Defense Notices


All students and faculty are welcome to attend the final defense of EECS graduate students completing their M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. Defense notices for M.S./Ph.D. presentations for this year and several previous years are listed below in reverse chronological order.

Students who are nearing the completion of their M.S./Ph.D. research should schedule their final defenses through the EECS graduate office at least THREE WEEKS PRIOR to their presentation date so that there is time to complete the degree requirements check, and post the presentation announcement online.

Upcoming Defense Notices

Lumumba Harnett

Mismatched Processing for Radar Interference Cancellation

When & Where:


Nichols Hall, Room 129

Committee Members:

Shannon Blunt, Chair
Chrisopther Allen
Erik Perrins
James Stiles
Richard Hale

Abstract

Matched processing is fundamental filtering operation within radar signal processing to estimate scattering in the radar scene based on the transmit signal. Although matched processing maximizes the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), the filtering operation is ineffective when interference is captured in the receive measurement. Adaptive interference mitigation combined with matched processing has proven to mitigate interference and estimate the radar scene. But, a known caveat of matched processing is the resulting sidelobes that may mask other scatterers. The sidelobes can be efficiently addressed by windowing but this approach also comes with limited suppression capabilities, loss in resolution, and loss in SNR. The recent emergence of mismatch processing has shown to optimally reduce sidelobes while maintaining nominal resolution and signal estimation performance. Throughout this work, re-iterative minimum-mean square error (RMMSE) adaptive and least-squares (LS) optimal mismatch processing are proposed for enhanced signal estimation in unison with adaptive interference mitigation for various radar applications including random pulse repetition interval (PRI) staggering pulse-Doppler radar, airborne ground moving target indication, and radar & communication spectrum sharing. Mismatch processing and adaptive interference cancellation each can be computationally complex for practical implementation. Sub-optimal RMMSE and LS approaches are also introduced to address computational limitations. The efficacy of these algorithms are presented using various high-fidelity Monte Carlo simulations and open-air experimental datasets. 


Naveed Mahmud

Towards Complete Emulation of Quantum Algorithms using High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing

When & Where:


Eaton Hall, Room 2001B

Committee Members:

Esam El-Araby, Chair
Perry Alexander
Prasad Kulkarni
Heechul Yun
Tyrone Duncan

Abstract

Quantum computing is a promising technology that can potentially demonstrate supremacy over classical computing in solving specific problems. At present, two critical challenges for quantum computing are quantum state decoherence, and low scalability of current quantum devices. Decoherence places constraints on realistic applicability of quantum algorithms as real-life applications usually require complex equivalent quantum circuits to be realized. For example, encoding classical data on quantum computers for solving I/O and data-intensive applications generally requires quantum circuits that violate decoherence constraints. In addition, current quantum devices are of small-scale having low quantum bit(qubit) counts, and often producing inaccurate or noisy measurements, which also impacts the realistic applicability of real-world quantum algorithms. Consequently, benchmarking of existing quantum algorithms and investigation of new applications are heavily dependent on classical simulations that use costly, resource-intensive computing platforms. Hardware-based emulation has been alternatively proposed as a more cost-effective and power-efficient approach. This work proposes a hardware-based emulation methodology for quantum algorithms, using cost-effective Field-Programmable Gate-Array(FPGA) technology. The proposed methodology consists of three components that are required for complete emulation of quantum algorithms; the first component models classical-to-quantum(C2Q) data encoding, the second emulates the behavior of quantum algorithms, and the third models the process of measuring the quantum state and extracting classical information, i.e., quantum-to-classical(Q2C) data decoding. The proposed emulation methodology is used to investigate and optimize methods for C2Q/Q2C data encoding/decoding, as well as several important quantum algorithms such as Quantum Fourier Transform(QFT), Quantum Haar Transform(QHT), and Quantum Grover’s Search(QGS). This work delivers contributions in terms of reducing complexities of quantum circuits, extending and optimizing quantum algorithms, and developing new quantum applications. For higher emulation performance and scalability of the framework, hardware design techniques and hardware architectural optimizations are investigated and proposed. The emulation architectures are designed and implemented on a high-performance-reconfigurable-computer(HPRC), and proposed quantum circuits are implemented on a state-of-the-art quantum processor. Experimental results show that the proposed hardware architectures enable emulation of quantum algorithms with higher scalability, higher accuracy, and higher throughput, compared to existing hardware-based emulators. As a case study, quantum image processing using multi-spectral images is considered for the experimental evaluations. 


