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  • 1.
    Acevedo, Carlos
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Technology and Aesthetics.
    Developing Inclusive Innovation Processes and Co-Evolutionary University-Society Approaches in Bolivia2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study is part of a worldwide debate on inclusive innovation systems in developing

    countries and particularly on the co-evolutionary processes taking place, seen from the

    perspective of a public university. The increasing literature that discusses how innovation

    systems and development can foster more inclusive and sustainable societies has

    inspired this thesis work. Thus, the main problem handled in the research concerns the

    question how socially sensitive research practices and policies at a public university in

    Bolivia can be stimulated within emerging innovation system dynamics. In that vein,

    empirical knowledge is developed at the Universidad Mayor de San SimoÅLn (UMSS),

    Cochabamba as a contribution to experience-based learning in the field. Analysis are

    nourished by a dialogue with the work of prominent Latin American scholars and

    practitioners around the idea of a developmental university and the democratization

    of knowledge. The reader will be able to recognize a recursive transit between theory

    and practice, where a number of relevant concepts are contextualized and connected

    in order to enable keys of critical interpretation and paths of practices amplification

    for social inclusion purposes established. The study shows how, based on a previous

    experience, new competences and capacities for the Technology Transfer Unit (UTT)

    at UMSS were produced, in this case transforming itself into a University Innovation

    Centre. Main lessons gained in that experience came from two pilot cluster development

    (food and leather sectors) and a multidisciplinary researchers network (UMSS

    Innovation Team) where insights found can improve future collaborative relations between

    university and society for inclusive innovation processes within the Bolivian

    context.

  • 2. Afzal, Wasif
    Search-Based Prediction of Software Quality: Evaluations and Comparisons2011Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Software verification and validation (V&V) activities are critical for achieving software quality; however, these activities also constitute a large part of the costs when developing software. Therefore efficient and effective software V&V activities are both a priority and a necessity considering the pressure to decrease time-to-market and the intense competition faced by many, if not all, companies today. It is then perhaps not unexpected that decisions that affects software quality, e.g., how to allocate testing resources, develop testing schedules and to decide when to stop testing, needs to be as stable and accurate as possible. The objective of this thesis is to investigate how search-based techniques can support decision-making and help control variation in software V&V activities, thereby indirectly improving software quality. Several themes in providing this support are investigated: predicting reliability of future software versions based on fault history; fault prediction to improve test phase efficiency; assignment of resources to fixing faults; and distinguishing fault-prone software modules from non-faulty ones. A common element in these investigations is the use of search-based techniques, often also called metaheuristic techniques, for supporting the V&V decision-making processes. Search-based techniques are promising since, as many problems in real world, software V&V can be formulated as optimization problems where near optimal solutions are often good enough. Moreover, these techniques are general optimization solutions that can potentially be applied across a larger variety of decision-making situations than other existing alternatives. Apart from presenting the current state of the art, in the form of a systematic literature review, and doing comparative evaluations of a variety of metaheuristic techniques on large-scale projects (both industrial and open-source), this thesis also presents methodological investigations using search-based techniques that are relevant to the task of software quality measurement and prediction. The results of applying search-based techniques in large-scale projects, while investigating a variety of research themes, show that they consistently give competitive results in comparison with existing techniques. Based on the research findings, we conclude that search-based techniques are viable techniques to use in supporting the decision-making processes within software V&V activities. The accuracy and consistency of these techniques make them important tools when developing future decision-support for effective management of software V&V activities.

  • 3.
    Andreasson, Eskil
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Mechanics and Failure in Thin Material Layers: Towards Realistic Package Opening Simulations2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The final goal of this PhD-work is an efficient and user-friendly finite element modelling strategy targeting an industrial available package opening application.  In order to reach this goal, different experimental mechanical and fracture mechanical tests were continuously refined to characterize the studied materials. Furthermore, the governing deformation mechanisms and mechanical properties involved in the opening sequence were quantified with full field experimental techniques to extract the intrinsic material response. An identification process to calibrate the material model parameters with inverse modelling analysis is proposed. Constitutive models, based on the experimental results for the two continuum materials, aluminium and polymer materials, and how to address the progressive damage modelling have been concerned in this work. The results and methods considered are general and can be applied in other industries where polymer and metal material are present.                                                                   

    This work has shown that it is possible to select constitutive material models in conjunction with continuum material damage models, adequately predicting the mechanical behaviour in thin laminated packaging materials. Finally, with a slight modification of already available techniques and functionalities in a commercial general-purpose finite element software, it was possible to build a simulation model replicating the physical behaviour of an opening device. A comparison of the results between the experimental opening and the virtual opening model showed a good correlation.

    The advantage with the developed modelling approach is that it is possible to modify the material composition of the laminate. Individual material layers can be altered, and the mechanical properties, thickness or geometrical shape can be changed. Furthermore, the model is flexible and a new opening design with a different geometry and load case can easily be implemented and changed in the simulation model. Therefore, this type of simulation model is prepared to simulate sustainable materials in packages and will be a useful tool for decision support early in the concept selection in technology and development projects.

  • 4.
    Ankre, Rosemarie
    Mittuniversitetet.
    Friluftslivkonflikter i svenska kustlandskap ur ett planerings- och användarperspektiv: Studier av Luleå och Blekinge skärgårdar2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Hav och kust har alltid varit viktiga för oss människor. I svenska kustlandskap har boende, infrastruktur och fiskenäring existerat sedan lång tid tillbaka samtidigt som områdena också varit viktiga för nöje och rekreation. Men mellan olika intressen, samt mellan och inom olika användargrupper samt förvaltning, kan det uppstå målkonflikter. Utgångspunkten för den här avhandlingen är att beskriva och analysera eventuella målkonflikter kopplat till friluftsliv utifrån både ett planerings- och ett användarperspektiv genom två fallstudier i Luleå och Blekinge skärgårdar. Friluftslivet är en del av samhället och dess relevans för fysisk och mental återhämtning ger planering och förvaltning av friluftsliv ett ökat politiskt stöd, samtidigt som tidigare forskning visat att friluftsliv är stark i retoriken - men svag i planeringspraktiken. Därför behövs kunskap som kan utveckla planering och förvaltning av friluftsliv i svenska kustlandskap.

    Resultaten från den här avhandlingen visar att användarnas perspektiv på målkonflikter i Luleå och Blekinge skärgårdar ännu inte till stora delar har inkluderats i den kommunala planeringen. En slutsats är alltså att det finns skillnader i hur konflikter i samband med friluftsliv beskrivs och identifieras i den fysiska planeringen jämfört med användarnas upplevelser. Det har betydelse för förståelsen av friluftlivskonflikter och hanteringen av dessa. Förutom analys och diskussion av konflikter kopplat till friluftsliv, ingår en fördjupande studie av buller och tystnad som konflikt. Upplevelserna av lugn och ro samt tystnad är centrala för användarna i Luleå och Blekinge skärgårdar. Ett problem som avslöjas är att metoder med decibelnivåer inte avgör skillnader i buller som upplevelse i sig. Upplevelsen av buller och tystnad är nämligen subjektiv. Även zonering undersöks som ett planerings- och förvaltningsverktyg för att hantera friluftslivkonflikter i svenska kustlandskap. Som denna avhandling visar, finns det flertalet exempel på olika sorters zonering i Luleå och Blekinge skärgårdar. När man i planering och förvaltning utgår från ett perspektiv där naturvård och bevarande är utgångspunkterna, så måste ytterligare värderingar och verktyg inbegripas som att inkludera användare med deras olika behov, upplevelser och aktiviteter som äger rum i skärgårdarnas landskap. Att landskapet i sig är av betydelse syns också i resultaten. I fallstudiernas översiktsplaner markeras det värdefulla, attraktiva och unika med skärgårdslandskapet, medan användarna betonar det äkta, naturliga och opåverkade landskapet som grund för deras friluftsupplevelser.

    Den här avhandlingen tillför kunskap om spänningen mellan olika attityder och synsätt i den fysiska planeringens processer, förvaltning samt friluftslivets användare i svenska kustlandskap. Avhandlingen är också ett tillägg till tidigare kunskap om zonering som ett sätt att hantera konflikter i svenska kustlandskap, där särskilt användarperspektivet är en viktig del. Avhandlingen bidrar även till en grundläggande översikt av fysisk planering i relation till friluftsliv.

  • 5.
    Arlos, Patrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Telecommunication Systems.
    On the Quality of Computer Network Measurements2005Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Due to the complex diversity of contemporary Internet-services, computer network measurements have gained considerable interest during recent years. Since they supply network research, development and operations with data important for network traffic modelling, performance and trend analysis, etc. The quality of these measurements affect the results of these activities and thus the perception of the network and its services. This thesis contains a systematic investigation of computer network measurements and a comprehensive overview of factors influencing the quality of performance parameters obtained from computer network measurements. This is done using a novel network performance framework consisting of four modules: Generation, Measurement, Analysis and Visualization. These modules cover all major aspects controlling the quality of computer network measurements and thus the validity of all kinds of conclusions based on them. One major source of error is the timestamp accuracy obtained from measurement hardware and software. Therefore, a method is presented that estimates the timestamp accuracy obtained from measurement hardware and software. The method has been used to evaluate the timestamp accuracy of some commonly used hardware (Agilent J6800/J6830A and Endace DAG 3.5E) and software (Packet Capture Library). Furthermore, the influence of analysis on the quality of performance parameters is discussed. An example demonstrates how the quality of a performance metric (bitrate) is affected by different measurement tools and analysis methods. The thesis also contains performance evaluations of traffic generators, how accurately application-level measurements describe network behaviour, and of the quality of performance parameters obtained from PING and J-OWAMP. The major conclusion is that measurement systems and tools must be calibrated, verified and validated for the task of interest before using them for computer network measurements. A guideline is presented on how to obtain performance parameters at a desired quality level.

  • 6.
    Aziz, Hussein
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Streaming Video over Unreliable and Bandwidth Limited Networks2013Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The main objective of this thesis is to provide a smooth video playout on the mobile device over wireless networks. The parameters that specify the wireless channel include: bandwidth variation, frame losses, and outage time. These parameters may affect the quality of the video negatively, and the mobile users may notice sudden stops during the playout video, i.e., the picture is momentarily frozen, followed by a jump from one scene to a different one. This thesis focuses on eliminating frozen pictures and reducing the amount of video data that need to be transmitted. In order to eliminate frozen scenes on the mobile screen, we propose three different techniques. In the first technique, the video frames are split into sub-frames; these sub-frames are streamed over different channels. In the second technique the sub-frames will be “crossed” and sent together with other sub-frames that are from different positions in the streaming video sequence. If some sub-frames are lost during the transmission a reconstruction mechanism will be applied on the mobile device to recreate the missing sub-frames. In the third technique, we propose a Time Interleaving Robust Streaming (TIRS) technique to stream the video frames in different order. The benefit of that is to avoid losing a sequence of neighbouring frames. A missing frame from the streaming video will be reconstructed based on the surrounding frames on the mobile device. In order to reduce the amount of video data that are streamed over limited bandwidth channels, we propose two different techniques. These two techniques are based on identifying and extracting a high motion region of the video frames. We call this the Region Of Interest (ROI); the other parts of the video frames are called the non-Region Of Interest (non-ROI). The ROI is transmitted with high quality, whereas the non-ROI is interpolated from a number of references frames. In the first technique the ROI is a fixed size region; we considered four different types of ROI and three different scenarios. The scenarios are based on the position of the reference frames in the streaming frame sequence. In the second technique the ROI is identified based on the motion in the video frames, therefore the size, position, and shape of the ROI will be different from one video to another according to the video characteristic. The videos are coded using ffmpeg to study the effect of the proposed techniques on the encoding size. Subjective and objective metrics are used to measure the quality level of the reconstructed videos that are obtained from the proposed techniques. Mean Opinion Score (MOS) measurements are used as a subjective metric based on human opinions, while for objective metric the Structural Similarity (SSIM) index is used to compare the similarity between the original frames and the reconstructed frames.

