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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Computer Science
Bayesian Probabilistic Reasoning Applied to Mathematical Epidemiology for Predictive Spatiotemporal Analysis of Infectious Diseases
Abstract Probabilistic reasoning under uncertainty suits well to analysis of disease dynamics. The stochastic nature of disease progression is modeled by applying the principles of Bayesian learning. Bayesian learning predicts the disease progression, including prevalence and incidence, for a geographic region and demographic composition. Public health resources, prioritized by the order of risk levels of the population, will efficiently minimize the disease spread and curtail the epidemic at the earliest. A Bayesian network representing the outbreak of influenza and pneumonia in a geographic region is ported to a newer region with different demographic composition. Upon analysis for the newer region, the corresponding prevalence of influenza and pneumonia among the different demographic subgroups is inferred for the newer region. Bayesian reasoning coupled with disease timeline is used to reverse engineer an influenza outbreak for a given geographic and demographic setting. The temporal flow of the epidemic among the different sections of the population is analyzed to identify the corresponding risk levels. In comparison to spread vaccination, prioritizing the limited vaccination resources to the higher risk groups results in relatively lower influenza prevalence. HIV incidence in Texas from 1989-2002 is analyzed using demographic based epidemic curves. Dynamic Bayesian networks are integrated with probability distributions of HIV surveillance data coupled with the census population data to estimate the proportion of HIV incidence among the different demographic subgroups. Demographic based risk analysis lends to observation of varied spectrum of HIV risk among the different demographic subgroups. A methodology using hidden Markov models is introduced that enables to investigate the impact of social behavioral interactions in the incidence and prevalence of infectious diseases. The methodology is presented in the context of simulated disease outbreak data for influenza. Probabilistic reasoning analysis enhances the understanding of disease progression in order to identify the critical points of surveillance, control and prevention. Public health resources, prioritized by the order of risk levels of the population, will efficiently minimize the disease spread and curtail the epidemic at the earliest.
Boosting for Learning From Imbalanced, Multiclass Data Sets
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In many real-world applications, it is common to have uneven number of examples among multiple classes. The data imbalance, however, usually complicates the learning process, especially for the minority classes, and results in deteriorated performance. Boosting methods were proposed to handle the imbalance problem. These methods need elongated training time and require diversity among the classifiers of the ensemble to achieve improved performance. Additionally, extending the boosting method to handle multi-class data sets is not straightforward. Examples of applications that suffer from imbalanced multi-class data can be found in face recognition, where tens of classes exist, and in capsule endoscopy, which suffers massive imbalance between the classes. This dissertation introduces RegBoost, a new boosting framework to address the imbalanced, multi-class problems. This method applies a weighted stratified sampling technique and incorporates a regularization term that accommodates multi-class data sets and automatically determines the error bound of each base classifier. The regularization parameter penalizes the classifier when it misclassifies instances that were correctly classified in the previous iteration. The parameter additionally reduces the bias towards majority classes. Experiments are conducted using 12 diverse data sets with moderate to high imbalance ratios. The results demonstrate superior performance of the proposed method compared to several state-of-the-art algorithms for imbalanced, multi-class classification problems. More importantly, the sensitivity improvement of the minority classes using RegBoost is accompanied with the improvement of the overall accuracy for all classes. With unpredictability regularization, a diverse group of classifiers are created and the maximum accuracy improvement reaches above 24%. Using stratified undersampling, RegBoost exhibits the best efficiency. The reduction in computational cost is significant reaching above 50%. As the volume of training data increase, the gain of efficiency with the proposed method becomes more significant.
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.
Refactoring FrameNet for Efficient Relational Queries
The FrameNet database is being used in a variety of NLP research and applications such as word sense disambiguation, machine translation, information extraction and question answering. The database is currently available in XML format. The XML database though a wholesome way of distributing data in its entireness, is not practical for use unless converted to a more application friendly database. In light of this we have successfully converted the XML database to a relational MySQL™ database. This conversion reduced the amount of data storage amount to less than half. Most importantly the new database enables us to perform fast complex querying and facilitates use by applications and research. We show the steps taken to ensure relational integrity of the data during the refactoring process and a simple demo application demonstrating ease of use.
Computer Realization of Human Music Cognition
This study models the human process of music cognition on the digital computer. The definition of music cognition is derived from the work in music cognition done by the researchers Carol Krumhansl and Edward Kessler, and by Mari Jones, as well as from the music theories of Heinrich Schenker. The computer implementation functions in three stages. First, it translates a musical "performance" in the form of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) messages into LISP structures. Second, the various parameters of the performance are examined separately a la Jones's joint accent structure, quantified according to psychological findings, and adjusted to a common scale. The findings of Krumhansl and Kessler are used to evaluate the consonance of each note with respect to the key of the piece and with respect to the immediately sounding harmony. This process yields a multidimensional set of points, each of which is a cognitive evaluation of a single musical event within the context of the piece of music within which it occurred. This set of points forms a metric space in multi-dimensional Euclidean space. The third phase of the analysis maps the set of points into a topology-preserving data structure for a Schenkerian-like middleground structural analysis. This process yields a hierarchical stratification of all the musical events (notes) in a piece of music. It has been applied to several pieces of music with surprising results. In each case, the analysis obtained very closely resembles a structural analysis which would be supplied by a human theorist. The results obtained invite us to take another look at the representation of knowledge and perception from another perspective, that of a set of points in a topological space, and to ask if such a representation might not be useful in other domains. It also leads us to ask if such a representation might not be useful in combination with the more traditional rule-based representations by helping to eliminate unwanted levels of detail in a cognitive-perceptual system.
