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Toward a Data-Type-Based Real Time Geospatial Data Stream Management System
The advent of sensory and communication technologies enables the generation and consumption of large volumes of streaming data. Many of these data streams are geo-referenced. Existing spatio-temporal databases and data stream management systems are not capable of handling real time queries on spatial extents. In this thesis, we investigated several fundamental research issues toward building a data-type-based real time geospatial data stream management system. The thesis makes contributions in the following areas: geo-stream data models, aggregation, window-based nearest neighbor operators, and query optimization strategies. The proposed geo-stream data model is based on second-order logic and multi-typed algebra. Both abstract and discrete data models are proposed and exemplified. I further propose two useful geo-stream operators, namely Region By and WNN, which abstract common aggregation and nearest neighbor queries as generalized data model constructs. Finally, I propose three query optimization algorithms based on spatial, temporal, and spatio-temporal constraints of geo-streams. I show the effectiveness of the data model through many query examples. The effectiveness and the efficiency of the algorithms are validated through extensive experiments on both synthetic and real data sets. This work established the fundamental building blocks toward a full-fledged geo-stream database management system and has potential impact in many applications such as hazard weather alerting and monitoring, traffic analysis, and environmental modeling.
A Wireless Traffic Surveillance System Using Video Analytics
Video surveillance systems have been commonly used in transportation systems to support traffic monitoring, speed estimation, and incident detection. However, there are several challenges in developing and deploying such systems, including high development and maintenance costs, bandwidth bottleneck for long range link, and lack of advanced analytics. In this thesis, I leverage current wireless, video camera, and analytics technologies, and present a wireless traffic monitoring system. I first present an overview of the system. Then I describe the site investigation and several test links with different hardware/software configurations to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system. The system development process was documented to provide guidelines for future development. Furthermore, I propose a novel speed-estimation analytics algorithm that takes into consideration roads with slope angles. I prove the correctness of the algorithm theoretically, and validate the effectiveness of the algorithm experimentally. The experimental results on both synthetic and real dataset show that the algorithm is more accurate than the baseline algorithm 80% of the time. On average the accuracy improvement of speed estimation is over 3.7% even for very small slope angles.
Physical-Layer Network Coding for MIMO Systems
The future wireless communication systems are required to meet the growing demands of reliability, bandwidth capacity, and mobility. However, as corruptions such as fading effects, thermal noise, are present in the channel, the occurrence of errors is unavoidable. Motivated by this, the work in this dissertation attempts to improve the system performance by way of exploiting schemes which statistically reduce the error rate, and in turn boost the system throughput. The network can be studied using a simplified model, the two-way relay channel, where two parties exchange messages via the assistance of a relay in between. In such scenarios, this dissertation performs theoretical analysis of the system, and derives closed-form and upper bound expressions of the error probability. These theoretical measurements are potentially helpful references for the practical system design. Additionally, several novel transmission methods including block relaying, permutation modulations for the physical-layer network coding, are proposed and discussed. Numerical simulation results are presented to support the validity of the conclusions.
Exploring Privacy in Location-based Services Using Cryptographic Protocols
Location-based services (LBS) are available on a variety of mobile platforms like cell phones, PDA's, etc. and an increasing number of users subscribe to and use these services. Two of the popular models of information flow in LBS are the client-server model and the peer-to-peer model, in both of which, existing approaches do not always provide privacy for all parties concerned. In this work, I study the feasibility of applying cryptographic protocols to design privacy-preserving solutions for LBS from an experimental and theoretical standpoint. In the client-server model, I construct a two-phase framework for processing nearest neighbor queries using combinations of cryptographic protocols such as oblivious transfer and private information retrieval. In the peer-to-peer model, I present privacy preserving solutions for processing group nearest neighbor queries in the semi-honest and dishonest adversarial models. I apply concepts from secure multi-party computation to realize our constructions and also leverage the capabilities of trusted computing technology, specifically TPM chips. My solution for the dishonest adversarial model is also of independent cryptographic interest. I prove my constructions secure under standard cryptographic assumptions and design experiments for testing the feasibility or practicability of our constructions and benchmark key operations. My experiments show that the proposed constructions are practical to implement and have reasonable costs, while providing strong privacy assurances.
Performance Analysis of Wireless Networks with QoS Adaptations
The explosive demand for multimedia and fast transmission of continuous media on wireless networks means the simultaneous existence of traffic requiring different qualities of service (QoS). In this thesis, several efficient algorithms have been developed which offer several QoS to the end-user. We first look at a request TDMA/CDMA protocol for supporting wireless multimedia traffic, where CDMA is laid over TDMA. Then we look at a hybrid push-pull algorithm for wireless networks, and present a generalized performance analysis of the proposed protocol. Some of the QoS factors considered include customer retrial rates due to user impatience and system timeouts and different levels of priority and weights for mobile hosts. We have also looked at how customer impatience and system timeouts affect the QoS provided by several queuing and scheduling schemes such as FIFO, priority, weighted fair queuing, and the application of the stretch-optimal algorithm to scheduling.
Anchor Nodes Placement for Effective Passive Localization
Wireless sensor networks are composed of sensor nodes, which can monitor an environment and observe events of interest. These networks are applied in various fields including but not limited to environmental, industrial and habitat monitoring. In many applications, the exact location of the sensor nodes is unknown after deployment. Localization is a process used to find sensor node's positional coordinates, which is vital information. The localization is generally assisted by anchor nodes that are also sensor nodes but with known locations. Anchor nodes generally are expensive and need to be optimally placed for effective localization. Passive localization is one of the localization techniques where the sensor nodes silently listen to the global events like thunder sounds, seismic waves, lighting, etc. According to previous studies, the ideal location to place anchor nodes was on the perimeter of the sensor network. This may not be the case in passive localization, since the function of anchor nodes here is different than the anchor nodes used in other localization systems. I do extensive studies on positioning anchor nodes for effective localization. Several simulations are run in dense and sparse networks for proper positioning of anchor nodes. I show that, for effective passive localization, the optimal placement of the anchor nodes is at the center of the network in such a way that no three anchor nodes share linearity. The more the non-linearity, the better the localization. The localization for our network design proves better when I place anchor nodes at right angles.
