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See detailHealth versus wealth: Saving lives or saving the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Lesschaeve, Christophe UL; Glaurdic, Josip UL; Mochtak, Michal UL

in Public Opinion Quarterly (in press)

Efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis were characterized by a difficult trade-off: the stringency of the lockdowns decreased the spread of the virus, but amplified the damage to the economy. In this study ... [more ▼]

Efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis were characterized by a difficult trade-off: the stringency of the lockdowns decreased the spread of the virus, but amplified the damage to the economy. In this study, we analyze public attitudes toward this trade-off on the basis of a survey and survey-embedded experiment of more than seven thousand respondents from Southeast Europe, collected in April and May 2020. The results show that public opinion generally favored saving lives even at a steep economic cost. However, the willingness to trade lives for the economy was greater when the heterogeneous health and economic consequences of lockdown policies for the young and the elderly were emphasized. Free market views also make people more acceptant of higher casualties, as do fears that the instituted measures will lead to a permanent expansion of government control over society. [less ▲]

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See detailMultilingual education in early years in Luxembourg: a paradigm shift?
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

in International Journal of Multilingualism (in press)

This paper is based in Luxembourg where a multilingual programme has been implemented in early childhood education in 2017. The research project examines the language use in daily communication and ... [more ▼]

This paper is based in Luxembourg where a multilingual programme has been implemented in early childhood education in 2017. The research project examines the language use in daily communication and literacy activities of educators and parents in day care centres, as reported by educators in two online-questionnaires. The findings show that the educators and parents use multiple languages when communicating, singing and reading with children in the centres. In addition to French and Luxembourgish which dominate, they use five other languages. Their reported multilingual practice reflects their beliefs that speaking and reading in several languages promotes language learning. However, while the programme is multilingual, a range of home languages are marginalised. The educators produce a language hierarchy in the centres which the parents reproduce. While collaboration with parents can be effective in bringing home languages into day care centres, educators need to be aware of language hierarchies and ideologies. [less ▲]

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See detailDigital Twins Are Not Monozygotic -- Cross-Replicating ADAS Testing in Two Industry-Grade Automotive Simulators
Borg, Markus; Ben Abdessalem (helali), Raja UL; Nejati, Shiva UL et al

in 2021 IEEE 14th International Conference on Software Testing, Validation and Verification (ICST) (in press)

The increasing levels of software- and data-intensive driving automation call for an evolution of automotive software testing. As a recommended practice of the Verification and Validation (V&V) process of ... [more ▼]

The increasing levels of software- and data-intensive driving automation call for an evolution of automotive software testing. As a recommended practice of the Verification and Validation (V&V) process of ISO/PAS 21448, a candidate standard for safety of the intended functionality for road vehicles, simulation-based testing has the potential to reduce both risks and costs. There is a growing body of research on devising test automation techniques using simulators for Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS). However, how similar are the results if the same test scenarios are executed in different simulators? We conduct a replication study of applying a Search-Based Software Testing (SBST) solution to a real-world ADAS (PeVi, a pedestrian vision detection system) using two different commercial simulators, namely, TASS/Siemens PreScan and ESI Pro-SiVIC. Based on a minimalistic scene, we compare critical test scenarios generated using our SBST solution in these two simulators. We show that SBST can be used to effectively and efficiently generate critical test scenarios in both simulators, and the test results obtained from the two simulators can reveal several weaknesses of the ADAS under test. However, executing the same test scenarios in the two simulators leads to notable differences in the details of the test outputs, in particular, related to (1) safety violations revealed by tests, and (2) dynamics of cars and pedestrians. Based on our findings, we recommend future V&V plans to include multiple simulators to support robust simulation-based testing and to base test objectives on measures that are less dependant on the internals of the simulators. [less ▲]

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See detailConFuzzius: A Data Dependency-Aware Hybrid Fuzzer for Smart Contracts
Ferreira Torres, Christof UL; Iannillo, Antonio Ken UL; Gervais, Arthur et al

in European Symposium on Security and Privacy, Vienna 7-11 September 2021 (2021, September)

Smart contracts are Turing-complete programs that are executed across a blockchain. Unlike traditional programs, once deployed, they cannot be modified. As smart contracts carry more value, they become ... [more ▼]

