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  • The Impact of Oil Revenue on the Iranian Economy

    Jalilian, Hossein; Morvaridi, Behrooz; Olfati, Ronak (University of BradfordFaculty of Social Sciences, 2018)
    This study aims to identify the effects of oil income on economic growth in Iran over the period 1955-2014. The empirical literature indicates that countries with natural resources are growing more slowly than their counterparts. However, the results from this literature are far from conclusive, particularly in regard to the role played by oil-rich countries. Needless to say, this role depends on other factors as well, including the political situation in the country, the quality of institutions, and the efficacy of the financial system. Some empirical research has found that natural resources, particularly oil, can have a positive impact on the output of a country. although natural resources are not a factor of production in growth theories, studies have used different growth frameworks in order to discover whether having natural resources is a blessing or a curse. In line with recent studies, this work uses an augmented neoclassical growth model to develop a theoretical framework where oil enters the long-term output of the country through saving and investment. Overall, the results suggests that oil income has a positive impact on the level of output per capita in Iran. The findings of the econometric results are in line with the historical analysis of the study. Since different methods and proxies were used, a total of eight models were estimated. Interestingly, when PRIVY is used as an index of financial development, the result of the study changes and oil no longer has a significant impact on the economy. However, this can be translated to an inefficient allocation of credit to the private sector.
  • The Isolation of Human Rod and Cone Photoreceptor Activity combining Electroretinography and Silent Substitution Techniques

    McKeefry, Declan J.; Gilchrist, James M.; Maguire, John C. (University of BradfordDepartment of Optometry and Vision Science, 2017)
    Aims: The electroretinogram (ERG) can be used to independently assess the function of rod and cone photoreceptors within the human retina. The work in this thesis sought to investigate an alternative method of recording the ERG, using the silent substitution paradigm (Estevez and Spekreijse 1982). The aims are separated into two parts, firstly, the isolation and characterisation of the non-dark adapted rod photoreceptor response, and secondly, characterising the ERG response from L-, M- and S-cones. Methods: Rod, L-, M- and S-cone isolating as well as non-isolating sinusoidal flicker and transient square-wave stimuli were generated on a 4 primary LED ganzfeld stimulator to elicit ERGs from non-dark adapted participants with normal and compromised rod or cone function. Results: The results from the rod experiments showed that ERGs elicited by rod isolating silent substitution stimuli exhibit low-pass temporal frequency response characteristics with an upper response limit of 30Hz and saturate beyond 1000ph Td. Responses are optimal between 5 – 8 Hz and between 10-100 photopic Td. There is a significant correlation between the response amplitudes obtained with the silent substitution method and current standard clinical protocols. The results from the cone experiments showed that the L-, M- and S-cone stimulation produced ERGs with very different morphologies. L- and M-cone stimulation is of limited use as an objective measure of colour vision deficiency. Conclusion: Silent substitution provides an effective method for the isolation of human rod and cone photoreceptor function in subjects when stimuli are used within appropriate parameter ranges.
  • Young British Muslims in Higher Education: exploring the experiences and identities of Bradford students within a narrative framework

    Johnson, Sally E.; Alam, M. Yunis; Hussain, Ifsa (University of BradfordFaculty of Social Sciences, 2016)
    This research aims to explore the lived experiences of young British Muslims in higher education at the University of Bradford and the implications this has for the construction of their identities. The increased participation of Muslims in higher education has been hailed a major success story and is said to have enabled the forging of new, alternative, more empowering identities in comparison to previous generations. This thesis provides a new approach in exploring young British Muslims identity by focusing on the dynamics underling identity construction through the use of a pluralistic method to present an array of informants’ accounts of their experiences (Frost et al., 2011). Phase one of the research included qualitative ethnographic observations which were carried out at the University of Bradford City Campus and was chosen in order to capture the use of the various social settings by informants and to understand actions, practices and meanings people gave to issues relevant to the research. Moreover, phase one was used to identify diversity of experience and select participants for phase two, the more focused aspect of the study which involved narrative interviews. A generative narrative interview was conducted with five young Muslims and aimed to understand how students negotiated their identity as Muslims in Britain within the higher educational contexts. The research revealed that rather than Muslims utilising university as a place whereby they are able to forge new identities, as depicted in previous literature, higher education is a context which demands the negotiation of identities that both enabled and constrained.
  • Sanitation Realities in Peri-Urban Communities: Unfreedoms, Capabilities and the Conscious Mind - A Case of Chennai, India

