UNT Libraries - 60 Matching Results

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Computational Methods to Optimize High-Consequence Variants of the Vehicle Routing Problem for Relief Networks in Humanitarian Logistics

Description: Optimization of relief networks in humanitarian logistics often exemplifies the need for solutions that are feasible given a hard constraint on time. For instance, the distribution of medical countermeasures immediately following a biological disaster event must be completed within a short time-frame. When these supplies are not distributed within the maximum time allowed, the severity of the disaster is quickly exacerbated. Therefore emergency response plans that fail to facilitate the transportation of these supplies in the time allowed are simply not acceptable. As a result, all optimization solutions that fail to satisfy this criterion would be deemed infeasible. This creates a conflict with the priority optimization objective in most variants of the generic vehicle routing problem (VRP). Instead of efficiently maximizing usage of vehicle resources available to construct a feasible solution, these variants ordinarily prioritize the construction of a minimum cost set of vehicle routes. Research presented in this dissertation focuses on the design and analysis of efficient computational methods for optimizing high-consequence variants of the VRP for relief networks. The conflict between prioritizing the minimization of the number of vehicles required or the minimization of total travel time is demonstrated. The optimization of the time and capacity constraints in the context of minimizing the required vehicles are independently examined. An efficient meta-heuristic algorithm based on a continuous spatial partitioning scheme is presented for constructing a minimized set of vehicle routes in practical instances of the VRP that include critically high-cost penalties. Multiple optimization priority strategies that extend this algorithm are examined and compared in a large-scale bio-emergency case study. The algorithms designed from this research are implemented and integrated into an existing computational framework that is currently used by public health officials. These computational tools enhance an emergency response planner's ability to derive a set of vehicle routes specifically ...
Date: August 2018
Creator: Urbanovsky, Joshua C

Dataflow Processing in Memory Achieves Significant Energy Efficiency

Description: The large difference between processor CPU cycle time and memory access time, often referred to as the memory wall, severely limits the performance of streaming applications. Some data centers have shown servers being idle three out of four clocks. High performance instruction sequenced systems are not energy efficient. The execute stage of even simple pipeline processors only use 9% of the pipeline's total energy. A hybrid dataflow system within a memory module is shown to have 7.2 times the performance with 368 times better energy efficiency than an Intel Xeon server processor on the analyzed benchmarks. The dataflow implementation exploits the inherent parallelism and pipelining of the application to improve performance without the overhead functions of caching, instruction fetch, instruction decode, instruction scheduling, reorder buffers, and speculative execution used by high performance out-of-order processors. Coarse grain reconfigurable logic in an energy efficient silicon process provides flexibility to implement multiple algorithms in a low energy solution. Integrating the logic within a 3D stacked memory module provides lower latency and higher bandwidth access to memory while operating independently from the host system processor.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Shelor, Charles F.

Multi-Modal Insider Threat Detection and Prevention based on Users' Behaviors

Description: Insider threat is one of the greatest concerns for information security that could cause more significant financial losses and damages than any other attack. However, implementing an efficient detection system is a very challenging task. It has long been recognized that solutions to insider threats are mainly user-centric and several psychological and psychosocial models have been proposed. A user's psychophysiological behavior measures can provide an excellent source of information for detecting user's malicious behaviors and mitigating insider threats. In this dissertation, we propose a multi-modal framework based on the user's psychophysiological measures and computer-based behaviors to distinguish between a user's behaviors during regular activities versus malicious activities. We utilize several psychophysiological measures such as electroencephalogram (EEG), electrocardiogram (ECG), and eye movement and pupil behaviors along with the computer-based behaviors such as the mouse movement dynamics, and keystrokes dynamics to build our framework for detecting malicious insiders. We conduct human subject experiments to capture the psychophysiological measures and the computer-based behaviors for a group of participants while performing several computer-based activities in different scenarios. We analyze the behavioral measures, extract useful features, and evaluate their capability in detecting insider threats. We investigate each measure separately, then we use data fusion techniques to build two modules and a comprehensive multi-modal framework. The first module combines the synchronized EEG and ECG psychophysiological measures, and the second module combines the eye movement and pupil behaviors with the computer-based behaviors to detect the malicious insiders. The multi-modal framework utilizes all the measures and behaviors in one model to achieve better detection accuracy. Our findings demonstrate that psychophysiological measures can reveal valuable knowledge about a user's malicious intent and can be used as an effective indicator in designing insider threat monitoring and detection frameworks. Our work lays out the necessary foundation to establish a new generation ...
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Hashem, Yassir

