The decay of pulsed eddy currents (PEC) with depth in diffusion decreases resultant signal changes, thus bringing a challenge for reliable and accurate evaluation of deep subsurface defects. In this work, a novel cross-correlation inspired residual network, termed CCResNet, is proposed to improve the capability for smart evaluation of subsurface defects. It consists of a cross-correlation layer, a residual network, and a novel loss function, namely, focal-probability of detection (Focal-POD) loss. The customized Gaussian wavelet basis enables us to derive weak features from heavily noised PEC signals due to the similarity by cross-correlation operation, which is the origin of the constructed cross-correlation layer. Then, a Focal-POD loss is proposed to address class imbalance and endow CCResNet with powerful capability for detection of deep subsurface defects by increasing their loss values. Finally, a semi-supervised framework is built to re-train CCResNet using pseudo and labelled dataset to obtain classified results as imaging features. The experimental results show that the developed CCResNet is featured as better imaging resolution, more accurate evaluation, and intelligence in detection of deeper subsurface defects.
Diseases affecting the esophagus are common. However, targeted drug delivery to the esophagus is challenging due to the anatomy and physiology of this organ. Current pharmacological treatment for esophageal diseases predominantly relies on the off-label use of drugs in various dosage forms, including those for systemic drug delivery (e.g. oral tablets, sublingual tablets, and injections) and topical drug delivery (e.g. metered dose inhaler, viscous solution or suspension, and endoscopic injection into the esophagus). In general, systemic therapy has shown the most efficacy but requires the use of high drug doses to achieve effective concentrations in the esophagus, which increases the risk of adverse effects and toxicity. Topical drug delivery has enormous potential in improving the way we treat patients with acute and chronic esophageal diseases, especially those requiring drugs that have low therapeutic index and/or significant adverse effects to non-targeted organs and tissues. This review will address the physiological, pathophysiological, and pharmaceutical considerations influencing topical drug delivery in the esophagus. The main conventional (e.g. liquid formulations, orodispersible tablets, lozenges, pastilles, troches, chewing gum) and innovative (e.g. stent-based, film-based, nanoparticulate-based) drug delivery approaches will be comprehensively discussed, along with the developments to improve their effectiveness for topical esophageal drug delivery. The translational challenges and future clinical advances of this research will also be discussed.
Salinity has emerged as a major threat to food security and safety around the globe. The crop production on agricultural lands is squeezing due to aridity, climate change and low quality of irrigation water. The present study investigated the effect of biogenic silicon (Si) sources including wheat straw biochar (BC-ws), cotton stick biochar (BC-cs), rice husk feedstock (RH-fs), and sugarcane bagasse (SB), on the growth of two consecutive maize (Zea mays L.) crops in alkaline calcareous soil. The application of SB increased the photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, and internal CO2 concentration by 104, 100, 55, and 16% in maize 1 and 140, 136, 76, and 22% in maize 2 respectively. Maximum yield (g/pot) of cob, straw, and root were remained as 39.5, 110.7, and 23.6 while 39.4, 113.2, and 23.6 in maize 1 and 2 respectively with the application of SB. The concentration of phosphorus (P) in roots, shoots, and cobs was increased by 157, 173, and 78% for maize 1 while 96, 224, and 161% for maize 2 respectively over control by applying SB. The plant cationic ratios (Mg:Na, Ca:Na, K:Na) were maximum in the SB applied treatment in maize 1 and 2. The study concluded that the application of SB on the basis of soluble Si, as a biogenic source, remained the best in alleviating the salt stress and enhancing the growth of maize in rotation. The field trials will be more interesting to recommend the farmer scale.
Active neutral point-clamped (ANPC) multilevel converters with integrated flying-capacitor (FC) technique are widely used in many industrial applications owing to their low losses, reduced stress on devices, bidirectional operation, and leakage current attenuation capability. Their major setback related to the half dc-link voltage utilization at the ac output has also recently been addressed using the concept of active boost neutral point-clamped (ABNPC) converters with a switched-capacitor (SC) technique. Nonetheless, such a voltage-boosting capability in ABNPCs causes an excessive voltage stress on devices, when the provided dc-link voltage is larger than double of the grid peak voltage. To address this critical challenge, the concept of dual-mode (DM) converter that can retain the quality of ac output with a reduced voltage stress on devices over a wide range of the input dc voltage is introduced. Following this concept, a family of three DM-ANPC five-level (5 L) converters is presented in this article, where they can be operated in either buck or boost mode. This allows to operate the converters with a wide range of input dc voltage utilization and an improved performance. Each of the proposed DM-ANPC-5 L converters requires 10 power switches, while they offer a bidirectional power flow feature with an integrated FC and/or SC technique. Extensive analysis, comparative study, and several simulation and experimental results obtained from a laboratory-built prototype operating in the grid-connected condition are presented to validate the performance of the proposed converters.
