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  • Rastas, Pasi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    This thesis which consists of an introduction and four peer-reviewed original publications studies the problems of haplotype inference (haplotyping) and local alignment significance. The problems studied here belong to the broad area of bioinformatics and computational biology. The presented solutions are computationally fast and accurate, which makes them practical in high-throughput sequence data analysis. Haplotype inference is a computational problem where the goal is to estimate haplotypes from a sample of genotypes as accurately as possible. This problem is important as the direct measurement of haplotypes is difficult, whereas the genotypes are easier to quantify. Haplotypes are the key-players when studying for example the genetic causes of diseases. In this thesis, three methods are presented for the haplotype inference problem referred to as HaploParser, HIT, and BACH. HaploParser is based on a combinatorial mosaic model and hierarchical parsing that together mimic recombinations and point-mutations in a biologically plausible way. In this mosaic model, the current population is assumed to be evolved from a small founder population. Thus, the haplotypes of the current population are recombinations of the (implicit) founder haplotypes with some point--mutations. HIT (Haplotype Inference Technique) uses a hidden Markov model for haplotypes and efficient algorithms are presented to learn this model from genotype data. The model structure of HIT is analogous to the mosaic model of HaploParser with founder haplotypes. Therefore, it can be seen as a probabilistic model of recombinations and point-mutations. BACH (Bayesian Context-based Haplotyping) utilizes a context tree weighting algorithm to efficiently sum over all variable-length Markov chains to evaluate the posterior probability of a haplotype configuration. Algorithms are presented that find haplotype configurations with high posterior probability. BACH is the most accurate method presented in this thesis and has comparable performance to the best available software for haplotype inference. Local alignment significance is a computational problem where one is interested in whether the local similarities in two sequences are due to the fact that the sequences are related or just by chance. Similarity of sequences is measured by their best local alignment score and from that, a p-value is computed. This p-value is the probability of picking two sequences from the null model that have as good or better best local alignment score. Local alignment significance is used routinely for example in homology searches. In this thesis, a general framework is sketched that allows one to compute a tight upper bound for the p-value of a local pairwise alignment score. Unlike the previous methods, the presented framework is not affeced by so-called edge-effects and can handle gaps (deletions and insertions) without troublesome sampling and curve fitting.
  • Kivioja, Teemu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Juslin, Niklas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Fusion power is an appealing source of clean and abundant energy. The radiation resistance of reactor materials is one of the greatest obstacles on the path towards commercial fusion power. These materials are subject to a harsh radiation environment, and cannot fail mechanically or contaminate the fusion plasma. Moreover, for a power plant to be economically viable, the reactor materials must withstand long operation times, with little maintenance. The fusion reactor materials will contain hydrogen and helium, due to deposition from the plasma and nuclear reactions because of energetic neutron irradiation. The first wall divertor materials, carbon and tungsten in existing and planned test reactors, will be subject to intense bombardment of low energy deuterium and helium, which erodes and modifies the surface. All reactor materials, including the structural steel, will suffer irradiation of high energy neutrons, causing displacement cascade damage. Molecular dynamics simulation is a valuable tool for studying irradiation phenomena, such as surface bombardment and the onset of primary damage due to displacement cascades. The governing mechanisms are on the atomic level, and hence not easily studied experimentally. In order to model materials, interatomic potentials are needed to describe the interaction between the atoms. In this thesis, new interatomic potentials were developed for the tungsten-carbon-hydrogen system and for iron-helium and chromium-helium. Thus, the study of previously inaccessible systems was made possible, in particular the effect of H and He on radiation damage. The potentials were based on experimental and ab initio data from the literature, as well as density-functional theory calculations performed in this work. As a model for ferritic steel, iron-chromium with 10% Cr was studied. The difference between Fe and FeCr was shown to be negligible for threshold displacement energies. The properties of small He and He-vacancy clusters in Fe and FeCr were also investigated. The clusters were found to be more mobile and dissociate more rapidly than previously assumed, and the effect of Cr was small. The primary damage formed by displacement cascades was found to be heavily influenced by the presence of He, both in FeCr and W. Many important issues with fusion reactor materials remain poorly understood, and will require a huge effort by the international community. The development of potential models for new materials and the simulations performed in this thesis reveal many interesting features, but also serve as a platform for further studies.
