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Incorporating supervisory human inputs into autonomous robot navigation

Description

With robots being used extensively in various areas, a certain degree of robot autonomy has always been found desirable. In applications like planetary exploration, autonomous path planning and navigation are considered essential. But every now and then, a need to

With robots being used extensively in various areas, a certain degree of robot autonomy has always been found desirable. In applications like planetary exploration, autonomous path planning and navigation are considered essential. But every now and then, a need to modify the robot's operation arises, a need for a human to provide it some supervisory parameters that modify the degree of autonomy or allocate extra tasks to the robot. In this regard, this thesis presents an approach to include a provision to accept and incorporate such human inputs and modify the navigation functions of the robot accordingly. Concepts such as applying kinematical constraints while planning paths, traversing of unknown areas with an intent of maximizing field of view, performing complex tasks on command etc. have been examined and implemented. The approaches have been tested in Robot Operating System (ROS), using robots such as the iRobot Create, Personal Robotics (PR2) etc. Simulations and experimental demonstrations have proved that this approach is feasible for solving some of the existing problems and that it certainly can pave way to further research for enhancing functionality.

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Date Created
2013

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Smooth path planning using splines for unmanned planetary vehicles

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

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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Date Created
2013

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Clinically relevant classification and retrieval of diabetic retinopathy images

Description

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common cause of blindness occurring due to prolonged presence of diabetes. The risk of developing DR or having the disease progress is increasing over time. Despite advances in diabetes care over the years, DR remains

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a common cause of blindness occurring due to prolonged presence of diabetes. The risk of developing DR or having the disease progress is increasing over time. Despite advances in diabetes care over the years, DR remains a vision-threatening complication and one of the leading causes of blindness among American adults. Recent studies have shown that diagnosis based on digital retinal imaging has potential benefits over traditional face-to-face evaluation. Yet there is a dearth of computer-based systems that can match the level of performance achieved by ophthalmologists. This thesis takes a fresh perspective in developing a computer-based system aimed at improving diagnosis of DR images. These images are categorized into three classes according to their severity level. The proposed approach explores effective methods to classify new images and retrieve clinically-relevant images from a database with prior diagnosis information associated with them. Retrieval provides a novel way to utilize the vast knowledge in the archives of previously-diagnosed DR images and thereby improve a clinician's performance while classification can safely reduce the burden on DR screening programs and possibly achieve higher detection accuracy than human experts. To solve the three-class retrieval and classification problem, the approach uses a multi-class multiple-instance medical image retrieval framework that makes use of spectrally tuned color correlogram and steerable Gaussian filter response features. The results show better retrieval and classification performances than prior-art methods and are also observed to be of clinical and visual relevance.

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Date Created
2012

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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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Designing m-health modules with sensor interfaces for DSP education

Description

Advancements in mobile technologies have significantly enhanced the capabilities of mobile devices to serve as powerful platforms for sensing, processing, and visualization. Surges in the sensing technology and the abundance of data have enabled the use of these portable devices

Advancements in mobile technologies have significantly enhanced the capabilities of mobile devices to serve as powerful platforms for sensing, processing, and visualization. Surges in the sensing technology and the abundance of data have enabled the use of these portable devices for real-time data analysis and decision-making in digital signal processing (DSP) applications. Most of the current efforts in DSP education focus on building tools to facilitate understanding of the mathematical principles. However, there is a disconnect between real-world data processing problems and the material presented in a DSP course. Sophisticated mobile interfaces and apps can potentially play a crucial role in providing a hands-on-experience with modern DSP applications to students. In this work, a new paradigm of DSP learning is explored by building an interactive easy-to-use health monitoring application for use in DSP courses. This is motivated by the increasing commercial interest in employing mobile phones for real-time health monitoring tasks. The idea is to exploit the computational abilities of the Android platform to build m-Health modules with sensor interfaces. In particular, appropriate sensing modalities have been identified, and a suite of software functionalities have been developed. Within the existing framework of the AJDSP app, a graphical programming environment, interfaces to on-board and external sensor hardware have also been developed to acquire and process physiological data. The set of sensor signals that can be monitored include electrocardiogram (ECG), photoplethysmogram (PPG), accelerometer signal, and galvanic skin response (GSR). The proposed m-Health modules can be used to estimate parameters such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, step count, and heart rate variability. A set of laboratory exercises have been designed to demonstrate the use of these modules in DSP courses. The app was evaluated through several workshops involving graduate and undergraduate students in signal processing majors at Arizona State University. The usefulness of the software modules in enhancing student understanding of signals, sensors and DSP systems were analyzed. Student opinions about the app and the proposed m-health modules evidenced the merits of integrating tools for mobile sensing and processing in a DSP curriculum, and familiarizing students with challenges in modern data-driven applications.

