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Description
Sparsity has become an important modeling tool in areas such as genetics, signal and audio processing, medical image processing, etc. Via the penalization of l-1 norm based regularization, the structured sparse learning algorithms can produce highly accurate models while imposing various predefined structures on the data, such as feature groups

Sparsity has become an important modeling tool in areas such as genetics, signal and audio processing, medical image processing, etc. Via the penalization of l-1 norm based regularization, the structured sparse learning algorithms can produce highly accurate models while imposing various predefined structures on the data, such as feature groups or graphs. In this thesis, I first propose to solve a sparse learning model with a general group structure, where the predefined groups may overlap with each other. Then, I present three real world applications which can benefit from the group structured sparse learning technique. In the first application, I study the Alzheimer's Disease diagnosis problem using multi-modality neuroimaging data. In this dataset, not every subject has all data sources available, exhibiting an unique and challenging block-wise missing pattern. In the second application, I study the automatic annotation and retrieval of fruit-fly gene expression pattern images. Combined with the spatial information, sparse learning techniques can be used to construct effective representation of the expression images. In the third application, I present a new computational approach to annotate developmental stage for Drosophila embryos in the gene expression images. In addition, it provides a stage score that enables one to more finely annotate each embryo so that they are divided into early and late periods of development within standard stage demarcations. Stage scores help us to illuminate global gene activities and changes much better, and more refined stage annotations improve our ability to better interpret results when expression pattern matches are discovered between genes.
ContributorsYuan, Lei (Author) / Ye, Jieping (Thesis advisor) / Wang, Yalin (Committee member) / Xue, Guoliang (Committee member) / Kumar, Sudhir (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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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 world problems using computational learning frameworks. However, while gathering a

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.
ContributorsChakraborty, Shayok (Author) / Panchanathan, Sethuraman (Thesis advisor) / Balasubramanian, Vineeth N. (Committee member) / Li, Baoxin (Committee member) / Mittelmann, Hans (Committee member) / Ye, Jieping (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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Description
The increasing popularity of Twitter renders improved trustworthiness and relevance assessment of tweets much more important for search. However, given the limitations on the size of tweets, it is hard to extract measures for ranking from the tweet's content alone. I propose a method of ranking tweets by generating a

The increasing popularity of Twitter renders improved trustworthiness and relevance assessment of tweets much more important for search. However, given the limitations on the size of tweets, it is hard to extract measures for ranking from the tweet's content alone. I propose a method of ranking tweets by generating a reputation score for each tweet that is based not just on content, but also additional information from the Twitter ecosystem that consists of users, tweets, and the web pages that tweets link to. This information is obtained by modeling the Twitter ecosystem as a three-layer graph. The reputation score is used to power two novel methods of ranking tweets by propagating the reputation over an agreement graph based on tweets' content similarity. Additionally, I show how the agreement graph helps counter tweet spam. An evaluation of my method on 16~million tweets from the TREC 2011 Microblog Dataset shows that it doubles the precision over baseline Twitter Search and achieves higher precision than current state of the art method. I present a detailed internal empirical evaluation of RAProp in comparison to several alternative approaches proposed by me, as well as external evaluation in comparison to the current state of the art method.
ContributorsRavikumar, Srijith (Author) / Kambhampati, Subbarao (Thesis advisor) / Davulcu, Hasan (Committee member) / Liu, Huan (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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Description
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

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.
ContributorsKamasamudram, Anurag (Author) / Saripalli, Srikanth (Thesis advisor) / Fainekos, Georgios (Thesis advisor) / Turaga, Pavan (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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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 fixed before starting software developing, it promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary

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.
ContributorsDeng, Yuli (Author) / Huang, Dijiang (Thesis advisor) / Davulcu, Hasan (Committee member) / Chen, Yinong (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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Description
As the complexity of robotic systems and applications grows rapidly, development of high-performance, easy to use, and fully integrated development environments for those systems is inevitable. Model-Based Design (MBD) of dynamic systems using engineering software such as Simulink® from MathWorks®, SciCos from Metalau team and SystemModeler® from Wolfram® is quite

As the complexity of robotic systems and applications grows rapidly, development of high-performance, easy to use, and fully integrated development environments for those systems is inevitable. Model-Based Design (MBD) of dynamic systems using engineering software such as Simulink® from MathWorks®, SciCos from Metalau team and SystemModeler® from Wolfram® is quite popular nowadays. They provide tools for modeling, simulation, verification and in some cases automatic code generation for desktop applications, embedded systems and robots. For real-world implementation of models on the actual hardware, those models should be converted into compilable machine code either manually or automatically. Due to the complexity of robotic systems, manual code translation from model to code is not a feasible optimal solution so we need to move towards automated code generation for such systems. MathWorks® offers code generation facilities called Coder® products for this purpose. However in order to fully exploit the power of model-based design and code generation tools for robotic applications, we need to enhance those software systems by adding and modifying toolboxes, files and other artifacts as well as developing guidelines and procedures. In this thesis, an effort has been made to propose a guideline as well as a Simulink® library, StateFlow® interface API and a C/C++ interface API to complete this toolchain for NAO humanoid robots. Thus the model of the hierarchical control architecture can be easily and properly converted to code and built for implementation.
ContributorsRaji Kermani, Ramtin (Author) / Fainekos, Georgios (Thesis advisor) / Lee, Yann-Hang (Committee member) / Sarjoughian, Hessam S. (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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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 with the query. In general, human networks are good in

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.
ContributorsSwaminathan, Neelakantan (Author) / Sundaram, Hari (Thesis advisor) / Davulcu, Hasan (Thesis advisor) / Turaga, Pavan (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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Description
With the advent of social media (like Twitter, Facebook etc.,) people are easily sharing their opinions, sentiments and enforcing their ideologies on others like never before. Even people who are otherwise socially inactive would like to share their thoughts on current affairs by tweeting and sharing news feeds with their

