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See detailCOVID-19 and the global venture capital landscape
Bellavitis, Cristiano; Fisch, Christian UL; McNaughton, Rod

in Small Business Economics (in press)

We assess the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on venture capital (VC) investments, documenting a significant decline in investments using a dataset of 39,527 funding rounds occurring before and during the ... [more ▼]

We assess the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on venture capital (VC) investments, documenting a significant decline in investments using a dataset of 39,527 funding rounds occurring before and during the pandemic in 130 countries. In line with our theoretical considerations, we show that this decline is more pronounced for investments characterized by higher uncertainty, namely investments in seed-stage ventures, industries affected more heavily by the COVID-19 crisis, international investments, and non-syndicated investments. Investor prominence partially moderates these effects. [less ▲]

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See detailAn (Un)Necessary Evil - Users’ (Un)Certainty about Smartphone App Permissions and Implications for Privacy Engineering
Bongard, Kerstin UL; Sterckx, Jean-Louis; Rossi, Arianna UL et al

in 2022 7th IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops (EuroSPW) (in press)

App permission requests are a control mechanism meant to help users oversee and safeguard access to data and resources on their smartphones. To decide whether to accept or deny such requests and make this ... [more ▼]

App permission requests are a control mechanism meant to help users oversee and safeguard access to data and resources on their smartphones. To decide whether to accept or deny such requests and make this consent valid, users need to understand the underlying reasons and judge the relevance of disclosing data in line with their own use of an app. This study investigates people’s certainty about app permission requests via an online survey with 400 representative participants of the UK population. The results demonstrate that users are uncertain about the necessity of granting app permissions for about half of the tested permission requests. This implies substantial privacy risks, which are discussed in the paper, resulting in a call for user-protecting interventions by privacy engineers. [less ▲]

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See detailAutomated Question Answering for Improved Understanding of Compliance Requirements: A Multi-Document Study
Abualhaija, Sallam UL; Arora, Chetan; Sleimi, Amin et al

in In Proceedings of the 30th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'22), Melbourne, Australia 15-19 August 2022 (in press)

Software systems are increasingly subject to regulatory compliance. Extracting compliance requirements from regulations is challenging. Ideally, locating compliance-related information in a regulation ... [more ▼]

Software systems are increasingly subject to regulatory compliance. Extracting compliance requirements from regulations is challenging. Ideally, locating compliance-related information in a regulation requires a joint effort from requirements engineers and legal experts, whose availability is limited. However, regulations are typically long documents spanning hundreds of pages, containing legal jargon, applying complicated natural language structures, and including cross-references, thus making their analysis effort-intensive. In this paper, we propose an automated question-answering (QA) approach that assists requirements engineers in finding the legal text passages relevant to compliance requirements. Our approach utilizes large-scale language models fine-tuned for QA, including BERT and three variants. We evaluate our approach on 107 question-answer pairs, manually curated by subject-matter experts, for four different European regulatory documents. Among these documents is the general data protection regulation (GDPR) – a major source for privacy-related requirements. Our empirical results show that, in ~94% of the cases, our approach finds the text passage containing the answer to a given question among the top five passages that our approach marks as most relevant. Further, our approach successfully demarcates, in the selected passage, the right answer with an average accuracy of ~ 91%. [less ▲]

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See detailOptimal Priority Assignment for Real-Time Systems: A Coevolution-Based Approach
Lee, Jaekwon UL; Shin, Seung Yeob UL; Nejati, Shiva et al

in Empirical Software Engineering (in press)

In real-time systems, priorities assigned to real-time tasks determine the order of task executions, by relying on an underlying task scheduling policy. Assigning optimal priority values to tasks is ... [more ▼]

In real-time systems, priorities assigned to real-time tasks determine the order of task executions, by relying on an underlying task scheduling policy. Assigning optimal priority values to tasks is critical to allow the tasks to complete their executions while maximizing safety margins from their specified deadlines. This enables real-time systems to tolerate unexpected overheads in task executions and still meet their deadlines. In practice, priority assignments result from an interactive process between the development and testing teams. In this article, we propose an automated method that aims to identify the best possible priority assignments in real-time systems, accounting for multiple objectives regarding safety margins and engineering constraints. Our approach is based on a multi-objective, competitive coevolutionary algorithm mimicking the interactive priority assignment process between the development and testing teams. We evaluate our approach by applying it to six industrial systems from different domains and several synthetic systems. The results indicate that our approach significantly outperforms both our baselines, i.e., random search and sequential search, and solutions defined by practitioners. Our approach scales to complex industrial systems as an offline analysis method that attempts to find near-optimal solutions within acceptable time, i.e., less than 16 hours. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating Probabilistic Safe WCET Ranges of Real-Time Systems at Design Stages
Lee, Jaekwon UL; Shin, Seung Yeob UL; Nejati, Shiva et al

in ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (in press)

