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    11612 research outputs found

    MemoriEase at the NTCIR-17 Lifelog-5 Task

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    We present the MemoriEase retrieval system used for our participation in the NTCIR Lifelog-5 Task. We report our method to address the lifelog retrieval problem and discuss our official results of the MemoriEase at Lifelog-5 task. We originally introduced the MemoriEase system for the Lifelog Search Challenge (LSC) as an interactive lifelog retrieval system. We have modified it to an automatic retrieval system to address the NTCIR Lifelog-5 Task. We propose the BLIP-2 model as the core embedding model to retrieve lifelog images from textual queries. The open-sourced Elasticsearch search engine serves as the main engine in the MemoriEase system. Some pre-processing and post-processing techniques are applied to adapt this system to an automatic version and improve the accuracy of retrieval results. Finally, we discuss the results of the system on the task, some limitations of the system, and lessons learned from participating in the Lifelog-5 task for further improvements for the system in the future

    Margins of intervention? Gender, Bourdieu and women’s regional entrepreneurial networks

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    In this paper, we apply a feminist interpretation and an extension of Bourdieu’s theory of practice to explore the gap in our understanding between gender gap issues – the institutionalized and structural inequalities that underpin the differential access to resources by women and men – and women business owners. Drawing on an interpretivist analysis of the lived experience of women entrepreneurs who were members of women-only or open-to-all formal entrepreneurship networks, we examine their enculturation and the strategies they employ to be deemed credible players in the field. We conclude that women-only formal entrepreneurship networks have had a limited impact on helping these women overcome the isolating and individualizing effects of a gendered entrepreneurial field. Despite the promise of familiarization with and sensitization to the field, women-only formal entrepreneurship networks only serve to perpetuate and reproduce the embedded masculinity of the entrepreneurship domain in the absence of appropriate activating mechanisms or ‘margins of intervention’

    The laureate as public intellectual: Paul Crutzen and the politics of the environment

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    This article argues that Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen (1933 – 2021) spoke in the name of science over several decades as a public intellectual who shaped research fields, environmental policy, and public understanding of the environment. It analyses the atmospheric chemist as a case study to explain the formation and influence of the scientist as a public intellectual, tracing the trajectory of his public career, focusing on his critical contributions to four significant episodes in modern environmental politics: His warnings in the 1970s of damage to the ozone layer, his catalysing impact on the nuclear winter debates of the 1980s, his turn-of-the-century conceptualisation of the Anthropocene, and his late-career advocacy of solar geoengineering. It undertakes a textual analysis of four agenda-setting articles to demonstrate how Crutzen performed the public intellectual functions of testing the assumptions of scientific and policy elites, and framing new ways of understanding environmental problems. It argues that he was a technocratic public intellectual who viewed scientists as guides for society to understand and respond to human-caused environmental threats. As climate change becomes a defining issue of the twenty-second century, Crutzen’s career illuminates the potential and limitations of the technocratic public intellectual to shape global environmental politics

    (Im)possible change: criticality and constraints in the infrastructures of the academic knowledge economy

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    This article examines three sets of infrastructures that give shape to the academic knowledge economy, namely: institutional infrastructures (universities and conferences); gate-keeping infrastructures (journals and publishers); and validation infrastructures (competitive assessments of individuals and institutions). We analyse the tensed interplay between critical perspectives in applied linguistics and the influence of academic neoliberalism. We develop our argument in three parts: (1) Academic critique and its emancipatory epistemologies are intertwined with established systems and coexist with mechanisms that perpetuate inequalities. (2) Inequalities in knowledge production reverberate in knowledge dissemination, where the hegemonic role of English as the language of academic publishing reinforces the unequal position of different actors in their academic fields. (3) These inequalities (that originate in institutional and gate-keeping infrastructures) extend to the validation of knowledge, which is entrenched in the audit culture that pervades academia and further reinforces neoliberal competitive dynamics. We conclude by reflecting on the possibilities for change at these three levels

    Parametric investigation of ultrashort pulsed laser surface texturing on aluminium alloy 7075 for hydrophobicity enhancement

