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Adaptive Planning and Prediction in Agent-Supported Distributed Collaboration.

Description: Agents that act as user assistants will become invaluable as the number of information sources continue to proliferate. Such agents can support the work of users by learning to automate time-consuming tasks and filter information to manageable levels. Although considerable advances have been made in this area, it remains a fertile area for further development. One application of agents under careful scrutiny is the automated negotiation of conflicts between different user's needs and desires. Many techniques require explicit user models in order to function. This dissertation explores a technique for dynamically constructing user models and the impact of using them to anticipate the need for negotiation. Negotiation is reduced by including an advising aspect to the agent that can use this anticipation of conflict to adjust user behavior.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Hartness, Ken T. N.

Adaptive Power Management for Autonomic Resource Configuration in Large-scale Computer Systems

Description: In order to run and manage resource-intensive high-performance applications, large-scale computing and storage platforms have been evolving rapidly in various domains in both academia and industry. The energy expenditure consumed to operate and maintain these cloud computing infrastructures is a major factor to influence the overall profit and efficiency for most cloud service providers. Moreover, considering the mitigation of environmental damage from excessive carbon dioxide emission, the amount of power consumed by enterprise-scale data centers should be constrained for protection of the environment.Generally speaking, there exists a trade-off between power consumption and application performance in large-scale computing systems and how to balance these two factors has become an important topic for researchers and engineers in cloud and HPC communities. Therefore, minimizing the power usage while satisfying the Service Level Agreements have become one of the most desirable objectives in cloud computing research and implementation. Since the fundamental feature of the cloud computing platform is hosting workloads with a variety of characteristics in a consolidated and on-demand manner, it is demanding to explore the inherent relationship between power usage and machine configurations. Subsequently, with an understanding of these inherent relationships, researchers are able to develop effective power management policies to optimize productivity by balancing power usage and system performance. In this dissertation, we develop an autonomic power-aware system management framework for large-scale computer systems. We propose a series of techniques including coarse-grain power profiling, VM power modelling, power-aware resource auto-configuration and full-system power usage simulator. These techniques help us to understand the characteristics of power consumption of various system components. Based on these techniques, we are able to test various job scheduling strategies and develop resource management approaches to enhance the systems' power efficiency.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Zhang, Ziming

Advanced Power Amplifiers Design for Modern Wireless Communication

Description: Modern wireless communication systems use spectrally efficient modulation schemes to reach high data rate transmission. These schemes are generally involved with signals with high peak-to-average power ratio (PAPR). Moreover, the development of next generation wireless communication systems requires the power amplifiers to operate over a wide frequency band or multiple frequency bands to support different applications. These wide-band and multi-band solutions will lead to reductions in both the size and cost of the whole system. This dissertation presents several advanced power amplifier solutions to provide wide-band and multi-band operations with efficiency improvement at power back-offs.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Shao, Jin

Analysis and Optimization of Graphene FET based Nanoelectronic Integrated Circuits

Description: Like cell to the human body, transistors are the basic building blocks of any electronics circuits. Silicon has been the industries obvious choice for making transistors. Transistors with large size occupy large chip area, consume lots of power and the number of functionalities will be limited due to area constraints. Thus to make the devices smaller, smarter and faster, the transistors are aggressively scaled down in each generation. Moore's law states that the transistors count in any electronic circuits doubles every 18 months. Following this Moore's law, the transistor has already been scaled down to 14 nm. However there are limitations to how much further these transistors can be scaled down. Particularly below 10 nm, these silicon based transistors hit the fundamental limits like loss of gate control, high leakage and various other short channel effects. Thus it is not possible to favor the silicon transistors for future electronics applications. As a result, the research has shifted to new device concepts and device materials alternative to silicon. Carbon is the next abundant element found in the Earth and one of such carbon based nanomaterial is graphene. Graphene when extracted from Graphite, the same material used as the lid in pencil, have a tremendous potential to take future electronics devices to new heights in terms of size, cost and efficiency. Thus after its first experimental discovery of graphene in 2004, graphene has been the leading research area for both academics as well as industries. This dissertation is focused on the analysis and optimization of graphene based circuits for future electronics. The first part of this dissertation considers graphene based transistors for analog/radio frequency (RF) circuits. In this section, a dual gate Graphene Field Effect Transistor (GFET) is considered to build the case study circuits like voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) and low ...
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Joshi, Shital

