Ronin Institute
  • Montclair, New Jersey, United States
Recent publications
With the development of digital imaging techniques, image quality assessment methods are receiving more attention in the literature. Since distortion-free versions of camera images in many practical, everyday applications are not available, the need for effective no-reference image quality assessment algorithms is growing. Therefore, this paper introduces a novel no-reference image quality assessment algorithm for the objective evaluation of authentically distorted images. Specifically, we apply a broad spectrum of local and global feature vectors to characterize the variety of authentic distortions. Among the employed local features, the statistics of popular local feature descriptors, such as SURF, FAST, BRISK, or KAZE, are proposed for NR-IQA; other features are also introduced to boost the performances of local features. The proposed method was compared to 12 other state-of-the-art algorithms on popular and accepted benchmark datasets containing RGB images with authentic distortions (CLIVE, KonIQ-10k, and SPAQ). The introduced algorithm significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art in terms of correlation with human perceptual quality ratings.
In social networks, users often engage with like-minded peers. This selective exposure to opinions can result in echo chambers, i.e., political fragmentation and social polarization of user interactions. When echo chambers form, opinions have a bimodal distribution with two peaks on opposite sides. In polarizing issues without a correct side, radical positions contain a degree of misinformation and a neutral consensus is preferable for promoting discourse. In this paper, we use an established opinion dynamics model that leads to the formation of echo chambers. Then, we propose a self-feedback mechanism to disallow the formation of echo chambers. The feedback mechanism, random dynamical nudge (RDN), is well-adjusted noisy input with the main purpose of depolarizing the collective opinions and does not require surveillance of every person's opinions. Our computational results suggest that the RDN disallows the formation of echo chambers and leads to a unimodal distribution of opinions centered around the neutral consensus. Furthermore, the RDN is effective in depolarizing existing echo chambers as well as preventing their formation. Due to the simple and robust nature of the RDN, social media networks might be able to implement a version of this self-feedback mechanism to prevent the segregation of online communities on complex social issues.
In the present study, in the first step, we introduce and study the newly-discovered site of Kalateh Mohammad Laleh in Sarbisheh plain and then by combining this collection and the lithic artifacts of the other four sites, namely Kiaram, Khunik, Kalateh Shour and Chehel Dokhtaran, we investigate the main characteristics of their lithic artifacts. Accordingly, in the two collections of Kiaram and Khunik, an industry similar to the Zagros Mousterian industry can be observed and in the other two collections of Kalateh Shour and Chehel Dokhtaran, the dominant Levallois Technique can be traced. Although our studies show a relative correlation between the Kalateh Mohammad Laleh collection and the two collections of Kiaram and Khunik, the sampling error of surface collections should not be ignored. This, along with the lack of stratigraphic evidence, poses serious challenges for achieving a clear picture of the lithic industries of east the Iranian plateau
Three sets of exact solutions of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation of a particle that is trapped in a spherical box with a moving boundary wall have been calculated analytically. For these solutions, some physical quantities such as time-dependent average energy, average force, disequilibrium, quantum similarity measures as well as quantum similarity index have been investigated. Moreover, these solutions are compared concerning these physical quantities. The time-correlation functions among these solutions are investigated.
Background: As the world has challenged/argued with the Covid-19 pandemic over the last two years, there has been an increase in vaccine misinformation. Although immunity against Covid-19 infection is limited to 4-6 months and requires at least three doses of vaccine to be maximally effective, the current vaccination campaign in industrialized countries shows that vaccinated citizens experience greater immunological protection against severe forms of the disease than unvaccinated citizens. Methodology: A perusal of the literature was performed in order to reconstruct the communication methods applied in the managing of the Covid-19 pandemic; the management of the current pandemic was compared with the management of another scourge of the past: poliomyelitis. Results/ Discussion: In order to raise public awareness on public health issues, it is essential that governments and institutions communicate scientific data to all sections of the population in an unambiguous way. In this sense, it is essential to apply “prebunking”, which is a layered defense system available to society that prevents misinformation before it is spread. This is to avoid the subsequent debunking of false information, which generates insecurity and fuels fears. Belief in medical misinformation represents a meaningful problem for public health efforts to fight Covid-19 through vaccination. Conclusion/ Perspectives: In this sense an example of proper management of one of the many epidemics of the recent past, poliomyelitis, should make us reflect on the effectiveness of past approaches. This testimony from the past can provide us with food for thought regarding how to face the present Covid-19 pandemic and to prepare for the future. Certainly, it shows us how the awful pandemics/epidemics from the past was handled and finally overcome, despite perceived risk and vaccine hesitancy.
