Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: Shameka Stanford

22 Cognition and Communication Disorders Effect on Death Penalty Cases

Authors: Shameka Stanford


This presentation will discuss how cognitive and communication disorders in the areas of executive functioning, receptive and expressive language can impact the problem-solving and decision making of individuals with such impairments. More specifically, this presentation will discuss approaches the legal defense team of capital case lawyers can add to their experience when servicing individuals who have a history of educational decline, special education, and limited intervention and treatment. The objective of the research is to explore and identify the correlations between impaired executive function skills and decision making and competency for individuals facing death penalty charges. To conduct this research, experimental design, randomized sampling, qualitative analysis was employed. This research contributes to the legal and criminal justice system related to how they view, defend, and characterize, and judge individuals with documented cognitive and communication disorders who are eligible for capital case charges. More importantly, this research contributes to the increased ability of death penalty lawyers to successfully defend clients with a history of academic difficulty, special education, and documented disorders that impact educational progress and academic success.

Keywords: cognitive impairments, communication disorders, death penalty, executive function

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21 The Impact of Cognition and Communication on the Defense of Capital Murder Cases

Authors: Shameka Stanford


This presentation will discuss how cognitive and communication disorders in the areas of executive functioning, receptive and expressive language can impact the problem-solving and decision making of individuals with such impairments. More specifically, this presentation will discuss approaches the legal defense team of capital case lawyers can add to their experience when servicing individuals who have a history of educational decline, special education, and limited intervention and treatment. The objective of the research is to explore and identify the correlations between impaired executive function skills and decision making and competency for individuals facing death penalty charges. To conduct this research, experimental design, randomized sampling, qualitative analysis was employed. This research contributes to the legal and criminal justice system related to how they view, defend, and characterize, and judge individuals with documented cognitive and communication disorders who are eligible for capital case charges. More importantly, this research contributes to the increased ability of death penalty lawyers to successfully defend clients with a history of academic difficulty, special education, and documented disorders that impact educational progress and academic success.

Keywords: communication disorders, cognitive disorders, capital murder, death penalty, executive function

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20 Validity Study of The Zimbardo’s Stanford Time Perspective Inventory in Indonesia Students Context

Authors: Anggi Permana, Zahrah Nabila Putri, Anisa Dwi Arifani, Veany Aprillia


This research aims to evaluate the validity of Zimbardo’s Stanford Time Perspective Inventory (STPI) in Indonesian context. The model of validity used in this study is the criterion-based validity, in which the associated variables are depression and subjective well-being (SWB). BDI (Beck Depression Inventory) was used to measure depression, while PANAS (Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scale) and SWLS (Satisfaction with Life Scale) were used to measure subjective well-being. The analysis showed that STPI variables are closely related to STPI Dimension, Present Hedonistic showed pro validity to SWB, Future indicated contra validity to SWB, and Present Fatalistic revealed contra validity to depression and pro validity to SWB. The subjects of this research are from the same university.

Keywords: BDI, PANAS, STPI, subjective well-being, SWLS

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19 Statistical Comparison of Machine and Manual Translation: A Corpus-Based Study of Gone with the Wind

Authors: Yanmeng Liu


This article analyzes and compares the linguistic differences between machine translation and manual translation, through a case study of the book Gone with the Wind. As an important carrier of human feeling and thinking, the literature translation poses a huge difficulty for machine translation, and it is supposed to expose distinct translation features apart from manual translation. In order to display linguistic features objectively, tentative uses of computerized and statistical evidence to the systematic investigation of large scale translation corpora by using quantitative methods have been deployed. This study compiles bilingual corpus with four versions of Chinese translations of the book Gone with the Wind, namely, Piao by Chunhai Fan, Piao by Huairen Huang, translations by Google Translation and Baidu Translation. After processing the corpus with the software of Stanford Segmenter, Stanford Postagger, and AntConc, etc., the study analyzes linguistic data and answers the following questions: 1. How does the machine translation differ from manual translation linguistically? 2. Why do these deviances happen? This paper combines translation study with the knowledge of corpus linguistics, and concretes divergent linguistic dimensions in translated text analysis, in order to present linguistic deviances in manual and machine translation. Consequently, this study provides a more accurate and more fine-grained understanding of machine translation products, and it also proposes several suggestions for machine translation development in the future.

