Theses

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  • Wavelet packets-based speech enhancement techniques for digital hearing aids
    Wavelet packets-based speech enhancement techniques for digital hearing aids
    Hearing-impaired listeners often have great difficulty understanding speech in a noisy background. The problem has motivated the development of a new speech enhancement scheme with the goal of improving speech in noise perception for the hearing impaired listeners. In this thesis, a novel wavelet packet based noise reduction algorithm and hearing loss compensation are presented for a single microphone hearing aids application. The noise reduction scheme utilizes noise masking threshold based suppression rule to remove additive noise. The perceptual noise suppression rule is optimized to achieve a balance between noise removal and speech distortion. Both objective and subjective evaluations have shown superior performance of the proposed technique in a good combination of low residual noise and low signal distortion. The hearing loss compensation is realized by the wavelet-based loudness compression in each critical band. The compensated speech is guaranteed above hearing-impaired listener's threshold of hearing and with growth of loudness corrected in the dynamic range. Preference test among normal hearing person with simulated hearing loss has shown compensated speeches are favored in various conditions.
    Wavelet-based image compression using mathematical morphology and self organization feature map
    Wavelet-based image compression using mathematical morphology and self organization feature map
    Image compression using transform coding technique has been widely used in practice. However, wavelet transform is the only method that provides both spatial and frequency domain information. These properties of wavelet transform greatly help in identification and selection of significant and non-significant coefficients from amongst the wavelet coefficients. Wavelet transform based image compression result in an improved compression ratio as well as image quality and thus both the signficant coefficients and their positions within an image are encoded and transmitted. In this thesis a wavelet based image compression system is presented that uses mathematical morphology and self organizing feature map (MMSOFM). The significance map is preprocessed using mathematical morphology operators to identify and creat clusters of significant coefficients. A self-organizing feature map (SOFM) is then used to encode the significance map. Experimental results are shown and comparisons with JPEG and JPEG 2000 are made to emphasize the results of this compression system.
    Wayfinding, robotics and hospitals
    Wayfinding, robotics and hospitals
    This paper will give a better understanding on how complex healthcare facilities such as hospitals are using robotic technologies that incorporate superior Wayfinding systems to carry out tasks and obtain information which originally, were conducted by healthcare workers, nurses and or doctors. This paper will also address the ethical concerns that people have by incorporating these robotic technologies such as: third parties being able to hack into these technologies and collect confidential information from patients, healthcare workers and nurses possibly loosing their jobs to hospital robots and whether or not hospital robots are in fact, safe to be operating within a environment where peoples lives are on the line.
    Weak material: light, time, location and the stuff of architecture
    Weak material: light, time, location and the stuff of architecture
    In the 1987 essay Weak Architecture the Spanish architectural theorist Ignasi de Sola-Morales asked the question “what role is accorded to architecture in the aesthetic system of contemporary weak thought?”(de Sola-Morales, 1996 [1987], p. 57). Given the increasing contemporary influence of weak ontology (thought) within the discipline of philosophy and the resulting spill over into architectural theory, this thesis asks a similar question repositioned from the viewpoint of the designer: What impact does the philosophy of Weak Ontology have on the design of contemporary architecture? By questioning the objective relationship between person and architecture (the ontological and the ontic), the plurality and incompleteness of architectural experience must be addressed. The project uses the relationship of light and architecture to reevaluate three foundational architectural elements: its materiality, its linear existence in time, and its fixed location. The role of light within architecture becomes the focus not of the investigation itself, but a demonstration of the accumulative and pluralized influences that overlay the Euclidean underpinnings of architectural tectonics.
    Weathering Architecture: A Study of Contingency And Entropy in Our Built Environment
    Weathering Architecture: A Study of Contingency And Entropy in Our Built Environment
    This thesis is about the architecture of change. Weather, in the context of this thesis, acts as the agent of change and contingencies in organizing and modifying the built environment. It is a study of weather as the energy and matter in the atmosphere that directly affects the external organizations of the building, as well as the internal organizations of the user’s experience. These organizations define architecture as a process through time; a performance-based construct that evolves with the actions and events of its surroundings. This thesis argues that weather can be used to enhance the experience and awareness of architecture.
    Web based cost management tool prototype development using temporal-activity based costing (Temporal-ABC)
    Web based cost management tool prototype development using temporal-activity based costing (Temporal-ABC)
    The cost management system is a powerful tool for managers to understand manufacturing plant performance. It is essential for any organization to develop a cost management system to estimate the product cost and to account actual cost spent for the product manufacturing. The Activity Based Costing (ABC) system has recently attracted the attention of many companies and is considered to provide better information about the cost pattern and the relationship between resources and activities. However, a survey of earlier research reveals that there are several difficulties to estimate the true product cost due to selection of overhead drivers to activities. To overcome these difficulties Temporal-ABC has been developed by Dr. K.D. Tham. In the first part of the report, costing system implementation issues are studied through real-time case studies. Then, research has been conducted and web-based proptotype application is developed using Temporal-ABC through collaboration with a world-class electronics industry - Celestica Inc. Toronto, Canada. The developed prototype demonstrates the application of Temporal-ABC for cost estimation at Celestica.
