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Jiang I.H.-R.,National Chiao Tung University | Chang H.-Y.,Freelance | Chang C.-L.,National Chiao Tung University
Proceedings of the International Symposium on Physical Design | Year: 2010

Due to excessive current densities, electromigration may trigger a permanent open- or short-circuit failure in signal wires or power networks in analog or mixed-signal circuits. As the feature size keeps shrinking, this effect becomes a key reliability concern. Hence, in this paper, we focus on wiring topology generation for avoiding electromigration at the routing stage. Prior works tended towards heuristics; on the contrary, we first claim this problem belongs to class P instead of class NP-hard. Our breakthrough is, via the proof of the greedy-choice property, we successfully model this problem on a multi-source multi-sink flow network and then solve it by a strongly polynomial time algorithm. Experimental results prove the effectiveness and efficiency of our algorithm. Copyright 2010 ACM.

Ascione F.,University of Naples Federico II | Bianco N.,University of Naples Federico II | de' Rossi F.,University of Sannio | Turni G.,Freelance | Vanoli G.P.,University of Sannio
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

Several studies show the potential benefits achievable by recurring to roof vegetation. Really, little literature investigates the economic feasibility of such solution. The paper verifies utility of green roofs, under environmental and energy point of views, by considering all the aspects that influence their performances. With reference to several climates, intensity of rainfalls, needs of irrigation and kind of building use, a large parametric analysis evaluates the technical and economical feasibility of green roofs applied to a modern office building, considering various vegetations and different external coatings. The scarce amount of rainfall - and thus the irrigation cost - can nullify the savings in energy demand for air-conditioning. Moreover, even if green roofs show satisfactory performance if monthly rainfalls do not imply significant additional watering - the economic investigation shows scarce convenience for well-insulated buildings, above all if the higher initial cost of a green roof, compared to traditional roofing coating, is computed. Finally, cool roofs, by means of high-reflective and high-emissive coatings, are suitable solutions in warm climates, strongly improving the summer performances, with low extra costs for installation and maintenance. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Weaver H.,Freelance | Roberts B.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Substance Use and Misuse | Year: 2010

This paper systematically reviews evidence about factors associated with harmful alcohol use amongst forcibly displaced persons, including refugees and internally displaced persons. Bibliographic and humanitarian-related databases were searched. The number of quantitative and qualitative studies that were screened and reviewed was 1108. Only 10 studies met inclusion criteria. Risk factors identified included gender, age, exposure to traumatic events and resulting posttraumatic stress disorder, prior alcohol consumption-related problems, year of immigration, location of residence, social relations, and postmigration trauma and stress. The evidence base was extremely weak, and there is a need to improve the quantity and quality of research about harmful alcohol use by forcibly displaced persons. Copyright © 2010 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Sabel T.,TU Berlin | Zschocher M.,Freelance
Scientific Reports | Year: 2013

Studies on the dynamics of holographic pattern formation in photosensitive polymers, gaining deeper insight into the specific material transformations, are essential for improvements in holographic recording as well as in integrated optics. Here we investigate the kinetics of volume hologram formation in an organic cationic ring-opening polymerization system. The time evolution of the grating strength and the grating phase is presented. We found two steps of growth, separated by a depletion of the light diffraction. Capable to explore this growing behavior, a transition-theory of the refractive index contrast is established. Accordingly the growth curves appear to be ruled by the interplay of polymerization and diffusion. Hence the grating formation mechanisms can be qualified as competing effects regarding the contribution to the refractive index change. We investigate the influence of the preparation and exposure procedure on the transition and consider the usability for integrated wave guide functions.

Giaretta N.,Freelance | Di Giuseppe A.M.A.,The Second University of Naples | Lippert M.,Freelance | Parente A.,The Second University of Naples | Di Maro A.,The Second University of Naples
Food Chemistry | Year: 2013

