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With the burgeoning computing power available, multiscale modelling and simulation has these days become increasingly capable of capturing the details of physical processes on different scales. The mechanical behavior of solids is oftentimes the result of interaction between multiple spatial and temporal scales at different levels and hence it is a typical phenomena of interest exhibiting multiscale characteristic. At the most basic level, properties of solids can be attributed to atomic interactions and crystal structure that can be described on nano scale. Mechanical properties at the macro scale are modeled using continuum mechanics for which we mention stresses and strains. Continuum models, however they offer an efficient way of studying material properties they are not accurate enough and lack microstructural information behind the microscopic mechanics that cause the material to behave in a way it does. Atomistic models are concerned with phenomenon at the level of lattice thereby allowing investigation of detailed crystalline and defect structures, and yet the length scales of interest are inevitably far beyond the reach of full atomistic computation and is rohibitively expensive. This makes it necessary the need for multiscale models. The bottom line and a possible avenue to this end is, coupling different length scales, the continuum and the atomistics in accordance with standard procedures. This is done by recourse to the Cauchy-Born rule and in so doing, we aim at a model that is efficient and reasonably accurate in mimicking physical behaviors observed in nature or laboratory. In this work, we focus on concurrent coupling based on energetic formulations that links the continuum to atomistics. At the atomic scale, we describe deformation of the solid by the displaced positions of atoms that make up the solid and at the continuum level deformation of the solid is described by the displacement field that minimize the total energy. In the coupled model, continuum-atomistic, a continuum formulation is retained as the overall framework of the problem and the atomistic feature is introduced by way of constitutive description, with the Cauchy-Born rule establishing the point of contact. The entire formulation is made in the framework of nonlinear elasticity and all the simulations are carried out within the confines of quasistatic settings. The model gives direct account to measurable features of microstructures developed by crystals through sequential lamination.

This Dissertation tried to provide insights into the influences of individual and contextual factors on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) teachers’ learning and professional development in Ethiopia. Specifically, this research focused on identifying and determining the influences of teachers’ self perception as learners and professionals, and investigates the impact of the context, process and content of their learning and experiences on their professional development. The knowledge of these factors and their impacts help in improving the learning and professional development of the TVET teachers and their professionalization. This research tried to provide answers for the following five research questions. (1) How do TVET teachers perceive themselves as active learners and as professionals? And what are the implications of their perceptions on their learning and development? (2) How do TVET teachers engage themselves in learning and professional development activities? (3) What contextual factors facilitated or hindered the TVET Teachers’ learning and professional development? (4) Which competencies are found critical for the TVET teachers’ learning and professional development? (5) What actions need to be considered to enhance and sustain TVET teachers learning and professional development in their context? It is believed that the research results are significant not only to the TVET teachers, but also to schools leaders, TVET Teacher Training Institutions, education experts and policy makers, researchers and others stakeholders in the TVET sector. The theoretical perspectives adopted in this research are based on the systemic constructivist approach to professional development. An integrated approach to professional development requires that the teachers’ learning and development activities to be taken as an adult education based on the principles of constructivism. Professional development is considered as context - specific and long-term process in which teachers are trusted, respected and empowered as professionals. Teachers’ development activities are sought as more of collaborative activities portraying the social nature of learning. Schools that facilitate the learning and development of teachers exhibit characteristics of a learning organisation culture where, professional collaboration, collegiality and shared leadership are practiced. This research has drawn also relevant point of views from studies and reports on vocational education and TVET teacher education programs and practices at international, continental and national levels. The research objectives and the types of research questions in this study implied the use of a qualitative inductive research approach as a research strategy. Primary data were collected from TVET teachers in four schools using a one-on-one qualitative in-depth interview method. These data were analyzed using a Qualitative Content Analysis method based on the inductive category development procedure. ATLAS.ti software was used for supporting the coding and categorization process. The research findings showed that most of the TVET teachers neither perceive themselves as professionals nor as active learners. These perceptions are found to be one of the major barriers to their learning and development. Professional collaborations in the schools are minimal and teaching is sought as an isolated individual activity; a secluded task for the teacher. Self-directed learning initiatives and individual learning projects are not strongly evident. The predominantly teacher-centered approach used in TVET teacher education and professional development programs put emphasis mainly to the development of technical competences and has limited the development of a range of competences essential to teachers’ professional development. Moreover, factors such as the TVET school culture, the society’s perception of the teaching profession, economic conditions, and weak links with industries and business sectors are among the major contextual factors that hindered the TVET teachers’ learning and professional development. A number of recommendations are forwarded to improve the professional development of the TVET teachers. These include change in the TVET schools culture, a paradigm shift in TVET teacher education approach and practice, and development of educational policies that support the professionalization of TVET teachers. Areas for further theoretical research and empirical enquiry are also suggested to support the learning and professional development of the TVET teachers in Ethiopia.

The focus of this work has been to develop two families of wavelet solvers for the inner displacement boundary-value problem of elastostatics. Our methods are particularly suitable for the deformation analysis corresponding to geoscientifically relevant (regular) boundaries like sphere, ellipsoid or the actual Earth's surface. The first method, a spatial approach to wavelets on a regular (boundary) surface, is established for the classical (inner) displacement problem. Starting from the limit and jump relations of elastostatics we formulate scaling functions and wavelets within the framework of the Cauchy-Navier equation. Based on numerical integration rules a tree algorithm is constructed for fast wavelet computation. This method can be viewed as a first attempt to "short-wavelength modelling", i.e. high resolution of the fine structure of displacement fields. The second technique aims at a suitable wavelet approximation associated to Green's integral representation for the displacement boundary-value problem of elastostatics. The starting points are tensor product kernels defined on Cauchy-Navier vector fields. We come to scaling functions and a spectral approach to wavelets for the boundary-value problems of elastostatics associated to spherical boundaries. Again a tree algorithm which uses a numerical integration rule on bandlimited functions is established to reduce the computational effort. For numerical realization for both methods, multiscale deformation analysis is investigated for the geoscientifically relevant case of a spherical boundary using test examples. Finally, the applicability of our wavelet concepts is shown by considering the deformation analysis of a particular region of the Earth, viz. Nevada, using surface displacements provided by satellite observations. This represents the first step towards practical applications.

In this work the investigation of a (Ti, Al, Si) N system was done. The main point of investigation was to study the possibility of getting the nanocomposite coatings structures by deposition of multilayer films from TiN, AlSiN, . This tries to understand the relation between the mechanical properties (hardness, Young s modulus), and the microstructure (nanocrystalline with individual phases). Particularly special attention was given to the temperature effects on microstructural changes in annealing at 600 °C for the coatings. The surface hardness, elastic modulus, and the multilayers diffusion and compositions were the test tools for the comparison between the different coated samples with and without annealing at 600 °C. To achieve this object a rectangular aluminum vacuum chamber with three unbalanced sputtering magnetrons for the deposition of thin film coatings from different materials was constructed The chamber consists mainly of two chambers, the pre-vacuum chamber to load the workpiece, and the main vacuum chamber where the sputtering deposition of the thin film coatings take place. The workpiece is moving on a car travel on a railway between the two chambers to the position of the magnetrons by step motors. The chambers are divided by a self constructed rectangular gate controlled manually from outside the chamber. The chamber was sealed for vacuum use using glue and screws. Therefore, different types of glue were tested not only for its ability to develop an uniform thin layer in the gap between the aluminum plates to seal the chamber for vacuum use, but also low outgassing rates which made it suitable for vacuum use. A epoxy was able to fulfill this tasks. The evacuation characteristics of the constructed chamber was improved by minimizing the inner surface outgassing rate. Therefore, the throughput outgassing rate test method was used in the comparisons between the selected two aluminum materials (A2017 and A5353) samples short time period (one hour) outgassing rates. Different machining methods and treatments for the inner surface of the vacuum chamber were tested. The machining of the surface of material A (A2017) with ethanol as coolant fluid was able to reduce its outgassing rate a factor of 6 compared with a non-machined sample surface of the same material. The reduction of the surface porous oxide layer on the top of the aluminum surface by the pickling process with HNO3 acid, and the protection of it by producing another passive non-porous oxides layer using anodizing process will protect the surface for longer time and will minimize the outgassing rates even under humid atmosphere The residual gas analyzer (RGA) 6. Summary test shows that more than 85% of the gases inside the test chamber were water vapour (H2O) and the rests are (N2, H2, CO), so liquid nitrogen water vapor trap can enhance the chamber pumping down process. As a result it was possible to construct a chamber that can be pumped down using a turbo molecular pump (450 L/s) to the range of 1x10-6 mbar within one hour of evacuations where the chamber volume is 160 Litters and the inner surface area is 1.6 m2. This is a good base pressure for the process of sputtering deposition of hard thin film coatings. Multilayer thin film coating was deposited to demonstrate that nanostructured thin film within the (Ti, Al, Si) N system could be prepared by reactive magnetron sputtering of multi thin film layers of TiN, AlSiN. The (SNMS) spectrometry of the test samples show that a complete diffusion between the different deposited thin film coating layers in each sample takes place, even at low substrate deposition temperature. The high magnetic flux of the unbalanced magnetrons and the high sputtering power were able to produce a high ion-toatom flux, which give high mobility to the coated atoms. The interactions between the high mobility of the coated atoms and the ion-to-atom flux were sufficient to enhance the diffusion between the different deposited thin layers. It was shown from the XRD patterns for this system that the structure of the formed mixture consists of two phases. One phase is noted as TiN bulk and another detected unknown amorphous phase, which can be SiNx or AlN or a combination of Ti-Al-Si-N. As a result we where able to deposit a nanocomposite coatings by the deposition of multilayers from TiN, AlSiN thin film coatings using the constructed vacuum chamber

Typically software engineers implement their software according to the design of the software
structure. Relations between classes and interfaces such as method-call relations and inheritance
relations are essential parts of a software structure. Accordingly, analyzing several types of
relations will benefit the static analysis process of the software structure. The tasks of this
analysis include but not limited to: understanding of (legacy) software, checking guidelines,
improving product lines, finding structure, or re-engineering of existing software. Graphs with
multi-type edges are possible representation for these relations considering them as edges, while
nodes represent classes and interfaces of software. Then, this multiple type edges graph can
be mapped to visualizations. However, the visualizations should deal with the multiplicity of
relations types and scalability, and they should enable the software engineers to recognize visual
patterns at the same time.
To advance the usage of visualizations for analyzing the static structure of software systems,
I tracked difierent development phases of the interactive multi-matrix visualization (IMMV)
showing an extended user study at the end. Visual structures were determined and classified
systematically using IMMV compared to PNLV in the extended user study as four categories:
High degree, Within-package edges, Cross-package edges, No edges. In addition to these structures
that were found in these handy tools, other structures that look interesting for software
engineers such as cycles and hierarchical structures need additional visualizations to display
them and to investigate them. Therefore, an extended approach for graph layout was presented
that improves the quality of the decomposition and the drawing of directed graphs
according to their topology based on rigorous definitions. The extension involves describing
and analyzing the algorithms for decomposition and drawing in detail giving polynomial time
complexity and space complexity. Finally, I handled visualizing graphs with multi-type edges
using small-multiples, where each tile is dedicated to one edge-type utilizing the topological
graph layout to highlight non-trivial cycles, trees, and DAGs for showing and analyzing the
static structure of software. Finally, I applied this approach to four software systems to show
its usefulness.

In this thesis, we have dealt with two modeling approaches of the credit risk, namely the structural (firm value) and the reduced form. In the former one, the firm value is modeled by a stochastic process and the first hitting time of this stochastic process to a given boundary defines the default time of the firm. In the existing literature, the stochastic process, triggering the firm value, has been generally chosen as a diffusion process. Therefore, on one hand it is possible to obtain closed form solutions for the pricing problems of credit derivatives and on the other hand the optimal capital structure of a firm can be analysed by obtaining closed form solutions of firm's corporate securities such as; equity value, debt value and total firm value, see Leland(1994). We have extended this approach by modeling the firm value as a jump-diffusion process. The choice of the jump-diffusion process was a crucial step to obtain closed form solutions for corporate securities. As a result, we have chosen a jump-diffusion process with double exponentially distributed jump heights, which enabled us to analyse the effects of jump on the optimal capital structure of a firm. In the second part of the thesis, by following the reduced form models, we have assumed that the default is triggered by the first jump of a Cox process. Further, by following Schönbucher(2005), we have modeled the forward default intensity of a firm as a geometric Brownian motion and derived pricing formulas for credit default swap options in a more general setup than the ones in Schönbucher(2005).