Automated Real-time Objects Detection in Colonoscopy Videos for Quality Measurements

Description: The effectiveness of colonoscopy depends on the quality of the inspection of the colon. There was no automated measurement method to evaluate the quality of the inspection. This thesis addresses this issue by investigating an automated post-procedure quality measurement technique and proposing a novel approach automatically deciding a percentage of stool areas in images of digitized colonoscopy video files. It involves the classification of image pixels based on their color features using a new method of planes on RGB (red, green and blue) color space. The limitation of post-procedure quality measurement is that quality measurements are available long after the procedure was done and the patient was released. A better approach is to inform any sub-optimal inspection immediately so that the endoscopist can improve the quality in real-time during the procedure. This thesis also proposes an extension to post-procedure method to detect stool, bite-block, and blood regions in real-time using color features in HSV color space. These three objects play a major role in quality measurements in colonoscopy. The proposed method partitions very large positive examples of each of these objects into a number of groups. These groups are formed by taking intersection of positive examples with a hyper plane. This hyper plane is named as 'positive plane'. 'Convex hulls' are used to model positive planes. Comparisons with traditional classifiers such as K-nearest neighbor (K-NN) and support vector machines (SVM) proves the soundness of the proposed method in terms of accuracy and speed that are critical in the targeted real-time quality measurement system.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Kumara, Muthukudage Jayantha

Autonomic Failure Identification and Diagnosis for Building Dependable Cloud Computing Systems

Description: The increasingly popular cloud-computing paradigm provides on-demand access to computing and storage with the appearance of unlimited resources. Users are given access to a variety of data and software utilities to manage their work. Users rent virtual resources and pay for only what they use. In spite of the many benefits that cloud computing promises, the lack of dependability in shared virtualized infrastructures is a major obstacle for its wider adoption, especially for mission-critical applications. Virtualization and multi-tenancy increase system complexity and dynamicity. They introduce new sources of failure degrading the dependability of cloud computing systems. To assure cloud dependability, in my dissertation research, I develop autonomic failure identification and diagnosis techniques that are crucial for understanding emergent, cloud-wide phenomena and self-managing resource burdens for cloud availability and productivity enhancement. We study the runtime cloud performance data collected from a cloud test-bed and by using traces from production cloud systems. We define cloud signatures including those metrics that are most relevant to failure instances. We exploit profiled cloud performance data in both time and frequency domain to identify anomalous cloud behaviors and leverage cloud metric subspace analysis to automate the diagnosis of observed failures. We implement a prototype of the anomaly identification system and conduct the experiments in an on-campus cloud computing test-bed and by using the Google datacenter traces. Our experimental results show that our proposed anomaly detection mechanism can achieve 93% detection sensitivity while keeping the false positive rate as low as 6.1% and outperform other tested anomaly detection schemes. In addition, the anomaly detector adapts itself by recursively learning from these newly verified detection results to refine future detection.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Guan, Qiang

Bayesian Probabilistic Reasoning Applied to Mathematical Epidemiology for Predictive Spatiotemporal Analysis of Infectious Diseases

Description: 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, ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Abbas, Kaja Moinudeen

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

A Computational Methodology for Addressing Differentiated Access of Vulnerable Populations During Biological Emergencies

Description: Mitigation response plans must be created to protect affected populations during biological emergencies resulting from the release of harmful biochemical substances. Medical countermeasures have been stockpiled by the federal government for such emergencies. However, it is the responsibility of local governments to maintain solid, functional plans to apply these countermeasures to the entire target population within short, mandated time frames. Further, vulnerabilities in the population may serve as barriers preventing certain individuals from participating in mitigation activities. Therefore, functional response plans must be capable of reaching vulnerable populations.Transportation vulnerability results from lack of access to transportation. Transportation vulnerable populations located too far from mitigation resources are at-risk of not being able to participate in mitigation activities. Quantification of these populations requires the development of computational methods to integrate spatial demographic data and transportation resource data from disparate sources into the context of planned mitigation efforts. Research described in this dissertation focuses on quantifying transportation vulnerable populations and maximizing participation in response efforts. Algorithms developed as part of this research are integrated into a computational framework to promote a transition from research and development to deployment and use by biological emergency planners.
Date: August 2014
Creator: O’Neill II, Martin Joseph

