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Smooth path planning using splines for unmanned planetary vehicles

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One of the main challenges in planetary robotics is to traverse the shortest path through a set of waypoints. The shortest distance between any two waypoints is a direct linear traversal. Often times, there are physical restrictions that prevent a

One of the main challenges in planetary robotics is to traverse the shortest path through a set of waypoints. The shortest distance between any two waypoints is a direct linear traversal. Often times, there are physical restrictions that prevent a rover form traversing straight to a waypoint. Thus, knowledge of the terrain is needed prior to traversal. The Digital Terrain Model (DTM) provides information about the terrain along with waypoints for the rover to traverse. However, traversing a set of waypoints linearly is burdensome, as the rovers would constantly need to modify their orientation as they successively approach waypoints. Although there are various solutions to this problem, this research paper proposes the smooth traversability of the rover using splines as a quick and easy implementation to traverse a set of waypoints. In addition, a rover was used to compare the smoothness of the linear traversal along with the spline interpolations. The data collected illustrated that spline traversals had a less rate of change in the velocity over time, indicating that the rover performed smoother than with linear paths.

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Date Created
2013

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Decentralized information search

Description

Our research focuses on finding answers through decentralized search, for complex, imprecise queries (such as "Which is the best hair salon nearby?") in situations where there is a spatiotemporal constraint (say answer needs to be found within 15 minutes) associated

Our research focuses on finding answers through decentralized search, for complex, imprecise queries (such as "Which is the best hair salon nearby?") in situations where there is a spatiotemporal constraint (say answer needs to be found within 15 minutes) associated with the query. In general, human networks are good in answering imprecise queries. We try to use the social network of a person to answer his query. Our research aims at designing a framework that exploits the user's social network in order to maximize the answers for a given query. Exploiting an user's social network has several challenges. The major challenge is that the user's immediate social circle may not possess the answer for the given query, and hence the framework designed needs to carry out the query diffusion process across the network. The next challenge involves in finding the right set of seeds to pass the query to in the user's social circle. One other challenge is to incentivize people in the social network to respond to the query and thereby maximize the quality and quantity of replies. Our proposed framework is a mobile application where an individual can either respond to the query or forward it to his friends. We simulated the query diffusion process in three types of graphs: Small World, Random and Preferential Attachment. Given a type of network and a particular query, we carried out the query diffusion by selecting seeds based on attributes of the seed. The main attributes are Topic relevance, Replying or Forwarding probability and Time to Respond. We found that there is a considerable increase in the number of replies attained, even without saturating the user's network, if we adopt an optimal seed selection process. We found the output of the optimal algorithm to be satisfactory as the number of replies received at the interrogator's end was close to three times the number of neighbors an interrogator has. We addressed the challenge of incentivizing people to respond by associating a particular amount of points for each query asked, and awarding the same to people involved in answering the query. Thus, we aim to design a mobile application based on our proposed framework so that it helps in maximizing the replies for the interrogator's query by diffusing the query across his/her social network.

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2013

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Study of an epidemic multiple behavior diffusion model in a resource constrained social network

Description

In contemporary society, sustainability and public well-being have been pressing challenges. Some of the important questions are:how can sustainable practices, such as reducing carbon emission, be encouraged? , How can a healthy lifestyle be maintained?Even though individuals are interested, they

In contemporary society, sustainability and public well-being have been pressing challenges. Some of the important questions are:how can sustainable practices, such as reducing carbon emission, be encouraged? , How can a healthy lifestyle be maintained?Even though individuals are interested, they are unable to adopt these behaviors due to resource constraints. Developing a framework to enable cooperative behavior adoption and to sustain it for a long period of time is a major challenge. As a part of developing this framework, I am focusing on methods to understand behavior diffusion over time. Facilitating behavior diffusion with resource constraints in a large population is qualitatively different from promoting cooperation in small groups. Previous work in social sciences has derived conditions for sustainable cooperative behavior in small homogeneous groups. However, how groups of individuals having resource constraint co-operate over extended periods of time is not well understood, and is the focus of my thesis. I develop models to analyze behavior diffusion over time through the lens of epidemic models with the condition that individuals have resource constraint. I introduce an epidemic model SVRS ( Susceptible-Volatile-Recovered-Susceptible) to accommodate multiple behavior adoption. I investigate the longitudinal effects of behavior diffusion by varying different properties of an individual such as resources,threshold and cost of behavior adoption. I also consider how behavior adoption of an individual varies with her knowledge of global adoption. I evaluate my models on several synthetic topologies like complete regular graph, preferential attachment and small-world and make some interesting observations. Periodic injection of early adopters can help in boosting the spread of behaviors and sustain it for a longer period of time. Also, behavior propagation for the classical epidemic model SIRS (Susceptible-Infected-Recovered-Susceptible) does not continue for an infinite period of time as per conventional wisdom. One interesting future direction is to investigate how behavior adoption is affected when number of individuals in a network changes. The affects on behavior adoption when availability of behavior changes with time can also be examined.