In 2006 Jeffrey Achter proved that the distribution of divisor class groups of degree 0 of function fields with a fixed genus and the distribution of eigenspaces in symplectic similitude groups are closely related to each other. Gunter Malle proposed that there should be a similar correspondence between the distribution of class groups of number fields and the distribution of eigenspaces in ceratin matrix groups. Motivated by these results and suggestions we study the distribution of eigenspaces corresponding to the eigenvalue one in some special subgroups of the general linear group over factor rings of rings of integers of number fields and derive some conjectural statements about the distribution of \(p\)-parts of class groups of number fields over a base field \(K_{0}\). Where our main interest lies in the case that \(K_{0}\) contains the \(p\)th roots of unity, because in this situation the \(p\)-parts of class groups seem to behave in an other way like predicted by the popular conjectures of Henri Cohen and Jacques Martinet. In 2010 based on computational data Malle has succeeded in formulating a conjecture in the spirit of Cohen and Martinet for this case. Here using our investigations about the distribution in matrixgroups we generalize the conjecture of Malle to a more abstract level and establish a theoretical backup for these statements.

Acidic zeolites like H-Y, H-ZSM-5, H-MCM-22 and H-MOR zeolites were found to be the selective adsorbents for the removal of thiophene from toluene or n-heptane as solvent. The competitive adsorption of toluene is found to influence the adsorption capacity for thiophene and is more predominant when high-alumina zeolites are used as adsorbents. This behaviour is also reflected by the results of the adsorption of thiophene on H-ZSM-5 zeolites with varied nSi/nAl ratios (viz. 13, 19 and 36) from toluene and n-heptane as solvents, respectively. UV-Vis spectroscopic results show that the oligomerization of thiophene leads to the formation of dimers and trimers on these zeolites. The oligomerization in acid zeolites is regarded to be dependent on the geometry of the pore system of the zeolites. The sulphur-containing compounds with more than one ring viz. benzothiophene, which are also present in substantial amounts in certain hydrocarbon fractions, are not adsorbed on H-ZSM-5 zeolites. This is obvious, as the diameter of the pore aperture of zeolite H-ZSM-5 is smaller than the molecular size of benzothiophene. Metal ion-exchanged FAU-type zeolites are found to be promising adsorbents for the removal of sulphur-containing compounds from model solutions. The introduction of Cu+-, Ni2+-, Ce3+-, La3+- and Y3+- ions into zeolite Na+-Y by aqueous ion-exchange substantially improves the adsorption capacity for thiophene from toluene or n-heptane as solvent. More than the absolute content of Cu+-ions, the presence of Cu+-ions at the sites exposed to supercages is believed to influence the adsorption of thiophene on Cu+-Y zeolite. It was shown experimentally for the case of Cu+-Y and Ce3+-Y that the supercages present in the FAU zeolite allow for an access of bulkier sulphur-containing compounds (viz. benzothiophene, dibenzothiophene and dimethyl dibenzothiophene). The presence of these bulkier compounds compete with thiophene and are preferentially adsorbed on Cu+-Y zeolite. IR spectroscopic results revealed that the adsorption of thiophene on Na+-Y, Cu+-Y and Ni2+-Y is primarily a result of the interaction of thiophene via pi-complexation between C=C double bond (of thiophene) and metal ions (in the zeolite framework). A different mode of interaction of thiophene with Ce3+-, La3+- and Y3+-metal ions was observed in the IR spectra of thiophene adsorbed on Ce3+-Y, La3+-Y and Y3+-Y zeolites, respectively. On these adsorbents, thiophene is believed to interact via a lone electron pair of the sulphur atom with metal ions present in the adsorbent (M-S interaction). The experimental results show that there is a large difference in the thiophene adsorption capacities of pi-complexation adsorbents (like Cu+-Y, Ni2+-Y) between the model solution with toluene as solvent and the model solution with n-heptane as solvent. The lower capacity of these zeolites for the adsorption of thiophene from toluene than from n-heptane as solvent is the clear indication of competition of toluene in interating with adsorbent in a way similar to thiophene. The difference in thiophene adsorption capacities is very low in the case of adsorbents Ce3+-Y, La3+-Y and Y3+-Y, which are believed to interact with thiophene predominantly by direct M3+-S bond (thiophene interacting with metal ion via a lone pair of electrons). TG-DTA analysis was used to study the regeneration behaviour of the adsorbents. Acid zeolites can be regenerated by simply heating at 400 °C in a flow of nitrogen whereas thiophene is chemically adsorbed on the metal ion. By contrast, it is not possible to regenerate by heating under idle inert gas flow. The only way to regenerate these adsorbents is to burn off the adsorbate, which eventually brings about an undesired emission of SOx. The exothermic peaks appeared at different temperatures in the heat flow profiles of Cu+-Y, Ce3+-Y, La3+-Y and Y3+-Y are also indicating that two different types of interaction are present as revealed by IR spectroscopy, too. One major difficulty in reducing the sulphur content in fuels to value below 10 ppm is the inability in removing alkyl dibenzothiophenes, viz. 4,6 dimethyl dibenzothiophene, by the existing catalytic hydrodesulphurization technique. Cu+-Y and Ce3+-Y were found in the present study to adsorb this compound from toluene to a certain extent. To meet the stringent regulations on sulphur content, selective adsorption by zeolites could be a valuable post-purification method after the catalytic hydrodesulphurization unit.

Dealing with information in modern times involves users to cope with hundreds of thousands of documents, such as articles, emails, Web pages, or News feeds.
Above all information sources, the World Wide Web presents information seekers with great challenges.
It offers more text in natural language than one is capable to read.
The key idea for this research intends to provide users with adaptable filtering techniques, supporting them in filtering out the specific information items they need.
Its realization focuses on developing an Information Extraction system,
which adapts to a domain of concern, by interpreting the contained formalized knowledge.
Utilizing the Resource Description Framework (RDF), which is the Semantic Web's formal language for exchanging information,
allows extending information extractors to incorporate the given domain knowledge.
Because of this, formal information items from the RDF source can be recognized in the text.
The application of RDF allows a further investigation of operations on recognized information items, such as disambiguating and rating the relevance of these.
Switching between different RDF sources allows changing the application scope of the Information Extraction system from one domain of concern to another.
An RDF-based Information Extraction system can be triggered to extract specific kinds of information entities by providing it with formal RDF queries in terms of the SPARQL query language.
Representing extracted information in RDF extends the coverage of the Semantic Web's information degree and provides a formal view on a text from the perspective of the RDF source.
In detail, this work presents the extension of existing Information Extraction approaches by incorporating the graph-based nature of RDF.
Hereby, the pre-processing of RDF sources allows extracting statistical information models dedicated to support specific information extractors.
These information extractors refine standard extraction tasks, such as the Named Entity Recognition, by using the information provided by the pre-processed models.
The post-processing of extracted information items enables representing these results in RDF format or lists, which can now be ranked or filtered by relevance.
Post-processing also comprises the enrichment of originating natural language text sources with extracted information items by using annotations in RDFa format.
The results of this research extend the state-of-the-art of the Semantic Web.
This work contributes approaches for computing customizable and adaptable RDF views on the natural language content of Web pages.
Finally, due to the formal nature of RDF, machines can interpret these views allowing developers to process the contained information in a variety of applications.

Abstract
The main theme of this thesis is about Graph Coloring Applications and Defining Sets in Graph Theory.
As in the case of block designs, finding defining sets seems to be difficult problem, and there is not a general conclusion. Hence we confine us here to some special types of graphs like bipartite graphs, complete graphs, etc.
In this work, four new concepts of defining sets are introduced:
• Defining sets for perfect (maximum) matchings
• Defining sets for independent sets
• Defining sets for edge colorings
• Defining set for maximal (maximum) clique
Furthermore, some algorithms to find and construct the defining sets are introduced. A review on some known kinds of defining sets in graph theory is also incorporated, in chapter 2 the basic definitions and some relevant notations used in this work are introduced.
chapter 3 discusses the maximum and perfect matchings and a new concept for a defining set for perfect matching.
Different kinds of graph colorings and their applications are the subject of chapter 4.
Chapter 5 deals with defining sets in graph coloring. New results are discussed along with already existing research results, an algorithm is introduced, which enables to determine a defining set of a graph coloring.
In chapter 6, cliques are discussed. An algorithm for the determination of cliques using their defining sets. Several examples are included.

Hydrogels are known to be covalently or ionic cross-linked, hydrophilic three-dimensional
polymer networks, which exist in our bodies in a biological gel form such as the vitreous
humour that fills the interior of the eyes. Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (poly(NIPAAm))
hydrogels are attracting more interest in biomedical applications because, besides others, they
exhibit a well-defined lower critical solution temperature (LCST) in water, around 31–34°C,
which is close to the body temperature. This is considered to be of great interest in drug
delivery, cell encapsulation, and tissue engineering applications. In this work, the
poly(NIPAAm) hydrogel is synthesized by free radical polymerization. Hydrogel properties
and the dimensional changes accompanied with the volume phase transition of the
thermosensitive poly(NIPAAm) hydrogel were investigated in terms of Raman spectra,
swelling ratio, and hydration. The thermal swelling/deswelling changes that occur at different
equilibrium temperatures and different solutions (phenol, ethanol, propanol, and sodium
chloride) based on Raman spectrum were investigated. In addition, Raman spectroscopy has
been employed to evaluate the diffusion aspects of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and phenol
through the poly(NIPAAm) network. The determination of the mutual diffusion coefficient,
\(D_{mut}\) for hydrogels/solvent system was achieved successfully using Raman spectroscopy at
different solute concentrations. Moreover, the mechanical properties of the hydrogel, which
were investigated by uniaxial compression tests, were used to characterize the hydrogel and to
determine the collective diffusion coefficient through the hydrogel. The solute release coupled
with shrinking of the hydrogel particles was modelled with a bi-dimensional diffusion model
with moving boundary conditions. The influence of the variable diffusion coefficient is
observed and leads to a better description of the kinetic curve in the case of important
deformation around the LCST. A good accordance between experimental and calculated data
was obtained.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system plays an important role in digitization of data acquired as images from a variety of sources. Although the area is very well explored for Latin languages, some of the languages based on Arabic cursive script are not yet explored. It is due to many factors: Most importantly are the unavailability of proper data sets and complexities posed by cursive scripts. The Pashto language is one of such languages which needs considerable exploration towards OCR. In order to develop such an OCR system, this thesis provides a pioneering study that explores deep learning for the Pashto language in the field of OCR.
The Pashto language is spoken by more than $50$ million people across the world, and it is an active medium both for oral as well as written communication. It is associated with rich literary heritage and contains huge written collection. These written materials present contents of simple to complex nature, and layouts from hand-scribed to printed text. The Pashto language presents mainly two types of complexities (i) generic w.r.t. cursive script, (ii) specific w.r.t. Pashto language. Generic complexities are cursiveness, context dependency, and breaker character anomalies, as well as space anomalies. Pashto specific complexities are variations in shape for a single character and shape similarity for some of the additional Pashto characters. Existing research in the area of Arabic OCR did not lead to an end-to-end solution for the mentioned complexities and therefore could not be generalized to build a sophisticated OCR system for Pashto.
The contribution of this thesis spans in three levels, conceptual level, data level, and practical level. In the conceptual level, we have deeply explored the Pashto language and identified those characters, which are responsible for the challenges mentioned above. In the data level, a comprehensive dataset is introduced containing real images of hand-scribed contents. The dataset is manually transcribed and has the most frequent layout patterns associated with the Pashto language. The practical level contribution provides a bridge, in the form of a complete Pashto OCR system, and connects the outcomes of the conceptual and data levels contributions. The practical contribution comprises of skew detection, text-line segmentation, feature extraction, classification, and post-processing. The OCR module is more strengthened by using deep learning paradigm to recognize Pashto cursive script by the framework of Recursive Neural Networks (RNN). Proposed Pashto text recognition is based on Long Short-Term Memory Network (LSTM) and realizes a character recognition rate of $90.78\%$ on Pashto real hand-scribed images. All these contributions are integrated into an application to provide a flexible and generic End-to-End Pashto OCR system.
The impact of this thesis is not only specific to the Pashto language, but it is also beneficial to other cursive languages like Arabic, Urdu, and Persian e.t.c. The main reason is the Pashto character set, which is a superset of Arabic, Persian, and Urdu languages. Therefore, the conceptual contribution of this thesis provides insight and proposes solutions to almost all generic complexities associated with Arabic, Persian, and Urdu languages. For example, an anomaly caused by breaker characters is deeply analyzed, which is shared among 70 languages, mainly use Arabic script. This thesis presents a solution to this issue and is equally beneficial to almost all Arabic like languages.
The scope of this thesis has two important aspects. First, a social impact, i.e., how a society may benefit from it. The main advantages are to bring the historical and almost vanished document to life and to ensure the opportunities to explore, analyze, translate, share, and understand the contents of Pashto language globally. Second, the advancement and exploration of the technical aspects. Because, this thesis empirically explores the recognition and challenges which are solely related to the Pashto language, both regarding character-set and the materials which present such complexities. Furthermore, the conceptual and practical background of this thesis regarding complexities of Pashto language is very beneficial regarding OCR for other cursive languages.

