• Enabling and Measuring Complexity in Evolving Designs using Generative Representations for Artificial Architecture

      Harrington, Adrian; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2012-11-07)
      As the complexity of evolutionary design problems grow, so too must the quality of solutions scale to that complexity. In this research, we develop a genetic programming system with individuals encoded as tree-based generative representations to address scalability. This system is capable of multi-objective evaluation using a ranked sum scoring strategy. We examine Hornby's features and measures of modularity, reuse and hierarchy in evolutionary design problems. Experiments are carried out, using the system to generate three-dimensional forms, and analyses of feature characteristics such as modularity, reuse and hierarchy were performed. This work expands on that of Hornby's, by examining a new and more difficult problem domain. The results from these experiments show that individuals encoded with those three features performed best overall. It is also seen, that the measures of complexity conform to the results of Hornby. Moving forward with only this best performing encoding, the system was applied to the generation of three-dimensional external building architecture. One objective considered was passive solar performance, in which the system was challenged with generating forms that optimize exposure to the Sun. The results from these and other experiments satisfied the requirements. The system was shown to scale well to the architectural problems studied.
    • Equational Reasoning about Object-Oriented Programs

      Hossain, Md. Nour; Department of Computer Science (2013-04-08)
      Formal verification of software can be an enormous task. This fact brought some software engineers to claim that formal verification is not feasible in practice. One possible method of supporting the verification process is a programming language that provides powerful abstraction mechanisms combined with intensive reuse of code. In this thesis we present a strongly typed functional object-oriented programming language. This language features type operators of arbitrary kind corresponding to so-called type protocols. Sub classing and inheritance is based on higher-order matching, i.e., utilizes type protocols as basic tool for reuse of code. We define the operational and axiomatic semantics of this language formally. The latter is the basis of the interactive proof assistant VOOP (Verified Object-Oriented Programs) that allows the user to prove equational properties of programs interactively.
    • Evolution of architectural floor plans

      Flack, Robert W. J.; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2011-10-13)
      Layout planning is a process of sizing and placing rooms (e.g. in a house) while a t t empt ing to optimize various criteria. Often the r e are conflicting c r i t e r i a such as construction cost, minimizing the distance between r e l a t ed activities, and meeting the area requirements for these activities. The process of layout planning ha s mostly been done by hand, wi th a handful of a t t empt s to automa t e the process. Thi s thesis explores some of these pa s t a t t empt s and describes several new techniques for automa t ing the layout planning process using evolutionary computation. These techniques a r e inspired by the existing methods, while adding some of the i r own innovations. Additional experimenLs are done to t e s t the possibility of allowing polygonal exteriors wi th rectilinear interior walls. Several multi-objective approaches are used to evaluate and compare fitness. The evolutionary r epr e s ent a t ion and requirements specification used provide great flexibility in problem scope and depth and is worthy of considering in future layout and design a t t empt s . The system outlined in thi s thesis is capable of evolving a variety of floor plans conforming to functional and geometric specifications. Many of the resulting plans look reasonable even when compared to a professional floor plan. Additionally polygonal and multi-floor buildings were also generated.
    • Evolutionary synthesis of stochastic gene network models using feature-based search spaces

      Imada, Janine.; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2009-01-28)
      A feature-based fitness function is applied in a genetic programming system to synthesize stochastic gene regulatory network models whose behaviour is defined by a time course of protein expression levels. Typically, when targeting time series data, the fitness function is based on a sum-of-errors involving the values of the fluctuating signal. While this approach is successful in many instances, its performance can deteriorate in the presence of noise. This thesis explores a fitness measure determined from a set of statistical features characterizing the time series' sequence of values, rather than the actual values themselves. Through a series of experiments involving symbolic regression with added noise and gene regulatory network models based on the stochastic 'if-calculus, it is shown to successfully target oscillating and non-oscillating signals. This practical and versatile fitness function offers an alternate approach, worthy of consideration for use in algorithms that evaluate noisy or stochastic behaviour.
    • Extending relAPS to first order logic

