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Enhancing Student Learning Through Adaptive Sentence Generation

Description

Education of any skill based subject, such as mathematics or language, involves a significant amount of repetition and pratice. According to the National Survey of Student Engagements, students spend on average 17 hours per week reviewing and practicing material previously

Education of any skill based subject, such as mathematics or language, involves a significant amount of repetition and pratice. According to the National Survey of Student Engagements, students spend on average 17 hours per week reviewing and practicing material previously learned in a classroom, with higher performing students showing a tendency to spend more time practicing. As such, learning software has emerged in the past several decades focusing on providing a wide range of examples, practice problems, and situations for users to exercise their skills. Notably, math students have benefited from software that procedurally generates a virtually infinite number of practice problems and their corresponding solutions. This allows for instantaneous feedback and automatic generation of tests and quizzes. Of course, this is only possible because software is capable of generating and verifying a virtually endless supply of sample problems across a wide range of topics within mathematics. While English learning software has progressed in a similar manner, it faces a series of hurdles distinctly different from those of mathematics. In particular, there is a wide range of exception cases present in English grammar. Some words have unique spellings for their plural forms, some words have identical spelling for plural forms, and some words are conjugated differently for only one particular tense or person-of-speech. These issues combined make the problem of generating grammatically correct sentences complicated. To compound to this problem, the grammar rules in English are vast, and often depend on the context in which they are used. Verb-tense agreement (e.g. "I eat" vs "he eats"), and conjugation of irregular verbs (e.g. swim -> swam) are common examples. This thesis presents an algorithm designed to randomly generate a virtually infinite number of practice problems for students of English as a second language. This approach differs from other generation approaches by generating based on a context set by educators, so that problems can be generated in the context of what students are currently learning. The algorithm is validated through a study in which over 35 000 sentences generated by the algorithm are verified by multiple grammar checking algorithms, and a subset of the sentences are validated against 3 education standards by a subject matter expert in the field. The study found that this approach has a significantly reduced grammar error ratio compared to other generation algorithms, and shows potential where context specification is concerned.

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Date Created
2016-05

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Synthesis and Facilitation: Designing for Secure User Actions

Description

We discuss processes involved in user-centric security design, including the synthesis of goals based on security and usability tasks. We suggest the usage of implicit security and the facilitation of secureuser actions. We propose a process for evaluating usability flaws

We discuss processes involved in user-centric security design, including the synthesis of goals based on security and usability tasks. We suggest the usage of implicit security and the facilitation of secureuser actions. We propose a process for evaluating usability flaws by treating them as security threats and adapting traditional HCI methods. We discuss how to correct these flaws once they are discovered. Finally, we discuss the Usable Security Development Model for developing usable secure systems.

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Created

Date Created
2013-05

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Determining the integrity of applications and operating systems using remote and local attesters

Description

This research describes software based remote attestation schemes for obtaining the integrity of an executing user application and the Operating System (OS) text section of an untrusted client platform. A trusted external entity issues a challenge to the client platform.

This research describes software based remote attestation schemes for obtaining the integrity of an executing user application and the Operating System (OS) text section of an untrusted client platform. A trusted external entity issues a challenge to the client platform. The challenge is executable code which the client must execute, and the code generates results which are sent to the external entity. These results provide the external entity an assurance as to whether the client application and the OS are in pristine condition. This work also presents a technique where it can be verified that the application which was attested, did not get replaced by a different application after completion of the attestation. The implementation of these three techniques was achieved entirely in software and is backward compatible with legacy machines on the Intel x86 architecture. This research also presents two approaches to incorporating software based "root of trust" using Virtual Machine Monitors (VMMs). The first approach determines the integrity of an executing Guest OS from the Host OS using Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) and qemu emulation software. The second approach implements a small VMM called MIvmm that can be utilized as a trusted codebase to build security applications such as those implemented in this research. MIvmm was conceptualized and implemented without using any existing codebase; its minimal size allows it to be trustworthy. Both the VMM approaches leverage processor support for virtualization in the Intel x86 architecture.

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Date Created
2011

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On efficient and scalable attribute based security systems

Description

This dissertation is focused on building scalable Attribute Based Security Systems (ABSS), including efficient and privacy-preserving attribute based encryption schemes and applications to group communications and cloud computing. First of all, a Constant Ciphertext Policy Attribute Based Encryption (CCP-ABE) is