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Date Created
2013

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System-level synthesis of dataplane subsystems for MPSoCs

Description

In recent years we have witnessed a shift towards multi-processor system-on-chips (MPSoCs) to address the demands of embedded devices (such as cell phones, GPS devices, luxury car features, etc.). Highly optimized MPSoCs are well-suited to tackle the complex application demands

In recent years we have witnessed a shift towards multi-processor system-on-chips (MPSoCs) to address the demands of embedded devices (such as cell phones, GPS devices, luxury car features, etc.). Highly optimized MPSoCs are well-suited to tackle the complex application demands desired by the end user customer. These MPSoCs incorporate a constellation of heterogeneous processing elements (PEs) (general purpose PEs and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICS)). A typical MPSoC will be composed of a application processor, such as an ARM Coretex-A9 with cache coherent memory hierarchy, and several application sub-systems. Each of these sub-systems are composed of highly optimized instruction processors, graphics/DSP processors, and custom hardware accelerators. Typically, these sub-systems utilize scratchpad memories (SPM) rather than support cache coherency. The overall architecture is an integration of the various sub-systems through a high bandwidth system-level interconnect (such as a Network-on-Chip (NoC)). The shift to MPSoCs has been fueled by three major factors: demand for high performance, the use of component libraries, and short design turn around time. As customers continue to desire more and more complex applications on their embedded devices the performance demand for these devices continues to increase. Designers have turned to using MPSoCs to address this demand. By using pre-made IP libraries designers can quickly piece together a MPSoC that will meet the application demands of the end user with minimal time spent designing new hardware. Additionally, the use of MPSoCs allows designers to generate new devices very quickly and thus reducing the time to market. In this work, a complete MPSoC synthesis design flow is presented. We first present a technique \cite{leary1_intro} to address the synthesis of the interconnect architecture (particularly Network-on-Chip (NoC)). We then address the synthesis of the memory architecture of a MPSoC sub-system \cite{leary2_intro}. Lastly, we present a co-synthesis technique to generate the functional and memory architectures simultaneously. The validity and quality of each synthesis technique is demonstrated through extensive experimentation.

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2013

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Classifying everyday activity through label propagation with sparse training data

Description

We solve the problem of activity verification in the context of sustainability. Activity verification is the process of proving the user assertions pertaining to a certain activity performed by the user. Our motivation lies in incentivizing the user for engaging

We solve the problem of activity verification in the context of sustainability. Activity verification is the process of proving the user assertions pertaining to a certain activity performed by the user. Our motivation lies in incentivizing the user for engaging in sustainable activities like taking public transport or recycling. Such incentivization schemes require the system to verify the claim made by the user. The system verifies these claims by analyzing the supporting evidence captured by the user while performing the activity. The proliferation of portable smart-phones in the past few years has provided us with a ubiquitous and relatively cheap platform, having multiple sensors like accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone etc. to capture this evidence data in-situ. In this research, we investigate the supervised and semi-supervised learning techniques for activity verification. Both these techniques make use the data set constructed using the evidence submitted by the user. Supervised learning makes use of annotated evidence data to build a function to predict the class labels of the unlabeled data points. The evidence data captured can be either unimodal or multimodal in nature. We use the accelerometer data as evidence for transportation mode verification and image data as evidence for recycling verification. After training the system, we achieve maximum accuracy of 94% when classifying the transport mode and 81% when detecting recycle activity. In the case of recycle verification, we could improve the classification accuracy by asking the user for more evidence. We present some techniques to ask the user for the next best piece of evidence that maximizes the probability of classification. Using these techniques for detecting recycle activity, the accuracy increases to 93%. The major disadvantage of using supervised models is that it requires extensive annotated training data, which expensive to collect. Due to the limited training data, we look at the graph based inductive semi-supervised learning methods to propagate the labels among the unlabeled samples. In the semi-supervised approach, we represent each instance in the data set as a node in the graph. Since it is a complete graph, edges interconnect these nodes, with each edge having some weight representing the similarity between the points. We propagate the labels in this graph, based on the proximity of the data points to the labeled nodes. We estimate the performance of these algorithms by measuring how close the probability distribution of the data after label propagation is to the probability distribution of the ground truth data. Since labeling has a cost associated with it, in this thesis we propose two algorithms that help us in selecting minimum number of labeled points to propagate the labels accurately. Our proposed algorithm achieves a maximum of 73% increase in performance when compared to the baseline algorithm.