    Anand, Prathivadi B; Morvaridi, Behrooz; Immler, Ulrike S-HE (University of BradfordFaculty of Social Sciences, 2018)
    This thesis assesses sanitation realities experienced by peri-urban slum dwellers in Chennai, India, to investigate whether rapid economic growth translates into pervasive safe sanitation, otherwise a threat to human security. This is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of ‘leaving no one behind’. The empirical methodology consists of qualitative comparative case studies approached through rapid appraisal. At least 5 interviews at each of the 10 different slum settlement locations within the Chennai Metropolitan area were conducted. Both the locations and the settlers were conveniently sampled. The settlements were chosen as they mostly lay in a rapidly urbanizing area. The selection of interviewee was determined by availability, yet leaning towards women who are more vulnerable when lacking safe sanitation facilities, and who are the primary caregivers in the household. The research found that out of the 10 settlements visited, 5 habitually practiced open defecation, as no sanitation facilities were available. Hence some settlers were restricted in their freedom to be safe from emotional or physical harm: threatened by dangerous pathogens released into the environment, and insecurities due to lack of privacy. Conceptually the thesis applies an understanding of how affecting influences in individual history and living environment impact upon an individual’s conscious mind, connecting the capability approach to consciousness research. The thesis argues how settlers, overlooked by public services, and subjected to the dangerous and humiliating practice of open defecation, are faced with mental health issues and a diminished likelihood to productively engage, and exercise agency for human growth.
  • Parameters of managerial effectiveness and development of third sector managers. An empirical study of HIV NGO managers in India

    Analoui, Farhad; Kazi, Shehnaz (University of BradfordPeace Studies and International Development, 2017)
    This unique and first-time research explores the parameters of effectiveness among HIV/AIDS and development NGO managers in India. The aim of this research has been investigate and explore how these managers perceive and view their own effectiveness at work. This research contextualises Analoui's Model (1999, 2002) of eight parameters of managerial effectiveness and three contextual factors, which explores and identifies the inter-relationship between the factors and causal influences which form the basis for their increased effectiveness. The methodology employed include qualitative semi-structured individual interviews with 16 NGOs managers and 2 focus-group interviews with 16 non-managerial staff. The results revealed a myriad of factors and influences concerning the NGO managers’ perception, managerial skills and competencies, organizations criteria for effectiveness, opportunities, demands and constraints involved, as well as the inter-organisational relationship and the dominant managerial philosophy of effectiveness. All the parameters of effectiveness and contextual factors of the Model (1999, 2002) apply and are suitable for this context, however, based on the main findings and in-depth discussions, the model has been adapted and modified in order to fit this unique and complex, highly diverse, holistic, multi-faceted and culturally specific context. The findings also indicate to numerous inter-linked factors both internally and externally of the NGOs and, include various training and development (T&D) needs for managers, with implications for the formation of adequate policies and implementation of relevant development programmes to improve and increase NGO managers effectiveness in India.
  • Adaptive Coded Modulation Classification and Spectrum Sensing for Cognitive Radio Systems. Adaptive Coded Modulation Techniques for Cognitive Radio Using Kalman Filter and Interacting Multiple Model Methods