This thesis presents a novel, generic framework for information segmentation in document images.
A document image contains different types of information, for instance, text (machine printed/handwritten), graphics, signatures, and stamps.
It is necessary to segment information in documents so that to process such segmented information only when required in automatic document processing workflows.
The main contribution of this thesis is the conceptualization and implementation of an information segmentation framework that is based on part-based features.
The generic nature of the presented framework makes it applicable to a variety of documents (technical drawings, magazines, administrative, scientific, and academic documents) digitized using different methods (scanners, RGB cameras, and hyper-spectral imaging (HSI) devices).
A highlight of the presented framework is that it does not require large training sets, rather a few training samples (for instance, four pages) lead to high performance, i.e., better than previously existing methods.
In addition, the presented framework is simple and can be adapted quickly to new problem domains.
This thesis is divided into three major parts on the basis of document digitization method (scanned, hyper-spectral imaging, and camera captured) used.
In the area of scanned document images, three specific contributions have been realized.
The first of them is in the domain of signature segmentation in administrative documents.
In some workflows, it is very important to check the document authenticity before processing the actual content.
This can be done based on the available seal of authenticity, e.g., signatures.
However, signature verification systems expect pre-segmented signature image, while signatures are usually a part of document.
To use signature verification systems on document images, it is necessary to first segment signatures in documents.
This thesis shows that the presented framework can be used to segment signatures in administrative documents.
The system based on the presented framework is tested on a publicly available dataset where it outperforms the state-of-the-art methods and successfully segmented all signatures, while less than half of the found signatures are false positives.
This shows that it can be applied for practical use.
The second contribution in the area of scanned document images is segmentation of stamps in administrative documents.
A stamp also serves as a seal for documents authenticity.
However, the location of stamp on the document can be more arbitrary than a signature depending on the person sealing the document.
This thesis shows that a system based on our generic framework is able to extract stamps of any arbitrary shape and color.
The evaluation of the presented system on a publicly available dataset shows that it is also able to segment black stamps (that were not addressed in the past) with a recall and precision of 83% and 73%, respectively.
%Furthermore, to segment colored stamps, this thesis presents a novel feature set which is based on intensity gradient, is able to extract unseen, colored, arbitrary shaped, textual as well as graphical stamps, and outperforms the state-of-the-art methods.
The third contribution in the scanned document images is in the domain of information segmentation in technical drawings (architectural floorplans, maps, circuit diagrams, etc.) containing usually a large amount of graphics and comparatively less textual components. Further, as in technical drawings, text is overlapping with graphics.
Thus, automatic analysis of technical drawings uses text/graphics segmentation as a pre-processing step.
This thesis presents a method based on our generic information segmentation framework that is able to detect the text, which is touching graphical components in architectural floorplans and maps.
Evaluation of the method on a publicly available dataset of architectural floorplans shows that it is able to extract almost all touching text components with precision and recall of 71% and 95%, respectively.
This means that almost all of the touching text components are successfully extracted.
In the area of hyper-spectral document images, two contributions have been realized.
Unlike normal three channels RGB images, hyper-spectral images usually have multiple channels that range from ultraviolet to infrared regions including the visible region.
First, this thesis presents a novel automatic method for signature segmentation from hyper-spectral document images (240 spectral bands between 400 - 900 nm).
The presented method is based on a part-based key point detection technique, which does not use any structural information, but relies only on the spectral response of the document regardless of ink color and intensity.
The presented method is capable of segmenting (overlapping and non-overlapping) signatures from varying backgrounds like, printed text, tables, stamps, logos, etc.
Importantly, the presented method can extract signature pixels and not just the bounding boxes.
This is substantial when signatures are overlapping with text and/or other objects in image. Second, this thesis presents a new dataset comprising of 300 documents scanned using a high-resolution hyper-spectral scanner. Evaluation of the presented signature segmentation method on this hyper-spectral dataset shows that it is able to extract signature pixels with the precision and recall of 100% and 79%, respectively.
Further contributions have been made in the area of camera captured document images. A major problem in the development of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems for camera captured document images is the lack of labeled camera captured document images datasets. In the first place, this thesis presents a novel, generic, method for automatic ground truth generation/labeling of document images. The presented method builds large-scale (i.e., millions of images) datasets of labeled camera captured / scanned documents without any human intervention. The method is generic and can be used for automatic ground truth generation of (scanned and/or camera captured) documents in any language, e.g., English, Russian, Arabic, Urdu. The evaluation of the presented method, on two different datasets in English and Russian, shows that 99.98% of the images are correctly labeled in every case.
Another important contribution in the area of camera captured document images is the compilation of a large dataset comprising 1 million word images (10 million character images), captured in a real camera-based acquisition environment, along with the word and character level ground truth. The dataset can be used for training as well as testing of character recognition systems for camera-captured documents. Various benchmark tests are performed to analyze the behavior of different open source OCR systems on camera captured document images. Evaluation results show that the existing OCRs, which already get very high accuracies on scanned documents, fail on camera captured document images.
Using the presented camera-captured dataset, a novel character recognition system is developed which is based on a variant of recurrent neural networks, i.e., Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) that outperforms all of the existing OCR engines on camera captured document images with an accuracy of more than 95%.
Finally, this thesis provides details on various tasks that have been performed in the area closely related to information segmentation. This includes automatic analysis and sketch based retrieval of architectural floor plan images, a novel scheme for online signature verification, and a part-based approach for signature verification. With these contributions, it has been shown that part-based methods can be successfully applied to document image analysis.

Towards A Non-tracking Web
(2016)

Today, many publishers (e.g., websites, mobile application developers) commonly use third-party analytics services and social widgets. Unfortunately, this scheme allows these third parties to track individual users across the web, creating privacy concerns and leading to reactions to prevent tracking via blocking, legislation and standards. While improving user privacy, these efforts do not consider the functionality third-party tracking enables publishers to use: to obtain aggregate statistics about their users and increase their exposure to other users via online social networks. Simply preventing third-party tracking without replacing the functionality it provides cannot be a viable solution; leaving publishers without essential services will hurt the sustainability of the entire ecosystem.
In this thesis, we present alternative approaches to bridge this gap between privacy for users and functionality for publishers and other entities. We first propose a general and interaction-based third-party cookie policy that prevents third-party tracking via cookies, yet enables social networking features for users when wanted, and does not interfere with non-tracking services for analytics and advertisements. We then present a system that enables publishers to obtain rich web analytics information (e.g., user demographics, other sites visited) without tracking the users across the web. While this system requires no new organizational players and is practical to deploy, it necessitates the publishers to pre-define answer values for the queries, which may not be feasible for many analytics scenarios (e.g., search phrases used, free-text photo labels). Our second system complements the first system by enabling publishers to discover previously unknown string values to be used as potential answers in a privacy-preserving fashion and with low computation overhead for clients as well as servers. These systems suggest that it is possible to provide non-tracking services with (at least) the same functionality as today’s tracking services.

This research work focuses on the generation of a high resolution digital surface model featuring complex urban surface characteristics in order to enrich the database for runoff simulations of urban drainage systems. The discussion of global climate change and its possible consequences have taken centre stage over the last decade. Global climate change has triggered more erratic weather patterns by causing severe and unpredictable rainfall events in many parts of the world. The incidence of more frequent rainfall has led to the problem of increased flooding in urban areas. The increased property values of urban structures and threats to people's personal safety have hastened the demand for a detailed urban drainage simulation model for accurate flood prediction. Although the use of 2D hydraulic modelling approach in rural floodplains is in practice for quite a long time, the use of the same approach in urban floodplains is still in its infancy. The reason is mainly due to the lack of a high resolution topographic model describing urban surface characteristics properly.
High resolution surface data describing hydrologic and hydraulic properties of complex urban areas are the prerequisite to more accurately describing and simulating the flood water movement and thereby taking adequate measures against urban flooding. Airborne LiDAR (Light detection and ranging) is an efficient way of generating a high resolution Digital Surface Model (DSM) of any study area. The processing of high-density and large volume of unstructured LiDAR data is a difficult and time-consuming task towards generating fine resolution spatial databases when considering only human intervention. The application of robust algorithms in terms of processing this massive volume of data can significantly reduce the data processing time and thereby increase the degree of automation as well as accuracy.
This research work presents a number of techniques pertaining to processing, filtering and classification of LiDAR point data in order to achieve higher degree of automation and accuracy towards generating a high resolution urban surface model. This research work also describes the use of ancillary datasets such as aerial images and topographic maps in combination with LiDAR data for feature detection and surface characterization. The integration of various data sources facilitates detailed modelling of street networks and accurate detection of various urban surface types (e.g. grasslands, bare soil and impervious surfaces).
While the accurate characterization of various surface types contributes to the better modelling of rainfall runoff processes, the application of LiDAR-derived fine resolution DSM serves as input to 2D hydraulic models and capable of simulating surface flooding scenarios in cases the sewer systems are surcharged.
Thus, this research work develops high resolution spatial databases aiming at improving the accuracy of hydrologic and hydraulic databases of urban drainage systems. Later, these databases are given as input to a standard flood simulation software in order to: 1) test the suitability of the databases for running the simulation; 2) assess the performance of the hydraulic capacity of urban drainage systems and 3) predict and visualize the surface flooding scenarios in order to take necessary flood protection measures.

The goal of this work is to develop statistical natural language models and processing techniques
based on Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN), especially the recently introduced Long Short-
Term Memory (LSTM). Due to their adapting and predicting abilities, these methods are more
robust, and easier to train than traditional methods, i.e., words list and rule-based models. They
improve the output of recognition systems and make them more accessible to users for browsing
and reading. These techniques are required, especially for historical books which might take
years of effort and huge costs to manually transcribe them.
The contributions of this thesis are several new methods which have high-performance computing and accuracy. First, an error model for improving recognition results is designed. As
a second contribution, a hyphenation model for difficult transcription for alignment purposes
is suggested. Third, a dehyphenation model is used to classify the hyphens in noisy transcription. The fourth contribution is using LSTM networks for normalizing historical orthography.
A size normalization alignment is implemented to equal the size of strings, before the training
phase. Using the LSTM networks as a language model to improve the recognition results is
the fifth contribution. Finally, the sixth contribution is a combination of Weighted Finite-State
Transducers (WFSTs), and LSTM applied on multiple recognition systems. These contributions
will be elaborated in more detail.
Context-dependent confusion rules is a new technique to build an error model for Optical
Character Recognition (OCR) corrections. The rules are extracted from the OCR confusions
which appear in the recognition outputs and are translated into edit operations, e.g., insertions,
deletions, and substitutions using the Levenshtein edit distance algorithm. The edit operations
are extracted in a form of rules with respect to the context of the incorrect string to build an
error model using WFSTs. The context-dependent rules assist the language model to find the
best candidate corrections. They avoid the calculations that occur in searching the language
model and they also make the language model able to correct incorrect words by using context-
dependent confusion rules. The context-dependent error model is applied on the university of
Washington (UWIII) dataset and the Nastaleeq script in Urdu dataset. It improves the OCR
results from an error rate of 1.14% to an error rate of 0.68%. It performs better than the
state-of-the-art single rule-based which returns an error rate of 1.0%.
This thesis describes a new, simple, fast, and accurate system for generating correspondences
between real scanned historical books and their transcriptions. The alignment has many challenges, first, the transcriptions might have different modifications, and layout variations than the
original book. Second, the recognition of the historical books have misrecognition, and segmentation errors, which make the alignment more difficult especially the line breaks, and pages will
not have the same correspondences. Adapted WFSTs are designed to represent the transcription. The WFSTs process Fraktur ligatures and adapt the transcription with a hyphenations
model that allows the alignment with respect to the varieties of the hyphenated words in the line
breaks of the OCR documents. In this work, several approaches are implemented to be used for
the alignment such as: text-segments, page-wise, and book-wise approaches. The approaches
are evaluated on German calligraphic (Fraktur) script historical documents dataset from “Wan-
derungen durch die Mark Brandenburg” volumes (1862-1889). The text-segmentation approach
returns an error rate of 2.33% without using a hyphenation model and an error rate of 2.0%
using a hyphenation model. Dehyphenation methods are presented to remove the hyphen from
the transcription. They provide the transcription in a readable and reflowable format to be used
for alignment purposes. We consider the task as classification problem and classify the hyphens
from the given patterns as hyphens for line breaks, combined words, or noise. The methods are
applied on clean and noisy transcription for different languages. The Decision Trees classifier
returns better performance on UWIII dataset and returns an accuracy of 98%. It returns 97%
on Fraktur script.
A new method for normalizing historical OCRed text using LSTM is implemented for different texts, ranging from Early New High German 14th - 16th centuries to modern forms in New
High German applied on the Luther bible. It performed better than the rule-based word-list
approaches. It provides a transcription for various purposes such as part-of-speech tagging and
n-grams. Also two new techniques are presented for aligning the OCR results and normalize the
size by using adding Character-Epsilons or Appending-Epsilons. They allow deletion and insertion in the appropriate position in the string. In normalizing historical wordforms to modern
wordforms, the accuracy of LSTM on seen data is around 94%, while the state-of-the-art combined rule-based method returns 93%. On unseen data, LSTM returns 88% and the combined
rule-based method returns 76%. In normalizing modern wordforms to historical wordforms, the
LSTM delivers the best performance and returns 93.4% on seen data and 89.17% on unknown
data.
In this thesis, a deep investigation has been done on constructing high-performance language
modeling for improving the recognition systems. A new method to construct a language model
using LSTM is designed to correct OCR results. The method is applied on UWIII and Urdu
script. The LSTM approach outperforms the state-of-the-art, especially for unseen tokens
during training. On the UWIII dataset, the LSTM returns reduction in OCR error rates from
1.14% to 0.48%. On the Nastaleeq script in Urdu dataset, the LSTM reduces the error rate
from 6.9% to 1.58%.
Finally, the integration of multiple recognition outputs can give higher performance than a
single recognition system. Therefore, a new method for combining the results of OCR systems is
explored using WFSTs and LSTM. It uses multiple OCR outputs and votes for the best output
to improve the OCR results. It performs better than the ISRI tool, Pairwise of Multiple Sequence and it helps to improve the OCR results. The purpose is to provide correct transcription
so that it can be used for digitizing books, linguistics purposes, N-grams, and part-of-speech
tagging. The method consists of two alignment steps. First, two recognition systems are aligned
using WFSTs. The transducers are designed to be more flexible and compatible with the different symbols in line and page breaks to avoid the segmentation and misrecognition errors.
The LSTM model then is used to vote the best candidate correction of the two systems and
improve the incorrect tokens which are produced during the first alignment. The approaches
are evaluated on OCRs output from the English UWIII and historical German Fraktur dataset
which are obtained from state-of-the-art OCR systems. The Experiments show that the error
rate of ISRI-Voting is 1.45%, the error rate of the Pairwise of Multiple Sequence is 1.32%, the
error rate of the Line-to-Page alignment is 1.26% and the error rate of the LSTM approach has
the best performance with 0.40%.
The purpose of this thesis is to contribute methods providing correct transcriptions corresponding to the original book. This is considered to be the first step towards an accurate and
more effective use of the documents in digital libraries.

