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

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Knowledge engineering and knowledge dissemination in a mixed-initiative ontological framework

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This research postulates that a theory-centric mixed-initiative approach to systems design is critical for the success of technology-enhanced learning environments. It explores a formal ontological mechanism to represent the underlying educational theory. It presents a design for a mixed-initiative system, named MI-EDNA, which recognizes and utilizes explanationaware opportunities for the dissemination of self-regulatory knowledge. MI-EDNA formally captures the theory of Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) in an ontological framework. It uses Description Logic and Production Rules as reasoning mechanisms to enable learners to reflect and regulate on their learning process. Using a model-tracing methodology, this research successfully maps learner interactions onto tactics, strategies, and phases/states that have be.en identified within the realms of SRL. Based on this mapping, MI-EDNA engages learners in a mixed-initiative interaction, formalizes recognition of system initiation opportunities, and provides a scaffolded learning environment to sustain sharing of learning experiences across domains and across learners.

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

Particle swarm optimization for solving constraint satisfaction problems

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This research presents the design and evaluation of a variety of new constraint-solving algorithms based on the particle swarm optimization (PSO) paradigm. Constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs) can be applied to many practical problems but they are in general NP-hard, so developing new algorithms has been a major research challenge. PSO is a relatively new approach to A1 problem solving and has just begun to be applied to CSPs. This research modifies and extends the traditional PSOs to solve n-ary CSPs. These new particle swarm algorithms are tested on practical configuration problems and the traditional n-queens problems. The effectiveness and efficiency of the new algorithms are experimentally compared to the traditional PSOs. The performance of the individual algorithms is also assessed. The algorithms that combine zigzagging particles and repair-based CSP-solving methods perform best among the algorithms studied.

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

CADIA: Combinatorial auction winner determination using item association

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

In combinatorial auctions (CAs), bidders are allowed to bid on any combination of items. Although CAs are economically efficient mechanisms for resources allocation, most auctioneers are hesitant to adopt them due to the fact that the CA winner determination process is a non-deterministic polynomial hard (NP-hard) problem. If an exhaustive search technique is used to solve the problem realistically, the number of auctioned items and bids must be small enough to be handled by the technique due to the constraints of today's computation power. Arising from the demand for CAs, this thesis presents a novel but also practical combinatorial auction winner determination approach. Such an approach has been designed and implemented into a system called CADIA. CADIA is able to generate results with high accuracy and good performance in CAs of hundreds of items and thousands of bids. CADIA's knowledge for winner determination is discovered from a process of mining the auction data using item association. Such knowIedge is then used to identify particular bids as winners. Both potential winners and possible losers identified during the auctions are used as additional knowledge to further improve the results. Empirical evaluation shows that CADIA is more efficient than bruteforce technique based systems in terms of running time when searching for the optimal revenue. In situations where obtaining the optimal revenue becomes unrealistic to be handled by the brute-force technique, as in auctions of hundreds of items and thousands of bids, CADIA finds better approximate revenue than greedy search based systems.

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

A parallel evolutionary algorithm for RNA secondary structure prediction

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

RNA is central in several stages of protein synthesis, and also has structural and functional roles in the cell. The shape of organic molecules such as RNA largely determines their function within an organic system. Current physical methods for structure determination are time consuming and expensive, thus methods for the computational prediction of structure are sought after. Various algorithms that have been used for RNA structure prediction include dynamic programming and comparative methods. This thesis introduces P-hapredict, a fully parallel coarse-grained distributed genetic algorithm (GA) for RNA secondary structure prediction. The impact of three pseudorandom number generators (PRNGs) on P-RnaPredict's performance is evaluated. The parallel speedup of P-RnaPredict is analyzed. Finally, the prediction accuracy of P-RnaPredict is evaluated through comparison to ten known structures, and compared to structures predicted by a Nussinov DPA implementation and the mfold DPA. P-RnaPredict offers similar performance to mfold, and outperforms the Nussinov DPA.

