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See detailTowards an Autonomous Vision-Based Unmanned Aerial System against Wildlife Poachers
Olivares Mendez, Miguel Angel UL; Fu, Changhong; Ludivig, Philippe et al

in Sensors (2015), 15(12), 29861

Poaching is an illegal activity that remains out of control in many countries. Based on the 2014 report of the United Nations and Interpol, the illegal trade of global wildlife and natural resources ... [more ▼]

Poaching is an illegal activity that remains out of control in many countries. Based on the 2014 report of the United Nations and Interpol, the illegal trade of global wildlife and natural resources amounts to nearly $213 billion every year, which is even helping to fund armed conflicts. Poaching activities around the world are further pushing many animal species on the brink of extinction. Unfortunately, the traditional methods to fight against poachers are not enough, hence the new demands for more efficient approaches. In this context, the use of new technologies on sensors and algorithms, as well as aerial platforms is crucial to face the high increase of poaching activities in the last few years. Our work is focused on the use of vision sensors on UAVs for the detection and tracking of animals and poachers, as well as the use of such sensors to control quadrotors during autonomous vehicle following and autonomous landing. [less ▲]

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See detailGuerre sainte? Non merci!
Scuto, Denis UL

Article for general public (2015)

Weekly column on contemporary history ("L'histoire du temps présent") in Luxembourg newspaper Tageblatt, here a historical perspective on terrorist attacks in Europe and United States since 2011

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See detailMaking Places. Zu den Räumen betreuter Kindheiten
Bollig, Sabine UL

Scientific Conference (2015, December 12)

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See detailImproved Predictions for Geotechnical Vibrations
Macijauskas, Darius UL

Doctoral thesis (2015)

In urban areas where the infrastructure is dense and construction of new structures is near existing and sensitive buildings, frequently vibrations, caused by human activities, occur. Generated waves in ... [more ▼]

In urban areas where the infrastructure is dense and construction of new structures is near existing and sensitive buildings, frequently vibrations, caused by human activities, occur. Generated waves in the soil may adversely affect surrounding buildings. These vibrations have to be predicted a priori by using currently available knowledge of the soil dynamics. Current research, conducted by Deltares research institute, showed that the reliability of methods for prediction of man-made vibrations is disappointingly low. Therefore the models for vibrations in the soil should be improved in order to get more accurate predictions. The main aim of this thesis is to increase the knowledge on dynamic soil behaviour with respect to the fundamental geotechnical aspects of the soil, like non-viscous damping, inhomogeneity, anisotropy, variable degree of saturation, etc. and to give an improved prediction method. The scientific investigations of this thesis started with the following setup: an oscillating plate on an elastic, homogeneous and isotropic half-space, where the plate oscillates harmonically in vertical direction and the soil is unsaturated. In this way, the geotechnical aspects have been left aside in order to check first whether it is possible to predict the vibration amplitudes of the oscillating plate and of the soil surface, without additional complexities. This setting allowed to compare the present analytical methods with the results, obtained from the finite element method (FEM) calculations, and showed that the analytical methods have their limitations. Therefore the wave-field near an oscillating plate had to be investigated more carefully. Unfortunately the state of the art in soil dynamics is such that only the particle vibration velocities are measured without knowing which part of the velocities/vibrations belongs to which type of basic wave (compressional, shear or Rayleigh wave). Therefore first of all, a technique to decompose the measured signal into its basic waves was developed. This new technique showed remarkably that all three basic waves have phase shifts and these phase shifts are all different from each other. The decomposition technique is an important tool for researching soil dynamics. Also a qualitative evaluation of the energy transmission between the basic waves near the vibration source was given, which showed that the R-wave energy starts at zero just at the source and grows in the near-field zone due to an energy transmission (body waves are transferring energy to the R-wave). This means that even without uncertainties in the soil body, there is a lack of understanding of the behaviour of the different waves. A real field test is performed with a shaker on a soft peaty site in the Netherlands, as an attempted to replicate the FE model experiments. It showed the limitations of the analytical methods and highlighted the indispensability of the FEM. Still, for engineering purposes, an improved analytical method is suggested, which is able to predict the geotechnical vibrations with good accuracy. Herein, one of the fundamental aspects, the material damping, was used and a hypothesis was made, that with a more correct physical model of the soil material damping, the vibration predictions with FEM can be improved. The 1D frictional damping model, first suggested by Van Baars (2011), was extended for the 3D and incorporated into the FEM software Plaxis as a User Defined Soil Material model. The results are very interesting scientifically, but do not give much better results as the already existing Rayleigh damping model. [less ▲]