Estimating worst-case execution times (WCET) is an important activity at early design stages of real-time systems. Based on WCET estimates, engineers make design and implementation decisions to ensure ... [more ▼]

Estimating worst-case execution times (WCET) is an important activity at early design stages of real-time systems. Based on WCET estimates, engineers make design and implementation decisions to ensure that task execution always complete before their specified deadlines. However, in practice, engineers often cannot provide precise point WCET estimates and prefer to provide plausible WCET ranges. Given a set of real-time tasks with such ranges, we provide an automated technique to determine for what WCET values the system is likely to meet its deadlines, and hence operate safely with a probabilistic guarantee. Our approach combines a search algorithm for generating worst-case scheduling scenarios with polynomial logistic regression for inferring probabilistic safe WCET ranges. We evaluated our approach by applying it to three industrial systems from different domains and several synthetic systems. Our approach efficiently and accurately estimates probabilistic safe WCET ranges within which deadlines are likely to be satisfied with a high degree of confidence. [less ▲]

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See detailReplication studies in top management journals: an empirical investigation of prevalence, types, outcomes, and impact
Block, Jörn; Fisch, Christian UL; Kanwal, Narmeen et al

in Management Review Quarterly (in press)

Replication studies are important for the empirical research process. Yet, while there is an increased awareness of the need for replication in management research, it appears that such studies are rarely ... [more ▼]

Replication studies are important for the empirical research process. Yet, while there is an increased awareness of the need for replication in management research, it appears that such studies are rarely published in leading management journals. Importantly, we lack a comprehensive overview of replication studies in the top management journals that spans all sub-disciplines. Our systematic review closes this gap and provides an overview of the prevalence, types, outcomes, and impact of replication studies in management journals. We find that differences in the prevalence of replications between sub-disciplines exist and that most replications are wide replications. With regard to the replication outcome, our review shows that the share of non-confirming replications is low. Moreover, such replications are cited less often than confirming replications pointing towards a confirmation bias in management research. We discuss the implications of our results for authors, reviewers, and editors of management journals. [less ▲]

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See detailIntelligent Blockchain-based Edge Computing via Deep Reinforcement Learning: Solutions and Challenges
Nguyen, Dinh C; Nguyen, van Dinh UL; Ding, Ming et al

in IEEE Network (in press)

The convergence of mobile edge computing (MEC) and blockchain is transforming the current computing services in wireless Internet-of-Things networks, by enabling task offloading with security enhancement ... [more ▼]

The convergence of mobile edge computing (MEC) and blockchain is transforming the current computing services in wireless Internet-of-Things networks, by enabling task offloading with security enhancement based on blockchain mining. Yet the existing approaches for these enabling technologies are isolated, providing only tailored solutions for specific services and scenarios. To fill this gap, we propose a novel cooperative task offloading and blockchain mining (TOBM) scheme for a blockchain-based MEC system, where each edge device not only handles computation tasks but also deals with block mining for improving system utility. To address the latency issues caused by the blockchain operation in MEC, we develop a new Proof-of-Reputation consensus mechanism based on a lightweight block verification strategy. To accommodate the highly dynamic environment and high-dimensional system state space, we apply a novel distributed deep reinforcement learning-based approach by using a multi-agent deep deterministic policy gradient algorithm. Experimental results demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed TOBM scheme in terms of enhanced system reward, improved offloading utility with lower blockchain mining latency, and better system utility, compared to the existing cooperative and non-cooperative schemes. The paper concludes with key technical challenges and possible directions for future blockchain-based MEC research. [less ▲]

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See detailAn Axiomatic Approach to the Measurement of Comparative Female Disadvantage
Chakravarty, Satya; Chattopadhyay, Nachiketa; d'Ambrosio, Conchita UL

in Social Indicators Research (in press)

Female comparative disadvantage refers to the mismatch of the female with respect to achievements in different dimensions of human well-being in comparison with the corresponding achievements of the male ... [more ▼]