Measuring Vital Signs Using Smart Phones
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 ...
Non-Uniform Grid-Based Coordinated Routing in Wireless Sensor Networks
Wireless sensor networks are ad hoc networks of tiny battery powered sensor nodes that can organize themselves to form self-organized networks and collect information regarding temperature, light, and pressure in an area. Though the applications of sensor networks are very promising, sensor nodes are limited in their capability due to many factors. The main limitation of these battery powered nodes is energy. Sensor networks are expected to work for long periods of time once deployed and it becomes important to conserve the battery life of the nodes to extend network lifetime. This work examines non-uniform grid-based routing protocol as an effort to minimize energy consumption in the network and extend network lifetime. The entire test area is divided into non-uniformly shaped grids. Fixed source and sink nodes with unlimited energy are placed in the network. Sensor nodes with full battery life are deployed uniformly and randomly in the field. The source node floods the network with only the coordinator node active in each grid and the other nodes sleeping. The sink node traces the same route back to the source node through the same coordinators. This process continues till a coordinator node runs out of energy, when new coordinator nodes are elected to participate in routing. Thus the network stays alive till the link between the source and sink nodes is lost, i.e., the network is partitioned. This work explores the efficiency of the non-uniform grid-based routing protocol for different node densities and the non-uniform grid structure that best extends network lifetime.
Effective and Accelerated Informative Frame Filtering in Colonoscopy Videos Using Graphic Processing Units
Colonoscopy is an endoscopic technique that allows a physician to inspect the mucosa of the human colon. Previous methods and software solutions to detect informative frames in a colonoscopy video (a process called informative frame filtering or IFF) have been hugely ineffective in (1) covering the proper definition of an informative frame in the broadest sense and (2) striking an optimal balance between accuracy and speed of classification in both real-time and non real-time medical procedures. In my thesis, I propose a more effective method and faster software solutions for IFF which is more effective due to the introduction of a heuristic algorithm (derived from experimental analysis of typical colon features) for classification. It contributed to a 5-10% boost in various performance metrics for IFF. The software modules are faster due to the incorporation of sophisticated parallel-processing oriented coding techniques on modern microprocessors. Two IFF modules were created, one for post-procedure and the other for real-time. Code optimizations through NVIDIA CUDA for GPU processing and/or CPU multi-threading concepts embedded in two significant microprocessor design philosophies (multi-core design and many-core design) resulted a 5-fold acceleration for the post-procedure module and a 40-fold acceleration for the real-time module. Some innovative software modules, which are still in testing phase, have been recently created to exploit the power of multiple GPUs together.
Models to Combat Email Spam Botnets and Unwanted Phone Calls
With the amount of email spam received these days it is hard to imagine that spammers act individually. Nowadays, most of the spam emails have been sent from a collection of compromised machines controlled by some spammers. These compromised computers are often called bots, using which the spammers can send massive volume of spam within a short period of time. The motivation of this work is to understand and analyze the behavior of spammers through a large collection of spam mails. My research examined a the data set collected over a 2.5-year period and developed an algorithm which would give the botnet features and then classify them into various groups. Principal component analysis was used to study the association patterns of group of spammers and the individual behavior of a spammer in a given domain. This is based on the features which capture maximum variance of information we have clustered. Presence information is a growing tool towards more efficient communication and providing new services and features within a business setting and much more. The main contribution in my thesis is to propose the willingness estimator that can estimate the callee's willingness without his/her involvement, the model estimates willingness level based on call history. Finally, the accuracy of the proposed willingness estimator is validated with the actual call logs.
General Nathan Twining and the Fifteenth Air Force in World War II
General Nathan F. Twining distinguished himself in leading the American Fifteenth Air Force during the last full year of World War II in the European Theatre. Drawing on the leadership qualities he had already shown in combat in the Pacific Theatre, he was the only USAAF leader who commanded three separate air forces during World War II. His command of the Fifteenth Air Force gave him his biggest, longest lasting, and most challenging experience of the war, which would be the foundation for the reputation that eventually would win him appointment to the nation's highest military post as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Cold War.
Optimal Access Point Selection and Channel Assignment in IEEE 802.11 Networks
Designing 802.11 wireless networks includes two major components: selection of access points (APs) in the demand areas and assignment of radio frequencies to each AP. Coverage and capacity are some key issues when placing APs in a demand area. APs need to cover all users. A user is considered covered if the power received from its corresponding AP is greater than a given threshold. Moreover, from a capacity standpoint, APs need to provide certain minimum bandwidth to users located in the coverage area. A major challenge in designing wireless networks is the frequency assignment problem. The 802.11 wireless LANs operate in the unlicensed ISM frequency, and all APs share the same frequency. As a result, as 802.11 APs become widely deployed, they start to interfere with each other and degrade network throughput. In consequence, efficient assignment of channels becomes necessary to avoid and minimize interference. In this work, an optimal AP selection was developed by balancing traffic load. An optimization problem was formulated that minimizes heavy congestion. As a result, APs in wireless LANs will have well distributed traffic loads, which maximize the throughput of the network. The channel assignment algorithm was designed by minimizing channel interference between APs. The optimization algorithm assigns channels in such a way that minimizes co-channel and adjacent channel interference resulting in higher throughput.