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See detailSkalierungen des Kindeswohls - fraktale Narrative zwischen Recht und Moral
Marthaler, Thomas UL

Scientific Conference (2015, December 11)

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See detailThe welfare impacts of an immigration amnesty: how drastic could they be?
Machado Carneiro, Joël UL

Scientific Conference (2015, December 11)

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See detailDistribution Network Line Protection in the Presence of Distributed Generation
Margossian, Harag UL

Doctoral thesis (2015)

The evolution of the distribution network from a passive grid with unidirectional power flows to, in the presence of distributed generation (DGs), an active grid with bidirectional power flows can lead to ... [more ▼]

The evolution of the distribution network from a passive grid with unidirectional power flows to, in the presence of distributed generation (DGs), an active grid with bidirectional power flows can lead to some technical challenges in its operation as well as some opportunities for greater control and grid support. This dissertation studies the impact of high levels of penetration of DGs into the power system on the operation of distribution network line protection. The contribution of DGs during faults results in varying short circuit current levels that are hard to predict. This complicates the design of distribution network line protection. If the DGs are located in between the protection device and the fault, the device sees a lower current than it would see in the absence of the DGs. Conversely, if they are connected upstream of the device, the device sees a higher current than before. This means that the reliability, selectivity and speed of the protection devices can be negatively or positively affected. This dissertation analyzes what can be expected from the DGs and how the protection devices themselves can be enhanced in order to avoid these potential problems. In the planning stage, it is possible to control the outputs of DGs during faults in a way that enhances the operation of the protection devices instead of hampering it. This can be done by enforcing regulations through distribution network grid codes. There are two main grid code requirements that directly impact the fault current levels in the network: fault ride through requirements that specify how long and for what voltages the DGs need to remain connected and dynamic voltage support curves that regulate their reactive current output during faults. From these requirements, three parameters are of particular interest: the voltage threshold above which the DGs need to remain connected, the maximum current that they should be capable of producing and the maximum reactive current that they are required to produce below a certain voltage. Using these three parameters, it is possible to control the fault current levels in the network and consequently increase the maximum amount of DGs that can be connected, without endangering the operation of the protection system. In the operating stage, it is possible to enhance the protection devices themselves so that they can deal with the varying fault current levels. Here, adaptive protection is considered. By gathering information about the changes in the network, including the status of switches and DGs and changing the settings of the protection relays accordingly, the reliability, selectivity and speed of the protection system can be maintained while increasing its complexity and cost. To get the information needed from the network, a modified state estimation is proposed. The distribution network is characterized by low observability due to the low number of measurements available. For this reason, load estimates and zero injection buses are added as measurements. To account for the additional uncertainty introduced by the presence of DGs, information about the DGs and their controls are used to add additional measurements that support the state estimation. When calculating the fault current levels in the network to choose the protection relay settings, it is important to correctly account for the fault contributions of inverter based DGs that represent a significant proportion of DGs connected to the distribution network. Unlike synchronous and asynchronous generators, inverter based DGs have a controlled current output during faults. By using an iterative process where the outputs of inverter based DGs are changed based on the calculated voltage at their terminals, a more accurate calculation of the short circuit current levels can be made. Employing these methods in the planning and operating stages, it will be possible to increase the amount of DGs that can be connected to the distribution network, while avoiding cascading faults, slower operation times and the unnecessary loss of load associated with protection mal-operation. The methods should be applied in reasonable steps and whenever needed in combination with each other to ensure the practicality of their implementation and to avoid unnecessary costs. [less ▲]

