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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

Joint Schemes for Physical Layer Security and Error Correction

Description: The major challenges facing resource constraint wireless devices are error resilience, security and speed. Three joint schemes are presented in this research which could be broadly divided into error correction based and cipher based. The error correction based ciphers take advantage of the properties of LDPC codes and Nordstrom Robinson code. A cipher-based cryptosystem is also presented in this research. The complexity of this scheme is reduced compared to conventional schemes. The securities of the ciphers are analyzed against known-plaintext and chosen-plaintext attacks and are found to be secure. Randomization test was also conducted on these schemes and the results are presented. For the proof of concept, the schemes were implemented in software and hardware and these shows a reduction in hardware usage compared to conventional schemes. As a result, joint schemes for error correction and security provide security to the physical layer of wireless communication systems, a layer in the protocol stack where currently little or no security is implemented. In this physical layer security approach, the properties of powerful error correcting codes are exploited to deliver reliability to the intended parties, high security against eavesdroppers and efficiency in communication system. The notion of a highly secure and reliable physical layer has the potential to significantly change how communication system designers and users think of the physical layer since the error control codes employed in this work will have the dual roles of both reliability and security.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Adamo, Oluwayomi Bamidele

VLSI Architecture and FPGA Prototyping of a Secure Digital Camera for Biometric Application

Description: This thesis presents a secure digital camera (SDC) that inserts biometric data into images found in forms of identification such as the newly proposed electronic passport. However, putting biometric data in passports makes the data vulnerable for theft, causing privacy related issues. An effective solution to combating unauthorized access such as skimming (obtaining data from the passport's owner who did not willingly submit the data) or eavesdropping (intercepting information as it moves from the chip to the reader) could be judicious use of watermarking and encryption at the source end of the biometric process in hardware like digital camera or scanners etc. To address such issues, a novel approach and its architecture in the framework of a digital camera, conceptualized as an SDC is presented. The SDC inserts biometric data into passport image with the aid of watermarking and encryption processes. The VLSI (very large scale integration) architecture of the functional units of the SDC such as watermarking and encryption unit is presented. The result of the hardware implementation of Rijndael advanced encryption standard (AES) and a discrete cosine transform (DCT) based visible and invisible watermarking algorithm is presented. The prototype chip can carry out simultaneous encryption and watermarking, which to our knowledge is the first of its kind. The encryption unit has a throughput of 500 Mbit/s and the visible and invisible watermarking unit has a max frequency of 96.31 MHz and 256 MHz respectively.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Adamo, Oluwayomi Bamidele

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

Evaluating Appropriateness of Emg and Flex Sensors for Classifying Hand Gestures

Description: Hand and arm gestures are a great way of communication when you don't want to be heard, quieter and often more reliable than whispering into a radio mike. In recent years hand gesture identification became a major active area of research due its use in various applications. The objective of my work is to develop an integrated sensor system, which will enable tactical squads and SWAT teams to communicate when there is absence of a Line of Sight or in the presence of any obstacles. The gesture set involved in this work is the standardized hand signals for close range engagement operations used by military and SWAT teams. The gesture sets involved in this work are broadly divided into finger movements and arm movements. The core components of the integrated sensor system are: Surface EMG sensors, Flex sensors and accelerometers. Surface EMG is the electrical activity produced by muscle contractions and measured by sensors directly attached to the skin. Bend Sensors use a piezo resistive material to detect the bend. The sensor output is determined by both the angle between the ends of the sensor as well as the flex radius. Accelerometers sense the dynamic acceleration and inclination in 3 directions simultaneously. EMG sensors are placed on the upper and lower forearm and assist in the classification of the finger and wrist movements. Bend sensors are mounted on a glove that is worn on the hand. The sensors are located over the first knuckle of each figure and can determine if the finger is bent or not. An accelerometer is attached to the glove at the base of the wrist and determines the speed and direction of the arm movement. Classification algorithm SVM is used to classify the gestures.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Akumalla, Sarath Chandra

Exploring Analog and Digital Design Using the Open-Source Electric VLSI Design System