      Aameri, Bahar; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      RelAPS is an interactive system assisting in proving relation-algebraic theorems. The aim of the system is to provide an environment where a user can perform a relation-algebraic proof similar to doing it using pencil and paper. The previous version of RelAPS accepts only Horn-formulas. To extend the system to first order logic, we have defined and implemented a new language based on theory of allegories as well as a new calculus. The language has two different kinds of terms; object terms and relational terms, where object terms are built from object constant symbols and object variables, and relational terms from typed relational constant symbols, typed relational variables, typed operation symbols and the regular operations available in any allegory. The calculus is a mixture of natural deduction and the sequent calculus. It is formulated in a sequent style but with exactly one formula on the right-hand side. We have shown soundness and completeness of this new logic which verifies that the underlying proof system of RelAPS is working correctly.
    • Efficient Merging and Decomposition Variants of Cooperative Particle Swarm Optimization for Large Scale Problems

      Douglas, Jay; Department of Computer Science
      For large-scale optimization problems (LSOPs), an increased problem size reduces performance by both increasing the landscape complexity, as well as exponentially increasing the search space size. These contributing factors make up the "curse of dimensionality", which is addressed either by improving the search operator of the meta-heuristic or decomposing the high-dimensional problem into smaller sub-problems. Unfortunately, non-separable LSOPs contain a scaling number of variable dependencies which should be optimized together but are often separated into different sub-problems due to insufficient grouping strategies. Various particle swarm optimization (PSO) techniques have been proposed in order to address these LSOPs, either through the improvement of search operators or utilizing decomposition. However, there is a lack of comparison between them showing which PSO variant performs best for specific types of LSOPs. Additionally, decomposition variants which utilize a cooperative PSO (CPSO) approach still struggle to properly group related variables in more difficult non-separable multimodal problems. In an attempt to better optimize these non-separable LSOPs, this thesis introduces two new adaptive decomposition and merging CPSO algorithms, referred to as DCPSO2 and MCPSO2 respectively, which offer a new regrouping strategy by adaptively splitting and merging stagnated sub-swarms according to the their fitness. These algorithms proposed in this thesis are then compared against existing CPSO variants in order to establish the best decomposition-based PSO algorithm for LSOPs. Results show that the decomposition and merging variants are able to perform competitively with previously well-established CPSO algorithms for large-scale problems across all problem classes. DCPSO ranks the highest in terms of accuracy across all non-separable problems while MCPSO and MCPSO2 prove to have the fastest convergence amongst all algorithms.
    • Feature Selection and Classification Using Age Layered Population Structure Genetic Programming

      Awuley, Anthony; Department of Computer Science
      The curse of dimensionality is a major problem in the fields of machine learning, data mining and knowledge discovery. Exhaustive search for the most optimal subset of relevant features from a high dimensional dataset is NP hard. Sub–optimal population based stochastic algorithms such as GP and GA are good choices for searching through large search spaces, and are usually more feasible than exhaustive and determinis- tic search algorithms. On the other hand, population based stochastic algorithms often suffer from premature convergence on mediocre sub–optimal solutions. The Age Layered Population Structure (ALPS) is a novel meta–heuristic for overcoming the problem of premature convergence in evolutionary algorithms, and for improving search in the fitness landscape. The ALPS paradigm uses an age–measure to control breeding and competition between individuals in the population. This thesis uses a modification of the ALPS GP strategy called Feature Selection ALPS (FSALPS) for feature subset selection and classification of varied supervised learning tasks. FSALPS uses a novel frequency count system to rank features in the GP population based on evolved feature frequencies. The ranked features are translated into probabilities, which are used to control evolutionary processes such as terminal–symbol selection for the construction of GP trees/sub-trees. The FSALPS meta–heuristic continuously refines the feature subset selection process whiles simultaneously evolving efficient classifiers through a non–converging evolutionary process that favors selection of features with high discrimination of class labels. We investigated and compared the performance of canonical GP, ALPS and FSALPS on high–dimensional benchmark classification datasets, including a hyperspectral image. Using Tukey’s HSD ANOVA test at a 95% confidence interval, ALPS and FSALPS dominated canonical GP in evolving smaller but efficient trees with less bloat expressions. FSALPS significantly outperformed canonical GP and ALPS and some reported feature selection strategies in related literature on dimensionality reduction.
    • Formalizing affordances in situation