  • Vörtler, Katharina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Thermonuclear fusion is a sustainable energy solution, in which energy is produced using similar processes as in the sun. In this technology hydrogen isotopes are fused to gain energy and consequently to produce electricity. In a fusion reactor hydrogen isotopes are confined by magnetic fields as ionized gas, the plasma. Since the core plasma is millions of degrees hot, there are special needs for the plasma-facing materials. Moreover, in the plasma the fusion of hydrogen isotopes leads to the production of high energetic neutrons which sets demanding abilities for the structural materials of the reactor. This thesis investigates the irradiation response of materials to be used in future fusion reactors. Interactions of the plasma with the reactor wall leads to the removal of surface atoms, migration of them, and formation of co-deposited layers such as tungsten carbide. Sputtering of tungsten carbide and deuterium trapping in tungsten carbide was investigated in this thesis. As the second topic the primary interaction of the neutrons in the structural material steel was examined. As model materials for steel iron chromium and iron nickel were used. This study was performed theoretically by the means of computer simulations on the atomic level. In contrast to previous studies in the field, in which simulations were limited to pure elements, in this work more complex materials were used, i.e. they were multi-elemental including two or more atom species. The results of this thesis are in the microscale. One of the results is a catalogue of atom species, which were removed from tungsten carbide by the plasma. Another result is e.g. the atomic distributions of defects in iron chromium caused by the energetic neutrons. These microscopic results are used in data bases for multiscale modelling of fusion reactor materials, which has the aim to explain the macroscopic degradation in the materials. This thesis is therefore a relevant contribution to investigate the connection of microscopic and macroscopic radiation effects, which is one objective in fusion reactor materials research.
  • Mononen, Tommi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Minimum Description Length (MDL) is an information-theoretic principle that can be used for model selection and other statistical inference tasks. There are various ways to use the principle in practice. One theoretically valid way is to use the normalized maximum likelihood (NML) criterion. Due to computational difficulties, this approach has not been used very often. This thesis presents efficient floating-point algorithms that make it possible to compute the NML for multinomial, Naive Bayes and Bayesian forest models. None of the presented algorithms rely on asymptotic analysis and with the first two model classes we also discuss how to compute exact rational number solutions.
  • Mether, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Currently, we live in an era characterized by the completion and first runs of the LHC accelerator at CERN, which is hoped to provide the first experimental hints of what lies beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. In addition, the last decade has witnessed a new dawn of cosmology, where it has truly emerged as a precision science. Largely due to the WMAP measurements of the cosmic microwave background, we now believe to have quantitative control of much of the history of our universe. These two experimental windows offer us not only an unprecedented view of the smallest and largest structures of the universe, but also a glimpse at the very first moments in its history. At the same time, they require the theorists to focus on the fundamental challenges awaiting at the boundary of high energy particle physics and cosmology. What were the contents and properties of matter in the early universe? How is one to describe its interactions? What kind of implications do the various models of physics beyond the Standard Model have on the subsequent evolution of the universe? In this thesis, we explore the connection between in particular supersymmetric theories and the evolution of the early universe. First, we provide the reader with a general introduction to modern day particle cosmology from two angles: on one hand by reviewing our current knowledge of the history of the early universe, and on the other hand by introducing the basics of supersymmetry and its derivatives. Subsequently, with the help of the developed tools, we direct the attention to the specific questions addressed in the three original articles that form the main scientific contents of the thesis. Each of these papers concerns a distinct cosmological problem, ranging from the generation of the matter-antimatter asymmetry to inflation, and finally to the origin or very early stage of the universe. They nevertheless share a common factor in their use of the machinery of supersymmetric theories to address open questions in the corresponding cosmological models.
  • Lukk, Margus (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    This thesis studies human gene expression space using high throughput gene expression data from DNA microarrays. In molecular biology, high throughput techniques allow numerical measurements of expression of tens of thousands of genes simultaneously. In a single study, this data is traditionally obtained from a limited number of sample types with a small number of replicates. For organism-wide analysis, this data has been largely unavailable and the global structure of human transcriptome has remained unknown. This thesis introduces a human transcriptome map of different biological entities and analysis of its general structure. The map is constructed from gene expression data from the two largest public microarray data repositories, GEO and ArrayExpress. The creation of this map contributed to the development of ArrayExpress by identifying and retrofitting the previously unusable and missing data and by improving the access to its data. It also contributed to creation of several new tools for microarray data manipulation and establishment of data exchange between GEO and ArrayExpress. The data integration for the global map required creation of a new large ontology of human cell types, disease states, organism parts and cell lines. The ontology was used in a new text mining and decision tree based method for automatic conversion of human readable free text microarray data annotations into categorised format. The data comparability and minimisation of the systematic measurement errors that are characteristic to each lab- oratory in this large cross-laboratories integrated dataset, was ensured by computation of a range of microarray data quality metrics and exclusion of incomparable data. The structure of a global map of human gene expression was then explored by principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering using heuristics and help from another purpose built sample ontology. A preface and motivation to the construction and analysis of a global map of human gene expression is given by analysis of two microarray datasets of human malignant melanoma. The analysis of these sets incorporate indirect comparison of statistical methods for finding differentially expressed genes and point to the need to study gene expression on a global level.