3GPP Long Term Evolution LTE Scheduling
Future generation cellular networks are expected to deliver an omnipresent broadband access network for an endlessly increasing number of subscribers. Long term Evolution (LTE) represents a significant milestone towards wireless networks known as 4G cellular networks. A key feature of LTE is the implementation of enhanced Radio Resource Management (RRM) mechanism to improve the system performance. The structure of LTE networks was simplified by diminishing the number of the nodes of the core network. Also, the design of the radio protocol architecture is quite unique. In order to achieve high data rate in LTE, 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has selected Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) as an appropriate scheme in terms of downlinks. However, the proper scheme for an uplink is the Single-Carrier Frequency Domain Multiple Access due to the peak-to-average-power-ratio (PAPR) constraint. LTE packet scheduling plays a primary role as part of RRM to improve the system’s data rate as well as supporting various QoS requirements of mobile services. The major function of the LTE packet scheduler is to assign Physical Resource Blocks (PRBs) to mobile User Equipment (UE). In our work, we formed a proposed packet scheduler algorithm. The proposed scheduler algorithm acts based on the number of UEs attached to the eNodeB. To evaluate the proposed scheduler algorithm, we assumed two different scenarios based on a number of UEs. When the number of UE is lower than the number of PRBs, the UEs with highest Channel Quality Indicator (CQI) will be assigned PRBs. Otherwise, the scheduler will assign PRBs based on a given proportional fairness metric. The eNodeB’s throughput is increased when the proposed algorithm was implemented.
Real-time Rendering of Burning Objects in Video Games
In recent years there has been growing interest in limitless realism in computer graphics applications. Among those, my foremost concentration falls into the complex physical simulations and modeling with diverse applications for the gaming industry. Different simulations have been virtually successful by replicating the details of physical process. As a result, some were strong enough to lure the user into believable virtual worlds that could destroy any sense of attendance. In this research, I focus on fire simulations and its deformation process towards various virtual objects. In most game engines model loading takes place at the beginning of the game or when the game is transitioning between levels. Game models are stored in large data structures. Since changing or adjusting a large data structure while the game is proceeding may adversely affect the performance of the game. Therefore, developers may choose to avoid procedural simulations to save resources and avoid interruptions on performance. I introduce a process to implement a real-time model deformation while maintaining performance. It is a challenging task to achieve high quality simulation while utilizing minimum resources to represent multiple events in timely manner. Especially in video games, this overwhelming criterion would be robust enough to sustain the engaging player's willing suspension of disbelief. I have implemented and tested my method on a relatively modest GPU using CUDA. My experiments conclude this method gives a believable visual effect while using small fraction of CPU and GPU resources.
An Integrated Architecture for Ad Hoc Grids
Extensive research has been conducted by the grid community to enable large-scale collaborations in pre-configured environments. grid collaborations can vary in scale and motivation resulting in a coarse classification of grids: national grid, project grid, enterprise grid, and volunteer grid. Despite the differences in scope and scale, all the traditional grids in practice share some common assumptions. They support mutually collaborative communities, adopt a centralized control for membership, and assume a well-defined non-changing collaboration. To support grid applications that do not confirm to these assumptions, we propose the concept of ad hoc grids. In the context of this research, we propose a novel architecture for ad hoc grids that integrates a suite of component frameworks. Specifically, our architecture combines the community management framework, security framework, abstraction framework, quality of service framework, and reputation framework. The overarching objective of our integrated architecture is to support a variety of grid applications in a self-controlled fashion with the help of a self-organizing ad hoc community. We introduce mechanisms in our architecture that successfully isolates malicious elements from the community, inherently improving the quality of grid services and extracting deterministic quality assurances from the underlying infrastructure. We also emphasize on the technology-independence of our architecture, thereby offering the requisite platform for technology interoperability. The feasibility of the proposed architecture is verified with a high-quality ad hoc grid implementation. Additionally, we have analyzed the performance and behavior of ad hoc grids with respect to several control parameters.
