UNT Theses and Dissertations - 11 Matching Results

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Modeling Alcohol Consumption Using Blog Data

Description: How do the content and writing style of people who drink alcohol beverages stand out from non-drinkers? How much information can we learn about a person's alcohol consumption behavior by reading text that they have authored? This thesis attempts to extend the methods deployed in authorship attribution and authorship profiling research into the domain of automatically identifying the human action of drinking alcohol beverages. I examine how a psycholinguistics dictionary (the Linguistics Inquiry and Word Count lexicon, developed by James Pennebaker), together with Kenneth Burke's concept of words as symbols of human action, and James Wertsch's concept of mediated action provide a framework for analyzing meaningful data patterns from the content of blogs written by consumers of alcohol beverages. The contributions of this thesis to the research field are twofold. First, I show that it is possible to automatically identify blog posts that have content related to the consumption of alcohol beverages. And second, I provide a framework and tools to model human behavior through text analysis of blog data.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Koh, Kok Chuan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Optimizing Non-pharmaceutical Interventions Using Multi-coaffiliation Networks

Description: Computational modeling is of fundamental significance in mapping possible disease spread, and designing strategies for its mitigation. Conventional contact networks implement the simulation of interactions as random occurrences, presenting public health bodies with a difficult trade off between a realistic model granularity and robust design of intervention strategies. Recently, researchers have been investigating the use of agent-based models (ABMs) to embrace the complexity of real world interactions. At the same time, theoretical approaches provide epidemiologists with general optimization models in which demographics are intrinsically simplified. The emerging study of affiliation networks and co-affiliation networks provide an alternative to such trade off. Co-affiliation networks maintain the realism innate to ABMs while reducing the complexity of contact networks into distinctively smaller k-partite graphs, were each partition represent a dimension of the social model. This dissertation studies the optimization of intervention strategies for infectious diseases, mainly distributed in school systems. First, concepts of synthetic populations and affiliation networks are extended to propose a modified algorithm for the synthetic reconstruction of populations. Second, the definition of multi-coaffiliation networks is presented as the main social model in which risk is quantified and evaluated, thereby obtaining vulnerability indications for each school in the system. Finally, maximization of the mitigation coverage and minimization of the overall cost of intervention strategies are proposed and compared, based on centrality measures.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Loza, Olivia G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Framework for Evaluating Dynamic Memory Allocators Including a New Equivalence Class Based Cache-conscious Allocator

Description: Software applications’ performance is hindered by a variety of factors, but most notably by the well-known CPU-memory speed gap (often known as the memory wall). This results in the CPU sitting idle waiting for data to be brought from memory to processor caches. The addressing used by caches cause non-uniform accesses to various cache sets. The non-uniformity is due to several reasons, including how different objects are accessed by the code and how the data objects are located in memory. Memory allocators determine where dynamically created objects are placed, thus defining addresses and their mapping to cache locations. It is important to evaluate how different allocators behave with respect to the localities of the created objects. Most allocators use a single attribute, the size, of an object in making allocation decisions. Additional attributes such as the placement with respect to other objects, or specific cache area may lead to better use of cache memories. In this dissertation, we proposed and implemented a framework that allows for the development and evaluation of new memory allocation techniques. At the root of the framework is a memory tracing tool called Gleipnir, which provides very detailed information about every memory access, and relates it back to source level objects. Using the traces from Gleipnir, we extended a commonly used cache simulator for generating detailed cache statistics: per function, per data object, per cache line, and identify specific data objects that are conflicting with each other. The utility of the framework is demonstrated with a new memory allocator known as equivalence class allocator. The new allocator allows users to specify cache sets, in addition to object size, where the objects should be placed. We compare this new allocator with two well-known allocators, viz., Doug Lea and Pool allocators.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Janjusic, Tomislav
Partner: UNT Libraries

Modeling and Analysis of Next Generation 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocols

