Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Ball, John E.

Committee Member

Anderson, Derek T.

Committee Member

Fowler, James E.

Committee Member

Younan, Nicolas H.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Data/information fusion is an integral component of many existing and emerging applications; e.g., remote sensing, smart cars, Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data, to name a few. While fusion aims to achieve better results than what any one individual input can provide, often the challenge is to determine the underlying mathematics for aggregation suitable for an application. In this dissertation, I focus on the following three aspects of aggregation: (i) efficient data-driven learning and optimization, (ii) extensions and new aggregation methods, and (iii) feature and decision level fusion for machine learning with applications to signal and image processing. The Choquet integral (ChI), a powerful nonlinear aggregation operator, is a parametric way (with respect to the fuzzy measure (FM)) to generate a wealth of aggregation operators. The FM has 2N variables and N(2N − 1) constraints for N inputs. As a result, learning the ChI parameters from data quickly becomes impractical for most applications. Herein, I propose a scalable learning procedure (which is linear with respect to training sample size) for the ChI that identifies and optimizes only data-supported variables. As such, the computational complexity of the learning algorithm is proportional to the complexity of the solver used. This method also includes an imputation framework to obtain scalar values for data-unsupported (aka missing) variables and a compression algorithm (lossy or losselss) of the learned variables. I also propose a genetic algorithm (GA) to optimize the ChI for non-convex, multi-modal, and/or analytical objective functions. This algorithm introduces two operators that automatically preserve the constraints; therefore there is no need to explicitly enforce the constraints as is required by traditional GA algorithms. In addition, this algorithm provides an efficient representation of the search space with the minimal set of vertices. Furthermore, I study different strategies for extending the fuzzy integral for missing data and I propose a GOAL programming framework to aggregate inputs from heterogeneous sources for the ChI learning. Last, my work in remote sensing involves visual clustering based band group selection and Lp-norm multiple kernel learning based feature level fusion in hyperspectral image processing to enhance pixel level classification.