Keywords: corpus-based analysis, linguistic deviances, machine translation, statistical evidence

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18 Clinical Advice Services: Using Lean Chassis to Optimize Nurse-Driven Telephonic Triage of After-Hour Calls from Patients

Authors: Eric Lee G. Escobedo-Wu, Nidhi Rohatgi, Fouzel Dhebar


It is challenging for patients to navigate through healthcare systems after-hours. This leads to delays in care, patient/provider dissatisfaction, inappropriate resource utilization, readmissions, and higher costs. It is important to provide patients and providers with effective clinical decision-making tools to allow seamless connectivity and coordinated care. In August 2015, patient-centric Stanford Health Care established Clinical Advice Services (CAS) to provide clinical decision support after-hours. CAS is founded on key Lean principles: Value stream mapping, empathy mapping, waste walk, takt time calculations, standard work, plan-do-check-act cycles, and active daily management. At CAS, Clinical Assistants take the initial call and manage all non-clinical calls (e.g., appointments, directions, general information). If the patient has a clinical symptom, the CAS nurses take the call and utilize standardized clinical algorithms to triage the patient to home, clinic, urgent care, emergency department, or 911. Nurses may also contact the on-call physician based on the clinical algorithm for further direction and consultation. Since August 2015, CAS has managed 228,990 calls from 26 clinical specialties. Reporting is built into the electronic health record for analysis and data collection. 65.3% of the after-hours calls are clinically related. Average clinical algorithm adherence rate has been 92%. An average of 9% of calls was escalated by CAS nurses to the physician on call. An average of 5% of patients was triaged to the Emergency Department by CAS. Key learnings indicate that a seamless connectivity vision, cascading, multidisciplinary ownership of the problem, and synergistic enterprise improvements have contributed to this success while striving for continuous improvement.

Keywords: after hours phone calls, clinical advice services, nurse triage, Stanford Health Care

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17 The Artificial Intelligence Driven Social Work

Authors: Avi Shrivastava


Our world continues to grapple with a lot of social issues. Economic growth and scientific advancements have not completely eradicated poverty, homelessness, discrimination and bias, gender inequality, health issues, mental illness, addiction, and other social issues. So, how do we improve the human condition in a world driven by advanced technology? The answer is simple: we will have to leverage technology to address some of the most important social challenges of the day. AI, or artificial intelligence, has emerged as a critical tool in the battle against issues that deprive marginalized and disadvantaged groups of the right to enjoy benefits that a society offers. Social work professionals can transform their lives by harnessing it. The lack of reliable data is one of the reasons why a lot of social work projects fail. Social work professionals continue to rely on expensive and time-consuming primary data collection methods, such as observation, surveys, questionnaires, and interviews, instead of tapping into AI-based technology to generate useful, real-time data and necessary insights. By leveraging AI’s data-mining ability, we can gain a deeper understanding of how to solve complex social problems and change lives of people. We can do the right work for the right people and at the right time. For example, AI can enable social work professionals to focus their humanitarian efforts on some of the world’s poorest regions, where there is extreme poverty. An interdisciplinary team of Stanford scientists, Marshall Burke, Stefano Ermon, David Lobell, Michael Xie, and Neal Jean, used AI to spot global poverty zones – identifying such zones is a key step in the fight against poverty. The scientists combined daytime and nighttime satellite imagery with machine learning algorithms to predict poverty in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Malawi. In an article published by Stanford News, Stanford researchers use dark of night and machine learning, Ermon explained that they provided the machine-learning system, an application of AI, with the high-resolution satellite images and asked it to predict poverty in the African region. “The system essentially learned how to solve the problem by comparing those two sets of images [daytime and nighttime].” This is one example of how AI can be used by social work professionals to reach regions that need their aid the most. It can also help identify sources of inequality and conflict, which could reduce inequalities, according to Nature’s study, titled The role of artificial intelligence in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, published in 2020. The report also notes that AI can help achieve 79 percent of the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). AI is impacting our everyday lives in multiple amazing ways, yet some people do not know much about it. If someone is not familiar with this technology, they may be reluctant to use it to solve social issues. So, before we talk more about the use of AI to accomplish social work objectives, let’s put the spotlight on how AI and social work can complement each other.