  • 7.
    Baca, Dejan
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Developing Secure Software: in an Agile Process2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Software developers are facing increased pressure to lower development time, release new software versions more frequent to customers and to adapt to a faster market. This new environment forces developers and companies to move from a plan based waterfall development process to a flexible agile process. By minimizing the pre development planning and instead increasing the communication between customers and developers, the agile process tries to create a new, more flexible way of working. This new way of working allows developers to focus their efforts on the features that customers want. With increased connectability and the faster feature release, the security of the software product is stressed. To develop secure software, many companies use security engineering processes that are plan heavy and inflexible. These two approaches are each others opposites and they directly contradict each other. Objective: The objective of the thesis is to evaluate how to develop secure software in an agile process. In particular, what existing best practices can be incorporated into an agile project and still provide the same benefit if the project was using a waterfall process. How the best practices can be incorporated and adapted to fit the process while still measuring the improvement. Some security engineering concepts are useful but the best practice is not agile compatible and would require extensive adaptation to integrate with an agile project. Method: The primary research method used throughout the thesis is case studies conducted in a real industry setting. As secondary methods for data collection a variety of approaches have been used, such as semi-structured interviews, workshops, study of literature, and use of historical data from the industry. Results: The security engineering best practices were investigated though a series of case studies. The base agile and security engineering compatibility was assessed in literature, by developers and in practical studies. The security engineering best practices were group based on their purpose and their compatibility with the agile process. One well known and popular best practice, automated static code analysis, was toughly investigated for its usefulness, deployment and risks of using as part of the process. For the risk analysis practices, a novel approach was introduced and improved. As such, a way of adapting existing practices to agile is proposed. Conclusion: With regard of agile and security engineering we did not find that any of the investigated processes was agile compatible. Agile is reaction driven that adapts to change, while the security engineering processes are proactive and try to prevent threats before they happen. To develop secure software in an agile process the developers should adopt and adapt key concepts from security engineering. These changes will affect the flexibility of the agile process but it is a necessity if developers want the same software security state as security engineering processes can provide.

  • 8. Badampudi, Deepika
    Decision-making support for choosing among different component origins.2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Bakhtyar, Shoaib
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
    Designing Electronic Waybill Solutions for Road Freight Transport2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In freight transportation, a waybill is an important document that contains essential information about a consignment. The focus of this thesis is on a multi-purpose electronic waybill (e-Waybill) service, which can provide the functions of a paper waybill, and which is capable of storing, at least, the information present in a paper waybill. In addition, the service can be used to support other existing Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) services by utilizing on synergies with the existing services. Additionally, information entities from the e-Waybill service are investigated for the purpose of knowledge-building concerning freight flows.

    A systematic review on state-of-the-art of the e-Waybill service reveals several limitations, such as limited focus on supporting ITS services. Five different conceptual e-Waybill solutions (that can be seen as abstract system designs for implementing the e-Waybill service) are proposed. The solutions are investigated for functional and technical requirements (non-functional requirements), which can potentially impose constraints on a potential system for implementing the e-Waybill service. Further, the service is investigated for information and functional synergies with other ITS services. For information synergy analysis, the required input information entities for different ITS services are identified; and if at least one information entity can be provided by an e-Waybill at the right location we regard it to be a synergy. Additionally, a service design method has been proposed for supporting the process of designing new ITS services, which primarily utilizes on functional synergies between the e-Waybill and different existing ITS services. The suggested method is applied for designing a new ITS service, i.e., the Liability Intelligent Transport System (LITS) service. The purpose of the LITS service isto support the process of identifying when and where a consignment has been damaged and who was responsible when the damage occurred. Furthermore, information entities from e-Waybills are utilized for building improved knowledge concerning freight flows. A freight and route estimation method has been proposed for building improved knowledge, e.g., in national road administrations, on the movement of trucks and freight.

    The results from this thesis can be used to support the choice of practical e-Waybill service implementation, which has the possibility to provide high synergy with ITS services. This may lead to a higher utilization of ITS services and more sustainable transport, e.g., in terms of reduced congestion and emissions. Furthermore, the implemented e-Waybill service can be an enabler for collecting consignment and traffic data and converting the data into useful traffic information. In particular, the service can lead to increasing amounts of digitally stored data about consignments, which can lead to improved knowledge on the movement of freight and trucks. The knowledge may be helpful when making decisions concerning road taxes, fees, and infrastructure investments.

  • 10. Barney, Sebastian
    Software Quality Alignment: Evaluation and Understanding2011Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The software development environment is growing increasingly complex, with a greater diversity of stakeholders involved in product development. Moves towards global software development with onshoring, offshoring, insourcing and outsourcing have seen a range of stakeholders introduced to the software development process, each with their own incentives and understanding of their product. These differences between the stakeholders can be especially problematic with regard to aspects of software quality. The aspects are often not clearly and explicitly defined for a product, but still essential for its long-term sustainability. Research shows that software projects are more likely to succeed when the stakeholders share a common understanding of software quality. Objectives: This thesis has two main objectives. The first is to develop a method to determine the level of alignment between stakeholders with regard to the priority given to aspects of software quality. Given the ability to understand the levels of alignment between stakeholders, the second objective is to identify factors that support and impair this alignment. Both the method and the identified factors will help software development organisations create work environments that are better able to foster a common set of priorities with respect to software quality. Method: The primary research method employed throughout this thesis is case study research. In total, six case studies are presented, all conducted in large or multinational companies. A range of data collection techniques have been used, including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and workshops. Results: A method to determine the level of alignment between stakeholders on the priority given to aspects of software quality is presented—the Stakeholder Alignment Assessment Method for Software Quality (SAAM-SQ). It is developed by drawing upon a systematic literature review and the experience of conducting a related case study. The method is then refined and extended through the experience gained from its repeated application in a series of case studies. These case studies are further used to identify factors that support and impair alignment in a range of different software development contexts. The contexts studied include onshore insourcing, onshore outsourcing, offshore insourcing and offshore outsourcing. Conclusion: SAAM-SQ is found to be robust, being successfully applied to case studies covering a range of different software development contexts. The factors identified from the case studies as supporting or impairing alignment confirm and extend research in the global software development domain.

  • 11. Berander, Patrik
    Evolving Prioritization for Software Product Management2007Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The quality of a product is commonly defined by its ability to satisfy stakeholder needs and expectations. Therefore, it is important to find, select, and plan the content of a software product to maximize the value for internal and external stakeholders. This process is traditionally referred to as requirements engineering in the software industry, while it is often referred to as product management in industries with a larger market focus. As an increasing number of software products are delivered to a market instead of single customers, the need for product management in software companies is increasing. As a side effect, the need for mechanisms supporting decisions regarding the content of software products also increases. While decision-support within requirements engineering and product management is a broad area, requirements prioritization together with release planning and negotiation are considered as some of the most important decision activities. This is particularly true because these activities support decisions regarding the content of products, and are hence drivers for quality. At the same time, requirements prioritization is seen as an integral and important component in both requirements negotiation (with single customers) and release planning (with markets) in incremental software development. This makes requirements prioritization a key component in software engineering decision support, in particular as input to more sophisticated approaches for release planning and negotiation, where decisions about what and when to develop are made. This thesis primarily focuses on evolving the current body of knowledge in relation to release planning in general and requirements prioritization in particular. The research is carried out by performing qualitative and quantitative studies in industrial and academic environments with an empirical focus. Each of the presented studies has its own focus and scope while together contributing to the research area. Together they answer questions about why and how requirements prioritization should be conducted, as well as what aspects should be taken into account when making decisions about the content of products. The primary objective of the thesis is to give guidelines on how to evolve requirements prioritization to better facilitate decisions regarding the content of software products. This is accomplished by giving suggestions on how to perform research to evolve the area, by evaluating current approaches and suggest ways on how these can be improved, and by giving directions on how to align and focus future research to be more successful in development of decision-support approaches. This means that the thesis solves problems with requirements prioritization today, and gives directions and support on how to evolve the area in a successful way.

  • 12.
    Berglund Snodgrass, Lina
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Spatial Planning.
    Demanding Certainty: A Critical Examination of Swedish Spatial Planning for Safety.2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation constitutes a critical examination of Swedish spatial planning for safety. Spatial planning for safety rests on a number of assumptions about the desired order of the world. These assumptions appear as given and unproblematic, making the formulation of alternatives appear unnecessary. This dissertation provides an account of how, and on what basis a spatial planning problem such as ‘fear and insecurity’ is formulated and acted upon. It is an account of how and what conceptions of knowledge operate to legitimise ideological representations of spatial planning problems. And furthermore, what these ideological representations of spatial planning problems substantially entail, so as to allow for a political spatial planning practice that formulates and deliberates alternatives. This is carried out by analysing assumptions of public life and knowledge within Swedish spatial planning for safety. 

    This dissertation finds that Swedish spatial planning for safety constitutes ‘certainty’ as a hegemonic criterion for participating in public life, which operates to limit the articulation of alternative discourses in spatial planning for safety. The desired for safe public life is organised based on visual certainty, where the urban fabric should be configured in such ways as to allow for stereotypical visual identifications of one another. Such a public life reflects an individualised practice, where perceptions of fear should be governed by individuals themselves, by independently assessing situations and environments in terms of risks. This individualised conduct is coupled with the fostering of active subjects, which encompasses being engaged in the local residential areas as well as in one another. Such substantial content of ‘planning for safety’ brings about tensions in terms of its ideological legitimating basis, by moving from principles of ‘rights’, where the individual constitutes the first ethical planning subject, to unitary principles of ‘collective values’, in which the ‘community’ constitutes the first ethical planning subject. These presuppositions are further enabled through the ways in which knowledge is conceptualised in spatial planning. This dissertation argues that a hegemonic instrumental emphasis on knowledge in spatial planning prevails. Having such a hegemonic emphasis on knowledge has the implication that even though spatial planning adopts different assumptions, or moves between alternative assumptions of knowledge, the knowledge becomes meaningful only in its instrumental implementation. The instrumental emphasis on knowledge should be regarded in light of the rational and goal-oriented nature of project-based planning, which constitutes a logic that constrains the emphasis on knowledge in spatial planning. This dissertation argues further that if spatial planning should be considered a political practice that debates its goals and values, a politicisation of the emphasis on knowledge in spatial planning is imperative.

  • 13.
    Berner, Jessica
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health.
    Psychosocial, Socio-Demographic and Health Determinants in Information Communication Technology Use by Older-Adults2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the thesis was to investigate factors influencing ICT use by older-adults. A selection of psycho-social, socio-demographic and health determinants were investigated with Internet use. Data were collected through questionnaires (Studies I-III) and interviews (Study IV). Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted, investigating Internet use as a dichotomous variable, with the aforementioned factors. The results indicated that psycho-social determinants did not affect older-adults’ Internet use (Study I). Scoring higher on the personality traits openness and extraversion did not affect whether the older adults started to use the Internet (Study II). However, well-being increased for some frail older-adults when using the tablet computer and connected to the Internet (Study IV). Some socio-demographic determinants affected Internet use. Being younger in age was a strong contributing factor in all four studies whether the older-adult would use the Internet. Higher education influenced Internet use (Study I & III), correlated with living in a rural or urban setting (Study III); yet education was not influencing whether they would start to use the Internet. Living alone was correlated with Internet use, especially if the older-adult lived in an urban setting (Study III). Functional disability and household economy did not affect Internet use. Finally, the health determinants on Internet use were quite strong. Normal cognitive functioning influenced whether older-adults would start to use the Internet (Study II). The older-adult living in an urban environment, would use the Internet if they had normal cognitive functioning (Study III). It was noted also from Study IV that the learning to use the Tablet PC and Skype took longer for older people and more repetition was needed. Being frail was a strong factor whether the older-adult would use the Internet. They would not want to learn or try to use the technology if they were too ill (Study IV). The findings show only a small increase (7.7%) in Internet use by older-adults over time. The indicators of non-use are: higher in age, lower educated, living alone or rurally, lower cognition and frailty. There are two different profiles of rural and urban Internet users. These determinants along with an understanding of the use of technology, and a good support system, are a few pillars in ICT adoption by older-adults. As ICT continues to develop as a means to provide better health care, it will be important to take into account the abovementioned indicators. In certain cases Internet use is not a given, which continues to exclude older-adults. Part of healthy aging is social participation; therefore being connected and included in the digital society is important. Alternative and not only one design solutions should be explored in health care and by organisations, so as to cater to the heterogeneity of the aging population.

