Now showing 1 - 10 of 119
  • Publication
    Towards Quantifying the Distance between Opinions
    Increasingly, critical decisions in public policy, governance, and business strategy rely on a deeper understanding of the needs and opinions of constituent members (e.g. citizens, shareholders). While it has become easier to collect a large number of opinions on a topic, there is a necessity for automated tools to help navigate the space of opinions. In such contexts understanding and quantifying the similarity between opinions is key. We find that measures based solely on text similarity or on overall sentiment often fail to effectively capture the distance between opinions. Thus, we propose a new distance measure for capturing the similarity between opinions that leverages the nuanced observation -- similar opinions express similar sentiment polarity on specific relevant entities-of-interest. Specifically, in an unsupervised setting, our distance measure achieves significantly better Adjusted Rand Index scores (up to 56x) and Silhouette coefficients (up to 21x) compared to existing approaches. Similarly, in a supervised setting, our opinion distance measure achieves considerably better accuracy (up to 20% increase) compared to extant approaches that rely on text similarity, stance similarity, and sentiment similarity.
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  • Publication
    Helping Kids! Cross-Cultural Research on Children’s Prosocial Behavior in Societies Transitioning to Peace
    Intrastate conflicts dominate the twenty-first century. Understanding the psychological mechanisms necessary to transform such settings into more peaceful societies is essential. Toward that end, Helping Kids! is a cross-cultural project that focuses on children in conflict-affected contexts. Moving away from the conceptualization of youth as perpetrators or powerless victims, Helping Kids! recognizes that children can foster a peaceful future, despite growing up in the shadow of war. This chapter approaches peace holistically and understands it as not merely the absence of violence, exploring a conceptualization of positive peace. In line with this understanding, Helping Kids! goes beyond reducing prejudice to focus on intergroup prosocial acts. The chapter first outlines how outgroup prosociality can be understood as an antecedent of peacebuilding, then presents evidence from elementary school-aged children in five different contexts of intergroup conflict (Northern Ireland, Croatia, Kosovo, Republic of North Macedonia, and Israel) to reflect both the complexity and diversity of this area of research. We highlight both the common characteristics as well as differences across the Helping Kids! contexts and how children can contribute to a transition to peace. The chapter concludes with recommendations for future research and practice.
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  • Publication
    It's Not as Simple as Just Looking at One Chart: A Qualitative Study Exploring Clinicians Opinions on Various Visualisation Strategies to Represent Longitudinal Actigraphy Data
    Background: Data derived from wearable activity trackers may provide important clinical insights into disease progression and response to intervention, but only if clinicians can interpret it in a meaningful manner. Longitudinal activity data can be visually presented in multiple ways, but research has failed to explore how clinicians interact with and interpret these visualisations. In response, this study developed a variety of visualisations to understand whether alternative data presentation strategies can provide clinicians with meaningful insights into patient’s physical activity patterns. Objective: To explore clinicians’ opinions on different visualisations of actigraphy data. Methods: Four visualisations (stacked bar chart, clustered bar chart, linear heatmap and radial heatmap) were created using Matplotlib and Seaborn Python libraries. A focus group was conducted with 14 clinicians across 2 hospitals. Focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Results: Three major themes were identified: (1) the importance of context, (2) interpreting the visualisations and (3) applying visualisations to clinical practice. Although clinicians saw the potential value in the visualisations, they expressed a need for further contextual information to gain clinical benefits from them. Allied health professionals preferred more granular, temporal information compared to doctors. Specifically, physiotherapists favoured heatmaps, whereas the remaining members of the team favoured stacked bar charts. Overall, heatmaps were considered more difficult to interpret. Conclusion: The current lack of contextual data provided by wearables hampers their use in clinical practice. Clinicians favour data presented in a familiar format and yet desire multi-faceted filtering. Future research should implement user-centred design processes to identify ways in which all clinical needs can be met, potentially using an interactive system that caters for multiple levels of granularity. Irrespective of how data is displayed, unless clinicians can apply it in a manner that best supports their role, the potential of this data cannot be fully realised.
