Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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This collection contains digitized SFU theses except for those theses submitted within the last 12 months. If you cannot find the thesis you are looking for please search Recently Submitted Theses as it may be a recently submitted thesis and thus not yet available in Summit.

Image Cropping Based on Saliency and Semantics

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-11-29
Abstract: 

This thesis proposes a new automatic image cropping technique and a platform for subjective image quality evaluation on mobile devices. Image cropping is a widely used technique in the printing industry, photography and cinematography. The proposed cropping method considers both the low-level pixel properties and high-level semantics. It is a combination of saliency-based and semantics-based image analysis. In the end, we compare the proposed method with a conventional saliency-based strategy. Furthermore, in order to simplify the final subjective test, we developed an iOS based mobile application for subjective image quality evaluation. The developed application implements two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) test methodology and further reduces the cognitive load of subjects performing the test by providing an easy-to-use, natural interface using the mobile device’s touch screen. The test results show the proposed cropping technique performs significantly better overall compared to saliency-based cropping.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ivan V. Bajić
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Engineering Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.Sc.

Carbon Stocks and Accumulation Rates in Salt Marshes of the Pacific Coast of Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-12-08
Abstract: 

We estimated carbon stocks and carbon accumulation rates using 34 sediment cores collected from seven salt marshes within the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada (49.2° N, 125.80° W). Carbon stocks averaged 80.6 ± 43.8 Mg C ha-1 between the seven salt marshes, and carbon accumulation rates averaged 146 ± 102 g C m-2 yr -1. These rates are comparable to those found in salt marshes further south along the Pacific coast of North America (32.5-38.2° N) and at similar latitudes in Eastern Canada and Northern Europe (43.6-55.5° N). The seven Clayoquot Sound salt marshes currently accumulate carbon at a rate of 54.28 Mg C yr-1 over an area of 46.94 ha, 87 % of which occurs in the high marsh zone. On a per-hectare basis, Clayoquot Sound salt marsh soils accumulate carbon at least one order of magnitude more quickly than the average of global boreal forest soils. This carbon accumulation capacity provides a climate mitigation co-benefit when conserving for other salt marsh ecosystem services.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Karen Kohfeld
Marlow Pellatt
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.R.M.

On the circuit diameters of polyhedra

Date created: 
2017-12-04
Abstract: 

In this thesis we develop a framework to study the circuit diameters of polyhedra. The circuit diameter is a generalization of the combinatorial (edge) diameter, where walks are permitted to enter the interior of the polyhedron as long as steps are parallel to its circuit directions. Because the circuit diameter is dependent on the specific realization of the polyhedron, many of the techniques used in the edge case do not transfer easily. We reformulate circuit analogues of the Hirsch conjecture, the d-step conjecture, and the non-revisiting conjecture, and recover some of the edge case relationships in the circuit case. To do this we adapt the notion of simplicity to work with circuit diameter, and so we define C-simplicity and wedge-simplicity. Then, we prove the circuit 4-step conjecture, including for unbounded polyhedra, by showing that the original counterexample U4 to the combinatorial analogue satisfies the Hirsch bound in the circuit case, independent of its realization. This was the first known counterexample to Hirsch, and several families of counterexamples are constructed from U4. In particular, the unbounded Hirsch conjecture could still hold in the circuit case. We also use computational methods to study Q4, the bounded counterpart to U4, and give two realizations with different circuit diameters. It remains open whether Q4 is circuit Hirsch-sharp; however, we are able to lower the distance bound for at least one direction between the two far vertices of Q4. Finally, we present some auxiliary results involving representations of polyhedra and circuit calculations.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Tamon Stephen
Department: 
Science: Department of Mathematics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Indigenous governance tools for exerting sovereignty over traditional territory: A case study of mineral development in the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc territory

Date created: 
2017-12-11
Abstract: 

With an increasingly political and adversarial environment developing in British Columbian resource sectors, this research critiques the usefulness of tools that can be employed by Indigenous governments to assert sovereignty over decisions regarding resource development on their territories. The purpose of this research is to consider the different legal, socio-political, supra regulatory and self-governance tools available in the case of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation as they make management decisions over mineral development in their traditional territory located in the interior of British Columbia. This insight is particularly important for Indigenous communities in Canada that are considering their options regarding resource development as a path to self-autonomy and self-governance over their territory, resources and economies. As Canada moves towards a relationship built on the precept of reconciliation, it is imperative that resource development decision-making processes increase community capacity, agency, and self-governance, while incorporating indigenous traditions, values and laws.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Sean Markey
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.R.M. (Planning)

The beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist fenoterol triggers arrhythmogenesis in isolated mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes.