Exploring Trusted Platform Module Capabilities: A Theoretical and Experimental Study
Trusted platform modules (TPMs) are hardware modules that are bound to a computer's motherboard, that are being included in many desktops and laptops. Augmenting computers with these hardware modules adds powerful functionality in distributed settings, allowing us to reason about the security of these systems in new ways. In this dissertation, I study the functionality of TPMs from a theoretical as well as an experimental perspective. On the theoretical front, I leverage various features of TPMs to construct applications like random oracles that are impossible to implement in a standard model of computation. Apart from random oracles, I construct a new cryptographic primitive which is basically a non-interactive form of the standard cryptographic primitive of oblivious transfer. I apply this new primitive to secure mobile agent computations, where interaction between various entities is typically required to ensure security. I prove these constructions are secure using standard cryptographic techniques and assumptions. To test the practicability of these constructions and their applications, I performed an experimental study, both on an actual TPM and a software TPM simulator which has been enhanced to make it reflect timings from a real TPM. This allowed me to benchmark the performance of the applications and test the feasibility of the proposed extensions to standard TPMs. My tests also show that these constructions are practical.
General Purpose Programming on Modern Graphics Hardware
I start with a brief introduction to the graphics processing unit (GPU) as well as general-purpose computation on modern graphics hardware (GPGPU). Next, I explore the motivations for GPGPU programming, and the capabilities of modern GPUs (including advantages and disadvantages). Also, I give the background required for further exploring GPU programming, including the terminology used and the resources available. Finally, I include a comprehensive survey of previous and current GPGPU work, and end with a look at the future of GPU programming.
Keywords in the mist: Automated keyword extraction for very large documents and back of the book indexing.
This research addresses the problem of automatic keyphrase extraction from large documents and back of the book indexing. The potential benefits of automating this process are far reaching, from improving information retrieval in digital libraries, to saving countless man-hours by helping professional indexers creating back of the book indexes. The dissertation introduces a new methodology to evaluate automated systems, which allows for a detailed, comparative analysis of several techniques for keyphrase extraction. We introduce and evaluate both supervised and unsupervised techniques, designed to balance the resource requirements of an automated system and the best achievable performance. Additionally, a number of novel features are proposed, including a statistical informativeness measure based on chi statistics; an encyclopedic feature that taps into the vast knowledge base of Wikipedia to establish the likelihood of a phrase referring to an informative concept; and a linguistic feature based on sophisticated semantic analysis of the text using current theories of discourse comprehension. The resulting keyphrase extraction system is shown to outperform the current state of the art in supervised keyphrase extraction by a large margin. Moreover, a fully automated back of the book indexing system based on the keyphrase extraction system was shown to lead to back of the book indexes closely resembling those created by human experts.
A Netcentric Scientific Research Repository
The Internet and networks in general have become essential tools for disseminating in-formation. Search engines have become the predominant means of finding information on the Web and all other data repositories, including local resources. Domain scientists regularly acquire and analyze images generated by equipment such as microscopes and cameras, resulting in complex image files that need to be managed in a convenient manner. This type of integrated environment has been recently termed a netcentric sci-entific research repository. I developed a number of data manipulation tools that allow researchers to manage their information more effectively in a netcentric environment. The specific contributions are: (1) A unique interface for management of data including files and relational databases. A wrapper for relational databases was developed so that the data can be indexed and searched using traditional search engines. This approach allows data in databases to be searched with the same interface as other data. Fur-thermore, this approach makes it easier for scientists to work with their data if they are not familiar with SQL. (2) A Web services based architecture for integrating analysis op-erations into a repository. This technique allows the system to leverage the large num-ber of existing tools by wrapping them with a Web service and registering the service with the repository. Metadata associated with Web services was enhanced to allow this feature to be included. In addition, an improved binary to text encoding scheme was de-veloped to reduce the size overhead for sending large scientific data files via XML mes-sages used in Web services. (3) Integrated image analysis operations with SQL. This technique allows for images to be stored and managed conveniently in a relational da-tabase. SQL supplemented with map algebra operations is used to select and perform operations on sets of images.
Mobile agent security through multi-agent cryptographic protocols.
An increasingly promising and widespread topic of research in distributed computing is the mobile agent paradigm: code travelling and performing computations on remote hosts in an autonomous manner. One of the biggest challenges faced by this new paradigm is security. The issue of protecting sensitive code and data carried by a mobile agent against tampering from a malicious host is particularly hard but important. Based on secure multi-party computation, a recent research direction shows the feasibility of a software-only solution to this problem, which had been deemed impossible by some researchers previously. The best result prior to this dissertation is a single-agent protocol which requires the participation of a trusted third party. Our research employs multi-agent protocols to eliminate the trusted third party, resulting in a protocol with minimum trust assumptions. This dissertation presents one of the first formal definitions of secure mobile agent computation, in which the privacy and integrity of the agent code and data as well as the data provided by the host are all protected. We present secure protocols for mobile agent computation against static, semi-honest or malicious adversaries without relying on any third party or trusting any specific participant in the system. The security of our protocols is formally proven through standard proof technique and according to our formal definition of security. Our second result is a more practical agent protocol with strong security against most real-world host attacks. The security features are carefully analyzed, and the practicality is demonstrated through implementation and experimental study on a real-world mobile agent platform. All these protocols rely heavily on well-established cryptographic primitives, such as encrypted circuits, threshold decryption, and oblivious transfer. Our study of these tools yields new contributions to the general field of cryptography. Particularly, we correct a well-known construction of the encrypted circuit and give ...
