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Article
A Plea for the Integration of Fractional Differential Systems: The Initial Value Problem
by and
Fractal Fract. 2022, 6(10), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/fractalfract6100550 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
The usual approach to the integration of fractional order initial value problems is based on the Caputo derivative, whose initial conditions are used to formulate the classical integral equation. Thanks to an elementary counter example, we demonstrate that this technique leads to wrong [...] Read more.
The usual approach to the integration of fractional order initial value problems is based on the Caputo derivative, whose initial conditions are used to formulate the classical integral equation. Thanks to an elementary counter example, we demonstrate that this technique leads to wrong free-response transients. The solution of this fundamental problem is to use the frequency-distributed model of the fractional integrator and its distributed initial conditions. Using this model, we solve the previous counter example and propose a methodology which is the generalization of the integer order approach. Finally, this technique is applied to the modeling of Fractional Differential Systems (FDS) and the formulation of their transients in the linear case. Two expressions are derived, one using the Mittag–Leffler function and a new one based on the definition of a distributed exponential function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fractional-Order System: Control Theory and Applications)
Review
Computational Methods in Psychotherapy: A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12358; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912358 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Background: The study of complex systems, such as the psychotherapeutic encounter, transcends the mechanistic and reductionist methods for describing linear processes and needs suitable approaches to describe probabilistic and scarcely predictable phenomena. Objective: The present study undertakes a scoping review of research on [...] Read more.
Background: The study of complex systems, such as the psychotherapeutic encounter, transcends the mechanistic and reductionist methods for describing linear processes and needs suitable approaches to describe probabilistic and scarcely predictable phenomena. Objective: The present study undertakes a scoping review of research on the computational methods in psychotherapy to gather new developments in this field and to better understand the phenomena occurring in psychotherapeutic interactions as well as in human interaction more generally. Design: Online databases were used to identify papers published 2011–2022, from which we selected 18 publications from different resources, selected according to criteria established in advance and described in the text. A flow chart and a summary table of the articles consulted have been created. Results: The majority of publications (44.4%) reported combined computational and experimental approaches, so we grouped the studies according to the types of computational methods used. All but one of the studies collected measured data. All the studies confirmed the usefulness of predictive and learning models in the study of complex variables such as those belonging to psychological, psychopathological and psychotherapeutic processes. Conclusions: Research on computational methods will benefit from a careful selection of reference methods and standards. Therefore, this review represents an attempt to systematise the empirical literature on the applications of computational methods in psychotherapy research in order to offer clinicians an overview of the usefulness of these methods and the possibilities of their use in the various fields of application, highlighting their clinical implications, and ultimately attempting to identify potential opportunities for further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
Article
An Improved African Vulture Optimization Algorithm for Feature Selection Problems and Its Application of Sentiment Analysis on Movie Reviews
by , , and
Big Data Cogn. Comput. 2022, 6(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/bdcc6040104 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
The African vulture optimization algorithm (AVOA) is inspired by African vultures’ feeding and orienting behaviors. It comprises powerful operators while maintaining the balance of exploration and efficiency in solving optimization problems. To be used in discrete applications, this algorithm needs to be discretized. [...] Read more.
The African vulture optimization algorithm (AVOA) is inspired by African vultures’ feeding and orienting behaviors. It comprises powerful operators while maintaining the balance of exploration and efficiency in solving optimization problems. To be used in discrete applications, this algorithm needs to be discretized. This paper introduces two versions based on the S-shaped and V-shaped transfer functions of AVOA and BAOVAH. Moreover, the increase in computational complexity is avoided. Disruption operator and Bitwise strategy have also been used to maximize this model’s performance. A multi-strategy version of the AVOA called BAVOA-v1 is presented. In the proposed approach, i.e., BAVOA-v1, different strategies such as IPRS, mutation neighborhood search strategy (MNSS) (balance between exploration and exploitation), multi-parent crossover (increasing exploitation), and Bitwise (increasing diversity and exploration) are used to provide solutions with greater variety and to assure the quality of solutions. The proposed methods are evaluated on 30 UCI datasets with different dimensions. The simulation results showed that the proposed BAOVAH algorithm performed better than other binary meta-heuristic algorithms. So that the proposed BAOVAH algorithm set is the most accurate in 67% of the data set, and 93% of the data set is the best value of the fitness functions. In terms of feature selection, it has shown high performance. Finally, the proposed method in a case study to determine the number of neurons and the activator function to improve deep learning results was used in the sentiment analysis of movie viewers. In this paper, the CNNEM model is designed. The results of experiments on three datasets of sentiment analysis—IMDB, Amazon, and Yelp—show that the BAOVAH algorithm increases the accuracy of the CNNEM network in the IMDB dataset by 6%, the Amazon dataset by 33%, and the Yelp dataset by 30%. Full article
Article
The Role of Associations in Reducing the Emotional and Financial Impact on Parents Caring for Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: A Cross-Cultural Study
by , , , , , , , , , , and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912334 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Caregivers’ emotions and finances are affected by the deterioration of functional capacity of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), both in Mexico and Spain. Patient associations may reduce this impact on caregivers. This study aims to study the role of two models of [...] Read more.
