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

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

Graph-Based Keyphrase Extraction Using Wikipedia

Description: 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.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Dandala, Bharath
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Social Network Graph Structure on Disease Dynamics in a Simulated Environment

Description: The fight against epidemics/pandemics is one of man versus nature. Technological advances have not only improved existing methods for monitoring and controlling disease outbreaks, but have also provided new means for investigation, such as through modeling and simulation. This dissertation explores the relationship between social structure and disease dynamics. Social structures are modeled as graphs, and outbreaks are simulated based on a well-recognized standard, the susceptible-infectious-removed (SIR) paradigm. Two independent, but related, studies are presented. The first involves measuring the severity of outbreaks as social network parameters are altered. The second study investigates the efficacy of various vaccination policies based on social structure. Three disease-related centrality measures are introduced, contact, transmission, and spread centrality, which are related to previously established centrality measures degree, betweenness, and closeness, respectively. The results of experiments presented in this dissertation indicate that reducing the neighborhood size along with outside-of-neighborhood contacts diminishes the severity of disease outbreaks. Vaccination strategies can effectively reduce these parameters. Additionally, vaccination policies that target individuals with high centrality are generally shown to be slightly more effective than a random vaccination policy. These results combined with past and future studies will assist public health officials in their effort to minimize the effects of inevitable disease epidemics/pandemics.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Johnson, Tina V.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Measuring Vital Signs Using Smart Phones

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2010
Creator: Chandrasekaran, Vikram
Partner: UNT Libraries

Process-Voltage-Temperature Aware Nanoscale Circuit Optimization

Description: 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.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Thakral, Garima
Partner: UNT Libraries

Anchor Nodes Placement for Effective Passive Localization

Description: 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.
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Date: August 2010
Creator: Pasupathy, Karthikeyan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effective and Accelerated Informative Frame Filtering in Colonoscopy Videos Using Graphic Processing Units

Description: 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.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Karri, Venkata Praveen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Elicitation of Protein-Protein Interactions from Biomedical Literature Using Association Rule Discovery

Description: 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.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Samuel, Jarvie John
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rhythms of Interaction in Global Software Development Teams

Description: 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.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Kesavan Nair Meena, Suneetha Nair
Partner: UNT Libraries

Socioscope: Human Relationship and Behavior Analysis in Mobile Social Networks

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

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

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

E‐Shape Analysis

Description: The motivation of this work is to understand E-shape analysis and how it can be applied to various classification tasks. It has a powerful feature to not only look at what information is contained, but rather how that information looks. This new technique gives E-shape analysis the ability to be language independent and to some extent size independent. In this thesis, I present a new mechanism to characterize an email without using content or context called E-shape analysis for email. I explore the applications of the email shape by carrying out a case study; botnet detection and two possible applications: spam filtering and social-context based finger printing. The second part of this thesis takes what I apply E-shape analysis to activity recognition of humans. Using the Android platform and a T-Mobile G1 phone I collect data from the triaxial accelerometer and use it to classify the motion behavior of a subject.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Sroufe, Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries

Force-Directed Graph Drawing and Aesthetics Measurement in a Non-Strict Pure Functional Programming Language

Description: Non-strict pure functional programming often requires redesigning algorithms and data structures to work more effectively under new constraints of non-strict evaluation and immutable state. Graph drawing algorithms, while numerous and broadly studied, have no presence in the non-strict pure functional programming model. Additionally, there is currently no freely licensed standalone toolkit used to quantitatively analyze aesthetics of graph drawings. This thesis addresses two previously unexplored questions. Can a force-directed graph drawing algorithm be implemented in a non-strict functional language, such as Haskell, and still be practically usable? Can an easily extensible aesthetic measuring tool be implemented in a language such as Haskell and still be practically usable? The focus of the thesis is on implementing one of the simplest force-directed algorithms, that of Fruchterman and Reingold, and comparing its resulting aesthetics to those of a well-known C++ implementation of the same algorithm.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Gaconnet, Christopher James
Partner: UNT Libraries