Dissolved Gas Analysis (DGA) of transformer oil is an important tool to identify incipient faults of transformer. The challenge with the existing research on DGA is that only a single sample is used for the analysis which might lead to inaccurate results. In this paper a comprehensive three stages fuzzy logic approach is proposed to emulate best practices in the industry for transformer health analysis using the current as well as historical data from previous samples. In the first stage, a fuzzy logic is developed for an oil sampling pre-check for better lab acceptance rate which helps to save time and cost. In the second stage fuzzy, the latest IEEE Std C57.104 – 2019 is used to determine the status of transformer health by considering the gas formation rate from past samples and observing the trend. Finally, the third stage fuzzy is used to identify the transformer fault type and determine the corresponding down time. The proposed approach is tested on real data from the industry and the results demonstrate accurate transformer health identification with additional advantages of saving time and cost.
Automated segmentation of large volumes of medical images is often plagued by the limited availability of fully annotated data and the diversity of organ surface properties resulting from the use of different acquisition protocols for different patients. In this paper, we introduce a more promising few-shot learning-based method named Region-enhanced Prototypical Transformer (RPT) to mitigate the effects of large intra-class diversity/bias. First, a subdivision strategy is introduced to produce a collection of regional prototypes from the foreground of the support prototype. Second, a self-selection mechanism is proposed to incorporate into the Bias-alleviated Transformer (BaT) block to suppress or remove interferences present in the query prototype and regional support prototypes. By stacking BaT blocks, the proposed RPT can iteratively optimize the generated regional prototypes and finally produce rectified and more accurate global prototypes for Few-Shot Medical Image Segmentation (FSMS). Extensive experiments are conducted on three publicly available medical image datasets, and the obtained results show consistent improvements compared to state-of-the-art FSMS methods. The source code is available at: https://github.com/YazhouZhu19/RPT.
Aims This study describes the variation in the annual volumes of revision hip arthroplasty (RHA) undertaken by consultant surgeons nationally, and the rate of accrual of RHA and corresponding primary hip arthroplasty (PHA) volume for new consultants entering practice. Methods National Joint Registry (NJR) data for England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Isle of Man were received for 84,816 RHAs and 818,979 PHAs recorded between April 2011 and December 2019. RHA data comprised all revision procedures, including first-time revisions of PHA and any subsequent re-revisions recorded in public and private healthcare organizations. Annual procedure volumes undertaken by the responsible consultant surgeon in the 12 months prior to every index procedure were determined. We identified a cohort of ‘new’ HA consultants who commenced practice from 2012 and describe their rate of accrual of PHA and RHA experience. Results The median annual consultant RHA volume, averaged across all cases, was 21 (interquartile range (IQR) 11 to 34; range 0 to 181). Of 1,695 consultants submitting RHA cases within the study period, the top 20% of surgeons by annual volume performed 74.2% of total RHA case volume. More than half of all consultants who had ever undertaken a RHA maintained an annual volume of just one or fewer RHA, however, collectively contributed less than 3% of the total RHA case volume. Consultant PHA and RHA volumes were positively correlated. Lower-volume surgeons were more likely to undertake RHA for urgent indications (such as infection) as a proportion of their practice, and to do so on weekends and public holidays. Conclusion The majority of RHAs were undertaken by higher-volume surgeons. There was considerable variation in RHA volumes by indication, day of the week, and between consultants nationally. The rate of accrual of RHA experience by new consultants is low, and has important implications for establishing an experienced RHA consultant workforce. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2023;105-B(10):1060–1069.
