The extensive use of global teams to develop software has prompted researchers to investigate various factors that can enhance a team’s performance. While a significant body of research exists on global software teams, previous research has not fully explored the interrelationships and collective impact of various factors on team performance. This study explored a model that added the characteristics of a team’s culture, ability, communication frequencies, response rates, and linguistic categories to a central framework of team performance. Data was collected from two student software development projects that occurred between teams located in the United States, Panama, and Turkey. The data was obtained through online surveys and recorded postings of team activities that occurred throughout the global software development projects. Partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM) was chosen as the analytic technique to test the model and identify the most influential factors. Individual factors associated with response rates and linguistic characteristics proved to significantly affect a team’s activity related to grade on the project, group cohesion, and the number of messages received and sent. Moreover, an examination of possible latent homogeneous segments in the model supported the existence of differences among groups based on leadership style. Teams with assigned leaders tended to have stronger relationships between linguistic characteristics and team performance factors, while teams with emergent leaders had stronger. Relationships between response rates and team performance factors. The contributions in this dissertation are three fold. 1) Novel analysis techniques using PLS-PM and clustering, 2) Use of new, quantifiable variables in analyzing team activity, 3) Identification of plausible causal indicators for team performance and analysis of the same.
This thesis describes the implementation of a general purpose personal information storage and retrieval system. Chapter one contains an introduction to information storage and retrieval. Chapter two contains a description of the features a useful personal information retrieval system should contain. This description forms the basis for the implementation of the personal information storage and retrieval system described in chapter three. The system is implemented in UCSD Pascal on an Apple II microcomputer.
In this thesis, the first chapter provides the general description of this interpreter. The second chapter contains a formal definition of the syntax of BASIC along with an introduction to the semantics. The third chapter contains the design of data structure. The fourth chapter contains the description of algorithms along with stages for testing the interpreter and the design of debug output. The stages and actions-are represented internally to the computer in tabular forms. For statement parsing working syntax equations are established. They serve as standards for the conversion of source statements into object pseudocodes. As the statement is parsed for legal form, pseudocodes for this statement are created. For pseudocode execution, pseudocodes are represented internally to the computer in tabular forms.
The purpose of this project was to describe a novel design approach for a digital computer peripheral controller, then design and construct a case study controller. This document consists of three chapters and an appendix. Chapter II presents the design approach chosen; a variation to a design presented by Charles R. Richards in an article published in Electronics magazine. Richards' approach consists of a finite state machine circuitry controlling all the functions of a controller. The variation to Richards' approach consists of considering the various logically independent processes which a controller carries out and assigning control of each process to a separate finite state machine. The appendix contains the documentation of the design and construction of the controller.
The analysis of an executing program and the isolation of critical code has been a problem since the first program was written. This thesis examines the process of program analysis through the use of a software monitoring system. Since there is a trend toward structured languages a subset of PL/I was developed t~o exhibit source statement monitoring and costing techniques. By filtering a PL/W program through a preorocessor which determines the cost of source statements and inserts monitoring code, a post-execution analysis of the program can be obtained. This analysis displays an estimated time cost for each source statements the number of times the statement w3s executed, and the product of these values. Additionally, a bar graph is printed in order to quickly locate very active code.
Computer systems which interact with human users to collect, update or provide information are growing more complex. Additionally, users are demanding more thorough testing of all computer systems. Because of the complexity and thoroughness required, automation of interactive systems testing is desirable, especially for functional testing. Many currently available testing tools, like program proving, are impractical for testing large systems. The solution presented here is the development of an automated test system which simulates human users. This system incorporates a high-level programming language, ATLIS. ATLIS programs are compiled and interpretively executed. Programs are selected for execution by operator command, and failures are reported to the operator's console. An audit trail of all activity is provided. This solution provides improved efficiency and effectiveness over conventional testing methods.