This dissertation is focused on building scalable Attribute Based Security Systems (ABSS), including efficient and privacy-preserving attribute based encryption schemes and applications to group communications and cloud computing. First of all, a Constant Ciphertext Policy Attribute Based Encryption (CCP-ABE) is proposed. Existing Attribute Based Encryption (ABE) schemes usually incur large, linearly increasing ciphertext. The proposed CCP-ABE dramatically reduces the ciphertext to small, constant size. This is the first existing ABE scheme that achieves constant ciphertext size. Also, the proposed CCP-ABE scheme is fully collusion-resistant such that users can not combine their attributes to elevate their decryption capacity. Next step, efficient ABE schemes are applied to construct optimal group communication schemes and broadcast encryption schemes. An attribute based Optimal Group Key (OGK) management scheme that attains communication-storage optimality without collusion vulnerability is presented. Then, a novel broadcast encryption model: Attribute Based Broadcast Encryption (ABBE) is introduced, which exploits the many-to-many nature of attributes to dramatically reduce the storage complexity from linear to logarithm and enable expressive attribute based access policies. The privacy issues are also considered and addressed in ABSS. Firstly, a hidden policy based ABE schemes is proposed to protect receivers' privacy by hiding the access policy. Secondly,a new concept: Gradual Identity Exposure (GIE) is introduced to address the restrictions of hidden policy based ABE schemes. GIE's approach is to reveal the receivers' information gradually by allowing ciphertext recipients to decrypt the message using their possessed attributes one-by-one. If the receiver does not possess one attribute in this procedure, the rest of attributes are still hidden. Compared to hidden-policy based solutions, GIE provides significant performance improvement in terms of reducing both computation and communication overhead. Last but not least, ABSS are incorporated into the mobile cloud computing scenarios. In the proposed secure mobile cloud data management framework, the light weight mobile devices can securely outsource expensive ABE operations and data storage to untrusted cloud service providers. The reported scheme includes two components: (1) a Cloud-Assisted Attribute-Based Encryption/Decryption (CA-ABE) scheme and (2) An Attribute-Based Data Storage (ABDS) scheme that achieves information theoretical optimality.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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An ontology-based approach to attribute management in ABAC environment

Description

Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) mechanisms have been attracting a lot of interest from the research community in recent times. This is especially because of the flexibility and extensibility it provides by using attributes assigned to subjects as the basis

Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) mechanisms have been attracting a lot of interest from the research community in recent times. This is especially because of the flexibility and extensibility it provides by using attributes assigned to subjects as the basis for access control. ABAC enables an administrator of a server to enforce access policies on the data, services and other such resources fairly easily. It also accommodates new policies and changes to existing policies gracefully, thereby making it a potentially good mechanism for implementing access control in large systems, particularly in today's age of Cloud Computing. However management of the attributes in ABAC environment is an area that has been little touched upon. Having a mechanism to allow multiple ABAC based systems to share data and resources can go a long way in making ABAC scalable. At the same time each system should be able to specify their own attribute sets independently. In the research presented in this document a new mechanism is proposed that would enable users to share resources and data in a cloud environment using ABAC techniques in a distributed manner. The focus is mainly on decentralizing the access policy specifications for the shared data so that each data owner can specify the access policy independent of others. The concept of ontologies and semantic web is introduced in the ABAC paradigm that would help in giving a scalable structure to the attributes and also allow systems having different sets of attributes to communicate and share resources.

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Date Created
2014

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Detection of advanced bots in smartphones through user profiling

Description

This thesis addresses the ever increasing threat of botnets in the smartphone domain and focuses on the Android platform and the botnets using Online Social Networks (OSNs) as Command and Control (C&C;) medium. With any botnet, C&C; is one of

This thesis addresses the ever increasing threat of botnets in the smartphone domain and focuses on the Android platform and the botnets using Online Social Networks (OSNs) as Command and Control (C&C;) medium. With any botnet, C&C; is one of the components on which the survival of botnet depends. Individual bots use the C&C; channel to receive commands and send the data. This thesis develops active host based approach for identifying the presence of bot based on the anomalies in the usage patterns of the user before and after the bot is installed on the user smartphone and alerting the user to the presence of the bot. A profile is constructed for each user based on the regular web usage patterns (achieved by intercepting the http(s) traffic) and implementing machine learning techniques to continuously learn the user's behavior and changes in the behavior and all the while looking for any anomalies in the user behavior above a threshold which will cause the user to be notified of the anomalous traffic. A prototype bot which uses OSN s as C&C; channel is constructed and used for testing. Users are given smartphones(Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus) running Application proxy which intercepts http(s) traffic and relay it to a server which uses the traffic and constructs the model for a particular user and look for any signs of anomalies. This approach lays the groundwork for the future host-based counter measures for smartphone botnets using OSN s as C&C; channel.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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Thermal aware scheduling in hadoop map reduce framework

Description

The energy consumption of data centers is increasing steadily along with the associ- ated power-density. Approximately half of such energy consumption is attributed to the cooling energy, as a result of which reducing cooling energy along with reducing servers energy

