17,124 results for 2000, Thesis

  • Evaluation of utilisation of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Programme in Central province, Kenya

    Ngugi, Catherine Njeri (2013)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Background: The PMTCT HIV programme has been one of the most successful HIV preventive interventions towards HIV-free future generations. However, even though the programme is virtually effective in developed countries, many developing countries are reporting child HIV infections due to the MTCT. The programme has existed in Kenya for more than a decade, yet in 2011, 12,894children were HIV infected due to MTCT Objective: To evaluate the PMTCT programme, especially the HIV testing from the antenatal period to the postnatal period among expectant parents attending Nyeri Provincial General Hospital in Central Province, Kenya. Design: Retrospective analysis of the hospital registers. Methods: Three hospital registers were analysed for the period from July 2009 to September 2012. The registers were for antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care respectively. Each register documented the utilisation of PMTCT services by the expectant parents. Descriptive and inferential statistics were produced to analyse data from the registers. Results: The PMTCT services utilisation was sub-optimal. Of the 504 expectant mothers who attended the antenatal clinic, 59.9% came once, 80.4% had their first visit in the third trimester (between weeks 28 and 40) and only 6.9% were accompanied by their partners. All the women were HIV tested in their first visit but only 12.1% were rescreened after three months, and only 3.8% had been tested prior to the current pregnancy (p=0.000). No expectant mother was tested for HIV intrapartum or postpartum. The children of the 504 mothers who were HIV tested were those whose parent/s were known to be HIV positive or who had presented to a child welfare clinic with recurring symptoms suggestive of a failing immune system. Conclusion: Public health programs need to strengthen the PMTCT and HIV prevention programmes to ensure that HIV testing preconception and in pregnancy is fully implemented and strengthened, alongside continued education of the public through community programmes and the media. To avert further horizontal and vertical transmission of HIV, there is a need to address urgently the identified missed opportunities in the PMTCT program. These programmatic challenges require health system redesign and strengthening, resource allocation, addressing research gaps and reassessing the current PMTCT policies.

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  • Dancing to a different tune: adaptive evolution fine-tunes protein dynamics

    Donovan, Katherine Aleisha (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The molecular mechanisms that underpin adaptive evolution are not well understood. This is largely because few studies relate evolved alleles (genotype) with their physiological changes (phenotype), which move a population to better fit its environment (adaptation). The work described in this thesis provides a case study exploring the molecular changes underlying adaptive evolution in a key allosteric enzyme. It builds upon a long-term evolution experiment by Richard Lenksi, where twelve replicate populations of Escherichia coli have adapted in parallel to better fit their low-glucose environment. I focused on the allosteric enzyme pyruvate kinase type 1, since this has been shown to adapt to this environment. First, I used X-ray crystallography to determine a higher resolution structure (2.2 Å) than previously available of the wild-type PK1 enzyme for comparison with the evolved enzymes. I resolved the ambiguous space-group problem that affects these crystals, and demonstrated that the kinetic function of the recombinant enzyme is the same as previously reported. In addition, I propose a new model for allosteric activation: a combination of structural and dynamic analyses determined that the allosteric signal is transferred by a series of dynamic changes between the allosteric site, upon fructose-1,6-bisphosphate binding, and the active site for increased substrate binding. The functional analyses demonstrated that all eight evolved PK1 enzymes have a reduced activity compared to the wild-type PK1 at physiological substrate concentrations. Not only did the evolved PK1 enzymes show a parallel decrease in activity, but they all showed changes to substrate binding affinity and seven of the eight showed an altered allosteric activation mechanism. These results suggest that natural selection has selected for enzymes with a reduced activity by altering the functional mechanism of the evolved enzymes. However, in crystal and in solution structure characterisation determined that all of the evolved PK1 enzymes have maintained the same structural fold as the wild-type PK1. Although the fold is the same, substrate binding promiscuity suggested a change in the flexibility of the enzyme, allowing substrates of different sizes and shapes to bind. Computational and experimental dynamics studies determined that natural selection has selected for reduced activity by altering the dynamics in all of the evolved PK1 enzymes, and it has used altered dynamics to change the allostery of the enzymes. Therefore, this study provides the first example of adaptive evolution fine-tuning protein dynamics to alter allostery. This thesis describes the molecular mechanisms underlying one aspect of adaptation of Escherichia coli to the low-glucose environment in Lenski’s long-term evolution experiment. The adaptive mutations in Escherichia coli’s pyruvate kinase type 1 serve to increase the availability of phosphoenolpyruvate for glucose uptake. From a molecular perspective, natural selection has selected for adaptive amino acid substitutions that produce an enzyme with reduced catalytic activity at low phosphoenolpyruvate concentrations, thus decreasing phosphoenolpyruvate consumption. In addition, the adaptive mutations have altered the enzymes’ affinity for the allosteric activator (fructose- 1,6-bisphosphate), fine-tuning them to match the concentration of fructose-1,6- bisphosphate in the cell at the point of glucose re-introduction. Overall, this work describes the intricate relationship between genetic changes and the resulting phenotype and demonstrates the parallel nature of adaptation for this particular case study. Whereby, parallel changes are mapped from organismal fitness, to enzyme function and to enzyme structure. The dynamic changes, however, are not parallel thus making the prediction of specific changes in adaptive evolution difficult.