Female comparative disadvantage refers to the mismatch of the female with respect to achievements in different dimensions of human well-being in comparison with the corresponding achievements of the male. This paper axiomatically derives a general family of female comparative disadvantage indicators which has very important policy implications. The axioms employed are shown to be ‘independent’. An empirical illustration of the general index is provided using the UNDP data on mean years of schooling, life expectancy at birth and gross national income per capita in 2018. Results show that female comparative disadvantage is not necessarily related to standard measures of human development, such as the HDI, and is present even in countries reaching very high human development. The factor where policy intervention is needed the most is income. [less ▲]

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See detailTheme Track - Valuing the qualitative in design and data
Lockton, Dan; Lallemand, Carine UL; Menheere, Daphne et al

in Proceedings of DRS 2022 (in press)

The DRS 2022 track ‘Valuing the Qualitative in Design and Data’ features eleven accepted papers on topics including visualisation and physicalisation of qualitative data, the use of materials in this ... [more ▼]

The DRS 2022 track ‘Valuing the Qualitative in Design and Data’ features eleven accepted papers on topics including visualisation and physicalisation of qualitative data, the use of materials in this context, practical applications in design and education, and applications in personal informatics. In this editorial, the track chairs introduce the track, and the reasoning behind it, together with a short introduction to the papers. [less ▲]

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See detailEconomic insecurity and political preferences
Bossert, Walter; Clark, Andrew UL; d'Ambrosio, Conchita UL et al

in Oxford Economic Papers (in press)

Economic insecurity has attracted growing attention, but there is no consensus as to its definition. We characterize a class of individual economic-insecurity measures based on the time profile of ... [more ▼]

Economic insecurity has attracted growing attention, but there is no consensus as to its definition. We characterize a class of individual economic-insecurity measures based on the time profile of economic resources. We apply this economic-insecurity measure to political-preference data in the USA, UK, and Germany. Conditional on current economic resources, economic insecurity is associated with both greater political participation (support for a party or the intention to vote) and more support for conservative parties. In particular, economic insecurity predicts greater support for both Donald Trump before the 2016 US Presidential election and the UK leaving the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum. [less ▲]

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See detailI-GWAS: Privacy-Preserving Interdependent Genome-Wide Association Studies
Pascoal, Túlio UL; Decouchant, Jérémie; Boutet, Antoine et al

in Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (2023)

Genome-wide Association Studies (GWASes) identify genomic variations that are statistically associated with a trait, such as a disease, in a group of individuals. Unfortunately, careless sharing of GWAS ... [more ▼]

Genome-wide Association Studies (GWASes) identify genomic variations that are statistically associated with a trait, such as a disease, in a group of individuals. Unfortunately, careless sharing of GWAS statistics might give rise to privacy attacks. Several works attempted to reconcile secure processing with privacy-preserving releases of GWASes. However, we highlight that these approaches remain vulnerable if GWASes utilize overlapping sets of individuals and genomic variations. In such conditions, we show that even when relying on state-of-the-art techniques for protecting releases, an adversary could reconstruct the genomic variations of up to 28.6% of participants, and that the released statistics of up to 92.3% of the genomic variations would enable membership inference attacks. We introduce I-GWAS, a novel framework that securely computes and releases the results of multiple possibly interdependent GWASes. I-GWAS continuously releases privacy-preserving and noise-free GWAS results as new genomes become available. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial adaptive settlement systems in archaeology. Modelling long-term settlement formation from spatial micro interactions
Sikk, Kaarel UL

Doctoral thesis (2023)

Despite research history spanning more than a century, settlement patterns still hold a promise to contribute to the theories of large-scale processes in human history. Mostly they have been presented as ... [more ▼]