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See detailProbing electronic lifetimes and phonon anharmonicities in high-quality chemical vapor deposited graphene by magneto-Raman spectroscopy
Neumann, Christoph; Halpaap, Donatus; Reichardt, Sven UL et al

in Applied Physics Letters (2015), 107(23), 233105

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See detailSklaven und Freigelassene als religiöse Akteure
Binsfeld, Andrea UL

Speeches/Talks (2015)

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See detailOn four Koszul-Tate resolutions
Pistalo, Damjan UL; Poncin, Norbert UL

E-print/Working paper (2015)

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See detailBioinformatics Mining and Modeling Methods for the Identification of Disease Mechanisms in Neurodegenerative Disorders
Hofmann-Apitius, Matin; Ball, Gordon; Gebel, Stephan UL et al

in International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2015), 16(12), 29179-29206

Since the decoding of the Human Genome, techniques from bioinformatics, statistics, and machine learning have been instrumental in uncovering patterns in increasing amounts and types of different data ... [more ▼]

Since the decoding of the Human Genome, techniques from bioinformatics, statistics, and machine learning have been instrumental in uncovering patterns in increasing amounts and types of different data produced by technical profiling technologies applied to clinical samples, animal models, and cellular systems. Yet, progress on unravelling biological mechanisms, causally driving diseases, has been limited, in part due to the inherent complexity of biological systems. Whereas we have witnessed progress in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the area of neurodegenerative diseases has proved to be very challenging. This is in part because the aetiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer´s disease or Parkinson´s disease is unknown, rendering it very difficult to discern early causal events. Here we describe a panel of bioinformatics and modeling approaches that have recently been developed to identify candidate mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases based on publicly available data and knowledge. We identify two complementary strategies-data mining techniques using genetic data as a starting point to be further enriched using other data-types, or alternatively to encode prior knowledge about disease mechanisms in a model based framework supporting reasoning and enrichment analysis. Our review illustrates the challenges entailed in integrating heterogeneous, multiscale and multimodal information in the area of neurology in general and neurodegeneration in particular. We conclude, that progress would be accelerated by increasing efforts on performing systematic collection of multiple data-types over time from each individual suffering from neurodegenerative disease. The work presented here has been driven by project AETIONOMY; a project funded in the course of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI); which is a public-private partnership of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) and the European Commission (EC). [less ▲]

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See detailIEEE Global Telecommunications Conference
Masouros, Christos; Zheng, Gan UL

in Power Efficient Downlink Beamforming Optimization by Exploiting Interference (2015, December 06)

We propose a new beamforming scheme for the multi-user multiple-input-single-output (MISO) downlink channel. While conventional beamforming aims at the minimization of the transmit power subject to ... [more ▼]

We propose a new beamforming scheme for the multi-user multiple-input-single-output (MISO) downlink channel. While conventional beamforming aims at the minimization of the transmit power subject to suppressing interference to guarantee quality of service (QoS) constraints, here we exploit, rather than suppress, the constructive part of interference. By exploiting the power of constructively interfering symbols, the proposed scheme achieves the required QoS at lower transmit power. In addition, we derive an equivalent virtual multicast formulation for the proposed optimization to facilitate the design of a more efficient solver. Our simulation and analysis show significant power savings for small scale MISO downlink channels with the proposed optimization compared to conventional beamforming optimization. [less ▲]

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See detailVoIP Traffic Modelling using Gaussian Mixture Models, Gaussian Processes and Interactive Particle Algorithms
Simionovici, Ana-Maria UL; Tantar, Alexandru; Bouvry, Pascal UL et al

Scientific Conference (2015, December 05)