    Sheriff, Ray E.; Al-Araji, S.R.; Hu, Yim Fun; Al-Juboori, Ahmed O.A.S. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2018)
    The current and future trends of modern wireless communication systems place heavy demands on fast data transmissions in order to satisfy end users’ requirements anytime, anywhere. Such demands are obvious in recent applications such as smart phones, long term evolution (LTE), 4 & 5 Generations (4G & 5G), and worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) platforms, where robust coding and modulations are essential especially in streaming on-line video material, social media and gaming. This eventually resulted in extreme exhaustion imposed on the frequency spectrum as a rare natural resource due to stagnation in current spectrum management policies. Since its advent in the late 1990s, cognitive radio (CR) has been conceived as an enabling technology aiming at the efficient utilisation of frequency spectrum that can lead to potential direct spectrum access (DSA) management. This is mainly attributed to its internal capabilities inherited from the concept of software defined radio (SDR) to sniff its surroundings, learn and adapt its operational parameters accordingly. CR systems (CRs) may commonly comprise one or all of the following core engines that characterise their architectures; namely, adaptive coded modulation (ACM), automatic modulation classification (AMC) and spectrum sensing (SS). Motivated by the above challenges, this programme of research is primarily aimed at the design and development of new paradigms to help improve the adaptability of CRs and thereby achieve the desirable signal processing tasks at the physical layer of the above core engines. Approximate modelling of Rayleigh and finite state Markov channels (FSMC) with a new concept borrowed from econometric studies have been approached. Then insightful channel estimation by using Kalman filter (KF) augmented with interacting multiple model (IMM) has been examined for the purpose of robust adaptability, which is applied for the first time in wireless communication systems. Such new IMM-KF combination has been facilitated in the feedback channel between wireless transmitter and receiver to adjust the transmitted power, by using a water-filling (WF) technique, and constellation pattern and rate in the ACM algorithm. The AMC has also benefited from such IMM-KF integration to boost the performance against conventional parametric estimation methods such as maximum likelihood estimate (MLE) for channel interrogation and the estimated parameters of both inserted into the ML classification algorithm. Expectation-maximisation (EM) has been applied to examine unknown transmitted modulation sequences and channel parameters in tandem. Finally, the non-parametric multitaper method (MTM) has been thoroughly examined for spectrum estimation (SE) and SS, by relying on Neyman-Pearson (NP) detection principle for hypothesis test, to allow licensed primary users (PUs) to coexist with opportunistic unlicensed secondary users (SUs) in the same frequency bands of interest without harmful effects. The performance of the above newly suggested paradigms have been simulated and assessed under various transmission settings and revealed substantial improvements.
  • Development of National Drug Policy in the State of Kuwait

    Clark, Brian J.; Alali, Khaled Y.A.A (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2016)
    This Thesis examines the benefits and usefulness of a National Drug Policy (NDP) for the developing of the Health Care System in Kuwait. The NDP is one of the most important structures of the Health System which can lead to improved health services by establishing guidelines, proposals and directives to organize, structure and regulate health legislation; it is of help to ensure the availability of quality, safety and efficacy in using medicines and it can reduce the irrational use of medicines. The NDP is a frame work between the government, schools and universities, media, health professionals, pharmaceutical industries and companies and public. It is cooperation between the public and private sectors to achieve the goal of access to good quality medicines for all. However there are many key factors which need to be examined before the National Drug Policy is introduced and these are considered the baseline for establishing a good policy, and includes; selection of essential drugs, affordability of drugs, drug financing, supply management, drug regulation, rational use of drugs, drugs registration, purchasing of drugs, health research and human resource development. During this research study from 2012 – 2015 several visits to the public and private health areas, were undertaken. At this time there were discussions with 121 health professionals and data was collected and this indicated that in Kuwait there are no such policies. This is despite the availability of financial means, specialized human resources and the existence of the ministerial decisions and regulations governing the health sector in both public and private, whether hospitals, health centers, pharmacies and health departments. In addition it is suggested that the process of a good NDP should be built around 3 main components which includes: 1.Development, 2. Implementation and 3. Monitoring and Evaluation. Therefore the establishing of a NDP without implementation and monitoring is not enough and does not achieve the desired results. The aim of this Thesis is to establish a NDP in the State of Kuwait. This policy is necessary for the State of Kuwait to ensure development an improvement of the Health Care System and ensure better health for population.
  • The Development of a Knowledge-Based Wax Deposition, Three Yield Stresses Model and Failure Mechanisms for Re-starting Petroleum Field Pipelines. Building on Chang and Boger’s Yield Stresses Model, Bidmus and Mehrotra’s Wax Deposition and Lee et al.’s Adhesive-Cohesive Failure Concepts to better Underpin Restart Operation of Waxy Crude Oil Pipelines