Caregivers’ emotions and finances are affected by the deterioration of functional capacity of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), both in Mexico and Spain. Patient associations may reduce this impact on caregivers. This study aims to study the role of two models of associations, inspired by two different cultural models, in how the services they provide can help decrease the emotional and financial impact on the caregivers of children with DMD. The sample consisted of 34 caregivers from Mexico and 40 from Spain recruited from Spanish hospitals and rare disease organizations in Spain and Mexico. The instruments used consisted of a sociodemographic and socioeconomic questionnaire, the CarerQol-7D, the PHQ-15, the Zarit Caregiver’s Burden Scale and the SWLS. The results showed that caregivers in Mexico are in better physical and psychological health than caregivers in Spain. They also receive more subsidies than those in Spain. Caregivers in Mexico have a greater well-being and are less affected by the economic impact of the disease due to the associations’ day-to-day work and the fact that they generate a network of health services that they make available to the patient free of charge. These differences may also be attributable to cultural issues and to the fact that Mexico has a deeply established culture of support. Full article
Article
ULP Super Regenerative Transmitter with Digital Quenching Signal Controller
by , and
Energies 2022, 15(19), 7123; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15197123 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
This paper demonstrates an on–off keying (OOK) super-regenerative quenching transmitter operating in 402–405 MHz MICs band applications. To reduce power consumption, the transmitter is controlled by a novel digital quenching signal controller that generates a digital control signal to start transmitter operation when [...] Read more.
This paper demonstrates an on–off keying (OOK) super-regenerative quenching transmitter operating in 402–405 MHz MICs band applications. To reduce power consumption, the transmitter is controlled by a novel digital quenching signal controller that generates a digital control signal to start transmitter operation when a baseband signal is input to the transmitter. The digital signal controller consists of an envelope detector, a comparator, and a quench timer designed using a state machine to synchronize the operation between the digital controller and the input baseband signal. The transmitter consists of a Colpitts oscillator operating in double operating frequency followed by a frequency divider by 2; this configuration reduces system area and improves phase noise and signal spectrum. The proposed transmitter is implemented using UMC 130 nm CMOS technology and a 1.2 V supply. Simulation shows that the proposed transmitter can meet MICS band mask specifications with data rates up to 1 Mbps and total power dissipation of 537 uW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Stable Operation and Control of New Energy Power System)
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Article
Assessment of Cd Pollution in Paddy Soil–Rice System in Silver Mining-Affected Areas: Pollution Status, Transformation and Health Risk Assessment
by , , , , and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912362 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Mining activities are one of the main contamination sources of Cd in soil. However, the information about the influence of silver mining on Cd pollution in soil in mining-affected areas is limited. In the present study, sixteen paired soil and rice grain samples [...] Read more.
Mining activities are one of the main contamination sources of Cd in soil. However, the information about the influence of silver mining on Cd pollution in soil in mining-affected areas is limited. In the present study, sixteen paired soil and rice grain samples were collected from the farmland along the Luxi River nearby a silver mine in Yingtan City, Jiangxi Province, China. The total, bioavailable, and fraction of Cd in soil and Cd content in rice grain were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The transformation of Cd in the soil–rice system and potential health risk via consumption of these rice grains were also estimated. The results showed that Cd concentration in these paddy soils ranged from 0.21 to 0.48 mg/kg, with the mean Cd concentration (0.36 mg/kg) exceeded the national limitation of China (0.3 mg/kg, GB 15618-2018). Fortunately, all these contaminated paddy soils were just slightly polluted, with the highest single-factor pollution index value of 1.59. The DTPA- and CaCl2-extractable Cd in these paddy soils ranged from 0.16 to 0.22 mg/kg and 0.06 to 0.11 mg/kg, respectively, and the acid-soluble Cd occupied 40.40% to 52.04% of the total Cd, which was the highest among different fractions. The concentration of Cd in rice grain ranged from 0.03 to 0.39 mg/kg, and the mean Cd concentration in rice grain (0.16 mg/kg) was within the national limitation of China (0.2 mg/kg, GB 2762-2017). The bioaccumulation factor of Cd in rice grain ranged from 0.09 to 1.18, and its correlation with various indicators was nonsignificant (p < 0.05). Health risk assessment indicated that the noncarcinogenic risk for local rice consumers was within the acceptable range, but the carcinogenic risk (CR) was ranging from 1.24 × 10−2 to 1.09 × 10−3 and higher than the acceptable range (1.0 × 10−4), indicating that the local rice consumers suffered serious risk for carcinogenic diseases. The results of the present study can provide reference for safety production of rice in silver mining-affected areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Behavior and Effects of Pollutants in Soil)
Article
Assessing the Drivers of Carbon Intensity Change in China: A Dynamic Spatial–Temporal Production—Theoretical Decomposition Analysis Approach
by , , and
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12359; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912359 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
As carbon intensity (CI) can better reflect the coordinated relationship between carbon emissions and economic growth, the related research has gradually increased in recent years. To better explore the influence of production technology and spatial variations on CI disparities in China, this paper [...] Read more.
