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Sample records for automatic quality assessment

  1. Automatic no-reference image quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongjun; Hu, Wei; Xu, Zi-Neng

    2016-01-01

    No-reference image quality assessment aims to predict the visual quality of distorted images without examining the original image as a reference. Most no-reference image quality metrics which have been already proposed are designed for one or a set of predefined specific distortion types and are unlikely to generalize for evaluating images degraded with other types of distortion. There is a strong need of no-reference image quality assessment methods which are applicable to various distortions. In this paper, the authors proposed a no-reference image quality assessment method based on a natural image statistic model in the wavelet transform domain. A generalized Gaussian density model is employed to summarize the marginal distribution of wavelet coefficients of the test images, so that correlative parameters are needed for the evaluation of image quality. The proposed algorithm is tested on three large-scale benchmark databases. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is easy to implement and computational efficient. Furthermore, our method can be applied to many well-known types of image distortions, and achieves a good quality of prediction performance.

  2. Automatic assessment of the quality of patient positioning in mammography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bülow, Thomas; Meetz, Kirsten; Kutra, Dominik; Netsch, Thomas; Wiemker, Rafael; Bergtholdt, Martin; Sabczynski, Jörg; Wieberneit, Nataly; Freund, Manuela; Schulze-Wenck, Ingrid

    2013-02-01

    Quality assurance has been recognized as crucial for the success of population-based breast cancer screening programs using x-ray mammography. Quality guidelines and criteria have been defined in the US as well as the European Union in order to ensure the quality of breast cancer screening. Taplin et al. report that incorrect positioning of the breast is the major image quality issue in screening mammography. Consequently, guidelines and criteria for correct positioning and for the assessment of the positioning quality in mammograms play an important role in the quality standards. In this paper we present a system for the automatic evaluation of positioning quality in mammography according to the existing standardized criteria. This involves the automatic detection of anatomic landmarks in medio- lateral oblique (MLO) and cranio-caudal (CC) mammograms, namely the pectoral muscle, the mammilla and the infra-mammary fold. Furthermore, the detected landmarks are assessed with respect to their proper presentation in the image. Finally, the geometric relations between the detected landmarks are investigated to assess the positioning quality. This includes the evaluation whether the pectoral muscle is imaged down to the mammilla level, and whether the posterior nipple line diameter of the breast is consistent between the different views (MLO and CC) of the same breast. Results of the computerized assessment are compared to ground truth collected from two expert readers.

  3. Automatic assessment of voice quality according to the GRBAS scale.

    PubMed

    Sáenz-Lechón, Nicolás; Godino-Llorente, Juan I; Osma-Ruiz, Víctor; Blanco-Velasco, Manuel; Cruz-Roldán, Fernando

    2006-01-01

    Nowadays, the most extended techniques to measure the voice quality are based on perceptual evaluation by well trained professionals. The GRBAS scale is a widely used method for perceptual evaluation of voice quality. The GRBAS scale is widely used in Japan and there is increasing interest in both Europe and the United States. However, this technique needs well-trained experts, and is based on the evaluator's expertise, depending a lot on his own psycho-physical state. Furthermore, a great variability in the assessments performed from one evaluator to another is observed. Therefore, an objective method to provide such measurement of voice quality would be very valuable. In this paper, the automatic assessment of voice quality is addressed by means of short-term Mel cepstral parameters (MFCC), and learning vector quantization (LVQ) in a pattern recognition stage. Results show that this approach provides acceptable results for this purpose, with accuracy around 65% at the best.

  4. Reference-free automatic quality assessment of tracheoesophageal speech.

    PubMed

    Huang, Andy; Falk, Tiago H; Chan, Wai-Yip; Parsa, Vijay; Doyle, Philip

    2009-01-01

    Evaluation of the quality of tracheoesophageal (TE) speech using machines instead of human experts can enhance the voice rehabilitation process for patients who have undergone total laryngectomy and voice restoration. Towards the goal of devising a reference-free TE speech quality estimation algorithm, we investigate the efficacy of speech signal features that are used in standard telephone-speech quality assessment algorithms, in conjunction with a recently introduced speech modulation spectrum measure. Tests performed on two TE speech databases demonstrate that the modulation spectral measure and a subset of features in the standard ITU-T P.563 algorithm estimate TE speech quality with better correlation (up to 0.9) than previously proposed features.

  5. Automatic image quality assessment for uterine cervical imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Jia; Li, Wenjing

    2006-03-01

    Uterine cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. However, its death rate can be dramatically reduced by appropriate treatment, if early detection is available. We are developing a Computer-Aided-Diagnosis (CAD) system to facilitate colposcopic examinations for cervical cancer screening and diagnosis. Unfortunately, the effort to develop fully automated cervical cancer diagnostic algorithms is hindered by the paucity of high quality, standardized imaging data. The limited quality of cervical imagery can be attributed to several factors, including: incorrect instrumental settings or positioning, glint (specular reflection), blur due to poor focus, and physical contaminants. Glint eliminates the color information in affected pixels and can therefore introduce artifacts in feature extraction algorithms. Instrumental settings that result in an inadequate dynamic range or an overly constrained region of interest can reduce or eliminate pixel information and thus make image analysis algorithms unreliable. Poor focus causes image blur with a consequent loss of texture information. In addition, a variety of physical contaminants, such as blood, can obscure the desired scene and reduce or eliminate diagnostic information from affected areas. Thus, automated feedback should be provided to the colposcopist as a means to promote corrective actions. In this paper, we describe automated image quality assessment techniques, which include region of interest detection and assessment, contrast dynamic range assessment, blur detection, and contaminant detection. We have tested these algorithms using clinical colposcopic imagery, and plan to implement these algorithms in a CAD system designed to simplify high quality data acquisition. Moreover, these algorithms may also be suitable for image quality assessment in telemedicine applications.

  6. Automatic MeSH term assignment and quality assessment.

    PubMed Central

    Kim, W.; Aronson, A. R.; Wilbur, W. J.

    2001-01-01

    For computational purposes documents or other objects are most often represented by a collection of individual attributes that may be strings or numbers. Such attributes are often called features and success in solving a given problem can depend critically on the nature of the features selected to represent documents. Feature selection has received considerable attention in the machine learning literature. In the area of document retrieval we refer to feature selection as indexing. Indexing has not traditionally been evaluated by the same methods used in machine learning feature selection. Here we show how indexing quality may be evaluated in a machine learning setting and apply this methodology to results of the Indexing Initiative at the National Library of Medicine. PMID:11825203

  7. Evaluation of automatic image quality assessment in chest CT - A human cadaver study.

    PubMed

    Franck, Caro; De Crop, An; De Roo, Bieke; Smeets, Peter; Vergauwen, Merel; Dewaele, Tom; Van Borsel, Mathias; Achten, Eric; Van Hoof, Tom; Bacher, Klaus

    2017-04-01

    The evaluation of clinical image quality (IQ) is important to optimize CT protocols and to keep patient doses as low as reasonably achievable. Considering the significant amount of effort needed for human observer studies, automatic IQ tools are a promising alternative. The purpose of this study was to evaluate automatic IQ assessment in chest CT using Thiel embalmed cadavers. Chest CT's of Thiel embalmed cadavers were acquired at different exposures. Clinical IQ was determined by performing a visual grading analysis. Physical-technical IQ (noise, contrast-to-noise and contrast-detail) was assessed in a Catphan phantom. Soft and sharp reconstructions were made with filtered back projection and two strengths of iterative reconstruction. In addition to the classical IQ metrics, an automatic algorithm was used to calculate image quality scores (IQs). To be able to compare datasets reconstructed with different kernels, the IQs values were normalized. Good correlations were found between IQs and the measured physical-technical image quality: noise (ρ=-1.00), contrast-to-noise (ρ=1.00) and contrast-detail (ρ=0.96). The correlation coefficients between IQs and the observed clinical image quality of soft and sharp reconstructions were 0.88 and 0.93, respectively. The automatic scoring algorithm is a promising tool for the evaluation of thoracic CT scans in daily clinical practice. It allows monitoring of the image quality of a chest protocol over time, without human intervention. Different reconstruction kernels can be compared after normalization of the IQs. Copyright © 2017 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Automatic quality assessment and peak identification of auditory brainstem responses with fitted parametric peaks.

    PubMed

    Valderrama, Joaquin T; de la Torre, Angel; Alvarez, Isaac; Segura, Jose Carlos; Thornton, A Roger D; Sainz, Manuel; Vargas, Jose Luis

    2014-05-01

    The recording of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) is used worldwide for hearing screening purposes. In this process, a precise estimation of the most relevant components is essential for an accurate interpretation of these signals. This evaluation is usually carried out subjectively by an audiologist. However, the use of automatic methods for this purpose is being encouraged nowadays in order to reduce human evaluation biases and ensure uniformity among test conditions, patients, and screening personnel. This article describes a new method that performs automatic quality assessment and identification of the peaks, the fitted parametric peaks (FPP). This method is based on the use of synthesized peaks that are adjusted to the ABR response. The FPP is validated, on one hand, by an analysis of amplitudes and latencies measured manually by an audiologist and automatically by the FPP method in ABR signals recorded at different stimulation rates; and on the other hand, contrasting the performance of the FPP method with the automatic evaluation techniques based on the correlation coefficient, FSP, and cross correlation with a predefined template waveform by comparing the automatic evaluations of the quality of these methods with subjective evaluations provided by five experienced evaluators on a set of ABR signals of different quality. The results of this study suggest (a) that the FPP method can be used to provide an accurate parameterization of the peaks in terms of amplitude, latency, and width, and (b) that the FPP remains as the method that best approaches the averaged subjective quality evaluation, as well as provides the best results in terms of sensitivity and specificity in ABR signals validation. The significance of these findings and the clinical value of the FPP method are highlighted on this paper. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Automatic Assessment of Pathological Voice Quality Using Higher-Order Statistics in the LPC Residual Domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Ji Yeoun; Hahn, Minsoo

    2010-12-01

    A preprocessing scheme based on linear prediction coefficient (LPC) residual is applied to higher-order statistics (HOSs) for automatic assessment of an overall pathological voice quality. The normalized skewness and kurtosis are estimated from the LPC residual and show statistically meaningful distributions to characterize the pathological voice quality. 83 voice samples of the sustained vowel /a/ phonation are used in this study and are independently assessed by a speech and language therapist (SALT) according to the grade of the severity of dysphonia of GRBAS scale. These are used to train and test classification and regression tree (CART). The best result is obtained using an optima l decision tree implemented by a combination of the normalized skewness and kurtosis, with an accuracy of 92.9%. It is concluded that the method can be used as an assessment tool, providing a valuable aid to the SALT during clinical evaluation of an overall pathological voice quality.

  10. The Analysis of Image Contrast: From Quality Assessment to Automatic Enhancement.

    PubMed

    Gu, Ke; Zhai, Guangtao; Lin, Weisi; Liu, Min

    2016-01-01

    Proper contrast change can improve the perceptual quality of most images, but it has largely been overlooked in the current research of image quality assessment (IQA). To fill this void, we in this paper first report a new large dedicated contrast-changed image database (CCID2014), which includes 655 images and associated subjective ratings recorded from 22 inexperienced observers. We then present a novel reduced-reference image quality metric for contrast change (RIQMC) using phase congruency and statistics information of the image histogram. Validation of the proposed model is conducted on contrast related CCID2014, TID2008, CSIQ and TID2013 databases, and results justify the superiority and efficiency of RIQMC over a majority of classical and state-of-the-art IQA methods. Furthermore, we combine aforesaid subjective and objective assessments to derive the RIQMC based Optimal HIstogram Mapping (ROHIM) for automatic contrast enhancement, which is shown to outperform recently developed enhancement technologies.

  11. DAF: differential ACE filtering image quality assessment by automatic color equalization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouni, S.; Chambah, M.; Saint-Jean, C.; Rizzi, A.

    2008-01-01

    Ideally, a quality assessment system would perceive and measure image or video impairments just like a human being. But in reality, objective quality metrics do not necessarily correlate well with perceived quality [1]. Plus, some measures assume that there exists a reference in the form of an "original" to compare to, which prevents their usage in digital restoration field, where often there is no reference to compare to. That is why subjective evaluation is the most used and most efficient approach up to now. But subjective assessment is expensive, time consuming and does not respond, hence, to the economic requirements [2,3]. Thus, reliable automatic methods for visual quality assessment are needed in the field of digital film restoration. The ACE method, for Automatic Color Equalization [4,6], is an algorithm for digital images unsupervised enhancement. It is based on a new computational approach that tries to model the perceptual response of our vision system merging the Gray World and White Patch equalization mechanisms in a global and local way. Like our vision system ACE is able to adapt to widely varying lighting conditions, and to extract visual information from the environment efficaciously. Moreover ACE can be run in an unsupervised manner. Hence it is very useful as a digital film restoration tool since no a priori information is available. In this paper we deepen the investigation of using the ACE algorithm as a basis for a reference free image quality evaluation. This new metric called DAF for Differential ACE Filtering [7] is an objective quality measure that can be used in several image restoration and image quality assessment systems. In this paper, we compare on different image databases, the results obtained with DAF and with some subjective image quality assessments (Mean Opinion Score MOS as measure of perceived image quality). We study also the correlation between objective measure and MOS. In our experiments, we have used for the first image

  12. Image quality assessment of automatic three-segment MR attenuation correction vs. CT attenuation correction

    PubMed Central

    Partovi, Sasan; Kohan, Andres; Gaeta, Chiara; Rubbert, Christian; Vercher-Conejero, Jose L; Jones, Robert S; O’Donnell, James K; Wojtylak, Patrick; Faulhaber, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to systematically evaluate the usefulness of Positron emission tomography/Magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) images in a clinical setting by assessing the image quality of Positron emission tomography (PET) images using a three-segment MR attenuation correction (MRAC) versus the standard CT attenuation correction (CTAC). We prospectively studied 48 patients who had their clinically scheduled FDG-PET/CT followed by an FDG-PET/MRI. Three nuclear radiologists evaluated the image quality of CTAC vs. MRAC using a Likert scale (five-point scale). A two-sided, paired t-test was performed for comparison purposes. The image quality was further assessed by categorizing it as acceptable (equal to 4 and 5 on the five-point Likert scale) or unacceptable (equal to 1, 2, and 3 on the five-point Likert scale) quality using the McNemar test. When assessing the image quality using the Likert scale, one reader observed a significant difference between CTAC and MRAC (p=0.0015), whereas the other readers did not observe a difference (p=0.8924 and p=0.1880, respectively). When performing the grouping analysis, no significant difference was found between CTAC vs. MRAC for any of the readers (p=0.6137 for reader 1, p=1 for reader 2, and p=0.8137 for reader 3). All three readers more often reported artifacts on the MRAC images than on the CTAC images. There was no clinically significant difference in quality between PET images generated on a PET/MRI system and those from a Positron emission tomography/Computed tomography (PET/CT) system. PET images using the automatic three-segmented MR attenuation method provided diagnostic image quality. However, future research regarding the image quality obtained using different MR attenuation based methods is warranted before PET/MRI can be used clinically. PMID:23638340

  13. A clinical utility assessment of the automatic measurement method of the quality of Meibomian glands.

    PubMed

    Koprowski, Robert; Tian, Lei; Olczyk, Paweł

    2017-06-24

    Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is one of the most common diseases observed in clinics and is the leading cause of evaporative dry eye. Today, diagnostics of MGD is not fully automatic yet and is based on a qualitative assessment made by an ophthalmologist. Therefore, an automatic analysis method was developed to assess MGD quantiatively. The analysis made use of 228 images of 57 patients recorded by OCULUS Keratograph(®) 5 M with a resolution of 1024 × 1360 pixels concern 30 eyes of healthy individuals (14 women and 16 men) and 27 eyes of sick patients (10 women and 17 men). The diagnosis of dry eye was made according to the consensus of DED in China (2013). The presented method of analysis is a new, developed method enabling an automatic, reproducible and quantitative assessment of Meibomian glands. The analysis relates to employing the methods of analysis and image processing. The analysis was conducted in the Matlab environment Version 7.11.0.584, R2010b, Java VM Version: Java 1.6.0_17-b04 with Sun Microsystems Inc. with toolboxes: Statistical, Signal Processing and Image Processing. The presented, new method of analysis of Meibomian glands is fully automatic, does not require operator's intervention, allows obtaining reproducible results and enables a quantitative assessment of Meibomian glands. Compared to the other known methods, particularly with the method described in literature it allows obtaining better sensitivity (98%) and specificity (100%) results by 2%.

  14. Assessment of automatic exposure control performance in digital mammography using a no-reference anisotropic quality index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barufaldi, Bruno; Borges, Lucas R.; Bakic, Predrag R.; Vieira, Marcelo A. C.; Schiabel, Homero; Maidment, Andrew D. A.

    2017-03-01

    Automatic exposure control (AEC) is used in mammography to obtain acceptable radiation dose and adequate image quality regardless of breast thickness and composition. Although there are physics methods for assessing the AEC, it is not clear whether mammography systems operate with optimal dose and image quality in clinical practice. In this work, we propose the use of a normalized anisotropic quality index (NAQI), validated in previous studies, to evaluate the quality of mammograms acquired using AEC. The authors used a clinical dataset that consists of 561 patients and 1,046 mammograms (craniocaudal breast views). The results show that image quality is often maintained, even at various radiation levels (mean NAQI = 0.14 +/- 0.02). However, a more careful analysis of NAQI reveals that the average image quality decreases as breast thickness increases. The NAQI is reduced by 32% on average, when the breast thickness increases from 31 to 71 mm. NAQI also decreases with lower breast density. The variation in breast parenchyma alone cannot fully account for the decrease of NAQI with thickness. Examination of images shows that images of large, fatty breasts are often inadequately processed. This work shows that NAQI can be applied in clinical mammograms to assess mammographic image quality, and highlights the limitations of the automatic exposure control for some images.

  15. Assessing the impact of graphical quality on automatic text recognition in digital maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Yao-Yi; Leyk, Stefan; Honarvar Nazari, Narges; Moghaddam, Sima; Tan, Tian Xiang

    2016-08-01

    Converting geographic features (e.g., place names) in map images into a vector format is the first step for incorporating cartographic information into a geographic information system (GIS). With the advancement in computational power and algorithm design, map processing systems have been considerably improved over the last decade. However, the fundamental map processing techniques such as color image segmentation, (map) layer separation, and object recognition are sensitive to minor variations in graphical properties of the input image (e.g., scanning resolution). As a result, most map processing results would not meet user expectations if the user does not "properly" scan the map of interest, pre-process the map image (e.g., using compression or not), and train the processing system, accordingly. These issues could slow down the further advancement of map processing techniques as such unsuccessful attempts create a discouraged user community, and less sophisticated tools would be perceived as more viable solutions. Thus, it is important to understand what kinds of maps are suitable for automatic map processing and what types of results and process-related errors can be expected. In this paper, we shed light on these questions by using a typical map processing task, text recognition, to discuss a number of map instances that vary in suitability for automatic processing. We also present an extensive experiment on a diverse set of scanned historical maps to provide measures of baseline performance of a standard text recognition tool under varying map conditions (graphical quality) and text representations (that can vary even within the same map sheet). Our experimental results help the user understand what to expect when a fully or semi-automatic map processing system is used to process a scanned map with certain (varying) graphical properties and complexities in map content.

  16. Groupwise conditional random forests for automatic shape classification and contour quality assessment in radiotherapy planning.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, Chris; Svistoun, Igor; Purdie, Thomas G

    2013-06-01

    Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer patients around the world. High quality treatment plans maximally radiate the targets while minimally radiating healthy organs at risk. In order to judge plan quality and safety, segmentations of the targets and organs at risk are created, and the amount of radiation that will be delivered to each structure is estimated prior to treatment. If the targets or organs at risk are mislabelled, or the segmentations are of poor quality, the safety of the radiation doses will be erroneously reviewed and an unsafe plan could proceed. We propose a technique to automatically label groups of segmentations of different structures from a radiation therapy plan for the joint purposes of providing quality assurance and data mining. Given one or more segmentations and an associated image we seek to assign medically meaningful labels to each segmentation and report the confidence of that label. Our method uses random forests to learn joint distributions over the training features, and then exploits a set of learned potential group configurations to build a conditional random field (CRF) that ensures the assignment of labels is consistent across the group of segmentations. The CRF is then solved via a constrained assignment problem. We validate our method on 1574 plans, consisting of 17[Formula: see text] 579 segmentations, demonstrating an overall classification accuracy of 91.58%. Our results also demonstrate the stability of RF with respect to tree depth and the number of splitting variables in large data sets.

  17. Automatic assessment of voice quality in the context of multiple annotations.

    PubMed

    Gil González, Julián; Álvarez, Mauricio A; Orozco, Álvaro A

    2015-01-01

    Approaches to evaluate voice quality include perceptual analysis, and acoustical analysis. Perceptual analysis is subjective and depends mostly on the ability of a specialist to assess a pathology, whereas acoustical analysis is objective, but highly relies on the quality of the so called annotations that the specialist assigns to the voice signal. The quality of the annotations for acoustical analysis depends heavily on the expertise and knowledge of the specialist. We face a scenario where we have annotations performed by several specialists with different levels of expertise and knowledge. Traditional pattern recognition methods employed in acoustical analysis are no longer applicable, since these methods are designed for scenarios where a "ground-truth" label is assigned by the specialist. In this paper, we apply recent developments in machine learning for taking into account multiple annotators for acoustical analysis of voice signals. For the classification step we compare two techniques, one of them based on Gaussian Processes for regression with multiple annotators, and the other is a multi-class Logistic Regression model that measures the annotator performance in terms of sensitivity and specificity. The performance of classifiers is assessed in terms of Cohen's Kappa index. Results show that the multi-annotator classification schemes have better performance when compared to techniques based on a traditional classifier where the true label is estimated from the multiple annotations available using majority voting.

  18. Towards automatic quantitative quality control for MRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauzon, Carolyn B.; Caffo, Brian C.; Landman, Bennett A.

    2012-02-01

    Quality and consistency of clinical and research data collected from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners may become suspect due to a wide variety of common factors including, experimental changes, hardware degradation, hardware replacement, software updates, personnel changes, and observed imaging artifacts. Standard practice limits quality analysis to visual assessment by a researcher/clinician or a quantitative quality control based upon phantoms which may not be timely, cannot account for differing experimental protocol (e.g. gradient timings and strengths), and may not be pertinent to the data or experimental question at hand. This paper presents a parallel processing pipeline developed towards experiment specific automatic quantitative quality control of MRI data using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) as an experimental test case. The pipeline consists of automatic identification of DTI scans run on the MRI scanner, calculation of DTI contrasts from the data, implementation of modern statistical methods (wild bootstrap and SIMEX) to assess variance and bias in DTI contrasts, and quality assessment via power calculations and normative values. For this pipeline, a DTI specific power calculation analysis is developed as well as the first incorporation of bias estimates in DTI data to improve statistical analysis.

  19. Automatic Programming Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Sheung-Lun; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Discusses software metrics and describes a study of graduate students in Hong Kong that evaluated the relevance of using software metrics as a means of assessing students' performance in programing. The use of four basic metrics to measure programing skill, complexity, programing style, and programing efficiency using Pascal is examined. (13…

  20. A conceptual study of automatic and semi-automatic quality assurance techniques for round image processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of a study conducted by Engineering and Economics Research (EER), Inc. under NASA Contract Number NAS5-27513. The study involved the development of preliminary concepts for automatic and semiautomatic quality assurance (QA) techniques for ground image processing. A distinction is made between quality assessment and the more comprehensive quality assurance which includes decision making and system feedback control in response to quality assessment.

  1. Dose reduction and image quality assessment in 64-detector row computed tomography of the coronary arteries using an automatic exposure control system.

    PubMed

    Francone, Marco; Di Castro, Elisabetta; Napoli, Alessandro; Bolzan, Chiara; Carbone, Iacopo; Bertoletti, Linda; Iuliano, Luigi; Catalano, Carlo; Passariello, Roberto

    2008-01-01

    To evaluate dose reduction and image quality in coronary 64-slice multidetector computed tomography using an automatic exposure control system (AECs). A total of 101 patients were divided into 4 groups. Tube current was 600 and 800 mAs in groups A and B and adapted at 600 and 800 quality-reference mAs using an AECs in groups C and D. Effective dose and organ-equivalent dose were evaluated. Image noise was quantified as standard deviation of air-space attenuation. Two observers assessed technical adequacy and image quality using a 4-point scale. Effective dose ranged from 8.6 mSv (group C) to 15 mSv (group B) with significant dose reduction for examinations performed at 600 mAs (21.7%) and 800 mAs (29.4%). Contribution of organ-equivalent doses showed higher exposure for lungs (42%) and breast (22%). Noise was significantly higher in groups studied with AECs. Larger coronary segments resulted in higher image quality scores without differences between groups. Automatic exposure control systems provides images of diagnostic quality with substantial dose reduction.

  2. An automatic quality system for injection molding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koikkalainen, Pasi; Haranen, Michael; Lensu, Anssi; Sippola, Risto

    2007-09-01

    This paper describes a fully automatic quality system for injection molding. The proposed system includes an on-line measurement platform with a digital camera, a methodology for adaptive design of experiments (DOE), statistical modeling, process monitoring, and a closed loop process control. The system has been tested in the manufacturing of plastic parts for mobile phones.

  3. Back-and-Forth Methodology for Objective Voice Quality Assessment: From/to Expert Knowledge to/from Automatic Classification of Dysphonia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fredouille, Corinne; Pouchoulin, Gilles; Ghio, Alain; Revis, Joana; Bonastre, Jean-François; Giovanni, Antoine

    2009-12-01

    This paper addresses voice disorder assessment. It proposes an original back-and-forth methodology involving an automatic classification system as well as knowledge of the human experts (machine learning experts, phoneticians, and pathologists). The goal of this methodology is to bring a better understanding of acoustic phenomena related to dysphonia. The automatic system was validated on a dysphonic corpus (80 female voices), rated according to the GRBAS perceptual scale by an expert jury. Firstly, focused on the frequency domain, the classification system showed the interest of 0-3000 Hz frequency band for the classification task based on the GRBAS scale. Later, an automatic phonemic analysis underlined the significance of consonants and more surprisingly of unvoiced consonants for the same classification task. Submitted to the human experts, these observations led to a manual analysis of unvoiced plosives, which highlighted a lengthening of VOT according to the dysphonia severity validated by a preliminary statistical analysis.

  4. The SIETTE Automatic Assessment Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conejo, Ricardo; Guzmán, Eduardo; Trella, Monica

    2016-01-01

    This article describes the evolution and current state of the domain-independent Siette assessment environment. Siette supports different assessment methods--including classical test theory, item response theory, and computer adaptive testing--and integrates them with multidimensional student models used by intelligent educational systems.…

  5. The SIETTE Automatic Assessment Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conejo, Ricardo; Guzmán, Eduardo; Trella, Monica

    2016-01-01

    This article describes the evolution and current state of the domain-independent Siette assessment environment. Siette supports different assessment methods--including classical test theory, item response theory, and computer adaptive testing--and integrates them with multidimensional student models used by intelligent educational systems.…

  6. Automatic Assessment of 3D Modeling Exams

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanna, A.; Lamberti, F.; Paravati, G.; Demartini, C.

    2012-01-01

    Computer-based assessment of exams provides teachers and students with two main benefits: fairness and effectiveness in the evaluation process. This paper proposes a fully automatic evaluation tool for the Graphic and Virtual Design (GVD) curriculum at the First School of Architecture of the Politecnico di Torino, Italy. In particular, the tool is…

  7. Automatic Assessment of 3D Modeling Exams

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanna, A.; Lamberti, F.; Paravati, G.; Demartini, C.

    2012-01-01

    Computer-based assessment of exams provides teachers and students with two main benefits: fairness and effectiveness in the evaluation process. This paper proposes a fully automatic evaluation tool for the Graphic and Virtual Design (GVD) curriculum at the First School of Architecture of the Politecnico di Torino, Italy. In particular, the tool is…

  8. Self-assessing target with automatic feedback

    SciTech Connect

    Larkin, Stephen W.; Kramer, Robert L.

    2004-03-02

    A self assessing target with four quadrants and a method of use thereof. Each quadrant containing possible causes for why shots are going into that particular quadrant rather than the center mass of the target. Each possible cause is followed by a solution intended to help the marksman correct the problem causing the marksman to shoot in that particular area. In addition, the self assessing target contains possible causes for general shooting errors and solutions to the causes of the general shooting error. The automatic feedback with instant suggestions and corrections enables the shooter to improve their marksmanship.

  9. Automatic vs semi-automatic global cardiac function assessment using 64-row CT

    PubMed Central

    Greupner, J; Zimmermann, E; Hamm, B; Dewey, M

    2012-01-01

    Objective Global cardiac function assessment using multidetector CT (MDCT) is time-consuming. Therefore we sought to compare an automatic software tool with an established semi-automatic method. Methods A total of 36 patients underwent CT with 64×0.5 mm detector collimation, and global left ventricular function was subsequently assessed by two independent blinded readers using both an automatic region-growing-based software tool (with and without manual adjustment) and an established semi-automatic software tool. We also analysed automatic motion mapping to identify end-systole. Results The time needed for assessment using the semi-automatic approach (12:12±6:19 min) was reduced by 75–85% with the automatic software tool (unadjusted, 01:34±0:29 min, adjusted, 02:53±1:19 min; both p<0.001). There was good correlation (r=0.89; p<0.001) for the ejection fraction (EF) between the adjusted automatic (58.6±14.9%) and the semi-automatic (58.0±15.3%) approaches. Also the manually adjusted automatic approach led to significantly smaller limits of agreement than the unadjusted automatic approach for end-diastolic volume (±36.4 ml vs ±58.5 ml, p>0.05). Using motion mapping to automatically identify end-systole reduced analysis time by 95% compared with the semi-automatic approach, but showed inferior precision for EF and end-systolic volume. Conclusion Automatic function assessment using MDCT with manual adjustment shows good agreement with an established semi-automatic approach, while reducing the analysis by 75% to less than 3 min. This suggests that automatic CT function assessment with manual correction may be used for fast, comfortable and reliable evaluation of global left ventricular function. PMID:22045953

  10. Patients' involvement in e-health services quality assessment: a system for the automatic interpretation of SMS-based patients' feedback.

    PubMed

    Rubrichi, Stefania; Battistotti, Andrea; Quaglini, Silvana

    2014-10-01

    Effective communication between patients and health services providers is a key aspect for optimizing and maintaining these services. This work describes a system for the automatic evaluation of users' perception of the quality of SmsCup, a reminder system for outpatient visits based on short message service (SMS). The final purpose is the creation of a closed-loop control system for the outpatient service, where patients' complaints and comments represent a feedback that can be used for a better implementation of the service itself. SmsCup was adopted since about eight years by an Italian healthcare organization, with very good results in reducing the no-show (missing visits) phenomenon. During these years, a number of citizens, even if not required, sent a message back, with comments about the service. The automatic interpretation of the content of those SMS may be useful for monitoring and improving service performances.Yet, due to the complex nature of SMS language, their interpretation represents an ongoing challenge. The proposed system uses conditional random fields as the information extraction method for classifying messages into several semantic categories. The categories refer to appreciation of the service or complaints of various types. Then, the system analyzes the extracted content and provides feedback to the service providers, making them learning and acting on this basis. At each step, the content of the messages reveals the actual state of the service as well as the efficacy of corrective actions previously undertaken. Our evaluations showed that: (i) the SMS classification system has achieved good overall performance with an average F1-measure and an overall accuracy of about 92%; (ii) the notification of the patients' feedbacks to service providers showed a positive impact on service functioning. Our study proposed an interactive patient-centered system for continuous monitoring of the service quality. It has demonstrated the feasibility of a

  11. Automatic cellularity assessment from post-treated breast surgical specimens.

    PubMed

    Peikari, Mohammad; Salama, Sherine; Nofech-Mozes, Sharon; Martel, Anne L

    2017-10-04

    Neoadjuvant treatment (NAT) of breast cancer (BCa) is an option for patients with the locally advanced disease. It has been compared with standard adjuvant therapy with the aim of improving prognosis and surgical outcome. Moreover, the response of the tumor to the therapy provides useful information for patient management. The pathological examination of the tissue sections after surgery is the gold-standard to estimate the residual tumor and the assessment of cellularity is an important component of tumor burden assessment. In the current clinical practice, tumor cellularity is manually estimated by pathologists on hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained slides, the quality, and reliability of which might be impaired by inter-observer variability which potentially affects prognostic power assessment in NAT trials. This procedure is also qualitative and time-consuming. In this paper, we describe a method of automatically assessing cellularity. A pipeline to automatically segment nuclei figures and estimate residual cancer cellularity from within patches and whole slide images (WSIs) of BCa was developed. We have compared the performance of our proposed pipeline in estimating residual cancer cellularity with that of two expert pathologists. We found an intra-class agreement coefficient (ICC) of 0.89 (95% CI of [0.70, 0.95]) between pathologists, 0.74 (95% CI of [0.70, 0.77]) between pathologist #1 and proposed method, and 0.75 (95% CI of [0.71, 0.79]) between pathologist #2 and proposed method. We have also successfully applied our proposed technique on a WSI to locate areas with high concentration of residual cancer. The main advantage of our approach is that it is fully automatic and can be used to find areas with high cellularity in WSIs. This provides a first step in developing an automatic technique for post-NAT tumor response assessment from pathology slides. © 2017 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry. © 2017 International Society for Advancement

  12. Toward automatic recognition of high quality clinical evidence.

    PubMed

    Kilicoglu, Halil; Demner-Fushman, Dina; Rindflesch, Thomas C; Wilczynski, Nancy L; Haynes, R Brian

    2008-11-06

    Automatic methods for recognizing topically relevant documents supported by high quality research can assist clinicians in practicing evidence-based medicine. We approach the challenge of identifying articles with high quality clinical evidence as a binary classification problem. Combining predictions from supervised machine learning methods and using deep semantic features, we achieve 73.5% precision and 67% recall.

  13. Automatic quality and ripeness inspection system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Jing; van Renesse, Rudolf L.

    1990-08-01

    The feasibility of an opto-electronic inspection system for the sorting and grading of apples with respect to ripeness and quality is studied. This study comprises a detailed spectral analysis of the healthy skin as well as a variety of visual defects. Three different apple species were studied: Cox orange, Golden delicious and Golden rennet. Spectral wavebands of interest appear to be the chlorophyll peak around 570nm, the ripeness peak around 64Onrrt and the near infra-red beyond 75Onxn. Stem and calix of apples pose a separate problem because their spectral reflection cannot be distinguished from that of most visual defects. A solution for this problem is given.

  14. Automatic selection of best quality vessels from multiple-phase coronary CT angiography (cCTA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jordan; Hadjiiski, Lubomir; Chan, Heang-Ping; Zhou, Chuan; Wei, Jun; Chughtai, Aamer; Kuriakose, Jean; Agarwal, Prachi; Kazerooni, Ella

    2015-03-01

    We are developing an automated method to select the best-quality vessels from coronary arterial trees in multiplephase cCTA and build a best-quality tree to facilitate the detection of stenotic plaques. Using our previously developed vessel registration method, the vessels from different phases were automatically registered. Branching points on the centerline are projected onto the registered trees. The centerlines are split into branches based on the projected branching points. Each tree branch is then straightened. The registered trees and centerline branches are used to determine the correspondence of branches between phases so that each branch can be compared to its corresponding branches in the other phases. A vessel quality measure (VQM) is calculated as the average radial gradients at the vessel wall over the entire vessel branch. The quality of the corresponding branches from all phases is automatically compared using the VQM. An observer preference study was conducted with two radiologists to visually compare the quality of the vessels. For each branch, the pair that was automatically determined to be the best and worst quality by the VQM was used for the radiologists' visual assessment. Each radiologist, blinded to the VQM, evaluated pairs of corresponding branches and provided their preference. The performance of the automatic selection using VQM was evaluated as the percentage of the total number of vessel pairs for which the automatic selection agreed with the radiologist's selection of the higher quality branch in the pair. The agreement between the first radiologist and the automated selection was 80% and that between the second radiologist and the automated selection was 82%. In comparison, the agreement between the two radiologists was 90%. This preliminary study demonstrates the feasibility of using an automated method to select the best-quality vessels from multiple cCTA phases.

  15. Automatic Assessment of Socioeconomic Impact on Cardiac Rehabilitation

    PubMed Central

    Calvo, Mireia; Subirats, Laia; Ceccaroni, Luigi; Maroto, José María; de Pablo, Carmen; Miralles, Felip

    2013-01-01

    Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) and Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs), which capture life expectancy and quality of the remaining life-years, are applied in a new method to measure socioeconomic impacts related to health. A 7-step methodology estimating the impact of health interventions based on DALYs, QALYs and functioning changes is presented. It relates the latter (1) to the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire (2) to automatically calculate the health status before and after the intervention (3). This change of status is represented as a change in quality of life when calculating QALYs gained due to the intervention (4). In order to make an economic assessment, QALYs gained are converted to DALYs averted (5). Then, by inferring the cost/DALY from the cost associated to the disability in terms of DALYs lost (6) and taking into account the cost of the action, cost savings due to the intervention are calculated (7) as an objective measure of socioeconomic impact. The methodology is implemented in Java. Cases within the framework of cardiac rehabilitation processes are analyzed and the calculations are based on 200 patients who underwent different cardiac-rehabilitation processes. Results show that these interventions result, on average, in a gain in QALYs of 0.6 and a cost savings of 8,000 €. PMID:24284349

  16. Incorporating Learning Characteristics into Automatic Essay Scoring Models: What Individual Differences and Linguistic Features Tell Us about Writing Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crossley, Scott A.; Allen, Laura K.; Snow, Erica L.; McNamara, Danielle S.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates a novel approach to automatically assessing essay quality that combines natural language processing approaches that assess text features with approaches that assess individual differences in writers such as demographic information, standardized test scores, and survey results. The results demonstrate that combining text…

  17. Automatic processes in aggression: Conceptual and assessment issues.

    PubMed

    Bluemke, Matthias; Teige-Mocigemba, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    This editorial to the special section "Automatic Processes in Aggression: Conceptual and Assessment Issues" introduces major research lines, all of which culminate in recent advances in the measurement of automatic components in aggressive behavior. Researchers of almost all psychological disciplines have stressed increasingly the importance of automatic components to gain a comprehensive psychological understanding of human behavior. This is reflected in current dual-process theories according to which both controlled processes and rather automatic processes elicit behavior in a synergistic or antagonistic way. As a consequence, complementing self-reports (assumed to assess predominantly controlled processes) by the use of implicit measures (assumed to assess predominantly automatic processes) has become common practice in various domains. We familiarize the reader with the three contributions that illuminate how such a distinction can further our understanding of human aggression. At the same time, it becomes evident that there is a long way that method-oriented researchers need to go before we can fully comprehend how to best measure automatic processes in aggression. We see the present special section as an invigorating call to contribute to this endeavor. Aggr. Behav. 41:44-50 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Automatic processes in aggression: Conceptual and assessment issues.

    PubMed

    Bluemke, Matthias; Teige-Mocigemba, Sarah

    2014-12-12

    This editorial to the special section "Automatic Processes in Aggression: Conceptual and Assessment Issues" introduces major research lines, all of which culminate in recent advances in the measurement of automatic components in aggressive behavior. Researchers of almost all psychological disciplines have stressed increasingly the importance of automatic components to gain a comprehensive psychological understanding of human behavior. This is reflected in current dual-process theories according to which both controlled processes and rather automatic processes elicit behavior in a synergistic or antagonistic way. As a consequence, complementing self-reports (assumed to assess predominantly controlled processes) by the use of implicit measures (assumed to assess predominantly automatic processes) has become common practice in various domains. We familiarize the reader with the three contributions that illuminate how such a distinction can further our understanding of human aggression. At the same time, it becomes evident that there is a long way that method-oriented researchers need to go before we can fully comprehend how to best measure automatic processes in aggression. We see the present special section as an invigorating call to contribute to this endeavor. Aggr. Behav. 9999:XX-XX, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Improving labeling efficiency in automatic quality control of MRSI data.

    PubMed

    Pedrosa de Barros, Nuno; McKinley, Richard; Wiest, Roland; Slotboom, Johannes

    2017-02-07

    To improve the efficiency of the labeling task in automatic quality control of MR spectroscopy imaging data. 28'432 short and long echo time (TE) spectra (1.5 tesla; point resolved spectroscopy (PRESS); repetition time (TR)= 1,500 ms) from 18 different brain tumor patients were labeled by two experts as either accept or reject, depending on their quality. For each spectrum, 47 signal features were extracted. The data was then used to run several simulations and test an active learning approach using uncertainty sampling. The performance of the classifiers was evaluated as a function of the number of patients in the training set, number of spectra in the training set, and a parameter α used to control the level of classification uncertainty required for a new spectrum to be selected for labeling. The results showed that the proposed strategy allows reductions of up to 72.97% for short TE and 62.09% for long TE in the amount of data that needs to be labeled, without significant impact in classification accuracy. Further reductions are possible with significant but minimal impact in performance. Active learning using uncertainty sampling is an effective way to increase the labeling efficiency for training automatic quality control classifiers. Magn Reson Med, 2017. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  20. Automatic red eye correction and its quality metric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safonov, Ilia V.; Rychagov, Michael N.; Kang, KiMin; Kim, Sang Ho

    2008-01-01

    The red eye artifacts are troublesome defect of amateur photos. Correction of red eyes during printing without user intervention and making photos more pleasant for an observer are important tasks. The novel efficient technique of automatic correction of red eyes aimed for photo printers is proposed. This algorithm is independent from face orientation and capable to detect paired red eyes as well as single red eyes. The approach is based on application of 3D tables with typicalness levels for red eyes and human skin tones and directional edge detection filters for processing of redness image. Machine learning is applied for feature selection. For classification of red eye regions a cascade of classifiers including Gentle AdaBoost committee from Classification and Regression Trees (CART) is applied. Retouching stage includes desaturation, darkening and blending with initial image. Several versions of approach implementation using trade-off between detection and correction quality, processing time, memory volume are possible. The numeric quality criterion of automatic red eye correction is proposed. This quality metric is constructed by applying Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) for consumer opinions about correction outcomes. Proposed numeric metric helped to choose algorithm parameters via optimization procedure. Experimental results demonstrate high accuracy and efficiency of the proposed algorithm in comparison with existing solutions.

  1. Automatic image assessment from facial attributes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ptucha, Raymond; Kloosterman, David; Mittelstaedt, Brian; Loui, Alexander

    2013-03-01

    Personal consumer photography collections often contain photos captured by numerous devices stored both locally and via online services. The task of gathering, organizing, and assembling still and video assets in preparation for sharing with others can be quite challenging. Current commercial photobook applications are mostly manual-based requiring significant user interactions. To assist the consumer in organizing these assets, we propose an automatic method to assign a fitness score to each asset, whereby the top scoring assets are used for product creation. Our method uses cues extracted from analyzing pixel data, metadata embedded in the file, as well as ancillary tags or online comments. When a face occurs in an image, its features have a dominating influence on both aesthetic and compositional properties of the displayed image. As such, this paper will emphasize the contributions faces have on affecting the overall fitness score of an image. To understand consumer preference, we conducted a psychophysical study that spanned 27 judges, 5,598 faces, and 2,550 images. Preferences on a per-face and per-image basis were independently gathered to train our classifiers. We describe how to use machine learning techniques to merge differing facial attributes into a single classifier. Our novel methods of facial weighting, fusion of facial attributes, and dimensionality reduction produce stateof- the-art results suitable for commercial applications.

  2. Automatic Summary Assessment for Intelligent Tutoring Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    He, Yulan; Hui, Siu Cheung; Quan, Tho Thanh

    2009-01-01

    Summary writing is an important part of many English Language Examinations. As grading students' summary writings is a very time-consuming task, computer-assisted assessment will help teachers carry out the grading more effectively. Several techniques such as latent semantic analysis (LSA), n-gram co-occurrence and BLEU have been proposed to…

  3. Automatic Summary Assessment for Intelligent Tutoring Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    He, Yulan; Hui, Siu Cheung; Quan, Tho Thanh

    2009-01-01

    Summary writing is an important part of many English Language Examinations. As grading students' summary writings is a very time-consuming task, computer-assisted assessment will help teachers carry out the grading more effectively. Several techniques such as latent semantic analysis (LSA), n-gram co-occurrence and BLEU have been proposed to…

  4. On Automatic Assessment and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rasila, Antti; Malinen, Jarmo; Tiitu, Hannu

    2015-01-01

    We consider two complementary aspects of mathematical skills, i.e. "procedural fluency" and "conceptual understanding," from a point of view that is related to modern e-learning environments and computer-based assessment. Pedagogical background of teaching mathematics is discussed, and it is proposed that the traditional book…

  5. Automatically Assessing Graph-Based Diagrams

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Pete; Smith, Neil; Waugh, Kevin

    2008-01-01

    To date there has been very little work on the machine understanding of imprecise diagrams, such as diagrams drawn by students in response to assessment questions. Imprecise diagrams exhibit faults such as missing, extraneous and incorrectly formed elements. The semantics of imprecise diagrams are difficult to determine. While there have been…

  6. On Automatic Assessment and Conceptual Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rasila, Antti; Malinen, Jarmo; Tiitu, Hannu

    2015-01-01

    We consider two complementary aspects of mathematical skills, i.e. "procedural fluency" and "conceptual understanding," from a point of view that is related to modern e-learning environments and computer-based assessment. Pedagogical background of teaching mathematics is discussed, and it is proposed that the traditional book…

  7. Automatically Assessing Graph-Based Diagrams

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Pete; Smith, Neil; Waugh, Kevin

    2008-01-01

    To date there has been very little work on the machine understanding of imprecise diagrams, such as diagrams drawn by students in response to assessment questions. Imprecise diagrams exhibit faults such as missing, extraneous and incorrectly formed elements. The semantics of imprecise diagrams are difficult to determine. While there have been…

  8. Assessing model accuracy using the homology modeling automatically software.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Aneerban; Wunderlich, Zeba; Monleon, Daniel; Tejero, Roberto; Montelione, Gaetano T

    2008-01-01

    Homology modeling is a powerful technique that greatly increases the value of experimental structure determination by using the structural information of one protein to predict the structures of homologous proteins. We have previously described a method of homology modeling by satisfaction of spatial restraints (Li et al., Protein Sci 1997;6:956-970). The Homology Modeling Automatically (HOMA) web site, , is a new tool, using this method to predict 3D structure of a target protein based on the sequence alignment of the target protein to a template protein and the structure coordinates of the template. The user is presented with the resulting models, together with an extensive structure validation report providing critical assessments of the quality of the resulting homology models. The homology modeling method employed by HOMA was assessed and validated using twenty-four groups of homologous proteins. Using HOMA, homology models were generated for 510 proteins, including 264 proteins modeled with correct folds and 246 modeled with incorrect folds. Accuracies of these models were assessed by superimposition on the corresponding experimentally determined structures. A subset of these results was compared with parallel studies of modeling accuracy using several other automated homology modeling approaches. Overall, HOMA provides prediction accuracies similar to other state-of-the-art homology modeling methods. We also provide an evaluation of several structure quality validation tools in assessing the accuracy of homology models generated with HOMA. This study demonstrates that Verify3D (Luthy et al., Nature 1992;356:83-85) and ProsaII (Sippl, Proteins 1993;17:355-362) are most sensitive in distinguishing between homology models with correct or incorrect folds. For homology models that have the correct fold, the steric conformational energy (including primarily the Van der Waals energy), MolProbity clashscore (Word et al., Protein

  9. Investigating Prompt Difficulty in an Automatically Scored Speaking Performance Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Troy L.

    2013-01-01

    Speaking assessments for second language learners have traditionally been expensive to administer because of the cost of rating the speech samples. To reduce the cost, many researchers are investigating the potential of using automatic speech recognition (ASR) as a means to score examinee responses to open-ended prompts. This study examined the…

  10. Investigating Prompt Difficulty in an Automatically Scored Speaking Performance Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Troy L.

    2013-01-01

    Speaking assessments for second language learners have traditionally been expensive to administer because of the cost of rating the speech samples. To reduce the cost, many researchers are investigating the potential of using automatic speech recognition (ASR) as a means to score examinee responses to open-ended prompts. This study examined the…

  11. Automatic personality assessment through social media language.

    PubMed

    Park, Gregory; Schwartz, H Andrew; Eichstaedt, Johannes C; Kern, Margaret L; Kosinski, Michal; Stillwell, David J; Ungar, Lyle H; Seligman, Martin E P

    2015-06-01

    Language use is a psychologically rich, stable individual difference with well-established correlations to personality. We describe a method for assessing personality using an open-vocabulary analysis of language from social media. We compiled the written language from 66,732 Facebook users and their questionnaire-based self-reported Big Five personality traits, and then we built a predictive model of personality based on their language. We used this model to predict the 5 personality factors in a separate sample of 4,824 Facebook users, examining (a) convergence with self-reports of personality at the domain- and facet-level; (b) discriminant validity between predictions of distinct traits; (c) agreement with informant reports of personality; (d) patterns of correlations with external criteria (e.g., number of friends, political attitudes, impulsiveness); and (e) test-retest reliability over 6-month intervals. Results indicated that language-based assessments can constitute valid personality measures: they agreed with self-reports and informant reports of personality, added incremental validity over informant reports, adequately discriminated between traits, exhibited patterns of correlations with external criteria similar to those found with self-reported personality, and were stable over 6-month intervals. Analysis of predictive language can provide rich portraits of the mental life associated with traits. This approach can complement and extend traditional methods, providing researchers with an additional measure that can quickly and cheaply assess large groups of participants with minimal burden.

  12. A Risk Assessment System with Automatic Extraction of Event Types

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capet, Philippe; Delavallade, Thomas; Nakamura, Takuya; Sandor, Agnes; Tarsitano, Cedric; Voyatzi, Stavroula

    In this article we describe the joint effort of experts in linguistics, information extraction and risk assessment to integrate EventSpotter, an automatic event extraction engine, into ADAC, an automated early warning system. By detecting as early as possible weak signals of emerging risks ADAC provides a dynamic synthetic picture of situations involving risk. The ADAC system calculates risk on the basis of fuzzy logic rules operated on a template graph whose leaves are event types. EventSpotter is based on a general purpose natural language dependency parser, XIP, enhanced with domain-specific lexical resources (Lexicon-Grammar). Its role is to automatically feed the leaves with input data.

  13. [Automatic milking systems--quality assurance of milk for drinking].

    PubMed

    Redetzky, R; Hamann, J

    2004-07-01

    German consumers trust the safety and the quality of milk and milk products. Compared with other animal products, e. g. meat and meat products, their confidence is justified in so far as milk and milk products cause only few foodborne diseases in Germany, although 80 percent of all German cows develop at least one case of mastitis per lactation. Due to financial reasons, more and more German dairy farmers are forced to initiate a time-saving rationalization of their workflow. Therefore, automatic milking systems (AMS) are used increasingly, even though the costs of purchase result in a slow pick-up in sales. Moreover, AMS do not comply with legal requirements. Thus, an additional regular, the so called "catalogue of measures", had to be enacted to ensure the hygienic harmlessness of milk produced by AMS. This is the first time, that udder health at individual cow level was related to milk quality beyond merely clinical signs. Together with technical innovations for an improved health monitoring at cow and herd level as well as the implementation of quality assurance programs based on prevention, this improvement offers good prospects to produce not only a hygienically harmless, but also a physiologically composed milk and therefore a qualitatively high-grade milk from healthy cows. Being the vehicle of the most recent improvements in technology, AMS do have the potential to make a crucial contribution to this development.

  14. Automatic, computer-based speech assessment on edentulous patients with and without complete dentures - preliminary results.

    PubMed

    Stelzle, F; Ugrinovic, B; Knipfer, C; Bocklet, T; Nöth, E; Schuster, M; Eitner, S; Seiss, M; Nkenke, E

    2010-03-01

    Dental rehabilitation of edentulous patients with complete dentures includes not only aesthetics and mastication of food, but also speech quality. It was the aim of this study to introduce and validate a computer-based speech recognition system (ASR) for automatic speech assessment in edentulous patients after dental rehabilitation with complete dentures. To examine the impact of dentures on speech production, the speech outcome of edentulous patients with and without complete dentures was compared. Twenty-eight patients reading a standardized text were recorded twice - with and without their complete dentures in situ. A control group of 40 healthy subjects with natural dentition was recorded under the same conditions. Speech quality was evaluated by means of a polyphone-based ASR according to the percentage of the word accuracy (WA). Speech acceptability assessment by expert listeners and the automatic rating of the WA by the ASR showed a high correlation (corr = 0.71). Word accuracy was significantly reduced in edentulous speakers (55.42 +/- 13.1) compared to the control group's WA (69.79 +/- 10.6). On the other hand, wearing complete dentures significantly increased the WA of the edentulous patients (60.00 +/- 15.6). Speech production quality is significantly reduced after complete loss of teeth. Reconstitution of speech production quality is an important part of dental rehabilitation and can be improved for edentulous patients by means of complete dentures. The ASR has proven to be a useful and easily applicable tool for automatic speech assessment in a standardized way.

  15. Semi-automatic semantic annotation of PubMed queries: a study on quality, efficiency, satisfaction.

    PubMed

    Névéol, Aurélie; Islamaj Doğan, Rezarta; Lu, Zhiyong

    2011-04-01

    Information processing algorithms require significant amounts of annotated data for training and testing. The availability of such data is often hindered by the complexity and high cost of production. In this paper, we investigate the benefits of a state-of-the-art tool to help with the semantic annotation of a large set of biomedical queries. Seven annotators were recruited to annotate a set of 10,000 PubMed® queries with 16 biomedical and bibliographic categories. About half of the queries were annotated from scratch, while the other half were automatically pre-annotated and manually corrected. The impact of the automatic pre-annotations was assessed on several aspects of the task: time, number of actions, annotator satisfaction, inter-annotator agreement, quality and number of the resulting annotations. The analysis of annotation results showed that the number of required hand annotations is 28.9% less when using pre-annotated results from automatic tools. As a result, the overall annotation time was substantially lower when pre-annotations were used, while inter-annotator agreement was significantly higher. In addition, there was no statistically significant difference in the semantic distribution or number of annotations produced when pre-annotations were used. The annotated query corpus is freely available to the research community. This study shows that automatic pre-annotations are found helpful by most annotators. Our experience suggests using an automatic tool to assist large-scale manual annotation projects. This helps speed-up the annotation time and improve annotation consistency while maintaining high quality of the final annotations.