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  • Evaluation of composite laminates interleaved with nanofibre and microfibre veils

    Collins-Gargan, Rosalie (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The research covered in this thesis aimed to investigate the use of nanofibre and microfibre veils in carbon fibre reinforced composites and assessed the potential of the veils to improve damage resistance during impact and fatigue loading. It was hypothesised that the interleavings would increase the amount of energy required for crack propagation because of toughening due to fibre reinforcement mechanisms such as crack deflection, fibre pull out and fibre breakage. The work was undertaken as a combined project between the University of Waikato (Hamilton, New Zealand) and Revolution Fibres Ltd (Auckland, New Zealand). During this investigation, six thermoplastic polymers were chosen (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), polystyrene (PS), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and polycarbonate (PC)) that could potentially be used for the electrospinning of polymer nanofibre veils. Nanofibre veils were successfully produced from PMMA, and a polymer blend of polyamide 6,6 (PA6,6) and PMMA, (referred to as 'nanoNyplex'). These veils, along with three other nanofibre veils (nanoPA6,6, poly vinyl butyral (nanoPVB), and poly ether sulfone (nanoPES)), three microfibre veils (polyphenylene sulfide (microPPS), polyetherimide (microPEI), and woven polyamide 6 (microtricot)) procured from other manufacturers, and three veils combining one of the nanofibre veils with each of the microfibre veils (microPPSnanoPA6,6, microPEInanoPA6,6, and microtricotnanoPA6,6) were then used as interleaves in the manufacture of carbon fibre reinforced epoxy composite panels. Interleaves were placed between every ply of prepreg. After curing the panels, test specimens were created to assess fatigue, vibration damping and compression after impact performance. From the vibration damping study, it was found that the nanoNyplex interleaving improved damping the most. It was thought that energy dissipation was due friction brought about by the movement of the interleaving fibres in the matrix, resulting in friction due to weak adhesion between the nanoNyplex fibres and the epoxy matrix. From the compression after impact (CAI) section of this study, it was found that specimens interleaved with nanoPA6,6, microPPS and microPPSnanoPA6,6 had the highest CAI strengths. From optical inspection, it appeared (in general) that as the CAI strength of the specimen increased, the length of the damage region also increased. However, those identified with the highest CAI strengths had shorter damage regions. From the fatigue section of this study, it was found that the use of most interleavings, (apart from microtricot) increased the number of cycles to failure. Post fatigue test scanning electron microscopy confirmed that crack deflection was present for most interleaved specimens. Some evidence of pull out and breakage of the interleaving fibres was seen on the fracture surfaces of the nanoPA6,6, microPPS, microPEI, microPEInanoPA6,6 and microPPSnanoPA6,6 interleaved specimens. For both CAI and fatigue, it was found that improvement was generally greater with veils that had a large number of fibres per unit area and high adhesion strength with the matrix. However, for CAI it seems that high fracture toughness was also desirable.