Past Defense Notices

Dates

Michael Bechtel

Shared Resource Denial-of-Service Attacks on Multicore Platforms

When & Where:


Eaton Hall, Room 2001B

Committee Members:

Heechul Yun, Chair
Mohammad Alian
Drew Davidson
Prasad Kulkarni
Shawn Keshmiri

Abstract

With the increased adoption of machine learning algorithms across many different fields, powerful computing platforms have become necessary to meet their computational needs. Multicore platforms are a popular choice due to their ability to provide greater computing capabilities and still meet the different size, weight, and power (SWaP) constraints. As a result, multicore systems are also being employed at an increasing rate. However, contention for hardware resources between the multiple cores is a significant challenge as it can lead to interference and unpredictable timing behaviors. Furthermore, this contention can be intentionally induced by malicious actors with the specific goals of inhibiting system performance and increasing the execution time of safety-critical tasks. This is done by performing Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks that target shared resources in order to prevent other cores from accessing them. When done properly, these DoS attacks can have significant impacts to performance and can threaten system safety. For example, we find that DoS attacks can cause >300X slowdown on the popular Raspberry Pi 3 embedded platform. Due to the inherent risks, it is vital that we discover and understand the mechanisms through which shared resource contention can occur and develop solutions that mitigate or prevent the potential impacts.

In this work, we investigate and evaluate shared resource contention on multicore platforms and the impacts it can have on the performance of real-time tasks. Leveraging this contention, we propose various Denial-of-Service attacks that each target different shared resources in the memory hierarchy with the goal of causing as much slowdown as possible. We show that each attack can inflict significant temporal slowdowns to victim tasks on target platforms by exploiting different hardware and software mechanisms. We then develop and analyze techniques for providing shared resource isolation and temporal performance guarantees for safety-critical tasks running on multicore platforms. In particular, we find that bandwidth throttling mechanisms are effective solutions against many DoS attacks and can protect the performance of real-time victim tasks.


Anushka Bhattacharya

Predicting In-Season Soil Mineral Nitrogen in Corn Production Using Deep Learning Model

When & Where:


Nichols Hall, Room 246

Committee Members:

Taejoon Kim, Chair
Morteza Hashemi
Dorivar Ruiz Diaz


Abstract

One of the biggest challenges in nutrient management in corn (Zea mays) production is determining the amount of plant-available nitrogen (N) that will be supplied to the crop by the soil. Measuring a soil’s N-supplying power is quite difficult and approximations are often used in-lieu of intensive soil testing. This can lead to under/over-fertilization of crops, and in turn increased risk of crop N-deficiencies or environmental degradation. In this paper, we propose a deep learning algorithm to predict the inorganic-N content of the soil on a given day of the growing season. Since the historic data for inorganic nitrogen (IN) is scarce, deep learning has not yet been implemented in predicting fertilizer content. To overcome this hurdle, Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) is used to produce synthetic IN data and is trained using offline simulation data from the Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT). Additionally, the time-series prediction problem is solved using long-short term memory (LSTM) neural networks. This model proves to be economical as it gives an estimate without the need for comprehensive soil testing, overcomes the issue of limited available data, and the accuracy makes it reliable for use.


Krushi Patel

Image Classification & Segmentation based on Enhanced CNN and Transformer Networks

When & Where:


Nichols Hall, Room 250 - Gemini Room

Committee Members:

Fengjun Li, Chair
Prasad Kulkarni
Bo Luo
Cuncong Zhong
Guanghui Wang

Abstract

Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have significantly improved the performance on various computer vision tasks such as image recognition and segmentation based on their rich representation power. To enhance the performance of CNN, a self-attention module is embedded after each layer in the network. Recently proposed Transformer-based models achieve outstanding performance by employing a multi-head self-attention module as the main building block. However, several challenges still need to be addressed, such as (1) focusing only on class-specified limited channels in CNN; (2) limited respective field in the local transformer; and (3) addition of redundant features and lack of multi-scale features in U-Net type segmentation architecture.