Computational Methods for Discovering and Analyzing Causal Relationships in Health Data

Description: Publicly available datasets in health science are often large and observational, in contrast to experimental datasets where a small number of data are collected in controlled experiments. Variables' causal relationships in the observational dataset are yet to be determined. However, there is a significant interest in health science to discover and analyze causal relationships from health data since identified causal relationships will greatly facilitate medical professionals to prevent diseases or to mitigate the negative effects of the disease. Recent advances in Computer Science, particularly in Bayesian networks, has initiated a renewed interest for causality research. Causal relationships can be possibly discovered through learning the network structures from data. However, the number of candidate graphs grows in a more than exponential rate with the increase of variables. Exact learning for obtaining the optimal structure is thus computationally infeasible in practice. As a result, heuristic approaches are imperative to alleviate the difficulty of computations. This research provides effective and efficient learning tools for local causal discoveries and novel methods of learning causal structures with a combination of background knowledge. Specifically in the direction of constraint based structural learning, polynomial-time algorithms for constructing causal structures are designed with first-order conditional independence. Algorithms of efficiently discovering non-causal factors are developed and proved. In addition, when the background knowledge is partially known, methods of graph decomposition are provided so as to reduce the number of conditioned variables. Experiments on both synthetic data and real epidemiological data indicate the provided methods are applicable to large-scale datasets and scalable for causal analysis in health data. Followed by the research methods and experiments, this dissertation gives thoughtful discussions on the reliability of causal discoveries computational health science research, complexity, and implications in health science research.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Liang, Yiheng

Computational Methods for Vulnerability Analysis and Resource Allocation in Public Health Emergencies

Description: POD (Point of Dispensing)-based emergency response plans involving mass prophylaxis may seem feasible when considering the choice of dispensing points within a region, overall population density, and estimated traffic demands. However, the plan may fail to serve particular vulnerable sub-populations, resulting in access disparities during emergency response. Federal authorities emphasize on the need to identify sub-populations that cannot avail regular services during an emergency due to their special needs to ensure effective response. Vulnerable individuals require the targeted allocation of appropriate resources to serve their special needs. Devising schemes to address the needs of vulnerable sub-populations is essential for the effectiveness of response plans. This research focuses on data-driven computational methods to quantify and address vulnerabilities in response plans that require the allocation of targeted resources. Data-driven methods to identify and quantify vulnerabilities in response plans are developed as part of this research. Addressing vulnerabilities requires the targeted allocation of appropriate resources to PODs. The problem of resource allocation to PODs during public health emergencies is introduced and the variants of the resource allocation problem such as the spatial allocation, spatio-temporal allocation and optimal resource subset variants are formulated. Generating optimal resource allocation and scheduling solutions can be computationally hard problems. The application of metaheuristic techniques to find near-optimal solutions to the resource allocation problem in response plans is investigated. A vulnerability analysis and resource allocation framework that facilitates the demographic analysis of population data in the context of response plans, and the optimal allocation of resources with respect to the analysis are described.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Indrakanti, Saratchandra

Data-Driven Decision-Making Framework for Large-Scale Dynamical Systems under Uncertainty

Description: Managing large-scale dynamical systems (e.g., transportation systems, complex information systems, and power networks, etc.) in real-time is very challenging considering their complicated system dynamics, intricate network interactions, large scale, and especially the existence of various uncertainties. To address this issue, intelligent techniques which can quickly design decision-making strategies that are robust to uncertainties are needed. This dissertation aims to conquer these challenges by exploring a data-driven decision-making framework, which leverages big-data techniques and scalable uncertainty evaluation approaches to quickly solve optimal control problems. In particular, following techniques have been developed along this direction: 1) system modeling approaches to simplify the system analysis and design procedures for multiple applications; 2) effective simulation and analytical based approaches to efficiently evaluate system performance and design control strategies under uncertainty; and 3) big-data techniques that allow some computations of control strategies to be completed offline. These techniques and tools for analysis, design and control contribute to a wide range of applications including air traffic flow management, complex information systems, and airborne networks.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Xie, Junfei

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

Detection of Temporal Events and Abnormal Images for Quality Analysis in Endoscopy Videos

