• Automated dust storm detection using satellite images. Development of a computer system for the detection of dust storms from MODIS satellite images and the creation of a new dust storm database.

      Ipson, Stanley S.; Qahwaji, Rami S.R.; El-Ossta, Esam E.A. (University of BradfordDigital Imaging, School of Computing, Informatics and Media, 2013-12-09)
      Dust storms are one of the natural hazards, which have increased in frequency in the recent years over Sahara desert, Australia, the Arabian Desert, Turkmenistan and northern China, which have worsened during the last decade. Dust storms increase air pollution, impact on urban areas and farms as well as affecting ground and air traffic. They cause damage to human health, reduce the temperature, cause damage to communication facilities, reduce visibility which delays both road and air traffic and impact on both urban and rural areas. Thus, it is important to know the causation, movement and radiation effects of dust storms. The monitoring and forecasting of dust storms is increasing in order to help governments reduce the negative impact of these storms. Satellite remote sensing is the most common method but its use over sandy ground is still limited as the two share similar characteristics. However, satellite remote sensing using true-colour images or estimates of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) and algorithms such as the deep blue algorithm have limitations for identifying dust storms. Many researchers have studied the detection of dust storms during daytime in a number of different regions of the world including China, Australia, America, and North Africa using a variety of satellite data but fewer studies have focused on detecting dust storms at night. The key elements of this present study are to use data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers on the Terra and Aqua satellites to develop more effective automated method for detecting dust storms during both day and night and generate a MODIS dust storm database.
    • Automated system design for the efficient processing of solar satellite images. Developing novel techniques and software platform for the robust feature detection and the creation of 3D anaglyphs and super-resolution images for solar satellite images.

      Qahwaji, Rami S.R.; Ipson, Stanley S.; Zraqou, Jamal Sami (University of BradfordSchool of Computing, Informatics & Media, 2012-05-24)
      The Sun is of fundamental importance to life on earth and is studied by scientists from many disciplines. It exhibits phenomena on a wide range of observable scales, timescales and wavelengths and due to technological developments there is a continuing increase in the rate at which solar data is becoming available for study which presents both opportunities and challenges. Two satellites recently launched to observe the sun are STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory), providing simultaneous views of the SUN from two different viewpoints and SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) which aims to study the solar atmosphere on small scales and times and in many wavelengths. The STEREO and SDO missions are providing huge volumes of data at rates of about 15 GB per day (initially it was 30 GB per day) and 1.5 terabytes per day respectively. Accessing these huge data volumes efficiently at both high spatial and high time resolutions is important to support scientific discovery but requires increasingly efficient tools to browse, locate and process specific data sets. This thesis investigates the development of new technologies for processing information contained in multiple and overlapping images of the same scene to produce images of improved quality. This area in general is titled Super Resolution (SR), and offers a technique for reducing artefacts and increasing the spatial resolution. Another challenge is to generate 3D images such as Anaglyphs from uncalibrated pairs of SR images. An automated method to generate SR images is presented here. The SR technique consists of three stages: image registration, interpolation and filtration. Then a method to produce enhanced, near real-time, 3D solar images from uncalibrated pairs of images is introduced. Image registration is an essential enabling step in SR and Anaglyph processing. An accurate point-to-point mapping between views is estimated, with multiple images registered using only information contained within the images themselves. The performances of the proposed methods are evaluated using benchmark evaluation techniques. A software application called the SOLARSTUDIO has been developed to integrate and run all the methods introduced in this thesis. SOLARSTUDIO offers a number of useful image processing tools associated with activities highly focused on solar images including: Active Region (AR) segmentation, anaglyph creation, solar limb extraction, solar events tracking and video creation.
    • Automatic age progression and estimation from faces

