A prime motivation for using XML to directly represent pieces of information is the ability of supporting ad-hoc or 'schema-later' settings. In such scenarios, modeling data under loose data constraints is essential. Of course, the flexibility of XML comes at a price: the absence of a rigid, regular, and homogeneous structure makes many aspects of data management more challenging. Such malleable data formats can also lead to severe information quality problems, because the risk of storing inconsistent and incorrect data is greatly increased. A prominent example of such problems is the appearance of the so-called fuzzy duplicates, i.e., multiple and non-identical representations of a real-world entity. Similarity joins correlating XML document fragments that are similar can be used as core operators to support the identification of fuzzy duplicates. However, similarity assessment is especially difficult on XML datasets because structure, besides textual information, may exhibit variations in document fragments representing the same real-world entity. Moreover, similarity computation is substantially more expensive for tree-structured objects and, thus, is a serious performance concern. This thesis describes the design and implementation of an effective, flexible, and high-performance XML-based similarity join framework. As main contributions, we present novel structure-conscious similarity functions for XML trees - either considering XML structure in isolation or combined with textual information -, mechanisms to support the selection of relevant information from XML trees and organization of this information into a suitable format for similarity calculation, and efficient algorithms for large-scale identification of similar, set-represented objects. Finally, we validate the applicability of our techniques by integrating our framework into a native XML database management system; in this context we address several issues around the integration of similarity operations into traditional database architectures.
Embedded systems have become ubiquitous in everyday life, and especially in the automotive industry. New applications challenge their design by introducing a new class of problems that are based on a detailed analysis of the environmental situation. Situation analysis systems rely on models and algorithms of the domain of computational geometry. The basic model is usually an Euclidean plane, which contains polygons to represent the objects of the environment. Usual implementations of computational geometry algorithms cannot be directly used for safety-critical systems. First, a strict analysis of their correctness is indispensable and second, nonfunctional requirements with respect to the limited resources must be considered. This thesis proposes a layered approach to a polygon-processing system. On top of rational numbers, a geometry kernel is formalised at first. Subsequently, geometric primitives form a second layer of abstraction that is used for plane sweep and polygon algorithms. These layers do not only divide the whole system into manageable parts but make it possible to model problems and reason about them at the appropriate level of abstraction. This structure is used for the verification as well as the implementation of the developed polygon-processing library.
Nowadays, accounting, charging and billing users' network resource consumption are commonly used for the purpose of facilitating reasonable network usage, controlling congestion, allocating cost, gaining revenue, etc. In traditional IP traffic accounting systems, IP addresses are used to identify the corresponding consumers of the network resources. However, there are some situations in which IP addresses cannot be used to identify users uniquely, for example, in multi-user systems. In these cases, network resource consumption can only be ascribed to the owners of these hosts instead of corresponding real users who have consumed the network resources. Therefore, accurate accountability in these systems is practically impossible. This is a flaw of the traditional IP address based IP traffic accounting technique. This dissertation proposes a user based IP traffic accounting model which can facilitate collecting network resource usage information on the basis of users. With user based IP traffic accounting, IP traffic can be distinguished not only by IP addresses but also by users. In this dissertation, three different schemes, which can achieve the user based IP traffic accounting mechanism, are discussed in detail. The inband scheme utilizes the IP header to convey the user information of the corresponding IP packet. The Accounting Agent residing in the measured host intercepts IP packets passing through it. Then it identifies the users of these IP packets and inserts user information into the IP packets. With this mechanism, a meter located in a key position of the network can intercept the IP packets tagged with user information, extract not only statistic information, but also IP addresses and user information from the IP packets to generate accounting records with user information. The out-of-band scheme is a contrast scheme to the in-band scheme. It also uses an Accounting Agent to intercept IP packets and identify the users of IP traffic. However, the user information is transferred through a separated channel, which is different from the corresponding IP packets' transmission. The Multi-IP scheme provides a different solution for identifying users of IP traffic. It assigns each user in a measured host a unique IP address. Through that, an IP address can be used to identify a user uniquely without ambiguity. This way, traditional IP address based accounting techniques can be applied to achieve the goal of user based IP traffic accounting. In this dissertation, a user based IP traffic accounting prototype system developed according to the out-of-band scheme is also introduced. The application of user based IP traffic accounting model in the distributed computing environment is also discussed.