As carbon intensity (CI) can better reflect the coordinated relationship between carbon emissions and economic growth, the related research has gradually increased in recent years. To better explore the influence of production technology and spatial variations on CI disparities in China, this paper constructs a dynamic spatial–temporal production-theoretical decomposition analysis (DST-PDA) model to explore the dynamic spatial disparities and temporal variations of driving factors on CI in different regions. Moreover, this paper further investigates the impact of production-related factors, such as carbon emission technology’s change with regard to carbon intensity, and explores the benchmarking catch-up effect and the effort on reducing CI by setting benchmarks and dynamic comparative analysis, which could provide guidance for some underperforming regions. The main results are as follows: (1) The overall trends of CI increased from 2007–2019, and the northwest region had the largest growth rate. (2) Energy intensity was the dominant driver to reduce CI, and technological changes also played a great role in decreasing CI. Conversely, carbon emissions efficiency had negative effects on reducing CI. (3) The spatial variations of the contributions in factors to reduce CI have gradually increased. Resource-dependent development areas have great potential to reduce carbon intensity by improving energy and carbon emission efficiencies. The northwest has great potential to reduce CI by introducing advanced technologies. Some policies are proposed based on the results. Full article
Article
Poultry Meat Quality in Antibiotic Free Production Has Improved by Natural Extract Supplement
Animals 2022, 12(19), 2599; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12192599 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Modern consumers are conscious of the relationship between meat quality and animal welfare. Today, slow-growing chickens are associated with a higher broiler welfare. The present work aims to evaluate the effect of dietary natural extract supplementation with polyphenols and seaweed mixtures (PPE) on [...] Read more.
Modern consumers are conscious of the relationship between meat quality and animal welfare. Today, slow-growing chickens are associated with a higher broiler welfare. The present work aims to evaluate the effect of dietary natural extract supplementation with polyphenols and seaweed mixtures (PPE) on breast and thigh muscles quality parameters in Hubbard JA57 slow growth chicken in antibiotic-free production. Five hundred Hubbard female chickens (250 from control and 250 from experimental group) were housed on floor pens (10 pens/treatment, 25 birds/pen) and assigned to two experimental groups: a control group (CON) receiving a commercial diet and another group receiving the same diet supplemented with 0.3% of polyphenols and seaweed mixtures (PPE). Dietary supplementation with PPE did not affect (p > 0.05) growth performances. The breast pH tended to be lower (p = 0.062) in PPE groups. The protein content of breast muscles resulted higher in PPE samples (p < 0.05) than controls. The thigh muscles from PPE group showed a lower (p < 0.05) malondialdehyde content than CON during refrigerated storage. In conclusion, the PPE supplement improves breast muscle protein content and oxidative stability of thigh muscle. This feeding practice is suggested to enhance the nutritional and technological parameters of meat Hubbard slow growth chicken in antibiotic-free production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New and Potential Feedstuffs and Additives in Livestock)
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Article
Water Resources and Water Quality Assessment, Central Bamyan, Afghanistan
Water 2022, 14(19), 3060; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14193060 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
We surveyed and selectively sampled the major water sources in Bamyan city and the surrounding area to assess the water quality. Water quality measurements were taken in situ and more samples were collected for laboratory analysis from canals, rivers, springs, wells, and water [...] Read more.
We surveyed and selectively sampled the major water sources in Bamyan city and the surrounding area to assess the water quality. Water quality measurements were taken in situ and more samples were collected for laboratory analysis from canals, rivers, springs, wells, and water supply systems. In urban areas, water supply systems provide 36% of the drinking water, but in rural areas, this source accounts for only 7% of drinking water supplies. Wells comprise 33% and 15% of urban and rural water supplies, respectively, while canals and rivers are modest water sources for Bamyan communities. Basic water quality parameters, such as pH, EC, and TDS, were variable with high values in some areas. Most of the samples fall in the range of potable water, but some had a high TDS and EC indicating that there is the potential of contamination. Values of pH were mostly were mostly in the range of drinking water (6.5–9.5). A Drinking Water Quality Index (DWQI) was calculated to better understand the water quality issues for the potable water supplies. Subsets of representative samples were analyzed for 17 selected chemical elements and other constituents. Barium (Ba) was detected in almost all of the water samples, while arsenic (As) was detected in about 9% of the analyzed samples, and this was mostly associated with thermal springs. Concentrations of Mn and Cu in some samples exceeded that of the water quality standards, while Zn concentrations were below tolerable limits in all of the samples. Most of the analyzed water samples were hard, and several samples showed evidence of microbial pollution in urban areas. Rivers originating from snow and glacier melting had excellent quality for drinking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Monitoring and Treatment of Drinking Water Quality)
Article
Quantitative Evaluation of Gypsum-Salt Caprock Sealing Capacity Based on Analytic Hierarchy Process—A Case Study from the Cambrian in the Tarim Basin, Western China
Energies 2022, 15(19), 7139; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15197139 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Gypsum-salt caprock is one of the most important caprocks in petroliferous basins around the world. Its sealing capacity extremely affects hydrocarbon accumulation and distribution. However, there are numerous variables that affect caprock sealing performance, making a quantitative evaluation challenging. The analytic hierarchy process [...] Read more.
