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
    Robinson R, Oktay O, Bai W, Valindria V, Sanghvi MM, Aung N, Paiva JM, Zemrak F, Fung K, Lukaschuk E, Lee AM, Carapella V, Kim YJ, Kainz B, Piechnik SK, Neubauer S, Petersen SE, Page C, Rueckert D, Glocker Bet al., 2018,

    Real-time prediction of segmentation quality

    , International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI), Publisher: Springer Verlag, Pages: 578-585, ISSN: 0302-9743

    Recent advances in deep learning based image segmentationmethods have enabled real-time performance with human-level accuracy.However, occasionally even the best method fails due to low image qual-ity, artifacts or unexpected behaviour of black box algorithms. Beingable to predict segmentation quality in the absence of ground truth is ofparamount importance in clinical practice, but also in large-scale studiesto avoid the inclusion of invalid data in subsequent analysis.In this work, we propose two approaches of real-time automated qualitycontrol for cardiovascular MR segmentations using deep learning. First,we train a neural network on 12,880 samples to predict Dice SimilarityCoefficients (DSC) on a per-case basis. We report a mean average error(MAE) of 0.03 on 1,610 test samples and 97% binary classification accu-racy for separating low and high quality segmentations. Secondly, in thescenario where no manually annotated data is available, we train a net-work to predict DSC scores from estimated quality obtained via a reversetesting strategy. We report an MAE = 0.14 and 91% binary classifica-tion accuracy for this case. Predictions are obtained in real-time which,when combined with real-time segmentation methods, enables instantfeedback on whether an acquired scan is analysable while the patient isstill in the scanner. This further enables new applications of optimisingimage acquisition towards best possible analysis results.

  • Conference paper
    Duan J, Schlemper J, Bai W, Dawes TJW, Bello G, Doumou G, De Marvao A, O'Regan DP, Rueckert Det al., 2018,

    Deep Nested Level Sets: Fully Automated Segmentation of Cardiac MR Images in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension

    , International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI), Pages: 595-603, ISSN: 0302-9743
  • Journal article
    Gómez-Romero J, Molina-Solana M, Ros M, Ruiz MD, Martin-Bautista MJet al., 2018,

    Comfort as a service: a new paradigm for residential environmental quality control

    , Sustainability, Vol: 10, ISSN: 1937-0709

    This paper introduces the concept of Comfort as a Service (CaaS), a new energy supply paradigm for providing comfort to residential customers. CaaS takes into account the available passive and active elements, the external factors that affect energy consumption and associated costs, and occupants' behaviors to generate optimal control strategies for the domestic equipment automatically. As a consequence, it releases building occupants from operating the equipment, which gives rise to a disruption of the traditional model of paying per consumed energy in favor of a model of paying per provided comfort. In the paper, we envision a realization of CaaS based on several technologies such as ambient intelligence, big data, cloud computing and predictive computing. We discuss the opportunities and the barriers of CaaS-centered business and exemplify the potential of CaaS deployments by quantifying the expected energy savings achieved after limiting occupants' control over the air conditioning system in a test scenario.

  • Journal article
    Song J, Fan S, Lin W, Mottet L, Woodward H, Wykes MD, Arcucci R, Xiao D, Debay J-E, ApSimon H, Aristodemou E, Birch D, Carpentieri M, Fang F, Herzog M, Hunt GR, Jones RL, Pain C, Pavlidis D, Robins AG, Short CA, Linden PFet al., 2018,

    Natural ventilation in cities: the implications of fluid mechanics

    , BUILDING RESEARCH AND INFORMATION, Vol: 46, Pages: 809-828, ISSN: 0961-3218
  • Journal article
    Takahashi K, Pavlidis S, Ng Kee Kwong F, Hoda U, Rossios C, Sun K, Loza M, Baribaud F, Chanez P, Fowler SJ, Horvath I, Montuschi P, Singer F, Musial J, Dahlen B, Dahlen SE, Krug N, Sandstrom T, Shaw DE, Lutter R, Bakke P, Fleming LJ, Howarth PH, Caruso M, Sousa AR, Corfield J, Auffray C, De Meulder B, Lefaudeux D, Djukanovic R, Sterk PJ, Guo Y, Adcock I, Chung KFet al., 2018,

    Sputum proteomics and airway cell transcripts of current and ex-smokers with severe asthma in U-BIOPRED: an exploratory analysis