This paper discusses FORTRAN optimizations that the user can perform manually at the source code level to improve object code performance. It makes use of descriptive examples within the text of the paper for explanatory purposes. The paper defines key areas in writing a FORTRAN program and recommends ways to improve efficiency in these areas.
Synthetic seismograms are a computer-generated aid in the search for hydrocarbons. Heretofore the solution has been done by z-transforms. This thesis presents a solution based on the method of finite differences. The resulting algorithm is fast and compact. The method is applied to three variations of the problem, all three are reduced to the same approximating equation, which is shown to be optimal, in that grid refinement does not change it. Two types of algorithms are derived from the equation. The number of obvious multiplications, additions and subtractions of each is analyzed. Critical section of each requires one multiplication, two additions and two subtractions. Four sample synthetic seismograms are shown. Implementation of the new algorithm runs twice as fast as previous computer program.
The subject of this investigation is a specific set of parsers known as LR parsers. Of primary interest is a LR parsing method developed by DeRemer which specifies a translation method which can be defined by a Deterministic Push-Down Automation (DPDA). The method of investigation was to apply DeRemer's parsing technique to a specific language known as THIS Programming Language (TPL). The syntax of TPL was redefined as state diagrams and these state diagrams were, in turn, encoded into two tables--a State-Action table and a Transition table. The tables were then incorporated into a PL/l adaptation of DeRemer's algorithm and tested against various TPL statements.
This paper reviews numerous theoretical results on control structures and demonstrates their practical examples. This study deals with the design of run-time support routines by using top-down structured programming technique. A number of examples are given as illustration of this method. In conclusion, structured programming has proved to be an important methodology for systematic program design and development.
The purpose of this research was to investigate the generation of machine code from high-level programming language. The following steps were undertaken: 1) Choose a high-level programming language as the source language and a computer as the target computer. 2) Examine all stages during the compiling of a high-level programming language and all data sets involved in the compilation. 3) Discover the mechanism for generating machine code and the mechanism to generate more efficient machine code from the language. 3) Construct an algorithm for generating machine code for the target computer. The results suggest that compiler is best implemented in a high-level programming language, and that SCANNER and PARSER should be independent of target representations, if possible.
The problem of programming a parallel processor is discussed. Previous methods of programming a parallel processor, analyzing a program for parallel paths, and special language features are discussed. Graph theory is used to define the three basic programming constructs: choice, sequence, repetition. The concept of mechanized programming is expanded to allow for total separation of control and computational sections of a program. A definition of a language is presented which provides for this separation. A method for developing the program graph is discussed. The control graph and data graph are developed separately. The two graphs illustrate control and data predecessor relationships used in determining parallel elements of a program.
This research explores the concepts of defensive programming as currently defined in the literature. Then these concepts are extended and more explicitly defined. The relationship between defensive programming, as presented in this research, and current programming practices is discussed and several benefits are observed. Defensive programming appears to benefit the entire software life cycle. Four identifiable phases of the software development process are defined, and the relationship between these four phases and defensive programming is shown. In this research, defensive programming is defined as writing programs in such a way that during execution the program itself produces communication allowing the programmer and the user to observe its dynamic states accurately and critically. To accomplish this end, the use of defensive programming snap shots is presented as a software development tool.
The device optimization is a very important element in semiconductor technology advancement. Its objective is to find a design point for a semiconductor device so that the optimized design goal meets all specified constraints. As in other engineering fields, a nonlinear optimizer is often used for design optimization. One major drawback of using a nonlinear optimizer is that it can only partially explore the design space and return a local optimal solution. This dissertation provides an adaptive optimization design methodology to allow the designer to explore the design space and obtain a globally optimal solution. One key element of our method is to quickly compute the set of all feasible solutions, also called the acceptability region. We described a polytope-based representation for the acceptability region and an adaptive linearization technique for device performance model approximation. These efficiency enhancements have enabled significant speed-up in estimating acceptability regions and allow acceptability regions to be estimated for a larger class of device design tasks. Our linearization technique also provides an efficient mechanism to guarantee the global accuracy of the computed acceptability region. To visualize the acceptability region, we study the orthogonal projection of high-dimensional convex polytopes and propose an output sensitive algorithm for projecting polytopes into two dimensions.