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Date Created
2013

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Particle image segmentation based on Bhattacharyya distance

Description

Image segmentation is of great importance and value in many applications. In computer vision, image segmentation is the tool and process of locating objects and boundaries within images. The segmentation result may provide more meaningful image data. Generally, there are

Image segmentation is of great importance and value in many applications. In computer vision, image segmentation is the tool and process of locating objects and boundaries within images. The segmentation result may provide more meaningful image data. Generally, there are two fundamental image segmentation algorithms: discontinuity and similarity. The idea behind discontinuity is locating the abrupt changes in intensity of images, as are often seen in edges or boundaries. Similarity subdivides an image into regions that fit the pre-defined criteria. The algorithm utilized in this thesis is the second category.

This study addresses the problem of particle image segmentation by measuring the similarity between a sampled region and an adjacent region, based on Bhattacharyya distance and an image feature extraction technique that uses distribution of local binary patterns and pattern contrasts. A boundary smoothing process is developed to improve the accuracy of the segmentation. The novel particle image segmentation algorithm is tested using four different cases of particle image velocimetry (PIV) images. The obtained experimental results of segmentations provide partitioning of the objects within 10 percent error rate. Ground-truth segmentation data, which are manually segmented image from each case, are used to calculate the error rate of the segmentations.

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Date Created
2015

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Feature extraction from compressive cameras with application to activity recognition

Description

Recent advances in camera architectures and associated mathematical representations now enable compressive acquisition of images and videos at low data-rates. While most computer vision applications of today are composed of conventional cameras, which collect a large amount redundant data and

Recent advances in camera architectures and associated mathematical representations now enable compressive acquisition of images and videos at low data-rates. While most computer vision applications of today are composed of conventional cameras, which collect a large amount redundant data and power hungry embedded systems, which compress the collected data for further processing, compressive cameras offer the advantage of direct acquisition of data in compressed domain and hence readily promise to find applicability in computer vision, particularly in environments hampered by limited communication bandwidths. However, despite the significant progress in theory and methods of compressive sensing, little headway has been made in developing systems for such applications by exploiting the merits of compressive sensing. In such a setting, we consider the problem of activity recognition, which is an important inference problem in many security and surveillance applications. Since all successful activity recognition systems involve detection of human, followed by recognition, a potential fully functioning system motivated by compressive camera would involve the tracking of human, which requires the reconstruction of atleast the initial few frames to detect the human. Once the human is tracked, the recognition part of the system requires only the features to be extracted from the tracked sequences, which can be the reconstructed images or the compressed measurements of such sequences. However, it is desirable in resource constrained environments that these features be extracted from the compressive measurements without reconstruction. Motivated by this, in this thesis, we propose a framework for understanding activities as a non-linear dynamical system, and propose a robust, generalizable feature that can be extracted directly from the compressed measurements without reconstructing the original video frames. The proposed feature is termed recurrence texture and is motivated from recurrence analysis of non-linear dynamical systems. We show that it is possible to obtain discriminative features directly from the compressed stream and show its utility in recognition of activities at very low data rates.

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Date Created
2012

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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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Date Created
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