  • 14.
    bin Ali, Nauman
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Operationalization of lean thinking through value stream mapping with simulation and FLOW2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The continued success of Lean thinking beyond manufacturing has led to an increasing interest to utilize it in software engineering (SE). Value Stream Mapping (VSM) had a pivotal role in the operationalization of Lean thinking. However, this has not been recognized in SE adaptations of Lean. Furthermore, there are two main shortcomings in existing adaptations of VSM for an SE context. First, the assessments for the potential of the proposed improvements are based on idealistic assertions. Second, the current VSM notation and methodology are unable to capture the myriad of significant information flows, which in software development go beyond just the schedule information about the flow of a software artifact through a process. Objective: This thesis seeks to assess Software Process Simulation Modeling (SPSM) as a solution to the first shortcoming of VSM. In this regard, guidelines to perform simulation-based studies in industry are consolidated, and the usefulness of VSM supported with SPSM is evaluated. To overcome the second shortcoming of VSM, a suitable approach for capturing rich information flows in software development is identified and its usefulness to support VSM is evaluated. Overall, an attempt is made to supplement existing guidelines for conducting VSM to overcome its known shortcomings and support adoption of Lean thinking in SE. The usefulness and scalability of these proposals is evaluated in an industrial setting. Method: Three literature reviews, one systematic literature review, four industrial case studies, and a case study in an academic context were conducted as part of this research. Results: Little evidence to substantiate the claims of the usefulness of SPSM was found. Hence, prior to combining it with VSM, we consolidated the guidelines to conduct an SPSM based study and evaluated the use of SPSM in academic and industrial contexts. In education, it was found to be a useful complement to other teaching methods, and in the industry, it triggered useful discussions and was used to challenge practitioners’ perceptions about the impact of existing challenges and proposed improvements. The combination of VSM with FLOW (a method and notation to capture information flows, since existing VSM adaptions for SE are insufficient for this purpose) was successful in identifying challenges and improvements related to information needs in the process. Both proposals to support VSM with simulation and FLOW led to identification of waste and improvements (which would not have been possible with conventional VSM), generated more insightful discussions and resulted in more realistic improvements. Conclusion: This thesis characterizes the context and shows how SPSM was beneficial both in the industrial and academic context. FLOW was found to be a scalable, lightweight supplement to strengthen the information flow analysis in VSM. Through successful industrial application and uptake, this thesis provides evidence of the usefulness of the proposed improvements to the VSM activities.

  • 15. Björgvinsson, Erling Bjarki
    Socio-Material Mediations: Learning, Knowing, and Self-produced Media within Healthcare2007Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The thesis discusses lessons learned and issues raised when exploring how self-produced rich media can facilitate sharing of meaning between healthcare professionals at an intensive care unit and between healthcare professionals and patients within a hand surgery clinic. Design experiments conducted at the intensive care unit focused on how healthcare professionals could collaboratively produce ‘best practice’ videos displayed on handheld devices and accessed through barcodes placed out in the unit. The making of the videos it is argued can be seen as a temporary convergence of different views when reifying ‘best practice.’ Design experiments conducted at the hand surgery clinic focused on how healthcare professional and patients collaboratively could produce, during consultations, rich media documents that are tailored to the patients’ specific needs. The rich media documents made can be seen as a temporary convergence of two distinct practices; namely that of hand surgery treatment and the practice of everyday life. Making of rich media documents in both projects resulted in developing relational spaces of informal learning, which engendered the making of rich reifications that function well in close relation to participation. To engender the making of the rich media documents demanded the establishment and hardening of a socio-technical infrastructure which can be seen as a temporary convergence between tools and practices where both the tools and practices are changed. In both cases using these videos in turn demanded that the videos, a form of local collaborative hardenings, needed to be translated anew and so to speak “defrosted.” The design consequences are that designers need to acknowledge materiality as an ongoing process which is given meaning through participation over time within and across communities of practice. Materiality and human agency in this instance are not seen as discrete elements, but rather highly intertwined. The second design consequence is that we need to acknowledge the complexity, partiality, and multiplicity of such relational spaces. Methodologically, the consequences are that it is important to consider where the designers position themselves and the artifacts in the network of relations, since different positioning will have different implications for the subsequent spaces of action.

  • 16.
    Björklund, Svante
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI ).
    Signal Processing for Radar with Array Antennas and for Radar with Micro-Doppler Measurements2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Radar (RAdio Detection And Ranging) uses radio waves to detect the presence of a target and measure its position and other properties. This sensor has found many civilian and military applications due to advantages such as possible large surveillance areas and operation day and night and in all weather. The contributions of this thesis are within applied signal processing for radar in two somewhat separate research areas: 1) radar with array antennas and 2) radar with micro-Doppler measurements.

    Radar with array antennas: An array antenna consists of several small antennas in the same space as a single large antenna. Compared to a traditional single-antenna radar, an array antenna radar gives higher flexibility, higher capacity, several radar functions simultaneously and increased reliability, and makes new types of signal processing possible which give new functions and higher performance.

    The contributions on array antenna radar in this thesis are in three different problem areas. The first is High Resolution DOA (Direction Of Arrival) Estimation (HRDE) as applied to radar and using real measurement data. HRDE is useful in several applications, including radar applications, to give new functions and improve the performance. The second problem area is suppression of interference (clutter, direct path jamming and scattered jamming) which often is necessary in order to detect and localize the target. The thesis presents various results on interference signal properties, antenna geometry and subarray design, and on interference suppression methods. The third problem area is measurement techniques for which the thesis suggests two measurement designs, one for radar-like measurements and one for scattered signal measurements.

    Radar with micro-Doppler measurements: There is an increasing interest and need for safety, security and military surveillance at short distances. Tasks include detecting targets, such as humans, animals, cars, boats, small aircraft and consumer drones; classifying the target type and target activity; distinguishing between target individuals; and also predicting target intention. An approach is to employ micro-Doppler radar to perform these tasks. Micro-Doppler is created by the movement of internal parts of the target, like arms and legs of humans and animals, wheels of cars and rotors of drones.

    Using micro-Doppler, this thesis presents results on feature extraction for classification; on classification of targets types (humans, animals and man-made objects) and human gaits; and on information in micro-Doppler signatures for re-identification of the same human individual. It also demonstrates the ability to use different kinds of radars for micro-Doppler measurements. The main conclusion about micro-Doppler radar is that it should be possible to use for safety, security and military surveillance applications.

  • 17. Boldt, Martin
    Privacy-Invasive Software2010Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    As computers are increasingly more integrated into our daily lives we become more dependent on software. This situation is exploited by villainous actors on the Internet that distribute malicious software in search for fast financial gains on the expense of deceived computer users. As a result, computer users need more accurate and aiding mechanisms to assist them when separating legitimate software from its unwanted counterparts. However, such separations are complicated due to a greyzone of software that exists between legitimate and purely malicious software. The software in this greyzone often vaguely labeled spyware. This work introduce both user-aiding mechanisms and an attempt to clarify the greyzone by introducing the concept of privacy-invasive software (PIS) as a category of software that ignores the users’ right to be left alone. Such software is distributed with a specific intent (often of commercial nature), which negatively affect the users to various degree. PIS is therefore classified with respect to the degree of informed consent and the amount of negative consequences for the users. To mitigate the effects from PIS, two novel mechanisms for safeguarding user consent during software installation are introduced; a collaborative software reputation system; and an automated End User License Agreement (EULA) classification. In the software reputation system, users collaborate by sharing experiences of previously used software programs, allowing new users to rely on the collective experience when installing software. The EULA classification generalizes patterns from a set of both legitimate and questionable software EULAs, so that computer users can automatically classify previously unknown EULAs as belonging to legitimate software or not. Both techniques increase user awareness about software program behavior, which allow users to make more informed decisions concerning software installations, which arguably reduces the threat from PIS. We present experimental results showing the ability of a set of machine learning algorithms ability to perform automated EULA classification. In addition, we also present a prototype implementation of a software reputation system, together with simulation results of the large-scale use of the system.

  • 18.
    Borg, Anton
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
    On Descriptive and Predictive Models for Serial Crime Analysis2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Law enforcement agencies regularly collect crime scene information. There exists, however, no detailed, systematic procedure for this. The data collected is affected by the experience or current condition of law enforcement officers. Consequently, the data collected might differ vastly between crime scenes. This is especially problematic when investigating volume crimes. Law enforcement officers regularly do manual comparison on crimes based on the collected data. This is a time-consuming process; especially as the collected crime scene information might not always be comparable. The structuring of data and introduction of automatic comparison systems could benefit the investigation process. This thesis investigates descriptive and predictive models for automatic comparison of crime scene data with the purpose of aiding law enforcement investigations. The thesis first investigates predictive and descriptive methods, with a focus on data structuring, comparison, and evaluation of methods. The knowledge is then applied to the domain of crime scene analysis, with a focus on detecting serial residential burglaries. This thesis introduces a procedure for systematic collection of crime scene information. The thesis also investigates impact and relationship between crime scene characteristics and how to evaluate the descriptive model results. The results suggest that the use of descriptive and predictive models can provide feedback for crime scene analysis that allows a more effective use of law enforcement resources. Using descriptive models based on crime characteristics, including Modus Operandi, allows law enforcement agents to filter cases intelligently. Further, by estimating the link probability between cases, law enforcement agents can focus on cases with higher link likelihood. This would allow a more effective use of law enforcement resources, potentially allowing an increase in clear-up rates.

  • 19.
    Borén, Sven
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Towards sustainable personal mobility with electric cars and buses2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis was to explore if, and then how, electric cars and buses can contribute to sustainable personal mobility. Electric vehicles have increasingly been seen as a potential sustainable solution for the transport sector due to their high energy efficiency, close to zero emissions in the use phase, and the possibility to be powered by electricity from renewable resources. However, there are concerns about future scarcity of resources (e.g. lithium and cobalt for batteries), vehicle range, costs, high energy use in the production of batteries, as well as insufficient scientific support for how electric vehicles could be a part of a transition towards sustainability regarding personal mobility.  

    The challenges for a fast transition towards sustainability are large and many. The transport sector is not contributing to such development, mainly due to emissions, use of fossil energy, and use of materials mined and recycled under unacceptable conditions. Furthermore, existing societal goals (e.g. fossil-fuel independent vehicle fleet by 2030 in Sweden, UN Agenda 2030, and the Paris agreement) are insufficient for sustainability and are not complemented by concrete plans or an approach for how to engage stakeholders and achieve coordinated actions for sustainability. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development includes a principled definition of sustainability that is necessary and sufficient for sustainability and procedural support for collaborative innovation for a strategic transition to fulfillment of that definition, which is why it has been used as an overarching methodology in this thesis. 

    The research verified through several studies conditions for how electric vehicles can play a vital role in a strategic transition of personal mobility towards sustainability. Through stakeholder collaboration (e.g. interviews and workshops), a vision for sustainable transport with a focus on electric vehicles and an initial development plan towards that vision were designed. Several life cycle focused studies investigated (through calculations and data collection from literature, life cycle databases, interviews and workshops) about environmental and social impacts and costs for electric cars and buses. The stakeholder collaboration, combined with conceptual modelling, also resulted in models for generic support for multi-stakeholder collaboration and planning for strategic sustainable development of transport systems and communities, and for how to include electric buses in the procurement model of public transport.

    The strategic sustainable development perspective of this thesis broadens the analysis beyond the more common focus on climate change issues and should be able to reduce the risk of sub-optimizations in community and transport system development when applied in that context. The generic support for multi-stakeholder collaboration could potentially also promote a more participatory democratic approach to community development, grounded in a scientific foundation.

  • 20. Brandt, Patrik
    Information in use: Aspects of information quality in workflows2007Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis is founded on the global growth of the service sector and its significance for society as a whole and for the individual human being. In the last decade, technology has changed the way services are created, developed and delivered in remarkable ways. The focus of the thesis is technology in interplay with humans and organisations and the socio-economic-technical systems in which digital services play a central role. Challenges addressed by the thesis include requirement analysis, trustworthy systems, in- and outsourcing aspects, the proper understanding of information and its use in real world applications. With this in mind, the thesis presents a configurable methodology with the purpose to quality assure service oriented workflows found in socio-economictechnical systems. Important building blocks for this are information types and service supported workflows. Our case study is of a call centre-based business called AKC (Apotekets kundcentrum). AKC constitutes a part of the Cooperation of Swedish Pharmacies (Apoteket AB). One of their main services offered to Swedish citizens is the handling of incoming questions concerning pharmaceutical issues. We analysed the interactive voice response system at AKC as a starting point for our investigations and we suggest a more flexible solution. We regard a socio-economic-technical system as an information ecology, which puts the focus on human activities supported by technology. Within these information ecologies, we have found that a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) can provide the flexible support needed in an environment with a focal point on services. Input from information ecologies and SOA also enables a structured way of managing in- and outsourcing issues. We have also found that if we apply SOA together with our way of modelling a Service Level Agreement (SLA), we can coordinate high-level requirements and support system requirements. In the dissertation, we propose three attributes closely linked to information quality: • Trustworthiness of the source • Protection against falsification of information • The receiver’s competence to use obtained information in the appropriate and intended way. The first attribute concerns the assessment of a source’s trustworthiness. The second regards the ascertainment that the information has not been falsified on its way from the source to the receiver. These two attributes can be related to the classic CIA-model for information security. The last attribute can be related to the use of information, and this thesis also focuses on this issue. As a result, we propose a set of guidelines which represent our approach towards developing quality assured systems. We also present two main types of validation for service oriented workflows: validation of requirement engineering and validation of business processes.