Description: The design of VLSI electronic circuits can be achieved at many different abstraction levels starting from system behavior to the most detailed, physical layout level. As the number of transistors in VLSI circuits is increasing, the complexity of the design is also increasing, and it is now beyond human ability to manage. Hence CAD (Computer Aided design) or EDA (Electronic Design Automation) tools are involved in the design. EDA or CAD tools automate the design, verification and testing of these VLSI circuits. In today’s market, there are many EDA tools available. However, they are very expensive and require high-performance platforms. One of the key challenges today is to select appropriate CAD or EDA tools which are open-source for academic purposes. This thesis provides a detailed examination of an open-source EDA tool called Electric VLSI Design system. An excellent and efficient CAD tool useful for students and teachers to implement ideas by modifying the source code, Electric fulfills these requirements. This thesis' primary objective is to explain the Electric software features and architecture and to provide various digital and analog designs that are implemented by this software for educational purposes. Since the choice of an EDA tool is based on the efficiency and functions that it can provide, this thesis explains all the analysis and synthesis tools that electric provides and how efficient they are. Hence, this thesis is of benefit for students and teachers that choose Electric as their open-source EDA tool for educational purposes.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Aluru, Gunasekhar

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

An Integrated Architecture for Ad Hoc Grids

Description: Extensive research has been conducted by the grid community to enable large-scale collaborations in pre-configured environments. grid collaborations can vary in scale and motivation resulting in a coarse classification of grids: national grid, project grid, enterprise grid, and volunteer grid. Despite the differences in scope and scale, all the traditional grids in practice share some common assumptions. They support mutually collaborative communities, adopt a centralized control for membership, and assume a well-defined non-changing collaboration. To support grid applications that do not confirm to these assumptions, we propose the concept of ad hoc grids. In the context of this research, we propose a novel architecture for ad hoc grids that integrates a suite of component frameworks. Specifically, our architecture combines the community management framework, security framework, abstraction framework, quality of service framework, and reputation framework. The overarching objective of our integrated architecture is to support a variety of grid applications in a self-controlled fashion with the help of a self-organizing ad hoc community. We introduce mechanisms in our architecture that successfully isolates malicious elements from the community, inherently improving the quality of grid services and extracting deterministic quality assurances from the underlying infrastructure. We also emphasize on the technology-independence of our architecture, thereby offering the requisite platform for technology interoperability. The feasibility of the proposed architecture is verified with a high-quality ad hoc grid implementation. Additionally, we have analyzed the performance and behavior of ad hoc grids with respect to several control parameters.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Amin, Kaizar Abdul Husain

Resource Efficient and Scalable Routing using Intelligent Mobile Agents

Description: Many of the contemporary routing algorithms use simple mechanisms such as flooding or broadcasting to disseminate the routing information available to them. Such routing algorithms cause significant network resource overhead due to the large number of messages generated at each host/router throughout the route update process. Many of these messages are wasteful since they do not contribute to the route discovery process. Reducing the resource overhead may allow for several algorithms to be deployed in a wide range of networks (wireless and ad-hoc) which require a simple routing protocol due to limited availability of resources (memory and bandwidth). Motivated by the need to reduce the resource overhead associated with routing algorithms a new implementation of distance vector routing algorithm using an agent-based paradigm known as Agent-based Distance Vector Routing (ADVR) has been proposed. In ADVR, the ability of route discovery and message passing shifts from the nodes to individual agents that traverse the network, co-ordinate with each other and successively update the routing tables of the nodes they visit.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Amin, Kaizar Abdul Husain

Resource Management in Wireless Networks

Description: A local call admission control (CAC) algorithm for third generation wireless networks was designed and implemented, which allows for the simulation of network throughput for different spreading factors and various mobility scenarios. A global CAC algorithm is also implemented and used as a benchmark since it is inherently optimized; it yields the best possible performance but has an intensive computational complexity. Optimized local CAC algorithm achieves similar performance as global CAC algorithm at a fraction of the computational cost. Design of a dynamic channel assignment algorithm for IEEE 802.11 wireless systems is also presented. Channels are assigned dynamically depending on the minimal interference generated by the neighboring access points on a reference access point. Analysis of dynamic channel assignment algorithm shows an improvement by a factor of 4 over the default settings of having all access points use the same channel, resulting significantly higher network throughput.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Arepally, Anurag