Resource Efficient and Scalable Routing using Intelligent Mobile Agents
Many of the contemporary routing algorithms use simple mechanisms such as flooding or broadcasting to disseminate the routing information available to them. Such routing algorithms cause significant network resource overhead due to the large number of messages generated at each host/router throughout the route update process. Many of these messages are wasteful since they do not contribute to the route discovery process. Reducing the resource overhead may allow for several algorithms to be deployed in a wide range of networks (wireless and ad-hoc) which require a simple routing protocol due to limited availability of resources (memory and bandwidth). Motivated by the need to reduce the resource overhead associated with routing algorithms a new implementation of distance vector routing algorithm using an agent-based paradigm known as Agent-based Distance Vector Routing (ADVR) has been proposed. In ADVR, the ability of route discovery and message passing shifts from the nodes to individual agents that traverse the network, co-ordinate with each other and successively update the routing tables of the nodes they visit.
Content-Based Image Retrieval by Integration of Metadata Encoded Multimedia Features in Constructing a Video Summarizer Application.
Content-based image retrieval (CBIR) is the retrieval of images from a collection by means of internal feature measures of the information content of the images. In CBIR systems, text media is usually used only to retrieve exemplar images for further searching by image feature content. This research work describes a new method for integrating multimedia text and image content features to increase the retrieval performance of the system. I am exploring the content-based features of an image extracted from a video to build a storyboard for search retrieval of images. Metadata encoded multimedia features include extracting primitive features like color, shape and text from an image. Histograms are built for all the features extracted and stored in a database. Images are searched based on comparing these histogram values of the extracted image with the stored values. These histogram values are used for extraction of keyframes from a collection of images parsed from a video file. Individual shots of images are extracted from a video clip and run through processes that extract the features and build the histogram values. A keyframe extraction algorithm is run to get the keyframes from the collection of images to build a storyboard of images. In video retrieval, speech recognition and other multimedia encoding could help improve the CBIR indexing technique and makes keyframe extraction and searching effective. Research in area of embedding sound and other multimedia could enhance effective video retrieval.
Independent Quadtrees
This dissertation deals with the problem of manipulating and storing an image using quadtrees. A quadtree is a tree in which each node has four ordered children or is a leaf. It can be used to represent an image via hierarchical decomposition. The image is broken into four regions. A region can be a solid color (homogeneous) or a mixture of colors (heterogeneous). If a region is heterogeneous it is broken into four subregions, and the process continues recursively until all subregions are homogeneous. The traditional quadtree suffers from dependence on the underlying grid. The grid coordinate system is implicit, and therefore fixed. The fixed coordinate system implies a rigid tree. A rigid tree cannot be translated, scaled, or rotated. Instead, a new tree must be built which is the result of one of these transformations. This dissertation introduces the independent quadtree. The independent quadtree is free of any underlying coordinate system. The tree is no longer rigid and can be easily translated, scaled, or rotated. Algorithms to perform these operations axe presented. The translation and rotation algorithms take constant time. The scaling algorithm has linear time in the number nodes in the tree. The disadvantage of independent quadtrees is the longer generation and display time. This dissertation also introduces an alternate method of hierarchical decomposition. This new method finds the largest homogeneous block with respect to the corners of the image. This block defines the division point for the decomposition. If the size of the block is below some cutoff point, it is deemed to be to small to make the overhead worthwhile and the traditional method is used instead. This new method is compared to the traditional method on randomly generated rectangles, triangles, and circles. The new method is shown to use significantly less space for all three test sets. The generation and display times are ambiguous. More time is taken for each node, but there are, on average, fewer nodes. The worst case is significantly worse.
Inheritance Problems in Object-Oriented Database
This research is concerned with inheritance as used in object-oriented database. More specifically, partial bi-directional inheritance among classes is examined. In partial inheritance, a class can inherit a proper subset of instance variables from another class. Two subclasses of the same superclass do not need to inherit the same proper subset of instance variables from their superclass. Bi-directional partial inheritance allows a class to inherit instance variables from its subclass. The prototype of an object-oriented database that supports both full and partial bi-directional inheritance among classes was developed on top of an existing relational database management system. The prototype was tested with two database applications. One database application needs full and partial inheritance. The second database application required bi-directional inheritance. The result of this testing suggests both advantages and disadvantages of partial bi-directional inheritance. Future areas of research are also suggested.
Privacy Management for Online Social Networks
One in seven people in the world use online social networking for a variety of purposes -- to keep in touch with friends and family, to share special occasions, to broadcast announcements, and more. The majority of society has been bought into this new era of communication technology, which allows everyone on the internet to share information with friends. Since social networking has rapidly become a main form of communication, holes in privacy have become apparent. It has come to the point that the whole concept of sharing information requires restructuring. No longer are online social networks simply technology available for a niche market; they are in use by all of society. Thus it is important to not forget that a sense of privacy is inherent as an evolutionary by-product of social intelligence. In any context of society, privacy needs to be a part of the system in order to help users protect themselves from others. This dissertation attempts to address the lack of privacy management in online social networks by designing models which understand the social science behind how we form social groups and share information with each other. Social relationship strength was modeled using activity patterns, vocabulary usage, and behavioral patterns. In addition, automatic configuration for default privacy settings was proposed to help prevent new users from leaking personal information. This dissertation aims to mobilize a new era of social networking that understands social aspects of human network, and uses that knowledge to honor users' privacy.