Despite research history spanning more than a century, settlement patterns still hold a promise to contribute to the theories of large-scale processes in human history. Mostly they have been presented as passive imprints of past human activities and spatial interactions they shape have not been studied as the driving force of historical processes. While archaeological knowledge has been used to construct geographical theories of evolution of settlement there still exist gaps in this knowledge. Currently no theoretical framework has been adopted to explore them as spatial systems emerging from micro-choices of small population units. The goal of this thesis is to propose a conceptual model of adaptive settlement systems based on complex adaptive systems framework. The model frames settlement system formation processes as an adaptive system containing spatial features, information flows, decision making population units (agents) and forming cross scale feedback loops between location choices of individuals and space modified by their aggregated choices. The goal of the model is to find new ways of interpretation of archaeological locational data as well as closer theoretical integration of micro-level choices and meso-level settlement structures. The thesis is divided into five chapters, the first chapter is dedicated to conceptualisation of the general model based on existing literature and shows that settlement systems are inherently complex adaptive systems and therefore require tools of complexity science for causal explanations. The following chapters explore both empirical and theoretical simulated settlement patterns based dedicated to studying selected information flows and feedbacks in the context of the whole system. Second and third chapters explore the case study of the Stone Age settlement in Estonia comparing residential location choice principles of different periods. In chapter 2 the relation between environmental conditions and residential choice is explored statistically. The results confirm that the relation is significant but varies between different archaeological phenomena. In the third chapter hunter-fisher-gatherer and early agrarian Corded Ware settlement systems were compared spatially using inductive models. The results indicated a large difference in their perception of landscape regarding suitability for habitation. It led to conclusions that early agrarian land use significantly extended land use potential and provided a competitive spatial benefit. In addition to spatial differences, model performance was compared and the difference was discussed in the context of proposed adaptive settlement system model. Last two chapters present theoretical agent-based simulation experiments intended to study effects discussed in relation to environmental model performance and environmental determinism in general. In the fourth chapter the central place foragingmodel was embedded in the proposed model and resource depletion, as an environmental modification mechanism, was explored. The study excluded the possibility that mobility itself would lead to modelling effects discussed in the previous chapter. The purpose of the last chapter is the disentanglement of the complex relations between social versus human-environment interactions. The study exposed non-linear spatial effects expected population density can have on the system and the general robustness of environmental inductive models in archaeology to randomness and social effect. The model indicates that social interactions between individuals lead to formation of a group agency which is determined by the environment even if individual cognitions consider the environment insignificant. It also indicates that spatial configuration of the environment has a certain influence towards population clustering therefore providing a potential pathway to population aggregation. Those empirical and theoretical results showed the new insights provided by the complex adaptive systems framework. Some of the results, including the explanation of empirical results, required the conceptual model to provide a framework of interpretation. [less ▲]

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See detailRegional heterogeneity and individual characteristics in the development of a European tax policy: historical insights from Luxembourg
Danescu, Elena UL

in Danescu, Elena; Dima, Alina Mihaela (Eds.) Fostering recovery through metaverse business modelling - An interdisciplinary analysis of the new paradigm shift (2023, March)

Luxembourg is currently one of the most politically stable, consensus-oriented, and prosperous countries in the world, characterised by am advanced social market economy, and a level of material wellbeing ... [more ▼]

Luxembourg is currently one of the most politically stable, consensus-oriented, and prosperous countries in the world, characterised by am advanced social market economy, and a level of material wellbeing above the EU average. Its strong fiscal position is well illustrated by a longstanding AAA credit rating, a significant accumulation of government financial assets, and a distinct fiscal approach. In this light, this paper aims to investigate the specific features of the tax system in Luxembourg from a multidisciplinary perspective by analysing historical sources and exploring the development of these particularities over time, their impact on the socioeconomic context and their repercussions for the European integration process, especially in the design and completion of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). [less ▲]

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See detailGlobal Mega-Science: Universities Scientize the World
Baker, David UL; Powell, Justin J W UL

Book published by Stanford University Press (2023)

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See detailSoK: Secure E-Voting with Everlasting Privacy
Haines, Thomas; Mueller, Johannes UL; Mosaheb, Rafieh UL et al

in Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PoPETs) (2023)

Vote privacy is a fundamental right, which needs to be protected not only during an election, or for a limited time afterwards, but for the foreseeable future. Numerous electronic voting (e-voting ... [more ▼]

Vote privacy is a fundamental right, which needs to be protected not only during an election, or for a limited time afterwards, but for the foreseeable future. Numerous electronic voting (e-voting) protocols have been proposed to address this challenge, striving for everlasting privacy. This property guarantees that even computationally unbounded adversaries cannot break privacy of past elections. The broad interest in secure e-voting with everlasting privacy has spawned a large variety of protocols over the last three decades. These protocols differ in many aspects, in particular the precise security properties they aim for, the threat scenarios they consider, and the privacy-preserving techniques they employ. Unfortunately, these differences are often opaque, making analysis and comparison cumbersome. In order to overcome this non-transparent state of affairs, we systematically analyze all e-voting protocols designed to provide everlasting privacy. First, we illustrate the relations and dependencies between all these different protocols. Next, we analyze in depth which protocols do provide secure and efficient approaches to e-voting with everlasting privacy under realistic assumptions, and which ones do not. Eventually, based on our extensive and detailed treatment, we identify which research problems in this field have already been solved, and which ones are still open. Altogether, our work offers a well-founded reference point for conducting research on secure e-voting with everlasting privacy as well as for future-proofing privacy in real-world electronic elections. [less ▲]

