12,148 research outputs found

    Automatic best wireless network selection based on key performance indicators

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    Introducing cognitive mechanisms at the application layer may lead to the possibility of an automatic selection of the wireless network that can guarantee best perceived experience by the final user. This chapter investigates this approach based on the concept of Quality of Experience (QoE), by introducing the use of application layer parameters, namely Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are defined for different traffic types based on experimental data. A model for an ap- plication layer cognitive engine is presented, whose goal is to identify and select, based on KPIs, the best wireless network among available ones. An experimenta- tion for the VoIP case, that foresees the use of the One-way end-to-end delay (OED) and the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) as KPIs is presented. This first implementation of the cognitive engine selects the network that, in that specific instant, offers the best QoE based on real captured data. To our knowledge, this is the first example of a cognitive engine that achieves best QoE in a context of heterogeneous wireless networks

    WATER POLICY AND THE SUSTAINABILITY OF IRRIGATED SYSTEMS IN ITALY

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    The management of water resources is today one of the main issues in most countries. In Italy, as in many other European countries, irrigation is the main sector using water and hence it is at the centre of the water policy agenda. Water management for irrigation requires suitable policy tools able to meet social objectives and private behaviour. The legal framework in the European Union is today faced with the new Water Framework Directive (60/2000), that sets up new criteria for water management, regulation and pricing. Among other things, the Water Framework Directive introduces the principle of full cost recovery and the polluter pays principle for water users. For many areas of Italy, this may be a significant shift compared to present payment criteria, based on traditional rights, area prices, and only a partial cost recovery from final users. The objective of this paper is to analyse the problem of water regulation for irrigated agriculture, through a simulation model based on the integration of a mathematical decision making model and a principal agent. The methodology allows to quantify water demand and optimal regulation from the point of view of the policy maker. The results show major impacts of water availability and prices on farm income. The adoption of a mix of pricing instruments related at the same time to charges associated to crop mix, water consumption and pollution can significantly improve water policy efficacy.Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,

    Fundamental Limits of Low-Density Spreading NOMA with Fading

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    Spectral efficiency of low-density spreading non-orthogonal multiple access channels in the presence of fading is derived for linear detection with independent decoding as well as optimum decoding. The large system limit, where both the number of users and number of signal dimensions grow with fixed ratio, called load, is considered. In the case of optimum decoding, it is found that low-density spreading underperforms dense spreading for all loads. Conversely, linear detection is characterized by different behaviors in the underloaded vs. overloaded regimes. In particular, it is shown that spectral efficiency changes smoothly as load increases. However, in the overloaded regime, the spectral efficiency of low- density spreading is higher than that of dense spreading

    hMENA11a contributes to HER3-mediated resistance to PI3K inhibitors in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells.

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    Human Mena (hMENA), an actin regulatory protein of the ENA/VASP family, cooperates with ErbB receptor family signaling in breast cancer. It is overexpressed in high-risk preneoplastic lesions and in primary breast tumors where it correlates with HER2 overexpression and an activated status of AKT and MAPK. The concomitant overexpression of hMENA and HER2 in breast cancer patients is indicative of a worse prognosis. hMENA is expressed along with alternatively expressed isoforms, hMENA11a and hMENAΔv6 with opposite functions. A novel role for the epithelial-associated hMENA11a isoform in sustaining HER3 activation and pro-survival pathways in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells has been identified by reverse phase protein array and validated in vivo in a series of breast cancer tissues. As HER3 activation is crucial in mechanisms of cell resistance to PI3K inhibitors, we explored whether hMENA11a is involved in these resistance mechanisms. The specific hMENA11a depletion switched off the HER3-related pathway activated by PI3K inhibitors and impaired the nuclear accumulation of HER3 transcription factor FOXO3a induced by PI3K inhibitors, whereas PI3K inhibitors activated hMENA11a phosphorylation and affected its localization. At the functional level, we found that hMENA11a sustains cell proliferation and survival in response to PI3K inhibitor treatment, whereas hMENA11a silencing increases molecules involved in cancer cell apoptosis. As shown in three-dimensional cultures, hMENA11a contributes to resistance to PI3K inhibition because its depletion drastically reduced cell viability upon treatment with PI3K inhibitor BEZ235. Altogether, these results indicate that hMENA11a in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells sustains HER3/AKT axis activation and contributes to HER3-mediated resistance mechanisms to PI3K inhibitors. Thus, hMENA11a expression can be proposed as a marker of HER3 activation and resistance to PI3K inhibition therapies, to select patients who may benefit from these combined targeted treatments. hMENA11a activity could represent a new target for antiproliferative therapies in breast cancer

    From local networks of SMEs to virtual districts?

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    Industrial districts as local networks of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) rooted their competitiveness in a mix of economic relationships and social ties. Recently, network technologies have promised gains of efficiency through a reduction in transaction costs and showed new commercial opportunities for small firms. Despite the morphological similarities between industrial districts and network technologies, a longitudinal analysis of ICT diffusion within Italian districts shows that the foreseen convergence between the district economic model and new technologies should not be taken for granted. The observed specific evolutionary paths concerning technology innovation in local systems also opens-up issues of economic policy

    Hypovitaminosis D in recent onset rheumatoid arthritis is predictive of reduced response to treatment and increased disease activity: a 12 month follow-up study.