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.
The Role of Intelligent Mobile Agents in Network Management and Routing
In this research, the application of intelligent mobile agents to the management of distributed network environments is investigated. Intelligent mobile agents are programs which can move about network systems in a deterministic manner in carrying their execution state. These agents can be considered an application of distributed artificial intelligence where the (usually small) agent code is moved to the data and executed locally. The mobile agent paradigm offers potential advantages over many conventional mechanisms which move (often large) data to the code, thereby wasting available network bandwidth. The performance of agents in network routing and knowledge acquisition has been investigated and simulated. A working mobile agent system has also been designed and implemented in JDK 1.2.
FORTRAN Optimizations at the Source Code Level
This paper discusses FORTRAN optimizations that the user can perform manually at the source code level to improve object code performance. It makes use of descriptive examples within the text of the paper for explanatory purposes. The paper defines key areas in writing a FORTRAN program and recommends ways to improve efficiency in these areas.
Control Mechanisms and Recovery Techniques for Real-Time Data Transmission Over the Internet.
Streaming multimedia content with UDP has become popular over distributed systems such as an Internet. This may encounter many losses due to dropped packets or late arrivals at destination since UDP can only provide best effort delivery. Even UDP doesn't have any self-recovery mechanism from congestion collapse or bursty loss to inform sender of the data to adjust future transmission rate of data like in TCP. So there is a need to incorporate various control schemes like forward error control, interleaving, and congestion control and error concealment into real-time transmission to prevent from effect of losses. Loss can be repaired by retransmission if roundtrip delay is allowed, otherwise error concealment techniques will be used based on the type and amount of loss. This paper implements the interleaving technique with packet spacing of varying interleaver block size for protecting real-time data from loss and its effect during transformation across the Internet. The packets are interleaved and maintain some time gap between two consecutive packets before being transmitted into the Internet. Thus loss of packets can be reduced from congestion and preventing loss of consecutive packets of information when a burst of several packets are lost. Several experiments have been conducted with video data for analysis of proposed model.
Multi-perspective, Multi-modal Image Registration and Fusion
Multi-modal image fusion is an active research area with many civilian and military applications. Fusion is defined as strategic combination of information collected by various sensors from different locations or different types in order to obtain a better understanding of an observed scene or situation. Fusion of multi-modal images cannot be completed unless these two modalities are spatially aligned. In this research, I consider two important problems. Multi-modal, multi-perspective image registration and decision level fusion of multi-modal images. In particular, LiDAR and visual imagery. Multi-modal image registration is a difficult task due to the different semantic interpretation of features extracted from each modality. This problem is decoupled into three sub-problems. The first step is identification and extraction of common features. The second step is the determination of corresponding points. The third step consists of determining the registration transformation parameters. Traditional registration methods use low level features such as lines and corners. Using these features require an extensive optimization search in order to determine the corresponding points. Many methods use global positioning systems (GPS), and a calibrated camera in order to obtain an initial estimate of the camera parameters. The advantages of our work over the previous works are the following. First, I used high level-features, which significantly reduce the search space for the optimization process. Second, the determination of corresponding points is modeled as an assignment problem between a small numbers of objects. On the other side, fusing LiDAR and visual images is beneficial, due to the different and rich characteristics of both modalities. LiDAR data contain 3D information, while images contain visual information. Developing a fusion technique that uses the characteristics of both modalities is very important. I establish a decision-level fusion technique using manifold models.
Hopfield Networks as an Error Correcting Technique for Speech Recognition
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I experimented with Hopfield networks in the context of a voice-based, query-answering system. Hopfield networks are used to store and retrieve patterns. I used this technique to store queries represented as natural language sentences and I evaluated the accuracy of the technique for error correction in a spoken question-answering dialog between a computer and a user. I show that the use of an auto-associative Hopfield network helps make the speech recognition system more fault tolerant. I also looked at the available encoding schemes to convert a natural language sentence into a pattern of zeroes and ones that can be stored in the Hopfield network reliably, and I suggest scalable data representations which allow storing a large number of queries.
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.
SEM Predicting Success of Student Global Software Development Teams
The extensive use of global teams to develop software has prompted researchers to investigate various factors that can enhance a team’s performance. While a significant body of research exists on global software teams, previous research has not fully explored the interrelationships and collective impact of various factors on team performance. This study explored a model that added the characteristics of a team’s culture, ability, communication frequencies, response rates, and linguistic categories to a central framework of team performance. Data was collected from two student software development projects that occurred between teams located in the United States, Panama, and Turkey. The data was obtained through online surveys and recorded postings of team activities that occurred throughout the global software development projects. Partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM) was chosen as the analytic technique to test the model and identify the most influential factors. Individual factors associated with response rates and linguistic characteristics proved to significantly affect a team’s activity related to grade on the project, group cohesion, and the number of messages received and sent. Moreover, an examination of possible latent homogeneous segments in the model supported the existence of differences among groups based on leadership style. Teams with assigned leaders tended to have stronger relationships between linguistic characteristics and team performance factors, while teams with emergent leaders had stronger. Relationships between response rates and team performance factors. The contributions in this dissertation are three fold. 1) Novel analysis techniques using PLS-PM and clustering, 2) Use of new, quantifiable variables in analyzing team activity, 3) Identification of plausible causal indicators for team performance and analysis of the same.