This research is concerned with inheritance as used in object-oriented database. More specifically, partial bi-directional inheritance among classes is examined. In partial inheritance, a class can inherit a proper subset of instance variables from another class. Two subclasses of the same superclass do not need to inherit the same proper subset of instance variables from their superclass. Bi-directional partial inheritance allows a class to inherit instance variables from its subclass. The prototype of an object-oriented database that supports both full and partial bi-directional inheritance among classes was developed on top of an existing relational database management system. The prototype was tested with two database applications. One database application needs full and partial inheritance. The second database application required bi-directional inheritance. The result of this testing suggests both advantages and disadvantages of partial bi-directional inheritance. Future areas of research are also suggested.
Automatic generation of starvation-free semaphore solutions to general mutual exclusion problems is discussed. A reduction approach is introduced for recognizing edge-solvable problems, together with an O(N^2) algorithm for graph reduction, where N is the number of nodes. An algorithm for the automatic generation of starvation-free edge-solvable solutions is presented. The solutions are proved to be very efficient. For general problems, there are two ways to generate efficient solutions. One associates a semaphore with every node, the other with every edge. They are both better than the standard monitor—like solutions. Besides strong semaphores, solutions using weak semaphores, weaker semaphores and generalized semaphores are also considered. Basic properties of semaphore solutions are also discussed. Tools describing the dynamic behavior of parallel systems, as well as performance criteria for evaluating semaphore solutions are elaborated.
This study models the human process of music cognition on the digital computer. The definition of music cognition is derived from the work in music cognition done by the researchers Carol Krumhansl and Edward Kessler, and by Mari Jones, as well as from the music theories of Heinrich Schenker. The computer implementation functions in three stages. First, it translates a musical "performance" in the form of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) messages into LISP structures. Second, the various parameters of the performance are examined separately a la Jones's joint accent structure, quantified according to psychological findings, and adjusted to a common scale. The findings of Krumhansl and Kessler are used to evaluate the consonance of each note with respect to the key of the piece and with respect to the immediately sounding harmony. This process yields a multidimensional set of points, each of which is a cognitive evaluation of a single musical event within the context of the piece of music within which it occurred. This set of points forms a metric space in multi-dimensional Euclidean space. The third phase of the analysis maps the set of points into a topology-preserving data structure for a Schenkerian-like middleground structural analysis. This process yields a hierarchical stratification of all the musical events (notes) in a piece of music. It has been applied to several pieces of music with surprising results. In each case, the analysis obtained very closely resembles a structural analysis which would be supplied by a human theorist. The results obtained invite us to take another look at the representation of knowledge and perception from another perspective, that of a set of points in a topological space, and to ask if such a representation might not be useful in other domains. It also leads us to ask if such a ...
The purpose of this study was to explore the subject of timescale estimating for rule-based systems. A model for estimating the timescale necessary to build rule-based systems was built and then tested in a controlled environment.
This dissertation deals with the problem of manipulating and storing an image using quadtrees. A quadtree is a tree in which each node has four ordered children or is a leaf. It can be used to represent an image via hierarchical decomposition. The image is broken into four regions. A region can be a solid color (homogeneous) or a mixture of colors (heterogeneous). If a region is heterogeneous it is broken into four subregions, and the process continues recursively until all subregions are homogeneous. The traditional quadtree suffers from dependence on the underlying grid. The grid coordinate system is implicit, and therefore fixed. The fixed coordinate system implies a rigid tree. A rigid tree cannot be translated, scaled, or rotated. Instead, a new tree must be built which is the result of one of these transformations. This dissertation introduces the independent quadtree. The independent quadtree is free of any underlying coordinate system. The tree is no longer rigid and can be easily translated, scaled, or rotated. Algorithms to perform these operations axe presented. The translation and rotation algorithms take constant time. The scaling algorithm has linear time in the number nodes in the tree. The disadvantage of independent quadtrees is the longer generation and display time. This dissertation also introduces an alternate method of hierarchical decomposition. This new method finds the largest homogeneous block with respect to the corners of the image. This block defines the division point for the decomposition. If the size of the block is below some cutoff point, it is deemed to be to small to make the overhead worthwhile and the traditional method is used instead. This new method is compared to the traditional method on randomly generated rectangles, triangles, and circles. The new method is shown to use significantly less space for all three ...
