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Hana: An Open-Domain Chatbot Application for Language Learning

Description

Learning a new language can be very challenging. One significant aspect of learning a language is learning how to have fluent verbal and written conversations with other people in that language. However, it can be difficult to find other people

Learning a new language can be very challenging. One significant aspect of learning a language is learning how to have fluent verbal and written conversations with other people in that language. However, it can be difficult to find other people available with whom to practice conversations. Additionally, total beginners may feel uncomfortable and self-conscious when speaking the language with others. In this paper, I present Hana, a chatbot application powered by deep learning for practicing open-domain verbal and written conversations in a variety of different languages. Hana uses a pre-trained medium-sized instance of Microsoft's DialoGPT in order to generate English responses to user input translated into English. Google Cloud Platform's Translation API is used to handle translation to and from the language selected by the user. The chatbot is presented in the form of a browser-based web application, allowing users to interact with the chatbot in both a verbal or text-based manner. Overall, the chatbot is capable of having interesting open-domain conversations with the user in languages supported by the Google Cloud Translation API, but response generation can be delayed by several seconds, and the conversations and their translations do not necessarily take into account linguistic and cultural nuances associated with a given language.

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2020-12

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Privacy-guaranteed Data Collection: The Case for Efficient Resource Management of Nonprofit Organizations

Description

Through the personal experience of volunteering at ASU Project Humanities, an organization that provides resources such as clothing and toiletries to the homeless population in Downtown Phoenix, I noticed efficiently serving the needs of the homeless population is an important

Through the personal experience of volunteering at ASU Project Humanities, an organization that provides resources such as clothing and toiletries to the homeless population in Downtown Phoenix, I noticed efficiently serving the needs of the homeless population is an important endeavor, but the current processes for Phoenix nonprofits to collect data are manual, ad-hoc, and inefficient. This leads to the research question: is it possible to improve this process of collecting statistics on client needs, tracking donations, and managing resources using technology? Background research includes an interview with ASU Project Humanities, articles by analysts, and related work including case studies of current technologies in the nonprofit community. Major findings include i) a lack of centralized communication in nonprofits collecting needs, tracking surplus donations, and sharing resources, ii) privacy assurance is important to homeless individuals, and iii) pre-existing databases and technological solutions have demonstrated that technology has the ability to make an impact in the nonprofit community. To improve the process, standardization, efficiency, and automation need to increase. As a result of my analysis, the thesis proposes a prototype solution which includes two parts: an inventory database and a web application with forms for user input and tables for the user to view. This solution addresses standardization by showing a consistent way of collecting data on need requests and surplus donations while guaranteeing privacy of homeless individuals. This centralized solution also increases efficiency by connecting different agencies that cater to these clients. Lastly, the solution demonstrates the ability for resources to be made available to each organization which can increase automation. In conclusion, this database and web application has the potential to improve nonprofit organizations’ networking capabilities, resource management, and resource distribution. The percentile of homeless individuals connected to these resources is expected to increase substantially with future live testing and large-scale implementation.

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2019-05

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Honey, I Forgot the Milk: An Alexa Shopping Assistant

Description

If you’ve ever found yourself uttering the words “Honey, I forgot the—” or “how did I miss the—" when coming home from the grocery store, then you’re not alone. This everyday problem that we disregard as part of life may

If you’ve ever found yourself uttering the words “Honey, I forgot the—” or “how did I miss the—" when coming home from the grocery store, then you’re not alone. This everyday problem that we disregard as part of life may not seem like much, but it is the driving force behind my honors thesis.
Shopping Buddy is a complete Amazon Web Services solution to this problem which is so innate to the human condition. Utilizing Alexa to keep track of your pantry, this web application automates the daunting task of creating your shopping list, putting the power of the cloud at your fingertips while keeping your complete shopping list only a click away.
Say goodbye to the nights of spaghetti without the parmesan that you left on the store shelf or the strawberries that you forgot for the strawberry shortcake. With this application, you will no longer need to rely on your memory of what you think is in the back of your fridge nor that pesky shopping list that you always end up losing when you need it the most. Accessible from any web enabled device, Shopping Buddy has got your back through all your shopping adventures to come.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Instructional Design with Natural Language Processing in a Virtual Reality Environment

Description

Natural Language Processing and Virtual Reality are hot topics in the present. How can we synthesize these together in order to make a cohesive experience? The game focuses on users using vocal commands, building structures, and memorizing spatial objects. In