Statistical Strategies for Efficient Signal Detection and Parameter Estimation in Wireless Sensor Networks

Description: This dissertation investigates data reduction strategies from a signal processing perspective in centralized detection and estimation applications. First, it considers a deterministic source observed by a network of sensors and develops an analytical strategy for ranking sensor transmissions based on the magnitude of their test statistics. The benefit of the proposed strategy is that the decision to transmit or not to transmit observations to the fusion center can be made at the sensor level resulting in significant savings in transmission costs. A sensor network based on target tracking application is simulated to demonstrate the benefits of the proposed strategy over the unconstrained energy approach. Second, it considers the detection of random signals in noisy measurements and evaluates the performance of eigenvalue-based signal detectors. Due to their computational simplicity, robustness and performance, these detectors have recently received a lot of attention. When the observed random signal is correlated, several researchers claim that the performance of eigenvalue-based detectors exceeds that of the classical energy detector. However, such claims fail to consider the fact that when the signal is correlated, the optimal detector is the estimator-correlator and not the energy detector. In this dissertation, through theoretical analyses and Monte Carlo simulations, eigenvalue-based detectors are shown to be suboptimal when compared to the energy detector and the estimator-correlator.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Ayeh, Eric

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

Unique Channel Email System

Description: Email connects 85% of the world. This paper explores the pattern of information overload encountered by majority of email users and examine what steps key email providers are taking to combat the problem. Besides fighting spam, popular email providers offer very limited tools to reduce the amount of unwanted incoming email. Rather, there has been a trend to expand storage space and aid the organization of email. Storing email is very costly and harmful to the environment. Additionally, information overload can be detrimental to productivity. We propose a simple solution that results in drastic reduction of unwanted mail, also known as graymail.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Balakchiev, Milko

The Role of Intelligent Mobile Agents in Network Management and Routing

Description: In this research, the application of intelligent mobile agents to the management of distributed network environments is investigated. Intelligent mobile agents are programs which can move about network systems in a deterministic manner in carrying their execution state. These agents can be considered an application of distributed artificial intelligence where the (usually small) agent code is moved to the data and executed locally. The mobile agent paradigm offers potential advantages over many conventional mechanisms which move (often large) data to the code, thereby wasting available network bandwidth. The performance of agents in network routing and knowledge acquisition has been investigated and simulated. A working mobile agent system has also been designed and implemented in JDK 1.2.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Balamuru, Vinay Gopal

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

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

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

Multi-perspective, Multi-modal Image Registration and Fusion

Description: Multi-modal image fusion is an active research area with many civilian and military applications. Fusion is defined as strategic combination of information collected by various sensors from different locations or different types in order to obtain a better understanding of an observed scene or situation. Fusion of multi-modal images cannot be completed unless these two modalities are spatially aligned. In this research, I consider two important problems. Multi-modal, multi-perspective image registration and decision level fusion of multi-modal images. In particular, LiDAR and visual imagery. Multi-modal image registration is a difficult task due to the different semantic interpretation of features extracted from each modality. This problem is decoupled into three sub-problems. The first step is identification and extraction of common features. The second step is the determination of corresponding points. The third step consists of determining the registration transformation parameters. Traditional registration methods use low level features such as lines and corners. Using these features require an extensive optimization search in order to determine the corresponding points. Many methods use global positioning systems (GPS), and a calibrated camera in order to obtain an initial estimate of the camera parameters. The advantages of our work over the previous works are the following. First, I used high level-features, which significantly reduce the search space for the optimization process. Second, the determination of corresponding points is modeled as an assignment problem between a small numbers of objects. On the other side, fusing LiDAR and visual images is beneficial, due to the different and rich characteristics of both modalities. LiDAR data contain 3D information, while images contain visual information. Developing a fusion technique that uses the characteristics of both modalities is very important. I establish a decision-level fusion technique using manifold models.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Belkhouche, Mohammed Yassine

Modeling and Simulation of the Vector-Borne Dengue Disease and the Effects of Regional Variation of Temperature in the Disease Prevalence in Homogenous and Heterogeneous Human Populations