      Lenarcic, Adam; Department of Computer Science (2012-04-03)
      The representation of a perceptual scene by a computer is usually limited to numbers representing dimensions and colours. The theory of affordances attempted to provide a new way of representing an environment, with respect to a particular agent. The view was introduced as part of an entire field of psychology labeled as 'ecological,' which has since branched into computer science through the field of robotics, and formal methods. This thesis will describe the concept of affordances, review several existing formalizations, and take a brief look at applications to robotics. The formalizations put forth in the last 20 years have no agreed upon structure, only that both the agent and the environment must be taken in relation to one another. Situation theory has also been evolving since its inception in 1983 by Barwise & Perry. The theory provided a formal way to represent any arbitrary piece of information in terms of relations. This thesis will take a toy version of situation theory published in CSLI lecture notes no. 22, and add to the given ontologies. This thesis extends the given ontologies to include specialized affordance types, and individual object types. This allows for the definition of semantic objects called environments, which support a situation and a set of affordances, and niches which refer to a set of actions for an individual. Finally, a possible way for an environment to change into a new environment is suggested via the activation of an affordance.
    • A Functional Programming Language with Patterns and Copatterns

      Alkhulaif, Shams A.; Department of Computer Science
      Since the emergence of coinductive data types in functional programming languages, various languages such as Haskell and Coq tried different ways in dealing with them. Yet, none of them dealt with coinductive data types properly. In lazy languages such as Haskell, both inductive data types and coinductive data types are gathered and mixed in one list. Moreover, some languages such as Coq used the same constructors that are used for inductive data types as a tool to tackle coinductive data types, and while other languages such as Haskell did use destructors, they did not use them properly. Coinductive data types behave differently than inductive data types and therefore, it is more appropriate to deal with them differently. In this thesis, we propose a new functional programming language where coinductive data types are dealt with in a dual approach in which coinductive data types are defined by observation and inductive data types are defined by constructors. This approach is more appropriate in dealing with coinductive data types whose importance comes from their role in creating a safer and more sophisticated software.
    • GA approach for finding Rough Set decision rules based on bireducts

      Rybkin, Oleg; Department of Computer Science
      Feature selection plays an important role in knowledge discovery and data mining nowadays. In traditional rough set theory, feature selection using reduct - the minimal discerning set of attributes - is an important area. Nevertheless, the original definition of a reduct is restrictive, so in one of the previous research it was proposed to take into account not only the horizontal reduction of information by feature selection, but also a vertical reduction considering suitable subsets of the original set of objects. Following the work mentioned above, a new approach to generate bireducts using a multi--objective genetic algorithm was proposed. Although the genetic algorithms were used to calculate reduct in some previous works, we did not find any work where genetic algorithms were adopted to calculate bireducts. Compared to the works done before in this area, the proposed method has less randomness in generating bireducts. The genetic algorithm system estimated a quality of each bireduct by values of two objective functions as evolution progresses, so consequently a set of bireducts with optimized values of these objectives was obtained. Different fitness evaluation methods and genetic operators, such as crossover and mutation, were applied and the prediction accuracies were compared. Five datasets were used to test the proposed method and two datasets were used to perform a comparison study. Statistical analysis using the one-way ANOVA test was performed to determine the significant difference between the results. The experiment showed that the proposed method was able to reduce the number of bireducts necessary in order to receive a good prediction accuracy. Also, the influence of different genetic operators and fitness evaluation strategies on the prediction accuracy was analyzed. It was shown that the prediction accuracies of the proposed method are comparable with the best results in machine learning literature, and some of them outperformed it.
    • Generating Aesthetically Pleasing Images in a Virtual Environment using Particle Swarm Optimization

