Matching Items (9)

No Right Answer: A Feasibility Study of Essay Assessment with LDA

Description

Essay scoring is a difficult and contentious business. The problem is exacerbated when there are no “right” answers for the essay prompts. This research developed a simple toolset for essay

Essay scoring is a difficult and contentious business. The problem is exacerbated when there are no “right” answers for the essay prompts. This research developed a simple toolset for essay analysis by integrating a freely available Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) implementation into a homegrown assessment assistant. The complexity of the essay assessment problem is demonstrated and illustrated with a representative collection of open-ended essays. This research also explores the use of “expert vectors” or “keyword essays” for maximizing the utility of LDA with small corpora. While, by itself, LDA appears insufficient for adequately scoring essays, it is quite capable of classifying responses to open-ended essay prompts and providing insight into the responses. This research also reports some trends that might be useful in scoring essays once more data is available. Some observations are made about these insights and a discussion of the use of LDA in qualitative assessment results in proposals that may assist other researchers in developing more complete essay assessment software.

Contributors

My Kingdom for a Toolsmith! The IRIDIUM System Specification Through the Lens of Actor-Network Theory

Description

Most would agree that telecommunications systems are socially constructed. Since communication tends to involve people, it seems obvious that people should impact the creation of such systems. But it is far

Most would agree that telecommunications systems are socially constructed. Since communication tends to involve people, it seems obvious that people should impact the creation of such systems. But it is far less obvious that the specifications for such systems should be noted for their social construction. As marvelous and technical as the system is, we must not forget the important technological artifact known as the specification that came before it. This paper tells the story of the social construction of the IRIDIUM system specification as viewed through the eyes of a popular socio-technical systems (STS) analysis tool. Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is employed to elucidate the culture of the Motorola requirements engineering process while describing some of the primary actors and their lively interactions as they strove diligently to produce the “perfect” specification. Throughout, it will become obvious that just as the kingdom was lost “for want of a nail,” so the IRIDIUM system specification was nearly lost for want of a toolsmith.

Contributors

Earth Systems Engineering and Management as Governance

Description

Earth Systems Engineering and Management (ESEM) is a framework for both discussing and addressing the adaptive management of complex socio-ecological systems (SES). Governance of emerging technologies is an SES challenge

Earth Systems Engineering and Management (ESEM) is a framework for both discussing and addressing the adaptive management of complex socio-ecological systems (SES). Governance of emerging technologies is an SES challenge that demonstrates all the classic symptoms of a wicked problem. This paper surveys governance literature in light of the ESEM principles and explores the potential for using the principles of ESEM as a mechanism for governance, addressing particularly ESEM’s overlap with the recently promulgated anticipatory governance as defined by its three pillars of foresight, engagement, and integration. This paper demonstrates that the intersection of these concepts is significant and concludes that ESEM is a worthy framework for governance.

Contributors

Worrying About Our (Neuro) Image: How Much Does fMRI Really Reveal About Us?

Description

After a brief introduction to Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), this paper presents some common misunderstandings and problems that are frequently overlooked in the application of the technology. Then, in

After a brief introduction to Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), this paper presents some common misunderstandings and problems that are frequently overlooked in the application of the technology. Then, in three progressively more involved examples, the paper demonstrates (a) how use of fMRI in pre-surgical mapping shows promise, (b) how its use in lie detection seems questionable, and (c) how employing it in defining personhood is useless and pointless. Finally, in making a case for emergentism, the paper concludes that fMRI cannot really tell us as much about ourselves as we had hoped. Since we are more than our brains, even if fMRI were perfect, it is not enough.

Contributors

Summary of Allenby’s ESEM Principles

Description

In his writings over the past decade, Brad Allenby has proposed (at least) 16 principles of sustainable engineering (see references) that are collectively known as the Earth Systems Engineering and

In his writings over the past decade, Brad Allenby has proposed (at least) 16 principles of sustainable engineering (see references) that are collectively known as the Earth Systems Engineering and Management (ESEM) principles. These principles have merit and applicability in many disciplines and domains of discourse, but are sometimes awkward to use due to the quantity of words required to accurately express their meaning. In light of this, it has become necessary to formulate a simplified list of “abbreviated tags” for ease of reference in conversation and concise writing. This list of tags also makes the principles immediately accessible to those who may want to pursue the more thorough definitions offered by Allenby. The following tags have been proposed for use when a concise phrasing is required. The citation provided after the tag is, in my opinion, the most complete expression of Allenby’s thought on this principle. It can be used when citing the principle in written assignments or publications.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2011-05-20

The Phoenix Imperative: An Alternative Maturity Model for Systems Engineering Service Providers

Description

Providers of systems engineering services and their employees are not always able to be the masters of their own destiny. When working in staff augmentation roles under the auspices of

Providers of systems engineering services and their employees are not always able to be the masters of their own destiny. When working in staff augmentation roles under the auspices of another company, they are typically forced to operate within the corporate culture from which they derive their livelihood, following “foreign” processes and procedures, responding to orders and directives. This situation calls for an alternative maturity model for those that provide systems engineering services. While a client organization might be maturing according to any of several proposed models (SEI 1993, SEI 1995, EPIC 1995, ISO 1990, IEEE 1994), the services contractor cannot necessarily be said to be achieving a similar status.