      Ugail, Hassan; Bukar, Ali M.
      Recently, automatic age progression has gained popularity due to its numerous applications. Among these is the frequent search for missing people, in the UK alone up to 300,000 people are reported missing every year. Although many algorithms have been proposed, most of the methods are affected by image noise, illumination variations, and facial expressions. Furthermore, most of the algorithms use a pattern caricaturing approach which infers ages by manipulating the target image and a template face formed by averaging faces at the intended age. To this end, this thesis investigates the problem with a view to tackling the most prominent issues associated with the existing algorithms. Initially using active appearance models (AAM), facial features are extracted and mapped to people’s ages, afterward a formula is derived which allows the convenient generation of age progressed images irrespective of whether the intended age exists in the training database or not. In order to handle image noise as well as varying facial expressions, a nonlinear appearance model called kernel appearance model (KAM) is derived. To illustrate the real application of automatic age progression, both AAM and KAM based algorithms are then used to synthesise faces of two popular long missing British and Irish kids; Ben Needham and Mary Boyle. However, both statistical techniques exhibit image rendering artefacts such as low-resolution output and the generation of inconsistent skin tone. To circumvent this problem, a hybrid texture enhancement pipeline is developed. To further ensure that the progressed images preserve people’s identities while at the same time attaining the intended age, rigorous human and machine based tests are conducted; part of this tests resulted to the development of a robust age estimation algorithm. Eventually, the results of the rigorous assessment reveal that the hybrid technique is able to handle all existing problems of age progression with minimal error.
    • Automatic Control Strategies of Mean Arterial Pressure and Cardiac Output. MIMO controllers, PID, internal model control, adaptive model reference, and neural nets are developed to regulate mean arterial pressure and cardiac output using the drugs sodium Nitroprusside and dopamine

      Mahieddine, F.; Enbiya, Saleh A. (University of BradfordSchool of Engineering, Design & Technology, 2013)
      High blood pressure, also called hypertension is one of the most common worldwide diseases afflicting humans and is a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction, vascular disease, and chronic kidney disease. If blood pressure is controlled and oscillations in the hemodynamic variables are reduced, patients experience fewer complications after surgery. In clinical practice, this is usually achieved using manual drug delivery. Given that different patients have different sensitivity and reaction time to drugs, determining manually the right drug infusion rates may be difficult. This is a problem where automatic drug delivery can provide a solution, especially if it is designed to adapt to variations in the patient’s conditions. This research work presents an investigation into the development of abnormal blood pressure (hypertension) controllers for postoperative patients. Control of the drugs infusion rates is used to simultaneously regulate the hemodynamic variables such as the Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP) and the Cardiac Output (CO) at the desired level. The implementation of optimal control system is very essential to improve the quality of patient care and also to reduce the workload of healthcare staff and costs. Many researchers have conducted studies earlier on modelling and/or control of abnormal blood pressure for postoperative patients. However, there are still many concerns about smooth transition of blood pressure without any side effect. The blood pressure is classified in two categories: high blood pressure (Hypertension) and low blood pressure (Hypotension). The hypertension often occurred after cardiac surgery, and the hypotension occurred during cardiac surgery. To achieve the optimal control solution for these abnormal blood pressures, many methods are proposed, one of the common methods is infusing the drug related to blood pressure to maintain it at the desired level. There are several kinds of vasodilating drugs such as Sodium Nitroprusside (SNP), Dopamine (DPM), Nitro-glycerine (NTG), and so on, which can be used to treat postoperative patients, also used for hypertensive emergencies to keep the blood pressure at safety level. A comparative performance of two types of algorithms has been presented in chapter four. These include the Internal Model Control (IMC), and Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controller. The resulting controllers are implemented, tested and verified for three sensitivity patient response. SNP is used for all three patients’ situation in order to reduce the pressure smoothly and maintain it at the desire level. A Genetic Algorithms (GAs) optimization technique has been implemented to optimise the controllers’ parameters. A set of experiments are presented to demonstrate the merits and capabilities of the control algorithms. The simulation results in chapter four have demonstrated that the performance criteria are satisfied with the IMC, and PID controllers. On the other hand, the settling time for the PID control of all three patients’ response is shorter than the settling time with IMC controller. Using multiple interacting drugs to control both the MAP and CO of patients with different sensitivity to drugs is a challenging task. A Multivariable Model Reference Adaptive Control (MMRAC) algorithm is developed using a two-input, two-output patient model. Because of the difference in patient’s sensitivity to the drug, and in order to cover the wide ranges of patients, Model Reference Adaptive Control (MRAC) has been implemented to obtain the optimal infusion rates of DPM and SNP. This is developed in chapters five and six. Computer simulations were carried out to investigate the performance of this controller. The results show that the proposed adaptive scheme is robust with respect to disturbances and variations in model parameters, the simulation results have demonstrated that this algorithm cannot cover the wide range of patient’s sensitivity to drugs, due to that shortcoming, a PID controller using a Neural Network that tunes the controller parameters was designed and implemented. The parameters of the PID controller were optimised offline using Matlab genetic algorithm. The proposed Neuro-PID controller has been tested and validated to demonstrate its merits and capabilities compared to the existing approaches to cover wide range of patients.
    • Bagasse as a Fuel for Combined Heat and Power (CHP): An Assessment of Options for Implementation in Iran.

