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.

2-Median Problems in Tree Networks

Date created: 
2017-03-29
Abstract: 

Facility Location Problems have a great significance for allocating resources efficiently in a network. The interaction mainly involves a price which depends on the distances between the objects and the order of significance of the objects(clients). The applications of such problems are immense in many application areas such as medical and transportation. In this project, we consider the p-median facility location problem in tree-networks. This p-median problem in general tree-networks is NP-hard. In this project, we have looked at efficiently solving the 2-median problem in tree networks. Using simple techniques of computational geometry, we give a O(n log s) time solution to the 2-median of a tree with s number of leaves. Our technique is then applied to solve other variants of the 2-median problem with the same complexity

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Binay Bhattacharyya
Ramesh Krishnamurthi
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.Sc.

Tourism in Gwaii Haanas: Contributions to Haida Gwaii communities and co-management

Date created: 
2017-04-24
Abstract: 

Nature-based tourism is growing around the world, attracting visitors to remote protected area, which affects the surrounding communities. As tourism within the co-managed Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site increases, so does the necessity for a strong understanding of how tourism within Gwaii Haanas is contributing to communities and co-management on Haida Gwaii. This research was based on interviews with tourism operators permitted to operate in Gwaii Haanas during 2016, and key informants from four communities on Haida Gwaii, combined with participant observation and literature review. Findings show that tourism within Gwaii Haanas is contributing to economic, social, cultural and scientific aspects of life on Haida Gwaii as well as supporting the strong co-management agreement that governs Gwaii Haanas. These findings can help inform management decisions and guide movement toward a sustainable future for the tourism industry on Haida Gwaii.

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

Closing the gap: Primary prevention approaches to child protection in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-07
Abstract: 

The child welfare system in British Columbia requires a re-orientation towards prevention. Structural factors drive substantiated maltreatment rates, which are predominantly for neglect and exposure to intimate partner violence. Many at-risk families receive no support services until crisis. The BC Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) serves high-risk families where maltreatment has occurred, filtering out at-risk families to navigate a fragmented net of community services. This research study examines British Columbia’s continuum of services for at-risk families to identify service gaps. A literature review informs the rationale of primary prevention programs and community development. Interviews with frontline professionals show the need for “user-informed” services. Three policy options are analyzed: increased provision of services for at-risk families through MCFD’s Support Services stream, primary prevention through Nurse Family Partnerships, and population-level primary prevention through Family Connects. Family Connects is recommended to achieve a population-level effect in reducing maltreatment.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Rhys Kesselman
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Charging Up: Policies to Spark Electric Vehicle Adoption in Metro Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-03-28
Abstract: 

Plug-in electric vehicles have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Metro Vancouver, but their adoption has been limited to date. This research paper examines the barriers to electric vehicle usage in Metro Vancouver, and analyzes several potential policy changes that could be made by the provincial government to encourage more people to purchase such vehicles. This analysis is based on a literature review, a jurisdictional scan, and interviews with experts and stakeholders. The policy options that are considered include a zero-emission vehicle mandate, building requirements for new residential developments, changes to strata legislation, and changes to utilities regulations.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Josh Gordon
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Interactive extraction of 3D trees from medical images supporting gaming and crowdsourcing

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-04-20
Abstract: 

Analysis of vascular and airway trees of circulatory and respiratory systems is important for a wide range of clinical applications. Automatic segmentation of these tree-like structures from 3D image data remains challenging due to complex branching patterns, geometrical diversity, and pathology. Existing automated techniques are sensitive to parameters setting, may leak into nearby structures, or miss true bifurcating branches; while interactive methods for segmenting vascular trees are hard to design and use, making them impractical to extend to 3D and to vascular trees with many branches (e.g., tens or hundreds). We propose SwifTree, an interactive software to facilitate this tree extraction task while exploring crowdsourcing and gamification. Our experiments demonstrate that: (i) aggregating the results of multiple SwifTree crowdsourced sessions can achieve more accurate segmentation; (ii) using the proposed game-mode can reduce time needed to achieve a pre-set tree segmentation accuracy; and (iii) SwifTree outperforms automatic segmentation methods especially with respect to noise robustness.

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

From forecasting vulnerabilities to assessing recovery: the utility of demographic models in addressing population declines

Date created: 
2017-04-13
Abstract: 