Radio Resource Control Approaches for LTE-Advanced Femtocell Networks

Description: The architecture of mobile networks has dramatically evolved in order to fulfill the growing demands on wireless services and data. The radio resources, which are used by the current mobile networks, are limited while the users demands are substantially increasing. In the future, tremendous Internet applications are expected to be served by mobile networks. Therefore, increasing the capacity of mobile networks has become a vital issue. Heterogeneous networks (HetNets) have been considered as a promising paradigm for future mobile networks. Accordingly, the concept of small cell has been introduced in order to increase the capacity of the mobile networks. A femtocell network is a kind of small cell networks. Femtocells are deployed within macrocells coverage. Femtocells cover small areas and operate with low transmission power while providing high capacity. Also, UEs can be offloaded from macrocells to femtocells. Thus, the capacity can be increased. However, this will introduce different technical challenges. The interference has become one of the key challenges for deploying femtocells within a certain macrocells coverage. Undesirable impact of the interference can degrade the performance of the mobile networks. Therefore, radio resource management mechanisms are needed in order to address key challenges of deploying femtocells. The objective of this work is to introduce radio resource control approaches, which are used to increase mobile networks' capacity and alleviate undesirable impact of the interference. In addition, proposed radio resource control approaches ensure the coexistence between macrocell and femtocells based on LTE-Advanced environment. Firstly, a novel mechanism is proposed in order to address the interference challenge. The proposed approach mitigates the impact of interference based on controlling radio sub-channels' assignment and dynamically adjusting the transmission power. Secondly, a dynamic strategy is proposed for the FFR mechanism. In the FFR mechanism, the whole spectrum is divided into four fixed sub-channels and each ...
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Alotaibi, Sultan Radhi

Reading with Robots: A Platform to Promote Cognitive Exercise through Identification and Discussion of Creative Metaphor in Books

Description: Maintaining cognitive health is often a pressing concern for aging adults, and given the world's shifting age demographics, it is impractical to assume that older adults will be able to rely on individualized human support for doing so. Recently, interest has turned toward technology as an alternative. Companion robots offer an attractive vehicle for facilitating cognitive exercise, but the language technologies guiding their interactions are still nascent; in elder-focused human-robot systems proposed to date, interactions have been limited to motion or buttons and canned speech. The incapacity of these systems to autonomously participate in conversational discourse limits their ability to engage users at a cognitively meaningful level. I addressed this limitation by developing a platform for human-robot book discussions, designed to promote cognitive exercise by encouraging users to consider the authors' underlying intentions in employing creative metaphors. The choice of book discussions as the backdrop for these conversations has an empirical basis in neuro- and social science research that has found that reading often, even in late adulthood, has been correlated with a decreased likelihood to exhibit symptoms of cognitive decline. The more targeted focus on novel metaphors within those conversations stems from prior work showing that processing novel metaphors is a cognitively challenging task, for young adults and even more so in older adults with and without dementia. A central contribution arising from the work was the creation of the first computational method for modelling metaphor novelty in word pairs. I show that the method outperforms baseline strategies as well as a standard metaphor detection approach, and additionally discover that incorporating a sentence-based classifier as a preliminary filtering step when applying the model to new books results in a better final set of scored word pairs. I trained and evaluated my methods using new, large corpora from two sources, ...
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Parde, Natalie

Secure and Trusted Execution for Virtualization Workloads

Description: In this dissertation, we have analyzed various security and trustworthy solutions for modern computing systems and proposed a framework that will provide holistic security and trust for the entire lifecycle of a virtualized workload. The framework consists of 3 novel techniques and a set of guidelines. These 3 techniques provide necessary elements for secure and trusted execution environment while the guidelines ensure that the virtualized workload remains in a secure and trusted state throughout its lifecycle. We have successfully implemented and demonstrated that the framework provides security and trust guarantees at the time of launch, any time during the execution, and during an update of the virtualized workload. Given the proliferation of virtualization from cloud servers to embedded systems, techniques presented in this dissertation can be implemented on most computing systems.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Kotikela, Srujan D