  16. Semi-automatic semantic annotation of PubMed Queries: a study on quality, efficiency, satisfaction

    PubMed Central

    Névéol, Aurélie; Islamaj-Doğan, Rezarta; Lu, Zhiyong

    2010-01-01

    Information processing algorithms require significant amounts of annotated data for training and testing. The availability of such data is often hindered by the complexity and high cost of production. In this paper, we investigate the benefits of a state-of-the-art tool to help with the semantic annotation of a large set of biomedical information queries. Seven annotators were recruited to annotate a set of 10,000 PubMed® queries with 16 biomedical and bibliographic categories. About half of the queries were annotated from scratch, while the other half were automatically pre-annotated and manually corrected. The impact of the automatic pre-annotations was assessed on several aspects of the task: time, number of actions, annotator satisfaction, inter-annotator agreement, quality and number of the resulting annotations. The analysis of annotation results showed that the number of required hand annotations is 28.9% less when using pre-annotated results from automatic tools. As a result, the overall annotation time was substantially lower when pre-annotations were used, while inter-annotator agreement was significantly higher. In addition, there was no statistically significant difference in the semantic distribution or number of annotations produced when pre-annotations were used. The annotated query corpus is freely available to the research community. This study shows that automatic pre-annotations are found helpful by most annotators. Our experience suggests using an automatic tool to assist large-scale manual annotation projects. This helps speed-up the annotation time and improve annotation consistency while maintaining high quality of the final annotations. PMID:21094696

  17. Water Quality Assessment and Management

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Overview of Clean Water Act (CWA) restoration framework including; water quality standards, monitoring/assessment, reporting water quality status, TMDL development, TMDL implementation (point & nonpoint source control)

  18. Assessment of Automatic Thoughts in Patients with Depressive Illness at a Tertiary Hospital in Nepal.

    PubMed

    Rana, M; Sthapit, S; Sharma, V D

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive functions have significant influence on psycho-social and general wellbeing. The quality, content and processing of negative thoughts initiate depressive symptoms; i.e. low mood, decreased self-worth and diminished interest in pleasurable activities. The study assessed the automatic thoughts of patients having depressive illness and evaluated and compared the changes after therapy; i.e. Psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Diagnosed cases of depressive illness (n=135), according to ICD-10 and study criteria, attending the out-patient clinic of Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, were included. Beck Depression Inventory was used to screen level of depressive symptoms. Automatic thoughts were assessed by the Automatic Thought Questionnaire-Revised before initiating therapy and after completion of therapy for comparison. Depressive patients received either of the three treatment procedures after randomization of the study sample into three different treatment groups; i.e. Cognitive behavior therapy, pharmacotherapy or combined therapy receiving both cognitive behavior therapy and pharmacotherapy. Among the total 135 patients, 53 (39.3%) had moderate, 47 (34.8%) had severe depressive and 35 (25.9%) had mild depressive symptoms before therapeutic interventions. Negative automatic thoughts were significantly present in depressed patients and reduced after all three interventions. Negative automatic thoughts of hopelessness, anxiety and inability coping were significantly reduced after therapy. Automatic negative thoughts were significantly correlated with depressive disorder. Combined therapy CBT with pharmacotherapy or CBT alone was found to be more effective in modifying automatic negative thoughts than pharmacotherapy alone, ultimately reducing depressive symptoms to a significant degree.

  19. Automatic quality control in clinical (1)H MRSI of brain cancer.

    PubMed

    Pedrosa de Barros, Nuno; McKinley, Richard; Knecht, Urspeter; Wiest, Roland; Slotboom, Johannes

    2016-05-01

    MRSI grids frequently show spectra with poor quality, mainly because of the high sensitivity of MRS to field inhomogeneities. These poor quality spectra are prone to quantification and/or interpretation errors that can have a significant impact on the clinical use of spectroscopic data. Therefore, quality control of the spectra should always precede their clinical use. When performed manually, quality assessment of MRSI spectra is not only a tedious and time-consuming task, but is also affected by human subjectivity. Consequently, automatic, fast and reliable methods for spectral quality assessment are of utmost interest. In this article, we present a new random forest-based method for automatic quality assessment of (1)H MRSI brain spectra, which uses a new set of MRS signal features. The random forest classifier was trained on spectra from 40 MRSI grids that were classified as acceptable or non-acceptable by two expert spectroscopists. To account for the effects of intra-rater reliability, each spectrum was rated for quality three times by each rater. The automatic method classified these spectra with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.976. Furthermore, in the subset of spectra containing only the cases that were classified every time in the same way by the spectroscopists, an AUC of 0.998 was obtained. Feature importance for the classification was also evaluated. Frequency domain skewness and kurtosis, as well as time domain signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) in the ranges 50-75 ms and 75-100 ms, were the most important features. Given that the method is able to assess a whole MRSI grid faster than a spectroscopist (approximately 3 s versus approximately 3 min), and without loss of accuracy (agreement between classifier trained with just one session and any of the other labelling sessions, 89.88%; agreement between any two labelling sessions, 89.03%), the authors suggest its implementation in the clinical routine. The method presented in this article was implemented

  20. Automatic landmarks detection in breast reconstruction aesthetic assessment.

    PubMed

    Núñez-Benjumea, Francisco J; Serrano, Carmen; Acha, Begoña

    2015-01-01

    This paper addresses a fully automatic landmarks detection method for breast reconstruction aesthetic assessment. The set of landmarks detected are the supraesternal notch (SSN), armpits, nipples, and inframammary fold (IMF). These landmarks are commonly used in order to perform anthropometric measurements for aesthetic assessment. The methodological approach is based on both illumination and morphological analysis. The proposed method has been tested with 21 images. A good overall performance is observed, although several improvements must be achieved in order to refine the detection of nipples and SSNs.

  1. Infrared machine vision system for the automatic detection of olive fruit quality.

    PubMed

    Guzmán, Elena; Baeten, Vincent; Pierna, Juan Antonio Fernández; García-Mesa, José A

    2013-11-15

    External quality is an important factor in the extraction of olive oil and the marketing of olive fruits. The appearance and presence of external damage are factors that influence the quality of the oil extracted and the perception of consumers, determining the level of acceptance prior to purchase in the case of table olives. The aim of this paper is to report on artificial vision techniques developed for the online estimation of olive quality and to assess the effectiveness of these techniques in evaluating quality based on detecting external defects. This method of classifying olives according to the presence of defects is based on an infrared (IR) vision system. Images of defects were acquired using a digital monochrome camera with band-pass filters on near-infrared (NIR). The original images were processed using segmentation algorithms, edge detection and pixel value intensity to classify the whole fruit. The detection of the defect involved a pixel classification procedure based on nonparametric models of the healthy and defective areas of olives. Classification tests were performed on olives to assess the effectiveness of the proposed method. This research showed that the IR vision system is a useful technology for the automatic assessment of olives that has the potential for use in offline inspection and for online sorting for defects and the presence of surface damage, easily distinguishing those that do not meet minimum quality requirements. Crown Copyright © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Mask industry quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strott, Al; Bassist, Larry

    1994-12-01

    Product quality and timely delivery are two of the most important parameters in determining the success of a mask manufacturing facility. Because of the sensitivity of this data, very little was known about industry performance in these areas until an assessment was authored and presented at the 1993 BACUS Symposium by Larry Regis of Intel Corporation, Neil Paulsen of Intel Corporation, and James A. Reynolds of Reynolds Consulting. This data has been updated and will be published and presented at this year's BACUS Symposium. Contributor identities will again remain protected by utilizing Arthur Andersen & Company to compile the submittals. Participation was consistent with last year's representation of over 75% of the total merchant and captive mask volume in the United States. The data compiled includes shipments, customer return rate, customer return reasons from 1988 through Q2, 1994, performance to schedule, plate survival yield, and throughput time (TPT).

  3. Drinking water quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Aryal, J; Gautam, B; Sapkota, N

    2012-09-01

    Drinking water quality is the great public health concern because it is a major risk factor for high incidence of diarrheal diseases in Nepal. In the recent years, the prevalence rate of diarrhoea has been found the highest in Myagdi district. This study was carried out to assess the quality of drinking water from different natural sources, reservoirs and collection taps at Arthunge VDC of Myagdi district. A cross-sectional study was carried out using random sampling method in Arthunge VDC of Myagdi district from January to June,2010. 84 water samples representing natural sources, reservoirs and collection taps from the study area were collected. The physico-chemical and microbiological analysis was performed following standards technique set by APHA 1998 and statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS 11.5. The result was also compared with national and WHO guidelines. Out of 84 water samples (from natural source, reservoirs and tap water) analyzed, drinking water quality parameters (except arsenic and total coliform) of all water samples was found to be within the WHO standards and national standards.15.48% of water samples showed pH (13) higher than the WHO permissible guideline values. Similarly, 85.71% of water samples showed higher Arsenic value (72) than WHO value. Further, the statistical analysis showed no significant difference (P<0.05) of physico-chemical parameters and total coliform count of drinking water for collection taps water samples of winter (January, 2010) and summer (June, 2010). The microbiological examination of water samples revealed the presence of total coliform in 86.90% of water samples. The results obtained from physico-chemical analysis of water samples were within national standard and WHO standards except arsenic. The study also found the coliform contamination to be the key problem with drinking water.

  4. Automatic ECG quality scoring methodology: mimicking human annotators.

    PubMed

    Johannesen, Lars; Galeotti, Loriano

    2012-09-01

    An algorithm to determine the quality of electrocardiograms (ECGs) can enable inexperienced nurses and paramedics to record ECGs of sufficient diagnostic quality. Previously, we proposed an algorithm for determining if ECG recordings are of acceptable quality, which was entered in the PhysioNet Challenge 2011. In the present work, we propose an improved two-step algorithm, which first rejects ECGs with macroscopic errors (signal absent, large voltage shifts or saturation) and subsequently quantifies the noise (baseline, powerline or muscular noise) on a continuous scale. The performance of the improved algorithm was evaluated using the PhysioNet Challenge database (1500 ECGs rated by humans for signal quality). We achieved a classification accuracy of 92.3% on the training set and 90.0% on the test set. The improved algorithm is capable of detecting ECGs with macroscopic errors and giving the user a score of the overall quality. This allows the user to assess the degree of noise and decide if it is acceptable depending on the purpose of the recording.

  5. Reliability and validity of the Automatic Cognitive Assessment Delivery (ACAD).

    PubMed

    Di Rosa, Elisa; Hannigan, Caoimhe; Brennan, Sabina; Reilly, Richard; Rapčan, Viliam; Robertson, Ian H

    2014-01-01

    IN THIS STUDY WE EVALUATED RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY OF THE AUTOMATIC COGNITIVE ASSESSMENT DELIVERY (ACAD): a short computerized battery composed by memory and attention tests, delivered online, and designed primarily for the elderly. Reliability was examined with a test-retest design and validity was assessed by means of comparison with standard neuropsychological tests. Older (N = 32) and young adult participants (N = 21) were involved. We found that the ACAD is free from any practice effect. Test-retest reliability was confirmed via significant correlations and high percentage agreements between the scores of three repeated assessments. ACAD scores were lower for older than for young adult participants and correlated significantly with the standardized measures of memory and attention. Results demonstrate that the ACAD battery provides a reliable and valid measure of both immediate and delayed recognition memory and sustained attention, and may be useful for convenient and efficient cognitive assessment and monitoring in older adults.

  6. Objective Automatic Assessment of Rehabilitative Speech Treatment in Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Tsanas, Athanasios; Little, Max A; Fox, Cynthia; Ramig, Lorraine O

    2014-01-01

    Vocal performance degradation is a common symptom for the vast majority of Parkinson's disease (PD) subjects, who typically follow personalized one-to-one periodic rehabilitation meetings with speech experts over a long-term period. Recently, a novel computer program called Lee Silverman voice treatment (LSVT) Companion was developed to allow PD subjects to independently progress through a rehabilitative treatment session. This study is part of the assessment of the LSVT Companion, aiming to investigate the potential of using sustained vowel phonations towards objectively and automatically replicating the speech experts' assessments of PD subjects' voices as "acceptable" (a clinician would allow persisting during in-person rehabilitation treatment) or "unacceptable" (a clinician would not allow persisting during in-person rehabilitation treatment). We characterize each of the 156 sustained vowel /a/ phonations with 309 dysphonia measures, select a parsimonious subset using a robust feature selection algorithm, and automatically distinguish the two cohorts (acceptable versus unacceptable) with about 90% overall accuracy. Moreover, we illustrate the potential of the proposed methodology as a probabilistic decision support tool to speech experts to assess a phonation as "acceptable" or "unacceptable." We envisage the findings of this study being a first step towards improving the effectiveness of an automated rehabilitative speech assessment tool.

  7. Disordered Speech Assessment Using Automatic Methods Based on Quantitative Measures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Lingyun; Harris, John G.; Shrivastav, Rahul; Sapienza, Christine

    2005-12-01

    Speech quality assessment methods are necessary for evaluating and documenting treatment outcomes of patients suffering from degraded speech due to Parkinson's disease, stroke, or other disease processes. Subjective methods of speech quality assessment are more accurate and more robust than objective methods but are time-consuming and costly. We propose a novel objective measure of speech quality assessment that builds on traditional speech processing techniques such as dynamic time warping (DTW) and the Itakura-Saito (IS) distortion measure. Initial results show that our objective measure correlates well with the more expensive subjective methods.

  8. Automatic assessment of tear film break-up dynamics.

    PubMed

    Ramos, L; Barreira, N; Pena-Verdeal, H; Giráldez, M J

    2014-01-01

    Dry eye syndrome is a common disorder of the tear film which affects a remarkable percentage of the population. The Break-Up Time (BUT) is a clinical test used for the diagnosis of this disease, which computes the time the first tear film break-up appears. This work describes a fully automatic methodology to compute the BUT measurement and evaluate the break-up dynamics until the final blink. This analysis provides useful additional information for the assessment of tear film stability.

  9. Portfolio Assessment and Quality Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Youb; Yazdian, Lisa Sensale

    2014-01-01

    Our article focuses on using portfolio assessment to craft quality teaching. Extant research literature on portfolio assessment suggests that the primary purpose of assessment is to serve learning, and portfolio assessments facilitate the process of making linkages among assessment, curriculum, and student learning (Asp, 2000; Bergeron, Wermuth,…

  10. Portfolio Assessment and Quality Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Youb; Yazdian, Lisa Sensale

    2014-01-01

    Our article focuses on using portfolio assessment to craft quality teaching. Extant research literature on portfolio assessment suggests that the primary purpose of assessment is to serve learning, and portfolio assessments facilitate the process of making linkages among assessment, curriculum, and student learning (Asp, 2000; Bergeron, Wermuth,…

  11. Automatic cloud coverage assessment of Formosat-2 image

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Kuo-Hsien

    2011-11-01

    Formosat-2 satellite equips with the high-spatial-resolution (2m ground sampling distance) remote sensing instrument. It has been being operated on the daily-revisiting mission orbit by National Space organization (NSPO) of Taiwan since May 21 2004. NSPO has also serving as one of the ground receiving stations for daily processing the received Formosat- 2 images. The current cloud coverage assessment of Formosat-2 image for NSPO Image Processing System generally consists of two major steps. Firstly, an un-supervised K-means method is used for automatically estimating the cloud statistic of Formosat-2 image. Secondly, manual estimation of cloud coverage from Formosat-2 image is processed by manual examination. Apparently, a more accurate Automatic Cloud Coverage Assessment (ACCA) method certainly increases the efficiency of processing step 2 with a good prediction of cloud statistic. In this paper, mainly based on the research results from Chang et al, Irish, and Gotoh, we propose a modified Formosat-2 ACCA method which considered pre-processing and post-processing analysis. For pre-processing analysis, cloud statistic is determined by using un-supervised K-means classification, Sobel's method, Otsu's method, non-cloudy pixels reexamination, and cross-band filter method. Box-Counting fractal method is considered as a post-processing tool to double check the results of pre-processing analysis for increasing the efficiency of manual examination.

  12. Automatism

    PubMed Central

    McCaldon, R. J.

    1964-01-01

    Individuals can carry out complex activity while in a state of impaired consciousness, a condition termed “automatism”. Consciousness must be considered from both an organic and a psychological aspect, because impairment of consciousness may occur in both ways. Automatism may be classified as normal (hypnosis), organic (temporal lobe epilepsy), psychogenic (dissociative fugue) or feigned. Often painstaking clinical investigation is necessary to clarify the diagnosis. There is legal precedent for assuming that all crimes must embody both consciousness and will. Jurists are loath to apply this principle without reservation, as this would necessitate acquittal and release of potentially dangerous individuals. However, with the sole exception of the defence of insanity, there is at present no legislation to prohibit release without further investigation of anyone acquitted of a crime on the grounds of “automatism”. PMID:14199824

  13. The Southeast Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Journey, Celeste

    2014-01-01

    In 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) is assessing stream quality across the Piedmont and southern Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern United States. The goal of the Southeast Stream Quality Assessment (SESQA) is to characterize multiple water-quality factors that are stressors to aquatic life—contaminants, nutrients, sediment, and streamflow alteration—and the relation of these stressors to ecological conditions in streams throughout the region. Findings will provide communities and policymakers with information on which human and environmental factors are the most critical in controlling stream quality and, thus, provide insights about possible approaches to protect or improve stream quality. The SESQA study will be the second regional study by the NAWQA program, and it will be of similar design and scope as the Midwest Stream Quality Assessment conducted in 2013 (Van Metre and others, 2012).

  14. Automatic video monitoring system for assessment of Alzheimer's disease symptoms.

    PubMed

    Romdhane, R; Mulin, E; Derreumeaux, A; Zouba, N; Piano, J; Lee, L; Leroi, I; Mallea, P; David, R; Thonnat, M; Bremond, F; Robert, P H

    2012-03-01

    In order to fully capture the complexity of the behavioural, functioning and cognitive disturbances in Alzheimer Disease (AD) and related disorders information and communication techniques (ICT), could be of interest. This article presents using 3 clinical cases the feasibility results of an automatic video monitoring system aiming to assess subjects involved in a clinical scenario. The study was conducted in an observation room equipped with everyday objects for use in activities of daily living. The overall aim of the clinical scenario was to enable the participants to undertake a set of daily tasks that could realistically be achieved in the setting of the observation room. The scenario was divided in three steps covering basic to more complex activities: (1) Directed activities, (2) Semi-directed activities, (3) Undirected ("free") activities. The assessment of each participant of the study was done with an automatic video monitoring system composed of a vision component and an event recognition component. The feasibility study involved three participants: two AD patients and one elderly control participant. The first result of the study was to demonstrate the feasibility of this new assessment method from both the patient and the technical points of view. During the first step the control participant performed all these activities faster than the two AD participants. During the second step of the scenario AD participants were not able to follow the correct order of the tasks and even omitted some of them. Finally during the last step of the scenario devoted to free activities the control participant chose one of the proposed activities (reading) and undertook this activity for almost the entire duration. In contrast, the two AD participants had more difficulties choosing one of the suggested activities and were not able to undertake any one activity in a sustained manner. The automatic video monitoring system presented here analyzes human behaviours and looks

  15. Automatic portion estimation and visual refinement in mobile dietary assessment

    PubMed Central

    Woo, Insoo; Otsmo, Karl; Kim, SungYe; Ebert, David S.; Delp, Edward J.; Boushey, Carol J.

    2011-01-01

    As concern for obesity grows, the need for automated and accurate methods to monitor nutrient intake becomes essential as dietary intake provides a valuable basis for managing dietary imbalance. Moreover, as mobile devices with built-in cameras have become ubiquitous, one potential means of monitoring dietary intake is photographing meals using mobile devices and having an automatic estimate of the nutrient contents returned. One of the challenging problems of the image-based dietary assessment is the accurate estimation of food portion size from a photograph taken with a mobile digital camera. In this work, we describe a method to automatically calculate portion size of a variety of foods through volume estimation using an image. These “portion volumes” utilize camera parameter estimation and model reconstruction to determine the volume of food items, from which nutritional content is then extrapolated. In this paper, we describe our initial results of accuracy evaluation using real and simulated meal images and demonstrate the potential of our approach. PMID:22242198

  16. Automatic portion estimation and visual refinement in mobile dietary assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woo, Insoo; Otsmo, Karl; Kim, SungYe; Ebert, David S.; Delp, Edward J.; Boushey, Carol J.

    2010-01-01

    As concern for obesity grows, the need for automated and accurate methods to monitor nutrient intake becomes essential as dietary intake provides a valuable basis for managing dietary imbalance. Moreover, as mobile devices with built-in cameras have become ubiquitous, one potential means of monitoring dietary intake is photographing meals using mobile devices and having an automatic estimate of the nutrient contents returned. One of the challenging problems of the image-based dietary assessment is the accurate estimation of food portion size from a photograph taken with a mobile digital camera. In this work, we describe a method to automatically calculate portion size of a variety of foods through volume estimation using an image. These "portion volumes" utilize camera parameter estimation and model reconstruction to determine the volume of food items, from which nutritional content is then extrapolated. In this paper, we describe our initial results of accuracy evaluation using real and simulated meal images and demonstrate the potential of our approach.

  17. Machine learning approach for automatic quality criteria detection of health web pages.

    PubMed

    Gaudinat, Arnaud; Grabar, Natalia; Boyer, Célia

    2007-01-01

    The number of medical websites is constantly growing [1]. Owing to the open nature of the Web, the reliability of information available on the Web is uneven. Internet users are overwhelmed by the quantity of information available on the Web. The situation is even more critical in the medical area, as the content proposed by health websites can have a direct impact on the users' well being. One way to control the reliability of health websites is to assess their quality and to make this assessment available to users. The HON Foundation has defined a set of eight ethical principles. HON's experts are working in order to manually define whether a given website complies with s the required principles. As the number of medical websites is constantly growing, manual expertise becomes insufficient and automatic systems should be used in order to help medical experts. In this paper we present the design and the evaluation of an automatic system conceived for the categorisation of medical and health documents according to he HONcode ethical principles. A first evaluation shows promising results. Currently the system shows 0.78 micro precision and 0.73 F-measure, with 0.06 errors.

  18. Automatically quantifying the scientific quality and sensationalism of news records mentioning pandemics: validating a maximum entropy machine-learning model.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Steven J; Justicz, Victoria

    2016-07-01

    To develop and validate a method for automatically quantifying the scientific quality and sensationalism of individual news records. After retrieving 163,433 news records mentioning the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and H1N1 pandemics, a maximum entropy model for inductive machine learning was used to identify relationships among 500 randomly sampled news records that correlated with systematic human assessments of their scientific quality and sensationalism. These relationships were then computationally applied to automatically classify 10,000 additional randomly sampled news records. The model was validated by randomly sampling 200 records and comparing human assessments of them to the computer assessments. The computer model correctly assessed the relevance of 86% of news records, the quality of 65% of records, and the sensationalism of 73% of records, as compared to human assessments. Overall, the scientific quality of SARS and H1N1 news media coverage had potentially important shortcomings, but coverage was not too sensationalizing. Coverage slightly improved between the two pandemics. Automated methods can evaluate news records faster, cheaper, and possibly better than humans. The specific procedure implemented in this study can at the very least identify subsets of news records that are far more likely to have particular scientific and discursive qualities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Deep Aesthetic Quality Assessment With Semantic Information.

    PubMed

    Kao, Yueying; He, Ran; Huang, Kaiqi

    2017-03-01

    Human beings often assess the aesthetic quality of an image coupled with the identification of the image's semantic content. This paper addresses the correlation issue between automatic aesthetic quality assessment and semantic recognition. We cast the assessment problem as the main task among a multi-task deep model, and argue that semantic recognition task offers the key to address this problem. Based on convolutional neural networks, we employ a single and simple multi-task framework to efficiently utilize the supervision of aesthetic and semantic labels. A correlation item between these two tasks is further introduced to the framework by incorporating the inter-task relationship learning. This item not only provides some useful insight about the correlation but also improves assessment accuracy of the aesthetic task. In particular, an effective strategy is developed to keep a balance between the two tasks, which facilitates to optimize the parameters of the framework. Extensive experiments on the challenging Aesthetic Visual Analysis dataset and Photo.net dataset validate the importance of semantic recognition in aesthetic quality assessment, and demonstrate that multitask deep models can discover an effective aesthetic representation to achieve the state-of-the-art results.

  20. Assessment of automatic ligand building in ARP/wARP.

    PubMed

    Evrard, Guillaume X; Langer, Gerrit G; Perrakis, Anastassis; Lamzin, Victor S

    2007-01-01

    The efficiency of the ligand-building module of ARP/wARP version 6.1 has been assessed through extensive tests on a large variety of protein-ligand complexes from the PDB, as available from the Uppsala Electron Density Server. Ligand building in ARP/wARP involves two main steps: automatic identification of the location of the ligand and the actual construction of its atomic model. The first step is most successful for large ligands. The second step, ligand construction, is more powerful with X-ray data at high resolution and ligands of small to medium size. Both steps are successful for ligands with low to moderate atomic displacement parameters. The results highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both the method of ligand building and the large-scale validation procedure and help to identify means of further improvement.

  1. Assessment of automatic ligand building in ARP/wARP

    PubMed Central

    Evrard, Guillaume X.; Langer, Gerrit G.; Perrakis, Anastassis; Lamzin, Victor S.

    2007-01-01

    The efficiency of the ligand-building module of ARP/wARP version 6.1 has been assessed through extensive tests on a large variety of protein–ligand complexes from the PDB, as available from the Uppsala Electron Density Server. Ligand building in ARP/wARP involves two main steps: automatic identification of the location of the ligand and the actual construction of its atomic model. The first step is most successful for large ligands. The second step, ligand construction, is more powerful with X-ray data at high resolution and ligands of small to medium size. Both steps are successful for ligands with low to moderate atomic displacement parameters. The results highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both the method of ligand building and the large-scale validation procedure and help to identify means of further improvement. PMID:17164533

  2. Automatic graphene transfer system for improved material quality and efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Boscá, Alberto; Pedrós, Jorge; Martínez, Javier; Palacios, Tomás; Calle, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    In most applications based on chemical vapor deposition (CVD) graphene, the transfer from the growth to the target substrate is a critical step for the final device performance. Manual procedures are time consuming and depend on handling skills, whereas existing automatic roll-to-roll methods work well for flexible substrates but tend to induce mechanical damage in rigid ones. A new system that automatically transfers CVD graphene to an arbitrary target substrate has been developed. The process is based on the all-fluidic manipulation of the graphene to avoid mechanical damage, strain and contamination, and on the combination of capillary action and electrostatic repulsion between the graphene and its container to ensure a centered sample on top of the target substrate. The improved carrier mobility and yield of the automatically transferred graphene, as compared to that manually transferred, is demonstrated by the optical and electrical characterization of field-effect transistors fabricated on both materials. In particular, 70% higher mobility values, with a 30% decrease in the unintentional doping and a 10% strain reduction are achieved. The system has been developed for lab-scale transfer and proved to be scalable for industrial applications. PMID:26860260

  3. Automatic graphene transfer system for improved material quality and efficiency.

    PubMed

    Boscá, Alberto; Pedrós, Jorge; Martínez, Javier; Palacios, Tomás; Calle, Fernando

    2016-02-10

    In most applications based on chemical vapor deposition (CVD) graphene, the transfer from the growth to the target substrate is a critical step for the final device performance. Manual procedures are time consuming and depend on handling skills, whereas existing automatic roll-to-roll methods work well for flexible substrates but tend to induce mechanical damage in rigid ones. A new system that automatically transfers CVD graphene to an arbitrary target substrate has been developed. The process is based on the all-fluidic manipulation of the graphene to avoid mechanical damage, strain and contamination, and on the combination of capillary action and electrostatic repulsion between the graphene and its container to ensure a centered sample on top of the target substrate. The improved carrier mobility and yield of the automatically transferred graphene, as compared to that manually transferred, is demonstrated by the optical and electrical characterization of field-effect transistors fabricated on both materials. In particular, 70% higher mobility values, with a 30% decrease in the unintentional doping and a 10% strain reduction are achieved. The system has been developed for lab-scale transfer and proved to be scalable for industrial applications.

  4. Automatic graphene transfer system for improved material quality and efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boscá, Alberto; Pedrós, Jorge; Martínez, Javier; Palacios, Tomás; Calle, Fernando

    2016-02-01

    In most applications based on chemical vapor deposition (CVD) graphene, the transfer from the growth to the target substrate is a critical step for the final device performance. Manual procedures are time consuming and depend on handling skills, whereas existing automatic roll-to-roll methods work well for flexible substrates but tend to induce mechanical damage in rigid ones. A new system that automatically transfers CVD graphene to an arbitrary target substrate has been developed. The process is based on the all-fluidic manipulation of the graphene to avoid mechanical damage, strain and contamination, and on the combination of capillary action and electrostatic repulsion between the graphene and its container to ensure a centered sample on top of the target substrate. The improved carrier mobility and yield of the automatically transferred graphene, as compared to that manually transferred, is demonstrated by the optical and electrical characterization of field-effect transistors fabricated on both materials. In particular, 70% higher mobility values, with a 30% decrease in the unintentional doping and a 10% strain reduction are achieved. The system has been developed for lab-scale transfer and proved to be scalable for industrial applications.

  5. Assessment of Automatically Exported Clinical Data from a Hospital Information System for Clinical Research in Multiple Myeloma.

    PubMed

    Torres, Viviana; Cerda, Mauricio; Knaup, Petra; Löpprich, Martin

    2016-01-01

    An important part of the electronic information available in Hospital Information System (HIS) has the potential to be automatically exported to Electronic Data Capture (EDC) platforms for improving clinical research. This automation has the advantage of reducing manual data transcription, a time consuming and prone to errors process. However, quantitative evaluations of the process of exporting data from a HIS to an EDC system have not been reported extensively, in particular comparing with manual transcription. In this work an assessment to study the quality of an automatic export process, focused in laboratory data from a HIS is presented. Quality of the laboratory data was assessed in two types of processes: (1) a manual process of data transcription, and (2) an automatic process of data transference. The automatic transference was implemented as an Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) process. Then, a comparison was carried out between manual and automatic data collection methods. The criteria to measure data quality were correctness and completeness. The manual process had a general error rate of 2.6% to 7.1%, obtaining the lowest error rate if data fields with a not clear definition were removed from the analysis (p < 10E-3). In the case of automatic process, the general error rate was 1.9% to 12.1%, where lowest error rate is obtained when excluding information missing in the HIS but transcribed to the EDC from other physical sources. The automatic ETL process can be used to collect laboratory data for clinical research if data in the HIS as well as physical documentation not included in HIS, are identified previously and follows a standardized data collection protocol.

  6. Irrigation water quality assessments

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Increasing demands on fresh water supplies by municipal and industrial users means decreased fresh water availability for irrigated agriculture in semi arid and arid regions. There is potential for agricultural use of treated wastewaters and low quality waters for irrigation but this will require co...

  7. SU-E-J-155: Automatic Quantitative Decision Making Metric for 4DCT Image Quality

    SciTech Connect

    Kiely, J Blanco; Olszanski, A; Both, S; White, B; Low, D

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: To develop a quantitative decision making metric for automatically detecting irregular breathing using a large patient population that received phase-sorted 4DCT. Methods: This study employed two patient cohorts. Cohort#1 contained 256 patients who received a phasesorted 4DCT. Cohort#2 contained 86 patients who received three weekly phase-sorted 4DCT scans. A previously published technique used a single abdominal surrogate to calculate the ratio of extreme inhalation tidal volume to normal inhalation tidal volume, referred to as the κ metric. Since a single surrogate is standard for phase-sorted 4DCT in radiation oncology clinical practice, tidal volume was not quantified. Without tidal volume, the absolute κ metric could not be determined, so a relative κ (κrel) metric was defined based on the measured surrogate amplitude instead of tidal volume. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves were used to quantitatively determine the optimal cutoff value (jk) and efficiency cutoff value (τk) of κrel to automatically identify irregular breathing that would reduce the image quality of phase-sorted 4DCT. Discriminatory accuracy (area under the ROC curve) of κrel was calculated by a trapezoidal numeric integration technique. Results: The discriminatory accuracy of ?rel was found to be 0.746. The key values of jk and tk were calculated to be 1.45 and 1.72 respectively. For values of ?rel such that jk≤κrel≤τk, the decision to reacquire the 4DCT would be at the discretion of the physician. This accounted for only 11.9% of the patients in this study. The magnitude of κrel held consistent over 3 weeks for 73% of the patients in cohort#3. Conclusion: The decision making metric, ?rel, was shown to be an accurate classifier of irregular breathing patients in a large patient population. This work provided an automatic quantitative decision making metric to quickly and accurately assess the extent to which irregular breathing is occurring during phase

  8. Assessment of automatic ligand building in ARP/wARP

    SciTech Connect

    Evrard, Guillaume X. Langer, Gerrit G.; Lamzin, Victor S.

    2007-01-01

    The performance of the ligand-building module of the ARP/wARP software suite is assessed through a large-scale test on known protein–ligand complexes. The results provide a detailed benchmark and guidelines for future improvements. The efficiency of the ligand-building module of ARP/wARP version 6.1 has been assessed through extensive tests on a large variety of protein–ligand complexes from the PDB, as available from the Uppsala Electron Density Server. Ligand building in ARP/wARP involves two main steps: automatic identification of the location of the ligand and the actual construction of its atomic model. The first step is most successful for large ligands. The second step, ligand construction, is more powerful with X-ray data at high resolution and ligands of small to medium size. Both steps are successful for ligands with low to moderate atomic displacement parameters. The results highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both the method of ligand building and the large-scale validation procedure and help to identify means of further improvement.

  9. Quality of Life Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gore, Peter H.

    Explaining the use of overlay methodology in the assessment of rural social service this paper describes a technique of visual juxtaposition wherein information is matched with geographic location. To ascertain whether senior citizen centers are located in areas of client concentration, for example, this model superimposes the location of senior…

  10. Quality Assessment in Action.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawk, Thomas R.

    In 1985, an ad hoc committee was appointed to conduct a comprehensive examination of the educational effectiveness of the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). The principles governing the assessment emphasized students' educational goals; cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes; differences among subgroups within the student population;…

  11. Quality assessment of urban environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ovsiannikova, T. Y.; Nikolaenko, M. N.

    2015-01-01

    This paper is dedicated to the research applicability of quality management problems of construction products. It is offered to expand quality management borders in construction, transferring its principles to urban systems as economic systems of higher level, which qualitative characteristics are substantially defined by quality of construction product. Buildings and structures form spatial-material basis of cities and the most important component of life sphere - urban environment. Authors justify the need for the assessment of urban environment quality as an important factor of social welfare and life quality in urban areas. The authors suggest definition of a term "urban environment". The methodology of quality assessment of urban environment is based on integrated approach which includes the system analysis of all factors and application of both quantitative methods of assessment (calculation of particular and integrated indicators) and qualitative methods (expert estimates and surveys). The authors propose the system of indicators, characterizing quality of the urban environment. This indicators fall into four classes. The authors show the methodology of their definition. The paper presents results of quality assessment of urban environment for several Siberian regions and comparative analysis of these results.

  12. Institutional Consequences of Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joao Rosa, Maria; Tavares, Diana; Amaral, Alberto

    2006-01-01

    This paper analyses the opinions of Portuguese university rectors and academics on the quality assessment system and its consequences at the institutional level. The results obtained show that university staff (rectors and academics, with more of the former than the latter) held optimistic views of the positive consequences of quality assessment…

  13. The Northeast Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Riva-Murray, Karen; Coles, James F.

    2016-04-22

    In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) is assessing stream quality in the northeastern United States. The goal of the Northeast Stream Quality Assessment (NESQA) is to assess the quality of streams in the region by characterizing multiple water-quality factors that are stressors to aquatic life and evaluating the relation between these stressors and biological communities. The focus of NESQA in 2016 will be on the effects of urbanization and agriculture on stream quality in all or parts of eight states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.Findings will provide the public and policymakers with information about the most critical factors affecting stream quality, thus providing insights about possible approaches to protect the health of streams in the region. The NESQA study will be the fourth regional study conducted as part of NAWQA and will be of similar design and scope to the first three, in the Midwest in 2013, the Southeast in 2014, and the Pacific Northwest in 2015 (http://txpub.usgs.gov/RSQA/).

  14. A routine quality assurance test for CT automatic exposure control systems.

    PubMed

    Iball, Gareth R; Moore, Alexis C; Crawford, Elizabeth J

    2016-07-01

    The study purpose was to develop and validate a quality assurance test for CT automatic exposure control (AEC) systems based on a set of nested polymethylmethacrylate CTDI phantoms. The test phantom was created by offsetting the 16 cm head phantom within the 32 cm body annulus, thus creating a three part phantom. This was scanned at all acceptance, routine, and some nonroutine quality assurance visits over a period of 45 months, resulting in 115 separate AEC tests on scanners from four manufacturers. For each scan the longitudinal mA modulation pattern was generated and measurements of image noise were made in two annular regions of interest. The scanner displayed CTDIvol and DLP were also recorded. The impact of a range of AEC configurations on dose and image quality were assessed at acceptance testing. For systems that were tested more than once, the percentage of CTDIvol values exceeding 5%, 10%, and 15% deviation from baseline was 23.4%, 12.6%, and 8.1% respectively. Similarly, for the image noise data, deviations greater than 2%, 5%, and 10% from baseline were 26.5%, 5.9%, and 2%, respectively. The majority of CTDIvol and noise deviations greater than 15% and 5%, respectively, could be explained by incorrect phantom setup or protocol selection. Barring these results, CTDIvol deviations of greater than 15% from baseline were found in 0.9% of tests and noise deviations greater than 5% from baseline were found in 1% of tests. The phantom was shown to be sensitive to changes in AEC setup, including the use of 3D, longitudinal or rotational tube current modulation. This test methodology allows for continuing performance assessment of CT AEC systems, and we recommend that this test should become part of routine CT quality assurance programs. Tolerances of ±15% for CTDIvol and ±5% for image noise relative to baseline values should be used. PACS number(s): 87.57.Q.

  15. A routine quality assurance test for CT automatic exposure control systems.

    PubMed

    Iball, Gareth R; Moore, Alexis C; Crawford, Elizabeth J

    2016-07-08

    The study purpose was to develop and validate a quality assurance test for CT automatic exposure control (AEC) systems based on a set of nested polymethylmethacrylate CTDI phantoms. The test phantom was created by offsetting the 16 cm head phantom within the 32 cm body annulus, thus creating a three part phantom. This was scanned at all acceptance, routine, and some nonroutine quality assurance visits over a period of 45 months, resulting in 115 separate AEC tests on scanners from four manufacturers. For each scan the longitudinal mA modulation pattern was generated and measurements of image noise were made in two annular regions of interest. The scanner displayed CTDIvol and DLP were also recorded. The impact of a range of AEC configurations on dose and image quality were assessed at acceptance testing. For systems that were tested more than once, the percentage of CTDIvol values exceeding 5%, 10%, and 15% deviation from baseline was 23.4%, 12.6%, and 8.1% respectively. Similarly, for the image noise data, deviations greater than 2%, 5%, and 10% from baseline were 26.5%, 5.9%, and 2%, respectively. The majority of CTDIvol and noise deviations greater than 15% and 5%, respectively, could be explained by incorrect phantom setup or protocol selection. Barring these results, CTDIvol deviations of greater than 15% from baseline were found in 0.9% of tests and noise deviations greater than 5% from baseline were found in 1% of tests. The phantom was shown to be sensitive to changes in AEC setup, including the use of 3D, longitudinal or rotational tube current modulation. This test methodology allows for continuing performance assessment of CT AEC systems, and we recommend that this test should become part of routine CT quality assurance programs. Tolerances of ± 15% for CTDIvol and ± 5% for image noise relative to baseline values should be used. © 2016 The Authors

  16. The California stream quality assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Egler, Amanda L.; May, Jason T.

    2017-03-06

    In 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) project is assessing stream quality in coastal California, United States. The USGS California Stream Quality Assessment (CSQA) will sample streams over most of the Central California Foothills and Coastal Mountains ecoregion (modified from Griffith and others, 2016), where rapid urban growth and intensive agriculture in the larger river valleys are raising concerns that stream health is being degraded. Findings will provide the public and policy-makers with information regarding which human and natural factors are the most critical in affecting stream quality and, thus, provide insights about possible approaches to protect the health of streams in the region.

  17. Automatic orbital GTAW welding: Highest quality welds for tomorrow's high-performance systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henon, B. K.

    1985-01-01

    Automatic orbital gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) or TIG welding is certain to play an increasingly prominent role in tomorrow's technology. The welds are of the highest quality and the repeatability of automatic weldings is vastly superior to that of manual welding. Since less heat is applied to the weld during automatic welding than manual welding, there is less change in the metallurgical properties of the parent material. The possibility of accurate control and the cleanliness of the automatic GTAW welding process make it highly suitable to the welding of the more exotic and expensive materials which are now widely used in the aerospace and hydrospace industries. Titanium, stainless steel, Inconel, and Incoloy, as well as, aluminum can all be welded to the highest quality specifications automatically. Automatic orbital GTAW equipment is available for the fusion butt welding of tube-to-tube, as well as, tube to autobuttweld fittings. The same equipment can also be used for the fusion butt welding of up to 6 inch pipe with a wall thickness of up to 0.154 inches.

  18. Objective assessment of the aesthetic outcomes of breast cancer treatment: toward automatic localization of fiducial points on digital photographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udpa, Nitin; Sampat, Mehul P.; Kim, Min Soon; Reece, Gregory P.; Markey, Mia K.

    2007-03-01

    The contemporary goals of breast cancer treatment are not limited to cure but include maximizing quality of life. All breast cancer treatment can adversely affect breast appearance. Developing objective, quantifiable methods to assess breast appearance is important to understand the impact of deformity on patient quality of life, guide selection of current treatments, and make rational treatment advances. A few measures of aesthetic properties such as symmetry have been developed. They are computed from the distances between manually identified fiducial points on digital photographs. However, this is time-consuming and subject to intra- and inter-observer variability. The purpose of this study is to investigate methods for automatic localization of fiducial points on anterior-posterior digital photographs taken to document the outcomes of breast reconstruction. Particular emphasis is placed on automatic localization of the nipple complex since the most widely used aesthetic measure, the Breast Retraction Assessment, quantifies the symmetry of nipple locations. The nipple complexes are automatically localized using normalized cross-correlation with a template bank of variants of Gaussian and Laplacian of Gaussian filters. A probability map of likely nipple locations determined from the image database is used to reduce the number of false positive detections from the matched filter operation. The accuracy of the nipple detection was evaluated relative to markings made by three human observers. The impact of using the fiducial point locations as identified by the automatic method, as opposed to the manual method, on the calculation of the Breast Retraction Assessment was also evaluated.

  19. Data Quality Assessment for Maritime Situation Awareness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iphar, C.; Napoli, A.; Ray, C.

    2015-08-01

    The Automatic Identification System (AIS) initially designed to ensure maritime security through continuous position reports has been progressively used for many extended objectives. In particular it supports a global monitoring of the maritime domain for various purposes like safety and security but also traffic management, logistics or protection of strategic areas, etc. In this monitoring, data errors, misuse, irregular behaviours at sea, malfeasance mechanisms and bad navigation practices have inevitably emerged either by inattentiveness or voluntary actions in order to circumvent, alter or exploit such a system in the interests of offenders. This paper introduces the AIS system and presents vulnerabilities and data quality assessment for decision making in maritime situational awareness cases. The principles of a novel methodological approach for modelling, analysing and detecting these data errors and falsification are introduced.

  20. Network Design and Quality Checks in Automatic Orientation of Close-Range Photogrammetric Blocks

    PubMed Central

    Dall’Asta, Elisa; Thoeni, Klaus; Santise, Marina; Forlani, Gianfranco; Giacomini, Anna; Roncella, Riccardo

    2015-01-01

    Due to the recent improvements of automatic measurement procedures in photogrammetry, multi-view 3D reconstruction technologies are becoming a favourite survey tool. Rapidly widening structure-from-motion (SfM) software packages offer significantly easier image processing workflows than traditional photogrammetry packages. However, while most orientation and surface reconstruction strategies will almost always succeed in any given task, estimating the quality of the result is, to some extent, still an open issue. An assessment of the precision and reliability of block orientation is necessary and should be included in every processing pipeline. Such a need was clearly felt from the results of close-range photogrammetric surveys of in situ full-scale and laboratory-scale experiments. In order to study the impact of the block control and the camera network design on the block orientation accuracy, a series of Monte Carlo simulations was performed. Two image block configurations were investigated: a single pseudo-normal strip and a circular highly-convergent block. The influence of surveying and data processing choices, such as the number and accuracy of the ground control points, autofocus and camera calibration was investigated. The research highlights the most significant aspects and processes to be taken into account for adequate in situ and laboratory surveys, when modern SfM software packages are used, and evaluates their effect on the quality of the results of the surface reconstruction. PMID:25855036

  1. Network design and quality checks in automatic orientation of close-range photogrammetric blocks.

    PubMed

    Dall'Asta, Elisa; Thoeni, Klaus; Santise, Marina; Forlani, Gianfranco; Giacomini, Anna; Roncella, Riccardo

    2015-04-03

    Due to the recent improvements of automatic measurement procedures in photogrammetry, multi-view 3D reconstruction technologies are becoming a favourite survey tool. Rapidly widening structure-from-motion (SfM) software packages offer significantly easier image processing workflows than traditional photogrammetry packages. However, while most orientation and surface reconstruction strategies will almost always succeed in any given task, estimating the quality of the result is, to some extent, still an open issue. An assessment of the precision and reliability of block orientation is necessary and should be included in every processing pipeline. Such a need was clearly felt from the results of close-range photogrammetric surveys of in situ full-scale and laboratory-scale experiments. In order to study the impact of the block control and the camera network design on the block orientation accuracy, a series of Monte Carlo simulations was performed. Two image block configurations were investigated: a single pseudo-normal strip and a circular highly-convergent block. The influence of surveying and data processing choices, such as the number and accuracy of the ground control points, autofocus and camera calibration was investigated. The research highlights the most significant aspects and processes to be taken into account for adequate in situ and laboratory surveys, when modern SfM software packages are used, and evaluates their effect on the quality of the results of the surface reconstruction.

  2. Feasibility Study on Fully Automatic High Quality Translation: Volume II. Final Technical Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehmann, Winifred P.; Stachowitz, Rolf

    This second volume of a two-volume report on a fully automatic high quality translation (FAHQT) contains relevant papers contributed by specialists on the topic of machine translation. The papers presented here cover such topics as syntactical analysis in transformational grammar and in machine translation, lexical features in translation and…

  3. Quality of Life Effects of Automatic External Defibrillators in the Home: Results from the Home Automatic External Defibrillator Trial (HAT)

    PubMed Central

    Mark, Daniel B.; Anstrom, Kevin J.; McNulty, Steven E.; Flaker, Greg C.; Tonkin, Andrew M.; Smith, Warren M.; Toff, William D.; Dorian, Paul; Clapp-Channing, Nancy E.; Anderson, Jill; Johnson, George; Schron, Eleanor B.; Poole, Jeanne E.; Lee, Kerry L.; Bardy, Gust H.

    2010-01-01

    Background Public access automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) can save lives, but most deaths from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest occur at home. The Home Automatic External Defibrillator Trial (HAT) found no survival advantage for adding a home AED to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for 7001 patients with a prior anterior wall myocardial infarction. Quality of life (QOL) outcomes for both the patient and spouse/companion were secondary endpoints. Methods A subset of 1007 study patients and their spouse/companions was randomly selected for ascertainment of QOL by structured interview at baseline and 12 and 24 months following enrollment. The primary QOL measures were the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form (SF-36) psychological well-being (reflecting anxiety and depression) and vitality (reflecting energy and fatigue) subscales. Results For patients and spouse/companions, the psychological well-being and vitality scales did not differ significantly between those randomly assigned an AED plus CPR training and controls who received CPR training only. None of the other QOL measures collected showed a clinically and statistically significant difference between treatment groups. Patients in the AED group were more likely to report being extremely or quite a bit reassured by their treatment assignment. Spouse/companions in the AED group reported being less often nervous about the possibility of using AED/CPR treatment than those in the CPR group. Conclusions Adding access to a home AED to CPR training did not affect quality of life either for patients with a prior anterior myocardial infarction or their spouse/companion but did provide more reassurance to the patients without increasing anxiety for spouse/companions. PMID:20362722

  4. Automatic Coding of Short Text Responses via Clustering in Educational Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zehner, Fabian; Sälzer, Christine; Goldhammer, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Automatic coding of short text responses opens new doors in assessment. We implemented and integrated baseline methods of natural language processing and statistical modelling by means of software components that are available under open licenses. The accuracy of automatic text coding is demonstrated by using data collected in the "Programme…

  5. Automatic Coding of Short Text Responses via Clustering in Educational Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zehner, Fabian; Sälzer, Christine; Goldhammer, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Automatic coding of short text responses opens new doors in assessment. We implemented and integrated baseline methods of natural language processing and statistical modelling by means of software components that are available under open licenses. The accuracy of automatic text coding is demonstrated by using data collected in the "Programme…

  6. Assessing risks to ecosystem quality

    SciTech Connect

    Barnthouse, L.W.

    1995-12-31

    Ecosystems are not organisms. Because ecosystems do not reproduce, grow old or sick, and die, the term ecosystem health is somewhat misleading and perhaps should not be used. A more useful concept is ``ecosystem quality,`` which denotes a set of desirable ecosystem characteristics defined in terms of species composition, productivity, size/condition of specific populations, or other measurable properties. The desired quality of an ecosystem may be pristine, as in a nature preserve, or highly altered by man, as in a managed forest or navigational waterway. ``Sustainable development`` implies that human activities that influence ecosystem quality should be managed so that high-quality ecosystems are maintained for future generations. In sustainability-based environmental management, the focus is on maintaining or improving ecosystem quality, not on restricting discharges or requiring particular waste treatment technologies. This approach requires management of chemical impacts to be integrated with management of other sources of stress such as erosion, eutrophication, and direct human exploitation. Environmental scientists must (1) work with decision makers and the public to define ecosystem quality goals, (2) develop corresponding measures of ecosystem quality, (3) diagnose causes for departures from desired states, and (4) recommend appropriate restoration actions, if necessary. Environmental toxicology and chemical risk assessment are necessary for implementing the above framework, but they are clearly not sufficient. This paper reviews the state-of-the science relevant to sustaining the quality of aquatic ecosystems. Using the specific example of a reservoir in eastern Tennessee, the paper attempts to define roles for ecotoxicology and risk assessment in each step of the management process.

  7. Automatic intelligibility assessment of pathologic speech over the telephone.

    PubMed

    Haderlein, Tino; Nöth, Elmar; Batliner, Anton; Eysholdt, Ulrich; Rosanowski, Frank

    2011-12-01

    Objective assessment of intelligibility on the telephone is desirable for voice and speech assessment and rehabilitation. A total of 82 patients after partial laryngectomy read a standardized text which was synchronously recorded by a headset and via telephone. Five experienced raters assessed intelligibility perceptually on a five-point scale. Objective evaluation was performed by support vector regression on the word accuracy (WA) and word correctness (WR) of a speech recognition system, and a set of prosodic features. WA and WR alone exhibited correlations to human evaluation between |r| = 0.57 and |r| = 0.75. The correlation was r = 0.79 for headset and r = 0.86 for telephone recordings when prosodic features and WR were combined. The best feature subset was optimal for both signal qualities. It consists of WR, the average duration of the silent pauses before a word, the standard deviation of the fundamental frequency on the entire sample, the standard deviation of jitter, and the ratio of the durations of the voiced sections and the entire recording.

  8. Automatically Assessing Lexical Sophistication: Indices, Tools, Findings, and Application

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyle, Kristopher; Crossley, Scott A.

    2015-01-01

    This study explores the construct of lexical sophistication and its applications for measuring second language lexical and speaking proficiency. In doing so, the study introduces the Tool for the Automatic Analysis of LExical Sophistication (TAALES), which calculates text scores for 135 classic and newly developed lexical indices related to word…

  9. Assessing Children's Home Language Environments Using Automatic Speech Recognition Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenwood, Charles R.; Thiemann-Bourque, Kathy; Walker, Dale; Buzhardt, Jay; Gilkerson, Jill

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to replicate and extend some of the findings of Hart and Risley using automatic speech processing instead of human transcription of language samples. The long-term goal of this work is to make the current approach to speech processing possible by researchers and clinicians working on a daily basis with families and…

  10. Automatically Assessing Lexical Sophistication: Indices, Tools, Findings, and Application

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyle, Kristopher; Crossley, Scott A.

    2015-01-01

    This study explores the construct of lexical sophistication and its applications for measuring second language lexical and speaking proficiency. In doing so, the study introduces the Tool for the Automatic Analysis of LExical Sophistication (TAALES), which calculates text scores for 135 classic and newly developed lexical indices related to word…

  11. Quality of life effects of automatic external defibrillators in the home: results from the Home Automatic External Defibrillator Trial (HAT).

    PubMed

    Mark, Daniel B; Anstrom, Kevin J; McNulty, Steven E; Flaker, Greg C; Tonkin, Andrew M; Smith, Warren M; Toff, William D; Dorian, Paul; Clapp-Channing, Nancy E; Anderson, Jill; Johnson, George; Schron, Eleanor B; Poole, Jeanne E; Lee, Kerry L; Bardy, Gust H

    2010-04-01

    Public access automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) can save lives, but most deaths from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest occur at home. The Home Automatic External Defibrillator Trial (HAT) found no survival advantage for adding a home AED to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for 7,001 patients with a prior anterior wall myocardial infarction. Quality of life (QOL) outcomes for both the patient and spouse/companion were secondary end points. A subset of 1,007 study patients and their spouse/companions was randomly selected for ascertainment of QOL by structured interview at baseline and 12 and 24 months after enrollment. The primary QOL measures were the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form psychological well-being (reflecting anxiety and depression) and vitality (reflecting energy and fatigue) subscales. For patients and spouse/companions, the psychological well-being and vitality scales did not differ significantly between those randomly assigned an AED plus CPR training and controls who received CPR training only. None of the other QOL measures collected showed a clinically and statistically significant difference between treatment groups. Patients in the AED group were more likely to report being extremely or quite a bit reassured by their treatment assignment. Spouse/companions in the AED group reported being less often nervous about the possibility of using AED/CPR treatment than those in the CPR group. Adding access to a home AED to CPR training did not affect QOL either for patients with a prior anterior myocardial infarction or their spouse/companion but did provide more reassurance to the patients without increasing anxiety for spouse/companions. Copyright 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. RobotReviewer: evaluation of a system for automatically assessing bias in clinical trials

    PubMed Central

    Kuiper, Joël; Wallace, Byron C

    2016-01-01

    Objective To develop and evaluate RobotReviewer, a machine learning (ML) system that automatically assesses bias in clinical trials. From a (PDF-formatted) trial report, the system should determine risks of bias for the domains defined by the Cochrane Risk of Bias (RoB) tool, and extract supporting text for these judgments. Methods We algorithmically annotated 12,808 trial PDFs using data from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR). Trials were labeled as being at low or high/unclear risk of bias for each domain, and sentences were labeled as being informative or not. This dataset was used to train a multi-task ML model. We estimated the accuracy of ML judgments versus humans by comparing trials with two or more independent RoB assessments in the CDSR. Twenty blinded experienced reviewers rated the relevance of supporting text, comparing ML output with equivalent (human-extracted) text from the CDSR. Results By retrieving the top 3 candidate sentences per document (top3 recall), the best ML text was rated more relevant than text from the CDSR, but not significantly (60.4% ML text rated ‘highly relevant' v 56.5% of text from reviews; difference +3.9%, [−3.2% to +10.9%]). Model RoB judgments were less accurate than those from published reviews, though the difference was <10% (overall accuracy 71.0% with ML v 78.3% with CDSR). Conclusion Risk of bias assessment may be automated with reasonable accuracy. Automatically identified text supporting bias assessment is of equal quality to the manually identified text in the CDSR. This technology could substantially reduce reviewer workload and expedite evidence syntheses. PMID:26104742

  13. RobotReviewer: evaluation of a system for automatically assessing bias in clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Iain J; Kuiper, Joël; Wallace, Byron C

    2016-01-01

    To develop and evaluate RobotReviewer, a machine learning (ML) system that automatically assesses bias in clinical trials. From a (PDF-formatted) trial report, the system should determine risks of bias for the domains defined by the Cochrane Risk of Bias (RoB) tool, and extract supporting text for these judgments. We algorithmically annotated 12,808 trial PDFs using data from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR). Trials were labeled as being at low or high/unclear risk of bias for each domain, and sentences were labeled as being informative or not. This dataset was used to train a multi-task ML model. We estimated the accuracy of ML judgments versus humans by comparing trials with two or more independent RoB assessments in the CDSR. Twenty blinded experienced reviewers rated the relevance of supporting text, comparing ML output with equivalent (human-extracted) text from the CDSR. By retrieving the top 3 candidate sentences per document (top3 recall), the best ML text was rated more relevant than text from the CDSR, but not significantly (60.4% ML text rated 'highly relevant' v 56.5% of text from reviews; difference +3.9%, [-3.2% to +10.9%]). Model RoB judgments were less accurate than those from published reviews, though the difference was <10% (overall accuracy 71.0% with ML v 78.3% with CDSR). Risk of bias assessment may be automated with reasonable accuracy. Automatically identified text supporting bias assessment is of equal quality to the manually identified text in the CDSR. This technology could substantially reduce reviewer workload and expedite evidence syntheses. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association.