Curbing species’ decline driven by anthropogenic modifications to natural systems requires a deep understanding of how specific changes to biotic and abiotic processes affect populations. Individual life history stages may differ in their response to such changes, consequently buffering or accelerating population declines. I explore the concept of demographic compensation among life stages using stage-structured demographic models to improve predictions for two conservation challenges; 1) forecasting climate change impacts to amphibian populations in montane ecosystems, and 2) identifying the most effective life history targets for recovering declining amphibian populations. In Chapters 2 and 3, I use demographic data for the Cascades frog (Rana cascadae) at northern and southern range boundaries to parameterize stochastic matrix population models under current and future environmental conditions to evaluate how climate change affects population stability. I demonstrate that R. cascadae populations at the northern range boundary are stable, but that compounding negative effects of climate on early and late life history stages creates a demographic tipping point by the 2080’s. I find that counter to range shift predictions, the population growth rate for the southern population will change little in the face of climate change, and differences in population stability between northern and southern range limits are driven by contrasting responses to climate. Equally important to forecasting population vulnerability, is preventing extinction of declining populations. In Chapter 4, I use demographic models to elucidate recovery potential for declining populations of Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa) by evaluating the effectiveness of population supplementation at multiple life stages. I compare two supplementation strategies, head-starting early life stages and captive breeding, and find captive breeding up to two orders of magnitude more effective at reducing extinction probabilities than head-starting. In Chapter 5, I extend the utility of such models using formal decision analysis to evaluate tradeoffs between the effectiveness of conservation actions and their economic costs. I reveal that the supplementation of wild populations with captive bred larvae results in the largest reduction in extinction risk per dollar invested. In this thesis, I use demographic models to improve our predictions of species’ responses to climate change before declines occur, and conversely, advance the quantitative framework for recovering declining populations.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Wendy Palen
Department: 
Science: Biological Sciences Department
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Framing effects: The impact of framing on copresence in virtual theatre

Date created: 
2017-01-19
Abstract: 

Virtual theatre (enacted dramatic narrative performed live online) is an emerging form of theatrical mediation. One of the biggest challenges faced by this growing media practice is the management of audience experience. This thesis attempts to address the uncertainty around virtual theatre audiences by focusing on the framing of performances that take place in virtual worlds. Strategic approaches to framing and audience preparation are suggested based on literature-based research, case studies and experimental approaches to understanding the role of context and information to audience experience. The core research of the thesis involves a mixed-methods approach to understanding the impact of framing on virtual theatre. The first phase is theoretical, using existing theories of framing drawn from many disciplines in order to create analytical framework to establish the functional features of audience preparation. This framework is then used to analyse the audience preparation strategies of three Vancouver-based live art companies using both interviews and document analysis. Finally, framing strategies from both stage theatre and commercial cinema are used to create framing conditions that are tested using a controlled experiment on a virtual theatre production. The research findings are the basis of a series of recommendations for theatrical events presented in various media. The consequences for virtual theatre are emphasised in an attempt to expand the scope of this emerging form of theatrical expression.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Thecla Schiphorst
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Interactive Arts and Technology
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

From Press to Imprint: Examining UBC Press’ Acquisition of Purich Publishing

Author: 
Abstract: 

In December 2015, UBC Press announced the acquisition of Saskatchewan-based publisher Purich Publishing Ltd., whose founders were retiring. Within media industries like publishing, consolidation and conglomeration of multiple companies is a now a common practice. Industry insiders and business columnists endlessly discuss the contracts, prices paid, and asset values, but rarely is there any discussion about what happens after. For UBC Press, the acquisition was a strategic decision to reinvest in its business through the purchase of assets. The Press then faced the difficulty of how to suitably integrate these titles into its existing publishing program, including coordinating metadata, integrating stock, and assessing the marketing potential for these titles. There is also the consideration of the future of Purich as an imprint, and how to best utilize the existing brand and list, while keeping it distinct from UBC Press’ existing publishing program. This report looks at the trend of consolidation in publishing in the context of scholarly publishing in general, considers the business decision behind such an acquisition, takes a deep look at the logistics of assimilating another company, and offers analysis and recommendations based on the opportunities and challenges that UBC Press now faces.

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

“We see a real opportunity around food waste”: Exploring the Relationship Between On-Farm Food Waste and Farm Characteristics

Date created: 
2017-04-26
Abstract: 

This research study aims to provide an understanding of on-farm food waste on conventional and organic farms. Through interviews with food producers, I addressed three research questions: 1) do organic food producers produce more or less waste than conventional food producers?, 2) do food waste management practices differ between organic and conventional food producers?, and 3) What role do producer food waste practices play in agricultural sustainability? I found no conclusive differences between organic and non-organic food producers regarding volume and management of on-farm food waste; however, I found that different farm characteristics intersect in numerous ways, resulting in a variety of impacts on on-farm food waste. Additionally, all research participants indicated that the factor most likely to encourage them to address on-farm food waste is cost savings. To fully address food waste, actions oriented towards minimizing and sustainably managing food waste must be undertaken in a collaborative manner across all stages of the food supply chain.

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)

Narrating stories of desistance: Pathways to and from criminality in the lives of prolific male offenders

Date created: 
2017-04-13
Abstract: 

Recent research and theory suggest that human agency and identity change are key factors that drive desistance from crime. However, precisely how offenders exercise agency and work towards a prosocial identity in the face of myriad structural barriers is an issue not yet settled. Further, the role of formal corrections in identity change and fostering capabilities to be agentic is not yet clear. This study explored these issues through a grounded theory analysis of data obtained from interviews with eleven once-prolific male offenders who had since given up crime. Results indicate that these men made a rational choice to give up crime and subsequently made agentic moves to change themselves and their surroundings. While formal correctional programming did not seem to play a large part in these changes, participants described more informal programs as beneficial. Recommendations for correctional policy are discussed in light of these findings.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Brenda Morrison
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.