interesting Sokoban Levels
- As video games continue to become larger, more complex, and more costly to produce, research into methods to make game creation easier and faster becomes more valuable. One such research topic is procedural generation, which allows the computer to assist in the creation of content. This dissertation presents a new algorithm for the generation of Sokoban levels. Sokoban is a grid-based transport puzzle which is computational interesting due to being PSPACE-complete. Beyond just generating levels, the question of whether or not the levels created by this algorithm are interesting to human players is explored. A study was carried out comparing player attention while playing hand made levels versus their attention during procedurally generated levels. An auditory Stroop test was used to measure attention without disrupting play.
- Video Analytics with Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of Activities
- As video capturing devices become more ubiquitous from surveillance cameras to smart phones, the demand of automated video analysis is increasing as never before. One obstacle in this process is to efficiently locate where a human operator’s attention should be, and another is to determine the specific types of activities or actions without ambiguity. It is the special interest of this dissertation to locate spatial and temporal regions of interest in videos and to develop a better action representation for video-based activity analysis. This dissertation follows the scheme of “locating then recognizing” activities of interest in videos, i.e., locations of potentially interesting activities are estimated before performing in-depth analysis. Theoretical properties of regions of interest in videos are first exploited, based on which a unifying framework is proposed to locate both spatial and temporal regions of interest with the same settings of parameters. The approach estimates the distribution of motion based on 3D structure tensors, and locates regions of interest according to persistent occurrences of low probability. Two contributions are further made to better represent the actions. The first is to construct a unifying model of spatio-temporal relationships between reusable mid-level actions which bridge low-level pixels and high-level activities. Dense trajectories are clustered to construct mid-level actionlets, and the temporal relationships between actionlets are modeled as Action Graphs based on Allen interval predicates. The second is an effort for a novel and efficient representation of action graphs based on a sparse coding framework. Action graphs are first represented using Laplacian matrices and then decomposed as a linear combination of primitive dictionary items following sparse coding scheme. The optimization is eventually formulated and solved as a determinant maximization problem, and 1-nearest neighbor is used for action classification. The experiments have shown better results than existing approaches for regions-of-interest detection and action recognition.
- Secure and Energy Efficient Execution Frameworks Using Virtualization and Light-weight Cryptographic Components
- Security is a primary concern in this era of pervasive computing. Hardware based security mechanisms facilitate the construction of trustworthy secure systems; however, existing hardware security approaches require modifications to the micro-architecture of the processor and such changes are extremely time consuming and expensive to test and implement. Additionally, they incorporate cryptographic security mechanisms that are computationally intensive and account for excessive energy consumption, which significantly degrades the performance of the system. In this dissertation, I explore the domain of hardware based security approaches with an objective to overcome the issues that impede their usability. I have proposed viable solutions to successfully test and implement hardware security mechanisms in real world computing systems. Moreover, with an emphasis on cryptographic memory integrity verification technique and embedded systems as the target application, I have presented energy efficient architectures that considerably reduce the energy consumption of the security mechanisms, thereby improving the performance of the system. The detailed simulation results show that the average energy savings are in the range of 36% to 99% during the memory integrity verification phase, whereas the total power savings of the entire embedded processor are approximately 57%.
- A New Look at Retargetable Compilers
- Consumers demand new and innovative personal computing devices every 2 years when their cellular phone service contracts are renewed. Yet, a 2 year development cycle for the concurrent development of both hardware and software is nearly impossible. As more components and features are added to the devices, maintaining this 2 year cycle with current tools will become commensurately harder. This dissertation delves into the feasibility of simplifying the development of such systems by employing heterogeneous systems on a chip in conjunction with a retargetable compiler such as the hybrid computer retargetable compiler (Hy-C). An example of a simple architecture description of sufficient detail for use with a retargetable compiler like Hy-C is provided. As a software engineer with 30 years of experience, I have witnessed numerous system failures. A plethora of software development paradigms and tools have been employed to prevent software errors, but none have been completely successful. Much discussion centers on software development in the military contracting market, as that is my background. The dissertation reviews those tools, as well as some existing retargetable compilers, in an attempt to determine how those errors occurred and how a system like Hy-C could assist in reducing future software errors. In the end, the potential for a simple retargetable solution like Hy-C is shown to be very simple, yet powerful enough to provide a very capable product in a very fast-growing market.
