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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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Created

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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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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Agent

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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Created

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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Agent

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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Agent

Created

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

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Security Analysis of IoT Media Broadcast Devices

Description

IoT Media broadcast devices, such as the Roku stick, Amazon Fire, and Chromecast have been emerging onto the market recently as a portable and inexpensive alternative to cable and disk players, allowing easy integration between home and business Wi-Fi networks

IoT Media broadcast devices, such as the Roku stick, Amazon Fire, and Chromecast have been emerging onto the market recently as a portable and inexpensive alternative to cable and disk players, allowing easy integration between home and business Wi-Fi networks and television systems capable of supporting HDMI inputs without the additional overhead of setting up a heavy or complicated player or computer. The rapid expansion of these products as a mechanism to provide for TV Everywhere services for entertainment as well as cheap office appliances brings yet another node in the rapidly expanding network of IoT that surrounds us today. However, the security implications of these devices are nearly unexplored, despite their prevalence. In this thesis, I will go over the structure and mechanisms of Chromecast, and explore some of the potential exploits and consequences of the device. The thesis contains an overview of the inner workings of Chromecast, goes over the segregation and limited control and fundamental design choices of the Android based OS. It then identifies the objectives of security, four different potential methods of exploit to compromise those objectives on a Chromecast and/or its attached network, including rogue applications, traffic sniffing, evil access points and the most effective one: deauthentication attack. Tests or relevant analysis were carried out for each of these methods, and conclusions were drawn on their effectiveness. There is then a conclusion revolving around the consequences, mitigation and the future implications of security issues on Chromecast and the larger IoT landscape.

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Created

Date Created
2016-12

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SDN-based proactive defense mechanism in a cloud system

Description

Cloud computing is known as a new and powerful computing paradigm. This new generation of network computing model delivers both software and hardware as on-demand resources and various services over the Internet. However, the security concerns prevent users from adopting

Cloud computing is known as a new and powerful computing paradigm. This new generation of network computing model delivers both software and hardware as on-demand resources and various services over the Internet. However, the security concerns prevent users from adopting the cloud-based solutions to fulfill the IT requirement for many business critical computing. Due to the resource-sharing and multi-tenant nature of cloud-based solutions, cloud security is especially the most concern in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It has been attracting a lot of research and development effort in the past few years.

Virtualization is the main technology of cloud computing to enable multi-tenancy.

Computing power, storage, and network are all virtualizable to be shared in an IaaS system. This important technology makes abstract infrastructure and resources available to users as isolated virtual machines (VMs) and virtual networks (VNs). However, it also increases vulnerabilities and possible attack surfaces in the system, since all users in a cloud share these resources with others or even the attackers. The promising protection mechanism is required to ensure strong isolation, mediated sharing, and secure communications between VMs. Technologies for detecting anomalous traffic and protecting normal traffic in VNs are also needed. Therefore, how to secure and protect the private traffic in VNs and how to prevent the malicious traffic from shared resources are major security research challenges in a cloud system.

This dissertation proposes four novel frameworks to address challenges mentioned above. The first work is a new multi-phase distributed vulnerability, measurement, and countermeasure selection mechanism based on the attack graph analytical model. The second work is a hybrid intrusion detection and prevention system to protect VN and VM using virtual machines introspection (VMI) and software defined networking (SDN) technologies. The third work further improves the previous works by introducing a VM profiler and VM Security Index (VSI) to keep track the security status of each VM and suggest the optimal countermeasure to mitigate potential threats. The final work is a SDN-based proactive defense mechanism for a cloud system using a reconfiguration model and moving target defense approaches to actively and dynamically change the virtual network configuration of a cloud system.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Towards seamless and secure mobile authentication

Description

With the rise of mobile technology, the personal lives and sensitive information of everyday citizens are carried about without a thought to the risks involved. Despite this high possibility of harm, many fail to use simple security to protect themselves

With the rise of mobile technology, the personal lives and sensitive information of everyday citizens are carried about without a thought to the risks involved. Despite this high possibility of harm, many fail to use simple security to protect themselves because they feel the benefits of securing their devices do not outweigh the cost to usability. The main issue is that beyond initial authentication, sessions are maintained using optional timeout mechanisms where a session will end if a user is inactive for a period of time. This interruption-based form of continuous authentication requires constant user intervention leading to frustration, which discourages its use. No solution currently exists that provides an implementation beyond the insecure and low usability of simple timeout and re-authentication. This work identifies the flaws of current mobile authentication techniques and provides a new solution that is not limiting to the user, has a system for secure, active continuous authentication, and increases the usability and security over current methods.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014