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See detailDesigning and delivering an online research article writing course for doctoral students in Luxembourg during Covid-19
Deroey, Katrien UL; Skipp, Jennifer

in Fenton, James; Gimenez, Julio; Mansfield, Katherine (Eds.) et al International perspectives on teaching academic English in turbulent times (2023)

This chapter reports on the design, delivery and evaluation of an online research article writing course for doctoral students. The course format was a response to COVID-19 but was designed to be ... [more ▼]

This chapter reports on the design, delivery and evaluation of an online research article writing course for doctoral students. The course format was a response to COVID-19 but was designed to be sustainable through enabling flexible, interactive, personalised and independent learning. Its five major components are independent learning tasks, online workshops, writing output, peer review and consultations. Moodle is used for resources and assignments; WebEx for workshops and consultations. Students independently use the e-coursebook to read the theory and submit tasks based on their own texts and articles in their discipline ahead of a workshop on the topic. Additionally, they periodically submit article drafts and engage in peer review. Consultations with the instructor further personalise learning. Having described the course, the chapter goes on to evaluate its affordances and issues by reporting student feedback and teachers’ experiences. It was found that students greatly appreciated the systematic work on their writing in tasks and workshops. However, workshop preparation was very time-consuming for teachers and students would prefer them to be ‘offline’. Furthermore, multidisciplinary peer reviewing and the need to write throughout the course were positively perceived, although requiring greater flexibility in submission times. Consultations were also rated as extremely useful. We conclude with recommendations regarding online course delivery and a blended adaptation for post-COVID purposes. [less ▲]

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See detailPower Allocation for Space-Terrestrial Cooperation Systems with Statistical CSI
Chien, Trinh-Van; Lagunas, Eva UL; Hoang, Tiep M. et al

in IEEE Global Communications Conference (IEEE Globecom), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dec. 2022 (2022, December)

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See detailCoexistence of eMBB and URLLC in Open Radio Access Networks: A Distributed Learning Framework
Al-Senwi, Madyan Abdullah Othman UL; Lagunas, Eva UL; Chatzinotas, Symeon UL

in IEEE Global Communications Conference (IEEE Globecom), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dec. 2022 (2022, December)

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See detailTerminal-Aware Multi-Connectivity Scheduler for Uplink Multi-Layer Non-Terrestrial Networks
Dazhi, Michael UL; Al-Hraishawi, Hayder UL; Mysore Rama Rao, Bhavani Shankar UL et al

Scientific Conference (2022, December)

This paper introduces the concept of multi-connectivity (MC) to the multi-orbit non-terrestrial networks (NTNs), where user terminals can be served by more than one satellite to achieve higher peak ... [more ▼]

This paper introduces the concept of multi-connectivity (MC) to the multi-orbit non-terrestrial networks (NTNs), where user terminals can be served by more than one satellite to achieve higher peak throughput. MC is a technique initially introduced by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for terrestrial communications in 4G and 5G, it has shown much gain in the terrestrial domain and this paper explores areas where this concept can benefit the satellite domain. MC can increase throughput, but this entails increased power consumption at user terminal for uplink transmissions. The energy efficiency of uplink communications can be improved by designing efficient scheduling schemes, and to this end, we developed a terminal aware multi-connectivity scheduling algorithm. This proposed algorithm uses the available radio resources and propagation information to intelligently define a dynamic resource allocation pattern, that optimally routes traffic so as to maximize uplink data rate while minimizing the energy consumption at the UT. The algorithm operates with the terminal differentiating multi-layer NTN resource scheduling architecture, which has a softwarized dispatcher at the network layer that classifies and differentiates the packets based on terminal type. The performance of the proposed algorithm was compared with round robin and joint carrier schedulers in terms of uplink data rate and energy efficiency. We also provide architectural design of implementable schedulers for multi-orbital satellite networks that can operate with different classes of terminals. [less ▲]

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