Background Stroke is a common time-sensitive medical emergency. Pre-hospital care focuses on rapid recognition and ambulance transportation. It is not unusual for stroke to be suspected amongst care home residents, who are typically older and have more complex health needs than the general population. The aim of this study was to describe the care of suspected stroke patients according to their residential status. Methods Secondary analysis of an existing ambulance clinical record dataset from a UK ambulance service. It contained care parameters for patients labelled as suspected stroke by ambulance practitioners who had presented between December 2021 and April 2022. Patients were dichotomised based on private addresses or care home addresses. Patient characteristics and ambulance care were summarised according to residential status. Results 1324 suspected stroke patients assessed at private addresses and 171 assessed at care homes. Care home patients were older (median 86 (IQR 79-91) years versus 75 (IQR 63-83) years; p= <0.001), had a greater number of comorbidities (median 5 (IQR 3-6) versus median 3 (IQR 2-5); p= <0.001) and more recorded medications (median 6 (IQR 4-9) versus median 4 (IQR 1-7); p= <0.001). Care home patients had higher rates of clinicians documenting that they were unable to record the Face Arm Speech Test (FAST) assessment (17/170 (10%) versus 39/1305 (3%); p= <0.001) but when assessment was possible, they were more likely to have a facial droop (85/153 (55.6%) versus 506/1266 (40%); p= <0.001). Ambulance on-scene time (OST) was 6-minutes longer in the care home group (median 41 (IQR 32- 49.5) minutes versus median 35 (IQR 27-45) minutes; p = <0.001). Conclusions Suspected stroke patients assessed at care homes have more complex healthcare needs and differences in stroke assessment using the FAST. A longer OST was observed for care home residents which may reflect both the background health issues and stroke assessment challenges. Clinician awareness of differences between residential settings may be important for improving the delivery of emergency stroke care and further research is needed to optimize ambulance assessment for care home patients presenting with suspected stroke.
Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common arrhythmia and a significant risk factor for stroke. Oral anticoagulants (OACs) substantially reduce the risk of stroke in people with AF. Many people have undiagnosed and untreated AF and remain at elevated risk of stroke. Sometimes AF is incidentally detected during routine assessment and non-conveyed patients may be referred for further investigation. Formalising this response to opportunistic identification of AF should lead to more timely prescription of OACs and a reduction in avoidable strokes. This study explored the acceptability and feasibility of opportunistic health screening for incidental AF in non-conveyed patients by ambulance clinicians. Methods Online one-to-one interviews with healthcare and service providers, and focus groups involving members of the public. Purposive sampling aimed to maximise the diversity of perspective and experience. Data were audio-recorded, transcribed anonymously, and analysed thematically. Results We conducted 11 interviews with paramedics and other healthcare and service providers and four focus groups involving 18 members of the public. All participant groups were in favour of formalising a pathway for actioning the opportunistic detection of new AF, but each had concerns and caveats. Members of the public were concerned about how the diagnosis would be communicated. Concerns for paramedics focussed on safety-netting non-conveyed patients and ensuring that AF was followed up. Field experts favoured identifying failures in current processes to determine what intervention or change is required. All participant groups expressed concern that any change in practice mustn’t create delays in the emergency response system since AF is usually non-urgent. Conclusion Opportunistic identification of AF by ambulance clinicians was supported by participants but concerns were expressed around communicating the identification of AF to patients, the need for evidence on the effectiveness of current referral pathways and how this public health screening fitted with the role of the ambulance service.
Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a significant risk factor for ischaemic stroke, however is often asymptomatic and therefore unrecognised. Previous work suggested up to two patients per day may have a new diagnosis of AF identified by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in North East England. This study aimed to quantify the regional population not transported to hospital following EMS review with apparent new AF who were potentially eligible for oral anticoagulation (OAC) to reduce their risk of stroke. Methods A retrospective audit of patients aged over 18 years assessed by EMS but not transported to hospital, where an irregular pulse was identified, between 1st February and 30th April 2022. Cardiac arrest patients were excluded. Medical history including stroke risk score (CHA2DS2-Vasc), past history of AF, and prescription of OAC were extracted from the EMS record. Results Over the study period 7,055 people were attended by EMS, had a pulse rhythm recorded and were not transported to hospital. This included 840/7055 (11.9%) with an irregular pulse. Of these 303/7055 (4.3%) had an ECG interpretation recorded, which included AF in 245/7055 (3.5%). In 18/7055 (0.3%) patients this appeared to be a new diagnosis because they were not already prescribed OAC. Of these, 17/18 (94.4%) had a CHA2DS2-Vasc score of two or more, therefore eligible for OAC consideration. Conclusion Apparent new AF can be identified in the non-conveyance population. These results suggest that ambulance services could provide a new screening opportunity for stroke prevention if an acceptable anticoagulation treatment pathway can be developed and implemented.Further research is required because these data were collected retrospectively from ambulance records, with variability in the clinical information documented. Also, as many ambulance records typically do not include documentation of a pulse rhythm, there could be further unidentified cases.