Simulation of Dengue Outbreak in Thailand

Description: The dengue virus has become widespread worldwide in recent decades. It has no specific treatment and affects more than 40% of the entire population in the world. In Thailand, dengue has been a health concern for more than half a century. The highest number of cases in one year was 174,285 in 1987, leading to 1,007 deaths. In the present day, dengue is distributed throughout the entire country. Therefore, dengue has become a major challenge for public health in terms of both prevention and control of outbreaks. Different methodologies and ways of dealing with dengue outbreaks have been put forward by researchers. Computational models and simulations play an important role, as they have the ability to help researchers and officers in public health gain a greater understanding of the virus's epidemic activities. In this context, this dissertation presents a new framework, Modified Agent-Based Modeling (mABM), a hybrid platform between a mathematical model and a computational model, to simulate a dengue outbreak in human and mosquito populations. This framework improves on the realism of former models by utilizing the reported data from several Thai government organizations, such as the Thai Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), the National Statistical Office, and others. Additionally, its implementation takes into account the geography of Thailand, as well as synthetic mosquito and synthetic human populations. mABM can be used to represent human behavior in a large population across variant distances by specifying demographic factors and assigning mobility patterns for weekdays, weekends, and holidays for the synthetic human population. The mosquito dynamic population model (MDP), which is a component of the mABM framework, is used for representing the synthetic mosquito population dynamic and their ecology by integrating the regional model to capture the effect of dengue outbreak. The two synthetic populations can be linked to each other ...
Date: August 2018
Creator: Meesumrarn, Thiraphat

Accurate Joint Detection from Depth Videos towards Pose Analysis

Description: Joint detection is vital for characterizing human pose and serves as a foundation for a wide range of computer vision applications such as physical training, health care, entertainment. This dissertation proposed two methods to detect joints in the human body for pose analysis. The first method detects joints by combining body model and automatic feature points detection together. The human body model maps the detected extreme points to the corresponding body parts of the model and detects the position of implicit joints. The dominant joints are detected after implicit joints and extreme points are located by a shortest path based methods. The main contribution of this work is a hybrid framework to detect joints on the human body to achieve robustness to different body shapes or proportions, pose variations and occlusions. Another contribution of this work is the idea of using geodesic features of the human body to build a model for guiding the human pose detection and estimation. The second proposed method detects joints by segmenting human body into parts first and then detect joints by making the detection algorithm focusing on each limb. The advantage of applying body part segmentation first is that the body segmentation method narrows down the searching area for each joint so that the joint detection method can provide more stable and accurate results.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Kong, Longbo

Application-Specific Things Architectures for IoT-Based Smart Healthcare Solutions

Description: Human body is a complex system organized at different levels such as cells, tissues and organs, which contributes to 11 important organ systems. The functional efficiency of this complex system is evaluated as health. Traditional healthcare is unable to accommodate everyone's need due to the ever-increasing population and medical costs. With advancements in technology and medical research, traditional healthcare applications are shaping into smart healthcare solutions. Smart healthcare helps in continuously monitoring our body parameters, which helps in keeping people health-aware. It provides the ability for remote assistance, which helps in utilizing the available resources to maximum potential. The backbone of smart healthcare solutions is Internet of Things (IoT) which increases the computing capacity of the real-world components by using cloud-based solutions. The basic elements of these IoT based smart healthcare solutions are called "things." Things are simple sensors or actuators, which have the capacity to wirelessly connect with each other and to the internet. The research for this dissertation aims in developing architectures for these things, focusing on IoT-based smart healthcare solutions. The core for this dissertation is to contribute to the research in smart healthcare by identifying applications which can be monitored remotely. For this, application-specific thing architectures were proposed based on monitoring a specific body parameter; monitoring physical health for family and friends; and optimizing the power budget of IoT body sensor network using human body communications. The experimental results show promising scope towards improving the quality of life, through needle-less and cost-effective smart healthcare solutions.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Sundaravadivel, Prabha

Computational Approaches for Analyzing Social Support in Online Health Communities

