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To be useful for architects and related designers searching for creative, expressive forms, performance-based digital tools must generate a diverse range of design solutions. This gives the designer flexibility to choose from a number of high-performing designs based on aesthetic preferences or other priorities. However, there is no single established method for measuring diversity in the context of computational design, especially in the field of architecture. This paper explores different metrics for quantifying diversity in parametric design, which is an increasingly common digital approach to early-stage exploration, and tests how human users perceive these diversity measurements. It first provides a review of existing methodologies for measuring diversity and describes how they can be adapted for parametrically formulated design spaces. This paper then tests how these different metrics align with human perception of design diversity through an online visual survey. Finally, it offers a quantitative comparison between the different methods and a discussion of their attributes and potential applications. In general, the comparison indicates that at the level of diversity difference that becomes visually meaningful to humans, the measurable difference between metrics is small. This paper informs future researchers, developers, and designers about the measurement of diversity in parametric design, and can stimulate further studies into the perception of diversity within sets of design options, as well as new design methodologies that combine architectural novelty and performance.
Mental illness is one of the leading causes of disability, with direct and indirect costs posing a significant financial burden. Previously, a large prospective economic utility study (n>13,000) showed that the GeneSight® test, a psychiatric pharmacogenomic decision support tool powered by CPGx® technology, reduced medication costs, increased adherence, andreduced polypharmacy for patients who had failed monotherapy for psychiatric disorders. The current study, which is a sub-analysis of this larger study, assessed cost savings associated with combinatorial pharmacogenomic testing in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). Medication costs were extracted using pharmacy claims data provided by Medco, a large pharmacy benefits manager, for patients with GAD (n=318) and MDD (n=459). Medication cost savings per member per year (PMPY) for 1 year following the test were compared between patients whose medication regimens were congruent with the test recommendations and those whose medication regimens were incongruent with these recommendations. When healthcare providers’ decisions were congruent with combinatorial pharmacogenomic testing, PMPY savings was $6,747 (p<0.004) for GAD patients and $3,738 (p<0.004) for MDD patients versus incongruent decisions within these disease states. Among the congruent group, GAD patients experienced greater savings in central nervous system (CNS) medications (2-fold) compared to MDD patients. Additionally, analysis of a subset of patients prescribed at least one benzodiazepine six months prior to testing (n=660) demonstrated a significant decrease in benzodiazepine drug counts (p<0.001) and refills (p<0.001) after testing. Using the GeneSight test as a treatment decision support tool for patients with GAD or MDD resulted in significant medication cost savings when HCPs made congruent decisions with the combinatorialpharmacogenomic results. Furthermore, use of the GeneSight test decreased the use of benzodiazepines.
The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migratory flyways. Most threats are increasing in intensity, particularly in non-breeding areas, where habitat loss resulting from residential and commercial development, aquaculture, mining, transport, disturbance, problematic invasive species, pollution and climate change were regarded as having the greatest detrimental impact. Fewer threats (mining, disturbance, problematic native species and climate change) were identified as widely affecting breeding areas. Numeniini populations face the greatest number of non-breeding threats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, especially those associated with coastal reclamation; related threats were also identified across the Central and Atlantic Americas, and East Atlantic flyways. Threats on the breeding grounds were greatest in Central and Atlantic Americas, East Atlantic and West Asian flyways. Three priority actions were associated with monitoring and research: to monitor breeding population trends (which for species breeding in remote areas may best be achieved through surveys at key non-breeding sites), to deploy tracking technologies to identify migratory connectivity, and to monitor land-cover change across breeding and non-breeding areas. Two priority actions were focused on conservation and policy responses: to identify and effectively protect key non-breeding sites across all flyways (particularly in the East Asian- Australasian Flyway), and to implement successful conservation interventions at a sufficient scale across human-dominated landscapes for species’ recovery to be achieved. If implemented urgently, these measures in combination have the potential to alter the current population declines of many Numeniini species and provide a template for the conservation of other groups of threatened species.
Do public policy debates between activists from different ideological camps in a nondemocratic and illiberal system bridge social divisions or deepen them? Focusing on three controversies regarding family law in Jordan, we argue that activist groups rarely talk to each other in public, and when they do, their discourses aim primarily at mobilizing support within their own camps rather than addressing each other's concerns. Through media analysis, discourse analysis, and in-depth field interviews, we find much polarization and few attempts to build bridges, but also limited though very suggestive exceptions. Those exceptions rely less on public and democratic mechanisms and more on entrepreneurial state actors working quietly, talking opportunistically to each side, and emerging as powerful institutional actors. Authoritarian states can provide sites of deliberation, but deliberation seems to lead to principled agreement beyond the platitudinous only when an institutional actor within the state takes the initiative to get involved.