Keywords: social work, artificial intelligence, AI based social work, machine learning, technology

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16 Comparative Study of Universities’ Web Structure Mining

Authors: Z. Abdullah, A. R. Hamdan


This paper is meant to analyze the ranking of University of Malaysia Terengganu, UMT’s website in the World Wide Web. There are only few researches have been done on comparing the ranking of universities’ websites so this research will be able to determine whether the existing UMT’s website is serving its purpose which is to introduce UMT to the world. The ranking is based on hub and authority values which are accordance to the structure of the website. These values are computed using two web-searching algorithms, HITS and SALSA. Three other universities’ websites are used as the benchmarks which are UM, Harvard and Stanford. The result is clearly showing that more work has to be done on the existing UMT’s website where important pages according to the benchmarks, do not exist in UMT’s pages. The ranking of UMT’s website will act as a guideline for the web-developer to develop a more efficient website.

Keywords: algorithm, ranking, website, web structure mining

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15 Implementing a Database from a Requirement Specification

Authors: M. Omer, D. Wilson


Creating a database scheme is essentially a manual process. From a requirement specification, the information contained within has to be analyzed and reduced into a set of tables, attributes and relationships. This is a time-consuming process that has to go through several stages before an acceptable database schema is achieved. The purpose of this paper is to implement a Natural Language Processing (NLP) based tool to produce a from a requirement specification. The Stanford CoreNLP version 3.3.1 and the Java programming were used to implement the proposed model. The outcome of this study indicates that the first draft of a relational database schema can be extracted from a requirement specification by using NLP tools and techniques with minimum user intervention. Therefore, this method is a step forward in finding a solution that requires little or no user intervention.

Keywords: information extraction, natural language processing, relation extraction

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14 Rumour Containment Using Monitor Placement and Truth Propagation

Authors: Amrah Maryam


The emergence of online social networks (OSNs) has transformed the way we pursue and share information. On the one hand, OSNs provide great ease for the spreading of positive information while, on the other hand, they may also become a channel for the spreading of malicious rumors and misinformation throughout the social network. Thus, to assure the trustworthiness of OSNs to its users, it is of vital importance to detect the misinformation propagation in the network by placing network monitors. In this paper, we aim to place monitors near the suspected nodes with the intent to limit the diffusion of misinformation in the social network, and then we also detect the most significant nodes in the network for propagating true information in order to minimize the effect of already diffused misinformation. Thus, we initiate two heuristic monitor placement using articulation points and truth propagation using eigenvector centrality. Furthermore, to provide real-time workings of the system, we integrate both the monitor placement and truth propagation entities as well. To signify the effectiveness of the approaches, we have carried out the experiment and evaluation of Stanford datasets of online social networks.

Keywords: online social networks, monitor placement, independent cascade model, spread of misinformation

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13 Tibyan Automated Arabic Correction Using Machine-Learning in Detecting Syntactical Mistakes

Authors: Ashwag O. Maghraby, Nida N. Khan, Hosnia A. Ahmed, Ghufran N. Brohi, Hind F. Assouli, Jawaher S. Melibari


The Arabic language is one of the most important languages. Learning it is so important for many people around the world because of its religious and economic importance and the real challenge lies in practicing it without grammatical or syntactical mistakes. This research focused on detecting and correcting the syntactic mistakes of Arabic syntax according to their position in the sentence and focused on two of the main syntactical rules in Arabic: Dual and Plural. It analyzes each sentence in the text, using Stanford CoreNLP morphological analyzer and machine-learning approach in order to detect the syntactical mistakes and then correct it. A prototype of the proposed system was implemented and evaluated. It uses support vector machine (SVM) algorithm to detect Arabic grammatical errors and correct them using the rule-based approach. The prototype system has a far accuracy 81%. In general, it shows a set of useful grammatical suggestions that the user may forget about while writing due to lack of familiarity with grammar or as a result of the speed of writing such as alerting the user when using a plural term to indicate one person.

Keywords: Arabic language acquisition and learning, natural language processing, morphological analyzer, part-of-speech

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12 Tracking and Classifying Client Interactions with Personal Coaches

Authors: Kartik Thakore, Anna-Roza Tamas, Adam Cole


The world health organization (WHO) reports that by 2030 more than 23.7 million deaths annually will be caused by Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs); with a 2008 economic impact of $3.76 T. Metabolic syndrome is a disorder of multiple metabolic risk factors strongly indicated in the development of cardiovascular diseases. Guided lifestyle intervention driven by live coaching has been shown to have a positive impact on metabolic risk factors. Individuals’ path to improved (decreased) metabolic risk factors are driven by personal motivation and personalized messages delivered by coaches and augmented by technology. Using interactions captured between 400 individuals and 3 coaches over a program period of 500 days, a preliminary model was designed. A novel real time event tracking system was created to track and classify clients based on their genetic profile, baseline questionnaires and usage of a mobile application with live coaching sessions. Classification of clients and coaches was done using a support vector machines application build on Apache Spark, Stanford Natural Language Processing Library (SNLPL) and decision-modeling.