    , European Respiratory Journal, Vol: 51, ISSN: 0903-1936

    Background: Severe asthma patients with a significant smoking history have airflow obstruction with reported neutrophilia. We hypothesise that multi1omic analysis will enable the definition of smoking and ex1smoking severe asthma molecular phenotypes.Methods The U1BIOPRED severe asthma patients containing current1smokers (CSA), ex1smokers (ESA), non1smokers (NSA) and healthy non1smokers (NH) was examined. Blood and sputum cell counts, fractional exhaled nitric oxide and spirometry were obtained. Exploratory proteomic analysis of sputum supernatants and transcriptomic analysis of bronchial brushings, biopsies and sputum cells was performed. Results Colony stimulating factor (CSF)2 protein levels were increased in CSA sputum supernatants with azurocidin 1, neutrophil elastase and CXCL8 upregulated in ESA. Phagocytosis and innate immune pathways were associated with neutrophilic inflammation in ESA. Gene Set Variation Analysis of bronchial epithelial cell transcriptome from CSA showed enrichment of xenobiotic metabolism, oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress compared to other groups. CXCL5 and matrix metallopeptidase 12 genes were upregulated in ESA and the epithelial protective genes, mucin 2 and cystatin SN, were downregulated. Conclusion Despite little difference in clinical characteristics, CSA were distinguishable from ESA subjects at the sputum proteomic level with CSA having increased CSF2 expression and ESA patients showed sustained loss of epithelial barrier processes.

  • Journal article
    Hekking PP, Loza MJ, Pavlidis S, De Meulder B, Lefaudeux D, Baribaud F, Auffray C, Wagener AH, Brinkman P, Lutter R, Bansal AT, Sousa AR, Bates S, Pandis Y, Fleming LJ, Shaw DE, Fowler SJ, Guo Y, Meiser A, Sun K, Corfield J, Howarth P, Bel EH, Adcock IM, Chung KF, Djukanovic R, Sterk PJ, U-BIOPRED Study Groupet al., 2017,

    Transcriptomic gene signatures associated with persistent airflow limitation in patients with severe asthma

    , European Respiratory Journal, Vol: 50, ISSN: 1399-3003

    Rationale:A proportion of severe asthma patients suffers from persistent airflow limitation, often associated with more symptoms and exacerbations. Little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Aiming for discovery of unexplored potential mechanisms, we used Gene Set Variation Analysis (GSVA), a sensitive technique that can detect underlying pathways in heterogeneous samples. Methods: Severe asthma patients from the U-BIOPRED cohort with persistent airflow limitation (post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio < lower limit of normal) were compared to those without persistent airflow limitation. Gene expression was assessed on the total RNA of sputum cells, nasal brushings and endobronchial brushings and biopsies. GSVA was applied to identify differentially-enriched pre-defined gene signatures based on all available gene expression publications and data on airways disease.Results: Differentially-enriched gene signatures were identified in nasal brushings (1), sputum (9), bronchial brushings (1) and bronchial biopsies (4), that were associated with response to inhaled steroids, eosinophils, IL-13, IFN-alpha, specific CD4+ T-cells and airway remodeling.Conclusion: Persistent airflow limitation in severe asthma has distinguishable underlying gene networks that are associated with treatment, inflammatory pathways and airway remodeling. These results point towards targets for the therapy of persistent airflow limitation in severe asthma.

  • Journal article
    Hekking PP, Loza MJ, Pavlidis S, De Meulder B, Lefaudeux D, Baribaud F, Auffray C, Wagener A, Brinkman P, Lutter I, Bansal A, Sousa A, Bates S, Pandis Y, Fleming L, Shaw DE, Fowler SJ, Guo Y, Meiser A, Sun K, Corfield J, Howarth P, Bel EH, Adcock IM, Chung KF, Djukanovic R, Sterk PJ, U-BIOPRED Study Groupet al., 2017,

    Pathway discovery using transcriptomic profiles in adult-onset severe asthma

    , Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol: 141, Pages: 1280-1290, ISSN: 1097-6825