There have been a number of different versioning models proposed. The research in this area can be divided into two categories: object versioning and schema versioning. In this dissertation, both problem domains are considered as a single unit. This dissertation describes a unifying version model (UVM) for maintaining changes to both objects and schema. UVM handles schema versioning operations by using object versioning techniques. The result is that the UVM allows the OODBMS to be much smaller than previous systems. Also, programmers need know only one set of versioning operations; thus, reducing the learning time by half. This dissertation shows that UVM is a simple but semantically sound and powerful version model for both objects and schema.
The scope of the present dissertation is a deep lossy compression of still and moving grayscale pictures while maintaining their fidelity, with a specific goal of creating a working prototype of a software system for use in low bandwidth transmission of still satellite imagery and weather briefings with the best preservation of features considered important by the end user.
The efficacy of a machine learning technique is domain dependent. Some machine learning techniques work very well for certain domains but are ill-suited for other domains. One area that is of real-world concern is the flexibility with which machine learning techniques can adapt to dynamic domains. Currently, there are no known reports of any system that can learn dynamic domains, short of starting over (i.e., re-running the program). Starting over is neither time nor cost efficient for real-world production environments. This dissertation studied a method, referred to as Experience Based Learning (EBL), that attempts to deal with conditions related to learning dynamic domains. EBL is an extension of Instance Based Learning methods. The hypothesis of the study related to this research was that the EBL method would automatically adjust to domain changes and still provide classification accuracy similar to methods that require starting over. To test this hypothesis, twelve widely studied machine learning datasets were used. A dynamic domain was simulated by presenting these datasets in an uninterrupted cycle of train, test, and retrain. The order of the twelve datasets and the order of records within each dataset were randomized to control for order biases in each of ten runs. As a result, these methods provided datasets that represent extreme levels of domain change. Using the above datasets, EBL's mean classification accuracies for each dataset were compared to the published static domain results of other machine learning systems. The results indicated that the EBL's system performance was not statistically different (p>0.30) from the other machine learning methods. These results indicate that the EBL system is able to adjust to an extreme level of domain change and yet produce satisfactory results. This finding supports the use of the EBL method in real-world environments that incur rapid changes to both variables and ...
There are three main results in this dissertation. They are PLS-completeness of discrete Hopfield network convergence with eight different restrictions, (degree 3, bipartite and degree 3, 8-neighbor mesh, dual of the knight's graph, hypercube, butterfly, cube-connected cycles and shuffle-exchange), exponential convergence behavior of discrete Hopfield network, and simulation of Turing machines by discrete Hopfield Network.
Genetic algorithm and artificial life techniques are applied to the development of challenging and interesting opponents in a combat-based computer game. Computer simulations are carried out against an idealized human player to gather data on the effectiveness of the computer generated opponents.
DNA sequence analysis involves precise discrimination of two of the sequence's most important components: exons and introns. Exons encode the proteins that are responsible for almost all the functions in a living organism. Introns interrupt the sequence coding for a protein and must be removed from primary RNA transcripts before translation to protein can occur. A pattern recognition technique called Finite Induction (FI) is utilized to study the language of exons and introns. FI is especially suited for analyzing and classifying large amounts of data representing sequences of interest. It requires no biological information and employs no statistical functions. Finite Induction is applied to the exon and intron components of DNA by building a collection of rules based upon what it finds in the sequences it examines. It then attempts to match the known rule patterns with new rules formed as a result of analyzing a new sequence. A high number of matches predict a probable close relationship between the two sequences; a low number of matches signifies a large amount of difference between the two. This research demonstrates FI to be a viable tool for measurement when known patterns are available for the formation of rule sets.