Smart contracts are Turing-complete programs that are executed across a blockchain. Unlike traditional programs, once deployed, they cannot be modified. As smart contracts carry more value, they become more of an exciting target for attackers. Over the last years, they suffered from exploits costing millions of dollars due to simple programming mistakes. As a result, a variety of tools for detecting bugs have been proposed. Most of these tools rely on symbolic execution, which may yield false positives due to over-approximation. Recently, many fuzzers have been proposed to detect bugs in smart contracts. However, these tend to be more effective in finding shallow bugs and less effective in finding bugs that lie deep in the execution, therefore achieving low code coverage and many false negatives. An alternative that has proven to achieve good results in traditional programs is hybrid fuzzing, a combination of symbolic execution and fuzzing. In this work, we study hybrid fuzzing on smart contracts and present ConFuzzius, the first hybrid fuzzer for smart contracts. ConFuzzius uses evolutionary fuzzing to exercise shallow parts of a smart contract and constraint solving to generate inputs that satisfy complex conditions that prevent evolutionary fuzzing from exploring deeper parts. Moreover, ConFuzzius leverages dynamic data dependency analysis to efficiently generate sequences of transactions that are more likely to result in contract states in which bugs may be hidden. We evaluate the effectiveness of ConFuzzius by comparing it with state-of-the-art symbolic execution tools and fuzzers for smart contracts. Our evaluation on a curated dataset of 128 contracts and a dataset of 21K real-world contracts shows that our hybrid approach detects more bugs than state-of-the-art tools (up to 23%) and that it outperforms existing tools in terms of code coverage (up to 69%). We also demonstrate that data dependency analysis can boost bug detection up to 18%. [less ▲]

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See detailHSM-based Key Management Solution for Ethereum Blockchain
Shbair, Wazen UL; Gavrilov, Eugene; State, Radu UL

in IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency, 3-6 May 2021 (2021, May 03)

The security of distributed applications backed by blockchain technology relies mainly on keeping the associated cryptographic keys (i.e. private keys) in well-protected storage. Since they are the unique ... [more ▼]

The security of distributed applications backed by blockchain technology relies mainly on keeping the associated cryptographic keys (i.e. private keys) in well-protected storage. Since they are the unique proof of ownership of the underlying digital assets. If the keys are stolen or lost, there is no way to recover the assets. The cold wallet is a good candidate for basic use cases, but it has a substantial challenge for more complex applications as it does not scale. Warm and hot wallets are more convenient options for blockchain-based solutions that aim to transact in a cloud environment. In this work, we focus on Hardware Security Module (HSM) based wallet. The HSM is the de-facto standard device designed to manage high-value cryptographic keys and to protect them against hacks. In this demonstration, we present an HSM-based working prototype that secures the entire life cycle of Ethereum public and private keys. [less ▲]

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See detailThEodorE: a Trace Checker for CPS Properties
Menghi, Claudio UL; Vigano, Enrico UL; Bianculli, Domenico UL et al

in Companion Proceedings of the 43rd International Conference on Software Engineering (2021, May)

ThEodorE is a trace checker for Cyber-Physical systems (CPS). It provides users with (i) a GUI editor for writing CPS requirements; (ii) an automatic procedure to check whether the requirements hold on ... [more ▼]

ThEodorE is a trace checker for Cyber-Physical systems (CPS). It provides users with (i) a GUI editor for writing CPS requirements; (ii) an automatic procedure to check whether the requirements hold on execution traces of a CPS. ThEodorE enables writing requirements using the Hybrid Logic of Signals (HLS), a novel, logic-based specification language to express CPS requirements. The trace checking procedure of ThEodorE reduces the problem of checking if a requirement holds on an execution trace to a satisfiability problem, which can be solved using off-the-shelf Satisfiability Modulo Theories (SMT) solvers. This artifact paper presents the tool support provided by ThEodorE. [less ▲]

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See detailLes langues dans les offres d'emploi au Luxembourg (1984-2019)
Pigeron-Piroth, Isabelle UL; Fehlen, Fernand UL

E-print/Working paper (2021)

À partir d’un échantillon d’offres d’emploi publiées dans le Luxemburger Wort, portant sur la période 1984-2019, cette étude décrit l’évolution des compétences linguistiques exigées ou souhaitées sur le ... [more ▼]