Background and Aims Heavy alcohol use and depression commonly co‐occur. However, health and social care services rarely provide coordinated support for these conditions. Using relational autonomy, which recognizes how social and economic contexts and relational support alter people's capacity for agency, this study aimed to (1) explore how people experience formal care provision for co‐occurring alcohol use and depression, (2) consider how this context could lead to adverse outcomes for individuals and (3) understand the implications of these experiences for future policy and practice. Design Semi‐structured qualitative interviews underpinned by the methodology of interpretive description. Setting North East and North Cumbria, UK. Participants Thirty‐nine people (21 men and 18 women) with current or recent experience of co‐occurring heavy alcohol use ([Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test [AUDIT] score ≥ 8]) and depression ([Patient Health Questionnaire test ≥ 5] screening tools to give an indication of their current levels of alcohol use and mental score). Measurements Semi‐structured interview guide supported in‐depth exploration of the treatment and care people had sought and received for heavy alcohol use and depression. Findings Most participants perceived depression as a key factor contributing to their heavy alcohol use. Three key themes were identified: (1) ‘lack of recognition’ of a relationship between alcohol use and depression and/or contexts that limit people's capacity to access help, (2) having ‘nowhere to go’ to access relevant treatment and care and (3) ‘supporting relational autonomy’ as opposed to assuming that individuals can organize their own care and recovery. Lack of access to appropriate treatment and provision that disregards individuals’ differential capacity for agency may contribute to delays in help‐seeking, increased distress and suicidal ideation. Conclusions Among people with co‐occurring heavy alcohol use and depression, lack of recognition of a relationship between alcohol use and depression and formal care provision that does not acknowledge people's social and economic context, including their intrinsic need for relational support, may contribute to distress and limit their capacity to get well.
Background Unintended pregnancy (UIP) and substance use disorder (SUD) share underlying root causes with similar potential impacts for women and their offspring in pregnancy, birth and beyond. Furthermore, use of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) increases the risk of UIP. Objectives To assess the available evidence on impact of UIP on health, social and economic outcomes, in women who use AOD. Search Strategy The review was conducted using the Joanna Briggs Institute Methodology for Scoping Reviews and PRISMA reporting guidelines. The search was conducted across multiple electronic databases, including Scopus and Medline, and limited to studies published between January 2000 to June 2023. Selection Criteria Studies reporting on interactions between AOD use and UIP, and subsequent pregnancy, birth, infant, childhood, social or economic outcomes. All patterns and types of AOD use, except isolated use of tobacco, were included. Studies were available in English and conducted in high income countries. Data Collection and Analysis Selected articles were reviewed, and data collected by 2 independent reviewers using a standardised data extraction sheet. Findings were summarised and reported descriptively. Main Results A total of 2383 titles and abstracts were screened, 97 full texts were reviewed, and three studies were selected for inclusion in the scoping review. There was heterogeneity in types and patterns of AOD use, differences in study design and tools to assess pregnancy intention, and each focused on disparate outcomes. No study assessed or reported on birth outcomes. Conclusion There is a paucity of data examining the intersection between AOD use and UIP and further research is needed. Funding The University of Sydney Albert S. McKern Scholarship; Australian National Health and Medical research Council fellowship (APP1197940) and Financial Markets Foundation for Children.