Description: Recent reports suggest that measuring the objective quality is very essential towards the success of colonoscopy. Several quality indicators (i.e. metrics) proposed in recent studies are implemented in software systems that compute real-time quality scores for routine screening colonoscopy. Most quality metrics are derived based on various temporal events occurred during the colonoscopy procedure. The location of the phase boundary between the insertion and the withdrawal phases and the amount of circumferential inspection are two such important temporal events. These two temporal events can be determined by analyzing various camera motions of the colonoscope. This dissertation put forward a novel method to estimate X, Y and Z directional motions of the colonoscope using motion vector templates. Since abnormalities of a WCE or a colonoscopy video can be found in a small number of frames (around 5% out of total frames), it is very helpful if a computer system can decide whether a frame has any mucosal abnormalities. Also, the number of detected abnormal lesions during a procedure is used as a quality indicator. Majority of the existing abnormal detection methods focus on detecting only one type of abnormality or the overall accuracies are somewhat low if the method tries to detect multiple abnormalities. Most abnormalities in endoscopy images have unique textures which are clearly distinguishable from normal textures. In this dissertation a new method is proposed that achieves the objective of detecting multiple abnormalities with a higher accuracy using a multi-texture analysis technique. The multi-texture analysis method is designed by representing WCE and colonoscopy image textures as textons.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Nawarathna, Ruwan D.

Detection of Ulcerative Colitis Severity and Enhancement of Informative Frame Filtering Using Texture Analysis in Colonoscopy Videos

Description: 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.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Dahal, Ashok

Direct Online/Offline Digital Signature Schemes.

Description: Online/offline signature schemes are useful in many situations, and two such scenarios are considered in this dissertation: bursty server authentication and embedded device authentication. In this dissertation, new techniques for online/offline signing are introduced, those are applied in a variety of ways for creating online/offline signature schemes, and five different online/offline signature schemes that are proved secure under a variety of models and assumptions are proposed. Two of the proposed five schemes have the best offline or best online performance of any currently known technique, and are particularly well-suited for the scenarios that are considered in this dissertation. To determine if the proposed schemes provide the expected practical improvements, a series of experiments were conducted comparing the proposed schemes with each other and with other state-of-the-art schemes in this area, both on a desktop class computer, and under AVR Studio, a simulation platform for an 8-bit processor that is popular for embedded systems. Under AVR Studio, the proposed SGE scheme using a typical key size for the embedded device authentication scenario, can complete the offline phase in about 24 seconds and then produce a signature (the online phase) in 15 milliseconds, which is the best offline performance of any known signature scheme that has been proven secure in the standard model. In the tests on a desktop class computer, the proposed SGS scheme, which has the best online performance and is designed for the bursty server authentication scenario, generated 469,109 signatures per second, and the Schnorr scheme (the next best scheme in terms of online performance) generated only 223,548 signatures. The experimental results demonstrate that the SGE and SGS schemes are the most efficient techniques for embedded device authentication and bursty server authentication, respectively.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Yu, Ping

Evaluation Techniques and Graph-Based Algorithms for Automatic Summarization and Keyphrase Extraction

Description: Automatic text summarization and keyphrase extraction are two interesting areas of research which extend along natural language processing and information retrieval. They have recently become very popular because of their wide applicability. Devising generic techniques for these tasks is challenging due to several issues. Yet we have a good number of intelligent systems performing the tasks. As different systems are designed with different perspectives, evaluating their performances with a generic strategy is crucial. It has also become immensely important to evaluate the performances with minimal human effort. In our work, we focus on designing a relativized scale for evaluating different algorithms. This is our major contribution which challenges the traditional approach of working with an absolute scale. We consider the impact of some of the environment variables (length of the document, references, and system-generated outputs) on the performance. Instead of defining some rigid lengths, we show how to adjust to their variations. We prove a mathematically sound baseline that should work for all kinds of documents. We emphasize automatically determining the syntactic well-formedness of the structures (sentences). We also propose defining an equivalence class for each unit (e.g. word) instead of the exact string matching strategy. We show an evaluation approach that considers the weighted relatedness of multiple references to adjust to the degree of disagreements between the gold standards. We publish the proposed approach as a free tool so that other systems can use it. We have also accumulated a dataset (scientific articles) with a reference summary and keyphrases for each document. Our approach is applicable not only for evaluating single-document based tasks but also for evaluating multiple-document based tasks. We have tested our evaluation method for three intrinsic tasks (taken from DUC 2004 conference), and in all three cases, it correlates positively with ROUGE. Based on our experiments ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Hamid, Fahmida

