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- Process-Voltage-Temperature Aware Nanoscale Circuit Optimization
- Embedded systems which are targeted towards portable applications are required to have low power consumption because such portable devices are typically powered by batteries. During the memory accesses of such battery operated portable systems, including laptops, cell phones and other devices, a significant amount of power or energy is consumed which significantly affects the battery life. Therefore, efficient and leakage power saving cache designs are needed for longer operation of battery powered applications. Design engineers have limited control over many design parameters of the circuit and hence face many chal-lenges due to inherent process technology variations, particularly on static random access memory (SRAM) circuit design. As CMOS process technologies scale down deeper into the nanometer regime, the push for high performance and reliable systems becomes even more challenging. As a result, developing low-power designs while maintaining better performance of the circuit becomes a very difficult task. Furthermore, a major need for accurate analysis and optimization of various forms of total power dissipation and performance in nanoscale CMOS technologies, particularly in SRAMs, is another critical issue to be considered. This dissertation proposes power-leakage and static noise margin (SNM) analysis and methodologies to achieve optimized static random access memories (SRAMs). Alternate topologies of SRAMs, mainly a 7-transistor SRAM, are taken as a case study throughout this dissertation. The optimized cache designs are process-voltage-temperature (PVT) tolerant and consider individual cells as well as memory arrays.
- Exploring Process-Variation Tolerant Design of Nanoscale Sense Amplifier Circuits
- Sense amplifiers are important circuit components of a dynamic random access memory (DRAM), which forms the main memory of digital computers. The ability of the sense amplifier to detect and amplify voltage signals to correctly interpret data in DRAM cells cannot be understated. The sense amplifier plays a significant role in the overall speed of the DRAM. Sense amplifiers require matched transistors for optimal performance. Hence, the effects of mismatch through process variations must be minimized. This thesis presents a research which leads to optimal nanoscale CMOS sense amplifiers by incorporating the effects of process variation early in the design process. The effects of process variation on the performance of a standard voltage sense amplifier, which is used in conventional DRAMs, is studied. Parametric analysis is performed through circuit simulations to investigate which parameters have the most impact on the performance of the sense amplifier. The figures-of-merit (FoMs) used to characterize the circuit are the precharge time, power dissipation, sense delay and sense margin. Statistical analysis is also performed to study the impact of process variations on each FoM. By analyzing the results from the statistical study, a method is presented to select parameter values that minimize the effects of process variation. A design flow algorithm incorporating dual oxide and dual threshold voltage based techniques is used to optimize the FoMs for the sense amplifier. Experimental results prove that the proposed approach improves precharge time by 83.9%, sense delay by 80.2% sense margin by 61.9%, and power dissipation by 13.1%.
- Graph-Based Keyphrase Extraction Using Wikipedia
- Keyphrases describe a document in a coherent and simple way, giving the prospective reader a way to quickly determine whether the document satisfies their information needs. The pervasion of huge amount of information on Web, with only a small amount of documents have keyphrases extracted, there is a definite need to discover automatic keyphrase extraction systems. Typically, a document written by human develops around one or more general concepts or sub-concepts. These concepts or sub-concepts should be structured and semantically related with each other, so that they can form the meaningful representation of a document. Considering the fact, the phrases or concepts in a document are related to each other, a new approach for keyphrase extraction is introduced that exploits the semantic relations in the document. For measuring the semantic relations between concepts or sub-concepts in the document, I present a comprehensive study aimed at using collaboratively constructed semantic resources like Wikipedia and its link structure. In particular, I introduce a graph-based keyphrase extraction system that exploits the semantic relations in the document and features such as term frequency. I evaluated the proposed system using novel measures and the results obtained compare favorably with previously published results on established benchmarks.
- The Influence of Social Network Graph Structure on Disease Dynamics in a Simulated Environment
- The fight against epidemics/pandemics is one of man versus nature. Technological advances have not only improved existing methods for monitoring and controlling disease outbreaks, but have also provided new means for investigation, such as through modeling and simulation. This dissertation explores the relationship between social structure and disease dynamics. Social structures are modeled as graphs, and outbreaks are simulated based on a well-recognized standard, the susceptible-infectious-removed (SIR) paradigm. Two independent, but related, studies are presented. The first involves measuring the severity of outbreaks as social network parameters are altered. The second study investigates the efficacy of various vaccination policies based on social structure. Three disease-related centrality measures are introduced, contact, transmission, and spread centrality, which are related to previously established centrality measures degree, betweenness, and closeness, respectively. The results of experiments presented in this dissertation indicate that reducing the neighborhood size along with outside-of-neighborhood contacts diminishes the severity of disease outbreaks. Vaccination strategies can effectively reduce these parameters. Additionally, vaccination policies that target individuals with high centrality are generally shown to be slightly more effective than a random vaccination policy. These results combined with past and future studies will assist public health officials in their effort to minimize the effects of inevitable disease epidemics/pandemics.