Description: Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocols are guidelines that a 9-1-1 dispatcher uses to evaluate the nature of emergency, resources to send and the nature of help provided to the 9-1-1 caller. The current Dispatch Protocols are based on voice only call. But the Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) architecture will allow multimedia emergency calls. In this thesis I analyze and model the Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocols for NG9-1-1 architecture. I have identified various technical aspects to improve the NG9-1-1 Dispatch Protocols. The devices (smartphone) at the caller end have advanced to a point where they can be used to send and receive video, pictures and text. There are sensors embedded in them that can be used for initial diagnosis of the injured person. There is a need to improve the human computer (smartphone) interface to take advantage of technology so that callers can easily make use of various features available to them. The dispatchers at the 9-1-1 call center can make use of these new protocols to improve the quality and the response time. They will have capability of multiple media streams to interact with the caller and the first responders.The specific contributions in this thesis include developing applications that use smartphone sensors. The CPR application uses the smartphone to help administer effective CPR even if the person is not trained. The application makes the CPR process closed loop, i.e., the person who administers the CPR as well as the 9-1-1 operator receive feedback and prompt from the application about the correctness of the CPR. The breathing application analyzes the quality of breathing of the affected person and automatically sends the information to the 9-1-1 operator. In order to improve the Human Computer Interface at the caller and the operator end, I have analyzed Fitts law and extended it so that it ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Gupta, Neeraj Kant
Partner: UNT Libraries

Multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation Using Wikipedia

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Dandala, Bharath
Partner: UNT Libraries

Privacy Management for Online Social Networks

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

Qos Aware Service Oriented Architecture

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

Real-time Rendering of Burning Objects in Video Games

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

Boosting for Learning From Imbalanced, Multiclass Data Sets

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

Design and Analysis of Novel Verifiable Voting Schemes

Description: Free and fair elections are the basis for democracy, but conducting elections is not an easy task. Different groups of people are trying to influence the outcome of the election in their favor using the range of methods, from campaigning for a particular candidate to well-financed lobbying. Often the stakes are too high, and the methods are illegal. Two main properties of any voting scheme are the privacy of a voter’s choice and the integrity of the tally. Unfortunately, they are mutually exclusive. Integrity requires making elections transparent and auditable, but at the same time, we must preserve a voter’s privacy. It is always a trade-off between these two requirements. Current voting schemes favor privacy over auditability, and thus, they are vulnerable to voting fraud. I propose two novel voting systems that can achieve both privacy and verifiability. The first protocol is based on cryptographical primitives to ensure the integrity of the final tally and privacy of the voter. The second protocol is a simple paper-based voting scheme that achieves almost the same level of security without usage of cryptography.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Yestekov, Yernat
Partner: UNT Libraries

Simulating the Spread of Infectious Diseases in Heterogeneous Populations with Diverse Interactions Characteristics

Description: The spread of infectious diseases has been a public concern throughout human history. Historic recorded data has reported the severity of infectious disease epidemics in different ages. Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates was the first to analyze the correlation between diseases and their environment. Nowadays, health authorities are in charge of planning strategies that guarantee the welfare of citizens. The simulation of contagion scenarios contributes to the understanding of the epidemic behavior of diseases. Computational models facilitate the study of epidemics by integrating disease and population data to the simulation. The use of detailed demographic and geographic characteristics allows researchers to construct complex models that better resemble reality and the integration of these attributes permits us to understand the rules of interaction. The interaction of individuals with similar characteristics forms synthetic structures that depict clusters of interaction. The synthetic environments facilitate the study of the spread of infectious diseases in diverse scenarios. The characteristics of the population and the disease concurrently affect the local and global epidemic progression. Every cluster’ epidemic behavior constitutes the global epidemic for a clustered population. By understanding the correlation between structured populations and the spread of a disease, current dissertation research makes possible to identify risk groups of specific characteristics and devise containment strategies that facilitate health authorities to improve mitigation strategies.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Gomez-Lopez, Iris Nelly
Partner: UNT Libraries