      33Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    Grey wolf genomic history reveals a dual ancestry of dogs
    The grey wolf (Canis lupus) was the first species to give rise to a domestic population, and they remained widespread throughout the last Ice Age when many other large mammal species went extinct. Little is known, however, about the history and possible extinction of past wolf populations or when and where the wolf progenitors of the present-day dog lineage (Canis familiaris) lived1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Here we analysed 72 ancient wolf genomes spanning the last 100,000 years from Europe, Siberia and North America. We found that wolf populations were highly connected throughout the Late Pleistocene, with levels of differentiation an order of magnitude lower than they are today. This population connectivity allowed us to detect natural selection across the time series, including rapid fixation of mutations in the gene IFT88 40,000–30,000 years ago. We show that dogs are overall more closely related to ancient wolves from eastern Eurasia than to those from western Eurasia, suggesting a domestication process in the east. However, we also found that dogs in the Near East and Africa derive up to half of their ancestry from a distinct population related to modern southwest Eurasian wolves, reflecting either an independent domestication process or admixture from local wolves. None of the analysed ancient wolf genomes is a direct match for either of these dog ancestries, meaning that the exact progenitor populations remain to be located.
      8Scopus© Citations 44
  • Publication
    Traveling monastic paths: Mobility and religion at medieval Irish monasteries
    Travel is recorded as a notable event in the lives of many high-status Irish monks and nuns, and according to medieval Irish texts, they traveled extensively in continental Europe, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England to lead and found monastic communities (CharlesEdwards, 2000; Flechner and Meeder, 2016; Hughes, 1966; Johnston, 2016; Loveluck and O'Sullivan, 2016). In the early medieval period (5th-12th centuries AD), mobility is cited as part of the mechanism for spreading and popularizing Christian practice in a previously pagan society (d'Arcy, 1974; Hughes, 1966). In the late medieval period (12th-16th centuries AD), monastic orders from elsewhere in Europe, such as France and England, founded abbeys in Ireland (O'Keeffe, 2003; Stalley, 1987). Mobility is a mechanism that can introduce new cultural practices through relatively long and definitive moves between communities (Anthony, 1990; Baker and Tsuda, 2015; Burmeister, 2000; Tilly, 1978), and religious institutions are formed and changed by the cultural practices of the members who participated in the religion (Stark, 1996). However, medieval texts do not indicate how common it was for medieval Irish people to be mobile if they were not one of the venerated saints or part of the elite class, and it is unclear what role mobility truly played in the spread and practice of Christianity. Did people who lived monastic lives in medieval Ireland experience mobility differently than those in lay communities?
      6Scopus© Citations 4
  • Publication
    Giant cell tumor of bone in an eighteenth-century Italian mummy
    Giant cell tumor (GCT) of the bone is a locally aggressive and rarely metastasizing neoplasm. It is composed of neoplastic mononuclear stromal cells with a monotonous appearance admixed with macrophages and osteoclast-like giant cells. In a small subset of cases, GCT is malignant. Terminology previously related to this entity, and which is no longer supported by the World Health Organization, includes osteoclastoma and benign fibrous histiocytoma (BFH). Giant cells occur in numerous other pathologic conditions of the bone, which accounts for the misrepresentation of these non-GCT tumors in the early literature. Non-ossifying fibroma (NOF), aneurysmal bone cyst, and chondroblastoma have been erroneously labeled GCT for this reason. A single description of an ancient GCT was reported by Brothwell and Sandison and subsequently mentioned by Aufderheide and Rodrìguez-Martìn who were astonished that more of these tumors had not been identified in archaeological cases. To the best of our knowledge, no other cases of ancient GCT have been cited in the paleopathology literature. The study of this type of neoplasm in antiquity can be used as a means to better understand its characteristics and behavior and to expand the depth of time of the etiology of these lesions. We report a case of GCT of the left femur observed following the total body CT imaging of a partially mummified adult female, dating to eighteenth century.
