Copyright of Brock Student Theses and Major Research Papers (MRPs)


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  • Landscape Aware Algorithm Configuration

    Dennis, Cody; Department of Computer Science
    The issue of parameter selection cannot be ignored if optimal performance is to be obtained from an algorithm on a specific problem or if a collection of algorithms are going to be compared in a fair manner. Unfortunately, adequately addressing the issue of parameter selection is time consuming and computationally expensive. Searching for appropriate control parameters generally requires much more time than actually solving the problem at hand due to the need to perform many complete runs of the target algorithm. The number of runs required to obtain thorough and equal coverage of the parameter space grows exponentially with the number of parameters. As a result, costs associated with parameter selection become a limiting factor in the scale of problems that can be investigated. The primary goal of this work is to reduce the costs of parameter selection. In pursuit of this goal, this thesis examines the use of neural networks to intelligently select appropriate control parameter values based on the characteristics of the problem at hand. Two general purpose approaches are evaluated: one that predicts a single set of control parameters to use throughout a run of the target algorithm; and, another that dynamically adjusts algorithm control parameters at run time. These approaches are examined in detail using the Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm. A comparison with state of the art automated tools for control parameter selection indicates that the cost of parameter selection can be significantly reduced.
  • Strategies for Evolving Diverse and Effective Behaviours in Pursuit Domains

    Cowan, Tyler James; Department of Computer Science
    Evolutionary algorithms have a tendency to overuse and exploit particular behaviours in their search for optimality, even across separate runs. The resulting set of monotonous solutions caused by this tendency is a problem in many applications. This research explores different strategies designed to encourage an interesting set of diverse behaviours while still maintaining an appreciable level of efficacy. Embodied agents are situated within an open plane and play against each other in various pursuit game scenarios. The pursuit games consist of a single predator agent and twenty prey agents, with the goal always requiring the predator to catch as many prey as possible before the time limit is reached. The predator's controller is evolved through genetic programming while the preys' controllers are hand-crafted. The fitness of a solution is first calculated in a traditional manner. Inspired by Lehman and Stanley's novelty search strategy, the fitness is then combined with the diversity of the solution to produce the final fitness score. The original fitness score is determined by the number of captured prey, and the diversity score is determined through the combination of four behaviour measurements. Among many promising results, a particular diversity-based evaluation strategy and weighting combination was found to provide solutions that exhibit an excellent balance between diversity and efficacy. The results were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively, showing the emergence of diverse and effective behaviours.
  • Assessing a Modified TAGteach Procedure to Increase Accurate and Fluent Performance of Gymnastics Skills in Children via Synchronous Videoconferencing

    Bajcar, Nicole; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Sports offer children and youth opportunities to experience the physiological, physical, and psychological benefits of physical activity; however, in sports like gymnastics, injuries are quite common (Caine, 2003). Therefore, it is essential for coaches to teach athletes proper technique to prevent injury. TAGteach is an intervention package that uses an audible stimulus to provide immediate feedback following the correct performance of a skill (Fogel et al., 2010). To date, no study has (a) evaluated the effectiveness of TAGteach to enhance the fluency of dynamic sports skills or (b) conducted TAGteach remotely via a synchronous videoconferencing platform. We used a concurrent multiple baseline across skills design to evaluate the effectiveness of a modified TAGteach procedure to improve the accuracy and fluent performance of three dynamic gymnastics skills through synchronous videoconferencing with four participants between the ages of 6–11 years. For all participants, the modified TAGteach intervention package increased the accurate and fluent performance of all gymnastics skills, and these gymnastics skills maintained for a minimum of 4 weeks. Results are discussed within the context of intervention implications and suggestions for future research.
  • Airbnb in the Age of a Housing Crisis: A Case Study of Housing Affordability and Vacation Rental Regulations in Niagara Falls, ON