  14. Geometric assessment of image quality using digital image registration techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tisdale, G. E.

    1976-01-01

    Image registration techniques were developed to perform a geometric quality assessment of multispectral and multitemporal image pairs. Based upon LANDSAT tapes, accuracies to a small fraction of a pixel were demonstrated. Because it is insensitive to the choice of registration areas, the technique is well suited to performance in an automatic system. It may be implemented at megapixel-per-second rates using a commercial minicomputer in combination with a special purpose digital preprocessor.

  15. Automatic Rotational Sky Quality Meter (R-SQM) Design and Software for Astronomical Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogan, E.; Ozbaldan, E. E.; Shameoni, Niaei M.; Yesilyaprak, C.

    2016-12-01

    We have presented the new design of Sky Quality Meter (SQM) device that is an automatic rotational model of sky quality meter (R-SQM) carried out by DAG (Eastern Anatolia Observatory) Technical Team. R-SQM is required for determining the long-term changes of sky quality of an astronomical observatory and consists of four SQM devices mounted on a rotating shaft with different angles for scanning all sky. This system is controlled by a Raspberry Pi control card and a step motor with its driver and a special software.

  16. The Midwest Stream Quality Assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2012-01-01

    In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) and USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) will be collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) to assess stream quality across the Midwestern United States. The sites selected for this study are a subset of the larger NRSA, implemented by the EPA, States and Tribes to sample flowing waters across the United States (http://water.epa.gov/type/rsl/monitoring/riverssurvey/index.cfm). The goals are to characterize water-quality stressors—contaminants, nutrients, and sediment—and ecological conditions in streams throughout the Midwest and to determine the relative effects of these stressors on aquatic organisms in the streams. Findings will contribute useful information for communities and policymakers by identifying which human and environmental factors are the most critical in controlling stream quality. This collaborative study enhances information provided to the public and policymakers and minimizes costs by leveraging and sharing data gathered under existing programs. In the spring and early summer, NAWQA will sample streams weekly for contaminants, nutrients, and sediment. During the same time period, CERC will test sediment and water samples for toxicity, deploy time-integrating samplers, and measure reproductive effects and biomarkers of contaminant exposure in fish or amphibians. NRSA will sample sites once during the summer to assess ecological and habitat conditions in the streams by collecting data on algal, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities and collecting detailed physical-habitat measurements. Study-team members from all three programs will work in collaboration with USGS Water Science Centers and State agencies on study design, execution of sampling and analysis, and reporting.

  17. Orion Entry Handling Qualities Assessments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bihari, B.; Tiggers, M.; Strahan, A.; Gonzalez, R.; Sullivan, K.; Stephens, J. P.; Hart, J.; Law, H., III; Bilimoria, K.; Bailey, R.

    2011-01-01

    The Orion Command Module (CM) is a capsule designed to bring crew back from the International Space Station (ISS), the moon and beyond. The atmospheric entry portion of the flight is deigned to be flown in autopilot mode for nominal situations. However, there exists the possibility for the crew to take over manual control in off-nominal situations. In these instances, the spacecraft must meet specific handling qualities criteria. To address these criteria two separate assessments of the Orion CM s entry Handling Qualities (HQ) were conducted at NASA s Johnson Space Center (JSC) using the Cooper-Harper scale (Cooper & Harper, 1969). These assessments were conducted in the summers of 2008 and 2010 using the Advanced NASA Technology Architecture for Exploration Studies (ANTARES) six degree of freedom, high fidelity Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) simulation. This paper will address the specifics of the handling qualities criteria, the vehicle configuration, the scenarios flown, the simulation background and setup, crew interfaces and displays, piloting techniques, ratings and crew comments, pre- and post-fight briefings, lessons learned and changes made to improve the overall system performance. The data collection tools, methods, data reduction and output reports will also be discussed. The objective of the 2008 entry HQ assessment was to evaluate the handling qualities of the CM during a lunar skip return. A lunar skip entry case was selected because it was considered the most demanding of all bank control scenarios. Even though skip entry is not planned to be flown manually, it was hypothesized that if a pilot could fly the harder skip entry case, then they could also fly a simpler loads managed or ballistic (constant bank rate command) entry scenario. In addition, with the evaluation set-up of multiple tasks within the entry case, handling qualities ratings collected in the evaluation could be used to assess other scenarios such as the constant bank angle

  18. Effect of automatic tube voltage selection on image quality and radiation dose in abdominal CT angiography of various body sizes: a phantom study.

    PubMed

    Schindera, S T; Winklehner, A; Alkadhi, H; Goetti, R; Fischer, M; Gnannt, R; Szucs-Farkas, Z

    2013-02-01

    To assess the effect of an automatic tube voltage selection technique on image quality and radiation dose in abdominal computed tomography (CT) angiography of various body sizes. An abdominal aortic phantom was filled with iodinated contrast medium and placed into three different cylindrical water containers, which simulated a small, intermediate-sized, and large patient. The phantom was scanned with a standard 120 kVp abdominal CT angiography protocol and with an optimized tube voltage protocol that was modulated by an automatic tube voltage technique. The attenuation of the aorta, background, and image noise was measured, and the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) was calculated. Three independent readers assessed the overall image quality. The automatic tube voltage technique selected 70 kVp as the optimal tube voltage for the small phantom, 80 kVp for the intermediate phantom, and 100 kVp for the large phantom. Compared to the standard 120 kVp protocol, the automatic tube voltage selection yielded significantly increased CNR values in the small phantom (15.8 versus 19.4, p < 0.001), intermediate phantom (8.4 versus 8.7, p < 0.05), and large phantom (4.3 versus 4.6, p < 0.01). The automatic tube voltage selection resulted in a 55%, 49%, and 39% reduction in the volume CT dose index (CTDI(vol)) in the small, intermediate, and large phantoms, respectively. The subjective overall image quality of the three phantom sizes at different tube voltages ranged between poor and good. Compared to a standard 120 kVp abdominal CT angiography protocol, the automatic tube voltage selection substantially reduced the radiation dose without compromising image quality in various simulated patient sizes. Copyright © 2012 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Recommendations for performance assessment of automatic sleep staging algorithms.

    PubMed

    Imtiaz, Syed Anas; Rodriguez-Villegas, Esther

    2014-01-01

    A number of automatic sleep scoring algorithms have been published in the last few years. These can potentially help save time and reduce costs in sleep monitoring. However, the use of both R&K and AASM classification, different databases and varying performance metrics makes it extremely difficult to compare these algorithms. In this paper, we describe some readily available polysomnography databases and propose a set of recommendations and performance metrics to promote uniform testing and direct comparison of different algorithms. We use two different polysomnography databases with a simple sleep staging algorithm to demonstrate the usage of all recommendations and presentation of performance results. We also illustrate how seemingly similar results using two different databases can have contrasting accuracies in different sleep stages. Finally, we show how selection of different training and test subjects from the same database can alter the final performance results.

  20. Automatic Extraction and Coordination of Audit Data and Features for Intrusion and Damage Assessment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-31

    03/31/06 Final Project Report 01/01/03-03/31/06 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Automatic Extraction and Coordination of Audit Data and...Features for Intrusion and Damage Assessment 5b. GRANTNUMBER F49620-03-1-0109 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER Dr. Nong Ye 5e...assessing the damage through automatic extraction and coordination of audit data and features for intrusion and damage assessment. In this project , we

  1. Using Automatic Item Generation to Improve the Quality of MCQ Distractors.

    PubMed

    Lai, Hollis; Gierl, Mark J; Touchie, Claire; Pugh, Debra; Boulais, André-Philippe; De Champlain, André

    2016-01-01

    CONSTRUCT: Automatic item generation (AIG) is an alternative method for producing large numbers of test items that integrate cognitive modeling with computer technology to systematically generate multiple-choice questions (MCQs). The purpose of our study is to describe and validate a method of generating plausible but incorrect distractors. Initial applications of AIG demonstrated its effectiveness in producing test items. However, expert review of the initial items identified a key limitation where the generation of implausible incorrect options, or distractors, might limit the applicability of items in real testing situations. Medical educators require development of test items in large quantities to facilitate the continual assessment of student knowledge. Traditional item development processes are time-consuming and resource intensive. Studies have validated the quality of generated items through content expert review. However, no study has yet documented how generated items perform in a test administration. Moreover, no study has yet to validate AIG through student responses to generated test items. To validate our refined AIG method in generating plausible distractors, we collected psychometric evidence from a field test of the generated test items. A three-step process was used to generate test items in the area of jaundice. At least 455 Canadian and international medical graduates responded to each of the 13 generated items embedded in a high-stake exam administration. Item difficulty, discrimination, and index of discrimination estimates were calculated for the correct option as well as each distractor. Item analysis results for the correct options suggest that the generated items measured candidate performances across a range of ability levels while providing a consistent level of discrimination for each item. Results for the distractors reveal that the generated items differentiated the low- from the high-performing candidates. Previous research on AIG

  2. The tool for the automatic analysis of text cohesion (TAACO): Automatic assessment of local, global, and text cohesion.

    PubMed

    Crossley, Scott A; Kyle, Kristopher; McNamara, Danielle S

    2016-12-01

    This study introduces the Tool for the Automatic Analysis of Cohesion (TAACO), a freely available text analysis tool that is easy to use, works on most operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux), is housed on a user's hard drive (rather than having an Internet interface), allows for the batch processing of text files, and incorporates over 150 classic and recently developed indices related to text cohesion. The study validates TAACO by investigating how its indices related to local, global, and overall text cohesion can predict expert judgments of text coherence and essay quality. The findings of this study provide predictive validation of TAACO and support the notion that expert judgments of text coherence and quality are either negatively correlated or not predicted by local and overall text cohesion indices, but are positively predicted by global indices of cohesion. Combined, these findings provide supporting evidence that coherence for expert raters is a property of global cohesion and not of local cohesion, and that expert ratings of text quality are positively related to global cohesion.

  3. Higher Education Quality Assessment Model: Towards Achieving Educational Quality Standard

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noaman, Amin Y.; Ragab, Abdul Hamid M.; Madbouly, Ayman I.; Khedra, Ahmed M.; Fayoumi, Ayman G.

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a developed higher education quality assessment model (HEQAM) that can be applied for enhancement of university services. This is because there is no universal unified quality standard model that can be used to assess the quality criteria of higher education institutes. The analytical hierarchy process is used to identify the…

  4. Higher Education Quality Assessment Model: Towards Achieving Educational Quality Standard

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noaman, Amin Y.; Ragab, Abdul Hamid M.; Madbouly, Ayman I.; Khedra, Ahmed M.; Fayoumi, Ayman G.

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents a developed higher education quality assessment model (HEQAM) that can be applied for enhancement of university services. This is because there is no universal unified quality standard model that can be used to assess the quality criteria of higher education institutes. The analytical hierarchy process is used to identify the…

  5. Students' Feedback Preferences: How Do Students React to Timely and Automatically Generated Assessment Feedback?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayerlein, Leopold

    2014-01-01

    This study assesses whether or not undergraduate and postgraduate accounting students at an Australian university differentiate between timely feedback and extremely timely feedback, and whether or not the replacement of manually written formal assessment feedback with automatically generated feedback influences students' perception of feedback…

  6. An industrial quality automatic resonator alignment system for a 20 kW CO 2 laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akitt, D. R.; Seguin, H. J. J.; Sellathamby, C. V.; Rogozinski, K.

    A limiting feature in high-power laser technology which has surfaced in recent years is alignment instability induced by thermally generated distortions of the optical hardware and phase perturbations of the gain media under elevated power loading. In an effort to ameliorate these problems, a study was initiated to ascertain the feasibility of utilizing a feedback control system both to monitor and align the resonator optics of a multikilowatt laser; thereby actively preserving optimum mode quality. This papers summarizes the results of this project and outlines the basic approach used to construct a controller which accomplishes fully automatic alignment of both mirrors in an unstable resonator for a 20 kW CO 2 machine. A mathematical model of the control system is presented along with a description of the principles of operation. Data are provided to document the major improvement in device performance achievable using this automatic alignment controller concept.

  7. SIMULATING LOCAL DENSE AREAS USING PMMA TO ASSESS AUTOMATIC EXPOSURE CONTROL IN DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY.

    PubMed

    Bouwman, R W; Binst, J; Dance, D R; Young, K C; Broeders, M J M; den Heeten, G J; Veldkamp, W J H; Bosmans, H; van Engen, R E

    2016-06-01

    Current digital mammography (DM) X-ray systems are equipped with advanced automatic exposure control (AEC) systems, which determine the exposure factors depending on breast composition. In the supplement of the European guidelines for quality assurance in breast cancer screening and diagnosis, a phantom-based test is included to evaluate the AEC response to local dense areas in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This study evaluates the proposed test in terms of SNR and dose for four DM systems. The glandular fraction represented by the local dense area was assessed by analytic calculations. It was found that the proposed test simulates adipose to fully glandular breast compositions in attenuation. The doses associated with the phantoms were found to match well with the patient dose distribution. In conclusion, after some small adaptations, the test is valuable for the assessment of the AEC performance in terms of both SNR and dose. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. AfterQC: automatic filtering, trimming, error removing and quality control for fastq data.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shifu; Huang, Tanxiao; Zhou, Yanqing; Han, Yue; Xu, Mingyan; Gu, Jia

    2017-03-14

    Some applications, especially those clinical applications requiring high accuracy of sequencing data, usually have to face the troubles caused by unavoidable sequencing errors. Several tools have been proposed to profile the sequencing quality, but few of them can quantify or correct the sequencing errors. This unmet requirement motivated us to develop AfterQC, a tool with functions to profile sequencing errors and correct most of them, plus highly automated quality control and data filtering features. Different from most tools, AfterQC analyses the overlapping of paired sequences for pair-end sequencing data. Based on overlapping analysis, AfterQC can detect and cut adapters, and furthermore it gives a novel function to correct wrong bases in the overlapping regions. Another new feature is to detect and visualise sequencing bubbles, which can be commonly found on the flowcell lanes and may raise sequencing errors. Besides normal per cycle quality and base content plotting, AfterQC also provides features like polyX (a long sub-sequence of a same base X) filtering, automatic trimming and K-MER based strand bias profiling. For each single or pair of FastQ files, AfterQC filters out bad reads, detects and eliminates sequencer's bubble effects, trims reads at front and tail, detects the sequencing errors and corrects part of them, and finally outputs clean data and generates HTML reports with interactive figures. AfterQC can run in batch mode with multiprocess support, it can run with a single FastQ file, a single pair of FastQ files (for pair-end sequencing), or a folder for all included FastQ files to be processed automatically. Based on overlapping analysis, AfterQC can estimate the sequencing error rate and profile the error transform distribution. The results of our error profiling tests show that the error distribution is highly platform dependent. Much more than just another new quality control (QC) tool, AfterQC is able to perform quality control, data

  9. Carbon Nanotube Material Quality Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yowell, Leonard; Arepalli, Sivaram; Sosa, Edward; Niolaev, Pavel; Gorelik, Olga

    2006-01-01

    The nanomaterial activities at NASA Johnson Space Center focus on carbon nanotube production, characterization and their applications for aerospace systems. Single wall carbon nanotubes are produced by arc and laser methods. Characterization of the nanotube material is performed using the NASA JSC protocol developed by combining analytical techniques of SEM, TEM, UV-VIS-NIR absorption, Raman, and TGA. A possible addition of other techniques such as XPS, and ICP to the existing protocol will be discussed. Changes in the quality of the material collected in different regions of the arc and laser production chambers is assessed using the original JSC protocol. The observed variations indicate different growth conditions in different regions of the production chambers.

  10. Towards the Real-Time Evaluation of Collaborative Activities: Integration of an Automatic Rater of Collaboration Quality in the Classroom from the Teacher's Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chounta, Irene-Angelica; Avouris, Nikolaos

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the integration of a real time evaluation method of collaboration quality in a monitoring application that supports teachers in class orchestration. The method is implemented as an automatic rater of collaboration quality and studied in a real time scenario of use. We argue that automatic and semi-automatic methods which…

  11. Towards the Real-Time Evaluation of Collaborative Activities: Integration of an Automatic Rater of Collaboration Quality in the Classroom from the Teacher's Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chounta, Irene-Angelica; Avouris, Nikolaos

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the integration of a real time evaluation method of collaboration quality in a monitoring application that supports teachers in class orchestration. The method is implemented as an automatic rater of collaboration quality and studied in a real time scenario of use. We argue that automatic and semi-automatic methods which…

  12. Implementation of a quality control system for the Automatic Weather Stations Network from CPTEC/INPE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, A.; Almeida, W. G.

    2007-05-01

    The observations from INPE's Automatic Weather Stations Network are available for free distribution in the CPTEC webpage just after its processing. Because the automated meteorological stations can report in a high temporal frequency and its quantity is growing, they will be more important over the time. To keep the quality of the distributed data and to help the network management it is needed a complex automated quality control system. To meet these objectives we installed in the CPTEC/INPE the quality control system from MADIS (Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System). A software developed by the Forecast Systems Laboratory, from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). In this paper we describe this QC system and the results.

  13. Retinal image quality assessment based on image clarity and content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdel-Hamid, Lamiaa; El-Rafei, Ahmed; El-Ramly, Salwa; Michelson, Georg; Hornegger, Joachim

    2016-09-01

    Retinal image quality assessment (RIQA) is an essential step in automated screening systems to avoid misdiagnosis caused by processing poor quality retinal images. A no-reference transform-based RIQA algorithm is introduced that assesses images based on five clarity and content quality issues: sharpness, illumination, homogeneity, field definition, and content. Transform-based RIQA algorithms have the advantage of considering retinal structures while being computationally inexpensive. Wavelet-based features are proposed to evaluate the sharpness and overall illumination of the images. A retinal saturation channel is designed and used along with wavelet-based features for homogeneity assessment. The presented sharpness and illumination features are utilized to assure adequate field definition, whereas color information is used to exclude nonretinal images. Several publicly available datasets of varying quality grades are utilized to evaluate the feature sets resulting in area under the receiver operating characteristic curve above 0.99 for each of the individual feature sets. The overall quality is assessed by a classifier that uses the collective features as an input vector. The classification results show superior performance of the algorithm in comparison to other methods from literature. Moreover, the algorithm addresses efficiently and comprehensively various quality issues and is suitable for automatic screening systems.

  14. Operation logic and functionality of automatic dose rate and image quality control of conventional fluoroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Pei-Jan Paul

    2009-05-15

    New generation of fluoroscopic imaging systems is equipped with spectral shaping filters complemented with sophisticated automatic dose rate and image quality control logic called ''fluoroscopy curve'' or ''trajectory''. Such fluoroscopy curves were implemented first on cardiovascular angiographic imaging systems and are now available on conventional fluoroscopy equipment. This study aims to investigate the control logic operations under the fluoroscopy mode and acquisition mode (equivalent to the legacy spot filming) of a conventional fluoroscopy system typically installed for upper-lower gastrointestinal examinations, interventional endoscopy laboratories, gastrointestinal laboratory, and pain clinics.

  15. Quality Assurance using Outlier Detection on an Automatic Segmentation Method for the Cerebellar Peduncles

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ke; Ye, Chuyang; Yang, Zhen; Carass, Aaron; Ying, Sarah H.; Prince, Jerry L.

    2017-01-01

    Cerebellar peduncles (CPs) are white matter tracts connecting the cerebellum to other brain regions. Automatic segmentation methods of the CPs have been proposed for studying their structure and function. Usually the performance of these methods is evaluated by comparing segmentation results with manual delineations (ground truth). However, when a segmentation method is run on new data (for which no ground truth exists) it is highly desirable to efficiently detect and assess algorithm failures so that these cases can be excluded from scientific analysis. In this work, two outlier detection methods aimed to assess the performance of an automatic CP segmentation algorithm are presented. The first one is a univariate non-parametric method using a box-whisker plot. We first categorize automatic segmentation results of a dataset of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans from 48 subjects as either a success or a failure. We then design three groups of features from the image data of nine categorized failures for failure detection. Results show that most of these features can efficiently detect the true failures. The second method—supervised classification—was employed on a larger DTI dataset of 249 manually categorized subjects. Four classifiers—linear discriminant analysis (LDA), logistic regression (LR), support vector machine (SVM), and random forest classification (RFC)—were trained using the designed features and evaluated using a leave-one-out cross validation. Results show that the LR performs worst among the four classifiers and the other three perform comparably, which demonstrates the feasibility of automatically detecting segmentation failures using classification methods. PMID:28203039

  16. Quality Assurance using Outlier Detection on an Automatic Segmentation Method for the Cerebellar Peduncles.

    PubMed

    Li, Ke; Ye, Chuyang; Yang, Zhen; Carass, Aaron; Ying, Sarah H; Prince, Jerry L

    2016-02-27

    Cerebellar peduncles (CPs) are white matter tracts connecting the cerebellum to other brain regions. Automatic segmentation methods of the CPs have been proposed for studying their structure and function. Usually the performance of these methods is evaluated by comparing segmentation results with manual delineations (ground truth). However, when a segmentation method is run on new data (for which no ground truth exists) it is highly desirable to efficiently detect and assess algorithm failures so that these cases can be excluded from scientific analysis. In this work, two outlier detection methods aimed to assess the performance of an automatic CP segmentation algorithm are presented. The first one is a univariate non-parametric method using a box-whisker plot. We first categorize automatic segmentation results of a dataset of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans from 48 subjects as either a success or a failure. We then design three groups of features from the image data of nine categorized failures for failure detection. Results show that most of these features can efficiently detect the true failures. The second method-supervised classification-was employed on a larger DTI dataset of 249 manually categorized subjects. Four classifiers-linear discriminant analysis (LDA), logistic regression (LR), support vector machine (SVM), and random forest classification (RFC)-were trained using the designed features and evaluated using a leave-one-out cross validation. Results show that the LR performs worst among the four classifiers and the other three perform comparably, which demonstrates the feasibility of automatically detecting segmentation failures using classification methods.

  17. Quality assurance using outlier detection on an automatic segmentation method for the cerebellar peduncles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ke; Ye, Chuyang; Yang, Zhen; Carass, Aaron; Ying, Sarah H.; Prince, Jerry L.

    2016-03-01

    Cerebellar peduncles (CPs) are white matter tracts connecting the cerebellum to other brain regions. Automatic segmentation methods of the CPs have been proposed for studying their structure and function. Usually the performance of these methods is evaluated by comparing segmentation results with manual delineations (ground truth). However, when a segmentation method is run on new data (for which no ground truth exists) it is highly desirable to efficiently detect and assess algorithm failures so that these cases can be excluded from scientific analysis. In this work, two outlier detection methods aimed to assess the performance of an automatic CP segmentation algorithm are presented. The first one is a univariate non-parametric method using a box-whisker plot. We first categorize automatic segmentation results of a dataset of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans from 48 subjects as either a success or a failure. We then design three groups of features from the image data of nine categorized failures for failure detection. Results show that most of these features can efficiently detect the true failures. The second method—supervised classification—was employed on a larger DTI dataset of 249 manually categorized subjects. Four classifiers—linear discriminant analysis (LDA), logistic regression (LR), support vector machine (SVM), and random forest classification (RFC)—were trained using the designed features and evaluated using a leave-one-out cross validation. Results show that the LR performs worst among the four classifiers and the other three perform comparably, which demonstrates the feasibility of automatically detecting segmentation failures using classification methods.

  18. AN AUTOMATIC 3D CT/PET SEGMENTATION FRAMEWORK FOR BONE MARROW PROLIFERATION ASSESSMENT.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Chuong; Havlicek, Joseph; Duong, Quyen; Vesely, Sara; Gress, Ronald; Lindenberg, Liza; Choyke, Peter; Chakrabarty, Jennifer Holter; Williams, Kirsten

    2016-09-01

    Clinical assessment of bone marrow is limited by an inability to evaluate the marrow space comprehensively and dynamically and there is no current method for automatically assessing hematopoietic activity within the medullary space. Evaluating the hematopoietic space in its entirety could be applicable in blood disorders, malignancies, infections, and medication toxicity. In this paper, we introduce a CT/PET 3D automatic framework for measurement of the hematopoietic compartment proliferation within osseous sites. We first perform a full-body bone structure segmentation using 3D graph-cut on the CT volume. The vertebrae are segmented by detecting the discs between adjacent vertebrae. Finally, we register the bone marrow CT volume with its corresponding PET volume and capture the spinal bone marrow volume. The proposed framework was tested on 17 patients, achieving an average accuracy of 86.37% and a worst case accuracy of 82.3% in automatically extracting the aggregate volume of the spinal marrow cavities.

  19. Automatic Severity Assessment of Dysarthria using State-Specific Vectors.

    PubMed

    Sriranjani, R; Umesh, S; Reddy, M Ramasubba

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, a novel approach to assess the severity of the dysarthria using state-specific vector (SSV) of phone-cluster adaptive training (phone-CAT) acoustic modeling technique is proposed. The dominant component of the SSV represents the actual pronunciations of a speaker. Comparing the dominant component for unimpaired and each dysarthric speaker, a phone confusion matrix is formed. The diagonal elements of the matrix capture the number of correct pronunciations for each dysarthric speaker. As the degree of impairment increases, the number of phones correctly pronounced by the speaker decreases. Thus the trace of the confusion matrix can be used as objective cue to assess di?erent severity levels of dysarthria based on a threshold rule. Our proposed objective measure correlates with the standard Frenchay dysarthric assessment scores by 74 % on Nemours database. The measure also correlates with the intelligibility scores by 82 % on universal access dysarthric speech database.

  20. Automatic Assessment of the Quality of Group 3 Facsimile Transmission.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-05-01

    progressive de toutes les applications suppose la creation d’un support comm’un pour toutes lea Wnormations. tine v~ritable " Banque de donn~es". r...v-6ritable " Banque de donn~es", r~partie sur des rnnypuis de traitement nationaux et r~gianaux. et qui devra rester alimentt~e, mise A jour en perma...uf-an 4"-9 tI cs6 so d’auwjw w ’s em weruo 0 ft. IsN lign retard est. dQoticW 9-!-: -w. A cd upti Is fgure 2 reprilinnte Is wuic courbe dourAMa 14

  1. Towards Quality Assessment in an EFL Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ali, Holi Ibrahim Holi; Al Ajmi, Ahmed Ali Saleh

    2013-01-01

    Assessment is central in education and the teaching-learning process. This study attempts to explore the perspectives and views about quality assessment among teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), and to find ways of promoting quality assessment. Quantitative methodology was used to collect data. To answer the study questions, a…

  2. Effects of Multisensory Environments on Stereotyped Behaviours Assessed as Maintained by Automatic Reinforcement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Lindsay; Trusler, Karen; Furniss, Frederick; Lancioni, Giulio

    2012-01-01

    Background: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of the sensory equipment provided in a multi-sensory environment (MSE) and the level of social contact provided on levels of stereotyped behaviours assessed as being maintained by automatic reinforcement. Method: Stereotyped and engaged behaviours of two young people with severe…

  3. Automatic Assessment of Complex Task Performance in Games and Simulations. CRESST Report 775

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Iseli, Markus R.; Koenig, Alan D.; Lee, John J.; Wainess, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Assessment of complex task performance is crucial to evaluating personnel in critical job functions such as Navy damage control operations aboard ships. Games and simulations can be instrumental in this process, as they can present a broad range of complex scenarios without involving harm to people or property. However, "automatic"…

  4. Healthcare quality maturity assessment model based on quality drivers.

    PubMed

    Ramadan, Nadia; Arafeh, Mazen

    2016-04-18

    Purpose - Healthcare providers differ in their readiness and maturity levels regarding quality and quality management systems applications. The purpose of this paper is to serve as a useful quantitative quality maturity-level assessment tool for healthcare organizations. Design/methodology/approach - The model proposes five quality maturity levels (chaotic, primitive, structured, mature and proficient) based on six quality drivers: top management, people, operations, culture, quality focus and accreditation. Findings - Healthcare managers can apply the model to identify the status quo, quality shortcomings and evaluating ongoing progress. Practical implications - The model has been incorporated in an interactive Excel worksheet that visually displays the quality maturity-level risk meter. The tool has been applied successfully to local hospitals. Originality/value - The proposed six quality driver scales appear to measure healthcare provider maturity levels on a single quality meter.

  5. Cell Processing Engineering for Regenerative Medicine : Noninvasive Cell Quality Estimation and Automatic Cell Processing.

    PubMed

    Takagi, Mutsumi

    2016-01-01

    The cell processing engineering including automatic cell processing and noninvasive cell quality estimation of adherent mammalian cells for regenerative medicine was reviewed. Automatic cell processing necessary for the industrialization of regenerative medicine was introduced. The cell quality such as cell heterogeneity should be noninvasively estimated before transplantation to patient, because cultured cells are usually not homogeneous but heterogeneous and most protocols of regenerative medicine are autologous system. The differentiation level could be estimated by two-dimensional cell morphology analysis using a conventional phase-contrast microscope. The phase-shifting laser microscope (PLM) could determine laser phase shift at all pixel in a view, which is caused by the transmitted laser through cell, and might be more noninvasive and more useful than the atomic force microscope and digital holographic microscope. The noninvasive determination of the laser phase shift of a cell using a PLM was carried out to determine the three-dimensional cell morphology and estimate the cell cycle phase of each adhesive cell and the mean proliferation activity of a cell population. The noninvasive discrimination of cancer cells from normal cells by measuring the phase shift was performed based on the difference in cytoskeleton density. Chemical analysis of the culture supernatant was also useful to estimate the differentiation level of a cell population. A probe beam, an infrared beam, and Raman spectroscopy are useful for diagnosing the viability, apoptosis, and differentiation of each adhesive cell.

  6. Assessment and Quality Social Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savage, Tom V.

    2003-01-01

    Those anonymous individuals who develop high-stakes tests by which educational quality is measured exercise great influence in defining educational quality. In this article, the author examines the impact of high-stakes testing on the welfare of the children and the quality of social studies instruction. He presents the benefits and drawbacks of…

  7. The Automatic Assessment and Reduction of Noise Using Edge Pattern Analysis in Nonlinear Image Enhancement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jobson, Daniel J.; Rahman, Zia-ur; Woodells, Glenn A.; Hines, Glenn D.

    2004-01-01

    Noise is the primary visibility limit in the process of non-linear image enhancement, and is no longer a statistically stable additive noise in the post-enhancement image. Therefore novel approaches are needed to both assess and reduce spatially variable noise at this stage in overall image processing. Here we will examine the use of edge pattern analysis both for automatic assessment of spatially variable noise and as a foundation for new noise reduction methods.

  8. Automatic Assessment and Reduction of Noise using Edge Pattern Analysis in Non-Linear Image Enhancement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jobson, Daniel J.; Rahman, Zia-Ur; Woodell, Glenn A.; Hines, Glenn D.

    2004-01-01

    Noise is the primary visibility limit in the process of non-linear image enhancement, and is no longer a statistically stable additive noise in the post-enhancement image. Therefore novel approaches are needed to both assess and reduce spatially variable noise at this stage in overall image processing. Here we will examine the use of edge pattern analysis both for automatic assessment of spatially variable noise and as a foundation for new noise reduction methods.

  9. Towards automatic diabetes case detection and ABCS protocol compliance assessment.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Ninad K; Son, Roderick Y; Arnzen, James J

    2012-08-01

    According to the American Diabetes Association, the implementation of the standards of care for diabetes has been suboptimal in most clinical settings. Diabetes is a disease that had a total estimated cost of $174 billion in 2007 for an estimated diabetes-affected population of 17.5 million in the United States. With the advent of electronic medical records (EMR), tools to analyze data residing in the EMR for healthcare surveillance can help reduce the burdens experienced today. This study was primarily designed to evaluate the efficacy of employing clinical natural language processing to analyze discharge summaries for evidence indicating a presence of diabetes, as well as to assess diabetes protocol compliance and high risk factors. Three sets of algorithms were developed to analyze discharge summaries for: (1) identification of diabetes, (2) protocol compliance, and (3) identification of high risk factors. The algorithms utilize a common natural language processing framework that extracts relevant discourse evidence from the medical text. Evidence utilized in one or more of the algorithms include assertion of the disease and associated findings in medical text, as well as numerical clinical measurements and prescribed medications. The diabetes classifier was successful at classifying reports for the presence and absence of diabetes. Evaluated against 444 discharge summaries, the classifier's performance included macro and micro F-scores of 0.9698 and 0.9865, respectively. Furthermore, the protocol compliance and high risk factor classifiers showed promising results, with most F-measures exceeding 0.9. The presented approach accurately identified diabetes in medical discharge summaries and showed promise with regards to assessment of protocol compliance and high risk factors. Utilizing free-text analytic techniques on medical text can complement clinical-public health decision support by identifying cases and high risk factors.

  10. Use of a portable indoor environmental quality logger for indoor environmental quality assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Chan, D.W.T.; Burnett, J.; Mui, H.K.W.

    1999-07-01

    The authors conducted a large-scale study in Hong Kong on the indoor environment in high-rise office buildings. The indoor environmental quality assessment covered thermal, indoor air, visual, and aural comforts. The assessment had two parts--physical measurements by laboratory grade instruments and a survey of subjective responses. However, the approach of study requires sophisticated instrumentation together with an intensive questionnaire. Based on the experience gained from this comprehensive study, a portable indoor environmental quality logger has been developed as a tool to more conveniently assess the indoor environmental quality by building operators, occupants, and facility managers. This instrument incorporates sensors for measuring essential physical parameters. In addition, switches are provided on the front panel to allow occupants to record directly their sensation votes on the acceptability of their immediate microenvironment, focusing on four indoor environmental qualifiers and the overall acceptability. The physical parameters and the subjective responses are all automatically logged for analysis. This indoor environmental quality logger not only provides an easy method for assessment of the indoor environment, but it can also be used as a diary logger for detailed analysis of localized problems in the indoor spaces. This comprehensive environmental quality concept can be further developed to a control algorithm for HVAC systems.

  11. Automatic evidence quality prediction to support evidence-based decision making.

    PubMed

    Sarker, Abeed; Mollá, Diego; Paris, Cécile

    2015-06-01

    Evidence-based medicine practice requires practitioners to obtain the best available medical evidence, and appraise the quality of the evidence when making clinical decisions. Primarily due to the plethora of electronically available data from the medical literature, the manual appraisal of the quality of evidence is a time-consuming process. We present a fully automatic approach for predicting the quality of medical evidence in order to aid practitioners at point-of-care. Our approach extracts relevant information from medical article abstracts and utilises data from a specialised corpus to apply supervised machine learning for the prediction of the quality grades. Following an in-depth analysis of the usefulness of features (e.g., publication types of articles), they are extracted from the text via rule-based approaches and from the meta-data associated with the articles, and then applied in the supervised classification model. We propose the use of a highly scalable and portable approach using a sequence of high precision classifiers, and introduce a simple evaluation metric called average error distance (AED) that simplifies the comparison of systems. We also perform elaborate human evaluations to compare the performance of our system against human judgments. We test and evaluate our approaches on a publicly available, specialised, annotated corpus containing 1132 evidence-based recommendations. Our rule-based approach performs exceptionally well at the automatic extraction of publication types of articles, with F-scores of up to 0.99 for high-quality publication types. For evidence quality classification, our approach obtains an accuracy of 63.84% and an AED of 0.271. The human evaluations show that the performance of our system, in terms of AED and accuracy, is comparable to the performance of humans on the same data. The experiments suggest that our structured text classification framework achieves evaluation results comparable to those of human performance

  12. Assessing Quality in Home Visiting Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Korfmacher, Jon; Laszewski, Audrey; Sparr, Mariel; Hammel, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Defining quality and designing a quality assessment measure for home visitation programs is a complex and multifaceted undertaking. This article summarizes the process used to create the Home Visitation Program Quality Rating Tool (HVPQRT) and identifies next steps for its development. The HVPQRT measures both structural and dynamic features of…

  13. Assessing quality in volcanic ash soils

    Treesearch

    Terry L. Craigg; Steven W. Howes

    2007-01-01

    Forest managers must understand how changes in soil quality resulting from project implementation affect long-term productivity and watershed health. Volcanic ash soils have unique properties that affect their quality and function; and which may warrant soil quality standards and assessment techniques that are different from other soils. We discuss the concept of soil...

  14. Assessing Quality in Home Visiting Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Korfmacher, Jon; Laszewski, Audrey; Sparr, Mariel; Hammel, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Defining quality and designing a quality assessment measure for home visitation programs is a complex and multifaceted undertaking. This article summarizes the process used to create the Home Visitation Program Quality Rating Tool (HVPQRT) and identifies next steps for its development. The HVPQRT measures both structural and dynamic features of…

  15. Assessing the Quality of Teachers' Teaching Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun; Mason, Stephen; Staniszewski, Christina; Upton, Ashley; Valley, Megan

    2012-01-01

    This study assessed the extent to which nine elementary physical education teachers implemented the quality of teaching practices. Thirty physical education lessons taught by the nine teachers to their students in grades K-5 were videotaped. Four investigators coded the taped lessons using the Assessing Quality Teaching Rubric (AQTR) designed and…

  16. Assessing the Quality of Teachers' Teaching Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun; Mason, Stephen; Staniszewski, Christina; Upton, Ashley; Valley, Megan

    2012-01-01

    This study assessed the extent to which nine elementary physical education teachers implemented the quality of teaching practices. Thirty physical education lessons taught by the nine teachers to their students in grades K-5 were videotaped. Four investigators coded the taped lessons using the Assessing Quality Teaching Rubric (AQTR) designed and…

  17. Mobile sailing robot for automatic estimation of fish density and monitoring water quality.

    PubMed

    Koprowski, Robert; Wróbel, Zygmunt; Kleszcz, Agnieszka; Wilczyński, Sławomir; Woźnica, Andrzej; Łozowski, Bartosz; Pilarczyk, Maciej; Karczewski, Jerzy; Migula, Paweł

    2013-07-01

    The paper presents the methodology and the algorithm developed to analyze sonar images focused on fish detection in small water bodies and measurement of their parameters: volume, depth and the GPS location. The final results are stored in a table and can be exported to any numerical environment for further analysis. The measurement method for estimating the number of fish using the automatic robot is based on a sequential calculation of the number of occurrences of fish on the set trajectory. The data analysis from the sonar concerned automatic recognition of fish using the methods of image analysis and processing. Image analysis algorithm, a mobile robot together with its control in the 2.4 GHz band and full cryptographic communication with the data archiving station was developed as part of this study. For the three model fish ponds where verification of fish catches was carried out (548, 171 and 226 individuals), the measurement error for the described method was not exceeded 8%. Created robot together with the developed software has features for remote work also in the variety of harsh weather and environmental conditions, is fully automated and can be remotely controlled using Internet. Designed system enables fish spatial location (GPS coordinates and the depth). The purpose of the robot is a non-invasive measurement of the number of fish in water reservoirs and a measurement of the quality of drinking water consumed by humans, especially in situations where local sources of pollution could have a significant impact on the quality of water collected for water treatment for people and when getting to these places is difficult. The systematically used robot equipped with the appropriate sensors, can be part of early warning system against the pollution of water used by humans (drinking water, natural swimming pools) which can be dangerous for their health.

  18. Mobile sailing robot for automatic estimation of fish density and monitoring water quality

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction The paper presents the methodology and the algorithm developed to analyze sonar images focused on fish detection in small water bodies and measurement of their parameters: volume, depth and the GPS location. The final results are stored in a table and can be exported to any numerical environment for further analysis. Material and method The measurement method for estimating the number of fish using the automatic robot is based on a sequential calculation of the number of occurrences of fish on the set trajectory. The data analysis from the sonar concerned automatic recognition of fish using the methods of image analysis and processing. Results Image analysis algorithm, a mobile robot together with its control in the 2.4 GHz band and full cryptographic communication with the data archiving station was developed as part of this study. For the three model fish ponds where verification of fish catches was carried out (548, 171 and 226 individuals), the measurement error for the described method was not exceeded 8%. Summary Created robot together with the developed software has features for remote work also in the variety of harsh weather and environmental conditions, is fully automated and can be remotely controlled using Internet. Designed system enables fish spatial location (GPS coordinates and the depth). The purpose of the robot is a non-invasive measurement of the number of fish in water reservoirs and a measurement of the quality of drinking water consumed by humans, especially in situations where local sources of pollution could have a significant impact on the quality of water collected for water treatment for people and when getting to these places is difficult. The systematically used robot equipped with the appropriate sensors, can be part of early warning system against the pollution of water used by humans (drinking water, natural swimming pools) which can be dangerous for their health. PMID:23815984

  19. Automatic assessment of the motor state of the Parkinson's disease patient--a case study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a novel methodology in which the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) data processed with a rule-based decision algorithm is used to predict the state of the Parkinson's Disease patients. The research was carried out to investigate whether the advancement of the Parkinson's Disease can be automatically assessed. For this purpose, past and current UPDRS data from 47 subjects were examined. The results show that, among other classifiers, the rough set-based decision algorithm turned out to be most suitable for such automatic assessment. Virtual slides The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1563339375633634. PMID:22340508

  20. Iterative reconstruction and individualized automatic tube current selection reduce radiation dose while maintaining image quality in 320-multidetector computed tomography coronary angiography.

    PubMed

    Williams, M C; Weir, N W; Mirsadraee, S; Millar, F; Baird, A; Minns, F; Uren, N G; McKillop, G; Bull, R K; van Beek, E J R; Reid, J H; Newby, D E

    2013-11-01

    To assess the effect of two iterative reconstruction algorithms (AIDR and AIDR3D) and individualized automatic tube current selection on radiation dose and image quality in computed tomography coronary angiography (CTCA). In a single-centre cohort study, 942 patients underwent electrocardiogram-gated CTCA using a 320-multidetector CT system. Images from group 1 (n = 228) were reconstructed with a filtered back projection algorithm (Quantum Denoising Software, QDS+). Iterative reconstruction was used for group 2 (AIDR, n = 379) and group 3 (AIDR3D, n = 335). Tube current was selected based on body mass index (BMI) for groups 1 and 2, and selected automatically based on scout image attenuation for group 3. Subjective image quality was graded on a four-point scale (1 = excellent, 4 = non-diagnostic). There were no differences in age (p = 0.975), body mass index (p = 0.435), or heart rate (p = 0.746) between the groups. Image quality improved with iterative reconstruction and automatic tube current selection [1.3 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.2-1.4), 1.2 (1.1-1.2) and 1.1 (1-1.2) respectively; p < 0.001] and radiation dose decreased [274 (260-290), 242 (230-253) and 168 (156-180) mGy cm, respectively; p < 0.001]. The application of the latest iterative reconstruction algorithm and individualized automatic tube current selection can substantially reduce radiation dose whilst improving image quality in CTCA. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Biosignal analysis to assess mental stress in automatic driving of trucks: palmar perspiration and masseter electromyography.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Rencheng; Yamabe, Shigeyuki; Nakano, Kimihiko; Suda, Yoshihiro

    2015-03-02

    Nowadays insight into human-machine interaction is a critical topic with the large-scale development of intelligent vehicles. Biosignal analysis can provide a deeper understanding of driver behaviors that may indicate rationally practical use of the automatic technology. Therefore, this study concentrates on biosignal analysis to quantitatively evaluate mental stress of drivers during automatic driving of trucks, with vehicles set at a closed gap distance apart to reduce air resistance to save energy consumption. By application of two wearable sensor systems, a continuous measurement was realized for palmar perspiration and masseter electromyography, and a biosignal processing method was proposed to assess mental stress levels. In a driving simulator experiment, ten participants completed automatic driving with 4, 8, and 12 m gap distances from the preceding vehicle, and manual driving with about 25 m gap distance as a reference. It was found that mental stress significantly increased when the gap distances decreased, and an abrupt increase in mental stress of drivers was also observed accompanying a sudden change of the gap distance during automatic driving, which corresponded to significantly higher ride discomfort according to subjective reports.

  2. Automatic humidification system to support the assessment of food drying processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz Hernández, B. D.; Carreño Olejua, A. R.; Castellanos Olarte, J. M.

    2016-07-01

    This work shows the main features of an automatic humidification system to provide drying air that match environmental conditions of different climate zones. This conditioned air is then used to assess the drying process of different agro-industrial products at the Automation and Control for Agro-industrial Processes Laboratory of the Pontifical Bolivarian University of Bucaramanga, Colombia. The automatic system allows creating and improving control strategies to supply drying air under specified conditions of temperature and humidity. The development of automatic routines to control and acquire real time data was made possible by the use of robust control systems and suitable instrumentation. The signals are read and directed to a controller memory where they are scaled and transferred to a memory unit. Using the IP address is possible to access data to perform supervision tasks. One important characteristic of this automatic system is the Dynamic Data Exchange Server (DDE) to allow direct communication between the control unit and the computer used to build experimental curves.

  3. Validation of Computerized Automatic Calculation of the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment Score

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Andrew M.; Pickering, Brian W.; Herasevich, Vitaly

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. To validate the use of a computer program for the automatic calculation of the sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score, as compared to the gold standard of manual chart review. Materials and Methods. Adult admissions (age > 18 years) to the medical ICU with a length of stay greater than 24 hours were studied in the setting of an academic tertiary referral center. A retrospective cross-sectional analysis was performed using a derivation cohort to compare automatic calculation of the SOFA score to the gold standard of manual chart review. After critical appraisal of sources of disagreement, another analysis was performed using an independent validation cohort. Then, a prospective observational analysis was performed using an implementation of this computer program in AWARE Dashboard, which is an existing real-time patient EMR system for use in the ICU. Results. Good agreement between the manual and automatic SOFA calculations was observed for both the derivation (N=94) and validation (N=268) cohorts: 0.02 ± 2.33 and 0.29 ± 1.75 points, respectively. These results were validated in AWARE (N=60). Conclusion. This EMR-based automatic tool accurately calculates SOFA scores and can facilitate ICU decisions without the need for manual data collection. This tool can also be employed in a real-time electronic environment. PMID:23936639

  4. Simplified enrollment for autologous transfusion: automatic referral of presurgical patients for assessment for autologous blood collections.

    PubMed

    Moore, S B; Swenke, P K; Foss, M L; Rand, J A; Cabanela, M E; Kavanagh, B; Taswell, H F

    1992-04-01

    We implemented a pilot program at our institution for automatic referral of patients for presurgical assessment for preoperative and intraoperative collection of autologous blood. Although patients and clinicians support the use of autologous transfusion, often a request for collection of autologous blood is not initiated. During 11 months, 269 patients (82%) of three orthopedic surgeons entered the program, and 218 underwent operation and were dismissed from the hospital. A total of 940 units of autologous blood (675 preoperatively and 265 intraoperatively) was collected from these 218 patients, and 84% of the units were transfused. Throughout hospitalization, 86% of the patients received only autologous blood, whereas 14% received various proportions of homologous and autologous blood. In contrast, only 26% of a concomitant control group of 220 consecutive orthopedic surgical patients not participating in the automatic-referral program received only autologous blood. Thus, the automatic-referral program increased the percentage of elective orthopedic surgical patients who received only autologous blood from 26% to 86% (P less than 0.001). This study also showed that the same amount of blood was used for autologous transfusions as was routinely used for homologous transfusions in similar cases. The automatic-referral system was convenient for physicians and patients and offered the benefits of reduction of transfusion-associated risks and amelioration of patient anxieties.

  5. Biosignal Analysis to Assess Mental Stress in Automatic Driving of Trucks: Palmar Perspiration and Masseter Electromyography

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Rencheng; Yamabe, Shigeyuki; Nakano, Kimihiko; Suda, Yoshihiro

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays insight into human-machine interaction is a critical topic with the large-scale development of intelligent vehicles. Biosignal analysis can provide a deeper understanding of driver behaviors that may indicate rationally practical use of the automatic technology. Therefore, this study concentrates on biosignal analysis to quantitatively evaluate mental stress of drivers during automatic driving of trucks, with vehicles set at a closed gap distance apart to reduce air resistance to save energy consumption. By application of two wearable sensor systems, a continuous measurement was realized for palmar perspiration and masseter electromyography, and a biosignal processing method was proposed to assess mental stress levels. In a driving simulator experiment, ten participants completed automatic driving with 4, 8, and 12 m gap distances from the preceding vehicle, and manual driving with about 25 m gap distance as a reference. It was found that mental stress significantly increased when the gap distances decreased, and an abrupt increase in mental stress of drivers was also observed accompanying a sudden change of the gap distance during automatic driving, which corresponded to significantly higher ride discomfort according to subjective reports. PMID:25738768

  6. Automated FMV image quality assessment based on power spectrum statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalukin, Andrew

    2015-05-01

    Factors that degrade image quality in video and other sensor collections, such as noise, blurring, and poor resolution, also affect the spatial power spectrum of imagery. Prior research in human vision and image science from the last few decades has shown that the image power spectrum can be useful for assessing the quality of static images. The research in this article explores the possibility of using the image power spectrum to automatically evaluate full-motion video (FMV) imagery frame by frame. This procedure makes it possible to identify anomalous images and scene changes, and to keep track of gradual changes in quality as collection progresses. This article will describe a method to apply power spectral image quality metrics for images subjected to simulated blurring, blocking, and noise. As a preliminary test on videos from multiple sources, image quality measurements for image frames from 185 videos are compared to analyst ratings based on ground sampling distance. The goal of the research is to develop an automated system for tracking image quality during real-time collection, and to assign ratings to video clips for long-term storage, calibrated to standards such as the National Imagery Interpretability Rating System (NIIRS).

  7. Quality assessment of fructus psoraleae.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Chun-Feng; Han, Quan-Bin; Song, Jing-Zheng; Mo, Shi-Fu; Kong, Ling-Dong; Kung, Hsiang-Fu; Xua, Hong-Xi

    2006-06-01

    Two newly-reported benzofuran glycosides, named psoralenoside and isopsoralenoside, along with two major coumarins, psoralen and isopsoralen, were simultaneously determined in twenty-three samples of Fructus Psoraleae collected from different growth areas in China. The quantitative method was validated, and the mean recovery rates from fortified samples (n=5) of psoralenoside, isopsoralenoside, psoralen and isopsoralen, were 96.5%, 97.1%, 100.7%, and 99.3% with variation coefficient of 3.1%, 3.6%, 2.3%, and 2.2%, respectively. An interesting biotransformation relationship between the glycosides and the coumarins was revealed on the basis of the quality analysis results. It was also suggested that psoralenoside and isopsoralenoside should be used as key quality markers for Fructus Psoraleae, together with the commonly used psoralen and isopsoralen.

  8. Tools to assess tissue quality.

    PubMed

    Neumeister, Veronique M

    2014-03-01

    Biospecimen science has recognized the importance of tissue quality for accurate molecular and biomarker analysis and efforts are made to standardize tissue procurement, processing and storage conditions of tissue samples. At the same time the field has emphasized the lack of standardization of processes between different laboratories, the variability inherent in the analytical phase and the lack of control over the pre-analytical phase of tissue processing. The problem extends back into tissue samples in biorepositories, which are often decades old and where documentation about tissue processing might not be available. This review highlights pre-analytical variations in tissue handling, processing, fixation and storage and emphasizes the effects of these variables on nucleic acids and proteins in harvested tissue. Finally current tools for quality control regarding molecular or biomarker analysis are summarized and discussed.

  9. Assessing quality in Earth Science Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rollinson, Hugh

    1999-05-01

    Quality is an elusive concept — hard to define, but you recognise it when you come across it. This paper reviews the meaning of quality as applied in Higher Education and shows that there are, of necessity, a number of workable definitions of quality in Higher Education. The assessment of quality in Earth Science Higher Education in England during 1994-1995 is described. A number of general features of quality in Earth Sciences Education are drawn from this case study and the future direction of quality assurance is mapped. Three principles drawn from the definitions of quality and from the English teaching quality assessment exercise are applied to Earth Science Education in Africa. It is argued that different definitions of quality will apply in different societal contexts in Africa and that these may be used to shape the relevance of Geoscience Education. Increasing mobility of labour means that comparability of academic standards between African countries within a region is desirable and should be worked for. Finally, research in the UK shows that teaching quality is not necessarily dependent upon the size or research potential of a department, indicating that Africa can deliver high quality Earth Science Education.

  10. Assessing quality across healthcare subsystems in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Puig, Andrea; Pagán, José A; Wong, Rebeca

    2009-01-01

    Recent healthcare reform efforts in Mexico have focused on the need to improve the efficiency and equity of a fragmented healthcare system. In light of these reform initiatives, there is a need to assess whether healthcare subsystems are effective at providing high-quality healthcare to all Mexicans. Nationally representative household survey data from the 2006 Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición (National Health and Nutrition Survey) were used to assess perceived healthcare quality across different subsystems. Using a sample of 7234 survey respondents, we found evidence of substantial heterogeneity in healthcare quality assessments across healthcare subsystems favoring private providers over social security institutions. These differences across subsystems remained even after adjusting for socioeconomic, demographic, and health factors. Our analysis suggests that improvements in efficiency and equity can be achieved by assessing the factors that contribute to heterogeneity in quality across subsystems.

  11. Assessing Quality in Digital Reference Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lankes, R. David; Mcclure, Charles R.; Gross, Melissa

    2001-01-01

    Outlines a study to develop methods to assess the quality of digital reference services, test and refine measures and quality standards to describe digital reference services, and to produce a guidebook that describes how to collect and report data for these measures and standards. (Author/AEF)

  12. Quality Assessment in the Blog Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaal, Markus; Fidan, Guven; Muller, Roland M.; Dagli, Orhan

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is the presentation of a new method for blog quality assessment. The method uses the temporal sequence of link creation events between blogs as an implicit source for the collective tacit knowledge of blog authors about blog quality. Design/methodology/approach: The blog data are processed by the novel method for…

  13. Quality Assessment for a University Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hjalmered, Jan-Olof; Lumsden, Kenth

    1994-01-01

    In 1992, a national quality assessment report covering courses in all the Swedish schools of mechanical engineering was presented. This article comments on the general ideas and specific proposals presented, and offers an analysis of the consequences. Presents overall considerations regarding quality issues, the philosophy behind the new…

  14. Quality Assessment in the Blog Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaal, Markus; Fidan, Guven; Muller, Roland M.; Dagli, Orhan

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is the presentation of a new method for blog quality assessment. The method uses the temporal sequence of link creation events between blogs as an implicit source for the collective tacit knowledge of blog authors about blog quality. Design/methodology/approach: The blog data are processed by the novel method for…

  15. Perceptual Quality Assessment of Screen Content Images.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huan; Fang, Yuming; Lin, Weisi

    2015-11-01

    Research on screen content images (SCIs) becomes important as they are increasingly used in multi-device communication applications. In this paper, we present a study on perceptual quality assessment of distorted SCIs subjectively and objectively. We construct a large-scale screen image quality assessment database (SIQAD) consisting of 20 source and 980 distorted SCIs. In order to get the subjective quality scores and investigate, which part (text or picture) contributes more to the overall visual quality, the single stimulus methodology with 11 point numerical scale is employed to obtain three kinds of subjective scores corresponding to the entire, textual, and pictorial regions, respectively. According to the analysis of subjective data, we propose a weighting strategy to account for the correlation among these three kinds of subjective scores. Furthermore, we design an objective metric to measure the visual quality of distorted SCIs by considering the visual difference of textual and pictorial regions. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed SCI perceptual quality assessment scheme, consisting of the objective metric and the weighting strategy, can achieve better performance than 11 state-of-the-art IQA methods. To the best of our knowledge, the SIQAD is the first large-scale database published for quality evaluation of SCIs, and this research is the first attempt to explore the perceptual quality assessment of distorted SCIs.