Evaluating the Scalability of SDF Single-chip Multiprocessor Architecture Using Automatically Parallelizing Code
Advances in integrated circuit technology continue to provide more and more transistors on a chip. Computer architects are faced with the challenge of finding the best way to translate these resources into high performance. The challenge in the design of next generation CPU (central processing unit) lies not on trying to use up the silicon area, but on finding smart ways to make use of the wealth of transistors now available. In addition, the next generation architecture should offer high throughout performance, scalability, modularity, and low energy consumption, instead of an architecture that is suitable for only one class of applications or users, or only emphasize faster clock rate. A program exhibits different types of parallelism: instruction level parallelism (ILP), thread level parallelism (TLP), or data level parallelism (DLP). Likewise, architectures can be designed to exploit one or more of these types of parallelism. It is generally not possible to design architectures that can take advantage of all three types of parallelism without using very complex hardware structures and complex compiler optimizations. We present the state-of-art architecture SDF (scheduled data flowed) which explores the TLP parallelism as much as that is supplied by that application. We implement a SDF single-chip multiprocessor constructed from simpler processors and execute the automatically parallelizing application on the single-chip multiprocessor. SDF has many desirable features such as high throughput, scalability, and low power consumption, which meet the requirements of the next generation of CPU design. Compared with superscalar, VLIW (very long instruction word), and SMT (simultaneous multithreading), the experiment results show that for application with very little parallelism SDF is comparable to other architectures, for applications with large amounts of parallelism SDF outperforms other architectures.
Intelligent Memory Manager: Towards improving the locality behavior of allocation-intensive applications.
Dynamic memory management required by allocation-intensive (i.e., Object Oriented and linked data structured) applications has led to a large number of research trends. Memory performance due to the cache misses in these applications continues to lag in terms of execution cycles as ever increasing CPU-Memory speed gap continues to grow. Sophisticated prefetcing techniques, data relocations, and multithreaded architectures have tried to address memory latency. These techniques are not completely successful since they require either extra hardware/software in the system or special properties in the applications. Software needed for prefetching and data relocation strategies, aimed to improve cache performance, pollutes the cache so that the technique itself becomes counter-productive. On the other hand, extra hardware complexity needed in multithreaded architectures decelerates CPU's clock, since "Simpler is Faster." This dissertation, directed to seek the cause of poor locality behavior of allocation--intensive applications, studies allocators and their impact on the cache performance of these applications. Our study concludes that service functions, in general, and memory management functions, in particular, entangle with application's code and become the major cause of cache pollution. In this dissertation, we present a novel technique that transfers the allocation and de-allocation functions entirely to a separate processor residing in chip with DRAM (Intelligent Memory Manager). Our empirical results show that, on average, 60% of the cache misses caused by allocation and de-allocation service functions are eliminated using our technique.
Graph-Based Keyphrase Extraction Using Wikipedia
Keyphrases describe a document in a coherent and simple way, giving the prospective reader a way to quickly determine whether the document satisfies their information needs. The pervasion of huge amount of information on Web, with only a small amount of documents have keyphrases extracted, there is a definite need to discover automatic keyphrase extraction systems. Typically, a document written by human develops around one or more general concepts or sub-concepts. These concepts or sub-concepts should be structured and semantically related with each other, so that they can form the meaningful representation of a document. Considering the fact, the phrases or concepts in a document are related to each other, a new approach for keyphrase extraction is introduced that exploits the semantic relations in the document. For measuring the semantic relations between concepts or sub-concepts in the document, I present a comprehensive study aimed at using collaboratively constructed semantic resources like Wikipedia and its link structure. In particular, I introduce a graph-based keyphrase extraction system that exploits the semantic relations in the document and features such as term frequency. I evaluated the proposed system using novel measures and the results obtained compare favorably with previously published results on established benchmarks.
Exploring Process-Variation Tolerant Design of Nanoscale Sense Amplifier Circuits
Sense amplifiers are important circuit components of a dynamic random access memory (DRAM), which forms the main memory of digital computers. The ability of the sense amplifier to detect and amplify voltage signals to correctly interpret data in DRAM cells cannot be understated. The sense amplifier plays a significant role in the overall speed of the DRAM. Sense amplifiers require matched transistors for optimal performance. Hence, the effects of mismatch through process variations must be minimized. This thesis presents a research which leads to optimal nanoscale CMOS sense amplifiers by incorporating the effects of process variation early in the design process. The effects of process variation on the performance of a standard voltage sense amplifier, which is used in conventional DRAMs, is studied. Parametric analysis is performed through circuit simulations to investigate which parameters have the most impact on the performance of the sense amplifier. The figures-of-merit (FoMs) used to characterize the circuit are the precharge time, power dissipation, sense delay and sense margin. Statistical analysis is also performed to study the impact of process variations on each FoM. By analyzing the results from the statistical study, a method is presented to select parameter values that minimize the effects of process variation. A design flow algorithm incorporating dual oxide and dual threshold voltage based techniques is used to optimize the FoMs for the sense amplifier. Experimental results prove that the proposed approach improves precharge time by 83.9%, sense delay by 80.2% sense margin by 61.9%, and power dissipation by 13.1%.
Process-Voltage-Temperature Aware Nanoscale Circuit Optimization
Embedded systems which are targeted towards portable applications are required to have low power consumption because such portable devices are typically powered by batteries. During the memory accesses of such battery operated portable systems, including laptops, cell phones and other devices, a significant amount of power or energy is consumed which significantly affects the battery life. Therefore, efficient and leakage power saving cache designs are needed for longer operation of battery powered applications. Design engineers have limited control over many design parameters of the circuit and hence face many chal-lenges due to inherent process technology variations, particularly on static random access memory (SRAM) circuit design. As CMOS process technologies scale down deeper into the nanometer regime, the push for high performance and reliable systems becomes even more challenging. As a result, developing low-power designs while maintaining better performance of the circuit becomes a very difficult task. Furthermore, a major need for accurate analysis and optimization of various forms of total power dissipation and performance in nanoscale CMOS technologies, particularly in SRAMs, is another critical issue to be considered. This dissertation proposes power-leakage and static noise margin (SNM) analysis and methodologies to achieve optimized static random access memories (SRAMs). Alternate topologies of SRAMs, mainly a 7-transistor SRAM, are taken as a case study throughout this dissertation. The optimized cache designs are process-voltage-temperature (PVT) tolerant and consider individual cells as well as memory arrays.