      4Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Expression of cyanobacterial genes enhanced CO2 assimilation and biomass production in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana
    Background - Photosynthesis is a key process in plants that is compromised by the oxygenase activity of Rubisco, which leads to the production of toxic compound phosphoglycolate that is catabolized by photorespiratory pathway. Transformation of plants with photorespiratory bypasses have been shown to reduce photorespiration and enhance plant biomass. Interestingly, engineering of a single gene from such photorespiratory bypasses has also improved photosynthesis and plant productivity. Although single gene transformations may not completely reduce photorespiration, increases in plant biomass accumulation have still been observed indicating an alternative role in regulating different metabolic processes. Therefore, the current study was aimed at evaluating the underlying mechanism (s) associated with the effects of introducing a single cyanobacterial glycolate decarboxylation pathway gene on photosynthesis and plant performance. Methods - Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants (GD, HD, OX) expressing independently cyanobacterial decarboxylation pathway genes i.e., glycolate dehydrogenase, hydroxyacid dehydrogenase, and oxalate decarboxylase, respectively, were utilized. Photosynthetic, fluorescence related, and growth parameters were analyzed. Additionally, transcriptomic analysis of GD transgenic plants was also performed. Results - The GD plants exhibited a significant increase (16%) in net photosynthesis rate while both HD and OX plants showed a non-significant (11%) increase as compared to wild type plants (WT). The stomatal conductance was significantly higher (24%) in GD and HD plants than the WT plants. The quantum efficiencies of photosystem II, carbon dioxide assimilation and the chlorophyll fluorescence-based photosynthetic electron transport rate were also higher than WT plants. The OX plants displayed significant reductions in the rate of photorespiration relative to gross photosynthesis and increase in the ratio of the photosynthetic electron flow attributable to carboxylation reactions over that attributable to oxygenation reactions. GD, HD and OX plants accumulated significantly higher biomass and seed weight. Soluble sugars were significantly increased in GD and HD plants, while the starch levels were higher in all transgenic plants. The transcriptomic analysis of GD plants revealed 650 up-regulated genes mainly related to photosynthesis, photorespiratory pathway, sucrose metabolism, chlorophyll biosynthesis and glutathione metabolism. Conclusion - This study revealed the potential of introduced cyanobacterial pathway genes to enhance photosynthetic and growth-related parameters. The upregulation of genes related to different pathways provided evidence of the underlying mechanisms involved particularly in GD plants. However, transcriptomic profiling of HD and OX plants can further help to identify other potential mechanisms involved in improved plant productivity.
      52Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    Optimal Multi-Operation Energy Management in Smart Microgrids in the Presence of RESs Based on Multi-Objective Improved DE Algorithm: Cost-Emission Based Optimization
    Today, in various leading power utilities in developing countries, achieving optimal operational energy management and planning, taking into account the costs reduction of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, and also reducing the emission of an environmental pollutant becomes more and more important. Optimal use of renewable energy sources (RESs) is an effective way to achieve these goals. In this regard, in this research article, an improved multi-objective differential evolutionary (IMODE) optimization algorithm is suggested and performed to dispatch electricity generations in a smart microgrid (MG) system, taking into account economy and emission as competitive issues. In this paper, a nonlinear equation of multi-objective optimization issue with various equality and inequality limitations is formulated in order to lower the total operational costs of the MG considering environmental pollution effects simultaneously. In order to address the issue of optimal operation of the MG in single-objective and multi-objective forms, an intelligent method according to the improved differential evolutionary (IDE) optimization is utilized and performed and the proposed algorithm is implemented on different problems. First, it is assumed that there is no limit to the exchange of power overhead, and secondly, the limitation of power exchange with the upstream grid is considered. In multi-objective mode, these two modes are also considered. In order to show the impact of renewable energy on the cost, in the third part of the simulations, the operation is solved with maximum participation of renewable energy sources. In the final section, the sensitivity analysis on the number of populations in this problem is performed. The obtained results of the simulation are compared to differential evolutionary (DE) and particle swarm optimization (PSO) techniques. The effectiveness of the suggested multi-operational energy management method is confirmed by applying a study case system.