    Benkreira, Hadj; Fakroun, Abubaker A. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2017)
    Twenty years ago, Chang et al. (1998) introduced the three-yield stresses concept (dynamic, static and elastic limits) to describe yielding of waxy crude oils cooled below the wax appearance temperature (WAT). At the time, the limits in rheological instruments were such that they never actually measured the elastic-limit, a key fundamental property. Using modern instruments, this research succeeds in recording for the first time the entire yielding process down to stresses of 10-7 Pa and shear rate of 10-6 min-1 as a function of temperature, cooling rate and stress loading rate using two waxy oils of different origins and wax content. A four-yield stress model is established using derivative data (dynamic fluidity and failure acceleration). In addition, calorimetry (DSC) and microscopy (CPM) helped extract WAT, the gel and pour points and link gel crystal structure and its yielding and breakage to rheological properties. The yielding stresses measured rheologically were tested in laboratory pipelines at two diameter scales, 6.5mm and 13.5mm to compare stresses in uniform and non-uniform cooling. It is demonstrated that rheological instruments can only predict gel breaking pressure when the cooling rate is low, i.e. yielding at the pipe wall. A complementary heat transfer study was performed on a section of pipe statically cooled, both experimentally and theoretically to predict the gel front-liquid oil interface that develops in industrial pipeline where gel breaking occurs. This key information together with rheological data provide the means to predict accurately restart pressures of shut gelled pipelines that have eluded previous research.
  • Performance Modelling and Analysis of a New CoMP-based Handover Scheme for Next Generation Wireless Networks. Performance Modelling and Analysis for the Design and Development of a New Handover Scheme for Cell Edge Users in Next Generation Wireless Networks (NGWNs) Based on the Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) Joint Transmission (JT) Technique

    Kouvatsos, Demetres D.; Ahmed, Rana R. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2017)
    Inter-Cell Interference (ICI) will be one of main problems for degrading the performance of future wireless networks at cell edge. This adverse situation will become worst in the presence of dense deployment of micro and macro cells. In this context, the Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) technique was introduced to mitigate ICI in Next Generation Wireless Networks (NGWN) and increase their network performance at cell edge. Even though the CoMP technique provides satisfactory solutions of various problems at cell edge, nevertheless existing CoMP handover schemes do not prevent unnecessary handover initialisation decisions and never discuss the drawbacks of CoMP handover technique such as excessive feedback and resource sharing among UEs. In this research, new CoMP-based handover schemes are proposed in order to minimise unnecessary handover decisions at cell edge and determine solution of drawbacks of CoMP technique in conjunction with signal measurements such as Reference Signal Received Power (RSRP) and Received Signal Received Quality (RSRQ). A combination of calculations of RSRP and RSRQ facilitate a credible decision making process of CoMP mode and handover mode at cell edge. Typical numerical experiments indicate that by triggering the CoMP mode along with solutions of drawbacks, the overall network performance is constantly increase as the number of unnecessary handovers is progressively reduced.
  • More than bones. An investigation of life, death and diet in later prehistoric Slovenia and Croatia