Date created: 
2017-12-15
Abstract: 

Since the discovery of the role of Ca2+ in cardiac contractions, it has been clear that many cardiovascular disorders, specifically cardiac arrhythmias are due to irregularities in Ca2+ cycling. We hypothesize that fenoterol, a beta-2 adrenergic receptor agonist, is responsible for inducing abnormal Ca2+ release events that can lead to full cardiac arrhythmias. Ca2+ release events such as sparks, waves, and transients were studied using resonant confocal microscopy in isolated mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes with cumulative concentrations of fenoterol. Fenoterol application in clinically relevant doses can trigger potentially serious cardiac arrhythmias. The data showed that at low fenoterol concentrations, the frequency of Ca2+ sparks and waves were increased and caused Ca2+ oscillations during transients, all of which are indicators of arrhythmogenic Ca2+ activity, via the PKA-mediated pathway. At high concentrations, fenoterol lost its specificity and triggered beta-1AR, activating CaMKII, also resulting in more Ca2+ sparks and wave events and causing oscillations during field-stimulated elicited transients.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Glen Tibbits
Department: 
Science: Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

International Rights Selling & the Chinese Publishing Market

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-12-12
Abstract: 

This project report is a study of international rights sales for children’s illustrated books, with a special focus on rights sales in China. It uses Tradewind Books, a Vancouver-based small children’s publisher, as its main case study. The opening chapter will provide information about Tradewind’s history and its lasting effects on publishing diversified titles in Canada. Chapter Two will discuss the importance and approaches applied to sell rights internationally and achieve global recognition. Chapter Three will introduce readers to the Chinese publishing industry by discussing opportunities and challenges in the market. In Chapter Four, Tradewind’s rights selling into China through an agency model will be explored, with a close look at local agency Rightol Media. Recommendations and other approaches that Western publishers could use to do business with Chinese publishers will be discussed in Chapter Five.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Maxwell
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
(Project Report) M.Pub.

Multidimensional Parallelization for Streaming Text Processing Applications Based on Parabix Framework

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-12-15
Abstract: 

Streaming text processing is important for transforming and analyzing the rapidly growing data in modern society. Unfortunately, text processing software written using the sequential byte-at-a-time processing model fails to take full advantage of the resources available on modern processors for many reasons, including significant branch misprediction penalties due to the input-dependent branching structures of text processing applications, cache miss penalties for table-based operations applied per byte of input, and logical complexity that makes it difficult to process more than a single-byte at a time. Common solutions to process text streams that have dependencies from start to end may involve state machine or recursive algorithms, which are generally considered hard to parallelize and hence ill-suited for multicore or manycore processors. However, the Parabix approach to text processing has recently been shown to offer a promising alternative, based on the concept of bitwise data parallelism: a transform representation of text that uses the full width of available processor registers at a density of one bit per input byte. This dissertation investigates the further development of the Parabix framework to incorporate multidimensional parallelization, combining Parabix methods with several different models of multithreading such as task parallelism, data parallelism and pipeline parallelism as well as with GPU-based SIMT processing. A form of data-pipeline parallelism is developed and shown to be beneficial for text-processing applications even with strong sequential state dependencies. Compilers for both pure pipeline parallelism and data-pipeline parallelism are developed and integrated into Parabix framework to provide automated multithreading support for any Parabix applications. Methods for task parallelism and data parallelism are also developed, but need to be customized by the programmer for specific applications. GPU support is added to Parabix framework by translating LLVM IR into PTX, which can be compiled into binary code and run on GPU devices. Programmers can simply choose to use NVPTX driver instead of CPU driver for code that is executed on GPU. Several applications based on Parabix are implemented and tested with different parallelization techniques to analyze the advantages and limits of multidimensional parallelization extensions of Parabix framework. In data-pipeline mode, we are able to achieve 215% speedup compared with the sequential version on a quad-core machine. The GPU implementation has its limitations but can give up to 310% speed-up.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Arrvindh Shriraman
Robert Cameron
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Assessing Participation in Women's Development Projects in Afghanistan