Keywords: guided lifestyle intervention, metabolic risk factors, personal coaching, support vector machines application, Apache Spark, natural language processing

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11 An Estimating Equation for Survival Data with a Possibly Time-Varying Covariates under a Semiparametric Transformation Models

Authors: Yemane Hailu Fissuh, Zhongzhan Zhang


An estimating equation technique is an alternative method of the widely used maximum likelihood methods, which enables us to ease some complexity due to the complex characteristics of time-varying covariates. In the situations, when both the time-varying covariates and left-truncation are considered in the model, the maximum likelihood estimation procedures become much more burdensome and complex. To ease the complexity, in this study, the modified estimating equations those have been given high attention and considerations in many researchers under semiparametric transformation model was proposed. The purpose of this article was to develop the modified estimating equation under flexible and general class of semiparametric transformation models for left-truncated and right censored survival data with time-varying covariates. Besides the commonly applied Cox proportional hazards model, such kind of problems can be also analyzed with a general class of semiparametric transformation models to estimate the effect of treatment given possibly time-varying covariates on the survival time. The consistency and asymptotic properties of the estimators were intuitively derived via the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm. The characteristics of the estimators in the finite sample performance for the proposed model were illustrated via simulation studies and Stanford heart transplant real data examples. To sum up the study, the bias for covariates has been adjusted by estimating density function for the truncation time variable. Then the effect of possibly time-varying covariates was evaluated in some special semiparametric transformation models.

Keywords: EM algorithm, estimating equation, semiparametric transformation models, time-to-event outcomes, time varying covariate

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10 Autonomic Nervous System Changes Associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Clinical and Electrophysiological Study

Authors: Emmanuel Kamal Aziz Saba, Hussein Al-Moghazy Sultan


The aim of this study was to evaluate clinically and electro physiologically the autonomic nervous system changes associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The present study included 25 patients with RA [22 women (88%)] and 30 apparently healthy control subjects [27 women (90%)]. A thorough clinical examination was carried out. Disease activity and functional disability were assessed. Tests for assessment of autonomic functions include active and passive orthostatic stress tests, and sympathetic skin response (SSR). The presence of abnormality in 2 tests or more was a clue for the presence of autonomic neuropathy (AN). Sural sensory nerve conduction study and posterior tibial motor nerve conduction study were done. There was a statistically significant decrease in standing systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) components of the active orthostatic stress test and SSR amplitude as well as statistically significant prolongation of SSR latency of RA patients when compared to control. Three patients (12%) had clinical symptoms suggestive of AN; increased to 14 patients (56 %) when orthostatic stress tests and SSR were utilized. There were no statistically significant differences between patients with different disease activity score 28 with 4 variables grades of RA activity and SSR latency and amplitude. There were no statistically significant differences between patients with different Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index grades of RA functional disability and SSR latency and amplitude. In conclusion, autonomic neuropathy is a common extra-articular manifestation of RA affecting sympathetic and parasympathetic fibers.

Keywords: autonomic neuropathy, orthostatic stress test, rheumatoid arthritis, sympathetic skin response

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9 A Sentence-to-Sentence Relation Network for Recognizing Textual Entailment

Authors: Isaac K. E. Ampomah, Seong-Bae Park, Sang-Jo Lee


Over the past decade, there have been promising developments in Natural Language Processing (NLP) with several investigations of approaches focusing on Recognizing Textual Entailment (RTE). These models include models based on lexical similarities, models based on formal reasoning, and most recently deep neural models. In this paper, we present a sentence encoding model that exploits the sentence-to-sentence relation information for RTE. In terms of sentence modeling, Convolutional neural network (CNN) and recurrent neural networks (RNNs) adopt different approaches. RNNs are known to be well suited for sequence modeling, whilst CNN is suited for the extraction of n-gram features through the filters and can learn ranges of relations via the pooling mechanism. We combine the strength of RNN and CNN as stated above to present a unified model for the RTE task. Our model basically combines relation vectors computed from the phrasal representation of each sentence and final encoded sentence representations. Firstly, we pass each sentence through a convolutional layer to extract a sequence of higher-level phrase representation for each sentence from which the first relation vector is computed. Secondly, the phrasal representation of each sentence from the convolutional layer is fed into a Bidirectional Long Short Term Memory (Bi-LSTM) to obtain the final sentence representations from which a second relation vector is computed. The relations vectors are combined and then used in then used in the same fashion as attention mechanism over the Bi-LSTM outputs to yield the final sentence representations for the classification. Experiment on the Stanford Natural Language Inference (SNLI) corpus suggests that this is a promising technique for RTE.