Computerized Analysis of Radiograph Images of Embedded Objects as Applied to Bone Location and Mineral Content Measurement
This investigation dealt with locating and measuring x-ray absorption of radiographic images. The methods developed provide a fast, accurate, minicomputer control, for analysis of embedded objects. A PDP/8 computer system was interfaced with a Joyce Loebl 3CS Microdensitometer and a Leeds & Northrup Recorder. Proposed algorithms for bone location and data smoothing work on a twelve-bit minicomputer. Designs of a software control program and operational procedure are presented. The filter made wedge and limb scans monotonic from minima to maxima. It was tested for various convoluted intervals. Ability to resmooth the same data in multiple passes was tested. An interval size of fifteen works well in one pass.
A Design Approach for Digital Computer Peripheral Controllers, Case Study Design and Construction
The purpose of this project was to describe a novel design approach for a digital computer peripheral controller, then design and construct a case study controller. This document consists of three chapters and an appendix. Chapter II presents the design approach chosen; a variation to a design presented by Charles R. Richards in an article published in Electronics magazine. Richards' approach consists of a finite state machine circuitry controlling all the functions of a controller. The variation to Richards' approach consists of considering the various logically independent processes which a controller carries out and assigning control of each process to a separate finite state machine. The appendix contains the documentation of the design and construction of the controller.
Practical Cursive Script Recognition
This research focused on the off-line cursive script recognition application. The problem is very large and difficult and there is much room for improvement in every aspect of the problem. Many different aspects of this problem were explored in pursuit of solutions to create a more practical and usable off-line cursive script recognizer than is currently available.
Automated Testing of Interactive Systems
Computer systems which interact with human users to collect, update or provide information are growing more complex. Additionally, users are demanding more thorough testing of all computer systems. Because of the complexity and thoroughness required, automation of interactive systems testing is desirable, especially for functional testing. Many currently available testing tools, like program proving, are impractical for testing large systems. The solution presented here is the development of an automated test system which simulates human users. This system incorporates a high-level programming language, ATLIS. ATLIS programs are compiled and interpretively executed. Programs are selected for execution by operator command, and failures are reported to the operator's console. An audit trail of all activity is provided. This solution provides improved efficiency and effectiveness over conventional testing methods.
Investigating the Extractive Summarization of Literary Novels
Abstract Due to the vast amount of information we are faced with, summarization has become a critical necessity of everyday human life. Given that a large fraction of the electronic documents available online and elsewhere consist of short texts such as Web pages, news articles, scientific reports, and others, the focus of natural language processing techniques to date has been on the automation of methods targeting short documents. We are witnessing however a change: an increasingly larger number of books become available in electronic format. This means that the need for language processing techniques able to handle very large documents such as books is becoming increasingly important. This thesis addresses the problem of summarization of novels, which are long and complex literary narratives. While there is a significant body of research that has been carried out on the task of automatic text summarization, most of this work has been concerned with the summarization of short documents, with a particular focus on news stories. However, novels are different in both length and genre, and consequently different summarization techniques are required. This thesis attempts to close this gap by analyzing a new domain for summarization, and by building unsupervised and supervised systems that effectively take into account the properties of long documents, and outperform the traditional extractive summarization systems typically addressing news genre.
Using Reinforcement Learning in Partial Order Plan Space
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Partial order planning is an important approach that solves planning problems without completely specifying the orderings between the actions in the plan. This property provides greater flexibility in executing plans; hence making the partial order planners a preferred choice over other planning methodologies. However, in order to find partially ordered plans, partial order planners perform a search in plan space rather than in space of world states and an uninformed search in plan space leads to poor efficiency. In this thesis, I discuss applying a reinforcement learning method, called First-visit Monte Carlo method, to partial order planning in order to design agents which do not need any training data or heuristics but are still able to make informed decisions in plan space based on experience. Communicating effectively with the agent is crucial in reinforcement learning. I address how this task was accomplished in plan space and the results from an evaluation of a blocks world test bed.
Natural Language Interfaces to Databases
Natural language interfaces to databases (NLIDB) are systems that aim to bridge the gap between the languages used by humans and computers, and automatically translate natural language sentences to database queries. This thesis proposes a novel approach to NLIDB, using graph-based models. The system starts by collecting as much information as possible from existing databases and sentences, and transforms this information into a knowledge base for the system. Given a new question, the system will use this knowledge to analyze and translate the sentence into its corresponding database query statement. The graph-based NLIDB system uses English as the natural language, a relational database model, and SQL as the formal query language. In experiments performed with natural language questions ran against a large database containing information about U.S. geography, the system showed good performance compared to the state-of-the-art in the field.