À partir d’un échantillon d’offres d’emploi publiées dans le Luxemburger Wort, portant sur la période 1984-2019, cette étude décrit l’évolution des compétences linguistiques exigées ou souhaitées sur le marché du travail du Luxembourg. Après une présentation contextuelle de la situation linguistique et de l’emploi au Luxembourg, l’analyse empirique des quelques 8 340 offres d’emploi de notre échantillon constitue le cœur de cette publication. Aux divers tableaux et graphiques illustrant notre propos s’ajoutent des décryptages de la sémantique utilisée dans les offres d’emploi publiées, utiles à la compréhension des besoins linguistiques dans un marché du travail plurilingue et international. [less ▲]

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See detailDesigning EMI lecturer training programmes: what and how
Deroey, Katrien UL

Scientific Conference (2021, April 08)

This workshop will provide insights into designing and delivering English Medium Instruction (EMI) lecturer training. Although universities have been slow to organize EMI lecturer support, an increasing ... [more ▼]

This workshop will provide insights into designing and delivering English Medium Instruction (EMI) lecturer training. Although universities have been slow to organize EMI lecturer support, an increasing awareness of the challenges faced by EMI lecturers and their students now appears to be boosting the demand for EMI lecturer training and support initiatives. Consequently, EAP practitioners can increasingly expect requests to design and deliver such programmes. However, the efficient design and delivery of EMI lecturing training and support is a complex challenge. First, the EMI context is very varied and initiatives should be adapted to the local cultural, educational, linguistic and institutional contexts (Herington, 2020; Martinez & Fernandes, 2020; Tuomainen, 2018). Second, most literature highlights the need for language, pedagogical and intercultural components (e.g. Fortanet Gómez, 2020). Third, we need to be sensitive to lecturers’ attitudes towards EMI and EMI training (Tsui, 2018). Fourth, there are practical considerations such as the timely provision of support (Guarda & Helm, 2017), promoting participation, facilitating learning transfer to lectures, and optimizing the support in view of what are often heterogeneous participant groups in terms of English proficiency, (EMI) lecturing experience and discipline (Ball & Lindsay, 2013). Finally, the design of these programmes typically needs to happen with very limited institutional resources, few (if any) published materials and relatively little published research on lecture discourse and EMI lecturer training. The workshop will start with an overview of published training initiatives with their reported successes and challenges (Deroey, 2021). Next, participants will work in small groups, brainstorming ideas for an EMI support programme based on a brief we have recently received at the multilingual University of Luxembourg Language Centre. Finally, these proposals will be discussed in the whole group and key ideas summarized to consolidate the insights gained. Ball, P., & Lindsay, D. (2013). Language demands and support for English-medium instruction in tertiary education. Learning from a specific context In A. Doiz, D. Lasagabaster, & J. M. Sierra (Eds.), English-medium instruction at universities: Global challenges (pp. 44-61). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. -Deroey, K. L. B. (2021). Lecturer training for English Medium Instruction: what and how? In B. D. Bond, A. & M. Evans (Ed.), Innovation, exploration and transformation. Proceedings of the 2019 BALEAP Conference. Reading: Garnet. -Fortanet Gómez, I. (2020). The dimensions of EMI in the international classroom: training teachers for the future university. In M. Del Mar Sánchez-Pérez (Ed.), Teacher training for English-medium instruction in higher education (pp. 1-20). Hershey: IGI Global. -Guarda, M., & Helm, F. (2017). A survey of lecturers’ needs and feedback on EMI training. In K. Ackerley, M. Guarda, & F. Helm (Eds.), Sharing perspectives on English-medium instruction (pp. 167-194). Bern: Peter Lang. -Herington, R. (2020). Observation as a tool to facilitate the professional development of teaching faculty involved in English as a Medium of Instruction: trainer and trainee perspectives. In M. L. Carrió-Pasto (Ed.), Internationalising Learning in Higher Education (pp. 65-82). Hershey: IGI Global. -Martinez, R., & Fernandes, K. (2020). Development of a teacher training course for English medium instruction for higher education professors in Brazil. In M. Del Mar Sánchez-Pérez (Ed.), Teacher Training for English-Medium Instruction in Higher Education (pp. 125-152). Hershey: IGI Global. -Tuomainen, S. (2018). Supporting non-native university lecturers with English-medium instruction. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education. 10(3), 230-242. -Tsui, C. (2018). Teacher efficacy: a case study of faculty beliefs in an English-medium instruction teacher training program. Taiwan Journal of TESOL, 15(1), 101-128. [less ▲]