The identification of meat animal species used in raw burgers is very important with respect to economic and religious considerations. Therefore, international supervisory bodies have implemented procedures to control the employed meat species. In this paper we propose myoglobin as a powerful molecular marker to evaluate the presence of non-declared meat addition in raw beef burgers by using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) for the separation and identification of edible animal species (beef, chicken, horse, ostrich, pig and water buffalo). Meat samples were pre-treated with sodium nitrite to transform oxymyoglobin and deoxymyoglobin to the more stable metmyoglobin. The developed method was validated, preparing mixtures with different percentages of pork and beef minced meat. The obtained results show that using myoglobin as marker, 5% (25 mg/500 mg) of pork or beef meat can be detected in premixed minced meat samples. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a seasonal infectious disease, with epidemics occurring annually from October to March in the UK. It is a very common infection in infants and young children and can lead to hospitalisation, particularly in those who are premature or who have chronic lung disease (CLD) or congenital heart disease (CHD). Palivizumab (Synagis®, MedImmune) is a monoclonal antibody designed to provide passive immunity against RSV and thereby prevent or reduce the severity of RSV infection. It is licensed for the prevention of serious lower respiratory tract infection caused by RSV in children at high risk. While it is recognised that a policy of using palivizumab for all children who meet the licensed indication does not meet conventional UK standards of cost-effectiveness, most clinicians feel that its use is justified in some children. To use systematic review evidence to estimate the cost-effectiveness of immunoprophylaxis of RSV using palivizumab in different subgroups of children with or without CLD or CHD who are at high risk of serious morbidity from RSV infection. A systematic review of the literature and an economic evaluation was carried out. The bibliographic databases included the Cochrane Library [Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) and Health Technology Assessment (HTA)] and five other databases, from inception to 2009. Research registries of ongoing trials including Current Controlled Trials metaRegister, Clinical and the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network Portfolio were also searched. Searches were conducted for prognostic and hospitalisation studies covering 1950-2009 (the original report searches conducted in 2007 covering the period 1950-2007 were rerun in August 2009 to cover the period 2007-9) and the database of all references from the original report was sifted to find any relevant studies that may have been missed. The risk factors identified from the systematic review of included studies were analysed and synthesised using stata. The base-case decision tree model developed in the original HTA journal publication [Health Technol Assess 2008;12(36)] was used to derive the cost-effectiveness of immunoprophylaxis of RSV using palivizumab in different subgroups of pre-term infants and young children who are at high risk of serious morbidity from RSV infection. Cost-effective spectra of prophylaxis with palivizumab compared with no prophylaxis for children without CLD/CHD, children with CLD, children with acyanotic CHD and children with cyanotic CHD were derived. Thirteen studies were included in this analysis. Analysis of 16,128 subgroups showed that prophylaxis with palivizumab may be cost-effective [at a willingness-to-pay threshold of £30,000/quality-adjusted life-year (QALY)] for some subgroups. For example, for children without CLD or CHD, the cost-effective subgroups included children under 6 weeks old at the start of the RSV season who had at least two other risk factors that were considered in this report and were born at 24 weeks gestational age (GA) or less, but did not include children who were > 9 months old at the start of the RSV season or had a GA of > 32 weeks. For children with CLD, the cost-effective subgroups included children < 6 months old at the start of the RSV season who were born at 28 weeks GA or less, but did not include children who were > 21 months old at the start of the RSV season. For children with acyanotic CHD, the cost-effective subgroups included children < 6 months old at the start of the RSV season who were born at 24 weeks GA or less, but did not include children who were > 21 months old at the start of the RSV season. For children with cyanotic CHD, the cost-effective subgroups included children < 6 weeks old at the start of the RSV season who were born at 24 weeks GA or less, but did not include children who were > 12 months old at the start of the RSV season. The poor quality of the studies feeding numerical results into this analysis means that the true cost-effectiveness may vary considerably from that estimated here. There is a risk that the relatively high mathematical precision of the point estimates of cost-effectiveness may be quite inaccurate because of poor-quality inputs. Prophylaxis with palivizumab does not represent good value for money based on the current UK incremental cost-effectiveness ratio threshold of £30,000/QALY when used unselectively in children without CLD/CHD or children with CLD or CHD. This subgroup analysis showed that prophylaxis with palivizumab may be cost-effective (at a willingness-to-pay threshold of £30,000/QALY) for some subgroups. In summary, the cost-effective subgroups for children who had no CLD or CHD must contain at least two other risk factors apart from GA and birth age. The cost-effective subgroups for children who had CLD or CHD do not necessarily need to have any other risk factors. Future research should be directed towards conducting much larger, better powered and better reported studies to derive better estimates of the risk factor effect sizes. This report was funded by the HTA programme of the National Institute for Health Research.

Masuda K.,Freelance
2015 54th Annual Conference of the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers of Japan, SICE 2015 | Year: 2015

We propose an evolutionary computation (EC) based constrained optimization approach for parameter tuning of an extended autoassociative memory. Being motivated to evaluate the capacity of the conventional autoassociative memory model and to go beyond the bound, we developed a series of extended models which have more parameters to increase the degree of flexibility. Meanwhile, optimization of these parameters has also become more difficult to maximize the performance of such models. By the way, we developed a new EC-based constrained optimization method in which all the constraints can be handled effectively by using the so-called 'feasibilization operations' in a previous study. Now, we attempt to apply it to the optimization problem of the autoassociative memory. © 2015 The Society of Instrument and Control Engineers-SICE.