CMOS Active Pixel Sensors for Digital Cameras: Current State-of-the-Art
Image sensors play a vital role in many image sensing and capture applications. Among the various types of image sensors, complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) based active pixel sensors (APS), which are characterized by reduced pixel size, give fast readouts and reduced noise. APS are used in many applications such as mobile cameras, digital cameras, Webcams, and many consumer, commercial and scientific applications. With these developments and applications, CMOS APS designs are challenging the old and mature technology of charged couple device (CCD) sensors. With the continuous improvements of APS architecture, pixel designs, along with the development of nanometer CMOS fabrications technologies, APS are optimized for optical sensing. In addition, APS offers very low-power and low-voltage operations and is suitable for monolithic integration, thus allowing manufacturers to integrate more functionality on the array and building low-cost camera-on-a-chip. In this thesis, I explore the current state-of-the-art of CMOS APS by examining various types of APS. I show design and simulation results of one of the most commonly used APS in consumer applications, i.e. photodiode based APS. We also present an approach for technology scaling of the devices in photodiode APS to present CMOS technologies. Finally, I present the most modern CMOS APS technologies by reviewing different design models. The design of the photodiode APS is implemented using commercial CAD tools.
A nano-CMOS based universal voltage level converter for multi-VDD SoCs.
Power dissipation of integrated circuits is the most demanding issue for very large scale integration (VLSI) design engineers, especially for portable and mobile applications. Use of multiple supply voltages systems, which employs level converter between two voltage islands is one of the most effective ways to reduce power consumption. In this thesis work, a unique level converter known as universal level converter (ULC), capable of four distinct level converting operations, is proposed. The schematic and layout of ULC are built and simulated using CADENCE. The ULC is characterized by performing three analysis such as parametric, power, and load analysis which prove that the design has an average power consumption reduction of about 85-97% and capable of producing stable output at low voltages like 0.45V even under varying load conditions.
VLSI Architecture and FPGA Prototyping of a Secure Digital Camera for Biometric Application
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.
Resource Management in Wireless Networks
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.
Group-EDF: A New Approach and an Efficient Non-Preemptive Algorithm for Soft Real-Time Systems
Hard real-time systems in robotics, space and military missions, and control devices are specified with stringent and critical time constraints. On the other hand, soft real-time applications arising from multimedia, telecommunications, Internet web services, and games are specified with more lenient constraints. Real-time systems can also be distinguished in terms of their implementation into preemptive and non-preemptive systems. In preemptive systems, tasks are often preempted by higher priority tasks. Non-preemptive systems are gaining interest for implementing soft-real applications on multithreaded platforms. In this dissertation, I propose a new algorithm that uses a two-level scheduling strategy for scheduling non-preemptive soft real-time tasks. Our goal is to improve the success ratios of the well-known earliest deadline first (EDF) approach when the load on the system is very high and to improve the overall performance in both underloaded and overloaded conditions. Our approach, known as group-EDF (gEDF), is based on dynamic grouping of tasks with deadlines that are very close to each other, and using a shortest job first (SJF) technique to schedule tasks within the group. I believe that grouping tasks dynamically with similar deadlines and utilizing secondary criteria, such as minimizing the total execution time can lead to new and more efficient real-time scheduling algorithms. I present results comparing gEDF with other real-time algorithms including, EDF, best-effort, and guarantee scheme, by using randomly generated tasks with varying execution times, release times, deadlines and tolerances to missing deadlines, under varying workloads. Furthermore, I implemented the gEDF algorithm in the Linux kernel and evaluated gEDF for scheduling real applications.
Design and Optimization of Components in a 45nm CMOS Phase Locked Loop
A novel scheme of optimizing the individual components of a phase locked loop (PLL) which is used for stable clock generation and synchronization of signals is considered in this work. Verilog-A is used for the high level system design of the main components of the PLL, followed by the individual component wise optimization. The design of experiments (DOE) approach to optimize the analog, 45nm voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) is presented. Also a mixed signal analysis using the analog and digital Verilog behavior of components is studied. Overall a high level system design of a PLL, a systematic optimization of each of its components, and an analog and mixed signal behavioral design approach have been implemented using cadence custom IC design tools.
Modeling Infectious Disease Spread Using Global Stochastic Field Simulation
Susceptibles-infectives-removals (SIR) and its derivatives are the classic mathematical models for the study of infectious diseases in epidemiology. In order to model and simulate epidemics of an infectious disease, a global stochastic field simulation paradigm (GSFS) is proposed, which incorporates geographic and demographic based interactions. The interaction measure between regions is a function of population density and geographical distance, and has been extended to include demographic and migratory constraints. The progression of diseases using GSFS is analyzed, and similar behavior to the SIR model is exhibited by GSFS, using the geographic information systems (GIS) gravity model for interactions. The limitations of the SIR and similar models of homogeneous population with uniform mixing are addressed by the GSFS model. The GSFS model is oriented to heterogeneous population, and can incorporate interactions based on geography, demography, environment and migration patterns. The progression of diseases can be modeled at higher levels of fidelity using the GSFS model, and facilitates optimal deployment of public health resources for prevention, control and surveillance of infectious diseases.
Bayesian Probabilistic Reasoning Applied to Mathematical Epidemiology for Predictive Spatiotemporal Analysis of Infectious Diseases
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, ...
An Integrated Architecture for Ad Hoc Grids
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.
Joint Schemes for Physical Layer Security and Error Correction
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.
