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.

End-To-End and Direct Human-Flying Robot Interaction

Date created: 
2016-08-19
Abstract: 

As the application domain of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) expands to the consumer market and with recent advances in robot autonomy and ubiquitous computing, a new paradigm for human-UAV interaction has started to form. In this new paradigm, humans and UAV(s) are co-located (situated) and use natural and embodied interfaces to share au- tonomy and communicate. This is in contrast to the traditional paradigm in Human-UAV interaction in which the focus is on designing control interfaces for remotely operated UAVs and sharing autonomy among Human-UAV teams. Motivated by application domains such as wilderness search and rescue and personal filming, we define the required components of end-to-end interaction between a human and a flying robot as interaction initiation (ii) approach and re-positioning to facilitate the interaction and (iii) communication of intent and commands from the human to the UAV and vice versa. In this thesis we introduce the components we designed for creating an end-to-end Human-Flying Robot Interaction sys- tem. Mainly (i) a fast monocular computer vision pipeline for localizing stationary periodic motions in the field of view of a moving camera; (ii) a cascade approach controller that combines appearance based tracking and visual servo control to approach a human using a forward-facing monocular camera; (iii) a close-range gaze and gesture based interaction system for communication of commands from a human to multiple flying UAVs using their on-board monocular camera; and (iv) a light-based feedback system for continuous commu- nication of intents from a flying robot to its interaction partner. We provide experimental results for the performance of each individual component as well as the final integrated sys- tem in real-world Human-UAV Interaction tests. Our interaction system, which integrates all these components, is the first realized end-to-end Human-Flying Robot Interaction sys- tem whereby an uninstrumented user can attract the attention of a distant (20 to 30m) autonomous outdoor flying robot. Once interaction is initiated, the robot approaches the user to close range (≈ 2m), hovers facing the user, then responds appropriately to a small vocabulary of hand gestures, while constantly communicating its states to the user through its embodied feedback system. All the software produced for this thesis is Open Source.

Document type: 
Thesis
Senior supervisor: 
Richard Vaughan
Greg Mori
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Energy profiling and performance optimization for network-related transactions in virtualized cloud

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-13
Abstract: 

Networking and machine virtualization play critical roles in the success of modern cloud computing. The energy consumption of physical machines has been carefully examined in the past, including the impact from network traffic. When it comes to virtual machines (VMs) in cloud data centers, it remains unexplored how the highly dynamic traffic affects the energy consumption in virtualized environments. In this thesis, we first present an empirical study on the interplay between energy consumption and network transactions in virtualized environments. Through the real-world measurement on both Xen- and KVM-based platforms, we show that these state-of-the-art designs bring significant overhead on virtualizing network devices and noticeably increase the demand of CPU resources when handling network traffic. Furthermore, the energy consumption varies significantly with traffic allocation strategies and virtual CPU affinity conditions, which was not seen in conventional physical machines. Next, we study the performance and energy efficiency issues when CPU intensive tasks and I/O intensive tasks are co-located inside a VM. A combined effect from device virtualization overhead and VM scheduling latency can cause severe interference in the presence of such hybrid workloads. To this end, we propose Hylics, a novel solution that enables an efficient data traverse path for both I/O and computation operations, and decouples the costly interference. Several important design issues are pinpointed and addressed during our implementation, including efficient intermediate data sharing, network service offloading, and QoS-aware memory usage management. Based on our real-world deployment in KVM, Hylics can improve computation and networking performance with a moderate amount of memory usage. Moreover, this design also sheds new light on optimizing the energy efficiency for virtualized systems.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jiangchuan Liu
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

A Shot Quality Adjusted Plus-Minus for the NHL

Date created: 
2016-12-19
Abstract: 

We explore two regression models for creating an adjusted plus-minus statistic for the NHL. We compare an OLS regression models and a penalized gamma-lasso regression model. The traditional plus-minus metric is a simple marginal statistic that allocates a +1 to players for scoring a goal and a -1 for allowing a goal according to whether they were on the ice. This is a very noisy and uninformative statistic since it does not take into account the quality of the other players on the ice with an individual. We build off of previous research to create a more informative statistic that takes into account all of the players on the ice. This previous research has focused on goals to build an adjusted plus-minus, which is information deficient due to the fact that there are only approximately 5 goals scored per game. We improve upon this by instead using shots which provides us with ten times as much information per game. We use shot location data from 2007 to 2013 to create a smoothed probability map for the probability of scoring a goal from all locations in the offensive zone. We then model the shots from 2014-2015 season to get player estimates. Two models are compared, an OLS regression and a penalized regression (lasso). Finally, we compare our adjusted plus-minus to the traditional plus-minus and complete a salary analysis to determine if teams are properly valuing players for the quality of shots they are taking and allowing.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Tim Swartz
Department: 
Science: Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.