Keywords: deep neural models, natural language inference, recognizing textual entailment (RTE), sentence-to-sentence relation

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8 Physical, Psychological, and Sexual Implications of Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis among Women in Re

Authors: Anwaar Anwar Tayel


Background: Rheumatic arthritis (RA) affect all aspects of patients' life, lead to various degrees of disability, and ultimately has a profound impact on the social, economic, psychological, and sexual aspects of the patient's life. Aim of the study: Identify physical, psychological, and sexual implications of rheumatoid arthritis among women in reproductive age. In addition to investigating the correlations between physical functional disability, psychological problems, and sexual dysfunction.Settings: The study was conducted at Rheumatology Clinic at the Main University Hospital of Alexandria. Subjects: Purposive sample was chosen from women patients with rheumatoid arthritis to be subjects of this study (n=250). Tools: Four tools were used to collect data. Tool I: Socio-demographic questionnaire. Tool II: Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ- DI). Tool III: Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS). Tool IV: The Sexual Dysfunction Questionnaire (SDQ) Results: The majority of the studied women suffer from severe physical disability, extreme level of depression, anxiety, and about half of them had an extreme level of stress. Also, the majority of the studied women had a severe level of sexual dysfunction. Also, statistically significant correlations between women's physical disability index, psychological problems, and sexual dysfunction were detected. Conclusion: The findings from this study confirm that women patients with RA suffer from multiple negative implications on the physical, psychological and sexual functions. Recommendations: Provide ongoing support to the patients from the time of diagnosis throughout their care and management. To help them to manage their pain and disabilities, improve their sexual function, promote their mental health, and optimize psychosocial functioning

Keywords: pysical, spycholgical, sexual, implication, rheumatic arthritis

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7 Variational Explanation Generator: Generating Explanation for Natural Language Inference Using Variational Auto-Encoder

Authors: Zhen Cheng, Xinyu Dai, Shujian Huang, Jiajun Chen


Recently, explanatory natural language inference has attracted much attention for the interpretability of logic relationship prediction, which is also known as explanation generation for Natural Language Inference (NLI). Existing explanation generators based on discriminative Encoder-Decoder architecture have achieved noticeable results. However, we find that these discriminative generators usually generate explanations with correct evidence but incorrect logic semantic. It is due to that logic information is implicitly encoded in the premise-hypothesis pairs and difficult to model. Actually, logic information identically exists between premise-hypothesis pair and explanation. And it is easy to extract logic information that is explicitly contained in the target explanation. Hence we assume that there exists a latent space of logic information while generating explanations. Specifically, we propose a generative model called Variational Explanation Generator (VariationalEG) with a latent variable to model this space. Training with the guide of explicit logic information in target explanations, latent variable in VariationalEG could capture the implicit logic information in premise-hypothesis pairs effectively. Additionally, to tackle the problem of posterior collapse while training VariaztionalEG, we propose a simple yet effective approach called Logic Supervision on the latent variable to force it to encode logic information. Experiments on explanation generation benchmark—explanation-Stanford Natural Language Inference (e-SNLI) demonstrate that the proposed VariationalEG achieves significant improvement compared to previous studies and yields a state-of-the-art result. Furthermore, we perform the analysis of generated explanations to demonstrate the effect of the latent variable.