Exploration of Visual, Acoustic, and Physiological Modalities to Complement Linguistic Representations for Sentiment Analysis

Description: This research is concerned with the identification of sentiment in multimodal content. This is of particular interest given the increasing presence of subjective multimodal content on the web and other sources, which contains a rich and vast source of people's opinions, feelings, and experiences. Despite the need for tools that can identify opinions in the presence of diverse modalities, most of current methods for sentiment analysis are designed for textual data only, and few attempts have been made to address this problem. The dissertation investigates techniques for augmenting linguistic representations with acoustic, visual, and physiological features. The potential benefits of using these modalities include linguistic disambiguation, visual grounding, and the integration of information about people's internal states. The main goal of this work is to build computational resources and tools that allow sentiment analysis to be applied to multimodal data. This thesis makes three important contributions. First, it shows that modalities such as audio, video, and physiological data can be successfully used to improve existing linguistic representations for sentiment analysis. We present a method that integrates linguistic features with features extracted from these modalities. Features are derived from verbal statements, audiovisual recordings, thermal recordings, and physiological sensors signals. The resulting multimodal sentiment analysis system is shown to significantly outperform the use of language alone. Using this system, we were able to predict the sentiment expressed in video reviews and also the sentiment experienced by viewers while exposed to emotionally loaded content. Second, the thesis provides evidence of the portability of the developed strategies to other affect recognition problems. We provided support for this by studying the deception detection problem. Third, this thesis contributes several multimodal datasets that will enable further research in sentiment and deception detection.
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Pérez-Rosas, Verónica

Exploring Privacy in Location-based Services Using Cryptographic Protocols

Description: Location-based services (LBS) are available on a variety of mobile platforms like cell phones, PDA's, etc. and an increasing number of users subscribe to and use these services. Two of the popular models of information flow in LBS are the client-server model and the peer-to-peer model, in both of which, existing approaches do not always provide privacy for all parties concerned. In this work, I study the feasibility of applying cryptographic protocols to design privacy-preserving solutions for LBS from an experimental and theoretical standpoint. In the client-server model, I construct a two-phase framework for processing nearest neighbor queries using combinations of cryptographic protocols such as oblivious transfer and private information retrieval. In the peer-to-peer model, I present privacy preserving solutions for processing group nearest neighbor queries in the semi-honest and dishonest adversarial models. I apply concepts from secure multi-party computation to realize our constructions and also leverage the capabilities of trusted computing technology, specifically TPM chips. My solution for the dishonest adversarial model is also of independent cryptographic interest. I prove my constructions secure under standard cryptographic assumptions and design experiments for testing the feasibility or practicability of our constructions and benchmark key operations. My experiments show that the proposed constructions are practical to implement and have reasonable costs, while providing strong privacy assurances.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Vishwanathan, Roopa

Exploring Trusted Platform Module Capabilities: A Theoretical and Experimental Study

Description: Trusted platform modules (TPMs) are hardware modules that are bound to a computer's motherboard, that are being included in many desktops and laptops. Augmenting computers with these hardware modules adds powerful functionality in distributed settings, allowing us to reason about the security of these systems in new ways. In this dissertation, I study the functionality of TPMs from a theoretical as well as an experimental perspective. On the theoretical front, I leverage various features of TPMs to construct applications like random oracles that are impossible to implement in a standard model of computation. Apart from random oracles, I construct a new cryptographic primitive which is basically a non-interactive form of the standard cryptographic primitive of oblivious transfer. I apply this new primitive to secure mobile agent computations, where interaction between various entities is typically required to ensure security. I prove these constructions are secure using standard cryptographic techniques and assumptions. To test the practicability of these constructions and their applications, I performed an experimental study, both on an actual TPM and a software TPM simulator which has been enhanced to make it reflect timings from a real TPM. This allowed me to benchmark the performance of the applications and test the feasibility of the proposed extensions to standard TPMs. My tests also show that these constructions are practical.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Gunupudi, Vandana

