• Web browser artefacts in private and portable modes: a forensic investigation

      Flowers, Cassandra; Mansour, Ali; al-Khateeb, Haider; Babraham Research Campus; University of Bedfordshire (Inderscience, 2016-04)
      Web browsers are essential tools for accessing the internet. Extra complexities are added to forensic investigations when recovering browsing artefacts as portable and private browsing are now common and available in popular web browsers. Browsers claim that whilst operating in private mode, no data is stored on the system. This paper investigates whether the claims of web browsers discretion are true by analysing the remnants of browsing left by the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera when used in a private browsing session, as a portable browser, and when the former is running in private mode. Some of our key findings show how forensic analysis of the file system recovers evidence from IE while running in private mode whereas other browsers seem to maintain better user privacy. We analyse volatile memory and demonstrate how physical memory by means of dump files, hibernate and page files are the key areas where evidence from all browsers will still be recoverable despite their mode or location they run from.
    • Anonymity networks and the fragile cyber ecosystem

      Haughey, Hamish; Epiphaniou, Gregory; al-Khateeb, Haider; University of Northumbria; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2016-03)
      It is well known that government agencies have had the capability to eavesdrop on public switched telephone networks for many decades.1 However, with the growing use of the Internet and the increasing technical capabilities of agencies to conduct mass surveillance, an individual's right to privacy is of far greater concern in recent years. The ethical issues surrounding privacy, anonymity and mass-surveillance are complicated, with compelling arguments for and against, due in part to the fact that privacy and anonymity are desired by criminals and terrorists, not just individuals who care about their privacy.
    • How technology can mitigate and counteract cyber-stalking and online grooming

      al-Khateeb, Haider; Epiphaniou, Gregory; National Centre for Cyberstalking Research (Elsevier, 2016-01)
      With the virtual world becoming part of the social lives of adults and minors alike, new attack vectors emerged to increase the severity of human-related attacks to a level the community have not experience before. This article investigates and shares an outline on how technology could emerge further to counteract and mitigate the damage caused by online perpetrators. The review encourages approaching online harassment, stalking, bullying, grooming and their likes with an Incident Response methodology in mind. This includes a detection phase utilising automated methods to identify and classify such attacks, conduct digital forensic investigations to analyse the nature of the offence and reserve evidence, taking preventive measures as part of the reaction towards the problem such as filtering unwanted communications and finally looking at how we can rely on applicable computing to support and educate the victims.
    • Responsibility and non-repudiation in resource-constrained Internet of Things scenarios

      Oriwoh, Edewede; al-Khateeb, Haider; Conrad, Marc; University of Bedfordshire (International Conference on Computing and Technology Innovation (CTI 2015), 2016)
      The proliferation and popularity of smart autonomous systems necessitates the development of methods and models for ensuring the effective identification of their owners and controllers. The aim of this paper is to critically discuss the responsibility of Things and their impact on human affairs. This starts with an in-depth analysis of IoT Characteristics such as Autonomy, Ubiquity and Pervasiveness. We argue that Things governed by a controller should have an identifiable relationship between the two parties and that authentication and non-repudiation are essential characteristics in all IoT scenarios which require trustworthy communications. However, resources can be a problem, for instance, many Things are designed to perform in low-powered hardware. Hence, we also propose a protocol to demonstrate how we can achieve the authenticity of participating Things in a connectionless and resource-constrained environment.
    • Cluster-based polyrepresentation as science modelling approach for information retrieval

      Abbasi, Muhammad Kamran; Frommholz, Ingo (Springer Verlag, 2015)
      The increasing number of publications make searching and accessing the produced literature a challenging task. A recent development in bibliographic databases is to use advanced information retrieval techniques in combination with bibliographic means like citations. In this work we will present an approach that combines a cognitive information retrieval framework based on the principle of polyrepresentation with document clustering to enable the user to explore a collection more interactively than by just examining a ranked result list. Our approach uses information need representations as well as different document representations including citations. To evaluate our ideas we employ a simulated user strategy utilising a cluster ranking approach. We report on the possible effectiveness of our approach and on several strategies how users can achieve a higher search effectiveness through cluster browsing. Our results confirm that our proposed polyrepresentative cluster browsing strategy can in principle significantly improve the search effectiveness. However, further evaluations including a more refined user simulation are needed.
    • Objects, worlds, and students: virtual interaction in education

