The Honours Project Outline.

This is the next 10 months of my life:

Traffic Simulation

Purpose:

To construct a real time three dimensional simulation of congested traffic flows in Java and to test various ideas surrounding the build up of congestion.

Such tests may include but are not limited to:

  • Testing various algorithms for effectively navigating already congested traffic in the shortest amount of time
  • Testing algorithms to determine the best approach to reduce the build up of congestion
  • Investigating the impact of various events such as an accident, construction of a new road or lane on the amount of congestion in the model.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Project constructed in object orientated and model-view-controller code in Java
  • Use of Open GL or other three dimensional rendering tools
  • Interactive GUI allowing end user to construct traffic model
  • Ability to import satellite images in standard JPEG format to be used as ground textures.
  • Road network data structure to be based on Graph Theory
  • Cars implemented as artificial intelligence agents with real world physical control models, collision detection and awareness, environmental awareness.
  • Ability to perform controlled tests on simulation, including testing of algorithms for avoiding congestion once built up, algorithms for avoiding congestion build up, and impacts on varying road network design and events on traffic flows.
  • Ability to extract data and results from the model.

Planned Project Timeline:

  • February
    • Project planning
    • Initial prototyping and skeleton of code class layouts.
    • Skelton of thesis written in Latex.
  • March
    • Research into existing traffic simulation, causes of congestion, real life techniques for reducing congestion, and other relevant topics.
    • Coding of basic 3D GUI controls and viewers.
    • Thesis introduction written
  • April
    • Research and design of various tests to be performed on traffic simulator.
    • Coding of road network design controls.
    • Results of research written into thesis.
  • May
    • Review of possible tests and design of artificial intelligence controls to implement tests.
    • Coding of simulator controls and agents/cars on network.
    • Testing ideas written into thesis.
  • June
    • Correct realistic implementation of cars and interactions with road network within simulator.
    • GUI ideas written into thesis.
  • July
    • Implementation of initial tests on simulator.
    • Simulation controls written into thesis.
  • August
    • Review of results of simulator with expected outcomes and possible real world examples for validity, recoding of artificial intelligence controls if mistakes are discovered.
    • Summary of initial tests written into thesis.
  • September
    • Second set of tests on simulator, either the corrected versions of the initial tests or new tests developed as a result of initial tests.
    • Summary of second round of tests written into thesis.
  • October
    • Conclusions and review of thesis made.
    • Review of final version of thesis.
  • November
    • Thesis due on 11th.

A delayed victory?

From: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=10558256

5:30PM Monday Feb 23, 2009

Prime Minister John Key has announced the controversial Section 92A law, which has been widely condemned by internet users, is to be delayed.

It will go on hold until March 27 while work is carried out on a voluntary code of practice.

If no solution is reached by then it will be suspended.

If no agreement was reached then the section would be suspended, Mr Key said.

If a code was agreed to, there would be a review after six months to see if the law was working as it was intended.

….

Earlier today political bloggers from all sides of the political fence took blogs down to protest Section 92A of the Copyright Act.

Some big name blogs took part. Public Address, Scoop, Kiwiblog, The Standard, No Right Turn, Frog Blog, Whale Oil, Not PC, No Minister, Just Left, The Hand Mirror, Roar Prawn, Policy Net, Kiwi Politico and a multitude of other sites including Scoop News, PublicAddress.Net, Throng, GeekZone, and Street Talk have shut their doors in protest.

Instead of their usual coverage, visitors to these sites will instead be pointed to the online petition organised by the Creative Freedom Foundation.

5.30pm is leaving the change to the last minute. But good news, but a delay is only the start. The law must be repealed.

Insert Swear Word Here: Whakapapa Arson

Well it has been more than a week since <Insert Word Here> Arsonists burnt Knoll Ridge Cafe and surrounding buildings to the ground at Mt Ruapehu. And I haven’t had much time to blog about it, I am still in a state of disbelief that someone would do such an act.

I guess what just makes me really mad is the shear number of people this will affect. If this was a disgruntled employee it is not getting back at your employer but rather destroying an asset used by many thousands of local and international visitors that have nothing to do with you.

And this was not a spur of the moment attack either. The chairlift ride to the cafe is 20 minutes and the hike is around 90 mins – during daylight. The fact that the fire was started at midnight just shows the determination of the termite who did this callous act.

I’m fortunate enough to already be planning a trip to Mt Hutt this year for my main skiing weekend, but regardless this one act will have an impact on many thousands for the next few years. How about we burn the arsonist at the stake? An eye for an eye – it may make the entire world go blind, but at least then we won’t be able to see where the box and the match should meet to light the spark.

Two and a Half Days in Melbourne

Ha ha ha and ho ho ho and a merry old land of OZ.