Gypsum-salt caprock is one of the most important caprocks in petroliferous basins around the world. Its sealing capacity extremely affects hydrocarbon accumulation and distribution. However, there are numerous variables that affect caprock sealing performance, making a quantitative evaluation challenging. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP), which has the advantage of turning several influencing factors into multi-level single objectives, can be utilized in this context to quantify the weight of each element impacting caprock sealing capacity. As a result, using the Tarim Basin’s Cambrian as an example, this article quantitatively assessed the gypsum-salt caprock sealing capacity using AHP. The results show that factors affecting the sealing capacity of Cambrian gypsum-salt caprock in the Tarim Basin can be summarized into three major categories and nine sub-categories, including the lithology (rock assemblage type and lithology zoning), the thickness (total thickness of thick single layer, maximum thickness of thick single layer, total thickness, and ratio of caprock to stratum), and the mechanical properties (internal friction coefficient, compressive strength, peak strength). The sealing ability evaluation index (C) was created by applying AHP to quantify a number of different characteristics. The capacity of the caprock to seal is inversely correlated with the C-value. The value of C in the plane climbs consistently from Tabei to Tazhong and subsequently to the Bachu region, indicating a steady improvement in caprock sealing ability. Additionally, the evaluation’s findings are in line with how hydrocarbon accumulations are currently distributed. Furthermore, hydrocarbons are mostly distributed in subsalt and subsalt-dominated layers when C is greater than 2. On the contrary, hydrocarbons are mainly distributed in post-salt layers when C is less than 2. Furthermore, in areas affected by faults, hydrocarbons are favorably distributed in subsalt layers when C reaches 2, and fault activity is poor or strong in the early period and weak in the late period. Full article
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Article
Capturing the Liquid-Crystalline Phase Transformation: Implications for Protein Targeting to Sterol Ester-Rich Lipid Droplets
Membranes 2022, 12(10), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12100949 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Lipid droplets are essential organelles that store and traffic neutral lipids. The phospholipid monolayer surrounding their neutral lipid core engages with a highly dynamic proteome that changes according to cellular and metabolic conditions. Recent work has demonstrated that when the abundance of sterol [...] Read more.
Lipid droplets are essential organelles that store and traffic neutral lipids. The phospholipid monolayer surrounding their neutral lipid core engages with a highly dynamic proteome that changes according to cellular and metabolic conditions. Recent work has demonstrated that when the abundance of sterol esters increases above a critical concentration, such as under conditions of starvation or high LDL exposure, the lipid droplet core can undergo an amorphous to liquid-crystalline phase transformation. Herein, we study the consequences of this transformation on the physical properties of lipid droplets that are thought to regulate protein association. Using simulations of different sterol-ester concentrations, we have captured the liquid-crystalline phase transformation at the molecular level, highlighting the alignment of sterol esters in alternating orientations to form concentric layers. We demonstrate how ordering in the core permeates into the neutral lipid/phospholipid interface, changing the magnitude and nature of neutral lipid intercalation and inducing ordering in the phospholipid monolayer. Increased phospholipid packing is concomitant with altered surface properties, including smaller area per phospholipid and substantially reduced packing defects. Additionally, the ordering of sterol esters in the core causes less hydration in more ordered regions. We discuss these findings in the context of their expected consequences for preferential protein recruitment to lipid droplets under different metabolic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Analysis and Applications of Membrane Lipids)
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Article
Initial-Value vs. Model-Induced Forecast Error: A New Perspective
Meteorology 2022, 1(4), 377-393; https://doi.org/10.3390/meteorology1040024 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Numerical models of the atmosphere are based on the best theory available. Understandably, the theoretical assessment of errors induced by the use of such models is confounding. Without clear theoretical guidance, the experimental separation of the model-induced part of the total forecast error [...] Read more.
Numerical models of the atmosphere are based on the best theory available. Understandably, the theoretical assessment of errors induced by the use of such models is confounding. Without clear theoretical guidance, the experimental separation of the model-induced part of the total forecast error is also challenging. In this study, the forecast error and ensemble perturbation variances were decomposed. Smaller- and larger-scale components, separated as a function of the lead time, were independent. They were associated with features with completely vs. only partially lost skill, respectively. For their phenomenological description, the larger-scale variance was further decomposed orthogonally into positional and structural components. An analysis of the various components revealed that chaotically amplifying initial perturbation and error predominantly led to positional differences in forecasts, while structural differences were interpreted as an indicator of the model-induced error. Model-induced errors were found to be relatively small. These results confirmed earlier assumptions and limited empirical evidence that numerical models of the atmosphere may be near perfect on the scales they well resolve. Full article
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Article
Associations of Diet Quality and Heavy Metals with Obesity in Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
Nutrients 2022, 14(19), 4038; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14194038 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
A poor diet cannot fully explain the prevalence of obesity. Other environmental factors (e.g., heavy metals) have been reported to be associated with obesity. However, limited evidence is available for the combined effect of these factors on obesity. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional [...] Read more.