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  • Exploring noise sensitivity: cardiac correlates of noise sensitivity and the auditory evoked orienting response

    Mulgrew, Joseph (2014-05-12)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    A growing body of evidence suggests Noise Sensitivity (NS) moderates the relationship between noise exposure and stress-related disease. As NS is pronounced within several clinical disorders, its biological mechanisms are of clinical and epidemiological import. Central Neurovisceral Integrative System (NIS, Thayer & Brosschot, 2005) concepts were drawn from to argue that autonomic balance (AB) provides an influential biological mechanism underlying NS and, additionally, that AB and NS influence the Auditory Evoked Orientation Response (AEOR). Baseline Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and NS, as measured by the NS Questionnaire (Schütte, Marks, Wenning, & Griefahn, 2007), were collected from 103 Auckland University of Technology staff and students and were used to analyse the neurovisceral correlates of NS. Furthermore, 60 participants went on to provide cardiac data recorded during and post exposure to auditory stimuli of varying valence, which were used to analyse the influence of autonomic balance and NS on the AEOR. The results of the study provide some limited support for both propositions. Findings are discussed with reference to AB, total regulatory capacity, emotion, and orientating. Although questions are left unanswered, future research directions are postulated that could culminate in the development of both screening and treatment protocols with pronounced clinical applications.

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  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual clients’ experiences of discussing sexual identity in therapy

    Tsai, Sandy (2014-05-19)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The current study explores lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals’ experiences of discussing sexual identity in therapy. Current literature indicate that the absence of sexual identity issues being identified and discussed could be a significant barrier to effective therapy with LGB clients. However, little research has explored how sexual identity is conceptualized in therapy by LGB clients and their therapists, and how this influences their therapeutic outcomes. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), LGB clients’ experiences of discussing sexual identity in therapy was investigated. Results clustered into three overarching themes: 1. Sexual identity as self in the making; 2. Sexual identity as a barrier; and 3. Sexual identity as increased awareness of oppression. Discussion of sexual identity is important for LGB clients in therapy, regardless of whether it is the main focus of their presenting issues. These discussions help them explore their sexual identity formation processes, which result in a stronger sense of identity due to a better understanding of sexual identity as an aspect of themselves. LGB clients who lack such opportunities to discuss sexual identity in therapy experience heteronormative assumptions and biases from their therapists, which increased their awareness of themselves as individuals of sexual minority and empathy towards others under oppression. The current study concludes that therapists should remain open-minded and explorative when helping LGB clients discuss their sexual identities in therapy, but always in context to their presenting issues so that conceptualizations and sense-making of sexual identity is centred in the clients’ subjective experiences

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  • Stigma: You do your time, you come out and do more: A phenomenological analysis of the experiences of stigma as lived by ex-prisoners.

    MacLennan, Brigitte Amber (2015)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis explores the phenomena of stigma and its effects upon offenders who have spent time in prison. There has been a long history of stigma attached to those who have engaged in criminal activity. As far back as the late 1800's it was concluded that a criminal could be identified by their physical facial features alone. While it is no longer common to stigmatise offenders based on the distance between a person’s eyes, there is still a great deal of stigma attached to having been in prison which can prevent offenders from living a pro-social life. There is little research in this area, particularly within the New Zealand context. This thesis uses phenomenological research to engage with the participants in order to gain an understanding of their lived experiences with stigma. Interviews were conducted to explore this phenomenon. Allowing offenders who have served time in prison to have their experiences heard has potential implications for policy makers with regards to release conditions and also for services that are run in prisons. Making successful transitions from prison living to living a pro-social life has benefits for not only the offender, but the community in which they are residing as a whole.