  16. Assessing Quality in Digital Reference Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lankes, R. David; Mcclure, Charles R.; Gross, Melissa

    2001-01-01

    Outlines a study to develop methods to assess the quality of digital reference services, test and refine measures and quality standards to describe digital reference services, and to produce a guidebook that describes how to collect and report data for these measures and standards. (Author/AEF)

  17. Accuracy assessment of building point clouds automatically generated from iphone images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirmacek, B.; Lindenbergh, R.

    2014-06-01

    Low-cost sensor generated 3D models can be useful for quick 3D urban model updating, yet the quality of the models is questionable. In this article, we evaluate the reliability of an automatic point cloud generation method using multi-view iPhone images or an iPhone video file as an input. We register such automatically generated point cloud on a TLS point cloud of the same object to discuss accuracy, advantages and limitations of the iPhone generated point clouds. For the chosen example showcase, we have classified 1.23% of the iPhone point cloud points as outliers, and calculated the mean of the point to point distances to the TLS point cloud as 0.11 m. Since a TLS point cloud might also include measurement errors and noise, we computed local noise values for the point clouds from both sources. Mean (μ) and standard deviation (σ) of roughness histograms are calculated as (μ1 = 0.44 m., σ1 = 0.071 m.) and (μ2 = 0.025 m., σ2 = 0.037 m.) for the iPhone and TLS point clouds respectively. Our experimental results indicate possible usage of the proposed automatic 3D model generation framework for 3D urban map updating, fusion and detail enhancing, quick and real-time change detection purposes. However, further insights should be obtained first on the circumstances that are needed to guarantee a successful point cloud generation from smartphone images.

  18. SU-D-BRF-03: Improvement of TomoTherapy Megavoltage Topogram Image Quality for Automatic Registration During Patient Localization

    SciTech Connect

    Scholey, J; White, B; Qi, S; Low, D

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: To improve the quality of mega-voltage orthogonal scout images (MV topograms) for a fast and low-dose alternative technique for patient localization on the TomoTherapy HiART system. Methods: Digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRR) of anthropomorphic head and pelvis phantoms were synthesized from kVCT under TomoTherapy geometry (kV-DRR). Lateral (LAT) and anterior-posterior (AP) aligned topograms were acquired with couch speeds of 1cm/s, 2cm/s, and 3cm/s. The phantoms were rigidly translated in all spatial directions with known offsets in increments of 5mm, 10mm, and 15mm to simulate daily positioning errors. The contrast of the MV topograms was automatically adjusted based on the image intensity characteristics. A low-pass fast Fourier transform filter removed high-frequency noise and a Weiner filter reduced stochastic noise caused by scattered radiation to the detector array. An intensity-based image registration algorithm was used to register the MV topograms to a corresponding kV-DRR by minimizing the mean square error between corresponding pixel intensities. The registration accuracy was assessed by comparing the normalized cross correlation coefficients (NCC) between the registered topograms and the kV-DRR. The applied phantom offsets were determined by registering the MV topograms with the kV-DRR and recovering the spatial translation of the MV topograms. Results: The automatic registration technique provided millimeter accuracy and was robust for the deformed MV topograms for three tested couch speeds. The lowest average NCC for all AP and LAT MV topograms was 0.96 for the head phantom and 0.93 for the pelvis phantom. The offsets were recovered to within 1.6mm and 6.5mm for the processed and the original MV topograms respectively. Conclusion: Automatic registration of the processed MV topograms to a corresponding kV-DRR recovered simulated daily positioning errors that were accurate to the order of a millimeter. These results suggest the clinical

  19. A subjective study to evaluate video quality assessment algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seshadrinathan, Kalpana; Soundararajan, Rajiv; Bovik, Alan C.; Cormack, Lawrence K.

    2010-02-01

    Automatic methods to evaluate the perceptual quality of a digital video sequence have widespread applications wherever the end-user is a human. Several objective video quality assessment (VQA) algorithms exist, whose performance is typically evaluated using the results of a subjective study performed by the video quality experts group (VQEG) in 2000. There is a great need for a free, publicly available subjective study of video quality that embodies state-of-the-art in video processing technology and that is effective in challenging and benchmarking objective VQA algorithms. In this paper, we present a study and a resulting database, known as the LIVE Video Quality Database, where 150 distorted video sequences obtained from 10 different source video content were subjectively evaluated by 38 human observers. Our study includes videos that have been compressed by MPEG-2 and H.264, as well as videos obtained by simulated transmission of H.264 compressed streams through error prone IP and wireless networks. The subjective evaluation was performed using a single stimulus paradigm with hidden reference removal, where the observers were asked to provide their opinion of video quality on a continuous scale. We also present the performance of several freely available objective, full reference (FR) VQA algorithms on the LIVE Video Quality Database. The recent MOtion-based Video Integrity Evaluation (MOVIE) index emerges as the leading objective VQA algorithm in our study, while the performance of the Video Quality Metric (VQM) and the Multi-Scale Structural SIMilarity (MS-SSIM) index is noteworthy. The LIVE Video Quality Database is freely available for download1 and we hope that our study provides researchers with a valuable tool to benchmark and improve the performance of objective VQA algorithms.

  20. Automatic Human Movement Assessment with Switching Linear Dynamic System: Motion Segmentation and Motor Performance.

    PubMed

    de Souza Baptista, Roberto; Bo, Antonio; Hayashibe, Mitsuhiro

    2016-07-14

    Performance assessment of human movement is critical in diagnosis and motor-control rehabilitation. Recent developments in portable sensor technology enable clinicians to measure spatiotemporal aspects to aid in the neurological assessment. However the extraction of quantitative information from such measurements is usually done manually through visual inspection. This paper presents a novel framework for automatic human movement assessment that executes segmentation and motor performance parameter extraction in time-series of measurements from a sequence of human movements. We use the elements of a Switching Linear Dynamic System model as building blocks to translate formal definitions and procedures from human movement analysis. Our approach provides a method for users with no expertise in signal processing to create models for movements using labeled dataset and latter use it for automatic assessment. We validated our framework on preliminary tests involving six healthy adult subjects that executed common movements in functional tests and rehabilitation exercise sessions, such as sit-to-stand and lateral elevation of the arms and five elderly subjects, two of which with limited mobility, that executed the sit-to-stand movement. The proposed method worked on random motion sequences for the dual purpose of movement segmentation (accuracy of 72-100%) and motor performance assessment (mean error of 0-12%).

  1. Michigan lakes: An assessment of water quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Minnerick, R.J.

    2004-01-01

    Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes, that provide countless recreational opportunities and are an important resource that makes tourism and recreation a $15-billion-dollar per-year industry in the State (Stynes, 2002). Knowledge of the water-quality characteristics of inland lakes is essential for the current and future management of these resources.Historically the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) jointly have monitored water quality in Michigan's lakes and rivers. During the 1990's, however, funding for surface-water-quality monitoring was reduced greatly. In 1998, the citizens of Michigan passed the Clean Michigan Initiative to clean up, protect, and enhance Michigan's environmental infrastructure. Because of expanding water-quality-data needs, the MDEQ and the USGS jointly redesigned and implemented the Lake Water-Quality Assessment (LWQA) Monitoring Program (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, 1997).

  2. Automatic treatment planning facilitates fast generation of high-quality treatment plans for esophageal cancer.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Christian Rønn; Nielsen, Morten; Bertelsen, Anders Smedegaard; Hazell, Irene; Holtved, Eva; Zukauskaite, Ruta; Bjerregaard, Jon Kroll; Brink, Carsten; Bernchou, Uffe

    2017-08-25

    The quality of radiotherapy planning has improved substantially in the last decade with the introduction of intensity modulated radiotherapy. The purpose of this study was to analyze the plan quality and efficacy of automatically (AU) generated VMAT plans for inoperable esophageal cancer patients. Thirty-two consecutive inoperable patients with esophageal cancer originally treated with manually (MA) generated volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans were retrospectively replanned using an auto-planning engine. All plans were optimized with one full 6MV VMAT arc giving 60 Gy to the primary target and 50 Gy to the elective target. The planning techniques were blinded before clinical evaluation by three specialized oncologists. To supplement the clinical evaluation, the optimization time for the AU plan was recorded along with DVH parameters for all plans. Upon clinical evaluation, the AU plan was preferred for 31/32 patients, and for one patient, there was no difference in the plans. In terms of DVH parameters, similar target coverage was obtained between the two planning methods. The mean dose for the spinal cord increased by 1.8 Gy using AU (p = .002), whereas the mean lung dose decreased by 1.9 Gy (p < .001). The AU plans were more modulated as seen by the increase of 12% in mean MUs (p = .001). The median optimization time for AU plans was 117 min. The AU plans were in general preferred and showed a lower mean dose to the lungs. The automation of the planning process generated esophageal cancer treatment plans quickly and with high quality.

  3. SNPflow: A Lightweight Application for the Processing, Storing and Automatic Quality Checking of Genotyping Assays

    PubMed Central

    Schönherr, Sebastian; Neuner, Mathias; Forer, Lukas; Specht, Günther; Kloss-Brandstätter, Anita; Kronenberg, Florian; Coassin, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) play a prominent role in modern genetics. Current genotyping technologies such as Sequenom iPLEX, ABI TaqMan and KBioscience KASPar made the genotyping of huge SNP sets in large populations straightforward and allow the generation of hundreds of thousands of genotypes even in medium sized labs. While data generation is straightforward, the subsequent data conversion, storage and quality control steps are time-consuming, error-prone and require extensive bioinformatic support. In order to ease this tedious process, we developed SNPflow. SNPflow is a lightweight, intuitive and easily deployable application, which processes genotype data from Sequenom MassARRAY (iPLEX) and ABI 7900HT (TaqMan, KASPar) systems and is extendible to other genotyping methods as well. SNPflow automatically converts the raw output files to ready-to-use genotype lists, calculates all standard quality control values such as call rate, expected and real amount of replicates, minor allele frequency, absolute number of discordant replicates, discordance rate and the p-value of the HWE test, checks the plausibility of the observed genotype frequencies by comparing them to HapMap/1000-Genomes, provides a module for the processing of SNPs, which allow sex determination for DNA quality control purposes and, finally, stores all data in a relational database. SNPflow runs on all common operating systems and comes as both stand-alone version and multi-user version for laboratory-wide use. The software, a user manual, screenshots and a screencast illustrating the main features are available at http://genepi-snpflow.i-med.ac.at. PMID:23527209

  4. An algorithm used for quality criterion automatic measurement of band-pass filters and its device implementation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Qianshun; Liu, Yan; Yu, Feihong

    2013-08-01

    As a kind of film device, band-pass filter is widely used in pattern recognition, infrared detection, optical fiber communication, etc. In this paper, an algorithm for automatic measurement of band-pass filter quality criterion is proposed based on the proven theory calculation of derivate spectral transmittance of filter formula. Firstly, wavelet transform to reduce spectrum data noises is used. Secondly, combining with the Gaussian curve fitting and least squares method, the algorithm fits spectrum curve and searches the peak. Finally, some parameters for judging band-pass filter quality are figure out. Based on the algorithm, a pipeline for band-pass filters automatic measurement system has been designed that can scan the filter array automatically and display spectral transmittance of each filter. At the same time, the system compares the measuring result with the user defined standards to determine if the filter is qualified or not. The qualified product will be market with green color, and the unqualified product will be marked with red color. With the experiments verification, the automatic measurement system basically realized comprehensive, accurate and rapid measurement of band-pass filter quality and achieved the expected results.

  5. Image quality and radiation dose of 128-slice dual-source CT venography using low kilovoltage combined with high-pitch scanning and automatic tube current modulation.

    PubMed

    Park, Chan Kue; Choo, Ki Seok; Jeon, Ung Bae; Baik, Seung Kug; Kim, Yong Woo; Kim, Tae Un; Kim, Chang Won; Jeong, Yeon Ju; Jeong, Dong Wook; Lim, Soo Jin

    2013-06-01

    To compare vascular enhancement, image quality, and radiation dose of 128-slice dual-source CT venography (CTV) between an imaging setting of 120 kVp with low pitch, and a setting of 100 kVp combined with high pitch and automatic tube current modulation. A total of 100 patients with suspected deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins were divided into two groups: Group 1 [50 patients, 120 kVp, low pitch (0.6), and fixed 120 mA) and Group 2 (50 patients, 100 kVp, high pitch (3.0), and automatic tube current modulation]. Two radiologists, who were blinded to the image protocol, assessed vascular enhancement and image noise in the inferior vena cava (IVC), femoral vein, and popliteal vein. They also assigned an image quality score independently using a 5-point visual scale. Effective dose was estimated using the dose-length product (DLP). Group demographics, radiation dose, vascular enhancement, image noise, and image quality in the two groups were analyzed. Mean vascular enhancement of the IVC, femoral vein, and popliteal vein was significantly higher in group 2 than in group 1, and images in group 2 had significantly higher image noise. However, there were no significant differences in subjective image quality score of the IVC, femoral vein, and popliteal vein. The mean DLP in group 2 (402.10 ± 94.29 mGy cm) was significantly lower than that in group 1 (973.36 ± 63.20 mGy cm) (P < 0.001). Lower extremity CTV using 100 kVp, high pitch (3.0), and automatic tube current modulation improved vascular enhancement with acceptable image quality and low radiation dose.

  6. ANSS Backbone Station Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leeds, A.; McNamara, D.; Benz, H.; Gee, L.

    2006-12-01

    In this study we assess the ambient noise levels of the broadband seismic stations within the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) backbone network. The backbone consists of stations operated by the USGS as well as several regional network stations operated by universities. We also assess the improved detection capability of the network due to the installation of 13 additional backbone stations and the upgrade of 26 existing stations funded by the Earthscope initiative. This assessment makes use of probability density functions (PDF) of power spectral densities (PSD) (after McNamara and Buland, 2004) computed by a continuous noise monitoring system developed by the USGS- ANSS and the Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology (IRIS) Data Management Center (DMC). We compute the median and mode of the PDF distribution and rank the stations relative to the Peterson Low noise model (LNM) (Peterson, 1993) for 11 different period bands. The power of the method lies in the fact that there is no need to screen the data for system transients, earthquakes or general data artifacts since they map into a background probability level. Previous studies have shown that most regional stations, instrumented with short period or extended short period instruments, have a higher noise level in all period bands while stations in the US network have lower noise levels at short periods (0.0625-8.0 seconds), high frequencies (8.0- 0.125Hz). The overall network is evaluated with respect to accomplishing the design goals set for the USArray/ANSS backbone project which were intended to increase broadband performance for the national monitoring network.

  7. Water quality assessment in Ecuador

    SciTech Connect

    Chudy, J.P.; Arniella, E.; Gil, E.

    1993-02-01

    The El Tor cholera pandemic arrived in Ecuador in March 1991, and through the course of the year caused 46,320 cases, of which 692 resulted in death. Most of the cases were confined to cities along Ecuador's coast. The Water and Sanitation for Health Project (WASH), which was asked to participate in the review of this request, suggested that a more comprehensive approach should be taken to cholera control and prevention. The approach was accepted, and a multidisciplinary team consisting of a sanitary engineer, a hygiene education specialist, and an institutional specialist was scheduled to carry out the assessment in late 1992 following the national elections.

  8. The microbiological quality of pasteurized milk sold by automatic vending machines.

    PubMed

    Angelidis, A S; Tsiota, S; Pexara, A; Govaris, A

    2016-06-01

    The microbiological quality of pasteurized milk samples (n = 39) collected during 13 weekly intervals from three automatic vending machines (AVM) in Greece was investigated. Microbiological counts (total aerobic (TAC), total psychrotrophic (TPC), Enterobacteriaceae (EC), and psychrotrophic aerobic bacterial spore counts (PABSC)) were obtained at the time of sampling and at the end of shelf-life (3 days) after storage of the samples at 4 or 8°C. TAC were found to be below the 10(7 ) CFU ml(-1) limit of pasteurized milk spoilage both during sampling as well as when milk samples were stored at either storage temperature for 3 days. Enterobacteriaceae populations were below 1 CFU ml(-1) in 69·2% of the samples tested at the time of sampling, whereas the remaining samples contained low numbers, typically less than 10 CFU ml(-1) . All samples tested negative for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes. Analogous microbiological data were also obtained by sampling and testing prepackaged, retail samples of pasteurized milk from two dairy companies in Greece (n = 26). From a microbiological standpoint, the data indicate that the AVM milk samples meet the quality standards of pasteurized milk. However, the prepackaged, retail milk samples yielded better results in terms of TAC, TPC and EC, compared to the AVM samples at the end of shelf-life. Recently, Greek dairy farmers organized in cooperatives launched the sale of pasteurized milk via AVM and this study reports on the microbiological quality of this product. The data show that AVM milk is sold at proper refrigeration temperatures and meets the quality standards of pasteurized milk throughout the manufacturer's specified shelf-life. However, based on the microbiological indicators tested, the keeping quality of the tested prepackaged, retail samples of pasteurized milk at the end of shelf-life upon storage under suboptimal refrigeration temperature (8°C) was better. © 2016 The Society for Applied

  9. Cropland CEAP soil quality assessment update

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    One goal for the USDA cropland Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was to assess the effects of various conservation practices on soil quality, which is a proactive process for quantifying the long-term impact of crop and soil management practices within agricultural watersheds. Our objec...

  10. Automatic tube current modulation for whole-body polytrauma CT with immobilization devices: is there an increase in radiation dose and degradation of image quality?

    PubMed

    Euler, André; Stieltjes, Bram; Schindera, Sebastian T

    2017-02-01

    The objective of this study was the assessment of the image quality and radiation dose in polytrauma CT using immobilization devices. An anthropomorphic whole body and a liver phantom were scanned on a 128-slice CT scanner with four different protocols using automatic tube current modulation (120 kVp, 150 ref. mAs; 120 kV, 200 ref. mAs; 140 kVp, 150 ref. mAs; and 140 kVp, 200 ref. mAs) and four different setups (no immobilization device (setup A), vacuum mattress 1 (setup B), vacuum mattress 2 (setup C), and spineboard (setup D)). Qualitative and quantitative image quality parameters and radiation dose were assessed. Image noise increased on average by 6.6, 11.2, and 9.4 %, and CNR decreased by 11.2, 13.9, and 6.5 for setups B, C, and D, respectively, compared with setup A. The CTDIvol increased up to 6 % using immobilization devices. Severe streak artifacts, provoked by the inflation valve of the mattresses were detected at the level of the head and shoulder. Applying immobilization devices for whole-body CT with automatic tube current modulation increases the radiation dose and decreases the quantitative image quality slightly. Severe artifacts, induced by the inflation valve of the mattress, can influence the diagnostic accuracy at the level of the head and shoulder.

  11. Automatic and objective assessment of alternating tapping performance in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Memedi, Mevludin; Khan, Taha; Grenholm, Peter; Nyholm, Dag; Westin, Jerker

    2013-12-09

    This paper presents the development and evaluation of a method for enabling quantitative and automatic scoring of alternating tapping performance of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Ten healthy elderly subjects and 95 patients in different clinical stages of PD have utilized a touch-pad handheld computer to perform alternate tapping tests in their home environments. First, a neurologist used a web-based system to visually assess impairments in four tapping dimensions ('speed', 'accuracy', 'fatigue' and 'arrhythmia') and a global tapping severity (GTS). Second, tapping signals were processed with time series analysis and statistical methods to derive 24 quantitative parameters. Third, principal component analysis was used to reduce the dimensions of these parameters and to obtain scores for the four dimensions. Finally, a logistic regression classifier was trained using a 10-fold stratified cross-validation to map the reduced parameters to the corresponding visually assessed GTS scores. Results showed that the computed scores correlated well to visually assessed scores and were significantly different across Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale scores of upper limb motor performance. In addition, they had good internal consistency, had good ability to discriminate between healthy elderly and patients in different disease stages, had good sensitivity to treatment interventions and could reflect the natural disease progression over time. In conclusion, the automatic method can be useful to objectively assess the tapping performance of PD patients and can be included in telemedicine tools for remote monitoring of tapping.

  12. Automatic and Objective Assessment of Alternating Tapping Performance in Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Memedi, Mevludin; Khan, Taha; Grenholm, Peter; Nyholm, Dag; Westin, Jerker

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the development and evaluation of a method for enabling quantitative and automatic scoring of alternating tapping performance of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Ten healthy elderly subjects and 95 patients in different clinical stages of PD have utilized a touch-pad handheld computer to perform alternate tapping tests in their home environments. First, a neurologist used a web-based system to visually assess impairments in four tapping dimensions (‘speed’, ‘accuracy’, ‘fatigue’ and ‘arrhythmia’) and a global tapping severity (GTS). Second, tapping signals were processed with time series analysis and statistical methods to derive 24 quantitative parameters. Third, principal component analysis was used to reduce the dimensions of these parameters and to obtain scores for the four dimensions. Finally, a logistic regression classifier was trained using a 10-fold stratified cross-validation to map the reduced parameters to the corresponding visually assessed GTS scores. Results showed that the computed scores correlated well to visually assessed scores and were significantly different across Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale scores of upper limb motor performance. In addition, they had good internal consistency, had good ability to discriminate between healthy elderly and patients in different disease stages, had good sensitivity to treatment interventions and could reflect the natural disease progression over time. In conclusion, the automatic method can be useful to objectively assess the tapping performance of PD patients and can be included in telemedicine tools for remote monitoring of tapping. PMID:24351667

  13. Automatic intelligibility assessment of speakers after laryngeal cancer by means of acoustic modeling.

    PubMed

    Bocklet, Tobias; Riedhammer, Korbinian; Nöth, Elmar; Eysholdt, Ulrich; Haderlein, Tino

    2012-05-01

    One aspect of voice and speech evaluation after laryngeal cancer is acoustic analysis. Perceptual evaluation by expert raters is a standard in the clinical environment for global criteria such as overall quality or intelligibility. So far, automatic approaches evaluate acoustic properties of pathologic voices based on voiced/unvoiced distinction and fundamental frequency analysis of sustained vowels. Because of the high amount of noisy components and the increasing aperiodicity of highly pathologic voices, a fully automatic analysis of fundamental frequency is difficult. We introduce a purely data-driven system for the acoustic analysis of pathologic voices based on recordings of a standard text. Short-time segments of the speech signal are analyzed in the spectral domain, and speaker models based on this information are built. These speaker models act as a clustered representation of the acoustic properties of a person's voice and are thus characteristic for speakers with different kinds and degrees of pathologic conditions. The system is evaluated on two different data sets with speakers reading standardized texts. One data set contains 77 speakers after laryngeal cancer treated with partial removal of the larynx. The other data set contains 54 totally laryngectomized patients, equipped with a Provox shunt valve. Each speaker was rated by five expert listeners regarding three different criteria: strain, voice quality, and speech intelligibility. We show correlations for each data set with r and ρ≥0.8 between the automatic system and the mean value of the five raters. The interrater correlation of one rater to the mean value of the remaining raters is in the same range. We thus assume that for selected evaluation criteria, the system can serve as a validated objective support for acoustic voice and speech analysis. Copyright © 2012 The Voice Foundation. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 1999 mask industry quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grenon, Brian J.

    1999-12-01

    This paper will summarize the results of the seventh annual mask industry assessment survey. This year there were 12 respondents. The specific responses from the participants have been kept confidential by having the participants send their responses to Arthur Anderson & Company prior to data evaluation. This year we will report the following information: total shipments, total customer returns, mask survival rate, delivery performance, average throughput time and safety records. The data reported will be for the period of 3Q98 through 2Q98. Additionally, we will present any trends that may be apparent in the data. This year's participants are Align-Rite, Dai Nippon Printing, IBM Essex Junction, Photronics/Toppan Texas, Compugraphics, DuPont Photomasks, Northrup-Grumman, Infineon, Taiwan Mask Corporation (TMC), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) and Innova. In order to maintain some consistency, the format that has been used from past years will be maintained when possible.

  15. Fully automatic measurements of axial vertebral rotation for assessment of spinal deformity in idiopathic scoliosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsberg, Daniel; Lundström, Claes; Andersson, Mats; Vavruch, Ludvig; Tropp, Hans; Knutsson, Hans

    2013-03-01

    Reliable measurements of spinal deformities in idiopathic scoliosis are vital, since they are used for assessing the degree of scoliosis, deciding upon treatment and monitoring the progression of the disease. However, commonly used two dimensional methods (e.g. the Cobb angle) do not fully capture the three dimensional deformity at hand in scoliosis, of which axial vertebral rotation (AVR) is considered to be of great importance. There are manual methods for measuring the AVR, but they are often time-consuming and related with a high intra- and inter-observer variability. In this paper, we present a fully automatic method for estimating the AVR in images from computed tomography. The proposed method is evaluated on four scoliotic patients with 17 vertebrae each and compared with manual measurements performed by three observers using the standard method by Aaro-Dahlborn. The comparison shows that the difference in measured AVR between automatic and manual measurements are on the same level as the inter-observer difference. This is further supported by a high intraclass correlation coefficient (0.971-0.979), obtained when comparing the automatic measurements with the manual measurements of each observer. Hence, the provided results and the computational performance, only requiring approximately 10 to 15 s for processing an entire volume, demonstrate the potential clinical value of the proposed method.

  16. Assessment of automatic associations with bodily sensations and agoraphobic situations in panic disorder.

    PubMed

    Woud, Marcella L; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike; Harmer, Catherine J; Reinecke, Andrea

    2016-09-01

    One of the central assumptions of cognitive models of Panic Disorder (PD) is that automatic panic-related associations are a core feature of PD. However, empirical findings are mixed and inconsistent, rendering it difficult to evaluate the role of panic-related associations adequately, particularly in relation to the relevant theories. The present study aimed to further advance our understanding of automatic associations in PD, and therefore applied a paradigm novel in this context, namely an Extrinsic Affective Simon Task (EAST). Participants involved treatment seeking, unmedicated panic patients (n = 45) and healthy controls (n = 38). The EAST was applied prior to treatment. It included the following stimuli as targets: panic-related bodily sensations and agoraphobia-related situations, and as attributes: pleasant versus unpleasant, fear-related words. Contrary to our expectations, panic patients did not show stronger negative than positive automatic associations for either panic-related symptoms or agoraphobia-related situations, compared to healthy controls. Moreover, EAST effects did not correlate with panic-related self-report measures. Although the present study involved patients who were actively seeking treatment, panic-related associations might not have been activated sufficiently. Hence, a brief activation procedure (e.g., hyperventilation) might have been needed to optimize the assessment condition. The present findings do not support contemporary theories of panic-related associations. Therefore, follow-up work is needed to disentangle their functional and operational properties more thoroughly. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Statistical quality assessment and outlier detection for liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry experiments

    PubMed Central

    Schulz-Trieglaff, Ole; Machtejevas, Egidijus; Reinert, Knut; Schlüter, Hartmut; Thiemann, Joachim; Unger, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    Background Quality assessment methods, that are common place in engineering and industrial production, are not widely spread in large-scale proteomics experiments. But modern technologies such as Multi-Dimensional Liquid Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) produce large quantities of proteomic data. These data are prone to measurement errors and reproducibility problems such that an automatic quality assessment and control become increasingly important. Results We propose a methodology to assess the quality and reproducibility of data generated in quantitative LC-MS experiments. We introduce quality descriptors that capture different aspects of the quality and reproducibility of LC-MS data sets. Our method is based on the Mahalanobis distance and a robust Principal Component Analysis. Conclusion We evaluate our approach on several data sets of different complexities and show that we are able to precisely detect LC-MS runs of poor signal quality in large-scale studies. PMID:19351414

  18. An Automatic Image Processing Workflow for Daily Magnetic Resonance Imaging Quality Assurance.

    PubMed

    Peltonen, Juha I; Mäkelä, Teemu; Sofiev, Alexey; Salli, Eero

    2017-04-01

    The performance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment is typically monitored with a quality assurance (QA) program. The QA program includes various tests performed at regular intervals. Users may execute specific tests, e.g., daily, weekly, or monthly. The exact interval of these measurements varies according to the department policies, machine setup and usage, manufacturer's recommendations, and available resources. In our experience, a single image acquired before the first patient of the day offers a low effort and effective system check. When this daily QA check is repeated with identical imaging parameters and phantom setup, the data can be used to derive various time series of the scanner performance. However, daily QA with manual processing can quickly become laborious in a multi-scanner environment. Fully automated image analysis and results output can positively impact the QA process by decreasing reaction time, improving repeatability, and by offering novel performance evaluation methods. In this study, we have developed a daily MRI QA workflow that can measure multiple scanner performance parameters with minimal manual labor required. The daily QA system is built around a phantom image taken by the radiographers at the beginning of day. The image is acquired with a consistent phantom setup and standardized imaging parameters. Recorded parameters are processed into graphs available to everyone involved in the MRI QA process via a web-based interface. The presented automatic MRI QA system provides an efficient tool for following the short- and long-term stability of MRI scanners.

  19. No-reference quality assessment based on visual perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junshan; Yang, Yawei; Hu, Shuangyan; Zhang, Jiao

    2014-11-01

    The visual quality assessment of images/videos is an ongoing hot research topic, which has become more and more important for numerous image and video processing applications with the rapid development of digital imaging and communication technologies. The goal of image quality assessment (IQA) algorithms is to automatically assess the quality of images/videos in agreement with human quality judgments. Up to now, two kinds of models have been used for IQA, namely full-reference (FR) and no-reference (NR) models. For FR models, IQA algorithms interpret image quality as fidelity or similarity with a perfect image in some perceptual space. However, the reference image is not available in many practical applications, and a NR IQA approach is desired. Considering natural vision as optimized by the millions of years of evolutionary pressure, many methods attempt to achieve consistency in quality prediction by modeling salient physiological and psychological features of the human visual system (HVS). To reach this goal, researchers try to simulate HVS with image sparsity coding and supervised machine learning, which are two main features of HVS. A typical HVS captures the scenes by sparsity coding, and uses experienced knowledge to apperceive objects. In this paper, we propose a novel IQA approach based on visual perception. Firstly, a standard model of HVS is studied and analyzed, and the sparse representation of image is accomplished with the model; and then, the mapping correlation between sparse codes and subjective quality scores is trained with the regression technique of least squaresupport vector machine (LS-SVM), which gains the regressor that can predict the image quality; the visual metric of image is predicted with the trained regressor at last. We validate the performance of proposed approach on Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering (LIVE) database, the specific contents of the type of distortions present in the database are: 227 images of JPEG2000, 233

  20. Assessing product image quality for online shopping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Anjan; Chung, Sung H.; Chittar, Naren; Islam, Atiq

    2012-01-01

    Assessing product-image quality is important in the context of online shopping. A high quality image that conveys more information about a product can boost the buyer's confidence and can get more attention. However, the notion of image quality for product-images is not the same as that in other domains. The perception of quality of product-images depends not only on various photographic quality features but also on various high level features such as clarity of the foreground or goodness of the background etc. In this paper, we define a notion of product-image quality based on various such features. We conduct a crowd-sourced experiment to collect user judgments on thousands of eBay's images. We formulate a multi-class classification problem for modeling image quality by classifying images into good, fair and poor quality based on the guided perceptual notions from the judges. We also conduct experiments with regression using average crowd-sourced human judgments as target. We compute a pseudo-regression score with expected average of predicted classes and also compute a score from the regression technique. We design many experiments with various sampling and voting schemes with crowd-sourced data and construct various experimental image quality models. Most of our models have reasonable accuracies (greater or equal to 70%) on test data set. We observe that our computed image quality score has a high (0.66) rank correlation with average votes from the crowd sourced human judgments.

  1. Quality Management Plan for the Environmental Assessment and Innovation Division

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Quality management plan (QMP) which identifies the mission, roles, responsibilities of personnel with regard to quality assurance and quality management for the environmental assessment and innovation division.

  2. Electrical Inspection Oriented Thermal Image Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Ying; Wang, Menglin; Gong, Xiaojin; Guo, Zhihong; Geng, Yujie; Bai, Demeng

    2017-01-01

    This paper presents an approach to access the quality of thermal images that are specially used in electrical inspection. In this application, no reference images are given for quality assessment. Therefore, we first analyze the characteristics for these thermal images. Then, four quantitative measurements, which are one-dimensional (1D) entropy, two-dimensional (2D) entropy, centrality, and No-Reference Structural Sharpness (NRSS), are investigated to measure the information content, the centrality for objects of interest, and the sharpness of images. Moreover, in order to provide a more intuitive measure for human operators, we assign each image with a discrete rate based on these quantitative measurements via the k-nearest neighbor (KNN) method. The proposed approach has been validated in a dataset composed of 2,336 images. Experiments show that our quality assessment results are consistent with subjective assessment.

  3. Automatic information timeliness assessment of diabetes web sites by evidence based medicine.

    PubMed

    Sağlam, Rahime Belen; Taşkaya Temizel, Tuğba

    2014-11-01

    Studies on health domain have shown that health websites provide imperfect information and give recommendations which are not up to date with the recent literature even when their last modified dates are quite recent. In this paper, we propose a framework which assesses the timeliness of the content of health websites automatically by evidence based medicine. Our aim is to assess the accordance of website contents with the current literature and information timeliness disregarding the update time stated on the websites. The proposed method is based on automatic term recognition, relevance feedback and information retrieval techniques in order to generate time-aware structured queries. We tested the framework on diabetes health web sites which were archived between 2006 and 2013 by Archive-it using American Diabetes Association's (ADA) guidelines. The results showed that the proposed framework achieves 65% and 77% accuracy in detecting the timeliness of the web content according to years and pre-determined time intervals respectively. Information seekers and web site owners may benefit from the proposed framework in finding relevant and up-to-date diabetes web sites. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Estimating the quality of pasturage in the municipality of Paragominas (PA) by means of automatic analysis of LANDSAT data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dejesusparada, N. (Principal Investigator); Dossantos, A. P.; Novo, E. M. L. D.; Duarte, V.

    1981-01-01

    The use of LANDSAT data to evaluate pasture quality in the Amazon region is demonstrated. Pasture degradation in deforested areas of a traditional tropical forest cattle-raising region was estimated. Automatic analysis using interactive multispectral analysis (IMAGE-100) shows that 24% of the deforested areas were occupied by natural vegetation regrowth, 24% by exposed soil, 15% by degraded pastures, and 46% was suitable grazing land.

  5. Automatic Detection of Masses in Mammograms Using Quality Threshold Clustering, Correlogram Function, and SVM.

    PubMed

    de Nazaré Silva, Joberth; de Carvalho Filho, Antonio Oseas; Corrêa Silva, Aristófanes; Cardoso de Paiva, Anselmo; Gattass, Marcelo

    2015-06-01

    Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the world. Several computer-aided detection and diagnosis systems have been used to assist health experts and to indicate suspect areas that would be difficult to perceive by the human eye; this approach has aided in the detection and diagnosis of cancer. The present work proposes a method for the automatic detection of masses in digital mammograms by using quality threshold (QT), a correlogram function, and the support vector machine (SVM). This methodology comprises the following steps: The first step is to perform preprocessing with a low-pass filter, which increases the scale of the contrast, and the next step is to use an enhancement to the wavelet transform with a linear function. After the preprocessing is segmentation using QT; then, we perform post-processing, which involves the selection of the best mass candidates. This step is performed by analyzing the shape descriptors through the SVM. For the stage that involves the extraction of texture features, we used Haralick descriptors and a correlogram function. In the classification stage, the SVM was again used for training, validation, and final test. The results were as follows: sensitivity 92.31 %, specificity 82.2 %, accuracy 83.53 %, mean rate of false positives per image 1.12, and area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve 0.8033. Breast cancer is notable for presenting the highest mortality rate in addition to one of the smallest survival rates after diagnosis. An early diagnosis means a considerable increase in the survival chance of the patients. The methodology proposed herein contributes to the early diagnosis and survival rate and, thus, proves to be a useful tool for specialists who attempt to anticipate the detection of masses.

  6. Full-Reference Image Quality Assessment with Linear Combination of Genetically Selected Quality Measures

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Information carried by an image can be distorted due to different image processing steps introduced by different electronic means of storage and communication. Therefore, development of algorithms which can automatically assess a quality of the image in a way that is consistent with human evaluation is important. In this paper, an approach to image quality assessment (IQA) is proposed in which the quality of a given image is evaluated jointly by several IQA approaches. At first, in order to obtain such joint models, an optimisation problem of IQA measures aggregation is defined, where a weighted sum of their outputs, i.e., objective scores, is used as the aggregation operator. Then, the weight of each measure is considered as a decision variable in a problem of minimisation of root mean square error between obtained objective scores and subjective scores. Subjective scores reflect ground-truth and involve evaluation of images by human observers. The optimisation problem is solved using a genetic algorithm, which also selects suitable measures used in aggregation. Obtained multimeasures are evaluated on four largest widely used image benchmarks and compared against state-of-the-art full-reference IQA approaches. Results of comparison reveal that the proposed approach outperforms other competing measures. PMID:27341493

  7. Engineering studies related to Skylab program. [assessment of automatic gain control data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayne, G. S.

    1973-01-01

    The relationship between the S-193 Automatic Gain Control data and the magnitude of received signal power was studied in order to characterize performance parameters for Skylab equipment. The r-factor was used for the assessment and is defined to be less than unity, and a function of off-nadir angle, ocean surface roughness, and receiver signal to noise ratio. A digital computer simulation was also used to assess to additive receiver, or white noise. The system model for the digital simulation is described, along with intermediate frequency and video impulse response functions used, details of the input waveforms, and results to date. Specific discussion of the digital computer programs used is also provided.

  8. Soil quality assessment under emerging regulatory requirements.

    PubMed

    Bone, James; Head, Martin; Barraclough, Declan; Archer, Michael; Scheib, Catherine; Flight, Dee; Voulvoulis, Nikolaos

    2010-08-01

    New and emerging policies that aim to set standards for protection and sustainable use of soil are likely to require identification of geographical risk/priority areas. Soil degradation can be seen as the change or disturbance in soil quality and it is therefore crucial that soil and soil quality are well understood to protect soils and to meet legislative requirements. To increase this understanding a review of the soil quality definition evaluated its development, with a formal scientific approach to assessment beginning in the 1970s, followed by a period of discussion and refinement. A number of reservations about soil quality assessment expressed in the literature are summarised. Taking concerns into account, a definition of soil quality incorporating soil's ability to meet multifunctional requirements, to provide ecosystem services, and the potential for soils to affect other environmental media is described. Assessment using this definition requires a large number of soil function dependent indicators that can be expensive, laborious, prone to error, and problematic in comparison. Findings demonstrate the need for a method that is not function dependent, but uses a number of cross-functional indicators instead. This method to systematically prioritise areas where detailed investigation is required, using a ranking based against a desired level of action, could be relatively quick, easy and cost effective. As such this has potential to fill in gaps and compliment existing monitoring programs and assist in development and implementation of current and future soil protection legislation.

  9. Retinal image quality assessment using generic features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fasih, Mahnaz; Langlois, J. M. Pierre; Ben Tahar, Houssem; Cheriet, Farida

    2014-03-01

    Retinal image quality assessment is an important step in automated eye disease diagnosis. Diagnosis accuracy is highly dependent on the quality of retinal images, because poor image quality might prevent the observation of significant eye features and disease manifestations. A robust algorithm is therefore required in order to evaluate the quality of images in a large database. We developed an algorithm for retinal image quality assessment based on generic features that is independent from segmentation methods. It exploits the local sharpness and texture features by applying the cumulative probability of blur detection metric and run-length encoding algorithm, respectively. The quality features are combined to evaluate the image's suitability for diagnosis purposes. Based on the recommendations of medical experts and our experience, we compared a global and a local approach. A support vector machine with radial basis functions was used as a nonlinear classifier in order to classify images to gradable and ungradable groups. We applied our methodology to 65 images of size 2592×1944 pixels that had been graded by a medical expert. The expert evaluated 38 images as gradable and 27 as ungradable. The results indicate very good agreement between the proposed algorithm's predictions and the medical expert's judgment: the sensitivity and specificity for the local approach are respectively 92% and 94%. The algorithm demonstrates sufficient robustness to identify relevant images for automated diagnosis.

  10. Quality assessment: A performance-based approach to assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Caplinger, W.H.; Greenlee, W.D.

    1993-08-01

    Revision C to US Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5700.6 (6C) ``Quality Assurance`` (QA) brings significant changes to the conduct of QA. The Westinghouse government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) sites have updated their quality assurance programs to the requirements and guidance of 6C, and are currently implementing necessary changes. In late 1992, a Westinghouse GOCO team led by the Waste Isolation Division (WID) conducted what is believed to be the first assessment of implementation of a quality assurance program founded on 6C.

  11. An assessment model for quality management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Völcker, Chr.; Cass, A.; Dorling, A.; Zilioli, P.; Secchi, P.

    2002-07-01

    SYNSPACE together with InterSPICE and Alenia Spazio is developing an assessment method to determine the capability of an organisation in the area of quality management. The method, sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), is called S9kS (SPiCE- 9000 for SPACE). S9kS is based on ISO 9001:2000 with additions from the quality standards issued by the European Committee for Space Standardization (ECSS) and ISO 15504 - Process Assessments. The result is a reference model that supports the expansion of the generic process assessment framework provided by ISO 15504 to nonsoftware areas. In order to be compliant with ISO 15504, requirements from ISO 9001 and ECSS-Q-20 and Q-20-09 have been turned into process definitions in terms of Purpose and Outcomes, supported by a list of detailed indicators such as Practices, Work Products and Work Product Characteristics. In coordination with this project, the capability dimension of ISO 15504 has been revised to be consistent with ISO 9001. As contributions from ISO 9001 and the space quality assurance standards are separable, the stripped down version S9k offers organisations in all industries an assessment model based solely on ISO 9001, and is therefore interesting to all organisations, which intend to improve their quality management system based on ISO 9001.

  12. Water quality issues and energy assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, M.J.; Chiu, S.

    1980-11-01

    This report identifies and evaluates the significant water quality issues related to regional and national energy development. In addition, it recommends improvements in the Office assessment capability. Handbook-style formating, which includes a system of cross-references and prioritization, is designed to help the reader use the material.

  13. [Making best use of external quality assessment].

    PubMed

    Fried, Roman

    2015-02-01

    To receive a maximum benefit from external quality assessment, the laboratory has to fulfill certain requirements. There have to be standard operating procedures and checklists for the correct sample processing and analysis. It is equally important, that the staff has a basic understanding how this quality-tools work and that detected errors are used as a chance to improve the processes within the laboratory. The benefit of surveys for external quality assessment is not only limited to the analytical phase, but also to some aspects of the pre and post-analytical processes. Due to the many participants, the survey providers are able to collect a lot of practical knowledge. All participants can learn from this by reading the survey reports and commentaries. With this, and with special educational surveys, the providers of surveys are able to offer an opportunity of continuous education to the laboratories.

  14. Automated Assessment of the Quality of Depression Websites

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Thanh Tin; Hawking, David; Christensen, Helen

    2005-01-01

    Background Since health information on the World Wide Web is of variable quality, methods are needed to assist consumers to identify health websites containing evidence-based information. Manual assessment tools may assist consumers to evaluate the quality of sites. However, these tools are poorly validated and often impractical. There is a need to develop better consumer tools, and in particular to explore the potential of automated procedures for evaluating the quality of health information on the web. Objective This study (1) describes the development of an automated quality assessment procedure (AQA) designed to automatically rank depression websites according to their evidence-based quality; (2) evaluates the validity of the AQA relative to human rated evidence-based quality scores; and (3) compares the validity of Google PageRank and the AQA as indicators of evidence-based quality. Method The AQA was developed using a quality feedback technique and a set of training websites previously rated manually according to their concordance with statements in the Oxford University Centre for Evidence-Based Mental Health’s guidelines for treating depression. The validation phase involved 30 websites compiled from the DMOZ, Yahoo! and LookSmart Depression Directories by randomly selecting six sites from each of the Google PageRank bands of 0, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8. Evidence-based ratings from two independent raters (based on concordance with the Oxford guidelines) were then compared with scores derived from the automated AQA and Google algorithms. There was no overlap in the websites used in the training and validation phases of the study. Results The correlation between the AQA score and the evidence-based ratings was high and significant (r=0.85, P<.001). Addition of a quadratic component improved the fit, the combined linear and quadratic model explaining 82 percent of the variance. The correlation between Google PageRank and the evidence-based score was lower than

  15. Objective Assessment of Quality Measurement and Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Damle, Aneel; Alavi, Karim

    2014-01-01

    Accurate quality measurement that allows for and results in improvement is essential to colon and rectal surgery. Currently, no consensus exists as to which variables are most important in measuring outcomes. Debate continues concerning the “best” variables to measure from a structural, process, and outcomes standpoint. Although American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program provides an opportunity for outcomes measurement in general and vascular surgery, there is no specific quality improvement tool available for colon and rectal surgery. However, there is growing literature testing the validity of candidate variables to be used in such a data collection system. This article evaluates the current objective assessment measurements used for quality improvement in colon and rectal surgery. PMID:27053926

  16. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Additional quality assessment activities. 460.140... FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional quality assessment activities. A PACE organization must meet external quality assessment and reporting requirements...

  17. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Additional quality assessment activities. 460.140... FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional quality assessment activities. A PACE organization must meet external quality assessment and reporting requirements...

  18. Parasitology: United Kingdom National Quality Assessment Scheme.

    PubMed Central

    Hawthorne, M.; Chiodini, P. L.; Snell, J. J.; Moody, A. H.; Ramsay, A.

    1992-01-01

    AIMS: To assess the results from parasitology laboratories taking part in a quality assessment scheme between 1986 and 1991; and to compare performance with repeat specimens. METHODS: Quality assessment of blood parasitology, including tissue parasites (n = 444; 358 UK, 86 overseas), and faecal parasitology, including extra-intestinal parasites (n = 205; 141 UK, 64 overseas), was performed. RESULTS: Overall, the standard of performance was poor. A questionnaire distributed to participants showed that a wide range of methods was used, some of which were considered inadequate to achieve reliable results. Teaching material was distributed to participants from time to time in an attempt to improve standards. CONCLUSIONS: Since the closure of the IMLS fellowship course in 1972, fewer opportunities for specialised training in parasitology are available: more training is needed. Poor performance in the detection of malarial parasites is mainly attributable to incorrect speciation, misidentification, and lack of equipment such as an eyepiece graticule. PMID:1452791

  19. Water Quality Assessment using Satellite Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haque, Saad Ul

    2016-07-01

    The two main global issues related to water are its declining quality and quantity. Population growth, industrialization, increase in agriculture land and urbanization are the main causes upon which the inland water bodies are confronted with the increasing water demand. The quality of surface water has also been degraded in many countries over the past few decades due to the inputs of nutrients and sediments especially in the lakes and reservoirs. Since water is essential for not only meeting the human needs but also to maintain natural ecosystem health and integrity, there are efforts worldwide to assess and restore quality of surface waters. Remote sensing techniques provide a tool for continuous water quality information in order to identify and minimize sources of pollutants that are harmful for human and aquatic life. The proposed methodology is focused on assessing quality of water at selected lakes in Pakistan (Sindh); namely, HUBDAM, KEENJHAR LAKE, HALEEJI and HADEERO. These lakes are drinking water sources for several major cities of Pakistan including Karachi. Satellite imagery of Landsat 7 (ETM+) is used to identify the variation in water quality of these lakes in terms of their optical properties. All bands of Landsat 7 (ETM+) image are analyzed to select only those that may be correlated with some water quality parameters (e.g. suspended solids, chlorophyll a). The Optimum Index Factor (OIF) developed by Chavez et al. (1982) is used for selection of the optimum combination of bands. The OIF is calculated by dividing the sum of standard deviations of any three bands with the sum of their respective correlation coefficients (absolute values). It is assumed that the band with the higher standard deviation contains the higher amount of 'information' than other bands. Therefore, OIF values are ranked and three bands with the highest OIF are selected for the visual interpretation. A color composite image is created using these three bands. The water quality

  20. Automatic assessment of average diaphragm motion trajectory from 4DCT images through machine learning

    PubMed Central

    Li, Guang; Wei, Jie; Huang, Hailiang; Gaebler, Carl Philipp; Yuan, Amy; Deasy, Joseph O

    2016-01-01

    To automatically estimate average diaphragm motion trajectory (ADMT) based on four-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT), facilitating clinical assessment of respiratory motion and motion variation and retrospective motion study. We have developed an effective motion extraction approach and a machine-learning-based algorithm to estimate the ADMT. Eleven patients with 22 sets of 4DCT images (4DCT1 at simulation and 4DCT2 at treatment) were studied. After automatically segmenting the lungs, the differential volume-per-slice (dVPS) curves of the left and right lungs were calculated as a function of slice number for each phase with respective to the full-exhalation. After 5-slice moving average was performed, the discrete cosine transform (DCT) was applied to analyze the dVPS curves in frequency domain. The dimensionality of the spectrum data was reduced by using several lowest frequency coefficients (fv) to account for most of the spectrum energy (Σfv2). Multiple linear regression (MLR) method was then applied to determine the weights of these frequencies by fitting the ground truth—the measured ADMT, which are represented by three pivot points of the diaphragm on each side. The ‘leave-one-out’ cross validation method was employed to analyze the statistical performance of the prediction results in three image sets: 4DCT1, 4DCT2, and 4DCT1 + 4DCT2. Seven lowest frequencies in DCT domain were found to be sufficient to approximate the patient dVPS curves (R = 91%−96% in MLR fitting). The mean error in the predicted ADMT using leave-one-out method was 0.3 ± 1.9 mm for the left-side diaphragm and 0.0 ± 1.4 mm for the right-side diaphragm. The prediction error is lower in 4DCT2 than 4DCT1, and is the lowest in 4DCT1 and 4DCT2 combined. This frequency-analysis-based machine learning technique was employed to predict the ADMT automatically with an acceptable error (0.2 ± 1.6 mm). This volumetric approach is not affected by the presence of the lung tumors

  1. External quality assessment scheme and laboratory accreditation in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Timan, Ina S; Aulia, Diana; Santoso, Witono

    2002-02-01

    The National Program on External Quality Assessment Scheme (NEQAS) in Indonesia was first started in 1979, organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Health collaborating with professional bodies. The first trial was for clinical chemistry test with 2 cycles per year, followed by the hematology NEQAS in 1986 in collaboration with WHO-Royal Post Graduate Medical School London. After that, the schemes for serology, microbiology and parasitology were also organized. Around 500-600 laboratories throughout Indonesia participated each year in these quality control schemes, 2-4 cycles per year. Samples would be sent to participants and results will be given back to each laboratory. Poor performers should participate in the workshop or training course conducted by the Central Health Laboratory to improve their results. Participation in this NEQAS is mandatory for obtaining the laboratory license, and the Ministry of Health uses these schemes as one of the means for monitoring and coordinating the performance of laboratories throughout Indonesia. There are also some other EQAS (External Quality Assessment Scheme) programs conducted by professional bodies, such as for hemostasis, clinical chemistry and serology. During the course of conducting these schemes, it could be observed that manual methods were gradually changed to the automatic methods, especially for the clinical chemistry and hematology laboratories, which counts also for improvements of their results. Since the last 6 years, the Ministry of Health also began to conduct the Accreditation System evaluation for hospitals, including the laboratory departments. There are 7 standards that were evaluated, such as the aspect of the organization, administration and management, staffing, facilities and equipment, standard operating procedures, research and developments and quality control. This accreditation program is still in progress for all public and private hospital laboratories.

  2. Automated Data Quality Assessment of Marine Sensors

    PubMed Central

    Timms, Greg P.; de Souza, Paulo A.; Reznik, Leon; Smith, Daniel V.

    2011-01-01

    The automated collection of data (e.g., through sensor networks) has led to a massive increase in the quantity of environmental and other data available. The sheer quantity of data and growing need for real-time ingestion of sensor data (e.g., alerts and forecasts from physical models) means that automated Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) is necessary to ensure that the data collected is fit for purpose. Current automated QA/QC approaches provide assessments based upon hard classifications of the gathered data; often as a binary decision of good or bad data that fails to quantify our confidence in the data for use in different applications. We propose a novel framework for automated data quality assessments that uses Fuzzy Logic to provide a continuous scale of data quality. This continuous quality scale is then used to compute error bars upon the data, which quantify the data uncertainty and provide a more meaningful measure of the data’s fitness for purpose in a particular application compared with hard quality classifications. The design principles of the framework are presented and enable both data statistics and expert knowledge to be incorporated into the uncertainty assessment. We have implemented and tested the framework upon a real time platform of temperature and conductivity sensors that have been deployed to monitor the Derwent Estuary in Hobart, Australia. Results indicate that the error bars generated from the Fuzzy QA/QC implementation are in good agreement with the error bars manually encoded by a domain expert. PMID:22163714

  3. Fully automatic segmentation of left atrium and pulmonary veins in late gadolinium-enhanced MRI: Towards objective atrial scar assessment.