A poor diet cannot fully explain the prevalence of obesity. Other environmental factors (e.g., heavy metals) have been reported to be associated with obesity. However, limited evidence is available for the combined effect of these factors on obesity. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study and used the data from the National Health and Examination Survey (2007–2018) to explore the associations between diet quality and heavy metals and obesity. Diet quality was evaluated by the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) score. Heavy metals included serum cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg). We included 15,959 adults, with 5799 of obesity (body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2). After adjustment for covariates, every interquartile range increase in HEI-2015 scores, Pb, Cd and Hg was associated with a 35% (odds ratios [OR] = 0.65, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.60, 0.70), 11% (OR = 0.89, 95%CI: 0.82, 0.98), 9% (OR = 0.91, 95%CI: 0.87, 0.96), 5% (OR = 0.85, 95%CI: 0.82, 0.89) reduction in risk of peripheral obesity, respectively. In addition, the association between the HEI-2015 scores and peripheral obesity was attenuated by higher levels of heavy metals (All p interaction < 0.05). Results remained similar for abdominal obesity. Our study reveals the distinct effects of a high-quality diet and heavy metals on obesity prevalence, and the beneficial effect of a high-quality diet could be weakened by higher levels of heavy metals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients, Foods, Dietary Patterns and Obesity)
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Article
ObFuzzer: Object-Oriented Hybrid Fuzzer for Binaries
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(19), 9782; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199782 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
In recent years, coverage-guided technology has become the mainstream method of fuzzing. A coverage-guided fuzzer can guide a program to a new path (edge) so that previously untested code can be tested. As coverage-guided fuzzers have become more popular, the difficulty of discovering [...] Read more.
In recent years, coverage-guided technology has become the mainstream method of fuzzing. A coverage-guided fuzzer can guide a program to a new path (edge) so that previously untested code can be tested. As coverage-guided fuzzers have become more popular, the difficulty of discovering vulnerabilities has increased significantly. This paper proposes ObFuzzer, an object-oriented binary hybrid fuzzer based on a new assumption. Namely, the object which has been operated more times and operated in more positions is more likely to have defects. Our ObFuzzer consists of the following steps. First, ObFuzzer obtains the inner relations of object operations in the target program through static analysis and analyzes the riskiness of the basic blocks containing such operations. Then, ObFuzzer generates test cases that can guide the program to the basic blocks that this paper considers to be the most dangerous by symbolic execution. Finally, fuzzing is performed using the riskiness of the object operations rather than code coverage. To demonstrate the effectiveness of ObFuzzer over a traditional coverage-guided fuzzer, this paper evaluates its performance in a real program. When facing object-oriented programs, ObFuzzer has a 29% to 40% increase in object operation complexity during execution. These more complex object operations can enhance the ability to discover vulnerabilities related to object operations. Eventually, ObFuzzer found five unique vulnerabilities and one logic error without a crash in “xpdf”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computing and Artificial Intelligence)
Article
Research on Chinese Medical Entity Relation Extraction Based on Syntactic Dependency Structure Information
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(19), 9781; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199781 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Extracting entity relations from unstructured medical texts is a fundamental task in the field of medical information extraction. In relation extraction, dependency trees contain rich structural information that helps capture the long-range relations between entities. However, many models cannot effectively use dependency information [...] Read more.
Extracting entity relations from unstructured medical texts is a fundamental task in the field of medical information extraction. In relation extraction, dependency trees contain rich structural information that helps capture the long-range relations between entities. However, many models cannot effectively use dependency information or learn sentence information adequately. In this paper, we propose a relation extraction model based on syntactic dependency structure information. First, the model learns sentence sequence information by Bi-LSTM. Then, the model learns syntactic dependency structure information through graph convolutional networks. Meanwhile, in order to remove irrelevant information from the dependencies, the model adopts a new pruning strategy. Finally, the model adds a multi-head attention mechanism to focus on the entity information in the sentence from multiple aspects. We evaluate the proposed model on a Chinese medical entity relation extraction dataset. Experimental results show that our model can learn dependency relation information better and has higher performance than other baseline models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Applications)
Article
Towards Sentiment Analysis for Romanian Twitter Content
Algorithms 2022, 15(10), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/a15100357 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
With the increased popularity of social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, sentiment analysis (SA) over the microblogging content becomes of crucial importance. The literature reports good results for well-resourced languages such as English, Spanish or German, but open research space still [...] Read more.