    Armit, Ian; Koon, Hannah E.C.; Buckberry, Jo; Nicholls, Rebecca A. (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, School of Archaeological and Forensic Science, 2017)
    The East Alpine region formed an important crossroads in later prehistoric Europe, through which ideas, people and objects flowed. This was particularly the case during the Late Bronze Age/ Early Iron Age, when an increasingly competitive society was evolving, with the formation of more complex social structures and the rise of ‘elites’. This has been evidenced in a shift in burial customs, from Urnfield-type cremation burial to the construction of tumuli and the adoption of elaborate inhumation burial. This multidisciplinary, multi-scalar approach to the analysis of human remains aims to explore the evolving structure, homogeneity and heterogeneity of communities inhabiting central and eastern Slovenia, and north-eastern Croatia, during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. The application of multiple methods, including the osteological analysis of cremated and non-cremated human remains, radiocarbon dating, stable isotope analysis (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and strontium) and aDNA analysis has facilitated the exploration and interpretation of later prehistoric social structure and lifestyle. The use of carbon (from enamel carbonate and collagen) and nitrogen stable isotope analysis has highlighted important dietary distinctions between communities inhabiting this region and previous studies from elsewhere in contemporary Europe – specifically a high dependence on millet as a staple crop. This has been evidenced by δ13C values of between -17‰ and -15.3‰ from bone collagen. δ15N values of between 7.6‰ and 9.1‰ support this interpretation as they do not indicate the consumption of marine protein. Increased δ15N values of up to 13.5‰ from deciduous dentine have been interpreted as the influence of dietary and metabolic conditions, particularly in the presentation of an Infant exhibited palaeopathological evidence of severe metabolic disease. Complementary isotopic methods, including oxygen isotope ratios and enamel carbonate carbon, have also highlighted heterogeneity in childhood diet, reflecting the transition from a high lipid diet of breastmilk, to a diet of carbohydrates, indicative of weaning. In addition to these findings, the application of radiocarbon dating on cremated and nio-cremated human bone has expanded the current understanding of mortuary practices in this study area. Inhumation burial, previously thought synomemous with the Iron Age, has been now been identified throughout the Bronze Age at the cemetery of Obrežje. The application of this multi-scalar approach to combining and interpreting these data sets has allowed for the investigation of individual biographies, as well as regional trends. This research illustrates the advantages of bringing together multiple lines of evidence for the creation of informed interpretations regarding the life, death and diet of prehistoric peoples of the East Alpine region, and beyond.
  • Scheduling and Resource Efficiency Balancing. Discrete Species Conserving Cuckoo Search for Scheduling in an Uncertain Execution Environment

    Hu, Yim Fun; Li, Jian-Ping; Bibiks, Kirils (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2017)
    The main goal of a scheduling process is to decide when and how to execute each of the project’s activities. Despite large variety of researched scheduling problems, the majority of them can be described as generalisations of the resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP). Because of wide applicability and challenging difficulty, RCPSP has attracted vast amount of attention in the research community and great variety of heuristics have been adapted for solving it. Even though these heuristics are structurally different and operate according to diverse principles, they are designed to obtain only one solution at a time. In the recent researches on RCPSPs, it was proven that these kind of problems have complex multimodal fitness landscapes, which are characterised by a wide solution search spaces and presence of multiple local and global optima. The main goal of this thesis is twofold. Firstly, it presents a variation of the RCPSP that considers optimisation of projects in an uncertain environment where resources are modelled to adapt to their environment and, as the result of this, improve their efficiency. Secondly, modification of a novel evolutionary computation method Cuckoo Search (CS) is proposed, which has been adapted for solving combinatorial optimisation problems and modified to obtain multiple solutions. To test the proposed methodology, two sets of experiments are carried out. Firstly, the developed algorithm is applied to a real-life software development project. Secondly, the performance of the algorithm is tested on universal benchmark instances for scheduling problems which were modified to take into account specifics of the proposed optimisation model. The results of both experiments demonstrate that the proposed methodology achieves competitive level of performance and is capable of finding multiple global solutions, as well as prove its applicability in real-life projects.
  • The impact of fiscal deficits on economic growth in developing countries : Empirical evidence and policy implications

    Potts, David J.; Weiss, John A.; Porojan, Anca; Wu, Zongmin; Ruzibuka, John S. (University of BradfordBradford Centre for International Development. School of Social and International Studies, 2012)
    This study examines the impact of fiscal deficits on economic growth in developing countries. Based on deduction from the relevant theoretical and empirical literature, the study tests the following hypotheses regarding the impact of fiscal deficits on economic growth. First, fiscal deficits have significant positive or negative impact on economic growth in developing countries. Second, the impact of fiscal deficits on economic growth depends on the size of deficits as a percentage of GDP – that is, there is a non-linear relationship between fiscal deficits and economic growth. Third, the impact of fiscal deficits on economic growth depends on the ways in which deficits are financed. Fourth, the impact of fiscal deficits on economic growth depends on what deficit financing is used for. The study also examines whether there are any significant regional differences in terms of the relationship between fiscal deficits and economic growth in developing countries. The study uses panel data for thirty-one developing countries covering the period 1972- 2001, which is analysed based on the econometric estimation of a dynamic growth model using the Arellano and Bond (1991) generalised method of moments (GMM) technique. Overall, the results suggest the following. First, fiscal deficits per se have no any significant positive or negative impact on economic growth. Second, by contrast, when the deficit is substituted by domestic and foreign financing, we find that both domestic and foreign financing of fiscal deficits exerts a negative and statistically significant impact on economic growth with a lag. Third, we find that both categories of economic classification of government expenditure, namely, capital and current expenditure, have no significant impact on economic growth. When government expenditure is disaggregated on the basis of a functional classification, the results suggest that spending on education, defence and economic services have positive but insignificant impact on growth, while spending on health and general public services have positive and significant impact. Fourth, in terms of regional differences with regard to the estimated relationships, the study finds that, while there are some regional differences between the four different regions represented in our sample of thirty-one developing countries - namely, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa – these differences are not statistically significant. On the basis of these findings, the study concludes that fiscal deficits per se are not necessarily good or bad for economic growth in developing countries; how the deficits are financed and what they are used for matters. In addition, the study concludes that there are no statistically significant regional differences in terms of the relationship between fiscal deficits and economic growth in developing countries.
  • Understanding the Effects of Processing on the Properties of Perfluoroalkoxy (PFA)