Inferring Social and Internal Context Using a Mobile Phone

Description: This dissertation is composed of research studies that contribute to three research areas including social context-aware computing, internal context-aware computing, and human behavioral data mining. In social context-aware computing, four studies are conducted. First, mobile phone user calling behavioral patterns are characterized in forms of randomness level where relationships among them are then identified. Next, a study is conducted to investigate the relationship between the calling behavior and organizational groups. Third, a method is presented to quantitatively define mobile social closeness and social groups, which are then used to identify social group sizes and scaling ratio. Last, based on the mobile social grouping framework, the significant role of social ties in communication patterns is revealed. In internal context-aware computing, two studies are conducted where the notions of internal context are intention and situation. For intentional context, the goal is to sense the intention of the user in placing calls. A model is thus presented for predicting future calls envisaged as a call predicted list (CPL), which makes use of call history to build a probabilistic model of calling behavior. As an incoming call predictor, CPL is a list of numbers/contacts that are the most likely to be the callers within the next hour(s), which is useful for scheduling and daily planning. As an outgoing call predictor, CPL is generated as a list of numbers/contacts that are the most likely to be dialed when the user attempts to make an outgoing call (e.g., by flipping open or unlocking the phone). This feature helps save time from having to search through a lengthy phone book. For situational context, a model is presented for sensing the user's situation (e.g., in a library, driving a car, etc.) based on embedded sensors. The sensed context is then used to switch the phone into a suitable ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Phithakkitnukoon, Santi
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Survey of Approximation Algorithms for Set Cover Problem

Description: In this thesis, I survey 11 approximation algorithms for unweighted set cover problem. I have also implemented the three algorithms and created a software library that stores the code I have written. The algorithms I survey are: 1. Johnson's standard greedy; 2. f-frequency greedy; 3. Goldsmidt, Hochbaum and Yu's modified greedy; 4. Halldorsson's local optimization; 5. Dur and Furer semi local optimization; 6. Asaf Levin's improvement to Dur and Furer; 7. Simple rounding; 8. Randomized rounding; 9. LP duality; 10. Primal-dual schema; and 11. Network flow technique. Most of the algorithms surveyed are refinements of standard greedy algorithm.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Dutta, Himanshu Shekhar
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Value of Everything: Ranking and Association with Encyclopedic Knowledge

Description: This dissertation describes WikiRank, an unsupervised method of assigning relative values to elements of a broad coverage encyclopedic information source in order to identify those entries that may be relevant to a given piece of text. The valuation given to an entry is based not on textual similarity but instead on the links that associate entries, and an estimation of the expected frequency of visitation that would be given to each entry based on those associations in context. This estimation of relative frequency of visitation is embodied in modifications to the random walk interpretation of the PageRank algorithm. WikiRank is an effective algorithm to support natural language processing applications. It is shown to exceed the performance of previous machine learning algorithms for the task of automatic topic identification, providing results comparable to that of human annotators. Second, WikiRank is found useful for the task of recognizing text-based paraphrases on a semantic level, by comparing the distribution of attention generated by two pieces of text using the encyclopedic resource as a common reference. Finally, WikiRank is shown to have the ability to use its base of encyclopedic knowledge to recognize terms from different ontologies as describing the same thing, and thus allowing for the automatic generation of mapping links between ontologies. The conclusion of this thesis is that the "knowledge access heuristic" is valuable and that a ranking process based on a large encyclopedic resource can form the basis for an extendable general purpose mechanism capable of identifying relevant concepts by association, which in turn can be effectively utilized for enumeration and comparison at a semantic level.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Coursey, Kino High
Partner: UNT Libraries

Computational Epidemiology - Analyzing Exposure Risk: A Deterministic, Agent-Based Approach

Description: Many infectious diseases are spread through interactions between susceptible and infectious individuals. Keeping track of where each exposure to the disease took place, when it took place, and which individuals were involved in the exposure can give public health officials important information that they may use to formulate their interventions. Further, knowing which individuals in the population are at the highest risk of becoming infected with the disease may prove to be a useful tool for public health officials trying to curtail the spread of the disease. Epidemiological models are needed to allow epidemiologists to study the population dynamics of transmission of infectious agents and the potential impact of infectious disease control programs. While many agent-based computational epidemiological models exist in the literature, they focus on the spread of disease rather than exposure risk. These models are designed to simulate very large populations, representing individuals as agents, and using random experiments and probabilities in an attempt to more realistically guide the course of the modeled disease outbreak. The work presented in this thesis focuses on tracking exposure risk to chickenpox in an elementary school setting. This setting is chosen due to the high level of detailed information realistically available to school administrators regarding individuals' schedules and movements. Using an agent-based approach, contacts between individuals are tracked and analyzed with respect to both individuals and locations. The results are then analyzed using a combination of tools from computer science and geographic information science.
Date: August 2009
Creator: O'Neill II, Martin Joseph
Partner: UNT Libraries