With the increased popularity of social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, sentiment analysis (SA) over the microblogging content becomes of crucial importance. The literature reports good results for well-resourced languages such as English, Spanish or German, but open research space still exists for underrepresented languages such as Romanian, where there is a lack of public training datasets or pretrained word embeddings. The majority of research on Romanian SA tackles the issue in a binary classification manner (positive vs. negative), using a single public dataset which consists of product reviews. In this paper, we respond to the need for a media surveillance project to possess a custom multinomial SA classifier for usage in a restrictive and specific production setup. We describe in detail how such a classifier was built, with the help of an English dataset (containing around 15,000 tweets) translated to Romanian with a public translation service. We test the most popular classification methods that could be applied to SA, including standard machine learning, deep learning and BERT. As we could not find any results for multinomial sentiment classification (positive, negative and neutral) in Romanian, we set two benchmark accuracies of ≈78% using standard machine learning and ≈81% using BERT. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the automatic translation service does not downgrade the learning performance by comparing the accuracies achieved by the models trained on the original dataset with the models trained on the translated data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Machine Learning in Pattern Recognition)
Review
Significance of Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase Expression in the Immunological Response of Kidney Graft Recipients
Diagnostics 2022, 12(10), 2353; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12102353 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Kidney transplantation is unquestionably the most advantageous and preferred treatment when patients with end-stage renal disease are considered. It does have a substantially positive influence on both the quality and expectancy of their lives. Thus, it is quintessential to extend the survival rate [...] Read more.
Kidney transplantation is unquestionably the most advantageous and preferred treatment when patients with end-stage renal disease are considered. It does have a substantially positive influence on both the quality and expectancy of their lives. Thus, it is quintessential to extend the survival rate of kidney grafts. On account of T-cell-focused treatment, this is being exponentially achieved. The kynurenine pathway, as an immunosuppressive apparatus, and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1), as its main regulator, are yet to be exhaustively explored. This review presents the recognised role of IDO1 and its influence on the kynurenine pathway, with emphasis on immunosuppression in kidney transplant protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
Article
Tabu Search Aided Multi-Track Detection Scheme for Bit-Patterned Media Recording
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(19), 9783; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199783 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
A tabu search (TS) aided multi-track detection scheme for bit patterned magnetic recording is proposed. The proposed detection scheme adopts the simplified multi-track detector with a two-dimensional generalized partial response (GPR) target, uses a priori information, and employs a reliability test and a [...] Read more.
A tabu search (TS) aided multi-track detection scheme for bit patterned magnetic recording is proposed. The proposed detection scheme adopts the simplified multi-track detector with a two-dimensional generalized partial response (GPR) target, uses a priori information, and employs a reliability test and a TS detector. The proposed detection scheme processes signals in three stages. First, the single-track detector with a one-dimensional GPR target detects the data for the main-track and side-tracks. Second, the reliability test is performed to detect bits with low reliability in the side-tracks by comparing the distance between the readback signal and the estimated and reconstructed readback signal. If the distance is greater than a specific value, the TS detector is conducted to improve the reliability of bits with low reliability in the side-tracks. Lastly, the simplified multi-track detector detects the main-track data using a priori information from the outputs of the TS or single-track detectors for the side-track data. The proposed and conventional detection schemes are compared in terms of the bit error rate performances. Simulation results show that the proposed detection scheme with slightly additional complexity has more than 3 dB gains compared to the conventional detection schemes. Full article
Review
The Relationship between the Gut Microbiota and Exercise: A Narrative Review
Hygiene 2022, 2(4), 152-162; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene2040014 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in the homeostasis of the intestinal tract, and the fact that exercise could have an impact on its functionality is currently the subject of various studies. Exercise is used as a strong preventive and treatment strategy [...] Read more.
The intestinal microbiota plays an important role in the homeostasis of the intestinal tract, and the fact that exercise could have an impact on its functionality is currently the subject of various studies. Exercise is used as a strong preventive and treatment strategy in numerous chronic diseases, influencing metabolism, immunity, and physiological functions. Some recent studies provide information on exercise as a factor that could favor the growth of beneficial species and increase the diversity of the intestinal microbiota. However, the difficulty in determining the true effect of exercise is only due to the confounding influence of lifestyle and dietary habits. Regardless, there is still interest in the implications of the gut microbiota for elite sports because the details are considered crucial for success in different competitions. This narrative review tries to collect the information available in the literature on the role that exercise plays in the modulation of the balance of the intestinal microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Health and Hygiene)
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Article
Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity with Enhanced Long-Term Depression Leads to an Increase of Statistical Complexity
Entropy 2022, 24(10), 1384; https://doi.org/10.3390/e24101384 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Synaptic plasticity is characterized by remodeling of existing synapses caused by strengthening and/or weakening of connections. This is represented by long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). The occurrence of a presynaptic spike (or action potential) followed by a temporally nearby postsynaptic spike [...] Read more.