Natural Language Processing and Virtual Reality are hot topics in the present. How can we synthesize these together in order to make a cohesive experience? The game focuses on users using vocal commands, building structures, and memorizing spatial objects. In order to get proper vocal commands, the IBM Watson API for Natural Language Processing was incorporated into our game system. User experience elements like gestures, UI color change, and images were used to help guide users in memorizing and building structures. The process to create these elements were streamlined through the VRTK library in Unity. The game has two segments. The first segment is a tutorial level where the user learns to perform motions and in-game actions. The second segment is a game where the user must correctly create a structure by utilizing vocal commands and spatial recognition. A standardized usability test, System Usability Scale, was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the game. A survey was also created in order to evaluate a more descriptive user opinion. Overall, users gave a positive score on the System Usability Scale and slightly positive reviews in the custom survey.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Determining the Viability of an asymmetric and co-operative VR experience for two players utilizing a single VR headset and keyboard and mouse

Description

Virtual reality gives users the opportunity to immerse themselves in an accurately
simulated computer-generated environment. These environments are accurately simulated in that they provide the appearance of- and allow users to interact with- the simulated environment. Using head-mounted displays,

Virtual reality gives users the opportunity to immerse themselves in an accurately
simulated computer-generated environment. These environments are accurately simulated in that they provide the appearance of- and allow users to interact with- the simulated environment. Using head-mounted displays, controllers, and auditory feedback, virtual reality provides a convincing simulation of interactable virtual worlds (Wikipedia, “Virtual reality”). The many worlds of virtual reality are often expansive, colorful, and detailed. However, there is one great flaw among them- an emotion evoked in many users through the exploration of such worlds-loneliness.
The content in these worlds is impressive, immersive, and entertaining. Without other people to share in these experiences, however, one can find themselves lonely. Users discover a feeling that no matter how many objects and colors surround them in countless virtual worlds, every world feels empty. As humans are social beings by nature, they feel lost without a sense of human connection and human interaction. Multiplayer experiences offer this missing element into the immersion of virtual reality worlds. Multiplayer offers users the opportunity to interact with other live people in a virtual simulation, which creates lasting memories and deeper, more meaningful immersion.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Jaipur Simulation and AI

Description

This paper details the process for designing both a simulation of the board game Jaipur, and an artificial intelligence (AI) agent that can play the game against a human player. When designing an AI for a card game, there are

This paper details the process for designing both a simulation of the board game Jaipur, and an artificial intelligence (AI) agent that can play the game against a human player. When designing an AI for a card game, there are two major problems that can arise. The first is the difficulty of using a search space to analyze every possible set of future moves. Due to the randomized nature of the deck of cards, the search space rapidly leads to an exponentially growing set of potential game states to analyze when one tries to look more than one turn ahead. The second aspect that poses difficulty is the element of uncertainty that exists from opponent feedback. Certain moves are weak to specific opponent reactions, and these are difficult to predict due to hidden information. To circumvent these problems, the AI uses a greedy approach to decision making, attempting to maximize the value of its plays immediately, and not play for future turns. The agent utilizes conditional statements to evaluate the game state and choose a game action that it deems optimal, a heuristic to place an expected value (EV) of the goods it can choose from, and selects the best one based on this evaluation. Initial implementation of the simulation was done using C++ through a terminal application, and then was translated to a graphical interface using Unity and C#.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Development of an Educational Video Game

Description

The objective of this creative project was to gain experience in digital modeling, animation, coding, shader development and implementation, model integration techniques, and application of gaming principles and design through developing a professional educational game. The team collaborated with Glendale

The objective of this creative project was to gain experience in digital modeling, animation, coding, shader development and implementation, model integration techniques, and application of gaming principles and design through developing a professional educational game. The team collaborated with Glendale Community College (GCC) to produce an interactive product intended to supplement educational instructions regarding nutrition. The educational game developed, "Nutribots" features the player acting as a nutrition based nanobot sent to the small intestine to help the body. Throughout the game the player will be asked nutrition based questions to test their knowledge of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. If the player is unable to answer the question, they must use game mechanics to progress and receive the information as a reward. The level is completed as soon as the question is answered correctly. If the player answers the questions incorrectly twenty times within the entirety of the game, the team loses faith in the player, and the player must reset from title screen. This is to limit guessing and to make sure the player retains the information through repetition once it is demonstrated that they do not know the answers. The team was split into two different groups for the development of this game. The first part of the team developed models, animations, and textures using Autodesk Maya 2016 and Marvelous Designer. The second part of the team developed code and shaders, and implemented products from the first team using Unity and Visual Studio. Once a prototype of the game was developed, it was show-cased amongst peers to gain feedback. Upon receiving feedback, the team implemented the desired changes accordingly. Development for this project began on November 2015 and ended on April 2017. Special thanks to Laura Avila Department Chair and Jennifer Nolz from Glendale Community College Technology and Consumer Sciences, Food and Nutrition Department.

