Bradford Scholars is the University of Bradford online research archive. Access is free to anyone interested in research being conducted at Bradford. In the repository you will find a range of materials from journal articles and conference papers to research reports and theses.
Contact the repository team via firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries about Open Access or how to deposit your research papers.
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The Organic Material Culture of Western Ulster: An Ethno-historical and Heritage Science ApproachThis research attempts to describe the material culture of the Gaelic labouring classes living in western Ulster in the Late Medieval period. The research combines ethnohistorical contextual and technical scientific analysis of ‘chance’ finds discovered in the region’s bogs. Technical analysis dates fifteen museum objects, characterises the materials from which they were made, and explores their cultural significance. Absolute dating indicates that one third of the 15 objects analysed relate to the Gaelic lordships of late medieval western Ulster, with the remainder reflecting aspects of Iron Age and Post-Medieval material culture and related cultural pracrices. Contextual analysis of the later medieval objects and their find locations provides new insights into Gaelic Irish culture and landscape interactions in this period and place. In addition, the research explores the trajectory of indigenous materiality in western Ulster beyond the Late Medieval period. To this end, the thesis examines the relationship between Late Medieval indigenous materiality, and the folk material culture that emerges in western Ulster in the Modern period.
Toward full-stack in silico synthetic biology: integrating model specification, simulation, verification, and biological compilationWe present the Infobiotics Workbench (IBW), a user-friendly, scalable, and integrated computational environment for the computer-aided design of synthetic biological systems. It supports an iterative workflow that begins with specification of the desired synthetic system, followed by simulation and verification of the system in high- performance environments and ending with the eventual compilation of the system specification into suitable genetic constructs. IBW integrates modelling, simulation, verification and bicompilation features into a single software suite. This integration is achieved through a new domain-specific biological programming language, the Infobiotics Language (IBL), which tightly combines these different aspects of in silico synthetic biology into a full-stack integrated development environment. Unlike existing synthetic biology modelling or specification languages, IBL uniquely blends modelling, verification and biocompilation statements into a single file. This allows biologists to incorporate design constraints within the specification file rather than using decoupled and independent formalisms for different in silico analyses. This novel approach offers seamless interoperability across different tools as well as compatibility with SBOL and SBML frameworks and removes the burden of doing manual translations for standalone applications. We demonstrate the features, usability, and effectiveness of IBW and IBL using well-established synthetic biological circuits.
Performance Analysis of Virtualisation in a Cloud Computing Platform. An application driven investigation into modelling and analysis of performance vs security trade-offs for virtualisation in OpenStack infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud computing platform architectures.Virtualisation is one of the underlying technologies that led to the success of cloud computing platforms (CCPs). The technology, along with other features such as multitenancy allows delivering of computing resources in the form of service through efficient sharing of physical resources. As these resources are provided through virtualisation, a robust agreement is outlined for both the quantity and quality-of-service (QoS) in a service level agreement (SLA) documents. QoS is one of the essential components of SLA, where performance is one of its primary aspects. As the technology is progressively maturing and receiving massive acceptance, researchers from industry and academia continue to carry out novel theoretical and practical studies of various essential aspects of CCPs with significant levels of success. This thesis starts with the assessment of the current level of knowledge in the literature of cloud computing in general and CCPs in particular. In this context, a substantive literature review was carried out focusing on performance modelling, testing, analysis and evaluation of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), methodologies. To this end, a systematic mapping study (SMSs) of the literature was conducted. SMS guided the choice and direction of this research. The SMS was followed by the development of a novel open queueing network model (QNM) at equilibrium for the performance modelling and analysis of an OpenStack IaaS CCP. Moreover, it was assumed that an external arrival pattern is Poisson while the queueing stations provided exponentially distributed service times. Based on Jackson’s theorem, the model was exactly decomposed into individual M/M/c (c ≥ 1) stations. Each of these queueing stations was