Paez A.,Freelance
Energy Policy | Year: 2010

In this paper I present a study regarding the institutional conditions of Mexican cities based on a post-petroleum urban model that considers transport, architecture, urban planning and land use, renewable energy sources, energy saving and efficiency, and urban metabolism issues. The model was constructed with recommendations of authors and organizations that have analysed the energy dimension of cities under an energy-availability, environmental or petroleum-independent view. To make the study I sent a questionnaire to some local governments of all the country. The information indicates that Mexican cities do not have institutional conditions to manage the urban-energy transition that signify the end of cheap oil and the peak of world oil production. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Lowery J.,Freelance
Air Force Magazine | Year: 2014

Lady Be Good, which had been based at a hastily built desert airstrip in Soluch, Libya, had disappeared April 4, 1943, while making what was for the aircraft and crew of nine its first and last combat mission of the war. It was discovered in 1958 by British geologists conducting an aerial survey. In the summer and fall of 1959, Air Force and Army mortuary teams began an exhaustive search for the crew's remains. An examination of Lady Be Good's wreckage revealed a thermos containing still drinkable coffee, a complete desert survival kit, and machine guns that still worked. Nothing was found and the search was officially closed. Five months later, in February 1960, members of a British Petroleum Co. subcontractor team unexpectedly discovered the nearly buried bodies of five of the B-24's crew. A diary kept by one of the crew member was recovered along with the crew's remains and told the airmen's tragically heroic story. The crew of Lady Be Good's eight day survival in the Sahara Desert, without shelter, food, or water, exceeded contemporary estimates of human capability.

Clar C.,Freelance | Oseni Z.,Freelance | Flowers N.,Freelance | Keshtkar-Jahromi M.,Freelance | Rees K.,Freelance
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: This is an update of the original review published in 2008. The risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes is increased with influenza-like infection, and vaccination against influenza may improve cardiovascular outcomes.OBJECTIVES: To assess the potential benefits of influenza vaccination for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.SEARCH METHODS: We searched the following electronic databases on 18 October 2013: The Cochrane Library (including Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), Economic Evaluation Database (EED) and Health Technology Assessment database (HTA)), MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded, Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Science and ongoing trials registers ( and We examined reference lists of relevant primary studies and systematic reviews. We performed a limited PubMed search on 20 February 2015, just before publication.SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of influenza vaccination compared with placebo or no treatment in participants with or without cardiovascular disease, assessing cardiovascular death or non-fatal cardiovascular events.DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard methodological procedures as expected by The Cochrane Collaboration. We carried out meta-analyses only for cardiovascular death, as other outcomes were reported too infrequently. We expressed effect sizes as risk ratios (RRs), and we used random-effects models.MAIN RESULTS: We included eight trials of influenza vaccination compared with placebo or no vaccination, with 12,029 participants receiving at least one vaccination or control treatment. We included six new studies (n = 11,251), in addition to the two included in the previous version of the review. Four of these trials (n = 10,347) focused on prevention of influenza in the general or elderly population and reported cardiovascular outcomes among their safety analyses; four trials (n = 1682) focused on prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with established coronary heart disease. These populations were analysed separately. Follow-up continued between 42 days and one year. Five RCTs showed deficits in at least three of the risk of bias criteria assessed. When reported (seven studies), vaccination provided adequate immunogenicity or protection against influenza. Cardiovascular mortality was reported by four secondary prevention trials and was significantly reduced by influenza vaccination overall (risk ratio (RR) 0.45, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.26 to 0.76; P value 0.003) with no significant heterogeneity between studies, and by three trials reporting cardiovascular mortality as part of their safety analyses when the numbers of events were too small to permit conclusions. In studies of patients with coronary heart disease, composite outcomes of cardiovascular events tended to be decreased with influenza vaccination compared with placebo. Generally no significant difference was found between comparison groups regarding individual outcomes such as myocardial infarction.AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: In patients with cardiovascular disease, influenza vaccination may reduce cardiovascular mortality and combined cardiovascular events. However, studies had some risk of bias, and results were not always consistent, so additional higher-quality evidence is necessary to confirm these findings. Not enough evidence was available to establish whether influenza vaccination has a role to play in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

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