    Kelly, Adrian L.; Gough, Timothy D.; Todd, Cassandra N.Z. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2016)
    The effect of processing on the properties of three transfer moulding grades of perfluoroalkoxy was investigated. There is anecdotal evidence to suggest exposure to high shear rates and residence time at processing temperature detrimentally affect the polymer, however there is a lack of information published in this area. This work set out to provide a better understanding of the material behaviour under various processing conditions. A bespoke capillary rheometer was used to determine flow characteristics at various temperatures between 5-400s-1. The materials were found to be shear thinning, with the virgin grades exhibiting Newtonian behaviour at low shear rates. The viscosity of the carbon black filled PFA was found to have a higher viscosity than the virgin materials, despite it having a higher Melt Flow Rate. Spectroscopy was found to be unsuitable for investigation of polymer containing carbon black due to laser heating. However changes due to residence time at processing temperature in the virgin material could be detected using statistical analysis of Near Infrared spectra. Whether the mechanical properties of the virgin material changed following exposure to high shear rates or residence time varied on manufacturer, with Dyneon 6502TZ appearing to be more process stable than Chemours 350TJ. This information can be used to optimise the transfer moulding process, and assist in meeting the requirements of the Chemical Processing Industry for larger and more complex lined piping components.
  • The Development of a Manufacturing Failure Mode Avoidance Framework for Aerospace Manufacturing

    Campean, I. Felician; Caunce, A.; Goodland, James (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2016)
    In order to remain competitive in the global market businesses are under ever increasing pressure to ramp up production rates whilst simultaneously improving cost effectiveness to allow continued profitable growth. This requirement is particularly challenging in high value manufacturing which is characterised by expensive product and manufacturing systems and relatively low production volume. This thesis introduces a method for the design of robust and reliable manufacturing processes through the prevention of identified potential failure modes that is based on the principles of the existing Failure Mode Avoidance framework used for automotive system design. The tools and techniques that exist in the literature are reviewed in order to understand the best practice, and subsequently a Manufacturing Failure Mode Avoidance framework is designed. This framework is demonstrated through two unique case studies conducted in a real life manufacturing environment in order to validate its appropriateness to provide robust countermeasures to failure which will allow right first time manufacture. The outcomes of the implementations are discussed, conclusions drawn and opportunities for further research are provided.
  • Buried identities: An osteological and archaeological analysis of burial variation and identity in Anglo-Saxon Norfolk

    Buckberry, Jo; Bond, Julie M.; Williams-Ward, Michelle L. (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2017)
  • VM Allocation in Cloud Datacenters Based on the Multi-Agent System. An Investigation into the Design and Response Time Analysis of a Multi-Agent-based Virtual Machine (VM) Allocation/Placement Policy in Cloud Datacenters