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See detailDesigning and managing an online, personalised research writing course for postgraduates
Deroey, Katrien UL; Skipp, Jennifer

Scientific Conference (2021, April 08)

This paper describes and evaluates an online research article writing course at the University of Luxembourg. Participants were self-referred PhD students from different disciplines. The aim of the ten ... [more ▼]

This paper describes and evaluates an online research article writing course at the University of Luxembourg. Participants were self-referred PhD students from different disciplines. The aim of the ten-week course is to improve insight into the structural, stylistic and rhetorical features of research articles as well as the writing and publication process. It also provides tools for students to develop their own writing. We will situate our course rationale and design within the literature, then compare these to both the reality of managing and delivering the course online as well as participants’ feedback as reflected in 30 surveys. We will focus on the following results: • The practicability of including multiple pedagogical elements in an online course was challenging. We wanted to integrate both independent and collaborative work, production and reflection. However, results of the surveys and our own experience show that the multiplicity of elements was often seen as complex and difficult to manage and multiple submission deadlines problematic. • Students favoured working alone over working together and uptake of writing groups (Aitchison, 2009) was poor. Multi-disciplinary peer groups were, however, positively reviewed (cf. Hyland, 2012). • The flexibility of the online environment was seen as positive, yet many reported problems finding time to write. However, participants did see the benefit in having to write regularly. Tools of reflection did not score highly. • The personalisation of learning input scored highly in the survey, but this was time-consuming to implement. Whilst instructor-student consultations were offered to further personalise feedback, these had a low uptake (8/30). • We wanted to create a course which included guidance on the writing and publication process (Starfield & Paltridge, 2016) as well as increased genre awareness (Swales, 1990) to prepare students for publication. However, tasks on language and structure were rated more useful by more students than this content. • More participants commented on the benefit of working through their language issues in live sessions over learning how to address language issues through the corpus-tools that were integrated into the course (Charles, 2018). Through sharing this information, we hope to generate a discussion with the audience about ways to optimise online writing courses and manage some of the problems associated with online delivery. Aitchison, C. (2009). Writing groups for doctoral education. Studies in Higher Education, 34(8), 905-916. Charles, M. (2018) Corpus-assisted editing for doctoral students: More than just concordancing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 36, 15-26. Charles, M. (2018). Using do-it-yourself-corpora in EAP: A tailor-made resource for teachers and students. Teaching English for Specific and Academic Purposes, 6(2), 217-224. Hyland, K. (2012). Disciplinary Identities: Individuality and Community in Academic Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nesi, H. & Gardener, S. (2012). Genres across the disciplines: Student writing in higher education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Paltridge, B., & Starfield, S. (2016). Getting published in academic journals: Navigating the publication process. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Swales, J. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [less ▲]

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See detailRegional Development Banks in the World Economy
Howarth, David UL; Clifton, Judith; Diaz Fuentes, Daniel

Book published by Oxford University Press (2021)

Regional development banks (RDB) have become increasingly important in the world economy, but have also been relatively under-researched to date. This timely volume addresses this lack of attention by ... [more ▼]

Regional development banks (RDB) have become increasingly important in the world economy, but have also been relatively under-researched to date. This timely volume addresses this lack of attention by providing a comprehensive, comparative, and empirically informed analysis of their origins, evolution, and contemporary role in the world economy through to the second decade of the twenty-first century. In Regional Development Banks in the World Economy, the editors provide an analytical framework that includes a revised categorisation of RDB by geographic operation and function. Part one offers detailed analyses of the origins, evolution, and contemporary role of the major RDB, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Central American Bank, the Andean Development Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Part two offers comparative analyses of key topics on RDB, examining their initial design and their changing business models, their shifting role in promoting policies supported by the United States as hegemon and the private sector. The volume ends with a critical reflection on the role played by RDB to date and a strong defence of the need for these banks in an increasingly complex world economy. [less ▲]

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See detailRegional Development Banks and the promotion of Public-Private Partnerships: the EIB as a case study
Howarth, David UL; Liebe, Moritz

in Clifton, Judith; Diaz Fuentes, Daniel; Howarth, David (Eds.) Regional Banks in the World Economy (2021)

Most Regional Development Banks in the world have engaged in the increased promotion and use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). To explain this rapid and ubiquitous spread of Public Private ... [more ▼]