  • 21.
    Bratt, Cecilia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Integrating a Strategic Sustainability Perspective into Eco-Labelling, Procurement and Supply Chain Management2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Maintaining the current course of the global society is threatening the human civilization. The urgency of the situation, understood from empirical research, has caused many researchers to call for more prescriptive research as a necessary supplement, to better support decision making for sustainability. While policymakers need to direct and stimulate sustainable production and consumption through, e.g., legislation and market phenomena such as eco-labelling, business represents a significant proportion of the necessary resources, capabilities and mechanisms for the innovation needed for a transition towards sustainability. However, while businesses more and more realize the self-interest in working proactively with sustainability, there is a desire for better support for how to do this also from this end. Such support needs to consider a significant shift going on in business; that individual businesses tend to no longer compete as autonomous entities, but rather as supply chains. Thus, no company is more sustainable than its supply chain partners. Therefore, sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) as a business function, and sustainable procurement as a subset thereof, plays an increasingly pivotal role for sustainable development. The overall aim of this thesis is to contribute to sustainable development by studying how three phenomena; eco-labelling, procurement and supply chain management are related to each other and to a strategic sustainability perspective, and to suggest how these phenomena can be integrated with such a perspective to provide better support for decision making and innovation for sustainability. For this purpose, a framework for strategic sustainable development, including a definition of sustainability and generic guidelines to inform stepwise strategic plans towards sustainability, is used as a foundational methodology. The development of new approaches is also based on case studies with eco-labelling and sustainable public procurement bodies, businesses and public institutions. Information is collected by shadowing of criteria development and collaboration processes, interviews and literature studies. While the findings point to a clear rational for all of the phenomena and several strengths in existing schemes and practices, the findings also point to several shortcomings. Sustainability is not defined, and as a result, there is no foundation for strategic and proactive approaches. Furthermore, decisions are not based on considerations of all dimensions of sustainability, the whole life cycle of products, all relevant stakeholders and a long-term perspective. As a result, the full potential of these phenomena for contributing to sustainable development is not utilized. This thesis prescribes enhanced processes for eco-labelling, sustainable procurement and SSCM, and shows how these can support organisations in developing from reacting individually on known sustainability-related problems to acting proactively and collaboratively in supply chains, in a coordinated and economically viable way, on society’s remaining gap to the full scope of ecological and social sustainability.

  • 22.
    Britto, Ricardo
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Strategizing and Evaluating the Onboarding of Software Developers in Large-Scale Globally Distributed Legacy Projects2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Recruitment and onboarding of software developers are essential steps in software development undertakings. The need for adding new people is often associated with large-scale long-living projects and globally distributed projects. The formers are challenging because they may contain large amounts of legacy (and often complex) code (legacy projects). The latters are challenging, because the inability to find sufficient resources in-house may lead to onboarding people at a distance, and often in many distinct sites. While onboarding is of great importance for companies, there is little research about the challenges and implications associated with onboarding software developers and teams in large-scale globally distributed projects with large amounts of legacy code. Furthermore, no study has proposed any systematic approaches to support the design of onboarding strategies and evaluation of onboarding results in the aforementioned context.

    Objective: The aim of this thesis is two-fold: i) identify the challenges and implications associated with onboarding software developers and teams in large-scale globally distributed legacy projects; and ii) propose solutions to support the design of onboarding strategies and evaluation of onboarding results in large-scale globally distributed legacy projects.

    Method: In this thesis, we employed literature review, case study, and business process modeling. The main case investigated in this thesis is the development of a legacy telecommunication software product in Ericsson.

    Results: The results show that the performance (productivity, autonomy, and lead time) of new developers/teams onboarded in remote locations in large-scale distributed legacy projects is much lower than the performance of mature teams. This suggests that new teams have a considerable performance gap to overcome. Furthermore, we learned that onboarding problems can be amplified by the following challenges: the complexity of the product and technology stack, distance to the main source of product knowledge, lack of team stability, training expectation misalignment, and lack of formalism and control over onboarding strategies employed in different sites of globally distributed projects. To help companies addressing the challenges we identified in this thesis, we propose a process to support the design of onboarding strategies and the evaluation of onboarding results.

    Conclusions: The results show that scale, distribution and complex legacy code may make onboarding more difficult and demand longer periods of time for new developers and teams to achieve high performance. This means that onboarding in large-scale globally distributed legacy projects must be planned well ahead and companies must be prepared to provide extended periods of mentoring by expensive and scarce resources, such as software architects. Failure to foresee and plan such resources may result in effort estimates on one hand, and unavailability of mentors on another, if not planned in advance. The process put forward herein can help companies to deal with the aforementioned problems through more systematic, effective and repeatable onboarding strategies.

  • 23. Bäcke, Maria
    Power Games: Rules and Roles in Second Life2011Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates how the members of four different role-playing communities on the online platform Second Life perform social as well as dramatic roles within their community. The trajectories of power influencing these roles are my main focus. Theoretically I am relying primarily on performance studies scholar Richard Schechner, sociologist Erving Goffman, and post-structuralists Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Felìx Guattari. My methodological stance has its origin primarily within literature studies using text analysis as my preferred method, but I also draw on the (cyber)ethnographical works of primarily T.L. Taylor, Celia Pearce, and Mikael Jakobsson. In this dissertation my focus is the relationship of the role-player to their chosen role especially in terms of the boundary between being in character, and as such removed from ”reality,” and the popping out of character, which instead highlights the negotiations of the social, sometimes make-belief, roles. Destabilising and problematising the dichotomy between the notion of the online as virtual and the offline as real, as well as the idea that everything is ”real” regardless of context, my aim is to understand role-play in a digital realm in a new way, in which two modes of performance, dramatic and social, take place in a digital context online — or inworld as many SL residents call it.

  • 24. Chen, Jiandan
    An Intelligent Multi Sensor System for a Human Activities Space---Aspects of Quality Measurement and Sensor Arrangement2011Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In our society with its aging population, the design and implementation of a highperformance distributed multi-sensor and information system for autonomous physical services become more and more important. In line with this, this thesis proposes an Intelligent Multi-Sensor System, IMSS, that surveys a human activities space to detect and identify a target for a specific service. The subject of this thesis covers three main aspects related to the set-up of an IMSS: an improved depth measurement and reconstruction method and its related uncertainty, a surveillance and tracking algorithm and finally a way to validate and evaluate the proposed methods and algorithms. The thesis discusses how a model of the depth spatial quantisation uncertainty can be implemented to optimize the configuration of a sensor system to capture information of the target objects and their environment with required specifications. The thesis introduces the dithering algorithm which significantly reduces the depth reconstruction uncertainty. Furthermore, the dithering algorithm is implemented on a sensor-shifted stereo camera, thus simplifying depth reconstruction without compromising the common stereo field of view. To track multiple targets continuously, the Gaussian Mixture Probability Hypothesis Density, GM-PHD, algorithm is implemented with the help of vision and Radio Frequency Identification, RFID, technologies. The performance of the tracking algorithm in a vision system is evaluated by a circular motion test signal. The thesis introduces constraints to the target space, the stereo pair characteristics and the depth reconstruction accuracy to optimize the vision system and to control the performance of surveillance and 3D reconstruction through integer linear programming. The human being within the activity space is modelled as a tetrahedron, and a field of view in spherical coordinates are used in the control algorithms. In order to integrate human behaviour and perception into a technical system, the proposed adaptive measurement method makes use of the Fuzzily Defined Variable, FDV. The FDV approach enables an estimation of the quality index based on qualitative and quantitative factors for image quality evaluation using a neural network. The thesis consists of two parts, where Part I gives an overview of the applied theory and research methods used, and Part II comprises the eight papers included in the thesis.

  • 25.
    Chu, Thi My Chinh
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Communication Systems.
    On the Performance Assessment of Advanced Cognitive Radio Networks2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Due to the rapid development of wireless communications together with the inflexibility of the current spectrum allocation policy, radio spectrum becomes more and more exhausted. One of the critical challenges of wireless communication systems is to efficiently utilize the limited frequency resources to be able to support the growing demand of high data rate wireless services. As a promising solution, cognitive radios have been suggested to deal with the scarcity and under-utilization of radio spectrum. The basic idea behind cognitive radios is to allow unlicensed users, also called secondary users (SUs), to access the licensed spectrum of primary users (PUs) which improves spectrum utilization. In order to not degrade the performance of the primary networks, SUs have to deploy interference control, interference mitigating, or interference avoidance techniques to minimize the interference incurred at the PUs. Cognitive radio networks (CRNs) have stimulated a variety of studies on improving spectrum utilization. In this context, this thesis has two main objectives. Firstly, it investigates the performance of single hop CRNs with spectrum sharing and opportunistic spectrum access. Secondly, the thesis analyzes the performance improvements of two hop cognitive radio networks when incorporating advanced radio transmission techniques. The thesis is divided into three parts consisting of an introduction part and two research parts based on peer-reviewed publications. Fundamental background on radio propagation channels, cognitive radios, and advanced radio transmission techniques are discussed in the introduction. In the first research part, the performance of single hop CRNs is analyzed. Specifically, underlay spectrum access using M/G/1/K queueing approaches is presented in Part I-A while dynamic spectrum access with prioritized traffics is studied in Part I-B. In the second research part, the performance benefits of integrating advanced radio transmission techniques into cognitive cooperative radio networks (CCRNs) are investigated. In particular, opportunistic spectrum access for amplify-and-forward CCRNs is presented in Part II-A where collaborative spectrum sensing is deployed among the SUs to enhance the accuracy of spectrum sensing. In Part II-B, the effect of channel estimation error and feedback delay on the outage probability and symbol error rate (SER) of multiple-input multiple-output CCRNs is investigated. In Part II-C, adaptive modulation and coding is employed for decode-and-forward CCRNs to improve the spectrum efficiency and to avoid buffer overflow at the relay. Finally, a hybrid interweave-underlay spectrum access scheme for a CCRN is proposed in Part II-D. In this work, the dynamic spectrum access of the PUs and SUs is modeled as a Markov chain which then is utilized to evaluate the outage probability, SER, and outage capacity of the CCRN.

  • 26. Constantinescu, Doru
    Overlay Multicast Networks: Elements, Architectures and Performance2007Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Today, the telecommunication industry is undergoing two important developments with implications on future architectural solutions. These are the irreversible move towards Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking and the deployment of broadband access. Taken together, these developments offer the opportunity for more advanced and more bandwidth-demanding multimedia applications and services, e. g., IP television (IPTV), Voice over IP (VoIP) and online gaming. A plethora of Quality of Service (QoS) requirements and facilities are associated with these applications, e. g., multicast facilities, high bandwidth and low delay/jitter. Moreover, the architectural solution must be a unified one, and be independent of the access network and content management. An interesting solution to these challenges is given by overlay multicast networks. The goal of these networks is to create and to maintain efficient multicast topologies among the multicast participants as well as to minimize the performance penalty involved with application layer multicasting. Since they operate at the application layer, they suffer from two main drawbacks: higher delay and less efficient bandwidth utilization. It is therefore important to assess the performance of overlay multicast networks in “real- world”-like conditions. For this purpose, we first performed an in-depth measurement and modeling study of the packet delay at the network layer. The reported results are in the form of several important statistics regarding processing and queueing delays of a router. New results have been obtained that indicate that the delay in IP routers shows heavy-tailed characteristics, which can be well modeled with the help of several distributions, in the form of a single distribution or as a mixture of distributions. There are several components contributing to the delay in routers, i. e., processing delay, queueing delay and service time. It was observed that the component delay distribution that is most heavy-tailed has a decisive influence on delay. Furthermore, we selected three representative categories of overlay multicast networks for study, namely Application Level Multicast Infrastructure (ALMI), Narada and NICE is the Internet Cooperative Environment (NICE). The performance of these overlay multicast protocols was evaluated through a comprehensive simulation study with reference to a detailed set of performance metrics that captured application and network level performance. A particular interest was given to the issues of scalability, protocol dynamics and delay optimization as part of a larger problem of performance-aware optimization of the overlay networks. The simulations were configured to emulate “real-world”-like characteristics by implementing a heavy-tailed delay at the network level and churn behavior of the overlay nodes. A detailed analysis of every protocol is provided with regard to their performance. Based on our study, significant conclusions can be drawn regarding the scalability of the protocols with reference to overlay multicast group management, resource usage and robustness to churn. These results contribute to a deeper understanding of the requirements for such protocols targeted at, e. g., media streaming.