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    Hydrophobicity plays a pivotal role in mitigating surface fouling, corrosion, and icing in critical marine and aerospace environments. By employing ultrafast laser texturing, the characteristic properties of a material’s surface can be modified. This work investigates the potential of an advanced ultrafast laser texturing manufacturing process to enhance the hydrophobicity of aluminium alloy 7075. The surface properties were characterized using goniometry, 3D profilometry, SEM, and XPS analysis. The findings from this study show that the laser process parameters play a crucial role in the manufacturing of the required surface structures. Numerical optimization with response surface optimization was conducted to maximize the contact angle on these surfaces. The maximum water contact angle achieved was 142º, with an average height roughness (Sa) of 0.87 ± 0.075 μm, maximum height roughness (Sz) of 19.4 ± 2.12 μm, and texture aspect ratio of 0.042. This sample was manufactured with the process parameters of 3W laser power, 0.08 mm hatch distance, and a 3 mm/s scan speed. This study highlights the importance of laser process parameters in the manufacturing of the required surface structures and presents a parametric modeling approach that can be used to optimize the laser process parameters to obtain a specific surface morphology and hydrophobicity

    A systematic review of the use of WeChat in teaching Chinese as a foreign language

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    Over the years, social media have gained popularity as tools for language teaching. The social media platform WeChat has been employed for teaching Chinese as a foreign language (TCFL). While studies have investigated the use of WeChat for TCFL, no systematic reviews have been conducted to provide an overview of existing research. This review article examines empirical studies on WeChat in TCFL, summarising their main characteristics, findings, and critically assessing the quality and relevance of the available evidence. Scopus and Web of Science were used as primary databases for this review. Relevant studies were identified by using keyword sets such as “WeChat Chinese language”, “WeChat Mandarin”, “WeChat Hanyu” and “WeChat Putonghua”. The review identified the contexts, research methods and themes of the selected articles. The main themes include language learning, social interactions, learner agency and motivation. The paper also discusses the implications of using WeChat for TCFL and highlights areas for future research. It is hoped that the insights provided here will inform the design and implementation of future courses that use WeChat or other technology-assisted applications for language teaching

    Colour technologies for content production and distribution of broadcast content

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    The requirement of colour reproduction has long been a priority driving the development of new colour imaging systems that maximise human perceptual plausibility. This thesis explores machine learning algorithms for colour processing to assist both content production and distribution. First, this research studies colourisation technologies with practical use cases in restoration and processing of archived content. The research targets practical deployable solutions, developing a cost-effective pipeline which integrates the activity of the producer into the processing workflow. In particular, a fully automatic image colourisation paradigm using Conditional GANs is proposed to improve content generalisation and colourfulness of existing baselines. Moreover, a more conservative solution is considered by providing references to guide the system towards more accurate colour predictions. A fast-end-to-end architecture is proposed to improve existing exemplar-based image colourisation methods while decreasing the complexity and runtime. Finally, the proposed image-based methods are integrated into a video colourisation pipeline. A general framework is proposed to reduce the generation of temporal flickering or propagation of errors when such methods are applied frame-to-frame. The proposed model is jointly trained to stabilise the input video and to cluster their frames with the aim of learning scene-specific modes. Second, this research explored colour processing technologies for content distribution with the aim to effectively deliver the processed content to the broad audience. In particular, video compression is tackled by introducing a novel methodology for chroma intra prediction based on attention models. Although the proposed architecture helped to gain control over the reference samples and better understand the prediction process, the complexity of the underlying neural network significantly increased the encoding and decoding time. Therefore, aiming at efficient deployment within the latest video coding standards, this work also focused on the simplification of the proposed architecture to obtain a more compact and explainable model

    The lived experience of adherence to HIV medication in the context of homelessness and addiction.

