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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 detailWhy flipping the classroom is not enough: Digital curriculum making after the pandemic
Backes, Susanne UL; Baumann, Isabell Eva UL; Harion, Dominic UL et al

in PROSPECTS Comparative Journal of Curriculum, Learning, and Assessment (in press)

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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 detailMagnetic control of particle trapping in a hybrid plasmonic nanopore
Maccaferri, Nicolò UL; Vavassori, Paolo; Garoli, Denis

in Applied Physics Letters (in press)

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See detailField-resolved detection of the temporal response of a single plasmonic antenna in the mid infrared
Fischer, Marco P.; Maccaferri, Nicolò UL; Gallacher, Kevin et al

in Optica (in press)

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See detailAvoiding bias when inferring race using name-based approaches
Kozlowski, Diego UL; Murray, Dakota S.; Bell, Alexis et al

Scientific Conference (in press)

Racial disparity in academia is a widely acknowledged problem. The quantitative understanding of racial-based systemic inequalities is an important step towards a more equitable research system. However ... [more ▼]

Racial disparity in academia is a widely acknowledged problem. The quantitative understanding of racial-based systemic inequalities is an important step towards a more equitable research system. However, few large-scale analyses have been performed on this topic, mostly because of the lack of robust race-disambiguation algorithms. Identifying author information does not generally include the author’s race. Therefore, an algorithm needs to be employed, using known information about authors, i.e., their names, to infer their perceived race. Nevertheless, as any other algorithm, the process of racial inference can generate biases if it is not carefully considered. When the research is focused on the understanding of racial-based inequalities, such biases undermine the objectives of the investigation and may perpetuate inequities. The goal of this article is to assess the biases introduced by the different approaches used name-based racial inference. We use information from US census and mortgage applications to infer the race of US author names in the Web of Science. We estimate the effects of using given and family names, thresholds or continuous distributions, and imputation. Our results demonstrate that the validity of name-based inference varies by race and ethnicity and that threshold approaches underestimate Black authors and overestimate White authors. We conclude with recommendations to avoid potential biases. This article fills an important research gap that will allow more systematic and unbiased studies on racial disparity in science. [less ▲]

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See detailPrimauté et droits fondamentaux: une question de compétences?
Neframi, Eleftheria UL

in Gaudin, Hélène (Ed.) Primauté et clause la plus protectrice: le renouveau des droits fondamentaux en Europe (in press)

Dans le rapport entre le principe de primauté et la protection des droits fondamentaux la question de la répartition des compétences ne semble pas, à première vue, se poser : la primauté nous place dans ... [more ▼]

Dans le rapport entre le principe de primauté et la protection des droits fondamentaux la question de la répartition des compétences ne semble pas, à première vue, se poser : la primauté nous place dans la sphère de compétence de l’Union, alors que la protection des droits fondamentaux, comme contestation de la primauté, relève de la sphère nationale. Le conflit entre primauté et droits fondamentaux relève ainsi du rapport des ordres juridiques et est résolu par leur interaction, exprimée dans la balance entre le principe de coopération loyale et la prise en compte des intérêts nationaux, sur la base du respect de l’identité nationale ou en invoquant l’article 53 de la Charte . En ce sens, la problématique des compétences n’entre pas en ligne de compte. Cependant, l’élaboration de standards européens de protection des droits fondamentaux, en tant qu’objet direct ou indirect de l’exercice des compétences de l’Union, peut servir le compromis issu du principe d’attribution. Ainsi, primauté et droits fondamentaux peuvent être abordés sous l’angle des compétences. Le rapport entre primauté et droits fondamentaux n’est toutefois pas forcément conflictuel. La Charte est source d’obligations pour les Etats membres au-delà du champ couvert par l’exercice des compétences de l’Union. Il est bien établi que la notion de mise en œuvre du droit de l’Union en tant que condition de l’application de la Charte à l’égard des Etats membres, est entendue dans le sens du domaine couvert par le droit de l’Union. Ainsi, les standards européens de protection sont eux-mêmes couverts par la primauté et interviennent dans l’encadrement de l’autonomie nationale et l’articulation des compétences [less ▲]

