Publications from our Researchers

Several of our current PhD candidates and fellow researchers at the Data Science Institute have published, or in the proccess of publishing, papers to present their research.  

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  • Conference paper
    Rosas De Andraca FE, Azari M, Arani A, 2020,

    Mobile cellular-connected UAVs: reinforcement learning for sky limits

    , IEEE Globecom Workshops 2020, Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 1-6

    A cellular-connected unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) faces several key challenges concerning connectivity and energy efficiency. Through a learning-based strategy, we propose a general novel multi-armed bandit (MAB) algorithm to reduce disconnectivity time, handover rate, and energy consumption of UAV by taking into account its time of task completion. By formulating the problem as a function of UAV's velocity, we show how each of these performance indicators (PIs) is improved by adopting a proper range of corresponding learning parameter, e.g. 50% reduction in HO rate as compared to a blind strategy. However, results reveal that the optimal combination of the learning parameters depends critically on any specific application and the weights of PIs on the final objective function.

  • Journal article
    Szigeti B, Kartner L, Blemings A, Rosas F, Feilding A, Nutt DJ, Carhart-Harris RL, Erritzoe Det al., 2021,

    Self-blinding citizen science to explore psychedelic microdosing

    , eLife, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-26, ISSN: 2050-084X

    Microdosing is the practice of regularly using low doses of psychedelic drugs. Anecdotal reports suggest that microdosing enhances well-being and cognition; however, such accounts are potentially biased by the placebo effect. This study used a ‘self-blinding’ citizen science initiative, where participants were given online instructions on how to incorporate placebo control into their microdosing routine without clinical supervision. The study was completed by 191 participants, making it the largest placebo-controlled trial on psychedelics to-date. All psychological outcomes improved significantly from baseline to after the 4 weeks long dose period for the microdose group; however, the placebo group also improved and no significant between-groups differences were observed. Acute (emotional state, drug intensity, mood, energy, and creativity) and post-acute (anxiety) scales showed small, but significant microdose vs. placebo differences; however, these results can be explained by participants breaking blind. The findings suggest that anecdotal benefits of microdosing can be explained by the placebo effect.

  • Journal article
    D'Amore L, Murano A, Sorrentino L, Arcucci R, Laccetti Get al., 2021,

    Toward a multilevel scalable parallel Zielonka's algorithm for solving parity games

  • Journal article
    Kumar P, Kalaiarasan G, Porter AE, Pinna A, Kłosowski MM, Demokritou P, Chung KF, Pain C, Arvind DK, Arcucci R, Adcock IM, Dilliway Cet al., 2021,

    An overview of methods of fine and ultrafine particle collection for physicochemical characterisation and toxicity assessments.

    , Science of the Total Environment, Vol: 756, Pages: 1-22, ISSN: 0048-9697

    Particulate matter (PM) is a crucial health risk factor for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The smaller size fractions, ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5; fine particles) and ≤0.1 μm (PM0.1; ultrafine particles), show the highest bioactivity but acquiring sufficient mass for in vitro and in vivo toxicological studies is challenging. We review the suitability of available instrumentation to collect the PM mass required for these assessments. Five different microenvironments representing the diverse exposure conditions in urban environments are considered in order to establish the typical PM concentrations present. The highest concentrations of PM2.5 and PM0.1 were found near traffic (i.e. roadsides and traffic intersections), followed by indoor environments, parks and behind roadside vegetation. We identify key factors to consider when selecting sampling instrumentation. These include PM concentration on-site (low concentrations increase sampling time), nature of sampling sites (e.g. indoors; noise and space will be an issue), equipment handling and power supply. Physicochemical characterisation requires micro- to milli-gram quantities of PM and it may increase according to the processing methods (e.g. digestion or sonication). Toxicological assessments of PM involve numerous mechanisms (e.g. inflammatory processes and oxidative stress) requiring significant amounts of PM to obtain accurate results. Optimising air sampling techniques are therefore important for the appropriate collection medium/filter which have innate physical properties and the potential to interact with samples. An evaluation of methods and instrumentation used for airborne virus collection concludes that samplers operating cyclone sampling techniques (using centrifugal forces) are effective in collecting airborne viruses. We highlight that predictive modelling can help to identify pollution hotspots in an urban environment for the efficient collection of PM mass. This review provides

