2,299 research outputs found

    Crying poor? The affordability of defence expenditure

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    The May budget saw deep cuts made to Australia\u27s defence budget over the next few years. It will be up to next year\u27s Defence White Paper to decide what happens after that. It has been argued that the long-term cost of health and ageing will place further pressures on government finances and constrain defence spending in the decades ahead. But while social spending will undoubtedly rise, so too will Australia\u27s prosperity and capacity to pay. This paper considers fiscal and economic arguments and concludes that spurious arguments about the \u27affordability\u27 of defence spending should not be allowed to skew the long-term plans for Australia\u27s defence. It would be a false economy to slash defence spending and then pay a higher strategic price in the future.&nbsp

    An enterprise-level naval shipbuilding plan

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    Overview: This paper reviews the past performance of Australian naval shipbuilding, describes the pros and cons of a rolling production model, and unpicks the issues that the government will have to take into account. It concludes that we’re likely to see a bigger surface navy—potentially a much bigger one—as well as the sell-off of at least part of the currently government-owned ASC Pty Ltd. The paper also looks at strategies to manage the risks in the likely course of action and recommends mitigation strategies

    How to buy a submarine: part 2

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    This paper describes some of the approaches that could be taken to replace Australia\u27s Collins class submarines and outlines their pros and cons. Executive summary The building of a replacement for Australia\u27s Collins class submarines will be the country\u27s most expensive defence project to date. It\u27s also likely to be the most complex, with a myriad of capability, commercial and industrial issues to be managed: the expertise for the design and construction of conventional submarines resides in Europe and Asia while Navy\u27s preference is for American combat and weapon systems. Pulling those elements together while managing the technical risks is no easy task. Local construction of the future submarine has been a bipartisan position for several years, and it has the support of industry and the bureaucracy. But there\u27s no simple or fast way to produce a unique Australian submarine. If the government decides to go down that path, it will have to do so in the knowledge that it\u27s a high stakes venture. This paper describes some of the approaches that could be taken and outlines their pros and cons. Despite claims to the contrary, there\u27s little doubt that the merger of a European design and American combat system is possible—after all, that\u27s what the Collins is. But a sensible early step in the process would be to have government-to-government discussions with the potential players—especially in Washington—to determine what the actual constraints are, and what\u27s merely unsubstantiated folklore. Surveying the world market, conventional submarine design capability with the experience and maturity required for our purposes can be found in France, Germany, Japan and Sweden. The UK hasn\u27t designed or built a conventional submarine in over two decades, but the trusted nature of the \u27five eyes\u27 intelligence relationship and its ongoing nuclear submarine programs means that it\u27s also a potential partner

    One Defence: one direction? The First Principles Review of Defence

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    Overview: The recently released report of the First Principles Review of Defence, Creating One Defence, is set to reshape the Defence enterprise over the next few years. This ASPI special report explains the review’s recommendations and analyses the consequences for Defence. It provides three perspectives on the forthcoming reforms: Peter Jennings, ‘One Defence–root causes, risks and values’; Andrew Davies, ‘The capability development life cycle’; Mark Thomson, ‘One Defence in two parts’

    Neural Motifs: Scene Graph Parsing with Global Context

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    We investigate the problem of producing structured graph representations of visual scenes. Our work analyzes the role of motifs: regularly appearing substructures in scene graphs. We present new quantitative insights on such repeated structures in the Visual Genome dataset. Our analysis shows that object labels are highly predictive of relation labels but not vice-versa. We also find that there are recurring patterns even in larger subgraphs: more than 50% of graphs contain motifs involving at least two relations. Our analysis motivates a new baseline: given object detections, predict the most frequent relation between object pairs with the given labels, as seen in the training set. This baseline improves on the previous state-of-the-art by an average of 3.6% relative improvement across evaluation settings. We then introduce Stacked Motif Networks, a new architecture designed to capture higher order motifs in scene graphs that further improves over our strong baseline by an average 7.1% relative gain. Our code is available at github.com/rowanz/neural-motifs.Comment: CVPR 2018 camera read

    An investigation into the nutritional status of patients receiving an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol versus standard care following Oesophagectomy

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    Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols have been effectively expanded to various surgical specialities including oesophagectomy. Despite nutrition being a key component, actual nutrition outcomes and specific guidelines are lacking. This cohort comparison study aims to compare nutritional status and adherence during implementation of a standardised post-operative nutritional support protocol, as part of ERAS, compared to those who received usual care.Two groups of patients undergoing resection of oesophageal cancer were studied. Group 1 (n = 17) underwent oesophagectomy between Oct 2014 and Nov 2016 during implementation of an ERAS protocol. Patients in group 2 (n = 16) underwent oesophagectomy between Jan 2011 and Dec 2012 prior to the implementation of ERAS. Demographic, nutritional status, dietary intake and adherence data were collected. Ordinal data was analysed using independent t tests, and categorical data using chi-square tests.There was no significant difference in nutrition status, dietary intake or length of stay following implementation of an ERAS protocol. Malnutrition remained prevalent in both groups at day 42 post surgery (n = 10, 83% usual care; and n = 9, 60% ERAS). A significant difference was demonstrated in adherence with earlier initiation of oral free fluids (p

    Concepts and analysis for precision segmented reflector and feed support structures

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    Several issues surrounding the design of a large (20-meter diameter) Precision Segmented Reflector are investigated. The concerns include development of a reflector support truss geometry that will permit deployment into the required doubly-curved shape without significant member strains. For deployable and erectable reflector support trusses, the reduction of structural redundancy was analyzed to achieve reduced weight and complexity for the designs. The stiffness and accuracy of such reduced member trusses, however, were found to be affected to a degree that is unexpected. The Precision Segmented Reflector designs were developed with performance requirements that represent the Reflector application. A novel deployable sunshade concept was developed, and a detailed parametric study of various feed support structural concepts was performed. The results of the detailed study reveal what may be the most desirable feed support structure geometry for Precision Segmented Reflector/Large Deployable Reflector applications

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