The energy consumption of data centers is increasing steadily along with the associ- ated power-density. Approximately half of such energy consumption is attributed to the cooling energy, as a result of which reducing cooling energy along with reducing servers energy consumption in data centers is becoming imperative so as to achieve greening of the data centers. This thesis deals with cooling energy management in data centers running data-processing frameworks. In particular, we propose ther- mal aware scheduling for MapReduce framework and its Hadoop implementation to reduce cooling energy in data centers. Data-processing frameworks run many low- priority batch processing jobs, such as background log analysis, that do not have strict completion time requirements; they can be delayed by a bounded amount of time. Cooling energy savings are possible by being able to temporally spread the workload, and assign it to the computing equipments which reduce the heat recirculation in data center room and therefore the load on the cooling systems. We implement our scheme in Hadoop and performs some experiments using both CPU-intensive and I/O-intensive workload benchmarks in order to evaluate the efficiency of our scheme. The evaluation results highlight that our thermal aware scheduling reduces hot-spots and makes uniform temperature distribution within the data center possible. Sum- marizing the contribution, we incorporated thermal awareness in Hadoop MapReduce framework by enhancing the native scheduler to make it thermally aware, compare the Thermal Aware Scheduler(TAS) with the Hadoop scheduler (FCFS) by running PageRank and TeraSort benchmarks in the BlueTool data center of Impact lab and show that there is reduction in peak temperature and decrease in cooling power using TAS over FCFS scheduler.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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A cloud based continuous delivery software developing system on Vlab platform

Description

Continuous Delivery, as one of the youngest and most popular member of agile model family, has become a popular concept and method in software development industry recently. Instead of the traditional software development method, which requirements and solutions must be

Continuous Delivery, as one of the youngest and most popular member of agile model family, has become a popular concept and method in software development industry recently. Instead of the traditional software development method, which requirements and solutions must be fixed before starting software developing, it promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change. However, several problems prevent Continuous Delivery to be introduced into education world. Taking into the consideration of the barriers, we propose a new Cloud based Continuous Delivery Software Developing System. This system is designed to fully utilize the whole life circle of software developing according to Continuous Delivery concepts in a virtualized environment in Vlab platform.

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Created

Date Created
2013

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Confidentiality protection of user data and adaptive resource allocation for managing multiple workflow performance in service-based systems

Description

In this dissertation, two interrelated problems of service-based systems (SBS) are addressed: protecting users' data confidentiality from service providers, and managing performance of multiple workflows in SBS. Current SBSs pose serious limitations to protecting users' data confidentiality. Since users' sensitive

In this dissertation, two interrelated problems of service-based systems (SBS) are addressed: protecting users' data confidentiality from service providers, and managing performance of multiple workflows in SBS. Current SBSs pose serious limitations to protecting users' data confidentiality. Since users' sensitive data is sent in unencrypted forms to remote machines owned and operated by third-party service providers, there are risks of unauthorized use of the users' sensitive data by service providers. Although there are many techniques for protecting users' data from outside attackers, currently there is no effective way to protect users' sensitive data from service providers. In this dissertation, an approach is presented to protecting the confidentiality of users' data from service providers, and ensuring that service providers cannot collect users' confidential data while the data is processed or stored in cloud computing systems. The approach has four major features: (1) separation of software service providers and infrastructure service providers, (2) hiding the information of the owners of data, (3) data obfuscation, and (4) software module decomposition and distributed execution. Since the approach to protecting users' data confidentiality includes software module decomposition and distributed execution, it is very important to effectively allocate the resource of servers in SBS to each of the software module to manage the overall performance of workflows in SBS. An approach is presented to resource allocation for SBS to adaptively allocating the system resources of servers to their software modules in runtime in order to satisfy the performance requirements of multiple workflows in SBS. Experimental results show that the dynamic resource allocation approach can substantially increase the throughput of a SBS and the optimal resource allocation can be found in polynomial time

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Date Created
2012

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A framework for extended acquisition and uniform representation of forensic email evidence

Description

The digital forensics community has neglected email forensics as a process, despite the fact that email remains an important tool in the commission of crime. Current forensic practices focus mostly on that of disk forensics, while email forensics is left

The digital forensics community has neglected email forensics as a process, despite the fact that email remains an important tool in the commission of crime. Current forensic practices focus mostly on that of disk forensics, while email forensics is left as an analysis task stemming from that practice. As there is no well-defined process to be used for email forensics the comprehensiveness, extensibility of tools, uniformity of evidence, usefulness in collaborative/distributed environments, and consistency of investigations are hindered. At present, there exists little support for discovering, acquiring, and representing web-based email, despite its widespread use. To remedy this, a systematic process which includes discovering, acquiring, and representing web-based email for email forensics which is integrated into the normal forensic analysis workflow, and which accommodates the distinct characteristics of email evidence will be presented. This process focuses on detecting the presence of non-obvious artifacts related to email accounts, retrieving the data from the service provider, and representing email in a well-structured format based on existing standards. As a result, developers and organizations can collaboratively create and use analysis tools that can analyze email evidence from any source in the same fashion and the examiner can access additional data relevant to their forensic cases. Following, an extensible framework implementing this novel process-driven approach has been implemented in an attempt to address the problems of comprehensiveness, extensibility, uniformity, collaboration/distribution, and consistency within forensic investigations involving email evidence.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013