Computer-based simulation and visualization of acoustics of a virtual scene can aid during the design process of concert halls, lecture rooms, theaters, or living rooms. Because, not only the visual aspect of the room is important, but also its acoustics. In factory floors noise reduction is important since noise is hazardous to health. Despite the obvious dissimilarity between our aural and visual senses, many techniques required for the visualization of photo-realistic images and for the auralization of acoustic environments are quite similar. Both applications can be served by geometric methods such as particle- and ray tracing if we neglect a number of less important effects. By means of the simulation of room acoustics we want to predict the acoustic properties of a virtual model. For auralization, a pulse response filter needs to be assembled for each pair of source and listener positions. The convolution of this filter with an anechoic source signal provides the signal received at the listener position. Hence, the pulse response filter must contain all reverberations (echos) of a unit pulse, including their frequency decompositions due to absorption at different surface materials. For the room acoustic simulation a method named phonon tracing, since it is based on particles, is developed. The approach computes the energy or pressure decomposition for each particle (phonon) sent out from a sound source and uses this in a second pass (phonon collection) to construct the response filters for different listeners. This step can be performed in different precision levels. During the tracing step particle paths and additional information are stored in a so called phonon map. Using this map several sound visualization approaches were developed. From the visualization, the effect of different materials on the spectral energy / pressure distribution can be observed. The first few reflections already show whether certain frequency bands are rapidly absorbed. The absorbing materials can be identified and replaced in the virtual model, improving the overall acoustic quality of the simulated room. Furthermore an insight into the pressure / energy received at the listener position is possible. The phonon tracing algorithm as well as several sound visualization approaches are integrated into a common system utilizing Virtual Reality technologies in order to facilitate the immersion into the virtual scene. The system is a prototype developed within a project at the University of Kaiserslautern and is still a subject of further improvements. It consists of a stereoscopic back-projection system for visual rendering as well as professional audio equipment for auralization purposes.
Three dimensional (3d) point data is used in industry for measurement and reverse engineering. Precise point data is usually acquired with triangulating laser scanners or high precision structured light scanners. Lower precision point data is acquired by real-time structured light devices or by stereo matching with multiple cameras. The basic principle of all these methods is the so-called triangulation of 3d coordinates from two dimensional (2d) camera images.
This dissertation contributes a method for multi-camera stereo matching that uses a system of four synchronized cameras. A GPU based stereo matching method is presented to achieve a high quality reconstruction at interactive frame rates. Good depth resolution is achieved by allowing large disparities between the images. A multi level approach on the GPU allows a fast processing of these large disparities. In reverse engineering, hand-held laser scanners are used for the scanning of complex shaped objects. The operator of the scanner can scan complex regions slower, multiple times, or from multiple angles to achieve a higher point density. Traditionally, computer aided design (CAD) geometry is reconstructed in a separate step after the scanning. Errors or missing parts in the scan prevent a successful reconstruction. The contribution of this dissertation is an on-line algorithm that allows the reconstruction during the scanning of an object. Scanned points are added to the reconstruction and improve it on-line. The operator can detect the areas in the scan where the reconstruction needs additional data.
First, the point data is thinned out using an octree based data structure. Local normals and principal curvatures are estimated for the reduced set of points. These local geometric values are used for segmentation using a region growing approach. Implicit quadrics are fitted to these segments. The canonical form of the quadrics provides the parameters of basic geometric primitives.