      Sharp, Liz; Cotton, David E.; Salehi, Farnza A. (University of Bradford, 2011-12-21)
      With over one hundred years of commercial cultivation, sugar cane is one of the most valuable agricultural botanical resources in the World. This position is not only based on production of sugar from sugar cane but also it is, to a great extent, as a result of the increasing importance of sugar cane by-products and side industries. Furthermore, with the advancement of science; awareness of inharmonious growth of materials and energy consumption, and the desire to minimize the negative impacts of industrial pollutants and materials, the scope for using sugar cane is still developing rapidly. Bagasse, molasses and filtered mud are the most important by-products in the process of production of sugar from sugar cane. Among these by-products, bagasse is both a biomass resource for producing energy and is one of the most important agricultural wastes, which can be used in different side industries. Therefore, it was chosen for study in this research as it offers considerable potential as a source of energy. Bagasse is often used as a primary fuel source for sugar mills; when burned in quantity, it produces sufficient heat energy to supply all the needs of a typical sugar mill, with energy to spare. To this end, today a secondary use for this waste product is in combined heat and power plants where its use as a fuel source provides both heat and power. With a suitable energy production technology, bagasse can be used as a fuel in CHP for high efficiency energy generation. Today, with regard to the low efficiency of traditional methods, the high cost of disposal of waste materials and environmental pollution, the use of modern methods such as anaerobic digestion for the production of biogas has increased. The collected biogas from the process of anaerobic digestion provides a renewable energy source similar to natural gas, but with less methane and lower heating value, that is suitable for use in CHP plants. In this research, a comparison with different bagasse energy production technologies leads to the selection of anaerobic digestion as the most suitable for use in Iran. Then a typical biogas CHP is assumed, and the biogas system is designed. Finally, the potential for the development of biogas CHP plants with bagasse in Iran is addressed through a study of the economic and environmental aspects.
    • Balanced antennas for mobile handset applications. Simulation and Measurement of Balanced Antennas for Mobile Handsets, investigating Specific Absorption Rate when operated near the human body, and a Coplanar Waveguide alternative to the Balanced Feed.

      Abd-Alhameed, Raed A.; Excell, Peter S.; Alhaddad, A.G. (University of BradfordSchool of Engineering, Design and Technology, 2013-03-26)
      The main objectives of this research are to investigate and design low profile antennas for mobile handsets applications using the balanced concept. These antennas are considered to cover a wide range of wireless standards such as: DCS (1710¿1880 MHz), PCS (1850¿1990 MHz), UMTS (1920¿2170 MHz), WLAN (2400¿2500 MHz and 5000 ¿ 5800 MHz) and UWB frequency bands. Various antennas are implemented based on built-in planar dipole with a folded arm structure. The performance of several designed antennas in terms of input return loss, radiation patterns, radiation efficiency and power gain are presented and several remarkable results are obtained. The measurements confirm the theoretical design concept and show reasonable agreement with computations. The stability performance of the proposed antenna is also evaluated by analysing the current distribution on the mobile phone ground plane. The specific absorption rate (SAR) performance of the antenna is also studied experimentally by measuring antenna near field exposure. The measurement results are correlated with the calculated ones. A new dual-band balanced antenna using coplanar waveguide structure is also proposed, discussed and tested; this is intended to eliminate the balanced feed network. The predicted and measured results show good agreement, confirming good impedance bandwidth characteristics and excellent dual-band performance. In addition, a hybrid method to model the human body interaction with a dual band balanced antenna structure covering the 2.4 GHz and 5.2 GHz bands is presented. Results for several test cases of antenna locations on the body are presented and discussed. The near and far fields were incorporated to provide a full understanding of the impact on human tissue. The cumulative distribution function of the radiation efficiency and absorbed power are also evaluated.
    • Banks, credit and culture. Cross border lending and credit ratings, their effectiveness and the impact of cultural differences.