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  • Measuring the sustainability of logistics in small island nations in the Pacific : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Joy, Jullian Gilbert (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    This thesis examines the factors which small island nations in the Pacific could consider measuring as indicators when monitoring and reporting on the sustainability of supply chain management practices, focused on the logistics elements. A theoretical framework is derived from a review of appropriate literature to guide the research, which employs a case study methodology. The case study provides a cross sectional view of the reporting environment for early 2015, focused on the small island developing states (SIDS) that are members of the Pacific Islands Forum. Governmental regional organisations are the core participants for the development of the research, due to the nature of the political and business environment in these Pacific nations. One private company and one academic institute are also included as possible triangulation validations. The research finds that no effective measuring or reporting is currently being conducted in relation to assessing the holistic sustainability levels of logistics in the region. The lack of past adequate cross sectional or other methodology of data capture and reporting by the nations, has consequently resulted in a lack of adequate longitudinal data sets. Such data is needed to reliably inform and enable effective decision and policy making on logistics activity and investment in the region. The research finds that monitoring and reporting systems would operate effectively at the regional government level, with data disaggregation to national and indicator level. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) method of reporting fits within the political environment, and the research finds that this, linked with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators, which are to apply from 2015 to the year 2030, could provide a suitable monitoring and reporting framework. This would enable a consistent longitudinal data capture. The research’s recommended methodology will enhance the monitoring value and improve the opportunity for effective further research for the sustainability levels of logistics and other related societal functions in the small island nations.

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  • ECHELON: Espionage without ethics : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Philosophy at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    Bole, John (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    In June 2013, Edward Snowden disclosed the extent of mass surveillance conducted across entire societies by five Western Governments. Snowden apparently hoped to generate a global debate on the appropriateness of these activities and the risk /reward trade-offs that society was being asked to make. Snowden seems to have either overestimated the concern of the average person or misunderstood their current level of understanding and acceptance of surveillance. Either way, the debate was short. In general, society seemed to register a level of disquiet but no specific concern. This paper seeks to determine if the disquiet is a consequence of human morality and to identify any specific moral concern.

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  • Epidemiology and production effects of leptospirosis in New Zealand sheep : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy In Veterinary Sciences at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand

    Vallée, Emilie (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

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  • The world makers : one centre's approach to technology education with infants and toddlers

    Mortlock, Anita (2004)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Infants and toddlers are surrounded by technology. They observe and explore technological artefacts and the uses of them on a daily basis. Despite this, there is little research to guide teachers about what the technological interests, understandings and capabilities of infants and toddlers might be and how they might be supported and extended. Technology education is a relative/y new curriculum area and it has not yet been included in the literary discourse about infant and toddler educational programmes. This study aims to examine what the teachers at one childcare centre identify as the technology interests, understandings and capabilities of a small group of infants and toddlers. Video footage was taken of the infants and toddlers at work and play and segments were then shown to individual teachers during interviews. The children's assessment portfolios were examined and the teachers and families were invited to contribute further information. The sum total of this data was used to analyse and reflect on particular episodes of video footage. The technological interests, understandings and capabilities of both the children and the adults were seen to be integrally linked to the temporal, physical and interpersonal environments of the centre.

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  • “You Bring It, We’ll Bring It Out” Becoming a Soldier in the New Zealand Army : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Anthropology at Massey University Manawatū, New Zealand.

    Harding, Nina (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    The transition from civilian to soldier is a process of identity acquisition. Based on participant-observation, this thesis follows a cohort of new soldiers through the first year and a half of their careers in the New Zealand Army, from their first day of Basic Training to their first overseas deployment. Both the Army as an institution and its individual soldiers are explicitly self-reflexive, and I use not only academic theory but also soldiers’ own theories of identity and identity acquisition to make sense of the experience of becoming a soldier. I show that although recruits undergo change in becoming soldiers, they simultaneously retain pre-service identities. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of practice, I argue that civilians join the Army because of a shared “primary habitus”, a pre-existing identification with action, productivity and continual self-improvement through facing challenges that forms recruits’ earliest embodied understandings of themselves. The relationship between this “practical” habitus and the new soldier habitus to be acquired is key to understanding the civilian-soldier transition. While civilians draw on and thus fulfil the primary practical habitus in becoming soldiers during initial training periods, once socialised they find the Army much less challenging, and therefore may find that their need to be involved in meaningful action is not met. Although the practical habitus is behind and can make sense of the cohort’s actions, it is a mode of identity that has not often been recognised as such by academics, due to the fact that they do not share it. However, I show that it is more important in generating soldiers’ practice than the modes of identity that are usually employed to understand them: gender, sexuality, ethnicity and nationality. Therefore, I argue that anthropologists should not limit analysis to traditional axes of identity.