Numerical methods are usually necessary in solving Hamiltonian systems since there is often no closed-form solution. By utilizing a general property of Hamiltonians, namely the symplectic property, all of the qualities of the system may be preserved for indefinitely long integration times because all of the integral (Poincare) invariants are conserved. This allows for more reliable results and frequently leads to significantly shorter execution times as compared to conventional methods. The resonant triad Hamiltonian with one degree of freedom will be focused upon for most of the numerical tests because of its difficult nature and, moreover, analytical results exist whereby useful comparisons can be made.
The study of multicomputer interconnection networks is an important area of research in parallel processing. We introduce vertex-symmetric Hamming-group graphs as a model to design a wide variety of network topologies including the hypercube network.
The goal of a parallel algorithm is to solve a single problem using multiple processors working together and to do so in an efficient manner. In this regard, there is a need to categorize strategies in order to solve broad classes of problems with similar structures and requirements. In this dissertation, two parallel algorithm design strategies are considered: linked list ranking and parentheses matching.
This investigation proposes a powerful formalization of common sense knowledge based on function-free normal deduction graphs (NDGs) which form a powerful tool for deriving Horn and non-Horn clauses without functions. Such formalization allows common sense reasoning since it has the ability to handle not only negative but also incomplete information.
Surface fitting methods play an important role in many scientific fields as well as in computer aided geometric design. The problem treated here is that of constructing a smooth surface that interpolates data values associated with scattered nodes in the plane. The data is said to be convex if there exists a convex interpolant. The problem of convexity-preserving interpolation is to determine if the data is convex, and construct a convex interpolant if it exists.
This research focused on the off-line cursive script recognition application. The problem is very large and difficult and there is much room for improvement in every aspect of the problem. Many different aspects of this problem were explored in pursuit of solutions to create a more practical and usable off-line cursive script recognizer than is currently available.
This dissertation addresses the general problem of recognition of acoustic signals which may be derived from speech, sonar, or acoustic phenomena. The specific problem of recognizing speech is the main focus of this research. The intention is to design a recognition system for a definite number of discrete words. For this purpose specifically, eight isolated words from the T1MIT database are selected. Four medium length words "greasy," "dark," "wash," and "water" are used. In addition, four short words are considered "she," "had," "in," and "all." The recognition system addresses the following issues: filtering or preprocessing, training, and decision-making. The preprocessing phase uses linear predictive coding of order 12. Following the filtering process, a vector quantization method is used to further reduce the input data and generate a finite inductive sequence of symbols representative of each input signal. The sequences generated by the vector quantization process of the same word are factored, and a single ruling or reference template is generated and stored in a codebook. This system introduces a new modeling technique which relies heavily on the basic concept that all finite sequences are finitely inductive. This technique is used in the training stage. In order to accommodate the variabilities in speech, the training is performed casualty, and a large number of training speakers is used from eight different dialect regions. Hence, a speaker independent recognition system is realized. The matching process compares the incoming speech with each of the templates stored, and a closeness ration is computed. A ratio table is generated anH the matching word that corresponds to the smallest ratio (i.e. indicating that the ruling has removed most of the symbols) is selected. Promising results were obtained for isolated words, and the recognition rates ranged between 50% and 100%.
This thesis is a proposed solution to the problem of including an effective interrupt mechanism in the set of concurrent- processing primitives of a block-structured programming language or system. The proposed solution is presented in the form of a programming language definition and model. The language is called TRIPLE.
