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See detailCybersecurity, the AI Act and the 'State of the Art'
Schmitz, Sandra UL

Presentation (2021, November 12)

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See detailRefining Weakly-Supervised Free Space Estimation through Data Augmentation and Recursive Training
Robinet, François UL; Frank, Raphaël UL

in Proceedings of BNAIC/BeneLearn 2021 (2021, November 12)

Free space estimation is an important problem for autonomous robot navigation. Traditional camera-based approaches rely on pixel-wise ground truth annotations to train a segmentation model. To cover the ... [more ▼]

Free space estimation is an important problem for autonomous robot navigation. Traditional camera-based approaches rely on pixel-wise ground truth annotations to train a segmentation model. To cover the wide variety of environments and lighting conditions encountered on roads, training supervised models requires large datasets. This makes the annotation cost prohibitively high. In this work, we propose a novel approach for obtaining free space estimates from images taken with a single road-facing camera. We rely on a technique that generates weak free space labels without any supervision, which are then used as ground truth to train a segmentation model for free space estimation. We study the impact of different data augmentation techniques on the performances of free space predictions, and propose to use a recursive training strategy. Our results are benchmarked using the Cityscapes dataset and improve over comparable published work across all evaluation metrics. Our best model reaches 83.64% IoU (+2.3%), 91:75% Precision (+2.4%) and 91.29% Recall (+0.4%). These results correspond to 88.8% of the IoU, 94.3% of the Precision and 93.1% of the Recall obtained by an equivalent fully-supervised baseline, while using no ground truth annotation. Our code and models are freely available online. [less ▲]

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See detailWhich demographic and socio-economic factors are associated with vaccination willingness and beliefs towards vaccination? Rapid report with first results
Leist, Anja UL; Klee, Matthias UL; Paccoud, Ivana UL et al

Report (2021)

In the framework of the CoVaLux project on vaccination and long COVID in Luxembourg, the project “Socio-economic determinants of long COVID and vaccination, and economic consequences with focus on labour ... [more ▼]

In the framework of the CoVaLux project on vaccination and long COVID in Luxembourg, the project “Socio-economic determinants of long COVID and vaccination, and economic consequences with focus on labour market and health care” aims to triangulate evidence from different data sources such as social security and general population data, the national cohort CON-VINCE as well as national health surveys. We seek to arrive at robust assessments of how socio-economic determinants shape vaccination willingness, occurrence, severity and persistence of long COVID, and economic consequences of long COVID in Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailApplying the Presumption of Innocence to Policing with AI
Blount, Kelly UL

in International Review of Penal Law (2021), 92(1),

This paper argues that predictive policing, which relies upon former arrest records, hinders the future application of the presumption of innocence. This is established by positing that predictive ... [more ▼]

This paper argues that predictive policing, which relies upon former arrest records, hinders the future application of the presumption of innocence. This is established by positing that predictive policing is comparable to traditional criminal investigations in substance and scope. Police records generally do not clarify whether former charges result in dismissal or acquittal, or conversely, conviction. Therefore, police as state actors may unlawfully act in reliance on an individual’s former arrest record, despite a favourable disposition. Accordingly, it is argued that the presumption of innocence as a fair trial right may be effectively nullified by predictive policing. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of a screeneing tool for functional vision impairments in early childhood
Monteiro, Sara UL; Esch, Pascale UL; Hipp, Géraldine et al

Scientific Conference (2021, November 11)

Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) is a term used to designate a neurological disorder of the visual pathways impacting visual processes at any given level (Lueck et al., 2019). Due to the advances n ... [more ▼]

Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) is a term used to designate a neurological disorder of the visual pathways impacting visual processes at any given level (Lueck et al., 2019). Due to the advances n perinatal and medicinal care, CVI’s occurrence has increased significantly over the last years (Chokron & Dutton, 2016). The condition almost always entails aggregated functional vision impairments, i.e., limitations on the use of binocular vision during everyday tasks (Dutton, 2015). CVI can have effects on school achievements if undetected. Early detection is thus key to offer appropriate aids to avoid a negative impact on learning processes. The aim of this project is to develop a large-scale screener at the beginning of formal schooling, to identify functional vision impairments early on. For this reason, a set of items assessing different visual functions will be incorporated into the Luxembourgish school monitoring program. Based on a theoretical model of object recognition (Humphreys and Riddoch, 1987), we developed items that can be administered in a classroom setting which target different stages of visual perceptual processing, as well as visual functions connected with both dorsal and ventral streams, visual spatial processing and visual memory. We will present the design of the large-scale screener in relation to the theoretical model, as well as the rationale used to include or exclude various perceptual visual functions in the final test. Furthermore, we will explain the foreseen data collection and tool validation processes. [less ▲]

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See detailFair Assessment of Cognitive Abilities in Multilingual Children
Kijamet, Dzenita UL; Ugen, Sonja UL

Scientific Conference (2021, November 11)

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See detailUsing Automatic Item Generation in the context of the Épreuves Standardisées (Épstan): A pilot study on effects of altering item characteristics and semantic embeddings
Michels, Michael Andreas UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Inostroza Fernandez, Pamela Isabel UL et al

Scientific Conference (2021, November 11)

Assessing mathematical skills in national school monitoring programs such as the Luxembourgish Épreuves Standardisées (ÉpStan) creates a constant demand of developing high-quality items that is both ... [more ▼]

Assessing mathematical skills in national school monitoring programs such as the Luxembourgish Épreuves Standardisées (ÉpStan) creates a constant demand of developing high-quality items that is both expensive and time-consuming. One approach to provide high-quality items in a more efficient way is Automatic Item Generation (AIG, Gierl, 2013). Instead of creating single items, cognitive item models form the base for an algorithmic generation of a large number of new items with supposedly identical item characteristics. The stability of item characteristics is questionable, however, when different semantic embeddings are used to present the mathematical problems (Dewolf, Van Dooren, & Verschaffel, 2017, Hoogland, et al., 2018). Given culture-specific knowledge differences in students, it is not guaranteed that illustrations showing everyday activities do not differentially impact item difficulty (Martin, et al., 2012). Moreover, the prediction of empirical item difficulties based on theoretical rationales has proved to be difficult (Leighton & Gierl, 2011). This paper presents a first attempt to better understand the impact of (a) different semantic embeddings, and (b) problem-related variations on mathematics items in grades 1 (n = 2338), 3 (n = 3835) and 5 (n = 3377) within the context of ÉpStan. In total, 30 mathematical problems were presented in up to 4 different versions, either using different but equally plausible semantic contexts or altering the problem’s content characteristics. Preliminary results of IRT-scaling and DIF-analysis reveal substantial effects of both, the embedding, as well as the problem characteristics on general item difficulties as well as on subgroup level. Further results and implications for developing mathematic items, and specifically, for using AIG in the course of Épstan will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailFrontières et pluralité des marchés du travail : l’exemple du Luxembourg
Pigeron-Piroth, Isabelle UL; Belkacem, rachid

Scientific Conference (2021, November 11)

L’objet de cette communication est d’aborder la structuration des marchés transfrontaliers du travail. La situation du Luxembourg est particulièrement riche d’enseignements empiriques et théoriques. Dans ... [more ▼]

L’objet de cette communication est d’aborder la structuration des marchés transfrontaliers du travail. La situation du Luxembourg est particulièrement riche d’enseignements empiriques et théoriques. Dans ce petit pays au cœur de la Grande Région SaarLorLux, les frontières se vivent au quotidien. Le marché du travail est ouvert sur ses régions frontalières ainsi que sur l’espace mondial. Dans ce contexte, deux questions organisent notre problématique : Quels sont les effets des frontières sur la structuration du marché du travail ? Et quelles grilles de lectures théoriques paraissent les plus appropriées pour analyser cette structuration particulière du marché du travail ? [less ▲]