Extrapolating Subjectivity Research to Other Languages

Description: Socrates articulated it best, "Speak, so I may see you." Indeed, language represents an invisible probe into the mind. It is the medium through which we express our deepest thoughts, our aspirations, our views, our feelings, our inner reality. From the beginning of artificial intelligence, researchers have sought to impart human like understanding to machines. As much of our language represents a form of self expression, capturing thoughts, beliefs, evaluations, opinions, and emotions which are not available for scrutiny by an outside observer, in the field of natural language, research involving these aspects has crystallized under the name of subjectivity and sentiment analysis. While subjectivity classification labels text as either subjective or objective, sentiment classification further divides subjective text into either positive, negative or neutral. In this thesis, I investigate techniques of generating tools and resources for subjectivity analysis that do not rely on an existing natural language processing infrastructure in a given language. This constraint is motivated by the fact that the vast majority of human languages are scarce from an electronic point of view: they lack basic tools such as part-of-speech taggers, parsers, or basic resources such as electronic text, annotated corpora or lexica. This severely limits the implementation of techniques on par with those developed for English, and by applying methods that are lighter in the usage of text processing infrastructure, we are able to conduct multilingual subjectivity research in these languages as well. Since my aim is also to minimize the amount of manual work required to develop lexica or corpora in these languages, the techniques proposed employ a lever approach, where English often acts as the donor language (the fulcrum in a lever) and allows through a relatively minimal amount of effort to establish preliminary subjectivity research in a target language.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Banea, Carmen

Finding Meaning in Context Using Graph Algorithms in Mono- and Cross-lingual Settings

Description: Making computers automatically find the appropriate meaning of words in context is an interesting problem that has proven to be one of the most challenging tasks in natural language processing (NLP). Widespread potential applications of a possible solution to the problem could be envisaged in several NLP tasks such as text simplification, language learning, machine translation, query expansion, information retrieval and text summarization. Ambiguity of words has always been a challenge in these applications, and the traditional endeavor to solve the problem of this ambiguity, namely doing word sense disambiguation using resources like WordNet, has been fraught with debate about the feasibility of the granularity that exists in WordNet senses. The recent trend has therefore been to move away from enforcing any given lexical resource upon automated systems from which to pick potential candidate senses,and to instead encourage them to pick and choose their own resources. Given a sentence with a target ambiguous word, an alternative solution consists of picking potential candidate substitutes for the target, filtering the list of the candidates to a much shorter list using various heuristics, and trying to match these system predictions against a human generated gold standard, with a view to ensuring that the meaning of the sentence does not change after the substitutions. This solution has manifested itself in the SemEval 2007 task of lexical substitution and the more recent SemEval 2010 task of cross-lingual lexical substitution (which I helped organize), where given an English context and a target word within that context, the systems are required to provide between one and ten appropriate substitutes (in English) or translations (in Spanish) for the target word. In this dissertation, I present a comprehensive overview of state-of-the-art research and describe new experiments to tackle the tasks of lexical substitution and cross-lingual lexical substitution. In particular ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Sinha, Ravi Som

Flexible Digital Authentication Techniques

Description: Abstract This dissertation investigates authentication techniques in some emerging areas. Specifically, authentication schemes have been proposed that are well-suited for embedded systems, and privacy-respecting pay Web sites. With embedded systems, a person could own several devices which are capable of communication and interaction, but these devices use embedded processors whose computational capabilities are limited as compared to desktop computers. Examples of this scenario include entertainment devices or appliances owned by a consumer, multiple control and sensor systems in an automobile or airplane, and environmental controls in a building. An efficient public key cryptosystem has been devised, which provides a complete solution to an embedded system, including protocols for authentication, authenticated key exchange, encryption, and revocation. The new construction is especially suitable for the devices with constrained computing capabilities and resources. Compared with other available authentication schemes, such as X.509, identity-based encryption, etc, the new construction provides unique features such as simplicity, efficiency, forward secrecy, and an efficient re-keying mechanism. In the application scenario for a pay Web site, users may be sensitive about their privacy, and do not wish their behaviors to be tracked by Web sites. Thus, an anonymous authentication scheme is desirable in this case. That is, a user can prove his/her authenticity without revealing his/her identity. On the other hand, the Web site owner would like to prevent a bunch of users from sharing a single subscription while hiding behind user anonymity. The Web site should be able to detect these possible malicious behaviors, and exclude corrupted users from future service. This dissertation extensively discusses anonymous authentication techniques, such as group signature, direct anonymous attestation, and traceable signature. Three anonymous authentication schemes have been proposed, which include a group signature scheme with signature claiming and variable linkability, a scheme for direct anonymous attestation in trusted computing platforms ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Ge, He

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