    Willms, Hannah; Department of Geography
    This research focuses on housing in the context of growing unaffordability and increasing popularity of Airbnb in Niagara Falls, Ontario. In a city like Niagara Falls, which sees 12 million tourists annually, vacation rentals have become a highly profitable business. However, Niagara Falls is also currently experiencing a housing crisis. Airbnb complicates this crisis by perpetuating discourses in which housing is viewed primarily as a commodity. Commodification of housing, through processes of neoliberalization, financialization and securitization, inflates housing prices. More importantly, many people have accepted the unaffordability of housing because of discourses related to homeownership, mortgage debt, and asset-based welfare. These discourses normalize the commodification of housing, making processes like privatization, gentrification and Airbnb conversions seem natural, if not desirable. Housing practices based on these discourses disproportionately affect the underhoused. My research questions include: How does the hegemony of homeownership affect the housing markets in Niagara Falls? What elements of the homeownership discourse are used to describe both long-term rentals and vacation rentals in Niagara Falls? What are the consequences of these discourses for housing affordability in Niagara Falls? To answer these questions, I conducted a content and discourse analysis of city documents and city council meeting transcripts. My intent is to explain how respondents conceptualize their experiences related to vacation rental regulations in the context of housing discourses. Furthermore, I shall be analysing prominent housing discourses to examine the relationship between Airbnb and housing affordability in Niagara Falls, Ontario. My findings show that multifaceted homeownership discourses guided the discussions. All of these tend to stigmatize rentals in general, and long-term renters in particular. I conclude that the current housing system privileges homeownership at the expense of the renter population. This system, in turn, has focused on homeowners’ expectations during the Airbnb debates with little concern for how it affects housing affordability.
  • How Virtual Reality Leads to Positive Responses to Persuasion Attempts: The Implications of VR Brand Placement

    Rabbani Movarekh, Ahmadreza; Faculty of Business Programs
    Facebook has started to test advertising in virtual reality, yet consumers’ responses toward this phenomenon have been neglected in the virtual reality and consumer behaviour literature. Most of the previous research has focused on VR as the primary tool for representing the service or product and not a medium for advertising purposes. Therefore, brand placement in virtual environments, as one of the most common persuasive advertising efforts by brands, is the focus of this study. More specifically, this research analyzes the effect of brand placement context (VR, 360 or 2D) and placement congruity on consumers’ persuasion knowledge and their responses towards brands, using the cognitive load theory and persuasion knowledge model to predict and explain the effect. The research model was tested using PLS-SEM and the PROCESS macro with a sample of 209 participants. The results confirmed that participants who experienced a higher sense of telepresence and interactivity (VR condition) were more likely to report lower persuasion knowledge and better brand evaluations and behavioural intentions. It was also found that compared to the 360 condition, in VR and 2D environments, participants were more likely to recall the brand embedded into the environment. Placement congruity was found to moderate the underlying mechanism through which interactivity and telepresence affect persuasion knowledge. These findings provide helpful insights to marketers and brand managers, who think of VR as an advertising tool, on how the technology factor impacts consumers’ responses to their persuasion attempts, such as brand placements.
  • The Influence of Perceived Value on Exploratory Behaviour Towards Future Patronage Intention in M-Commerce: An S-O-R Approach.

    Pouyan, Mohammad Mahdi; Faculty of Business Programs
    The exploratory behaviour issue has received considerable attention in both online and brick-and-mortar consumer behaviour literature so far. However, regarding the widely prevalent use of mobile commerce in daily life, surprisingly, mobile exploratory behaviour has seldom been investigated. It is unclear to what extent mobile commerce characteristics can facilitate explorative behaviour. Thus, this study aims to fill the gap in the extant literature by examining the positive relationship between the perceived value, namely, functional, emotional and social and exploration (diversive and specific), which in turn, directly impacts future patronage intention. Due to the pivotal role of flow state in computer-mediated and online behaviour in the extant literature, the current study set out to examine the mediation role of flow between the relationship of perceived values and divisive vs specific exploration. This thesis begins with a brief overview of the recent history of noted research elements and proposes the conceptual model based on the stimulate-organism-response (S-O-R) model. It then discussed the hypotheses development. The remaining part of the paper proceeds with details on the data collection process and the methodological approach adopted to test these relationships.
  • De novo sequencing, annotation, and characterization of the genome of Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender)