  • 27. Damm, Lars-Ola
    Early and Cost-Effective Software Fault Detection: Measurement and Implementation in an Industrial Setting2007Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Avoidable rework consumes a large part of development projects, i.e. 20-80 percent depending on the maturity of the organization and the complexity of the products. High amounts of avoidable rework commonly occur when having many faults left to correct in late stages of a project. In fact, research studies indicate that the cost of rework could be decreased by up to 50 percent by finding more faults earlier. Therefore, the interest from industry to improve this area is large. It might appear easy to reduce the amount of rework just by putting more focus on early verification activities, e.g. reviews. However, activities such as reviews and testing are good at catching different types of faults at different stages in the development cycle. Further, some system characteristics such as system capacity and backward compatibility might not be feasible to verify early through for example reviews or unit tests. Therefore, the objective should not just be to find and remove all faults as early as possible. Instead, the cost-effectiveness of different techniques in relation to different types of faults should be in focus. A department at Ericsson AB was interested in approaches for assessing and improving early and cost-effective fault detection. In particular, there was a need to quantify the value of suggested improvements. Based on this objective, research was during a few years conducted in the industrial environment. The conducted research resulted in this thesis, which determines how to quantify unnecessary rework costs and determines which phases and activities to focus improvement work on in order to achieve earlier and more cost-effective fault detection. The thesis describes and evaluates measurement methods that make organizations strive towards finding the right faults in the right phase. The developed methods were also used for evaluating the impact a framework for component-level test automation and test-driven development had on development efficiency and quality. Further, the thesis demonstrates how the implementation of such improvements can be continuously monitored to obtain feedback during ongoing projects. Finally, recommendations on how to define and implement measurements, and how to interpret obtained measurement data are provided, e.g. presented as considerations, lessons learned, and success factors. The thesis concluded that existing approaches for assessing and improving the degree of early and cost-effective software fault detection are not satisfactory since they can cause counter-productive behavior. An approach that more adequately considers the cost-efficiency aspects of software fault detection is required. Additionally, experiences from different products and organizations led to the conclusion that a combination of measurements is commonly necessary to accurately identify and prioritize improvements.

  • 28.
    Duong, Quang Trung
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    On the Performance Analysis of Cooperative Communications with Practical Constraints2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With the rapid development of multimedia services, wireless communication engineers may face a major challenge to meet the demand of higher data-rate communication over error-prone mobile radio channels. As a promising solution, the concept of cooperative communication, where a so-called relay node is formed to assist the direct link, has recently been applied to alleviate the severe pathloss and shadowing effects in wireless systems. In addition, without spending extra spectrum and power resources, multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antenna systems have been shown to provide an immense improvement in system performance compared to its single-antenna counterpart. As such, cooperative MIMO communication is essential for wireless and mobile networks because of its remarkable increase in spectral efficiency and reliability. Although the utilization of cooperative communication in MIMO systems has gained great attention in the literature, most of the research works have assumed perfect conditions. Inspired by the aforementioned discussion, this thesis takes a step further to investigate the performance of cooperative communications with practical constraints. The thesis provides a general framework for performance analysis of cooperative communications subject to several practical constraints such as antenna correlation, rank-deficiency of the channel matrix, co-channel interference, and interference-limited constraint of cognitive radio networks based on an underlay spectrum-sharing approach. The thesis is divided into six parts. The first part investigates the performance of orthogonal space-time block codes (OSTBCs) over MIMO relay networks in Nakagami-m fading channels under the antenna correlation effect. The second part extends the full-rank MIMO channel to the case of the MIMO channel matrix being of rank-deficiency. Several important findings on the impact of the single-keyhole effect (SKE) and double-keyhole effect (DKE) are observed for two types of amplifying mechanism at the relay, namely, linear and squaring approaches. An important observation corroborated by our studies is that for offering a tradeoff between performance and complexity, we should use the linear approach for SKE and the squaring approach for DKE. The third part generalizes the keyhole effect to multi-keyhole channels. The exact and asymptotic expressions for symbol error probability (SEP) are derived for some specific cases such as multi-keyhole MIMO/multiple-input single-output (MISO) channel. The fourth part proposes a distributed Alamouti space-time code for two-way fixed gain amplify-and-forward (AF) relaying. In particular, closed-form expressions for approximated ergodic sum-rate and exact pairwise error probability (PWEP) are derived for Nakagami-m fading channels. To reveal further insights into array and diversity gains, an asymptotic PWEP is also obtained. The fifth part analyzes the outage performance of a two-way fixed gain AF relay system with beamforming, arbitrary antenna correlation, and co-channel interference (CCI). Finally, the sixth part investigates the impact of interference power constraint on the performance of cognitive relay networks based on the spectrum-sharing approach.

  • 29.
    Ecuru, Julius
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Planning and Media Design.
    Unlocking Potentials of Innovation Systems in Low Resource Settings2013Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examined the dynamics, challenges and opportunities of developing innovation systems in low resource settings with a particular focus on Uganda. It applied perspectives of technoscience and concepts of innovation systems, triple helix as university-industry-government relationships, mode 2 knowledge production and situated knowledges in understanding the context, identifying key policy issues and suggesting ways to address them. A mixed methodology combining both quantitative and qualitative methods was used in the study. It involved review of key policy documents, key informant interviews, focus group discussions and meetings with scientists, business leaders in the target organizations and firms, community members as well as observations of production processes in firms. Findings underscore the need for greater interaction and learning among actors in the emerging innovation systems in Uganda and eastern Africa. An opportunity for this to happen may be the growing number of entrepreneurial initiatives at the university and some public research organizations in the country. These entrepreneurial initiatives are driven by scientists, who are enthusiastic about moving their research results and innovations to market. This makes it plausible, in low resource settings like in Uganda, to promote the university working closely with public research organizations and firms as a locus for research and innovation. However, enabling conditions, which foster interaction and learning among actors, should be put in place. First, there is need to formulate specific policies and strategies with clear goals and incentives to promote growth of particular innovation systems. Second, a clear national policy for financing research and innovation is needed, which involves on the one part core funding to universities and research organizations, and on the other, competitive grants for research and innovation. Third, business incubation services should be established and/or supported as places where entrepreneurial scientists and other persons develop and test their business ideas and models. Fourth, there is need for institutional reforms to make administrative processes less bureaucratic, more costeffective and efficient. These reforms are necessary for example in processes involving procurement and financial management, research project approvals (for ethics and safety), technology assessments, contracting and licensing and other registration services. The findings and conclusions from this study demonstrate that technoscientific perspectives and innovation systems approaches can be adapted and used as a framework for identifying and explaining conditions that promote or hamper innovation in low resource settings as well as policy options to address them.

  • 30. Ekdahl, Peter
    Medieteknik i en senmodern tid. Digital teknik, estetik och gestaltning2005Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Avhandlingen tar sin utgångspunkt i utvecklingsarbetet med utbildningsprogrammet Medieteknik med inriktning mot interaktiva system på Blekinge tekniska högskola (BTH) åren 2000-2005. Etablerandet innebar en möjlighet att pröva former och innehåll för att utveckla en framtidsinriktad utbildning inom digital teknik. Med begreppet framtidsinriktad avser författaren en utbildning som tar till vara högskolans växande roll som ett offentligt rum för kunskap och tillväxt, unga människors behov av mening och orienteringspunkter i en förvirrad samtid och näringslivets behov av idédrivna och hantverksskickliga medarbetare. Etablerandet innehåller många interna och externa utmaningar, ifrågasättanden och motstånd, som behöver formuleras och undersökas för att tillföra ny kunskap. Utvecklingen beskrivs som en förändring av andra ordningen. Det innebär att tankemönster, både som verklighetsbeskrivningar och handlingar förändras och att därmed hela systemet förändras. Förändringsarbetets teori och praktik diskuteras genom att presentera aspekter av begreppen person, kunskap, lärande i förhållande till digital teknik och hur dessa begrepp kan och bör interagera med varandra på handlingsnivå. En avsikt och en förhoppning är att undersökningen ska vara användbar för utbildningar även utanför den digitala teknikens kunskapsfält.

  • 31. Ekelin, Annelie
    The Work to Make eParticipation Work2007Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    eParticipation is a new research domain focusing the development of ICT-supported participation in processes of government and governance. These processes may concern involvement of practitioners, citizens and politicians in electronic public administration, service delivery, policy-making and decision-making. The overall objective of this thesis is to discuss how eParticipation is enacted and shaped, in and by practice, and thus contribute to development of practice-based conceptualisation as well as development within the differing practices of eParticipation. The study is based on interpretive case studies as well as theoretical perspectives assisting the analysis of the research field as multiple and co-related processes and relations of change and learning. The empirical data has been gathered during participation in several research and development projects, conducted within a local municipality in Southeast Sweden. Several of the projects were also part of national and international collaboration. The methodological approach comprises ethnographic studies, including interviews, participatory observations and document analysis. The approach of ethnomethodology was also inspirational for the close examining of how various actors organised their participation or non-participation in the various settings of preparing for or conducting eParticipation. The theoretical basis is multi-disciplinary, drawing on perspectives from technological and social theories, such as political science, ANT and feminist theories along with IS (information systems) research. The concept of symbolic eParticipation is coined in order to explore how the preconceived ideas of managing participation seem to be constricting and limiting local and situated development. At the same time, symbolic eParticipation is inspiring development of local interpretations and participatory work. The mutual shaping of these activities leads to the formulation of the notion malleability of organisations and citizenship. The findings indicate that activities of for instance customisation of software or evaluation of consultation tools contribute in creating socio-technical mechanisms, of which they are themselves a part. Those mechanisms embed power relations, and thus become a delegated function of opening up or closing for participation. An example of such socio-technical mechanisms is the notion of “active citizenship”, which is given higher legitimate status if it is conducted mainly as an electronically mediated activity. The term “symbolic active citizenship” is suggested as a concept which describes the legitimate active citizenship. The process of becoming active is thoroughly addressed in this thesis, including variations such as pro-activity and active passivity. These are also mediated by processes of learning in communities of practice. Active participants alternate between being active and actively passive in the processes which are supposed to constitute, form and sustain activities of eParticipation. This fluidity of citizenship has implications for future design of technology and for how to perceive participation in these activities. The interplay of symbolic eParticipation and organisational and civic malle¬ability described in this thesis, underscores the significance of providing space for negotiations of situating eParticipation.

  • 32. Engelke, Ulrich
    Modelling Perceptual Quality and Visual Saliency for Image and Video Communications2010Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The evolution of advanced radio transmission technologies for third and future generation mobile radio systems has paved the way for the delivery of mobile multimedia services. This is further enabled through contemporary video coding standards, such as H.264/AVC, allowing wireless image and video applications to become a reality on modern mobile devices. The extensive amount of data needed to represent the visual content and the scarce channel bandwidth constitute great challenges for network operators to deliver an intended quality of service. Appropriate metrics are thus instrumental for service providers to monitor the quality as experienced by the end user. This thesis focuses on subjective and objective assessment methods of perceived visual quality in image and video communication. The content of the thesis can be broadly divided into four parts. Firstly, the focus is on the development of image quality metrics that predict perceived quality degradations due to transmission errors. The metrics follow the reduced-reference approach, thus, allowing to measure quality loss during image communication with only little overhead as side information. The metrics are designed and validated using subjective quality ratings from two experiments. The distortion assessment performance is further demonstrated through an application for filter design. The second part of the thesis then investigates various methodologies to further improve the quality prediction performance of the metrics. In this respect, several properties of the human visual system are investigated and incorporated into the metric design. It is shown that the quality prediction performance can be considerably improved using these methodologies. The third part is devoted to analysing the impact of the complex distortion patterns on the overall perceived quality, following two goals. Firstly, the confidence of human observers is analysed to identify the difficulties during assessment of the distorted images, showing, that indeed the level of confidence is highly dependent on the level of visual quality. Secondly, the impact of content saliency on the perceived quality is identified using region-of-interest selections and eye tracking data from two independent subjective experiments. It is revealed, that the saliency of the distortion region indeed has an impact on the overall quality perception and also on the viewing behaviour of human observers when rating image quality. Finally, the quality perception of H.264/AVC coded video containing packet loss is analysed based on the results of a combined subjective video quality and eye tracking experiment. It is shown that the distortion location in relation to the content saliency has a tremendous impact on the overall perceived quality. Based on these findings, a framework for saliency aware video quality assessment is proposed that strongly improves the quality prediction performance of existing video quality metrics.