    Kouvatsos, Demetres D.; Kiran, Mariam; Al-ou'n, Ashraf M.S. (University of BradfordSchool of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2017)
    Recent years have witnessed a surge in demand for infrastructure and services to cover high demands on processing big chunks of data and applications resulting in a mega Cloud Datacenter. A datacenter is of high complexity with increasing difficulties to identify, allocate efficiently and fast an appropriate host for the requested virtual machine (VM). Establishing a good awareness of all datacenter’s resources enables the allocation “placement” policies to make the best decision in reducing the time that is needed to allocate and create the VM(s) at the appropriate host(s). However, current algorithms and policies of placement “allocation” do not focus efficiently on awareness of the resources of the datacenter, and moreover, they are based on conventional static techniques. Which are adversely impacting on the allocation progress of the policies. This thesis proposes a new Agent-based allocation/placement policy that employs some of the Multi-Agent system features to get a good awareness of Cloud Datacenter resources and also provide an efficient allocation decision for the requested VMs. Specifically, (a) The Multi-Agent concept is used as a part of the placement policy (b) A Contract Net Protocol is devised to establish good awareness and (c) A verification process is developed to fully dimensional VM specifications during allocation. These new results show a reduction in response time of VM allocation and the usage improvement of occupied resources. The proposed Agent-based policy was implemented using the CloudSim toolkit and consequently was compared, based on a series of typical numerical experiments, with the toolkit’s default policy. The comparative study was carried out in terms of the time duration of VM allocation and other aspects such as the number of available VM types and the amount of occupied resources. Moreover, a two-stage comparative study was introduced through this thesis. Firstly, the proposed policy is compared with four state of the art algorithms, namely the Random algorithm and three one-dimensional Bin-Packing algorithms. Secondly, the three Bin-Packing algorithms were enhanced to have a two-dimensional verification structure and were compared against the proposed new algorithm of the Agent-based policy. Following a rigorous comparative study, it was shown that, through the typical numerical experiments of all stages, the proposed new Agent-based policy had superior performance in terms of the allocation times. Finally, avenues arising from this thesis are included.
  • Social Data Mining for Crime Intelligence: Contributions to Social Data Quality Assessment and Prediction Methods

    Neagu, Daniel; Trundle, Paul R.; Isah, Haruna (University of BradfordDepartment of Computer Science, 2017)
    With the advancement of the Internet and related technologies, many traditional crimes have made the leap to digital environments. The successes of data mining in a wide variety of disciplines have given birth to crime analysis. Traditional crime analysis is mainly focused on understanding crime patterns, however, it is unsuitable for identifying and monitoring emerging crimes. The true nature of crime remains buried in unstructured content that represents the hidden story behind the data. User feedback leaves valuable traces that can be utilised to measure the quality of various aspects of products or services and can also be used to detect, infer, or predict crimes. Like any application of data mining, the data must be of a high quality standard in order to avoid erroneous conclusions. This thesis presents a methodology and practical experiments towards discovering whether (i) user feedback can be harnessed and processed for crime intelligence, (ii) criminal associations, structures, and roles can be inferred among entities involved in a crime, and (iii) methods and standards can be developed for measuring, predicting, and comparing the quality level of social data instances and samples. It contributes to the theory, design and development of a novel framework for crime intelligence and algorithm for the estimation of social data quality by innovatively adapting the methods of monitoring water contaminants. Several experiments were conducted and the results obtained revealed the significance of this study in mining social data for crime intelligence and in developing social data quality filters and decision support systems.
  • Genotoxic effects of NSAIDs and hydrocortisone on bulk and nano forms in lymphocytes from patients with haematological cancers

    Anderson, Diana; Normington, Charmaine (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2017)
    Chronic inflammation is intimately linked with cancer development and progression and therefore reducing or eliminating inflammation represents a logical treatment and prevention strategy. Studies have shown that anti-inflammatory agents have anti-tumour effects in cancers, with reduced metastases and mortality. Current use of anti-inflammatory agents in the treatment and prevention of cancer is limited by their toxicity and side effects. The emerging field of nanotechnology allows the fundamental properties of a drug to be altered, creating a product with improved reactivity and bioavailability, leading to more targeted treatments and reduced dosage. In the present study, the genotoxic effects of three commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs; aspirin, ibuprofen and hydrocortisone, in their bulk and nano forms were evaluated on peripheral blood lymphocytes of healthy donors using the comet assay and the micronucleus assay. In order to determine any anti-cancer effects, these agents were also tested in peripheral blood lymphocytes in patients with haematological cancers. The glucocorticoid hydrocortisone was also evaluated for anti-oxidant capacity. Our results demonstrate that the nano versions of each drug produced a different response than the bulk counterpart, indicating that a reduction in particle size had an impact on the reactivity of the drug. Our results also indicate that the nano versions of each drug were less genotoxic than the bulk formulation, further emphasising the potential of nanoparticles as an improvement to current treatment options. We also found an anti-oxidant effect with hydrocortisone, with a more profound effect seen with the nano formulation.
  • Photo-biomodulation of human skin fibroblast sub-populations: a systematic approach for the optimization of optical treatment parameters