With the advent of social media (like Twitter, Facebook etc.,) people are easily sharing their opinions, sentiments and enforcing their ideologies on others like never before. Even people who are otherwise socially inactive would like to share their thoughts on current affairs by tweeting and sharing news feeds with their friends and acquaintances. In this thesis study, we chose Twitter as our main data platform to analyze shifts and movements of 27 political organizations in Indonesia. So far, we have collected over 30 million tweets and 150,000 news articles from RSS feeds of the corresponding organizations for our analysis. For Twitter data extraction, we developed a multi-threaded application which seamlessly extracts, cleans and stores millions of tweets matching our keywords from Twitter Streaming API. For keyword extraction, we used topics and perspectives which were extracted using n-grams techniques and later approved by our social scientists. After the data is extracted, we aggregate the tweet contents that belong to every user on a weekly basis. Finally, we applied linear and logistic regression using SLEP, an open source sparse learning package to compute weekly score for users and mapping them to one of the 27 organizations on a radical or counter radical scale. Since, we are mapping users to organizations on a weekly basis, we are able to track user's behavior and important new events that triggered shifts among users between organizations. This thesis study can further be extended to identify topics and organization specific influential users and new users from various social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube etc. can easily be mapped to existing organizations on a radical or counter-radical scale.
ContributorsPoornachandran, Sathishkumar (Author) / Davulcu, Hasan (Thesis advisor) / Sen, Arunabha (Committee member) / Woodward, Mark (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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Description
Statistics is taught at every level of education, yet teachers often have to assume their students have no knowledge of statistics and start from scratch each time they set out to teach statistics. The motivation for this experimental study comes from interest in exploring educational applications of augmented reality (AR)

Statistics is taught at every level of education, yet teachers often have to assume their students have no knowledge of statistics and start from scratch each time they set out to teach statistics. The motivation for this experimental study comes from interest in exploring educational applications of augmented reality (AR) delivered via mobile technology that could potentially provide rich, contextualized learning for understanding concepts related to statistics education. This study examined the effects of AR experiences for learning basic statistical concepts. Using a 3 x 2 research design, this study compared learning gains of 252 undergraduate and graduate students from a pre- and posttest given before and after interacting with one of three types of augmented reality experiences, a high AR experience (interacting with three dimensional images coupled with movement through a physical space), a low AR experience (interacting with three dimensional images without movement), or no AR experience (two dimensional images without movement). Two levels of collaboration (pairs and no pairs) were also included. Additionally, student perceptions toward collaboration opportunities and engagement were compared across the six treatment conditions. Other demographic information collected included the students' previous statistics experience, as well as their comfort level in using mobile devices. The moderating variables included prior knowledge (high, average, and low) as measured by the student's pretest score. Taking into account prior knowledge, students with low prior knowledge assigned to either high or low AR experience had statistically significant higher learning gains than those assigned to a no AR experience. On the other hand, the results showed no statistical significance between students assigned to work individually versus in pairs. Students assigned to both high and low AR experience perceived a statistically significant higher level of engagement than their no AR counterparts. Students with low prior knowledge benefited the most from the high AR condition in learning gains. Overall, the AR application did well for providing a hands-on experience working with statistical data. Further research on AR and its relationship to spatial cognition, situated learning, high order skill development, performance support, and other classroom applications for learning is still needed.
ContributorsConley, Quincy (Author) / Atkinson, Robert K (Thesis advisor) / Nguyen, Frank (Committee member) / Nelson, Brian C (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013
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Description
Automating aspects of biocuration through biomedical information extraction could significantly impact biomedical research by enabling greater biocuration throughput and improving the feasibility of a wider scope. An important step in biomedical information extraction systems is named entity recognition (NER), where mentions of entities such as proteins and diseases are located

Automating aspects of biocuration through biomedical information extraction could significantly impact biomedical research by enabling greater biocuration throughput and improving the feasibility of a wider scope. An important step in biomedical information extraction systems is named entity recognition (NER), where mentions of entities such as proteins and diseases are located within natural-language text and their semantic type is determined. This step is critical for later tasks in an information extraction pipeline, including normalization and relationship extraction. BANNER is a benchmark biomedical NER system using linear-chain conditional random fields and the rich feature set approach. A case study with BANNER locating genes and proteins in biomedical literature is described. The first corpus for disease NER adequate for use as training data is introduced, and employed in a case study of disease NER. The first corpus locating adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in user posts to a health-related social website is also described, and a system to locate and identify ADRs in social media text is created and evaluated. The rich feature set approach to creating NER feature sets is argued to be subject to diminishing returns, implying that additional improvements may require more sophisticated methods for creating the feature set. This motivates the first application of multivariate feature selection with filters and false discovery rate analysis to biomedical NER, resulting in a feature set at least 3 orders of magnitude smaller than the set created by the rich feature set approach. Finally, two novel approaches to NER by modeling the semantics of token sequences are introduced. The first method focuses on the sequence content by using language models to determine whether a sequence resembles entries in a lexicon of entity names or text from an unlabeled corpus more closely. The second method models the distributional semantics of token sequences, determining the similarity between a potential mention and the token sequences from the training data by analyzing the contexts where each sequence appears in a large unlabeled corpus. The second method is shown to improve the performance of BANNER on multiple data sets.
ContributorsLeaman, James Robert (Author) / Gonzalez, Graciela (Thesis advisor) / Baral, Chitta (Thesis advisor) / Cohen, Kevin B (Committee member) / Liu, Huan (Committee member) / Ye, Jieping (Committee member) / Arizona State University (Publisher)
Created2013