Keywords: natural language inference, explanation generation, variational auto-encoder, generative model

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6 Prevalence of Pretreatment Drug HIV-1 Mutations in Moscow, Russia

Authors: Daria Zabolotnaya, Svetlana Degtyareva, Veronika Kanestri, Danila Konnov


An adequate choice of the initial antiretroviral treatment determines the treatment efficacy. In the clinical guidelines in Russia non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are still considered to be an option for first-line treatment while pretreatment drug resistance (PDR) testing is not routinely performed. We conducted a cohort retrospective study in HIV-positive treatment naïve patients of the H-clinic (Moscow, Russia) who performed PDR testing from July 2017 to November 2021. All the information was obtained from the medical records anonymously. We analyzed the mutations in reverse transcriptase and protease genes. RT-sequences were obtained by AmpliSens HIV-Resist-Seq kit. Drug resistance was defined using the HIVdb Program v. 8.9-1. PDR was estimated using the Stanford algorithm. Descriptive statistics were performed in Excel (Microsoft Office, 2019). A total of 261 HIV-1 infected patients were enrolled in the study including 197 (75.5%) male and 64 (24.5%) female. The mean age was 34.6±8.3 years. The median CD4 count – 521 cells/µl (IQR 367-687 cells/µl). Data on risk factors of HIV-infection were scarce. The total quantity of strains containing mutations in the reverse transcriptase gene was 75 (28.7%). From these 5 (1.9%) mutations were associated with PDR to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and 30 (11.5%) – with PDR to NNRTIs. The number of strains with mutations in protease gene was 43 (16.5%), from these only 3 (1.1%) mutations were associated with resistance to protease inhibitors. For NNRTIs the most prevalent PDR mutations were E138A, V106I. Most of the HIV variants exhibited a single PDR mutation, 2 were found in 3 samples. Most of HIV variants with PDR mutation displayed a single drug class resistance mutation. 2/37 (5.4%) strains had both NRTIs and NNRTIs mutations. There were no strains identified with PDR mutations to all three drug classes. Though earlier data demonstrated a lower level of PDR in HIV treatment naïve population in Russia and our cohort can be not fully representative as it is taken from the private clinic, it reflects the trend of increasing PDR especially to NNRTIs. Therefore, we consider either pretreatment testing or giving the priority to other drugs as first-line treatment necessary.

Keywords: HIV, resistance, mutations, treatment

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5 Causal Estimation for the Left-Truncation Adjusted Time-Varying Covariates under the Semiparametric Transformation Models of a Survival Time

Authors: Yemane Hailu Fissuh, Zhongzhan Zhang


In biomedical researches and randomized clinical trials, the most commonly interested outcomes are time-to-event so-called survival data. The importance of robust models in this context is to compare the effect of randomly controlled experimental groups that have a sense of causality. Causal estimation is the scientific concept of comparing the pragmatic effect of treatments conditional to the given covariates rather than assessing the simple association of response and predictors. Hence, the causal effect based semiparametric transformation model was proposed to estimate the effect of treatment with the presence of possibly time-varying covariates. Due to its high flexibility and robustness, the semiparametric transformation model which shall be applied in this paper has been given much more attention for estimation of a causal effect in modeling left-truncated and right censored survival data. Despite its wide applications and popularity in estimating unknown parameters, the maximum likelihood estimation technique is quite complex and burdensome in estimating unknown parameters and unspecified transformation function in the presence of possibly time-varying covariates. Thus, to ease the complexity we proposed the modified estimating equations. After intuitive estimation procedures, the consistency and asymptotic properties of the estimators were derived and the characteristics of the estimators in the finite sample performance of the proposed model were illustrated via simulation studies and Stanford heart transplant real data example. To sum up the study, the bias of covariates was adjusted via estimating the density function for truncation variable which was also incorporated in the model as a covariate in order to relax the independence assumption of failure time and truncation time. Moreover, the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm was described for the estimation of iterative unknown parameters and unspecified transformation function. In addition, the causal effect was derived by the ratio of the cumulative hazard function of active and passive experiments after adjusting for bias raised in the model due to the truncation variable.

Keywords: causal estimation, EM algorithm, semiparametric transformation models, time-to-event outcomes, time-varying covariate

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4 A Modified Estimating Equations in Derivation of the Causal Effect on the Survival Time with Time-Varying Covariates