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.
An Adaptive Linearization Method for a Constraint Satisfaction Problem in Semiconductor Device Design Optimization
The device optimization is a very important element in semiconductor technology advancement. Its objective is to find a design point for a semiconductor device so that the optimized design goal meets all specified constraints. As in other engineering fields, a nonlinear optimizer is often used for design optimization. One major drawback of using a nonlinear optimizer is that it can only partially explore the design space and return a local optimal solution. This dissertation provides an adaptive optimization design methodology to allow the designer to explore the design space and obtain a globally optimal solution. One key element of our method is to quickly compute the set of all feasible solutions, also called the acceptability region. We described a polytope-based representation for the acceptability region and an adaptive linearization technique for device performance model approximation. These efficiency enhancements have enabled significant speed-up in estimating acceptability regions and allow acceptability regions to be estimated for a larger class of device design tasks. Our linearization technique also provides an efficient mechanism to guarantee the global accuracy of the computed acceptability region. To visualize the acceptability region, we study the orthogonal projection of high-dimensional convex polytopes and propose an output sensitive algorithm for projecting polytopes into two dimensions.
An Interpreter for the Basic Programming Language
In this thesis, the first chapter provides the general description of this interpreter. The second chapter contains a formal definition of the syntax of BASIC along with an introduction to the semantics. The third chapter contains the design of data structure. The fourth chapter contains the description of algorithms along with stages for testing the interpreter and the design of debug output. The stages and actions-are represented internally to the computer in tabular forms. For statement parsing working syntax equations are established. They serve as standards for the conversion of source statements into object pseudocodes. As the statement is parsed for legal form, pseudocodes for this statement are created. For pseudocode execution, pseudocodes are represented internally to the computer in tabular forms.
Generating Machine Code for High-Level Programming Languages
The purpose of this research was to investigate the generation of machine code from high-level programming language. The following steps were undertaken: 1) Choose a high-level programming language as the source language and a computer as the target computer. 2) Examine all stages during the compiling of a high-level programming language and all data sets involved in the compilation. 3) Discover the mechanism for generating machine code and the mechanism to generate more efficient machine code from the language. 3) Construct an algorithm for generating machine code for the target computer. The results suggest that compiler is best implemented in a high-level programming language, and that SCANNER and PARSER should be independent of target representations, if possible.
Higher Compression from the Burrows-Wheeler Transform with New Algorithms for the List Update Problem
Burrows-Wheeler compression is a three stage process in which the data is transformed with the Burrows-Wheeler Transform, then transformed with Move-To-Front, and finally encoded with an entropy coder. Move-To-Front, Transpose, and Frequency Count are some of the many algorithms used on the List Update problem. In 1985, Competitive Analysis first showed the superiority of Move-To-Front over Transpose and Frequency Count for the List Update problem with arbitrary data. Earlier studies due to Bitner assumed independent identically distributed data, and showed that while Move-To-Front adapts to a distribution faster, incurring less overwork, the asymptotic costs of Frequency Count and Transpose are less. The improvements to Burrows-Wheeler compression this work covers are increases in the amount, not speed, of compression. Best x of 2x-1 is a new family of algorithms created to improve on Move-To-Front's processing of the output of the Burrows-Wheeler Transform which is like piecewise independent identically distributed data. Other algorithms for both the middle stage of Burrows-Wheeler compression and the List Update problem for which overwork, asymptotic cost, and competitive ratios are also analyzed are several variations of Move One From Front and part of the randomized algorithm Timestamp. The Best x of 2x - 1 family includes Move-To-Front, the part of Timestamp of interest, and Frequency Count. Lastly, a greedy choosing scheme, Snake, switches back and forth as the amount of compression that two List Update algorithms achieves fluctuates, to increase overall compression. The Burrows-Wheeler Transform is based on sorting of contexts. The other improvements are better sorting orders, such as “aeioubcdf...” instead of standard alphabetical “abcdefghi...” on English text data, and an algorithm for computing orders for any data, and Gray code sorting instead of standard sorting. Both techniques lessen the overwork incurred by whatever List Update algorithms are used by reducing the difference between adjacent sorted contexts.
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.