  • 33. Eriksson, Jeanette
    Supporting the Cooperative Design Process of End-User Tailoring2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In most business areas today, competition is hard and it is a matter of company survival to interpret and follow up changes within the business market. The margin between success and failure is small. Possessing suitable, sustainable information systems is an advantage when attempting to stay in the front line of the business area. In order to be and remain competitive, these information systems must be up-to-date, and adapt to changes in the business environment. Keeping business systems up-to-date in a business environment such as this one, the telecom business, that changes rapidly and continuously, is a huge challenge. One way to approach this challenge is through flexibility in systems. The power of flexibility is that it keeps the system usable and relevant and allows it to evolve. This thesis is concerned with end-user tailorable software. Tailorable software makes it possible for end users to evolve an application better to fit altered business requirements and tasks. In the view of tailorable software taken in this thesis, the users should be seen as co-designers, as they take over the design of the software when it is in use. In this work, it is important that the users are aware of the possibilities and limitations of the software. However, tailoring is not enough, because the tailoring capabilities are always limited, meaning that tailoring cannot support completely unanticipated changes. The tailoring capabilities must therefore be extended, and tailoring activities must be coordinated with software evolution activities performed by professional developers. This allows the system to adapt continuously to a rapidly changing business environment and thereby live up to the intention of the system. Studies so far have tended to look at evolution from either a user perspective or a system perspective, resulting in a gap between development and use. This thesis takes an overall stand and states that it is possible to benefit from both the user and system perspectives, through collaboration between users, tailors and developers. It is necessary for users and developers to collaborate closely in order to make tailorable information systems both durable and adaptable to rapid changes in the business environment. In this way, the development of useful, sustainable software, which adapts easily to changes in an evolving environment, can be achieved. This thesis also presents a set of tools to support collaboration on equal terms between users and developers, in the technical design process of evolving the tailorable software and extending the tailoring capabilities. The toolkit aims at building a common understanding of tailoring, supporting democratic agreements and a common understanding of what kind of tailoring to implement. It makes it possible for the users to take part in technical design decisions and have a better understanding of trade-offs and system boundaries. These are key factors for the successful future evolution of a tailorable system, as it is the users who are the designers of the software during its future use. All of the research is based on field studies including participatory observations, interviews and workshops with users and developers. These studies led to the creation of prototypes and tools that act as mediating artefacts when exploring the research questions. The contribution of the thesis is twofold. Firstly, the thesis elucidates the need for a cooperative design process to ensure that end-user tailorable software remains useful and sustainable. Secondly, the thesis suggests a toolkit with four different tools to support such a cooperative design process.

  • 34.
    Erlandsson, Fredrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
    Human Interactions on Online Social Media: Collecting and Analyzing Social Interaction Networks2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Online social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, provides users with services that enable them to interact both globally and instantly. The nature of social media interactions follows a constantly growing pattern that requires selection mechanisms to find and analyze interesting data. These interactions on social media can then be modeled into interaction networks, which enable network-based and graph-based methods to model and understand users’ behaviors on social media. These methods could also benefit the field of complex networks in terms of finding initial seeds in the information cascade model. This thesis aims to investigate how to efficiently collect user-generated content and interactions from online social media sites. A novel method for data collection that is using an exploratory research, which includes prototyping, is presented, as part of the research results in this thesis.

     

    Analysis of social data requires data that covers all the interactions in a given domain, which has shown to be difficult to handle in previous work. An additional contribution from the research conducted is that a novel method of crawling that extracts all social interactions from Facebook is presented. Over the period of the last few years, we have collected 280 million posts from public pages on Facebook using this crawling method. The collected posts include 35 billion likes and 5 billion comments from 700 million users. The data collection is the largest research dataset of social interactions on Facebook, enabling further and more accurate research in the area of social network analysis.

     

    With the extracted data, it is possible to illustrate interactions between different users that do not necessarily have to be connected. Methods using the same data to identify and cluster different opinions in online communities have also been developed and evaluated. Furthermore, a proposed method is used and validated for finding appropriate seeds for information cascade analyses, and identification of influential users. Based upon the conducted research, it appears that the data mining approach, association rule learning, can be used successfully in identifying influential users with high accuracy. In addition, the same method can also be used for identifying seeds in an information cascade setting, with no significant difference than other network-based methods. Finally, privacy-related consequences of posting online is an important area for users to consider. Therefore, mitigating privacy risks contributes to a secure environment and methods to protect user privacy are presented.

  • 35. Erman, David
    On BitTorrent Media Distribution2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Large-scale, real-time multimedia distribution over the Internet has been the subject of research for a substantial amount of time. A large number of mechanisms, policies, methods, and schemes have been proposed for media coding, scheduling, and distribution. Internet Protocol (IP) multicast was expected to be the primary transport mechanism for this, though it was never deployed to the expected extent. Recent developments in overlay networks have reactualised the research on multicast, with the consequence that many of the previous mechanisms and schemes are being re-evaluated. This thesis provides a brief overview of several important techniques for media broadcasting and stream merging, as well as a discussion of traditional IP multicast and overlay multicast. Additionally, we propose a number of modifications and extensions to the BitTorrent (BT) distribution and replication system to make it suitable for use in providing a streaming video delivery service, and implement parts of these in a simulator. Also, we report on a simulation study of the implemented extensions to the BT system, as well as a detailed validation study of the BT simulator itself. Furthermore, we present a comprehensive set of BT models for several important traffic characteristics, at both session and message levels.

  • 36.
    Forsberg, Lena Petersson
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Planning and Media Design.
    Friluftsliv och naturturism i kommunal fysisk planering2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Denna avhandling syftar till att belysa hur friluftsliv och naturturism hanteras i den kommunala fysiska planeringen. Detta diskuteras i relation till myndigheters uttalade policys där vikten av friluftsliv framhålls och allmänhetens attityder till friluftsliv. Syftet är också att föra en diskussion om hur kommunal fysisk planering kan fungera som verktyg för att främja friluftslivets intresse i markanvändningsfrågor. Undersökningen har skett genom enkäter, intervjuer, studier av lagstiftning och myndighetsdokument samt studier av planeringsdokument, främst översiktliga planer, i 11 kommuner som ingår i de tre fallstudieområdena Järvafältet utanför Stockholm, Blekinge skärgård och kustzon och Söderåsen i Skåne. Vid första anblicken kan det framstå som om friluftsliv har ett starkt skydd i den kommunala fysiska planeringen. Det omnämns i Plan- och bygglagen (PBL) som allmänt intresse och i Miljöbalken (MB) som riksintressen och som ett av strandskyddets två syften. Planeringslagstiftningens process- och ramlagskaraktär ger dock flertalet tolkningsbara formuleringar i lagtexten samtidigt som begreppet allmänt intresse är mångtydigt. Både PBL och strandskyddet har också nyligen ändrats så att det i flera frågor ännu inte hunnit etableras någon rättspraxis för tolkning och tillämpning. En av den kommunala fysiska planeringens viktigaste uppgifter är att i markanvändningsfrågor avväga mellan olika allmänna och enskilda intressen. Resultat visar att friluftslivets och naturturismens ställning i kommunal planering varierar mellan kommuner men också mellan planeringsnivåer. En betydande majoritet av kommunerna använder friluftsliv och naturturism i sin marknadsföring. Avvägningsbeslut i markanvändningsfrågor som utfaller till friluftslivets nackdel kan dock ofta motiveras av att ”det finns så mycket grönt” och att friluftsliv därmed bedöms kunna ske någon annanstans än där man vill exploatera. Här kan allemansrätten vara en viktig faktor för denna tolkning. I planeringsdokument förekommer också ofta den rådande planeringsdoktrinen om den täta staden i kombination med hållbarhetsargument. Detta kan ytterligare verka för exploatering av urbana grönytor. Det finns ett behov av fysisk planering som säkerställer mark för friluftsliv. Resultat från den nationella enkätundersökningen Friluftsliv 07 visar att människor värderar rekreationsnatur högt, många till och med så högt att det påverkar deras val av bostadsort. Cirka en sjättedel uppger dock att de saknar lämpliga områden för friluftsliv. Respondenterna anser även att kommunerna behöver bli bättre på att skydda tysta områden. Planeringen behöver också visa en bättre beredskap inför klimatförändringarnas konsekvenser för friluftsliv eftersom många respondenter uttrycker en oro över negativa konsekvenser av ett förändrat klimat men endast cirka var fjärde kommun uppmärksammar detta i den översiktliga planeringen. Huvudhandledare har varit professor Lars Emmelin, Fysisk planering, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola och biträdande handledare professor Klas Sandell, Geografi och turism, Karlstad Universitet. Doktorsavhandlingen togs fram inom ramen för forskningsprojektet Planering för friluftsliv vid Fysisk Planering, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Karlskrona. Projektet utgjorde ett av sju delprojekt i det nationella och mångdisciplinära forskningsprogrammet Friluftsliv i Förändring som letts av professor Peter Fredman, Mittuniversitetet och som finansierats av Naturvårdsverket.

  • 37.
    França, César Levy
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Business Model Design for Strategic Sustainable Development2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Humanity confronts an existential threat without historic precedent. Environmental pressures have reached such intensity and pace of change that the earth system may be irreversibly tipped into a new and unpredictable state. The emerging global reality is, in turn, redefining overall conditions for business success. Addressing these challenges both demands and brings great opportunities for innovation. An important and sometimes neglected aspect of innovation is the design or redesign of business models, which has been identified as a greater source of lasting competitive advantage than new products and services per se. The business model has also been suggested as a new unit of analysis when discussing sustainability. However, this is still a relatively underexplored area. The aim of this work was therefore to develop an approach to business model design that supports strategic sustainable development, i.e., supports organizations to contribute to society’s transition towards sustainability in a way that strengthens the organization.    

     

    To be able to design a business model that supports strategic sustainable development, it is necessary to know what sustainability is and how to develop sustainability-promoting, economically viable strategies. Therefore, the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, which includes, e.g., an operational definition of sustainability and strategic guidelines for how to approach it, was used as an overarching framework. Specific research methods and techniques included, e.g., literature reviews, questionnaires, interviews, work with focus groups, participatory action research with partner organizations, creative problem solving techniques, modeling, and simulation.

     

    The literature reviews revealed potential sustainability benefits of developing business models in conjunction with product-service systems (PSS). However, a knowledge gap exists regarding how to effectively connect these fields. Arguably, PSS strategies can best contribute to sustainability when business models support their implementation and when both the business models and the PSS strategies are guided by an understanding of strategic sustainable development. Therefore, an integrated approach to Business Model Design for Strategic Sustainable Development was co-developed and tested in PSS innovation work with partners, e.g., companies within the energy and lighting sectors. The tests indicated that the new approach helped to clarify strengths and weaknesses of current business models from a strategic sustainability perspective; to transform an organization’s vision and strategy into a sustainability-framed vision and a sustainability-promoting strategy; and to communicate the new vision and strategy to the value network as a basis for engaging important stakeholders in the change. For example, the approach supported one of the partner companies in its transformation towards providing sustainable PSS solutions in the form of light as a service.

    Examples of business benefits of the new approach include improved scalability and risk avoidance, which provide a foundation for better investment strategies. Benefits also include improved differentiability and a broadened view on, and a more solid foundation for, collaboration with stakeholders that are increasingly important to sustainable business success.

  • 38.
    Fredin, Sabrina
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
    History and geography matter: The cultural dimension of entrepreneurship2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation deals with the rise of new industries through entrepreneurial activities. The aim is to investigate how differences in contexts might encourage or discourage entrepreneurial activities. This contextualization of entrepreneurship enhanced our understanding of when, how and why entrepreneurial activities happen.

    Entrepreneurship is recognized to be a spatially uneven process and, in addition to previous research that has examined the actions of individual entrepreneurs, we also need to understand the context in which entrepreneurship occurs. We have a good understanding of how structural conditions like industry structure, organization structure and agglomeration effects influence the context, but we know little about how the social dimension of the context is the transmitting medium between structural conditions for entrepreneurship and the decision to act upon identified entrepreneurial opportunities. Following this line of argument, this dissertation is built on the assumption that entrepreneurship is a social phenomenon which gives strong arguments for including local culture in entrepreneurship research.

    The temporal persistence and the pronounced differences of culture and structural conditions between places reflect path-dependent processes. I therefore use regional path dependence as an interpretative lens to study the contextualization of entrepreneurship in two Swedish cities.

    Although each context is unique, some generalizations can be drawn from the four individual papers in this dissertation. The first is that industrial legacy leads to the formation of a distinct local culture and that the persistency of this culture influences the subsequent entrepreneurial activities in new local industries. The second is that this persistency of culture suggests that entrepreneurs who are outsiders, geographically or socially, are the driving forces for the emergence of new local industries. Finally, new industry emergence is a result of a combination of exogenous forces and initial local conditions, but it is the entrepreneurial individuals who translate these forces and conditions into entrepreneurial activities.