An improved approach uses so called accumulated means of local geometric properties to perform segmentation and primitive reconstruction in a single step. Local geometric values can be added and removed on-line to these means to get a stable estimate over a complete segment. By estimating the shape of the segment it is decided which local areas are added to a segment. An accumulated score estimates the probability for a segment to belong to a certain type of geometric primitive. A boundary around the segment is reconstructed using a growing algorithm that ensures that the boundary is closed and avoids self intersections.
The primary emphasis of this thesis concerns the extraction and representation of intrinsic properties of three-dimensional (3D) unorganized point clouds. The points establishing a point cloud as it mainly emerges from LiDaR (Light Detection and Ranging) scan devices or by reconstruction from two-dimensional (2D) image series represent discrete samples of real world objects. Depending on the type of scenery the data is generated from the resulting point cloud may exhibit a variety of different structures. Especially, in the case of environmental LiDaR scans the complexity of the corresponding point clouds is relatively high. Hence, finding new techniques allowing the efficient extraction and representation of the underlying structural entities becomes an important research issue of recent interest. This thesis introduces new methods regarding the extraction and visualization of structural features like surfaces and curves (e.g. ridge-lines, creases) from 3D (environmental) point clouds. One main part concerns the extraction of curve-like features from environmental point data sets. It provides a new method supporting a stable feature extraction by incorporating a probability-based point classification scheme that characterizes individual points regarding their affiliation to surface-, curve- and volume-like structures. Another part is concerned with the surface reconstruction from (environmental) point clouds exhibiting objects that are more or less complex. A new method providing multi-resolutional surface representations from regular point clouds is discussed. Following the applied principles of this approach a volumetric surface reconstruction method based on the proposed classification scheme is introduced. It allows the reconstruction of surfaces from highly unstructured and noisy point data sets. Furthermore, contributions in the field of reconstructing 3D point clouds from 2D image series are provided. In addition, a discussion concerning the most important properties of (environmental) point clouds with respect to feature extraction is presented.
Automated theorem proving is a search problem and, by its undecidability, a very difficult one. The challenge in the development of a practically successful prover is the mapping of the extensively developed theory into a program that runs efficiently on a computer. Starting from a level-based system model for automated theorem provers, in this work we present different techniques that are important for the development of powerful equational theorem provers. The contributions can be divided into three areas: Architecture. We present a novel prover architecture that is based on a set-based compression scheme. With moderate additional computational costs we achieve a substantial reduction of the memory requirements. Further wins are architectural clarity, the easy provision of proof objects, and a new way to parallelize a prover which shows respectable speed-ups in practice. The compact representation paves the way to new applications of automated equational provers in the area of verification systems. Algorithms. To improve the speed of a prover we need efficient solutions for the most time-consuming sub-tasks. We demonstrate improvements of several orders of magnitude for two of the most widely used term orderings, LPO and KBO. Other important contributions are a novel generic unsatisfiability test for ordering constraints and, based on that, a sufficient ground reducibility criterion with an excellent cost-benefit ratio. Redundancy avoidance. The notion of redundancy is of central importance to justify simplifying inferences which are used to prune the search space. In our experience with unfailing completion, the usual notion of redundancy is not strong enough. In the presence of associativity and commutativity, the provers often get stuck enumerating equations that are permutations of each other. By extending and refining the proof ordering, many more equations can be shown redundant. Furthermore, our refinement of the unfailing completion approach allows us to use redundant equations for simplification without the need to consider them for generating inferences. We describe the efficient implementation of several redundancy criteria and experimentally investigate their influence on the proof search. The combination of these techniques results in a considerable improvement of the practical performance of a prover, which we demonstrate with extensive experiments for the automated theorem prover Waldmeister. The progress achieved allows the prover to solve problems that were previously out of reach. This considerably enhances the potential of the prover and opens up the way for new applications.
