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The 2020 volume of History in Africa is the eleventh produced by the current editorial team. It will also be the last, as we are handing over to a brand-new team, consisting of esteemed colleagues Lorelle Semley, Sandra Barnes, Bayo Holsey, and Egodi Uchendu.
Further research into seismicity caused by natural gas production from the Groningen field is necessary to improve the assessment of seismic risk and develop means to control and reduce it. Research into subsurface aspects is primarily of relevance to assess the seismic hazard component in the cause-and-effect chain that governs the seismic risk. It requires a wide range of research activities that can be broadly classified as follows:
• Increasing understanding of the physical mechanisms that govern production-induced seismicity, in particular source mechanisms, compaction behaviour, propagation of energy to the surface, and the effects of fluctuating production.
• Reducing uncertainty by acquiring additional field data to improve statistical inference, and developing statistical methods and procedures that can cope with the non-stationary nature of the process.
• Developing tools and techniques to improve risk management, and support operational control and policy measures under uncertainty.
An essential requirement for further research will be the possibility of developing competing theories for many aspects of the modelling chain. This requires an overall hazard and risk assessment methodology that can accommodate multiple models, and an organisational structure that facilitates the comparison of competing approaches while safeguarding their independent development. This will have to be supported by the availability of reliable data via shared databases. Finally, the scientific community should be prepared to make a major effort to translate their research results into popular scientific versions in order to keep stakeholders abreast of progressive insight into the origin, predictability and prevention of induced seismicity.
Priority setting in health care has been long recognized as an intrinsically complex and value-laden process. Yet, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies presently employ value assessment frameworks that are ill-fitted to capture the range and diversity of stakeholder values, and thereby risk to compromise the legitimacy of their recommendations. We propose ‘evidence-informed deliberative processes’ as an alternative framework with the aim to enhance this legitimacy.
The framework is based on an integration of two increasingly popular and complementary frameworks for priority setting: multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and accountability for reasonableness (A4R), Evidence-informed deliberative processes are, on the one hand, based on early, continued stakeholder deliberation to learn about the importance of relevant social values. On the other hand, they are based on rational decision-making – through evidence-informed evaluation of the identified values.
The framework has important implications for how HTA agencies should ideally organize their processes. Firstly, HTA agencies should take the responsibility to organize stakeholder involvement. Second, agencies are advised to integrate their assessment and appraisal phase, allowing for the timely collection of evidence on values that are considered relevant. Third, HTA agencies should subject their specification of decision-making criteria to public scrutiny. Fourth, agencies are advised to use a checklist of potentially relevant criteria, and to provide argumentation how each criterion affected the recommendation. Fifth, HTA agencies must publish their argumentation and install options for appeal.
Adopting ‘evidence-informed deliberative processes’ as a value assessment framework could be an important step forward for HTA agencies to optimize the legitimacy of their priority setting decisions. Agencies can incorporate elements according to their needs and affordances.
Young Onset Dementia (YOD), defined by first symptoms of cognitive or behavioral decline occurring before the age of 65 years, is relatively rare compared to dementia of later onset, but it is associated with diagnostic difficulty and heavy burden on affected individuals and their informal carers. Existing health and social care structures rarely meet the needs of YOD patients. Internet-based interventions are a novel format of delivering health-related education, counseling, and support to this vulnerable yet underserved group.
The RHAPSODY (Research to Assess Policies and Strategies for Dementia in the Young) project is a European initiative to improve care for people with YOD by providing an internet-based information and skill-building program for family carers. The e-learning program focuses on managing problem behaviors, dealing with role change, obtaining support, and looking after oneself. It will be evaluated in a pilot study in three countries using a randomized unblinded design with a wait-list control group. Participants will be informal carers of people with dementia in Alzheimer's disease or behavioral-variant Frontotemporal degeneration with an onset before the age of 65 years. The primary outcome will be caregiving self-efficacy after 6 weeks of program use. As secondary outcomes, caregivers’ stress and burden, carer health-related quality of life, caring-related knowledge, patient problem behaviors, and user satisfaction will be assessed. Program utilization will be monitored and a health-economic evaluation will also be performed.
The RHAPSODY project will add to the evidence on the potential and limitations of a conveniently accessible, user-friendly, and comprehensive internet-based intervention as an alternative for traditional forms of counseling and support in healthcare, aiming to optimize care and support for people with YOD and their informal caregivers.
This study analyzes the marriage patterns in accounts of ‘founder strangers’ and ‘first-comers’. By telling whether and when a child from a marriage between a Muslim and a warrior was successful or not, the accounts reveal the social code of the political elites in the Western Sudan in the period c. 1600–c. 1850. This social code expressed the elites’ concern with legitimizing their political autonomy as well as with reproducing their ruling position in a context of increasing warfare and growing reformist Islam. This social code structured accounts of both matrilineal warrior rulers and patrilineal Muslim rulers. Though methodologically rooted in classical approaches, historiographically this study contributes not only to recent research on state formation in Kaabu (present-day Guinea-Bissau) and Kankan (present-day Guinea), but also offers an approach to the Sunjata epic that hints at a seventeenth- and eighteenth-century origin of most of the epic as we know it. These fresh insights may shed new light on the history of the Mali Empire and its aftermath, and on processes of state formation in the Western Sudan in general.
Accurately measuring and monitoring the thickness distribution of thin ice is crucial for accurate estimation of ocean–atmosphere heat fluxes and rates of ice production and salt flux in ice-affected oceans. Here we present results from helicopter-borne brightness temperature (TB) measurements in the Southern Ocean in October 2012 and in the Sea of Okhotsk in February 2009 carried out with a portable passive microwave (PMW) radiometer operating at a frequency of 36 GHz. The goal of these measurements is to aid evaluation of a satellite thin-ice thickness algorithm which uses data from the spaceborne Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer–Earth Observing System AMSR-E) or the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-II (AMSR-II). AMSR-E and AMSR-II TB agree with the spatially collocated mean TB from the helicopter-borne measurements within the radiometers’ precision. In the Sea of Okhotsk in February 2009, the AMSR-E 36GHz TB values are closer to the mean than the modal TB values measured by the helicopter-borne radiometer. In an Antarctic coastal polynya in October 2012, the polarization ratio of 36GHz vertical and horizontal TB is estimated to be 0.137 on average. Our measurements of the TB at 36 GHz over an iceberg tongue suggest a way to discriminate it from sea ice by its unique PMW signature.
This paper provides a gentle introduction to problem-solving with the IDP3 system. The core of IDP3 is a finite model generator that supports first-order logic enriched with types, inductive definitions, aggregates and partial functions. It offers its users a modeling language that is a slight extension of predicate logic and allows them to solve a wide range of search problems. Apart from a small introductory example, applications are selected from problems that arose within machine learning and data mining research. These research areas have recently shown a strong interest in declarative modeling and constraint-solving as opposed to algorithmic approaches. The paper illustrates that the IDP3 system can be a valuable tool for researchers with such an interest. The first problem is in the domain of stemmatology, a domain of philology concerned with the relationship between surviving variant versions of text. The second problem is about a somewhat related problem within biology where phylogenetic trees are used to represent the evolution of species. The third and final problem concerns the classical problem of learning a minimal automaton consistent with a given set of strings. For this last problem, we show that the performance of our solution comes very close to that of the state-of-the art solution. For each of these applications, we analyze the problem, illustrate the development of a logic-based model and explore how alternatives can affect the performance.