    PubMed

    Tao, Qian; Ipek, Esra Gucuk; Shahzad, Rahil; Berendsen, Floris F; Nazarian, Saman; van der Geest, Rob J

    2016-08-01

    To realize objective atrial scar assessment, this study aimed to develop a fully automatic method to segment the left atrium (LA) and pulmonary veins (PV) from late gadolinium-enhanced (LGE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The extent and distribution of atrial scar, visualized by LGE-MRI, provides important information for clinical treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. Forty-six AF patients (age 62 ± 8, 14 female) who underwent cardiac MRI prior to RF ablation were included. A contrast-enhanced MR angiography (MRA) sequence was acquired for anatomy assessment followed by an LGE sequence for LA scar assessment. A fully automatic segmentation method was proposed consisting of two stages: 1) global segmentation by multiatlas registration; and 2) local refinement by 3D level-set. These automatic segmentation results were compared with manual segmentation. The LA and PVs were automatically segmented in all subjects. Compared with manual segmentation, the method yielded a surface-to-surface distance of 1.49 ± 0.65 mm in the LA region when using both MRA and LGE, and 1.80 ± 0.93 mm when using LGE alone (P < 0.05). In the PV regions, the distance was 2.13 ± 0.67 mm and 2.46 ± 1.81 mm (P < 0.05), respectively. The difference between automatic and manual segmentation was comparable to the interobserver difference (P = 0.8 in LA region and P = 0.7 in PV region). We developed a fully automatic method for LA and PV segmentation from LGE-MRI, with comparable performance to a human observer. Inclusion of an MRA sequence further improves the segmentation accuracy. The method leads to automatic generation of a patient-specific model, and potentially enables objective atrial scar assessment for AF patients. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2016;44:346-354. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Automatic exposure control in pediatric and adult multidetector CT examinations: A phantom study on dose reduction and image quality

    SciTech Connect

    Papadakis, Antonios E.; Perisinakis, Kostas; Damilakis, John

    2008-10-15

    The aim of this study was to assess the potential of a modern x,y,z modulation-based automatic exposure control system (AEC) for dose reduction in pediatric and adult multidetector CT (MDCT) imaging and evaluate the quality of the images obtained. Five physical anthropomorphic phantoms that simulate the average individual as neonate, 1-, 5-, 10-year old child, and adult were scanned with a MDCT scanner, equipped with a modern AEC system. Dose reduction (%DR) was calculated as the percentage difference of the mean modulated and the preset tube current-time product that is prescribed for standard head and body scan protocols. The effect of the tube potential and the orientation of the topogram acquisition on dose reduction were assessed. Image quality was evaluated on the basis of image noise and signal to noise ratio (SNR). The dose reduction values achieved in pediatric phantoms were remarkably lower than those achieved for the adult. The efficiency of the AEC is decreased at 80 kVp compared to higher tube potentials and for helical scans following an anterior posterior (AP-AEC) compared to a lateral (LAT-AEC) topogram acquisition. In AP-AEC scans, the dose reduction ranged between 4.7 and 34.7% for neonate, 15.4 and 30.9% for 1 year old, 3.1 and 26.7% for 5 years old, 1.2 and 58.7% for 10 years old, and 15.5 and 57.4% for adult. In LAT-AEC scans, the corresponding dose reduction ranged between 11.0 and 36.5%, 27.2 and 35.7%, 11.3 and 35.6%, 0.3 and 67.0%, and 15.0 and 61.7%, respectively. AP-AEC scans resulted in a 17.1% and 19.7% dose increase in the thorax of neonate and the pelvis of the 10-year old phantom, respectively. The variation in the measured noise among images obtained along the scanning z axis was lower in AEC activated compared to fixed milliamperes scans. However, image noise was significantly increased (P<.001) and SNR significantly decreased (P<.001) in most AEC activated compared to fixed milliamperes scans. In conclusion, AEC resulted in a (i

  5. Evaluation of plan quality assurance models for prostate cancer patients based on fully automatically generated Pareto-optimal treatment plans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yibing; Breedveld, Sebastiaan; Heijmen, Ben; Petit, Steven F

    2016-06-07

    IMRT planning with commercial Treatment Planning Systems (TPSs) is a trial-and-error process. Consequently, the quality of treatment plans may not be consistent among patients, planners and institutions. Recently, different plan quality assurance (QA) models have been proposed, that could flag and guide improvement of suboptimal treatment plans. However, the performance of these models was validated using plans that were created using the conventional trail-and-error treatment planning process. Consequently, it is challenging to assess and compare quantitatively the accuracy of different treatment planning QA models. Therefore, we created a golden standard dataset of consistently planned Pareto-optimal IMRT plans for 115 prostate patients. Next, the dataset was used to assess the performance of a treatment planning QA model that uses the overlap volume histogram (OVH). 115 prostate IMRT plans were fully automatically planned using our in-house developed TPS Erasmus-iCycle. An existing OVH model was trained on the plans of 58 of the patients. Next it was applied to predict DVHs of the rectum, bladder and anus of the remaining 57 patients. The predictions were compared with the achieved values of the golden standard plans for the rectum D mean, V 65, and V 75, and D mean of the anus and the bladder. For the rectum, the prediction errors (predicted-achieved) were only  -0.2  ±  0.9 Gy (mean  ±  1 SD) for D mean,-1.0  ±  1.6% for V 65, and  -0.4  ±  1.1% for V 75. For D mean of the anus and the bladder, the prediction error was 0.1  ±  1.6 Gy and 4.8  ±  4.1 Gy, respectively. Increasing the training cohort to 114 patients only led to minor improvements. A dataset of consistently planned Pareto-optimal prostate IMRT plans was generated. This dataset can be used to train new, and validate and compare existing treatment planning QA models, and has been made publicly available. The OVH model was highly accurate

  6. Evaluation of plan quality assurance models for prostate cancer patients based on fully automatically generated Pareto-optimal treatment plans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yibing; Breedveld, Sebastiaan; Heijmen, Ben; Petit, Steven F.

    2016-06-01

    IMRT planning with commercial Treatment Planning Systems (TPSs) is a trial-and-error process. Consequently, the quality of treatment plans may not be consistent among patients, planners and institutions. Recently, different plan quality assurance (QA) models have been proposed, that could flag and guide improvement of suboptimal treatment plans. However, the performance of these models was validated using plans that were created using the conventional trail-and-error treatment planning process. Consequently, it is challenging to assess and compare quantitatively the accuracy of different treatment planning QA models. Therefore, we created a golden standard dataset of consistently planned Pareto-optimal IMRT plans for 115 prostate patients. Next, the dataset was used to assess the performance of a treatment planning QA model that uses the overlap volume histogram (OVH). 115 prostate IMRT plans were fully automatically planned using our in-house developed TPS Erasmus-iCycle. An existing OVH model was trained on the plans of 58 of the patients. Next it was applied to predict DVHs of the rectum, bladder and anus of the remaining 57 patients. The predictions were compared with the achieved values of the golden standard plans for the rectum D mean, V 65, and V 75, and D mean of the anus and the bladder. For the rectum, the prediction errors (predicted-achieved) were only  -0.2  ±  0.9 Gy (mean  ±  1 SD) for D mean,-1.0  ±  1.6% for V 65, and  -0.4  ±  1.1% for V 75. For D mean of the anus and the bladder, the prediction error was 0.1  ±  1.6 Gy and 4.8  ±  4.1 Gy, respectively. Increasing the training cohort to 114 patients only led to minor improvements. A dataset of consistently planned Pareto-optimal prostate IMRT plans was generated. This dataset can be used to train new, and validate and compare existing treatment planning QA models, and has been made publicly available. The OVH model was highly accurate

  7. Performance assessment of an RFID system for automatic surgical sponge detection in a surgery room.

    PubMed

    Dinis, H; Zamith, M; Mendes, P M

    2015-01-01

    A retained surgical instrument is a frequent incident in medical surgery rooms all around the world, despite being considered an avoidable mistake. Hence, an automatic detection solution of the retained surgical instrument is desirable. In this paper, the use of millimeter waves at the 60 GHz band for surgical material RFID purposes is evaluated. An experimental procedure to assess the suitability of this frequency range for short distance communications with multiple obstacles was performed. Furthermore, an antenna suitable to be incorporated in surgical materials, such as sponges, is presented. The antenna's operation characteristics are evaluated as to determine if it is adequate for the studied application over the given frequency range, and under different operating conditions, such as varying sponge water content.

  8. Visual pattern degradation based image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jinjian; Li, Leida; Shi, Guangming; Lin, Weisi; Wan, Wenfei

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, we introduce a visual pattern degradation based full-reference (FR) image quality assessment (IQA) method. Researches on visual recognition indicate that the human visual system (HVS) is highly adaptive to extract visual structures for scene understanding. Existing structure degradation based IQA methods mainly take local luminance contrast to represent structure, and measure quality as degradation on luminance contrast. In this paper, we suggest that structure includes not only luminance contrast but also orientation information. Therefore, we analyze the orientation characteristic for structure description. Inspired by the orientation selectivity mechanism in the primary visual cortex, we introduce a novel visual pattern to represent the structure of a local region. Then, the quality is measured as the degradations on both luminance contrast and visual pattern. Experimental results on Five benchmark databases demonstrate that the proposed visual pattern can effectively represent visual structure and the proposed IQA method performs better than the existing IQA metrics.

  9. Assessing the quality of cost management

    SciTech Connect

    Fayne, V.; McAllister, A.; Weiner, S.B.

    1995-12-31

    Managing environmental programs can be effective only when good cost and cost-related management practices are developed and implemented. The Department of Energy`s Office of Environmental Management (EM), recognizing this key role of cost management, initiated several cost and cost-related management activities including the Cost Quality Management (CQM) Program. The CQM Program includes an assessment activity, Cost Quality Management Assessments (CQMAs), and a technical assistance effort to improve program/project cost effectiveness. CQMAs provide a tool for establishing a baseline of cost-management practices and for measuring improvement in those practices. The result of the CQMA program is an organization that has an increasing cost-consciousness, improved cost-management skills and abilities, and a commitment to respond to the public`s concerns for both a safe environment and prudent budget outlays. The CQMA program is part of the foundation of quality management practices in DOE. The CQMA process has contributed to better cost and cost-related management practices by providing measurements and feedback; defining the components of a quality cost-management system; and helping sites develop/improve specific cost-management techniques and methods.

  10. Quality versus quantity: assessing individual research performance

    PubMed Central

    Sahel, José-Alain

    2011-01-01

    Evaluating individual research performance is a complex task that ideally examines productivity, scientific impact, and research quality––a task that metrics alone have been unable to achieve. In January 2011, the French Academy of Sciences published a report on current bibliometric (citation metric) methods for evaluating individual researchers, as well as recommendations for the integration of quality assessment. Here, we draw on key issues raised by this report and comment on the suggestions for improving existing research evaluation practices. PMID:21613620

  11. Teachers' Opinions on Quality Criteria for Competency Assessment Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baartman, Liesbeth K. J.; Bastiaens, Theo J.; Kirschner, Paul A.; Van der Vleuten, Cees P. M.

    2007-01-01

    Quality control policies towards Dutch vocational schools have changed dramatically because the government questioned examination quality. Schools must now demonstrate assessment quality to a new Examination Quality Center. Since teachers often design assessments, they must be involved in quality issues. This study therefore explores teachers'…

  12. Quality Assessment of Domesticated Animal Genome Assemblies

    PubMed Central

    Seemann, Stefan E.; Anthon, Christian; Palasca, Oana; Gorodkin, Jan

    2015-01-01

    The era of high-throughput sequencing has made it relatively simple to sequence genomes and transcriptomes of individuals from many species. In order to analyze the resulting sequencing data, high-quality reference genome assemblies are required. However, this is still a major challenge, and many domesticated animal genomes still need to be sequenced deeper in order to produce high-quality assemblies. In the meanwhile, ironically, the extent to which RNAseq and other next-generation data is produced frequently far exceeds that of the genomic sequence. Furthermore, basic comparative analysis is often affected by the lack of genomic sequence. Herein, we quantify the quality of the genome assemblies of 20 domesticated animals and related species by assessing a range of measurable parameters, and we show that there is a positive correlation between the fraction of mappable reads from RNAseq data and genome assembly quality. We rank the genomes by their assembly quality and discuss the implications for genotype analyses. PMID:27279738

  13. Fully automatic measuring system for assessing masticatory performance using β-carotene-containing gummy jelly.

    PubMed

    Nokubi, T; Yasui, S; Yoshimuta, Y; Kida, M; Kusunoki, C; Ono, T; Maeda, Y; Nokubi, F; Yokota, K; Yamamoto, T

    2013-02-01

    Despite the importance of masticatory performance in health promotion, assessment of masticatory performance has not been widely conducted to date because the methods are labour intensive. The purpose of this study is to investigate the accuracy of a novel system for automatically measuring masticatory performance that uses β-carotene-containing gummy jelly. To investigate the influence of rinsing time on comminuted jelly pieces expectorated from the oral cavity, divided jelly pieces were treated with two types of dye solution and then rinsed for various durations. Changes in photodiode (light receiver) voltages from light emitted through a solution of dissolved β-carotene from jelly pieces under each condition were compared with those of unstained jelly. To investigate the influence of dissolving time, changes in light receiver voltage resulting from an increase in division number were compared between three dissolving times. For all forms of divided test jelly and rinsing times, no significant differences in light receiver voltage were observed between any of the stain groups and the control group. Voltages decreased in a similar manner for all forms of divided jelly as dissolving time increased. The highest coefficient of determination (R(2)  = 0·979) between the obtained voltage and the increased surface area of each divided jelly was seen at the 10 s dissolving time. These results suggested that our fully automatic system can estimate the increased surface area of comminuted gummy jelly as a parameter of masticatory performance with high accuracy after rinsing and dissolving operations of 10 s each.

  14. X-ray absorptiometry of the breast using mammographic exposure factors: application to units featuring automatic beam quality selection.

    PubMed

    Kotre, C J

    2010-06-01

    A number of studies have identified the relationship between the visual appearance of high breast density at mammography and an increased risk of breast cancer. Approaches to quantify the amount of glandular tissue within the breast from mammography have so far concentrated on image-based methods. Here, it is proposed that the X-ray parameters automatically selected by the mammography unit can be used to estimate the thickness of glandular tissue overlying the automatic exposure sensor area, provided that the unit can be appropriately calibrated. This is a non-trivial task for modern mammography units that feature automatic beam quality selection, as the number of tube potential and X-ray target/filter combinations used to cover the range of breast sizes and compositions can be large, leading to a potentially unworkable number of curve fits and interpolations. Using appropriate models for the attenuation of the glandular breast in conjunction with a constrained set of physical phantom measurements, it is demonstrated that calibration for X-ray absorptiometry can be achieved despite the large number of possible exposure factor combinations employed by modern mammography units. The main source of error on the estimated glandular tissue thickness using this method is shown to be uncertainty in the measured compressed breast thickness. An additional correction for this source of error is investigated and applied. Initial surveys of glandular thickness for a cohort of women undergoing breast screening are presented.

  15. Recent advances in the assessment of aberrant behavior maintained by automatic reinforcement in individuals with developmental disabilities.

    PubMed

    Leblanc, L A; Patel, M R; Carr, J E

    2000-06-01

    Many aberrant behaviors exhibited by individuals with developmental disabilities are maintained by "automatic reinforcement". These behaviors are often difficult to treat, with the most effective behavioral interventions often resulting in only moderate success. However, a series of recent studies has advanced our ability to understand and treat these behaviors through the innovative use of behavioral assessment. We review the recent development of three categories of assessments: (a) nonhypothesis-based stimulus preference assessments, (b) hypothesis-based stimulus preference assessments, and (c) hypothesis-based assessments incorporating noncontingent reinforcement and sensory extinction procedures. We consider each category's contribution to both our ability to prescribe effective behavioral interventions and our ability to more fully understand the concept of automatic reinforcement.

  16. External quality assessment of hormone determinations.

    PubMed

    Sturgeon, Catharine M

    2013-12-01

    Hormone determinations are of central importance to the practice of Clinical Endocrinology, and ensuring their correct use and performance is a multidisciplinary responsibility involving clinicians, laboratory staff, manufacturers of diagnostic systems and healthcare regulatory agencies. All these professional groups have, therefore, an interest in external quality assessment (EQA) as an audit tool that can identify areas where use of tests in routine practice requires improvement to reduce risks to patients. This chapter reviews the principles of EQA, and outlines its strengths and limitations, illustrated with example data from the UK National External Quality Assessment Service (UK NEQAS). The immunological nature of many hormone assays, often further complicated by heterogeneity of analyte structure and lack of suitable calibrators, presents special problems for the designers of EQA schemes in ensuring that specimens are appropriate and that target values are accurate. Laboratory users of EQA should have sufficient knowledge of the characteristics of the EQA schemes in which they participate to make informed interpretation of their data. The trend since the 1980s for in-house assays designed in individual laboratories to be superseded by automated assays provided by a small number of diagnostics manufacturers places a special responsibility on manufacturers to ensure reliable assay design and calibration. In collaboration with other parties EQA can help identify priorities for improved assay design and calibration. Although traditionally the focus of EQA has been on assessing the analytical phase it can also make some assessment of other important aspects of performance, e.g. the consistency of reference ranges and how results are interpreted. Overall, EQA has a valuable role both in laboratory accreditation and as an educational resource, thereby helping to ensure and improve the quality of laboratory services that support patient care.

  17. Using Data Mining for Wine Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cortez, Paulo; Teixeira, Juliana; Cerdeira, António; Almeida, Fernando; Matos, Telmo; Reis, José

    Certification and quality assessment are crucial issues within the wine industry. Currently, wine quality is mostly assessed by physicochemical (e.g alcohol levels) and sensory (e.g. human expert evaluation) tests. In this paper, we propose a data mining approach to predict wine preferences that is based on easily available analytical tests at the certification step. A large dataset is considered with white vinho verde samples from the Minho region of Portugal. Wine quality is modeled under a regression approach, which preserves the order of the grades. Explanatory knowledge is given in terms of a sensitivity analysis, which measures the response changes when a given input variable is varied through its domain. Three regression techniques were applied, under a computationally efficient procedure that performs simultaneous variable and model selection and that is guided by the sensitivity analysis. The support vector machine achieved promising results, outperforming the multiple regression and neural network methods. Such model is useful for understanding how physicochemical tests affect the sensory preferences. Moreover, it can support the wine expert evaluations and ultimately improve the production.

  18. [Epidemiological standards for assessing quality: a proposal

    PubMed

    Rattner

    1996-01-01

    This paper proposes a strategy for defining indicators to assess the quality of the process of health care, based on the identification of the objectives of the care being delivered and on the verification of whether the technical guidelines for the procedures are being enforced. The article goes on to apply the proposed methodology to the process of health care during childbirth, based on a perspective of comprehensive care and adopting both an individual and collective risk approach. It uses a data bank of 4,558 Simplified Perinatal Clinical Histories (CLAP/PAHO/WHO) from 12 hospitals.The indicators selected were: V.D.R.L., Rh blood typing, antitetanus vaccination, rate of cesarean sections, reception of the baby by a pediatrician at birth, Apgar score, evaluation of the gestational age by physical exam, rooming-in, exclusive breastfeeding upon discharge, and referral for a puerperal consultation. Methods for classification of hospitals were the sum of their scores for each indicator, gold standard, and ranking. This methodology warranted identification of one hospital with excellent quality of care, five with good care, two with fair care, and four whose performances were completely unsatisfactory. Finally, some remarks on the assessment of quality of health care are made and future developments are proposed.

  19. Assessing the Quality of Bioforensic Signatures

    SciTech Connect

    Sego, Landon H.; Holmes, Aimee E.; Gosink, Luke J.; Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Kreuzer, Helen W.; Anderson, Richard M.; Brothers, Alan J.; Corley, Courtney D.; Tardiff, Mark F.

    2013-06-04

    We present a mathematical framework for assessing the quality of signature systems in terms of fidelity, cost, risk, and utility—a method we refer to as Signature Quality Metrics (SQM). We demonstrate the SQM approach by assessing the quality of a signature system designed to predict the culture medium used to grow a microorganism. The system consists of four chemical assays designed to identify various ingredients that could be used to produce the culture medium. The analytical measurements resulting from any combination of these four assays can be used in a Bayesian network to predict the probabilities that the microorganism was grown using one of eleven culture media. We evaluated fifteen combinations of the signature system by removing one or more of the assays from the Bayes network. We demonstrated that SQM can be used to distinguish between the various combinations in terms of attributes of interest. The approach assisted in clearly identifying assays that were least informative, largely in part because they only could discriminate between very few culture media, and in particular, culture media that are rarely used. There are limitations associated with the data that were used to train and test the signature system. Consequently, our intent is not to draw formal conclusions regarding this particular bioforensic system, but rather to illustrate an analytical approach that could be useful in comparing one signature system to another.

  20. Using Automatic Item Generation to Meet the Increasing Item Demands of High-Stakes Educational and Occupational Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arendasy, Martin E.; Sommer, Markus

    2012-01-01

    The use of new test administration technologies such as computerized adaptive testing in high-stakes educational and occupational assessments demands large item pools. Classic item construction processes and previous approaches to automatic item generation faced the problems of a considerable loss of items after the item calibration phase. In this…

  1. Assessing the Effects of Automatically Delivered Stimulation on the Use of Simple Exercise Tools by Students with Multiple Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lancioni, Giulio E.; Singh, Nirbhay N.; O'Reilly, Mark F.; Oliva, Doretta; Campodonico, Francesca; Groeneweg, Jop

    2003-01-01

    This study assessed the effects of automatically delivered stimulation on the activity level and mood of three students with multiple disabilities during their use of a stepper and a stationary bicycle. Stimuli from a pool of favorite stimulus events were delivered electronically while students were actively exercising. Findings indicated the…

  2. Assessing the Effects of Automatically Delivered Stimulation on the Use of Simple Exercise Tools by Students with Multiple Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lancioni, Giulio E.; Singh, Nirbhay N.; O'Reilly, Mark F.; Oliva, Doretta; Campodonico, Francesca; Groeneweg, Jop

    2003-01-01

    This study assessed the effects of automatically delivered stimulation on the activity level and mood of three students with multiple disabilities during their use of a stepper and a stationary bicycle. Stimuli from a pool of favorite stimulus events were delivered electronically while students were actively exercising. Findings indicated the…

  3. Automatic Assessment of Acquisition and Transmission Losses in Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, D.; Purna Kumari, B.; Manju Sarma, M.; Aparna, N.; Gopal Krishna, B.

    2016-06-01

    The quality of Remote Sensing data is an important parameter that defines the extent of its usability in various applications. The data from Remote Sensing satellites is received as raw data frames at the ground station. This data may be corrupted with data losses due to interferences during data transmission, data acquisition and sensor anomalies. Thus it is important to assess the quality of the raw data before product generation for early anomaly detection, faster corrective actions and product rejection minimization. Manual screening of raw images is a time consuming process and not very accurate. In this paper, an automated process for identification and quantification of losses in raw data like pixel drop out, line loss and data loss due to sensor anomalies is discussed. Quality assessment of raw scenes based on these losses is also explained. This process is introduced in the data pre-processing stage and gives crucial data quality information to users at the time of browsing data for product ordering. It has also improved the product generation workflow by enabling faster and more accurate quality estimation.

  4. Automatic Rayleigh scattering mapping system for optical quality evaluation of test masses for gravity wave detectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Zewu; Zhao, Chunnong; Ju, Li; Gras, Slawomir; Baringa, Pablo; Blair, David G.

    2005-01-01

    This article describes an automatic Rayleigh scattering mapping system (ARSMS), which enables quantitative high-resolution three-dimensional mapping of inhomogeneities in optical materials. The ARSMS allows large high-grade test mass samples for gravitational wave detectors to be evaluated to ensure that an adequate low level of scattering is achieved. The ARSMS combines proprietary camera software with data analysis software and control software to achieve fully automatic operation with graphical user interfaces. This article presents the instrument concept and examples of the output. Device mapping in all degrees of freedom is shown to be better than 0.5mm, with scattering sensitivity better than 0.5ppm/cm. This system is able to scan and map the Rayleigh scattering of large samples in both of cylindrical and rectangular samples using cylindrical and Cartesian coordinates.

  5. On the dependence of information display quality requirements upon human characteristics and pilot/automatics relations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilckens, V.

    1972-01-01

    Present information display concepts for pilot landing guidance are outlined considering manual control as well as substitution of man by fully competent automatics. Display improvements are achieved by compressing the distributed indicators into an accumulative display and thus reducing information scanning. Complete integration of quantitative indications, outer loop information, and real world display in a pictorial information channel geometry constitutes an interface with human ability to differentiate and integrate for optimal manual control of the aircraft.

  6. Set up of an automatic water quality sampling system in irrigation agriculture.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Emanuel; Kraft, Philipp; Buchen, Caroline; Frede, Hans-Georg; Aquino, Eugenio; Breuer, Lutz

    2013-12-23

    We have developed a high-resolution automatic sampling system for continuous in situ measurements of stable water isotopic composition and nitrogen solutes along with hydrological information. The system facilitates concurrent monitoring of a large number of water and nutrient fluxes (ground, surface, irrigation and rain water) in irrigated agriculture. For this purpose we couple an automatic sampling system with a Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring Down Spectrometry System (WS-CRDS) for stable water isotope analysis (δ2H and δ18O), a reagentless hyperspectral UV photometer (ProPS) for monitoring nitrate content and various water level sensors for hydrometric information. The automatic sampling system consists of different sampling stations equipped with pumps, a switch cabinet for valve and pump control and a computer operating the system. The complete system is operated via internet-based control software, allowing supervision from nearly anywhere. The system is currently set up at the International Rice Research Institute (Los Baños, The Philippines) in a diversified rice growing system to continuously monitor water and nutrient fluxes. Here we present the system's technical set-up and provide initial proof-of-concept with results for the isotopic composition of different water sources and nitrate values from the 2012 dry season.

  7. Topological image texture analysis for quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asaad, Aras T.; Rashid, Rasber Dh.; Jassim, Sabah A.

    2017-05-01

    Image quality is a major factor influencing pattern recognition accuracy and help detect image tampering for forensics. We are concerned with investigating topological image texture analysis techniques to assess different type of degradation. We use Local Binary Pattern (LBP) as a texture feature descriptor. For any image construct simplicial complexes for selected groups of uniform LBP bins and calculate persistent homology invariants (e.g. number of connected components). We investigated image quality discriminating characteristics of these simplicial complexes by computing these models for a large dataset of face images that are affected by the presence of shadows as a result of variation in illumination conditions. Our tests demonstrate that for specific uniform LBP patterns, the number of connected component not only distinguish between different levels of shadow effects but also help detect the infected regions as well.

  8. Image quality assessment using contourlet transform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Mingna; Yang, Xin

    2009-10-01

    We present a novel objective full-reference image quality assessment metric based on multiscale geometric analysis. The multichannel behavior of the human vision system is emulated by contourlet transform, a perceptual subband decomposition. Not only the contrast-masking effect but also the entropy-masking effect is considered to deal with the visual masking issue. In the error pooling stage, the frequency sensitivity of the HVS is investigated. Nonlinear and linear fusion schemes of subband distortion are compared. Extensive validation experiments are performed on two professional image databases, the LIVE database supplied by the University of Texas and the A57 database supplied by Cornell University. Compared with several state-of-the-art image quality metrics, the proposed metric demonstrates improvement on prediction accuracy and robustness.

  9. Automatic coronary lumen segmentation with partial volume modeling improves lesions' hemodynamic significance assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freiman, M.; Lamash, Y.; Gilboa, G.; Nickisch, H.; Prevrhal, S.; Schmitt, H.; Vembar, M.; Goshen, L.

    2016-03-01

    The determination of hemodynamic significance of coronary artery lesions from cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) based on blood flow simulations has the potential to improve CCTA's specificity, thus resulting in improved clinical decision making. Accurate coronary lumen segmentation required for flow simulation is challenging due to several factors. Specifically, the partial-volume effect (PVE) in small-diameter lumina may result in overestimation of the lumen diameter that can lead to an erroneous hemodynamic significance assessment. In this work, we present a coronary artery segmentation algorithm tailored specifically for flow simulations by accounting for the PVE. Our algorithm detects lumen regions that may be subject to the PVE by analyzing the intensity values along the coronary centerline and integrates this information into a machine-learning based graph min-cut segmentation framework to obtain accurate coronary lumen segmentations. We demonstrate the improvement in hemodynamic significance assessment achieved by accounting for the PVE in the automatic segmentation of 91 coronary artery lesions from 85 patients. We compare hemodynamic significance assessments by means of fractional flow reserve (FFR) resulting from simulations on 3D models generated by our segmentation algorithm with and without accounting for the PVE. By accounting for the PVE we improved the area under the ROC curve for detecting hemodynamically significant CAD by 29% (N=91, 0.85 vs. 0.66, p<0.05, Delong's test) with invasive FFR threshold of 0.8 as the reference standard. Our algorithm has the potential to facilitate non-invasive hemodynamic significance assessment of coronary lesions.

  10. Registration Quality Assessment of Acupuncture Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Jing; Zhao, Ye; Wang, Xiaogang; Jiang, Jianjun; Tian, Jinhui; Yang, Kehu

    2013-01-01

    Background Registration can help with transparency of acupuncture clinical trials (ACTs) by making protocol information and results available to the public. Recently, the number of registered ACTs has increased greatly, but only a few researchers have focused on the quality of ACTs registration. This review provides the first assessment of the registration quality of ACTs and the baseline information for future development. Methods All records of ACTs registered in the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) were collected. Data was extracted and input to Excel spreadsheets. The current 20 items of the WHO Trial Registration Data Set (TRDS) and the special prepared items for acupuncture intervention details were used to assess the registration quality of ACTs. Results A total of 740 records, found in 11 registries, were examined. The number of registered ACTs increased rapidly and involved a number of different diseases. The completeness of 20 items was not too poor due to 16 of them had a higher reported percentage (>85%). The completeness of the 20 items was different among registries. For example, the average registration percentage of 20 items in Clinicaltrials.gov, ChiCTR, ISRCTN and ANZCTR were 89.6%, 92.2%, 82.4% and 91.6% respectively. Detailed information regarding acupuncture intervention was seriously insufficient. Among the 740 registration records, 89.2% lacked information on the style of acupuncture, 80.8% did not contain details regarding the needles used, 53.5% lacked information on the treatment regimen and 76.2% did not give details of other interventions administered with acupuncture. Conclusions The overall registration quality of ACTs is not high enough due to the serious lack of information on the specifics of acupuncture intervention. It is vital that a number of special items be set regarding acupuncture in order to develop a suitable system for the registration of ACTs. PMID:23555686

  11. No training blind image quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Ying; Mou, Xuanqin; Ji, Zhen

    2014-03-01

    State of the art blind image quality assessment (IQA) methods generally extract perceptual features from the training images, and send them into support vector machine (SVM) to learn the regression model, which could be used to further predict the quality scores of the testing images. However, these methods need complicated training and learning, and the evaluation results are sensitive to image contents and learning strategies. In this paper, two novel blind IQA metrics without training and learning are firstly proposed. The new methods extract perceptual features, i.e., the shape consistency of conditional histograms, from the joint histograms of neighboring divisive normalization transform coefficients of distorted images, and then compare the length attribute of the extracted features with that of the reference images and degraded images in the LIVE database. For the first method, a cluster center is found in the feature attribute space of the natural reference images, and the distance between the feature attribute of the distorted image and the cluster center is adopted as the quality label. The second method utilizes the feature attributes and subjective scores of all the images in the LIVE database to construct a dictionary, and the final quality score is calculated by interpolating the subjective scores of nearby words in the dictionary. Unlike the traditional SVM based blind IQA methods, the proposed metrics have explicit expressions, which reflect the relationships of the perceptual features and the image quality well. Experiment results in the publicly available databases such as LIVE, CSIQ and TID2008 had shown the effectiveness of the proposed methods, and the performances are fairly acceptable.

  12. Assessing Assessment Quality: Criteria for Quality Assurance in Design of (Peer) Assessment for Learning--A Review of Research Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillema, Harm; Leenknecht, Martijn; Segers, Mien

    2011-01-01

    The interest in "assessment for learning" (AfL) has resulted in a search for new modes of assessment that are better aligned to students' learning how to learn. However, with the introduction of new assessment tools, also questions arose with respect to the quality of its measurement. On the one hand, the appropriateness of traditional,…

  13. Assessing Assessment Quality: Criteria for Quality Assurance in Design of (Peer) Assessment for Learning--A Review of Research Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillema, Harm; Leenknecht, Martijn; Segers, Mien

    2011-01-01

    The interest in "assessment for learning" (AfL) has resulted in a search for new modes of assessment that are better aligned to students' learning how to learn. However, with the introduction of new assessment tools, also questions arose with respect to the quality of its measurement. On the one hand, the appropriateness of traditional,…

  14. Assessing Negative Automatic Thoughts: Psychometric Properties of the Turkish Version of the Cognition Checklist

    PubMed Central

    Batmaz, Sedat; Ahmet Yuncu, Ozgur; Kocbiyik, Sibel

    2015-01-01

    Background: Beck’s theory of emotional disorder suggests that negative automatic thoughts (NATs) and the underlying schemata affect one’s way of interpreting situations and result in maladaptive coping strategies. Depending on their content and meaning, NATs are associated with specific emotions, and since they are usually quite brief, patients are often more aware of the emotion they feel. This relationship between cognition and emotion, therefore, is thought to form the background of the cognitive content specificity hypothesis. Researchers focusing on this hypothesis have suggested that instruments like the cognition checklist (CCL) might be an alternative to make a diagnostic distinction between depression and anxiety. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to assess the psychometric properties of the Turkish version of the CCL in a psychiatric outpatient sample. Patients and Methods: A total of 425 psychiatric outpatients 18 years of age and older were recruited. After a structured diagnostic interview, the participants completed the hospital anxiety depression scale (HADS), the automatic thoughts questionnaire (ATQ), and the CCL. An exploratory factor analysis was performed, followed by an oblique rotation. The internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and concurrent and discriminant validity analyses were undertaken. Results: The internal consistency of the CCL was excellent (Cronbach’s α = 0.95). The test-retest correlation coefficients were satisfactory (r = 0.80, P < 0.001 for CCL-D, and r = 0.79, P < 0.001 for CCL-A). The exploratory factor analysis revealed that a two-factor solution best fit the data. This bidimensional factor structure explained 51.27 % of the variance of the scale. The first factor consisted of items related to anxious cognitions, and the second factor of depressive cognitions. The CCL subscales significantly correlated with the ATQ (rs 0.44 for the CCL-D, and 0.32 for the CCL-A) as well as the other measures of

  15. Blind Image Quality Assessment based on High Order Statistics Aggregation.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jingtao; Ye, Peng; Li, Qiaohong; Du, Haiqing; Liu, Yong; Doermann, David

    2016-06-28

    Blind image quality assessment (BIQA) research aims to develop a perceptual model to evaluate the quality of distorted images automatically and accurately without access to the non-distorted reference images. State-of-the-art general purpose BIQA methods can be classified into two categories according to the types of features used. The first includes handcrafted features which rely on the statistical regularities of natural images. These, however, are not suitable for images containing text and artificial graphics. The second includes learning based features which invariably require large codebook or supervised codebook updating procedures to obtain satisfactory performance. These are time consuming and not applicable in practice. In this paper, we propose a novel general purpose BIQA method based on High Order Statistics Aggregation (HOSA), requiring only a small codebook. HOSA consists of three steps. First, local normalized image patches are extracted as local features through a regular grid and a codebook containing 100 codewords is constructed by K-means clustering. In addition to the mean of each cluster, the diagonal covariance and coskewness (i.e., dimension wise variance and skewness) of clusters are also calculated. Second, each local feature is softly assigned to several nearest clusters and the differences of high order statistics (mean, variance and skewness) between local features and corresponding clusters are softly aggregated to build the global quality aware image representation. Finally, support vector regression (SVR) is adopted to learn the mapping between perceptual features and subjective opinion scores. The proposed method has been extensively evaluated on ten image databases with both simulated and realistic image distortions, and shows highly competitive performance to state-of-the-art BIQA methods.

  16. Effects of automatic tube potential selection on radiation dose index, image quality, and lesion detectability in pediatric abdominopelvic CT and CTA: a phantom study.

    PubMed

    Brinkley, Michael F; Ramirez-Giraldo, Juan C; Samei, Ehsan; Frush, Daniel J; Choudhury, Kingshuk Roy; Wilson, Joshua M; Christianson, Olav I; Frush, Donald P

    2016-01-01

    To assess the effect of automatic tube potential selection (ATPS) on radiation dose, image quality, and lesion detectability in paediatric abdominopelvic CT and CT angiography (CTA). A paediatric modular phantom with contrast inserts was examined with routine pitch (1.4) and high pitch (3.0) using a standard abdominopelvic protocol with fixed 120 kVp, and ATPS with variable kVp in non-contrast, contrast-enhanced, and CTA mode. The volume CT dose index (CTDIvol), contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) and lesion detectability index (d') were compared between the standard protocol and ATPS examinations. CTDIvol was reduced in all routine pitch ATPS examinations, with dose reductions of 27-52 % in CTA mode (P < 0.0001), 15-33 % in contrast-enhanced mode (P = 0.0003) and 8-14 % in non-contrast mode (P = 0.03). Iodine and soft tissue insert CNR and d' were improved or maintained in all ATPS examinations. kVp and dose were reduced in 25 % of high pitch ATPS examinations and in none of the full phantom examinations obtained after a single full phantom localizer. ATPS reduces radiation dose while maintaining image quality and lesion detectability in routine pitch paediatric abdominopelvic CT and CTA, but technical factors such as pitch and imaging range must be considered to optimize ATPS benefits. ATPS automatically individualizes CT scan technique for each patient. ATPS lowers radiation dose in routine pitch pediatric abdominopelvic CT and CTA. There is no loss of image quality or lesion detectability with ATPS. Pitch and scan range impact the effectiveness of ATPS dose reduction.

  17. Peer Review and Quality Assessment in Complete Denture Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Novetsky, Marvin; Razzoog, Michael E.

    1981-01-01

    A program in peer review and quality assessment at the University of Michigan denture department is described. The program exposes students to peer review in order to assess the quality of their treatment. (Author/MLW)

  18. Assessing quality on the Sigma scale from proficiency testing and external quality assessment surveys.

    PubMed

    Westgard, James O; Westgard, Sten A

    2015-09-01

    There is a need to assess the quality being achieved for laboratory examinations that are being utilized to support evidence-based clinical guidelines. Application of Six Sigma concepts and metrics can provide an objective assessment of the current analytical quality of different examination procedures. A "Sigma Proficiency Assessment Chart" can be constructed for data obtained from proficiency testing and external quality assessment surveys to evaluate the observed imprecision and bias of method subgroups and determine quality on the Sigma scale. Data for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) from a 2014 survey by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) demonstrates that approximately two-thirds of the examination subgroups provide only two-Sigma quality when evaluated against the CAP requirement of an allowable total error of 6.0%. The weighted averages were 1.46 Sigma for a survey sample with an assigned value of 6.49% Hb (average bias 2.31%, CV 2.87%), 1.45 Sigma at 6.97% Hb (average bias 2.29%, CV 2.81%), and 1.75 at 9.65% Hb (average bias 1.55%, CV 2.71%). Maximum biases for examination subgroups were 5.7%, 5.8%, and 4.1%, respectively. Assessment of quality on the Sigma scale provides evidence of the analytical performance that is being achieved relative to requirements for intended use and should be useful for identifying and prioritizing improvements that are needed in the analytical quality of laboratory examinations. In spite of global and national standardization programs, bias is still a critical limitation of current HbA1c examination procedures.

  19. Using Psychometric Technology in Educational Assessment: The Case of a Schema-Based Isomorphic Approach to the Automatic Generation of Quantitative Reasoning Items

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arendasy, Martin; Sommer, Markus

    2007-01-01

    This article deals with the investigation of the psychometric quality and constructs validity of algebra word problems generated by means of a schema-based version of the automatic min-max approach. Based on review of the research literature in algebra word problem solving and automatic item generation this new approach is introduced as a…

  20. Blind image quality assessment via deep learning.

    PubMed

    Hou, Weilong; Gao, Xinbo; Tao, Dacheng; Li, Xuelong

    2015-06-01

    This paper investigates how to blindly evaluate the visual quality of an image by learning rules from linguistic descriptions. Extensive psychological evidence shows that humans prefer to conduct evaluations qualitatively rather than numerically. The qualitative evaluations are then converted into the numerical scores to fairly benchmark objective image quality assessment (IQA) metrics. Recently, lots of learning-based IQA models are proposed by analyzing the mapping from the images to numerical ratings. However, the learnt mapping can hardly be accurate enough because some information has been lost in such an irreversible conversion from the linguistic descriptions to numerical scores. In this paper, we propose a blind IQA model, which learns qualitative evaluations directly and outputs numerical scores for general utilization and fair comparison. Images are represented by natural scene statistics features. A discriminative deep model is trained to classify the features into five grades, corresponding to five explicit mental concepts, i.e., excellent, good, fair, poor, and bad. A newly designed quality pooling is then applied to convert the qualitative labels into scores. The classification framework is not only much more natural than the regression-based models, but also robust to the small sample size problem. Thorough experiments are conducted on popular databases to verify the model's effectiveness, efficiency, and robustness.

  1. Model Observers for Assessment of Image Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Harrison H.; Yao, Jie; Rolland, Jannick P.; Myers, Kyle J.

    1993-11-01

    Image quality can be defined objectively in terms of the performance of some "observer" (either a human or a mathematical model) for some task of practical interest. If the end user of the image will be a human, model observers are used to predict the task performance of the human, as measured by psychophysical studies, and hence to serve as the basis for optimization of image quality. In this paper, we consider the task of detection of a weak signal in a noisy image. The mathematical observers considered include the ideal Bayesian, the nonprewhitening matched filter, a model based on lineardiscriminant analysis and referred to as the Hotelling observer, and the Hotelling and Bayesian observers modified to account for the spatial-frequency-selective channels in the human visual system. The theory behind these observer models is briefly reviewed, and several psychophysical studies relating to the choice among them are summarized. Only the Hotelling model with channels is mathematically tractable in all cases considered here and capable of accounting for all of these data. This model requires no adjustment of parameters to fit the data and is relatively insensitive to the details of the channel mechanism. We therefore suggest it as a useful model observer for the purpose of assessing and optimizing image quality with respect to simple detection tasks.

  2. Content-aware objective video quality assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz-Jaramillo, Benhur; Niño-Castañeda, Jorge; Platiša, Ljiljana; Philips, Wilfried

    2016-01-01

    Since the end-user of video-based systems is often a human observer, prediction of user-perceived video quality (PVQ) is an important task for increasing the user satisfaction. Despite the large variety of objective video quality measures (VQMs), their lack of generalizability remains a problem. This is mainly due to the strong dependency between PVQ and video content. Although this problem is well known, few existing VQMs directly account for the influence of video content on PVQ. Recently, we proposed a method to predict PVQ by introducing relevant video content features in the computation of video distortion measures. The method is based on analyzing the level of spatiotemporal activity in the video and using those as parameters of the anthropomorphic video distortion models. We focus on the experimental evaluation of the proposed methodology based on a total of five public databases, four different objective VQMs, and 105 content related indexes. Additionally, relying on the proposed method, we introduce an approach for selecting the levels of video distortions for the purpose of subjective quality assessment studies. Our results suggest that when adequately combined with content related indexes, even very simple distortion measures (e.g., peak signal to noise ratio) are able to achieve high performance, i.e., high correlation between the VQM and the PVQ. In particular, we have found that by incorporating video content features, it is possible to increase the performance of the VQM by up to 20% relative to its noncontent-aware baseline.

  3. Quality Assessment Dimensions of Distance Teaching/Learning Curriculum Designing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Volungeviciene, Airina; Tereseviciene, Margarita

    2008-01-01

    The paper presents scientific literature analysis in the area of distance teaching/learning curriculum designing and quality assessment. The aim of the paper is to identify quality assessment dimensions of distance teaching/learning curriculum designing. The authors of the paper agree that quality assessment should be considered during the…

  4. 42 CFR 493.1299 - Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment... Nonwaived Testing Postanalytic Systems § 493.1299 Standard: Postanalytic systems quality assessment. (a) The....1291. (b) The postanalytic systems quality assessment must include a review of the effectiveness of...

  5. 42 CFR 493.1289 - Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. 493... Nonwaived Testing Analytic Systems § 493.1289 Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. (a) The... through 493.1283. (b) The analytic systems quality assessment must include a review of the effectiveness...

  6. 42 CFR 493.1249 - Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment... Nonwaived Testing Preanalytic Systems § 493.1249 Standard: Preanalytic systems quality assessment. (a) The....1241 through 493.1242. (b) The preanalytic systems quality assessment must include a review of the...

  7. Institutional Quality Assessment of Higher Education: Dimensions, Criteria and Indicators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savickiene, Izabela; Pukelis, Kestutis

    2004-01-01

    The article discusses dimensions and criteria, which are used to assess the quality of higher education in different countries. The paper presents dimensions and criteria that could be appropriate for assessment of the quality of higher education at Lithuanian universities. Quality dimensions, assessment criteria and indicators are defined and…

  8. Automatic retinal interest evaluation system (ARIES).

    PubMed

    Yin, Fengshou; Wong, Damon Wing Kee; Yow, Ai Ping; Lee, Beng Hai; Quan, Ying; Zhang, Zhuo; Gopalakrishnan, Kavitha; Li, Ruoying; Liu, Jiang

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the use of automatic computer-based systems for the detection of eye diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. However, in practice, retinal image quality is a big concern as automatic systems without consideration of degraded image quality will likely generate unreliable results. In this paper, an automatic retinal image quality assessment system (ARIES) is introduced to assess both image quality of the whole image and focal regions of interest. ARIES achieves 99.54% accuracy in distinguishing fundus images from other types of images through a retinal image identification step in a dataset of 35342 images. The system employs high level image quality measures (HIQM) to perform image quality assessment, and achieves areas under curve (AUCs) of 0.958 and 0.987 for whole image and optic disk region respectively in a testing dataset of 370 images. ARIES acts as a form of automatic quality control which ensures good quality images are used for processing, and can also be used to alert operators of poor quality images at the time of acquisition.

  9. Automatic roof plane detection and analysis in airborne lidar point clouds for solar potential assessment.

    PubMed

    Jochem, Andreas; Höfle, Bernhard; Rutzinger, Martin; Pfeifer, Norbert

    2009-01-01

    A relative height threshold is defined to separate potential roof points from the point cloud, followed by a segmentation of these points into homogeneous areas fulfilling the defined constraints of roof planes. The normal vector of each laser point is an excellent feature to decompose the point cloud into segments describing planar patches. An object-based error assessment is performed to determine the accuracy of the presented classification. It results in 94.4% completeness and 88.4% correctness. Once all roof planes are detected in the 3D point cloud, solar potential analysis is performed for each point. Shadowing effects of nearby objects are taken into account by calculating the horizon of each point within the point cloud. Effects of cloud cover are also considered by using data from a nearby meteorological station. As a result the annual sum of the direct and diffuse radiation for each roof plane is derived. The presented method uses the full 3D information for both feature extraction and solar potential analysis, which offers a number of new applications in fields where natural processes are influenced by the incoming solar radiation (e.g., evapotranspiration, distribution of permafrost). The presented method detected fully automatically a subset of 809 out of 1,071 roof planes where the arithmetic mean of the annual incoming solar radiation is more than 700 kWh/m(2).

  10. Automatic Roof Plane Detection and Analysis in Airborne Lidar Point Clouds for Solar Potential Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Jochem, Andreas; Höfle, Bernhard; Rutzinger, Martin; Pfeifer, Norbert

    2009-01-01

    A relative height threshold is defined to separate potential roof points from the point cloud, followed by a segmentation of these points into homogeneous areas fulfilling the defined constraints of roof planes. The normal vector of each laser point is an excellent feature to decompose the point cloud into segments describing planar patches. An object-based error assessment is performed to determine the accuracy of the presented classification. It results in 94.4% completeness and 88.4% correctness. Once all roof planes are detected in the 3D point cloud, solar potential analysis is performed for each point. Shadowing effects of nearby objects are taken into account by calculating the horizon of each point within the point cloud. Effects of cloud cover are also considered by using data from a nearby meteorological station. As a result the annual sum of the direct and diffuse radiation for each roof plane is derived. The presented method uses the full 3D information for both feature extraction and solar potential analysis, which offers a number of new applications in fields where natural processes are influenced by the incoming solar radiation (e.g., evapotranspiration, distribution of permafrost). The presented method detected fully automatically a subset of 809 out of 1,071 roof planes where the arithmetic mean of the annual incoming solar radiation is more than 700 kWh/m2. PMID:22346695

  11. Improving Automatic English Writing Assessment Using Regression Trees and Error-Weighting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Kong-Joo; Kim, Jee-Eun

    The proposed automated scoring system for English writing tests provides an assessment result including a score and diagnostic feedback to test-takers without human's efforts. The system analyzes an input sentence and detects errors related to spelling, syntax and content similarity. The scoring model has adopted one of the statistical approaches, a regression tree. A scoring model in general calculates a score based on the count and the types of automatically detected errors. Accordingly, a system with higher accuracy in detecting errors raises the accuracy in scoring a test. The accuracy of the system, however, cannot be fully guaranteed for several reasons, such as parsing failure, incompleteness of knowledge bases, and ambiguous nature of natural language. In this paper, we introduce an error-weighting technique, which is similar to term-weighting widely used in information retrieval. The error-weighting technique is applied to judge reliability of the errors detected by the system. The score calculated with the technique is proven to be more accurate than the score without it.

  12. Automatic Evaluation of Voice Quality Using Text-Based Laryngograph Measurements and Prosodic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Haderlein, Tino; Schwemmle, Cornelia; Döllinger, Michael; Matoušek, Václav; Ptok, Martin; Nöth, Elmar

    2015-01-01

    Due to low intra- and interrater reliability, perceptual voice evaluation should be supported by objective, automatic methods. In this study, text-based, computer-aided prosodic analysis and measurements of connected speech were combined in order to model perceptual evaluation of the German Roughness-Breathiness-Hoarseness (RBH) scheme. 58 connected speech samples (43 women and 15 men; 48.7 ± 17.8 years) containing the German version of the text “The North Wind and the Sun” were evaluated perceptually by 19 speech and voice therapy students according to the RBH scale. For the human-machine correlation, Support Vector Regression with measurements of the vocal fold cycle irregularities (CFx) and the closed phases of vocal fold vibration (CQx) of the Laryngograph and 33 features from a prosodic analysis module were used to model the listeners' ratings. The best human-machine results for roughness were obtained from a combination of six prosodic features and CFx (r = 0.71, ρ = 0.57). These correlations were approximately the same as the interrater agreement among human raters (r = 0.65, ρ = 0.61). CQx was one of the substantial features of the hoarseness model. For hoarseness and breathiness, the human-machine agreement was substantially lower. Nevertheless, the automatic analysis method can serve as the basis for a meaningful objective support for perceptual analysis. PMID:26136813

  13. Atherosclerotic plaque ultrasound video encoding, wireless transmission, and quality assessment using H.264.

    PubMed

    Panayides, A; Pattichis, M S; Pattichis, Constantinos S; Loizou, C P; Pantziaris, M; Pitsillides, Andreas

    2011-05-01

    We propose a unifying framework for efficient encoding, transmission, and quality assessment of atherosclerotic plaque ultrasound video. The approach is based on a spatially varying encoding scheme, where video-slice quantization parameters are varied as a function of diagnostic significance. Video slices are automatically set based on a segmentation algorithm. They are then encoded using a modified version of H.264/AVC flexible macroblock ordering (FMO) technique that allows variable quality slice encoding and redundant slices (RSs) for resilience over error-prone transmission channels. We evaluate our scheme on a representative collection of ten ultrasound videos of the carotid artery for packet loss rates up to 30%. Extensive simulations incorporating three FMO encoding methods, different quantization parameters, and different packet loss scenarios are investigated. Quality assessment is based on a new clinical rating system that provides independent evaluations of the different parts of the video (subjective). We also use objective video-quality assessment metrics and estimate their correlation to the clinical quality assessment of plaque type. We find that some objective quality assessment measures computed over the plaque video slices gave very good correlations to mean opinion scores (MOSs). Here, MOSs were computed using two medical experts. Experimental results show that the proposed method achieves enhanced performance in noisy environments, while at the same time achieving significant bandwidth demands reductions, providing transmission over 3G (and beyond) wireless networks.

  14. Sediment quality and aquatic life assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, W.J. ); Kimerle, R.A.; Barnettt, J.W. Jr. )

    1992-10-01

    The protection of aquatic resources has assumed national and global prominence. Oil spills, medical wastes, and plastic debris presence on beaches, ocean incineration, ocean disposal of garbage and dredged materials, pesticide and fertilizer runoff, contaminated harbors, and diminishing fisheries have focused public attention on the need to adequately protect marine and freshwater resources-including sediments. Sediments are repositories for physical debris and [open quotes]sinks[close quotes] for a wide variety of chemicals. The concern associated with the chemicals sorbed to sediments is that many commercial species and food chain organisms spend a major portion of their life-cycle living in or on aquatic sediments. This provides a pathway for these chemicals to be consumed by higher aquatic life and wildlife, including avian species as well as humans. Direct transfer of chemicals from sediments to organisms is now considered to be a major route of exposure for many species. Concern has increased over the number of incidences of tumors being observed in many species of fish, especially those that have direct contact with sediments. These issues are focusing attention on sediment contamination and highlight the fact that sediments are an important resource. The purposes of this article are to provide background information on the status of sediment assessment in the United States, a review of the existing methods available for assessing sediment quality, an analysis of the complexity and uncertainty of the sediment assessment methodologies, and a proposed approach that utilizes the unique attributes of many of these methods in a tiered sediment assessment strategy. The authors hope that this sediment assessment strategy will help provide a mechanism for achieving cleaner sediments and wate rin the nation's aquatic ecosystems.

  15. Automatic assessment of a rollator-user's condition during rehabilitation using the i-Walker platform.

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Joaquin; Urdiales, Cristina; Martinez, Antonio B; Tirado Reyes, Marina

    2017-04-25

    Patient condition during rehabilitation has been traditionally assessed using clinical scales. These scales typically require the patient and/or the clinician to rate a number of condition related items to obtain a final score. This is a timeconsuming task, specially if a large number of patients is involved. Furthermore, during rehabilitation, user condition is expected to change steadily in time, so assessment may require to run these scales several times to each user. To save time, much effort has been focused on developing clinical scales that require little time to be completed. This is usually achieved by measuring a reduced set of features i.e focusing the scales on specific features of a defined target population (Parkinson's disease, Stroke, etc.). However, these scales still require the therapist's intervention and may be tiresome for patients who have to fill them repeatedly. This paper proposes a novel approach to automatically obtain balance scales from the onboard sensors of a robotic rollator. These sensors are used to extract spatiotemporal gait parameters from patients using the rollator for support. These parameters are derived from the user forces on the rollator handles and its odometry. Resulting parameters are used to predict the Tinetti Mobility clinical scale on the fly, without therapist intervention. Our approach has been validated with nineteen rollator volunteers with a variety of physical and neurological disabilities at Hospital Civil (Malaga) and Fondazione Santa Lucia (Rome). Clinicians provided traditionally obtained Tinetti scores and the proposed system was used to estimate them on the fly. Results show a small root mean squared prediction error. This method can be used for any rollator-user anywhere in everyday walking conditions to obtain the Tinetti scores as often as desired and, hence evaluate their progress.

  16. Quality Assessment of Landsat Surface Reflectance Products Using MODIS Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feng, Min; Huang, Chengquan; Channan, Saurabh; Vermote, Eric; Masek, Jeffrey G.; Townshend, John R.

    2012-01-01

    Surface reflectance adjusted for atmospheric effects is a primary input for land cover change detection and for developing many higher level surface geophysical parameters. With the development of automated atmospheric correction algorithms, it is now feasible to produce large quantities of surface reflectance products using Landsat images. Validation of these products requires in situ measurements, which either do not exist or are difficult to obtain for most Landsat images. The surface reflectance products derived using data acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), however, have been validated more comprehensively. Because the MODIS on the Terra platform and the Landsat 7 are only half an hour apart following the same orbit, and each of the 6 Landsat spectral bands overlaps with a MODIS band, good agreements between MODIS and Landsat surface reflectance values can be considered indicators of the reliability of the Landsat products, while disagreements may suggest potential quality problems that need to be further investigated. Here we develop a system called Landsat-MODIS Consistency Checking System (LMCCS). This system automatically matches Landsat data with MODIS observations acquired on the same date over the same locations and uses them to calculate a set of agreement metrics. To maximize its portability, Java and open-source libraries were used in developing this system, and object-oriented programming (OOP) principles were followed to make it more flexible for future expansion. As a highly automated system designed to run as a stand-alone package or as a component of other Landsat data processing systems, this system can be used to assess the quality of essentially every Landsat surface reflectance image where spatially and temporally matching MODIS data are available. The effectiveness of this system was demonstrated using it to assess preliminary surface reflectance products derived using the Global Land Survey (GLS) Landsat

  17. Assessing quality of life in paediatric clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Morrow, Angela M; Quine, Susan; Heaton, Maria D; Craig, Jonathan C

    2010-06-01

    The rising prevalence of children with chronic conditions has made quality of life an increasingly important outcome measure in paediatric practice. The discrepancy between doctors' and patients' perceptions of quality of life makes formal assessment necessary. In this paper we use a case scenario to answer commonly asked questions. What is quality of life and who can assess it? Why assess quality of life in the clinical setting? Is it feasible to measure in routine clinical practice? How is quality of life formally assessed? We provide a basic outline of the language and methods of quality of life assessment and use the case scenario to discuss the process of choosing an appropriate instrument. We conclude that quality of life assessment in clinical practice is feasible and provides benefits for both patients and doctors. The benefits include better informed doctors, improved patient doctor communication and a means to effectively monitor quality of life as a treatment outcome.