Ultraschall ist eines der am häufigsten genutzen, bildgebenden Verfahren in der Kardiologie. Dies ist durch die günstige Erzeugung, die Nicht-Invasivität und die Unschädlichkeit für die Patienten begründet. Nachteilig an den existierenden Geräten ist der Umstand, daß lediglich zwei-dimensionale Bilder generiert werden können. Zusätzlich können diese Bilder aufgrund anatomischer Gegebenheiten nicht aus einer wahlfreien Position akquiriert werden. Dies erschwert die Analyse der Daten und folglich die Diagnose. Mit dieser Arbeit wurden neue, algorithmische Aspekte des vier-dimensionalen, kardiologischen Ultraschalls ausgehend von der Akquisition der Rohdaten, deren Synchronisation und Rekonstruktion bis hin zur Visualisierung bearbeitet. In einem zusätzlichen Kapitel wurde eine neue Technik zur weiteren Aufwertung der Visualisierung, sowie zur visuellen Bearbeitung der Ultraschalldaten entwickelt. Durch die hier entwickelten Verfahren ist es möglich bestimmte Einschränkungen des kardiologischen Ultraschalls aufzuheben oder zumindest zu mildern. Hierunter zählen vor allem die Einschränkung auf zwei-dimensionale Schnittbilder, sowie die eingeschränkte Sichtwahl.
Die vorliegende Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit der visuellen Kontrolle raumplanerischer Entwürfe. Grundlage der Überlegungen ist das gegenwärtige Verfahren, der Planungsprozess, das zur Erstellung der Entwürfe führt. Der Entscheidungsweg hin zum endgültigen Ergebnis erfolgt zurzeit noch ohne Rechnerunterstützung. Die in den Planungsprozess Involvierten stützen ihre Entscheidungen bspw. auf Pläne, eigene Erfahrungen und Statistiken und fertigen im Verlauf von Diskussionsrunden verschiedene Entwürfe an. Dieser Ablauf ist komplex, aufgrund der eingehenden Daten und der damit zusammenhängenden Diskussionen, und langwierig da erst nach einigen Iterationsschritten ein Ergebnis vorliegt. Die Arbeit verfolgt das Ziel, die Akteure durch eine Rechnerunterstützung schneller und zielgerichtet zu einer Entscheidungsfindung zu führen. Meine Untersuchung des Anwendungsumfeldes hat ergeben, dass dies nur möglich ist, wenn zum Einen das entstehende System in der Lage ist, die großen, heterogenen Datenmengen zu verarbeiten und andererseits die Visualisierung der Ergebnisse in einer Form erfolgt, die den Akteuren vom bisherigen Planungsprozess her bekannt ist. Die Visualisierung darf dabei keine bewertende Aussage treffen, sondern muss die Informationen der Analyse neutral in einem dem Nutzer bekannten Format abbilden. Als Ansatzpunkt stellt sich der informelle Bereich der Entscheidungsfindung dar. Es werden zwei Lösungswege aus dem Bereich der Clusteringalgorithmen verfolgt, die die großen Datenmengen verarbeiten und analysieren. Als Ergebnis erhalten die Akteure durch das Voronoi-Diagramm direkt einen Entwurf, der die Einschätzungen aller Akteure widerspiegelt und durch ein Übereinanderlegen mit der Karte des Plangebietes dem klassischen Format im Rahmen des Planungsprozesses entspricht. Dadurch wird die Akzeptanz der Rechnerunterstützung bei den Beteiligten des Planungsprozesses gesteigert. Sollte dieser Entwurf noch keine direkte Zustimmung finden, kann über die entwickelte Informationsvisualisierung eine Anzeige und in der Folge eine Anpassung der Eingangsgrößen erfolgen und somit sehr schnell ein neuer Entwurf entwickelt werden. Die Visualisierung übernimmt dabei die Funktion der bisher in Papierform erstellten Pläne im Entscheidungsprozess und bietet damit auch fachfremden Beteiligten eine visuelle Kontrollmöglichkeit der Qualität des Entwurfes. Insgesamt werden mit dem Tool IKone die Akteure in Anlehnung an die standardmäßigen Abläufe und visuellen Darstellungen mittels eines rechnergestützten Systems unterstützt.