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-12-13
Abstract: 

This thesis assesses the concept of participation as it was manifested by different parties in international aid projects targeting women’s empowerment in Afghanistan from the perspectives of 10 Afghan development professionals who worked in the aid projects from 2009 to 2016, as well as from analysis of a number of project evaluations and my personal experience. The research is based on the premise that because the Afghan professionals had a local background and linguistic skills, they would have had a deeper understanding of the basic needs of Afghan women than most expatriate staff. The research found that the project designs were not based on customized research and needs assessment specific to the timing and objectives of the projects, that the project beneficiaries, even sometimes local staff, were not involved in planning and decision making, that the plans made were mostly not implemented, that the quality of implemented projects was unsatisfactory, and, finally, that the lack of sustainability measures and coordination with government and stakeholders raised concerns about the longevity of the projects.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Robert Anderson
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

A Comparative Analysis of Surface Winds in the Mid-Continental United States of America During Severe Droughts in the 1950s and 2010s.

Date created: 
2017-08-31
Abstract: 

The Mid-Continental United States of America (USA) has experienced several exceptional droughts, which are frequently linked with increased dust storms in response to reduced vegetation and intensified surface wind speeds. This investigation examined surface wind speed behavior in the Mid-Continental USA between 1954 and 2016 to assess differences in wind speeds between severe drought and wetter periods and determine what climatic conditions may have influenced these changes. Results show that droughts periods had significantly higher extreme surface wind speeds, and the 1950s Southwest drought had significantly higher surface wind speeds compared to the 2010s drought. Composite patterns of sea-level pressure, temperature, precipitation, and Palmer Drought Severity Index suggest that synoptic weather conditions reinforce dry and windy conditions during drought vs wetter years. However, synoptic conditions were largely similar between the two droughts, suggesting that land surface management practices may have been responsible for decreased surface winds during the 2010s drought.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Karen Kohfeld
Department: 
Environment: School of Resource and Environmental Management
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.R.M.

In-situ measurement of the jet energy scale and studies of jet structure at ATLAS

Date created: 
2017-12-07
Abstract: 

This thesis presents results for the determination of the ATLAS jet energy scale (JES) using the Missing $E_{\mathrm T}$ Projecting Fraction (MPF) method along with studies to better understand and validate the MPF. Hadronic jets are the most commonly observed objects in proton-proton collisions, and are therefore a part of most final states for processes which are studied at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The abundance of jets makes a precise knowledge of the JES essential to the success of the ATLAS physics program. This thesis uses the MPF in events where either a photon or a Z boson is produced back-to-back with a jet to provide an uncertainty on the response of the calorimeter which is below 1\% for jets between 30 GeV and 1 TeV. Studies measuring the impact of the underlying event on the MPF's ability to measure the response of the hadronic recoil are also presented, which validate the previously held assumption that the MPF is insensitive to these effects. In addition, studies into the relation between the measured recoil response and the desired jet response are presented. This includes measures of the flow of energy across the jet boundary during the showering process and the effect on the total measured response of low energy/low response particles near the fringe of the recoil. These measurements show up to a 10% difference between the jet response and the recoil response for jets reconstructed with the anti-k_t algorithm with midrange size parameters (0.4-0.7). These differences however show little dependence on physics modeling choices (less than 1%), on which the Monte Carlo jet calibration is based. These results put the MPF technique on a firmer ground, and they will reduce future JES uncertainties for jets with energies below 100 GeV.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Michel Vetterli
Department: 
Science: Department of Physics
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.