      Barry, William; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2012-11-07)
      This research focuses on generating aesthetically pleasing images in virtual environments using the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm. The PSO is a stochastic population based search algorithm that is inspired by the flocking behavior of birds. In this research, we implement swarms of cameras flying through a virtual world in search of an image that is aesthetically pleasing. Virtual world exploration using particle swarm optimization is considered to be a new research area and is of interest to both the scientific and artistic communities. Aesthetic rules such as rule of thirds, subject matter, colour similarity and horizon line are all analyzed together as a multi-objective problem to analyze and solve with rendered images. A new multi-objective PSO algorithm, the sum of ranks PSO, is introduced. It is empirically compared to other single-objective and multi-objective swarm algorithms. An advantage of the sum of ranks PSO is that it is useful for solving high-dimensional problems within the context of this research. Throughout many experiments, we show that our approach is capable of automatically producing images satisfying a variety of supplied aesthetic criteria.
    • Generating finite integral relation algebras

      Zhang, Si; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      Relation algebras and categories of relations in particular have proven to be extremely useful as a fundamental tool in mathematics and computer science. Since relation algebras are Boolean algebras with some well-behaved operations, every such algebra provides an atom structure, i.e., a relational structure on its set of atoms. In the case of complete and atomic structure (e.g. finite algebras), the original algebra can be recovered from its atom structure by using the complex algebra construction. This gives a representation of relation algebras as the complex algebra of a certain relational structure. This property is of particular interest because storing the atom structure requires less space than the entire algebra. In this thesis I want to introduce and implement three structures representing atom structures of integral heterogeneous relation algebras, i.e., categorical versions of relation algebras. The first structure will simply embed a homogeneous atom structure of a relation algebra into the heterogeneous context. The second structure is obtained by splitting all symmetric idempotent relations. This new algebra is in almost all cases an heterogeneous structure having more objects than the original one. Finally, I will define two different union operations to combine two algebras into a single one.
    • Generating Relation Algebras for Qualitative Spatial Reasoning

      Siddavaatam, Prathap; Department of Computer Science (2013-04-15)
      Basic relationships between certain regions of space are formulated in natural language in everyday situations. For example, a customer specifies the outline of his future home to the architect by indicating which rooms should be close to each other. Qualitative spatial reasoning as an area of artificial intelligence tries to develop a theory of space based on similar notions. In formal ontology and in ontological computer science, mereotopology is a first-order theory, embodying mereological and topological concepts, of the relations among wholes, parts, parts of parts, and the boundaries between parts. We shall introduce abstract relation algebras and present their structural properties as well as their connection to algebras of binary relations. This will be followed by details of the expressiveness of algebras of relations for region based models. Mereotopology has been the main basis for most region based theories of space. Since its earliest inception many theories have been proposed for mereotopology in artificial intelligence among which Region Connection Calculus is most prominent. The expressiveness of the region connection calculus in relational logic is far greater than its original eight base relations might suggest. In the thesis we formulate ways to automatically generate representable relation algebras using spatial data based on region connection calculus. The generation of new algebras is a two pronged approach involving splitting of existing relations to form new algebras and refinement of such newly generated algebras. We present an implementation of a system for automating aforementioned steps and provide an effective and convenient interface to define new spatial relations and generate representable relational algebras.
    • Generator Matrix Based Search for Extremal Self-Dual Binary Error-Correcting Codes