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    BACKGROUND: Vitamin D displays immunomodulatory activities and has been proposed as a potential player in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A negative association between serum 25(OH) vitamin D levels and RA activity was demonstrated but longitudinal studies investigating the role of vitamin D levels in predicting RA activity and response to treatment are lacking. Therefore, this study was designed to test the hypothesis of an association between serum 25(OH) vitamin D levels at RA diagnosis and disease activity evaluated by clinimetric, laboratory and ultrasound (US) parameters and to detect the prevalence of remission and response to treatment after 12 months follow-up. METHODS: This is a longitudinal, retrospective study on data obtained from thirty-seven patients with early RA treatment-naïve. Serum inflammatory markers, auto-antibodies and 25(OH) vitamin D levels were obtained at baseline. Hypovitaminosis D was diagnosed for 25(OH) vitamin D levels < 20 ng/ml. Tender joint count (TJCs), swollen joint count (SJCs), Visual Analog Scales (VAS), Disease Activity Score (DAS) 28 score were assessed at baseline and 12 months after diagnosis. Joints synovitis and power-Doppler were evaluated at baseline and 12 months later. RESULTS: At baseline mean 25(OH) vitamin D levels were 24.4 ± 11.9 ng/ml; 35% of study subjects had hypovitaminosis D which strongly associated with higher RA activity and lower prevalence of remission and response to treatment (all p-values < 0.001). The percentage of patients not presenting a reduction of the US synovitis score after 12 months from diagnosis was significantly higher among patients with hypovitaminosis D than in those with normal serum 25(OH) vitamin D at baseline. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with early RA and basal hypovitaminosis D after 12 months follow-up reduction of disease activity and percentage of remission and response to treatment were significantly lower than those observed in patients with normal vitamin D levels. These results provide further support to the immunomodulatory action of vitamin D in RA and suggest a role of basal vitamin D status in the prediction of disease evolution. Vitamin D measurement and possibly vitamin D supplementation should be considered an additional option in the management of early RA patients

    Theory of mind in the social sciences: an experiment on strategic thinking in children

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    This study investigates mentalizing and strategic thinking in children in elementary school age (from 7 to 12 years old). Drawing from previous literature in behavioral and experiments economics and cognitive science, we conduct experiments in which children of different ages make choices in a series of one-shot, simultaneous move two-person games in normal form. We test the ability of our subjects to reason strategically and compare their behavioral patterns with those of adult players engaged in similar tasks (Di Guida and Devetag 2012). Our results show that even younger children are capable of perspective taking: they seem to grasp the essence of strategic thinking, to recognize similarities across games, and behave consistently. In addition, children are sensitive to the attractive power of focal points (Di Guida and Devetag 2012), which are perceived as natural coordination devices even when they are not part of the game equilibria, in line with previous results. Children are also able to perceive the risk-return tradeoffs implied in strategic decisions, as shown by their preference for “safe” strategies (i.e., strategies yielding an acceptable payoff for any choice of the opponent). Finally, only a minority behaves according to naïve heuristics such as opting for the strategy giving the maximum payoff. Our findings contribute to the interdisciplinary literature on the origin of fairness-based norms within societies and on the cognitive and social determinants of strategic interaction

    Theory of mind in the social sciences: an experiment on strategic thinking in children

    Get PDF
    This study investigates mentalizing and strategic thinking in children in elementary school age (from 7 to 12 years old). Drawing from previous literature in behavioral and experiments economics and cognitive science, we conduct experiments in which children of different ages make choices in a series of one-shot, simultaneous move two-person games in normal form. We test the ability of our subjects to reason strategically and compare their behavioral patterns with those of adult players engaged in similar tasks (Di Guida and Devetag 2012). Our results show that even younger children are capable of perspective taking: they seem to grasp the essence of strategic thinking, to recognize similarities across games, and behave consistently. In addition, children are sensitive to the attractive power of focal points (Di Guida and Devetag 2012), which are perceived as natural coordination devices even when they are not part of the game equilibria, in line with previous results. Children are also able to perceive the risk-return tradeoffs implied in strategic decisions, as shown by their preference for \u201csafe\u201d strategies (i.e., strategies yielding an acceptable payoff for any choice of the opponent). Finally, only a minority behaves according to na\uefve heuristics such as opting for the strategy giving the maximum payoff. Our findings contribute to the interdisciplinary literature on the origin of fairness-based norms within societies and on the cognitive and social determinants of strategic interaction

    The molecular chaperone Hsp90 is a component of the cap-binding complex and interacts with the translational repressor Cup during Drosophila oogenesis

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    In metazoa, the spatio-temporal translation of diverse mRNAs is essential to guarantee proper oocyte maturation and early embryogenesis. The eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), which binds the 5′ cap structure of eukaryotic mRNAs, associates with either stimulatory or inhibitory factors to modulate protein synthesis. In order to identify novel factors that might act at the translational level during Drosophila oogenesis, we have undertaken a functional proteomic approach and isolated the product of the Hsp83 gene, the evolutionarily conserved chaperone Hsp90, as a specific component of the cap-binding complex. Here we report that Hsp90 interacts in vitro with the translational repressor Cup. In addition, we show that Hsp83 and cup interact genetically, since lowering Hsp90 activity enhances the oogenesis alterations linked to diverse cup mutant alleles. Hsp90 and Cup co-localize in the cytoplasm of the developing germ-line cells within the germarium, thus suggesting a common function from the earliest stages of oogenesis. Taken together, our data start elucidating the role of Hsp90 during Drosophila female germ-line development and strengthen the idea that Cup has multiple essential functions during egg chamber development
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