“The things we all celebrate”: Aboriginal parents’ conceptualizations of a broad Aboriginal identity in the context of the Aboriginal Focus School in Vancouver

Date created: 
2016-12-15
Abstract: 

This thesis provides a thematic analysis of how urban Aboriginal parents (N=31) discussing the Aboriginal Focus School in Vancouver conceptualize the broad Aboriginal category as a meaningful identity. Participants conceptualized the broad Aboriginal category as a reflection of the lived experience of urban Aboriginal peoples, as a group with cultural commonalities including shared practices, norms and values, as a collection of diverse Aboriginal cultural groups in which subgroup diversity contributes to the value of the broad Aboriginal identity, and as a basis for solidarity and resilience in response to mistreatment from outgroups. Results also suggest the broad Aboriginal category is most likely to be accepted when it is perceived to be constructed by Aboriginal people themselves. These findings are situated within the Social Identity Theory approach (Reicher, Spears & Haslam, 2010) and add nuance to research on multicultural identities, intragroup relations and the political implications of social category construction.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Michael Schmitt
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Psychology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Three Problems Involving Permutations

Date created: 
2016-12-05
Abstract: 

We study three problems involving permutations: the n-card problem, inv-Wilf-equivalence, and suitable sets of permutations. The n-card problem is to determine the minimal intervals [u, v] such that for every n times n stochastic matrix A there is an n times n permutation matrix P (depending on A) such that tr(PA) belongs to [u, v]. The minimal intervals for the n-card problem are known only for n <= 4. We answer a question posed by Sands, by showing that [1, 2] is a solution to the n-card problem for all n >= 2. We also show that each closed interval of length n/(n−1) contained in [0, 2) is a solution to the n-card problem for all n >= 2. Wilf-equivalence is one of the central concepts of pattern-avoiding permutations. The two known infinite families of Wilf-equivalent permutation pairs both satisfy the stronger condition of shape-Wilf-equivalence. Dokos et al. studied a different strengthening of Wilf-equivalence called inv-Wilf-equivalence. They conjectured that all inv-Wilf-equivalent permutation pairs arise from trivial symmetries. We disprove this conjecture with an infinite family of counterexamples, obtained by generalizing simultaneously the concepts of shape-Wilf-equivalence and inv-Wilf-equivalence. We also prove the Baxter-Jaggard conjecture on even-shape-Wilf-equivalent permutation pairs. A set of N permutations of {1, 2, . . . , v} is (N, v, t)-suitable if each symbol precedes each subset of t − 1 others in at least one permutation. We give examples of suitable sets of permutations for new parameter triples (N, v, t). We relate certain suitable sets of permutations with parameter t to others with parameter t + 1, thereby showing that one of the two infinite families presented by Colbourn can be constructed directly from the other. We prove an exact nonexistence result for suitable sets of permutations using elementary combinatorial arguments. We then establish an asymptotic nonexistence result using Ramsey’s theorem.

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

In Search of Cordilleran Point Sources to the Southern McMurray Sub-Basin

Date created: 
2016-12-12
Abstract: 

In the east-central Alberta, isopach values of the McMurray Formation measured from the overlying Wabiskaw Marker datum show that paleotopographic relief on the sub-Cretaceous Unconformity is express by three paleo-valleys carved into the Grosmont-Wainwright Highlands. The paleo-valleys are named herein as: Grouse, Quail, and Ptarmigan. Mineralogical analysis of McMurray Formation sandstones in the paleo-valleys resolves subtle but recognisable vertical and spatial variations in composition. Feldspar contents decrease and lithic contents increase with stratigraphic depth. Based on petrographic analyses, McMurray Formation sandstones are sourced dominantly from a continental-scale drainage across the craton, with secondary input from uplifted sedimentary strata in the west as well as from the Canadian Shield in the east. Probable, paleo-tributaries can be superimposed on isopach maps of the McMurray Formation that, when coupled with net-sand maps, appear to bisect the highlands, suggesting that the Grosmont-Wainwright did not prevent some Cordillera sediment from entering the Ptarmigan and Quail paleo-valleys. This Cordillera-derived sediment was delivered via Edmonton Valley, and is calculated to constitute approximately 35% of the sediment supplied.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Shahin Dashtgard
Department: 
Science: Department of Earth Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Oxidation of 3-Chloroindole and Biodegradation of Dialkoxybenzenes with Cytochrome P450cam (CYP101A1)

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-06
Abstract: 

Cytochrome P450cam (a camphor hydroxylase) isolated from soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida shows potent importance in environmental applications such as the degradation of chlorinated organic pollutants and insect control agents. Introducing such chemicals can be hazardous to the environment due to their lack of biodegradation. In this thesis, I have studied the role of several P450cam mutants in the oxidation of 3-chloroindole to isatin and the role of wild type P450cam in the dealkylation of 1,4-dibutoxybenzene, a potent feeding-deterrent against stored product pests. Mutant (E156G/V247F/V253G/F256S) was the most active in the conversion of 3-chloroindole by P450cam. We propose two mechanisms for the dechlorination of 3-chloroindole by P450cam. To investigate structure-activity patterns of 1,4-dialkoxybenzenes against beetles, the octanol-water partition coefficients of selected dialkoxybenzenes were investigated. Furthermore, P. putida strain ATCC17453 was able to metabolize 1,4-dibutoxybenzene. Results revealed that cytochrome P450cam catalyzed the first and second dealkylation steps in the biodegradation mechanism.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Erika Plettner
Department: 
Science: Department of Chemistry
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Sc.

