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

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Fertile synthesis: Emotion in online digital poetry

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Computation and networking are changing language, the art of reading, and the act of writing. Multimedia digital poetry allows for the creation and simultaneous display of visual, sonic and textual patterns with unprecedented mobility and typographic capacities. This interdisciplinary form encourages an exploratory art-research practice-based investigation using a blend of theoretical knowledge ranging from literary criticism, first-person phenomenology, aesthetics, affective computation and neurological research. In contrast to software-centric theory and/or materiality analysis, this thesis argues for the continuing relevance of the lyric, expressive affect and aesthetics in contemporary digital poetics. It examines the evolution of digital poetry with a specific emphasis on online poetry. In the context of this thesis, poetry is considered an ancestor of computer code. Poetry is also considered as information visualization of emotions. Emotions are considered to be complex embodied patterns; poetry expresses those patterns in language.

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

Federation modeler: A tool for engaging change and complexity in design

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Increasing change and complexity in the task environment impedes the ability of designers to explore and develop designs. We hypothesize that by focusing on the management of interactions that realize a design, rather than on the specification of the design itself, the capacity of designers to deal with change and complexity can be increased. Our exploratory research aims at a parametric modeling application that aids designers in managing the interactions of parts that realize a design. We describe the system design, report on its current state of implementation, and present an initial evaluation.

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

Optimizing defensive player positioning with collaboration in digital soccer simulation

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

In real-time multi-player digital sport games such as soccer simulation, player positioning and team collaboration are critical factors in determining a team’s success. Existing approaches for player positioning are mainly rule-based and heuristic-driven. These methods present two disadvantages: they unsystematically address the game dynamics and they leave behind some potentially good positions without consideration. More frequently, positions are selected without considering team collaboration. This research proposes a computational approach using task allocation to achieve better team collaboration in defensive positioning. To deal with game dynamics, we determine the available time horizon and locate a feasible area with potential good positions. Then, we use Pareto optimality principle to evaluate all the alternatives and select the most appropriate position. The results from the proposed Pareto-optimal method show improvements in the team performance and can be used to create a benchmark for simplified positioning methods for general digital sports games.

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

Depth perception in real and virtual environments: An exploration of individual differences

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Virtual Reality Environments are becoming increasingly common in the design of auto- mobiles and airplanes for their potential to reduce labourious and time intensive design processes. Unfortunately, variations in users’ abilities to correctly perceive depth using virtual reality displays are a substantial obstacle to their use in industry. To examine this problem, a psychophysical experiment was conducted using a staircase method to observe how the difference threshold in a distance discrimination task varied in comparisons of real and virtual stimuli. A questionnaire was also used to explore whether the subject’s background and previous training, or their ability to tolerate ambiguity could account for individual differences in performance. Results showed significant individual differences, and high variability but no effect was found for the subjects’ distance thresholds, although some of the variation in subject response time appears to be related to distance, gender and the cognitive factor of tolerance of ambiguity.

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

DPA-RNAPredict: A dynamic programming algorithm for RNA secondary structure prediction

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

RNA plays an important role within cellular life forms, and RNA secondary structure prediction is a significant area of study for many scientists seeking insights into potential drug interactions or innovative new treatment methodologies. By accurately predicting the structure of RNA, we can better determine its function, since function is largely determined by structure. Through this research, a software package, DPA-RNAPredict, is developed for RNA secondary structure prediction using energy minimization evolved from Dr. Wiese's lab. Through the use of a DPA, a substantial improvement is provided in terms of computational run time compared to RnaPredict and P-RnaPredict, both EAs, and SARNA-Predict, a SA algorithm for RNA folding. The prediction accuracy of DPA-RNAPredict is also compared against these algorithms using the same thermodynamic model. The DPA-RNAPredict INN-HB thermodynamic model outperforms the Nussinov DPA, and provides competitive results when compared against SA and EAs for RNA secondary structure prediction.

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

A three-dimensional computational model for the growth of multicellular tissues and its parallel implementation on a cluster

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

We report the development of a computational model for the growth of multicellular tissues based on cellular automata to study the tissue growth rates and population dynamics of multiple populations of proliferating and migrating cells. Cell migration is modeled using a Markov chain approach and each population of cells has its own division and motion characteristics based on experimental data. The extended model contains a number of parameters that permits the study and analysis of cell population dynamics. This allows us to explore their effects on the overall tissue growth rate and the frequency of cell-cell interactions due to collision and aggregation. In addition to a sequential implementation, we developed a parallel algorithm and implemented it on a Beowulf Cluster using the Message Passing Interface. We present the sequential and parallel simulation results and analyze the performance of the parallel algorithm in terms of speedup and efficiency.

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

Is there value in co-designing with end-users?

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

The growing use of digital artifacts in everyday life is forcing designers to recognize new dimensions in interactivity. In the new product space, traditional products have become fusions of hardware and software components where functions and behaviour emerge over use and time. To address higher complexity of human-computer interactions instigated by rapid technological development raises new challenges for industrial designers of interactive products and environments. Recent exploratory research suggests that a re-examination of traditional design methodologies would be beneficial as current approaches are proving insufficient. Traditional methods typically involve end-users as passive informants in contrast to participatory design methods where users co-design throughout the design process. This study examines the value of applying participatory design methods to industrial design. Practitioners compare and evaluate data generated from traditional design methods and from participatory design techniques. The findings provide evidence of the benefits to implementing participatory design methods in industrial design practice.

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

Observing cassette culture: user interface implications for digital music libraries

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Many people keep their collections of music on cassette tape even if they rarely listen to them. Images of these collections can be found online on photo sharing websites. What can we learn from such collections and what might they tell us about designing interfaces for new digital music libraries? The author conducts an online ethnographic study of over two hundred cassette tape collections, and over sixty participants with the aim of guiding future design of music collections. The author presents design heuristics and guidelines for interfaces of digital music libraries.

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

Ontological model for representation of learning objectives

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Learning objects have been used to provide personalized learning experiences. In particular, sequenced learning objects are recommended according to unique individual learning objectives. The opportunity for personalization by learning objectives is not fully exploited due to limited and duplicated efforts in creating learning objectives and connecting them with learning objects. Additionally, current standardization efforts do not offer sufficient support of automatic discovery of learning objects. This thesis proposes an ontological representation model of learning objective description that aims to improve the effectiveness of consistent learning objective description, sequencing rules representation, and the availability of learning objects for personalization by learning objectives. An evaluation of the model showed that it improves the discoverability of learning objects by learning objective through annotating learning objectives in the metadata of learning objects and qualitative representation of learning objectives.

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

Can we afford narrative?: a design approach to interactive film

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

The project proposes and examines an interactive narrative film design based on an original script by the author, providing a test-bed for difficult issues in these domains. It addresses the well-recognized problem of whether interactivity and narrative (especially attributes of coherence and immersion) can "play well together." A survey of theory leads into a design-oriented solution, based on a cognitive science approach to narrative. An interactive mechanism is proposed and examined that augments narrative and filmic experience, while keeping that dynamic highly ‘user-friendly.’ This can support degrees of coherence and immersion characteristic of the range of ‘traditional’ narratives in film. The research closes with analysis, based on historical precedent, of how this prototype effort may point to future development of interactive narrative film forms. A brief overview regarding technical implementation is included.

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