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See detailSupporting DNN Safety Analysis and Retraining through Heatmap-based Unsupervised Learning
Fahmy, Hazem UL; Pastore, Fabrizio UL; Bagherzadeh, Mojtaba et al

in IEEE Transactions on Reliability (in press)

Deep neural networks (DNNs) are increasingly im- portant in safety-critical systems, for example in their perception layer to analyze images. Unfortunately, there is a lack of methods to ensure the ... [more ▼]

Deep neural networks (DNNs) are increasingly im- portant in safety-critical systems, for example in their perception layer to analyze images. Unfortunately, there is a lack of methods to ensure the functional safety of DNN-based components. We observe three major challenges with existing practices regarding DNNs in safety-critical systems: (1) scenarios that are underrepresented in the test set may lead to serious safety violation risks, but may, however, remain unnoticed; (2) char- acterizing such high-risk scenarios is critical for safety analysis; (3) retraining DNNs to address these risks is poorly supported when causes of violations are difficult to determine. To address these problems in the context of DNNs analyzing images, we propose HUDD, an approach that automatically supports the identification of root causes for DNN errors. HUDD identifies root causes by applying a clustering algorithm to heatmaps capturing the relevance of every DNN neuron on the DNN outcome. Also, HUDD retrains DNNs with images that are automatically selected based on their relatedness to the identified image clusters. We evaluated HUDD with DNNs from the automotive domain. HUDD was able to identify all the distinct root causes of DNN errors, thus supporting safety analysis. Also, our retraining approach has shown to be more effective at improving DNN accuracy than existing approaches. [less ▲]

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See detailAutomatic Test Suite Generation for Key-points Detection DNNs Using Many-Objective Search
Ul Haq, Fitash UL; Shin, Donghwan UL; Briand, Lionel UL et al

in 2021 ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA) (in press)

Automatically detecting the positions of key-points (e.g., facial key-points or finger key-points) in an image is an essential problem in many applications, such as driver's gaze detection and drowsiness ... [more ▼]

Automatically detecting the positions of key-points (e.g., facial key-points or finger key-points) in an image is an essential problem in many applications, such as driver's gaze detection and drowsiness detection in automated driving systems. With the recent advances of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs), Key-Points detection DNNs (KP-DNNs) have been increasingly employed for that purpose. Nevertheless, KP-DNN testing and validation have remained a challenging problem because KP-DNNs predict many independent key-points at the same time---where each individual key-point may be critical in the targeted application---and images can vary a great deal according to many factors. In this paper, we present an approach to automatically generate test data for KP-DNNs using many-objective search. In our experiments, focused on facial key-points detection DNNs developed for an industrial automotive application, we show that our approach can generate test suites to severely mispredict, on average, more than 93% of all key-points. In comparison, random search-based test data generation can only severely mispredict 41% of them. Many of these mispredictions, however, are not avoidable and should not therefore be considered failures. We also empirically compare state-of-the-art, many-objective search algorithms and their variants, tailored for test suite generation. Furthermore, we investigate and demonstrate how to learn specific conditions, based on image characteristics (e.g., head posture and skin color), that lead to severe mispredictions. Such conditions serve as a basis for risk analysis or DNN retraining. [less ▲]

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See detailLog-based Slicing for System-level Test Cases
Messaoudi, Salma UL; Shin, Donghwan UL; Panichella, Annibale et al

in 2021 ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA) (in press)

Regression testing is arguably one of the most important activities in software testing. However, its cost-effectiveness and usefulness can be largely impaired by complex system test cases that are poorly ... [more ▼]