analysed in isolation, and closed-form expressions for key performance metrics, such as mean response time, throughput, server (resource) utilisation as well as bottleneck device were determined. Moreover, the research was extended with a proposed open QNM with a bursty external arrival pattern represented by a Compound Poisson Process (CPP) with geometrically distributed batches, or equivalently, variable Generalised Exponential (GE) interarrival and service times. Each queueing station had c (c ≥ 1) GE-type servers. Based on a generic maximum entropy (ME) product form approximation, the proposed open GE-type QNM was decomposed into individual GE/GE/c queueing stations with GE-type interarrival and service times. The evaluation of the performance metrics and bottleneck analysis of the QNM were determined, which provided vital insights for the capacity planning of existing CCP architectures as well as the design and development of new ones. The results also revealed, due to a significant impact on the burstiness of interarrival and service time processes, resulted in worst-case performance bounds scenarios, as appropriate. Finally, an investigation was carried out into modelling and analysis of performance and security trade-offs for a CCP architecture, based on a proposed generalised stochastic Petri net (GSPN) model with security-detection control model (SDCM). In this context, ‘optimal’ combined performance and security metrics were defined with both M-type or GE-type arrival and service times and the impact of security incidents on performance was assessed. Typical numerical experiments on the GSPN model were conducted and implemented using the Möbius package, and an ‘optimal’ trade-offs were determined between performance and security, which are crucial in the SLA of the cloud computing services.
Drawn from life: Cocreating narrative and graphic vignettes of lived experience with people affected by dementiaBackground: The growing literature on Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) and dementia identifies specific problems related to the influence involvement has on research outcomes, over-reliance on family members as proxies, and lack of representation of seldom-heard groups. Adaptations to the PPIE process are therefore needed in order to make possible the involvement of a broader spectrum of people living with dementia. Objective: To adapt the PPIE process in order to make participation in co-creation by people living with dementia accessible and meaningful across a spectrum of cognitive abilities. Design: Narrative elicitation, informal conversation, and observation were used to co-create three vignettes based on PPIE group members’ personal experience of dementia services. Each vignette was produced in both narrative and graphic formats. Participants: Nine people living with dementia and five family members. Results: Using enhanced methods and outreach it was possible to adapt the PPIE process so that not only family members and people with milder cognitive difficulties could participate, but also those with more pronounced cognitive problems whose voices are less often heard. Conclusions: Making creative adaptations is vital in PPIE involving people living with dementia if we wish to develop inclusive forms of PPIE practice. This may, however, raise new ethical issues, which are briefly discussed.
Rethinking the design and implementation of financial services for poverty reduction: A case of Northern GhanaThe thesis empirically examines how microfinance products are designed and implemented, and the implications for clients’ households and sources of livelihood. The study argues that the design of products and implementation that reflect the livelihood needs and poverty context of clients is one of the effective ways to reduce poverty. It investigates the microfinance operations of three financial institutions: Sinapi Aba Trust (SAT), St Joseph’s Cooperative Credit Union (CCU) and Sonzele Rural Bank (SRB) in Jirapa, a municipality in Northern Ghana. The study deployed a mixed-methods approach to collect data from six rural and urban communities. Data was sought from secondary sources, 20 interviews, 10 focus group discussions and 120 questionnaires. The research adopted the Sustainable Livelihoods and the Making Markets Work for the Poor approaches as a guide in the framework of analysis. The study, using qualitative and quantitative analytical tools found that product designs of SAT and SRB did not reflect the needs and poverty context of the majority of their clients. Clients of SAT and SRB were found to be less involved in the product design processes, suggesting a top-down institutional approach that seldom incorporated the needs of the poor. The method of group formation has a substantial implication on members’ poverty outcomes. Groups involving only females had a significant and positive relationship with members’ household and business outcomes, while members of male-only groups had a negative relationship with their household outcomes. The thesis concludes that accessible interest on loans and incentives to encourage savings would make microfinance markets work more sustainably for the rural poor. The findings challenge a reconsideration of the design of microfinance products to integrate financial technology as an efficient approach to deliver financial services, especially in rural areas.