Description: Online health communities (OHCs) have become a medium for patients to share their personal experiences and interact with peers on topics related to a disease, medication, side effects, and therapeutic processes. Many studies show that using OHCs regularly decreases mortality and improves patients mental health. As a result of their benefits, OHCs are a popular place for patients to refer to, especially patients with a severe disease, and to receive emotional and informational support. The main reasons for developing OHCs are to present valid and high-quality information and to understand the mechanism of social support in changing patients' mental health. Given the purpose of OHC moderators for developing OHCs applications and the purpose of patients for using OHCs, there is no facility, feature, or sub-application in OHCs to satisfy patient and moderator goals. OHCs are only equipped with a primary search engine that is a keyword-based search tool. In other words, if a patient wants to obtain information about a side-effect, he/she needs to browse many threads in the hope that he/she can find several related comments. In the same way, OHC moderators cannot browse all information which is exchanged among patients to validate their accuracy. Thus, it is critical for OHCs to be equipped with computational tools which are supported by several sophisticated computational models that provide moderators and patients with the collection of messages that they need for making decisions or predictions. We present multiple computational models to alleviate the problem of OHCs in providing specific types of messages in response to the specific moderator and patient needs. Specifically, we focused on proposing computational models for the following tasks: identifying emotional support, which presents OHCs moderators, psychologists, and sociologists with insightful views on the emotional states of individuals and groups, and identifying informational support, which provides patients with ...
Date: May 2018
Creator: Khan Pour, Hamed

Hybrid Approaches in Test Suite Prioritization

Description: The rapid advancement of web and mobile application technologies has recently posed numerous challenges to the Software Engineering community, including how to cost-effectively test applications that have complex event spaces. Many software testing techniques attempt to cost-effectively improve the quality of such software. This dissertation primarily focuses on that of hybrid test suite prioritization. The techniques utilize two or more criteria to perform test suite prioritization as it is often insufficient to use only a single criterion. The dissertation consists of the following contributions: (1) a weighted test suite prioritization technique that employs the distance between criteria as a weighting factor, (2) a coarse-to-fine grained test suite prioritization technique that uses a multilevel approach to increase the granularity of the criteria at each subsequent iteration, (3) the Caret-HM tool for Android user session-based testing that allows testers to record, replay, and create heat maps from user interactions with Android applications via a web browser, and (4) Android user session-based test suite prioritization techniques that utilize heuristics developed from user sessions created by Caret-HM. Each of the chapters empirically evaluate the respective techniques. The proposed techniques generally show improved or equally good performance when compared to the baselines, depending on an application under test. Further, this dissertation provides guidance to testers as it relates to the use of the proposed hybrid techniques.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Nurmuradov, Dmitriy

Validation and Evaluation of Emergency Response Plans through Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation

Description: Biological emergency response planning plays a critical role in protecting the public from possible devastating results of sudden disease outbreaks. These plans describe the distribution of medical countermeasures across a region using limited resources within a restricted time window. Thus, the ability to determine that such a plan will be feasible, i.e. successfully provide service to affected populations within the time limit, is crucial. Many of the current efforts to validate plans are in the form of live drills and training, but those may not test plan activation at the appropriate scale or with sufficient numbers of participants. Thus, this necessitates the use of computational resources to aid emergency managers and planners in developing and evaluating plans before they must be used. Current emergency response plan generation software packages such as RE-PLAN or RealOpt, provide rate-based validation analyses. However, these types of analysis may neglect details of real-world traffic dynamics. Therefore, this dissertation presents Validating Emergency Response Plan Execution Through Simulation (VERPETS), a novel, computational system for the agent-based simulation of biological emergency response plan activation. This system converts raw road network, population distribution, and emergency response plan data into a format suitable for simulation, and then performs these simulations using SUMO, or Simulations of Urban Mobility, to simulate realistic traffic dynamics. Additionally, high performance computing methodologies were utilized to decrease agent load on simulations and improve performance. Further strategies, such as use of agent scaling and a time limit on simulation execution, were also examined. Experimental results indicate that the time to plan completion, i.e. the time when all individuals of the population have received medication, determined by VERPETS aligned well with current alternate methodologies. It was determined that the dynamic of traffic congestion at the POD itself was one of the major factors affecting the completion time of ...
Date: May 2018
Creator: Helsing, Joseph