Numerical Algorithms in Algebraic Geometry with Implementation in Computer Algebra System SINGULAR
(2011)

Polynomial systems arise in many applications: robotics, kinematics, chemical kinetics,
computer vision, truss design, geometric modeling, and many others. Many polynomial
systems have solutions sets, called algebraic varieties, having several irreducible
components. A fundamental problem of the numerical algebraic geometry is to decompose
such an algebraic variety into its irreducible components. The witness point sets are
the natural numerical data structure to encode irreducible algebraic varieties.
Sommese, Verschelde and Wampler represented the irreducible algebraic decomposition of
an affine algebraic variety \(X\) as a union of finite disjoint sets \(\cup_{i=0}^{d}W_i=\cup_{i=0}^{d}\left(\cup_{j=1}^{d_i}W_{ij}\right)\) called numerical irreducible decomposition. The \(W_i\) correspond to the pure i-dimensional components, and the \(W_{ij}\) represent the i-dimensional irreducible components. The numerical irreducible decomposition is implemented in BERTINI.
We modify this concept using partially Gröbner bases, triangular sets, local dimension, and
the so-called zero sum relation. We present in the second chapter the corresponding
algorithms and their implementations in SINGULAR. We give some examples and timings,
which show that the modified algorithms are more efficient if the number of variables is not
too large. For a large number of variables BERTINI is more efficient.
Leykin presented an algorithm to compute the embedded components of an algebraic variety
based on the concept of the deflation of an algebraic variety.
Depending on the modified algorithm mentioned above, we will present in the third chapter an
algorithm and its implementation in SINGULAR to compute the embedded components.
The irreducible decomposition of algebraic varieties allows us to formulate in the fourth
chapter some numerical algebraic algorithms.
In the last chapter we present two SINGULAR libraries. The first library is used to compute
the numerical irreducible decomposition and the embedded components of an algebraic variety.
The second library contains the procedures of the algorithms in the last Chapter to test
inclusion, equality of two algebraic varieties, to compute the degree of a pure i-dimensional
component, and the local dimension.

The Context and Its Importance: In safety and reliability analysis, the information generated by Minimal Cut Set (MCS) analysis is large.
The Top Level event (TLE) that is the root of the fault tree (FT) represents a hazardous state of the system being analyzed.
MCS analysis helps in analyzing the fault tree (FT) qualitatively-and quantitatively when accompanied with quantitative measures.
The information shows the bottlenecks in the fault tree design leading to identifying weaknesses of the system being examined.
Safety analysis (containing the MCS analysis) is especially important for critical systems, where harm can be done to the environment or human causing injuries, or even death during the system usage.
Minimal Cut Set (MCS) analysis is performed using computers and generating a lot of information.
This phase is called MCS analysis I in this thesis.
The information is then analyzed by the analysts to determine possible issues and to improve the design of the system regarding its safety as early as possible.
This phase is called MCS analysis II in this thesis.
The goal of my thesis was developing interactive visualizations to support MCS analysis II of one fault tree (FT).
The Methodology: As safety visualization-in this thesis, Minimal Cut Set analysis II visualization-is an emerging field and no complete checklist regarding Minimal Cut Set analysis II requirements and gaps were available from the perspective of visualization and interaction capabilities,
I have conducted multiple studies using different methods with different data sources (i.e., triangulation of methods and data) for determining these requirements and gaps before developing and evaluating visualizations and interactions supporting Minimal Cut Set analysis II.
Thus, the following approach was taken in my thesis:
1- First, a triangulation of mixed methods and data sources was conducted.
2- Then, four novel interactive visualizations and one novel interaction widget were developed.
3- Finally, these interactive visualizations were evaluated both objectively and subjectively (compared to multiple safety tools)
from the point of view of users and developers of the safety tools that perform MCS analysis I with respect to their degree in supporting MCS analysis II and from the point of non-domain people using empirical strategies.
The Spiral tool supports analysts with different visions, i.e., full vision, color deficiency protanopia, deuteranopia, and tritanopia. It supports 100 out of 103 (97%) requirements obtained from the triangulation and it fills 37 out of 39 (95%) gaps. Its usability was rated high (better than their best currently used tools) by the users of the safety and reliability tools (RiskSpectrum, ESSaRel, FaultTree+, and a self-developed tool) and at least similar to the best currently used tools from the point of view of the CAFTA tool developers. Its quality was higher regarding its degree of supporting MCS analysis II compared to the FaultTree+ tool. The time spent for discovering the critical MCSs from a problem size of 540 MCSs (with a worst case of all equal order) was less than a minute while achieving 99.5% accuracy. The scalability of the Spiral visualization was above 4000 MCSs for a comparison task. The Dynamic Slider reduces the interaction movements up to 85.71% of the previous sliders and solves the overlapping thumb issues by the sliders provides the 3D model view of the system being analyzed provides the ability to change the coloring of MCSs according to the color vision of the user provides selecting a BE (i.e., multi-selection of MCSs), thus, can observe the BEs' NoO and provides its quality provides two interaction speeds for panning and zooming in the MCS, BE, and model views provide a MCS, a BE, and a physical tab for supporting the analysis starting by the MCSs, the BEs, or the physical parts. It combines MCS analysis results and the model of an embedded system enabling the analysts to directly relate safety information with the corresponding parts of the system being analyzed and provides an interactive mapping between the textual information of the BEs and MCSs and the parts related to the BEs.
Verifications and Assessments: I have evaluated all visualizations and the interaction widget both objectively and subjectively, and finally evaluated the final Spiral visualization tool also both objectively and subjectively regarding its perceived quality and regarding its degree of supporting MCS analysis II.

This research explores the development of web based reference software for
characterisation of surface roughness for two-dimensional surface data. The reference software used for verification of surface characteristics makes the evaluation methods easier for clients. The algorithms used in this software
are based on International ISO standards. Most software used in industrial measuring
instruments may give variations in the parameters calculated due to numerical changes in
calculation. Such variations can be verified using the proposed reference software.
The evaluation of surface roughness is carried out in four major steps: data capture, data
align, data filtering and parameter calculation. This work walks through each of these steps
explaining how surface profiles are evaluated by pre-processing steps called fitting and
filtering. The analysis process is then followed by parameter evaluation according to DIN EN
ISO 4287 and DIN EN ISO 13565-2 standards to extract important information from the
profile to characterise surface roughness.

Tropical intersection theory
(2010)

This thesis consists of five chapters: Chapter 1 contains the basics of the theory and is essential for the rest of the thesis. Chapters 2-5 are to a large extent independent of each other and can be read separately. - Chapter 1: Foundations of tropical intersection theory In this first chapter we set up the foundations of a tropical intersection theory covering many concepts and tools of its counterpart in algebraic geometry such as affine tropical cycles, Cartier divisors, morphisms of tropical cycles, pull-backs of Cartier divisors, push-forwards of cycles and an intersection product of Cartier divisors and cycles. Afterwards, we generalize these concepts to abstract tropical cycles and introduce a concept of rational equivalence. Finally, we set up an intersection product of cycles and prove that every cycle is rationally equivalent to some affine cycle in the special case that our ambient cycle is R^n. We use this result to show that rational and numerical equivalence agree in this case and prove a tropical Bézout's theorem. - Chapter 2: Tropical cycles with real slopes and numerical equivalence In this chapter we generalize our definitions of tropical cycles to polyhedral complexes with non-rational slopes. We use this new definition to show that if our ambient cycle is a fan then every subcycle is numerically equivalent to some affine cycle. Finally, we restrict ourselves to cycles in R^n that are "generic" in some sense and study the concept of numerical equivalence in more detail. - Chapter 3: Tropical intersection products on smooth varieties We define an intersection product of tropical cycles on tropical linear spaces L^n_k and on other, related fans. Then, we use this result to obtain an intersection product of cycles on any "smooth" tropical variety. Finally, we use the intersection product to introduce a concept of pull-backs of cycles along morphisms of smooth tropical varieties and prove that this pull-back has all expected properties. - Chapter 4: Weil and Cartier divisors under tropical modifications First, we introduce "modifications" and "contractions" and study their basic properties. After that, we prove that under some further assumptions a one-to-one correspondence of Weil and Cartier divisors is preserved by modifications. In particular we can prove that on any smooth tropical variety we have a one-to-one correspondence of Weil and Cartier divisors. - Chapter 5: Chern classes of tropical vector bundles We give definitions of tropical vector bundles and rational sections of tropical vector bundles. We use these rational sections to define the Chern classes of such a tropical vector bundle. Moreover, we prove that these Chern classes have all expected properties. Finally, we classify all tropical vector bundles on an elliptic curve up to isomorphisms.

