SIAT - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Player as author : digital games and agency

Author: 
Date created: 
2003
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Computing Arts and Design Sciences Program) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.Sc. (Computing Arts and Design Sciences))

A genetic algorithm for RNA secondary structure prediction using stacking energy thermodynamic models

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

RNA structure is an important field of study. Predicting structure can overcome many of the issues with physical structure determination. Structure prediction can be simplified as an energy minimization problem. Common optimization techniques are the DPA and the GA. RnaPredict is a GA used for RNA secondary structure prediction using energy minimization and is evolved from Dr. Wiese's lab. Selection, recombination, mutation, and elitism are used to optimize the candidate structures in a population. Candidate solutions get closer to the global energy optimum with each generation. This thesis focuses on the addition of a hydrogen bond model and two stacking energy models, and studies their relative merits. It also studies different types of encoding used in the GA. The prediction accuracy is compared with known structures, the Nussinov DPA predictions and the mfold DPA predictions. RnaPredict is able to predict more accurate structures than Nussinov and performs similarly to mfold.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Object-oriented interactive cinema

Author: 
Date created: 
2003
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (School of Interactive Arts & Technology) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.Sc. (Interactive Arts & Technology))

Characteristics of Early Narrative Experience: Connecting Print and Digital Game

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This dissertation presents a new outlook on children’s early experience of print narrative as they develop their narrative perceptions. It positions this experience as an important element in their positive engagement with narrative gameplay. Narratives help children shape their experience and develop a worldview. Books have long brought children the best of past and present understandings. Today, digital media, particularly video games, play a significant part in children’s lives. Though games have the same potential as books to bring world experience to children, the breadth of stories they currently provide is small. To encourage narrative development in games, this dissertation examines the narrative perception children bring with them to gameplay, and identifies similarities between early print narrative and game narrative experience. Young children's earliest encounters with print narrative are based in a multimodality that includes orality, visual literacy, performance, and interactivity, and embrace a range of experiences that are socially constructed. The perception young children construct of narrative privileges these rich experiences, rather than the conventional forms of narrative they are introduced to formally only when they enter school, but which adults consider the norm. This perception forms the gestalt children bring with them to gameplay. Narrative in games encompasses the multimodal and interactive nature of digital media. The result falls outside traditional narrative forms but shares characteristics with early print narrative experience. Both experiences are social, interactive, engaging, multimodal, and spatial. They also provide for agency and transformation. This similarity allows children to embrace the new digital medium readily. Knowing these connections provides children’s authors and game developers with an understanding they can share, and from which children can benefit. Children’s authors gain a a new perspective about writing in interactive environments, and a possible direction for their future work. Game developers gain a better understanding of the characteristics of narrative experiences that engage children, and an affirmation of the relevance of narrative for games. This common understanding provides a stepping-stone for the collaborative design of more diverse narrative game experiences for children.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
B
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

Emergent soundscape composition: Reflections on virtuality

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

As a synthesis of art and techno-scientific practice this thesis explores human-virtual interaction not as acoustic interface, but as resonant environment. The pervasive computer-mediated environment is argued to form a site for the creative expansion of the limits of human awareness through the creation of cognitive and cultural hypotheses. This thesis defines the concept of an emergent soundscape composition, through which virtuality is explored in two studies entitled Lost and Found. The results of this art research are presented as intersections in the disciplines of acoustic ecology, audible display and algorithmic composition in a discussion that frames the context, terminology and concepts engaged in such emergent soundscape composition. Design criteria for the evaluation of emergent soundscape composition in the computer-mediated environment are presented with reference to this frame and used to evaluate Lost. In a case study of Found the development of a subversive aesthetic substantiates a re-evaluation of the concept of the human-computer interface as resonant environment that engenders a diffuse awareness of the imaginal world.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

The return of the gift society: Traditional relations of exchange and trust in contemporary technological society

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This research proceeds from the premise that reflecting on the structures of traditional societies can aid us in understanding of contemporary technological society. The goal is to determine whether traditional gifting relations are present in online-networked communities. A further objective is to investigate modes of gifting in order to offer insight into the procedures and infrastructures of Open Source communities and Social Networks. Utilizing Social Network theory as an overarching framework, this work identifies and extracts a pattern of gifting relations from diverse discourses on the gift. This is followed by an exploration of contemporary technological developments including Open Source, and Free Software movements, Web 2.0, and social networks, in order to ascertain if the elements of this pattern appear. This examination is supported by a case study of the Burning Man community. The research concludes with implications of the significance of a gift-based approach to networked society.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
N
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Discovering causal models of self-regulated learning

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

New statistical methods allow discovery of causal models from observational data in some circumstances. These models permit both probabilistic inference and causal inference for models of reasonable size. Many domains, such as education, can benefit from such methods. Educational research does not easily lend itself to experimental investigation. Research in laboratories is artificial and potentially affects measurement; research in authentic environments is extremely complex and difficult to control. In both environments, the variables are typically hidden and only change over the long term, making them challenging and expensive to investigate experimentally. I present an analysis of causal discovery algorithms and their applicability to educational research, an engineered causal model of Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) theory based on the literature, and an evaluation of the potential for discovering such a theory from observational data using the new statistical methods and suggest possible benefits of such work.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
M
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Model tracing of coding styles of programmers: A formative approach

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Programming Style refers to the ability to follow code conventions, to engineer code in a disciplined manner, to systematically debug code, to optimize code delivery through appropriate settings in the IDE (Integrated Development Environment), to regulate completion rates and quality of programming tasks, and finally to efficiently collaborate with other programmers and resources. This research investigates whether programming styles of individual programmers can be computationally recognized; If styles can be recognized by the machine, can they then be regulated so that programmers can reflect on their own programming styles; finally, can a mixed-initiative computational mechanism assist programmers to identify good programming styles and repair bad programming habits. My research focuses on a real-time architecture called MICE (Mixed-Initiative Coding Environment) that I have developed to help programmers to reflect on their coding style and correct their style.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
M
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Narrative interface design: The use of interface elements to enhance the narrative experience in videogames

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the phenomenon of the player switching between story experience and game flow in the process of gameplay. It considers whether and how the design of the interface can reduce player oscillation between the enjoyment of story and the pleasurable flow of effective gameplay. The research argues that the awareness of oscillation can be reduced through the incorporation of narrative content and sensibility into the design of game interfaces; a number of narrativization design strategies are identified to support the argument. Using the research method of case studies, this thesis studies several game examples that utilize the identified design strategies to achieve unique gaming experiences, reducing the awareness of oscillation between the narrative experience of story and the awareness of the interactive process of gameplay.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
J
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.Sc.)

Beyond ambient experience: An auditory display design framework for ubiquitous computing environments

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Ubiquitous computing environments are becoming commonplace yet sound displays for them often lack consideration for contextual and embodied aspects. In addition, the audio displays have not been systematically examined as meaningful feedback. This thesis proposes a new framework for auditory display design for ubiquitous computing. The framework is created by synthesizing theories of acoustic communication and auditory display design; by designing and testing a ubiquitous computing prototype named socio-ec(h)o; and through a set of experimental studies focused on specific sound issues. Particular attention is given to an intensity-based gradient approach to feedback. This approach includes complex, environmental sound, and utilizes sonification principles that convey information, as well as support embodiment, sociality, and mediation in a ubiquitous computing setting. The study also examines the role of participatory design workshops and modified experimental studies informed by design methods as methodological innovations in the research of design and audio displays.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
R
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)