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

Towards a multimedia simulation for interprofessional learning: Using activity theory to inform design

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This thesis reports on a pilot case study that used activity theory in a pre-experimental phase of design-based research. The purpose of this study was to inform the initial design of a multimedia simulation for interprofessional education in the field of health and social care. Five subjects from five different health science disciplines participated in an observational study. Data collection focused on interactions between participants over three problem-based learning (PBL) sessions. Modified grounded theory coding techniques were applied within an activity theory analytic framework to illuminate structural tensions in PBL activity. Interviews with six participants were used to illuminate and corroborate findings. The results suggest three sets of structural tensions that affected interprofessional learning. These tensions suggest opportunities for instructional design improvement in which multimedia simulation could play a key supportive role. Simulation-based design alternatives are presented to resolve these tensions and to suggest new approaches to facilitating interprofessional learning.

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

Mental map preservation principles and related measurements for quantitative evaluation of force-directed graph layout algorithm behaviour

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

Users working with graph layouts form mental maps of the layout’s parts and relative structure. When a graph layout is changed, the user’s mental map should be preserved. In the field of graph drawing, there is a need for quantitative and objective measurements to describe and compare layout algorithm behaviour as it pertains to maintenance of the mental map. This thesis presents several mental map preservation principles gathered from the literature, and generates related measurements that can be used to statistically characterize and test for significant differences between layout algorithm behaviour. Two well-known and similar Force-Directed layout algorithms (Kamada-Kawai and Fruchterman-Reingold) are compared, and the results show statistically significant differences. The measurements, statistics, and methodology presented in this thesis may be helpful to layout algorithm designers and graph layout system designers who want to be able to quantitatively and objectively test the algorithms on which they depend.

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

Visual sensitivity analysis of parametric design models: improving agility in design

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

Increasing complexity of parametric design models challenges the abilities of the human-visual perception system, and creates challenges to their effective utilization for sensitivity analysis. In this prototyping study, we propose a method for visual sensitivity analysis that aims to make the effects of change within a parametric model measurable and apparent for designers, thereby improving the potential of these tools for design analysis and improve agility in design process. The approach aims to improve visually analysing the sensitivity of a design model to planned parametric changes. The method adapts the Model-View-Controller paradigm from software engineering to decouple customizable control and visualization features in the model, while providing interfaces between them through parametric associations. We present findings from our case studies in addition to the results of a user study demonstrating the applicability and limitations of the proposed method.

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

Transcoding place

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

This thesis explores a cultural phenomenon called Crude Awakening, which brings to attention a global crisis - our dependence on oil. The case study analyzes a communicative ecology between a live performance and it’s video documentation. The research combines close reading and semantic differentials methods as a means of understanding the relationships between what people posted to YouTube, the system design and the live performance. The goal is to define the dynamics of this communicative ecology as a means of interpreting semantic space, sometimes defined as aesthetics, for understanding how people interpret - meaning. The findings are to provide a framework for designing software architecture that can contextualize information, and define a broader context for discussing the hybridization of technology and culture in today’s digital world. I argue that digital social architecture, unlike traditional architecture, is a fluid system that evolves and changes along side social movements.

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

Design intentions and outcomes in museums

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

This study explores the value of constructivist theory in the field of interaction design in museums by investigating the relationship of constructivist design intentions to their outcomes. As the design of technologies has shifted from instrumental aspects of interactive systems to the design of experience, there has become an increasing need to develop frameworks and evaluation techniques grounded in theory to support this change. Current approaches to understanding the user experience are underdeveloped and this study of intentions and outcomes aims to address this shortcoming through an exploratory multiple-case study approach. Museums were selected as a context to investigate these relationships since designers often take a constructivist approach in the development of interactive technology towards the design of experiences. The findings of this study point to an emerging constructivist framework by providing a series of themes, guidelines and evaluation techniques based on constructivist principles.

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

Designing a wearable social network

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the design of a nonverbal communication system for a circle of friends. An exploratory design process helps to gain insight into designing a Wearable Social Network (WSN). The WSN is rooted in concepts of social interaction in HCI augmented by traditions of sociology to create more human-centric systems. Patches applies this framework to develop a wearable system that allows users to physically ‘feel’ a friend’s online expression (like a virtual poke) and respond through natural interaction with clothing. My studies show that the WSN creates a tactile experience that extends current social networking applications to be more interesting, entertaining, and fun. The WSN is a “warm network” that is comforting and intimate for communicating with close friends and family. This research creates a new design space for examining virtual expression and interaction. This framework can also be applied to a broader range of social networking applications.

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