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Date Created
2017-05

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CourseKarma: Online Community of Student Collaboration

Description

CourseKarma is a web application that engages students in their own learning through peer-driven social networking. The influence of technology on students is advancing faster than the school system, and a major gap still lingers between traditional learning techniques and

CourseKarma is a web application that engages students in their own learning through peer-driven social networking. The influence of technology on students is advancing faster than the school system, and a major gap still lingers between traditional learning techniques and the fast-paced, online culture of today's generation. CourseKarma enriches the educational experience of today's student by creating a space for collaborative inquiry as well as illuminating the opportunities of self and group learning through online collaboration. The features of CourseKarma foster this student-driven environment. The main focus is on a news-feed and Question and Answer component that provides a space for students to share instant updates as well ask and answer questions of the community. The community can be as broad as the entire ASU student body, as specific as students in BIO155, or even more targeted via specific subjects and or skills. CourseKarma also provides reputation points, which are the sum of all of their votes received, identifying the individual's level and or ranking in each subject or class. This not only gamifies the usual day-to-day learning environment, but it also provides an in-depth analysis of the individual's skills, accomplishments, and knowledge. The community is also able to input and utilize course and professor descriptions/feedback. This will be in a review format providing the students an opportunity to share and give feedback on their experience as well as providing incoming students the opportunity to be prepared for their future classes. All of the student's contributions and collaborative activity within CourseKarma is displayed on their personal profile creating a timeline of their academic achievements. The application was created using modern web programming technologies such as AngualrJS, Javascript, jQuery, Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS3 for the styling and front-end development, Mustache.js for client side templating, and Firebase AngularFire as the back-end and NoSQL database. Other technologies such as Pivitol Tracker was used for project management and user story generation, as well as, Github for version control management and repository creation. Object-oreinted programming concepts were heavily present in the creation of the various data structures, as well as, a voting algorithm was used to manage voting of specific posts. Down the road, CourseKarma could even be a necessary add-on within LinkedIn or Facebook that provides a quick yet extremely in-depth look at an individuals' education, skills, and potential to learn \u2014 based all on their actual contribution to their academic community rather than just a text they wrote up.

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2015-05

Wearable Device Activity Classification With Machine Learning and a Custom Web Application

Description

Human activity recognition is the task of identifying a person’s movement from sensors in a wearable device, such as a smartphone, smartwatch, or a medical-grade device. A great method for this task is machine learning, which is the study

Human activity recognition is the task of identifying a person’s movement from sensors in a wearable device, such as a smartphone, smartwatch, or a medical-grade device. A great method for this task is machine learning, which is the study of algorithms that learn and improve on their own with the help of massive amounts of useful data. These classification models can accurately classify activities with the time-series data from accelerometers and gyroscopes. A significant way to improve the accuracy of these machine learning models is preprocessing the data, essentially augmenting data to make the identification of each activity, or class, easier for the model. <br/>On this topic, this paper explains the design of SigNorm, a new web application which lets users conveniently transform time-series data and view the effects of those transformations in a code-free, browser-based user interface. The second and final section explains my take on a human activity recognition problem, which involves comparing a preprocessed dataset to an un-augmented one, and comparing the differences in accuracy using a one-dimensional convolutional neural network to make classifications.

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2021-05

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Non-Euclidean Worlds in Virtual Reality for Environmental Puzzles in Video Games

Description

This thesis is based on bringing together three different components: non-Euclidean geometric worlds, virtual reality, and environmental puzzles in video games. While all three exist in their own right in the world of video games, as well as combined in

This thesis is based on bringing together three different components: non-Euclidean geometric worlds, virtual reality, and environmental puzzles in video games. While all three exist in their own right in the world of video games, as well as combined in pairs, there are virtually no examples of all three together. Non-Euclidean environmental puzzle games have existed for around 10 years in various forms, short environmental puzzle games in virtual reality have come into existence in around the past five years, and non-Euclidean virtual reality exists mainly as non-video game short demos from the past few years. This project seeks to be able to bring these components together to create a proof of concept for how a game like this should function, particularly the integration of non-Euclidean virtual reality in the context of a video game. To do this, a Unity package which uses a custom system for creating worlds in a non-Euclidean way rather than Unity’s built-in components such as for transforms, collisions, and rendering was used. This was used in conjunction with the SteamVR implementation with Unity to create a cohesive and immersive player experience.

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2021-05