  18. 2003 SNL ASCI applications software quality engineering assessment report.

    SciTech Connect

    Schofield, Joseph Richard, Jr.; Ellis, Molly A.; Williamson, Charles Michael; Bonano, Lora A.

    2004-02-01

    This document describes the 2003 SNL ASCI Software Quality Engineering (SQE) assessment of twenty ASCI application code teams and the results of that assessment. The purpose of this assessment was to determine code team compliance with the Sandia National Laboratories ASCI Applications Software Quality Engineering Practices, Version 2.0 as part of an overall program assessment.

  19. Assessment Quality and Practices in Secondary PE in the Netherlands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borghouts, Lars B.; Slingerland, Menno; Haerens, Leen

    2017-01-01

    Background: Assessment can have various functions, and is an important impetus for student learning. For assessment to be effective, it should be aligned with curriculum goals and of sufficient quality. Although it has been suggested that assessment quality in physical education (PE) is suboptimal, research into actual assessment practices has…

  20. Quality assessment of clinical computed tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berndt, Dorothea; Luckow, Marlen; Lambrecht, J. Thomas; Beckmann, Felix; Müller, Bert

    2008-08-01

    Three-dimensional images are vital for the diagnosis in dentistry and cranio-maxillofacial surgery. Artifacts caused by highly absorbing components such as metallic implants, however, limit the value of the tomograms. The dominant artifacts observed are blowout and streaks. Investigating the artifacts generated by metallic implants in a pig jaw, the data acquisition for the patients in dentistry should be optimized in a quantitative manner. A freshly explanted pig jaw including related soft-tissues served as a model system. Images were recorded varying the accelerating voltage and the beam current. The comparison with multi-slice and micro computed tomography (CT) helps to validate the approach with the dental CT system (3D-Accuitomo, Morita, Japan). The data are rigidly registered to comparatively quantify their quality. The micro CT data provide a reasonable standard for quantitative data assessment of clinical CT.

  1. WE-G-217A-05: Automatic Method for RF Coil Assessment in Clinical MRI: A Three-Dimensional Approach.

    PubMed

    Peng, Q

    2012-06-01

    MRI RF coil assessment is usually evaluated with region-of-interest (ROI) analysis from a single 2D phantom image. This simple approach has worked well for large volume coils or phased-array coil with large receivers, but not the high density phased-array coils characterized by 3D array arrangement of their multiple receivers. This abstract proposes a novel approach for quantitative coil assessment based on 3D imaging and 3D ROI analysis. To characterize all receivers of the coil of interest, a large uniform phantom (preferably a corresponding anthropometric phantom) and a large 3D geometric coverage fully includes the coil sensitivity volume was applied during MR imaging. After imaging, data from all receivers were used to reconstruct a composite 3D image, and to reconstruct 3D images from each individual receiver, leading to a total of N+1 3D image datasets (where N is the number of coil channels). IDL programs were developed to automatically perform ROI analysis on the composite image and on the individual receiver images. Instead of choosing one single 2D slice out of each 3D dataset, the whole 3D dataset was treated as a 3D image, and 3D ROIs were automatically generated for coil assessment. This 3D coil evaluation approach could be applied to all clinical coils including quadrature body/head coils, and phased-array coils with 2 to 32 channels. 3D sensitivity map could be generated to check receiver function visually. 3D mean SNR, max SNR, and uniformity could be obtained from composite and individual channel 3D images fully automatically. Coil/receiver performance assessment was very fast and straightforward, regardless of the number of receivers of the coil. 3D imaging in combination with 3D automatic ROI analysis is a fast, convenient, and less subjective approach for quantitative coil assessment, particularly for high density phased-array coils. © 2012 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

  2. Quality assessment of saliva bank samples.

    PubMed

    Janardhanam, Srihari B; Zunt, Susan L; Srinivasan, Mythily

    2012-06-01

    Biospecimens, such as urine, blood, saliva, tissue, cells, DNA, RNA, and protein, are biological material to be stored in a biorepository. They constitute critical resources of molecular data for basic and translational research integrated with diagnostic, therapeutics, and prevention of human diseases. The reliability of the molecular data is dependent on the quality and the consistency of the biospecimen being analyzed. The potential of human saliva as a valuable diagnostic fluid for oral and systemic conditions is being increasingly recognized. The aim of this study is to determine the molecular quality of unstimulated whole saliva (UWS) samples stored over a period of 1 to 5 years. UWS samples collected between 2006 and 2010 (20/year) and stored at -80°C were assessed for molecular integrity. The study was approved by the institutional review board of the Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis. Qualitative and quantitative measurements of salivary proteins were determined by gel electrophoresis and spectrophotometry. The salivary nucleic acid content was determined by the Nanodrop method and genetic analysis. The nature of the cellular sediment in the UWS was determined by amplification of specific gene. No significant differences were observed in the amount of proteins, nucleic acid, or in the number of viable cells in the UWS samples stored for 1 to 5 years. Archived UWS samples could function as excellent biospecimen resources for measurement of protein, DNA, and RNA analytes, and act as an efficient source for human epithelial cells.

  3. Set Up of an Automatic Water Quality Sampling System in Irrigation Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinz, Emanuel; Kraft, Philipp; Buchen, Caroline; Frede, Hans-Georg; Aquino, Eugenio; Breuer, Lutz

    2014-05-01

    Climate change has already a large impact on the availability of water resources. Many regions in South-East Asia are assumed to receive less water in the future, dramatically impacting the production of the most important staple food: rice (Oryza sativa L.). Rice is the primary food source for nearly half of the World's population, and is the only cereal that can grow under wetland conditions. Especially anaerobic (flooded) rice fields require high amounts of water but also have higher yields than aerobic produced rice. In the past different methods were developed to reduce the water use in rice paddies, like alternative wetting and drying or the use of mixed cropping systems with aerobic (non-flooded) rice and alternative crops such as maize. A more detailed understanding of water and nutrient cycling in rice-based cropping systems is needed to reduce water use, and requires the investigation of hydrological and biochemical processes as well as transport dynamics at the field scale. New developments in analytical devices permit monitoring parameters at high temporal resolutions and at acceptable costs without much necessary maintenance or analysis over longer periods. Here we present a new type of automatic sampling set-up that facilitates in situ analysis of hydrometric information, stable water isotopes and nitrate concentrations in spatially differentiated agricultural fields. The system facilitates concurrent monitoring of a large number of water and nutrient fluxes (ground, surface, irrigation and rain water) in irrigated agriculture. For this purpose we couple an automatic sampling system with a Wavelength-Scanned Cavity Ring Down Spectrometry System (WS-CRDS) for stable water isotope analysis (δ2H and δ18O), a reagentless hyperspectral UV photometer for monitoring nitrate content and various water level sensors for hydrometric information. The whole system is maintained with special developed software for remote control of the system via internet. We

  4. Quality assessment of digital annotated ECG data from clinical trials by the FDA ECG Warehouse.

    PubMed

    Sarapa, Nenad

    2007-09-01

    The FDA mandates that digital electrocardiograms (ECGs) from 'thorough' QTc trials be submitted into the ECG Warehouse in Health Level 7 extended markup language format with annotated onset and offset points of waveforms. The FDA did not disclose the exact Warehouse metrics and minimal acceptable quality standards. The author describes the Warehouse scoring algorithms and metrics used by FDA, points out ways to improve FDA review and suggests Warehouse benefits for pharmaceutical sponsors. The Warehouse ranks individual ECGs according to their score for each quality metric and produces histogram distributions with Warehouse-specific thresholds that identify ECGs of questionable quality. Automatic Warehouse algorithms assess the quality of QT annotation and duration of manual QT measurement by the central ECG laboratory.

  5. Groundwater quality data from the National Water-Quality Assessment Project, May 2012 through December 2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arnold, Terri L.; DeSimone, Leslie A.; Bexfield, Laura M.; Lindsey, Bruce D.; Barlow, Jeannie R.; Kulongoski, Justin T.; Musgrove, Marylynn; Kingsbury, James A.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2016-06-20

    Groundwater-quality data were collected from 748 wells as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Project of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Program from May 2012 through December 2013. The data were collected from four types of well networks: principal aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for public water supply; land-use study networks, which assess land-use effects on shallow groundwater quality; major aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for domestic supply; and enhanced trends networks, which evaluate the time scales during which groundwater quality changes. Groundwater samples were analyzed for a large number of water-quality indicators and constituents, including major ions, nutrients, trace elements, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and radionuclides. These groundwater quality data are tabulated in this report. Quality-control samples also were collected; data from blank and replicate quality-control samples are included in this report.

  6. Semi-automatic assessment of pediatric hydronephrosis severity in 3D ultrasound

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerrolaza, Juan J.; Otero, Hansel; Yao, Peter; Biggs, Elijah; Mansoor, Awais; Ardon, Roberto; Jago, James; Peters, Craig A.; Linguraru, Marius George

    2016-03-01

    Hydronephrosis is the most common abnormal finding in pediatric urology. Thanks to its non-ionizing nature, ultrasound (US) imaging is the preferred diagnostic modality for the evaluation of the kidney and the urinary track. However, due to the lack of correlation of US with renal function, further invasive and/or ionizing studies might be required (e.g., diuretic renograms). This paper presents a computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) tool for the accurate and objective assessment of pediatric hydronephrosis based on morphological analysis of kidney from 3DUS scans. The integration of specific segmentation tools in the system, allows to delineate the relevant renal structures from 3DUS scans of the patients with minimal user interaction, and the automatic computation of 90 anatomical features. Using the washout half time (T1/2) as indicative of renal obstruction, an optimal subset of predictive features is selected to differentiate, with maximum sensitivity, those severe cases where further attention is required (e.g., in the form of diuretic renograms), from the noncritical ones. The performance of this new 3DUS-based CAD system is studied for two clinically relevant T1/2 thresholds, 20 and 30 min. Using a dataset of 20 hydronephrotic cases, pilot experiments show how the system outperforms previous 2D implementations by successfully identifying all the critical cases (100% of sensitivity), and detecting up to 100% (T1/2 = 20 min) and 67% (T1/2 = 30 min) of non-critical ones for T1/2 thresholds of 20 and 30 min, respectively.

  7. MRI in assessing children with learning disability, focal findings, and reduced automaticity.

    PubMed

    Urion, David K; Huff, Hanalise V; Carullo, Maria Paulina

    2015-08-18

    In children with clinically diagnosed learning disabilities with focal findings on neurologic or neuropsychological evaluations, there is a hypothesized association between disorders in automaticity and focal structural abnormalities observed in brain MRIs. We undertook a retrospective analysis of cases referred to a tertiary-hospital-based learning disabilities program. Individuals were coded as having a focal deficit if either neurologic or neuropsychological evaluation demonstrated focal dysfunction. Those with abnormal MRI findings were categorized based on findings. Children with abnormalities from each of these categories were compared in terms of deficits in automaticity, as measured by the tasks of Rapid Automatized Naming, Rapid Alternating Stimulus Naming, or the timed motor performance battery from the Physical and Neurological Examination for Soft Signs. Data were compared in children with and without disorders of automaticity regarding type of brain structure abnormality. Of the 1,587 children evaluated, 127 had a focal deficit. Eighty-seven had a brain MRI (52 on 1.5-tesla machines and 35 on 3.0-tesla machines). Forty of these images were found to be abnormal. These children were compared with a clinic sample of 150 patients with learning disabilities and no focal findings on examination, who also had undergone MRI. Only 5 of the latter group had abnormalities on MRI. Reduced verbal automaticity was associated with cerebellar abnormalities, whereas reduced automaticity on motor or motor and verbal tasks was associated with white matter abnormalities. Reduced automaticity of retrieval and slow timed motor performance appear to be highly associated with MRI findings. © 2015 American Academy of Neurology.

  8. Dose and Image Quality in Low-dose CT for Urinary Stone Disease: Added Value of Automatic Tube Current Modulation and Iterative Reconstruction Techniques.

    PubMed

    Soenen, Olivier; Balliauw, Christophe; Oyen, Raymond; Zanca, Federica

    2016-05-31

    The aim of this study was to compare dose and image quality (IQ) of a baseline low-dose computed tomography (CT) (fix mAs) vs. an ultra-low-dose CT (automatic tube current modulation, ATCM) in patients with suspected urinary stone disease and to assess the added value of iterative reconstruction. CT examination was performed on 193 patients (103 baseline low-dose, 90 ultra-low-dose). Filtered back projection (FBP) was used for both protocols, and Sinogram Affirmed Iterative Reconstruction (SAFIRE) was used for the ultra-low-dose protocol only. Dose and ureter stones information were collected for both protocols. Subjective IQ was assessed by two radiologists scoring noise, visibility of the ureter and overall IQ. Objective IQ (contrast-to-noise ratio, CNR) was assessed for the ultra-low-dose protocol only (FBP and SAFIRE). The ultra-low-dose protocol (ATCM) showed a 22% decrease in mean effective dose (p < 0.001) and improved visibility of the pelvic ureter (p = 0.02). CNR was higher for SAFIRE (p < 0.0001). SAFIRE improves the objective IQ, but not the subjective IQ for the chosen clinical task.

  9. Automatic detection of retina disease: robustness to image quality and localization of anatomy structure.

    PubMed

    Karnowski, T P; Aykac, D; Giancardo, L; Li, Y; Nichols, T; Tobin, K W; Chaum, E

    2011-01-01

    The automated detection of diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases in images of the retina has great promise as a low-cost method for broad-based screening. Many systems in the literature which perform automated detection include a quality estimation step and physiological feature detection, including the vascular tree and the optic nerve / macula location. In this work, we study the robustness of an automated disease detection method with respect to the accuracy of the optic nerve location and the quality of the images obtained as judged by a quality estimation algorithm. The detection algorithm features microaneurysm and exudate detection followed by feature extraction on the detected population to describe the overall retina image. Labeled images of retinas ground-truthed to disease states are used to train a supervised learning algorithm to identify the disease state of the retina image and exam set. Under the restrictions of high confidence optic nerve detections and good quality imagery, the system achieves a sensitivity and specificity of 94.8% and 78.7% with area-under-curve of 95.3%. Analysis of the effect of constraining quality and the distinction between mild non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, normal retina images, and more severe disease states is included.

  10. Automatic assessment of volume asymmetries applied to hip abductor muscles in patients with hip arthroplasty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klemt, Christian; Modat, Marc; Pichat, Jonas; Cardoso, M. J.; Henckel, Joahnn; Hart, Alister; Ourselin, Sebastien

    2015-03-01

    Metal-on-metal (MoM) hip arthroplasties have been utilised over the last 15 years to restore hip function for 1.5 million patients worldwide. Althoug widely used, this hip arthroplasty releases metal wear debris which lead to muscle atrophy. The degree of muscle wastage differs across patients ranging from mild to severe. The longterm outcomes for patients with MoM hip arthroplasty are reduced for increasing degrees of muscle atrophy, highlighting the need to automatically segment pathological muscles. The automated segmentation of pathological soft tissues is challenging as these lack distinct boundaries and morphologically differ across subjects. As a result, there is no method reported in the literature which has been successfully applied to automatically segment pathological muscles. We propose the first automated framework to delineate severely atrophied muscles by applying a novel automated segmentation propagation framework to patients with MoM hip arthroplasty. The proposed algorithm was used to automatically quantify muscle wastage in these patients.

  11. Assessment of quality of life during chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Gunnars, B; Nygren, P; Glimelius, B

    2001-01-01

    Increasingly more aggressive chemotherapy together with expected small differences between treatments with respect to objective endpoints has heightened awareness about the importance of addressing how patients experience and value the impact that treatment has had on their overall life situation. Assessment of a patient's quality of life (QoL) is now conceptually viewed as an important complement to traditional objective evaluation measures. It was therefore considered important to review the basis for the assessment of this endpoint when The Swedish Council of Technology Assessment in Health Care (SBU) performed a systematic overview of chemotherapy effects in several tumour types. The group came to the following conclusions: QoL assessments, mostly by patient self-reporting in questionnaires, have come increasingly into use during the past decade. A number of general, cancer-specific and cancer diagnosis-specific instruments have been developed. There is at present little need for development of new cancer instruments, although specific treatment modalities and tumour types may need new additional modules. A predefined hypothesis should determine the instrument to be used. Since the selection of a QoL instrument in a specific study influences both the results and the conclusions, it is essential to carefully select the instrument or instruments that have the greatest likelihood of identifying relevant differences between treatment alternatives. Interpretation of QoL data is more difficult than interpretation of objective endpoints such as survival time, objective response rates or toxicity. Despite these difficulties, QoL analyses have provided new insights into the advantages and disadvantages of various treatments not provided by traditional end-points. Some palliative treatments seemingly increase patients' QoL despite side-effects or the lack of, or marginal, increases in survival. When using potentially curative chemotherapy, it is not a matter of when the

  12. The Impact of Quality Assessment in Universities: Portuguese Students' Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Sonia; Santiago, Rui; Sarrico, Claudia S.

    2012-01-01

    Despite being one of the major reasons for the development of quality assessment, students seem relatively unaware of its potential impact. Since one of the main purposes of assessment is to provide students with information on the quality of universities, this lack of awareness brings in to question the effectiveness of assessment as a device for…

  13. The Impact of Quality Assessment in Universities: Portuguese Students' Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Sonia; Santiago, Rui; Sarrico, Claudia S.

    2012-01-01

    Despite being one of the major reasons for the development of quality assessment, students seem relatively unaware of its potential impact. Since one of the main purposes of assessment is to provide students with information on the quality of universities, this lack of awareness brings in to question the effectiveness of assessment as a device for…

  14. 42 CFR 493.1289 - Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. 493... Nonwaived Testing Analytic Systems § 493.1289 Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. (a) The..., assess, and when indicated, correct problems identified in the analytic systems specified in §§ 493.1251...

  15. 42 CFR 493.1289 - Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. 493... Nonwaived Testing Analytic Systems § 493.1289 Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. (a) The..., assess, and when indicated, correct problems identified in the analytic systems specified in §§ 493.1251...

  16. 42 CFR 493.1289 - Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 5 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. 493... Nonwaived Testing Analytic Systems § 493.1289 Standard: Analytic systems quality assessment. (a) The..., assess, and when indicated, correct problems identified in the analytic systems specified in §§ 493.1251...

  17. Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM), released in 2002, is a guidance tool designed for use by building professionals and others interested in indoor air quality in commercial buildings.

  18. Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model Forms

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM) is a guidance tool designed for use by building professionals and others interested in indoor air quality in commercial buildings.

  19. Improving CCTA-based lesions' hemodynamic significance assessment by accounting for partial volume modeling in automatic coronary lumen segmentation.

    PubMed

    Freiman, Moti; Nickisch, Hannes; Prevrhal, Sven; Schmitt, Holger; Vembar, Mani; Maurovich-Horvat, Pál; Donnelly, Patrick; Goshen, Liran

    2017-03-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the potential added benefit of accounting for partial volume effects (PVE) in an automatic coronary lumen segmentation algorithm that is used to determine the hemodynamic significance of a coronary artery stenosis from coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Two sets of data were used in our work: (a) multivendor CCTA datasets of 18 subjects from the MICCAI 2012 challenge with automatically generated centerlines and 3 reference segmentations of 78 coronary segments and (b) additional CCTA datasets of 97 subjects with 132 coronary lesions that had invasive reference standard FFR measurements. We extracted the coronary artery centerlines for the 97 datasets by an automated software program followed by manual correction if required. An automatic machine-learning-based algorithm segmented the coronary tree with and without accounting for the PVE. We obtained CCTA-based FFR measurements using a flow simulation in the coronary trees that were generated by the automatic algorithm with and without accounting for PVE. We assessed the potential added value of PVE integration as a part of the automatic coronary lumen segmentation algorithm by means of segmentation accuracy using the MICCAI 2012 challenge framework and by means of flow simulation overall accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, negative and positive predictive values, and the receiver operated characteristic (ROC) area under the curve. We also evaluated the potential benefit of accounting for PVE in automatic segmentation for flow simulation for lesions that were diagnosed as obstructive based on CCTA which could have indicated a need for an invasive exam and revascularization. Our segmentation algorithm improves the maximal surface distance error by ~39% compared to previously published method on the 18 datasets from the MICCAI 2012 challenge with comparable Dice and mean surface distance. Results with and without accounting for PVE were comparable. In contrast

  20. Food quality assessment by NIR hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitworth, Martin B.; Millar, Samuel J.; Chau, Astor

    2010-04-01

    Near infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopy is well established in the food industry for rapid compositional analysis of bulk samples. NIR hyperspectral imaging provides new opportunities to measure the spatial distribution of components such as moisture and fat, and to identify and measure specific regions of composite samples. An NIR hyperspectral imaging system has been constructed for food research applications, incorporating a SWIR camera with a cooled 14 bit HgCdTe detector and N25E spectrograph (Specim Ltd, Finland). Samples are scanned in a pushbroom mode using a motorised stage. The system has a spectral resolution of 256 pixels covering a range of 970-2500 nm and a spatial resolution of 320 pixels covering a swathe adjustable from 8 to 300 mm. Images are acquired at a rate of up to 100 lines s-1, enabling samples to be scanned within a few seconds. Data are captured using SpectralCube software (Specim) and analysed using ENVI and IDL (ITT Visual Information Solutions). Several food applications are presented. The strength of individual absorbance bands enables the distribution of particular components to be assessed. Examples are shown for detection of added gluten in wheat flour and to study the effect of processing conditions on fat distribution in chips/French fries. More detailed quantitative calibrations have been developed to study evolution of the moisture distribution in baguettes during storage at different humidities, to assess freshness of fish using measurements of whole cod and fillets, and for prediction of beef quality by identification and separate measurement of lean and fat regions.

  1. Comparison of water-quality samples collected by siphon samplers and automatic samplers in Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graczyk, David J.; Robertson, Dale M.; Rose, William J.; Steur, Jeffrey J.

    2000-01-01

    In small streams, flow and water-quality concentrations often change quickly in response to meteorological events. Hydrologists, field technicians, or locally hired stream ob- servers involved in water-data collection are often unable to reach streams quickly enough to observe or measure these rapid changes. Therefore, in hydrologic studies designed to describe changes in water quality, a combination of manual and automated sampling methods have commonly been used manual methods when flow is relatively stable and automated methods when flow is rapidly changing. Auto- mated sampling, which makes use of equipment programmed to collect samples in response to changes in stage and flow of a stream, has been shown to be an effective method of sampling to describe the rapid changes in water quality (Graczyk and others, 1993). Because of the high cost of automated sampling, however, especially for studies examining a large number of sites, alternative methods have been considered for collecting samples during rapidly changing stream conditions. One such method employs the siphon sampler (fig. 1). also referred to as the "single-stage sampler." Siphon samplers are inexpensive to build (about $25- $50 per sampler), operate, and maintain, so they are cost effective to use at a large number of sites. Their ability to collect samples representing the average quality of water passing though the entire cross section of a stream, however, has not been fully demonstrated for many types of stream sites.

  2. Microbial quality assessment of household greywater.

    PubMed

    O'Toole, Joanne; Sinclair, Martha; Malawaraarachchi, Manori; Hamilton, Andrew; Barker, S Fiona; Leder, Karin

    2012-09-01

    A monitoring program was undertaken to assess the microbial quality of greywater collected from 93 typical households in Melbourne, Australia. A total of 185 samples, comprising 75 washing machine wash, 74 washing machine rinse and 36 bathroom samples were analysed for the faecal indicator Escherichia coli. Of these, 104 were also analysed for genetic markers of pathogenic E coli and 111 for norovirus (genogroups GI and GII), enterovirus and rotavirus using RT-PCR. Enteric viruses were detected in 20 out of the 111 (18%) samples comprising 16 washing machine wash water and 4 bathroom samples. Eight (7%) samples were positive for enterovirus, twelve (11%) for norovirus genogroup GI, one (1%) for norovirus genogroup GII and another (1%) for rotavirus. Two washing machine samples contained more than one virus. Typical pathogenic E. coli were detected in 3 out of 104 (3%) samples and atypical enteropathogenic E. coli in 11 (11%) of samples. Levels of indicator E. coli were highly variable and the presence of E. coli was not associated with the presence of human enteric viruses in greywater. There was also little correlation between reported gastrointestinal illness in households and detection of pathogens in greywater.

  3. An Approach to Automatic Detection and Hazard Risk Assessment of Large Protruding Rocks in Densely Forested Hilly Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chhatkuli, S.; Kawamura, K.; Manno, K.; Satoh, T.; Tachibana, K.

    2016-06-01

    Rock-fall along highways or railways presents one of the major threats to transportation and human safety. So far, the only feasible way to detect the locations of such protruding rocks located in the densely forested hilly region is by physically visiting the site and assessing the situation. Highways or railways are stretched to hundreds of kilometres; hence, this traditional approach of determining rock-fall risk zones is not practical to assess the safety throughout the highways or railways. In this research, we have utilized a state-of-the-art airborne LiDAR technology and derived a workflow to automatically detect protruding rocks in densely forested hilly regions and analysed the level of hazard risks they pose. Moreover, we also performed a 3D dynamic simulation of rock-fall to envisage the event. We validated that our proposed technique could automatically detect most of the large protruding rocks in the densely forested hilly region. Automatic extraction of protruding rocks and proper risk zoning could be used to identify the most crucial place that needs the proper protection measures. Hence, the proposed technique would provide an invaluable support for the management and planning of highways and railways safety, especially in the forested hilly region.

  4. SU-D-BRD-07: Automatic Patient Data Audit and Plan Quality Check to Support ARIA and Eclipse

    SciTech Connect

    Li, X; Li, H; Wu, Y; Mutic, S; Yang, D

    2014-06-01

    Purpose: To ensure patient safety and treatment quality in RT departments that use Varian ARIA and Eclipse, we developed a computer software system and interface functions that allow previously developed electron chart checking (EcCk) methodologies to support these Varian systems. Methods: ARIA and Eclipse store most patient information in its MSSQL database. We studied the contents in the hundreds database tables and identified the data elements used for patient treatment management and treatment planning. Interface functions were developed in both c-sharp and MATLAB to support data access from ARIA and Eclipse servers using SQL queries. These functions and additional data processing functions allowed the existing rules and logics from EcCk to support ARIA and Eclipse. Dose and structure information are important for plan quality check, however they are not stored in the MSSQL database but as files in Varian private formats, and cannot be processed by external programs. We have therefore implemented a service program, which uses the DB Daemon and File Daemon services on ARIA server to automatically and seamlessly retrieve dose and structure data as DICOM files. This service was designed to 1) consistently monitor the data access requests from EcCk programs, 2) translate the requests for ARIA daemon services to obtain dose and structure DICOM files, and 3) monitor the process and return the obtained DICOM files back to EcCk programs for plan quality check purposes. Results: EcCk, which was previously designed to only support MOSAIQ TMS and Pinnacle TPS, can now support Varian ARIA and Eclipse. The new EcCk software has been tested and worked well in physics new start plan check, IMRT plan integrity and plan quality checks. Conclusion: Methods and computer programs have been implemented to allow EcCk to support Varian ARIA and Eclipse systems. This project was supported by a research grant from Varian Medical System.

  5. AN ASSESSMENT OF AUTOMATIC SEWER FLOW SAMPLERS (EPA/600/2-75/065)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A brief review of the characteristics of storm and combined sewer flows is given followed by a general discussion of the purposes for and requirements of a sampling program. The desirable characteristics of automatic sampling equipment are set forth and problem areas are outlined...

  6. 9 Is Always on Top: Assessing the Automaticity of Synaesthetic Number-Forms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarick, Michelle; Dixon, Michael J.; Smilek, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    For number-form synaesthetes, digits occupy idiosyncratic spatial locations. Atypical to the mental number line that extends horizontally, the synaesthete (L) experiences the numbers 1-10 vertically. We used a spatial cueing task to demonstrate that L's attention could be automatically directed to locations within her number-space--being faster to…

  7. Aligning Theory and Assessment of Reading Fluency: Automaticity, Prosody, and Definitions of Fluency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuhn, Melanie R.; Schwanenflugel, Paula J.; Meisinger, Elizabeth B.

    2010-01-01

    Over the past decade, fluent reading has come to be seen as a central component of skilled reading and a driving force in the literacy curriculum. However, much of this focus has centered on a relatively narrow definition of reading fluency, one that emphasizes automatic word recognition. This article attempts to expand this understanding by…

  8. AN ASSESSMENT OF AUTOMATIC SEWER FLOW SAMPLERS (EPA/600/2-75/065)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A brief review of the characteristics of storm and combined sewer flows is given followed by a general discussion of the purposes for and requirements of a sampling program. The desirable characteristics of automatic sampling equipment are set forth and problem areas are outlined...

  9. Physical and Chemical Water-Quality Data from Automatic Profiling Systems, Boulder Basin, Lake Mead, Arizona and Nevada, Water Years 2001-04

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rowland, Ryan C.; Westenburg, Craig L.; Veley, Ronald J.; Nylund, Walter E.

    2006-01-01

    Water-quality profile data were collected in Las Vegas Bay and near Sentinel Island in Lake Mead, Arizona and Nevada, from October 2000 to September 2004. The majority of the profiles were completed with automatic variable-buoyancy systems equipped with multiparameter water-quality sondes. Profile data near Sentinel Island were collected in August 2004 with an automatic variable-depth-winch system also equipped with a multiparameter water-quality sonde. Physical and chemical water properties collected and recorded by the profiling systems, including depth, water temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved-oxygen concentration, and turbidity are listed in tables and selected water-quality profile data are shown in graphs.

  10. A Regression-Based Family of Measures for Full-Reference Image Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oszust, Mariusz

    2016-12-01

    The advances in the development of imaging devices resulted in the need of an automatic quality evaluation of displayed visual content in a way that is consistent with human visual perception. In this paper, an approach to full-reference image quality assessment (IQA) is proposed, in which several IQA measures, representing different approaches to modelling human visual perception, are efficiently combined in order to produce objective quality evaluation of examined images, which is highly correlated with evaluation provided by human subjects. In the paper, an optimisation problem of selection of several IQA measures for creating a regression-based IQA hybrid measure, or a multimeasure, is defined and solved using a genetic algorithm. Experimental evaluation on four largest IQA benchmarks reveals that the multimeasures obtained using the proposed approach outperform state-of-the-art full-reference IQA techniques, including other recently developed fusion approaches.

  11. a Photogrammetric Appraoch for Automatic Traffic Assessment Using Conventional Cctv Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarrinpanjeh, N.; Dadrassjavan, F.; Fattahi, H.

    2015-12-01

    One of the most practical tools for urban traffic monitoring is CCTV imaging which is widely used for traffic map generation and updating through human surveillance. But due to the expansion of urban road network and the use of huge number of CCTV cameras, visual inspection and updating of traffic sometimes seems to be ineffective and time consuming and therefore not providing real-time robust update. In this paper a method for vehicle detection accounting and speed estimation is proposed to give a more automated solution for traffic assessment. Through removing violating objects and detection of vehicles via morphological filtering and also classification of moving objects at the scene vehicles are counted and traffic speed is estimated. The proposed method is developed and tested using two datasets and evaluation values are computed. The results show that the successfulness of the algorithm decreases by about 12 % due to decrease in illumination quality of imagery.

  12. Assessing the Quality of MT Systems for Hindi to English Translation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalyani, Aditi; Kumud, Hemant; Pal Singh, Shashi; Kumar, Ajai

    2014-03-01

    Evaluation plays a vital role in checking the quality of MT output. It is done either manually or automatically. Manual evaluation is very time consuming and subjective, hence use of automatic metrics is done most of the times. This paper evaluates the translation quality of different MT Engines for Hindi-English (Hindi data is provided as input and English is obtained as output) using various automatic metrics like BLEU, METEOR etc. Further the comparison automatic evaluation results with Human ranking have also been given.

  13. Informatics: essential infrastructure for quality assessment and improvement in nursing.

    PubMed Central

    Henry, S B

    1995-01-01

    In recent decades there have been major advances in the creation and implementation of information technologies and in the development of measures of health care quality. The premise of this article is that informatics provides essential infrastructure for quality assessment and improvement in nursing. In this context, the term quality assessment and improvement comprises both short-term processes such as continuous quality improvement (CQI) and long-term outcomes management. This premise is supported by 1) presentation of a historical perspective on quality assessment and improvement; 2) delineation of the types of data required for quality assessment and improvement; and 3) description of the current and potential uses of information technology in the acquisition, storage, transformation, and presentation of quality data, information, and knowledge. PMID:7614118

  14. [Quantitative assessment of quality of vision].

    PubMed

    Oshika, Tetsuro

    2004-12-01

    The importance of quality of vision (QOV) along with quality of life (QOL) in medicine has been recently widely recognized. We have conducted studies to quantitatively analyze factors related to QOV. Irregular astigmatism can be a significant obstacle for achieving satisfactory QOV. Videokeratography data were broken down using Fourier harmonic series analysis into spherical power, regular astigmatism (second harmonic component, n = 2), asymmetry (n = 1), and higher order irregularity (n > or = 3). The irregular astigmatism component calculated by the Fourier analysis significantly correlated with best spectacle-corrected visual acuity. Software was developed to display color-coded maps for the four Fourier indices. The normal range was defined for each Fourier index, and eyes with pathologic and postsurgical conditions were evaluated using the normal range. Progression of keratoconus over time was quantitatively described by Fourier analysis of the videokeratography data. Using the Fourier method, changes in corneal topography following suture removal after penetrating keratoplasty were evaluated. Fourier analysis of videokeratography data significantly facilitated determination of refraction and measurement of best spectacle-corrected visual acuity in eyes with corneal irregular astigmatism such as post-penetrating keratoplasty eyes. Higher-order wavefront aberrations of the cornea were calculated by expanding videokeratography elevation data into Zernike polynomials, and coma and spherical aberrations were computed. For ocular aberrations, the data obtained with the Hartmann-Shack sensor were decomposed into Zernike polynomials. Coma aberrations of the cornea significantly correlated with age, while corneal spherical aberrations showed no age-related changes. The time-course of changes in corneal higher-order aberrations was reported for photorefractive keratectomy and laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). For ocular aberrations, the degree of tilting of the

  15. Automatic parameter prediction for image denoising algorithms using perceptual quality features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mittal, Anish; Moorthy, Anush K.; Bovik, Alan C.

    2012-03-01

    A natural scene statistics (NSS) based blind image denoising approach is proposed, where denoising is performed without knowledge of the noise variance present in the image. We show how such a parameter estimation can be used to perform blind denoising by combining blind parameter estimation with a state-of-the-art denoising algorithm.1 Our experiments show that for all noise variances simulated on a varied image content, our approach is almost always statistically superior to the reference BM3D implementation in terms of perceived visual quality at the 95% confidence level.

  16. Automatic bone removal technique in whole-body dual-energy CT angiography: performance and image quality.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Boris; Kuehling, Katharina; Kromen, Wolfgang; Siebenhandl, Petra; Kerl, Matthias Josef; Vogl, Thomas Josef; Bauer, Ralf

    2012-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of automatic bone removal in dual-energy CT angiography (CTA) of the trunk. Nineteen patients underwent dual-energy CTA of the trunk (tube A, 140 kV; tube B, 100 kV). In addition to the dual-energy dataset, an image equivalent to that of a standard 120-kV single-energy examination was generated with both tubes. Automated bone segmentation was performed on both datasets, and the results were analyzed. The time required for and subjective image quality of the maximum intensity projections (MIPs) generated were evaluated. Errors in bone segmentation were found for 1.5% of bones on dual-energy images and 12.4% of bones on single-energy images (p < 0.01). The most important differences were found in the rib cage, sternum, and pelvis. The times required for postprocessing of MIPs were similar for the dual-energy (113.5 seconds) and single-energy (106.8 seconds) techniques. The subjective image quality of the arteries was considered better for dual-energy CTA (4.5 points) than for single-energy CTA (4.1 points) owing to false cutoff of vessels during the bone removal process on the single-energy images (p = 0.026). For CTA of the trunk, the dual-energy postprocessing capabilities for 3D visualization are superior to the threshold-based bone removal of single-energy CT. Dual-energy CTA can generate boneless MIP images of substantial quality.

  17. Water quality assessment of bioenergy production

    Treesearch

    Rocio Diaz-Chavez; Goran Berndes; Dan Neary; Andre Elia Neto; Mamadou Fall

    2011-01-01

    Water quality is a measurement of the biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of water against certain standards set to ensure ecological and/or human health. Biomass production and conversion to fuels and electricity can impact water quality in lakes, rivers, and aquifers with consequences for aquatic ecosystem health and also human water uses. Depending on...

  18. A Network Approach to Curriculum Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jordens, J. Zoe; Zepke, Nick

    2009-01-01

    This paper argues for an alternative approach to quality assurance in New Zealand universities that locates evaluation not with external auditors but with members of the teaching team. In the process, aspects of network theories are introduced as the basis for an approach to quality assurance. From this, the concept of networks is extended to…

  19. A Network Approach to Curriculum Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jordens, J. Zoe; Zepke, Nick

    2009-01-01

    This paper argues for an alternative approach to quality assurance in New Zealand universities that locates evaluation not with external auditors but with members of the teaching team. In the process, aspects of network theories are introduced as the basis for an approach to quality assurance. From this, the concept of networks is extended to…

  20. SOIL QUALITY ASSESSMENT USING FUZZY MODELING

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Maintaining soil productivity is essential if agriculture production systems are to be sustainable, thus soil quality is an essential issue. However, there is a paucity of tools for measurement for the purpose of understanding changes in soil quality. Here the possibility of using fuzzy modeling t...

  1. Germination tests for assessing biochar quality

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Understanding the impact of biochar quality on soil productivity is crucial to the agronomic acceptance of biochar amendments. Our objective in this study was to develop a quick and reliable screening procedures to characterize the quality of biochar amendments. Biochars were evaluated by both seed ...

  2. Assessment of Severe Apnoea through Voice Analysis, Automatic Speech, and Speaker Recognition Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández Pozo, Rubén; Blanco Murillo, Jose Luis; Hernández Gómez, Luis; López Gonzalo, Eduardo; Alcázar Ramírez, José; Toledano, Doroteo T.

    2009-12-01

    This study is part of an ongoing collaborative effort between the medical and the signal processing communities to promote research on applying standard Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) techniques for the automatic diagnosis of patients with severe obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Early detection of severe apnoea cases is important so that patients can receive early treatment. Effective ASR-based detection could dramatically cut medical testing time. Working with a carefully designed speech database of healthy and apnoea subjects, we describe an acoustic search for distinctive apnoea voice characteristics. We also study abnormal nasalization in OSA patients by modelling vowels in nasal and nonnasal phonetic contexts using Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) pattern recognition on speech spectra. Finally, we present experimental findings regarding the discriminative power of GMMs applied to severe apnoea detection. We have achieved an 81% correct classification rate, which is very promising and underpins the interest in this line of inquiry.

  3. Comparison of High and Low Density Airborne LIDAR Data for Forest Road Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiss, K.; Malinen, J.; Tokola, T.

    2016-06-01

    Good quality forest roads are important for forest management. Airborne laser scanning data can help create automatized road quality detection, thus avoiding field visits. Two different pulse density datasets have been used to assess road quality: high-density airborne laser scanning data from Kiihtelysvaara and low-density data from Tuusniemi, Finland. The field inventory mainly focused on the surface wear condition, structural condition, flatness, road side vegetation and drying of the road. Observations were divided into poor, satisfactory and good categories based on the current Finnish quality standards used for forest roads. Digital Elevation Models were derived from the laser point cloud, and indices were calculated to determine road quality. The calculated indices assessed the topographic differences on the road surface and road sides. The topographic position index works well in flat terrain only, while the standardized elevation index described the road surface better if the differences are bigger. Both indices require at least a 1 metre resolution. High-density data is necessary for analysis of the road surface, and the indices relate mostly to the surface wear and flatness. The classification was more precise (31-92%) than on low-density data (25-40%). However, ditch detection and classification can be carried out using the sparse dataset as well (with a success rate of 69%). The use of airborne laser scanning data can provide quality information on forest roads.

  4. Automatic milking systems in the Protected Designation of Origin Montasio cheese production chain: effects on milk and cheese quality.

    PubMed

    Innocente, N; Biasutti, M

    2013-02-01

    Montasio cheese is a typical Italian semi-hard, semi-cooked cheese produced in northeastern Italy from unpasteurized (raw or thermised) cow milk. The Protected Designation of Origin label regulations for Montasio cheese require that local milk be used from twice-daily milking. The number of farms milking with automatic milking systems (AMS) has increased rapidly in the last few years in the Montasio production area. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of a variation in milking frequency, associated with the adoption of an automatic milking system, on milk quality and on the specific characteristics of Montasio cheese. Fourteen farms were chosen, all located in the Montasio production area, with an average herd size of 60 (Simmental, Holstein-Friesian, and Brown Swiss breeds). In 7 experimental farms, the cows were milked 3 times per day with an AMS, whereas in the other 7 control farms, cows were milked twice daily in conventional milking parlors (CMP). The study showed that the main components, the hygienic quality, and the cheese-making features of milk were not affected by the milking system adopted. In fact, the control and experimental milks did not reveal a statistically significant difference in fat, protein, and lactose contents; in the casein index; or in the HPLC profiles of casein and whey protein fractions. Milk from farms that used an AMS always showed somatic cell counts and total bacterial counts below the legal limits imposed by European Union regulations for raw milk. Finally, bulk milk clotting characteristics (clotting time, curd firmness, and time to curd firmness of 20mm) did not differ between milk from AMS and milk from CMP. Montasio cheese was made from milk collected from the 2 groups of farms milking either with AMS or with CMP. Three different cheese-making trials were performed during the year at different times. As expected, considering the results of the milk analysis, the moisture, fat, and protein contents of the

  5. Assessing water quality with submersed aquatic vegetation

    SciTech Connect

    Dennison, W.C. ); Orth, R.J.; Moore, K.A. ); Stevenson, J.C. ); Carter, V. ); Kollar, S. ); Bergstrom, P.W.; Batiuk, R.A. )

    1993-02-01

    Estuaries throughout the world are experiencing water quality problems as the result of human population growth in coastal areas. By establishing the habitat requirements of critical submerged aquatic vegetation, water quality can be evaluated and restoration goals can be made. This study used submerged vegetation in Chesapeake Bay to examine the habitat and health of the Bay. Both natural distributions and transplant survival in different studies were analyzed. The five habitat requirements used were light attenuation, total suspended solids, chlorophyll, dissolved inorganic nitrogen, and dissolved inorganic phosphorus. Water-quality conditions supporting vegetation growth to one meter depth was used. This study represents the first attempt at linking habitat requirements of a living resource to water quality standards in an estuarine system. It allows for predictive capability without detailed knowledge of the precise nature of vegetation/water quality interactions.

  6. Assessing Hemorrhage Severity with Continuous Automatic Heart-Rate-Complexity Monitoring in Swine

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-12-02

    transfusion of shed blood (TSB, n=7); or endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) (Pryor Medical , Arvada, CO) for up to 60 minutes followed...Batchinsky5; 1Untied States Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, TX, 2San Antonio Mili- tary Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX...automatic HRC mea- surements by the Aesculon monitor (Cardiotronic-Osypka Medical , USA) are asso- ciated with hemodynamic status and mortality. Methods

  7. In Search of Quality Criteria in Peer Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ploegh, Karin; Tillema, Harm H.; Segers, Mien S. R.

    2009-01-01

    With the increasing popularity of peer assessment as an assessment tool, questions may arise about its measurement quality. Among such questions, the extent peer assessment practices adhere to standards of measurement. It has been claimed that new forms of assessment, require new criteria to judge their validity and reliability, since they aim for…

  8. Dosimetry and image quality assessment in a direct radiography system

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Bruno Beraldo; de Oliveira, Marcio Alves; Paixão, Lucas; Teixeira, Maria Helena Araújo; Nogueira, Maria do Socorro

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the mean glandular dose with a solid state detector and the image quality in a direct radiography system, utilizing phantoms. Materials and Methods Irradiations were performed with automatic exposure control and polymethyl methacrylate slabs with different thicknesses to calculate glandular dose values. The image quality was evaluated by means of the structures visualized on the images of the phantoms. Results Considering the uncertainty of the measurements, the mean glandular dose results are in agreement with the values provided by the equipment and with internationally adopted reference levels. Results obtained from images of the phantoms were in agreement with the reference values. Conclusion The present study contributes to verify the equipment conformity as regards dose values and image quality. PMID:25741119

  9. Quality Assurance of Assessment and Moderation Discourses Involving Sessional Staff

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grainger, Peter; Adie, Lenore; Weir, Katie

    2016-01-01

    Quality assurance is a major agenda in tertiary education. The casualisation of academic work, especially in teaching, is also a quality assurance issue. Casual or sessional staff members teach and assess more than 50% of all university courses in Australia, and yet the research in relation to the role sessional staff play in quality assurance of…

  10. Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction: An Assessment and Future Directions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernon, Peter; Nitecki, Danuta A.; Altman, Ellen

    1999-01-01

    Reviews the literature of library and information science to examine issues related to service quality and customer satisfaction in academic libraries. Discusses assessment, the application of a business model to higher education, a multiple constituency approach, decision areas regarding service quality, resistance to service quality, and future…

  11. Quality Assurance of Assessment and Moderation Discourses Involving Sessional Staff

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grainger, Peter; Adie, Lenore; Weir, Katie

    2016-01-01

    Quality assurance is a major agenda in tertiary education. The casualisation of academic work, especially in teaching, is also a quality assurance issue. Casual or sessional staff members teach and assess more than 50% of all university courses in Australia, and yet the research in relation to the role sessional staff play in quality assurance of…

  12. The Emergence of Quality Assessment in Brazilian Basic Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kauko, Jaakko; Centeno, Vera Gorodski; Candido, Helena; Shiroma, Eneida; Klutas, Anni

    2016-01-01

    The focus in this article is on Brazilian education policy, specifically quality assurance and evaluation. The starting point is that quality, measured by means of large-scale assessments, is one of the key discursive justifications for educational change. The article addresses the questions of how quality evaluation became a significant feature…

  13. The Emergence of Quality Assessment in Brazilian Basic Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kauko, Jaakko; Centeno, Vera Gorodski; Candido, Helena; Shiroma, Eneida; Klutas, Anni

    2016-01-01

    The focus in this article is on Brazilian education policy, specifically quality assurance and evaluation. The starting point is that quality, measured by means of large-scale assessments, is one of the key discursive justifications for educational change. The article addresses the questions of how quality evaluation became a significant feature…

  14. Assessment of the Quality Management Models in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basar, Gulsun; Altinay, Zehra; Dagli, Gokmen; Altinay, Fahriye

    2016-01-01

    This study involves the assessment of the quality management models in Higher Education by explaining the importance of quality in higher education and by examining the higher education quality assurance system practices in other countries. The qualitative study was carried out with the members of the Higher Education Planning, Evaluation,…

  15. Transitioning sediment quality assessment into regulations: Challenges and solutions in implementing California's sediment quality objectives.

    PubMed

    Beegan, Chris; Bay, Steven M

    2012-10-01

    Development and promulgation of sediment quality criteria represents a substantial challenge for water quality agencies. Unlike water quality programs that rely on individual chemical thresholds to assess water quality, the complex processes affecting contaminant bioavailability in sediments preclude the use of contaminant concentrations to independently assess impacts or identify cause. Various multiple line of evidence approaches (e.g., sediment quality triad) have been developed for sediment quality assessment, but such frameworks are rarely fully incorporated into statewide regulatory programs due to a lack of standardized and validated tools. In 2003, California's State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) initiated development of sediment quality criteria and an assessment framework that required the developers to resolve many challenging technical and policy related issues to the satisfaction of stakeholders, scientists, and the general public. The first part of this multiyear effort has been completed and resulted in the development and validation of an integrated collection of tools, thresholds, and a data interpretation framework for assessing sediment contamination impacts on benthic community condition. The State Water Board's narrative sediment quality criteria and assessment framework became effective in 2009, following US Environmental Protection Agency approval. The results of this effort are described in a series of 6 articles published in this issue of Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. The articles describe: 1) a multiple line of evidence framework for data integration and assessment, 2) calibration and evaluation of sediment quality guidelines for predicting toxic responses, 3) development and evaluation of sediment quality guidelines with respect to benthic macrofauna responses, 4) selection of toxicity test methods and thresholds, 5) identification and characterization of benthic community assemblages, 6) the

  16. Assessing quality of care for African Americans with hypertension.

    PubMed

    Peters, Rosalind M; Benkert, Ramona; Dinardo, Ellen; Templin, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    African Americans bear a disproportionate burden of hypertension. A causal-modeling design, using Donabedian's Quality Framework, tested hypothesized relationships among structure, process, and outcome variables to assess quality of care provided to this population. Structural assessment revealed that administrative and staff organization affected patients' trust in their provider and satisfaction with their care. Interpersonal process factors of racism, cultural mistrust, and trust in providers had a significant effect on satisfaction, and perceived racism had a negative effect on blood pressure (BP). Poorer quality in technical processes of care was associated with higher BP. Findings support the utility of Donabedian's framework for assessing quality of care in a disease-specific population.

  17. A visual quality assessment tool for solar radiation data

    SciTech Connect

    Wilcox, S.

    1996-11-01

    The acquisition of consistent high-quality data depends heavily on a quality assessment regimen that allows a data analyst to detect and respond to problems when they occur. This is particularly true of network operations for which a large volume of data must be summarized and assimilated. This paper describes a concept for a visual solar radiation measurement quality assessment tool that takes advantage of current computer and printer technology. The concept allows a data analyst to more easily interpret trends in quality assessment flagging during a period of time. This concept is also a useful tool for investigating data acquisition problems.

  18. Groundwater quality data from the National Water Quality Assessment Project, May 2012 through December 2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arnold, Terri L.; DeSimone, Leslie; Bexfield, Laura M.; Lindsey, Bruce; Barlow, Jeannie R.; Kulongoski, Justin; Musgrove, MaryLynn; Kingsbury, James A.; Belitz, Kenneth

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater-quality data were collected from 748 wells as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Project of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Program from May 2012 through December 2013. The data were collected from four types of well networks: principal aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for public water supply; land-use study networks, which assess land-use effects on shallow groundwater quality; major aquifer study networks, which assess the quality of groundwater used for domestic supply; and enhanced trends networks, which evaluate the time scales during which groundwater quality changes. Groundwater samples were analyzed for a large number of water-quality indicators and constituents, including major ions, nutrients, trace elements, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and radionuclides. These groundwater quality data are tabulated in a U.S. Geological Survey Data Series Report DS-997 which is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds997 and in this data release. Quality-control samples also were collected; data from blank and replicate quality-control samples are included in the related report (DS-997) and this data release. This compressed file contains 28 files of groundwater-quality data in ASCII text tab-delimited format and 28 corresponding metadata in xml format for wells sampled for the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Project, May 2012 through December 2013.

  19. Different Academics' Characteristics, Different Perceptions on Quality Assessment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Sonia; Rosa, Maria Joao; Santos, Cristina S.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore Portuguese academics' perceptions on higher education quality assessment objectives and purposes, in general, and on the recently implemented system for higher education quality assessment and accreditation, in particular. It aims to discuss the differences of those perceptions dependent on some…

  20. Research Quality Assessment in Education: Impossible Science, Possible Art?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridges, David

    2009-01-01

    For better or for worse, the assessment of research quality is one of the primary drivers of the behaviour of the academic community with all sorts of potential for distorting that behaviour. So, if you are going to assess research quality, how do you do it? This article explores some of the problems and possibilities, with particular reference to…

  1. Assessing the Quality of a Student-Generated Question Repository

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bates, Simon P.; Galloway, Ross K.; Riise, Jonathan; Homer, Danny

    2014-01-01

    We present results from a study that categorizes and assesses the quality of questions and explanations authored by students in question repositories produced as part of the summative assessment in introductory physics courses over two academic sessions. Mapping question quality onto the levels in the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy, we find…

  2. Assessment and the Quality of Educational Programmes: What Constitutes Evidence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shay, Sueellen; Jawitz, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    In a climate of growing accountability for Higher Education, there is an increased demand on assessment to play an evaluative role. National, professional and institutional quality assurance systems expect that the assessment of student performance can be used to evaluate the quality of teachers, learners, programmes and even institutions for the…

  3. Assessing the Quality of a Student-Generated Question Repository

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bates, Simon P.; Galloway, Ross K.; Riise, Jonathan; Homer, Danny

    2014-01-01

    We present results from a study that categorizes and assesses the quality of questions and explanations authored by students in question repositories produced as part of the summative assessment in introductory physics courses over two academic sessions. Mapping question quality onto the levels in the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy, we find…

  4. Assessing Pre-Service Teachers' Quality Teaching Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun; Hendricks, Kristin; Archibald, Kelsi

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to design and validate the Assessing Quality Teaching Rubrics (AQTR) that assesses the pre-service teachers' quality teaching practices in a live lesson or a videotaped lesson. Twenty-one lessons taught by 13 Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) students were videotaped. The videotaped lessons were evaluated…

  5. Development and Validation of Assessing Quality Teaching Rubrics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun; Mason, Steve; Hammond-Bennett, Austin; Zlamout, Sandy

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: This study aimed at examining the psychometric properties of the Assessing Quality Teaching Rubric (AQTR) that was designed to assess in-service teachers' quality levels of teaching practices in daily lessons. Methods: 45 physical education lessons taught by nine physical education teachers to students in grades K-5 were videotaped. They…

  6. Educational Quality, Outcomes Assessment, and Policy Change: The Virginia Example

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Culver, Steve

    2010-01-01

    The higher education system in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States provides a case model for how discussions regarding educational quality and assessment of that quality have affected institutions' policy decisions and implementation. Using Levin's (1998) policy analysis framework, this essay explores how assessment of student…

  7. Higher Education Quality Assessment in China: An Impact Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Shuiyun

    2015-01-01

    This research analyses an external higher education quality assessment scheme in China, namely, the Quality Assessment of Undergraduate Education (QAUE) scheme. Case studies were conducted in three Chinese universities with different statuses. Analysis shows that the evaluated institutions responded to the external requirements of the QAUE…

  8. Academics' Perceptions on the Purposes of Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosa, Maria J.; Sarrico, Claudia S.; Amaral, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    The accountability versus improvement debate is an old one. Although being traditionally considered dichotomous purposes of higher education quality assessment, some authors defend the need of balancing both in quality assessment systems. This article goes a step further and contends that not only they should be balanced but also that other…

  9. Different Academics' Characteristics, Different Perceptions on Quality Assessment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardoso, Sonia; Rosa, Maria Joao; Santos, Cristina S.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore Portuguese academics' perceptions on higher education quality assessment objectives and purposes, in general, and on the recently implemented system for higher education quality assessment and accreditation, in particular. It aims to discuss the differences of those perceptions dependent on some…

  10. Quality Assessment of Internationalised Studies: Theory and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juknyte-Petreikiene, Inga

    2013-01-01

    The article reviews forms of higher education internationalisation at an institutional level. The relevance of theoretical background of internationalised study quality assessment is highlighted and definitions of internationalised studies quality are presented. Existing methods of assessment of higher education internationalisation are criticised…

  11. Educational Quality, Outcomes Assessment, and Policy Change: The Virginia Example

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Culver, Steve

    2010-01-01

    The higher education system in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States provides a case model for how discussions regarding educational quality and assessment of that quality have affected institutions' policy decisions and implementation. Using Levin's (1998) policy analysis framework, this essay explores how assessment of student…

  12. Higher Education Quality Assessment in China: An Impact Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Shuiyun

    2015-01-01

    This research analyses an external higher education quality assessment scheme in China, namely, the Quality Assessment of Undergraduate Education (QAUE) scheme. Case studies were conducted in three Chinese universities with different statuses. Analysis shows that the evaluated institutions responded to the external requirements of the QAUE…

  13. Academics' Perceptions on the Purposes of Quality Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosa, Maria J.; Sarrico, Claudia S.; Amaral, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    The accountability versus improvement debate is an old one. Although being traditionally considered dichotomous purposes of higher education quality assessment, some authors defend the need of balancing both in quality assessment systems. This article goes a step further and contends that not only they should be balanced but also that other…

  14. Assessing Pre-Service Teachers' Quality Teaching Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Weiyun; Hendricks, Kristin; Archibald, Kelsi

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to design and validate the Assessing Quality Teaching Rubrics (AQTR) that assesses the pre-service teachers' quality teaching practices in a live lesson or a videotaped lesson. Twenty-one lessons taught by 13 Physical Education Teacher Education (PETE) students were videotaped. The videotaped lessons were evaluated…

  15. Educational Quality Assessment: Manual for Interpreting School Reports.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennsylvania State Dept. of Education, Harrisburg. Bureau of Educational Quality Assessment.