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See detailRadial analysis and scaling of urban land use
Lemoy, Rémi UL; Caruso, Geoffrey UL

in Scientific Reports (2021), (22044),

We determine the functional form and scaling law of radial artificial land use profiles in 300 European functional urban areas (FUAs). These profiles, starting from a fully artificial surface in the city ... [more ▼]

We determine the functional form and scaling law of radial artificial land use profiles in 300 European functional urban areas (FUAs). These profiles, starting from a fully artificial surface in the city center, decrease exponentially, the faster the smaller the city. More precisely, the characteristic decrease distance scales like the square root of total population, meaning that the artificial surface of cities is proportional to their population. This also means that the amount of artificial land per capita is independent of city size, and that larger cities are not more or less parsimonious in terms of land use than smaller ones. [less ▲]

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See detailFuture living with AI and IA
Schommer, Christoph UL

Speeches/Talks (2021)

The present and the future will be determined by topics such as artificial intelligence and the question arises to what extent an often quoted usefulness, an "AI for Social Good" and "AI is for Humans ... [more ▼]

The present and the future will be determined by topics such as artificial intelligence and the question arises to what extent an often quoted usefulness, an "AI for Social Good" and "AI is for Humans" really applies. The lecture is intended to provide food for thought. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalogical Transfer despite Misleading Information in 2.5-5.5-year-olds
Bobrowicz, Katarzyna UL

Presentation (2021, November 11)

Analogical transfer is a pivotal skill early in life and has been repeatedly investigated by developmental psychologists. Recently, it was shown that already 2.5-year-olds are capable of such transfers ... [more ▼]

Analogical transfer is a pivotal skill early in life and has been repeatedly investigated by developmental psychologists. Recently, it was shown that already 2.5-year-olds are capable of such transfers, even with a 24-hour delay between two analogical situations [1; cf. 2, 3]. This ability, however, is poorly reflected in early curricula, failing to build upon early problem- solving flexibility. In this study, analogical transfer of relevant information despite irrelevant, distracting or misleading information is investigated in 2.5- to 5.5-year-olds. Children participate in a play session at day-care facilities and preschools, where they attempt to transfer relevant tool-use knowledge across two analogical problems despite a distracting or a misleading problem solved in between. Preliminary results suggest that 2.5-to-5.5-year-olds are capable of discarding both distracting and misleading information in analogical transfers. Further data collection should show whether this ability correlates with general intelligence, executive function, and bi-/multilingualism. [less ▲]

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See detailEnhancing Photovoltaic Hosting Capacity in Distribution Grid via Grid Reconfigurations, PV Droops and Battery Inverter Control
Torchyan, Khachatur UL

Doctoral thesis (2021)

The EU 2030 climate and energy framework has set a mandatory goal to achieve a renewable energy share in the final energy demand of 32% by 2030. Moreover, in the final National Energy and Climate Plan ... [more ▼]

The EU 2030 climate and energy framework has set a mandatory goal to achieve a renewable energy share in the final energy demand of 32% by 2030. Moreover, in the final National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) Luxembourg has defined its renewable generation share goal at 25% by 2030. Between 2018 and 2019, three times more photovoltaic (PV) panels were installed than in the previous years. To achieve the NECP target and to ensure further smooth integration of PV systems, the PV hosting capacity (HC) of the grid should be enhanced. This thesis discusses the common issues and current developments of HC enhancement and presents three HC enhancement techniques: grid reconfiguration and grid-code modification, extended current droop control and transformer loading control. First, the thesis analyzes the potential of grid reconfiguration in HC enhancement. For the analysis the grid configurations are divided into meshed and radial subsets. The grid reconfiguration analysis and HC calculation are done using pandapower and NetworkX library. The cross-influence and the location of DG are considered while determining the HC of the grid. The analysis shows that proper grid configuration selection is important as it can substantially increase the HC and decrease the average loading in the lines. Second, the impact of extended current droops on HC enhancement is investigated. In the designed extended current droops (Id(V ), Iq(V )), extra reactive power reserve is made available by changing the droop gain of the reactive current droop when the overvoltage is not cleared by the existing reactive power reserve. The simulations proved that the extended current droops are a viable grid reinforcement strategy which can not only regulate the voltage at the point of common coupling (PCC), but also relax the transformer loading and improve overall voltage and frequency stability. Additionally, oversizing of the inverter increases the reactive power reserve, which in turn lowers the voltage profile and decreases the amount of curtailed active power. Finally, two novel communication-less transformer overloading protection strategies based on a battery energy storage (BES): transformer protection droops (TPD) and direct loading control (DLC), are designed and compared. Both strategies force the PV inverters to curtail their active power output without relying on communication. The strategies have been tested on detailed models, where the total installed PV power varies between 0.9 to 2 times the transformer rating. The static and dynamic performance of the DLC is superior to the TPD control strategy. DLC is a robust control strategy. It can reduce the transformer loading by 41%, compared to the grid configuration without BES and bring the system to the steady-state within 700ms in the worst-case scenario. It also ensures to keep the system voltages within safe operational limits. It can be used as a backup active power curtailment solution in the cases of communication failure in centralized control. [less ▲]