Two applications of a binary tree data type based on a simple pairing function (a bijection between natural numbers and pairs of natural numbers) are explored. First, the tree is used to encode natural numbers, and algorithms that perform basic arithmetic computations are presented along with formal proofs of their correctness. Second, using this "canonical" representation as a base type, algorithms for encoding and decoding additional isomorphic data types of other mathematical constructs (sets, sequences, etc.) are also developed. An experimental application to a memory management system is constructed and explored using these isomorphic types. A practical analysis of this system's runtime complexity and space savings are provided, along with a proof of concept framework for both applications of the binary tree type, in the Java programming language.
Recent developments in the Internet have inspired a wide range of business and consumer applications. The deployment of multimedia-based services has driven the demand for increased and guaranteed bandwidth requirements over the network. The diverse requirements of the wide range of users demand differentiated classes of service and quality assurance. The new technology of Multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) has emerged as a high performance and reliable option to address these challenges apart from the additional features that were not addressed before. This problem in lieu of thesis describes how the new paradigm of MPLS is advantageous over the conventional architecture. The motivation for this paradigm is discussed in the first part, followed by a detailed description of this new architecture. The information flow, the underlying protocols and the MPLS extensions to some of the traditional protocols are then discussed followed by the description of the simulation. The simulation results are used to show the advantages of the proposed technology.
The Internet became a standard way of exchanging business data between B2B and B2C applications and with this came the need for providing various services on the web instead of just static text and images. Web services are a new type of services offered via the web that aid in the creation of globally distributed applications. Web services are enhanced e-business applications that are easier to advertise and easier to discover on the Internet because of their flexibility and uniformity. In a real life scenario it is highly difficult to decide which J2EE application server to go for when deploying a enterprise web service. This thesis analyzes the various ways by which web services can be developed & deployed. Underlying protocols and crucial issues like EAI (enterprise application integration), asynchronous messaging, Registry tModel architecture etc have been considered in this research. This paper presents a report by analyzing what various J2EE application servers provide by doing a case study and by developing applications to test functionality.
I experimented with Hopfield networks in the context of a voice-based, query-answering system. Hopfield networks are used to store and retrieve patterns. I used this technique to store queries represented as natural language sentences and I evaluated the accuracy of the technique for error correction in a spoken question-answering dialog between a computer and a user. I show that the use of an auto-associative Hopfield network helps make the speech recognition system more fault tolerant. I also looked at the available encoding schemes to convert a natural language sentence into a pattern of zeroes and ones that can be stored in the Hopfield network reliably, and I suggest scalable data representations which allow storing a large number of queries.
Many human papilloma virus (HPV) types are sexually transmitted and HPV DNA types 16, 18, 31, and 45 account for more than 75% if all cervical dysplasia. Candidate vaccines are successfully completing US Federal Drug Agency (FDA) phase III testing and several drug companies are in licensing arbitration. Once this vaccine become available it is unlikely that 100% vaccination coverage will be probable; hence, the need for vaccination strategies that will have the greatest reduction on the endemic prevalence of HPV. This thesis introduces two discrete-time models for evaluating the effect of demographic-biased vaccination strategies: one model incorporates temporal demographics (i.e., age) in population compartments; the other non-temporal demographics (i.e., race, ethnicity). Also presented is an intuitive Web-based interface that was developed to allow the user to evaluate the effects on prevalence of a demographic-biased intervention by tailoring the model parameters to specific demographics and geographical region.
Syntactic parsing is one of the best understood language processing applications. Since language and grammar have been formally defined, it is easy for computers to parse the syntactic structure of natural language text. Does meaning have structure as well? If it has, how can we analyze the structure? Previous systems rely on a one-to-one correspondence between syntactic rules and semantic rules. But such systems can only be applied to limited fragments of English. In this thesis, we propose a general-purpose shallow semantic parser which utilizes a semantic network (WordNet), and a frame dataset (FrameNet). Semantic relations recognized by the parser are based on how human beings represent knowledge of the world. Parsing semantic structure allows semantic units and constituents to be accessed and processed in a more meaningful way than syntactic parsing, moving the automation of understanding natural language text to a higher level.