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    At the end of 2020, The Global Health Observatory estimated that globally there are 37.7 million people living with HIV (WHO, 2022). In Ireland, in 2021 over 6,000 people were estimated to be living with HIV, however this figure has already increased in 2022 with 293 notified cases of HIV in the first six months of 2022, compared to 145 for the same period of 2021 (Health Protection Surveillance Centre 2022). The HPSC 2021 statistics reveal that in 2% of HIV cases, intravenous drug use behaviour was the source of transmission. Research studies and health strategies emphasize the importance of adherence to HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) to avoid viral replication and personal/public health consequences. However, it is evident that addiction and homelessness can contribute to non-adherence to medical and pharmacological treatment for a range of diseases. Explanations have been put forward in the research including, side effects, stigma/shame, lack of structure/routine, cognitive impairment caused by drug use, lack of motivation/self-worth, lack of facilities to store and take medication. Adherence to HIV treatment for people who are homeless and in addiction, is further complicated by the required drug regimen which can be complex and difficult to tolerate. This study explores the lived experience of adhering to HIV medication in the context of drug addiction and homelessness, using a qualitative research approach, involving interviews with six people experiencing homelessness and addiction and who are prescribed HIV medication. Individual participant narratives are gathered and analyzed using Riesman’s (2008) narrative analysis framework which enables a deep exploration of the stories people tell about their lived experiences. The study findings illuminate how HIV, addiction and homelessness impact on adherence to HAART particularly in relation to diagnosis experiences, stigma and shame as well as the challenges of managing treatment in the context of homelessness and addiction. It is anticipated that the findings, discussion and potential recommendations from the study will contribute to improved understanding of the needs of this population and more sensitive person centred approaches

    'As an emerald is green'. Waiting, poetry and affliction: Simone Weil's concept of attention

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    This research thesis explores the concept of attention as outlined and practised in the life of Simone Weil (1909-1943), a French woman variously described as a philosopher, mystic and activist yet someone who eludes categorisation or systematisation. It outlines the background to her life in a France between two world wars, and seeks to situate her within the context of the Christianity she claimed as her cultural backdrop. It explores the concept of attention as both a spiritual exercise and a practice in the life of Weil, something that then evolved into a core principle of her thinking. The central question here is the age-old one, harking back to ancient philosophy, concerning the living of a good life, particularly within the context of a lifelong acquaintanceship with Weil‘s work. As this study examines Weil‘s ideas on reading, it also interrogates how she is read, particularly by poets today, with a view to assessing her influence. Weil was a writer who loved poetry and wrote some herself. Poetry and the recitation of prayers played an important role in her mystical experiences. The role of affliction in her mysticism and in her life is important and it will be seen how her stance in the face of affliction is something that marks her thinking. The concept of attention today incorporates issues around the commodification of the attention span, as well as its deficits. This study examines some of these issues and draws forth from the life and work of Simone Weil a more expanded, practical, and reflective understanding of the idea of attentio

    Essays in entrepreneurial & green finance

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    The European Green Deal focuses on investment which will mobilise at least €1 trillion of sustainable investments and development of an ‘enabling framework’ which will facilitate and stimulate the transition to a climate-neutral, green and inclusive economy while ensuring companies report their sustainable activities. This thesis focuses on two-strands, financing of Clean Technology (Cleantech) firms and sustainability reporting. The analysis is presented in four studies. Study 1 analyses the financing of Cleantech firms that raised equity crowdfunding on platforms in Europe. Crowdfunding has a positive impact on innovation and growth opportunities of Cleantech firms, and in the post-crowdfunding period firms raise significantly greater amounts of external equity, suggesting signalling effects. Study 2 examines equity funding of Cleantech firms in the UK. 739 firms are analysed through the lens of the pecking order theory. A primary finding is that firms with lower intangible assets are more likely to raise equity funding. The study questions the restrictiveness of IAS 38 and the patient capital gap for Cleantech firms. Study 3 investigates the feasibility, potential and financial implications of environmental sustainability reporting. The study analyses the views of 203 Small-to-Medium sized accounting practitioners (SMPs). The greatest perceived benefit for firms adopting sustainability reporting is an improved company image. Respondents detail resourcing implications, providing an estimate of the additional cost. An impediment in implementing sustainability reporting is the lack of knowledge and training, not only for small firms but also for accounting professionals. Study 4 investigates the challenges and the non-regulatory benefits and incentives for SMEs to engage with the EU Green Taxonomy. Using practical case studies, respondents are invited to participate in a focus group and survey. Resourcing and knowledge are the main deterrents for firms to implement. Government supports, simplified disclosure requirements and assistance further along the supply-chain will be essential


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