16 research outputs found

    Developing interest management techniques in distributed interactive simulation using Java

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    Bandwidth consumption in distributed real time simulation, or networked real time simulation, is a major problem as the number of participants and the sophistication of joint simulation exercises grow in size. The paper briefly reviews distributed real time simulation and bandwidth reduction techniques and introduces the Generic Runtime Infrastructure for Distributed Simulation (GRIDS) as a research architecture for studying such problems. GRIDS uses Java abstract classes to promote distributed services called thin agents, a novel approach to implementing distributed simulation services, such as user defined bandwidth reduction mechanisms, and to distributing the executable code across the simulation. Thin agents offer the advantages of traditional agents without the overhead imposed by mobility or continuous state, which are unnecessary in this context. We present our implementation and some predicted results from message reduction studies using thin agent

    Socio-cultural influences on the behaviour of South Asian women with diabetes in pregnancy: qualitative study using a multi-level theoretical approach

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    BACKGROUND: Diabetes in pregnancy is common in South Asians, especially those from low-income backgrounds, and leads to short-term morbidity and longer-term metabolic programming in mother and offspring. We sought to understand the multiple influences on behaviour (hence risks to metabolic health) of South Asian mothers and their unborn child, theorise how these influences interact and build over time, and inform the design of culturally congruent, multi-level interventions. METHODS: Our sample for this qualitative study was 45 women of Bangladeshi, Indian, Sri Lankan, or Pakistani origin aged 21-45 years with a history of diabetes in pregnancy, recruited from diabetes and antenatal services in two deprived London boroughs. Overall, 17 women shared their experiences of diabetes, pregnancy, and health services in group discussions and 28 women gave individual narrative interviews, facilitated by multilingual researchers, audiotaped, translated, and transcribed. Data were analysed using the constant comparative method, drawing on sociological and narrative theories. RESULTS: Key storylines (over-arching narratives) recurred across all ethnic groups studied. Short-term storylines depicted the experience of diabetic pregnancy as stressful, difficult to control, and associated with negative symptoms, especially tiredness. Taking exercise and restricting diet often worsened these symptoms and conflicted with advice from relatives and peers. Many women believed that exercise in pregnancy would damage the fetus and drain the mother's strength, and that eating would be strength-giving for mother and fetus. These short-term storylines were nested within medium-term storylines about family life, especially the cultural, practical, and material constraints of the traditional South Asian wife and mother role and past experiences of illness and healthcare, and within longer-term storylines about genetic, cultural, and material heritage - including migration, acculturation, and family memories of food insecurity. While peer advice was familiar, meaningful, and morally resonant, health education advice from clinicians was usually unfamiliar and devoid of cultural meaning. CONCLUSIONS: 'Behaviour change' interventions aimed at preventing and managing diabetes in South Asian women before and during pregnancy are likely to be ineffective if delivered in a socio-cultural vacuum. Individual education should be supplemented with community-level interventions to address the socio-material constraints and cultural frames within which behavioural 'choices' are made

    Efficacy of the Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) study among infants at high risk of developing food allergy.

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    BACKGROUND: The Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) study was a randomized trial of the early introduction of allergenic solids into the infant diet from 3 months of age. The intervention effect did not reach statistical significance in the intention-to-treat analysis of the primary outcome. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether infants at high risk of developing a food allergy benefited from early introduction. METHODS: A secondary intention-to-treat analysis was performed of 3 groups: nonwhite infants; infants with visible eczema at enrollment, with severity determined by SCORAD; and infants with enrollment food sensitization (specific IgE ≥0.1 kU/L). RESULTS: Among infants with sensitization to 1 or more foods at enrollment (≥0.1 kU/L), early introduction group (EIG) infants developed significantly less food allergy to 1 or more foods than standard introduction group (SIG) infants (SIG, 34.2%; EIG, 19.2%; P = .03), and among infants with sensitization to egg at enrollment, EIG infants developed less egg allergy (SIG, 48.6%; EIG, 20.0%; P = .01). Similarly, among infants with moderate SCORAD (15-<40) at enrollment, EIG infants developed significantly less food allergy to 1 or more foods (SIG, 46.7%; EIG, 22.6%; P = .048) and less egg allergy (SIG, 43.3%; EIG, 16.1%; P = .02). CONCLUSION: Early introduction was effective in preventing the development of food allergy in specific groups of infants at high risk of developing food allergy: those sensitized to egg or to any food at enrollment and those with eczema of increasing severity at enrollment. This efficacy occurred despite low adherence to the early introduction regimen. This has significant implications for the new national infant feeding recommendations that are emerging around the world

    Challenges experienced with early introduction and sustained consumption of allergenic foods in the Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) study: A qualitative analysis.