An overwhelming number of models in the literature use average inter-cell interference for the calculation of capacity of a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network. The advantage gained in terms of simplicity by using such models comes at the cost of rendering the exact location of a user within a cell irrelevant. We calculate the actual per-user interference and analyze the effect of user-distribution within a cell on the capacity of a CDMA network. We show that even though the capacity obtained using average interference is a good approximation to the capacity calculated using actual interference for a uniform user distribution, the deviation can be tremendously large for non-uniform user distributions. Call admission control (CAC) algorithms are responsible for efficient management of a network's resources while guaranteeing the quality of service and grade of service, i.e., accepting the maximum number of calls without affecting the quality of service of calls already present in the network. We design and implement global and local CAC algorithms, and through simulations compare their network throughput and blocking probabilities for varying mobility scenarios. We show that even though our global CAC is better at resource management, the lack of substantial gain in network throughput and exponential increase in complexity makes our optimized local CAC algorithm a much better choice for a given traffic distribution profile.
Data distribution management (DDM) is a High Level Architecture/Run-time Infrastructure (HLA/RTI) service that manages the distribution of state updates and interaction information in large-scale distributed simulations. The key to efficient DDM is to limit and control the volume of data exchanged during the simulation, to relay data to only those hosts requiring the data. This thesis focuses upon different DDM implementations and strategies. This thesis includes analysis of three DDM methods including the fixed grid-based, dynamic grid-based, and region-based methods. Also included is the use of multi-resolution modeling with various DDM strategies and analysis of the performance effects of aggregation/disaggregation with these strategies. Running numerous federation executions, I simulate four different scenarios on a cluster of workstations with a mini-RTI Kit framework and propose a set of benchmarks for a comparison of the DDM schemes. The goals of this work are to determine the most efficient model for applying each DDM scheme, discover the limitations of the scalability of the various DDM methods, evaluate the effects of aggregation/disaggregation on performance and resource usage, and present accepted benchmarks for use in future research.
Guiding navigation in virtual environments (VEs) is a challenging task. A key issue in the navigation of a virtual environment is to be able to strike a balance between the user's need to explore the environment freely and the designer's need to ensure that the user experiences all the important events in the VE. This thesis reports on a study aimed at comparing the effectiveness of various navigation cues that are used to motivate users towards a specific target location. The results of this study indicate some significant differences in how users responded to the various cues.
Geometric packing problems are NP-complete problems that arise in VLSI design. In this thesis, we present two novel algorithms using dynamic programming to compute exactly the maximum number of k x k squares of unit size that can be packed without overlap into a given n x m grid. The first algorithm was implemented and ran successfully on problems of large input up to 1,000,000 nodes for different values. A heuristic based on the second algorithm is implemented. This heuristic is fast in practice, but may not always be giving optimal times in theory. However, over a wide range of random data this version of the algorithm is giving very good solutions very fast and runs on problems of up to 100,000,000 nodes in a grid and different ranges for the variables. It is also shown that this version of algorithm is clearly superior to the first algorithm and has shown to be very efficient in practice.
On-line Analytical Processing (OLAP) is a very interesting platform to provide analytical power to the data present in the database. This paper discusses the system designed which handles integration of data from two remote legacy reservation systems to merge as one Integrated database server and also the design of an OLAP database and building an OLAP cube for the data warehousing. OLAP cube is useful for analysis of data and also for making various business decisions. The Data Transformation Services (DTS) in the Microsoft® SQL Server 2000 is used to integrate as a package the collection of data and also for refreshing data in the databases. On-line Analytical Processing (OLAP) cube is designed using Microsoft® Analysis Server.