The paper deals with an important problem in the Voice over IP (VoIP) domain, namely being able to understand and predict the structure of traffic over some given period of time. VoIP traffic has a time ... [more ▼]

The paper deals with an important problem in the Voice over IP (VoIP) domain, namely being able to understand and predict the structure of traffic over some given period of time. VoIP traffic has a time variant structure, e.g. due to sudden peaks, daily or weekly moving patterns of activities, which in turn makes prediction difficult. Obtaining insights about the structure and trends of traffic has important implications when dealing with the nowadays cloud-deployed VoIP services. Prediction techniques are applied to anticipate the incoming traffic, for an efficient distribution of the traffic in the system and allocation of resources. The article looks in a critical manner at a series of machine learning techniques. We namely compare and review (using real VoIP data) the results obtained when using a Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM), Gaussian Processes (GP), and an evolutionary like Interacting Particle Systems based (sampling) algorithm. The experiments consider different setups as to verify the time variant traffic assumption. [less ▲]

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See detail"Il n'y a pas d'oranges fascistes...": Pour une histoire sociale de l'intégration européenne
Scuto, Denis UL

Article for general public (2015)

Weekly column on contemporary history ("L'histoire du temps présent") in Luxembourg newspaper Tageblatt, here on the social history of european integration

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See detailJudicial Deference as a Principle of GAL? The Case of the WTO
Fahner, Johannes Hendrik UL

Presentation (2015, December 04)

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See detailAnalysis of signal transduction pathways linking L-plastin Ser5 phosphorylation to breast cancer cell invasion
Lommel, Maiti UL

Doctoral thesis (2015)

The organisation of the actin cytoskeleton is regulated by abundant actin-binding proteins. Functional alteration of these proteins contributes to pathologies such as cancer where structural and ... [more ▼]

The organisation of the actin cytoskeleton is regulated by abundant actin-binding proteins. Functional alteration of these proteins contributes to pathologies such as cancer where structural and functional modifications of the actin cytoskeleton are linked to uncontrolled cell motility and signalling. The actin-bundling protein L-plastin has initially been detected in haematopoietic cells where it plays a role in the immune response. L-plastin is also ectopically expressed in several solid tumours and is often considered as a metastatic marker. L-plastin is known to be phosphorylated in vitro and in vivo with residue serine 5 (Ser5) being the major phosphorylation site. Ser5 phosphorylation increases the F-actin-binding and -bundling activity of L-plastin and regulates actin turn-over. Recent findings demonstrate that L-plastin Ser5 phosphorylation is crucial for invasion and metastasis formation. This research work has unravelled the signalling pathways leading to L-plastin Ser5 phosphorylation in breast cancer cells. Previously, protein kinase A, protein kinase C and phosphoinositide-3-kinase have been reported to play a role in L-plastin Ser5 phosphorylation depending on the cell type and environment. This work however reveals that RSK kinases are the predominant kinases responsible for L-plastin Ser5 phosphorylation in breast cancer cells. In vitro kinase assays revealed that RSK1 and RSK2 are able to directly phosphorylate L-plastin on Ser5 and a whole genome microarray analysis pointed to an involvement of the ERK/MAPK pathway in this event. The involvement of this pathway was consolidated by activation and inhibition studies as well as by siRNA-mediated knockdowns. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that L-plastin Ser5 phosphorylation occurs via the downstream ERK/MAPK pathway kinases, RSK1 and RSK2. Moreover, a computational modelling approach enabled us to show that RSK is the most important activator of L-plastin in breast cancer cell lines compared to other previously identified kinases. We performed migration and invasion assays which showed that RSK knockdown, besides reducing L-plastin Ser5 phosphorylation, also impaired breast cancer cell migration and invasion. The identification of a novel substrate of RSK kinases whose phosphorylation is important for cancer cell invasion underlines the importance of RSK in cancer progression and highlights RSK as a promising drug target in certain invasive carcinomas. [less ▲]

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