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    BACKGROUND: The early introduction group participants of the Enquiring About Tolerance study were asked to undertake a proscriptive regimen of early introduction and sustained consumption of 6 allergenic foods. It was envisaged that this might be challenging, and early introduction group families were presented with an open-text question to express any problems they were experiencing with the regimen in recurring online questionnaires. OBJECTIVE: We sought to analyze these open-text questionnaire responses with the aim of identifying challenges associated with the introduction and regular consumption of allergenic foods. METHODS: Three combinations of interim questionnaire responses were selected for analysis, representing the early period (4, 5, and 6 months), middle period (8 and 12 months), and late period (24 and 36 months) of participation in the Enquiring About Tolerance study. Responses were assigned a code to describe their content and subsequently grouped into themes to portray key messages. A thematic content analysis allowed for conversion of qualitative codes into quantitative summaries. RESULTS: Three main challenges to allergenic food consumption were identified. First, some children refused the allergenic food, causing a sense of defeat among caregivers. Second, caregivers were concerned that allergenic foods might be causing a reaction, triggering a need for reassurance. Third, practical problems associated with the regimen compromised caregivers' capacity to persist. CONCLUSION: Understanding the challenges experienced with allergenic food introduction and sustained consumption is the necessary precursor to developing specific communication and support strategies that could be used by caregivers, practitioners, policymakers, and key stakeholders to address these problems

    Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) study: Feasibility of an early allergenic food introduction regimen.

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    BACKGROUND: The influence of early exposure to allergenic foods on the subsequent development of food allergy remains uncertain. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the feasibility of the early introduction of multiple allergenic foods to exclusively breast-fed infants from 3 months of age and the effect on breastfeeding performance. METHODS: We performed a randomized controlled trial. The early introduction group (EIG) continued breastfeeding with sequential introduction of 6 allergenic foods: cow's milk, peanut, hard-boiled hen's egg, sesame, whitefish (cod), and wheat; the standard introduction group followed the UK infant feeding recommendations of exclusive breastfeeding for around 6 months with no introduction of allergenic foods before 6 months of age. RESULTS: One thousand three hundred three infants were enrolled. By 5 months of age, the median frequency of consumption of all 6 foods was 2 to 3 times per week for every food in the EIG and no consumption for every food in the standard introduction group (P < .001 for every comparison). By 6 months of age, nonintroduction of the allergenic foods in the EIG was less than 5% for each of the 6 foods. Achievement of the stringent per-protocol consumption target for the EIG proved more difficult (42% of evaluable EIG participants). Breastfeeding rates in both groups significantly exceeded UK government data for equivalent mothers (P < .001 at 6 and at 9 months of age). CONCLUSION: Early introduction, before 6 months of age, of at least some amount of multiple allergenic foods appears achievable and did not affect breastfeeding. This has important implications for the evaluation of food allergy prevention strategies

    Kim-Type Critical State Models and Critical Currents of Thallium Based Superconductors

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    The two extended formulae in the power form of the Kim critical state model were used to fit the critical currents versus the dc applied magnetic field. Two samples of thallium based superconductors: the (Tl0.6Pb0.24Bi0.16)(Tl_{0.6}Pb_{0.24}Bi_{0.16})(Sr0.9Ba0.1)2Ca2Cu3Oy(Sr_{0.9}Ba_{0.1})_2Ca_2Cu_3O_y film on single-crystalline lanthanum aluminate and the bulk (Tl0.5Pb0.5)Sr2(Ca1.8Gd0.2)Cu2Oy(Tl_{0.5}Pb_{0.5})Sr_2(Ca_{1.8}Gd_{0.2})Cu_2O_y were chosen to test the models. The formulae were compared to the percolation model described by the exponential expression. The first model fits the experimental data better for the thallium based film whereas the second approach is better for the thallium based bulk sample