- Modeling and Analysis of Intentional And Unintentional Security Vulnerabilities in a Mobile Platform
- Mobile phones are one of the essential parts of modern life. Making a phone call is not the main purpose of a smart phone anymore, but merely one of many other features. Online social networking, chatting, short messaging, web browsing, navigating, and photography are some of the other features users enjoy in modern smartphones, most of which are provided by mobile apps. However, with this advancement, many security vulnerabilities have opened up in these devices. Malicious apps are a major threat for modern smartphones. According to Symantec Corp., by the middle of 2013, about 273,000 Android malware apps were identified. It is a complex issue to protect everyday users of mobile devices from the attacks of technologically competent hackers, illegitimate users, trolls, and eavesdroppers. This dissertation emphasizes the concept of intention identification. Then it looks into ways to utilize this intention identification concept to enforce security in a mobile phone platform. For instance, a battery monitoring app requiring SMS permissions indicates suspicious intention as battery monitoring usually does not need SMS permissions. Intention could be either the user's intention or the intention of an app. These intentions can be identified using their behavior or by using their source code. Regardless of the intention type, identifying it, evaluating it, and taking actions by using it to prevent any malicious intentions are the main goals of this research. The following four different security vulnerabilities are identified in this research: Malicious apps, spammers and lurkers in social networks, eavesdroppers in phone conversations, and compromised authentication. These four vulnerabilities are solved by detecting malware applications, identifying malicious users in a social network, enhancing the encryption system of a phone communication, and identifying user activities using electroencephalogram (EEG) for authentication. Each of these solutions are constructed using the idea of intention identification. Furthermore, many of these approaches have utilized different machine learning models. The malware detection approach performed with an 89% accuracy in detecting the given malware dataset. In addition, the social network user identification model's accuracy was above 90%. The encryption enhancement reduced the mobile CPU usage time by 40%. Finally, the EEG based user activities were identified with an 85% accuracy. Identifying intention and using it to improve mobile phone security are the main contributions of this dissertation.
- Exploration of Visual, Acoustic, and Physiological Modalities to Complement Linguistic Representations for Sentiment Analysis
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This research is concerned with the identification of sentiment in multimodal content. This is of particular interest given the increasing presence of subjective multimodal content on the web and other sources, which contains a rich and vast source of people's opinions, feelings, and experiences. Despite the need for tools that can identify opinions in the presence of diverse modalities, most of current methods for sentiment analysis are designed for textual data only, and few attempts have been made to address this problem. The dissertation investigates techniques for augmenting linguistic representations with acoustic, visual, and physiological features. The potential benefits of using these modalities include linguistic disambiguation, visual grounding, and the integration of information about people's internal states. The main goal of this work is to build computational resources and tools that allow sentiment analysis to be applied to multimodal data. This thesis makes three important contributions. First, it shows that modalities such as audio, video, and physiological data can be successfully used to improve existing linguistic representations for sentiment analysis. We present a method that integrates linguistic features with features extracted from these modalities. Features are derived from verbal statements, audiovisual recordings, thermal recordings, and physiological sensors signals. The resulting multimodal sentiment analysis system is shown to significantly outperform the use of language alone. Using this system, we were able to predict the sentiment expressed in video reviews and also the sentiment experienced by viewers while exposed to emotionally loaded content. Second, the thesis provides evidence of the portability of the developed strategies to other affect recognition problems. We provided support for this by studying the deception detection problem. Third, this thesis contributes several multimodal datasets that will enable further research in sentiment and deception detection.