Information Visualization (InfoVis) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) have strong ties with each other. Visualization supports the human cognitive system by providing interactive and meaningful images of the underlying data. On the other side, the HCI domain cares about the usability of the designed visualization from the human perspectives. Thus, designing a visualization system requires considering many factors in order to achieve the desired functionality and the system usability. Achieving these goals will help these people in understanding the inside behavior of complex data sets in less time.
Graphs are widely used data structures to represent the relations between the data elements in complex applications. Due to the diversity of this data type, graphs have been applied in numerous information visualization applications (e.g., state transition diagrams, social networks, etc.). Therefore, many graph layout algorithms have been proposed in the literature to help in visualizing this rich data type. Some of these algorithms are used to visualize large graphs, while others handle the medium sized graphs. Regardless of the graph size, the resulting layout should be understandable from the users’ perspective and at the same time it should fulfill a list of aesthetic criteria to increase the representation readability. Respecting these two principles leads to produce a resulting graph visualization that helps the users in understanding and exploring the complex behavior of critical systems.
In this thesis, we utilize the graph visualization techniques in modeling the structural and behavioral aspects of embedded systems. Furthermore, we focus on evaluating the resulting representations from the users’ perspectives.
The core contribution of this thesis is a framework, called ESSAVis (Embedded Systems Safety Aspect Visualizer). This framework visualizes not only some of the safety aspects (e.g. CFT models) of embedded systems, but also helps the engineers and experts in analyzing the system safety critical situations. For this, the framework provides a 2Dplus3D environment in which the 2D represents the graph representation of the abstract data about the safety aspects of the underlying embedded system while the 3D represents the underlying system 3D model. Both views are integrated smoothly together in the 3D world fashion. In order to check the effectiveness and feasibility of the framework and its sub-components, we conducted many studies with real end users as well as with general users. Results of the main study that targeted the overall ESSAVis framework show high acceptance ratio and higher accuracy with better performance using the provided visual support of the framework.
The ESSAVis framework has been designed to be compatible with different 3D technologies. This enabled us to use the 3D stereoscopic depth of such technologies to encode nodes attributes in node-link diagrams. In this regard, we conducted an evaluation study to measure the usability of the stereoscopic depth cue approach, called the stereoscopic highlighting technique, against other selected visual cues (i.e., color, shape, and sizes). Based on the results, the thesis proposes the Reflection Layer extension to the stereoscopic highlighting technique, which was also evaluated from the users’ perspectives. Additionally, we present a new technique, called ExpanD (Expand in Depth), that utilizes the depth cue to show the structural relations between different levels of details in node-link diagrams. Results of this part opens a promising direction of the research in which visualization designers can get benefits from the richness of the 3D technologies in visualizing abstract data in the information visualization domain.
Finally, this thesis proposes the application of the ESSAVis frame- work as a visual tool in the educational training process of engineers for understanding the complex concepts. In this regard, we conducted an evaluation study with computer engineering students in which we used the visual representations produced by ESSAVis to teach the principle of the fault detection and the failure scenarios in embedded systems. Our work opens the directions to investigate many challenges about the design of visualization for educational purposes.

The various uses of fiber-reinforced composites, for example in the enclosures of planes, boats and cars, generates the demand for a detailed analysis of these materials. The final goal is to optimize fibrous materials by the means of “virtual material design”. New fibrous materials are virtually created as realizations of a stochastic model and evaluated with physical simulations. In that way, materials can be optimized for specific use cases, without constructing expensive prototypes or performing mechanical experiments. In order to design a practically fabricable material, the stochastic model is first adapted to an existing material and then slightly modified. The virtual reconstruction of the existing material requires a precise knowledge of the geometry of its microstructure. The first part of this thesis describes a fiber quantification method by the means of local measurements of the fiber radius and orientation. The combination of a sparse chord length transform and inertia moments leads to an efficient and precise new algorithm. It outperforms existing approaches with the possibility to treat different fiber radii within one sample, with high precision in continuous space and comparably fast computing time. This local quantification method can be directly applied on gray value images by adapting the directional distance transforms on gray values. In this work, several approaches of this kind are developed and evaluated. Further characterization of the fiber system requires a segmentation of each single fiber. Using basic morphological operators with specific structuring elements, it is possible to derive a probability for each pixel describing if the pixel belongs to a fiber core in a region without overlapping fibers. Tracking high probabilities leads to a partly reconstruction of the fiber cores in non crossing regions. These core parts are then reconnected over critical regions, if they fulfill certain conditions ensuring the affiliation to the same fiber. In the second part of this work, we develop a new stochastic model for dense systems of non overlapping fibers with a controllable level of bending. Existing approaches in the literature have at least one weakness in either achieving high volume fractions, producing non overlapping fibers, or controlling the bending or the orientation distribution. This gap can be bridged by our stochastic model, which operates in two steps. Firstly, a random walk with the multivariate von Mises-Fisher orientation distribution defines bent fibers. Secondly, a force-biased packing approach arranges them in a non overlapping configuration. Furthermore, we provide the estimation of all parameters needed for the fitting of this model to a real microstructure. Finally, we simulate the macroscopic behavior of different microstructures to derive their mechanical and thermal properties. This part is mostly supported by existing software and serves as a summary of physical simulation applied to random fiber systems. The application on a glass fiber reinforced polymer proves the quality of the reconstruction by our stochastic model, as the effective properties match for both the real microstructure and the realizations of the fitted model. This thesis includes all steps to successfully perform virtual material design on various data sets. With novel and efficient algorithms it contributes to the science of analysis and modeling of fiber reinforced materials.

In DS-CDMA, spreading sequences are allocated to users to separate different
links namely, the base-station to user in the downlink or the user to base station in the uplink. These sequences are designed for optimum periodic correlation properties. Sequences with good periodic auto-correlation properties help in frame synchronisation at the receiver while sequences with good periodic cross-
correlation property reduce cross-talk among users and hence reduce the interference among them. In addition, they are designed to have reduced implementation complexity so that they are easy to generate. In current systems, spreading sequences are allocated to users irrespective of their channel condition. In this thesis,
the method of allocating spreading sequences based on users’ channel condition
is investigated in order to improve the performance of the downlink. Different
methods of dynamically allocating the sequences are investigated including; optimum allocation through a simulation model, fast sub-optimum allocation through
a mathematical model, and a proof-of-concept model using real-world channel
measurements. Each model is evaluated to validate, improvements in the gain
achieved per link, computational complexity of the allocation scheme, and its impact on the capacity of the network.
In cryptography, secret keys are used to ensure confidentiality of communication between the legitimate nodes of a network. In a wireless ad-hoc network, the
broadcast nature of the channel necessitates robust key management systems for
secure functioning of the network. Physical layer security is a novel method of
profitably utilising the random and reciprocal variations of the wireless channel to
extract secret key. By measuring the characteristics of the wireless channel within
its coherence time, reciprocal variations of the channel can be observed between
a pair of nodes. Using these reciprocal characteristics of
common shared secret key is extracted between a pair of the nodes. The process
of key extraction consists of four steps namely; channel measurement, quantisation, information reconciliation, and privacy amplification. The reciprocal channel
variations are measured and quantised to obtain a preliminary key of vector bits (0; 1). Due to errors in measurement, quantisation, and additive Gaussian noise,
disagreement in the bits of preliminary keys exists. These errors are corrected
by using, error detection and correction methods to obtain a synchronised key at
both the nodes. Further, by the method of secure hashing, the entropy of the key
is enhanced in the privacy amplification stage. The efficiency of the key generation process depends on the method of channel measurement and quantisation.
Instead of quantising the channel measurements directly, if their reciprocity is enhanced and then quantised appropriately, the key generation process can be made efficient and fast. In this thesis, four methods of enhancing reciprocity are presented namely; l1-norm minimisation, Hierarchical clustering, Kalman filtering,
and Polynomial regression. They are appropriately quantised by binary and adaptive quantisation. Then, the entire process of key generation, from measuring the channel profile to obtaining a secure key is validated by using real-world channel measurements. The performance evaluation is done by comparing their performance in terms of bit disagreement rate, key generation rate, test of randomness,
robustness test, and eavesdropper test. An architecture, KeyBunch, for effectively
deploying the physical layer security in mobile and vehicular ad-hoc networks is
also proposed. Finally, as an use-case, KeyBunch is deployed in a secure vehicular communication architecture, to highlight the advantages offered by physical layer security.

The main aim of this work was to obtain an approximate solution of the seismic traveltime tomography problems with the help of splines based on reproducing kernel Sobolev spaces. In order to be able to apply the spline approximation concept to surface wave as well as to body wave tomography problems, the spherical spline approximation concept was extended for the case where the domain of the function to be approximated is an arbitrary compact set in R^n and a finite number of discontinuity points is allowed. We present applications of such spline method to seismic surface wave as well as body wave tomography, and discuss the theoretical and numerical aspects of such applications. Moreover, we run numerous numerical tests that justify the theoretical considerations.

We investigate the long-term behaviour of diffusions on the non-negative real numbers under killing at some random time. Killing can occur at zero as well as in the interior of the state space. The diffusion follows a stochastic differential equation driven by a Brownian motion. The diffusions we are working with will almost surely be killed. In large parts of this thesis we only assume the drift coefficient to be continuous. Further, we suppose that zero is regular and that infinity is natural. We condition the diffusion on survival up to time t and let t tend to infinity looking for a limiting behaviour.

An autoregressive-ARCH model with possible exogeneous variables is treated. We estimate the conditional volatility of the model by applying feedforward networks to the residuals and prove consistency and asymptotic normality for the estimates under the rate of feedforward networks complexity. Recurrent neural networks estimates of GARCH and value-at-risk is studied. We prove consistency and asymptotic normality for the recurrent neural networks ARMA estimator under the rate of recurrent networks complexity. We also overcome the estimation problem in stochastic variance models in discrete time by feedforward networks and the introduction of a new distributions on the innovations. We use the method to calculate market risk such as expected shortfall and Value-at risk. We tested this distribution together with other new distributions on the GARCH family models against other common distributions on the financial market such as Normal Inverse Gaussian, normal and the Student's t- distributions. As an application of the models, some German stocks are studied and the different approaches are compared together with the most common method of GARCH(1,1) fit.

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.

The transfer of substrates between to enzymes within a biosynthesis pathway is an effective way to synthesize the specific product and a good way to avoid metabolic interference. This process is called metabolic channeling and it describes the (in-)direct transfer of an intermediate molecule between the active sites of two enzymes. By forming multi-enzyme cascades the efficiency of product formation and the flux is elevated and intermediate products are transferred and converted in a correct manner by the enzymes.
During tetrapyrrole biosynthesis several substrate transfer events occur and are prerequisite for an optimal pigment synthesis. In this project the metabolic channeling process during the pink pigment phycoerythrobilin (PEB) was investigated. The responsible ferredoxin-dependent bilin reductases (FDBR) for PEB formation are PebA and PebB. During the pigment synthesis the intermediate molecule 15,16-dihydrobiliverdin (DHBV) is formed and transferred from PebA to PebB. While in earlier studies a metabolic channeling of DHBV was postulated, this work revealed new insights into the requirements of this protein-protein interaction. It became clear, that the most important requirement for the PebA/PebB interaction is based on the affinity to their substrate/product DHBV. The already high affinity of both enzymes to each other is enhanced in the presence of DHBV in the binding pocket of PebA which leads to a rapid transfer to the subsequent enzyme PebB. DHBV is a labile molecule and needs to be rapidly channeled in order to get correctly further reduced to PEB. Fluorescence titration experiments and transfer assays confirmed the enhancement effect of DHBV for its own transfer.
More insights became clear by creating an active fusion protein of PebA and PebB and comparing its reaction mechanism with standard FDBRs. This fusion protein was able to convert biliverdin IXα (BV IXα) to PEB similar to the PebS activity, which also can convert BV IXα via DHBV to PEB as a single enzyme. The product and intermediate of the reaction were identified via HPLC and UV-Vis spectroscopy.
The results of this work revealed that PebA and PebB interact via a proximity channeling process where the intermediate DHBV plays an important role for the interaction. It also highlights the importance of substrate channeling in the synthesis of PEB to optimize the flux of intermediates through this metabolic pathway.

Since their invention in the 1980s, behaviour-based systems have become very popular among roboticists. Their component-based nature facilitates the distributed implementation of systems, fosters reuse, and allows for early testing and integration. However, the distributed approach necessitates the interconnection of many components into a network in order to realise complex functionalities. This network is crucial to the correct operation of the robotic system. There are few sound design techniques for behaviour networks, especially if the systems shall realise task sequences. Therefore, the quality of the resulting behaviour-based systems is often highly dependant on the experience of their developers.
This dissertation presents a novel integrated concept for the design and verification of behaviour-based systems that realise task sequences. Part of this concept is a technique for encoding task sequences in behaviour networks. Furthermore, the concept provides guidance to developers of such networks. Based on a thorough analysis of methods for defining sequences, Moore machines have been selected for representing complex tasks. With the help of the structured workflow proposed in this work and the developed accompanying tool support, Moore machines defining task sequences can be transferred automatically into corresponding behaviour networks, resulting in less work for the developer and a lower risk of failure.
Due to the common integration of automatically and manually created behaviour-based components, a formal analysis of the final behaviour network is reasonable. For this purpose, the dissertation at hand presents two verification techniques and justifies the selection of model checking. A novel concept for applying model checking to behaviour-based systems is proposed according to which behaviour networks are modelled as synchronised automata. Based on such automata, properties of behaviour networks that realise task sequences can be verified or falsified. Extensive graphical tool support has been developed in order to assist the developer during the verification process.
Several examples are provided in order to illustrate the soundness of the presented design and verification techniques. The applicability of the integrated overall concept to real-world tasks is demonstrated using the control system of an autonomous bucket excavator. It can be shown that the proposed design concept is suitable for developing complex sophisticated behaviour networks and that the presented verification technique allows for verifying real-world behaviour-based systems.