Contemporary bioinformatic and chemoinformatic capabilities hold promise to reshape knowledge management, analysis and interpretation of data in natural products research. Currently, reliance on a disparate set of non-standardized, insular, and specialized databases presents a series of challenges for data access, both within the discipline and for integration and interoperability between related fields. The fundamental elements of exchange are referenced structure-organism pairs that establish relationships between distinct molecular structures and the living organisms from which they were identified. Consolidating and sharing such information via an open platform has strong transformative potential for natural products research and beyond. This is the ultimate goal of the newly established LOTUS initiative, which has now completed the first steps toward the harmonization, curation, validation and open dissemination of 750,000+ referenced structure-organism pairs. LOTUS data is hosted on Wikidata and regularly mirrored on https://lotus.naturalproducts.net. Data sharing within the Wikidata framework broadens data access and interoperability, opening new possibilities for community curation and evolving publication models. Furthermore, embedding LOTUS data into the vast Wikidata knowledge graph will facilitate new biological and chemical insights. The LOTUS initiative represents an important advancement in the design and deployment of a comprehensive and collaborative natural products knowledge base.
The use of medication is effective in managing metabolic syndrome (MetS), but side effects have led to increased attention on using nutraceuticals and supplements. Astaxanthin shows positive effects in reducing the risk of MetS, but results from individual studies are inconclusive. This systematic review summarizes the latest evidence of astaxanthin in adults with risk factors of MetS. A systematic search of English and Chinese randomized controlled trials in 14 electronic databases from inception to 30 June 2021 was performed. Two reviewers independently screened the titles and abstracts, and conducted full-text review, quality appraisal, and extraction of data. Risk of bias was assessed by PEDro. A total of 7 studies met the inclusion criteria with 321 participants. Six studies were rated to have excellent methodological quality, while the remaining one was rated at good. Results show marginal effects of astaxanthin on reduction in total cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, and a significant attenuating effect on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Further robust evidence is needed to examine the effects of astaxanthin in adults at risk of MetS.
Community resilience increases a place-based community's capacity to respond and adapt to life-changing environmental dynamics like climate change and natural disasters. In this paper, we aim to support Earth science's understanding of the challenges communities face when applying Earth science data to their resilience efforts. First, we highlight the relevance of Earth science in community resilience. Then, we summarize these challenges of applying Earth science data to community resilience: Inequity in the scientific process, Gaps in data ethics and governance, A mismatch of scale and focus, and Lack of actionable information for communities. Lastly, we offer the following recommendations to Earth science as starting points to address the challenges presented: Integrate community into the scientific data pathway, Build capacity to bridge science and place-based community needs, Reconcile openness with self-governance, and Improve access to data tools to support community resilience.
Our human evolutionary journey reached a crescendo shortly after the Last Glacial Maximum. The world warmed, landscape carrying capacities soared, and sea levels rebounded. In Arabia, the period between approximately 10 and 8 ka is known as the Holocene Climatic Optimum. Refugees of the last ice age who endured in isolated refugia now found themselves living on landscapes with abundant freshwater and biomass. Those flourishing within the Gulf basin transformed into an advanced Neolithic society who developed seafaring, long distance trade networks, aquatic subsistence, and villages with public architecture. Between 10 and 9 ka, humans genetically modified aurochs (wild cattle) into their domesticated form, Bos taurus. Cattle herders soon swept across the interior of Arabia. These Neolithic pastoralists developed a revolutionary genetic mutation that enabled adults to digest lactose sugars in milk. During the Middle Holocene, environmental calamities beset human groups living in both the Gulf Oasis and Arabian interior. As the waters of the Indian Ocean penetrated the Gulf basin and reached their high stand, Neolithic settlements around the shoreline were abandoned. In the interior, century-long mega-droughts choked off the expansive grasslands. Abrupt climate change destabilized the savanna and set loose into the air millions of metric tons of sand and dust. Oral traditions may recount tales of Arabia’s prehistoric cattle herders eradicated by dust storms and its intrepid seafarers decimated by a cyclone.