      28Scopus© Citations 49
  • Publication
    Challenges in Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Modelling of HPV Vaccines in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Practice Recommendations
    Background: Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) face a number of challenges in implementing cervical cancer prevention programmes that do not apply in high-income countries. Objective: This review assessed how context-specific challenges of implementing cervical cancer prevention strategies in LMICs were accounted for in existing cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) models of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. Methods: The databases of MEDLINE, EMBASE, NHS Economic Evaluation Database, EconLit, Web of Science, and the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health (CEA) Registry were searched for studies published from 2006 to 2015. A descriptive, narrative, and interpretative synthesis of data was undertaken. Results: Of the 33 studies included in the review, the majority acknowledged cost per vaccinated girl (CVG) (26 studies) and vaccine coverage rate (21 studies) as particular challenges for LMICs, while nine studies identified screening coverage rate as a challenge. Most of the studies estimated CVG as a composite of different cost items. However, the basis for the items within this composite cost was unclear. The majority used an assumption rather than an observed rate to represent screening and vaccination coverage rates. CVG, vaccine coverage and screening coverage were shown by some studies through sensitivity analyses to reverse the conclusions regarding cost-effectiveness, thereby significantly affecting policy recommendations. Conclusions: While many studies recognized aspects of the particular challenges of HPV vaccination in LMICs, greater efforts need to be made in adapting models to account for these challenges. These include adapting costings of HPV vaccine delivery from other countries, learning from the outcomes of cervical cancer screening programmes in the same geographical region, and taking into account the country’s previous experience with other vaccination programmes.
      23Scopus© Citations 21
  • Publication
    Relatório de Recomendações para o Enfrentamento ao Discurso de Ódio e ao Extremismo no Brasil
    (Govertno Federal Brasil. Ministerio de Direitos Humanos, 2023-07) ; ; ; ;
    O presente relatório é fruto de contribuições coletivas oriundas do “Grupo de Trabalho para apresentação de estratégias de enfrentamento ao discurso de ódio e ao extremismo, e para a proposição de políticas públicas em direitos humanos sobre o tema”, instituído pela Portaria nº 130, de 23 de fevereiro de 2023, do Ministério dos Direitos Humanos e da Cidadania (MDHC) da República Federativa do Brasil, nos termos das competência estabelecidas pelo Art. 87, parágrafo único, inciso IV, da Constituição Federal. O Grupo de Trabalho (GT) foi instituído pelo Ministro de Estado dos Direitos Humanos e da Cidadania, Silvio Luiz de Almeida, nomeado pelo presidente da república Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, considerando a necessidade premente de adoção de medidas que propiciem o enfrentamento ao discurso de ódio e ao extremismo que atualmente colocam em risco a democracia e a paz, prejudicam o funcionamento das instituições, produzem vítimas e provocam violentos conflitos sociais. As atividades do Grupo de Trabalho foram realizadas de forma não remunerada, sem o custeio de quaisquer despesas aos participantes, contando com a participação de membros da sociedade civil, Advocacia-Geral da União, Ministérios do Governo Federal e Secretaria de Comunicação Social da Presidência da República. Por meio deste GT, o MDHC contribui pra realizar o objetivo da República Federativa do Brasil descrito no Art. 3º, inciso IV, da Constituição Federal, de “promover o bem de todos, sem preconceitos de origem, raça, sexo, cor, idade e quaisquer outras formas de discriminação“, alinhando-se com o “Plano de Ação sobre Discurso de Ódio” lançado pela Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU) em 2019. Este documento é um passo inicial sobre o discurso de ódio e o extremismo, cuja complexidade e relevância demandarão novos e contínuos esforços para o levantamento de dados, análise dos fenômenos e apresentação de novas propostas. O GT espera que o relatório circule como um documento de reflexão sobre a urgência do enfrentamento ao ódio e ao extremismo no Brasil e que permita ter a prevenção e o cuidado das vítimas no centro das respostas institucionais e políticas.
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