Background: Problem anger is frequently experienced by the general population and is known to cause significant problems for the individual and those around them. Whilst psychological treatments for problem anger are becoming increasingly established, this is still an under-researched area of mental health. We present an evaluation of a series of one-day anger management workshops for the public, targeting problem anger with a cognitive-behavioural approach. Aims: The main aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief group-based anger intervention in terms of subjectively reported anger provocation levels and of depression and anxiety. Method: Workshop participants completed a number of questionnaire measures at baseline before the intervention and at 1 month follow-up. The key questionnaires measured self-reported anger provocation levels (Novaco Anger Scale-Provocation Inventory), depressive symptomatology (PHQ-9) and symptoms of generalized anxiety (GAD-7). Change scores were analysed using repeated measures analyses. Results: We found a significant reduction in anger provocation among workshop participants at 1 month follow-up (p = .03). Reductions in depression and anxiety were not statistically significant. Conclusions: We conclude that this brief psychoeducational anger intervention was effective in a small community sample and suggest future work should assess the effectiveness on similar brief interventions using a larger client group and examine outcomes on a broader range of anger measures.
In this paper, we report 11 AMS radiocarbon dates from 8 Prehispanic fortifications located in the Huaura Valley, central coast of Perú. Small fragments of organic material embedded in preserved mud mortar in architecture, and samples from construction layers exposed by looter's holes were used to date architectural features without undertaking extensive excavations. These dates contribute toward refining the chronology of fort building in the valley, and provide a test for assumptions about temporal change and architectural style. The results indicate that fortifications date to at least 3 periods. These data provide a starting point for exploring the occurrence of warfare through time on a regional scale.
In 1990, Vaclav Havel addressed a joint session of the United States Congress. It was a heady moment in many ways. Not only was his rise the product of stunning—and surprisingly peaceful—political change; not only was he a living symbol of principled political opposition and its force; Havel was also something extremely unusual: a true intellectual who had just entered the halls of power. And he quickly showed that in his visit to the halls of Congress. The new Czech president was not content to give a mere policy address or a string of bromides and platitudes. Instead he actually talked somewhat serious philosophy to the assembled legislators. Before doing so, he did at least promise, he said, to “limit myself to a single idea.” He called that idea “a great certainty.” What was it? “Consciousness precedes Being, not the other way around, as Marxists claim.”
Different sectors of society typically value, need and demand different bundles of ecosystem services. At the same time, important trade-offs exist between the production of different services, and it is not possible to increase the resilience of all ecosystem services simultaneously. Decisions about which services to sustain in a particular social–ecological system therefore require trade-offs that are inherently political. Politics can be described as ‘the authoritative allocation of values for a society’ (Easton 1965). To further complicate matters, the desired mix of services will evolve with changing societal values and preferences, and the resilience of ecosystem services is only one among many desired outcomes (e.g. equality, human rights, democracy) of social–ecological systems. Resolving these trade-offs requires resolution of collective-action dilemmas and intergroup conflicts, a process that comes replete with power inequalities, asymmetric resource bases and unequal outcomes. This chapter discusses some of the asymmetries and power dynamics that underlie decisions of which ecosystem services should form the focus for resilience-building initiatives; the remainder of the book assumes these choices have been made and focuses on how the resilience of some agreed-on mix of ecosystem services may be enhanced. Here, we focus specifically on the social consequences of trade-offs between ecosystem services; asymmetries in the distribution of ecosystem services; and we briefly discuss the broad literature of how these may be addressed through wider deliberative processes. We find that issues associated with the allocation of ecosystem services are poorly integrated into the resilience literature, and suggest that an improved understanding of allocation trade-offs could result from more applied research on use of ecosystem services that integrates perspectives from the social sciences about how and why people make and respond to decisions concerning ecosystem services.
Prompted by escalating rates of environmental change, resilience thinking is one emerging applied field that explicitly seeks to inform managers and policy-makers in the governance of social–ecological systems (SES) and the ecosystem services they produce (Berkes et al. 2000; Walker and Salt 2006).
Imidazoles present a tunable, versatile and economical platform for the development of novel liquid solvents and polymer membranes for CO2 capture. An overview of our studies in this area is presented, with emphasis on characterization of structure-property relationships in imidazole-based materials through both experimental and computational studies. To this end, a growing library of systematically varied imidazole compounds has been synthesized using only commercial available starting materials and straightforward reactions. Using this library of compounds, we have sought to understand and develop predictive models for thermophysical properties relating to process design, including: density, viscosity, vapor pressure, pKa and CO2 absorption capacity. Furthermore, we have discovered that imidazoles are stable in the presence of SO2 and can form reversible 1:1 adducts, which can be beneficial as SO2 is typically present at ppm levels alongside CO2 in flue gas from coal-fired power plants.