The study of the $$\mathbf{4}$$ 4 -tachyon off-shell string scattering amplitude $$ A_4 (s, t, u) $$ A 4 ( s , t , u ) , based on Witten’s open string field theory, reveals the existence of poles in the s -channel and associated to a continuum of complex “spins” J . The latter J belong to the Regge trajectories in the t , u channels which are defined by $$ - J (t) = - 1 - { 1\over 2 } t = \beta (t)= { 1\over 2 } + i \lambda $$ - J ( t ) = - 1 - 1 2 t = β ( t ) = 1 2 + i λ ; $$ - J (u) = - 1 - { 1\over 2 } u = \gamma (u) = { 1\over 2 } - i \lambda $$ - J ( u ) = - 1 - 1 2 u = γ ( u ) = 1 2 - i λ , with $$ \lambda = real$$ λ = r e a l . These values of $$ \beta ( t ), \gamma (u) $$ β ( t ) , γ ( u ) given by $${ 1\over 2 } \pm i \lambda $$ 1 2 ± i λ , respectively, coincide precisely with the location of the critical line of nontrivial Riemann zeta zeros $$ \zeta (z_n = { 1\over 2 } \pm i \lambda _n) = 0$$ ζ ( z n = 1 2 ± i λ n ) = 0 . It is argued that despite assigning angular momentum (spin) values J to the off-shell mass values of the external off-shell tachyons along their Regge trajectories is not physically meaningful, their net zero-spin value $$ J ( k_1 ) + J (k_2) = J ( k_3 ) + J ( k_4 ) = 0$$ J ( k 1 ) + J ( k 2 ) = J ( k 3 ) + J ( k 4 ) = 0 is physically meaningful because the on-shell tachyon exchanged in the s -channel has a physically well defined zero-spin. We proceed to prove that if there were nontrivial zeta zeros (violating the Riemann Hypothesis) outside the critical line $$ Real~ z = 1/2 $$ R e a l z = 1 / 2 (but inside the critical strip) these putative zeros $$ don't$$ d o n ′ t correspond to any poles of the $$\mathbf{4}$$ 4 -tachyon off-shell string scattering amplitude $$ A_4 (s, t, u) $$ A 4 ( s , t , u ) . We finalize with some concluding remarks on the zeros of sinh ( z ) given by $$ z = 0 + i 2 \pi n$$ z = 0 + i 2 π n , continuous spins, non-commutative geometry and other relevant topics.
Meiotic drive supergenes are complexes of alleles at linked loci that together subvert Mendelian segregation resulting in preferential transmission. In males, the most common mechanism of drive involves the disruption of sperm bearing one of a pair of alternative alleles. While at least two loci are important for male drive- the driver and the target- linked modifiers can enhance drive, creating selection pressure to suppress recombination. In this work, we investigate the evolution and genomic consequences of an autosomal, multilocus, male meiotic drive system, Segregation Distorter (SD) in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. In African populations, the predominant SD chromosome variant, SD-Mal, is characterized by two overlapping, paracentric inversions on chromosome arm 2R and nearly perfect (~100%) transmission. We study the SD-Mal system in detail, exploring its components, chromosomal structure, and evolutionary history. Our findings reveal a recent chromosome-scale selective sweep mediated by strong epistatic selection for haplotypes carrying Sd, the main driving allele, and one or more factors within the double inversion. While most SD-Mal chromosomes are homozygous lethal, SD-Mal haplotypes can recombine with other, complementing haplotypes via crossing over, and with wildtype chromosomes via gene conversion. SD-Mal chromosomes have nevertheless accumulated lethal mutations, excess non-synonymous mutations, and excess transposable element insertions. Therefore, SD-Mal haplotypes evolve as a small, semi-isolated subpopulation with a history of strong selection. These results may explain the evolutionary turnover of SD haplotypes in different populations around the world, and have implications for supergene evolution broadly.
Since Antiquity, votive offerings were deposited in temples dedicated to deities in order to fulfil a special request of a supplicant. Later, in Orthodox churches, votive offerings entered in the form of anatomical ex-voto or tamata, metallic effigies that realistically represented the disease-affected portion of the body. In this paper, we show four tamata from eighteenth–nineteenth century identified in the museum of the Orthodox monastery of Floresti (Romania); votive offerings that represent ocular pathologies. Even if the supplicants did not have a medical background and often did not fully understand their diseases, the votive offerings demonstrate their ability to observe pathological changes, at the same time emphasising the importance of their faith in the healing process.
Artificial intelligence applications within the geosciences are becoming increasingly common, yet there are still many challenges involved in adapting established techniques to geoscience data sets. Applications in the realm of volcanic hazards assessment show great promise for addressing such challenges. Here, we describe a Jupyter Notebook we developed that ingests real-time Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data streams from the EarthCube CHORDS (Cloud-Hosted Real-time Data Services for the geosciences) portal TZVOLCANO, applies unsupervised learning algorithms to perform automated data quality control (“noise reduction”), and explores autonomous detection of unusual volcanic activity using a neural network. The TZVOLCANO CHORDS portal streams real-time GNSS positioning data in 1[Formula: see text]s intervals from the TZVOLCANO network, which monitors the active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai in Tanzania, through UNAVCO’s real-time GNSS data services. UNAVCO’s real-time data services provide near-real-time positions processed by the Trimble Pivot system. The positioning data (latitude, longitude and height) are imported into the Jupyter Notebook presented in this paper in user-defined time spans. The positioning data are then collected in sets by the Jupyter Notebook and processed to extract a useful calculated variable in preparation for the machine learning algorithms, of which we choose the vector magnitude for further processing. Unsupervised K-means and Gaussian Mixture machine learning algorithms are then utilized to locate and remove data points (“filter”) that are likely caused by noise and unrelated to volcanic signals. We find that both the K-means and Gaussian Mixture machine learning algorithms perform well at identifying regions of high noise within tested GNSS data sets. The filtered data are then used to train an artificial intelligence neural network that predicts volcanic deformation. Our Jupyter Notebook has promise to be used for detecting potentially hazardous volcanic activity in the form of rapid vertical or horizontal displacement of the Earth’s surface.