Synaptic plasticity is characterized by remodeling of existing synapses caused by strengthening and/or weakening of connections. This is represented by long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). The occurrence of a presynaptic spike (or action potential) followed by a temporally nearby postsynaptic spike induces LTP; conversely, if the postsynaptic spike precedes the presynaptic spike, it induces LTD. This form of synaptic plasticity induction depends on the order and timing of the pre- and postsynaptic action potential, and has been termed spike time-dependent plasticity (STDP). After an epileptic seizure, LTD plays an important role as a depressor of synapses, which may lead to their complete disappearance together with that of their neighboring connections until days after the event. Added to the fact that after an epileptic seizure the network seeks to regulate the excess activity through two key mechanisms: depressed connections and neuronal death (eliminating excitatory neurons from the network), LTD becomes of great interest in our study. To investigate this phenomenon, we develop a biologically plausible model that privileges LTD at the triplet level while maintaining the pairwise structure in the STPD and study how network dynamics are affected as neuronal damage increases. We find that the statistical complexity is significantly higher for the network where LTD presented both types of interactions. While in the case where the STPD is defined with purely pairwise interactions an increase is observed as damage becomes higher for both Shannon Entropy and Fisher information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information Theoretic Measures and Their Applications II)
Article
Transmission Expansion Planning Considering Wind Power and Load Uncertainties
Energies 2022, 15(19), 7140; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15197140 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Due to the rapidly increasing power demand worldwide, the development of power systems occupies a significant position in modern society. Furthermore, a high proportion of renewable energy resources (RESs) is an inevitable trend in further power system planning, due to traditional energy shortages [...] Read more.
Due to the rapidly increasing power demand worldwide, the development of power systems occupies a significant position in modern society. Furthermore, a high proportion of renewable energy resources (RESs) is an inevitable trend in further power system planning, due to traditional energy shortages and environmental pollution problems. However, as RESs are variable, intermittent, and uncontrollable, more challenges will be introduced in transmission expansion planning (TEP). Therefore, in order to guarantee the security and reliability of the power system, research related to TEP with the integration of RESs is of great significance. In this paper, to solve the TEP problem considering load and wind power uncertainties, an AC TEP model solved by a mixed integer non-linear programming (MINLP) is proposed, the high-quality optimal solutions of which demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of the method. Latin hypercube sampling (LHS) is employed for the scenario generation, while a simultaneous backward reduction algorithm is applied for the scenario reduction, thus reducing the computational burden. Through this method, the reserved scenarios can effectively reflect the overall trends of the original distributions. Based on a novel worst-case scenario analysis method, the obtained optimal solutions are shown to be more robust and effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimal Operation and Control of Energy System and Power System)
Article
Evaluating Tissue Mechanical Properties Using Quantitative Mueller Matrix Polarimetry and Neural Network
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(19), 9774; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199774 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Evaluation of the mechanical properties of biological tissues has always been an important issue in the field of biomedicine. The traditional method for mechanical properties measurement is to perform in vitro tissue deformation experiments. With the fast development of optical and image processing [...] Read more.
Evaluation of the mechanical properties of biological tissues has always been an important issue in the field of biomedicine. The traditional method for mechanical properties measurement is to perform in vitro tissue deformation experiments. With the fast development of optical and image processing techniques, more and more non-invasive and non-contact optical methods have been applied to the analysis of tissue mechanical features. In this study, we use Mueller matrix polarimetry to quantitatively obtain the mechanical properties of bovine tendon tissues. Firstly, to study the structural information and the changes in the optical characteristics of the tendon tissue under different stretching states, 3 × 3 Mueller matrix images of bovine tendon tissue samples are acquired by backscattering measurement setups based on a polarized camera. Then, we extract the frequency distribution histograms (FDHs) of the Mueller matrix elements to reveal the structural changes of the tendon tissue more clearly during the stretching process. Last, we calculate the Mueller matrix transformation (MMT) parameters, the total anisotropy and the anisotropy direction of the tendon tissue samples under different stretching processes to quantitatively characterize their structural changes under different mechanical states. The central moments of the MMT parameters can be used to distinguish the different stretching states of the tendon tissue. For better discrimination based on the MMT parameters, we design a multilayer neural network that takes the first-order moments of the MMT parameters as the input features. After training, a high-precision classification model of the stretching states of tendon tissue samples is finally obtained, and the total classification accuracy achieves 98%. The experimental results show that the Mueller matrix polarimetry can be a potential non-contact tool for tissue mechanical properties evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biophotonics Technologies and Applications)
Article
Invasive Species Appearance and Climate Change Correspond with Dramatic Regime Shift in Thermal Guild Composition of Lake Huron Beach Fish Assemblages
Fishes 2022, 7(5), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/fishes7050263 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Lake Huron has undergone dramatic and well-documented lake-wide food web changes as a result of non-native species introductions. Coastal beaches, which serve as nursery habitats for native and introduced species, are, however, relatively poorly studied. Our objective was to assess fish assemblages of [...] Read more.
Lake Huron has undergone dramatic and well-documented lake-wide food web changes as a result of non-native species introductions. Coastal beaches, which serve as nursery habitats for native and introduced species, are, however, relatively poorly studied. Our objective was to assess fish assemblages of beach habitats in western Lake Huron and compare species composition pre- (1993) and post-invasion (2012) of dreissenid mussels and round goby (Neogobius melanostomus). Nearshore beach fish assemblages were sampled by nighttime beach seining during spring and summer in 1993 and 2012 in the western basin of Lake Huron along the Michigan shoreline. Catch rates were considerably higher, but there were fewer species present in 2012 than in 1993. The composition of species changed dramatically from a cold- and cool-water species assemblage in 1993 (dominated by alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius), and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), as well as Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax)) to a cool- and warm-water species assemblage in 2012 (dominated by cyprinids, round goby (Nogobius melanstomus), and yellow perch (Perca flavescens)). The observed rise in catch rate and shift in species composition appears related to the introduction of invasive species as well as an on-going warming pattern in nearshore waters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Ecology and Management of Aquatic Invasive Species)
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Article
Planform Dynamics and Cut-Off Processes in the Lower Ucayali River, Peruvian Amazon
Water 2022, 14(19), 3059; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14193059 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
The Ucayali River is one of the most dynamic large rivers in the world, with high rates of channel migration regularly producing cutoffs. In the lower portion of the Ucayali River, before its confluence to the Marañon River where the Amazon River is [...] Read more.