Most Regional Development Banks in the world have engaged in the increased promotion and use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). To explain this rapid and ubiquitous spread of Public Private Partnership promotion and use, this chapter argues that Regional Development Banks can be seen to have acted as agents engaged in slippage. Most—if not all—of their shareholding national governments and loan recipient countries had limited or no prior experience with and knowledge of PPP financing. This activism on the part of Regional Development Banks can also be seen in both Multilateral Development Bank and National Development Bank promotion of PPPs and reinforces wider claims in the literature. More generally, Gavin and Rodrik (1995) argue that International Financial Institutions (IFIs) bolster their long-acquired skills in technical and information expertise in order to remain relevant—a claim that this chapter explores with regard to PPPs in particular. The promotion of PPPs should also be seen in terms of Regional Development Banks operating as agents to move beyond the correction of market failure towards the creation and/or shaping of markets through a particular financing mechanism and with specific market actors (Mazzucato and Penna 2016: 305). [less ▲]

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See detailTransition from traditional to hybrid to online courses for pre-service elementary school teachers at the University of Luxembourg: STEAM integrated approach in the project MathEduc @ BScE
Kreis, Yves UL; Haas, Ben

Scientific Conference (2021, April 07)

During the past year, technology has started enabling new forms of teaching and learning in higher education in Luxemburg. Thus, to be able to work more closely with elementary school pre-service teachers ... [more ▼]

During the past year, technology has started enabling new forms of teaching and learning in higher education in Luxemburg. Thus, to be able to work more closely with elementary school pre-service teachers, we shifted our mathematics education course during the past years to flipped classroom approaches and worked with synchronous and asynchronous teaching on- and off-campus modes. Furthermore, due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to shift our teaching to entirely online flipped classroom approaches together with outdoor mathematical trails with STEAM integrated assessments. This final shift to a fully online flipped classroom, with self-paced, student-centred teachings and learnings, showed strong positive effects on pre-service elementary school teachers in mathematics teaching. In this presentation, we will outline results of this transition period and describe results from different studies. [less ▲]

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See detailThe STEAM skilled child: How children can learn to apply STEAM skills to their living environment
Haas, Ben; Kreis, Yves UL; Lavicza, Zsolt

Scientific Conference (2021, April 01)

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See detailTaming Android App Crashes
Kong, Pingfan UL

Doctoral thesis (2021)

App crashes constitute an important deterrence for app adoption in the android ecosystem. Yet, Android app developers are challenged by the limitation of test automation tools to ensure that released apps ... [more ▼]