Description: The history of mitigation programs to contain vector-borne diseases is a story of successes and failures. Due to the complex interplay among multiple factors that determine disease dynamics, the general principles for timely and specific intervention for incidence reduction or eradication of life-threatening diseases has yet to be determined. This research discusses computational methods developed to assist in the understanding of complex relationships affecting vector-borne disease dynamics. A computational framework to assist public health practitioners with exploring the dynamics of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue in homogenous and heterogeneous populations, has been conceived, designed, and implemented. The framework integrates a stochastic computational model of interactions to simulate horizontal disease transmission. The intent of the computational modeling has been the integration of stochasticity during simulation of the disease progression while reducing the number of necessary interactions to simulate a disease outbreak. While there are improvements in the computational time reducing the number of interactions needed for simulating disease dynamics, the realization of interactions can remain computationally expensive. Using multi-threading technology to improve performance upon the original computational model, multi-threading experimental results have been tested and reported. In addition, to the contact model, the modeling of biological processes specific to the corresponding pathogen-carrier vector to increase the specificity of the vector-borne disease has been integrated. Last, automation for requesting, retrieving, parsing, and storing specific weather data and geospatial information from federal agencies to study the differences between homogenous and heterogeneous populations has been implemented.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Bravo-Salgado, Angel D

Freeform Cursive Handwriting Recognition Using a Clustered Neural Network

Description: Optical character recognition (OCR) software has advanced greatly in recent years. Machine-printed text can be scanned and converted to searchable text with word accuracy rates around 98%. Reasonably neat hand-printed text can be recognized with about 85% word accuracy. However, cursive handwriting still remains a challenge, with state-of-the-art performance still around 75%. Algorithms based on hidden Markov models have been only moderately successful, while recurrent neural networks have delivered the best results to date. This thesis explored the feasibility of using a special type of feedforward neural network to convert freeform cursive handwriting to searchable text. The hidden nodes in this network were grouped into clusters, with each cluster being trained to recognize a unique character bigram. The network was trained on writing samples that were pre-segmented and annotated. Post-processing was facilitated in part by using the network to identify overlapping bigrams that were then linked together to form words and sentences. With dictionary assisted post-processing, the network achieved word accuracy of 66.5% on a small, proprietary corpus. The contributions in this thesis are threefold: 1) the novel clustered architecture of the feed-forward neural network, 2) the development of an expanded set of observers combining image masks, modifiers, and feature characterizations, and 3) the use of overlapping bigrams as the textual working unit to assist in context analysis and reconstruction.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Bristow, Kelly H.

A New Look at Retargetable Compilers

Description: Consumers demand new and innovative personal computing devices every 2 years when their cellular phone service contracts are renewed. Yet, a 2 year development cycle for the concurrent development of both hardware and software is nearly impossible. As more components and features are added to the devices, maintaining this 2 year cycle with current tools will become commensurately harder. This dissertation delves into the feasibility of simplifying the development of such systems by employing heterogeneous systems on a chip in conjunction with a retargetable compiler such as the hybrid computer retargetable compiler (Hy-C). An example of a simple architecture description of sufficient detail for use with a retargetable compiler like Hy-C is provided. As a software engineer with 30 years of experience, I have witnessed numerous system failures. A plethora of software development paradigms and tools have been employed to prevent software errors, but none have been completely successful. Much discussion centers on software development in the military contracting market, as that is my background. The dissertation reviews those tools, as well as some existing retargetable compilers, in an attempt to determine how those errors occurred and how a system like Hy-C could assist in reducing future software errors. In the end, the potential for a simple retargetable solution like Hy-C is shown to be very simple, yet powerful enough to provide a very capable product in a very fast-growing market.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Burke, Patrick William

Content and Temporal Analysis of Communications to Predict Task Cohesion in Software Development Global Teams