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See detailGenderrepräsentatiounen an de Schoulbicher vum Enseignement fondamental
Kerger, Sylvie UL; Brasseur, Laurence

Scientific Conference (2021, November 11)

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See detailPresenter: Childhood in Times of Political Transformation in the 20th Century
Venken, Machteld UL

Presentation (2021, November 11)

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See detailExploring the Exposomewith HPC
Schymanski, Emma UL

Presentation (2021, November 10)

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See detailWhat Tendency for "Inquiry" and "Language": Examining Key Journals in Science Education
de Albuquerque Trigo, Maiza UL; Siry, Christina UL

Scientific Conference (2021, November 10)

Conducting a review of the literature can provide a foundation for understanding research trajectories in a given field, and this proposed presentation will explore one literature review mapping that has ... [more ▼]

Conducting a review of the literature can provide a foundation for understanding research trajectories in a given field, and this proposed presentation will explore one literature review mapping that has been conducted to guide a PhD research project relating primary science education and multilingual learning contexts. A first generic search with the terms “teacher education”, “primary education”, “science education”, “inquiry” and “language” led to an overwhelmingly high number of publications to be gathered and analyzed. So, the path of searching articles in the main scope of the research (science education) was chosen, towards the elaboration of an analytic review map. This mapping consists of a database that was built with articles retrieved from six key journals’ official website (identified through JCR/Scimago ranking), funneling the scope to “teacher education” in primary level (and elementary, for the USA context), and focusing on how the words “inquiry” and “language” emerge in these publications starting from 2008 (after the Rocard report, from 2007). This type of data is presented by the frequency of occurrences and analyzed by theme cluster for tendency construct, using content analysis. The first set of data extracted from one journal (CSSE) shows that “language” and “inquiry” appear in 35 documents, but the number of appearances in titles decreases to three occurrences, narrowed to two titles (one title overlaps both terms); serving as an example of an area to be potentially explored. In order to tackle how the implications and overlaps between language learning and science education (focusing on the inquiry-based method) are presented in published articles, the qualitative analysis exposes two set of results: 1. Occurrence and thematic mapping from a social-cultural perspective; 2. A set of meanings and its relevance to the topics as relations between the use of the words “inquiry” and “language” are drawn. [less ▲]

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See detailElectrospinning Ethanol–Water Solutions of Poly(Acrylic Acid): Nonlinear Viscosity Variations and Dynamic Taylor Cone Behavior
Vats, Shameek UL; Lagerwall, Jan UL

in Macromolecular Materials and Engineering (2021)

Electrospinning of polymer solutions is a multifaceted process that depends on the careful balancing of many parameters to achieve a desired outcome, in many cases including mixtures of multiple solvents ... [more ▼]