End of Insertion Detection in Colonoscopy Videos

Description: Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths behind lung cancer in the United States. Colonoscopy is the preferred screening method for detection of diseases like Colorectal Cancer. In the year 2006, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) issued guidelines for quality colonoscopy. The guidelines suggest that on average the withdrawal phase during a screening colonoscopy should last a minimum of 6 minutes. My aim is to classify the colonoscopy video into insertion and withdrawal phase. The problem is that currently existing shot detection techniques cannot be applied because colonoscopy is a single camera shot from start to end. An algorithm to detect phase boundary has already been developed by the MIGLAB team. Existing method has acceptable levels of accuracy but the main issue is dependency on MPEG (Moving Pictures Expert Group) 1/2. I implemented exhaustive search for motion estimation to reduce the execution time and improve the accuracy. I took advantages of the C/C++ programming languages with multithreading which helped us get even better performances in terms of execution time. I propose a method for improving the current method of colonoscopy video analysis and also an extension for the same to make it usable for real time videos. The real time version we implemented is capable of handling streams coming directly from the camera in the form of uncompressed bitmap frames. Existing implementation could not be applied to real time scenario because of its dependency on MPEG 1/2. Future direction of this research includes improved motion search and GPU parallel computing techniques.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Malik, Avnish Rajbal
Partner: UNT Libraries

FPGA Implementation of Low Density Party Check Codes Decoder

Description: Reliable communication over the noisy channel has become one of the major concerns in the field of digital wireless communications. The low density parity check codes (LDPC) has gained lot of attention recently because of their excellent error-correcting capacity. It was first proposed by Robert G. Gallager in 1960. LDPC codes belong to the class of linear block codes. Near capacity performance is achievable on a large collection of data transmission and storage.In my thesis I have focused on hardware implementation of (3, 6) - regular LDPC codes. A fully parallel decoder will require too high complexity of hardware realization. Partly parallel decoder has the advantage of effective compromise between decoding throughput and high hardware complexity. The decoding of the codeword follows the belief propagation alias probability propagation algorithm in log domain. A 9216 bit, (3, 6) regular LDPC code with code rate ½ was implemented on FPGA targeting Xilinx Virtex 4 XC4VLX80 device with package FF1148. This decoder achieves a maximum throughput of 82 Mbps. The entire model was designed in VHDL in the Xilinx ISE 9.2 environment.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Vijayakumar, Suresh
Partner: UNT Libraries

Social Network Simulation and Mining Social Media to Advance Epidemiology

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

Cross Language Information Retrieval for Languages with Scarce Resources

Description: Our generation has experienced one of the most dramatic changes in how society communicates. Today, we have online information on almost any imaginable topic. However, most of this information is available in only a few dozen languages. In this thesis, I explore the use of parallel texts to enable cross-language information retrieval (CLIR) for languages with scarce resources. To build the parallel text I use the Bible. I evaluate different variables and their impact on the resulting CLIR system, specifically: (1) the CLIR results when using different amounts of parallel text; (2) the role of paraphrasing on the quality of the CLIR output; (3) the impact on accuracy when translating the query versus translating the collection of documents; and finally (4) how the results are affected by the use of different dialects. The results show that all these variables have a direct impact on the quality of the CLIR system.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Loza, Christian
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development, Implementation, and Analysis of a Contact Model for an Infectious Disease

Description: With a growing concern of an infectious diseases spreading in a population, epidemiology is becoming more important for the future of public health. In the past epidemiologist used existing data of an outbreak to help them determine how an infectious disease might spread in the future. Now with computational models, they able to analysis data produced by these models to help with prevention and intervention plans. This paper looks at the design, implementation, and analysis of a computational model based on the interactions of the population between individuals. The design of the working contact model looks closely at the SEIR model used as the foundation and the two timelines of a disease. The implementation of the contact model is reviewed while looking closely at data structures. The analysis of the experiments provide evidence this contact model can be used to help epidemiologist study the spread of an infectious disease based on the contact rate of individuals.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Thompson, Brett Morinaga
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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