INTRODUCTION Many lifestyle factors have been associated with dementia, but there is limited evidence of how these group together. The aim of this study was to examine the clustering of lifestyle behaviors and associations with dementia. METHODS This population‐based study included 9947 older Australian women. Latent class analysis was employed to identify distinct lifestyle classes, and Cox proportional hazard regression compared these with incident dementia over 17 years. RESULTS Three classes were identified: (1) “highly social and non‐smokers” (54.9%), (2) “highly social, smokers, and drinkers” (25.1%), and (3) “inactive and low socializers” (20.0%). Women in Class 3 exhibited a higher risk of dementia compared to both Class 1 (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08 to 1.30) and Class 2 (HR = 1.12, 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.25). DISCUSSION A lifestyle pattern characterized by physical inactivity and low social engagement may be particularly detrimental for dementia risk in older women and should be prioritized in preventive strategies. Highlights Latent class analysis was employed to identify distinct lifestyle clusters. Three lifestyle‐related clusters were differentially associated with dementia risk. Inactive and low socializers exhibited the greatest risk of dementia. Targeting physical inactivity and low social engagement in prevention is vital.
The UK NHS Women’s National Breast Screening programme aims to detect breast cancer early. The reference standard approach requires mammograms to be independently double-read by qualified radiology staff. If two readers disagree, arbitration by an independent reader is undertaken. Whilst this process maximises accuracy and minimises recall rates, the procedure is labour-intensive, adding pressure to a system currently facing a workforce crisis. Artificial intelligence technology offers an alternative to human readers. While artificial intelligence has been shown to be non-inferior versus human second readers, the minimum requirements needed (effectiveness, set-up costs, maintenance, etc) for such technology to be cost-effective in the NHS have not been evaluated. We developed a simulation model replicating NHS screening services to evaluate the potential value of the technology. Our results indicate that if non-inferiority is maintained, the use of artificial intelligence technology as a second reader is a viable and potentially cost-effective use of NHS resources.
Background Motor units (MUs) control the contraction of muscles and degenerate with age. It is therefore of interest to measure whole muscle and MU twitch profiles in aging skeletal muscle. Purpose Apply phase contrast MU MRI (PC‐MUMRI) in a cohort of healthy adults to measure whole anterior compartment, individual muscles, and single MU twitch profiles in the calf. Assess the effect of age and sex on contraction and relaxation times. Study Type Prospective cross‐sectional study. Subjects Sixty‐one healthy participants (N = 32 male; age 55 ± 16 years [range: 26–82]). Field Strength/Sequences 3 T, velocity encoded gradient echo and single shot spin echo pulsed gradient spin echo, echo‐planar imaging. Assessment Anterior shin compartment (N = 47), individual muscle (tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, peroneus longus; N = 47) and single MU (N = 34) twitch profiles were extracted from the data to calculate contraction and relaxation times. Statistical Tests Multivariable linear regression to investigate relationships between age, sex and contraction and relaxation times of the whole anterior compartment. Pearson correlation to investigate relationships between age and contraction and relaxation times of individual muscles and single MUs. A P value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results Age and sex predicted significantly increased contraction and relaxation time for the anterior compartment. Females had significantly longer contraction times than males (females 86 ± 8 msec, males 80 ± 9 msec). Relaxation times were longer, not significant (females 204 ± 36 msec, males 188 ± 34 msec, P = 0.151). Contraction and relaxation times of single MUs showed no change with age ( P = 0.462, P = 0.534, respectively). Date Conclusion Older participants had significantly longer contraction and relaxation times of the whole anterior compartment compared to younger participants. Females had longer contraction and relaxation times than males, significant for contraction time. Evidence Level 2 Technical Efficacy Stage 1
The unprecedented scale of the climate crisis has led to a questioning of conventional approaches to sustainability in management education, centred around business case for sustainability narratives. Such critique gives rise to serious questions around how we approach teaching the universality of the climate crisis, species extinction and biodiversity loss differently. Working with Freire’s stress on the political role of the educator, action rooted in the concrete and the interconnections he establishes between pedagogy and political organisation, our contribution is to connect these interventions with Haraway’s call to stay ‘with the trouble’ and generate Communities of Compost – that is, collective more than human communities of multi-species flourishing. In doing so, we propose threading together ecocentric and political economy approaches in management education, to present an alternative to corporate sustainability solutionism and to politically rethink scalar mismatches – that is when problems and proposed ‘solutions’ to the climate crisis apply to different sets of relations. As a way of addressing this, we develop pedagogical practices around Haraway’s multi-species Communities of Compost and combine this with the political movement of La Via Campesina – focusing on its campaigns for agroecology and food sovereignty.
