Theses

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  • Towards an automated soft proofing system using high dynamic range imaging and artificial neural networks
    Towards an automated soft proofing system using high dynamic range imaging and artificial neural networks
    In this thesis, an adaptive mechanism for controlling the illumination is combined with a closed loop technique and the use of High Dynamic range (HDR) to generate a black box model that can simulate the hard proof of a given digital image. An adaptive Artificial Neural Network (ANN) was used to create the black box model, using the camera as a measuring device. The non-uniformity of the illumination in the viewing booth is typically a barrier in creating such a black box model since color appearance varies with location in the viewing booth. This issue was addressed in this thesis by compensation for viewing booth illumination using an inexpensive camera and a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) projector. HDR was found to give a favourable representation that is more indicative of the image perceived by the operator, and was used as the basis for mapping the original image to the soft proof. A proof of concept was also developed to highlight the utility of the LCD projector based approach in providing a more broad range of varying intensity color illuminants (thus environments) under which a proof may be not only viewed, but modeled through the closed loop process. In this sense, a system has been developed to generate and provide custom soft proofs that can extend the functionality of the standard viewing booth. The proposed technique will open the doors to new automated systems that can be very beneficial to the printing industry.
    Towards an automatic ice navigation support system in the Arctic area
    Towards an automatic ice navigation support system in the Arctic area
    Conventional ice navigation through sea ice is manually operated by well-trained navigators, whose experiences are heavily relied upon to guarantee the ship's safety. Despite increasingly available ice data and information, little has been done to develop automatic ice navigation systems to better guide ships in sea ice. In this study firstly navigable sea areas for different types of ships were identified according to the navigation codes in northern regions. Secondly, three algorithms of path planning were adopted to automatically compute the safest-and-shortest ship routes based on the concepts of the Voronoi diagram, Visibility graph, and Visibility-Voronoi diagram, respectively. These algorithms and results were compared and evaluated in terms of different application scenarios. Results show that the Visibility-Voronoi approach seems to be the best viable solution in terms of computing performance and navigation safety. The work will provide a basis for further development towards an automatic ice navigation support system
    Towards digital place(s): cultivating a language of digital design in architecture
    Towards digital place(s): cultivating a language of digital design in architecture
    The term “place” has been used to identify meaningful locations or buildings in reference to limitless connections, be they sensorial or emotional that develop an embodied memory of space as experienced by the senses. In the contemporary age of digital society the level of technological depth that an individual may be submerged throughout their daily activities has created a barrier between space and its occupant that must be bridged before a sense of place can be established. The following thesis will explore the social impacts of technological advancements in contemporary society which has created a populace of high-tech nomads and the implications of those advancements for physical environment and architecture. Finding ways of bridging that intangible barrier or a gap through architecture will drive space and its formal expression to new levels of interactivity and connectivity that are capable of resurfacing the digitally submerged, strengthening the existing and forging new relationships between people and places. This thesis will explore the bridging of the gap between digital technology and physical space through the advancement of interactive, adaptive spaces, materials, and forms that combine and embody a language and experience of digital design. Each section of the document works towards the establishment of the idea that it is firstly, possible to bridge that gap and to create harmony between the digital and the physical, and secondly to show that this harmony can be meaningful, impactful, and complimentary to the present richness that is the urban fabric. This thesis will investigate the impact and implications of presence of digital technologies on the forms of societal and spatial interaction. As one’s daily life starts to operate within a digital platform independently of the realm of physical space, architecture can become reoriented to establish its new parameters. An attempt to formulate a new language of digital design will allow the development of a new form of architecture, capable of engaging contemporary high-tech society in a new place making. As one begins to communicate and engage with his surroundings via his personal devices and vice versa a new system of interaction between occupants and occupied will emerge, as will new relationship between people and spaces.
    Towards greener aviation : a comparative study on the substitution of standard jet fuel with algal based second generation biofuels
    Towards greener aviation : a comparative study on the substitution of standard jet fuel with algal based second generation biofuels
    The negative environmental impact of the aviation industry, related mainly to the gaseous emissions from turbine exhausts, is increasing with the increased demand on travel. In addition to the adverse environmental effects, the currently used aviation fuel is posing economic burdens on the air transport sector, with the increase in crude oil prices. Therefore, the aviation industry is investigating the potential of substituting the currently used aviation fuel with alternative fuels- mainly with those derived from second generation biofuels. Of all available sources of second generation biofuels, numerous studies indicate that those derived from algae seem to be the most promising, in terms of providing a viable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. This study explores the feasibility of microalgal jet fuel, taking into consideration technological, environmental and economic aspects. The results indicate that the viability and sustainability of microalgal jet fuel greatly depend on the technologies and inputs used during the different production stages of microalgal fuels. Provided certain conditions and characteristics are present, microalgal jet fuel has a realistic potential to provide the economic and environmental benefits needed to substitute conventional fuels.