When designing autonomous mobile robotic systems, there usually is a trade-off between the three opposing goals of safety, low-cost and performance.
If one of these design goals is approached further, it usually leads to a recession of one or even both of the other goals.
If for example the performance of a mobile robot is increased by making use of higher vehicle speeds, then the safety of the system is usually decreased, as, under the same circumstances, faster robots are often also more dangerous robots.
This decrease of safety can be mitigated by installing better sensors on the robot, which ensure the safety of the system, even at high speeds.
However, this solution is accompanied by an increase of system cost.
In parallel to mobile robotics, there is a growing amount of ambient and aware technology installations in today's environments - no matter whether in private homes, offices or factory environments.
Part of this technology are sensors that are suitable to assess the state of an environment.
For example, motion detectors that are used to automate lighting can be used to detect the presence of people.
This work constitutes a meeting point between the two fields of robotics and aware environment research.
It shows how data from aware environments can be used to approach the abovementioned goal of establishing safe, performant and additionally low-cost robotic systems.
Sensor data from aware technology, which is often unreliable due to its low-cost nature, is fed to probabilistic methods for estimating the environment's state.
Together with models, these methods cope with the uncertainty and unreliability associated with the sensor data, gathered from an aware environment.
The estimated state includes positions of people in the environment and is used as an input to the local and global path planners of a mobile robot, enabling safe, cost-efficient and performant mobile robot navigation during local obstacle avoidance as well as on a global scale, when planning paths between different locations.
The probabilistic algorithms enable graceful degradation of the whole system.
Even if, in the extreme case, all aware technology fails, the robots will continue to operate, by sacrificing performance while maintaining safety.
All the presented methods of this work have been validated using simulation experiments as well as using experiments with real hardware.

The detection and characterisation of undesired lead structures on shaft surfaces is a concern in production and quality control of rotary shaft lip-type sealing systems. The potential lead structures are generally divided into macro and micro lead based on their characteristics and formation. Macro lead measurement methods exist and are widely applied. This work describes a method to characterise micro lead on ground shaft surfaces. Micro lead is known as the deviation of main orientation of the ground micro texture from circumferential direction. Assessing the orientation of microscopic structures with arc minute accuracy with regard to circumferential direction requires exact knowledge of both the shaft’s orientation and the direction of surface texture. The shaft’s circumferential direction is found by calibration. Measuring systems and calibration procedures capable of calibrating shaft axis orientation with high accuracy and low uncertainty are described. The measuring systems employ areal-topographic measuring instruments suited for evaluating texture orientation. A dedicated evaluation scheme for texture orientation is based on the Radon transform of these topographies and parametrised for the application. Combining the calibration of circumferential direction with the evaluation of texture orientation the method enables the measurement of micro lead on ground shaft surfaces.

The purpose of Exploration in Oil Industry is to "discover" an oil-containing geological formation from exploration data. In the context of this PhD project this oil-containing geological formation plays the role of a geometrical object, which may have any shape. The exploration data may be viewed as a "cloud of points", that is a finite set of points, related to the geological formation surveyed in the exploration experiment. Extensions of topological methodologies, such as homology, to point clouds are helpful in studying them qualitatively and capable of resolving the underlying structure of a data set. Estimation of topological invariants of the data space is a good basis for asserting the global features of the simplicial model of the data. For instance the basic statistical idea, clustering, are correspond to dimension of the zero homology group of the data. A statistics of Betti numbers can provide us with another connectivity information. In this work represented a method for topological feature analysis of exploration data on the base of so called persistent homology. Loosely, this is the homology of a growing space that captures the lifetimes of topological attributes in a multiset of intervals called a barcode. Constructions from algebraic topology empowers to transform the data, to distillate it into some persistent features, and to understand then how it is organized on a large scale or at least to obtain a low-dimensional information which can point to areas of interest. The algorithm for computing of the persistent Betti numbers via barcode is realized in the computer algebra system "Singular" in the scope of the work.

Within the last decades, a remarkable development in materials science took place -- nowadays, materials are not only constructed for the use of inert structures but rather designed for certain predefined functions. This innovation was accompanied with the appearance of smart materials with reliable recognition, discrimination and capability of action as well as reaction. Even though ferroelectric materials serve smartly in real applications, they also possess several restrictions at high performance usage. The behavior of these materials is almost linear under the action of low electric fields or low mechanical stresses, but exhibits strong non-linear response under high electric fields or mechanical stresses. High electromechanical loading conditions result in a change of the spontaneous polarization direction with respect to individual domains, which is commonly referred to as domain switching. The aim of the present work is to develop a three-dimensional coupled finite element model, to study the rate-independent and rate-dependent behavior of piezoelectric materials including domain switching based on a micromechanical approach. The proposed model is first elaborated within a two-dimensional finite element setting for piezoelectric materials. Subsequently, the developed two-dimensional model is extended to the three-dimensional case. This work starts with developing a micromechanical model for ferroelectric materials. Ferroelectric materials exhibit ferroelectric domain switching, which refers to the reorientation of domains and occurs under purely electrical loading. For the simulation, a bulk piezoceramic material is considered and each grain is represented by one finite element. In reality, the grains in the bulk ceramics material are randomly oriented. This property is taken into account by applying random orientation as well as uniform distribution for individual elements. Poly-crystalline ferroelectric materials at un-poled virgin state can consequently be characterized by randomly oriented polarization vectors. Energy reduction of individual domains is adopted as a criterion for the initiation of domain switching processes. The macroscopic response of the bulk material is predicted by classical volume-averaging techniques. In general, domain switching does not only depend on external loads but also on neighboring grains, which is commonly denoted as the grain boundary effect. These effects are incorporated into the developed framework via a phenomenologically motivated probabilistic approach by relating the actual energy level to a critical energy level. Subsequently, the order of the chosen polynomial function is optimized so that simulations nicely match measured data. A rate-dependent polarization framework is proposed, which is applied to cyclic electrical loading at various frequencies. The reduction in free energy of a grain is used as a criterion for the onset of the domain switching processes. Nucleation in new grains and propagation of the domain walls during domain switching is modeled by a linear kinetics theory. The simulated results show that for increasing loading frequency the macroscopic coercive field is also increasing and the remanent polarization increases at lower loading amplitudes. The second part of this work is focused on ferroelastic domain switching, which refers to the reorientation of domains under purely mechanical loading. Under sufficiently high mechanical loading, however, the strain directions within single domains reorient with respect to the applied loading direction. The reduction in free energy of a grain is used as a criterion for the domain switching process. The macroscopic response of the bulk material is computed for the hysteresis curve (stress vs strain) whereby uni-axial and quasi-static loading conditions are applied on the bulk material specimen. Grain boundary effects are addressed by incorporating the developed probabilistic approach into this framework and the order of the polynomial function is optimized so that simulations match measured data. Rate dependent domain switching effects are captured for various frequencies and mechanical loading amplitudes by means of the developed volume fraction concept which relates the particular time interval to the switching portion. The final part of this work deals with ferroelectric and ferroelastic domain switching and refers to the reorientation of domains under coupled electromechanical loading. If this free energy for combined electromechanical loading exceeds the critical energy barrier elements are allowed to switch. Firstly, hysteresis and butterfly curves under purely electrical loading are discussed. Secondly, additional mechanical loads in axial and lateral directions are applied to the specimen. The simulated results show that an increasing compressive stress results in enlarged domain switching ranges and that the hysteresis and butterfly curves flatten at higher mechanical loading levels.

Wetting of a solid surface with liquids is an important parameter in the chemical engineering process such as distillation, absorption and desorption. The degree of wetting in packed columns mainly contributes in the generating of the effective interfacial area and then enhancing of the heat and mass transfer process. In this work the wetting of solid surfaces was studied in real experimental work and virtually through three dimensional CFD simulations using the multiphase flow VOF model implemented in the commercial software FLUENT. That can be used to simulate the stratified flows [1]. The liquid rivulet flow which is a special case of the film flow and mostly found in packed columns has been discussed. Wetting of a solid flat and wavy metal plate with rivulet liquid flow was simulated and experimentally validated. The local rivulet thickness was measured using an optically assisted mechanical sensor using a needle which is moved perpendicular to the plate surface with a step motor and in the other two directions using two micrometers. The measured and simulated rivulet profiles were compared to some selected theoretical models founded in the literature such as Duffy & Muffatt [2], Towell & Rothfeld [3] and Al-Khalil et al. [4]. The velocity field in a cross section of a rivulet flow and the non-dimensional maximum and mean velocity values for the vertical flat plate was also compared with models from Al-Khalil et al. [4] and Allen & Biggin [5]. Few CFD simulations for the wavy plate case were compared to the experimental findings, and the Towel model for a flat plate [3]. In the second stage of this work 3-D CFD simulations and experimental study has been performed for wetting of a structured packing element and packing sheet consisting of three elements from the type Rombopak 4M, which is a product of the company Kuhni, Switzerland. The hydrodynamics parameters of a packed column, e. i. the degree of wetting, the interfacial area and liquid hold-up have been depicted from the CFD simulations for different liquid systems and liquid loads. Flow patterns on the degree of wetting have been compared to that of the experiments, where the experimental values for the degree of wetting were estimated from the snap shooting of the flow on the packing sheet in a test rig. A new model to describe the hydrodynamics of packed columns equipped with Rombopak 4M was derived with help of the CFD–simulation results. The model predicts the degree of wetting, the specific or interfacial area and liquid hold-up at different flow conditions. This model was compared to Billet & Schultes [6], the SRP model Rocha et al. [7-9], to Shi & Mersmann [10] and others. Since the pressure drop is one of the most important parameter in packed columns especially for vacuum operating columns, few CFD simulations were performed to estimate the dry pressure drop in a structured and flat packing element and were compared to the experimental results. It was found a good agreement from one side, between the experimental and the CFD simulation results, and from the other side between the simulations and theoretical models for the rivulet flow on an inclined plate. The flow patterns and liquid spreading behaviour on the packing element agrees well with the experimental results. The VOF (Volume of Fluid) was found very sensitive to different liquid properties and can be used in optimization of the packing geometries and revealing critical details of wetting and film flow. An extension of this work to perform CFD simulations for the flow inside a block of the packing to get a detailed picture about the interaction between the liquid and packing surfaces is recommended as further perspective.

The polydispersive nature of the turbulent droplet swarm in agitated liquid-liquid contacting equipment makes its mathematical modelling and the solution methodologies a rather sophisticated process. This polydispersion could be modelled as a population of droplets randomly distributed with respect to some internal properties at a specific location in space using the population balance equation as a mathematical tool. However, the analytical solution of such a mathematical model is hardly to obtain except for particular idealized cases, and hence numerical solutions are resorted to in general. This is due to the inherent nonlinearities in the convective and diffusive terms as well as the appearance of many integrals in the source term. In this work two conservative discretization methodologies for both internal (droplet state) and external (spatial) coordinates are extended and efficiently implemented to solve the population balance equation (PBE) describing the hydrodynamics of liquid-liquid contacting equipment. The internal coordinate conservative discretization techniques of Kumar and Ramkrishna (1996a, b) originally developed for the solution of PBE in simple batch systems are extended to continuous flow systems and validated against analytical solutions as well as published experimental droplet interaction functions and hydrodynamic data. In addition to these methodologies, we presented a conservative discretization approach for droplet breakage in batch and continuous flow systems, where it is found to have identical convergence characteristics when compared to the method of Kumar and Ramkrishna (1996a). Apart from the specific discretization schemes, the numerical solution of droplet population balance equations by discretization is known to suffer from inherent finite domain errors (FDE). Two approaches that minimize the total FDE during the solution of the discrete PBEs using an approximate optimal moving (for batch) and fixed (for continuous systems) grids are introduced (Attarakih, Bart & Faqir, 2003a). As a result, significant improvements are achieved in predicting the number densities, zero and first moments of the population. For spatially distributed populations (such as extraction columns) the resulting system of partial differential equations is spatially discretized in conservative form using a simplified first order upwind scheme as well as first and second order nonoscillatory central differencing schemes (Kurganov & Tadmor, 2000). This spatial discretization avoids the characteristic decomposition of the convective flux based on the approximate Riemann Solvers and the operator splitting technique required by classical upwind schemes (Karlsen et al., 2001). The time variable is discretized using an implicit strongly stable approach that is formulated by careful lagging of the nonlinear parts of the convective and source terms. The present algorithms are tested against analytical solutions of the simplified PBE through many case studies. In all these case studies the discrete models converges successfully to the available analytical solutions and to solutions on relatively fine grids when the analytical solution is not available. This is accomplished by deriving five analytical solutions of the PBE in continuous stirred tank and liquid-liquid extraction column for especial cases of breakage and coalescence functions. As an especial case, these algorithms are implemented via a windows computer code called LLECMOD (Liquid-Liquid Extraction Column Module) to simulate the hydrodynamics of general liquid-liquid extraction columns (LLEC). The user input dialog makes the LLECMOD a user-friendly program that enables the user to select grids, column dimensions, flow rates, velocity models, simulation parameters, dispersed and continuous phases chemical components, and droplet phase space-time solvers. The graphical output within the windows environment adds to the program a distinctive feature and makes it very easy to examine and interpret the results very quickly. Moreover, the dynamic model of the dispersed phase is carefully treated to correctly predict the oscillatory behavior of the LLEC hold up. In this context, a continuous velocity model corresponding to the manipulation of the inlet continuous flow rate through the control of the dispersed phase level is derived to get rid of this behavior.