Regression testing is arguably one of the most important activities in software testing. However, its cost-effectiveness and usefulness can be largely impaired by complex system test cases that are poorly designed (e.g., test cases containing multiple test scenarios combined into a single test case) and that require a large amount of time and resources to run. One way to mitigate this issue is decomposing such system test cases into smaller, separate test cases---each of them with only one test scenario and with its corresponding assertions---so that the execution time of the decomposed test cases is lower than the original test cases, while the test effectiveness of the original test cases is preserved. This decomposition can be achieved with program slicing techniques, since test cases are software programs too. However, existing static and dynamic slicing techniques exhibit limitations when (1) the test cases use external resources, (2) code instrumentation is not a viable option, and (3) test execution is expensive. In this paper, we propose a novel approach, called DS3 (Decomposing System teSt caSe), which automatically decomposes a complex system test case into separate test case slices. The idea is to use test case execution logs, obtained from past regression testing sessions, to identify "hidden" dependencies in the slices generated by static slicing. Since logs include run-time information about the system under test, we can use them to extract access and usage of global resources and refine the slices generated by static slicing. We evaluated DS3 in terms of slicing effectiveness and compared it with a vanilla static slicing tool. We also compared the slices obtained by DS3 with the corresponding original system test cases, in terms of test efficiency and effectiveness. The evaluation results on one proprietary system and one open-source system show that DS3 is able to accurately identify the dependencies related to the usage of global resources, which vanilla static slicing misses. Moreover, the generated test case slices are, on average, 3.56 times faster than original system test cases and they exhibit no significant loss in terms of fault detection effectiveness. [less ▲]

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See detailCase study on augmented reality, digital and physical modelling with mathematical learning disabilities students in an elementary school in Luxemburg
Haas, Ben; Kreis, Yves UL; Lavicza, Zsolt

in International Journal for Technology in Mathematics Education (in press)

This paper reports on a case study of two elementary school students with mathematical learning disabilities (MLD) (ages 10 and 11) using augmented reality (AR), digital and physical modelling in ... [more ▼]

This paper reports on a case study of two elementary school students with mathematical learning disabilities (MLD) (ages 10 and 11) using augmented reality (AR), digital and physical modelling in mathematics class. MLD students worked on modelling geometric shapes (cubes, cuboids, squared pyramids, and octahedrons) and forms (polygons) by combining real-world objects with AR and creating a copy of geometric shapes or missing parts with a 3D printing device. The study focused on the development of process skills and mathematical concepts, tried to identify changes in the visual-spatial memory, and documented the learning behaviour in class. Further, we collected data through task-based interviews with both students. Based on our findings, we present settings and manipulatives which are likely to foster process skills and mathematical concepts in geometry tasks suitable for MLD elementary school students. [less ▲]

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See detailAgeism and Older People's Health and Well-Being during the Covid-19 Pandemic: The Moderating Role of Subjective Aging
Kornadt, Anna Elena UL; Albert, Isabelle UL; Hoffmann, Martine et al

in European Journal of Ageing (in press)

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See detailSpelling patterns of plural marking and learning trajectories in French taught as a foreign language
Weth, Constanze UL; Ugen, Sonja UL; Fayol, Michel et al

in Written Language and Literacy (in press), 24

Although French plural spelling has been studied extensively, the complexity of factors affecting the learning of French plural spelling are not yet fully explained, namely on the level of adjectival and ... [more ▼]