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2013

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Augmented image classification using image registration techniques

Description

Advancements in computer vision and machine learning have added a new dimension to remote sensing applications with the aid of imagery analysis techniques. Applications such as autonomous navigation and terrain classification which make use of image classification techniques are challenging

Advancements in computer vision and machine learning have added a new dimension to remote sensing applications with the aid of imagery analysis techniques. Applications such as autonomous navigation and terrain classification which make use of image classification techniques are challenging problems and research is still being carried out to find better solutions. In this thesis, a novel method is proposed which uses image registration techniques to provide better image classification. This method reduces the error rate of classification by performing image registration of the images with the previously obtained images before performing classification. The motivation behind this is the fact that images that are obtained in the same region which need to be classified will not differ significantly in characteristics. Hence, registration will provide an image that matches closer to the previously obtained image, thus providing better classification. To illustrate that the proposed method works, naïve Bayes and iterative closest point (ICP) algorithms are used for the image classification and registration stages respectively. This implementation was tested extensively in simulation using synthetic images and using a real life data set called the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Learning Applied to Ground Robots (LAGR) dataset. The results show that the ICP algorithm does help in better classification with Naïve Bayes by reducing the error rate by an average of about 10% in the synthetic data and by about 7% on the actual datasets used.

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Date Created
2011

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Low complexity differential geometric computations with applications to human activity analysis

Description

In this thesis, we consider the problem of fast and efficient indexing techniques for time sequences which evolve on manifold-valued spaces. Using manifolds is a convenient way to work with complex features that often do not live in Euclidean spaces.

In this thesis, we consider the problem of fast and efficient indexing techniques for time sequences which evolve on manifold-valued spaces. Using manifolds is a convenient way to work with complex features that often do not live in Euclidean spaces. However, computing standard notions of geodesic distance, mean etc. can get very involved due to the underlying non-linearity associated with the space. As a result a complex task such as manifold sequence matching would require very large number of computations making it hard to use in practice. We believe that one can device smart approximation algorithms for several classes of such problems which take into account the geometry of the manifold and maintain the favorable properties of the exact approach. This problem has several applications in areas of human activity discovery and recognition, where several features and representations are naturally studied in a non-Euclidean setting. We propose a novel solution to the problem of indexing manifold-valued sequences by proposing an intrinsic approach to map sequences to a symbolic representation. This is shown to enable the deployment of fast and accurate algorithms for activity recognition, motif discovery, and anomaly detection. Toward this end, we present generalizations of key concepts of piece-wise aggregation and symbolic approximation for the case of non-Euclidean manifolds. Experiments show that one can replace expensive geodesic computations with much faster symbolic computations with little loss of accuracy in activity recognition and discovery applications. The proposed methods are ideally suited for real-time systems and resource constrained scenarios.

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Date Created
2012

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Software techniques in the compromise of energy and accuracy

Description

Software has a great impact on the energy efficiency of any computing system--it can manage the components of a system efficiently or inefficiently. The impact of software is amplified in the context of a wearable computing system used for activity

Software has a great impact on the energy efficiency of any computing system--it can manage the components of a system efficiently or inefficiently. The impact of software is amplified in the context of a wearable computing system used for activity recognition. The design space this platform opens up is immense and encompasses sensors, feature calculations, activity classification algorithms, sleep schedules, and transmission protocols. Design choices in each of these areas impact energy use, overall accuracy, and usefulness of the system. This thesis explores methods software can influence the trade-off between energy consumption and system accuracy. In general the more energy a system consumes the more accurate will be. We explore how finding the transitions between human activities is able to reduce the energy consumption of such systems without reducing much accuracy. We introduce the Log-likelihood Ratio Test as a method to detect transitions, and explore how choices of sensor, feature calculations, and parameters concerning time segmentation affect the accuracy of this method. We discovered an approximate 5X increase in energy efficiency could be achieved with only a 5% decrease in accuracy. We also address how a system's sleep mode, in which the processor enters a low-power state and sensors are turned off, affects a wearable computing platform that does activity recognition. We discuss the energy trade-offs in each stage of the activity recognition process. We find that careful analysis of these parameters can result in great increases in energy efficiency if small compromises in overall accuracy can be tolerated. We call this the ``Great Compromise.'' We found a 6X increase in efficiency with a 7% decrease in accuracy. We then consider how wireless transmission of data affects the overall energy efficiency of a wearable computing platform. We find that design decisions such as feature calculations and grouping size have a great impact on the energy consumption of the system because of the amount of data that is stored and transmitted. For example, storing and transmitting vector-based features such as FFT or DCT do not compress the signal and would use more energy than storing and transmitting the raw signal. The effect of grouping size on energy consumption depends on the feature. For scalar features energy consumption is proportional in the inverse of grouping size, so it's reduced as grouping size goes up. For features that depend on the grouping size, such as FFT, energy increases with the logarithm of grouping size, so energy consumption increases slowly as grouping size increases. We find that compressing data through activity classification and transition detection significantly reduces energy consumption and that the energy consumed for the classification overhead is negligible compared to the energy savings from data compression. We provide mathematical models of energy usage and data generation, and test our ideas using a mobile computing platform, the Texas Instruments Chronos watch.