We discuss some first steps towards experimental design for neural network regression which, at present, is too complex to treat fully in general. We encounter two difficulties: the nonlinearity of the models together with the high parameter dimension on one hand, and the common misspecification of the models on the other hand.
Regarding the first problem, we restrict our consideration to neural networks with only one and two neurons in the hidden layer and a univariate input variable. We prove some results regarding locally D-optimal designs, and present a numerical study using the concept of maximin optimal designs.
In respect of the second problem, we have a look at the effects of misspecification on optimal experimental designs.

This dissertation focuses on the evaluation of technical and environmental sustainability of water distribution systems based on scenario analysis. The decision support system is created to assist in the decision making-process and to visualize the results of the sustainability assessment for current and future populations and scenarios. First, a methodology is developed to assess the technical and environmental sustainability for the current and future water distribution system scenarios. Then, scenarios are produced to evaluate alternative solutions for the current water distribution system as well as future populations and water demand variations. Finally, a decision support system is proposed using a combination of several visualization approaches to increase the data readability and robustness for the sustainability evaluations of the water distribution system.
The technical sustainability of a water distribution system is measured using the sustainability index methodology which is based on the reliability, resiliency and vulnerability performance criteria. Hydraulic efficiency and water quality requirements are represented using the nodal pressure and water age parameters, respectively. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPANET software is used to simulate hydraulic (i.e. nodal pressure) and water quality (i.e. water age) analysis in a case study. In addition, the environmental sustainability of a water network is evaluated using the “total fresh water use” and “total energy intensity” indicators. For each scenario, multi-criteria decision analysis is used to combine technical and environmental sustainability criteria for the study area.
The technical and environmental sustainability assessment methodology is first applied to the baseline scenario (i.e. the current water distribution system). Critical locations where hydraulic efficiency and water quality problems occur in the current system are identified. There are two major scenario options that are considered to increase the sustainability at these critical locations. These scenarios focus on creating alternative systems in order to test and verify the technical and environmental sustainability methodology rather than obtaining the best solution for the current and future water distribution systems. The first scenario is a traditional approach in order to increase the hydraulic efficiency and water quality. This scenario includes using additional network components such as booster pumps, valves etc. The second scenario is based on using reclaimed water supply to meet the non-potable water demand and fire flow. The fire flow simulation is specifically included in the sustainability assessment since regulations have significant impact on the urban water infrastructure design. Eliminating the fire flow need from potable water distribution systems would assist in saving fresh water resources as well as to reduce detention times.
The decision support system is created to visualize the results of each scenario and to effectively compare these results with each other. The EPANET software is a powerful tool used to conduct hydraulic and water quality analysis but for the decision support system purposes the visualization capabilities are limited. Therefore, in this dissertation, the hydraulic and water quality simulations are completed using EPANET software and the results for each scenario are visualized by combining several visualization techniques in order to provide a better data readability. The first technique introduced here is using small multiple maps instead of the animation technique to visualize the nodal pressure and water age parameters. This technique eliminates the change blindness and provides easy comparison of time steps. In addition, a procedure is proposed to aggregate the nodes along the edges in order to simplify the water network. A circle view technique is used to visualize two values of a single parameter (i.e. the nodal pressure or water age). The third approach is based on fitting the water network into a grid representation which assists in eliminating the irregular geographic distribution of the nodes and improves the visibility of each circle view. Finally, a prototype for an interactive decision support tool is proposed for the current population and water demand scenarios. Interactive tools enable analyzing of the aggregated nodes and provide information about the results of each of the current water distribution scenarios.

For the last decade, optimization of beam orientations in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has been shown to be successful in improving the treatment plan. Unfortunately, the quality of a set of beam orientations depends heavily on its corresponding beam intensity profiles. Usually, a stochastic selector is used for optimizing beam orientation, and then a single objective inverse treatment planning algorithm is used for the optimization of beam intensity profiles. The overall time needed to solve the inverse planning for every random selection of beam orientations becomes excessive. Recently, considerable improvement has been made in optimizing beam intensity profiles by using multiple objective inverse treatment planning. Such an approach results in a variety of beam intensity profiles for every selection of beam orientations, making the dependence between beam orientations and its intensity profiles less important. This thesis takes advantage of this property to accelerate the optimization process through an approximation of the intensity profiles that are used for multiple selections of beam orientations, saving a considerable amount of calculation time. A dynamic algorithm (DA) and evolutionary algorithm (EA), for beam orientations in IMRT planning will be presented. The DA mimics, automatically, the methods of beam's eye view and observer's view which are recognized in conventional conformal radiation therapy. The EA is based on a dose-volume histogram evaluation function introduced as an attempt to minimize the deviation between the mathematical and clinical optima. To illustrate the efficiency of the algorithms they have been applied to different clinical examples. In comparison to the standard equally spaced beams plans, improvements are reported for both algorithms in all the clinical examples even when, for some cases, fewer beams are used. A smaller number of beams is always desirable without compromising the quality of the treatment plan. It results in a shorter treatment delivery time, which reduces potential errors in terms of patient movements and decreases discomfort.

In this thesis we have discussed the problem of decomposing an integer matrix \(A\) into a weighted sum \(A=\sum_{k \in {\mathcal K}} \alpha_k Y^k\) of 0-1 matrices with the strict consecutive ones property. We have developed algorithms to find decompositions which minimize the decomposition time \(\sum_{k \in {\mathcal K}} \alpha_k\) and the decomposition cardinality \(|\{ k \in {\mathcal K}: \alpha_k > 0\}|\). In the absence of additional constraints on the 0-1 matrices \(Y^k\) we have given an algorithm that finds the minimal decomposition time in \({\mathcal O}(NM)\) time. For the case that the matrices \(Y^k\) are restricted to shape matrices -- a restriction which is important in the application of our results in radiotherapy -- we have given an \({\mathcal O}(NM^2)\) algorithm. This is achieved by solving an integer programming formulation of the problem by a very efficient combinatorial algorithm. In addition, we have shown that the problem of minimizing decomposition cardinality is strongly NP-hard, even for matrices with one row (and thus for the unconstrained as well as the shape matrix decomposition). Our greedy heuristics are based on the results for the decomposition time problem and produce better results than previously published algorithms.

In the first part of this work, called Simple node singularity, are computed matrix factorizations of all isomorphism classes, up to shiftings, of rank one and two, graded, indecomposable maximal Cohen--Macaulay (shortly MCM) modules over the affine cone of the simple node singularity. The subsection 2.2 contains a description of all rank two graded MCM R-modules with stable sheafification on the projective cone of R, by their matrix factorizations. It is given also a general description of such modules, of any rank, over a projective curve of arithmetic genus 1, using their matrix factorizations. The non-locally free rank two MCM modules are computed using an alghorithm presented in the Introduction of this work, that gives a matrix factorization of any extension of two MCM modules over a hypersurface. In the second part, called Fermat surface, are classified all graded, rank two, MCM modules over the affine cone of the Fermat surface. For the classification of the orientable rank two graded MCM R-modules, is used a description of the orientable modules (over normal rings) with the help of codimension two Gorenstein ideals, realized by Herzog and Kühl. It is proven (in section 4), that they have skew symmetric matrix factorizations (over any normal hypersurface ring). For the classification of the non-orientable rank two MCM R-modules, we use a similar idea as in the case of the orientable ones, only that the ideal is not any more Gorenstein.

Due to their N-glycosidase activity, ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are attractive candidates as antitumor and antiviral agents in medical and biological research. In the present study, we have successfully cloned two different truncated gelonins into pET-28a(+) vectors and expressed intact recombinant gelonin (rGel), recombinant C-terminally truncated gelonin (rC3-gelonin) and recombinant N- and C-terminally truncated gelonin (rN34C3-gelonin). Biological experiments showed that all these recombinant gelonins have no inhibiting effect on MCF-7 cell lines. These data suggest that the truncated-gelonins are still having a specific structure that does not allow for internalization into cells. Further, truncation of gelonin leads to partial or complete loss of N-glycosidase as well as DNase activity compared to intact rGel. Our data suggest that C-and N-terminal amino acid residues are involved in the catalytic and cytotoxic activities of rGel. In addition, the intact gelonin should be selected as a toxin in the immunoconjugate rather than truncated gelonin.
In the second part, an immunotoxin composed of gelonin, a basic protein of 30 kDa isolated from the Indian plant Gelonium multiflorum and the cytotoxic drug MTX has been studied as a potential tool of gelonin delivery into the cytoplasm of cells. Results of many experiments showed that, on the average, about 5 molecules of MTX were coupled to one molecule of gelonin. The MTX-gelonin conjugate is able to reduce the viability of MCF-7 cell in a dose-dependent manner (ID50, 10 nM) as shown by MTT assay and significantly induce direct and oxidative DNA damage as shown by the alkaline comet assay. However, in-vitro translation toxicity MTX-gelonin conjugates have IC50, 50.5 ng/ml which is less toxic than that of gelonin alone IC50, 4.6 ng/ml. It can be concluded that the positive charge plays an important role in the N-glycosidase activity of gelonin. Furthermore, conjugation of MTX with gelonin through α- and γ- carboxyl groups leads to the partial loss of its anti-folate activity compared to free MTX. These results, taken together, indicate that conjugation of MTX to gelonin permits delivery of the gelonin into the cytoplasm of cancer cells and exerts a measurable toxic effect.
In the third part, we have isolated and characterized two ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) type I, gelonin and GAP31, from seeds of Gelonium multiflorum. Both proteins exhibit RNA-N-glycosidase activity. The amino acid sequences of gelonin and GAP31 were identified by MALDI and ESI mass spectrometry. Gelonin and GAP31 peptides - obtained by proteolytic digestion (trypsin and Arg-C) - are consistent with the amino acid sequence published by Rosenblum and Huang, respectively. Further structural characterization of gelonin and GAP31 (tryptic and Arg-C peptide mapping) showed that the two RIPs have 96% similarity in their sequence. Thus, these two proteins are most probably isoforms arisen from the same gene by alternative splicing. The ESI-MS analysis of gelonin and GAP31 exhibited at least three different post-translational modified forms. A standard plant paucidomannosidic N-glycosylation pattern (GlcNAc2Man2-5Xyl0-1 and GlcNAc2Man6-12Fuc1-2Xyl0-2) was identified using electrospray ionization MS for gelonin on N196 and GAP31 on N189, respectively. Based on these results, both proteins are located in the vacuoles of Gelonium multiflorum seeds.

In this thesis we developed a desynchronization design flow in the goal of easing the de- velopment effort of distributed embedded systems. The starting point of this design flow is a network of synchronous components. By transforming this synchronous network into a dataflow process network (DPN), we ensures important properties that are difficult or theoretically impossible to analyze directly on DPNs are preserved by construction. In particular, both deadlock-freeness and buffer boundedness can be preserved after desyn- chronization. For the correctness of desynchronization, we developed a criteria consisting of two properties: a global property that demands the correctness of the synchronous network, as well as a local property that requires the latency-insensitivity of each local synchronous component. As the global property is also a correctness requirement of synchronous systems in general, we take this property as an assumption of our desyn- chronization. However, the local property is in general not satisfied by all synchronous components, and therefore needs to be verified before desynchronization. In this thesis we developed a novel technique for the verification of the local property that can be carried out very efficiently. Finally we developed a model transformation method that translates a set of synchronous guarded actions – an intermediate format for synchronous systems – to an asynchronous actor description language (CAL). Our theorem ensures that one passed the correctness verification, the generated DPN of asynchronous pro- cesses (or actors) preserves the functional behavior of the original synchronous network. Moreover, by the correctness of the synchronous network, our theorem guarantees that the derived DPN is deadlock-free and can be implemented with only finitely bounded buffers.