    Nattamai Malli Pooranachandhiran, Radesh; Centre for Biotechnology
    Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region, best known for its essential oil (EOs) that have numerous applications in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and perfume industries. We performed sequencing of the L. angustifolia genome and report a detailed analysis of the assembled genome, focusing on genome size, ploidy, and repeat content. The lavender genome was estimated to be around 870 Mbp (1C=0.96 pg) using a quantitative PCR method. Genome size was further validated through analysis of raw genome sequences using Kmergenie, providing a conclusive end to the lavender genome size dispute. The repeat element composition of the genome was analyzed using de novo (RepeatModeler) and library-based methods (RepeatMasker) and was estimated to be around 45% of the full genome or ~57% of the non-gap genome sequences. Further characterization revealed Long Terminal Repeat (LTRs) retrotransposons as the major repeat type, which contribute to ~18% of the genome, followed by DNA transposons at ~8.5% of the genome. Interestingly, unlike most other plant genomes, the lavender genome has many more Copia than Gypsy elements, both showing a trend of recent increasing activity. Furthermore, these LTRs, especially Copia elements, have shown active participation in gene function including genes for essential oil production, with Copia elements contributing to ~30 % of the coding DNA sequence (CDS) regions, in addition to promoter, intron and untranslated (UTR) regions. The lavender genome also has an unusually high number of miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements (MITEs) compared to other model plant genomes, with the number being ~88,000, which is close to that (~90,000) of the much larger maize genome. Analysis also revealed the lavender genome with a high proportion at polyploidy level, which is strongly biased towards regions containing essential oil genes, with polyploidization events in the lavender genome occurred between 16 to 41 Mya. In conclusion, our results reveal the lavender genome to be highly duplicated and with past and ongoing active retrotransposition, making the genome optimized for EO production.
  • Selecting cover crop species for vineyards of the Niagara region

    Ben kalifa, mohamed lahbib; Department of Biological Sciences
    Organic viticulture challenges growers to think and act sustainably when managing variables such as weeds, pests, and overall crop production. Ongoing climate change is adding to this challenge with projected increases in extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall and drought. Cover crops can be considered as an ecosystem-based adaptation measure when chosen carefully. They can help growers mitigate effects of climate change as well as increase vineyards biodiversity. Despite their common use, local knowledge of which species work best in what conditions is lacking. Furthermore, species are seldom tested for response to drought and flood conditions in both controlled and operational settings. The first objective of this project was to evaluate the responses of nine different cover crop species to simulated drought and flood conditions under greenhouse-controlled conditions. Of the nine species, Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet) and Melilotus officinalis (yellow clover) were the only two species to withstand both extreme conditions without being significantly affected. Trifolium alexandrinum (berseem clover), Vicia villosa (hairy vetch), and Trifolium incarnatum (crimson clover) produced higher biomass in saturated condition, while Festuca rubra (red fescue), and Thinopyrum intermedium (pubescent wheatgrass) survived the drought without visual clear symptoms except for puny plants. The second objective was to screen 13 cover crop species in two vineyards under operational settings, where weed pressure, local weather and management may influence species establishment. After the two screening years, Pennisetum glaucum, Trifolium incarnatum, Trifolium repens, Trifolium pratense, Vicia villosa, and Medicago sativa showed promising results in terms of establishment despite facing weather challenges.
  • An Implementation of Separation Logic in Coq

    Wang, Yi; Department of Computer Science
    For certain applications, the correctness of software involved is crucial, particularly if human life is in danger. In order to achieve correctness, common practice is to gather evidence for program correctness by testing the system. Even though testing may find certain errors in the code, it cannot guarantee that the program is error-free. The program of formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of the system with respect to a formal specification. A logic for program verification is the so-called Hoare Logic. Hoare Logic can deal with programs that do not utilize pointers, i.e., it allows reasoning about programs that do not use shared mutable data structures. Separation Logic extends Hoare logic that allows pointers, including pointer arithmetic, in the programming language. It has four-pointer manipulating commands which perform the heap operations such as lookup, allocation, deallocation, and mutation. We introduce an implementation of separation logic in the interactive proof system Coq. Besides verifying that separation logic is correct, we will provide several examples of programs and their correctness proof.
  • Adaptive Q-learning-supported Resource Allocation Model in Vehicular Fogs