Due to the sheer number of contaminated sites, bioavailability-based measurement and modelling of toxicity is used to triage response; despite advances, both remain relatively cumbersome. Cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) are two of the most toxic and globally prevalent pollutants, disproportionately impacting disadvantaged communities. Here we demonstrate the use of high throughput lights-on bioreporter technology to measure both speciation and toxicity. The organism's response is fit-for-purpose to parameterize the Biotic Ligand Model used in setting environmental Water Quality Criteria and risk assessment of aquatic ecotoxicity. Toxicity endpoints for analogous Cd and Pb models reported in literature average 71st and 44th rank-percentile sensitivity of Genus Mean Acute Values for acute toxicity (i.e., insensitive) in comparison to the bioreporter, the unique dual-mode measurement ability of which can predict toxicity endpoints from below the 5th percentile up to the 50th rank-percentile. These results are extensible to other reporters, paving the way to cost-efficient environmental risk assessment of aquatic ecotoxicity for a wide range of priority toxic pollutants.
Generally adopted strategies for enhancing the photocatalytic activity are aimed at tuning the visible light response, the exposed crystal facets, and the nanocrystal shape. Here, we present a different approach for designing efficient photocatalysts displaying a substrate-specific reactivity upon defect engineering. The platinized, defective anisotropic brookite TiO2 photocatalysts are tested for alcohol photoreforming showing up to an 11-fold increase in methanol oxidation rate, compared with the pristine one, while presenting much lower ethanol or isopropanol specific oxidation rates. We demonstrate that the substrate-specific alcohol oxidation and hydrogen evolution reactions are tightly related, and when the former is increased, the latter is boosted. The reduced anisotropic brookite shows up to 18-fold higher specific photoactivity with respect to anatase and brookite with isotropic nanocrystals. Advanced in situ characterizations and theoretical investigations reveal that controlled engineering over oxygen vacancies and lattice strain produces large electron polarons hosting the substrate-specific active sites for alcohol photo-oxidation.
Starting with a different action and following a different procedure than the construction of strings with dynamical tensions described by Guendelman [1], a variational procedure of our action leads to a coupled nonlinear system of D+4 partial differential equations for the D string coordinates Xμ and the quartet of scalar fields φ1,φ2,ϕ,T, including the dilaton ϕ(σ) and the tension T(σ) field. Trivial solutions to this system of complicated equations lead to a constant tension and to the standard string equations of motion. One of the most relevant features of our findings is that the Weyl invariance of the traditional Polyakov string is traded for the invariance under area-preserving diffeomorphisms. The final section is devoted to the physics of maximal proper forces (acceleration), minimal length within the context of Born's Reciprocal Relativity theory [6] and to the Rindler world sheet description of accelerated open and closed strings from a very different approach and perspective than the one undertaken by [7].
In 1987, NASA sponsored an international workshop that inspired the Directory Interchange Format or DIF – a metadata format to enable “catalog interoperability”. The DIF formed the basis of the International Directory Network (IDN) and the Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) and included a set of science keywords. The primary intent was to catalog NASA Earth science and related data, but the keywords have been implemented in many different systems and adopted in varying ways by many different organizations around the world. This review provides an ethnographic examination of how the keywords have evolved and been managed and how they have been adopted over the last 35 years. It illustrates how semantic approaches have evolved over time and provides insights on how standards and associated processes can be sustained and adaptable. Ongoing institutional commitment is essential, but so is transparency and technical flexibility. Understanding and empowering the different roles involved in standards creation, maintenance, and use of standards as well as the services that standards enable is also critical. It is apparent that semantic representations need to be mindful of different contexts and carefully define verbs as well as nouns and categories. Understanding and representing relationships is central to interdisciplinary interoperability.
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104 members
Arkadiusz Jadczyk
  • Theoretical Physics
Vesselin Gueorguiev
  • Department of Physics
Thomas J. Buckholtz
  • Department of Physics
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Jon F. Wilkins
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http://ronininstitute.org/