      Welford, Richard; Mulder, Gert Jan (University of BradfordSchool of Management, 2005)
      Having the author been involved in banking and finance for almost 25 years, this thesis intends to reflect on the role of banks with emphasis on cross border lending and credit rating, their effectiveness and the impacts of cultural differences. Perhaps this would not differ substantially from a researcher or a scholar, yet the exploratory approach taken in this research will be somewhat different as it deliberately seeks to answer a number of questions relevant to practitioners in today’s banking. In trying to achieve this goal, this thesis hopefully may find its way to international bankers wondering about the perspectives of their business in general and their profession in specific. It even may perhaps improve the understanding of their clients. The Basel committee which published the new Basel II framework on bank regulation and supervision was the result of long and careful discussions, wide consultations and comprehensive impact studies. Whereas Basel II covers the entire risk profile and supervision of financial institutions, this research is limited to the cross border lending by banks to companies and provides the views from both practicing international bankers and their customers on their 3 expectations regarding Basel II, credit rating and the relevance of context and culture differences. Bankers all over the world are being trained on how to read balance sheets, yet less attention is being paid as to by whom they are being created and how precisely these balance sheets came into existence, other than the accountancy standards applied. Bankers furthermore seem to agree on the fact that credit risks in large part are related to the management competencies, effective corporate governance and integrity of management and organization. The argument could be made that the assessment of management capabilities, governance and integrity may be hindered in those cases where the culture is little understood. In a three days conferences titled; “The Future of Relationship Banking”, 80 senior executives from international banks and large companies were gathered in Punta del Este, Uruguay and were asked to speak about these aspects. A transcript of the conference is provided as annex to this thesis (Annex 1) and serves to triangulate the findings of the research. Main findings of three management papers were presented by the researcher during the conference. A survey was performed during the conference and in addition, through an online survey, in total over 100 practitioners in the field participated in the survey. Results show a variation of conclusions, but very especially seem to confirm the view, contrary to the approach taken in Basel II, that cultural differences and context are felt to be highly relevant in cross border lending.
    • Barriers in community participation and rural development.

      Not named; Cobbinah, J.E. (University of Bradford, 2011-12-06)
      The concept of participation seems to reflect in most development programmes that involve people at the grassroots level. In Ghana, the introduction of the decentralization programme in the late 1980s that aimed at promoting effective, comprehensive and rapid development, more especially in the rural areas also adopted participatory approach. The approach led to the introductory of district assembly system which was to enhance the involvement of people at the grassroots in participatory activities. However, since the introduction of the decentralisation system to promote grassroots level participation, the people are still inactive and the level of involvement in development decision-making still remains weak. To clearly understand these problems, the thesis has aimed at answering the following research questions; how are rural people involved in participatory practice in the development activities in their area; what barriers affect and hinder the active participation of rural people and how could these be addressed? Answers to those questions helped to examine the nature of participation at the grassroots level; understand how the district assembly adopt participatory practice and to ascertain the nature of barriers that hinder effective participatory practice. Using a case study approach for the investigation, an interpretivists and constructivists were the philosophical underpinnings of the investigation. The data was gathered through the use of focus group discussions and one-to-one informal interviews. It was observed that, participation continues to reflect in most rural development programmes, but there are key barriers that still continue to hamper the effectiveness of participatory practice. Power relations, threats, intimidations and more especially the use of juju and witchcraft which never featured in most development literature are among the major barriers that continue to weaken local people readiness to actively participate. Most rural people feel threaten to participate for the fear of being bewitched or killed through the use of juju, witchcraft or black magical powers. Without critically and effectively addressing those bottlenecks and barriers, and put community members at the pivot of decision-making, the use of outsiders¿ knowledge and ideas alone to address the problems of participation with the hope of improving the lives of the rural people will not yield any significant result.
    • Bayesian opponent modeling in adversarial game environments.

      Cowling, Peter I.; Jiang, Ping; Baker, Roderick J.S. (University of BradfordDepartment of Computing, 2011-11-14)
      This thesis investigates the use of Bayesian analysis upon an opponent¿s behaviour in order to determine the desired goals or strategy used by a given adversary. A terrain analysis approach utilising the A* algorithm is investigated, where a probability distribution between discrete behaviours of an opponent relative to a set of possible goals is generated. The Bayesian analysis of agent behaviour accurately determines the intended goal of an opponent agent, even when the opponent¿s actions are altered randomly. The environment of Poker is introduced and abstracted for ease of analysis. Bayes¿ theorem is used to generate an effective opponent model, categorizing behaviour according to its similarity with known styles of opponent. The accuracy of Bayes¿ rule yields a notable improvement in the performance of an agent once an opponent¿s style is understood. A hybrid of the Bayesian style predictor and a neuroevolutionary approach is shown to lead to effective dynamic play, in comparison to agents that do not use an opponent model. The use of recurrence in evolved networks is also shown to improve the performance and generalizability of an agent in a multiplayer environment. These strategies are then employed in the full-scale environment of Texas Hold¿em, where a betting round-based approach proves useful in determining and counteracting an opponent¿s play. It is shown that the use of opponent models, with the adaptive benefits of neuroevolution aid the performance of an agent, even when the behaviour of an opponent does not necessarily fit within the strict definitions of opponent ¿style¿.
    • Behaviour of continuous concrete beams reinforced with hybrid GFRP/steel bars

