1,419 research outputs found

    An Experiment with Hierarchical Bayesian Record Linkage

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    In record linkage (RL), or exact file matching, the goal is to identify the links between entities with information on two or more files. RL is an important activity in areas including counting the population, enhancing survey frames and data, and conducting epidemiological and follow-up studies. RL is challenging when files are very large, no accurate personal identification (ID) number is present on all files for all units, and some information is recorded with error. Without an unique ID number one must rely on comparisons of names, addresses, dates, and other information to find the links. Latent class models can be used to automatically score the value of information for determining match status. Data for fitting models come from comparisons made within groups of units that pass initial file blocking requirements. Data distributions can vary across blocks. This article examines the use of prior information and hierarchical latent class models in the context of RL.Comment: 14 pages, 0 figure

    Discussion of "Calibrated Bayes, for Statistics in General, and Missing Data in Particular" by R. J. A. Little

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    Discussion of "Calibrated Bayes, for Statistics in General, and Missing Data in Particular" by R. Little [arXiv:1108.1917]Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/10-STS318B the Statistical Science (http://www.imstat.org/sts/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Comment: Bayesian Checking of the Second Level of Hierarchical Models: Cross-Validated Posterior Predictive Checks Using Discrepancy Measures

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    Comment: Bayesian Checking of the Second Level of Hierarchical Models [arXiv:0802.0743]Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/07-STS235B the Statistical Science (http://www.imstat.org/sts/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Regression Analysis with Linked Data

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    Record linkage, or exact matching, can be used to join together two files that contain information on the same individuals, but lack unique personal identification codes. The possibility of errors in linkage causes problems for estimating the relationships between variables on the two files. The effect is analogous to the impact of measurement error. A model of a linear regression relationship between variables in linked files is proposed. Assuming the probabilities that pairs of records are links are known, an unbiased estimator of the regression coefficients is derived. Methods for estimating the linkage probabilities by using mixture models are discussed. A consistent estimator of the covariance matrix of the proposed estimator is proposed. A bootstrap estimator is used to reflect the impact of the uncertainty in record linkage model parameters on the estimators of the regression parameters. A simulation study compares the performance of the proposed estimator and alternatives

    Candidiasis During Pregnancy May Result From Isogenic Commensal Strains

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    Objective: Our laboratory previously demonstrated that asymptomatic vaginal colonization during pregnancy is a factor predisposing patients to subsequent symptomatic vulvovaginal candidiasis. It is unknown whether symptoms result from strain replacement or a change in host relationship to the original colonizing strain. This study was undertaken to determine whether Candida albicans isolates from asymptomatic women could be responsible for subsequent symptomatic vaginitis. Methods: We retained isolates of C. albicans from women followed longitudinally through pregnancy, and identified six pairs of cultures from women who were colonized without symptoms and who later became symptomatic (average time 14 weeks). We used a random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis to determine whether isolates from our study patients were genetically similar or dissimilar. Results: Analysis of these pairs of yeast strains by RAPD revealed that five of the six women had symptoms apparently due to the same yeast strain that was found initially as a commensal strain. To increase the power of these observations, we also performed RAPD analysis on six randomly selected yeast strains from other women in this study who had not become symptomatic to determine whether any of these unrelated strains matched strains from those women who became symptomatic. Conclusion: Symptomatic yeast vaginitis is usually due to strains of C. albicans already carried in the lower genital tract, underscoring the need to understand regulation of growth and virulence of the organism in vivo

    Dynamic Model for Simulating Motion of the Right Ventricle

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    This report documents all the research, ideation, and mockups used to determine right ventricle motion and develop a system capable of reproducing that motion on a tissue sample. The model is intended for evaluating anchoring systems being developed by Edwards Lifesciences for use with tricuspid valve therapies. Several design solutions were considered for the primary functions of recreating motion of the right ventricle and attaching tissue to the device. From these ideas a primary means of producing motion and attaching tissue was selected. These ideas were then developed over the course of a school year to become the final system hardware delivered to the project sponsor. This document covers the design process including multiple iterations both in CAD and of structural prototypes. The document concludes by discussing the final hardware and the next steps proposed to improve upon the final design