  • 39.
    Georgsson, Mattias
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Creative Technologies.
    Toward Patient-centered, Standardized, and Reproducible Approaches of Evaluating the Usability of mHealth Chronic Disease Self-management Systems for Diabetes2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Diabetes is a chronic disease affecting 422 million patients worldwide according to World Health Organization data with 30.3 million in the United States and 64 million in Europe. The prevalence speaks to the need for improved ways to support patients in disease self-management. mHealth solutions are increasingly used for this; however, usability is a current challenge affecting patients’ mHealth use. Recent literature emphasizes an increased focus on patient-centeredness in diabetes care, user-centeredness in chronic disease mHealth system design and standardized, systematic approaches for usability evaluation. The aim of this thesis and its individual studies was to incorporate these foci into the evaluation of two mobile health self-management systems for diabetes.

    Study I used ISO standard 9241-11 to examine the relationship between selected group characteristics of diabetes patients on specific interaction outcomes to quantitatively identify needed system modifications. Study II utilized a multi-method design to assess diabetes patients’ mHealth usage and combined two novel analytic methods to structure and analyze results. Study III used a modified, user-oriented heuristic evaluation (HE) method, validated tasks and in-depth severity factor ratings to identify critical problems from patients’ point of view. By developing and employing a modified, user-centered cognitive walkthrough method (UC-CW), study IV assessed its effectiveness and efficiency in finding relevant usability problems for users as well as patients’ acceptance. The modified CW was validated against the golden-standard user test with Think Aloud.

    Study I emphasized the importance of considering user characteristics in mHealth performance as these influenced interaction outcomes. All patients had difficulties with multiple-step tasks. Patients more recently diagnosed were able to perform tasks more successfully, with fewer errors and at faster times and had higher satisfaction scores; similar outcomes to the more experienced users. Educational level did not, however, seem to influence performance. In study II, the usability test with Think-Aloud (TA), in-depth interviews and questionnaires contributed to 19 consolidated issues, and triangulated on 5 critical usability problems for users. The combined analysis methods resulted in structured, categorized descriptions to aid in problem-solving. In Study III, the disease-related, critical information deficiencies found by expert evaluators using the modified, structured method also converged on and highlighted potentially adverse user concerns. Study IV demonstrated that the UC-CW found more critical user problems compared to the user test with TA despite both methods producing similar major average severity ratings and violations of heuristic categories. The modified method was more efficient per detected problem and experienced as less cognitively demanding and with a higher ease of use.

    These studies offer different approaches that include patient-centered, efficient and user-acceptable methods and method modifications to detect critical usability issues for users. Importantly, improved mHealth designs for users could mean improvement in interactions, interaction performance, increased adoption, and long-term perhaps even increased adherence to interventions for chronic conditions.

  • 40.
    Ghazi, Ahmad Nauman
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Structuring Exploratory Testing through Test Charter Design and Decision Support2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Exploratory testing (ET) is an approach to test software with a strong focus on personal skills and freedom of the tester. ET emphasises the simultaneous design and execution of tests with minimal test documentation. Test practitioners often claim that their choice to use ET as an important alternative to scripted testing is based on several benefits ET exhibits over the scripted testing. However, these claims lack empirical evidence as there is little research done in this area. Moreover, ET is usually considered an ad-hoc way of doing testing as everyone does it differently. There have been some attempts in past to provide structure to ET. Session based test management (SBTM) is an approach that attempts to provide some structure to ET and gives some basic guidelines to structuring the test sessions. However, these guidelines are still very abstract and are very open to individuals' interpretation.

    Objective: The main objective of this doctoral thesis is to support practitioners in their decisions about choosing exploratory versus scripted testing. Furthermore, it is also aimed to investigate the empirical evidence in support of ET and find ways to structure ET and classify different levels of exploration that drive the choices made by exploratory testers. Another objective of this thesis is to provide a decision support system to select levels of exploration in overall test process.

    Method: The findings presented in this thesis are obtained through a controlled experiment with participants from industry and academia, exploratory surveys, interviews and focus groups conducted at different companies including Ericsson AB, Sony Mobile Communications, Axis Communications AB and Softhouse Consulting Baltic AB.

    Results: Using the exploratory survey, we found three test techniques to be most relevant in context of testing software systems and in particular heterogeneous systems. The most frequently used technique mentioned by the practitioners is ET which is not a much researched topic. We also found many interesting claims about ET in grey literature produced by practitioners in the form of informal presentations and blogs but these claims lacked any empirical evidence. Therefore, a controlled experiment was conducted with students and industry practitioners to compare ET with scripted testing. The experiment results show that ET detects significantly more critical defects compared to scripted testing and is more time efficient. However, ET has its own limitations and there is not a single way to use it for testing. In order to provide structure to ET, we conducted a study where we propose checklists to support test charter design in ET. Furthermore, two more industrial focus group studies at four companies were conducted that resulted in a taxonomy of exploration levels in ET and a decision support method for selecting exploration levels in ET. Lastly, we investigated different problems that researchers face when conducting surveys in software engineering and have presented mitigation strategies for these problems.

    Conclusion: The taxonomy for levels of exploration in ET, proposed in this thesis, provided test practitioners at the companies a better understanding of the underlying concepts of ET and a way to structure their test charters. A number of influence factors elicited as part of this thesis also help them prioritise which level of exploration suits more to their testing in the context of their products. Furthermore, the decision support method provided the practitioners to reconsider their current test focus to test their products in a more effective way.

  • 41.
    Giger, Peter
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Planning and Media Design.
    Conversation and Figuration from the Horizontality of the 2.0 Decade2010Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis concerns the 2.0 decade, the decade when the social web started to develop. The main research objective is to contribute to our embedment in Internet technology in a conscious and livable way. The thesis is part of a general attempt to improve our understanding of the transformation taking place in the development of the web. We live in a time when knowledge contexts are moving from expert knowledge towards conversational knowledge. My research is mainly presented in the form of five essays. This thesis can be described as a conversational analysis of knowledge processes during the 2.0 decade. The 2.0 decade came to life in the wake of the information technology bubble in the end of the 1990s. The first decade of the 2000s was the decade when 'the Web' became 'Web 2.0' and the energy of the Internet switched from monetary speculations to conversations. Everyone wanted to start conversations and build digital technology, which induced conversations. Like the concept Web 2.0, this thesis came to life in the wake of the information technology bubble. It presupposes the knowledge relation between humans and our technology to be conversational rather than rational. This basically means that digital technology is not a tool but an integrated part in the person assemblage. There are many important thinkers embedded in this thesis. Some of them are more important than others, notably Gilles Deleuze and Donna Haraway. However, the thesis does not analyze the text of other thinkers, it involves them in the conversation. Important concepts as assemblage, rhizome (Deleuze) and cyborg (Haraway) are participants in the text rather than being its objectives. They are part of the general experience behind the essays, together with all the persons I have linked up to and the digital technology I have tried to become with. To become with (or develop together with) technology means to acknowledge the idea that technology is more than a tool. It is something within, not something external.

  • 42. Gorschek, Tony
    Requirements Engineering Supporting Technical Product Management2006Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Market-Driven Requirements Engineering (MDRE) handles the continuous flow of requirements in an engineering effort, and is not limited to a development instance but part of technical product management as a whole. The market-driven environment generates large amounts of requirements from multiple sources, internal and external, threatening to overload the technical management of products. MDRE involves requirements analysis, resource estimation, prioritization, and ultimately release planning. These activities allow for effectively deciding which customers get what features and quality at what point in time, making the accuracy and efficiency of MDRE a major determinant of the success of a product. This thesis presents research aimed at supporting technical product management in MDRE, based on needs identified in industry. One contribution of the thesis is the development and validation of a process assessment and improvement planning framework, making the identification of process improvement issues possible. The major characteristics of the framework can be described as resource efficiency and relative accuracy by utilizing multiple perspectives and data point triangulation. As a complement to the assessment, the improvement planning enables industry professionals to focus their efforts on one improvement package at a time, supporting step-by-step evolution with less time to return on investment. Challenges identified during process assessment using the framework resulted in the development of the Requirements Abstraction Model (RAM), which is the central contribution of the thesis. RAM employs multiple levels of abstraction for requirements elicitation, analysis, refinement and management. The model offers the possibility for early requirements triage using product strategies/roadmaps, as well as supporting a structured and repeatable way to perform continuous requirements engineering. This enables product managers to specify requirements that can be traced across abstraction levels, from abstract requirements that can be used by managers, to refined requirements specific enough to be used for estimation and input to development efforts. RAM was engineered based on industry needs, validated and refined through several empirical evaluations, utilizing both academia and industry as laboratory. This involved close collaboration with industrial partners, Danaher Motion Särö AB and ABB Robotics, where the model was introduced. Monitoring the process improvement (introduction of RAM) indicated substantial improvements, both in accuracy of the work performed using RAM, and in the quality of the requirements produced, with only moderate increase in effort. Another contribution in the thesis is a compilation of lessons learned from practical handson experience of technology and knowledge transfer from academia to industry, with focus of producing industry relevant usable and useful results. The main contribution of the thesis is improving the practice of product management by providing and evaluating frameworks for software process improvement and market-driven requirements engineering. The results of the research presented in the thesis are aimed at supporting technical product management taking the unique challenges of market-driven development into account.

  • 43.
    Gould, Rachael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    The individual human side of supporting sustainable design beginners2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Starting to include sustainability considerations in a design project is a transition requiring a change in how things are done, that is, a change in behaviour. Furthermore, this transition takes place in the midst of the usual pressures of product design. Prior research on sustainable design has mostly explored the so-called technical side – identifying what tasks should be performed, such as specifics of including sustainability criteria when analysing product concepts. However, this has not been enough. These tasks are not being performed to the extent that they could, or that is needed. Recent studies have advocated the consideration of the human nature of the people who are to execute these ‘technical’ tasks. In other words, there is a need to work with the socio-psychological factors in order to help sustainable design beginners to adopt new mindsets and practice (their usual way of doing design).

    My aim was therefore to investigate how to support individual product design team members with the human aspects of transitioning to executing sustainable design. In particular, I focused on supporting good individual decision-making and individual behaviour change. This aim was addressed through multiple research projects with four partner companies working with the early phases of product design. Given a focus to change practice, I followed an action research approach with a particular emphasis on theory building. This action research approach comprised two phases: understanding the challenge and context, and then iteratively developing solutions through a theorise–design-act-observe-reflect cycle.

    Through the research projects, my colleagues and I found that there are challenges related to behaviour change and decision-making that are hindering execution of sustainable design. In order to help organisations to overcome or avoid these challenges, we found that it may be beneficial for those developing sustainable design tools and methods to (i) use techniques to mitigate for cognitive illusions, (ii) provide individuals with the opportunity to implement sustainable design while helping those individuals to increase their motivation and capability to execute sustainable design, and (iii) communicate with these individuals in such a way as to avoid triggering psychological barriers (self-defence mechanisms). I combined these points into two models.

    Together with the partner organisations, we applied the two models to design some actions that we then tested. The actions included integrating behaviour change and decision-making considerations into sustainable design tools as well as stand-alone interventions in the culture.

    Given the findings of these studies, I urge developers of sustainable design tools to see implementation of their tool as a learning journey. The beginning of the journey should comprise small steps supported by handrails, which then increase in size and decrease in support as the journey continues. Especially in the beginning, tool developers will also need to help travellers to avoid the decision-making errors that occur due to being in unfamiliar territory.

     

  • 44. Gustafsson, Inger
    Interaction Infrastructure: a Holistic Approach to Support Co-Modality for Freight2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this thesis I have illustrated how information is essential for the management of transport chains. I have explored the notion of transparency as well as its importance for transport chains. The conclusion drawn is that transparency does not mean that every player should know everything at all times. This is not possible from the point of view of competition neither needed from a point of view of quality and efficiency of the transport chains. Instead transparency should be viewed as knowledge accessible to the players in the transport chain. Thereby enabling controllability of the common task, focus of actions on a common goal and the understanding of each player’s area of responsibility. The production of this knowledge depends on all players being aware of and respecting their role. I argue that it is not enough with cooperation between the traditional transport chain partners to reach transparency. Instead interaction with a broader set of players is required. I have chosen to cluster the extended group of players into the following three domains Transport management, Infrastructure management and Institutional management. The interaction between the domains needs to be facilitated, i.e. formalised and structured. For this I introduce the concept of Interaction Infrastructure. It helps develop a common understanding of mutual benefits of transparency, leading to a willingness to share information. It helps negotiate the different points of view and vested interest of the players involved and leads to the commitments needed for the implementation of information sharing across the domains. Interaction Infrastructure is a conceptual framework that supports the definition of the appropriate processes needed for achieving interaction in a particular context. Promoting Interaction Infrastructure is a task that requires strong leadership. Society must dare to redefine its role in the area of freight transports and to extend its involvement by starting processes that will lead to a better interaction between and within the domains and in turn, a higher overall efficiency and a reduced environmental footprint of freight transport. A policy should comprise responsibility for infrastructure in the conventional sense, but also include a responsibility for the processes performed on the infrastructure. Reaching transparency in the context that I describe will require trust and for this a change of mind set is essential including a move: • From viewing information from a silo or vertical perspective to a horizontal perspective. • From a “we and them view” to an “us view”. • From viewing the players as “providers or users” to “providers and users”. I have positioned myself and my research within a transdisciplinary practice and have experienced that awareness of situated and context sensitive knowledge as well as distributed knowledge production are good starting points for addressing logistic issues characterised by social and organisational complexity.

