17,202 research outputs found

    Block-Conditional Missing at Random Models for Missing Data

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    Two major ideas in the analysis of missing data are (a) the EM algorithm [Dempster, Laird and Rubin, J. Roy. Statist. Soc. Ser. B 39 (1977) 1--38] for maximum likelihood (ML) estimation, and (b) the formulation of models for the joint distribution of the data Z{Z} and missing data indicators M{M}, and associated "missing at random"; (MAR) condition under which a model for M{M} is unnecessary [Rubin, Biometrika 63 (1976) 581--592]. Most previous work has treated Z{Z} and M{M} as single blocks, yielding selection or pattern-mixture models depending on how their joint distribution is factorized. This paper explores "block-sequential"; models that interleave subsets of the variables and their missing data indicators, and then make parameter restrictions based on assumptions in each block. These include models that are not MAR. We examine a subclass of block-sequential models we call block-conditional MAR (BCMAR) models, and an associated block-monotone reduced likelihood strategy that typically yields consistent estimates by selectively discarding some data. Alternatively, full ML estimation can often be achieved via the EM algorithm. We examine in some detail BCMAR models for the case of two multinomially distributed categorical variables, and a two block structure where the first block is categorical and the second block arises from a (possibly multivariate) exponential family distribution.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/10-STS344 the Statistical Science (http://www.imstat.org/sts/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Single stage, low noise, advanced technology fan. Volume 1: Aerodynamic design

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    The aerodynamic design for a half-scale fan vehicle, which would have application on an advanced transport aircraft, is described. The single stage advanced technology fan was designed to a pressure ratio of 1.8 at a tip speed of 503 m/sec 11,650 ft/sec). The fan and booster components are designed in a scale model flow size convenient for testing with existing facility and vehicle hardware. The design corrected flow per unit annulus area at the fan face is 215 kg/sec sq m (44.0 lb m/sec sq ft) with a hub-tip ratio of 0.38 at the leading edge of the fan rotor. This results in an inlet corrected airflow of 117.9 kg/sec (259.9 lb m/sec) for the selected rotor tip diameter if 90.37 cm (35.58 in.). The variable geometry inlet is designed utilizing a combination of high throat Mach number and acoustic treatment in the inlet diffuser for noise suppression (hybrid inlet). A variable fan exhaust nozzle was assumed in conjunction with the variable inlet throat area to limit the required area change of the inlet throat at approach and hence limit the overall diffusion and inlet length. The fan exit duct design was primarily influenced by acoustic requirements, including length of suppressor wall treatment; length, thickness and position on a duct splitter for additional suppressor treatment; and duct surface Mach numbers

    UK and EU policy for approval of pesticides suitable for organic systems: Implications for Wales

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    This study was commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) to review the pesticide approval system in the UK and Europe as far as it affects the use of substances and techniques for crop protection by organic producers in Wales. WAG considers it important that the UK pesticide approval system does not present unnecessary barriers to the development of organic production in Wales. Key Recommendations and scope for further work ¬∑ WAG should work with the Pesticides Safety Directorate to ensure that the development of pesticide regulatory policy at both National and European level takes full account of the needs of both conventional and organic agriculture and horticulture in the UK. ¬∑ There is scope for WAG to support the development of a National Pesticide Policy so that regulatory and commercial barriers impeding the development of organic pesticides are minimised. Not only could greater availability of ‚Äėorganic pesticides‚Äô have a significant impact on organic production in Wales but there could be important implications for conventional horticulture systems and the use of alternatives to conventional pesticides. ¬∑ One important regulatory barrier to the registration of ‚Äėorganic pesticides‚Äô is the MRL requirement(s) for their approval and this needs to be resolved. Suitable analytical techniques are required to determine firstly whether these substances result in residues, and secondly to identify the breakdown and residue pathways. So far, this issue has not received the attention of any EU Member State. ¬∑ According to the proposed framework for the 4th Stage Review of EU Pesticides Directive 91/414, notifiers are required to produce a dossier, at their own expense, covering characterisation, human toxicity, ecotoxicity efficacy and other relevant data. The Review includes specific provision for companies notifying the same substance to submit a shared dossier. This will help those businesses (many of which are relatively small companies) to save on the high cost of producing the dossiers. It will also aid the Commission since it will reduce the number of dossiers that have to be considered, and ensure that all the available data is included. WAG should encourage and support the production of collective dossiers; although as yet there is no indication of how this will be done in practice, and further details from the Commission are awaited. ¬∑ This study has concluded that access to a wider range of ‚Äėorganically acceptable pesticides‚Äô would not have a dramatic impact on organic production in Wales. However, in developing an integrated organic policy, WAG should continue to address the pesticides issue. Some of the methods of pest & disease control in organic systems are either physical or multi-cellular e.g. micro-organisms used as biocontrol agents. WAG agri environment policy may provide a vehicle to promote these techniques much more actively. Further, it is important to recognise that while Wales alone is too small to have a major impact on commercial and regulatory pressures, WAG can have an impact by working pro-actively with others to make progress. ¬∑ There are no published EU or national Member State criteria that can be used to evaluate the acceptability of pesticide substances for organic production. Identifying such criteria and promoting their acceptance at EU level and nationally would allow more active substances to be made available. WAG should work with PSD and others to identify appropriate criteria. ¬∑ The specific provisions of Article 7 in Annex 2(b) of the Organic Regulation (2092/91) place potential barriers to the adoption of organically acceptable substances for crop protection. There are a number of potentially useful substances currently not included in the Organic Regulation e.g. potassium bicarbonate. WAG should work with PSD and others to identify such substances and support the production of appropriate dossiers. WAG could also encourage further dialogue between the organic sector and Defra to identify amendments in the Organic Regulations to facilitate the inclusion of new pesticides. ¬∑ Organic pest and disease management is not just a question of inputs but it also relies crucially on advice and extension through initiatives such as Farming Connect and the work of Organic Centre Wales. Long-term commitment to supporting on going advice and extension activities is vital to promote and disseminate best practice in Welsh agriculture and horticulture. ¬∑ Organic horticulture, vegetable and fruit production systems are particularly sensitive to pest and disease management. Successful control of pests, diseases (and weeds) in these sectors can be critical to the business, and is not assured even when all husbandry and management methods have been effectively applied. Consequently, the use of organically acceptable crop protection methods resulting from future developments (e.g. biopesticides, biological control agents) could have an important role in pest and disease management in these sectors. Both organic and conventional producers in Wales could benefit from having these options available to them and WAG could encourage the adoption of these approaches through appropriate Technology Transfer activities. ¬∑ The way in which such substances will be regulated at a European level in future is evolving as the review of the Pesticide Directive 91/414 EEC enters the 4th Stage. This stage of the review includes (amongst others) those substances permitted for use in organic production. The guidance documents for the evaluation of applications on plant protection products made from plants or plant extracts and from chemical substances are currently at the draft stage. The response of the Pesticide Safety Directorate and Defra to these developments is not yet clear but this provides an excellent opportunity for WAG to have an input at an early stage in the review process