Analysis and Performance of a Cyber-Human System and Protocols for Geographically Separated Collaborators

Description: This dissertation provides an innovative mechanism to collaborate two geographically separated people on a physical task and a novel method to measure Complexity Index (CI) and calculate Minimal Complexity Index (MCI) of a collaboration protocol. The protocol is represented as a structure, and the information content of it is measured in bits to understand the complex nature of the protocol. Using the complexity metrics, one can analyze the performance of a collaborative system and a collaboration protocol. Security and privacy of the consumers are vital while seeking remote help; this dissertation also provides a novel authorization framework for dynamic access control of resources on an input-constrained appliance used for completing the physical task. Using the innovative Collaborative Appliance for REmote-help (CARE) and with the support of a remotely located expert, fifty-nine subjects with minimal or no prior mechanical knowledge are able to elevate a car for replacing a tire in an average time of six minutes and 53 seconds and with an average protocol complexity of 171.6 bits. Moreover, thirty subjects with minimal or no prior plumbing knowledge are able to change the cartridge of a faucet in an average time of ten minutes and with an average protocol complexity of 250.6 bits. Our experiments and results show that one can use the developed mechanism and methods for expanding the protocols for a variety of home, vehicle, and appliance repairs and installations.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Jonnada, Srikanth

Evaluation of Call Mobility on Network Productivity in Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A) Femtocells

Description: The demand for higher data rates for indoor and cell-edge users led to evolution of small cells. LTE femtocells, one of the small cell categories, are low-power low-cost mobile base stations, which are deployed within the coverage area of the traditional macro base station. The cross-tier and co-tier interferences occur only when the macrocell and femtocell share the same frequency channels. Open access (OSG), closed access (CSG), and hybrid access are the three existing access-control methods that decide users' connectivity to the femtocell access point (FAP). We define a network performance function, network productivity, to measure the traffic that is carried successfully. In this dissertation, we evaluate call mobility in LTE integrated network and determine optimized network productivity with variable call arrival rate in given LTE deployment with femtocell access modes (OSG, CSG, HYBRID) for a given call blocking vector. The solution to the optimization is maximum network productivity and call arrival rates for all cells. In the second scenario, we evaluate call mobility in LTE integrated network with increasing femtocells and maximize network productivity with variable femtocells distribution per macrocell with constant call arrival rate in uniform LTE deployment with femtocell access modes (OSG, CSG, HYBRID) for a given call blocking vector. The solution to the optimization is maximum network productivity and call arrival rates for all cells for network deployment where peak productivity is identified. We analyze the effects of call mobility on network productivity by simulating low, high, and no mobility scenarios and study the impact based on offered load, handover traffic and blocking probabilities. Finally, we evaluate and optimize performance of fractional frequency reuse (FFR) mechanism and study the impact of proposed metric weighted user satisfaction with sectorized FFR configuration.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Sawant, Uttara

Location Estimation and Geo-Correlated Information Trends

Description: A tremendous amount of information is being shared every day on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+. However, only a small portion of users provide their location information, which can be helpful in targeted advertising and many other services. Current methods in location estimation using social relationships consider social friendship as a simple binary relationship. However, social closeness between users and structure of friends have strong implications on geographic distances. In the first task, we introduce new measures to evaluate the social closeness between users and structure of friends. Then we propose models that use them for location estimation. Compared with the models which take the friend relation as a binary feature, social closeness can help identify which friend of a user is more important and friend structure can help to determine significance level of locations, thus improving the accuracy of the location estimation models. A confidence iteration method is further introduced to improve estimation accuracy and overcome the problem of scarce location information. We evaluate our methods on two different datasets, Twitter and Gowalla. The results show that our model can improve the estimation accuracy by 5% - 20% compared with state-of-the-art friend-based models. In the second task, we also propose a Local Event Discovery and Summarization (LEDS) framework to detect local events from Twitter. Many existing algorithms for event detection focus on larger-scale events and are not sensitive to smaller-scale local events. Most of the local events detected by these methods are major events like important sports, shows, or big natural disasters. In this work, we propose the LEDS framework to detect both bigger and smaller events. LEDS contains three key steps: 1) Detecting possible event related terms by monitoring abnormal distribution in different locations and times; 2) Clustering tweets based on their key terms, ...
Date: December 2017
Creator: Liu, Zhi