Measuring Semantic Relatedness Using Salient Encyclopedic Concepts
While pragmatics, through its integration of situational awareness and real world relevant knowledge, offers a high level of analysis that is suitable for real interpretation of natural dialogue, semantics, on the other end, represents a lower yet more tractable and affordable linguistic level of analysis using current technologies. Generally, the understanding of semantic meaning in literature has revolved around the famous quote ``You shall know a word by the company it keeps''. In this thesis we investigate the role of context constituents in decoding the semantic meaning of the engulfing context; specifically we probe the role of salient concepts, defined as content-bearing expressions which afford encyclopedic definitions, as a suitable source of semantic clues to an unambiguous interpretation of context. Furthermore, we integrate this world knowledge in building a new and robust unsupervised semantic model and apply it to entail semantic relatedness between textual pairs, whether they are words, sentences or paragraphs. Moreover, we explore the abstraction of semantics across languages and utilize our findings into building a novel multi-lingual semantic relatedness model exploiting information acquired from various languages. We demonstrate the effectiveness and the superiority of our mono-lingual and multi-lingual models through a comprehensive set of evaluations on specialized synthetic datasets for semantic relatedness as well as real world applications such as paraphrase detection and short answer grading. Our work represents a novel approach to integrate world-knowledge into current semantic models and a means to cross the language boundary for a better and more robust semantic relatedness representation, thus opening the door for an improved abstraction of meaning that carries the potential of ultimately imparting understanding of natural language to machines.
Scene Analysis Using Scale Invariant Feature Extraction and Probabilistic Modeling
Conventional pattern recognition systems have two components: feature analysis and pattern classification. For any object in an image, features could be considered as the major characteristic of the object either for object recognition or object tracking purpose. Features extracted from a training image, can be used to identify the object when attempting to locate the object in a test image containing many other objects. To perform reliable scene analysis, it is important that the features extracted from the training image are detectable even under changes in image scale, noise and illumination. Scale invariant feature has wide applications such as image classification, object recognition and object tracking in the image processing area. In this thesis, color feature and SIFT (scale invariant feature transform) are considered to be scale invariant feature. The classification, recognition and tracking result were evaluated with novel evaluation criterion and compared with some existing methods. I also studied different types of scale invariant feature for the purpose of solving scene analysis problems. I propose probabilistic models as the foundation of analysis scene scenario of images. In order to differential the content of image, I develop novel algorithms for the adaptive combination for multiple features extracted from images. I demonstrate the performance of the developed algorithm on several scene analysis tasks, including object tracking, video stabilization, medical video segmentation and scene classification.
An Empirical Evaluation of Communication and Coordination Effectiveness in Autonomous Reactive Multiagent Systems
This thesis describes experiments designed to measure the effect of collaborative communication on task performance of a multiagent system. A discrete event simulation was developed to model a multi-agent system completing a task to find and collect food resources, with the ability to substitute various communication and coordination methods. Experiments were conducted to find the effects of the various communication methods on completion of the task to find and harvest the food resources. Results show that communication decreases the time required to complete the task. However, all communication methods do not fare equally well. In particular, results indicate that the communication model of the bee is a particularly effective method of agent communication and collaboration. Furthermore, results indicate that direct communication with additional information content provides better completion results. Cost-benefit models show some conflicting information, indicating that the increased performance may not offset the additional cost of achieving that performance.
Investigating the Extractive Summarization of Literary Novels
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.
The enhancement of machine translation for low-density languages using Web-gathered parallel texts.
The majority of the world's languages are poorly represented in informational media like radio, television, newspapers, and the Internet. Translation into and out of these languages may offer a way for speakers of these languages to interact with the wider world, but current statistical machine translation models are only effective with a large corpus of parallel texts - texts in two languages that are translations of one another - which most languages lack. This thesis describes the Babylon project which attempts to alleviate this shortage by supplementing existing parallel texts with texts gathered automatically from the Web -- specifically targeting pages that contain text in a pair of languages. Results indicate that parallel texts gathered from the Web can be effectively used as a source of training data for machine translation and can significantly improve the translation quality for text in a similar domain. However, the small quantity of high-quality low-density language parallel texts on the Web remains a significant obstacle.
Procedural content creation and technologies for 3D graphics applications and games.
The recent transformation of consumer graphics (CG) cards into powerful 3D rendering processors is due in large measure to the success of game developers in delivering mass market entertainment software that feature highly immersive and captivating virtual environments. Despite this success, 3D CG application development is becoming increasingly handicapped by the inability of traditional content creation methods to keep up with the demand for content. The term content is used here to refer to any data operated on by application code that is meant for viewing, including 3D models, textures, animation sequences and maps or other data-intensive descriptions of virtual environments. Traditionally, content has been handcrafted by humans. A serious problem facing the interactive graphics software development community is how to increase the rate at which content can be produced to keep up with the increasingly rapid pace at which software for interactive applications can now be developed. Research addressing this problem centers around procedural content creation systems. By moving away from purely human content creation toward systems in which humans play a substantially less time-intensive but no less creative part in the process, procedural content creation opens new doors. From a qualitative standpoint, these types of systems will not rely less on human intervention but rather more since they will depend heavily on direction from a human in order to synthesize the desired content. This research draws heavily from the entertainment software domain but the research is broadly relevant to 3D graphics applications in general.
FP-tree Based Spatial Co-location Pattern Mining
A co-location pattern is a set of spatial features frequently located together in space. A frequent pattern is a set of items that frequently appears in a transaction database. Since its introduction, the paradigm of frequent pattern mining has undergone a shift from candidate generation-and-test based approaches to projection based approaches. Co-location patterns resemble frequent patterns in many aspects. However, the lack of transaction concept, which is crucial in frequent pattern mining, makes the similar shift of paradigm in co-location pattern mining very difficult. This thesis investigates a projection based co-location pattern mining paradigm. In particular, a FP-tree based co-location mining framework and an algorithm called FP-CM, for FP-tree based co-location miner, are proposed. It is proved that FP-CM is complete, correct, and only requires a small constant number of database scans. The experimental results show that FP-CM outperforms candidate generation-and-test based co-location miner by an order of magnitude.