In our work, we propose new strategies to address these issues. First, we propose a novel channel-based self-attention module to diversify the focus more on the discriminative and significant channels, and the module can be embedded at the end of any backbone network for image classification. Second, to limit the noise added by the shallow layers of an encoder in U-Net type architecture, we replaced the skip connections with the Adaptive Global Context Module (AGCM). In addition, we introduced the Semantic Feature Enhancement Module (SFEM) for multi-scale feature enhancement in polyp segmentation. Third, we propose a Multi-scaled Overlapped Attention (MOA) mechanism in the local transformer-based network for image classification to establish the long-range dependencies and initiate the neighborhood window communication.


Justinas Lialys

Parametrically resonant surface plasmon polaritons

When & Where:


2001B Eaton Hall

Committee Members:

Alessandro Salandrino, Chair
Kenneth Demarest
Shima Fardad
Rongqing Hui
Xinmai Yang

Abstract

The surface electromagnetic waves that propagate along a metal-dielectric or a metal-air interface are called surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs). These SPPs are advantageous in a broad range of applications, including in optical waveguides to increase the transmission rates of carrier waves, in near field optics to enhance the resolution beyond the diffraction limit, and in Raman spectroscopy to amplify the Raman signal. However, they have an inherent limitation:  as the tangential wavevector component of propagation is larger than what is permitted for the homogenous plane wave in the dielectric medium, this poses a phase-matching issue. In other words, the available spatial vector in the dielectric at a given frequency is smaller than what is required by SPP to be excited. The most commonly known technique to bypass this problem is by using the Otto and Kretschmann configurations. A glass prism is used to increase the available spatial vector in dielectric/air. Other methods are the evanescent field directional coupling, optical grating, localized scatterers, and coupling via highly focused beams. However, even with all these methods at our disposal, it is still challenging to couple SPPs that have a large propagation constant. 

As SPPs apply to a wide range of purposes, it is vitally important to overcome the SPP excitation dilemma. Presented here is a novel way to efficiently inject power into SPPs via temporal modulation of the dielectric adhered to the metal. In this configuration, the dielectric constant is modulated in time using an incident pump field. As a result of the induced changes in the dielectric constant, we show that efficient phase-matched coupling can be achieved even by a perpendicularly incident uniform plane wave. This novel method of exciting SPPs paves the way for further understanding and implementation of SPPs in a plethora of applications. For example, optical waveguides can be investigated under such excitation. Hence, this technique opens new possibilities in conventional plasmonics, as well as in the emerging field of nonlinear plasmonics. 


Andrei Elliott

Promise Land: Proving Correctness with Strongly Typed Javascript-Style Promises

When & Where:


Nichols Hall, Room 250, Gemini Room

Committee Members:

Matt Moore, Chair
Perry Alexander
Drew Davidson


Abstract

Code that can run asynchronously is important in a wide variety of situations, from user interfaces to communication over networks, to the use of concurrency for performance gains. One widely used method of specifying asynchronous control flow is the Promise model as used in Javascript. Promises are powerful, but can be confusing and hard-to-debug. This problem is exacerbated by Javascript’s permissive type system, where erroneous code is likely to fail silently, with values being implicitly coerced into unexpected types at runtime.

The present work implements Javascript-style Promises in Haskell, translating the model to a strongly typed framework where we can use the type system to rule out some classes of bugs.

Common errors – such as failure to call one of the callbacks of an executor, which would, in Javascript, leave the Promise in an eternally-pending deadlock state – can be detected for free by the type system at compile time and corrected without even needing to run the code.

We also demonstrate that Promises form a monad, providing a monad instance that allows code using Promises to be written using Haskell’s do notation.


Hoang Trong Mai

Design and Development of Multi-band and Ultra-wideband Antennas and Circuits for Ice and Snow Radar Measurements

When & Where:


Nichols Hall, Room 317

Committee Members:

Carl Leuschen, Chair
Fernando Rodriguez-Morales, Co-Chair
Christopher Allen


Abstract

Remote sensing based on radar technology has been successfully used for several decades as an effective tool of scientific discovery. A particular application of radar remote sensing instruments is the systematic monitoring of ice and snow masses in both hemispheres of the Earth. The operating requirements of these instruments are driven by factors such as science requirements and platform constraints, often necessitating the development of custom electronic components to enable the desired radar functionality.