Although French plural spelling has been studied extensively, the complexity of factors affecting the learning of French plural spelling are not yet fully explained, namely on the level of adjectival and verbal plural. This study investigates spelling profiles of French plural markers of 228 multilingual grade 5 pupils with French taught as a foreign language. Three analyses on the learner performances of plural spelling in nouns, verbs and pre- and postnominal attributive adjectives were conducted (1) to detect the pupils’ spelling profiles of plural marking on the basis of the performances in the pretest, (2) to test the profiles against two psycholinguistic theories, and (3) to evaluate the impact of the training on each spelling profile in the posttest. The first analysis confirms the existing literature that pupils’ learning of French plural is not random but ordered and emphasizes the role of the position for adjectives (pre- or postnominal) on correct plural spelling. The second analysis reveals the theoretical difficulties of predicting spelling of adjectival and verbal plural. The third analysis shows that strong and poor spellers both benefit from a morphosyntactic training and provides transparency and traceability of the learning trajectories. Together, the descriptive analyses reveal clear patterns of intra-individual spelling profiles. They point to a need for further research in those areas that have empirically provided the most inconsistent results to date and that are not supported by the theories: verbs and adjectives. [less ▲]

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See detailCan Offline Testing of Deep Neural Networks Replace Their Online Testing?
Ul Haq, Fitash UL; Shin, Donghwan UL; Nejati, Shiva UL et al

in Empirical Software Engineering (in press)

We distinguish two general modes of testing for Deep Neural Networks (DNNs): Offline testing where DNNs are tested as individual units based on test datasets obtained without involving the DNNs under test ... [more ▼]

We distinguish two general modes of testing for Deep Neural Networks (DNNs): Offline testing where DNNs are tested as individual units based on test datasets obtained without involving the DNNs under test, and online testing where DNNs are embedded into a specific application environment and tested in a closed-loop mode in interaction with the application environment. Typically, DNNs are subjected to both types of testing during their development life cycle where offline testing is applied immediately after DNN training and online testing follows after offline testing and once a DNN is deployed within a specific application environment. In this paper, we study the relationship between offline and online testing. Our goal is to determine how offline testing and online testing differ or complement one another and if offline testing results can be used to help reduce the cost of online testing? Though these questions are generally relevant to all autonomous systems, we study them in the context of automated driving systems where, as study subjects, we use DNNs automating end-to-end controls of steering functions of self-driving vehicles. Our results show that offline testing is less effective than online testing as many safety violations identified by online testing could not be identified by offline testing, while large prediction errors generated by offline testing always led to severe safety violations detectable by online testing. Further, we cannot exploit offline testing results to reduce the cost of online testing in practice since we are not able to identify specific situations where offline testing could be as accurate as online testing in identifying safety requirement violations. [less ▲]

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See detailDe la naissance de l’État luxembourgeois. Analyse et historique de la problématique
Heuschling, Luc UL

in Actes de la Section des sciences morales et politiques, Institut grand-ducal (in press)

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See detailEuropean Embeddedness and the Founding of Luxembourg’s 21st Century Research University
Braband, Gangolf; Powell, Justin J W UL

in European Journal of Higher Education (in press)

At the heart of Western Europe and culturally embedded in “The Greater Region,” Luxembourg for centuries developed higher education (HE) primarily via international student mobility, not its own national ... [more ▼]

At the heart of Western Europe and culturally embedded in “The Greater Region,” Luxembourg for centuries developed higher education (HE) primarily via international student mobility, not its own national university. Evolving provisions of tertiary education after WWII followed construction of several teaching and research institutes that did not offer full-fledged higher education certification. The critical juncture—the founding of the national flagship University of Luxembourg (uni.lu)—occurred in 2003, since leading to an extraordinary case of university institutional¬ization. Traditions were explicitly maintained, but reshaped, in the new university, with student mobility continuing to bolster the national elite’s pan-European networks and internationalization. Reflecting its hyper-diversity, its multilingual culture, and its porous national borders, Luxembourg’s investments in higher education capacity-building have been thoroughly European. Today, Luxembourg has the highest proportion of HE graduates and of internationally mobile students, testament to its outgoing mobility tradition and national policy change facilitated by Europeanization. [less ▲]

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See detailA quasicontinuum approach towards mechanical simulations of periodic lattice structures
Chen, Li UL

Doctoral thesis (2021)

Thanks to the advancement of additive manufacturing, periodic metallic lattice structures are gaining more and more attention. A major attraction of them is that their design can be tailored to specific ... [more ▼]