- A Framework for Analyzing and Optimizing Regional Bio-Emergency Response Plans
- The presence of naturally occurring and man-made public health threats necessitate the design and implementation of mitigation strategies, such that adequate response is provided in a timely manner. Since multiple variables, such as geographic properties, resource constraints, and government mandated time-frames must be accounted for, computational methods provide the necessary tools to develop contingency response plans while respecting underlying data and assumptions. A typical response scenario involves the placement of points of dispensing (PODs) in the affected geographic region to supply vaccines or medications to the general public. Computational tools aid in the analysis of such response plans, as well as in the strategic placement of PODs, such that feasible response scenarios can be developed. Due to the sensitivity of bio-emergency response plans, geographic information, such as POD locations, must be kept confidential. The generation of synthetic geographic regions allows for the development of emergency response plans on non-sensitive data, as well as for the study of the effects of single geographic parameters. Further, synthetic representations of geographic regions allow for results to be published and evaluated by the scientific community. This dissertation presents methodology for the analysis of bio-emergency response plans, methods for plan optimization, as well as methodology for the generation of synthetic geographic regions.
- Measuring Vital Signs Using Smart Phones
- Smart phones today have become increasingly popular with the general public for its diverse abilities like navigation, social networking, and multimedia facilities to name a few. These phones are equipped with high end processors, high resolution cameras, built-in sensors like accelerometer, orientation-sensor, light-sensor, and much more. According to comScore survey, 25.3% of US adults use smart phones in their daily lives. Motivated by the capability of smart phones and their extensive usage, I focused on utilizing them for bio-medical applications. In this thesis, I present a new application for a smart phone to quantify the vital signs such as heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure with the help of its built-in sensors. Using the camera and a microphone, I have shown how the blood pressure and heart rate can be determined for a subject. People sometimes encounter minor situations like fainting or fatal accidents like car crash at unexpected times and places. It would be useful to have a device which can measure all vital signs in such an event. The second part of this thesis demonstrates a new mode of communication for next generation 9-1-1 calls. In this new architecture, the call-taker will be able to control the multimedia elements in the phone from a remote location. This would help the call-taker or first responder to have a better control over the situation. Transmission of the vital signs measured using the smart phone can be a life saver in critical situations. In today's voice oriented 9-1-1 calls, the dispatcher first collects critical information (e.g., location, call-back number) from caller, and assesses the situation. Meanwhile, the dispatchers constantly face a "60-second dilemma"; i.e., within 60 seconds, they need to make a complicated but important decision, whether to dispatch and, if so, what to dispatch. The dispatchers often feel that they lack sufficient information to make a confident dispatch decision. This remote-media-control described in this system will be able to facilitate information acquisition and decision-making in emergency situations within the 60-second response window in 9-1-1 calls using new multimedia technologies.
- Anchor Nodes Placement for Effective Passive Localization
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Wireless sensor networks are composed of sensor nodes, which can monitor an environment and observe events of interest. These networks are applied in various fields including but not limited to environmental, industrial and habitat monitoring. In many applications, the exact location of the sensor nodes is unknown after deployment. Localization is a process used to find sensor node's positional coordinates, which is vital information. The localization is generally assisted by anchor nodes that are also sensor nodes but with known locations. Anchor nodes generally are expensive and need to be optimally placed for effective localization. Passive localization is one of the localization techniques where the sensor nodes silently listen to the global events like thunder sounds, seismic waves, lighting, etc. According to previous studies, the ideal location to place anchor nodes was on the perimeter of the sensor network. This may not be the case in passive localization, since the function of anchor nodes here is different than the anchor nodes used in other localization systems. I do extensive studies on positioning anchor nodes for effective localization. Several simulations are run in dense and sparse networks for proper positioning of anchor nodes. I show that, for effective passive localization, the optimal placement of the anchor nodes is at the center of the network in such a way that no three anchor nodes share linearity. The more the non-linearity, the better the localization. The localization for our network design proves better when I place anchor nodes at right angles.
- Effective and Accelerated Informative Frame Filtering in Colonoscopy Videos Using Graphic Processing Units
- Colonoscopy is an endoscopic technique that allows a physician to inspect the mucosa of the human colon. Previous methods and software solutions to detect informative frames in a colonoscopy video (a process called informative frame filtering or IFF) have been hugely ineffective in (1) covering the proper definition of an informative frame in the broadest sense and (2) striking an optimal balance between accuracy and speed of classification in both real-time and non real-time medical procedures. In my thesis, I propose a more effective method and faster software solutions for IFF which is more effective due to the introduction of a heuristic algorithm (derived from experimental analysis of typical colon features) for classification. It contributed to a 5-10% boost in various performance metrics for IFF. The software modules are faster due to the incorporation of sophisticated parallel-processing oriented coding techniques on modern microprocessors. Two IFF modules were created, one for post-procedure and the other for real-time. Code optimizations through NVIDIA CUDA for GPU processing and/or CPU multi-threading concepts embedded in two significant microprocessor design philosophies (multi-core design and many-core design) resulted a 5-fold acceleration for the post-procedure module and a 40-fold acceleration for the real-time module. Some innovative software modules, which are still in testing phase, have been recently created to exploit the power of multiple GPUs together.