    Hossain, Md Tahmid; Department of Computer Science
    Urban computing has become a significant driver in supporting the delivery and sharing of services, being a strong ally to intelligent transportation. Smart vehicles present computing and communication capabilities that allow them to enable many autonomous vehicular safety and infotainment applications. Vehicular Cloud Computing (VCC) has already proven to be a technology shifting paradigm harnessing the computation resources from on board units from vehicles to form clustered computing units to solve real world computing problems. However, with the rise of vehicular application use and intermittent network conditions, VCC exhibits many drawbacks. Vehicular Fog computing appears as a new paradigm in enabling and facilitating efficient service and resource sharing in urban environments. Several vehicular resource management works have attempted to deal with the highly dynamic vehicular environment following diverse approaches, e.g. MDP, SMDP, and policy-based greedy techniques. However, the high vehicular mobility causes several challenges compromising consistency, efficiency, and quality of service. RL-enabled adaptive vehicular Fogs can deal with the mobility for properly distributing load and resources over Fogs. Thus, we propose a mobility-based cloudlet dwell time estimation method for accurately estimating vehicular resources in a Fog. Leveraging the CDT estimation model, we devise an adaptive and highly dynamic resource allocation model using mathematical formula for Fog selection, and reinforcement learning for iterative review and feedback mechanism for generating optimal resource allocation policy.
  • Optical Study of (Nb0.5In0.5)0.02 Ti0.98O2 Crystals

    Cosco, Mike; Department of Physics
    This work was a study of pure TiO2Rutile crystals, as well as Rutile crystals 2% co-doped with Indium and Niobium (2-NITO). There is much interest surrounding co-doped TiO2re-cently, with several papers published on ’colossal permittivity’ in the lower frequency ranges (10^2-10^6Hz range). The aim of this work was to study the optical and Raman modes of pure and co-doped crystals to determine the effects co-doping has on these modes. Infrared reflectance along with Raman Spectroscopy were used for this purpose. In order to determine the dielectric function from the infrared data, the Factorized Model and Kramers-Kronig analysis were used. Since TiO2has a tetragonal unit cell, infrared measurements of both the a and c axes of both doped and undoped crystals were done. Thea-axis is known to have 3 optical modes, whereas the c-axis only has one. However an additional mode was seen in all spectra, believed to be caused by anharmonicity. In addition, the 136cm−1mode observed in polycrystalline conductivity spectra of 5 and 10-NITO lines up directly with the A2u mode and the 793cm−1 mode also appears in single crystal TiO2, meaning these are not new modes. However the 447cm−1 and 654cm−1 modes do not appear in our data, and are likely a result of higher percentage co-doping. The effect of co-doping was observed to be an overall decrease in the reflectance of TiO2. We also observed sizable increases inγtofor all modes in 2-NITO. In addition, the dielectric permittivity decreases below the first phonon mode; suggesting that the enhanced permittivity observed at lower frequencies is not caused by co-doped changes to phonon modes. All expected Raman-active modes were observed, however due to poor data resolution some of the peak positions appear to be slightly different than previously measured. Our Raman spectra showed new structures at around 300cm−1and 700cm−1 in the (100) surface spectra, it is possible these are combination lines.
  • The development of a new genetic test for grapevine cultivars using a computational genomics approach

    Martin, Robert; Department of Biological Sciences
    Due to the sale and consumption of wine and table grapes, the grapevine is an important crop for many countries, including Canada. One of the main issues in viticulture is the identification of cultivars. Many of the over 6000 different types of grape cultivars look similar in colour or shape but may have very different taste profiles and require different growing conditions, while some have the same name but are genetically different (homonym) or having different names but are genetically identical (synonyms). Genetic tests based on the use of simple single repeat (SSR), or short tandem repeats (STR) markers have been developed to determine the genetic identity of different grapevine cultivars. However, the markers used in existing tests were identified more than 2 decades ago without optimization, and with the service limited to a few places around the world imposing many hurdles for international users. This research aims to develop a new grapevine genetic test by selecting the best STR markers in taking advantage of recently available rich grapevine genomic resources. Using a computational genomics approach, a total of 13 top performing STR markers were selected based on their discrimination power for 304 grapevine cultivars. A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based test was designed to group these 13 STR markers into 5 multiplex PCR groups for assaying using the QIAGEN QIAxcel Advanced System™ for its speedy and cost-efficient DNA fragment analysis. As a way of evaluating the performance of the designed test, in silico genotyping was performed for 304 grapevine cultivars and 37 Chardonnay clones based on available whole genome sequencing data. The results showed that the test was able to distinguish all these grape cultivars and Chardonnay clones, and furthermore, the number of STR markers used in the test can be reduced to a minimum of 6 for distinguishing these cultivars and clones. Genotype-based phylogeny analysis of these cultivars and clones showed meaningful clustering patterns matching their known or assumed relationships, indicating the validity of the test. In conclusion, despite not being able to perform evaluations of the STR markers in the laboratory, the preliminary in silico results demonstrate the high efficiency of the computation genomic approach in finding top performing STR markers and predicts an excellent performance of the designed grapevine genetic test.
  • Optimal Quaternary Hermitian Linear Complementary Dual Codes for Entanglement-Assisted Quantum Error Correction