Thanks to the advancement of additive manufacturing, periodic metallic lattice structures are gaining more and more attention. A major attraction of them is that their design can be tailored to specific applications by changing the basic repetitive pattern of the lattice, called the unit cell. This may involve the selection of optimal strut diameters and orientations, as well as the connectivity and strut lengths. Numerical simulation plays a vital role in understanding the mechanical behavior of metallic lattices and it enables the optimization of design parameters. However, conventional numerical modeling strategies in which each strut is represented by one or more beam finite elements yield prohibitively time­consuming simulations for metallic lattices in engineering­scale applications. The reasons are that millions of struts are involved, as well as that geometrical and material nonlinearities at the strut level need to be incorporated. The aim of this thesis is the development of multi­scale quasicontinuum (QC) frameworks to substantially reduce the simulation time of nonlinear mechanical models of metallic lattices. For this purpose, this thesis generalizes the QC method by a multi­field interpolation enabling amongst others the representation of varying diameters in the struts’ axial directions (as a consequence of the manufacturing process). The efficiency is further increased by a new adaptive scheme that automatically adjusts the model reduction whilst controlling the (elastic or elastoplastic) model’s accuracy. The capabilities of the proposed methodology are demonstrated using numerical examples, such as indentation tests and scratch tests, in which the lattice is modeled using geometrically nonlinear elastic and elastoplastic beam finite elements. They show that the multi­scale framework combines a high accuracy with substantial model reduction that are out of reach of direct numerical simulations. [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 detailFeasibility of ERA5 integrated water vapor trends for climate change analysis in continental Europe: An evaluation with GPS (1994–2019) by considering statistical significance
Yuan, Peng; Hunegnaw, Addisu UL; Alshawaf, Fadwa et al

in Remote Sensing of Environment (2021), 260(112416),

Although the statistical significances for the trends of integrated water vapor (IWV) are essential for a correct interpretation of climate change signals, obtaining accurate IWV trend estimates with ... [more ▼]

Although the statistical significances for the trends of integrated water vapor (IWV) are essential for a correct interpretation of climate change signals, obtaining accurate IWV trend estimates with realistic uncertainties remains a challenge. This study evaluates the feasibility of the IWV trends derived from the newly released fifth generation European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) atmospheric reanalysis (ERA5) for climate change analysis in continental Europe. This is achieved by comparing the trends derived from in-situ ground-based Global Positioning System (GPS)’s daily IWV series from 1994 to 2019 at 109 stations. The realistic uncertainties and statistical significances of the IWV trends are evaluated with the time series analysis on their noise characteristics and proper noise models. Results show that autoregressive moving average ARMA(1,1) noise model is preferred rather than the commonly assumed white noise (WN) or first-order autoregressive AR(1) noise for about 68% of the ERA5 and GPS IWV series. An improper noise model would misevaluate the trend uncertainty of an IWV time series, compared with its specific preferred noise model. For example, ARMA(1,1) may misevaluate the standard deviations of their trend estimates (0.1–0.3 kg m−2 decade−1) by 10%. Nevertheless, ARMA(1,1) is recommended as the default noise model for the ERA5 and GPS IWV series. However, the preferred noise model for each ERA5 minus GPS (E-G) IWV series should be specifically determined, because the AR(1)-related models can result in an underestimation on its trend uncertainty by 90%. In contrast, power-law (PL) model can lead to an overestimation by up to nine times. The E-G IWV trends are within −0.2–0.4 kg m−2 decade−1, indicating that the ERA5 is a potential data source of IWV trends for climate change analysis in continental Europe. The ERA5 and GPS IWV trends are consistent in their magnitudes and geographical patterns, lower in Northwest Europe (0–0.4 kg m−2 decade−1) but higher around the Mediterranean Sea (0.6–1.4 kg m−2 decade−1). [less ▲]

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