      Derka, Martin; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2012-09-18)
      Self-dual doubly even linear binary error-correcting codes, often referred to as Type II codes, are codes closely related to many combinatorial structures such as 5-designs. Extremal codes are codes that have the largest possible minimum distance for a given length and dimension. The existence of an extremal (72,36,16) Type II code is still open. Previous results show that the automorphism group of a putative code C with the aforementioned properties has order 5 or dividing 24. In this work, we present a method and the results of an exhaustive search showing that such a code C cannot admit an automorphism group Z6. In addition, we present so far unpublished construction of the extended Golay code by P. Becker. We generalize the notion and provide example of another Type II code that can be obtained in this fashion. Consequently, we relate Becker's construction to the construction of binary Type II codes from codes over GF(2^r) via the Gray map.
    • Generic Matrix Manipulator System

      Killingbeck, Dylan; Department of Computer Science
      In this thesis we describe in detail a generic matrix manipulator system that performs operations on matrices in a flexible way, using a graphical user interface. A user defines allowable data entries called a coefficient set, as well as closed n-ary operations based on the coefficient set, called coefficient operators. Together the coefficient set and the coefficient operators form a basis. The defined coefficient operators can then further define operations on matrices. A basis and n-ary matrix operations can be entered into the system by various ways including predefined, Java data types, JavaScript, and various XML formats defining certain mathematical structures. This described system functions similar to the RelView system, while offering additional features. These features are designed to increase convenience and usability for a user by providing support for arbitrary coefficient set types, cross platform capability, and automatic type checking for user defined expressions.
    • Genetic Programming for Non-Photorealistic Rendering

      Baniasadi, Maryam; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2013-04-18)
      This thesis focuses on developing an evolutionary art system using genetic programming. The main goal is to produce new forms of evolutionary art that filter existing images into new non-photorealistic (NPR) styles, by obtaining images that look like traditional media such as watercolor or pencil, as well as brand new effects. The approach permits GP to generate creative forms of NPR results. The GP language is extended with different techniques and methods inspired from NPR research such as colour mixing expressions, image processing filters and painting algorithm. Colour mixing is a major new contribution, as it enables many familiar and innovative NPR effects to arise. Another major innovation is that many GP functions process the canvas (rendered image), while is dynamically changing. Automatic fitness scoring uses aesthetic evaluation models and statistical analysis, and multi-objective fitness evaluation is used. Results showed a variety of NPR effects, as well as new, creative possibilities.
    • Genetic programming for the RoboCup Rescue Simulation System

      Runka, Andrew; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      The Robocup Rescue Simulation System (RCRSS) is a dynamic system of multi-agent interaction, simulating a large-scale urban disaster scenario. Teams of rescue agents are charged with the tasks of minimizing civilian casualties and infrastructure damage while competing against limitations on time, communication, and awareness. This thesis provides the first known attempt of applying Genetic Programming (GP) to the development of behaviours necessary to perform well in the RCRSS. Specifically, this thesis studies the suitability of GP to evolve the operational behaviours required of each type of rescue agent in the RCRSS. The system developed is evaluated in terms of the consistency with which expected solutions are the target of convergence as well as by comparison to previous competition results. The results indicate that GP is capable of converging to some forms of expected behaviour, but that additional evolution in strategizing behaviours must be performed in order to become competitive. An enhancement to the standard GP algorithm is proposed which is shown to simplify the initial search space allowing evolution to occur much quicker. In addition, two forms of population are employed and compared in terms of their apparent effects on the evolution of control structures for intelligent rescue agents. The first is a single population in which each individual is comprised of three distinct trees for the respective control of three types of agents, the second is a set of three co-evolving subpopulations one for each type of agent. Multiple populations of cooperating individuals appear to achieve higher proficiencies in training, but testing on unseen instances raises the issue of overfitting.
    • Heuristics for the Critical Node Detection Problem in Large Complex Networks