    Exploring what patients with musculoskeletal conditions want from first point of contact health practitioners

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    Objectives This research was conducted to support the development of the Musculoskeletal (MSK) Health Capabilities Framework to ensure the framework reflected patients’ priorities. The aim of this study was to explore what patients with MSK problems want from their initial consultation with a first contact health practitioner and from the patient perspective what characterises a good first contact health practitioner. Methods Focus groups were held in four locations across England. Sixteen participants with a self-declared MSK condition aged 19 to 75 took part (11 female, five male). Participants discussed the questions they want answered when first going to see a health professional about a MSK problem and how they would describe a good first contact health provider. Results Participants wanted answers to questions about: the nature of the problem, the management of the problem, where to get information and support to help themselves, what activities they can do and what the future holds. Values and behaviours they expect and value from first contact health practitioners include: good communication skills, appreciation of impact, a willingness to discuss alternative and complementary therapies, shared decision making and an awareness of own limitations and when to refer. Conclusion The MSK core capabilities framework for first contact health practitioners aims to ensure a person-centred approach in the first stages of managing any MSK problem a person may present with. The focus groups enabled the developers of the framework to achieve a greater understanding of patient priorities, expectations and needs and allowed the patient perspective to be included in this national framework

    Principles of Sociology in Systems Engineering

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    Systems engineering involves both the integration of the system and the integration of the disciplines which develop and operate the system. Integrating the disciplines is a sociological effort to bring together different groups, often with different terminology, to achieve a common goal, the system. The focus for the systems engineer is information flow through the organization, between the disciplines, to ensure the system is developed and operated with all relevant information informing system decisions. Robert K. Merton studied the sociological principles of the sciences and the sociological principles he developed apply to systems engineering. Concepts such as specification of ignorance, common terminology, opportunity structures, role-sets, and the reclama (reconsideration) process are all important sociological approaches that should be employed by the systems engineer. In bringing the disciplines together, the systems engineer must also be wary of social ambivalence, social anomie, social dysfunction, insider-outsider behavior, unintended consequences, and the self-fulfilling prophecy. These sociological principles provide the systems engineer with key approaches to manage the information flow through the organization as the disciplines are integrated and share their information. This also helps identify key sociological barriers to information flow through the organization. This paper will discuss this theoretical basis for the application of sociological principles to systems engineering

    Population Dynamics of Sugar Beets, \u3ci\u3eRhizoctonia solani\u3c/i\u3e, and \u3ci\u3eLaetisaria arvalis\u3c/i\u3e: Responses of a Host, Plant Pathogen, and Hyperparasite to Perturbation in the Field

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    Rhizoctonia solani causes crown rot of sugar beets, a severe disease that has destroyed up to 60% of the plants in a test field in western Nebraska. Laetisaria arvalis, a natural hyperparasite of Rhizoctonia spp., was isolated from fields in western Nebraska. To test for the potential for biological control of R. solani, in November 1980 (following harvest) we applied various combinations of a nematicide (Telone II; Dow Chemical Co.), a nutrition source (sugar beet pulp), and an inoculum of L. arvalis in a randomized block design. Populations of R. solani, L. arvalis, and sugar beets were monitored monthly through October 1981 (just after harvest). In control and nematicide plots, the R. solani population did not change significantly through time. In plots inoculated with L. arvalis, the R. solani populations declined through March, concomitant with an increase in L. arvalis. L. arvalis then declined with a corresponding increase in the R. solani populations. Beet plant numbers declined significantly in all treatments. We suggest that reduction of the R. solani populations with the hyperparasite L. arvalis is possible but that a stable equilibrium naturally exists
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