    The results of the Pennsylvania Educational Quality Assessment program, Phase II, are interpreted. The first section of the manual presents a statement of each of the Ten Goals of Quality Education which served as the basis of the assessment. Also included are the key items on the questionnaires administered to 5th and 11th grade students. The…

  16. On Improving Higher Vocational College Education Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiang; Chen, Yan; Zhang, Jie; Wang, Yi

    Teaching quality assessment is a judgment process by using the theory and technology of education evaluation system to test whether the process and result of teaching have got to a certain quality level. Many vocational schools have established teaching quality assessment systems of their own characteristics as the basic means to do self-examination and teaching behavior adjustment. Combined with the characteristics and requirements of the vocational education and by analyzing the problems exist in contemporary vocational school, form the perspective of the content, assessment criteria and feedback system of the teaching quality assessment to optimize the system, to complete the teaching quality information net and offer suggestions for feedback channels, to make the institutionalization, standardization of the vocational schools and indeed to make contribution for the overall improvement of the quality of vocational schools.

  17. Perceived image quality assessment for color images on mobile displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jang, Hyesung; Kim, Choon-Woo

    2015-01-01

    With increase in size and resolution of mobile displays and advances in embedded processors for image enhancement, perceived quality of images on mobile displays has been drastically improved. This paper presents a quantitative method to evaluate perceived image quality of color images on mobile displays. Three image quality attributes, colorfulness, contrast and brightness, are chosen to represent perceived image quality. Image quality assessment models are constructed based on results of human visual experiments. In this paper, three phase human visual experiments are designed to achieve credible outcomes while reducing time and resources needed for visual experiments. Values of parameters of image quality assessment models are estimated based on results from human visual experiments. Performances of different image quality assessment models are compared.

  18. Automatic method of analysis of OCT images in the assessment of the tooth enamel surface after orthodontic treatment with fixed braces

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Fixed orthodontic appliances, despite years of research and development, still raise a lot of controversy because of its potentially destructive influence on enamel. Therefore, it is necessary to quantitatively assess the condition and therein the thickness of tooth enamel in order to select the appropriate orthodontic bonding and debonding methodology as well as to assess the quality of enamel after treatment and clean-up procedure in order to choose the most advantageous course of treatment. One of the assessment methods is computed tomography where the measurement of enamel thickness and the 3D reconstruction of image sequences can be performed fully automatically. Material and method OCT images of 180 teeth were obtained from the Topcon 3D OCT-2000 camera. The images were obtained in vitro by performing sequentially 7 stages of treatment on all the teeth: before any interference into enamel, polishing with orthodontic paste, etching and application of a bonding system, orthodontic bracket bonding, orthodontic bracket removal, cleaning off adhesive residue. A dedicated method for the analysis and processing of images involving median filtering, mathematical morphology, binarization, polynomial approximation and the active contour method has been proposed. Results The obtained results enable automatic measurement of tooth enamel thickness in 5 seconds using the Core i5 CPU M460 @ 2.5GHz 4GB RAM. For one patient, the proposed method of analysis confirms enamel thickness loss of 80 μm (from 730 ± 165 μm to 650 ± 129 μm) after polishing with paste, enamel thickness loss of 435 μm (from 730 ± 165 μm to 295 ± 55 μm) after etching and bonding resin application, growth of a layer having a thickness of 265 μm (from 295 ± 55 μm to 560 ± 98 μm after etching) which is the adhesive system. After removing an orthodontic bracket, the adhesive residue was 105 μm and after cleaning it off, the enamel thickness was

  19. A quantitative method for assessing the quality of meibomian glands.

    PubMed

    Koprowski, Robert; Wilczyński, Sławomir; Olczyk, Paweł; Nowińska, Anna; Węglarz, Beata; Wylęgała, Edward

    2016-08-01

    Meibomian gland dysfunction is a common cause of dry eye syndrome which can also lead to eyelid inflammation. Today, diagnostics of meibomian glands is not fully automatic yet and is based on a qualitative assessment made by an ophthalmologist. Therefore, this article proposes a new automatic analysis method which provides a quantitative assessment of meibomian gland dysfunction. The new algorithm involves a sequence of operations: image acquisition (acquisition of data from OCULUS Keratograph® 5M); image pre-processing (image conversion to gray levels, median filtering, removal of uneven lighting, normalization); main image processing (binarization, morphological opening, labeling, Gaussian filtering, skeletonization, distance transform, watersheds). The algorithm was implemented in Matlab with Image Processing Toolbox (Matlab: Version 7.11.0.584, R2010b) on a PC running Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit with the Intel Core i7-4960X CPU @ 3.60GHz. The algorithm described in this article has the following features: it is fully automatic, provides fully reproducible results - sensitivity of 99.3% and specificity of 97.5% in the diagnosis of meibomian glands, and is insensitive to parameter changes. The time of image analysis for a single subject does not exceed 0.5s. Currently, the presented algorithm is tested in the Railway Hospital in Katowice, Poland. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Automated signal quality assessment of mobile phone-recorded heart sound signals.

    PubMed

    Springer, David B; Brennan, Thomas; Ntusi, Ntobeko; Abdelrahman, Hassan Y; Zühlke, Liesl J; Mayosi, Bongani M; Tarassenko, Lionel; Clifford, Gari D

    Mobile phones, due to their audio processing capabilities, have the potential to facilitate the diagnosis of heart disease through automated auscultation. However, such a platform is likely to be used by non-experts, and hence, it is essential that such a device is able to automatically differentiate poor quality from diagnostically useful recordings since non-experts are more likely to make poor-quality recordings. This paper investigates the automated signal quality assessment of heart sound recordings performed using both mobile phone-based and commercial medical-grade electronic stethoscopes. The recordings, each 60 s long, were taken from 151 random adult individuals with varying diagnoses referred to a cardiac clinic and were professionally annotated by five experts. A mean voting procedure was used to compute a final quality label for each recording. Nine signal quality indices were defined and calculated for each recording. A logistic regression model for classifying binary quality was then trained and tested. The inter-rater agreement level for the stethoscope and mobile phone recordings was measured using Conger's kappa for multiclass sets and found to be 0.24 and 0.54, respectively. One-third of all the mobile phone-recorded phonocardiogram (PCG) signals were found to be of sufficient quality for analysis. The classifier was able to distinguish good- and poor-quality mobile phone recordings with 82.2% accuracy, and those made with the electronic stethoscope with an accuracy of 86.5%. We conclude that our classification approach provides a mechanism for substantially improving auscultation recordings by non-experts. This work is the first systematic evaluation of a PCG signal quality classification algorithm (using a separate test dataset) and assessment of the quality of PCG recordings captured by non-experts, using both a medical-grade digital stethoscope and a mobile phone.

  1. Online aptitude automatic surface quality inspection system for hot rolled strips steel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Jin; Xie, Zhi-jiang; Wang, Xue; Sun, Nan-Nan

    2005-12-01

    Defects on the surface of hot rolled steel strips are main factors to evaluate quality of steel strips, an improved image recognition algorithm are used to extract the feature of Defects on the surface of steel strips. Base on the Machine vision and Artificial Neural Networks, establish a defect recognition method to select defect on the surface of steel strips. Base on these research. A surface inspection system and advanced algorithms for image processing to hot rolled strips is developed. Preparing two different fashion to lighting, adopting line blast vidicon of CCD on the surface steel strips on-line. Opening up capacity-diagnose-system with level the surface of steel strips on line, toward the above and undersurface of steel strips with ferric oxide, injure, stamp etc of defects on the surface to analyze and estimate. Miscarriage of justice and alternate of justice rate not preponderate over 5%.Geting hold of applications on some big enterprises of steel at home. Experiment proved that this measure is feasible and effective.

  2. Automatic Generation of High Quality DSM Based on IRS-P5 Cartosat-1 Stereo Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    d'Angelo, Pablo; Uttenthaler, Andreas; Carl, Sebastian; Barner, Frithjof; Reinartz, Peter

    2010-12-01

    IRS-P5 Cartosat-1 high resolution stereo satellite imagery is well suited for the creation of digital surface models (DSM). A system for highly automated and operational DSM and orthoimage generation based on IRS-P5 Cartosat-1 imagery is presented, with an emphasis on automated processing and product quality. The proposed system processes IRS-P5 level-1 stereo scenes using the rational polynomial coefficients (RPC) universal sensor model. The described method uses an RPC correction based on DSM alignment instead of using reference images with a lower lateral accuracy, this results in improved geolocation of the DSMs and orthoimages. Following RPC correction, highly detailed DSMs with 5 m grid spacing are derived using Semiglobal Matching. The proposed method is part of an operational Cartosat-1 processor for the generation of a high resolution DSM. Evaluation of 18 scenes against independent ground truth measurements indicates a mean lateral error (CE90) of 6.7 meters and a mean vertical accuracy (LE90) of 5.1 meters.

  3. Assessment of Quality of Life in Migraine

    PubMed Central

    TAŞKAPILIOĞLU, Özlem; KARLI, Necdet

    2013-01-01

    Quality of life is the perception of an individual’s position in life associated with his objectives, expectations, interests, and standard’s of life. Health-related quality of life, on the other hand, includes satisfaction with his health and emotional reaction to his state of health. Primary headaches are encountered commonly in adults during their most productive years like end of puberty and at the beginning of 50’s. Migraine alone is responsible for 1.3% of years with disability in the world, all headaches together being responsible for twice of this load. Headaches both worsen quality of life of individuals and place a significant burden on the society. This review will focus on the effects of primary headaches, especially migraine, on quality of life and tools used to evaluate these effects.

  4. Space shuttle flying qualities and criteria assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, T. T.; Johnston, D. E.; Mcruer, Duane T.

    1987-01-01

    Work accomplished under a series of study tasks for the Flying Qualities and Flight Control Systems Design Criteria Experiment (OFQ) of the Shuttle Orbiter Experiments Program (OEX) is summarized. The tasks involved review of applicability of existing flying quality and flight control system specification and criteria for the Shuttle; identification of potentially crucial flying quality deficiencies; dynamic modeling of the Shuttle Orbiter pilot/vehicle system in the terminal flight phases; devising a nonintrusive experimental program for extraction and identification of vehicle dynamics, pilot control strategy, and approach and landing performance metrics, and preparation of an OEX approach to produce a data archive and optimize use of the data to develop flying qualities for future space shuttle craft in general. Analytic modeling of the Orbiter's unconventional closed-loop dynamics in landing, modeling pilot control strategies, verification of vehicle dynamics and pilot control strategy from flight data, review of various existent or proposed aircraft flying quality parameters and criteria in comparison with the unique dynamic characteristics and control aspects of the Shuttle in landing; and finally a summary of conclusions and recommendations for developing flying quality criteria and design guides for future Shuttle craft.

  5. Research iris serial images quality assessment method based on HVS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhi-hui; Zhang, Chang-hai; Ming, Xing; Zhao, Yong-hua

    2006-01-01

    Iris recognition can be widely used in security and customs, and it provides superiority security than other human feature recognition such as fingerprint, face and so on. The iris image quality is crucial to recognition effect. Accordingly reliable image quality assessments are necessary for evaluating iris image quality. However, there haven't uniformly criterion to Image quality assessment. Image quality assessment have Objective and Subjective Evaluation methods, In practice, However Subjective Evaluation method is fussy and doesn't effective on iris recognition. Objective Evaluation method should be used in iris recognition. According to human visual system model (HVS) Multi-scale and selectivity characteristic, it presents a new iris Image quality assessment method. In the paper, ROI is found and wavelet transform zero-crossing is used to find Multi-scale edge, and Multi-scale fusion measure is used to assess iris image quality. In experiment, Objective and Subjective Evaluation methods are used to assess iris images. From the results, the method is effectively to iris image quality assessment.

  6. Assessment of voice, speech, and related quality of life in advanced head and neck cancer patients 10-years+ after chemoradiotherapy.

    PubMed

    Kraaijenga, S A C; Oskam, I M; van Son, R J J H; Hamming-Vrieze, O; Hilgers, F J M; van den Brekel, M W M; van der Molen, L

    2016-04-01

    Assessment of long-term objective and subjective voice, speech, articulation, and quality of life in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for advanced, stage IV disease. Twenty-two disease-free survivors, treated with cisplatin-based CRT for inoperable HNC (1999-2004), were evaluated at 10-years post-treatment. A standard Dutch text was recorded. Perceptual analysis of voice, speech, and articulation was conducted by two expert listeners (SLPs). Also an experimental expert system based on automatic speech recognition was used. Patients' perception of voice and speech and related quality of life was assessed with the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) and Speech Handicap Index (SHI) questionnaires. At a median follow-up of 11-years, perceptual evaluation showed abnormal scores in up to 64% of cases, depending on the outcome parameter analyzed. Automatic assessment of voice and speech parameters correlated moderate to strong with perceptual outcome scores. Patient-reported problems with voice (VHI>15) and speech (SHI>6) in daily life were present in 68% and 77% of patients, respectively. Patients treated with IMRT showed significantly less impairment compared to those treated with conventional radiotherapy. More than 10-years after organ-preservation treatment, voice and speech problems are common in this patient cohort, as assessed with perceptual evaluation, automatic speech recognition, and with validated structured questionnaires. There were fewer complaints in patients treated with IMRT than with conventional radiotherapy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Dried fruits quality assessment by hyperspectral imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serranti, Silvia; Gargiulo, Aldo; Bonifazi, Giuseppe

    2012-05-01

    Dried fruits products present different market values according to their quality. Such a quality is usually quantified in terms of freshness of the products, as well as presence of contaminants (pieces of shell, husk, and small stones), defects, mould and decays. The combination of these parameters, in terms of relative presence, represent a fundamental set of attributes conditioning dried fruits humans-senses-detectable-attributes (visual appearance, organolectic properties, etc.) and their overall quality in terms of marketable products. Sorting-selection strategies exist but sometimes they fail when a higher degree of detection is required especially if addressed to discriminate between dried fruits of relatively small dimensions and when aiming to perform an "early detection" of pathogen agents responsible of future moulds and decays development. Surface characteristics of dried fruits can be investigated by hyperspectral imaging (HSI). In this paper, specific and "ad hoc" applications addressed to propose quality detection logics, adopting a hyperspectral imaging (HSI) based approach, are described, compared and critically evaluated. Reflectance spectra of selected dried fruits (hazelnuts) of different quality and characterized by the presence of different contaminants and defects have been acquired by a laboratory device equipped with two HSI systems working in two different spectral ranges: visible-near infrared field (400-1000 nm) and near infrared field (1000-1700 nm). The spectra have been processed and results evaluated adopting both a simple and fast wavelength band ratio approach and a more sophisticated classification logic based on principal component (PCA) analysis.

  8. Examination of the effect of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators on health-related quality of life: based on results from the Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Trial-II.

    PubMed

    Noyes, Katia; Corona, Ethan; Veazie, Peter; Dick, Andrew W; Zhao, Hongwei; Moss, Arthur J

    2009-01-01

    While implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) improve survival, their benefit in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is negligible. To examine how shocks and congestive heart failure (CHF) mediate the effect of ICDs on HRQOL. The US patients from the MADIT-II (Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Trial-II) trial (n = 983) were randomized to receive an ICD or medical treatment only. HRQOL was assessed using the Health Utility Index 3 at baseline and 3, 12, 24, and 36 months following randomization. Logistic regressions were used to test for the effect of ICDs on the CHF indicator, and linear regressions were used to examine the effect of ICD shocks and CHF on HRQOL in living patients. We used a Monte Carlo simulation and a parametric Weibull distribution survival model to test for the effect of selective attrition. Observations were clustered by patients and robust standard errors (RSEs) were used to control for the non-independence of multiple observations provided by the same patient. Patients in the ICD arm had 41% higher odds of experiencing CHF since their last assessment compared with those in the control arm (RSE = 0.19, p = 0.01). Developing CHF reduced HRQOL at the subsequent visit by 0.07 (p < 0.01). Having ICD shocks reduced overall HRQOL by 0.04 (p = 0.04) at the subsequent assessment. The negative effect of ICD firing on HRQOL was an order of magnitude greater than the effect of CHF. A higher prevalence of CHF and shocks among patients with ICDs and their negative effect on HRQOL may partially explain the lack of HRQOL benefit of ICD therapy.

  9. Published methodological quality of randomized controlled trials does not reflect the actual quality assessed in protocols

    PubMed Central

    Mhaskar, Rahul; Djulbegovic, Benjamin; Magazin, Anja; Soares, Heloisa P.; Kumar, Ambuj

    2011-01-01

    Objectives To assess whether reported methodological quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reflect the actual methodological quality, and to evaluate the association of effect size (ES) and sample size with methodological quality. Study design Systematic review Setting Retrospective analysis of all consecutive phase III RCTs published by 8 National Cancer Institute Cooperative Groups until year 2006. Data were extracted from protocols (actual quality) and publications (reported quality) for each study. Results 429 RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Overall reporting of methodological quality was poor and did not reflect the actual high methodological quality of RCTs. The results showed no association between sample size and actual methodological quality of a trial. Poor reporting of allocation concealment and blinding exaggerated the ES by 6% (ratio of hazard ratio [RHR]: 0.94, 95%CI: 0.88, 0.99) and 24% (RHR: 1.24, 95%CI: 1.05, 1.43), respectively. However, actual quality assessment showed no association between ES and methodological quality. Conclusion The largest study to-date shows poor quality of reporting does not reflect the actual high methodological quality. Assessment of the impact of quality on the ES based on reported quality can produce misleading results. PMID:22424985

  10. Published methodological quality of randomized controlled trials does not reflect the actual quality assessed in protocols.

    PubMed

    Mhaskar, Rahul; Djulbegovic, Benjamin; Magazin, Anja; Soares, Heloisa P; Kumar, Ambuj

    2012-06-01

    To assess whether the reported methodological quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reflects the actual methodological quality and to evaluate the association of effect size (ES) and sample size with methodological quality. Systematic review. This is a retrospective analysis of all consecutive phase III RCTs published by eight National Cancer Institute Cooperative Groups up to 2006. Data were extracted from protocols (actual quality) and publications (reported quality) for each study. Four hundred twenty-nine RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Overall reporting of methodological quality was poor and did not reflect the actual high methodological quality of RCTs. The results showed no association between sample size and actual methodological quality of a trial. Poor reporting of allocation concealment and blinding exaggerated the ES by 6% (ratio of hazard ratio [RHR]: 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.88, 0.99) and 24% (RHR: 1.24; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.43), respectively. However, actual quality assessment showed no association between ES and methodological quality. The largest study to date shows that poor quality of reporting does not reflect the actual high methodological quality. Assessment of the impact of quality on the ES based on reported quality can produce misleading results. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Air quality risk assessment and management.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yue; Craig, Lorraine; Krewski, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    This article provides (1) a synthesis of the literature on the linkages between air pollution and human health, (2) an overview of quality management approaches in Canada, the United States, and the European Union (EU), and (3) future directions for air quality research. Numerous studies examining short-term effects of air pollution show significant associations between ambient levels of particulate matter (PM) and other air pollutants and increases in premature mortality and hospitalizations for cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. Several well-designed epidemiological studies confirmed the adverse long-term effects of PM on both mortality and morbidity. Epidemiological studies also document significant associations between ozone (O3), sulfur (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) and adverse health outcomes; however, the effects of gaseous pollutants are less well documented. Subpopulations that are more susceptible to air pollution include children, the elderly, those with cardiorespiratory disease, and socioeconomically deprived individuals. Canada-wide standards for ambient air concentrations of PM2.5 and O3 were set in 2000, providing air quality targets to be achieved by 2010. In the United States, the Clean Air Act provides the framework for the establishment and review of National Ambient Air Quality Standards for criteria air pollutants and the establishment of emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants. The 1996 European Union's enactment of the Framework Directive for Air Quality established the process for setting Europe-wide limit values for a series of pollutants. The Clean Air for Europe program was established by the European Union to review existing limit values, emission ceilings, and abatement protocols, as set out in the current legislation. These initiatives serve as the legislative framework for air quality management in North America and Europe.

  12. Doctors or technicians: assessing quality of medical education.

    PubMed

    Hasan, Tayyab

    2010-01-01

    Medical education institutions usually adapt industrial quality management models that measure the quality of the process of a program but not the quality of the product. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of industrial quality management models on medical education and students, and to highlight the importance of introducing a proper educational quality management model. Industrial quality management models can measure the training component in terms of competencies, but they lack the educational component measurement. These models use performance indicators to assess their process improvement efforts. Researchers suggest that the performance indicators used in educational institutions may only measure their fiscal efficiency without measuring the quality of the educational experience of the students. In most of the institutions, where industrial models are used for quality assurance, students are considered as customers and are provided with the maximum services and facilities possible. Institutions are required to fulfill a list of recommendations from the quality control agencies in order to enhance student satisfaction and to guarantee standard services. Quality of medical education should be assessed by measuring the impact of the educational program and quality improvement procedures in terms of knowledge base development, behavioral change, and patient care. Industrial quality models may focus on academic support services and processes, but educational quality models should be introduced in parallel to focus on educational standards and products.

  13. Quality Assessment of Sharpened Images: Challenges, Methodology, and Objective Metrics.

    PubMed

    Krasula, Lukas; Le Callet, Patrick; Fliegel, Karel; Klima, Milos

    2017-01-10

    Most of the effort in image quality assessment (QA) has been so far dedicated to the degradation of the image. However, there are also many algorithms in the image processing chain that can enhance the quality of an input image. These include procedures for contrast enhancement, deblurring, sharpening, up-sampling, denoising, transfer function compensation, etc. In this work, possible strategies for the quality assessment of sharpened images are investigated. This task is not trivial because the sharpening techniques can increase the perceived quality, as well as introduce artifacts leading to the quality drop (over-sharpening). Here, the framework specifically adapted for the quality assessment of sharpened images and objective metrics comparison in this context is introduced. However, the framework can be adopted in other quality assessment areas as well. The problem of selecting the correct procedure for subjective evaluation was addressed and a subjective test on blurred, sharpened, and over-sharpened images was performed in order to demonstrate the use of the framework. The obtained ground-truth data were used for testing the suitability of state-ofthe- art objective quality metrics for the assessment of sharpened images. The comparison was performed by novel procedure using ROC analyses which is found more appropriate for the task than standard methods. Furthermore, seven possible augmentations of the no-reference S3 metric adapted for sharpened images are proposed. The performance of the metric is significantly improved and also superior over the rest of the tested quality criteria with respect to the subjective data.

  14. Key Elements for Judging the Quality of a Risk Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Fenner-Crisp, Penelope A.; Dellarco, Vicki L.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Many reports have been published that contain recommendations for improving the quality, transparency, and usefulness of decision making for risk assessments prepared by agencies of the U.S. federal government. A substantial measure of consensus has emerged regarding the characteristics that high-quality assessments should possess. Objective: The goal was to summarize the key characteristics of a high-quality assessment as identified in the consensus-building process and to integrate them into a guide for use by decision makers, risk assessors, peer reviewers and other interested stakeholders to determine if an assessment meets the criteria for high quality. Discussion: Most of the features cited in the guide are applicable to any type of assessment, whether it encompasses one, two, or all four phases of the risk-assessment paradigm; whether it is qualitative or quantitative; and whether it is screening level or highly sophisticated and complex. Other features are tailored to specific elements of an assessment. Just as agencies at all levels of government are responsible for determining the effectiveness of their programs, so too should they determine the effectiveness of their assessments used in support of their regulatory decisions. Furthermore, if a nongovernmental entity wishes to have its assessments considered in the governmental regulatory decision-making process, then these assessments should be judged in the same rigorous manner and be held to similar standards. Conclusions: The key characteristics of a high-quality assessment can be summarized and integrated into a guide for judging whether an assessment possesses the desired features of high quality, transparency, and usefulness. Citation: Fenner-Crisp PA, Dellarco VL. 2016. Key elements for judging the quality of a risk assessment. Environ Health Perspect 124:1127–1135; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1510483 PMID:26862984

  15. A new approach to subjectively assess quality of plenoptic content

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viola, Irene; Řeřábek, Martin; Ebrahimi, Touradj

    2016-09-01

    Plenoptic content is becoming increasingly popular thanks to the availability of acquisition and display devices. Thanks to image-based rendering techniques, a plenoptic content can be rendered in real time in an interactive manner allowing virtual navigation through the captured scenes. This way of content consumption enables new experiences, and therefore introduces several challenges in terms of plenoptic data processing, transmission and consequently visual quality evaluation. In this paper, we propose a new methodology to subjectively assess the visual quality of plenoptic content. We also introduce a prototype software to perform subjective quality assessment according to the proposed methodology. The proposed methodology is further applied to assess the visual quality of a light field compression algorithm. Results show that this methodology can be successfully used to assess the visual quality of plenoptic content.

  16. A structured multi-block solution-adaptive mesh algorithm with mesh quality assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingram, Clint L.; Laflin, Kelly R.; Mcrae, D. Scott

    1995-01-01

    The dynamic solution adaptive grid algorithm, DSAGA3D, is extended to automatically adapt 2-D structured multi-block grids, including adaption of the block boundaries. The extension is general, requiring only input data concerning block structure, connectivity, and boundary conditions. Imbedded grid singular points are permitted, but must be prevented from moving in space. Solutions for workshop cases 1 and 2 are obtained on multi-block grids and illustrate both increased resolution of and alignment with the solution. A mesh quality assessment criteria is proposed to determine how well a given mesh resolves and aligns with the solution obtained upon it. The criteria is used to evaluate the grid quality for solutions of workshop case 6 obtained on both static and dynamically adapted grids. The results indicate that this criteria shows promise as a means of evaluating resolution.

  17. Teacher Quality and Quality Teaching: Examining the Relationship of a Teacher Assessment to Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Heather C.; Umland, Kristin; Litke, Erica; Kapitula, Laura R.

    2012-01-01

    Multiple-choice assessments are frequently used for gauging teacher quality. However, research seldom examines whether results from such assessments generalize to practice. To illuminate this issue, we compare teacher performance on a mathematics assessment, during mathematics instruction, and by student performance on a state assessment. Poor…

  18. Oregon Child Care Quality Indicators Program: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Oregon's Child Care Quality Indicators Program prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4)…

  19. Illinois Quality Counts: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Illinois' Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…

  20. Oregon Child Care Quality Indicators Program: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Oregon's Child Care Quality Indicators Program prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4)…

  1. Iowa Child Care Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Iowa's Child Care Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile is divided into the following categories: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family Child Care Programs;…

  2. Illinois Quality Counts: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Illinois' Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…

  3. Iowa Child Care Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Iowa's Child Care Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile is divided into the following categories: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family Child Care Programs;…

  4. Maine Quality for ME: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Maine's Quality for ME prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…

  5. Indiana Paths to Quality: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Indiana's Paths to Quality prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  6. Missouri Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Missouri's Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  7. Ohio Step Up to Quality: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Ohio's Step Up to Quality prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for Family…

  8. Virginia Star Quality Initiative: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Virginia's Star Quality Initiative prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators…

  9. New Hampshire Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of New Hampshire's Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4)…

  10. Miami-Dade Quality Counts: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Miami-Dade's Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  11. Exploring the Notion of Quality in Quality Higher Education Assessment in a Collaborative Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maguire, Kate; Gibbs, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to contribute to the debate on the notion of quality in higher education with particular focus on "objectifying through articulation" the assessment of quality by professional experts. The article gives an overview of the differentiations of quality as used in higher education. It explores a substantial…

  12. Exploring the Notion of Quality in Quality Higher Education Assessment in a Collaborative Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maguire, Kate; Gibbs, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to contribute to the debate on the notion of quality in higher education with particular focus on "objectifying through articulation" the assessment of quality by professional experts. The article gives an overview of the differentiations of quality as used in higher education. It explores a substantial…

  13. New Hampshire Quality Rating System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of New Hampshire's Quality Rating System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4)…

  14. Mississippi Quality Step System: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS)Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Mississippi's Quality Step System prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Application…

  15. Palm Beach Quality Counts: QRS Profile. The Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Child Trends, 2010

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a profile of Palm Beach's Quality Counts prepared as part of the Child Care Quality Rating System (QRS) Assessment Study. The profile consists of several sections and their corresponding descriptions including: (1) Program Information; (2) Rating Details; (3) Quality Indicators for Center-Based Programs; (4) Indicators for…

  16. Poster — Thur Eve — 70: Automatic lung bronchial and vessel bifurcations detection algorithm for deformable image registration assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Labine, Alexandre; Carrier, Jean-François; Bedwani, Stéphane; Chav, Ramnada; De Guise, Jacques

    2014-08-15

    Purpose: To investigate an automatic bronchial and vessel bifurcations detection algorithm for deformable image registration (DIR) assessment to improve lung cancer radiation treatment. Methods: 4DCT datasets were acquired and exported to Varian treatment planning system (TPS) EclipseTM for contouring. The lungs TPS contour was used as the prior shape for a segmentation algorithm based on hierarchical surface deformation that identifies the deformed lungs volumes of the 10 breathing phases. Hounsfield unit (HU) threshold filter was applied within the segmented lung volumes to identify blood vessels and airways. Segmented blood vessels and airways were skeletonised using a hierarchical curve-skeleton algorithm based on a generalized potential field approach. A graph representation of the computed skeleton was generated to assign one of three labels to each node: the termination node, the continuation node or the branching node. Results: 320 ± 51 bifurcations were detected in the right lung of a patient for the 10 breathing phases. The bifurcations were visually analyzed. 92 ± 10 bifurcations were found in the upper half of the lung and 228 ± 45 bifurcations were found in the lower half of the lung. Discrepancies between ten vessel trees were mainly ascribed to large deformation and in regions where the HU varies. Conclusions: We established an automatic method for DIR assessment using the morphological information of the patient anatomy. This approach allows a description of the lung's internal structure movement, which is needed to validate the DIR deformation fields for accurate 4D cancer treatment planning.

  17. Quality Assessment in Mexican Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zorilla, Juan Fidel

    1998-01-01

    Examines the results of Mexico's quality-oriented higher-education policies, in place since 1984 and designed to encourage improved faculty performance through economic incentives. The policies were enhanced further in the mid-1990s by establishing medium-term improvement strategies and using external evaluators and international experience to…

  18. SAMPLING DESIGN FOR ASSESSING RECREATIONAL WATER QUALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current U.S. EPA guidelines for monitoring recreatoinal water quality refer to the geometric mean density of indicator organisms, enterococci and E. coli in marine and fresh water, respectively, from at least five samples collected over a four-week period. In order to expand thi...

  19. ASSESSING WATER QUALITY: AN ENERGETICS PERPECTIVE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Integrated measures of food web dynamics could serve as important supplemental indicators of water quality that are well related with ecological integrity and environmental well-being. When the concern is a well-characterized pollutant (posing an established risk to human health...

  20. Assessment of Curriculum Quality through Alumni Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saunders-Smits, Gillian; de Graaff, Erik

    2012-01-01

    In today's output defined society, alumni are the output of higher education. This article shows how alumni research can be used as an important indicator of curriculum quality. This relatively unexplored area of engineering education research in Europe is highlighted using a case study carried out in the Netherlands, the outcomes of which have…

  1. Assessing Students' Spiritual and Religious Qualities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Astin, Alexander W.; Astin, Helen S.; Lindholm, Jennifer A.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a comprehensive set of 12 new measures for studying undergraduate students' spiritual and religious development. The three measures of spirituality, four measures of "spiritually related" qualities, and five measures of religiousness demonstrate satisfactory reliability, robustness, and both concurrent and predictive validity.…

  2. Total Quality Management: Implications for Educational Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rankin, Stuart C.

    1992-01-01

    Deming's "System of Profound Knowledge" is even more fundamental than his 14-principle system transformation guide and is based on 4 elements: systems theory, statistical variation, a theory of knowledge, and psychology. Management should revamp total system processes so that quality of product is continually improved. Implications for…

  3. Total Quality Management: Implications for Educational Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rankin, Stuart C.

    1992-01-01

    Deming's "System of Profound Knowledge" is even more fundamental than his 14-principle system transformation guide and is based on 4 elements: systems theory, statistical variation, a theory of knowledge, and psychology. Management should revamp total system processes so that quality of product is continually improved. Implications for…

  4. Automatic Blocked Roads Assessment after Earthquake Using High Resolution Satellite Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastiveis, H.; Hosseini-Zirdoo, E.; Eslamizade, F.

    2015-12-01

    In 2010, an earthquake in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, happened quite by chance an accident and killed over 300000 people. According to historical data such an earthquake has not occurred in the area. Unpredictability of earthquakes has necessitated the need for comprehensive mitigation efforts to minimize deaths and injuries. Blocked roads, caused by debris of destroyed buildings, may increase the difficulty of rescue activities. In this case, a damage map, which specifies blocked and unblocked roads, can be definitely helpful for a rescue team. In this paper, a novel method for providing destruction map based on pre-event vector map and high resolution world view II satellite images after earthquake, is presented. For this purpose, firstly in pre-processing step, image quality improvement and co-coordination of image and map are performed. Then, after extraction of texture descriptor from the image after quake and SVM classification, different terrains are detected in the image. Finally, considering the classification results, specifically objects belong to "debris" class, damage analysis are performed to estimate the damage percentage. In this case, in addition to the area objects in the "debris" class their shape should also be counted. The aforementioned process are performed on all the roads in the road layer.In this research, pre-event digital vector map and post-event high resolution satellite image, acquired by Worldview-2, of the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, were used to evaluate the proposed method. The algorithm was executed on 1200×800 m2 of the data set, including 60 roads, and all the roads were labelled correctly. The visual examination have authenticated the abilities of this method for damage assessment of urban roads network after an earthquake.

  5. Factors Influencing Assessment Quality in Higher Vocational Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baartman, Liesbeth; Gulikers, Judith; Dijkstra, Asha

    2013-01-01

    The development of assessments that are fit to assess professional competence in higher vocational education requires a reconsideration of assessment methods, quality criteria and (self)evaluation. This article examines the self-evaluations of nine courses of a large higher vocational education institute. Per course, 4-11 teachers and 3-10…

  6. Evolving from Quantity to Quality: A New Yardstick for Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fulcher, Keston H.; Orem, Chris D.

    2010-01-01

    Higher education experts tout learning outcomes assessment as a vehicle for program improvement. To this end the authors share a rubric designed explicitly to evaluate the quality of assessment and how it leads to program improvement. The rubric contains six general assessment areas, which are further broken down into 14 elements. Embedded within…

  7. Factors Influencing Assessment Quality in Higher Vocational Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baartman, Liesbeth; Gulikers, Judith; Dijkstra, Asha

    2013-01-01

    The development of assessments that are fit to assess professional competence in higher vocational education requires a reconsideration of assessment methods, quality criteria and (self)evaluation. This article examines the self-evaluations of nine courses of a large higher vocational education institute. Per course, 4-11 teachers and 3-10…

  8. Image quality assessment by preprocessing and full reference model combination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianco, S.; Ciocca, G.; Marini, F.; Schettini, R.

    2009-01-01

    This paper focuses on full-reference image quality assessment and presents different computational strategies aimed to improve the robustness and accuracy of some well known and widely used state of the art models, namely the Structural Similarity approach (SSIM) by Wang and Bovik and the S-CIELAB spatial-color model by Zhang and Wandell. We investigate the hypothesis that combining error images with a visual attention model could allow a better fit of the psycho-visual data of the LIVE Image Quality assessment Database Release 2. We show that the proposed quality assessment metric better correlates with the experimental data.

  9. E-Services quality assessment framework for collaborative networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stegaru, Georgiana; Danila, Cristian; Sacala, Ioan Stefan; Moisescu, Mihnea; Mihai Stanescu, Aurelian

    2015-08-01

    In a globalised networked economy, collaborative networks (CNs) are formed to take advantage of new business opportunities. Collaboration involves shared resources and capabilities, such as e-Services that can be dynamically composed to automate CN participants' business processes. Quality is essential for the success of business process automation. Current approaches mostly focus on quality of service (QoS)-based service selection and ranking algorithms, overlooking the process of service composition which requires interoperable, adaptable and secure e-Services to ensure seamless collaboration, data confidentiality and integrity. Lack of assessment of these quality attributes can result in e-Service composition failure. The quality of e-Service composition relies on the quality of each e-Service and on the quality of the composition process. Therefore, there is the need for a framework that addresses quality from both views: product and process. We propose a quality of e-Service composition (QoESC) framework for quality assessment of e-Service composition for CNs which comprises of a quality model for e-Service evaluation and guidelines for quality of e-Service composition process. We implemented a prototype considering a simplified telemedicine use case which involves a CN in e-Healthcare domain. To validate the proposed quality-driven framework, we analysed service composition reliability with and without using the proposed framework.

  10. Maximising Confidence in Assessment Decision-Making: A Springboard to Quality in Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clayton, Berwyn; Booth, Robin; Roy, Sue

    The introduction of training packages has focused attention on the quality of assessment in the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector on the quality of assessment. For the process of mutual recognition under the Australian Recognition Framework (ARF) to work effectively, there needs to be confidence in assessment decisions made…

  11. Cloud-Based Smart Health Monitoring System for Automatic Cardiovascular and Fall Risk Assessment in Hypertensive Patients.

    PubMed

    Melillo, P; Orrico, A; Scala, P; Crispino, F; Pecchia, L

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this paper is to describe the design and the preliminary validation of a platform developed to collect and automatically analyze biomedical signals for risk assessment of vascular events and falls in hypertensive patients. This m-health platform, based on cloud computing, was designed to be flexible, extensible, and transparent, and to provide proactive remote monitoring via data-mining functionalities. A retrospective study was conducted to train and test the platform. The developed system was able to predict a future vascular event within the next 12 months with an accuracy rate of 84 % and to identify fallers with an accuracy rate of 72 %. In an ongoing prospective trial, almost all the recruited patients accepted favorably the system with a limited rate of inadherences causing data losses (<20 %). The developed platform supported clinical decision by processing tele-monitored data and providing quick and accurate risk assessment of vascular events and falls.

  12. [Microbial indicators and fresh water quality assessment].

    PubMed

    Briancesco, Rossella

    2005-01-01

    Traditionally, the microbiological quality of waters has been measured by the analysis of indicator microorganisms. The article reviews the sanitary significance of traditional indicators of faecal contamination (total coliforms, faecal coliforms and faecal streptococci) and points out their limits. For some characteristics Escherichia coli may be considered a more useful indicator then faecal coliforms and recently it has been included in all recent laws regarding fresh, marine and drinking water. A clearer taxonomic definition of faecal streptococci evidenced the difficulty into defining a specific standard methodology of enumeration and suggested the more suitable role of enterococci as indicator microorganisms. Several current laws require the detection of enterococci. The resistance of Clostridium perfringens spores may mean that they would serve as a useful indicator of the sanitary quality of sea sediments.

  13. Method and apparatus for assessing weld quality

    DOEpatents

    Smartt, Herschel B.; Kenney, Kevin L.; Johnson, John A.; Carlson, Nancy M.; Clark, Denis E.; Taylor, Paul L.; Reutzel, Edward W.

    2001-01-01

    Apparatus for determining a quality of a weld produced by a welding device according to the present invention includes a sensor operatively associated with the welding device. The sensor is responsive to at least one welding process parameter during a welding process and produces a welding process parameter signal that relates to the at least one welding process parameter. A computer connected to the sensor is responsive to the welding process parameter signal produced by the sensor. A user interface operatively associated with the computer allows a user to select a desired welding process. The computer processes the welding process parameter signal produced by the sensor in accordance with one of a constant voltage algorithm, a short duration weld algorithm or a pulsed current analysis module depending on the desired welding process selected by the user. The computer produces output data indicative of the quality of the weld.

  14. Workforce Quality and Federal Procurement: An Assessment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-07-01

    changes tion community have raised concerns about a in personiel policies to improve the possible decline in the quality of the Federal Government’s ability...ratings, both employees and supervi- there is substantial room for improvement as sors believed that virtually the same percentage of indicated by the...52 32 Analytical Ability 47 45 48 37 Oral Communications 47 46 52 37 Writing Ability 46 46 51 33 Ability to Innovate 54 32 53 22 Ability to Initiate

  15. Standardizing Quality Assessment of Fused Remotely Sensed Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, C.; Moellmann, J.; Fries, K.

    2017-09-01

    The multitude of available operational remote sensing satellites led to the development of many image fusion techniques to provide high spatial, spectral and temporal resolution images. The comparison of different techniques is necessary to obtain an optimized image for the different applications of remote sensing. There are two approaches in assessing image quality: 1. Quantitatively by visual interpretation and 2. Quantitatively using image quality indices. However an objective comparison is difficult due to the fact that a visual assessment is always subject and a quantitative assessment is done by different criteria. Depending on the criteria and indices the result varies. Therefore it is necessary to standardize both processes (qualitative and quantitative assessment) in order to allow an objective image fusion quality evaluation. Various studies have been conducted at the University of Osnabrueck (UOS) to establish a standardized process to objectively compare fused image quality. First established image fusion quality assessment protocols, i.e. Quality with No Reference (QNR) and Khan's protocol, were compared on varies fusion experiments. Second the process of visual quality assessment was structured and standardized with the aim to provide an evaluation protocol. This manuscript reports on the results of the comparison and provides recommendations for future research.

  16. Many quality measurements, but few quality measures assessing the quality of breast cancer care in women: A systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Schachter, Howard M; Mamaladze, Vasil; Lewin, Gabriela; Graham, Ian D; Brouwers, Melissa; Sampson, Margaret; Morrison, Andra; Zhang, Li; O'Blenis, Peter; Garritty, Chantelle

    2006-01-01

    Background Breast cancer in women is increasingly frequent, and care is complex, onerous and expensive, all of which lend urgency to improvements in care. Quality measurement is essential to monitor effectiveness and to guide improvements in healthcare. Methods Ten databases, including Medline, were searched electronically to identify measures assessing the quality of breast cancer care in women (diagnosis, treatment, followup, documentation of care). Eligible studies measured adherence to standards of breast cancer care in women diagnosed with, or in treatment for, any histological type of adenocarcinoma of the breast. Reference lists of studies, review articles, web sites, and files of experts were searched manually. Evidence appraisal entailed dual independent assessments of data (e.g., indicators used in quality measurement). The extent of each quality indicator's scientific validation as a measure was assessed. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) was asked to contribute quality measures under development. Results Sixty relevant reports identified 58 studies with 143 indicators assessing adherence to quality breast cancer care. A paucity of validated indicators (n = 12), most of which assessed quality of life, only permitted a qualitative data synthesis. Most quality indicators evaluated processes of care. Conclusion While some studies revealed patterns of under-use of care, all adherence data require confirmation using validated quality measures. ASCO's current development of a set of quality measures relating to breast cancer care may hold the key to conducting definitive studies. PMID:17176480

  17. National Water-Quality Assessment Program: Island of Oahu, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, Stephen S.

    1998-01-01

    During the past 25 years, our Nation has sought to improve its water quality; however, many water-quality issues remain unresolved. To address the need for consistent and scientifically sound information for managing the Nation's water resources, the U.S. Geological Survey began a full-scale National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in 1991. This program is unique compared with other national water-quality assessment studies in that it integrates the monitoring of the quality of surface and ground waters with the study of aquatic ecosystems. The goals of the NAWQA Program are to (1) describe current water-quality conditions for a large part of the Nation's freshwater streams and aquifers, (2) describe how water quality is changing over time, and (3) improve our understanding of the primary natural and human factors affecting water quality. Assessing the quality of water in every location of the Nation would not be practical; therefore, NAWQA Program studies are conducted within a set of areas called study units. These study units represent the diverse geography, water resources, and land and water uses of the Nation. The island of Oahu, Hawaii, is one such study unit designed to supplement water-quality information collected in other study units across the Nation while addressing issues relevant to the island of Oahu.

  18. Assessing the quality of restored images in optical long-baseline interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomes, Nuno; Garcia, Paulo J. V.; Thiébaut, Éric

    2017-03-01

    Assessing the quality of aperture synthesis maps is relevant for benchmarking image reconstruction algorithms, for the scientific exploitation of data from optical long-baseline interferometers, and for the design/upgrade of new/existing interferometric imaging facilities. Although metrics have been proposed in these contexts, no systematic study has been conducted on the selection of a robust metric for quality assessment. This article addresses the question: what is the best metric to assess the quality of a reconstructed image? It starts by considering several metrics and selecting a few based on general properties. Then, a variety of image reconstruction cases are considered. The observational scenarios are phase closure and phase referencing at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), for a combination of two, three, four and six telescopes. End-to-end image reconstruction is accomplished with the MIRA software, and several merit functions are put to test. It is found that convolution by an effective point spread function is required for proper image quality assessment. The effective angular resolution of the images is superior to naive expectation based on the maximum frequency sampled by the array. This is due to the prior information used in the aperture synthesis algorithm and to the nature of the objects considered. The ℓ1-norm is the most robust of all considered metrics, because being linear it is less sensitive to image smoothing by high regularization levels. For the cases considered, this metric allows the implementation of automatic quality assessment of reconstructed images, with a performance similar to human selection.

  19. Analysis of results obtained using the automatic chemical control of the quality of the water heat carrier in the drum boiler of the Ivanovo CHP-3 power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larin, A. B.; Kolegov, A. V.

    2012-10-01

    Results of industrial tests of the new method used for the automatic chemical control of the quality of boiler water of the drum-type power boiler ( P d = 13.8 MPa) are described. The possibility of using an H-cationite column for measuring the electric conductivity of an H-cationized sample of boiler water over a long period of time is shown.

  20. Assessing the automaticity of moral processing: Efficient coding of moral information during narrative comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Fionnuala C.; Wilde, Gemma; Ogden, Neil; Barnard, Philip J.; Calder, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    A long-standing theoretical debate concerns the involvement of principled reasoning versus relatively automatic intuitive-emotional processing in moral cognition. To address this, we investigated whether the mental models formed during story comprehension contain a moral dimension and whether this process is affected by cognitive load. A total of 72 participants read stories about fictional characters in a range of moral situations, such as a husband being tempted to commit adultery. Each story concluded with a “moral” or “immoral” target sentence. Consistent with a framework of efficient extraction of moral information, participants took significantly longer to read immoral than moral target sentences. Moreover, the magnitude of this effect was not compromised by cognitive load. Our findings provide evidence of efficient coding of moral dimensions during narrative comprehension and demonstrate that this process does not require cognitively intense forms of principled reasoning. PMID:18720279

  1. dipIQ: Blind Image Quality Assessment by Learning-to-Rank Discriminable Image Pairs.

    PubMed

    Ma, Kede; Liu, Wentao; Liu, Tongliang; Wang, Zhou; Tao, Dacheng

    2017-05-26

    Objective assessment of image quality is fundamentally important in many image processing tasks. In this work, we focus on learning blind image quality assessment (BIQA) models which predict the quality of a digital image with no access to its original pristine-quality counterpart as reference. One of the biggest challenges in learning BIQA models is the conflict between the gigantic image space (which is in the dimension of the number of image pixels) and the extremely limited reliable ground truth data for training. Such data are typically collected via subjective testing, which is cumbersome, slow, and expensive. Here we first show that a vast amount of reliable training data in the form of quality-discriminable image pairs (DIP) can be obtained automatically at low cost by exploiting largescale databases with diverse image content. We then learn an opinion-unaware BIQA (OU-BIQA, meaning that no subjective opinions are used for training) model using RankNet, a pairwise learning-to-rank (L2R) algorithm, from millions of DIPs, each associated with a perceptual uncertainty level, leading to a DIP inferred quality (dipIQ) index. Extensive experiments on four benchmark IQA databases demonstrate that dipIQ outperforms state-of-the-art OU-BIQA models. The robustness of dipIQ is also significantly improved as confirmed by the group MAximum Differentiation (gMAD) competition method. Furthermore, we extend the proposed framework by learning models with ListNet (a listwise L2R algorithm) on quality-discriminable image lists (DIL). The resulting DIL Inferred Quality (dilIQ) index achieves an additional performance gain.

  2. Development of a 3D optical scanning-based automatic quality assurance system for proton range compensators

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, MinKyu; Ju, Sang Gyu E-mail: doho.choi@samsung.com; Chung, Kwangzoo; Hong, Chae-Seon; Kim, Jinsung; Ahn, Sung Hwan; Jung, Sang Hoon; Han, Youngyih; Chung, Yoonsun; Cho, Sungkoo; Choi, Doo Ho E-mail: doho.choi@samsung.com; Kim, Jungkuk; Shin, Dongho

    2015-02-15

    Purpose: A new automatic quality assurance (AutoRCQA) system using a three-dimensional scanner (3DS) with system automation was developed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the quality assurance (QA) procedure for proton range compensators (RCs). The system performance was evaluated for clinical implementation. Methods: The AutoRCQA system consists of a three-dimensional measurement system (3DMS) based on 3DS and in-house developed verification software (3DVS). To verify the geometrical accuracy, the planned RC data (PRC), calculated with the treatment planning system (TPS), were reconstructed and coregistered with the measured RC data (MRC) based on the beam isocenter. The PRC and MRC inner surfaces were compared with composite analysis (CA) using 3DVS, using the CA pass rate for quantitative analysis. To evaluate the detection accuracy of the system, the authors designed a fake PRC by artificially adding small cubic islands with side lengths of 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5 mm on the inner surface of the PRC and performed CA with the depth difference and distance-to-agreement tolerances of [1 mm, 1 mm], [2 mm, 2 mm], and [3 mm, 3 mm]. In addition, the authors performed clinical tests using seven RCs [computerized milling machine (CMM)-RCs] manufactured by CMM, which were designed for treating various disease sites. The systematic offsets of the seven CMM-RCs were evaluated through the automatic registration function of AutoRCQA. For comparison with conventional technique, the authors measured the thickness at three points in each of the seven CMM-RCs using a manual depth measurement device and calculated thickness difference based on the TPS data (TPS-manual measurement). These results were compared with data obtained from 3DVS. The geometrical accuracy of each CMM-RC inner surface was investigated using the TPS data by performing CA with the same criteria. The authors also measured the net processing time, including the scan and analysis time. Results: The Auto

  3. QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF ETHICS ANALYSES FOR HEALTH TECHNOLOGY ASSSESSMENT.

    PubMed

    Scott, Anna Mae; Bond, Kenneth; Gutiérrez-Ibarluzea, Iñaki; Hofmann, Björn; Sandman, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Although consideration of ethical issues is recognized as a crucial part of health technology assessment, ethics analysis for HTA is generally perceived as methodologically underdeveloped in comparison to other HTA domains. The aim of our study is (i) to verify existing tools for quality assessment of ethics analyses for HTA, (ii) to consider some arguments for and against the need for quality assessment tools for ethics analyses for HTA, and (iii) to propose a preliminary set of criteria that could be used for assessing the quality of ethics analyses for HTA. We systematically reviewed the literature, reviewed HTA organizations' Web sites, and solicited views from thirty-two experts in the field of ethics for HTA. The database and HTA agency Web site searches yielded 420 references (413 from databases, seven from HTA Web sites). No formal instruments for assessing the quality of ethics analyses for HTA purposes were identified. Thirty-two experts in the field of ethics for HTA from ten countries, who were brought together at two workshops held in Edmonton (Canada) and Cologne (Germany) confirmed the findings from the literature. Generating a quality assessment tool for ethics analyses in HTA would confer considerable benefits, including methodological alignment with other areas of HTA, increase in transparency and transferability of ethics analyses, and provision of common language between the various participants in the HTA process. We propose key characteristics of quality assessment tools for this purpose, which can be applied to ethics analyses for HTA purposes.

  4. Assessment of seasonal variations in surface water quality.

    PubMed

    Ouyang, Y; Nkedi-Kizza, P; Wu, Q T; Shinde, D; Huang, C H

    2006-12-01

    Assessment of seasonal changes in surface water quality is an important aspect for evaluating temporal variations of river pollution due to natural or anthropogenic inputs of point and non-point sources. In this study, surface water quality data for 16 physical and chemical parameters collected from 22 monitoring stations in a river during the years from 1998 to 2001 were analyzed. The principal component analysis technique was employed to evaluate the seasonal correlations of water quality parameters, while the principal factor analysis technique was used to extract the parameters that are most important in assessing seasonal variations of river water quality. Analysis shows that a parameter that is most important in contributing to water quality variation for one season may not be important for another season except for DOC and electrical conductance, which were always the most important parameters in contributing to water quality variations for all four seasons.

  5. Using big data for quality assessment in oncology.

    PubMed

    Broughman, James R; Chen, Ronald C

    2016-05-01

    There is increasing attention in the US healthcare system on the delivery of high-quality care, an issue central to oncology. In the report 'Crossing the Quality Chasm', the Institute of Medicine identified six aims for improving healthcare quality: safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable. This article describes how current big data resources can be used to assess these six dimensions, and provides examples of published studies in oncology. Strengths and limitations of current big data resources for the evaluation of quality of care are also discussed. Finally, this article outlines a vision where big data can be used not only to retrospectively assess the quality of oncologic care, but help physicians deliver high-quality care in real time.

  6. Technical assessment for quality control of resins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gosnell, R. B.

    1977-01-01

    Survey visits to companies involved in the manufacture and use of graphite-epoxy prepregs were conducted to assess the factors which may contribute to variability in the mechanical properties of graphite-epoxy composites. In particular, the purpose was to assess the contributions of the epoxy resins to variability. Companies represented three segments of the composites industry - aircraft manufacturers, prepreg manufacturers, and epoxy resin manufacturers. Several important sources of performance variability were identified from among the complete spectrum of potential sources which ranged from raw materials to composite test data interpretation.