  • Journal article
    Turkheimer FE, Rosas FE, Dipasquale O, Martins D, Fagerholm ED, Expert P, Vasa F, Lord L-D, Leech Ret al., 2021,

    A complex systems perspective on neuroimaging studies of behavior and its disorders

    , The Neuroscientist: reviews at the interface of basic and clinical neurosciences, Vol: 28, Pages: 382-399, ISSN: 1073-8584

    The study of complex systems deals with emergent behavior that arises as a result of nonlinear spatiotemporal interactions between a large number of components both within the system, as well as between the system and its environment. There is a strong case to be made that neural systems as well as their emergent behavior and disorders can be studied within the framework of complexity science. In particular, the field of neuroimaging has begun to apply both theoretical and experimental procedures originating in complexity science—usually in parallel with traditional methodologies. Here, we illustrate the basic properties that characterize complex systems and evaluate how they relate to what we have learned about brain structure and function from neuroimaging experiments. We then argue in favor of adopting a complex systems-based methodology in the study of neuroimaging, alongside appropriate experimental paradigms, and with minimal influences from noncomplex system approaches. Our exposition includes a review of the fundamental mathematical concepts, combined with practical examples and a compilation of results from the literature.

  • Journal article
    Quilodrán-Casas C, Silva VS, Arcucci R, Heaney CE, Guo Y, Pain CCet al., 2021,

    Digital twins based on bidirectional LSTM and GAN for modelling COVID-19

    The outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has now spreadthroughout the globe infecting over 100 million people and causing the death ofover 2.2 million people. Thus, there is an urgent need to study the dynamics ofepidemiological models to gain a better understanding of how such diseasesspread. While epidemiological models can be computationally expensive, recentadvances in machine learning techniques have given rise to neural networks withthe ability to learn and predict complex dynamics at reduced computationalcosts. Here we introduce two digital twins of a SEIRS model applied to anidealised town. The SEIRS model has been modified to take account of spatialvariation and, where possible, the model parameters are based on official virusspreading data from the UK. We compare predictions from a data-correctedBidirectional Long Short-Term Memory network and a predictive GenerativeAdversarial Network. The predictions given by these two frameworks are accuratewhen compared to the original SEIRS model data. Additionally, these frameworksare data-agnostic and could be applied to towns, idealised or real, in the UKor in other countries. Also, more compartments could be included in the SEIRSmodel, in order to study more realistic epidemiological behaviour.

  • Journal article
    Balaban G, Halliday B, Bradley P, Bai W, Nygaard S, Owen R, Hatipoglu S, Ferreira ND, Izgi C, Tayal U, Corden B, Ware J, Pennell D, Rueckert D, Plank G, Rinaldi CA, Prasad SK, Bishop Met al., 2021,

    Late-gadolinium enhancement interface area and electrophysiological simulations predict arrhythmic events in non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy patients

    , JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology, Vol: 7, Pages: 238-249, ISSN: 2405-5018

    BACKGROUND: The presence of late-gadolinium enhancement (LGE) predicts life threatening ventricular arrhythmias in non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NIDCM); however, risk stratification remains imprecise. LGE shape and simulations of electrical activity may be able to provide additional prognostic information.OBJECTIVE: This study sought to investigate whether shape-based LGE metrics and simulations of reentrant electrical activity are associated with arrhythmic events in NIDCM patients.METHODS: CMR-LGE shape metrics were computed for a cohort of 156 NIDCM patients with visible LGE and tested retrospectively for an association with an arrhythmic composite end-point of sudden cardiac death and ventricular tachycardia. Computational models were created from images and used in conjunction with simulated stimulation protocols to assess the potential for reentry induction in each patient’s scar morphology. A mechanistic analysis of the simulations was carried out to explain the associations. RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 1611 [IQR 881-2341] days, 16 patients (10.3%) met the primary endpoint. In an inverse probability weighted Cox regression, the LGE-myocardial interface area (HR:1.75; 95% CI:1.24-2.47; p=0.001), number of simulated reentries (HR: 1.4; 95% CI: 1.23-1.59; p<0.01) and LGE volume (HR:1.44; 95% CI:1.07-1.94; p=0.02) were associated with arrhythmic events. Computational modeling revealed repolarisation heterogeneity and rate-dependent block of electrical wavefronts at the LGE-myocardial interface as putative arrhythmogenic mechanisms directly related to LGE interface area.CONCLUSION: The area of interface between scar and surviving myocardium, as well as simulated reentrant activity, are associated with an elevated risk of major arrhythmic events in NIDCM patients with LGE and represent novel risk predictors.