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  • Exploring New Zealand’s Rural Education Activities Programmes (REAPs): Social capital in a lifelong learning and community development context : A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctorate of Education at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Morrison, Derek Ryan (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    This research explored the extent to which social capital is an approach used by New Zealand’s Rural Education Activities Programmes (REAPs) to contribute to rural education. Social capital was defined for the purposes of this study as the resource residing in networks of individuals, based on mutual trust and shared social norms, which can be brokered and mobilised to achieve social benefits, particularly in the application of knowledge and skills. A conceptual framework lays out four key elements from this definition which were investigated: networks, trust, social norms, and brokerage. Given the lack of published material on REAPs and their work, a primarily qualitative design was utilised. Set within a constructivist epistemology and interpretive phenomenological methodology, in-depth interviews with REAP managers and questionnaires for REAP learners were used to collect data. The aim was to explore the lived experiences of these two REAP groups to identify their views on how REAPs operate so that those views could be considered within the social capital framework above. An inductive-deductive-inductive analysis approach was used to maximise the extent to which findings reflected participant language. Findings from both REAP managers and learners supported the strong presence of the four social capital elements in REAP activity. In many cases the qualitative themes were closely related, both within and across the four social capital elements. Both strong (social) and weak (institutional) forms of trust were described as influencing learner participation in networks, where REAPs played a role in brokering that participation within similar (bonded) and differing (bridged) networks. REAPs made use of trusted relationships and valued-based decision making to gain local community and cultural knowledge to ensure the relevance of responsive learning activities. The result was enhanced confidence and identity of learners to take part in other social activities, including further learning and collective action. Lived examples of these elements supported a social capital approach that fit well with the lifelong learning and community development processes outlined by the REAP mandate. These processes were defined holistically to consider the integration of individuals’ beliefs, viewpoints, and behaviours as much as skills and knowledge. The explored social capital approach within lifelong learning and community development contexts, yields clear recommendations for Government, REAPs, and partner organisations. Flexibility, values/identity-based education, and closing network gaps to facilitate innovation come through as REAP social capital practices that could inform policy and partnerships across the whole of the education sector. Further research is needed to more closely consider the complex relationships of the identified social capital themes. In terms of emergent themes, a deeper exploration of innovation produced through brokerage within REAP activity is highlighted as a key area of research for future.

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  • Organising Therapists’ Emotional-Social Skills: Are Therapists that Different? : A thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North New Zealand

    Marwick, Andreas (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Wampold and Imel (2015) argue that therapeutic outcomes may be more dependent on variables associated with therapists than treatment systems. An element of these therapist variables include the emotional and social skills of therapists, however, to date, little has been done to investigate the relationships between these therapy factors. One exception to this is pilot research conducted by my supervisors, their students, and myself (Harvey, Marwick, Baken, Bimler, & Dickson, 2016). This thesis aims to replicate and extend on this pilot research as to better understand therapists’ emotional and social skills in practice. Using three complementary approaches including thematic analysis of therapist transcripts, a date-specific literature review, and revision of foundational research, Harvey et al.’s original pool of emotional and social skills was revised and extended. Subsequently, using a statistical method for mapping psychological constructs, therapists’ emotional practices were transformed into a ‘map’ with three spatial dimensions, which was generally supported by comparative reliability checks including a validation study with a foreign-language sample. Finally, the nature of emotional practice was further investigated by administering a questionnaire of emotional practice items to 79 therapists. From this, eight salient practice constructs were identified. Statistical links were also found between these and both demographic data and a modified measure of the therapeutic relationship. Furthermore, using Q-analysis, a general consensus of responding was found between therapists’ emotional response patterns and as a result, a tentative pathway to therapists’ practice styles was developed. From these findings important research and clinical applications are apparent.