  7. Multi-frame super-resolution with quality self-assessment for retinal fundus videos.

    PubMed

    Köhler, Thomas; Brost, Alexander; Mogalle, Katja; Zhang, Qianyi; Köhler, Christiane; Michelson, Georg; Hornegger, Joachim; Tornow, Ralf P

    2014-01-01

    This paper proposes a novel super-resolution framework to reconstruct high-resolution fundus images from multiple low-resolution video frames in retinal fundus imaging. Natural eye movements during an examination are used as a cue for super-resolution in a robust maximum a-posteriori scheme. In order to compensate heterogeneous illumination on the fundus, we integrate retrospective illumination correction for photometric registration to the underlying imaging model. Our method utilizes quality self-assessment to provide objective quality scores for reconstructed images as well as to select regularization parameters automatically. In our evaluation on real data acquired from six human subjects with a low-cost video camera, the proposed method achieved considerable enhancements of low-resolution frames and improved noise and sharpness characteristics by 74%. In terms of image analysis, we demonstrate the importance of our method for the improvement of automatic blood vessel segmentation as an example application, where the sensitivity was increased by 13% using super-resolution reconstruction.

  8. Accuracy of Coronary Plaque Detection and Assessment of Interobserver Agreement for Plaque Quantification Using Automatic Coronary Plaque Analysis Software on Coronary CT Angiography.

    PubMed

    Laqmani, A; Klink, T; Quitzke, M; Creder, D D; Adam, G; Lund, G

    2016-10-01

    agreement. Citation Format: • Laqmani A, Klink T, Quitzke M et al. Accuracy of Coronary Plaque Detection and Assessment of Interobserver Agreement for Plaque Quantification Using Automatic Coronary Plaque Analysis Software on Coronary CT Angiography. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2016; 188: 933 - 939. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  9. Data sources for environmental assessment: determining availability, quality and utility

    EPA Science Inventory

    Objectives: An environmental quality index (EQI) for all counties in the United States is being developed to explore the relationship between environmental insults and human health. The EQI will be particularly useful to assess how environmental disamenities contribute to health...

  10. PIE Nacelle Flow Analysis and TCA Inlet Flow Quality Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shieh, C. F.; Arslan, Alan; Sundaran, P.; Kim, Suk; Won, Mark J.

    1999-01-01

    This presentation includes three topics: (1) Analysis of isolated boattail drag; (2) Computation of Technology Concept Airplane (TCA)-installed nacelle effects on aerodynamic performance; and (3) Assessment of TCA inlet flow quality.

  11. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional...

  12. 42 CFR 460.140 - Additional quality assessment activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.140 Additional...

  13. Data sources for environmental assessment: determining availability, quality and utility

    EPA Science Inventory

    Objectives: An environmental quality index (EQI) for all counties in the United States is being developed to explore the relationship between environmental insults and human health. The EQI will be particularly useful to assess how environmental disamenities contribute to health...

  14. Assessing Quality across Health Care Subsystems in Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Puig, Andrea; Pagán, José A.; Wong, Rebeca

    2012-01-01

    Recent healthcare reform efforts in Mexico have focused on the need to improve the efficiency and equity of a fragmented healthcare system. In light of these reform initiatives, there is a need to assess whether healthcare subsystems are effective at providing high-quality healthcare to all Mexicans. Nationally representative household survey data from the 2006 Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición (National Health and Nutrition Survey) were used to assess perceived healthcare quality across different subsystems. Using a sample of 7234 survey respondents, we found evidence of substantial heterogeneity in healthcare quality assessments across healthcare subsystems favoring private providers over social security institutions. These differences across subsystems remained even after adjusting for socioeconomic, demographic, and health factors. Our analysis suggests that improvements in efficiency and equity can be achieved by assessing the factors that contribute to heterogeneity in quality across subsystems. PMID:19305224

  15. Quality assessment of plant transpiration water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macler, Bruce A.; Janik, Daniel S.; Benson, Brian L.

    1990-01-01

    It has been proposed to use plants as elements of biologically-based life support systems for long-term space missions. Three roles have been brought forth for plants in this application: recycling of water, regeneration of air and production of food. This report discusses recycling of water and presents data from investigations of plant transpiration water quality. Aqueous nutrient solution was applied to several plant species and transpired water collected. The findings indicated that this water typically contained 0.3-6 ppm of total organic carbon, which meets hygiene water standards for NASA's space applications. It suggests that this method could be developed to achieve potable water standards.

  16. Quality assessment of plant transpiration water

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macler, Bruce A.; Janik, Daniel S.; Benson, Brian L.

    1990-01-01

    It has been proposed to use plants as elements of biologically-based life support systems for long-term space missions. Three roles have been brought forth for plants in this application: recycling of water, regeneration of air and production of food. This report discusses recycling of water and presents data from investigations of plant transpiration water quality. Aqueous nutrient solution was applied to several plant species and transpired water collected. The findings indicated that this water typically contained 0.3-6 ppm of total organic carbon, which meets hygiene water standards for NASA's space applications. It suggests that this method could be developed to achieve potable water standards.

  17. Developing Quality Physical Education through Student Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisette, Jennifer L.; Placek, Judith H.; Avery, Marybell; Dyson, Ben; Fox, Connie; Franck, Marian; Graber, Kim; Rink, Judith; Zhu, Weimo

    2009-01-01

    The National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) is committed to providing teachers with the support and guiding principles for implementing valid assessments. Its goal is for physical educators to utilize PE Metrics to measure student learning based on the national standards. The first PE Metrics text provides teachers with…

  18. Questioning the Technical Quality of Performance Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Eva L.

    1993-01-01

    Ongoing research finds that alternatives to formal tests carry hidden costs and require trade-offs. National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) is studying how performance assessments work so that they may be designed to help students reach their highest potential. This article raises priority questions,…

  19. American History Textbooks: An Assessment of Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sewall, Gilbert T.

    United States history as a linchpin in the school curriculum and as a potentially exciting, sometimes electrifying, subject was the conviction underlying this analysis of U.S. history textbooks. This assessment investigates the capacity of leading U.S. social studies and history textbooks to inspire the imagination of students through effective…

  20. Electric Power quality Analysis in research reactor: Impacts on nuclear safety assessment and electrical distribution reliability

    SciTech Connect

    Touati, Said; Chennai, Salim; Souli, Aissa

    2015-07-01

    The increased requirements on supervision, control, and performance in modern power systems make power quality monitoring a common practise for utilities. Large databases are created and automatic processing of the data is required for fast and effective use of the available information. Aim of the work presented in this paper is the development of tools for analysis of monitoring power quality data and in particular measurements of voltage and currents in various level of electrical power distribution. The study is extended to evaluate the reliability of the electrical system in nuclear plant. Power Quality is a measure of how well a system supports reliable operation of its loads. A power disturbance or event can involve voltage, current, or frequency. Power disturbances can originate in consumer power systems, consumer loads, or the utility. The effect of power quality problems is the loss power supply leading to severe damage to equipments. So, we try to track and improve system reliability. The assessment can be focused on the study of impact of short circuits on the system, harmonics distortion, power factor improvement and effects of transient disturbances on the Electrical System during motor starting and power system fault conditions. We focus also on the review of the Electrical System design against the Nuclear Directorate Safety Assessment principles, including those extended during the last Fukushima nuclear accident. The simplified configuration of the required system can be extended from this simple scheme. To achieve these studies, we have used a demo ETAP power station software for several simulations. (authors)

  1. The Automatic Assessment of Free Text Answers Using a Modified BLEU Algorithm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noorbehbahani, F.; Kardan, A. A.

    2011-01-01

    e-Learning plays an undoubtedly important role in today's education and assessment is one of the most essential parts of any instruction-based learning process. Assessment is a common way to evaluate a student's knowledge regarding the concepts related to learning objectives. In this paper, a new method for assessing the free text answers of…

  2. The Automatic Assessment of Free Text Answers Using a Modified BLEU Algorithm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noorbehbahani, F.; Kardan, A. A.

    2011-01-01

    e-Learning plays an undoubtedly important role in today's education and assessment is one of the most essential parts of any instruction-based learning process. Assessment is a common way to evaluate a student's knowledge regarding the concepts related to learning objectives. In this paper, a new method for assessing the free text answers of…

  3. River Pollution: Part II. Biological Methods for Assessing Water Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Openshaw, Peter

    1984-01-01

    Discusses methods used in the biological assessment of river quality and such indicators of clean and polluted waters as the Trent Biotic Index, Chandler Score System, and species diversity indexes. Includes a summary of a river classification scheme based on quality criteria related to water use. (JN)

  4. Assessing Educational Processes Using Total-Quality-Management Measurement Tools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macchia, Peter, Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Discussion of the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) assessment tools in educational settings highlights and gives examples of fishbone diagrams, or cause and effect charts; Pareto diagrams; control charts; histograms and check sheets; scatter diagrams; and flowcharts. Variation and quality are discussed in terms of continuous process…

  5. Positions, Power and Practice: Functionalist Approaches and Translation Quality Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Honig, Hans G.

    1997-01-01

    Examines theoretical foundations and practical application of Translation Quality Assessment (TQA), particularly in translator training. Several approaches to translation are considered, especially the "functional" and "relevance" approaches. The need for TQA, several popular views on translation quality, and the issue of…

  6. River Pollution: Part II. Biological Methods for Assessing Water Quality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Openshaw, Peter

    1984-01-01

    Discusses methods used in the biological assessment of river quality and such indicators of clean and polluted waters as the Trent Biotic Index, Chandler Score System, and species diversity indexes. Includes a summary of a river classification scheme based on quality criteria related to water use. (JN)

  7. Guidance on Data Quality Assessment for Life Cycle Inventory Data

    EPA Science Inventory

    Data quality within Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a significant issue for the future support and development of LCA as a decision support tool and its wider adoption within industry. In response to current data quality standards such as the ISO 14000 series, various entities wit...

  8. Assessment of density in enriched colony cages: Egg quality

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Enriched colony cage production systems are becoming more prevalent in the US. A study was undertaken to determine the impact of housing density on hen health, well-being, egg production and quality. Six densities were examined with 8 housing replicates per density. Egg quality was assessed at hen a...

  9. Assessing Educational Processes Using Total-Quality-Management Measurement Tools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macchia, Peter, Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Discussion of the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) assessment tools in educational settings highlights and gives examples of fishbone diagrams, or cause and effect charts; Pareto diagrams; control charts; histograms and check sheets; scatter diagrams; and flowcharts. Variation and quality are discussed in terms of continuous process…

  10. Guidance on Data Quality Assessment for Life Cycle Inventory Data

    EPA Science Inventory

    Data quality within Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a significant issue for the future support and development of LCA as a decision support tool and its wider adoption within industry. In response to current data quality standards such as the ISO 14000 series, various entities wit...

  11. Water Quality Assessment Dale Hollow Lake and Its Inflows,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-03-01

    NATIONAL BUREAU Of STANDARDS-1963-A I B US Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Water Quality Assessment Dale Hollow Lake and Its Inflows March...PERIOD COVERED Water Quality Assessment Final Report Dale Hollow Lake and Its Inflows 6. PERFORMING ORO. REPORT NUMBER 7. AUTHOR(a) 6. CONTRACT OR... Water Resources Center, Tennessee Tech. Univ. Box 5082 Cookeville, TN 38505 11. CONTROLLING OFFICE NAME AND ADDRESS 12. REPORT DATE U.S. Army Engineer

  12. Myocardial Iron Loading Assessment by Automatic Left Ventricle Segmentation with Morphological Operations and Geodesic Active Contour on T2* images.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yun-gang; Ko, Jacky K L; Shi, Lin; Guan, Yuefeng; Li, Linong; Qin, Jing; Heng, Pheng-Ann; Chu, Winnie C W; Wang, Defeng

    2015-07-28

    Myocardial iron loading thalassemia patients could be identified using T2* magnetic resonance images (MRI). To quantitatively assess cardiac iron loading, we proposed an effective algorithm to segment aligned free induction decay sequential myocardium images based on morphological operations and geodesic active contour (GAC). Nine patients with thalassemia major were recruited (10 male and 16 female) to undergo a thoracic MRI scan in the short axis view. Free induction decay images were registered for T2* mapping. The GAC were utilized to segment aligned MR images with a robust initialization. Segmented myocardium regions were divided into sectors for a region-based quantification of cardiac iron loading. Our proposed automatic segmentation approach achieve a true positive rate at 84.6% and false positive rate at 53.8%. The area difference between manual and automatic segmentation was 25.5% after 1000 iterations. Results from T2* analysis indicated that regions with intensity lower than 20 ms were suffered from heavy iron loading in thalassemia major patients. The proposed method benefited from abundant edge information of the free induction decay sequential MRI. Experiment results demonstrated that the proposed method is feasible in myocardium segmentation and was clinically applicable to measure myocardium iron loading.

  13. Myocardial Iron Loading Assessment by Automatic Left Ventricle Segmentation with Morphological Operations and Geodesic Active Contour on T2* images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Yun-Gang; Ko, Jacky Kl; Shi, Lin; Guan, Yuefeng; Li, Linong; Qin, Jing; Heng, Pheng-Ann; Chu, Winnie Cw; Wang, Defeng

    2015-07-01

    Myocardial iron loading thalassemia patients could be identified using T2* magnetic resonance images (MRI). To quantitatively assess cardiac iron loading, we proposed an effective algorithm to segment aligned free induction decay sequential myocardium images based on morphological operations and geodesic active contour (GAC). Nine patients with thalassemia major were recruited (10 male and 16 female) to undergo a thoracic MRI scan in the short axis view. Free induction decay images were registered for T2* mapping. The GAC were utilized to segment aligned MR images with a robust initialization. Segmented myocardium regions were divided into sectors for a region-based quantification of cardiac iron loading. Our proposed automatic segmentation approach achieve a true positive rate at 84.6% and false positive rate at 53.8%. The area difference between manual and automatic segmentation was 25.5% after 1000 iterations. Results from T2* analysis indicated that regions with intensity lower than 20 ms were suffered from heavy iron loading in thalassemia major patients. The proposed method benefited from abundant edge information of the free induction decay sequential MRI. Experiment results demonstrated that the proposed method is feasible in myocardium segmentation and was clinically applicable to measure myocardium iron loading.

  14. Myocardial Iron Loading Assessment by Automatic Left Ventricle Segmentation with Morphological Operations and Geodesic Active Contour on T2* images

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yun-gang; Ko, Jacky KL; Shi, Lin; Guan, Yuefeng; Li, Linong; Qin, Jing; Heng, Pheng-Ann; Chu, Winnie CW; Wang, Defeng

    2015-01-01

    Myocardial iron loading thalassemia patients could be identified using T2* magnetic resonance images (MRI). To quantitatively assess cardiac iron loading, we proposed an effective algorithm to segment aligned free induction decay sequential myocardium images based on morphological operations and geodesic active contour (GAC). Nine patients with thalassemia major were recruited (10 male and 16 female) to undergo a thoracic MRI scan in the short axis view. Free induction decay images were registered for T2* mapping. The GAC were utilized to segment aligned MR images with a robust initialization. Segmented myocardium regions were divided into sectors for a region-based quantification of cardiac iron loading. Our proposed automatic segmentation approach achieve a true positive rate at 84.6% and false positive rate at 53.8%. The area difference between manual and automatic segmentation was 25.5% after 1000 iterations. Results from T2* analysis indicated that regions with intensity lower than 20 ms were suffered from heavy iron loading in thalassemia major patients. The proposed method benefited from abundant edge information of the free induction decay sequential MRI. Experiment results demonstrated that the proposed method is feasible in myocardium segmentation and was clinically applicable to measure myocardium iron loading. PMID:26215336

  15. Ambulatory 24-h oesophageal impedance-pH recordings: reliability of automatic analysis for gastro-oesophageal reflux assessment.

    PubMed

    Roman, S; Bruley des Varannes, S; Pouderoux, P; Chaput, U; Mion, F; Galmiche, J-P; Zerbib, F

    2006-11-01

    Oesophageal pH-impedance monitoring allows detection of acid and non-acid gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) events. Visual analysis of impedance recording requires expertise. Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of an automated analysis for GOR assessment. Seventy-three patients with suspected GORD underwent 24-h oesophageal pH-impedance monitoring. Recordings analysis was performed visually (V) and automatically using Autoscan function (AS) of Bioview software. A symptom index (SI) > or =50% was considered for a significant association between symptoms and reflux events. AS analysis detected more reflux events, especially non-acid, liquid, pure gas and proximal events. Detection of oesophageal acid exposure and acid reflux events was similar with both analyses. Agreement between V and AS analysis was good (Kendall's coefficient W > 0.750, P < 0.01) for all parameters. During pH-impedance studies, 65 patients reported symptoms. As compared to visual analysis, the sensitivity and specificity of a positive SI determined by AS were respectively 85.7% and 80% for all reflux events, 100% and 98% for acid reflux and 33% and 87.5% for non-acid reflux. Despite good agreement with visual analysis, automatic analysis overestimates the number of non-acid reflux events. Visual analysis remains the gold standard to detect an association between symptoms and non-acid reflux events.

  16. Semi-automatic detection of Gd-DTPA-saline filled capsules for colonic transit time assessment in MRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrer, Christian; Kirchhoff, Sonja; Keil, Andreas; Kirchhoff, Chlodwig; Mussack, Thomas; Lienemann, Andreas; Reiser, Maximilian; Navab, Nassir

    2008-03-01

    Functional gastrointestinal disorders result in a significant number of consultations in primary care facilities. Chronic constipation and diarrhea are regarded as two of the most common diseases affecting between 2% and 27% of the population in western countries 1-3. Defecatory disorders are most commonly due to dysfunction of the pelvic floor or the anal sphincter. Although an exact differentiation of these pathologies is essential for adequate therapy, diagnosis is still only based on a clinical evaluation1. Regarding quantification of constipation only the ingestion of radio-opaque markers or radioactive isotopes and the consecutive assessment of colonic transit time using X-ray or scintigraphy, respectively, has been feasible in clinical settings 4-8. However, these approaches have several drawbacks such as involving rather inconvenient, time consuming examinations and exposing the patient to ionizing radiation. Therefore, conventional assessment of colonic transit time has not been widely used. Most recently a new technique for the assessment of colonic transit time using MRI and MR-contrast media filled capsules has been introduced 9. However, due to numerous examination dates per patient and corresponding datasets with many images, the evaluation of the image data is relatively time-consuming. The aim of our study was to develop a computer tool to facilitate the detection of the capsules in MRI datasets and thus to shorten the evaluation time. We present a semi-automatic tool which provides an intensity, size 10, and shape-based 11,12 detection of ingested Gd-DTPA-saline filled capsules. After an automatic pre-classification, radiologists may easily correct the results using the application-specific user interface, therefore decreasing the evaluation time significantly.

  17. Validation of balance-quality assessment using a modified bathroom scale.

    PubMed

    Hewson, D J; Duchêne, J; Hogrel, J-Y

    2015-02-01

    The balance quality tester (BQT), based on a standard electronic bathroom scale has been developed in order to assess balance quality. The BQT includes automatic detection of the person to be tested by means of an infrared detector and bluetooth communication capability for remote assessment when linked to a long-distance communication device such as a mobile phone. The BQT was compared to a standard force plate for validity and agreement. The two most widely reported parameters in balance literature, the area of the centre of pressure (COP) displacement and the velocity of the COP displacement, were compared for 12 subjects, each of whom was tested on ten occasions on each of the 2 days. No significant differences were observed between the BQT and the force plate for either of the two parameters. In addition a high level of agreement was observed between both devices. The BQT is a valid device for remote assessment of balance quality, and could provide a useful tool for long-term monitoring of people with balance problems, particularly during home monitoring.

  18. Technology-Enhanced Assessment of Math Fact Automaticity: Patterns of Performance for Low- and Typically Achieving Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stickney, Eric M.; Sharp, Lindsay B.; Kenyon, Amanda S.

    2012-01-01

    Because math fact automaticity has been identified as a key barrier for students struggling with mathematics, we examined how initial math achievement levels influenced the path to automaticity (e.g., variation in number of attempts, speed of retrieval, and skill maintenance over time) and the relation between attainment of automaticity and gains…

  19. Soil quality assessment using weighted fuzzy association rules

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Xue, Yue-Ju; Liu, Shu-Guang; Hu, Yue-Ming; Yang, Jing-Feng

    2010-01-01

    Fuzzy association rules (FARs) can be powerful in assessing regional soil quality, a critical step prior to land planning and utilization; however, traditional FARs mined from soil quality database, ignoring the importance variability of the rules, can be redundant and far from optimal. In this study, we developed a method applying different weights to traditional FARs to improve accuracy of soil quality assessment. After the FARs for soil quality assessment were mined, redundant rules were eliminated according to whether the rules were significant or not in reducing the complexity of the soil quality assessment models and in improving the comprehensibility of FARs. The global weights, each representing the importance of a FAR in soil quality assessment, were then introduced and refined using a gradient descent optimization method. This method was applied to the assessment of soil resources conditions in Guangdong Province, China. The new approach had an accuracy of 87%, when 15 rules were mined, as compared with 76% from the traditional approach. The accuracy increased to 96% when 32 rules were mined, in contrast to 88% from the traditional approach. These results demonstrated an improved comprehensibility of FARs and a high accuracy of the proposed method.

  20. Minimum image quality assessment based on saliency maps: a human visual approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreira, João.; Bessa, Maximino; Magalhães, Luís.

    2013-01-01

    Image quality assessment as perceived by humans is of crucial importance in numerous fields of image processing. Transmission and storage of digital media require efficient methods to reduce the large number of bits to store an image, while maintaining sufficiently high quality compared to the original image. Since subjective evaluations cannot be performed in various scenarios, it is necessary to have objective metrics that predict image quality consistent with human perception. However, objective metrics that considers high levels of the human visual system are still limited. In this paper, we investigate the possibility of automatically predict, based on saliency maps, the minimum image quality threshold from which humans can perceive the elements on a compressed image. We conducted a series of experimental subjective tests where human observers have been exposed to compressed images with decreasing compression rates. To measure the difference between the saliency maps of the compressed and the original image it was used the normalized absolute error metric. Our results indicate that the elements on the image are only perceived by most of the human subjects not at a specific compressed image quality level, but depending on a saliency map difference threshold.

  1. Ultrasonic assessment of oil quality during frying.

    PubMed

    Benedito, Jose; Mulet, Antonio; Velasco, J; Dobarganes, M Carmen

    2002-07-31

    In this paper, changes in ultrasonic properties during thermoxidation of virgin olive oil were studied. Samples of virgin olive oil were heated over different periods of time from 2 to 16 h at 200 degrees C. Oil degradation was characterized by means of physical and chemical changes, i.e., viscosity, color, polar compounds, polymers, and polar fatty acids. Ultrasonic measurements were carried out while the oil sample was cooled from 35 to 25 degrees C. It was found that velocity and attenuation measurements were related to viscosity measurements through a classical equation for viscous liquids. The ultrasonic measurements were also related to the percentages of polar compounds and polymers, which shows the feasibility of using ultrasonic properties to monitor oil quality. Nevertheless, as long as the ultrasonic measurements are temperature dependent, this variable must be controlled in order to obtain repetitive and reliable measurements.

  2. Blind image quality assessment using a general regression neural network.

    PubMed

    Li, Chaofeng; Bovik, Alan Conrad; Wu, Xiaojun

    2011-05-01

    We develop a no-reference image quality assessment (QA) algorithm that deploys a general regression neural network (GRNN). The new algorithm is trained on and successfully assesses image quality, relative to human subjectivity, across a range of distortion types. The features deployed for QA include the mean value of phase congruency image, the entropy of phase congruency image, the entropy of the distorted image, and the gradient of the distorted image. Image quality estimation is accomplished by approximating the functional relationship between these features and subjective mean opinion scores using a GRNN. Our experimental results show that the new method accords closely with human subjective judgment.

  3. Quality assessment of protein model-structures based on structural and functional similarities.

    PubMed

    Konopka, Bogumil M; Nebel, Jean-Christophe; Kotulska, Malgorzata

    2012-09-21

    Experimental determination of protein 3D structures is expensive, time consuming and sometimes impossible. A gap between number of protein structures deposited in the World Wide Protein Data Bank and the number of sequenced proteins constantly broadens. Computational modeling is deemed to be one of the ways to deal with the problem. Although protein 3D structure prediction is a difficult task, many tools are available. These tools can model it from a sequence or partial structural information, e.g. contact maps. Consequently, biologists have the ability to generate automatically a putative 3D structure model of any protein. However, the main issue becomes evaluation of the model quality, which is one of the most important challenges of structural biology. GOBA--Gene Ontology-Based Assessment is a novel Protein Model Quality Assessment Program. It estimates the compatibility between a model-structure and its expected function. GOBA is based on the assumption that a high quality model is expected to be structurally similar to proteins functionally similar to the prediction target. Whereas DALI is used to measure structure similarity, protein functional similarity is quantified using standardized and hierarchical description of proteins provided by Gene Ontology combined with Wang's algorithm for calculating semantic similarity. Two approaches are proposed to express the quality of protein model-structures. One is a single model quality assessment method, the other is its modification, which provides a relative measure of model quality. Exhaustive evaluation is performed on data sets of model-structures submitted to the CASP8 and CASP9 contests. The validation shows that the method is able to discriminate between good and bad model-structures. The best of tested GOBA scores achieved 0.74 and 0.8 as a mean Pearson correlation to the observed quality of models in our CASP8 and CASP9-based validation sets. GOBA also obtained the best result for two targets of CASP8, and

  4. Assessment of ambient air quality in Eskişehir, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Ozden, O; Döğeroğlu, T; Kara, S

    2008-07-01

    This paper presents an assessment of air quality of the city Eskişehir, located 230 km southwest to the capital of Turkey. Only five of the major air pollutants, most studied worldwide and available for the region, were considered for the assessment. Available sulphur dioxide (SO(2)), particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)), ozone (O(3)), and non-methane volatile organic carbons (NMVOCs) data from local emission inventory studies provided relative source contributions of the selected pollutants to the region. The contributions of these typical pollution parameters, selected for characterizing such an urban atmosphere, were compared with the data established for other cities in the nation and world countries. Additionally, regional ambient SO(2) and PM concentrations, determined by semi-automatic monitoring at two sites, were gathered from the National Ambient Air Monitoring Network (NAAMN). Regional data for ambient NO(2) (as a precursor of ozone as VOCs) and ozone concentrations, through the application of the passive sampling method, were provided by the still ongoing local air quality monitoring studies conducted at six different sites, as representatives of either the traffic-dense-, or coal/natural gas burning residential-, or industrial/rural-localities of the city. Passively sampled ozone data at a single rural site were also verified with the data from a continuous automatic ozone monitoring system located at that site. Effects of variations in seasonal-activities, newly established railway system, and switching to natural gas usage on the temporal changes of air quality were all considered for the assessment. Based on the comparisons with the national [AQCR (Air Quality Control Regulation). Ministry of Environment (MOE), Ankara. Official Newspaper 19269; 1986.] and a number of international [WHO (World Health Organization). Guidelines for Air Quality. Geneva; 2000. Downloaded in January 2006, website: http://www.who.int/peh/; EU (European Union

  5. Functional assessment of automatically sorted pancreatic islets using large particle flow cytometry.

    PubMed

    Steffen, Anja; Ludwig, Barbara; Krautz, Christian; Bornstein, Stefan; Solimena, Michele

    2011-01-01

    The size composition of human islet preparations has been attributed to functional potency, islet survival and transplantation outcomes. In the early post-transplantation phase islets are supplied with oxygen by diffusion only and are at risk of critical hypoxia. The high rate of early islet graft dysfunction is in part attributed to this condition. It has been presumed that islets with smaller diameter, and therefore smaller diffusion distance, are superior to large islets regarding early survival rate and graft function. In this study we aimed to evaluate Complex Object Parametric Analysis and Sorting (COPAS) as a device for automated sorting of human islets. The use of COPAS was validated for accuracy and sensitivity using polystyrene beads of known diameters. Based on time of flight relative to particle isolated islets were then automatically sorted and analyzed for viability and function using handpicked islets as control. Our results suggest that COPAS enables the automated and accurate sorting of islets with no negative impact on their integrity and viability. Thus, COPAS is an adequate tool for size-specific analysis of pancreatic islets and may be considered as part of a platform for automated high-throughput screening of pancreatic islets.

  6. Assessing the Quality of Clinical Teachers

    PubMed Central

    Bolhuis, Sanneke; Grol, Richard; Laan, Roland; Wensing, Michel

    2010-01-01

    Background Learning in a clinical environment differs from formal educational settings and provides specific challenges for clinicians who are teachers. Instruments that reflect these challenges are needed to identify the strengths and weaknesses of clinical teachers. Objective To systematically review the content, validity, and aims of questionnaires used to assess clinical teachers. Data Sources MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and ERIC from 1976 up to March 2010. Review Methods The searches revealed 54 papers on 32 instruments. Data from these papers were documented by independent researchers, using a structured format that included content of the instrument, validation methods, aims of the instrument, and its setting. Results Aspects covered by the instruments predominantly concerned the use of teaching strategies (included in 30 instruments), supporter role (29), role modeling (27), and feedback (26). Providing opportunities for clinical learning activities was included in 13 instruments. Most studies referred to literature on good clinical teaching, although they failed to provide a clear description of what constitutes a good clinical teacher. Instrument length varied from 1 to 58 items. Except for two instruments, all had to be completed by clerks/residents. Instruments served to provide formative feedback ( instruments) but were also used for resource allocation, promotion, and annual performance review (14 instruments). All but two studies reported on internal consistency and/or reliability; other aspects of validity were examined less frequently. Conclusions No instrument covered all relevant aspects of clinical teaching comprehensively. Validation of the instruments was often limited to assessment of internal consistency and reliability. Available instruments for assessing clinical teachers should be used carefully, especially for consequential decisions. There is a need for more valid comprehensive instruments. Electronic supplementary material The online

  7. Advanced imaging assessment of bone quality.

    PubMed

    Genant, Harry K; Jiang, Yebin

    2006-04-01

    Noninvasive and/or nondestructive techniques can provide structural information about bone, beyond simple bone densitometry. While the latter provides important information about osteoporotic fracture risk, many studies indicate that bone mineral density (BMD) only partly explains bone strength. Quantitative assessment of macrostructural characteristics, such as geometry, and microstructural features, such as relative trabecular volume, trabecular spacing, and connectivity, may improve our ability to estimate bone strength. Methods for quantitatively assessing macrostructure include (besides conventional radiographs) dual X ray absorptiometry (DXA) and computed tomography (CT), particularly volumetric quantitative computed tomography (vQCT). Methods for assessing microstructure of trabecular bone noninvasively and/or nondestructively include high-resolution computed tomography (hrCT), microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), high-resolution magnetic resonance (hrMR), and micromagnetic resonance (micro-MR). vQCT, hrCT, and hrMR are generally applicable in vivo; micro-CT and micro-MR are principally applicable in vitro. Despite progress, problems remain. The important balances between spatial resolution and sampling size, or between signal-to-noise and radiation dose or acquisition time, need further consideration, as do the complexity and expense of the methods versus their availability and accessibility. Clinically, the challenges for bone imaging include balancing the advantages of simple bone densitometry versus the more complex architectural features of bone, or the deeper research requirements versus the broader clinical needs. The biological differences between the peripheral appendicular skeleton and the central axial skeleton must be further addressed. Finally, the relative merits of these sophisticated imaging techniques must be weighed with respect to their applications as diagnostic procedures, requiring high accuracy or reliability, versus their monitoring

  8. Assessing and communicating data quality in policy-relevant research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costanza, Robert; Funtowicz, Silvio O.; Ravetz, Jerome R.

    1992-01-01

    The quality of scientific information in policy-relevant fields of research is difficult to assess, and quality control in these important areas is correspondingly difficult to maintain. Frequently there are insufficient high-quality measurements for the presentation of the statistical uncertainty in the numerical estimates that are crucial to policy decisions. We propose and develop a grading system for numerical estimates that can deal with the full range of data quality—from statistically valid estimates to informed guesses. By analyzing the underlying quality of numerical estimates, summarized as spread and grade, we are able to provide simple rules whereby input data can be coded for quality, and these codings carried through arithmetical calculations for assessing the quality of model results. For this we use the NUSAP (numeral, unit, spread, assessment, pedigree) notational system. It allows the more quantitative and the more qualitative aspects of data uncertainty to be managed separately. By way of example, we apply the system to an ecosystem valuation study that used several different models and data of widely varying quality to arrive at a single estimate of the economic value of wetlands. The NUSAP approach illustrates the major sources of uncertainty in this study and can guide new research aimed at the improvement of the quality of outputs and the efficiency of the procedures.

  9. Quality Assessment of TPB-Based Questionnaires: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Oluka, Obiageli Crystal; Nie, Shaofa; Sun, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Objective This review is aimed at assessing the quality of questionnaires and their development process based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) change model. Methods A systematic literature search for studies with the primary aim of TPB-based questionnaire development was conducted in relevant databases between 2002 and 2012 using selected search terms. Ten of 1,034 screened abstracts met the inclusion criteria and were assessed for methodological quality using two different appraisal tools: one for the overall methodological quality of each study and the other developed for the appraisal of the questionnaire content and development process. Both appraisal tools consisted of items regarding the likelihood of bias in each study and were eventually combined to give the overall quality score for each included study. Results 8 of the 10 included studies showed low risk of bias in the overall quality assessment of each study, while 9 of the studies were of high quality based on the quality appraisal of questionnaire content and development process. Conclusion Quality appraisal of the questionnaires in the 10 reviewed studies was successfully conducted, highlighting the top problem areas (including: sample size estimation; inclusion of direct and indirect measures; and inclusion of questions on demographics) in the development of TPB-based questionnaires and the need for researchers to provide a more detailed account of their development process. PMID:24722323

  10. Quality assessment of TPB-based questionnaires: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Oluka, Obiageli Crystal; Nie, Shaofa; Sun, Yi

    2014-01-01

    This review is aimed at assessing the quality of questionnaires and their development process based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) change model. A systematic literature search for studies with the primary aim of TPB-based questionnaire development was conducted in relevant databases between 2002 and 2012 using selected search terms. Ten of 1,034 screened abstracts met the inclusion criteria and were assessed for methodological quality using two different appraisal tools: one for the overall methodological quality of each study and the other developed for the appraisal of the questionnaire content and development process. Both appraisal tools consisted of items regarding the likelihood of bias in each study and were eventually combined to give the overall quality score for each included study. 8 of the 10 included studies showed low risk of bias in the overall quality assessment of each study, while 9 of the studies were of high quality based on the quality appraisal of questionnaire content and development process. Quality appraisal of the questionnaires in the 10 reviewed studies was successfully conducted, highlighting the top problem areas (including: sample size estimation; inclusion of direct and indirect measures; and inclusion of questions on demographics) in the development of TPB-based questionnaires and the need for researchers to provide a more detailed account of their development process.

  11. Assessing sound exposure from shipping in coastal waters using a single hydrophone and Automatic Identification System (AIS) data.

    PubMed

    Merchant, Nathan D; Witt, Matthew J; Blondel, Philippe; Godley, Brendan J; Smith, George H

    2012-07-01

    Underwater noise from shipping is a growing presence throughout the world's oceans, and may be subjecting marine fauna to chronic noise exposure with potentially severe long-term consequences. The coincidence of dense shipping activity and sensitive marine ecosystems in coastal environments is of particular concern, and noise assessment methodologies which describe the high temporal variability of sound exposure in these areas are needed. We present a method of characterising sound exposure from shipping using continuous passive acoustic monitoring combined with Automatic Identification System (AIS) shipping data. The method is applied to data recorded in Falmouth Bay, UK. Absolute and relative levels of intermittent ship noise contributions to the 24-h sound exposure level are determined using an adaptive threshold, and the spatial distribution of potential ship sources is then analysed using AIS data. This technique can be used to prioritize shipping noise mitigation strategies in coastal marine environments. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Southwest principal aquifers regional ground-water quality assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anning, D.W.; Thiros, S.A.; Bexfield, L.M.; McKinney, T.S.; Green, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    The National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program of the U.S. Geological Survey is conducting a regional analysis of water quality in the principal aquifers in the southwestern United States. The Southwest Principal Aquifers (SWPA) study is building a better understanding of the susceptibility and vulnerability of basin-fill aquifers in the region to ground-water contamination by synthesizing the baseline knowledge of ground-water quality conditions in 15 basins previously studied by the NAWQA Program. The improved understanding of aquifer susceptibility and vulnerability to contamination is assisting in the development of tools that water managers can use to assess and protect the quality of ground-water resources. This fact sheet provides an overview of the basin-fill aquifers in the southwestern United States and description of the completed and planned regional analyses of ground-water quality being performed by the SWPA study.

  13. Assessing urban habitat quality using spectral characteristics of Tilia leaves.

    PubMed

    Khavanin Zadeh, A R; Veroustraete, F; Buytaert, J A N; Dirckx, J; Samson, R

    2013-07-01

    Monitoring environmental quality in urban areas is an important issue offering possibilities to control and improve urban habitat quality as well as to avoid adverse effects on human health. A tree leaf reflectance-based bio-monitoring method was used to assess the urban habitat quality of two contrasting habitat classes in the city of Gent (Belgium). As test trees, two Tilia species were selected. Custom made Matlab code is applied to process the measurements of leaf reflectance. This enables the discrimination between polluted and less polluted habitats. The results elicit, that leaf reflectance in the PAR range, as well as the NDAI (Normalised Difference Asymmetry index) are species dependent while Dorsiventral Leaf Reflectance Correlation (DLRC) seems to be independent of species. Therefore the assessment of urban habitat quality is perfectly feasible using leaf reflectance, when taking account of the species specificity of tree leaf physiological and structural responses to habitat quality.

  14. No-reference visual quality assessment for image inpainting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voronin, V. V.; Frantc, V. A.; Marchuk, V. I.; Sherstobitov, A. I.; Egiazarian, K.

    2015-03-01

    Inpainting has received a lot of attention in recent years and quality assessment is an important task to evaluate different image reconstruction approaches. In many cases inpainting methods introduce a blur in sharp transitions in image and image contours in the recovery of large areas with missing pixels and often fail to recover curvy boundary edges. Quantitative metrics of inpainting results currently do not exist and researchers use human comparisons to evaluate their methodologies and techniques. Most objective quality assessment methods rely on a reference image, which is often not available in inpainting applications. Usually researchers use subjective quality assessment by human observers. It is difficult and time consuming procedure. This paper focuses on a machine learning approach for no-reference visual quality assessment for image inpainting based on the human visual property. Our method is based on observation that Local Binary Patterns well describe local structural information of the image. We use a support vector regression learned on assessed by human images to predict perceived quality of inpainted images. We demonstrate how our predicted quality value correlates with qualitative opinion in a human observer study. Results are shown on a human-scored dataset for different inpainting methods.

  15. AVLIS Production Plant Preliminary Quality Assurance Plan and Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-11-15

    This preliminary Quality Assurance Plan and Assessment establishes the Quality Assurance requirements for the AVLIS Production Plant Project. The Quality Assurance Plan defines the management approach, organization, interfaces, and controls that will be used in order to provide adequate confidence that the AVLIS Production Plant design, procurement, construction, fabrication, installation, start-up, and operation are accomplished within established goals and objectives. The Quality Assurance Program defined in this document includes a system for assessing those elements of the project whose failure would have a significant impact on safety, environment, schedule, cost, or overall plant objectives. As elements of the project are assessed, classifications are provided to establish and assure that special actions are defined which will eliminate or reduce the probability of occurrence or control the consequences of failure. 8 figures, 18 tables.

  16. Floristic Quality Assessment Across the Nation: Status, Opportunities, and Challenges

    EPA Science Inventory

    Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) will be considered in the USEPA National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA). FQA is a powerful tool to describe wetland ecological condition, and is based on Coefficients of Conservatism (CC) of individual native plant species. CCs rank sensiti...

  17. Assessment of Consumers' Satisfaction with the Automotive Product Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amineh, Hadi; Kosach, Nataliya

    2016-01-01

    Relevance of article is caused by the fact that customer's satisfaction currently serves as the mechanism allowing the carmakers to be competitive in the market. The paper describes issues of assessment of the quality of products manufactured by automobile companies. The assessment is based on widely applicable complex characteristics of the…

  18. Floristic Quality Assessment Across the Nation: Status, Opportunities, and Challenges

    EPA Science Inventory

    Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA) will be considered in the USEPA National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA). FQA is a powerful tool to describe wetland ecological condition, and is based on Coefficients of Conservatism (CC) of individual native plant species. CCs rank sensiti...

  19. Quality Assessment of Special Education Programmes: Listen to the Parents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Journal of Special Education, 2016

    2016-01-01

    Special education programmes must include high quality services to enhance children with disabilities (CWD) in all aspects of their development. This study aims to assess special education programmes (SEP) in Jordan from the perspectives of parents of CWD. Two different SEPs were assessed: inclusive education (IE) in regular schools, and special…

  20. External Quality Assessments for Microbiologic Diagnosis of Diphtheria in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Both, Leonard; Neal, Shona; De Zoysa, Aruni; Mann, Ginder; Czumbel, Ida

    2014-01-01

    The European Diphtheria Surveillance Network (EDSN) ensures the reliable epidemiological and microbiologic assessment of disease prevalence in the European Union. Here, we describe a survey of current diagnostic techniques for diphtheria surveillance conducted across the European Union and report the results from three external quality assessment (EQA) schemes performed between 2010 and 2014. PMID:25297336

  1. External quality assessments for microbiologic diagnosis of diphtheria in Europe.

    PubMed

    Both, Leonard; Neal, Shona; De Zoysa, Aruni; Mann, Ginder; Czumbel, Ida; Efstratiou, Androulla

    2014-12-01

    The European Diphtheria Surveillance Network (EDSN) ensures the reliable epidemiological and microbiologic assessment of disease prevalence in the European Union. Here, we describe a survey of current diagnostic techniques for diphtheria surveillance conducted across the European Union and report the results from three external quality assessment (EQA) schemes performed between 2010 and 2014. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  2. A recreation quality rapid assessment method for visitor capacity management

    Treesearch

    Kenneth Chilman; Stuart Schneider; Les Wadzinski

    2007-01-01

    A rapid assessment method for inexpensively obtaining representative samples of place-specific visitor numbers and perceptions of visit quality was tested on Niobrara National Scenic River (NSR). Similar tests have been done on national forest areas in Indiana and Illinois. The data are used in meetings focusing on visitor capacity management. The rapid assessment...

  3. Evaluating and Enhancing Outcomes Assessment Quality in Higher Education Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Kenneth; Goodwin, Laura

    2007-01-01

    Accreditation is a mark of distinction indicating that an institution has met high standards set by the profession, and an increasingly important feature of the accreditation process in higher education is "outcomes assessment." This article presents two rubrics for evaluating the quality of an institution's outcomes assessment system. One rubric…

  4. School Indoor Air Quality Assessment and Program Implementation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prill, R.; Blake, D.; Hales, D.

    This paper describes the effectiveness of a three-step indoor air quality (IAQ) program implemented by 156 schools in the states of Washington and Idaho during the 2000-2001 school year. An experienced IAQ/building science specialist conducted walk-through assessments at each school. These assessments documented deficiencies and served as an…

  5. Software Component Quality Assessment in Practice: Successes and Practical Impediments

    SciTech Connect

    Gorton, Ian ); Liu, Anna

    2002-05-19

    This paper describes the author?s experiences of initiating and sustaining a project aimed at accelerating the successful adoption of COTS middleware technologies in large business and scientific information systems. The projects aims are described, along with example outcomes and an assessment of what is needed for wide-scale software component quality assessments to succeed.

  6. Use of a New Set of Linguistic Features to Improve Automatic Assessment of Text Readability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoshimi, Takehiko; Kotani, Katsunori; Isahara, Hitoshi

    2012-01-01

    The present paper proposes and evaluates a readability assessment method designed for Japanese learners of EFL (English as a foreign language). The proposed readability assessment method is constructed by a regression algorithm using a new set of linguistic features that were employed separately in previous studies. The results showed that the…

  7. Guidance on Data Quality Assessment for Life Cycle Inventory ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Data quality within Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a significant issue for the future support and development of LCA as a decision support tool and its wider adoption within industry. In response to current data quality standards such as the ISO 14000 series, various entities within the LCA community have developed different methodologies to address and communicate the data quality of Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data. Despite advances in this field, the LCA community is still plagued by the lack of reproducible data quality results and documentation. To address these issues, US EPA has created this guidance in order to further support reproducible life cycle inventory data quality results and to inform users of the proper application of the US EPA supported data quality system. The work for this report was begun in December 2014 and completed as of April 2016.The updated data quality system includes a novel approach to the pedigree matrix by addressing data quality at the flow and the process level. Flow level indicators address source reliability, temporal correlation, geographic correlation, technological correlation and data sampling methods. The process level indicators address the level of review the unit process has undergone and its completeness. This guidance is designed to be updatable as part of the LCA Research Center’s continuing commitment to data quality advancements. Life cycle assessment is increasingly being used as a tool to identify areas of

  8. Assessment of mesh simplification algorithm quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Michael; Nicolier, Frederic; Foufou, S.; Truchetet, Frederic; Koschan, Andreas; Abidi, Mongi A.

    2002-03-01

    Traditionally, medical geneticists have employed visual inspection (anthroposcopy) to clinically evaluate dysmorphology. In the last 20 years, there has been an increasing trend towards quantitative assessment to render diagnosis of anomalies more objective and reliable. These methods have focused on direct anthropometry, using a combination of classical physical anthropology tools and new instruments tailor-made to describe craniofacial morphometry. These methods are painstaking and require that the patient remain still for extended periods of time. Most recently, semiautomated techniques (e.g., structured light scanning) have been developed to capture the geometry of the face in a matter of seconds. In this paper, we establish that direct anthropometry and structured light scanning yield reliable measurements, with remarkably high levels of inter-rater and intra-rater reliability, as well as validity (contrasting the two methods).

  9. Supporting Students in C++ Programming Courses with Automatic Program Style Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ala-Mutka, Kirsti; Uimonen, Toni; Jarvinen, Hannu-Matti

    2004-01-01

    Professional programmers need common coding conventions to assure co-operation and a degree of quality of the software. Novice programmers, however, easily forget issues of programming style in their programming coursework. In particular with large classes, students may pass several courses without learning elements of programming style. This is…

  10. Germination tests for assessing biochar quality.

    PubMed

    Rogovska, N; Laird, D; Cruse, R M; Trabue, S; Heaton, E

    2012-01-01

    Definition, analysis, and certification of biochar quality are crucial to the agronomic acceptance of biochar. While most biochars have a positive impact on plant growth, some may have adverse effects due to the presence of phytotoxic compounds. Conversely, some biochars may have the ability to adsorb and neutralize natural phytotoxic compounds found in soil. We evaluated the effects of biochars on seedling growth and absorption of allelochemicals present in corn ( L.) residues. Corn seeds were germinated in aqueous extracts of six biochars produced from varied feedstocks, thermochemical processes, and temperatures. Percent germination and shoot and radicle lengths were evaluated at the end of the germination period. Extracts from the six biochars had no effect on percent germination; however, extracts from three biochars produced at high conversion temperatures significantly inhibited shoot growth by an average of 16% relative to deionized (DI) water. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons detected in the aqueous extracts are believed to be at least partly responsible for the reduction in seedling growth. Repeated leaching of biochars before extract preparation eliminated the negative effects on seedling growth. Biochars differ significantly in their capacity to adsorb allelochemicals present in corn residues. Germination of corn seeds in extracts of corn residue showed 94% suppression of radicle growth compared to those exposed to DI water; however, incubation of corn residue extracts with leached biochar for 24 h before initiating the germination test increased radicle length 6 to 12 times compared to the corn residue extract treatments. Germination tests appear to be a reliable procedure to differentiate between effects of different types of biochar on corn seedling growth.

  11. [Systematic economic assessment and quality evaluation for traditional Chinese medicines].

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiao; Guo, Li-ping; Shang, Hong-cai; Ren, Ming; Lei, Xiang

    2015-05-01

    To learn about the economic studies on traditional Chinese medicines in domestic literatures, in order to analyze the current economic assessment of traditional Chinese medicines and explore the existing problems. Efforts were made to search CNKI, VIP, Wanfang database and CBM by computer and include all literatures about economic assessment of traditional Chinese medicines published on professional domestic journals in the systematic assessment and quality evaluation. Finally, 50 articles were included in the study, and the systematic assessment and quality evaluation were made for them in terms of titles, year, authors' identity, expense source, disease type, study perspective, study design type, study target, study target source, time limit, cost calculation, effect indicator, analytical technique and sensitivity analysis. The finally quality score was 0.74, which is very low. The results of the study showed insufficient studies on economics of traditional Chinese medicines, short study duration and simple evaluation methods, which will be solved through unremitting efforts in the future.

  12. No Reference Video-Quality-Assessment Model for Monitoring Video Quality of IPTV Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamagishi, Kazuhisa; Okamoto, Jun; Hayashi, Takanori; Takahashi, Akira

    Service providers should monitor the quality of experience of a communication service in real time to confirm its status. To do this, we previously proposed a packet-layer model that can be used for monitoring the average video quality of typical Internet protocol television content using parameters derived from transmitted packet headers. However, it is difficult to monitor the video quality per user using the average video quality because video quality depends on the video content. To accurately monitor the video quality per user, a model that can be used for estimating the video quality per video content rather than the average video quality should be developed. Therefore, to take into account the impact of video content on video quality, we propose a model that calculates the difference in video quality between the video quality of the estimation-target video and the average video quality estimated using a packet-layer model. We first conducted extensive subjective quality assessments for different codecs and video sequences. We then model their characteristics based on parameters related to compression and packet loss. Finally, we verify the performance of the proposed model by applying it to unknown data sets different from the training data sets used for developing the model.

  13. Using Automatic Speech Recognition to Assess Spoken Responses to Cognitive Tests of Semantic Verbal Fluency.

    PubMed

    Pakhomov, Serguei V S; Marino, Susan E; Banks, Sarah; Bernick, Charles

    2015-12-01

    Cognitive tests of verbal fluency (VF) consist of verbalizing as many words as possible in one minute that either start with a specific letter of the alphabet or belong to a specific semantic category. These tests are widely used in neurological, psychiatric, mental health, and school settings and their validity for clinical applications has been extensively demonstrated. However, VF tests are currently administered and scored manually making them too cumbersome to use, particularly for longitudinal cognitive monitoring in large populations. The objective of the current study was to determine if automatic speech recognition (ASR) could be used for computerized administration and scoring of VF tests. We examined established techniques for constraining language modeling to a predefined vocabulary from a specific semantic category (e.g., animals). We also experimented with post-processing ASR output with confidence scoring, as well as with using speaker adaptation to improve automated VF scoring. Audio responses to a VF task were collected from 38 novice and experienced professional fighters (boxing and mixed martial arts) participating in a longitudinal study of effects of repetitive head trauma on brain function. Word error rate, correlation with manual word count and distance from manual word count were used to compare ASR-based approaches to scoring to each other and to the manually scored reference standard. Our study's results show that responses to the VF task contain a large number of extraneous utterances and noise that lead to relatively poor baseline ASR performance. However, we also found that speaker adaptation combined with confidence scoring significantly improves all three metrics and can enable use of ASR for reliable estimates of the traditional manual VF scores.

  14. Using Automatic Speech Recognition to Assess Spoken Responses to Cognitive Tests of Semantic Verbal Fluency

    PubMed Central

    Pakhomov, Serguei V.S.; Marino, Susan E.; Banks, Sarah; Bernick, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive tests of verbal fluency (VF) consist of verbalizing as many words as possible in one minute that either start with a specific letter of the alphabet or belong to a specific semantic category. These tests are widely used in neurological, psychiatric, mental health, and school settings and their validity for clinical applications has been extensively demonstrated. However, VF tests are currently administered and scored manually making them too cumbersome to use, particularly for longitudinal cognitive monitoring in large populations. The objective of the current study was to determine if automatic speech recognition (ASR) could be used for computerized administration and scoring of VF tests. We examined established techniques for constraining language modeling to a predefined vocabulary from a specific semantic category (e.g., animals). We also experimented with post-processing ASR output with confidence scoring, as well as with using speaker adaptation to improve automated VF scoring. Audio responses to a VF task were collected from 38 novice and experienced professional fighters (boxing and mixed martial arts) participating in a longitudinal study of effects of repetitive head trauma on brain function. Word error rate, correlation with manual word count and distance from manual word count were used to compare ASR-based approaches to scoring to each other and to the manually scored reference standard. Our study's results show that responses to the VF task contain a large number of extraneous utterances and noise that lead to relatively poor baseline ASR performance. However, we also found that speaker adaptation combined with confidence scoring significantly improves all three metrics and can enable use of ASR for reliable estimates of the traditional manual VF scores. PMID:26622073

  15. Analysis, assessment and mapping of groundwater quality of Chandigarh (India).

    PubMed

    Bansal, Rajesh; Sharma, L N; John, Siby

    2011-04-01

    Chandigarh (India) has been depending on groundwater resources to meet its water requirements in addition to the surface water source (Bhakra Main Canal). With a view to assess the groundwater quality, samples were collected from geo-referenced tube wells in different localities of the city. Samples were analysed for conventional parameters indicative of the physico-chemical quality of groundwater. The groundwater quality mapping was attempted using the ARCGIS 9.0. Thematic maps were generated for each parameter of groundwater quality. This paper presents the spatial distribution of groundwater quality of Chandigarh city. The quality of groundwater was found to be varying with geology of the area as well as the land use and land cover.

  16. Methods for assessing the quality of runoff from Minnesota peatlands

    SciTech Connect

    Clausen, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    The quality of runoff from large, undisturbed peatlands in Minnesota is chaaracterized and sampling results from a number of bogs (referred to as a multiple watershed approach) was used to assess the effects of peat mining on the quality of bog runoff. Runoff from 45 natural peatlands and one mined bog was sampled five times in 1979-80 and analyzed for 34 water quality characteristics. Peatland watersheds were classified as bog, transition, or fen, based upon both water quality and watershed characteristics. Alternative classification methods were based on frequency distributions, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, and principal component analysis results. A multiple watershed approach was used as a basis of drawing inferences regarding the quality of runoff from a representative sample of natural bogs and a mined bog. The multiple watershed technique applied provides an alternative to long-term paired watershed experiments in evaluating the effects of land use activities on the quality of runoff from peatlands in Minnesota.

  17. Automatic Imitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2011-01-01

    "Automatic imitation" is a type of stimulus-response compatibility effect in which the topographical features of task-irrelevant action stimuli facilitate similar, and interfere with dissimilar, responses. This article reviews behavioral, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging research on automatic imitation, asking in what sense it is "automatic"…

  18. Automatic indexing

    SciTech Connect

    Harman, D.

    1992-09-01

    Automatic indexing has been a critical technology as more full-text data becomes available online. The paper discusses issues for automatic indexing of different types of full-text and also presents a survey of much of the current research into new techniques for automatic indexing.

  19. Automatic Imitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2011-01-01

    "Automatic imitation" is a type of stimulus-response compatibility effect in which the topographical features of task-irrelevant action stimuli facilitate similar, and interfere with dissimilar, responses. This article reviews behavioral, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging research on automatic imitation, asking in what sense it is "automatic"…

  20. Service Quality Assessment Scale (SQAS): An Instrument for Evaluating Service Quality of Health-Fitness Clubs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lam, Eddie T. C.; Zhang, James J.; Jensen, Barbara E.

    2005-01-01

    This study was designed to develop the Service Quality Assessment Scale to evaluate the service quality of health-fitness clubs. Through a review of literature, field observations, interviews, modified application of the Delphi technique, and a pilot study, a preliminary scale with 46 items was formulated. The preliminary scale was administered to…