    Al Jumaily, Maysara; Department of Computer Science
    The objective of this thesis is to find suboptimal and optimal parameters from classical codes and import them into entanglement-assisted quantum codes. The thesis begins by introducing classical error correction, followed by a detailed introduction to quantum computing. Topics that are discussed in the introduction include qubits, quantum phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement, and quantum gates/circuits. The thesis then reviews the basics of quantum error correction and provides Shor's code to reinforce the reader's understanding. Subsequently, the formalism of stabilizer codes is thoroughly examined. We then explain the generalized concept of stabilizer codes which is entanglement-assisted quantum codes. They do not require generators to satisfy the commutativity property. Rather, they utilize the usage of ebits to resolve the anti-commutativity constraint. Next, the thesis explains quaternary field and then the Java program implemented to find the optimal parameters. Lastly, the thesis concludes with presenting the parameters of the new codes that were obtained throughout the research. We have found the suboptimal largest distance for quaternary hermitian linear complementary dual codes that can be imported as entanglement-assisted quantum error correction for parameters [22, 9, 9 or 10]₄, [22, 12, 7 or 8]₄, [23, 8, 11 or 12]₄, [23, 10, 9 or 10]₄, [23, 13, 7 or 8]₄, [24, 10, 10 or 11]₄, [24, 11, 9 or 10]₄, [24, 14, 7 or 8]₄, [25, 12, 9 or 10]₄, [25, 13, 8 or 9]₄, as well as the optimal largest distance for [17, 11, 5]₄ and [17, 13, 3]₄.
  • The ecological and physiological consequences of sun vs. shade nesting for the small carpenter bee, Ceratina calcarata, and their offspring

    de Haan, Jessie; Department of Biological Sciences
    Ceratina calcarata mothers choose their nesting location and that choice can have developmental consequences for their offspring. Nests in the sun experience higher developmental temperatures, reducing self-feeding insect body size through a phenomenon called the Temperature-Size Rule. How does developmental temperature affect body size in insects whose mothers’ feed them; for example, in mass-provisioning bees where all the food an offspring needs to complete development is provided by the mother upfront? What are the physiological advantages or disadvantages conveyed to offspring in sunny nests? In this thesis I used C. calcarata to investigate the ecological and behavioural consequences of nest location choice (sun or shade) on mothers, as well as the physiological consequences of developmental temperature on their offspring. Nests randomly allocated to the shade treatment were more likely to be empty when opened, indicating that shaded nesting locations were not preferred. Mothers nesting in the sun foraged more often for nectar than shade mothers, but provisioned similar sized pollen masses. Sunny nests were hotter than shaded nests, even more so if they were oriented on an angle. Offspring from sunny nests were smaller than shade bees in agreement with the Temperature Size Rule. Sunny offspring also had higher thermal tolerance than offspring from the shade but less frequent DGE bursts at 25°C compared to shade bees, suggesting a lower metabolism at a moderate temperature. As a result, I conclude offspring from sunny nests displayed irreversible developmental thermal plasticity. Offspring from sunny nests experienced a thermal trade-off as a result of their developmental conditions; they had a capacity for higher thermal tolerance as evidenced by a shifted thermal breadth, but at the expense of a smaller adult body size. Such trade-offs may enhance their response to climate change and contribute to speciation.
  • A Principal Component Analysis Comparing Forward Skating Strides Pre-Post Skate Treadmill Training in Youth Hockey Players

