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Title: Optimisation of data collection strategies for model-based evaluation and decision-making
Authors: Cain, Robert
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Probabilistic and stochastic models are routinely used in performance, dependability and, more recently, security evaluation. Models allow predictions to be made about the performance of the current system or alternative configurations. Determining appropriate values for model parameters is a long-standing problem in the practical use of such models. With the increasing emphasis on human aspects and business considerations, data collection to estimate parameter values often gets prohibitively expensive, since it may involve questionnaires, costly audits or additional monitoring and processing. Existing work in this area often simply recommends when more data is needed rather than how much, or allocates additional samples without consideration of the wider data collection problem. This thesis aims to facilitate the design of optimal data collection strategies for such models, looking especially at applications in security decision-making. The main idea is to model the uncertainty of potential data collection strategies, and determine its influence on output accuracy by using and solving the model. This thesis provides a discussion of the factors affecting the data collection problem and then defines it formally as an optimisation problem. A number of methods for modelling data collection uncertainty are presented and these methods provide the basis for solvable algorithms. An implementation of the algorithms in MATLAB will be explained and then demonstrated using a business workflow model, and other smaller examples. These methods will be presented, tested, and evaluated with a number of efficiency improvements based upon importance sampling and design of experiment techniques.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Computing Science

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