We study the effect of contextual information obtained from a user’s digital trace on Web search performance. Contextual information is modeled using Dirichlet–Hawkes processes (DHP) and used in augmenting Web search queries. The context is captured by monitoring all naturally occurring user behavior using continuous 24/7 recordings of the screen and associating the context with the queries issued by the users. We report a field study in which 13 participants installed a screen recording and digital activity monitoring system on their laptops for 14 days, resulting in data on all Web search queries and the associated context data. A query augmentation (QAug) model was built to expand the original query with semantically related terms. The effects of context window and source were determined by training context models with temporally varying context windows and varying application sources. The context models were then utilized to re-rank the QAug model. We evaluate the context models by using the Web document rankings of the original query as a control condition compared against various experimental conditions: (1) a search context condition in which the context was sourced from search history; (2) a non-search context condition in which the context was sourced from all interactions excluding search history; (3) a comprehensive context condition in which the context was sourced from both search and non-search histories; and (4) an application-specific condition in which the context was sourced from interaction histories captured on a specific application type. Our results indicated that incorporating more contextual information significantly improved Web search rankings as measured by the positions of the documents on which users clicked in the search result pages. The effects and importance of different context windows and application sources, along with different query types are analyzed, and their impact on Web search performance is discussed.
The solvent-assisted lipid bilayer (SALB) formation method provides a simple and efficient, microfluidic-based strategy to fabricate supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) with rich compositional diversity on a wide range of solid supports. While various studies have been performed to characterize SLBs formed using the SALB method, relatively limited work has been carried out to understand the underlying mechanisms of SALB formation under various experimental conditions. Through thermodynamic modeling, we studied the experimental parameters that affect the SALB formation process, including substrate surface properties, initial lipid concentration, and temperature. It was found that all the parameters are critically important to successfully form high-quality SLBs. The model also helps to identify the range of parameter space within which conformal, homogeneous SLBs can be fabricated, and provides mechanistic guidance to optimize experimental conditions for lipid membrane-related applications.
The relative quantification of gene expression is mainly achieved through reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR); however, its reliability and precision rely on proper data normalization using one or more optimal reference genes. Hyphantria cunea (Drury) has been an invasive pest of forest trees, ornamental plants, and fruit trees in China for many years. Currently, the molecular physiological role of reference genes in H. cunea is unclear, which hinders functional gene study. Therefore, eight common reference genes, RPS26, RPL13, UBI, AK, RPS15, EIF4A, β-actin, α-tub, were selected to evaluate levels of gene expression stability when subjected to varied experimental conditions, including developmental stage and gender, different tissues, larvae reared on different hosts and different larval density. The geNorm, BestKeeper, ΔCt method, and NormFinder statistical algorithms were used to normalize gene transcription data. Furthermore, the stability/suitability of these candidates was ranked overall by RefFinder. This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of reference genes in H. cunea and could help select reference genes for other Lepidoptera species.
Both experimental and computational methods for the exploration of structure, functionality, and properties of materials often necessitate the search across broad parameter spaces to discover optimal experimental conditions and regions of interest in the image space or parameter space of computational models. The direct grid search of the parameter space tends to be extremely time-consuming, leading to the development of strategies balancing exploration of unknown parameter spaces and exploitation towards required performance metrics. However, classical Bayesian optimization strategies based on the Gaussian process (GP) do not readily allow for the incorporation of the known physical behaviors or past knowledge. Here we explore a hybrid optimization/exploration algorithm created by augmenting the standard GP with a structured probabilistic model of the expected system’s behavior. This approach balances the flexibility of the non-parametric GP approach with a rigid structure of physical knowledge encoded into the parametric model. The fully Bayesian treatment of the latter allows additional control over the optimization via the selection of priors for the model parameters. The method is demonstrated for a noisy version of the classical objective function used to evaluate optimization algorithms and further extended to physical lattice models. This methodology is expected to be universally suitable for injecting prior knowledge in the form of physical models and past data in the Bayesian optimization framework.