Occlusion Tolerant Object Recognition Methods for Video Surveillance and Tracking of Moving Civilian Vehicles
Recently, there is a great interest in moving object tracking in the fields of security and surveillance. Object recognition under partial occlusion is the core of any object tracking system. This thesis presents an automatic and real-time color object-recognition system which is not only robust but also occlusion tolerant. The intended use of the system is to recognize and track external vehicles entered inside a secured area like a school campus or any army base. Statistical morphological skeleton is used to represent the visible shape of the vehicle. Simple curve matching and different feature based matching techniques are used to recognize the segmented vehicle. Features of the vehicle are extracted upon entering the secured area. The vehicle is recognized from either a digital video frame or a static digital image when needed. The recognition engine will help the design of a high performance tracking system meant for remote video surveillance.
Automated Syndromic Surveillance using Intelligent Mobile Agents
Current syndromic surveillance systems utilize centralized databases that are neither scalable in storage space nor in computing power. Such systems are limited in the amount of syndromic data that may be collected and analyzed for the early detection of infectious disease outbreaks. However, with the increased prevalence of international travel, public health monitoring must extend beyond the borders of municipalities or states which will require the ability to store vasts amount of data and significant computing power for analyzing the data. Intelligent mobile agents may be used to create a distributed surveillance system that will utilize the hard drives and computer processing unit (CPU) power of the hosts on the agent network where the syndromic information is located. This thesis proposes the design of a mobile agent-based syndromic surveillance system and an agent decision model for outbreak detection. Simulation results indicate that mobile agents are capable of detecting an outbreak that occurs at all hosts the agent is monitoring. Further study of agent decision models is required to account for localized epidemics and variable agent movement rates.
High Performance Architecture using Speculative Threads and Dynamic Memory Management Hardware
With the advances in very large scale integration (VLSI) technology, hundreds of billions of transistors can be packed into a single chip. With the increased hardware budget, how to take advantage of available hardware resources becomes an important research area. Some researchers have shifted from control flow Von-Neumann architecture back to dataflow architecture again in order to explore scalable architectures leading to multi-core systems with several hundreds of processing elements. In this dissertation, I address how the performance of modern processing systems can be improved, while attempting to reduce hardware complexity and energy consumptions. My research described here tackles both central processing unit (CPU) performance and memory subsystem performance. More specifically I will describe my research related to the design of an innovative decoupled multithreaded architecture that can be used in multi-core processor implementations. I also address how memory management functions can be off-loaded from processing pipelines to further improve system performance and eliminate cache pollution caused by runtime management functions.
System and Methods for Detecting Unwanted Voice Calls
Voice over IP (VoIP) is a key enabling technology for the migration of circuit-switched PSTN architectures to packet-based IP networks. However, this migration is successful only if the present problems in IP networks are addressed before deploying VoIP infrastructure on a large scale. One of the important issues that the present VoIP networks face is the problem of unwanted calls commonly referred to as SPIT (spam over Internet telephony). Mostly, these SPIT calls are from unknown callers who broadcast unwanted calls. There may be unwanted calls from legitimate and known people too. In this case, the unwantedness depends on social proximity of the communicating parties. For detecting these unwanted calls, I propose a framework that analyzes incoming calls for unwanted behavior. The framework includes a VoIP spam detector (VSD) that analyzes incoming VoIP calls for spam behavior using trust and reputation techniques. The framework also includes a nuisance detector (ND) that proactively infers the nuisance (or reluctance of the end user) to receive incoming calls. This inference is based on past mutual behavior between the calling and the called party (i.e., caller and callee), the callee's presence (mood or state of mind) and tolerance in receiving voice calls from the caller, and the social closeness between the caller and the callee. The VSD and ND learn the behavior of callers over time and estimate the possibility of the call to be unwanted based on predetermined thresholds configured by the callee (or the filter administrators). These threshold values have to be automatically updated for integrating dynamic behavioral changes of the communicating parties. For updating these threshold values, I propose an automatic calibration mechanism using receiver operating characteristics curves (ROC). The VSD and ND use this mechanism for dynamically updating thresholds for optimizing their accuracy of detection. In addition to unwanted calls ...
Comparison and Evaluation of Existing Analog Circuit Simulator using Sigma-Delta Modulator
In the world of VLSI (very large scale integration) technology, there are many different types of circuit simulators that are used to design and predict the circuit behavior before actual fabrication of the circuit. In this thesis, I compared and evaluated existing circuit simulators by considering standard benchmark circuits. The circuit simulators which I evaluated and explored are Ngspice, Tclspice, Winspice (open source) and Spectre® (commercial). I also tested standard benchmarks using these circuit simulators and compared their outputs. The simulators are evaluated using design metrics in order to quantify their performance and identify efficient circuit simulators. In addition, I designed a sigma-delta modulator and its individual components using the analog behavioral language Verilog-A. Initially, I performed simulations of individual components of the sigma-delta modulator and later of the whole system. Finally, CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) transistor-level circuits were designed for the differential amplifier, operational amplifier and comparator of the modulator.