    Iantomasi, Vincent; Applied Health Sciences Program
    The purpose of the study was to explore temporal and phasic waveform patterns within kinematic data, obtained from forward skating strides, pre-post skate treadmill training in youth (U-11), male hockey players to investigate changes in kinematics. Continuous joint angle (deg) and angular velocity (deg/s) stride data for the trunk, hip, and knee were determined, time normalized, and averaged. PCA results suggested that most of the pre-post variance in skating mechanics could be explained through an increase in joint angle (deg) and angular velocity (deg/s) magnitudes during the propulsive and recovery phases of the stride cycle. Single component reconstruction (SCR) facilitated visual representation and interpretation of kinematic differences by isolating variances within each principal component and reconstructing lower (5th percentile) and upper (95th percentile) waveforms based on the respective scalar weight factor of PC scores. Post-training, SCR suggested patterns of increased trunk extension throughout the stride cycle, increased hip and knee extension during propulsion, and increased hip and knee flexion during recovery. Statistical parametric mapping (SPM) statistically analysed continuous data points across two waveforms. SPM revealed significant differences in pre-post trunk flexion and extension magnitudes from the early glide phase to propulsion onset ([p=0.0023], ~0-20% stride cycle) and from late propulsion to weight acceptance ([p=0.0001], ~40-80% stride cycle). Differences in pre-post hip and knee measures were non-significant (p>0.05). PCA, SCR and SPM analyses have the potential to contribute to our understanding of biomechanical training adaptations in stride mechanics in youth ice hockey players.
  • Assessing the Utility of a Video-Based Motion Capture Alternative in the Assessment of Lumbar Spine Planar Angular Joint Kinematics

    Goncharow, Paul; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Markerless motion capture is a novel technique to measure human movement kinematics. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the markerless algorithm, DeepLabCut (DLC) against a 3D motion capture system (Vicon Motion Systems Ltd., Oxford, UK) in the analysis of planar spine and elbow flexion-extension movement. Data were acquired concurrently from DLC and Vicon for all movements. A novel DLC model was trained using data derived from a subset of participants (training group). Accuracy and precision were assessed from data derived from the training group as well as in a new set of participants (testing group). Two-way SPM ANOVAs were used to detect significant differences between the training vs. testing sets, capture methods (Vicon vs. DLC), as well as potential higher order interaction effect between these independent variables in the estimation of flexion extension angles and variability. No significant differences were observed in any planar angles, nor were any higher order interactions observed between each motion capture modality and the training vs. testing datasets. Bland Altman plots were also generated to depict the mean bias and level of agreement between DLC and Vicon for both training, and testing datasets. Supplemental analyses, suggest that these results are partially affected by the alignment of each participant’s body segments with respect to each planar reference frame. This research suggests that DLC-derived planar kinematics of both the elbow and lumbar spine are of acceptable accuracy and precision when compared to conventional laboratory gold-standards (Vicon).
  • Managing Diversity and Many Objectives in Evolutionary Design

    BASHER, SHEIKH FAISHAL; Department of Computer Science
    This thesis proposes a new approach to evolving a diversity of high-quality solutions for problems having many objectives. Mouret and Clune's MAP-Elites algorithm has been proposed as a way to evolve an assortment of diverse solutions to a problem. We extend MAP-Elites in a number of ways. Firstly, we introduce a many-objective strategy called sum-of-ranks, which enables problems with many objectives (4 and more) to be considered in the MAP. Secondly, we enhance MAP-Elites by extending it with multiple solutions per "grid" cell (the original MAP-Elites saves only a single solution per cell). A few different ways of selecting cell members for reproduction are also considered. We test the new MAP-Elites strategies on the evolutionary art application of image generation. Using procedural textures, genetic programming is used with upwards of 15 lightweight image features to guide fitness. The goal is to evolve images that share image features with a given target image. Our experiments show that the new MAP-Elites algorithms produce a large number of diverse solutions of varying quality. The extended MAP-Elites algorithm is also statistically competitive compared to vanilla GP in this application domain.
  • Evolving Passive Solar Buildings Using Multi-Behavioural Diversity Search Strategies

    Salma, Umme; Department of Computer Science
    To build a green environment and to plan a sustainable urban area, energy efficient building design plays a major role. Energy efficient measures for building design include heating, cooling, and ventilating, as well as construction materials cost. In passive solar building design, sunlight exposure is used to heat the building in winter and reject heat in summer to keep the building cool. The goals of the passive solar building design are to minimize the energy cost and devices used for heating or cooling. The major goal of this research is to increase the diversity of solutions evolved with an evolutionary system for green building design. An existing genetic programming system for building design is enhanced with a search paradigm called novelty search, which uses measured aspects of designs in an attempt to promote more diverse or novel solutions. Instead of optimizing an objective, novelty search measures behaviors to obtain diverse solutions. We combine novelty search and fitness scores using a many objective strategy called sum of ranks. The simulation software EnergyPlus is used to evaluate the building design and energy costs. An existing fitness-based genetic programming system is enhanced with novelty search. We compare vanilla genetic programming solutions with our novelty-driven solutions. Experimental results show that genetic program solutions are more fit, but novelty strategies create more diverse solutions. For example, novelty search solutions, use a much more diverse selection of building materials.
  • Paleoceanography across the Pliocene–Pleistocene transition in the southern Bering Sea: dinoflagellate cysts and acritarchs from IODP Site U1341