Rats are highly social animals known to communicate with ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) of different frequencies. Calls around 50 kHz are thought to represent a positive affective state, whereas calls around 22 kHz are believed to serve as alarm or distress calls. During playback of natural 50-kHz USV, rats show a reliable and strong social approach response toward the sound source. While this response has been studied in great detail in numerous publications, little is known about the emission of USV in response to natural 50-kHz USV playback. To close this gap, we capitalized on three data sets previously obtained and analyzed USV evoked by natural 50-kHz USV playback in male juvenile rats. We compared different rat stocks, namely Wistar (WI) and Sprague-Dawley (SD) and investigated the pharmacological treatment with the dopaminergic D2 receptor antagonist haloperidol. These response calls were found to vary broadly inter-individually in numbers, mean peak frequencies, durations and frequency modulations. Despite the large variability, the results showed no major differences between experimental conditions regarding call likelihood or call parameters, representing a robust phenomenon. However, most response calls had clearly lower frequencies and were longer than typical 50-kHz calls, i.e., around 30 kHz and lasting generally around 0.3 s. These calls resemble aversive 22-kHz USV of adult rats but were of higher frequencies and shorter durations. Moreover, blockade of dopamine D2 receptors did not substantially affect the emission of response calls suggesting that they are not dependent on the D2 receptor function. Taken together, this study provides a detailed analysis of response calls toward playback of 50-kHz USV in juvenile WI and SD rats. This includes calls representing 50-kHz USV, but mostly calls with lower frequencies that are not clearly categorizable within the so far known two main groups of USV in adult rats. We discuss the possible functions of these response calls addressing their communicative functions like contact or appeasing calls, and whether they may reflect a state of frustration. In future studies, response calls might also serve as a new read-out in rat models for neuropsychiatric disorders, where acoustic communication is impaired, such as autism spectrum disorder.
This study explored how manipulating the colour of training vests affects footballers’ individual and collective performance during a Gk+6vs6+Gk medium-sided game. A total of 21 under-17 years old players were involved in three experimental conditions in a random order for a total of four days: i) CONTROL, two teams using two different colour vests; ii) SAME, both teams wearing blue vests; iii) MIXED, all 6 players per team wore different colour vests. Players’ positional data was used to compute time-motion and tactical-related variables, while video analysis was used to collect technical variables. Further, these variables were synchronized with spatiotemporal data allowing to capture ball-related actions in a horizontal 2D plan. All variables were analysed from the offensive and defensive perspective. From the offensive perspective, players performed more and further shots to goal during the CONTROL than in SAME and MIXED (small effects) conditions, with a decreased distance to the nearest defender (small effects). While defending, results revealed lower distance to the nearest teammate (small effects) in the CONTROL than in the SAME and MIXED conditions, and higher team longitudinal synchronization (small effects). In addition, the CONTROL showed in general lower values of team width while defending than in the other 2 conditions. Overall, coaches may use the CONTROL condition to emphasize offensive performance and defensive behaviour over the longitudinal direction with increased physical demands. In turn, coaches may use the manipulation of players vests to emphasize defensive performance, as players seem to behave more cohesively under such scenarios.
We propose photonic schemes for the distribution and reconstruction of a two-qubit entangled state using a hybrid entangled state under a noisy quantum channel. First, to generate a hybrid entangled state correlated with polarizations and time-bins, we employ a quantum dot (QD)-cavity system (nonlinear optical gate) and linear optical devices to implement controlled operation. These schemes can achieve the distribution and reconstruction of a two-qubit entangled state from hybrid entanglement by utilizing only linear optical devices without a QD-cavity system (i.e., a nonlinear optical device) for users who want to share an entangled state under a noisy quantum channel. For a feasible realization of the proposed schemes, we analyze the interaction between the photons and QD-cavity system and demonstrate the experimental conditions under which the reliable performance of the QD-cavity system is achieved.