77 research outputs found

    Hypertableau Reasoning for Description Logics

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    We present a novel reasoning calculus for the description logic SHOIQ^+---a knowledge representation formalism with applications in areas such as the Semantic Web. Unnecessary nondeterminism and the construction of large models are two primary sources of inefficiency in the tableau-based reasoning calculi used in state-of-the-art reasoners. In order to reduce nondeterminism, we base our calculus on hypertableau and hyperresolution calculi, which we extend with a blocking condition to ensure termination. In order to reduce the size of the constructed models, we introduce anywhere pairwise blocking. We also present an improved nominal introduction rule that ensures termination in the presence of nominals, inverse roles, and number restrictions---a combination of DL constructs that has proven notoriously difficult to handle. Our implementation shows significant performance improvements over state-of-the-art reasoners on several well-known ontologies

    The relationship between imagery type and collective efficacy in elite and non elite athletes

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    This study investigated the relationship between imagery function and individual perceptions of collective efficacy as a function of skill level. Elite (n = 70) and non elite (n = 71) athletes from a number of interactive team sports completed the Sport Imagery Questionnaire (SIQ) and the Collective Efficacy Inventory (CEI). Multiple hierarchical regression analysis was then used to examine which SIQ sub-scales predicted individual perceptions of collective efficacy. For the elite sample, Motivational General-Mastery (MG-M) imagery accounted for approximately 17% of the variance in collective efficacy scores. No significant predictions were observed in the non elite sample. The findings suggest MG-M imagery as a potential technique to improve levels of collective efficacy although competitive level may moderate the effectiveness of such intervention

    Cellulose microfibrils as a pore former in electroless co-deposited anodes for solid oxide fuel cells.

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    A study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of Cellulose Microfibrils (CMF) as a pore former in the manufacture of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) anodes using Electroless Co-Deposition (ECD). Previous work into the use of ECD to produce SOFC anodes has found that the lack of porosity has restricted the maximum power density of the cell. Cellulose Microfibrils’ unique combination of properties and morphologies should produce the required microstructure for SOFC’s electrodes. Cellulose Microfibrils were evaluated as a pore former by their inclusion (using various bath loadings) in the production of ECD anodes. The anodes produced were then evaluated using a Scanning Electron Microscope, Mercury Porosimetry and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. The results showed that an anode produced with a 10 g/l of a 1% solution of CMF as pore former, improved the open circuit voltage, maximum power density by reducing the overall resistance of the cell

    Cellulose microfibrils as a pore former in electroless co-deposited anodes for solid oxide fuel cells.

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    A study was conducted to investigate the feasibility of Cellulose Microfibrils (CMF) as a pore former in the manufacture of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) anodes using Electroless Co-Deposition (ECD). Previous work into the use of ECD to produce SOFC anodes has found that the lack of porosity has restricted the maximum power density of the cell. Cellulose Microfibrils’ unique combination of properties and morphologies should produce the required microstructure for SOFC’s electrodes. Cellulose Microfibrils were evaluated as a pore former by their inclusion (using various bath loadings) in the production of ECD anodes. The anodes produced were then evaluated using a Scanning Electron Microscope, Mercury Porosimetry and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. The results showed that an anode produced with a 10 g/l of a 1% solution of CMF as pore former, improved the open circuit voltage, maximum power density by reducing the overall resistance of the cell

    Telephone delivered incentives for encouraging adherence to supervised methadone consumption (TIES): study protocol for a feasibility study for an RCT of clinical and cost effectiveness

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    The majority of people receiving treatment for their heroin addiction, are prescribed methadone; for which there is an extensive evidence base. When treatment starts, people take their daily dose of methadone under supervision at a community pharmacy. Supervision guarantees methadone is taken as directed by the individual for whom it has been prescribed, helps to ensure individuals take their correct dose every day, and safeguards against diversion and overdose. However, individuals often fail to attend the pharmacy to take their methadone. Each missed dose is of concern. If a patient misses their daily dose of methadone, they will start to experience opiate withdrawal and cravings and are more likely to use heroin. If they miss three days dose, there are concerns that they may lose tolerance to the drug and may be at risk of overdose when the next dose is taken. Hence there is an urgent need to develop effective interventions for medication adherence. Research suggests that incentive-based medication adherence interventions may be very effective, but there are few controlled trials and the provision of incentives requires time and organisational systems which can be challenging in pharmacies. The investigators have developed the technology to deliver incentives by mobile telephone. This cluster randomised trial will test the feasibility of conducting a future trial evaluating the clinical and cost effectiveness of using telephone delivered incentives (praise and modest financial rewards via text messaging) to encourage adherence with supervised consumption of methadone in community pharmacies. Three drug services (each with two or three community pharmacies supervising methadone consumption that will enrol 20 individuals, a total of 60 participants) will be recruited and randomly allocated to deliver either i) telephone delivered incentives, ii) telephone delivered reminders or iii) no telephone system. Acceptability, recruitment, follow-up, and suitable measures of clinical and cost effectiveness will be assessed. Findings from this feasibility study will be assessed against stated progression criteria and used to inform a future confirmatory trial of the clinical and cost effectiveness of telephone delivered incentives to encourage medication adherence. ISRCTN58958179 (retrospectively registered). [Abstract copyright: © 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc.