- General Purpose Computing in Gpu - a Watermarking Case Study
- The purpose of this project is to explore the GPU for general purpose computing. The GPU is a massively parallel computing device that has a high-throughput, exhibits high arithmetic intensity, has a large market presence, and with the increasing computation power being added to it each year through innovations, the GPU is a perfect candidate to complement the CPU in performing computations. The GPU follows the single instruction multiple data (SIMD) model for applying operations on its data. This model allows the GPU to be very useful for assisting the CPU in performing computations on data that is highly parallel in nature. The compute unified device architecture (CUDA) is a parallel computing and programming platform for NVIDIA GPUs. The main focus of this project is to show the power, speed, and performance of a CUDA-enabled GPU for digital video watermark insertion in the H.264 video compression domain. Digital video watermarking in general is a highly computationally intensive process that is strongly dependent on the video compression format in place. The H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video compression format has high compression efficiency at the expense of having high computational complexity and leaving little room for an imperceptible watermark to be inserted. Employing a human visual model to limit distortion and degradation of visual quality introduced by the watermark is a good choice for designing a video watermarking algorithm though this does introduce more computational complexity to the algorithm. Research is being conducted into how the CPU-GPU execution of the digital watermark application can boost the speed of the applications several times compared to running the application on a standalone CPU using NVIDIA visual profiler to optimize the application.
- Uncertainty Evaluation in Large-scale Dynamical Systems: Theory and Applications
- Significant research efforts have been devoted to large-scale dynamical systems, with the aim of understanding their complicated behaviors and managing their responses in real-time. One pivotal technological obstacle in this process is the existence of uncertainty. Although many of these large-scale dynamical systems function well in the design stage, they may easily fail when operating in realistic environment, where environmental uncertainties modulate system dynamics and complicate real-time predication and management tasks. This dissertation aims to develop systematic methodologies to evaluate the performance of large-scale dynamical systems under uncertainty, as a step toward real-time decision support. Two uncertainty evaluation approaches are pursued: the analytical approach and the effective simulation approach. The analytical approach abstracts the dynamics of original stochastic systems, and develops tractable analysis (e.g., jump-linear analysis) for the approximated systems. Despite the potential bias introduced in the approximation process, the analytical approach provides rich insights valuable for evaluating and managing the performance of large-scale dynamical systems under uncertainty. When a system’s complexity and scale are beyond tractable analysis, the effective simulation approach becomes very useful. The effective simulation approach aims to use a few smartly selected simulations to quickly evaluate a complex system’s statistical performance. This approach was originally developed to evaluate a single uncertain variable. This dissertation extends the approach to be scalable and effective for evaluating large-scale systems under a large-number of uncertain variables. While a large portion of this dissertation focuses on the development of generic methods and theoretical analysis that are applicable to broad large-scale dynamical systems, many results are illustrated through a representative large-scale system application on strategic air traffic management application, which is concerned with designing robust management plans subject to a wide range of weather possibilities at 2-15 hours look-ahead time.
- Smartphone-based Household Travel Survey - a Literature Review, an App, and a Pilot Survey
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High precision data from household travel survey (HTS) is extremely important for the transportation research, traffic models and policy formulation. Traditional methods of data collection were imprecise because they relied on people’s memories of trip information, such as date and location, and the remainder data had to be obtained by certain supplemental tools. The traditional methods suffered from intensive labor, large time consumption, and unsatisfactory data precision. Recent research trends to employ smartphone apps to collect HTS data. In this study, there are two goals to be addressed. First, a smartphone app is developed to realize a smartphone-based method only for data collection. Second, the researcher evaluates whether this method can supply or replace the traditional tools of HTS. Based on this premise, the smartphone app, TravelSurvey, is specially developed and used for this study. TravelSurvey is currently compatible with iPhone 4 or higher and iPhone Operating System (iOS) 6 or higher, except iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 plus and iOS 8. To evaluate the feasibility, eight individuals are recruited to participate in a pilot HTS. Afterwards, seven of them are involved in a semi-structured interview. The interview is designed to collect interviewees’ feedback directly, so the interview mainly concerns the users’ experience of TravelSurvey. Generally, the feedback is positive. In this study, the pilot HTS data is successfully uploaded to the server by the participants, and the interviewees prefer this smartphone-based method. Therefore, as a new tool, the smartphone-based method feasibly supports a typical HTS for data collection.