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Date Created
2014

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Exploring video denoising using matrix completion

Description

Video denoising has been an important task in many multimedia and computer vision applications. Recent developments in the matrix completion theory and emergence of new numerical methods which can efficiently solve the matrix completion problem have paved the way for

Video denoising has been an important task in many multimedia and computer vision applications. Recent developments in the matrix completion theory and emergence of new numerical methods which can efficiently solve the matrix completion problem have paved the way for exploration of new techniques for some classical image processing tasks. Recent literature shows that many computer vision and image processing problems can be solved by using the matrix completion theory. This thesis explores the application of matrix completion in video denoising. A state-of-the-art video denoising algorithm in which the denoising task is modeled as a matrix completion problem is chosen for detailed study. The contribution of this thesis lies in both providing extensive analysis to bridge the gap in existing literature on matrix completion frame work for video denoising and also in proposing some novel techniques to improve the performance of the chosen denoising algorithm. The chosen algorithm is implemented for thorough analysis. Experiments and discussions are presented to enable better understanding of the problem. Instability shown by the algorithm at some parameter values in a particular case of low levels of pure Gaussian noise is identified. Artifacts introduced in such cases are analyzed. A novel way of grouping structurally-relevant patches is proposed to improve the algorithm. Experiments show that this technique is useful, especially in videos containing high amounts of motion. Based on the observation that matrix completion is not suitable for denoising patches containing relatively low amount of image details, a framework is designed to separate patches corresponding to low structured regions from a noisy image. Experiments are conducted by not subjecting such patches to matrix completion, instead denoising such patches in a different way. The resulting improvement in performance suggests that denoising low structured patches does not require a complex method like matrix completion and in fact it is counter-productive to subject such patches to matrix completion. These results also indicate the inherent limitation of matrix completion to deal with cases in which noise dominates the structural properties of an image. A novel method for introducing priorities to the ranked patches in matrix completion is also presented. Results showed that this method yields improved performance in general. It is observed that the artifacts in presence of low levels of pure Gaussian noise appear differently after introducing priorities to the patches and the artifacts occur at a wider range of parameter values. Results and discussion suggesting future ways to explore this problem are also presented.

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Date Created
2013

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Semantic sparse learning in images and videos

Description

Many learning models have been proposed for various tasks in visual computing. Popular examples include hidden Markov models and support vector machines. Recently, sparse-representation-based learning methods have attracted a lot of attention in the computer vision field, largely because of

Many learning models have been proposed for various tasks in visual computing. Popular examples include hidden Markov models and support vector machines. Recently, sparse-representation-based learning methods have attracted a lot of attention in the computer vision field, largely because of their impressive performance in many applications. In the literature, many of such sparse learning methods focus on designing or application of some learning techniques for certain feature space without much explicit consideration on possible interaction between the underlying semantics of the visual data and the employed learning technique. Rich semantic information in most visual data, if properly incorporated into algorithm design, should help achieving improved performance while delivering intuitive interpretation of the algorithmic outcomes. My study addresses the problem of how to explicitly consider the semantic information of the visual data in the sparse learning algorithms. In this work, we identify four problems which are of great importance and broad interest to the community. Specifically, a novel approach is proposed to incorporate label information to learn a dictionary which is not only reconstructive but also discriminative; considering the formation process of face images, a novel image decomposition approach for an ensemble of correlated images is proposed, where a subspace is built from the decomposition and applied to face recognition; based on the observation that, the foreground (or salient) objects are sparse in input domain and the background is sparse in frequency domain, a novel and efficient spatio-temporal saliency detection algorithm is proposed to identify the salient regions in video; and a novel hidden Markov model learning approach is proposed by utilizing a sparse set of pairwise comparisons among the data, which is easier to obtain and more meaningful, consistent than tradition labels, in many scenarios, e.g., evaluating motion skills in surgical simulations. In those four problems, different types of semantic information are modeled and incorporated in designing sparse learning algorithms for the corresponding visual computing tasks. Several real world applications are selected to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods, including, face recognition, spatio-temporal saliency detection, abnormality detection, spatio-temporal interest point detection, motion analysis and emotion recognition. In those applications, data of different modalities are involved, ranging from audio signal, image to video. Experiments on large scale real world data with comparisons to state-of-art methods confirm the proposed approaches deliver salient advantages, showing adding those semantic information dramatically improve the performances of the general sparse learning methods.

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Date Created
2014