This should not, however, preclude significant maturation goals on the part of the service provider. The Phoenix Imperative is both a business model and maturity model that has worked effectively in several corporations providing system engineering services. It was developed in the context described above and honed over a period of several years with several customers. It provides not only an alternative to the other organizational maturity models that have been proposed, but also delivers the potential for adoption as a personal maturity model for individuals interested in increasing their effectiveness within the context of employment with a service provider.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2010

Lifecycle Assessment for a Devoted Religious Adherent

Description

While the scientific study of religion is not new, the topic has yet to be approached by Lifecycle Assessment (LCA). This work demonstrates a method for assessing the personal “cost”

While the scientific study of religion is not new, the topic has yet to be approached by Lifecycle Assessment (LCA). This work demonstrates a method for assessing the personal “cost” of “manufacturing” a mature religious adherent, or, a believer committed to a particular faith. By measuring such inputs as personal importance of faith, prayer, religious service attendance, religious experiences, and scripture reading, an assessment can be made of the quantity of such inputs required to engender enduring religious devotion. Ultimately, this study has demonstrated that the data typically collected in longitudinal surveys are insufficient to adequately support any firm quantitative conclusions, but the method proposed is sound and can be exploited when data becomes available.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2012-05

Robèrt Forgot Goulet: Augmenting TNS with the Capabilities Approach to Support the Social Dimensions of Sustainability

Description

While the definition of sustainability remains open for all to contribute to and participate in, there do seem to be some notions it has come to embody that should not

While the definition of sustainability remains open for all to contribute to and participate in, there do seem to be some notions it has come to embody that should not be neglected as the definition coalesces. Among these are the ethical and social dimensions of sustainability. Whether or not it is appropriate, required, or even desirable, concepts like social equity, human rights, ethical sharing of commons, etc. have increasingly come under the umbrella of the sustainability discourse. Even if “sustainability” as a bare word doesn’t imply those things, the concept of sustainable development certainly has taken on those dimensions. That sustainability might be redefined or re-scoped to be a purely environmental or a rigidly scientific endeavor, is not an immediate concern of this paper, though if that were to occur (whether for the sake of simplicity or pragmatics), it should be done explicitly so the ethical sub-discourse can be maintained (indeed, sustained) by some other movement.

This paper proposes a mechanism by which such a migration in terms can be prevented. First, in reviewing the work of Denis Goulet, it shows the solid basis for including an ethical aspect in the sustainability discourse. Second, it points out that Karl-Henrik Robèrt’s highly-lauded and broadly-employed sustainability framework, The Natural Step, is deficient in this area. This deficiency provides the impetus for, finally, proposing a mechanism by which The Natural Step can be extended to include the important social and ethical dimensions of sustainability. This mechanism is based on the capabilities approaches that, in many respects, evolved out of Goulet’s early work. Augmented accordingly, TNS can continue to be used without fear of overlooking the social and ethical aspects of the sustainability discourse.

Contributors

153486-Thumbnail Image.png

Quantum resilience

Description

Quantum resilience is a pragmatic theory that allows systems engineers to formally characterize the resilience of systems. As a generalized theory, it not only clarifies resilience in the literature, but

Quantum resilience is a pragmatic theory that allows systems engineers to formally characterize the resilience of systems. As a generalized theory, it not only clarifies resilience in the literature, but also can be applied to all disciplines and domains of discourse. Operationalizing resilience in this manner permits decision-makers to compare and contrast system deployment options for suitability in a variety of environments and allows for consistent treatment of resilience across domains. Systems engineers, whether planning future infrastructures or managing ecosystems, are increasingly asked to deliver resilient systems. Quantum resilience provides a way forward that allows specific resilience requirements to be specified, validated, and verified.

Quantum resilience makes two very important claims. First, resilience cannot be characterized without recognizing both the system and the valued function it provides. Second, resilience is not about disturbances, insults, threats, or perturbations. To avoid crippling infinities, characterization of resilience must be accomplishable without disturbances in mind. In light of this, quantum resilience defines resilience as the extent to which a system delivers its valued functions, and characterizes resilience as a function of system productivity and complexity. System productivity vis-à-vis specified “valued functions” involves (1) the quanta of the valued function delivered, and (2) the number of systems (within the greater system) which deliver it. System complexity is defined structurally and relationally and is a function of a variety of items including (1) system-of-systems hierarchical decomposition, (2) interfaces and connections between systems, and (3) inter-system dependencies.

Among the important features of quantum resilience is that it can be implemented in any system engineering tool that provides sufficient design and specification rigor (i.e., one that supports standards like the Lifecycle and Systems Modeling languages and frameworks like the DoD Architecture Framework). Further, this can be accomplished with minimal software development and has been demonstrated in three model-based system engineering tools, two of which are commercially available, well-respected, and widely used. This pragmatic approach assures transparency and consistency in characterization of resilience in any discipline.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015