    Tobin, Desmond J.; Uzunbajakava, N.E.; Botchkareva, Natalia V.; Zeitouny, M.; Mignon, Charles (University of BradfordCentre for Skin Science, Faculty of Life Sciences, 2017)
    The thesis presents a rational path for the optimization of the selection of optical treatment parameters in photobiomodulation of human skin fibroblasts. The project begins with an extensive analysis of 90 bibliographic reports in photobiomodulation published between 1985 and 2015, and revealed major inconsistencies in optical parameters selected for clinical applications. Seeking greater clarity for optimal parameter choice, a systematic approach to disentangle the multiple factors underpinning the response of human dermal fibroblasts in vitro to visible and near-infra red (NIR) light was employed. Light-based devices were constructed to specifically and systematically screen the optical parameter window (i.e. wavelength, irradiance and dose) observed in literature. Additionally, critical culture and treatment conditions that have dramatic impact on the outcome of specific light treatment of these human skin dermal cells were identified. In particular, environmental oxygen concentration, cell confluency and serum concentration were all found to have a great effect on the response of dermal fibroblasts to light. In parallel, the induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by short visible wavelengths on two dermal fibroblast sub-populations or lineage, reticular and papillary, was monitored by live-cell imaging. The ROS species were found to be created in or close to mitochondria. Lastly, gene expression studies revealed a strong impact of short visible wavelengths, as compared to long and NIR wavelengths on both subpopulations of human dermal fibroblasts. In particular, blue light (450 nm) specifically down-regulated proliferation, metabolism and protein synthesis molecular pathways. At the protein level, 450-nm light inhibited the production of procollagen I in human reticular and papillary fibroblasts in a dose-dependent manner. Gene expression results were in agreement i.e., the same light parameter down-regulated collagen fiber genes, integrins and up-regulated collagenase MMP1. This thesis concludes with a chapter presenting a characterization of the accuracy of a potential translation tool for the prediction of optical photon density inside human skin.
  • The role of sensory history and stimulus context in human time perception. Adaptive and integrative distortions of perceived duration

    Heron, James; Fulcher, Corinne (University of BradfordFaculty of Life Sciences, 2017)
    This thesis documents a series of experiments designed to investigate the mechanisms subserving sub-second duration processing in humans. Firstly, duration aftereffects were generated by adapting to consistent duration information. If duration aftereffects represent encoding by neurons selective for both stimulus duration and non-temporal stimulus features, adapt-test changes in these features should prevent duration aftereffect generation. Stimulus characteristics were chosen which selectively target differing stages of the visual processing hierarchy. The duration aftereffect showed robust interocular transfer and could be generated using a stimulus whose duration was defined by stimuli invisible to monocular mechanisms, ruling out a pre-cortical locus. The aftereffects transferred across luminance-defined visual orientation and facial identity. Conversely, the duration encoding mechanism was selective for changes in the contrast-defined envelope size of a Gabor and showed broad spatial selectivity which scaled proportionally with adapting stimulus size. These findings are consistent with a second stage visual spatial mechanism that pools input across proportionally smaller, spatially abutting filters. A final series of experiments investigated the pattern of interaction between concurrently presented cross-modal durations. When duration discrepancies were small, multisensory judgements were biased towards the modality with higher precision. However, when duration discrepancies were large, perceived duration was compressed by both longer and shorter durations from the opposite modality, irrespective of unimodal temporal reliability. Taken together, these experiments provide support for a duration encoding mechanism that is tied to mid-level visual spatial processing. Following this localised encoding, supramodal mechanisms then dictate the combination of duration information across the senses.

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