47,995 research outputs found

    RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BODY-SEAT INTERFACE PRESSURE AND DISCOMFORT DURING ROWING

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    Discomfort and pressure-related tissue injury to the buttocks are common complaints among rowers. The soft tissues of the buttocks are non-uniformly loaded during rowing. The current state of literature on seating discomfort is inconclusive as to a desirable body-seat interface pressure pattern. The purpose of this study was to determine whether localising pressure under bony protuberances or diffusing pressure over soft tissues would result in the least amount of discomfort. Force sensing arrays were used to measure body-seat interface pressures in 11 elite female rowers during rowing. Peak pressure measures were identified and pressure gradients were calculated. Discomfort was quantified using a questionnaire, and pressure data were then correlated with discomfort scores.Discomfort was weakly correlated with each of maximal pressure gradient (r=0.45) and peak pressure (r=0.43). The findings indicate pressure should be redistributed in order to avoid concentrating pressure under the bony protuberances o f the buttocks

    Formal Innovations to Clinical Cognitive Science and Assessment

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    Mathematical modeling is increasingly driving progress in clinical cognitive science and assessment. Mathematical modeling is essential for detecting certain effects of psychopathology – mental disturbance--through comprehensive understanding of tell-tale cognitive variables such as workload capacity and efficiency in using capacity, and their contrast under quantitative measurement. The research paradigm guiding this formal clinical science is outlined. An example using a distinctive cognitive abnormality in schizophrenia – taking longer to cognitively represent encountered stimulation – provides an illustration of a quantitative framework for studying intricate mental health-impairing phenomena. Added benefits of formal developments, among others, include symptom description and prediction, new methods of cognitive- and statistical-science grounded clinical assessment over time, both for individuals and treatment regimens, and refinement of the cognitive-function side of clinical functional neuroimaging

    Rainfall Prediction: A Comparative Analysis of Modern Machine Learning Algorithms for Time-Series Forecasting

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    Rainfall forecasting has gained utmost research relevance in recent times due to its complexities and persistent applications such as flood forecasting and monitoring of pollutant concentration levels, among others. Existing models use complex statistical models that are often too costly, both computationally and budgetary, or are not applied to downstream applications. Therefore, approaches that use Machine Learning algorithms in conjunction with time-series data are being explored as an alternative to overcome these drawbacks. To this end, this study presents a comparative analysis using simplified rainfall estimation models based on conventional Machine Learning algorithms and Deep Learning architectures that are efficient for these downstream applications. Models based on LSTM, Stacked-LSTM, Bidirectional-LSTM Networks, XGBoost, and an ensemble of Gradient Boosting Regressor, Linear Support Vector Regression, and an Extra-trees Regressor were compared in the task of forecasting hourly rainfall volumes using time-series data. Climate data from 2000 to 2020 from five major cities in the United Kingdom were used. The evaluation metrics of Loss, Root Mean Squared Error, Mean Absolute Error, and Root Mean Squared Logarithmic Error were used to evaluate the models' performance. Results show that a Bidirectional-LSTM Network can be used as a rainfall forecast model with comparable performance to Stacked-LSTM Networks. Among all the models tested, the Stacked-LSTM Network with two hidden layers and the Bidirectional-LSTM Network performed best. This suggests that models based on LSTM-Networks with fewer hidden layers perform better for this approach; denoting its ability to be applied as an approach for budget-wise rainfall forecast applications

    Conservation agriculture affects grain and nutrient yields of Maize (Zea Mays L.) and can impact food and nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa

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    Maize is a major staple and plays an essential role in food and nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Conservation agriculture (CA), a climate-smart agriculture practise based on minimum soil disturbance, crop residue retention, and crop diversification, has been widely advocated but without extensive research on the impact it may have on maize nutrient composition, and food and nutrition security. This study assessed the grain yield, macro- and micronutrient mineral content, and nutrient yield of eight maize varieties grown in Malawi, and how these are affected by CA practises over two seasons. The minerals were analysed by inductively coupled plasma (ICP) coupled to optical emission spectroscopy (OES) and to mass spectroscopy (MS). Grain yield and Se content differed among the varieties, while C, N, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, P, and Zn were similar. The local variety Kanjerenjere showed lowest grain and nutrient yields. The open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) concentrated more minerals than the F1 hybrids, but the latter showed higher yields for both grain and nutrients. Typical consumption of the eight maize varieties could fully meet the protein and Mg dietary reference intake (DRIs) of Malawian children (1–3 years), as well as Mg and Mn needs of adult women (19–50 years), but their contribution to dietary requirements was low for Fe (39–41%) and K (13–21%). The trials showed that CA increased grain yield (1.2- to 1.8-fold) and Se content (1.1- to 1.7-fold), but that it had no effect on C, K, Mg, P, and Zn, and that N (1.1- to 1.2-fold), Mn (1.1- to 1.8-fold), and Fe (1.3- to 3.4-fold) were reduced. The high increase in grain yield under CA treatments resulted in increased yields of protein and Se, no effect on the yields of K, Mg, Mn, P, Zn, and reduced Fe yield. Conservation agriculture could contribute in reducing the risk of Se deficiency in Malawian women and children but exacerbates the risk of Fe deficiency. A combination of strategies will be needed to mitigate some of the foreseen effects of climate change on agriculture, and food and nutrition security, and improve nutrient intake