    Single-stage, low-noise, advanced technology fan. Volume 4: Fan aerodynamics. Section 1: Results and analysis

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    Test results at design speed show fan total pressure ratio, weight flow, and adiabatic efficiency to be 2.2, 2.9, and 1.8% lower than design goal values. The hybrid acoustic inlet (which utilizes a high throat Mach number and acoustic wall treatment for noise suppression) demonstrated total pressure recoveries of 98.9% and 98.2% at takeoff and approach. Exhaust duct pressure losses differed between the hardwall duct and treated duct with splitter by about 0.6% to 2.0% in terms of fan exit average total pressure (depending on operating condition). When the measured results were used to estimate pressure losses, a cruise sfc penalty of 0.68%, due to the acoustically treated duct, was projected

    The measurement of low pay in the UK labour force survey

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    Consideration of the National Minimum Wage requires estimates of the distribution of hourly pay. The UK Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a key source of such estimates. The approach most frequently adopted by researchers has been to measure hourly earnings from several questions on pay and hours. The Office for National Statistics is now applying a new approach, based on an alternative more direct measurement introduced in March 1999. These two measures do not produce identical values and this paper investigates sources of discrepancies and concludes that the new variable is more accurate. The difficulty with using the new variable is that it is only available on a subset of respondents. An approach is developed in which missing values of the new variable are replaced by imputed values. The assumptions underlying this imputation approach and results of applying it to LFS data are presented. The relation to weighting approaches is also discussed

    Quantitative magnetic resonance image analysis via the EM algorithm with stochastic variation

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    Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (qMRI) provides researchers insight into pathological and physiological alterations of living tissue, with the help of which researchers hope to predict (local) therapeutic efficacy early and determine optimal treatment schedule. However, the analysis of qMRI has been limited to ad-hoc heuristic methods. Our research provides a powerful statistical framework for image analysis and sheds light on future localized adaptive treatment regimes tailored to the individual's response. We assume in an imperfect world we only observe a blurred and noisy version of the underlying pathological/physiological changes via qMRI, due to measurement errors or unpredictable influences. We use a hidden Markov random field to model the spatial dependence in the data and develop a maximum likelihood approach via the Expectation--Maximization algorithm with stochastic variation. An important improvement over previous work is the assessment of variability in parameter estimation, which is the valid basis for statistical inference. More importantly, we focus on the expected changes rather than image segmentation. Our research has shown that the approach is powerful in both simulation studies and on a real dataset, while quite robust in the presence of some model assumption violations.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/07-AOAS157 the Annals of Applied Statistics (http://www.imstat.org/aoas/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    Sensing human hand motions for controlling dexterous robots

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    The Dexterous Hand Master (DHM) system is designed to control dexterous robot hands such as the UTAH/MIT and Stanford/JPL hands. It is the first commercially available device which makes it possible to accurately and confortably track the complex motion of the human finger joints. The DHM is adaptable to a wide variety of human hand sizes and shapes, throughout their full range of motion

    Interaction of molecular nitrogen with Free-Electron-Laser radiation

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    We compute molecular continuum orbitals in the single center expansion scheme. We then employ these orbitals to obtain molecular Auger rates and single-photon ionization cross sections to study the interaction of N2 with Free-Electron-Laser (FEL) pulses. The nuclei are kept fixed. We formulate rate equations for the energetically allowed molecular and atomic transitions and we account for dissociation through additional terms in the rate equations. Solving these equations for different parameters of the FEL pulse, allows us to identify the most efficient parameters of the FEL pulse for obtaining the highest contribution of double core hole states (DCH) in the final atomic ion fragments. Finally we identify the contribution of DCH states in the electron spectra and show that the DCH state contribution is more easily identified in the photo-ionization rather than the Auger transitions
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