      Christopoulos, Athanasios; Conrad, Marc; Shukla, Mitul; University of Bedfordshire (Education Research International, 2014-09-22)
      The main aim of this study is to form a complete taxonomy of the types of interactions that relate to the use of a virtual world for engaging learning experiences, when blended and hybrid learning methods are to be used. In order to investigate this topic more accurately and effectively, we distinguish four dimensions of interactions based on the context in which these occur, and the involved parts: in-world and in-class, user-to-user and user-to-world interactions. In order to conduct investigation into this topic and form a view of the interactions as clear as possible, we observed a cohort of 15 undergraduate Computer Science students while using an OpenSim-based institutionally hosted virtual world. Moreover, we ran a survey where 50 students were asked to indicate their opinion and feelings about their in-world experience. The results of our study highlight that educators and instructors need to plan their in-world learning activities very carefully and with a focus on interactions if engaging activities are what they want to offer their students. Additionally, it seems that student interactions with the content of the virtual world and the in-class student-to-student interactions, have stronger impact on students’ engagement when hybrid methods are used.
    • Protein data modelling for concurrent sequential patterns

      Lu, Jing; Keech, Malcolm; Wang, Cuiqing; University of Bedfordshire (DEXA, 2014-09)
      Protein sequences from the same family typically share common patterns which imply their structural function and biological relationship. The challenge of identifying protein motifs is often addressed through mining frequent itemsets and sequential patterns, where post-processing is a useful technique. Earlier work has shown that Concurrent Sequential Patterns mining can be applied in bioinformatics, e.g. to detect frequently occurring concurrent protein sub-sequences. This paper presents a companion approach to data modelling and visualisation, applying it to real-world protein datasets from the PROSITE and NCBI databases. The results show the potential for graph-based modelling in representing the integration of higher level patterns common to all or nearly all of the protein sequences.
    • K-order surrounding roadmaps path planner for robot path planning

      Li, Yueqiao; Li, Dayou; Maple, Carsten; Yue, Yong; Oyekan, John O. (Springer, 2014-09)
      Probabilistic roadmaps are commonly used in robot path planning. Most sampling-based path planners often produce poor-quality roadmaps as they focus on improving the speed of constructing roadmaps without paying much attention to the quality. Poor-quality roadmaps can cause problems such as poor-quality paths, time-consuming path searching and failures in the searching. This paper presents a K-order surrounding roadmap (KSR) path planner which constructs a roadmap in an incremental manner. The planner creates a tree while answering a query, selects the part of the tree according to quality measures and adds the part to an existing roadmap which is obtained in the same way when answering the previous queries. The KSR path planner is able to construct high-quality roadmaps in terms of good coverage, high connectivity, provision of alternative paths and small size. Comparison between the KSR path planner and Reconfigurable Random Forest (RRF), an existing incremental path planner, as well as traditional probabilistic roadmap (PRM) path planner shows that the roadmaps constructed using the KSR path planner have higher quality that those that are built by the other planners.
    • The development of a smart chair to assist sit-to-stand transferring process

      Lu, Hang; Li, Dayou; University of Bedfordshire (IEEE, 2014-07)
      Standing up from a seated position, known as sit-to-stand (STS) movement, is one of the activities of daily living (ADLs) on a daily basis. As people age, physiological changes occur including reduced muscle strength and mass as well as sensory capacity. This may lead to difficulties in STS transferring process, with which the elderly may encounter sedentary lifestyle and contracted social space. There exist market available assistive lift devices with performance far from satisfaction, for the reason being that they fail to provide appropriate assistance. Thus, an intent-based smart lift chair is proposed and partially developed aiming to analyse user's physiological condition through pattern recognition. The idea of assistance-as-needed is also introduced which may help encourage the elderly to improve their own motor function by offering personalised assistance with adaptation to the change of conditions.
    • Geometric polarimetry—part I: spinors and wave states

      Bebbington, David; Carrea, Laura; University of Essex (IEEE, 2014-07)
      A new formal approach for the representation of polarization states of coherent and partially coherent electromagnetic plane waves is presented. Its basis is a purely geometric construction for the normalized complex-analytic coherent wave as a generating line in the sphere of wave directions and whose Stokes vector is determined by the intersection with the conjugate generating line. The Poincaré sphere is now located in physical space, simply a coordination of the wave sphere, with its axis aligned with the wave vector. Algebraically, the generators representing coherent states are represented by spinors, and this is made consistent with the spinor-tensor representation of electromagnetic theory by means of an explicit reference spinor that we call the phase flag. As a faithful unified geometric representation, the new model provides improved formal tools for resolving many of the geometric difficulties and ambiguities that arise in the traditional formalism.
    • Exploiting information needs and bibliographics for polyrepresentative document clustering