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  • Generational differences in work values, work-related outcomes and person-organisation values fit : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University

    Cennamo, Lucy K (2005)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Values are important constructs in guiding behaviour and enhancing motivation in the workplace. However, more research is required into generational patterns in work values, particularly as much of the information regarding age differences is based on stereotypes. The aim of this research was to investigate differences between the four generational groups currently in the workforce (Matures, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Baby Boom Echo), according to work values and the work-related outcomes of job satisfaction, affective organisational commitment and intention to leave. The study also examined how differing values may contribute to the perception of person-organisation values fit. An overall theoretical model of person-organisation values fit and outcomes was developed and then assessed for invariance across age using structural equation modelling. A sample of 504 Auckland employees completed a questionnaire (either online or via pencil and paper). Results indicated that the youngest generations (the Generation X and Echo group) placed more importance on status-related work values than the oldest generations (the Matures and Baby Boomers). The Echo group also placed more importance on having a social working environment than the Matures and Boomers. Freedom-related work values were also rated as being more important to the Echo group than any other generation. The two youngest generations showed greater intent to leave their organisations in the next 12 months compared with older groups. In terms of perceived fit between individual values and organisational values, Matures and Boomers reported better fit with extrinsic values than Generation X, and better fit with status-related values than the Echo group. The model of overall person-organisation values fit and outcomes was confirmed, and was invariant across groups, suggesting that the overall fit process was consistent across age. The findings from this study offer insight into possible areas for organisational intervention to enhance communication and acceptance between generational groups. Future areas of research are also suggested to improve understanding of this field.

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  • Wellness Protocol: An Integrated Framework for Ambient Assisted Living : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy In Electronics, Information and Communication Systems At School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, Manawatu Campus, New Zealand

    Ghayvat, Hemant (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Smart and intelligent homes of today and tomorrow are committed to enhancing the security, safety and comfort of the occupants. In the present scenario, most of the smart homes Protocols are limited to controlled activities environments for Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) of the elderly and the convalescents. The aim of this research is to develop a Wellness Protocol that forecasts the wellness of any individual living in the AAL environment. This is based on wireless sensors and networks that are applied to data mining and machine learning to monitor the activities of daily living. The heterogeneous sensor and actuator nodes, based on WSNs are deployed into the home environment. These nodes generate the real-time data related to the object usage and other movements inside the home, to forecast the wellness of an individual. The new Protocol has been designed and developed to be suitable especially for the smart home system. The Protocol is reliable, efficient, flexible, and economical for wireless sensor networks based AAL. According to consumer demand, the Wellness Protocol based smart home systems can be easily installed with existing households without any significant changes and with a user-friendly interface. Additionally, the Wellness Protocol has extended to designing a smart building environment for an apartment. In the endeavour of smart home design and implementation, the Wellness Protocol deals with large data handling and interference mitigation. A Wellness based smart home monitoring system is the application of automation with integral systems of accommodation facilities to boost and progress the everyday life of an occupant.

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  • Integrating the kayak ; transforming a lifestyle : a design-led exploration of transforming kayaks as lifestyle enablers : an exegesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Design at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand EMBARGOED UNTIL 01/05/2018

    Mitchell, Jason (2016)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    This study uses design-led research to validate the hypothesis that the design of current transforming kayaks does not meet the needs of the modern user. Research identified lifestyle factors affecting the kayaking experience and compared them to current transforming kayak models. Opportunities were revealed for new transforming kayak designs that would help to overcome modern lifestyle barriers to kayaking. Primary lifestyle factors indicated the time available, portability, and the type of accommodation lived in were the most influential factors affecting peoples’ ability to engage in kayaking. Secondary factors highlighted specific focused elements where design could be most beneficial. The transforming kayak, better known by the generic term ‘folding kayak’, is a small watercraft capable of packing down to a portable state for transportation and storage. Used extensively during World War 2 by the military, transforming kayaks became popular in post-war Europe as leisure craft, significantly outnumbering their non-transforming counterparts. Despite the potential transformation has to overcome barriers to kayaking, the current design of transforming kayaks caters to only a fraction of the market it once did. This study adopted the University of Texas ‘M.O.R.P.H. Lab Transformation Framework’ to identify principles and facilitators inherent in product transformation. This framework was imperative in evaluating existing kayaks and successful product systems. The use of heuristics aided in the development of new transforming kayaks. Transformation as a meta-theme in the design of products is positioned within the interrelated fields of modularity, adaptable design, and fields where objects change state, or are reconfigured for a specified purpose. A heuristic, iterative prototyping process led to experimenting with M.O.R.P.H. facilitators themed around folding and sliding systems and resulted in a series of transforming kayak prototypes validated through proof of concept, with further potential for future development outside of this study. Key innovations include integrating all kayak components and developing a central point of deployment. This resulted in systems with faster deployment times and resolved issues of complexity and loss of components within transit. Research builds on the ideas of using transformation in industrial design as a means to allow flexible and adaptable solutions, specifically within the design of transforming kayaks.