Description: Virtual teams in industry are increasingly being used to develop software, create products, and accomplish tasks. However, analyzing those collaborations under same-time/different-place conditions is well-known to be difficult. In order to overcome some of these challenges, this research was concerned with the study of collaboration-based, content-based and temporal measures and their ability to predict cohesion within global software development projects. Messages were collected from three software development projects that involved students from two different countries. The similarities and quantities of these interactions were computed and analyzed at individual and group levels. Results of interaction-based metrics showed that the collaboration variables most related to Task Cohesion were Linguistic Style Matching and Information Exchange. The study also found that Information Exchange rate and Reply rate have a significant and positive correlation to Task Cohesion, a factor used to describe participants' engagement in the global software development process. This relation was also found at the Group level. All these results suggest that metrics based on rate can be very useful for predicting cohesion in virtual groups. Similarly, content features based on communication categories were used to improve the identification of Task Cohesion levels. This model showed mixed results, since only Work similarity and Social rate were found to be correlated with Task Cohesion. This result can be explained by how a group's cohesiveness is often associated with fairness and trust, and that these two factors are often achieved by increased social and work communications. Also, at a group-level, all models were found correlated to Task Cohesion, specifically, Similarity+Rate, which suggests that models that include social and work communication categories are also good predictors of team cohesiveness. Finally, temporal interaction similarity measures were calculated to assess their prediction capabilities in a global setting. Results showed a significant negative correlation between the Pacing Rate and ...
Date: May 2017
Creator: Castro Hernandez, Alberto

Investigating the Extractive Summarization of Literary Novels

Description: Abstract Due to the vast amount of information we are faced with, summarization has become a critical necessity of everyday human life. Given that a large fraction of the electronic documents available online and elsewhere consist of short texts such as Web pages, news articles, scientific reports, and others, the focus of natural language processing techniques to date has been on the automation of methods targeting short documents. We are witnessing however a change: an increasingly larger number of books become available in electronic format. This means that the need for language processing techniques able to handle very large documents such as books is becoming increasingly important. This thesis addresses the problem of summarization of novels, which are long and complex literary narratives. While there is a significant body of research that has been carried out on the task of automatic text summarization, most of this work has been concerned with the summarization of short documents, with a particular focus on news stories. However, novels are different in both length and genre, and consequently different summarization techniques are required. This thesis attempts to close this gap by analyzing a new domain for summarization, and by building unsupervised and supervised systems that effectively take into account the properties of long documents, and outperform the traditional extractive summarization systems typically addressing news genre.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Ceylan, Hakan

Natural Language Interfaces to Databases

Description: Natural language interfaces to databases (NLIDB) are systems that aim to bridge the gap between the languages used by humans and computers, and automatically translate natural language sentences to database queries. This thesis proposes a novel approach to NLIDB, using graph-based models. The system starts by collecting as much information as possible from existing databases and sentences, and transforms this information into a knowledge base for the system. Given a new question, the system will use this knowledge to analyze and translate the sentence into its corresponding database query statement. The graph-based NLIDB system uses English as the natural language, a relational database model, and SQL as the formal query language. In experiments performed with natural language questions ran against a large database containing information about U.S. geography, the system showed good performance compared to the state-of-the-art in the field.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Chandra, Yohan

Measuring Vital Signs Using Smart Phones

Description: Smart phones today have become increasingly popular with the general public for its diverse abilities like navigation, social networking, and multimedia facilities to name a few. These phones are equipped with high end processors, high resolution cameras, built-in sensors like accelerometer, orientation-sensor, light-sensor, and much more. According to comScore survey, 25.3% of US adults use smart phones in their daily lives. Motivated by the capability of smart phones and their extensive usage, I focused on utilizing them for bio-medical applications. In this thesis, I present a new application for a smart phone to quantify the vital signs such as heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure with the help of its built-in sensors. Using the camera and a microphone, I have shown how the blood pressure and heart rate can be determined for a subject. People sometimes encounter minor situations like fainting or fatal accidents like car crash at unexpected times and places. It would be useful to have a device which can measure all vital signs in such an event. The second part of this thesis demonstrates a new mode of communication for next generation 9-1-1 calls. In this new architecture, the call-taker will be able to control the multimedia elements in the phone from a remote location. This would help the call-taker or first responder to have a better control over the situation. Transmission of the vital signs measured using the smart phone can be a life saver in critical situations. In today's voice oriented 9-1-1 calls, the dispatcher first collects critical information (e.g., location, call-back number) from caller, and assesses the situation. Meanwhile, the dispatchers constantly face a "60-second dilemma"; i.e., within 60 seconds, they need to make a complicated but important decision, whether to dispatch and, if so, what to dispatch. The dispatchers often feel that ...
Date: December 2010
Creator: Chandrasekaran, Vikram