FPGA Implementation of Low Density Party Check Codes Decoder
Reliable communication over the noisy channel has become one of the major concerns in the field of digital wireless communications. The low density parity check codes (LDPC) has gained lot of attention recently because of their excellent error-correcting capacity. It was first proposed by Robert G. Gallager in 1960. LDPC codes belong to the class of linear block codes. Near capacity performance is achievable on a large collection of data transmission and storage.In my thesis I have focused on hardware implementation of (3, 6) - regular LDPC codes. A fully parallel decoder will require too high complexity of hardware realization. Partly parallel decoder has the advantage of effective compromise between decoding throughput and high hardware complexity. The decoding of the codeword follows the belief propagation alias probability propagation algorithm in log domain. A 9216 bit, (3, 6) regular LDPC code with code rate ┬Ż was implemented on FPGA targeting Xilinx Virtex 4 XC4VLX80 device with package FF1148. This decoder achieves a maximum throughput of 82 Mbps. The entire model was designed in VHDL in the Xilinx ISE 9.2 environment.
Timing and Congestion Driven Algorithms for FPGA Placement
Placement is one of the most important steps in physical design for VLSI circuits. For field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), the placement step determines the location of each logic block. I present novel timing and congestion driven placement algorithms for FPGAs with minimal runtime overhead. By predicting the post-routing timing-critical edges and estimating congestion accurately, this algorithm is able to simultaneously reduce the critical path delay and the minimum number of routing tracks. The core of the algorithm consists of a criticality-history record of connection edges and a congestion map. This approach is applied to the 20 largest Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) benchmark circuits. Experimental results show that compared with the state-of-the-art FPGA place and route package, the Versatile Place and Route (VPR) suite, this algorithm yields an average of 8.1% reduction (maximum 30.5%) in the critical path delay and 5% reduction in channel width. Meanwhile, the average runtime of the algorithm is only 2.3X as of VPR.
Memory Management and Garbage Collection Algorithms for Java-Based Prolog
Implementing a Prolog Runtime System in a language like Java which provides its own automatic memory management and safety features such as built--in index checking and array initialization requires a consistent approach to memory management based on a simple ultimate goal: minimizing total memory management time and extra space involved. The total memory management time for Jinni is made up of garbage collection time both for Java and Jinni itself. Extra space is usually requested at Jinni's garbage collection. This goal motivates us to find a simple and practical garbage collection algorithm and implementation for our Prolog engine. In this thesis we survey various algorithms already proposed and offer our own contribution to the study of garbage collection by improvements and optimizations for some classic algorithms. We implemented these algorithms based on the dynamic array algorithm for an all--dynamic Prolog engine (JINNI 2000). The comparisons of our implementations versus the originally proposed algorithm allow us to draw informative conclusions on their theoretical complexity model and their empirical effectiveness.
Design and Implementation of Large-Scale Wireless Sensor Networks for Environmental Monitoring Applications
Environmental monitoring represents a major application domain for wireless sensor networks (WSN). However, despite significant advances in recent years, there are still many challenging issues to be addressed to exploit the full potential of the emerging WSN technology. In this dissertation, we introduce the design and implementation of low-power wireless sensor networks for long-term, autonomous, and near-real-time environmental monitoring applications. We have developed an out-of-box solution consisting of a suite of software, protocols and algorithms to provide reliable data collection with extremely low power consumption. Two wireless sensor networks based on the proposed solution have been deployed in remote field stations to monitor soil moisture along with other environmental parameters. As parts of the ever-growing environmental monitoring cyberinfrastructure, these networks have been integrated into the Texas Environmental Observatory system for long-term operation. Environmental measurement and network performance results are presented to demonstrate the capability, reliability and energy-efficiency of the network.
Computational Epidemiology - Analyzing Exposure Risk: A Deterministic, Agent-Based Approach
Many infectious diseases are spread through interactions between susceptible and infectious individuals. Keeping track of where each exposure to the disease took place, when it took place, and which individuals were involved in the exposure can give public health officials important information that they may use to formulate their interventions. Further, knowing which individuals in the population are at the highest risk of becoming infected with the disease may prove to be a useful tool for public health officials trying to curtail the spread of the disease. Epidemiological models are needed to allow epidemiologists to study the population dynamics of transmission of infectious agents and the potential impact of infectious disease control programs. While many agent-based computational epidemiological models exist in the literature, they focus on the spread of disease rather than exposure risk. These models are designed to simulate very large populations, representing individuals as agents, and using random experiments and probabilities in an attempt to more realistically guide the course of the modeled disease outbreak. The work presented in this thesis focuses on tracking exposure risk to chickenpox in an elementary school setting. This setting is chosen due to the high level of detailed information realistically available to school administrators regarding individuals' schedules and movements. Using an agent-based approach, contacts between individuals are tracked and analyzed with respect to both individuals and locations. The results are then analyzed using a combination of tools from computer science and geographic information science.
Mediation on XQuery Views
The major goal of information integration is to provide efficient and easy-to-use access to multiple heterogeneous data sources with a single query. At the same time, one of the current trends is to use standard technologies for implementing solutions to complex software problems. In this dissertation, I used XML and XQuery as the standard technologies and have developed an extended projection algorithm to provide a solution to the information integration problem. In order to demonstrate my solution, I implemented a prototype mediation system called Omphalos based on XML related technologies. The dissertation describes the architecture of the system, its metadata, and the process it uses to answer queries. The system uses XQuery expressions (termed metaqueries) to capture complex mappings between global schemas and data source schemas. The system then applies these metaqueries in order to rewrite a user query on a virtual global database (representing the integrated view of the heterogeneous data sources) to a query (termed an outsourced query) on the real data sources. An extended XML document projection algorithm was developed to increase the efficiency of selecting the relevant subset of data from an individual data source to answer the user query. The system applies the projection algorithm to decompose an outsourced query into atomic queries which are each executed on a single data source. I also developed an algorithm to generate integrating queries, which the system uses to compose the answers from the atomic queries into a single answer to the original user query. I present a proof of both the extended XML document projection algorithm and the query integration algorithm. An analysis of the efficiency of the new extended algorithm is also presented. Finally I describe a collaborative schema-matching tool that was implemented to facilitate maintaining metadata.