This work focuses on component development and trade studies for two multichannel radar systems. First, this thesis presents the design and implementation of two dual-polarized ultra-wideband antennas for a ground-based dual-band ice penetrating radar. The first antenna operates at UHF (600–900 MHz) while the second antenna operates at VHF (140–215 MHz). Each antenna element is composed of two orthogonal octagon-shaped dipoles, two inter-locked printed circuit baluns and an impedance matching network for each polarization. Prototype of each band shows a VSWR of less than 2:1 at both polarizations over a fractional bandwidth exceeding 40%. The antennas developed offer cross-polarization isolation larger than 30 dB, an E-plane 3-dB beamwidth of 69 degrees, and a gain of at least 4 dBi with a variation of ± 1 dB across the bandwidth. This design with high power handling in mind also allows for straightforward adjustment of the antenna dimensions to meet other bandwidth constrains. It is being used as the basis for an airborne system.

Next, this work documents design details and measured performance of an improved and integrated x16 frequency multiplier system for an airborne snow-probing radar. This sub-system produces a 40 – 56 GHz linear frequency sweep from a 2.5 – 3.5 GHz chirp and mixes it down to the 2 – 18 GHz range.  The resulting chirp is used for transmission and analog de-chirping of the receive signal. The initial prototype developed through this work provided a higher level of integration and wider fractional bandwidth (>135%) compared to earlier versions implemented with the same frequency plan and a path to guide future realizations.

Lastly, this work documents a series of trade studies on antenna array configurations for both radar systems using electromagnetic simulation tools and measurements.


Xi Mo

Convolutional Neural Network in Pattern Recognition

When & Where:


Zoom Meeting, please contact jgrisafe@ku.edu for link.

Committee Members:

Cuncong Zhong, Chair
Taejoon Kim
Fengjun Li
Bo Luo
Hauzhen Fang

Abstract

Since convolutional neural network (CNN) was first implemented by Yann LeCun et al. in 1989, CNN and its variants have been widely implemented to numerous topics of pattern recognition, and have been considered as the most crucial techniques in the field of artificial intelligence and computer vision. This dissertation not only demonstrates the implementation aspect of CNN, but also lays emphasis on the methodology of neural network (NN) based classifier.

As known to many, one general pipeline of NN-based classifier can be recognized as three stages: pre-processing, inference by models, and post-processing. To demonstrate the importance of pre-processing techniques, this dissertation presents how to model actual problems in medical pattern recognition and image processing by introducing conceptual abstraction and fuzzification. In particular, a transformer on the basis of self-attention mechanism, namely beat-rhythm transformer, greatly benefits from correct R-peak detection results and conceptual fuzzification.

Recently proposed self-attention mechanism has been proven to be the top performer in the fields of computer vision and natural language processing. In spite of the pleasant accuracy and precision it has gained, it usually consumes huge computational resources to perform self-attention. Therefore, realtime global attention network is proposed to make a better trade-off between efficiency and performance for the task of image segmentation. To illustrate more on the stage of inference, we also propose models to detect polyps via Faster R-CNN - one of the most popular CNN-based 2D detectors, as well as a 3D object detection pipeline for regressing 3D bounding boxes from LiDAR points and stereo image pairs powered by CNN.

The goal for post-processing stage is to refine artifacts inferred by models. For the semantic segmentation task, the dilated continuous random field is proposed to be better fitted to CNN-based models than the widely implemented fully-connected continuous random field. Proposed approaches can be further integrated into a reinforcement learning architecture for robotics.


Sirisha Thippabhotla

An Integrated Approach for de novo Gene Prediction, Assembly and Biosynthetic Gene Cluster Discovery of Metagenomic Sequencing Data

When & Where:


Eaton Hall, Room 1

Committee Members:

Cuncong Zhong, Chair
Prasad Kulkarni
Fengjun Li
Zijun Yao
Liang Xu

Abstract

Metagenomics is the study of genomic content present in given microbial communities. Metagenomic functional analysis aims to quantify protein families and reconstruct metabolic pathways from the metagenome. It plays a central role in understanding the interaction between the microbial community and its host or environment. De novo functional analysis, which allows the discovery of novel protein families, remains challenging for high-complexity communities. There are currently three main approaches for recovering novel genes or proteins: de novo nucleotide assembly, gene calling, and peptide assembly. Unfortunately, their informational dependencies have been overlooked, and have been formulated as independent problems. 