Automatic Speech Recognition Using Finite Inductive Sequences
This dissertation addresses the general problem of recognition of acoustic signals which may be derived from speech, sonar, or acoustic phenomena. The specific problem of recognizing speech is the main focus of this research. The intention is to design a recognition system for a definite number of discrete words. For this purpose specifically, eight isolated words from the T1MIT database are selected. Four medium length words "greasy," "dark," "wash," and "water" are used. In addition, four short words are considered "she," "had," "in," and "all." The recognition system addresses the following issues: filtering or preprocessing, training, and decision-making. The preprocessing phase uses linear predictive coding of order 12. Following the filtering process, a vector quantization method is used to further reduce the input data and generate a finite inductive sequence of symbols representative of each input signal. The sequences generated by the vector quantization process of the same word are factored, and a single ruling or reference template is generated and stored in a codebook. This system introduces a new modeling technique which relies heavily on the basic concept that all finite sequences are finitely inductive. This technique is used in the training stage. In order to accommodate the variabilities in speech, the training is performed casualty, and a large number of training speakers is used from eight different dialect regions. Hence, a speaker independent recognition system is realized. The matching process compares the incoming speech with each of the templates stored, and a closeness ration is computed. A ratio table is generated anH the matching word that corresponds to the smallest ratio (i.e. indicating that the ruling has removed most of the symbols) is selected. Promising results were obtained for isolated words, and the recognition rates ranged between 50% and 100%.
Performance Evaluation of MPLS on Quality of Service in Voice Over IP (VoIP) Networks
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The transmission of voice data over Internet Protocol (IP) networks is rapidly gaining acceptance in the field of networking. The major voice transmissions in the IP networks are involved in Internet telephony, which is also known as IP telephony or Voice Over IP (VoIP). VoIP is undergoing many enhancements to provide the end users with same quality as in the public switched telephone networks (PSTN). These enhancements are mostly required in quality of service (QoS) for the transmission of voice data over the IP networks. As with recent developments in the networking field, various protocols came into market to provide the QoS in IP networks - of them, multi protocol label switching (MPLS) is the most reliable and upcoming protocol for working on QoS. The problem of the thesis is to develop an IP-based virtual network, with end hosts and routers, implement MPLS on the network, and analyze its QoS for voice data transmission.
Temporal Connectionist Expert Systems Using a Temporal Backpropagation Algorithm
Representing time has been considered a general problem for artificial intelligence research for many years. More recently, the question of representing time has become increasingly important in representing human decision making process through connectionist expert systems. Because most human behaviors unfold over time, any attempt to represent expert performance, without considering its temporal nature, can often lead to incorrect results. A temporal feedforward neural network model that can be applied to a number of neural network application areas, including connectionist expert systems, has been introduced. The neural network model has a multi-layer structure, i.e. the number of layers is not limited. Also, the model has the flexibility of defining output nodes in any layer. This is especially important for connectionist expert system applications. A temporal backpropagation algorithm which supports the model has been developed. The model along with the temporal backpropagation algorithm makes it extremely practical to define any artificial neural network application. Also, an approach that can be followed to decrease the memory space used by weight matrix has been introduced. The algorithm was tested using a medical connectionist expert system to show how best we describe not only the disease but also the entire course of the disease. The system, first, was trained using a pattern that was encoded from the expert system knowledge base rules. Following then, series of experiments were carried out using the temporal model and the temporal backpropagation algorithm. The first series of experiments was done to determine if the training process worked as predicted. In the second series of experiments, the weight matrix in the trained system was defined as a function of time intervals before presenting the system with the learned patterns. The result of the two experiments indicate that both approaches produce correct results. The only difference between the two results was that compressing the weight matrix required more training epochs to produce correct results. To get a measure of the correctness of the results, an error measure which is the value of the error squared was summed over all patterns to get a total sum of squares.
Modeling the Impact and Intervention of a Sexually Transmitted Disease: Human Papilloma Virus
Many human papilloma virus (HPV) types are sexually transmitted and HPV DNA types 16, 18, 31, and 45 account for more than 75% if all cervical dysplasia. Candidate vaccines are successfully completing US Federal Drug Agency (FDA) phase III testing and several drug companies are in licensing arbitration. Once this vaccine become available it is unlikely that 100% vaccination coverage will be probable; hence, the need for vaccination strategies that will have the greatest reduction on the endemic prevalence of HPV. This thesis introduces two discrete-time models for evaluating the effect of demographic-biased vaccination strategies: one model incorporates temporal demographics (i.e., age) in population compartments; the other non-temporal demographics (i.e., race, ethnicity). Also presented is an intuitive Web-based interface that was developed to allow the user to evaluate the effects on prevalence of a demographic-biased intervention by tailoring the model parameters to specific demographics and geographical region.
An Approach Towards Self-Supervised Classification Using Cyc
Due to the long duration required to perform manual knowledge entry by human knowledge engineers it is desirable to find methods to automatically acquire knowledge about the world by accessing online information. In this work I examine using the Cyc ontology to guide the creation of Naïve Bayes classifiers to provide knowledge about items described in Wikipedia articles. Given an initial set of Wikipedia articles the system uses the ontology to create positive and negative training sets for the classifiers in each category. The order in which classifiers are generated and used to test articles is also guided by the ontology. The research conducted shows that a system can be created that utilizes statistical text classification methods to extract information from an ad-hoc generated information source like Wikipedia for use in a formal semantic ontology like Cyc. Benefits and limitations of the system are discussed along with future work.
