18 research outputs found

    Chauffeur braking

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    An experienced driver will `feather' the brakes so as to unwind the suspension compliance and stop the vehicle with only just enough torque in the brakes to hold the vehicle stationary on any gradient, or against the residual torque from an automatic transmission’s torque converter. An optimal stopping problem that minimises the total jerk was formulated and solved. This model was extended by including a linear relationship between the brake pressure and the acceleration of the car where the coefficients are estimated by linear regression. Finally, a Kalman filter estimates the state of the car using the tone wheel

    Overcoming data sparsity

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    Unilever is currently designing and testing recommendation algorithms that would make recommendations about products to online customers given the customer ID and the current content of their basket. Unilever collected a large amount of purchasing data that demonstrates that most of the items (around 80%) are purchased infrequently and account for 20% of the data while frequently purchased items account for 80% of the data. Therefore, the data is sparse, skewed and demonstrates a long tail. Attempts to incorporate the data from the long tail, so far have proved difficult and current Unilever recommendation systems do not incorporate the information about infrequently purchased items. At the same time, these items are more indicative of customers' preferences and Unilever would like to make recommendations from/about these items, i.e. give a rank ordering of available products in real time. Study Group suggested to use the approach of bipartite networks to construct a similarity matrix that would allow the recommendation scores for different products to be computed. Given a current basket and a customer ID, this approach gives recommendation scores for each available item and recommends the item with the highest score that is not already in the basket. The similarity matrix can be computed offline, while recommendation score calculations can be performed live. This report contains the summary of Study Group findings together with the insights into properties of the similarity matrix and other related issues, such as recommendation for the data collection

    Propagation of uncertainty through the hazard chain

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    DSTL wish to explore methods for propagating uncertainty through a succession of linked models. The Study Group have looked at the particular example of casualty estimation from airbourne dispersion and suggested two different potential solutions. If the structure of the models is sufficiently simple, and the number of degrees of freedom relatively small, a semi-analytical approach based on Bayes’ theorem can be used. In the more general case, intelligent sampling methods can be used to gradually build a picture of likely outcomes

    The impact of immediate breast reconstruction on the time to delivery of adjuvant therapy: the iBRA-2 study

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    Background: Immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) is routinely offered to improve quality-of-life for women requiring mastectomy, but there are concerns that more complex surgery may delay adjuvant oncological treatments and compromise long-term outcomes. High-quality evidence is lacking. The iBRA-2 study aimed to investigate the impact of IBR on time to adjuvant therapy. Methods: Consecutive women undergoing mastectomy ± IBR for breast cancer July–December, 2016 were included. Patient demographics, operative, oncological and complication data were collected. Time from last definitive cancer surgery to first adjuvant treatment for patients undergoing mastectomy ± IBR were compared and risk factors associated with delays explored. Results: A total of 2540 patients were recruited from 76 centres; 1008 (39.7%) underwent IBR (implant-only [n = 675, 26.6%]; pedicled flaps [n = 105,4.1%] and free-flaps [n = 228, 8.9%]). Complications requiring re-admission or re-operation were significantly more common in patients undergoing IBR than those receiving mastectomy. Adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy was required by 1235 (48.6%) patients. No clinically significant differences were seen in time to adjuvant therapy between patient groups but major complications irrespective of surgery received were significantly associated with treatment delays. Conclusions: IBR does not result in clinically significant delays to adjuvant therapy, but post-operative complications are associated with treatment delays. Strategies to minimise complications, including careful patient selection, are required to improve outcomes for patients

    Anastrozole versus tamoxifen for the prevention of locoregional and contralateral breast cancer in postmenopausal women with locally excised ductal carcinoma in situ (IBIS-II DCIS): a double-blind, randomised controlled trial

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    Background Third-generation aromatase inhibitors are more effective than tamoxifen for preventing recurrence in postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive invasive breast cancer. However, it is not known whether anastrozole is more effective than tamoxifen for women with hormone-receptor-positive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Here, we compare the efficacy of anastrozole with that of tamoxifen in postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive DCIS. Methods In a double-blind, multicentre, randomised placebo-controlled trial, we recruited women who had been diagnosed with locally excised, hormone-receptor-positive DCIS. Eligible women were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio by central computer allocation to receive 1 mg oral anastrozole or 20 mg oral tamoxifen every day for 5 years. Randomisation was stratified by major centre or hub and was done in blocks (six, eight, or ten). All trial personnel, participants, and clinicians were masked to treatment allocation and only the trial statistician had access to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was all recurrence, including recurrent DCIS and new contralateral tumours. All analyses were done on a modified intention-to-treat basis (in all women who were randomised and did not revoke consent for their data to be included) and proportional hazard models were used to compute hazard ratios and corresponding confidence intervals. This trial is registered at the ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN37546358. Results Between March 3, 2003, and Feb 8, 2012, we enrolled 2980 postmenopausal women from 236 centres in 14 countries and randomly assigned them to receive anastrozole (1449 analysed) or tamoxifen (1489 analysed). Median follow-up was 7·2 years (IQR 5·6–8·9), and 144 breast cancer recurrences were recorded. We noted no statistically significant difference in overall recurrence (67 recurrences for anastrozole vs 77 for tamoxifen; HR 0·89 [95% CI 0·64–1·23]). The non-inferiority of anastrozole was established (upper 95% CI <1·25), but its superiority to tamoxifen was not (p=0·49). A total of 69 deaths were recorded (33 for anastrozole vs 36 for tamoxifen; HR 0·93 [95% CI 0·58–1·50], p=0·78), and no specific cause was more common in one group than the other. The number of women reporting any adverse event was similar between anastrozole (1323 women, 91%) and tamoxifen (1379 women, 93%); the side-effect profiles of the two drugs differed, with more fractures, musculoskeletal events, hypercholesterolaemia, and strokes with anastrozole and more muscle spasm, gynaecological cancers and symptoms, vasomotor symptoms, and deep vein thromboses with tamoxifen. Conclusions No clear efficacy differences were seen between the two treatments. Anastrozole offers another treatment option for postmenopausal women with hormone-receptor-positive DCIS, which may be be more appropriate for some women with contraindications for tamoxifen. Longer follow-up will be necessary to fully evaluate treatment differences

    Anastrozole versus tamoxifen for the prevention of locoregional and contralateral breast cancer in postmenopausal women with locally excised ductal carcinoma in situ (IBIS-II DCIS): A double-blind, randomised controlled trial

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    Fish species substitution and misnaming in South Africa: an economic, safety and sustainability conundrum revisited

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    While fish species mislabelling has emerged as a global problem, the tracking of improvements or deteriorations in seafood trading practices is challenging without a consistent basis for monitoring. The aim of this study was to develop a robust, repeatable species authentication protocol that could be used to benchmark the current and future incidences of fish mislabelling in South Africa. Using this approach, 149 fish samples collected from restaurants and retailers in three provinces (KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng) were identified using DNA barcoding, supplemented in certain cases with mitochondrial control region sequencing. Overall, 18% of samples were incorrectly described in terms of species, with similar misrepresentation rates in restaurants (18%) and retail outlets (19%). While there appears to be some improvement in the transparency of local seafood marketing compared to previous studies, the results remain of concern and signal the need for enhanced seafood labelling regulations, monitoring and law enforcement