      Ashour, Ashraf F.; Lam, Dennis; Araba, Almahdi M.A.A. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2017)
    • Behaviour of continuous concrete slabs reinforced with FRP bars. Experimental and computational investigations on the use of basalt and carbon fibre reinforced polymer bars in continuous concrete slabs.

      Ashour, Ashraf F.; Lam, Dennis; Mahroug, Mohamed E.M. (University of BradfordSchool of Engineering, Design and Technology (EDT), 2014-05-07)
      An investigation on the application of basalt fibre reinforced polymer (BFRP) and carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) bars as longitudinal reinforcement for simple and continuous concrete slabs is presented. Eight continuously and four simply concrete slabs were constructed and tested to failure. Two continuously supported steel reinforced concrete slabs were also tested for comparison purposes. The slabs were classified into two groups according to the type of FRP bars. All slabs tested were 500 mm in width and 150 mm in depth. The simply supported slabs had a span of 2000 mm, whereas the continuous slabs had two equal spans, each of 2000 mm. Different combinations of under and over FRP (BFRP/CFRP) reinforcement at the top and bottom layers of slabs were investigated. The continuously supported BFRP and CFRP reinforced concrete slabs exhibited larger deflections and wider cracks than the counterpart reinforced with steel. The experimental results showed that increasing the bottom mid-span FRP reinforcement of continuous slabs is more effective than the top over middle support FRP reinforcement in improving the load capacity and reducing mid-span deflections. Design guidelines have been validated against experimental results of FRP reinforced concrete slabs tested. ISIS¿M03¿07 and CSA S806-06 equations reasonably predicted the deflections of the slabs tested. However, ACI 440¿1R-06 underestimated the deflections, overestimated the moment capacities at mid-span and over support sections, and reasonably predicted the load capacity of the continuous slabs tested. On the analytical side, a numerical technique consisting of sectional and longitudinal analyses has been developed to predict the moment¿curvature relationship, moment capacity and load-deflection of FRP reinforced concrete members. The numerical technique has been validated against the experimental test results obtained from the current research and those reported in the literature. A parametric study using the numerical technique developed has also been conducted to examine the influence of FRP reinforcement ratio, concrete compressive strength and type of reinforcement on the performance of continuous FRP reinforced concrete slabs. Increasing the concrete compressive strength decreased the curvature of the reinforced section with FRP bars. Moreover, in the simple and continuous FRP reinforced concrete slabs, increasing the FRP reinforcement at the bottom layer fairly reduced and controlled deflections.
    • Behaviour of continuously supported self-compacting concrete deep beams

      Ashour, Ashraf F.; Lam, Dennis; Sheehan, Therese; Khatab, Mahmoud A.T. (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2016)
      The present research is conducted to investigate the structural behaviour of continuously supported deep beams made with SCC. A series of tests on eight reinforced two-span continuous deep beams made with SCC was performed. The main parameters investigated were the shear span-to-depth ratio, the amount and configuration of web reinforcement and the main longitudinal reinforcement ratio. All beams failed due to a major diagonal crack formed between the applied mid-span load and the intermediate support separating the beam into two blocks: the first one rotated around the end support leaving the rest of the beam fixed on the other two supports. The amount and configuration of web reinforcement had a major effect in controlling the shear capacity of SCC continuous deep beams. The shear provisions of the ACI 318M-11 reasonably predicted the load capacity of SCC continuous deep beams. The strut-and-tie model recommended by different design codes showed conservative results for all SCC continuous deep beams. The ACI Building Code (ACI 318M-11) predictions were more accurate than those of the EC2 and Canadian Code (CSA23.3-04). The proposed effectiveness factor equations for the strut-and-tie model showed accurate predictions compared to the experimental results. The different equations of the effectiveness factor used in upper-bound analysis can reasonably be applied to the prediction of the load capacity of continuously supported SCC deep beams although they were proposed for normal concrete (NC). The proposed three dimensional FE model accurately predicted the failure modes, the load capacity and the load-deflection response of the beams tested.
    • Behaviour of demountable shear connectors in composite structures