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  • Evolutionary Networks for Multi-Behavioural Robot Control : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Computer Science Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Jordan, Adam Roger John (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Massey University

    Artificial Intelligence can be applied to a wide variety of real world problems, with varying levels of complexity; nonetheless, real world problems often demand for capabilities that are difficult, if not impossible to achieve using a single Artificial Intelligence algorithm. This challenge gave rise to the development of hybrid systems that put together a combination of complementary algorithms. Hybrid approaches come at a cost however, as they introduce additional complications for the developer, such as how the algorithms should interact and when the independent algorithms should be executed. This research introduces a new algorithm called Cascading Genetic Network Programming (CGNP), which contains significant changes to the original Genetic Network Programming. This new algorithm has the facility to include any Artificial Intelligence algorithm into its directed graph network, as either a judgement or processing node. CGNP introduces a novel ability for a scalable multiple layer network, of independent instances of the CGNP algorithm itself. This facilitates problem subdivision, independent optimisation of these underlying layers and the ability to develop varying levels of complexity, from individual motor control to high level dynamic role allocation systems. Mechanisms are incorporated to prevent the child networks from executing beyond their requirement, allowing the parent to maintain control. The ability to optimise any data within each node is added, allowing for general purpose node development and therefore allowing node reuse in a wide variety of applications without modification. The abilities of the Cascaded Genetic Network Programming algorithm are demonstrated and proved through the development of a multi-behavioural robot soccer goal keeper, as a testbed where an individual Artificial Intelligence system may not be sufficient. The overall role is subdivided into three components and individually optimised which allow the robot to pursue a target object or location, rotate towards a target and provide basic functionality for defending a goal. These three components are then used in a higher level network as independent nodes, to solve the overall multi- behavioural goal keeper. Experiments show that the resulting controller defends the goal with a success rate of 91%, after 12 hours training using a population of 400 and 60 generations.

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  • The effect of maternal nutrition during mid- to late- pregnancy on ewe and lamb behaviour and the association with lamb survival : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

    Grönqvist, Gabriella Veronica (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    Lambing percentage in New Zealand has increased by almost 30% in the last 20 years. This increase is associated with a greater percentage of twin- and triplet-born lambs which have lower survival rates than singletons. The behaviour of the ewe and her lambs has been associated with lamb survival, however, relevant data on the effect of ewe mid-pregnancy body condition score (BCS) and nutrition on ewe and lamb behaviour under New Zealand pastoral farming conditions is scarce. This research included seven experiments investigating the effects of feeding ewes, with a BCS of 2.0 to 3.0 at mid-pregnancy, either ad libitum or only sufficient to meet pregnancy maintenance requirements from mid- to very late-pregnancy, on ewe and lamb behaviour at 3 to 24 hours after birth. The association between behaviour and lamb survival was also investigated. Observations on ewe and lamb behavioural were conducted at tagging (3 to 18 hours after birth) and in a triangle pen test at approximately 12 or 24 hours after birth. The effects of ewe mid-pregnancy BCS and feeding on behaviour were somewhat inconsistent across experiments, possibly due to variations in the timing and length of feeding treatments. Feeding ewes ad libitum in comparison to pregnancy maintenance requirements did not consistently improve the maternal behaviour score (MBS) of the ewe. This is not surprising as neither of the feeding treatment groups were nutritionally restricting. There was some evidence to suggest that lambs born to ewes offered the pregnancy maintenance diet exhibited a greater need, possibly due to a weaker ewe-lamb bond than lambs born to ewes on the ad lib treatment. This need was characterised in twins, in chapter four, by greater low-pitched bleating rates and decreased time to contact, suck and follow the dam. Similar, but inconsistent results were reported in other chapters. Further, when investigating the relationship between behaviour and survival, it was found that twin-born lambs with the greater need (followed their dam more quickly) were more likely to die. The opposite relationship was found in triplet-born lambs, which may be a reflection of greater competition for milk within triplet-litters compared to twin-litters. Thus, in both twin- and triplet-born lambs following behaviour is an indicator of mortality. The practical use of this behaviour as a tool to predict lamb survival is limited.