Library information systems use different software applications and automated systems to gain access to distributed information. Rapid application development, changes made to existing software applications and development of new software on different platforms can make it difficult for library information systems to interoperate. Web services are used to offer better information access and retrieval solutions and hence make it more cost effective for libraries. This research focuses on how web services are implemented with the standard protocols like SOAP, WSDL and UDDI using different programming languages and platforms to achieve interoperability for libraries. It also shows how libraries can make use of this new technology. Since web services built on different platforms can interact with each other, libraries can access information with more efficiency and flexibility.
Finite functions (also called maps) are used to describe a number of key computations and storage mechanisms used in software and hardware interpreters. Their presence spread over various memory and speed hierarchies in hardware and through various optimization processes (algorithmic and compilation based) in software, suggests encapsulating dynamic size changes and representation optimizations in a unique abstraction to be used across traditional computation mechanisms. We developed a memory allocator for testing the finite functions. We have implemented some dynamic finite functions and performed certain experiments to see the performance speed of these finite functions. We have developed some simple but powerful application programming interfaces (API) for these finite functions.
With the growing popularity of e-commerce applications that use software agents, the protection of mobile agent data has become imperative. To that end, the performance of four methods that protect the data integrity of mobile agents is evaluated. The methods investigated include existing approaches known as the Partial Result Authentication Codes, Hash Chaining, and Set Authentication Code methods, and a technique of our own design, called the Modified Set Authentication Code method, which addresses the limitations of the Set Authentication Code method. The experiments were run using the DADS agent system (developed at the Network Research Laboratory at UNT), for which a Data Integrity Module was designed. The experimental results show that our Modified Set Authentication Code technique performed comparably to the Set Authentication Code method.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks have seen tremendous growth in development and usage in recent times. This attention has brought many developments as well as new challenges to these networks. We will show that agent extensions to P2P networks offer solutions to many problems faced by P2P networks. In this research, an attempt is made to bring together JXTA P2P infrastructure and Jinni, a Prolog based agent engine to form an agent based P2P network. On top of the JXTA, we define simple Java API providing P2P services for agent programming constructs. Jinni is deployed on this JXTA network using an automated code update mechanism. Experiments are conducted on this Jinni/JXTA platform to implement a simple agent communication and data exchange protocol.
Machine Learning is the ability of a machine to perform better at a given task, using its previous experience. Various algorithms like decision trees, Bayesian learning, artificial neural networks and instance-based learning algorithms are used widely in machine learning systems. Current applications of machine learning include credit card fraud detection, customer service based on history of purchased products, games and many more. The application of machine learning techniques to natural language processing (NLP) has increased tremendously in recent years. Examples are handwriting recognition and speech recognition. The problem we tackle in this Problem in Lieu of Thesis is applying machine-learning techniques to improve the performance of a conversational agent. The OpenMind repository of common sense, in the form of question-answer pairs is treated as the training data for the machine learning system. WordNet is interfaced with to capture important semantic and syntactic information about the words in the sentences. Further, k-closest neighbors algorithm, an instance based learning algorithm is used to simulate a case based learning system. The resulting system is expected to be able to answer new queries with knowledge gained from the training data it was fed with.
Automatic memory management is crucial in implementation of runtime systems even though it induces a significant computational overhead. In this thesis I explore the use of statistical properties of the directed graph describing the set of live data to decide between garbage collection and heap expansion in a memory management algorithm combining the dynamic array represented heaps with a mark and sweep garbage collector to enhance its performance. The sampling method predicting the density and the distribution of useful data is implemented as a partial marking algorithm. The algorithm randomly marks the nodes of the directed graph representing the live data at different depths with a variable probability factor p. Using the information gathered by the partial marking algorithm in the current step and the knowledge gathered in the previous iterations, the proposed empirical formula predicts with reasonable accuracy the density of live nodes on the heap, to decide between garbage collection and heap expansion. The resulting heuristics are tested empirically and shown to improve overall execution performance significantly in the context of the Jinni Prolog compiler's runtime system.
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