      Lam, Dennis; Dai, Xianghe; Ashour, Ashraf F.; Rehman, Naveed (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2017)
      The research presented in this thesis is to evaluate the feasibility of demountable shear connectors as an alternative to welded shear connectors in composite structures through push off tests and composite beam tests. Push off tests were conducted to examine the shear strength, stiffness and ductility of demountable shear connectors in composite structures. The experimental results showed that demountable shear connectors in composite structures have very similar shear capacity to welded shear connectors. The shear capacity was compared against the prediction methods used for the welded shear connections given in Eurocode 4 and AISC 360-10 and the methods used for bolted connections in Eurocode 3 and ACI 318-08. It was found that the AISC 360-10 and ACI 318-08 methods overestimated the shear capacity in some cases. The Eurocode method is conservative and can be utilised to predict the shear capacity of demountable connectors in composite structures. The experimental studies of two identical composite beams using demountable shear connectors and welded shear connectors showed very similar moment capacity. However, the specimen with demountable shear connectors was more ductile compared to the welded specimen. The experimental study suggests that the methods available in Eurocode 4 and BS 5950 for predicting moment capacity and mid span deflection can be adopted for composite beam with demountable shear connectors. In addition, a finite element analysis of push off test and beam test with demountable shear connectors was also conducted for parametric studies and results are used to evaluate the behaviour of composite structures.
    • Behaviour of elliptical tube columns filled with self-compacting concrete

      Ashour, Ashraf F.; Lam, Dennis; Dai, Xianghe; Mahgub, Munir (University of BradfordFaculty of Engineering and Informatics, 2016)
      The present research is conducted to investigate the behaviour of elliptical tube columns filled with self-compacting concrete (SCC). In total, ten specimens, including two empty columns, were tested to failure. The main parameters investigated were the length and the sections of the columns, and the concrete compressive strength. Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model was developed to predict the compressive strength of SCC using a comprehensive database collected from different previous studies. The database was used to train and test the developed ANN. Moreover, parallel to the experimental works, a three dimensional nonlinear finite element (FE) model using ABAQUS software was developed to predict the behaviour of SCC elliptical tube columns. The proposed ABAQUS model was verified against the current experimental results. The experimental results indicated that the failure modes of the SCC filled elliptical steel tube columns having large slenderness ratios were dominated by global buckling. Moreover, the composite columns possessed higher critical axial compressive capacities compared with their hollow section companions due to the composite interaction. However, due to the large slenderness ratio of the test specimens, the change of compressive strength of concrete core did not show significant effect on the critical axial compressive capacity of concrete filled columns although the axial compressive capacity increased with the concrete grade increase. The comparisons between the axial compressive load capacities obtained from experimental study and those predicted using simple methods provided in Eurocode 4 for concrete-filled steel rectangular tube columns showed a reasonable agreement. The proposed three dimensional FE model accurately predicted the failure modes, the load capacity and the load-deflection response of the columns tested. The experimental results, analysis and comparisons presented in this thesis clearly support the application of self-compacting concrete filled elliptical steel tube columns in construction engineering practice.
    • Behaviour recognition and monitoring of the elderly using wearable wireless sensors. Dynamic behaviour modelling and nonlinear classification methods and implementation.

      Jiang, Ping; Winkley, Jonathan James (University of BradfordSchool of Computing, Informatics and Media, 2013-12-09)
      In partnership with iMonSys - an emerging company in the passive care field - a new system, 'Verity', is being developed to fulfil the role of a passive behaviour monitoring and alert detection device, providing an unobtrusive level of care and assessing an individual's changing behaviour and health status whilst still allowing for independence of its elderly user. In this research, a Hidden Markov Model incorporating Fuzzy Logic-based sensor fusion is created for the behaviour detection within Verity, with a method of Fuzzy-Rule induction designed for the system's adaptation to a user during operation. A dimension reduction and classification scheme utilising Curvilinear Distance Analysis is further developed to deal with the recognition task presented by increasingly nonlinear and high dimension sensor readings, and anomaly detection methods situated within the Hidden Markov Model provide possible solutions to identification of health concerns arising from independent living. Real-time implementation is proposed through development of an Instance Based Learning approach in combination with a Bloom Filter, speeding up the classification operation and reducing the storage requirements for the considerable amount of observation data obtained during operation. Finally, evaluation of all algorithms is completed using a simulation of the Verity system with which the behaviour monitoring task is to be achieved.
    • Behavioural Demand Response for Future Smart Homes: Investigation of Demand Response Strategies for Future Smart Homes that Account for Consumer Comfort, Behaviour and Cybersecurity