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  • Facial Expressions and Context Effects : A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

    Xu, Hui (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    It is common and important for us to recognise facial expressions in our daily life. Research on recognition of facial expressions was often carried out using isolated faces, which leads us to ignore accompanied contextual information (e.g. vocal sound, body language). Chapter 4 used bodily and vocal expressions as contextual stimuli to investigate whether there are context effects on recognition of all six basic facial expressions. The results generally showed that recognition of facial expressions benefits from congruent contextual stimuli, while recognition of facial expressions is impaired by incongruent contextual stimuli. Chapter 5 examined whether the observed context effects vary with the level of intensity of facial expressions. The results showed that context effects are influenced by the level of intensity of facial expressions and revealed the opposite trend of the magnitude of facilitation effects and interference effects as level of intensity of facial expressions was increased. The following chapter 6 investigated another important aspect of context effects, that is, whether attentional resources influence the observed context effects. The results showed that the magnitude of context effects was reduced when the perceptual load of task-relevant tasks was increased, at least for context effects from bodily expressions to the recognition of disgusted facial expressions. All the data collected showed commonalities and differences in the pattern of context effects on recognition of facial expressions. Future studies might concentrate on the differences among these facial expressions to explore whether there exists a consistent pattern of context effects for all six facial expressions or to refine the existing models regarding recognition of facial expressions to better predict context effects for facial expression recognition.

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  • Bayesian Modelling of Direct and Indirect Effects of Marine Reserves on Fishes : A thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Statistics at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand.

    Smith, Adam Nicholas Howard (2016)

    Doctoral thesis
    Massey University

    This thesis reviews and develops modern advanced statistical methodology for sampling and modelling count data from marine ecological studies, with specific applications to quantifying potential direct and indirect effects of marine reserves on fishes in north eastern New Zealand. Counts of snapper (Pagrus auratus: Sparidae) from baited underwater video surveys from an unbalanced, multi-year, hierarchical sampling programme were analysed using a Bayesian Generalised Linear Mixed Model (GLMM) approach, which allowed the integer counts to be explicitly modelled while incorporating multiple fixed and random effects. Overdispersion was modelled using a zero-inflated negative-binomial error distribution. A parsimonious method for zero inflation was developed, where the mean of the count distribution is explicitly linked to the probability of an excess zero. Comparisons of variance components identified marine reserve status as the greatest source of variation in counts of snapper above the legal size limit. Relative densities inside reserves were, on average, 13-times greater than outside reserves. Small benthic reef fishes inside and outside the same three reserves were surveyed to evaluate evidence for potential indirect effects of marine reserves via restored populations of fishery-targeted predators such as snapper. Sites for sampling were obtained randomly from populations of interest using spatial data and geo-referencing tools in R—a rarely used approach that is recommended here more generally to improve field-based ecological surveys. Resultant multispecies count data were analysed with multivariate GLMMs implemented in the R package MCMCglmm, based on a multivariate Poisson lognormal error distribution. Posterior distributions for hypothesised effects of interest were calculated directly for each species. While reserves did not appear to affect densities of small fishes, reserve-habitat interactions indicated that some endemic species of triplefin (Tripterygiidae) had different associations with small-scale habitat gradients inside vs outside reserves. These patterns were consistent with a behavioural risk effect, where small fishes may be more strongly attracted to refuge habitats to avoid predators inside vs outside reserves. The approaches developed and implemented in this thesis respond to some of the major current statistical and logistic challenges inherent in the analysis of counts of organisms. This work provides useful exemplar pathways for rigorous study design, modelling and inference in ecological systems.

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