In this work, we propose a novel de novo analysis pipeline that leverages these informational dependencies, to improve functional analysis of metagenomics data. Specifically, the pipeline will contain four novel modules: an assembly graph module, a graph-based gene calling module, a peptide assembly module, and a biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) discovery module. The assembly graph module will be computational and memory efficient. It will be based on a combination of de Bruijn and string graphs. The assembly graphs contain important sequencing information, which can be further exploited to improve functional annotation. De novo gene-calling enables us to predict novel genes and protein sequences, that have not been previously characterized. We hypothesize that de novo gene calling can benefit from assembly graph structures, as they contain important start/stop codon information that provide stronger ORF signals. The assembly graph framework will be designed for both nucleotide and protein sequences. The resulting protein sequences from gene calling can be further assembled into longer protein contigs using our assembly framework. For the novel BGC module, the gene members of a BGC will be marked in the assembly graph. Finding a BGC can be achieved by identifying a path connecting its gene members in the assembly graph. Experimental results have shown that our proposed pipeline improved existing gene calling sensitivity on unassembled reads, achieving a 10-15% improvement in sensitivity over the state-of-the-art methods, at a high specificity (>90%). Our pipeline further allowed for more sensitive and accurate peptide assembly, recovering more reference proteins, delivering more hypothetical protein sequences.


Naveed Mahmud

Towards Complete Emulation of Quantum Algorithms using High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing

When & Where:


Zoom Meeting, please contact jgrisafe@ku.edu for link.

Committee Members:

Esam El-Araby, Chair
Perry Alexander
Prasad Kulkarni
Heechul Yun
Tyrone Duncan

Abstract

Quantum computing is a promising technology that can potentially demonstrate supremacy over classical computing in solving specific problems. At present, two critical challenges for quantum computing are quantum state decoherence, and low scalability of current quantum devices. Decoherence places constraints on realistic applicability of quantum algorithms as real-life applications usually require complex equivalent quantum circuits to be realized. For example, encoding classical data on quantum computers for solving I/O and data-intensive applications generally requires quantum circuits that violate decoherence constraints. In addition, current quantum devices are of small-scale having low quantum bit(qubit) counts, and often producing inaccurate or noisy measurements, which also impacts the realistic applicability of real-world quantum algorithms. Consequently, benchmarking of existing quantum algorithms and investigation of new applications are heavily dependent on classical simulations that use costly, resource-intensive computing platforms. Hardware-based emulation has been alternatively proposed as a more cost-effective and power-efficient approach. This work proposes a hardware-based emulation methodology for quantum algorithms, using cost-effective Field-Programmable Gate-Array(FPGA) technology. The proposed methodology consists of three components that are required for complete emulation of quantum algorithms; the first component models classical-to-quantum(C2Q) data encoding, the second emulates the behavior of quantum algorithms, and the third models the process of measuring the quantum state and extracting classical information, i.e., quantum-to-classical(Q2C) data decoding. The proposed emulation methodology is used to investigate and optimize methods for C2Q/Q2C data encoding/decoding, as well as several important quantum algorithms such as Quantum Fourier Transform(QFT), Quantum Haar Transform(QHT), and Quantum Grover’s Search(QGS). This work delivers contributions in terms of reducing complexities of quantum circuits, extending and optimizing quantum algorithms, and developing new quantum applications. For higher emulation performance and scalability of the framework, hardware design techniques and hardware architectural optimizations are investigated and proposed. The emulation architectures are designed and implemented on a high-performance-reconfigurable-computer(HPRC), and proposed quantum circuits are implemented on a state-of-the-art quantum processor. Experimental results show that the proposed hardware architectures enable emulation of quantum algorithms with higher scalability, higher accuracy, and higher throughput, compared to existing hardware-based emulators. As a case study, quantum image processing using multi-spectral images is considered for the experimental evaluations. 


Cecelia Horan

Open-Source Intelligence Investigations: Development and Application of Efficient Tools

When & Where:


2001B Eaton Hall

Committee Members:

Hossein Saiedian, Chair
Drew Davidson
Fengjun Li


Abstract

Open-source intelligence is a branch within cybercrime investigation that focuses on information collection and aggregation. Through this aggregation, investigators and analysts can analyze the data for connections relevant to the investigation. There are many tools that assist with information collection and aggregation. However, these often require enterprise licensing. A solution to enterprise licensed tools is using open-source tools to collect information, often by scraping websites. These tools provide useful information, but they provide a large number of disjointed reports. The framework we developed automates information collection, aggregates these reports, and generates one single graphical report. By using a graphical report, the time required for analysis is also reduced. This framework can be used for different investigations. We performed a case study regarding the performance of the framework with missing person case information. It showed a significant improvement in the time required for information collection and report analysis.