Uncovering Conceptions of “Journalism Crisis” in Singapore and Hong Kong: When State Influences Interact with Western Liberal Ideals in a Globalizing Media Landscape

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-09-08
Abstract: 

The topic of journalism crisis has become increasingly pertinent as criticisms mount against news media systems that have prioritized private over public interests and/or failed to meet the challenges brought on by the Internet. Much research on journalism crisis, however, is set in the US and couched within a liberal-democratic ideological framework; little is known about how journalism crisis is articulated and experienced in other parts of the world. This thesis, therefore, aims to expand the literature on “journalism crisis” by considering how it is conceived by journalists in societies that may be heavily influenced by Western liberal ideals but whose media systems continue to be subjected to some form of authoritarian control or influence. Establishing first that a journalism crisis must be studied at the ideological, material, and discursive levels, this study develops a journalism crisis framework that features as its dimensions the crisis narratives most commonly discussed in Western-centric literature. While noting the global nature of processes that stem from the West, like neoliberal capitalist expansion and cultural imperialism, this study highlights the selective adoption of liberal ideologies by countries outside the Western world, as imperial influences interact with local histories and cultures. Of specific interest are two cities in Asia – Singapore, a city-state, and Hong Kong, a Special Administration Region of the People’s Republic of China. Standing at important historical junctures – with the passing away of prominent statesman Lee Kuan Yew and the rise of the “Umbrella Revolution” – these two places offer interesting points of comparison as “global cities” and former British colonies that are both subjected to some form of authoritarian control. Through a comprehensive survey with 160 journalists and in-depth interviews, this study uncovers stark differences in the journalism crisis perceptions of news-workers in Singapore and Hong Kong, and argues the existence of a “crisis of legitimacy” narrative, pertaining to the system of governance, that must be accounted for when studying journalism’s decline outside of the Western context.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Yuezhi Zhao
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Efficient high throughput sequencing data compression and genotyping methods for clinical environments

Date created: 
2016-12-05
Abstract: 

The rapid development of high throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies has made a considerable impact on clinical and genomics research. These technologies offer a time-efficient and cost-effective means for genotyping many pharmaceutical genes affecting the drug response (also known as ADMER genes), which makes HTS a good candidate for assisting the drug treatment and dosage decisions. However, challenges like data storage and transfer, as well as accurate genotype inference in the presence of various structural variations, are still preventing the wider integration of HTS platforms in clinical environments. For these reasons, this thesis presents fast and efficient methods for HTS data compression and accurate ADMER genotyping.First we propose a novel compression technique for reference-aligned HTS data, which utilizes the local assembly technique to assemble the donor genome and eliminate the redundant information about the donor present in the HTS data. Our results show that we can achieve significantly better compression rates over currently used methods, while providing fast compression speeds and random access capability on the compressed archives. We also present a companion benchmarking framework with the aim to evaluate the performance of different HTS compression tools in a fair and reproducible manner. In the second part, we investigate the genotyping of CYP2D6 gene. Although this gene is involved in the metabolism of 20–25% of all clinically prescribed drugs, accurate genotype inference of CYP2D6 presents a significant challenge for various genotyping platforms due to the presence of structural rearrangements within its region. Thus, we introduce the first computational tool which is able to accurately infer a CYP2D6 genotype from HTS data by formulating such problem as an instance of integer linear programming. Finally, we show how to extend the proposed algorithm to other genes which harbour similar structural rearrangements, like CYP2A6, and to other HTS sequencing platforms, like PGRNseq. We demonstrate the accuracy and effectiveness of the proposed algorithms on large set of simulated and real data samples sequenced by both Illumina and PGRNseq platforms.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
S. Cenk Sahinalp
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

IBNR Claims Reserving Using INAR Processes

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-12-15
Abstract: 

This project studies the reserving problem for incurred but not reported (IBNR) claims in non-life insurance. Based on an idea presented in Kremer (1995), we propose a new Poisson INAR (integer-valued autoregressive) model for the unclosed claim counts, which are the number of reported but not enough reported claims. The properties and the prediction of the proposed Poisson INAR model are discussed. We modify the estimation methods proposed in Silva et al. (2005) for the replicated INAR(1) processes to be applied to our model and introduce new algorithms for estimating the model parameters. The performance of three different estimation methods used in this project is compared, and the impact of the sample size to the accuracy of the estimates is examined in the simulation study. To illustrate, we also present the prediction results of our proposed model using a generated sample.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Yi Lu
Department: 
Science: Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.