  • 45.
    Hagelbäck, Johan
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Multi-Agent Potential Field Based Architectures for Real-Time Strategy Game Bots2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Real-Time Strategy (RTS) is a sub-genre of strategy games which is running in real-time, typically in a war setting. The player use workers to gather resources, which in turn is used for creating new buildings, training combat units and build upgrades and research. The game is won when all buildings of the opponents have been destroyed. The numerous tasks that need to be handled in real-time can be very demanding for a player. Computer players (bots) for RTS games face the same challenges, and also have to navigate units in highly dynamic game worlds and deal with other low-level tasks such as attacking enemy units within fire range. This thesis is a compilation of nine papers. The first four papers deal with navigation in dynamic game worlds, which can be very complex and resource demanding. Typically it is solved by using pathfinding algorithms. We investigate an alternative approach based on Artificial Potential Fields and show how a PF based navigation system can be used without any need of pathfinding algorithms. In RTS games players usually have a limited visibility of the game world, known as Fog of War. Bots on the other hand often have complete visibility to aid the AI in making better decisions. In a paper we show that a Multi-Agent PF based bot with limited visibility can match and even surpass bots with complete visibility in some RTS scenarios. In the sixth paper we show how the bot can be extended and used in a full RTS scenario with base building and unit construction. This is followed by a paper where we propose a flexible and expandable RTS game architecture that can be modified at several levels of abstraction to test different techniques and ideas. The proposed architecture is implemented in the famous RTS game StarCraft, and we show how the high-level architecture goals of flexibility and expandability can be achieved. The last two papers present two studies related to gameplay experience in RTS games. In games players usually have to select a static difficulty level when playing against computer opponents. In the first study we use a bot that during runtime can adapt the difficulty level depending on the skills of the opponent, and study how it affects the perceived enjoyment and variation in playing against the bot. To create bots that are interesting and challenging for human players a goal is often to create bots that play more human-like. In the second study we asked participants to watch replays of recorded RTS games between bots and human players. The participants were asked to guess and motivate if a player was controlled by a human or a bot. This information was then used to identify human-like and bot-like characteristics for RTS game players.

  • 46. Haller, Kristian
    Acoustical Measurements of Material Nonlinearity and Nonequilibrium Recovery2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A damaged material or a material with non perfect atomic geometry, dislocations or cracks, exhibits two types of characteristic responses to acoustic excitations. First is the fast nonlinear dynamics response that is present as long as the material is excited. As soon as the excitation stops the response disappear. Second is the Slow Dynamics, which detects alterations of the material properties. The properties are affected by, for example, a mechanical pulse, changes in temperature, pressure or humidity. When the cause of alteration stops the material is recovering towards its equilibrium state. This recovering can exist over a long period of time, much longer than the vibration from a mechanical pulse. The techniques used here, both the fast and Slow Dynamics, have been used for NonDestructive Testing to detect damage in objects. All of them are suitable for this purpose, but for different material and geometry different techniques can be advantageous. They offer the possibility to use relatively low frequencies which is advantageous because attenuation and diffraction effects are smaller for low frequencies. Therefore large and multi-layered complete objects can be investigated. Sometimes the position of the damage is required, but it is in general difficult to limit the geometrical extent of low-frequency acoustic waves. A technique is presented that constrains the wave field to a localized trapped mode so that damage can be located. The existence of trapped modes is shown using an open resonator concept and the localization is shown to be successful. The problem with intermittent and changing amplitudes, even when very small, is that the material is really never at equilibrium, or even at steady state. The measurement signal influences the outcome. The material is affected by its strain history and its constantly changing state, the fast and Slow Dynamics are hard to separate. A measurement technique keeping the internal strain constant has been used to minimize the influence of Slow Dynamics allowing observations of only nonlinearity. The influence of temperature is also studied with this technique.

  • 47.
    Hallstedt, Sophie
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    A Foundation for Sustainable Product Development2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Product development is a particularly critical intervention point for the transformation of society towards sustainability. Current socio-ecological impacts over product life-cycles are evidence that current practices are insufficient. The aim of this thesis is to form a foundation for sustainable product development through the integration of a sustainability perspective into product development procedures and processes. Literature reviews and theoretical considerations as well as interviews, questionnaires, observations, testing and action research through case studies in various companies have indicated gaps in current methodology and have guided the development of a new general Method for Sustainable Product Development (MSPD). This method combines a framework for strategic sustainable development based on backcasting from basic sustainability principles with a standard concurrent engineering development model. A modular system of guiding questions, derived by considering the sustainability principles and the product life-cycle, is the key feature. Initial testing indicates that this MSPD works well for identification of sustainability problems as well as for generation of possible solutions. However, these tests also indicate that there is sometimes a desire for a quick overview of the sustainability performance of a specific product category. This is to guide early strategic decisions before the more comprehensive and detailed work with the MSPD is undertaken, or, alternatively, when an overview is sufficient to make decisions. In response, a Template for Sustainable Product Development (TSPD) approach is presented as a supplement to the MSPD. To generate products that support sustainable development of society it is necessary to combine sustainability assessments with improvements of technical product properties. An introductory procedure for such sustainability-driven design optimization is suggested based on a case study. For maximum efficiency of a company in finding viable pathways towards sustainability, it is also necessary to coordinate different methods and tools that are useful for sustainable product development and integrate them into the overall decision-making processes at different levels in companies. To find gaps in the sustainability integration in a company’s decision system, an assessment approach is suggested based on case studies. A general conclusion from this research is that the support needed for making sustainability-related decisions are not systematically integrated in companies today. However, this thesis also indicates that it is possible to create generic methods and tools that aid the integration of sustainability aspects in companies’ strategic decision-making and product development. These methods and tools can be used to guide the prioritization of investments and technical optimization on the increasingly sustainability-driven market, thus providing a foundation for competitive sustainable product development.

  • 48. Henesey, Lawrence
    Multi-Agent Container Terminal Management2006Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis describes research concerning the application of multi-agent based simulation for evaluating container terminal management operations. The growth of containerization, i.e., transporting goods in a container, has created problems for ports and container terminals. For instance, many container terminals are reaching their capacity limits and increasingly leading to traffic and port congestion. Container terminal managers have several, often conflicting goals, such as serve a container ship as fast as possible while minimizing terminal equipment costs The focus of the research involves the performance from the container terminal manager’s perspective and how to improve the understanding of the factors of productivity and how they are related to each other. The need to manage complex systems such as container terminals requires new ways for finding solutions, e.g., by applying novel methods and technologies. The approach taken in this thesis is to model the decision makers involved in the container terminal operations and various types of terminal equipment, e.g., cranes, transporters, etc., as software agents. The general question addressed in this work is: can the performance of a container terminal be improved by using agent-based technologies? In order to evaluate the multi-agent based systems approach, a simulation tool, called SimPort, was developed for evaluating container terminal management policies. The methods for modelling the entities in a container terminal are presented along with the simulation experiments conducted. The results indicate that certain policies can yield faster ship turn-around times and that certain stacking policies can lead to improved productivity. Moreover, a multi-agent based simulation approach is used to evaluate a new type of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) using a cassette system, and compare it to a traditional AGV system. The results suggest that the cassette-based system is more cost efficient than a traditional AGV system in certain configurations. Finally, an agent-based approach is investigated for evaluating the governance structure of the stakeholders involved in a transport corridor. The results of the research indicate that the performance of a container terminal can be improved by using agent-based technologies. This conclusion is based upon several studies, both conceptual and concrete simulation experiments. In particular, multi-agent based simulation seems to offer container terminal management a suitable tool to control, coordinate, design, evaluate and improve productivity.

  • 49. Hillgren, Per-Anders
    Ready-made-media-actions: Lokal produktion och användning av audiovisuella medier inom hälso- och sjukvården2006Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    A growing global perspective and new technical infrastructure such as the internet give rise to expectations that knowledge and experiences could be shared and mediated between different contexts around the world. In line with this follows an increasing interest in standardization and context-independent ‘learning objects’ that allow content reusability across sites. This dissertation will focus on and argue for knowledge sharing with opposite qualities, where the specific context and the personal and local perspective instead will be central aspects. It's a knowledge sharing where “sender” and “receiver” are closely related and it's based on a socio-cultural perspective where knowledge, context, technology and mediation are deeply interconnected. The arguments are based on two practice based research projects, where interaction designers together with staff members at an intensive care unit and a hand surgery clinic collaboratively designed procedures where locally produced videos is used to enhance and develop the work practice in both these settings. The procedure differs from most ordinary movie production. It is not based on manuscripts or advanced planning, and it's without the more “objective” character common in instruction movies. Digital video technology is rather used to capture a situated and always changing practice, in which staff members film each other in their everyday practice. Making the movies where the work usually gets done helps practitioners elicit what should be told in the movies; what needs to be shown, named and forgrounded. The movies could be about “how to handle medical equipment”, “how to treat a severe wound” or “an articulation of a patient's specific situation and future rehabilitation”. The videos are based on “ready-made” actions already taking place in the everyday environment. Their character is informal and personal and they are later used as support for staff or patients with a close relation to the context. The local production makes it easy to adapt the content to changing circumstances, but it also allows staff members to get a view of how other colleagues perform their everyday work. This creates good opportunities for them to reflect on what they are doing and how their daily work could be improved. In addition to the reflections regarding video production, the PhD thesis will also focus on Participatory Design (PD) and the implications of close collaboration with users. PD is often considered not to lead towards the more innovative and only benefit incremental design processes. In the thesis, arguments will be presented that close PD instead could be based on an approach where designers challenge the users and conduct fruitful “collisions” with them and their environment. It could be “collisions” between values and perspectives, but also between design ideas and the real working context. This is achieved through experiments in the daily practice, where ideas encounter as much resistance as possible with the conflicting artifacts, people and ideas residing in the context.

  • 50.
    Hofflander, Malin
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Health.
    Implementing video conferencing in discharge planning sessions: leadership and organizational culture when designing IT support for everyday work in nursing practice2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of this thesis has been to study the implementation process concerning the use of video conferencing in discharge planning, during and after a development project in a region in southeast Sweden. The research approach has been developed within a new interdisciplinary research area, Applied Health Technology. The main focus of the research has been on how the new IT solution has affected everyday work, and in what ways management supported staff during the implementation process. The study design has a qualitative approach. Phenomenological hermeneutics, content analysis and Participatory Action Research (PAR) have been used in the analysis process. Study I aimed to describe  primary healthcare nursing staff’s experiences of discharge planning, along with their concerns about using video conferencing in discharge planning sessions. It was found that there is need for improvement in communication and understanding between nursing staff working in hospitals and in primary healthcare, and need for nursing staff to obtain more information about how IT solutions could support their work. The aim of Study II was to examine the implementation process of using video conferencing in discharge planning, according to a theoretical framework composed from theories about implementation processes. It was found that implementation frameworks can be useful, and that framing the implementation process supports the exposure of factors and highlights relationships and states of dependency between those factors which may affect implementation. Study III set out to describe managers’ reflections about leading the implementation process of using video conferencing in the discharge planning session. The results indicate that managers experienced two leadership perspectives when they reflected on the implementation process. On one hand, they described a desired way of leading implementation, on the other hand they described an actual way of leading implementation. The aim of Study IV was to describe the reflections of professionals about what is needed in order to create what should become a new best practice using videoconferencing in the discharge planning sessions. The results indicate that the professionals experienced lack of knowledge and understanding about each other’s everyday work and that the absence of well-functioning common routines obstructed the process. The results also indicate that there is a lack of common arenas to enable discussions, negotiations and agreements about adopting new routines as the discharge planning process changes over time. This thesis contributes to the much-needed discussions about how to manage the many ongoing IT implementation processes in Swedish healthcare organizations, by highlighting challenges and difficulties that both healthcare professionals and managers have experienced during an implementation process. The results indicate that implementation frameworks can be useful when new IT solutions are introduced in healthcare, and that there is a need for dedicating time, space and support for involved professionals in designing their everyday work.

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