    Haj Soltan, Farzaneh; Department of Earth Sciences
    The latest Pliocene–earliest Pleistocene (2.828 Ma to 2.401 Ma) interval from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Site U1341, Bowers Ridge, southern Bering Sea, northern North Pacific has been analyzed for dinoflagellate cysts, acritarchs and other palynomorphs. Based on 86 samples, with a spacing equivalent to between 500 and 6000 years, this is the most stratigraphically detailed late Cenozoic marine palynological study yet undertaken in the Bering Sea. The dinoflagellate cyst assemblages are characterized by low taxonomic richness: round brown cysts including Brigantedinium simplex, Lejeunecysta cinctoria, L. fallax, Selenopemphix nephroides, and Trinovantedinium variabile (heterotrophic taxa), and Nematosphaeropsis labyrinthus, Impagidinium cf. japonicum, and Impagidinum spp. indet. (phototrophic taxa). Marine acritarchs are represented by Cymatiosphaera? icenorum and abundant C.? invaginata. Two informal assemblage biozones and their subzones are proposed: biozone MP-A (~2.828 Ma to 2.497 Ma) and biozone MP-B (~2.477–2.401 Ma). The co-dominance of round brown cysts and the extinct high-latitude acritarch Cymatiosphaera? invaginata in biozone MP-A reflects predominantly cold and reduced-salinity surface waters with intermittent incursions of warm and higher salinity waters from the Alaskan Stream. Neither the intensification of northern hemisphere glaciation at 2.7 Ma nor intense glaciation at 2.6 Ma are clearly represented within biozone MP-A, reflecting the enclosed nature of the Bering Sea and low taxonomic richness of the marine palynomorph record. However, the MP-A/ MP-B biozone boundary at 2.47 Ma marks a major change in the hydrography of the Bering Sea, as expressed by an abrupt decline in Cymatiosphaera? invaginata and increased percentages of fresh-water algae and terrestrial plant matter, all suggesting an important increase in the influence of river discharge at Site U1341. The reduced salinity might have largely excluded Cymatiosphaera? invaginata. Biological productivity during the summer months was nonetheless sustained or even elevated judging from the relatively high concentrations of round brown cysts and invertebrate fragments throughout biozone MP-B. Sporadic incursions of the Alaska Stream continued during this time. The overall conclusions of the present study compare favourably with published interpretations based on diatoms, although the major hydrographic change at 2.47 Ma has not yet been detected in other studies of the Bering Sea.
  • Beyond the Headlines: Exploring Media Portrayal of Youth Climate Change Activists

    Hayes, Grayson; Department of Child and Youth Studies
    Climate change is the biggest global threat to our planet today and youth will bear the brunt of this threat (Currie & Deschênes, 2016). Recently, we have seen youth stand up and become activists for climate. This qualitative study was conducted on media representations of youth climate change activists because of its usefulness for exploring the complexity of youth voices, and how they are ignored. This research focuses closely on Swedish teen activist, Greta Thunberg, currently 18, and Autumn Peltier, 17, a Canadian Indigenous activist and Chief Water Commissioner of the Anishinabek Nation. By employing Foucault’s theory of discourse and power, the sociology of childhood, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989, herein UNCRC), this research provides new insight on our representations of youth activism. Through analysis, there were seven distinct discourses related to the research questions: adults as supporters, active actors, westernized viewpoints, lone and collective activism, media as a gatekeeper/catalyst, hierarchical and power relations, and dismissal of children. Findings showed that to change media’s perceptions of youth activism, we must first challenge the discourse of childhood innocence, while also still holding relative power in a non-authoritarian way. The UNCRC (1989) also needs to be integrated further within schools and policy implementation as even though childhood globally shares the same inherent rights, not all youth activists are being afforded the same opportunities that Swedish teen Greta Thunberg has been given.

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