Electrospinning of polymer solutions is a multifaceted process that depends on the careful balancing of many parameters to achieve a desired outcome, in many cases including mixtures of multiple solvents. A systematic study of how the solution viscosity 𝜼—a good probe of solvent–polymer interactions—and the electrospinnability change when poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) is dissolved in ethanol–water mixtures at varying mixing ratio is carried out. A pronounced maximum is found in 𝜼 at a water-to-ethanol molar ratio of about 2:1, where the solvent mixture deviates maximally from ideal mixing behavior and partial deprotonation of carboxyl groups by water coincides synergistically with dissolution of the uncharged protonated PAA fraction by ethanol. The PAA concentration is tuned as a function of water–ethanol ratio to obtain a common value of 𝜼 for all solvent mixtures that is suitable for electrospinning. For high PAA content, the Taylor cone grows in volume over time despite minimum solution flow rate, even experiencing surface gelation for ethanol-rich solutions. This is attributed to the hygroscopic nature of PAA, drawing excess water into the Taylor cone from the air during spinning. [less ▲]

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See detailOpening minds to translanguaging pedagogies: perspectives and practices of professionals in early childhood education and primary school.Keynote
Kirsch, Claudine UL

Scientific Conference (2021, November 09)

In Europe, migration, mobility, technology and globalisation have resulted in multilingualism at the societal and individual level. These changes require policy-makers and educationalists to adapt ... [more ▼]

In Europe, migration, mobility, technology and globalisation have resulted in multilingualism at the societal and individual level. These changes require policy-makers and educationalists to adapt teaching. For the last decades, institutions and scholars have called for multilingual education programmes that recognise the existence of the multiple languages spoken by children. The policies of the Council of Europe encourage ‘pluralistic approaches’ as well as early language learning. In the United States, García and her team developed multilingual pedagogies, later called translanguaging pedagogies, that draw on the students’ entire semiotic repertoire to leverage their learning. Research findings in monolingual, bilingual and multilingual contexts testify to the benefits of translanguaging for learning, well-being and identity-building. Such programmes are in line with the UN convention of children’s rights demanding respect for their language, culture and values. While multilingual programmes have been implemented in early childhood education and primary schools in several countries in Europe, professionals seem to be unsure of how to promote multilingualism and deal with language diversity. This presentation is based on the perspectives and practices of professionals in early education and primary schools in multilingual Luxembourg where a programme of plurilingual education has been implemented in the early years in 2017 and where children follow a trilingual curriculum in primary school. I will provide insights into the perspectives of practitioners by drawing on several research projects carried out over the last 6 years in Luxembourg. I will show excerpts of interviews and observations that indicate that early years practitioners have opened up to multilingual education over the last years and are tackling the multiple challenges they face during the implementation of the multilingual programme. Translanguaging also exists in primary schools but a clear language hierarchy is in place and teachers and children do not draw on their entire semiotic repertoire. The presentation concludes with implications for practitioners and policy-makers. [less ▲]

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See detailGene-corrected p.A30P SNCA patient-derived isogenic neurons rescue neuronal branching and function
Barbuti, Peter A; Ohnmacht, Jochen UL; Santos, Bruno FR et al

in Scientific Reports (2021), 11

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterised by the degeneration of A9 dopaminergic neurons and the pathological accumulation of alpha-synuclein. The p.A30P SNCA mutation generates the pathogenic form of the ... [more ▼]

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterised by the degeneration of A9 dopaminergic neurons and the pathological accumulation of alpha-synuclein. The p.A30P SNCA mutation generates the pathogenic form of the alpha-synuclein protein causing an autosomal-dominant form of PD. There are limited studies assessing pathogenic SNCA mutations in patient-derived isogenic cell models. Here we provide a functional assessment of dopaminergic neurons derived from a patient harbouring the p.A30P SNCA mutation. Using two clonal gene-corrected isogenic cell lines we identified image-based phenotypes showing impaired neuritic processes. The pathological neurons displayed impaired neuronal activity, reduced mitochondrial respiration, an energy deficit, vulnerability to rotenone, and transcriptional alterations in lipid metabolism. Our data describes for the first time the mutation-only effect of the p.A30P SNCA mutation on neuronal function, supporting the use of isogenic cell lines in identifying image-based pathological phenotypes that can serve as an entry point for future disease-modifying compound screenings and drug discovery strategies. [less ▲]

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