  • Ruokolainen, Juha (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Wang, Liang (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    In-network caching aims at improving content delivery and alleviating pressures on network bandwidth by leveraging universally networked caches. This thesis studies the design of cooperative in-network caching strategy from three perspectives: content, topology and cooperation, specifically focuses on the mechanisms of content delivery and cooperation policy and their impacts on the performance of cache networks. The main contributions of this thesis are twofold. From measurement perspective, we show that the conventional metric hit rate is not sufficient in evaluating a caching strategy on non-trivial topologies, therefore we introduce footprint reduction and coupling factor, which contain richer information. We show cooperation policy is the key in balancing various tradeoffs in caching strategy design, and further investigate the performance impact from content per se via different chunking schemes. From design perspective, we first show different caching heuristics and smart routing schemes can significantly improve the caching performance and facilitate content delivery. We then incorporate well-defined fairness metric into design and derive the unique optimal caching solution on the Pareto boundary with bargaining game framework. In addition, our study on the functional relationship between cooperation overhead and neighborhood size indicates collaboration should be constrained in a small neighborhood due to its cost growing exponentially on general network topologies.
  • Ojalammi, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    This study Contested Lands: Land disputes in semi-arid parts of northern Tanzania. Case Studies of the Loliondo and Sale Division in the Ngorongoro District concentrates on describing the specific land disputes which took place in the 1990s in the Loliondo and Sale Divisions of the Ngorongoro District in northern Tanzania. The study shows the territorial and historical transformation of territories and property and their relation to the land disputes of the 1990s'. It was assumed that land disputes have been firstly linked to changing spatiality due to the zoning policies of the State territoriality and, secondly, they can be related to the State control of property where the ownership of land property has been redefined through statutory laws. In the analysis of the land disputes issues such as use of territoriality, boundary construction and property claims, in geographical space, are highlighted. Generally, from the 1980s onwards, increases in human population within both Divisions have put pressure on land/resources. This has led to the increased control of land/resource, to the construction of boundaries and finally to formalized land rights on village lands of the Loliondo Division. The land disputes have thus been linked to the use of legal power and to the re-creation of the boundary (informal or formal) either by the Maasai or the Sonjo on the Loliondo and Sale village lands. In Loliondo Division land disputes have been resource-based and related to multiple allocations of land or game resource concessions. Land disputes became clearly political and legal struggles with an ecological reference.Land disputes were stimulated when the common land/resource rights on village lands of the Maasai pastoralists became regulated and insecure. The analysis of past land disputes showed that space-place tensions on village lands can be presented as a platform on which spatial and property issues with complex power relations have been debated. The reduction of future land disputes will succeed only when/if local property rights to land and resources are acknowledged, especially in rural lands of the Tanzanian State.
  • Bhattacharya, Sourav (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In this thesis we develop novel methods for continuous and sustained context inference on mobile platforms. We address challenges present in real-world deployment of two popular context recognition tasks within ubiquitous computing and mobile sensing, namely localization and activity recognition. In the first part of the thesis, we provide a new localization algorithm for mobile devices using the existing GSM communication infrastructures, and then propose a solution for energy-efficient and robust tracking on mobile devices that are equipped with sensors such as GPS, compass, and accelerometer. In the second part of the thesis we propose a novel sparse-coding-based activity recognition framework that mitigates the time-consuming and costly bootstrapping process of activity recognizers employing supervised learning. The framework uses a vast amount of unlabeled data to automatically learn a sensor data representation through a set of extracted characteristic patterns and generalizes well across activity domains and sensor modalities.