Saturday:

  • Got up at 2am to head to airport to check in for flight.
  • Arrived at Auckland Airport at 3.30am, checked in.
  • Departed Auckland at 6.10am
  • Flight was extremely bumpy, for the first time ever got Motion Sickness two and a half hours into the flight… so did lots of other people on the plane including an air hostess.
  • Landed 20 minutes early at 7.50am
  • Got on bus into Melbourne Central, arrived at Southern Cross Station.
  • Walked to hotel, stopped at Mc Donalds for breakfast, checked into hotel.
  • Went for a walk to look at town, found Federation Square, watched street perfomer, met up with friend.
  • Went on tramp ride around the city
  • Went on river cruise down the Yarra
  • Went back to hotel at 4pm, fell asleep while mum went shopping
  • Got woken by mum at 7pm, went out for dinner
  • Got back to hotel, watched Sky News
  • Went zzz

Sunday:

  • Mum set alarm for 7am, she woke to me cursing at it.
  • Had breakfast at Hotel, was really busy, lots of hungry hungry hippos.. people.
  • Caught tram to Vibration Training place.
  • Caught train to Dandenong
  • Visited friends house
  • Got driven to Sunnyvale
  • Checked out these awesome Asian supermarkets… Think St Lukes but all Asian, had a sugar cane drink
  • Got driven back to Caulfield
  • Caught train back to city, got off at Parliament Underground Station not 100% sure where we were.
  • Went shopping
  • Caught tram to St Kilda beach
  • Had dinner at St Kilda beach
  • Caught tram back to town, which went on train tracks as well as roads… so cool.
  • Watched Sky News and the 20/20 Cricket
  • Went zzz

Monday:

  • Woke at 5am
  • Caught 5.45am tram to Southern Cross Station
  • Caught 6.15am bus to Airport
  • Checked in went shopping!!!
  • Flew back to Auckland at 9.25am
  • Landed in Auckland at 2.45pm
  • Mum went shopping again.
  • Got through customs just before 4pm.

Thoughts on McDonalds

Does anyone else find it ironic that McDonalds can see a global increase of 7% in customers over the last twelve months but at the same time cannot afford to increase their workers wages by 50c keeping them on the minimum poverty wage?

Is anyone else able see through the PR spin and spot the irony and the hypocracy in their statements. Just proof that poverty wage are paid in New Zealand by a profit loving multinational.

I doubt they will cease to build new Restuarants and if they did it is a good thing, the less fat making fast food places the better. Bring on more Subways and Burger Fuels.

High School Reunion

I went to a high school reunion last night for people from my year organised by some of the other students in my year.

It was an interesting experience. All of us have not been together since November 2004. That is four years, four months ago.

About 40 people showed up from around 400 people in my year, but it was pouring with rain so many people stayed away.

It was weird not really knowing anyone. I recognised about five people immediately and kinda remembered another 10 or so, but there were so many people who I just had no recognition of.

I guess that is partly a response of going to a university where only two other students from my year went to. So I had to change my social circles very quickly.

The start of the night was interesting with everyone standing around in a kinda large circle, but after an hour or so groups kinda formed just like those people who hung out at school, you kinda had the geeks club, the Indian club, the cool peoples club, it was quite funny. Time can’t change everything.

Also I was kinda glad that I wasn’t out geeked, there was only one other person there also about to start their honours, it seems everyone who is still studying had taken a gap year somewhere.

Global Warming hits Auckland

A MetService weather station at Whenuapai Air Base has recorded the hottest temperature reading ever in Auckland.

Temperatures peaked at 32.4 degrees Celsius during the 3pm hour, equalling the previous high recorded in the Auckland Domain in February 1872 – 137 years ago.

That temperature followed the highest overnight low for February since records on that began in 1961. The temperature did not drop below 22.1C between Wednesday evening and yesterday morning.

WeatherWatch.co.nz’s thermometer went one better, recording an unofficial 34C in West Auckland – a temperature that was fuelled by a hot nor’wester.

WeatherWatch head weather analyst Philip Duncan said although the humidity in Auckland was lower yesterday than on other days, the intense heat and sunnier skies meant it felt more like 38C.

Auckland’s previous temperature high this year was 28.2 degrees, on the North Shore earlier this month.

From:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10556519

and:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10556442

I was lucky yesterday, I was in a air conditioned office. However, last Sunday it almost hit 40C in Albany (the high of 28.2C).

The problem with the official tempertures is they do not take into affect humidity. So while yesterday was the hottest in 130 years, five days ago it felt hotter. I am a little guttered that I lost the screenshots I had taken of the weather stations on Sunday. But I have got hardly any sleep in the last week. Just insane.

Hamas Playing Robin Hood… Just without the giving to the poor part.

Okay, I first heard about this a few days ago, but the Herald only reported on it yesterday:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10555398

Armed Hamas police broke into a Gaza City warehouse packed with United Nations humanitarian supplies and seized thousands of blankets and food packages.

The incident also highlighted difficulties facing donors seeking to bypass Hamas while helping Gazans to survive and rebuild after Israel’s punishing military operation.

In New York, UN deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said the UN Relief and Works Agency “condemned in the strongest terms” the confiscation of its aid supplies. The UN demanded the items be returned, but they remained with Hamas yesterday.

The seizure took place after UNRWA staff refused to hand over the aid supplies to the Hamas-run Ministry of Social Affairs, he said. Similar aid packages were distributed to 70,000 residents over the past two weeks.

Ahmad Kurd, the Hamas official in charge of the ministry, did not deny the aid was seized, charging that the UN was giving the aid to local groups with ties to Hamas opponents.

“UNRWA did not do what it said it would do, and began distributing its aid to groups that tie their activities to political activism,” Kurd said, an apparent reference to Fatah, Hamas’ main opponents. In 2007, Hamas overran Gaza, expelling Fatah forces.

How crazy is this. Hamas made a large deal of innoccent civilians being killed in the latest conflict. But when it comes to helping them out only those who support Hamas will get help. The rest will die. Nice logic.