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A Global Stochastic Modeling Framework to Simulate and Visualize Epidemics

Description: Epidemics have caused major human and monetary losses through the course of human civilization. It is very important that epidemiologists and public health personnel are prepared to handle an impending infectious disease outbreak. the ever-changing demographics, evolving infrastructural resources of geographic regions, emerging and re-emerging diseases, compel the use of simulation to predict disease dynamics. By the means of simulation, public health personnel and epidemiologists can predict the disease dynamics, population groups at risk and their geographic locations beforehand, so that they are prepared to respond in case of an epidemic outbreak. As a consequence of the large numbers of individuals and inter-personal interactions involved in simulating infectious disease spread in a region such as a county, sizeable amounts of data may be produced that have to be analyzed. Methods to visualize this data would be effective in facilitating people from diverse disciplines understand and analyze the simulation. This thesis proposes a framework to simulate and visualize the spread of an infectious disease in a population of a region such as a county. As real-world populations have a non-homogeneous demographic and spatial distribution, this framework models the spread of an infectious disease based on population of and geographic distance between census blocks; social behavioral parameters for demographic groups. the population is stratified into demographic groups in individual census blocks using census data. Infection spread is modeled by means of local and global contacts generated between groups of population in census blocks. the strength and likelihood of the contacts are based on population, geographic distance and social behavioral parameters of the groups involved. the disease dynamics are represented on a geographic map of the region using a heat map representation, where the intensity of infection is mapped to a color scale. This framework provides a tool for public health personnel and ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Indrakanti, Saratchandra
Partner: UNT Libraries

Incremental Learning with Large Datasets

Description: This dissertation focuses on the novel learning strategy based on geometric support vector machines to address the difficulties of processing immense data set. Support vector machines find the hyper-plane that maximizes the margin between two classes, and the decision boundary is represented with a few training samples it becomes a favorable choice for incremental learning. The dissertation presents a novel method Geometric Incremental Support Vector Machines (GISVMs) to address both efficiency and accuracy issues in handling massive data sets. In GISVM, skin of convex hulls is defined and an efficient method is designed to find the best skin approximation given available examples. The set of extreme points are found by recursively searching along the direction defined by a pair of known extreme points. By identifying the skin of the convex hulls, the incremental learning will only employ a much smaller number of samples with comparable or even better accuracy. When additional samples are provided, they will be used together with the skin of the convex hull constructed from previous dataset. This results in a small number of instances used in incremental steps of the training process. Based on the experimental results with synthetic data sets, public benchmark data sets from UCI and endoscopy videos, it is evident that the GISVM achieved satisfactory classifiers that closely model the underlying data distribution. GISVM improves the performance in sensitivity in the incremental steps, significantly reduced the demand for memory space, and demonstrates the ability of recovery from temporary performance degradation.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Giritharan, Balathasan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Autonomic Failure Identification and Diagnosis for Building Dependable Cloud Computing Systems

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

Occlusion Tolerant Object Recognition Methods for Video Surveillance and Tracking of Moving Civilian Vehicles

Description: 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.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Pati, Nishikanta
Partner: UNT Libraries

Space and Spectrum Engineered High Frequency Components and Circuits

Description: With the increasing demand on wireless and portable devices, the radio frequency front end blocks are required to feature properties such as wideband, high frequency, multiple operating frequencies, low cost and compact size. However, the current radio frequency system blocks are designed by combining several individual frequency band blocks into one functional block, which increase the cost and size of devices. To address these issues, it is important to develop novel approaches to further advance the current design methodologies in both space and spectrum domains. In recent years, the concept of artificial materials has been proposed and studied intensively in RF/Microwave, Terahertz, and optical frequency range. It is a combination of conventional materials such as air, wood, metal and plastic. It can achieve the material properties that have not been found in nature. Therefore, the artificial material (i.e. meta-materials) provides design freedoms to control both the spectrum performance and geometrical structures of radio frequency front end blocks and other high frequency systems. In this dissertation, several artificial materials are proposed and designed by different methods, and their applications to different high frequency components and circuits are studied. First, quasi-conformal mapping (QCM) method is applied to design plasmonic wave-adapters and couplers working at the optical frequency range. Second, inverse QCM method is proposed to implement flattened Luneburg lens antennas and parabolic antennas in the microwave range. Third, a dual-band compact directional coupler is realized by applying artificial transmission lines. In addition, a fully symmetrical coupler with artificial lumped element structure is also implemented. Finally, a tunable on-chip inductor, compact CMOS transmission lines, and metamaterial-based interconnects are proposed using artificial metal structures. All the proposed designs are simulated in full-wave 3D electromagnetic solvers, and the measurement results agree well with the simulation results. These artificial material-based novel design methodologies pave the way ...
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Date: May 2015
Creator: Arigong, Bayaner
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Social Network Graph Structure on Disease Dynamics in a Simulated Environment

Description: The fight against epidemics/pandemics is one of man versus nature. Technological advances have not only improved existing methods for monitoring and controlling disease outbreaks, but have also provided new means for investigation, such as through modeling and simulation. This dissertation explores the relationship between social structure and disease dynamics. Social structures are modeled as graphs, and outbreaks are simulated based on a well-recognized standard, the susceptible-infectious-removed (SIR) paradigm. Two independent, but related, studies are presented. The first involves measuring the severity of outbreaks as social network parameters are altered. The second study investigates the efficacy of various vaccination policies based on social structure. Three disease-related centrality measures are introduced, contact, transmission, and spread centrality, which are related to previously established centrality measures degree, betweenness, and closeness, respectively. The results of experiments presented in this dissertation indicate that reducing the neighborhood size along with outside-of-neighborhood contacts diminishes the severity of disease outbreaks. Vaccination strategies can effectively reduce these parameters. Additionally, vaccination policies that target individuals with high centrality are generally shown to be slightly more effective than a random vaccination policy. These results combined with past and future studies will assist public health officials in their effort to minimize the effects of inevitable disease epidemics/pandemics.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Johnson, Tina V.
Partner: UNT Libraries