App crashes constitute an important deterrence for app adoption in the android ecosystem. Yet, Android app developers are challenged by the limitation of test automation tools to ensure that released apps are free from crashes. In recent years, researchers have proposed various automation approaches in the literature. Unfortunately, the practical value of these approaches have not yet been confirmed by practitioner adoption. Furthermore, existing approaches target a variety of test needs which are relevant to different sets of problems, without being specific to app crashes. Resolving app crashes implies a chain of actions starting with their reproduction, followed by the associated fault localization, before any repair can be attempted. Each action however, is challenged by the specificity of Android. In particular, some specific mechanisms (e.g., callback methods, multiple entry points, etc.) of Android apps require Android-tailored crash-inducing bug locators. Therefore, to tame Android app crashes, practitioners are in need of automation tools that are adapted to the challenges that they pose. In this respect, a number of building blocks must be designed to deliver a comprehensive toolbox. First, the community lacks well-defined, large-scale datasets of real-world app crashes that are reproducible to enable the inference of valuable insights, and facilitate experimental validations of literature approaches. Second, although bug localization from crash information is relatively mature in the realm of Java, state-of-the-art techniques are generally ineffective for Android apps due to the specificity of the Android system. Third, given the recurrence of crashes and the substantial burden that they incur for practitioners to resolve them, there is a need for methods and techniques to accelerate fixing, for example, towards implementing Automated Program Repair (APR). Finally, the above chain of actions is for curative purposes. Indeed, this "reproduction, localization, and repair" chain aims at correcting bugs in released apps. Preventive approaches, i.e., approaches that help developers to reduce the likelihood of releasing crashing apps, are still absent. In the Android ecosystem, developers are challenged by the lack of detailed documentation about the complex Android framework API they use to develop their apps. For example, developers need support for precisely identifying which exceptions may be triggered by APIs. Such support can further alleviate the challenge related to the fact that the condition under which APIs are triggered are often not documented. In this context, the present dissertation aims to tame Android crashes by contributing to the following four building blocks: Systematic Literature Review on automated app testing approaches: We aim at providing a clear overview of the state-of-the-art works around the topic of Android app testing, in an attempt to highlight the main trends, pinpoint the main methodologies applied and enumerate the challenges faced by the Android testing approaches as well as the directions where the community effort is still needed. To this end, we conduct a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) during which we eventually identified 103 relevant research papers published in leading conferences and journals until 2016. Our thorough examination of the relevant literature has led to several findings and highlighted the challenges that Android testing researchers should strive to address in the future. After that, we further propose a few concrete research directions where testing approaches are needed to solve recurrent issues in app updates, continuous increases of app sizes, as well as the Android ecosystem fragmentation. Locating Android app crash-inducing bugs: We perform an empirical study on 500 framework-specific crashes from an open benchmark. This study reveals that 37 percent of the crash types are related to bugs that are outside the crash stack traces. Moreover, Android programs are a mixture of code and extra-code artifacts such as the Manifest file. The fact that any artifact can lead to failures in the app execution creates the need to position the localization target beyond the code realm. We propose ANCHOR, a two-phase suspicious bug location suggestion tool. ANCHOR specializes in finding crash-inducing bugs outside the stack trace. ANCHOR is lightweight and source code independent since it only requires the crash message and the apk file to locate the fault. Experimental results, collected via cross-validation and in-the-wild dataset evaluation, show that ANCHOR is effective in locating Android framework-specific crashing faults. Mining Android app crash fix templates: We propose a scalable approach, CraftDroid, to mine crash fixes by leveraging a set of 28 thousand carefully reconstructed app lineages from app markets, without the need for the app source code or issue reports. We develop a replicative testing approach that locates fixes among app versions which output different runtime logs with the exact same test inputs. Overall, we have mined 104 relevant crash fixes, further abstracted 17 fine-grained fix templates that are demonstrated to be effective for patching crashed apks. Finally, we release ReCBench, a benchmark consisting of 200 crashed apks and the crash replication scripts, which the community can explore for evaluating generated crash-inducing bug patches. Documenting framework APIs' unchecked exceptions: We propose Afuera, an automated tool that profiles Android framework APIs and provides information on when they can potentially trigger unchecked exceptions. Afuera relies on a static-analysis approach and a dedicated algorithm to examine the entire Android framework. With Afuera, we confirmed that 26739 unique unchecked exception instances may be triggered by invoking 5467 (24%) Android framework APIs. Afuera further analyzes the Android framework to inform about which parameter(s) of an API method can potentially be the cause of the triggering of an unchecked exception. To that end, Afuera relies on fully automated instrumentation and taint analysis techniques. Afuera is run to analyze 50 randomly sampled APIs to demonstrate its effectiveness.Evaluation results suggest that Afuera has perfect true positive rate. However, Afuera is affected by false negatives due to the limitation of state-of-the-art taint analysis techniques. 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See detailBurden of rare variants in synaptic genes in patients with severe tinnitus: An exome based extreme phenotype study
Amanat, Sana; Gallego-Martinez, Alvaro; Sollini, Joseph et al

in EBioMedicine (2021), 66(103309),

Background: tinnitus is a heterogeneous condition associated with audio logical and/or mental disorders. Chronic, severe tinnitus is reported in 1% of the population and it shows a relevant heritability ... [more ▼]