Authors: Yemane Hailu Fissuh, Zhongzhan Zhang


a systematic observation from a defined time of origin up to certain failure or censor is known as survival data. Survival analysis is a major area of interest in biostatistics and biomedical researches. At the heart of understanding, the most scientific and medical research inquiries lie for a causality analysis. Thus, the main concern of this study is to investigate the causal effect of treatment on survival time conditional to the possibly time-varying covariates. The theory of causality often differs from the simple association between the response variable and predictors. A causal estimation is a scientific concept to compare a pragmatic effect between two or more experimental arms. To evaluate an average treatment effect on survival outcome, the estimating equation was adjusted for time-varying covariates under the semi-parametric transformation models. The proposed model intuitively obtained the consistent estimators for unknown parameters and unspecified monotone transformation functions. In this article, the proposed method estimated an unbiased average causal effect of treatment on survival time of interest. The modified estimating equations of semiparametric transformation models have the advantage to include the time-varying effect in the model. Finally, the finite sample performance characteristics of the estimators proved through the simulation and Stanford heart transplant real data. To this end, the average effect of a treatment on survival time estimated after adjusting for biases raised due to the high correlation of the left-truncation and possibly time-varying covariates. The bias in covariates was restored, by estimating density function for left-truncation. Besides, to relax the independence assumption between failure time and truncation time, the model incorporated the left-truncation variable as a covariate. Moreover, the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm iteratively obtained unknown parameters and unspecified monotone transformation functions. To summarize idea, the ratio of cumulative hazards functions between the treated and untreated experimental group has a sense of the average causal effect for the entire population.

Keywords: a modified estimation equation, causal effect, semiparametric transformation models, survival analysis, time-varying covariate

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3 Learning to Translate by Learning to Communicate to an Entailment Classifier

Authors: Szymon Rutkowski, Tomasz Korbak


We present a reinforcement-learning-based method of training neural machine translation models without parallel corpora. The standard encoder-decoder approach to machine translation suffers from two problems we aim to address. First, it needs parallel corpora, which are scarce, especially for low-resource languages. Second, it lacks psychological plausibility of learning procedure: learning a foreign language is about learning to communicate useful information, not merely learning to transduce from one language’s 'encoding' to another. We instead pose the problem of learning to translate as learning a policy in a communication game between two agents: the translator and the classifier. The classifier is trained beforehand on a natural language inference task (determining the entailment relation between a premise and a hypothesis) in the target language. The translator produces a sequence of actions that correspond to generating translations of both the hypothesis and premise, which are then passed to the classifier. The translator is rewarded for classifier’s performance on determining entailment between sentences translated by the translator to disciple’s native language. Translator’s performance thus reflects its ability to communicate useful information to the classifier. In effect, we train a machine translation model without the need for parallel corpora altogether. While similar reinforcement learning formulations for zero-shot translation were proposed before, there is a number of improvements we introduce. While prior research aimed at grounding the translation task in the physical world by evaluating agents on an image captioning task, we found that using a linguistic task is more sample-efficient. Natural language inference (also known as recognizing textual entailment) captures semantic properties of sentence pairs that are poorly correlated with semantic similarity, thus enforcing basic understanding of the role played by compositionality. It has been shown that models trained recognizing textual entailment produce high-quality general-purpose sentence embeddings transferrable to other tasks. We use stanford natural language inference (SNLI) dataset as well as its analogous datasets for French (XNLI) and Polish (CDSCorpus). Textual entailment corpora can be obtained relatively easily for any language, which makes our approach more extensible to low-resource languages than traditional approaches based on parallel corpora. We evaluated a number of reinforcement learning algorithms (including policy gradients and actor-critic) to solve the problem of translator’s policy optimization and found that our attempts yield some promising improvements over previous approaches to reinforcement-learning based zero-shot machine translation.

Keywords: agent-based language learning, low-resource translation, natural language inference, neural machine translation, reinforcement learning

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2 Computational Approaches to Study Lineage Plasticity in Human Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

Authors: Almudena Espin Perez, Tyler Risom, Carl Pelz, Isabel English, Robert M. Angelo, Rosalie Sears, Andrew J. Gentles