Objectives To identify prognostic models for melanoma survival, recurrence and metastasis among American Joint Committee on Cancer stage I and II patients postsurgery; and evaluate model performance, including overall survival (OS) prediction. Design Systematic review and narrative synthesis. Data sources Searched MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Science Citation Index and grey literature sources including cancer and guideline websites from 2000 to September 2021. Eligibility criteria Included studies on risk prediction models for stage I and II melanoma in adults ≥18 years. Outcomes included OS, recurrence, metastases and model performance. No language or country of publication restrictions were applied. Data extraction and synthesis Two pairs of reviewers independently screened studies, extracted data and assessed the risk of bias using the CHecklist for critical Appraisal and data extraction for systematic Reviews of prediction Modelling Studies checklist and the Prediction study Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. Heterogeneous predictors prevented statistical synthesis. Results From 28 967 records, 15 studies reporting 20 models were included; 8 (stage I), 2 (stage II), 7 (stages I–II) and 7 (stages not reported), but were clearly applicable to early stages. Clinicopathological predictors per model ranged from 3–10. The most common were: ulceration, Breslow thickness/depth, sociodemographic status and site. Where reported, discriminatory values were ≥0.7. Calibration measures showed good matches between predicted and observed rates. None of the studies assessed clinical usefulness of the models. Risk of bias was high in eight models, unclear in nine and low in three. Seven models were internally and externally cross-validated, six models were externally validated and eight models were internally validated. Conclusions All models are effective in their predictive performance, however the low quality of the evidence raises concern as to whether current follow-up recommendations following surgical treatment is adequate. Future models should incorporate biomarkers for improved accuracy. PROSPERO registration number CRD42018086784.
The Pikialasorsuaq (North Water polynya) is an area of local and global cultural and ecological significance. However, over the last decades, the region has been subject to rapid warming, and in some recent years, the seasonal ice arch that has historically defined the polynya's northern boundary has failed to form. Both factors are deemed to alter the polynya's ecosystem functioning. To understand how climate‐induced changes to the Pikialasorsuaq impact the basis of the marine food web, we explored diatom community‐level responses to changing conditions, from a sediment core spanning the last 3800 years. Four metrics were used: total diatom concentrations, taxonomic composition, mean size, and diversity. Generalized additive model statistics highlight significant changes at ca. 2400, 2050, 1550, 1200, and 130 cal years BP, all coeval with known transitions between colder and warmer intervals of the Late Holocene, and regime shifts in the Pikialasorsuaq. Notably, a weaker/contracted polynya during the Roman Warm Period and Medieval Climate Anomaly caused the diatom community to reorganize via shifts in species composition, with the presence of larger taxa but lower diversity, and significantly reduced export production. This study underlines the high sensitivity of primary producers to changes in the polynya dynamics and illustrates that the strong pulse of early spring cryopelagic diatoms that makes the Pikialasorsuaq exceptionally productive may be jeopardized by rapid warming and associated Nares Strait ice arch destabilization. Future alterations to the phenology of primary producers may disproportionately impact higher trophic levels and keystone species in this region, with implications for Indigenous Peoples and global diversity.
A three-dimensional representation of the random distribution of fractures in rock masses, known as the discrete fracture network (DFN), is widely used to analyze the stability of jointed rock slopes. In this paper, a new framework for constructing three-dimensional DFN models in rock masses has been proposed to overcome the limitations of conventional circular or polygon-based models. The framework utilizes the universal elliptical disc (UED) model and integrates it with the discrete element method in 3DEC for the stability evaluation of jointed rock slopes. This paper starts by introducing the basic principles of the UED model. The procedures for constructing a three-dimensional DFN using the UED model is then outlined. In the present study, a case study of a rock slope in Zhejiang Province, China is used to demonstrate the implementation of the proposed framework. A comprehensive comparative study is conducted to investigate the impacts of several UED model parameters, including the ratio of major axis to minor axis and rotation angle, and discontinuity density, on the stability of rock slopes and compared to the conventional Baecher disc model. The results show that the framework can effectively integrate the UED model into 3DEC and provide a realistic representation of the three-dimensional DFN, leading to improved accuracy and efficiency in the stability evaluation of jointed rock slopes. The framework also shed light on the interactive effects of the UED model parameters and discontinuity density on the rock slope stability, providing a strong reference for using the UED model in constructing DFN models for rock slopes.
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