  • Liao, Li (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Atmospheric aerosol particles influence the Earth's climate system, affect air visibility, and harm human health. Aerosol particles originate from both anthropogenic and biogenic sources, either from direct emissions or secondary particle formation. Secondary particle formation from gas phase precursors constitutes the largest fraction of global aerosol budget, yet large uncertainties remain in its mechanisms. This thesis attempted to study the source, the formation mechanisms, and the sink of secondary particles based on data analysis of field measurements and chamber experiments. In addition, numerical simulations were performed to model the processes of secondary particle formation observed in the chamber experiments. We summarized our findings into five main conclusions: 1) Monoterpenes originated from anthropogenic sources (e.g. forest industry) can significantly elevate the local average concentrations and result in a corresponding increase in local aerosol loading; 2) Monoterpenes from biogenic emissions show direct link to secondary particle production: the secondary aerosol masses correlate well with the accumulated monoterpene emissions; 3) Temperature influences biogenic monoterpene emissions, resulting in an indirect effect on the biogenic secondary particle production and corresponding cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) formation; 4) Both data analysis and numerical simulation suggested that nucleation involving the oxidation products of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and H2SO4 better explains the nucleation mechanism, yet the specific VOCs participating in the nucleation process remains uncertain; 5) The numerical simulation showed evidence of vapor wall loss effect on the yield of secondary particles from the chamber experiments; a reversible gas-wall partitioning had to be considered to properly capture the observed temporal evolution of particle number size distribution during the chamber experiments. The results of this thesis contribute to the understanding on the role of monoterpenes to secondary particle formation. This thesis raises caution on the parameterization of the temperature dependence of biogenic secondary particle formation in predicting the aerosol production potential due to rising temperatures in the future. This work also points out a way for improving the comprehensive numerical models to better understand the secondary particle formation processes and related climatic effects.
  • Kuusisto-Hjort, Paula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Contamination of urban streams is a rising topic worldwide, but the assessment and investigation of stormwater induced contamination is limited by the high amount of water quality data needed to obtain reliable results. In this study, stream bed sediments were studied to determine their contamination degree and their applicability in monitoring aquatic metal contamination in urban areas. The interpretation of sedimentary metal concentrations is, however, not straightforward, since the concentrations commonly show spatial and temporal variations as a response to natural processes. The variations of and controls on metal concentrations were examined at different scales to increase the understanding of the usefulness of sediment metal concentrations in detecting anthropogenic metal contamination patterns. The acid extractable concentrations of Zn, Cu, Pb and Cd were determined from the surface sediments and water of small streams in the Helsinki Metropolitan region, southern Finland. The data consists of two datasets: sediment samples from 53 sites located in the catchment of the Stream Gräsanoja and sediment and water samples from 67 independent catchments scattered around the metropolitan region. Moreover, the sediment samples were analyzed for their physical and chemical composition (e.g. total organic carbon, clay-%, Al, Li, Fe, Mn) and the speciation of metals (in the dataset of the Stream Gräsanoja). The metal concentrations revealed that the stream sediments were moderately contaminated and caused no immediate threat to the biota. However, at some sites the sediments appeared to be polluted with Cu or Zn. The metal concentrations increased with increasing intensity of urbanization, but site specific factors, such as point sources, were responsible for the occurrence of the highest metal concentrations. The sediment analyses revealed, thus a need for more detailed studies on the processes and factors that cause the hot spot metal concentrations. The sediment composition and metal speciation analyses indicated that organic matter is a very strong indirect control on metal concentrations, and it should be accounted for when studying anthropogenic metal contamination patterns. The fine-scale spatial and temporal variations of metal concentrations were low enough to allow meaningful interpretation of substantial metal concentration differences between sites. Furthermore, the metal concentrations in the stream bed sediments were correlated with the urbanization of the catchment better than the total metal concentrations in the water phase. These results suggest that stream sediments show true potential for wider use in detecting the spatial differences in metal contamination of urban streams. Consequently, using the sediment approach regional estimates of the stormwater related metal contamination could be obtained fairly cost-effectively, and the stability and reliability of results would be higher compared to analyses of single water samples. Nevertheless, water samples are essential in analysing the dissolved concentrations of metals, momentary discharges from point sources in particular.