      Pillai, Prashant; Rajamani, Haile S.; Anuebunwa, Ugonna R.
      Smart metering and precise measurement of energy consumption levels have brought more detailed information and interest on the actual load profile of a house which continues to improve consumer-retailer relationships. Participation in demand response (DR) programs is one of these relationships but studies have shown that there are considerable impacts resulting to some level of discomfort on consumers as they aim to follow a suggested load profile. This research therefore investigates the impact on consumers while participating in DR programs by evaluating various perspectives that includes:  Modelling the causes discomfort during participation in DR programs;  Evaluation of user participation capabilities in DR programs;  Identification of schedulable and non-schedulable loads and opportunities;  Application of load scheduling mechanism which caters for specific user concerns.  Investigation towards ensuring a secure and robust system design. The key source of information that enhances this work is obtained from data on historical user behavior which can be stored within a smart controller installed in the home and optimised using genetic algorithm implemented on MATLAB. Results show that user participation in DR programs can be improved and effectively managed if the challenges facing home owners are adequately understood. This is the key contribution of this work whereby load schedules created are specifically tailored to meet the need of the users hence minimizing the impact of discomfort experienced due to participation in DR programs. Finally as part of the test for robustness of the system design in order to prevent or minimize the impact of any event of a successful cyber-attack on the load or price profiles, this work includes means to managing any such attacks thereby mitigating the impact of such attacks on users who participate in demand response programs. Solutions to these attacks are also proffered with the aim of increasing robustness of the grid by being sufficiently proactive.
    • Being 50: A psycho-social study of a cohort of women in contemporary society from a life course perspective

      Horrocks, Christine; Walker, Tammi; Lavis, Victoria J.; Anderson, Fiona E. (University of Bradford, 2011-06-16)
      The economic, demographic and social changes of the latter half of the C20th have influenced the experience of individuals now at 'midlife'. Arguably the impact of these changes has been more profound for women; specifically in the UK for those educated to be the wives, mothers and carers of industrial Britain (Newsom, 1963). Now around 50 years old this group of women are likely to experience a lengthy period of 'postmaternity' (Sheriff and Weatherall, 2009) extending to over thirty years in many cases. This research considers the experience of this metaphorically entitled 'telescopic' cohort (Goldstein and Schlag, 1999). The major corpus of age related research assumes a linear developmental progression of life stages (Erikson, 1951, 1968; Gould, 1978; Levinson, 1978; Levinson, 1996; Klohnen et al., 1996; Miner-Rubinio, 2004). Drawing on life course theory (Elder, 1995; Runyan, 1982; Super, 1980) enables this research to explore how women may have changed assumptions about themselves and their expectations as the social world has changed around them, moreover offers an alternative to the essentialist, linear, deterministic models of ageing. This feminist poststructuralist examination of the experience of women at 'midlife' is divided into two parts; firstly the 'lived life' which examines demographic changes, and drawing on material from 'Jackie' magazine, considers discourses of femininity and the expectations for, and of, girls. The 'told story' is then explored using narrative interview material. How women 'story' their lives and their understanding of 'self' at midlife is examined within the context of the changing world and their ageing bodies. The research revealed that the experience of 'midlife' for this cohort of women is narrated as a time of change in social circumstances with some 'gains' and some 'losses', however it is not storied as a time of inevitable 'crisis'. Moreover despite the plethora of literature portraying the menopause as problematic, this was not supported by the interview material.
    • Beyond consumption experiences.