- A Computational Methodology for Addressing Differentiated Access of Vulnerable Populations During Biological Emergencies
- 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.
- Modeling Epidemics on Structured Populations: Effects of Socio-demographic Characteristics and Immune Response Quality
- 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.
- Procedural Generation of Content for Online Role Playing Games
- 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, and the ability to play these quests using an emulated Everquest server.
- Qos Aware Service Oriented Architecture
- 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.
- Ddos Defense Against Botnets in the Mobile Cloud
- Mobile phone advancements and ubiquitous internet connectivity are resulting in ever expanding possibilities in the application of smart phones. Users of mobile phones are now capable of hosting server applications from their personal devices. Whether providing services individually or in an ad hoc network setting the devices are currently not configured for defending against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks, often launched from a botnet, have existed in the space of personal computing for decades but recently have begun showing up on mobile devices. Research is done first into the required steps to develop a potential botnet on the Android platform. This includes testing for the amount of malicious traffic an Android phone would be capable of generating for a DDoS attack. On the other end of the spectrum is the need of mobile devices running networked applications to develop security against DDoS attacks. For this mobile, phones are setup, with web servers running Apache to simulate users running internet connected applications for either local ad hoc networks or serving to the internet. Testing is done for the viability of using commonly available modules developed for Apache and intended for servers as well as finding baseline capabilities of mobiles to handle higher traffic volumes. Given the unique challenge of the limited resources a mobile phone can dedicate to Apache when compared to a dedicated hosting server a new method was needed. A proposed defense algorithm is developed for mitigating DDoS attacks against the mobile server that takes into account the limited resources available on the mobile device. The algorithm is tested against TCP socket flooding for effectiveness and shown to perform better than the common Apache module installations on a mobile device.
- Geostatistical Inspired Metamodeling and Optimization of Nanoscale Analog Circuits
- 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. The proposed methodologies combine Kriging metamodels with selected algorithms for ultra-fast layout optimization. The selected algorithms explored are: Gravitational Search Algorithm (GSA), Simulated Annealing Optimization (SAO), and Ant Colony Optimization (ACO). Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed Kriging metamodel based methodologies can perform the optimizations with minimal computational burden compared to traditional (SPICE-based) design flows.
- Autonomic Failure Identification and Diagnosis for Building Dependable Cloud Computing Systems
- The increasingly popular cloud-computing paradigm provides on-demand access to computing and storage with the appearance of unlimited resources. Users are given access to a variety of data and software utilities to manage their work. Users rent virtual resources and pay for only what they use. In spite of the many benefits that cloud computing promises, the lack of dependability in shared virtualized infrastructures is a major obstacle for its wider adoption, especially for mission-critical applications. Virtualization and multi-tenancy increase system complexity and dynamicity. They introduce new sources of failure degrading the dependability of cloud computing systems. To assure cloud dependability, in my dissertation research, I develop autonomic failure identification and diagnosis techniques that are crucial for understanding emergent, cloud-wide phenomena and self-managing resource burdens for cloud availability and productivity enhancement. We study the runtime cloud performance data collected from a cloud test-bed and by using traces from production cloud systems. We define cloud signatures including those metrics that are most relevant to failure instances. We exploit profiled cloud performance data in both time and frequency domain to identify anomalous cloud behaviors and leverage cloud metric subspace analysis to automate the diagnosis of observed failures. We implement a prototype of the anomaly identification system and conduct the experiments in an on-campus cloud computing test-bed and by using the Google datacenter traces. Our experimental results show that our proposed anomaly detection mechanism can achieve 93% detection sensitivity while keeping the false positive rate as low as 6.1% and outperform other tested anomaly detection schemes. In addition, the anomaly detector adapts itself by recursively learning from these newly verified detection results to refine future detection.