    In search of 'The people of La Manche': A comparative study of funerary practices in the Transmanche region during the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age (250BC-1500BC)

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    This research project sets out to discover whether archaeological evidence dating between 2500 BC - 1500 BC from supposed funerary contexts in Kent, flanders and north-eastern Transmanche France is sufficient to make valid comparisons between social and cultural structures on either side of the short-sea Channel region. Evidence from the beginning of the period primarily comes in the form of the widespread Beaker phenomenon. Chapter 5 shows that this class of data is abundant in Kent but quite sparse in the Continental zones - most probably because it has not survived well. This problem also affects the human depositional evidence catalogued in Chapter 6, particularly in Fanders but also in north-eastern Transmanche France. This constricts comparative analysis, however, the abundant data from Kent means that general trends are still discernible. The quality and volume of data relating to the distribution, location, morphology and use of circular monuments in all three zones is far better - as demonstrated in Chapter 7 -mostly due to extensive aerial surveying over several decades. When the datasets are taken as a whole, it becomes possible to successfully apply various forms of comparative analyses. Most remarkably, this has revealed that some monuments apparently have encoded within them a sophisticated and potentially symbolically charged geometric shape. This, along with other less contentious evidence, demonstrates a level of conformity that strongly suggests a stratum of cultural homogeneity existed throughout the Transmanche region during the period 2500 BC - 1500 BC. The fact that such changes as are apparent seem to have developed simultaneously in each of the zones adds additional weight to the theory that contact throughout the Transmanche region was endemic. Even so, it may not have been continuous; there may actually have been times of relative isolation - the data is simply too course to eliminate such a possibility

    Predicting potential wildfire severity across Southern Europe with global data sources

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    .The large environmental and socioeconomic impacts of wildfires in Southern Europe require the development of efficient generalizable tools for fire danger analysis and proactive environmental management. With this premise, we aimed to study the influence of different environmental variables on burn severity, as well as to develop accurate and generalizable models to predict burn severity. To address these objectives, we selected 23 wildfires (131,490 ha) across Southern Europe. Using satellite imagery and geospatial data available at the planetary scale, we spatialized burn severity as well as 20 pre-burn environmental variables, which were grouped into climatic, topographic, fuel load-type, fuel load-moisture and fuel continuity predictors. We sampled all variables and divided the data into three independent datasets: a training dataset, used to perform univariant regression models, random forest (RF) models by groups of variables, and RF models including all predictors (full and parsimonious models); a second dataset to analyze interpolation capacity within the training wildfires; and a third dataset to study extrapolation capacity to independent wildfires. Results showed that all environmental variables determined burn severity, which increased towards the mildest climatic conditions, sloping terrain, high fuel loads, and coniferous vegetation. In general, the highest predictive and generalization capacities were found for fuel load proxies obtained though multispectral imagery, both in the individual analysis and by groups of variables. The full and parsimonious models outperformed all, the individual models, models by groups, and formerly developed predictive models of burn severity, as they were able to explain up to 95%, 59% and 25% of variance when applied to the training, interpolation and extrapolation datasets respectively. Our study is a benchmark for progress in the prediction of fire danger, provides operational tools for the identification of areas at risk, and sets the basis for the design of pre-burn management actions.S

    Effects of a prophylactic knee sleeve on anterior cruciate ligament and lower extremity biomechanics: an examination using musculoskeletal simulation

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    The current study aimed using a two-experiment musculoskeletal simulation-based approach, measuring ACL biomechanics, knee joint kinematics and lower extremity joint loading to examine the effects of both a prophylactic knee sleeve on 1. a sport specific change of direction movement in female footballers and 2. a single leg landing in male footballers. Experiment 1 examined 12 female university first team level footballers (age 20.2 ± 1.34 years, height 1.61 ± 0.06 m, body mass 57.2 ± 5.6 kg) undertaking a 45° cutting movement in sleeve and no-sleeve conditions. Experiment 2 examined 10 male university first team level footballers (age 21.1 ± 1.13 years, height 1.77 ± 0.1 m, body mass 71.9 ± 8.6 kg) undertaking a single leg drop jump landing in sleeve and no-sleeve conditions. In each experiment, data was collected in a biomechanics laboratory and three-dimensional motion capture and ground reaction force information was collected. Three-dimensional kinematics, three-dimensional knee kinetics and ACL ligament forces/ strains were measured using musculoskeletal simulation, and participants were also asked to subjectively rate the knee sleeve in terms of both comfort and stability. Experiment 1 showed that the sleeve condition was associated with greater ACL strain (sleeve = 13.57% and no-sleeve = 10.26%) and forces (sleeve = 1.19BW and no-sleeve = 0.94BW). In addition, the brace condition also enhanced lateral compressive tibiofemoral (sleeve = 4.70BW and no-sleeve = 4.20BW) and total compressive tibiofemoral force (sleeve = 11.73BW and no-sleeve = 11.08BW). Finally, for the subjective ratings, participants indicated that the knee sleeve significantly improved perceived comfort and stability. Experiment 2 did not reveal and statistical differences between knee sleeve and no-sleeve conditions, nor any effects of the knee sleeve on subjective ratings of comfort or stability. Therefore, the findings from the current investigation suggest that the prophylactic knee sleeve examined in the current investigation does not appear to reduce the biomechanical parameters linked to the aetiology of knee pathologies in male/ female footballers
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