The Ucayali River is one of the most dynamic large rivers in the world, with high rates of channel migration regularly producing cutoffs. In the lower portion of the Ucayali River, before its confluence to the Marañon River where the Amazon River is born, the increase in water and sediment discharge triggers bends with secondary channels (transitional stage from purely meandering to anabranching), which influence the planform migration rates and patterns of the sinuous channels. Based on remote sensing analysis, a comparison of planform dynamics of bends with and without secondary channels is presented. For the case of a bend with secondary channels (Jenaro Herrera, JH), detailed field measurements for bed morphology, hydrodynamics, bed and suspended load are performed for low-, transitional- and high-flow conditions (August, February and May, respectively). Additionally, a two-dimensional depth average hydraulic model is utilized to correlate observed migrating patterns with the hydrodynamics. Results indicate that the secondary channels have disrupted typical planform migration rates of the main meandering channel. However, at high amplitudes, these secondary channels reduce their capacity to capture flow and start a narrowing process, which in turn increases migration rates of the main channels (meandering reactivation process), suggesting that an imminent cutoff along the JH bend is underway by pure lateral migration or by the collapse into the existing paleochannels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Rivers and Wetlands in the Anthropocene)
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Review
Bacteriophages and Food Production: Biocontrol and Bio-Preservation Options for Food Safety
Antibiotics 2022, 11(10), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics11101324 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Food safety and sustainable food production is an important part of the Sustainable Development goals aiming to safeguard the health and wellbeing of humans, animals and the environment. Foodborne illness is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly as the global crisis [...] Read more.
Food safety and sustainable food production is an important part of the Sustainable Development goals aiming to safeguard the health and wellbeing of humans, animals and the environment. Foodborne illness is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly as the global crisis of antimicrobial resistance proliferates. In order to actively move towards sustainable food production, it is imperative that green biocontrol options are implemented to prevent and mitigate infectious disease in food production. Replacing current chemical pesticides, antimicrobials and disinfectants with green, organic options such as biopesticides is a step towards a sustainable future. Bacteriophages, virus which infect and kill bacteria are an area of great potential as biocontrol agents in agriculture and aquaculture. Lytic bacteriophages offer many advantages over traditional chemical-based solutions to control microbiological contamination in the food industry. The innate specificity for target bacterial species, their natural presence in the environment and biocompatibility with animal and humans means phages are a practical biocontrol candidate at all stages of food production, from farm-to-fork. Phages have demonstrated efficacy as bio-sanitisation and bio-preservation agents against many foodborne pathogens, with activity against biofilm communities also evident. Additionally, phages have long been recognised for their potential as therapeutics, prophylactically and metaphylactically. Further investigation is warranted however, to overcome their limitations such as formulation and stability issues, phage resistance mechanisms and transmission of bacterial virulence factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacteriophages: Biology, Therapy and Application)
Article
Evaluation of the Likelihood of Establishing False Codling Moth (Thaumatotibia leucotreta) in Australia via the International Cut Flower Market
Insects 2022, 13(10), 883; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13100883 (registering DOI) - 28 Sep 2022
Abstract
Kenya and some other African countries are threatened by a serious pest Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), the false codling moth. The detection of T. leucotreta is quite difficult due to the cryptic nature of the larvae during transportation and is therefore a [...] Read more.
Kenya and some other African countries are threatened by a serious pest Thaumatotibia leucotreta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), the false codling moth. The detection of T. leucotreta is quite difficult due to the cryptic nature of the larvae during transportation and is therefore a concern for Australia. This insect is a known pest of agriculturally important crops. Here, Maxent was used to assess the biosecurity threat of T. leucotreta to Australia. Habitat suitability and risk assessment of T. leucotreta in Australia were identified based on threatened areas under suitable climatic conditions and the presence of hosts in a given habitat. Modeling indicated that Australia is vulnerable to invasion and establishment by T. leucotreta in some states and territories, particularly areas of western and southern Australia. Within these locations, the risk is associated with specific cropping areas. As such, invasion and establishment by T. leucotreta may have serious implications for Australia’s agricultural and horticultural industries e.g., the fruit and vegetable industries. This study will be used to inform the government and industry of the threat posed by T. leucotreta imported via the cut flower industry. Targeted preventative measures and trade policy could be introduced to protect Australia from invasion by this pest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Pest and Vector Management)

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