Epoxy belongs to a category of high-performance thermosetting polymers which have been used extensively in industrial and consumer applications. Highly cross-linked epoxy polymers offer excellent mechanical properties, adhesion, and chemical resistance. However, unmodified epoxies are prone to brittle fracture and crack propagation due to their highly crosslinked structure. As a result, epoxies are normally toughened to ensure the usability of these materials in practical applications.
This research work focuses on the development of novel modified epoxy matrices, with enhanced mechanical, fracture mechanical and thermal properties, suitable to be processed by filament winding technology, to manufacture composite based calender roller covers with improved performance in comparison to commercially available products.
In the first stage, a neat epoxy resin (EP) was modified using three different high functionality epoxy resins with two type of hardeners i.e. amine-based (H1) and anhydride-based (H2). Series of hybrid epoxy resins were obtained by systematic variation of high functionality epoxy resin contents with reference epoxy system. The resulting matrices were characterized by their tensile properties and the best system was chosen from each hardener system i.e. amine and anhydride. For tailored amine based system (MEP_H1) 14 % improvement was measured for bulk samples similarly, for tailored anhydride system (MEP_H2) 11 % improvement was measured when tested at 23 °C.
Further, tailored epoxy systems (MEP_H1 and MEP_H2) were modified using specially designed block copolymer (BCP), and core-shell rubber nanoparticles (CSR). Series of nanocomposites were obtained by systematic variation of filler contents. The resulting matrices were extensively characterized qualitatively and quantitatively to reveal the effect of each filler on the polymer properties. It was shown that the BCP confer better fracture properties to the epoxy resin at low filler loading without losing the other mechanical properties. These characteristics were accompanied by ductility and temperature stability. All composites were tested at 23 °C and at 80 °C to understand the effect of temperature on the mechanical and fracture properties.
Examinations on fractured specimen surfaces provided information about the mechanisms responsible for reinforcement. Nanoparticles generate several energy dissipating mechanisms in the epoxy, e.g. plastic deformation of the matrix, cavitation, void growth, debonding and crack pinning. These were closely related to the microstructure of the materials. The characteristic of the microstructure was verified by microscopy methods (SEM and AFM). The microstructure of neat epoxy hardener system was strongly influenced by the nanoparticles and the resulting interfacial interactions. The interaction of nanoparticles with a different hardener system will result in different morphology which will ultimately influence the mechanical and fracture mechanical properties of the nanocomposites. Hybrid toughening using a combination of the block-copolymer / core-shell rubber nanoparticles and block copolymer / TiO2 nanoparticles has been investigated in the epoxy systems. It was found out that addition of rigid phase with a soft phase recovers the loss of strength in the nanocomposites caused by a softer phase.
In order to clarify the relevant relationships, the microstructural and mechanical properties were correlated. The Counto’s, Halpin-Tsai, and Lewis-Nielsen equations were used to calculate the modulus of the composites and predicted modulus fit well with the measured values. Modeling was done to predict the toughening contribution from block copolymers and core-shell rubber nanoparticles. There was good agreement between the predicted values and the experimental values for the fracture energy.

Compared to our current knowledge of neuronal excitation, little is known about the development and maturation of inhibitory circuits. Recent studies show that inhibitory circuits develop and mature in a similar way like excitatory circuit. One such similarity is the development through excitation, irrespective of its inhibitory nature. Here in this current study, I used the inhibitory projection between the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) and the lateral superior olive (LSO) as a model system to unravel some aspects of the development of inhibitory synapses. In LSO neurons of the rat auditory brainstem, glycine receptor-mediated responses change from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing during the first two postnatal weeks (Kandler and Friauf 1995, J. Neurosci. 15:6890-6904). The depolarizing effect of glycine is due to a high intracellular chloride concentration ([Cl-]i), which induces a reversal potential of glycine (EGly) more positive than the resting membrane potential (Vrest). In older LSO neurons, the hyperpolarizing effect is due to a low [Cl-]i (Ehrlich et al., 1999, J. Physiol. 520:121-137). Aim of the present study was to elucidate the molecular mechanism behind Clhomeostasis in LSO neurons which determines polarity of glycine response. To do so, the role and developmental expression of Cl-cotransporters, such as NKCC1 and KCC2 were investigated. Molecular biological and gramicidin perforated patchclamp experiments revealed, the role of KCC2 as an outward Cl-cotransporter in mature LSO neurons (Balakrishnan et al., 2003, J Neurosci. 23:4134-4145). But, NKCC1 does not appear to be involved in accumulating chloride in immature LSO neurons. Further experiments, indicated the role of GABA and glycine transporters (GAT1 and GLYT2) in accumulating Cl- in immature LSO neurons. Finally, the experiments with hypothyroid animals suggest the possible role of thyroid hormone in the maturation of inhibitory synapse. Altogether, this thesis addressed the molecular mechanism underlying the Cl- regulation in LSO neurons and deciphered it to some extent.

This thesis deals with the development of a tractor front loader scale which measures payload continuously, independent of the center of gravity of the payload, and unaffected of the position and movements of the loader. To achieve this, a mathematic model of a common front loader is simplified which makes it possible to identify its parameters by a repeatable and automatic procedure. By measuring accelerations as well as cylinder forces, the payload is determined continuously during the working process. Finally, a prototype was build and the scale was tested on a tractor.

Today’s pervasive availability of computing devices enabled with wireless communication and location- or inertial sensing capabilities is unprecedented. The number of smartphones sold worldwide are still growing and increasing numbers of sensor enabled accessories are available which a user can wear in the shoe or at the wrist for fitness tracking, or just temporarily puts on to measure vital signs. Despite this availability of computing and sensing hardware the merit of application seems rather limited regarding the full potential of information inherent to such senor deployments. Most applications build upon a vertical design which encloses a narrowly defined sensor setup and algorithms specifically tailored to suit the application’s purpose. Successful technologies, however, such as the OSI model, which serves as base for internet communication, have used a horizontal design that allows high level communication protocols to be run independently from the actual lower-level protocols and physical medium access. This thesis contributes to a more horizontal design of human activity recognition systems at two stages. First, it introduces an integrated toolchain to facilitate the entire process of building activity recognition systems and to foster sharing and reusing of individual components. At a second stage, a novel method for automatic integration of new sensors to increase a system’s performance is presented and discussed in detail.
The integrated toolchain is built around an efficient toolbox of parametrizable components for interfacing sensor hardware, synchronization and arrangement of data streams, filtering and extraction of features, classification of feature vectors, and interfacing output devices and applications. The toolbox emerged as open-source project through several research projects and is actively used by research groups. Furthermore, the toolchain supports recording, monitoring, annotation, and sharing of large multi-modal data sets for activity recognition through a set of integrated software tools and a web-enabled database.
The method for automatically integrating a new sensor into an existing system is, at its core, a variation of well-established principles of semi-supervised learning: (1) unsupervised clustering to discover structure in data, (2) assumption that cluster membership is correlated with class membership, and (3) obtaining at a small number of labeled data points for each cluster, from which the cluster labels are inferred. In most semi-supervised approaches, however, the labels are the ground truth provided by the user. By contrast, the approach presented in this thesis uses a classifier trained on an N-dimensional feature space (old classifier) to provide labels for a few points in an (N+1)-dimensional feature space which are used to generate a new, (N+1)-dimensional classifier. The different factors that make a distribution difficult to handle are discussed, a detailed description of heuristics designed to mitigate the influences of such factors is provided, and a detailed evaluation on a set of over 3000 sensor combinations from 3 multi-user experiments that have been used by a variety of previous studies of different activity recognition methods is presented.

Divide-and-Conquer is a common strategy to manage the complexity of system design and verification. In the context of System-on-Chip (SoC) design verification, an SoC system is decomposed into several modules and every module is separately verified. Usually an SoC module is reactive: it interacts with its environmental modules. This interaction is normally modeled by environment constraints, which are applied to verify the SoC module. Environment constraints are assumed to be always true when verifying the individual modules of a system. Therefore the correctness of environment constraints is very important for module verification.
Environment constraints are also very important for coverage analysis. Coverage analysis in formal verification measures whether or not the property set fully describes the functional behavior of the design under verification (DuV). if a set of properties describes every functional behavior of a DuV, the set of properties is called complete. To verify the correctness of environment constraints, Assume-Guarantee Reasoning rules can be employed.
However, the state of the art assume-guarantee reasoning rules cannot be applied to the environment constraints specified by using an industrial standard property language such as SystemVerilog Assertions (SVA).
This thesis proposes a new assume-guarantee reasoning rule that can be applied to environment constraints specified by using a property language such as SVA. In addition, this thesis proposes two efficient plausibility checks for constraints that can be conducted without a concrete implementation of the considered environment.
Furthermore, this thesis provides a compositional reasoning framework determining that a system is completely verified if all modules are verified with Complete Interval Property Checking (C-IPC) under environment constraints.
At present, there is a trend that more of the functionality in SoCs is shifted from the hardware to the hardware-dependent software (HWDS), which is a crucial component in an SoC, since other software layers, such as the operating systems are built on it. Therefore there is an increasing need to apply formal verification to HWDS, especially for safety-critical systems.
The interactions between HW and HWDS are often reactive, and happen in a temporal order. This requires new property languages to specify the reactive behavior at the HW and SW interfaces.
This thesis introduces a new property language, called Reactive Software Property Language (RSPL), to specify the reactive interactions between the HW and the HWDS.
Furthermore, a method for checking the completeness of software properties, which are specified by using RSPL, is presented in this thesis. This method is motivated by the approach of checking the completeness of hardware properties.

Thermoelasticity represents the fusion of the fields of heat conduction and elasticity in solids and is usually characterized by a twofold coupling. Thermally induced stresses can be determined as well as temperature changes caused by deformations. Studying the mutual influence is subject of thermoelasticity. Usually, heat conduction in solids is based on Fourier’s law which describes a diffusive process. It predicts unnatural infinite transmission speed for parts of local heat pulses. At room temperature, for example, these parts are strongly damped. Thus, in these cases most engineering applications are described satisfactorily by the classical theory. However, in some situations the predictions according to Fourier’s law fail miserable. One of these situations occurs at temperatures near absolute zero, where the phenomenon of second sound1 was discovered in the 20th century. Consequently, non-classical theories experienced great research interest during the recent decades. Throughout this thesis, the expression “non-classical” refers to the fact that the constitutive equation of the heat flux is not based on Fourier’s law. Fourier’s classical theory hypothesizes that the heat flux is proportional to the temperature gradient. A new thermoelastic theory, on the one hand, needs to be consistent with classical thermoelastodynamics and, on the other hand, needs to describe second sound accurately. Hence, during the second half of the last century the traditional parabolic heat equation was replaced by a hyperbolic one. Its coupling with elasticity leads to non-classical thermomechanics which allows the modeling of second sound, provides a passage to the classical theory and additionally overcomes the paradox of infinite wave speed. Although much effort is put into non-classical theories, the thermoelastodynamic community has not yet agreed on one approach and a systematic research is going on worldwide.Computational methods play an important role for solving thermoelastic problems in engineering sciences. Usually this is due to the complex structure of the equations at hand. This thesis aims at establishing a basic theory and numerical treatment of non-classical thermoelasticity (rather than dealing with special cases). The finite element method is already widely accepted in the field of structural solid mechanics and enjoys a growing significance in thermal analyses. This approach resorts to a finite element method in space as well as in time.

The nowadays increasing number of fields where large quantities of data are collected generates an emergent demand for methods for extracting relevant information from huge databases. Amongst the various existing data mining models, decision trees are widely used since they represent a good trade-off between accuracy and interpretability. However, one of their main problems is that they are very instable, which complicates the process of the knowledge discovery because the users are disturbed by the different decision trees generated from almost the same input learning samples. In the current work, binary tree classifiers are analyzed and partially improved. The analysis of tree classifiers goes from their topology from the graph theory point of view to the creation of a new tree classification model by means of combining decision trees and soft comparison operators (Mlynski, 2003) with the purpose to not only overcome the well known instability problem of decision trees, but also in order to confer the ability of dealing with uncertainty. In order to study and compare the structural stability of tree classifiers, we propose an instability coefficient which is based on the notion of Lipschitz continuity and offer a metric to measure the proximity between decision trees. This thesis converges towards its main part with the presentation of our model ``Soft Operators Decision Tree\'\' (SODT). Mainly, we describe its construction, application and the consistency of the mathematical formulation behind this. Finally we show the results of the implementation of SODT and compare numerically the stability and accuracy of a SODT and a crisp DT. The numerical simulations support the stability hypothesis and a smaller tendency to overfitting the training data with SODT than with crisp DT is observed. A further aspect of this inclusion of soft operators is that we choose them in a way so that the resulting goodness function (used by this method) is differentiable and thus allows to calculate the best split points by means of gradient descent methods. The main drawback of SODT is the incorporation of the unpreciseness factor, which increases the complexity of the algorithm.