Background: tinnitus is a heterogeneous condition associated with audio logical and/or mental disorders. Chronic, severe tinnitus is reported in 1% of the population and it shows a relevant heritability, according to twins, adoptees and familial aggregation studies. The genetic contribution to severe tinnitus is unknown since large genomic studies include individuals with self-reported tinnitus and large heterogeneity in the phenotype. The aim of this study was to identify genes for severe tinnitus in patients with extreme phenotype. Methods: for this extreme phenotype study, we used three different cohorts with European ancestry (Spanish with Meniere disease (MD), Swedish tinnitus and European generalized epilepsy). In addition, four independent control datasets were also used for comparisons. Whole-exome sequencing was performed for the MD and epilepsy cohorts and whole-genome sequencing was carried out in Swedish with tinnitus. Findings: we found an enrichment of rare missense variants in 24 synaptic genes in a Spanish cohort, the most significant being PRUNE2, AKAP9, SORBS1, ITGAX, ANK2, KIF20B and TSC2 (p < 2E−04), when they were compared with reference datasets. This burden was replicated for ANK2 gene in a Swedish cohort with 97 tinnitus individuals, and in a subset of 34 Swedish patients with severe tinnitus for ANK2, AKAP9 and TSC2 genes (p < 2E−02). However, these associations were not significant in a third cohort of 701 generalized epilepsy individuals without tinnitus. Gene ontology (GO) and gene-set enrichment analyses revealed several pathways and biological processes involved in severe tinnitus, including membrane trafficking and cytoskeletal protein binding in neurons. Interpretation: a burden of rare variants in ANK2, AKAP9 and TSC2 is associated with severe tinnitus. ANK2, encodes a cytoskeleton scaffolding protein that coordinates the assembly of several proteins, drives axonal branching and influences connectivity in neurons. [less ▲]

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See detailExtensional Higher-Order Paramodulation in Leo-III
Steen, Alexander UL; Benzmüller, Christoph UL

in Journal of Automated Reasoning (2021)

Leo-III is an automated theorem prover for extensional type theory with Henkin semantics and choice. Reasoning with primitive equality is enabled by adapting paramodulation-based proof search to higher ... [more ▼]

Leo-III is an automated theorem prover for extensional type theory with Henkin semantics and choice. Reasoning with primitive equality is enabled by adapting paramodulation-based proof search to higher-order logic. The prover may cooperate with multiple external specialist reasoning systems such as first-order provers and SMT solvers. Leo-III is compatible with the TPTP/TSTP framework for input formats, reporting results and proofs, and standardized communication between reasoning systems, enabling e.g. proof reconstruction from within proof assistants such as Isabelle/HOL. Leo-III supports reasoning in polymorphic first-order and higher-order logic, in all normal quantified modal logics, as well as in different deontic logics. Its development had initiated the ongoing extension of the TPTP infrastructure to reasoning within non-classical logics. [less ▲]

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See detailDynamic composition of solvers for coupled problems in DOLFINx
Rehor, Martin UL; Hale, Jack UL

Presentation (2021, March 22)

Recent developments in DOLFINx allow for the block assembly of linear algebraic systems arising from discretisations of coupled partial differential equations. Each algebraic block represents a subproblem ... [more ▼]

Recent developments in DOLFINx allow for the block assembly of linear algebraic systems arising from discretisations of coupled partial differential equations. Each algebraic block represents a subproblem associated with a coupling of the unknown fields. Designing and implementing robust and scalable solution and preconditioning strategies for block-structured linear systems is an active area of research. In this contribution we show how DOLFINx can now exploit one of the most significant features of PETSc; the dynamic composition of the hierarchical solver and preconditioner options at runtime, see Brown et al [1]. The idea is inspired by the work of Kirby and Mitchell [2] that was originally implemented in the Firedrake Project. One of the most significant benefits of the approach is the possibility to construct advanced preconditioners that require structure beyond a purely algebraic problem description, eg the pressure-convection-diffusion (PCD) approximation of the Schur complement for the Navier–Stokes equations, see Silvester et al [3]. We illustrate the capabilities of our implementation on examples ranging from incompressible flow of a viscous fluid, through temperature-driven convection, to flows described by rate-type viscoelastic fluid models. References [1] J. Brown, M. G. Knepley, D. A. May, L. C. McInnes, and B. Smith, "Composable Linear Solvers for Multiphysics," in 2012 11th International Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Computing, Munich, Germany, Jun. 2012, pp. 55–62, doi: 10.1109/ISPDC.2012.16. [2] R. C. Kirby and L. Mitchell, "Solver Composition Across the PDE/Linear Algebra Barrier," SIAM J. Sci. Comput., vol. 40, no. 1, pp. C76–C98, 2017, doi: 10.1137/17M1133208. [3] H. C. Elman, D. J. Silvester, and A. J. Wathen, Finite elements and fast iterative solvers: with applications in incompressible fluid dynamics. 2014, doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199678792.001.0001. Acknowledgements The present work is supported by the National Research Fund, Luxembourg in the frame of the Industrial Fellowship project RIFLE (13754363). The experiments presented in this work were carried out using the HPC facilities of the University of Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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Scientific Conference (2021, March 20)

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