      Abbasi, Muhammad Kamran; Frommholz, Ingo; University of Bedfordshire (CEUR-WS, 2014-04)
      In this paper we explore the potential of combining the principle of polyrepresentation with document clustering. Our idea is discussed and evaluated for polyrepresentation of information needs as wells as for document-based polyrepresentation where bibliographic information is used as representation. The main idea is to present the user with the highly ranked polyrepresentative clusters to support the search process. Our evaluation suggests that our approach is capable of increasing retrieval performance, but performance varies for queries with a high or low number of relevant documents.
    • On clustering and polyrepresentation

      Frommholz, Ingo; Abbasi, Muhammad Kamran; University of Bedfordshire (Springer Verlag, 2014-04)
      Polyrepresentation is one of the most prominent principles in a cognitive approach to interactive information seeking and retrieval. When it comes to interactive retrieval, clustering is another method for accessing information. While polyrepresentation has been explored and validated in a scenario where a system returns a ranking of documents, so far there are no insights if and how polyrepresentation and clustering can be combined. In this paper we discuss how both are related and present an approach to integrate polyrepresentation into clustering. We further report some initial evaluation results.
    • Embedded FIR filter design for real-time refocusing using a standard plenoptic video camera

      Hahne, Christopher; Aggoun, Amar; University of Bedfordshire (SPIE - the international society for optics and photonics, 2014-02-03)
      A novel and low-cost embedded hardware architecture for real-time refocusing based on a standard plenoptic camera is presented in this study. The proposed layout design synthesizes refocusing slices directly from micro images by omitting the process for the commonly used sub-aperture extraction. Therefore, intellectual property cores, containing switch controlled Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filters, are developed and applied to the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) XC6SLX45 from Xilinx. Enabling the hardware design to work economically, the FIR filters are composed of stored product as well as upsampling and interpolation techniques in order to achieve an ideal relation between image resolution, delay time, power consumption and the demand of logic gates. The video output is transmitted via High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) with a resolution of 720p at a frame rate of 60 fps conforming to the HD ready standard. Examples of the synthesized refocusing slices are presented.
    • An interference-aware virtual clustering paradigm for resource management in cognitive femtocell networks

      Tariq, Faisal; Dooley, Laurence S.; Poulton, Adrian S.; Open University (Elsevier, 2014-02)
      Femtocells represent a promising alternative solution for high quality wireless access in indoor scenarios where conventional cellular system coverage can be poor. They are randomly deployed by the end user, so only post-deployment network planning is possible. Furthermore, this uncoordinated deployment creates severe interference to co-located femtocells, especially in dense deployments. This paper presents a new architecture using a generalised virtual cluster femtocell (GVCF) paradigm, which groups together FAP into logical clusters. It guarantees severely interfering and overlapping femtocells are assigned to different clusters. Since each cluster operates on different band of frequencies, the corresponding virtual cluster controller only has to manage its own FAPs, so the overall system complexity is low. The performance of the GVCF algorithm is analysed from both a resource availability and cluster number perspective. Simulation results conclusively corroborate the superior performance of the GVCF model in interference mitigation, particularly in high density FAP scenarios.
    • Both antireflection and superhydrophobicity structures achieved by direct laser interference nanomanufacturing

      Wang, Dapeng; Wang, Zuobin; Zhang, Ziang; Yue, Yong; Li, Dayou; Qiu, Renxi; Maple, Carsten; University of Bedfordshire; Changchun University of Science and Technology; Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (American Institute of Physics (AIP), 2014)
      Inspired by nature, a number of techniques have been developed to fabricate the bionic structures of lotus leaves and moth eyes in order to realize the extraordinary functions of self-cleaning and antireflection. Compared with the existing technologies, we present a straightforward method to fabricate well-defined micro and nano artificial bio-structures in this work. The proposed method of direct laser interference nanomanufacturing (DLIN) takes a significant advantage of high efficiency as only a single technological procedure is needed without pretreatment, mask, and pattern transfer processes. Meanwhile, the corresponding structures show both antireflection and superhydrophobicity properties simultaneously. The developed four-beam nanosecond laser interference system configuring the TE-TE-TE-TE and TE-TE-TE-TM polarization modes was set up to generate periodic micro cone and hole structures with a huge number of nano features on the surface. The theoretical and experimental results have shown that the periodic microcone structure exhibits excellent properties with both a high contact angle (CA = 156.3°) and low omnidirectional reflectance (5.9–15.4%). Thus, DLIN is a novel and promising method suitable for mass production of self-cleaning and antireflection surface structures.
    • Computer-aided segmentation and estimation of indices in brain CT scans