  • Conference paper
    Amendola M, Arcucci R, Mottet L, Casas CQ, Fan S, Pain C, Linden P, Guo YKet al., 2021,

    Data Assimilation in the Latent Space of a Convolutional Autoencoder

    , Pages: 373-386, ISSN: 0302-9743

    Data Assimilation (DA) is a Bayesian inference that combines the state of a dynamical system with real data collected by instruments at a given time. The goal of DA is to improve the accuracy of the dynamic system making its result as real as possible. One of the most popular technique for DA is the Kalman Filter (KF). When the dynamic system refers to a real world application, the representation of the state of a physical system usually leads to a big data problem. For these problems, KF results computationally too expensive and mandates to use of reduced order modeling techniques. In this paper we proposed a new methodology we called Latent Assimilation (LA). It consists in performing the KF in the latent space obtained by an Autoencoder with non-linear encoder functions and non-linear decoder functions. In the latent space, the dynamic system is represented by a surrogate model built by a Recurrent Neural Network. In particular, an Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) network is used to train a function which emulates the dynamic system in the latent space. The data from the dynamic model and the real data coming from the instruments are both processed through the Autoencoder. We apply the methodology to a real test case and we show that the LA has a good performance both in accuracy and in efficiency.

  • Conference paper
    Afzali J, Casas CQ, Arcucci R, 2021,

    Latent GAN: Using a Latent Space-Based GAN for Rapid Forecasting of CFD Models

    , Pages: 360-372, ISSN: 0302-9743

    The focus of this study is to simulate realistic fluid flow, through Machine Learning techniques that could be utilised in real-time forecasting of urban air pollution. We propose a novel Latent GAN architecture which looks at combining an AutoEncoder with a Generative Adversarial Network to predict fluid flow at the proceeding timestep of a given input, whilst keeping computational costs low. This architecture is applied to tracer flows and velocity fields around an urban city. We present a pair of AutoEncoders capable of dimensionality reduction of 3 orders of magnitude. Further, we present a pair of Generator models capable of performing real-time forecasting of tracer flows and velocity fields. We demonstrate that the models, as well as the latent spaces generated, learn and retain meaningful physical features of the domain. Despite the domain of this project being that of computational fluid dynamics, the Latent GAN architecture is designed to be generalisable such that it can be applied to other dynamical systems.

  • Journal article
    Xiong Z, Xia Q, Hu Z, Huang N, Bian C, Zheng Y, Vesal S, Ravikumar N, Maier A, Yang X, Heng P-A, Ni D, Li C, Tong Q, Si W, Puybareau E, Khoudli Y, Geraud T, Chen C, Bai W, Rueckert D, Xu L, Zhuang X, Luo X, Jia S, Sermesant M, Liu Y, Wang K, Borra D, Masci A, Corsi C, de Vente C, Veta M, Karim R, Preetha CJ, Engelhardt S, Qiao M, Wang Y, Tao Q, Nunez-Garcia M, Camara O, Savioli N, Lamata P, Zhao Jet al., 2021,

    A global benchmark of algorithms for segmenting the left atrium from late gadolinium-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance imaging

    , Medical Image Analysis, Vol: 67, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 1361-8415

    Segmentation of medical images, particularly late gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (LGE-MRI) used for visualizing diseased atrial structures, is a crucial first step for ablation treatment of atrial fibrillation. However, direct segmentation of LGE-MRIs is challenging due to the varying intensities caused by contrast agents. Since most clinical studies have relied on manual, labor-intensive approaches, automatic methods are of high interest, particularly optimized machine learning approaches. To address this, we organized the 2018 Left Atrium Segmentation Challenge using 154 3D LGE-MRIs, currently the world's largest atrial LGE-MRI dataset, and associated labels of the left atrium segmented by three medical experts, ultimately attracting the participation of 27 international teams. In this paper, extensive analysis of the submitted algorithms using technical and biological metrics was performed by undergoing subgroup analysis and conducting hyper-parameter analysis, offering an overall picture of the major design choices of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and practical considerations for achieving state-of-the-art left atrium segmentation. Results show that the top method achieved a Dice score of 93.2% and a mean surface to surface distance of 0.7 mm, significantly outperforming prior state-of-the-art. Particularly, our analysis demonstrated that double sequentially used CNNs, in which a first CNN is used for automatic region-of-interest localization and a subsequent CNN is used for refined regional segmentation, achieved superior results than traditional methods and machine learning approaches containing single CNNs. This large-scale benchmarking study makes a significant step towards much-improved segmentation methods for atrial LGE-MRIs, and will serve as an important benchmark for evaluating and comparing the future works in the field. Furthermore, the findings from this study can potentially be extended to other imaging datasets and modalitie