    Towards measuring real-time occupant levels to reduce ventilation fan energy consumption in existing institutional gathering spaces - a field study using thermal sensors.
    Towards measuring real-time occupant levels to reduce ventilation fan energy consumption in existing institutional gathering spaces - a field study using thermal sensors.
    Ventilation systems in buildings have been traditionally designed for the maximum projected number of occupants; while buildings often have fewer occupants than the maximum and in some cases can be unoccupied for extended periods. Changing the rate of outdoor air to reflect changes in the number of occupants in a space is referred to as demand control ventilation (DCV). A field study was performed using thermal sensors to determine the number of occupants using lecture rooms of an institutional building. The occupant data was used to calculate minimum ventilation for the lecture rooms using current ventilation standards from ASHRAE Standard 62.1. It was found that by current standards, the required ventilation is considerably less than the original design ventilation. Based on occupant data and variables specific to the lecture rooms, it was found that the ventilation can be reduced by at least 40% creating a potential for significant energy savings.
    Towards the synthesis of photobactin: methodology and metal binding aspects
    Towards the synthesis of photobactin: methodology and metal binding aspects
    Siderophores are metal-typically iron-chelating compounds that have received countless attention in research, as they can play a role in medicine intended for drug delivery and iron overload treatment. The synthesis of Photobactin has been of interest as it has been previously isolated (<10 mg) from Photorhabdus luminescence and has not once been synthesized. This thesis examined the preparation of Photobactin using a multi-step approach: synthesizing two building blocks individually and coupling them together with an amide coupling reagent. Both building blocks were synthesized successfully. However, the deprotection of the ester group on one of the building blocks has been uncooperative, and therefore the total synthesis of Photobactin was not achieved. Moreover, DFT computation calculations were performed to study Photobactin binding properties with Fe3+. According to the results, iron (Fe3+) is likely to form a hexadentate (6-coordinate ligand) or a tetradentate (4-coordinate ligand) complex with Photobactin. Each of the compounds leading to Photobactin was characterized using 1H and 13C-NMR. Some compounds were characterized using elemental analysis and performing 2D-NMR (COSY, HMBC, and HSQC) to make final assignments.
    Towards understanding the determinants of household energy use:  exploring the role of individual, household, social, and physical characteristics on household electricity and gas use
    Towards understanding the determinants of household energy use: exploring the role of individual, household, social, and physical characteristics on household electricity and gas use
    This research is an investigation of people and their relationship with energy. This dissertation first presents an analysis of national surveys: Statistics Canada‘s 2013 Households and the Environment Survey and the 2013 Energy Use Supplement. These surveys were used to investigate the relationships between dwelling characteristics, household characteristics, electricity use, and natural gas use. Approximately 20% of the variance in overall energy use was explained by dwelling and household characteristics, leaving a large portion of the variance unaccounted for. It was also found that household characteristics have more impact on electricity use than natural gas use. In contrast, dwelling characteristics have more impact on natural gas use than on electricity use. In order to better gauge the unexplained variation in household energy use, an instrument was developed to measure public energy literacy, which was conceptualized using previous surveys as well as frameworks and models from academic and grey literature, as well as literacy and educational initiatives and programs. Such conceptualization created the parameters within which survey items could be developed, created, and therefore generated. Instrument development included pretesting, cognitive interviews, and quantitative and qualitative analysis of instrument items. The resulting survey is a 15-item, 5-item, and 9-item measure of energy-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours, respectively. Energy literacy, along with environmental concern, was assessed among a sample of Toronto homeowners. In general, participants demonstrated environmental concern, positive attitudes, performed energy-saving behaviours and demonstrated satisfactory understanding of energy-related knowledge (i.e., average score of 66 percent). Interesting relationships were found between the measures of energy literacy as well as some additional measures of knowledge and behaviour, suggesting that examination of energy use should be broken down into smaller examinable components, such as curtailment and efficiency behaviours. The attitudinal and behavioural subscales belonging to the measure of energy literacy added to the explanation of household energy use in the Toronto sample: for electricity 11% of the variation was explained and 4% for natural gas. Surveys and examination of household energy use need to therefore consider examining energy literacy variables in addition to socio-demographics and dwelling characteristics.