      Schetinin, Vitaly; Qureshi, Adnan Nabeel Abid; University of Bedfordshire (City University, London, 2014)
      The importance of neuro-imaging as one of the biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of pathologies and traumatic cases is well established. Doctors routinely perform linear measurements on neuro-images to ascertain severity and extent of the pathology or trauma from significant anatomical changes. However, it is a tedious and time consuming process and manually assessing and reporting on large volume of data is fraught with errors and variation. In this paper we present a novel technique for segmentation of significant anatomical landmarks using artificial neural networks and estimation of various ratios and indices performed on brain CT scans. The proposed method is efficient and robust in detecting and measuring sizes of anatomical structures on non-contrast CT scans and has been evaluated on images from subjects with ages between 5 to 85 years. Results show that our method has average ICC of ≥0.97 and, hence, can be used in processing data for further use in research and clinical environment.
    • Superhydrophobic dual micro- and nanostructures fabricated by direct laser interference lithography

      Li, Wenjun; Wang, Zuobin; Wang, Dapeng; Zhang, Ziang; Zhao, Le; Li, Dayou; Qiu, Renxi; Maple, Carsten; University of Bedfordshire; Changchun University of Science and Technology (Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), 2014)
      A method for the fabrication of highly ordered superhydrophobic dual micro- and nanostructures on silicon by direct laser interference lithography (LIL) is presented. The method offers its innovation that the superhydrophobic dual micro- and nanostructures can be fabricated directly by controlling the process of four-beam laser interference and the use of hydrofluoric acid (HF) to wipe off the silica generated during the process. Different laser fluences, exposure durations, and cleanout times have been investigated to obtain the optimum value of the contact angle (CA). The superhydrophobic surface with the CA of 153.2 deg was achieved after exposure of 60 s and immersion in HF with a concentration of 5% for 3 min. Compared with other approaches, it is a facile and efficient method with its significant feature for the macroscale fabrication of highly ordered superhydrophobic dual micro- and nanostructures on silicon.
    • Identity in virtual worlds

      Koshy, Lyzgeo; Getchell, K.; Conrad, Marc; French, Tim; University of Bedfordshire ([transcript] Verlag, 2014)
    • Applications of concurrent sequential patterns in protein data mining

      Wang, Cuiqing; Keech, Malcolm; Lu, Jing; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2014)
      Protein sequences of the same family typically share common patterns which imply their structural function and biological relationship. Traditional sequential patterns mining has its focus on mining frequently occurring sub-sequences. However, a number of applications motivate the search for more structured patterns, such as protein motif mining. This paper builds on the original idea of structural relation patterns and applies the Concurrent Sequential Patterns (ConSP) mining approach in bioinformatics. Specifically, a new method and algorithms are presented using support vectors as the data structure for the extraction of novel patterns in protein sequences. Experiments with real-world protein datasets highlight the applicability of the ConSP methodology in protein data mining. The results show the potential for knowledge discovery in the field of protein structure identification.
    • Great war stories told by the people – crowdsourced cultural heritage in digital museums

      Frommholz, Ingo; Graves, David; Liu, Haiming; Kumar, Ashwin; Brady, Gordon; University of Bedfordshire (IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC, 2014)
      The increasing interest in the centenary of the Great War 1914–1918 motivates the development of a digital library to capture and access valuable cultural heritage artefacts that would otherwise be lost. We will present a prototype to make available the story of the First World War in the local context of a British town, as told by the people today. The core of our prototype is crowdsourced ingest. To this end we apply latest insights from information interaction and access to foster user engagement. Open standards like CIDOC/CRM facilitate the external provision of our data and the integration of external resources. In the demo we will present our current Great War Stories prototype and how researchers from the humanities as well as digital libraries researchers will be able to benefit from and contribute to the project.