- Elicitation of Protein-Protein Interactions from Biomedical Literature Using Association Rule Discovery
- Extracting information from a stack of data is a tedious task and the scenario is no different in proteomics. Volumes of research papers are published about study of various proteins in several species, their interactions with other proteins and identification of protein(s) as possible biomarker in causing diseases. It is a challenging task for biologists to keep track of these developments manually by reading through the literatures. Several tools have been developed by computer linguists to assist identification, extraction and hypotheses generation of proteins and protein-protein interactions from biomedical publications and protein databases. However, they are confronted with the challenges of term variation, term ambiguity, access only to abstracts and inconsistencies in time-consuming manual curation of protein and protein-protein interaction repositories. This work attempts to attenuate the challenges by extracting protein-protein interactions in humans and elicit possible interactions using associative rule mining on full text, abstracts and captions from figures available from publicly available biomedical literature databases. Two such databases are used in our study: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and PubMed Central (PMC). A corpus is built using articles based on search terms. A dataset of more than 38,000 protein-protein interactions from the Human Protein Reference Database (HPRD) is cross-referenced to validate discovered interactive pairs. A set of an optimal size of possible binary protein-protein interactions is generated to be made available for clinician or biological validation. A significant change in the number of new associations was found by altering the thresholds for support and confidence metrics. This study narrows down the limitations for biologists in keeping pace with discovery of protein-protein interactions via manually reading the literature and their needs to validate each and every possible interaction.
- Rhythms of Interaction in Global Software Development Teams
- Researchers have speculated that global software teams have activity patterns that are dictated by work-place schedules or a client's need. Similar patterns have been suggested for individuals enrolled in distant learning projects that require students to post feedback in response to questions or assignments. Researchers tend to accept the notion that students' temporal patterns adjust to academic or social calendars and are a result of choices made within these constraints. Although there is some evidence that culture do have an impact on communication activity behavior, there is not a clear how each of these factors may relate to work done in online groups. This particular study represents a new approach to studying student-group communication activities and also pursues an alternative approach by using activity data from students participating in a global software development project to generate a variety of complex measures that capture patterns about when students work. Students work habits are also often determined by where they live and what they are working on. Moreover, students tend to work on group projects in cycles, which correspond to a start, middle, and end time period. Knowledge obtained from this study should provide insight into current empirical research on global software development by defining the different time variables that can also be used to compare temporal patterns found in real-world teams. It should also inform studies about student team projects by helping instructors schedule group activities.
- Socioscope: Human Relationship and Behavior Analysis in Mobile Social Networks
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The widely used mobile phone, as well as its related technologies had opened opportunities for a complete change on how people interact and build relationship across geographic and time considerations. The convenience of instant communication by mobile phones that broke the barrier of space and time is evidently the key motivational point on why such technologies so important in people's life and daily activities. Mobile phones have become the most popular communication tools. Mobile phone technology is apparently changing our relationship to each other in our work and lives. The impact of new technologies on people's lives in social spaces gives us the chance to rethink the possibilities of technologies in social interaction. Accordingly, mobile phones are basically changing social relations in ways that are intricate to measure with any precision. In this dissertation I propose a socioscope model for social network, relationship and human behavior analysis based on mobile phone call detail records. Because of the diversities and complexities of human social behavior, one technique cannot detect different features of human social behaviors. Therefore I use multiple probability and statistical methods for quantifying social groups, relationships and communication patterns, for predicting social tie strengths and for detecting human behavior changes and unusual consumption events. I propose a new reciprocity index to measure the level of reciprocity between users and their communication partners. The experimental results show that this approach is effective. Among other applications, this work is useful for homeland security, detection of unwanted calls (e.g., spam), telecommunication presence, and marketing. In my future work I plan to analyze and study the social network dynamics and evolution.
- Design and Implementation of Large-Scale Wireless Sensor Networks for Environmental Monitoring Applications
- Environmental monitoring represents a major application domain for wireless sensor networks (WSN). However, despite significant advances in recent years, there are still many challenging issues to be addressed to exploit the full potential of the emerging WSN technology. In this dissertation, we introduce the design and implementation of low-power wireless sensor networks for long-term, autonomous, and near-real-time environmental monitoring applications. We have developed an out-of-box solution consisting of a suite of software, protocols and algorithms to provide reliable data collection with extremely low power consumption. Two wireless sensor networks based on the proposed solution have been deployed in remote field stations to monitor soil moisture along with other environmental parameters. As parts of the ever-growing environmental monitoring cyberinfrastructure, these networks have been integrated into the Texas Environmental Observatory system for long-term operation. Environmental measurement and network performance results are presented to demonstrate the capability, reliability and energy-efficiency of the network.