- Performance Engineering of Software Web Services and Distributed Software Systems
- The promise of service oriented computing, and the availability of Web services promote the delivery and creation of new services based on existing services, in order to meet new demands and new markets. As Web and internet based services move into Clouds, inter-dependency of services and their complexity will increase substantially. There are standards and frameworks for specifying and composing Web Services based on functional properties. However, mechanisms to individually address non-functional properties of services and their compositions have not been well established. Furthermore, the Cloud ontology depicts service layers from a high-level, such as Application and Software, to a low-level, such as Infrastructure and Platform. Each component that resides in one layer can be useful to another layer as a service. It hints at the amount of complexity resulting from not only horizontal but also vertical integrations in building and deploying a composite service. To meet the requirements and facilitate using Web services, we first propose a WSDL extension to permit specification of non-functional or Quality of Service (QoS) properties. On top of the foundation, the QoS-aware framework is established to adapt publicly available tools for Web services, augmented by ontology management tools, along with tools for performance modeling to exemplify how the non-functional properties such as response time, throughput, or utilization of services can be addressed in the service acquisition and composition process. To facilitate Web service composition standards, in this work we extended the framework with additional qualitative information to the service descriptions using Business Process Execution Language (BPEL). Engineers can use BPEL to explore design options, and have the QoS properties analyzed for the composite service. The main issue in our research is performance evaluation in software system and engineering. We researched the Web service computation as the first half of this dissertation, and performance antipattern detection and elimination in the second part. Performance analysis of software system is complex due to large number of components and the interactions among them. Without the knowledge of experienced experts, it is difficult to diagnose performance anomalies and attempt to pinpoint the root causes of the problems. Software performance antipatterns are similar to design patterns in that they provide what to avoid and how to fix performance problems when they appear. Although the idea of applying antipatterns is promising, there are gaps in matching the symptoms and generating feedback solution for redesign. In this work, we analyze performance antipatterns to extract detectable features, influential factors, and resource involvements so that we can lay the foundation to detect their presence. We propose system abstract layering model and suggestive profiling methods for performance antipattern detection and elimination. Solutions proposed can be used during the refactoring phase, and can be included in the software development life cycle. Proposed tools and utilities are implemented and their use is demonstrated with RUBiS benchmark.
- Multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation Using Wikipedia
- Ambiguity is inherent to human language. In particular, word sense ambiguity is prevalent in all natural languages, with a large number of the words in any given language carrying more than one meaning. Word sense disambiguation is the task of automatically assigning the most appropriate meaning to a polysemous word within a given context. Generally the problem of resolving ambiguity in literature has revolved around the famous quote “you shall know the meaning of the word by the company it keeps.” In this thesis, we investigate the role of context for resolving ambiguity through three different approaches. Instead of using a predefined monolingual sense inventory such as WordNet, we use a language-independent framework where the word senses and sense-tagged data are derived automatically from Wikipedia. Using Wikipedia as a source of sense-annotations provides the much needed solution for knowledge acquisition bottleneck. In order to evaluate the viability of Wikipedia based sense-annotations, we cast the task of disambiguating polysemous nouns as a monolingual classification task and experimented on lexical samples from four different languages (viz. English, German, Italian and Spanish). The experiments confirm that the Wikipedia based sense annotations are reliable and can be used to construct accurate monolingual sense classifiers. It is a long belief that exploiting multiple languages helps in building accurate word sense disambiguation systems. Subsequently, we developed two approaches that recast the task of disambiguating polysemous nouns as a multilingual classification task. The first approach for multilingual word sense disambiguation attempts to effectively use a machine translation system to leverage two relevant multilingual aspects of the semantics of text. First, the various senses of a target word may be translated into different words, which constitute unique, yet highly salient signal that effectively expand the target word’s feature space. Second, the translated context words themselves embed co-occurrence information that a translation engine gathers from very large parallel corpora. The second approach for multlingual word sense disambiguation attempts to reduce the reliance on the machine translation system during training by using the multilingual knowledge available in Wikipedia through its interlingual links. Finally, the experiments on a lexical sample from four different languages confirm that the multilingual systems perform better than the monolingual system and significantly improve the disambiguation accuracy.
- Monitoring Dengue Outbreaks Using Online Data
- 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.