    Social Incentives in the Workplace

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    We present evidence on social incentives in the workplace, namely on whether workers\u27 behaviour is affected by the presence of those they are socially tied to, even in settings where there are no externalities among workers due to either the production technology or the compensation scheme in place. To do so, we combine data on individual worker productivity from a firm\u27s personnel records with information on each worker\u27s social network of friends in the firm. We find that compared to when she has no social ties with her co-workers, a given worker\u27s productivity is significantly higher when she works alongside friends who are more able than her, and significantly lower when she works with friends who are less able than her. As workers are paid piece rates based on individual productivity, social incentives can be quantified in monetary terms and are such that (i) workers who are more able than their friends are willing to exert less effort and forgo 10% of their earnings; (ii) workers who have at least one friend who is more able than themselves are willing to increase their effort and hence productivity by 10%. The distribution of worker ability is such that the net effect of social incentives on the firm\u27s aggregate performance is positive. The results suggest that firms can exploit social incentives as an alternative to monetary incentives to motivate workers

    A modified video-feedback intervention for carers of foster children aged 6 years and under with reactive attachment disorder : a feasibility study and pilot RCT

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    BACKGROUND: Looked-after children are at risk of suboptimal attachment patterns and reactive attachment disorder. However, access to interventions varies widely and there are no evidence-based interventions for this disorder. OBJECTIVES: (1) To adapt an existing video-feedback intervention to meet the specific needs of foster children in the UK with reactive attachment symptoms, (2) to conduct a case series to road-test the treatment manual and study procedures, (3) to conduct a scoping study of the key hurdles in a pilot trial and (4) to conduct a pilot randomised controlled trial of the adapted intervention to determine the feasibility of a future full-scale trial. DESIGN: This was a mixed-methods study. The adapted treatment manual was developed with expert input and tested on a small case series. Qualitative interviews with key stakeholders were used in the scoping study in preparation for the trial and later with foster carers who received the new intervention. The final stage was a feasibility and pilot randomised controlled trial of the new intervention, compared with usual care. Researchers assessing the outcomes were blinded to group assignment. SETTING: The study was set in outpatient child and adolescent mental health services and partner social services departments. Sites included urban and rural/semirural areas. PARTICIPANTS: Participants were foster carers with children aged ≤ 6 years presenting with difficulties in the domain of reactive attachment disorder. Key stakeholders included children's services managers and mental health service practitioners in the scoping study. Foster carers who received the modified intervention participated in qualitative interviews. INTERVENTION: The video-feedback intervention to promote positive parenting and sensitive discipline is an extensively evaluated and effective treatment approach. This intervention was modified (based on the adapted version for foster care in the Netherlands) to suit the needs of young children with reactive attachment symptoms in foster care in the UK and was delivered to improve the sensitive responding of foster carers, foster carer-child relationships and child outcomes. The modified intervention was delivered in-home by trained mental health professionals over a period of 4-6 months. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: The main outcome was reactive attachment symptom scores on the Disturbances of Attachment Interview. RESULTS: A series of minor changes to the intervention programme were introduced, which focused on improving its suitability for the UK foster care context. Challenges in recruitment meant that, despite numerous modifications to the protocol and the inclusion of additional sites, only 30 families (target, n = 40) were recruited to the randomised controlled trial (15 allocated to each group). However, most other trial parameters were deemed feasible and acceptable, particularly the high levels of data and treatment completeness. All randomised families were available for baseline analyses, but two in the treatment arm were not available for post-treatment analyses. The revised intervention was positively received by practitioners and foster carers. LIMITATIONS: Only three-quarters of the target sample size was recruited. Furthermore, the sites' own exclusion of potential participants and the low return rates of screening questionnaires raise the possibility of non-randomness of non-responses. CONCLUSION: A larger-scale trial may be feasible, but only if recruitment barriers can be overcome. Dedicated resources to support recruitment within local authorities and wider inclusion criteria are recommended. Central resourcing of intervention capacity to supplement NHS staff is also recommended. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial is registered as ISRCTN18374094. FUNDING: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research ( NIHR ) Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 26, No. 35. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information

    SurgiCal Obesity Treatment Study (SCOTS) : a prospective, observational cohort study on health and socioeconomic burden in treatment-seeking individuals with severe obesity in Scotland, UK

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    Objectives: There is a lack of evidence to inform the delivery and follow-up of bariatric surgery for people with severe obesity. The SurgiCal Obesity Treatment Study (SCOTS) is a national longitudinal cohort of people undergoing bariatric surgery. Here, we describe characteristics of the recruited SCOTS cohort, and the relationship between health and socioeconomic status with body mass index (BMI) and age. Participants/Methods: 445 participants scheduled for bariatric surgery at any of 14 centres in Scotland, UK, were recruited between 2013 and 2016 for this longitudinal cohort study (1 withdrawal); 249 completed health-related preoperative patient-reported outcome measures. Regression models were used to estimate the effect of a 10-unit increase in age or BMI, adjusting for sex, smoking and socioeconomic status. Results: Mean age was 46 years and median BMI was 47 kg/m2. For each 10 kg/m2 higher BMI, there was a change of −5.2 (95% CI −6.9 to –3.5; p<0.0001) in Rand 12-item Short Form Survey Physical Component Summary (SF-12 PCS), −0.1 (95% CI −0.2 to –0.1; p<0.0001) in EuroQoL 5-level EQ-5D version index score and 14.2 (95% CI 10.7 to 17.7; p<0.0001) in Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-Lite Physical Function Score. We observed a 3.1 times higher use of specialist aids and equipment at home (OR: 3.1, 95% CI 1.9 to 5.0; p<0.0001). Broadly, similar results were seen for each 10-year higher age, including a change of −2.1 (95% CI −3.7 to –0.5; p<0.01) in SF-12 PCS. Conclusions: A higher BMI combined with older age is associated with poor physical functioning and quality of life in people seeking bariatric surgery treatment. Policy-makers must consider the health and care needs of these individuals and invest to provide increased access to effective weight management. Trial registration number: ISRCTN47072588
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