      Edalatmanesh, Mahmood; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2013-09-12)
      Complex networks have recently attracted a significant amount of research attention due to their ability to model real world phenomena. One important problem often encountered is to limit diffusive processes spread over the network, for example mitigating pandemic disease or computer virus spread. A number of problem formulations have been proposed that aim to solve such problems based on desired network characteristics, such as maintaining the largest network component after node removal. The recently formulated critical node detection problem aims to remove a small subset of vertices from the network such that the residual network has minimum pairwise connectivity. Unfortunately, the problem is NP-hard and also the number of constraints is cubic in number of vertices, making very large scale problems impossible to solve with traditional mathematical programming techniques. Even many approximation algorithm strategies such as dynamic programming, evolutionary algorithms, etc. all are unusable for networks that contain thousands to millions of vertices. A computationally efficient and simple approach is required in such circumstances, but none currently exist. In this thesis, such an algorithm is proposed. The methodology is based on a depth-first search traversal of the network, and a specially designed ranking function that considers information local to each vertex. Due to the variety of network structures, a number of characteristics must be taken into consideration and combined into a single rank that measures the utility of removing each vertex. Since removing a vertex in sequential fashion impacts the network structure, an efficient post-processing algorithm is also proposed to quickly re-rank vertices. Experiments on a range of common complex network models with varying number of vertices are considered, in addition to real world networks. The proposed algorithm, DFSH, is shown to be highly competitive and often outperforms existing strategies such as Google PageRank for minimizing pairwise connectivity.
    • A Hybrid Approach to Network Robustness Optimization using Edge Rewiring and Edge Addition

      Paterson, James; Department of Computer Science
      Networks are ubiquitous in the modern world. From computer and telecommunication networks to road networks and power grids, networks make up many crucial pieces of infrastructure that we interact with on a daily basis. These networks can be subjected to damage from many different sources, both random and targeted. If one of these networks receives too much damage, it may be rendered inoperable, which can have disastrous consequences. For this reason, it is in the best interests of those responsible for these networks to ensure that they are highly robust to failure. Since it is not usually feasible to rebuild most existing networks from scratch to make them more resilient, it is necessary to have an approach that can modify an existing network to make it more robust to failure. Previous work has established several methods of accomplishing this task, including edge rewiring and edge addition. Both of these methods can be very useful for optimizing network robustness, but each comes with its own set of limitations. This thesis proposes a new hybrid approach to network robustness optimization that combines both of these approaches. Four edge rewiring based metaheuristic approaches were modified to incorporate one of three different edge addition strategies. A comparative study was performed on these new hybrid optimizers, comparing them to each other and to the vanilla edge rewiring only approach on both synthetic and real world networks. Experiments showed that this new hybrid approach to network robustness optimization leads to much more highly robust networks than an edge rewiring only approach.
    • Hyperspectral Mineral Identification using SVM and SOM

      Iranzad, Arash; Department of Computer Science (Brock University, 2013-10-28)
      Remote sensing techniques involving hyperspectral imagery have applications in a number of sciences that study some aspects of the surface of the planet. The analysis of hyperspectral images is complex because of the large amount of information involved and the noise within that data. Investigating images with regard to identify minerals, rocks, vegetation and other materials is an application of hyperspectral remote sensing in the earth sciences. This thesis evaluates the performance of two classification and clustering techniques on hyperspectral images for mineral identification. Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Self-Organizing Maps (SOM) are applied as classification and clustering techniques, respectively. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is used to prepare the data to be analyzed. The purpose of using PCA is to reduce the amount of data that needs to be processed by identifying the most important components within the data. A well-studied dataset from Cuprite, Nevada and a dataset of more complex data from Baffin Island were used to assess the performance of these techniques. The main goal of this research study is to evaluate the advantage of training a classifier based on a small amount of data compared to an unsupervised method. Determining the effect of feature extraction on the accuracy of the clustering and classification method is another goal of this research. This thesis concludes that using PCA increases the learning accuracy, and especially so in classification. SVM classifies Cuprite data with a high precision and the SOM challenges SVM on datasets with high level of noise (like Baffin Island).