    Toxicity Assessment Of The Antimicrobial Triclocarban Using Sub-Lethal Behaviour And Reproduction Endpoints
    Toxicity Assessment Of The Antimicrobial Triclocarban Using Sub-Lethal Behaviour And Reproduction Endpoints
    Aquatic environments have long been used as disposal sites for domestic and industrial wastes, resulting in increasing chemical contamination, decreased water quality, and concern for ecosystem health and drinking water sources. This study utilized bioassays, the "golden standard" method to measure biological impact, to assess the toxicity of the widely found surface water contaminant, the antimicrobial triclocarban. Culturing protocols were implemented to provide healthy, age-synchronized organisms for bioassays. Behaviour and reproduction were demonstrated as useful endpoints while refining these methods using 4-chlorophenol and were successfully implemented in the toxicity assessment of triclocarban. While no sub-lethal behavioural impact was seen, 10.0 ppb triclocarban was found to delay reproduction in Daphnia magna. This delay could result in population, community, and ecosystem-level responses.
    Toxicity and bioaccumulation of 2,2', 4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE47) in a laboratory aquatic food chain
    Toxicity and bioaccumulation of 2,2', 4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE47) in a laboratory aquatic food chain
    Rising levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been ovserved in the environment, humans, and animlas. Studies have shown that these compounds can elicit toxic effects in animals (e.g. neurotoxicity and thyroid toxicity). This research investigated the effects of BDE47 on the survival and reproduction of Daphnia magna over two generations. The impacts of water-borne exposure were compared to dietary exposure using the following treatments: dosed water (DW), dosed algae (DA) and dosed water and algae (DWA). In the first generation, significant impacts on reproduction were observed in daphnids in the DA and DWA treatments. In the second generation, no significant impacts on reproduction were observed indicating a recovery from maternal exposure. When second generation daphnids were exposed to BDE47, there was high mortality in the DWA treatment anad reduced reproduction in all dosed treatments. Dietary exposure to BDE47 had a more profound impact on daphnid reproduction than water exposure. In the second generation, dietary exposure affected both survival and reproduction and water exposure reduced reproduction, indicating that maternal exposure was a factor.
    Tracking Human Motion in Monocular Video Sequence with the De-Mc Particle Filter
    Tracking Human Motion in Monocular Video Sequence with the De-Mc Particle Filter
    Tracking human motion from monocular video sequences has attracted a great deal of interests in recent years. The difficulty in solving this problem is largely due to the nonlinear property of human dynamics and the high dimensionality of the state vector space required to model human motion. Traditional particle filtering methods usually fail in this situation because the distributions they sample from are ill-defined. In this thesis we propose a novel tracking algorithm, namely the Differential Evolution - Markov Chain (DE-MC) particle filtering. It is based on the particle filter framework but makes substantial changes to its core, i.e. the sampling strategy. In this new approach, the Differential Evolution algorithm and the Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm are integrated, aiming at improving both the accuracy and efficiency in approximating the posterior distribution. Global optimization and importance sampling are spirits of the proposed method. To apply the DE-MC particle filter to articulated model-based human motion tracking, we also integrate multiple image cues including the area of silhouettes, color histograms and boundaries to measure the image likelihoods. We find the Fourier Descriptor (FD) to be a new and effective image feature in human motion tracking applications. Our other contributions, such as a modified color cue-based measurement function and a simple adaptive strategy for sampling, also help to improve the performance of the human tracker. Experimental results including the comparison with the performance of other particle filtering methods demonstrate the power of the proposed approach.
    Traditional medicinal knowledge, recognition and regulation
    Traditional medicinal knowledge, recognition and regulation
    As a number of global legal and political institutions grapple with ways to recognize and integrate TMK into their institutional frameworks, how traditional practices are 'recognized', and what work 'recognition's being asked to do become key questions. Three international frameworks that play a key role in recognizing TMK in the international arena are the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Health Organization. By examining the way in which these three bodies have recognized and integrated TMK into their respective regimes, while and drawing on the scholarship of anthropologists, critical legal scholars, intellectual property experts and legal and policy literature, I will argue that the recognition of TMK in the international legal and political arena has led to the creation of complex legal and political spaces where recognizing traditional medicinal knowledge has fragmented it, siphoning off the social, cultural and spiritual aspects of it that remain incompatible with the current neoliberal paradigms. Simultaneously, recognition and integration have been used to co-opt traditional knowledge in order to extend governance regimes that integrate TMK and its holders without challenging the basic, outdated and highly unequal and unethical power relations on discourses of recognition are based.