A Parallel Programming Language
The problem of programming a parallel processor is discussed. Previous methods of programming a parallel processor, analyzing a program for parallel paths, and special language features are discussed. Graph theory is used to define the three basic programming constructs: choice, sequence, repetition. The concept of mechanized programming is expanded to allow for total separation of control and computational sections of a program. A definition of a language is presented which provides for this separation. A method for developing the program graph is discussed. The control graph and data graph are developed separately. The two graphs illustrate control and data predecessor relationships used in determining parallel elements of a program.
DADS - A Distributed Agent Delivery System
Mobile agents require an appropriate platform that can facilitate their migration and execution. In particular, the design and implementation of such a system must balance several factors that will ensure that its constituent agents are executed without problems. Besides the basic requirements of migration and execution, an agent system must also provide mechanisms to ensure the security and survivability of an agent when it migrates between hosts. In addition, the system should be simple enough to facilitate its widespread use across large scale networks (i.e Internet). To address these issues, this thesis discusses the design and implementation of the Distributed Agent Delivery System (DADS). The DADS provides a de-coupled design that separates agent acceptance from agent execution. Using functional modules, the DADS provides services ranging from language execution and security to fault-tolerance and compression. Modules allow the administrator(s) of hosts to declare, at run-time, the services that they want to provide. Since each administrative domain is different, the DADS provides a platform that can be adapted to exchange heterogeneous blends of agents across large scale networks.
Keywords in the mist: Automated keyword extraction for very large documents and back of the book indexing.
This research addresses the problem of automatic keyphrase extraction from large documents and back of the book indexing. The potential benefits of automating this process are far reaching, from improving information retrieval in digital libraries, to saving countless man-hours by helping professional indexers creating back of the book indexes. The dissertation introduces a new methodology to evaluate automated systems, which allows for a detailed, comparative analysis of several techniques for keyphrase extraction. We introduce and evaluate both supervised and unsupervised techniques, designed to balance the resource requirements of an automated system and the best achievable performance. Additionally, a number of novel features are proposed, including a statistical informativeness measure based on chi statistics; an encyclopedic feature that taps into the vast knowledge base of Wikipedia to establish the likelihood of a phrase referring to an informative concept; and a linguistic feature based on sophisticated semantic analysis of the text using current theories of discourse comprehension. The resulting keyphrase extraction system is shown to outperform the current state of the art in supervised keyphrase extraction by a large margin. Moreover, a fully automated back of the book indexing system based on the keyphrase extraction system was shown to lead to back of the book indexes closely resembling those created by human experts.
Symplectic Integration of Nonseparable Hamiltonian Systems
Numerical methods are usually necessary in solving Hamiltonian systems since there is often no closed-form solution. By utilizing a general property of Hamiltonians, namely the symplectic property, all of the qualities of the system may be preserved for indefinitely long integration times because all of the integral (Poincare) invariants are conserved. This allows for more reliable results and frequently leads to significantly shorter execution times as compared to conventional methods. The resonant triad Hamiltonian with one degree of freedom will be focused upon for most of the numerical tests because of its difficult nature and, moreover, analytical results exist whereby useful comparisons can be made.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Performance Analysis of Wireless Networks with QoS Adaptations
The explosive demand for multimedia and fast transmission of continuous media on wireless networks means the simultaneous existence of traffic requiring different qualities of service (QoS). In this thesis, several efficient algorithms have been developed which offer several QoS to the end-user. We first look at a request TDMA/CDMA protocol for supporting wireless multimedia traffic, where CDMA is laid over TDMA. Then we look at a hybrid push-pull algorithm for wireless networks, and present a generalized performance analysis of the proposed protocol. Some of the QoS factors considered include customer retrial rates due to user impatience and system timeouts and different levels of priority and weights for mobile hosts. We have also looked at how customer impatience and system timeouts affect the QoS provided by several queuing and scheduling schemes such as FIFO, priority, weighted fair queuing, and the application of the stretch-optimal algorithm to scheduling.
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Adaptation in a Simulated Combat Environment
Genetic algorithm and artificial life techniques are applied to the development of challenging and interesting opponents in a combat-based computer game. Computer simulations are carried out against an idealized human player to gather data on the effectiveness of the computer generated opponents.
3D Reconstruction Using Lidar and Visual Images
In this research, multi-perspective image registration using LiDAR and visual images was considered. 2D-3D image registration is a difficult task because it requires the extraction of different semantic features from each modality. This problem is solved in three parts. The first step involves detection and extraction of common features from each of the data sets. The second step consists of associating the common features between two different modalities. Traditional methods use lines or orthogonal corners as common features. The third step consists of building the projection matrix. Many existing methods use global positing system (GPS) or inertial navigation system (INS) for an initial estimate of the camera pose. However, the approach discussed herein does not use GPS, INS, or any such devices for initial estimate; hence the model can be used in places like the lunar surface or Mars where GPS or INS are not available. A variation of the method is also described, which does not require strong features from both images but rather uses intensity gradients in the image. This can be useful when one image does not have strong features (such as lines) or there are too many extraneous features.