  • Journal article
    Arcucci R, Zhu J, Hu S, Guo Y-Ket al., 2021,

    Deep Data Assimilation: Integrating Deep Learning with Data Assimilation

  • Conference paper
    Rosas De Andraca FE, Mediano P, Biehl M, Chandaria S, Polani Det al., 2020,

    Causal Blankets: Theory and Algorithmic Framework

    , ECML/PKDD 2020
  • Journal article
    Andersen MM, Schjoedt U, Price H, Rosas FE, Scrivner C, Clasen Met al., 2020,

    Playing with fear: a field study in recreational horror

    , Psychological Science, Vol: 31, Pages: 1497-1510, ISSN: 0956-7976

    Haunted attractions are illustrative examples of recreational fear in which people voluntarily seek out frightening experiences in pursuit of enjoyment. We present findings from a field study at a haunted-house attraction where visitors between the ages of 12 and 57 years (N = 110) were equipped with heart rate monitors, video-recorded at peak scare points during the attraction, and asked to report on their experience. Our results show that enjoyment has an inverted-U-shaped relationship with fear across repeated self-reported measures. Moreover, results from physiological data demonstrate that the experience of being frightened is a linear function of large-scale heart rate fluctuations, whereas there is an inverted-U-shaped relationship between participant enjoyment and small-scale heart rate fluctuations. These results suggest that enjoyment is related to forms of arousal dynamics that are “just right.” These findings shed light on how fear and enjoyment can coexist in recreational horror.

  • Journal article
    Rosas FE, Mediano PAM, Jensen HJ, Seth AK, Barrett AB, Carhart-Harris RL, Bor Det al., 2020,

    Reconciling emergences: an information-theoretic approach to identify causal emergence in multivariate data

    , PLoS Computational Biology, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1553-734X

    The broad concept of emergence is instrumental in various of the most challenging open scientific questions—yet, few quantitative theories of what constitutes emergent phenomena have been proposed. This article introduces a formal theory of causal emergence in multivariate systems, which studies the relationship between the dynamics of parts of a system and macroscopic features of interest. Our theory provides a quantitative definition of downward causation, and introduces a complementary modality of emergent behaviour—which we refer to as causal decoupling. Moreover, the theory allows practical criteria that can be efficiently calculated in large systems, making our framework applicable in a range of scenarios of practical interest. We illustrate our findings in a number of case studies, including Conway’s Game of Life, Reynolds’ flocking model, and neural activity as measured by electrocorticography.

  • Journal article
    Ruiz LGB, Pegalajar MC, Arcucci R, Molina-Solana Met al., 2020,

    A time-series clustering methodology for knowledge extraction in energy consumption data

    , Expert Systems with Applications, Vol: 160, ISSN: 0957-4174

    In the Energy Efficiency field, the incorporation of intelligent systems in cities and buildings is motivated by the energy savings and pollution reduction that can be attained. To achieve this goal, energy modelling and a better understanding of how energy is consumed are fundamental factors. As a result, this study proposes a methodology for knowledge acquisition in energy-related data through Time-Series Clustering (TSC) techniques. In our experimentation, we utilize data from the buildings at the University of Granada (Spain) and compare several clustering methods to get the optimum model, in particular, we tested k-Means, k-Medoids, Hierarchical clustering and Gaussian Mixtures; as well as several algorithms to obtain the best grouping, such as PAM, CLARA, and two variants of Lloyd’s method, Small and Large. Thus, our methodology can provide non-trivial knowledge from raw energy data. In contrast to previous studies in this field, not only do we propose a clustering methodology to group time series straightforwardly, but we also present an automatic strategy to search and analyse energy periodicity in these series recursively so that we can deepen granularity and extract information at different levels of detail. The results show that k-Medoids with PAM is the best approach in virtually all cases, and the Squared Euclidean distance outperforms the rest of the metrics.

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