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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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2016-05

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Analysis of Twitter's Effect on Stock Prices

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Twitter has become a very popular social media site that is used daily by many people and organizations. This paper will focus on the financial aspect of Twitter, as a process will be shown to be able to mine data

Twitter has become a very popular social media site that is used daily by many people and organizations. This paper will focus on the financial aspect of Twitter, as a process will be shown to be able to mine data about specific companies' stock prices. This was done by writing a program to grab tweets about the stocks of the thirty companies in the Dow Jones.

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2014-05

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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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2013-05

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On efficient and scalable attribute based security systems

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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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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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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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Date Created
2013

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Combining thickness information with surface tensor-based morphometry for the 3D statistical analysis of the corpus callosum

Description

In blindness research, the corpus callosum (CC) is the most frequently studied sub-cortical structure, due to its important involvement in visual processing. While most callosal analyses from brain structural magnetic resonance images (MRI) are limited to the 2D mid-sagittal slice,

In blindness research, the corpus callosum (CC) is the most frequently studied sub-cortical structure, due to its important involvement in visual processing. While most callosal analyses from brain structural magnetic resonance images (MRI) are limited to the 2D mid-sagittal slice, we propose a novel framework to capture a complete set of 3D morphological differences in the corpus callosum between two groups of subjects. The CCs are segmented from whole brain T1-weighted MRI and modeled as 3D tetrahedral meshes. The callosal surface is divided into superior and inferior patches on which we compute a volumetric harmonic field by solving the Laplace's equation with Dirichlet boundary conditions. We adopt a refined tetrahedral mesh to compute the Laplacian operator, so our computation can achieve sub-voxel accuracy. Thickness is estimated by tracing the streamlines in the harmonic field. We combine areal changes found using surface tensor-based morphometry and thickness information into a vector at each vertex to be used as a metric for the statistical analysis. Group differences are assessed on this combined measure through Hotelling's T2 test. The method is applied to statistically compare three groups consisting of: congenitally blind (CB), late blind (LB; onset > 8 years old) and sighted (SC) subjects. Our results reveal significant differences in several regions of the CC between both blind groups and the sighted groups; and to a lesser extent between the LB and CB groups. These results demonstrate the crucial role of visual deprivation during the developmental period in reshaping the structural architecture of the CC.

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Date Created
2013

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Batch mode active learning for multimedia pattern recognition

Description

The rapid escalation of technology and the widespread emergence of modern technological equipments have resulted in the generation of humongous amounts of digital data (in the form of images, videos and text). This has expanded the possibility of solving real

The rapid escalation of technology and the widespread emergence of modern technological equipments have resulted in the generation of humongous amounts of digital data (in the form of images, videos and text). This has expanded the possibility of solving real world problems using computational learning frameworks. However, while gathering a large amount of data is cheap and easy, annotating them with class labels is an expensive process in terms of time, labor and human expertise. This has paved the way for research in the field of active learning. Such algorithms automatically select the salient and exemplar instances from large quantities of unlabeled data and are effective in reducing human labeling effort in inducing classification models. To utilize the possible presence of multiple labeling agents, there have been attempts towards a batch mode form of active learning, where a batch of data instances is selected simultaneously for manual annotation. This dissertation is aimed at the development of novel batch mode active learning algorithms to reduce manual effort in training classification models in real world multimedia pattern recognition applications. Four major contributions are proposed in this work: $(i)$ a framework for dynamic batch mode active learning, where the batch size and the specific data instances to be queried are selected adaptively through a single formulation, based on the complexity of the data stream in question, $(ii)$ a batch mode active learning strategy for fuzzy label classification problems, where there is an inherent imprecision and vagueness in the class label definitions, $(iii)$ batch mode active learning algorithms based on convex relaxations of an NP-hard integer quadratic programming (IQP) problem, with guaranteed bounds on the solution quality and $(iv)$ an active matrix completion algorithm and its application to solve several variants of the active learning problem (transductive active learning, multi-label active learning, active feature acquisition and active learning for regression). These contributions are validated on the face recognition and facial expression recognition problems (which are commonly encountered in real world applications like robotics, security and assistive technology for the blind and the visually impaired) and also on collaborative filtering applications like movie recommendation.

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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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2012

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Building adaptive computational systems for physiological and biomedical data

Description

In recent years, machine learning and data mining technologies have received growing attention in several areas such as recommendation systems, natural language processing, speech and handwriting recognition, image processing and biomedical domain. Many of these applications which deal with physiological

In recent years, machine learning and data mining technologies have received growing attention in several areas such as recommendation systems, natural language processing, speech and handwriting recognition, image processing and biomedical domain. Many of these applications which deal with physiological and biomedical data require person specific or person adaptive systems. The greatest challenge in developing such systems is the subject-dependent data variations or subject-based variability in physiological and biomedical data, which leads to difference in data distributions making the task of modeling these data, using traditional machine learning algorithms, complex and challenging. As a result, despite the wide application of machine learning, efficient deployment of its principles to model real-world data is still a challenge. This dissertation addresses the problem of subject based variability in physiological and biomedical data and proposes person adaptive prediction models based on novel transfer and active learning algorithms, an emerging field in machine learning. One of the significant contributions of this dissertation is a person adaptive method, for early detection of muscle fatigue using Surface Electromyogram signals, based on a new multi-source transfer learning algorithm. This dissertation also proposes a subject-independent algorithm for grading the progression of muscle fatigue from 0 to 1 level in a test subject, during isometric or dynamic contractions, at real-time. Besides subject based variability, biomedical image data also varies due to variations in their imaging techniques, leading to distribution differences between the image databases. Hence a classifier learned on one database may perform poorly on the other database. Another significant contribution of this dissertation has been the design and development of an efficient biomedical image data annotation framework, based on a novel combination of transfer learning and a new batch-mode active learning method, capable of addressing the distribution differences across databases. The methodologies developed in this dissertation are relevant and applicable to a large set of computing problems where there is a high variation of data between subjects or sources, such as face detection, pose detection and speech recognition. From a broader perspective, these frameworks can be viewed as a first step towards design of automated adaptive systems for real world data.

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Date Created
2013