  • Talponen, Jarno (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The topic of this dissertation is the geometric and isometric theory of Banach spaces. This work is motivated by the known Banach-Mazur rotation problem, which asks whether each transitive separable Banach space is isometrically a Hilbert space. A Banach space X is said to be transitive if the isometry group of X acts transitively on the unit sphere of X. In fact, some weaker symmetry conditions than transitivity are studied in the dissertation. One such condition is an almost isometric version of transitivity. Another investigated condition is convex-transitivity, which requires that the closed convex hull of the orbit of any point of the unit sphere under the rotation group is the whole unit ball. Following the tradition developed around the rotation problem, some contemporary problems are studied. Namely, we attempt to characterize Hilbert spaces by using convex-transitivity together with the existence of a 1-dimensional bicontractive projection on the space, and some mild geometric assumptions. The convex-transitivity of some vector-valued function spaces is studied as well. The thesis also touches convex-transitivity of Banach lattices and resembling geometric cases.
  • Ahmad, Jahir Uddin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The oxidation of alcohols to the corresponding carbonyl compounds is a key reaction in the synthesis of organic chemicals. Consequently, a vast number of diverse methods based on copper that accomplish this functional group transformation are reviewed in this work. A successful development from pressurized oxygen to open air and from organic to environmentally friendly water solvent in oxidation of alcohols to the corresponding carbonyl compounds catalyzed by copper is presented. The first direct organocatalytic oxidation of alcohols to aldehydes with O2 in alkaline water was developed. One of the effects metal ions on the reaction was that the Cu ion is the most beneficial recipient of quantitative oxidation. Thus aerobic oxidation of alcohols to the corresponding carbonyl compounds catalyzed by TEMPO/Cu 2 N arylpyrrolecarbaldimine in alkaline water was discovered. The solid and solution structures of sterically hindered salicylaldimine and cis trans isomers of the corresponding Cu(II) complexes are discussed. High yield synthetic routes for mixed ligand Cu(II) complexes derived from salicylaldehyde and the corresponding salicylaldimine were developed. New crystal structures of the above compounds were determined by X ray crystallography. The catalytic property of homo and heteroligated bis(phenoxidoyimino)Cu(II)complexes toward oxidation reactions were investigated. Accordingly, facile base free aerobic oxidations of alcohols to aldehydes and ketones in toluene using low loading of both TEMPO and catalysts under mild conditions were introduced. In addition to the aerobic catalytic methods, oxidation of alcohols to the corresponding carbonyl compounds with H2O2 as an end oxidant in pure water using simple CuSO4 as a catalyst is presented. The effect of various additives, such as acids or bases, radical scavengers and N containing ligands, on the efficiency/selectivity of the catalyst system was studied as well. Finally, highly efficient open air oxidation of alcohols in water catalyzed by in situ made Cu(II) phenoxyimine complexes without additional auxiliarities such as base or co solvent are described.
  • Elers, Kai-Erik (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Transfer from aluminum to copper metallization and decreasing feature size of integrated circuit devices generated a need for new diffusion barrier process. Copper metallization comprised entirely new process flow with new materials such as low-k insulators and etch stoppers, which made the diffusion barrier integration demanding. Atomic Layer Deposition technique was seen as one of the most promising techniques to deposit copper diffusion barrier for future devices. Atomic Layer Deposition technique was utilized to deposit titanium nitride, tungsten nitride, and tungsten nitride carbide diffusion barriers. Titanium nitride was deposited with a conventional process, and also with new in situ reduction process where titanium metal was used as a reducing agent. Tungsten nitride was deposited with a well-known process from tungsten hexafluoride and ammonia, but tungsten nitride carbide as a new material required a new process chemistry. In addition to material properties, the process integration for the copper metallization was studied making compatibility experiments on different surface materials. Based on these studies, titanium nitride and tungsten nitride processes were found to be incompatible with copper metal. However, tungsten nitride carbide film was compatible with copper and exhibited the most promising properties to be integrated for the copper metallization scheme. The process scale-up on 300 mm wafer comprised extensive film uniformity studies, which improved understanding of non-uniformity sources of the ALD growth and the process-specific requirements for the ALD reactor design. Based on these studies, it was discovered that the TiN process from titanium tetrachloride and ammonia required the reactor design of perpendicular flow for successful scale-up. The copper metallization scheme also includes process steps of the copper oxide reduction prior to the barrier deposition and the copper seed deposition prior to the copper metal deposition. Easy and simple copper oxide reduction process was developed, where the substrate was exposed gaseous reducing agent under vacuum and at elevated temperature. Because the reduction was observed efficient enough to reduce thick copper oxide film, the process was considered also as an alternative method to make the copper seed film via copper oxide reduction.