    Web multimedia files characterization
    Web multimedia files characterization
    his thesis introduces multimedia workload characterization embedded in popular Web pages and serving by YouTube. The findings of the study are used to build a multimedia workload generator. The workload generator can be used in simulations that investigates methods in improving caching performance for serving multimedia files, reducing multimedia network traffic, increasing YouTube scalability, decreasing startup delay when playing audio/video files embedded in a Web page or serving by short video sharing services, and evaluating the performance of multimedia servers.In this research, first, an analysis on Web pages consisting of multimedia embedded objects is presented. Also, a characterization study of around 250,000 YouTube popular and regular videos is performed. Based on the analysis of popular Web pages and measurement of YouTube traffic, a workload generator is developed. The workload generator generates the files of popular Web pages and YouTube servers and simulates a user session when accessing a server.
    Web service composition ranking based on QoS and social network analysis
    Web service composition ranking based on QoS and social network analysis
    Web service composition refers to the aggregation of web services for producing composite solutions in order to satisfy user requirements which can't be satisfied by atomic services. It is an essential challenge to find the most reliable and trustable complex services in each composition process. Many of current composition approaches use QoS (Quality of Service) values to select among different composition candidates. However, QoS values can't be trusted all the time since some service providers may promote their services by publishing wrong QoS values. Social network analysis techniques such as PageRank have been used successfully in finding the trustable and authoritative web resources. We believe that these techniques can also be used to improve the service composition process. We have developed a modified PageRank algorithm called Service Rank in order to find the importance level of each service in a composition based on its connectivity and invocation history. This can be accomplished by assigning higher weights to links which have more number of invocations, more up-to-date invocation time and contract signing time, and longer contract durations. Eventually the Service Rank score will be combined with the QoS score for composition ranking. Preliminary results from our experiments have proved the effectiveness of this method. As a consequence users can be more satisfied with the service composition result.
    Web service replica selection analysis using a multiagent-based simulator
    Web service replica selection analysis using a multiagent-based simulator
    A distributed system always runs on top of a computer network and cannot be separated from it. In many cases this network consists of hundreds or thousands of computers and processing nodes. An effective distributed system simulator needs to simulate the underlying network. Unfortunately a great majority of existing simulation tools are pure network simulators. Even though they are very effective for designing, and evaluating computer networks, they could not be used to simulate a distributed application like a web service based application. Many components in a distributed system are complex servers and software applications running on top of all network layers. Network simulators cannot simulate them. A higher-level simulator is required to simulate their behavior. This work introduces an agent-based simulation model that integrates the simulation of a computer network and higher-level components of a distributed application. The distributed nature of agents makes them suitable to model and simulate distributed architectures including computer networks and distributed systems. To evaluate this approach the behavior of a replicated web service application will be simulated to show how effectively multi- agent-systems could be used to simulate the behavior of a distributed system.
    Weight-based stigma/discrimination and disordered eating: exploring the mechanisms in obese adults and normal-weight undergraduates
    Weight-based stigma/discrimination and disordered eating: exploring the mechanisms in obese adults and normal-weight undergraduates
    Individuals who experience stigma/discrimination on the basis of their weight are at an elevated risk for disordered eating; however, the specific associations between various facets of weight-based stigma/discrimination with disordered eating and the mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. To address this conundrum, the current study examined the relations between three components of weight-based stigma/discrimination with binge/emotional eating, as well as potential psychological distress mechanisms of these relations, in obese female bariatric surgery-seeking patients and predominately normal-weight female undergraduate students. Results revealed that individuals who reported concerns regarding experiencing weight-based stigma, perceived that they have been discriminated against on the basis of their weight, and/or internalized anti-fat attitudes were at an elevated risk for binge eating across both samples. Body shape concerns emerged as the most relevant explanatory mechanism in the relation between weight-based stigma/discrimination and disordered eating across both samples.
    Welcome To Canada: A Critical Examination of the Neoliberal Restructuring of Canada's Model of Settlement Service Delivery
    Welcome To Canada: A Critical Examination of the Neoliberal Restructuring of Canada's Model of Settlement Service Delivery
    The settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees into Canadian society has become one of the most important areas of public policy in Canada. There exists a notion of a mutual responsibility between newcomers and Canadian society/state to both make the necessary adjustments to facilitate settlement and integration. Canada’s main tool to fulfill its responsibility in facilitating newcomer integration is composed of the policies, programs and services that shape Canada’s model of settlement service delivery. Although the Canadian model of settlement service provision is often looked to in admiration, many academics, policy makers and nongovernment workers are pointing to sings of a crisis of the settlement sector. Due to the neoliberal restructuring of the settlement sector, numerous challenges and issues have arisen for immigrant settlement agencies (ISAs) in assisting their newcomer clients. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the crisis of the settlement sector. It is argued that the issues plaguing the settlement sector disproportionately impact smaller, ethnocentric agencies and the visible minority and racialized clients they serve.
    Welcome to Canada?  A critical review and assessment of Canada's fast changing immigration policies.
    Welcome to Canada? A critical review and assessment of Canada's fast changing immigration policies.
    From July 1, 2012, until July 31, 2014, Canada's immigration system underwent significant transformations, and the changes are continuing at a very fast pace. These transformations and the ongoing changes have created a cloud of uncertainty for many prospect immigrants and unpredictability among policy analysts, non-state actors, scholars, and other stakeholders. While family reunification, economic migrants and refugees in the past have enabled Canada to step up as a global leader, today concerns are growing that recent policy shifts are making Canada less desirable, are unfair to migrant and their families, and are resulting in destruction of its international reputation and long held leadership in immigrant integration and settlement. The purpose of this paper is to build upon Alboim and Cohl's Maytree report and review both proposed and effective immigration policies that occurred between July 2012 and July 2014. Offering an in depth analysis regarding some of the major policy amendments and evaluate their potential impact on all involved parties.