      Larsen, Gretchen; Whitelock, Jeryl M.; Fastoso, Fernando; Harding, Nancy H.; Cornelius, Nelarine; Woodward, Michael N. (University of BradfordSchool of Management, 2014-10-17)
      The term ‘consumption experience’ has become ubiquitous in marketing and consumer research circles. In this thesis I question the appropriateness of this canonical term. In its stead I employ the non-dualistic term ‘experiaction’, coined by an ecological psychologist, which points to the functional inseparability of experiencing and actions. I adopt a field-theoretical, phenomenologically-informed, perspective, whilst participating in, analysing, and writing about ten video-recorded research conversations. Likewise I address the various spin-off texts deriving from the initial conversations, such as transcripts and viewing-logs. I show that ‘field’-embedded individuals notice and act on many aspects of their immediate micro-environments, including their own intra-personal goings-on and expressive outputs. Through data analysis I identify five categories of regulable variables that an individual can act on as s/he seeks to regulate his/her sensing, relative to his/her reference value(s). Seen through this cybernetic lens, momentary human being comprises of a cyclical, ongoing process of self-regulation, in which individuals expediently employ and/or modify accessible resources and goings-on, in the service of seeking to actualise their currently-preferred, or expected, states-of-being, and to minimise unwelcome deviations therefrom. This thesis challenges the prevalent notion that when people consume particular products/services these offerings sponsor offering-dedicated experiences - what some people describe as ‘consumption experiences’. The concept of experiaction, in contrast, comprises of an ongoing interaction between a person and his/her micro-environment, in which the individual attends to, and acts on, whichever aspect(s) of his/her 360°-‘inner’-‘outer’-‘field’ become(s) momentarily salient to him/her, within the parameters imposed by his/her currently-sustained reference value(s).
    • Beyond dichotomies. The quest for justice and reconciliation and the politics of national identity building in post-genocide Rwanda.

      Pankhurst, Donna T.; Sasaki, Kazuyuki (University of BradfordDepartment of Peace Studies, 2011-05-26)
      Justice and reconciliation are both highly complex concepts that are often described as incompatible alternatives in the aftermath of violent conflicts, despite the fact that both are fundamental to peacebuilding in societies divided by the legacies of political violence, oppression and exclusion. This thesis examines the relationship between justice and reconciliation, pursued as essential ingredients of peacebuilding. After advancing an inclusive working conceptual framework in which seemingly competing conceptions regarding justice and reconciliation are reconceived to work compatibly for building peace, the thesis presents the results of an in-depth case study of Rwanda¿s post-genocide justice and reconciliation endeavour. The thesis focuses on Rwanda¿s justice and reconciliation efforts and their relationship to the ongoing challenge of reformulating Rwandans¿ social identities. A field research conducted for this study revealed that issues of victimhood, justice and reconciliation were highly contested among individuals and groups with varied experiences of the country¿s violent history. Resolving these conflicting narratives so that each Rwandan¿s narrative/identity is dissociated from the negation of the other¿s victimhood emerged as a paramount challenge in Rwanda¿s quest for justice and reconciliation. Rwanda¿s approach to justice and reconciliation can be seen as an innovative both/and approach that seeks to overcome dichotomous thinking by addressing various justice and reconciliation concerns in compatible ways. However, by limiting its efforts to the issues that arose from crimes committed under the former regimes, the justice and reconciliation endeavour of the Rwandan government fails to reconcile people¿s conflicting narratives of victimhood, which will be essential to transform the existing racialised and politicised ethnic identities of Rwandan people.
    • Beyond the Sipahs, Jaishs and Lashkars. Sectarian Violence in Pakistan as Reproduction of Exclusivist Sectarian Discourse.

      Gregory, Shaun R.; Riikonen, Katja (University of BradfordDepartment of Peace Studies, 2015-07-01)
      This research project examines sectarianism and sectarian violence in Pakistan between 1996-2005. It represents a departure from the security-focused research on sectarianism and provides contemporary analysis of sectarian violence by contextualising it. This thesis distinguishes sectarianism as an analytical concept from sectarianism as a phenomenon in Pakistan. The existing literature on sectarianism and sectarianism in the Pakistani context is critically examined, and this research is located within that body of knowledge. In this thesis, sectarian violence is understood as being conducted to reproduce and reinforce exclusivist sectarian discourse. This premise is analysed through the framework of identity formation and identity politics, and spatial understandings of identities. The study examines the locations of sectarian violence in Pakistan, and analyses the spaces where sectarian identity discourse is enforced and maintained through violence. Consequently, the concept of sacred space and sacred time are analysed as locations of sectarian violence. The contestations of public space by competing identity discourses, and the spatial manifestations of those competing identities are analysed. This dissertation also attempts to draw out whether sectarian violence is only located within and through the organised sectarian groups, or whether the sectarian violence indicates wider fault lines in the Pakistani society.