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most deadly malignancies. The role of the tumor microenvironment (TME) is gaining significant attention in cancer research. Despite ongoing efforts, the nature of the interactions between tumors, immune cells, and stromal cells remains poorly understood. The cell-intrinsic properties that govern cell lineage plasticity in PDAC and extrinsic influences of immune populations require technically challenging approaches due to the inherently heterogeneous nature of PDAC. Understanding the cell lineage plasticity of PDAC will improve the development of novel strategies that could be translated to the clinic. Members of the team have demonstrated that the acquisition of ductal to neuroendocrine lineage plasticity in PDAC confers therapeutic resistance and is a biomarker of poor outcomes in patients. Our approach combines computational methods for deconvolving bulk transcriptomic cancer data using CIBERSORTx and high-throughput single-cell imaging using Multiplexed Ion Beam Imaging (MIBI) to study lineage plasticity in PDAC and its relationship to the infiltrating immune system. The CIBERSORTx algorithm uses signature matrices from immune cells and stroma from sorted and single-cell data in order to 1) infer the fractions of different immune cell types and stromal cells in bulked gene expression data and 2) impute a representative transcriptome profile for each cell type. We studied a unique set of 300 genomically well-characterized primary PDAC samples with rich clinical annotation. We deconvolved the PDAC transcriptome profiles using CIBERSORTx, leveraging publicly available single-cell RNA-seq data from normal pancreatic tissue and PDAC to estimate cell type proportions in PDAC, and digitally reconstruct cell-specific transcriptional profiles from our study dataset. We built signature matrices and optimized by simulations and comparison to ground truth data. We identified cell-type-specific transcriptional programs that contribute to cancer cell lineage plasticity, especially in the ductal compartment. We also studied cell differentiation hierarchies using CytoTRACE and predict cell lineage trajectories for acinar and ductal cells that we believe are pinpointing relevant information on PDAC progression. Collaborators (Angelo lab, Stanford University) has led the development of the Multiplexed Ion Beam Imaging (MIBI) platform for spatial proteomics. We will use in the very near future MIBI from tissue microarray of 40 PDAC samples to understand the spatial relationship between cancer cell lineage plasticity and stromal cells focused on infiltrating immune cells, using the relevant markers of PDAC plasticity identified from the RNA-seq analysis.

Keywords: deconvolution, imaging, microenvironment, PDAC

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1 Profiling of Bacterial Communities Present in Feces, Milk, and Blood of Lactating Cows Using 16S rRNA Metagenomic Sequencing

Authors: Khethiwe Mtshali, Zamantungwa T. H. Khumalo, Stanford Kwenda, Ismail Arshad, Oriel M. M. Thekisoe


Ecologically, the gut, mammary glands and bloodstream consist of distinct microbial communities of commensals, mutualists and pathogens, forming a complex ecosystem of niches. The by-products derived from these body sites i.e. faeces, milk and blood, respectively, have many uses in rural communities where they aid in the facilitation of day-to-day household activities and occasional rituals. Thus, although livestock rearing plays a vital role in the sustenance of the livelihoods of rural communities, it may serve as a potent reservoir of different pathogenic organisms that could have devastating health and economic implications. This study aimed to simultaneously explore the microbial profiles of corresponding faecal, milk and blood samples from lactating cows using 16S rRNA metagenomic sequencing. Bacterial communities were inferred through the Divisive Amplicon Denoising Algorithm 2 (DADA2) pipeline coupled with SILVA database v138. All downstream analyses were performed in R v3.6.1. Alpha-diversity metrics showed significant differences between faeces and blood, faeces and milk, but did not vary significantly between blood and milk (Kruskal-Wallis, P < 0.05). Beta-diversity metrics on Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCoA) and Non-Metric Dimensional Scaling (NMDS) clustered samples by type, suggesting that microbial communities of the studied niches are significantly different (PERMANOVA, P < 0.05). A number of taxa were significantly differentially abundant (DA) between groups based on the Wald test implemented in the DESeq2 package (Padj < 0.01). The majority of the DA taxa were significantly enriched in faeces than in milk and blood, except for the genus Anaplasma, which was significantly enriched in blood and was, in turn, the most abundant taxon overall. A total of 30 phyla, 74 classes, 156 orders, 243 families and 408 genera were obtained from the overall analysis. The most abundant phyla obtained between the three body sites were Firmicutes, Bacteroidota, and Proteobacteria. A total of 58 genus-level taxa were simultaneously detected between the sample groups, while bacterial signatures of at least 8 of these occurred concurrently in corresponding faeces, milk and blood samples from the same group of animals constituting a pool. The important taxa identified in this study could be categorized into four potentially pathogenic clusters: i) arthropod-borne; ii) food-borne and zoonotic; iii) mastitogenic and; iv) metritic and abortigenic. This study provides insight into the microbial composition of bovine faeces, milk, and blood and its extent of overlapping. It further highlights the potential risk of disease occurrence and transmission between the animals and the inhabitants of the sampled rural community, pertaining to their unsanitary practices associated with the use of cattle by-products.

Keywords: microbial profiling, 16S rRNA, NGS, feces, milk, blood, lactating cows, small-scale farmers

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