This thesis discusses several applications of computational topology to the visualization
of scalar fields. Scalar field data come from different measurements and simulations. The
intrinsic properties of this kind of data, which make the visualization of it to a complicated
task, are the large size and presence of noise. Computational topology is a powerful tool
for automatic feature extraction, which allows the user to interpret the information contained
in the dataset in a more efficient way. Utilizing it one can make the main purpose of
scientific visualization, namely extracting knowledge from data, a more convenient task.
Volume rendering is a class of methods designed for realistic visual representation of 3D
scalar fields. It is used in a wide range of applications with different data size, noise
rate and requirements on interactivity and flexibility. At the moment there is no known
technique which can meet the needs of every application domain, therefore development
of methods solving specific problems is required. One of such algorithms, designed for
rendering of noisy data with high frequencies is presented in the first part of this thesis.
The method works with multidimensional transfer functions and is especially suited for
functions exhibiting sharp features. Compared with known methods the presented algorithm
achieves better visual quality with a faster performance in presence of mentioned
features. An improvement on the method utilizing a topological theory, Morse theory, and
a topological construct, Morse-Smale complex, is also presented in this part of the thesis.
The improvement allows for performance speedup at a little precomputation and memory
The usage of topological methods for feature extraction on a real world dataset often
results in a very large feature space which easily leads to information overflow. Topology
simplification is designed to reduce the number of features and allow a domain expert
to concentrate on the most important ones. In the terms of Morse theory features are
represented by critical points. An importance measure which is usually used for removing
critical points is called homological persistence. Critical points are cancelled pairwise
according to their homological persistence value. In the presence of outlier-like noise
homological persistence has a clear drawback: the outliers get a high importance value
assigned and therefore are not being removed. In the second part of this thesis a new
importance measure is presented which is especially suited for data with outliers. This
importance measure is called scale space persistence. The algorithm for the computation
of this measure is based on the scale space theory known from the area of computer
vision. The development of a critical point in scale space gives information about its
spacial extent, therefore outliers can be distinguished from other critical points. The usage
of the presented importance measure is demonstrated on a real world application, crater
identification on a surface of Mars.
The third part of this work presents a system for general interactive topology analysis
and exploration. The development of such a system is motivated by the fact that topological
methods are often considered to be complicated and hard to understand, because
application of topology for visualization requires deep understanding of the mathematical
background behind it. A domain expert exploring the data using topology for feature
extraction needs an intuitive way to manipulate the exploration process. The presented
system is based on an intuitive notion of a scene graph, where the user can choose and
place the component blocks to achieve an individual result. This way the domain expert
can extract more knowledge from given data independent on the application domain. The
tool gives the possibility for calculation and simplification of the underlying topological
structure, Morse-Smale complex, and also the visualization of parts of it. The system also
includes a simple generic query language to acquire different structures of the topological
structure at different levels of hierarchy.
The fourth part of this dissertation is concentrated on an application of computational
geometry for quality assessment of a triangulated surface. Quality assessment of a triangulation
is called surface interrogation and is aimed for revealing intrinsic irregularities
of a surface. Curvature and continuity are the properties required to design a visually
pleasing geometric object. For example, a surface of a manufactured body usually should
be convex without bumps of wiggles. Conventional rendering methods hide the regions
of interest because of smoothing or interpolation. Two new methods which are presented
here: curvature estimation using local fitting with B´ezier patches and computation of reflection
lines for visual representation of continuity, are specially designed for assessment
problems. The examples and comparisons presented in this part of the thesis prove the
benefits of the introduced algorithms. The methods are also well suited for concurrent visualization
of the results from simulation and surface interrogation to reveal the possible
intrinsic relationship between them.