Online Construction of Android Application Test Suites

Description: Mobile applications play an important role in the dissemination of computing and information resources. They are often used in domains such as mobile banking, e-commerce, and health monitoring. Cost-effective testing techniques in these domains are critical. This dissertation contributes novel techniques for automatic construction of mobile application test suites. In particular, this work provides solutions that focus on the prohibitively large number of possible event sequences that must be sampled in GUI-based mobile applications. This work makes three major contributions: (1) an automated GUI testing tool, Autodroid, that implements a novel online approach to automatic construction of Android application test suites (2) probabilistic and combinatorial-based algorithms that systematically sample the input space of Android applications to generate test suites with GUI/context events and (3) empirical studies to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of our techniques on real-world Android applications. Our experiments show that our techniques achieve better code coverage and event coverage compared to random test generation. We demonstrate that our techniques are useful for automatic construction of Android application test suites in the absence of source code and preexisting abstract models of an Application Under Test (AUT). The insights derived from our empirical studies provide guidance to researchers and practitioners involved in the development of automated GUI testing tools for Android applications.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Adamo Jr., David T

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

Probabilistic Analysis of Contracting Ebola Virus Using Contextual Intelligence

Description: The outbreak of the Ebola virus was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Due to the complex nature of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had created interim guidance for monitoring people potentially exposed to Ebola and for evaluating their intended travel and restricting the movements of carriers when needed. Tools to evaluate the risk of individuals and groups of individuals contracting the disease could mitigate the growing anxiety and fear. The goal is to understand and analyze the nature of risk an individual would face when he/she comes in contact with a carrier. This thesis presents a tool that makes use of contextual data intelligence to predict the risk factor of individuals who come in contact with the carrier.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Gopala Krishnan, Arjun

Detection and Classification of Heart Sounds Using a Heart-Mobile Interface

Description: An early detection of heart disease can save lives, caution individuals and also help to determine the type of treatment to be given to the patients. The first test of diagnosing a heart disease is through auscultation - listening to the heart sounds. The interpretation of heart sounds is subjective and requires a professional skill to identify the abnormalities in these sounds. A medical practitioner uses a stethoscope to perform an initial screening by listening for irregular sounds from the patient's chest. Later, echocardiography and electrocardiography tests are taken for further diagnosis. However, these tests are expensive and require specialized technicians to operate. A simple and economical way is vital for monitoring in homecare or rural hospitals and urban clinics. This dissertation is focused on developing a patient-centered device for initial screening of the heart sounds that is both low cost and can be used by the users on themselves, and later share the readings with the healthcare providers. An innovative mobile health service platform is created for analyzing and classifying heart sounds. Certain properties of heart sounds have to be evaluated to identify the irregularities such as the number of heart beats and gallops, intensity, frequency, and duration. Since heart sounds are generated in low frequencies, human ears tend to miss certain sounds as the high frequency sounds mask the lower ones. Therefore, this dissertation provides a solution to process the heart sounds using several signal processing techniques, identifies the features in the heart sounds and finally classifies them. This dissertation enables remote patient monitoring through the integration of advanced wireless communications and a customized low-cost stethoscope. It also permits remote management of patients' cardiac status while maximizing patient mobility. The smartphone application facilities recording, processing, visualizing, listening, and classifying heart sounds. The application also generates an electronic medical ...
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Thiyagaraja, Shanti

Influence of Underlying Random Walk Types in Population Models on Resulting Social Network Types and Epidemiological Dynamics

Description: Epidemiologists rely on human interaction networks for determining states and dynamics of disease propagations in populations. However, such networks are empirical snapshots of the past. It will greatly benefit if human interaction networks are statistically predicted and dynamically created while an epidemic is in progress. We develop an application framework for the generation of human interaction networks and running epidemiological processes utilizing research on human mobility patterns and agent-based modeling. The interaction networks are dynamically constructed by incorporating different types of Random Walks and human rules of engagements. We explore the characteristics of the created network and compare them with the known theoretical and empirical graphs. The dependencies of epidemic dynamics and their outcomes on patterns and parameters of human motion and motives are encountered and presented through this research. This work specifically describes how the types and parameters of random walks define properties of generated graphs. We show that some configurations of the system of agents in random walk can produce network topologies with properties similar to small-world networks. Our goal is to find sets of mobility patterns that lead to empirical-like networks. The possibility of phase transitions in the graphs due to changes in the parameterization of agent walks is the focus of this research as this knowledge can lead to the possibility of disruptions to disease diffusions in populations. This research shall facilitate work of public health researchers to predict the magnitude of an epidemic and estimate resources required for mitigation.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Kolgushev, Oleg Mikhailovich

Infusing Automatic Question Generation with Natural Language Understanding

Description: Automatically generating questions from text for educational purposes is an active research area in natural language processing. The automatic question generation system accompanying this dissertation is MARGE, which is a recursive acronym for: MARGE automatically reads generates and evaluates. MARGE generates questions from both individual sentences and the passage as a whole, and is the first question generation system to successfully generate meaningful questions from textual units larger than a sentence. Prior work in automatic question generation from text treats a sentence as a string of constituents to be rearranged into as many questions as allowed by English grammar rules. Consequently, such systems overgenerate and create mainly trivial questions. Further, none of these systems to date has been able to automatically determine which questions are meaningful and which are trivial. This is because the research focus has been placed on NLG at the expense of NLU. In contrast, the work presented here infuses the questions generation process with natural language understanding. From the input text, MARGE creates a meaning analysis representation for each sentence in a passage via the DeconStructure algorithm presented in this work. Questions are generated from sentence meaning analysis representations using templates. The generated questions are automatically evaluated for question quality and importance via a ranking algorithm.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Mazidi, Karen

Real Time Assessment of a Video Game Player's State of Mind Using Off-the-Shelf Electroencephalography

Description: The focus of this research is on the development of a real time application that uses a low cost EEG headset to measure a player's state of mind while they play a video game. Using data collected using the Emotiv EPOC headset, various EEG processing techniques are tested to find ways of measuring a person's engagement and arousal levels. The ability to measure a person's engagement and arousal levels provide an opportunity to develop a model that monitor a person's flow while playing video games. Identifying when certain events occur, like when the player dies, will make it easier to identify when a player has left a state of flow. The real time application Brainwave captures data from the wireless Emotiv EPOC headset. Brainwave converts the raw EEG data into more meaningful brainwave band frequencies. Utilizing the brainwave frequencies the program trains multiple machine learning algorithms with data designed to identify when the player dies. Brainwave runs while the player plays through a video gaming monitoring their engagement and arousal levels for changes that cause the player to leave a state of flow. Brainwave reports to researchers and developers when the player dies along with the identification of the players exit of the state of flow.
Date: December 2016
Creator: McMahan, Timothy

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

New Frameworks for Secure Image Communication in the Internet of Things (IoT)

Description: The continuous expansion of technology, broadband connectivity and the wide range of new devices in the IoT cause serious concerns regarding privacy and security. In addition, in the IoT a key challenge is the storage and management of massive data streams. For example, there is always the demand for acceptable size with the highest quality possible for images to meet the rapidly increasing number of multimedia applications. The effort in this dissertation contributes to the resolution of concerns related to the security and compression functions in image communications in the Internet of Thing (IoT), due to the fast of evolution of IoT. This dissertation proposes frameworks for a secure digital camera in the IoT. The objectives of this dissertation are twofold. On the one hand, the proposed framework architecture offers a double-layer of protection: encryption and watermarking that will address all issues related to security, privacy, and digital rights management (DRM) by applying a hardware architecture of the state-of-the-art image compression technique Better Portable Graphics (BPG), which achieves high compression ratio with small size. On the other hand, the proposed framework of SBPG is integrated with the Digital Camera. Thus, the proposed framework of SBPG integrated with SDC is suitable for high performance imaging in the IoT, such as Intelligent Traffic Surveillance (ITS) and Telemedicine. Due to power consumption, which has become a major concern in any portable application, a low-power design of SBPG is proposed to achieve an energy- efficient SBPG design. As the visual quality of the watermarked and compressed images improves with larger values of PSNR, the results show that the proposed SBPG substantially increases the quality of the watermarked compressed images. Higher value of PSNR also shows how robust the algorithm is to different types of attack. From the results obtained for the energy- efficient SBPG ...
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Albalawi, Umar Abdalah S