    RationaleAdult-onset severe asthma is characterized by highly symptomatic disease despite high intensity asthma treatments. Understanding of the underlying pathways of this heterogeneous disease needed for the development of targeted treatments. Gene Set Variation Analysis (GSVA) is a statistical technique to identify gene profiles in heterogeneous samples.ObjectiveTo identify gene profiles associated with adult-onset severe asthma.MethodsThis was a cross-sectional, observational study in which adult patients with adult-onset of asthma (defined as starting at ≥18yrs old) as compared to childhood-onset severe asthma (<18 yrs) were selected from the U-BIOPRED cohort. Gene expression was assessed on the total RNA of induced sputum (n=83), nasal brushings (n=41), and endobronchial brushings (n=65) and biopsies (n=47) (Affymetrix HT HG-U133+ PM). GSVA was used to identify differentially enriched pre-defined gene signatures of leukocyte lineage, inflammatory and induced lung injury pathways.ResultsSignificant differentially enriched gene signatures in patients with adult-onset as compared to childhood-onset severe asthma were identified in nasal brushings (5 signatures), sputum (3 signatures) and endobronchial brushings (6 signatures). Signatures associated with eosinophilic airway inflammation, mast cells and group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3) were more enriched in adult-onset severe asthma, whereas signatures associated with induced lung injury were less enriched in adult-onset severe asthma.ConclusionsAdult-onset severe asthma is characterized by inflammatory pathways involving eosinophils, mast cells and ILC3s. These pathways could represent useful targets for the treatment of adult-onset severe asthma.

  • Journal article
    Rossios C, Pavlidis S, Hoda U, Kuo CH, Wiegman C, Russell K, Sun K, Loza MJ, Baribaud F, Durham AL, Ojo O, Lutter R, Rowe A, Bansal A, Auffray C, Sousa A, Corfield J, Djukanovic R, Guo Y, Sterk PJ, Chung KF, Adcock IM, Unbiased Biomarkers for the Prediction of Respiratory Diseases Outcomes U-BIOPRED Consortia Project Teamet al., 2017,

    Sputum transcriptomics reveal upregulation of IL-1 receptor family members in patients with severe asthma

    , Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol: 141, Pages: 560-570, ISSN: 1097-6825

    BACKGROUND: Sputum analysis in asthmatic patients is used to define airway inflammatory processes and might guide therapy. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine differential gene and protein expression in sputum samples from patients with severe asthma (SA) compared with nonsmoking patients with mild/moderate asthma. METHODS: Induced sputum was obtained from nonsmoking patients with SA, smokers/ex-smokers with severe asthma, nonsmoking patients with mild/moderate asthma (MMAs), and healthy nonsmoking control subjects. Differential cell counts, microarray analysis of cell pellets, and SOMAscan analysis of sputum analytes were performed. CRID3 was used to inhibit the inflammasome in a mouse model of SA. RESULTS: Eosinophilic and mixed neutrophilic/eosinophilic inflammation were more prevalent in patients with SA compared with MMAs. Forty-two genes probes were upregulated (>2-fold) in nonsmoking patients with severe asthma compared with MMAs, including IL-1 receptor (IL-1R) family and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain, leucine-rich repeat and pyrin domain containing 3 (NRLP3) inflammasome members (false discovery rate < 0.05). The inflammasome proteins nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain, leucine rich repeat and pyrin domain containing 1 (NLRP1), NLRP3, and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptor C4 (NLRC4) were associated with neutrophilic asthma and with sputum IL-1β protein levels, whereas eosinophilic asthma was associated with an IL-13-induced TH2 signature and IL-1 receptor-like 1 (IL1RL1) mRNA expression. These differences were sputum specific because no activation of NLRP3 or enrichment of IL-1R family genes in bronchial brushings or biopsy specimens in patients with SA was observed. Expression of NLRP3 and of the IL-1R family genes was validated in the Airway Disease Endotyping for Personalized Therapeutics cohort. Inflammasome inhibition using CRID3 prevented airway hyperresponsiveness and airway inflammati

  • Journal article
    Jahani E, Sundsøy P, Bjelland J, Bengtsson L, Pentland AS, de Montjoye Y-Aet al., 2017,

    Improving official statistics in emerging markets using machine learning and mobile phone data

    , EPJ Data Science, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2193-1127

    Mobile phones are one of the fastest growing technologies in the developing world with global penetration rates reaching 90%. Mobile phone data, also called CDR, are generated everytime phones are used and recorded by carriers at scale. CDR have generated groundbreaking insights in public health, official statistics, and logistics. However, the fact that most phones in developing countries are prepaid means that the data lacks key information about the user, including gender and other demographic variables. This precludes numerous uses of this data in social science and development economic research. It furthermore severely prevents the development of humanitarian applications such as the use of mobile phone data to target aid towards the most vulnerable groups during crisis. We developed a framework to extract more than 1400 features from standard mobile phone data and used them to predict useful individual characteristics and group estimates. We here present a systematic cross-country study of the applicability of machine learning for dataset augmentation at low cost. We validate our framework by showing how it can be used to reliably predict gender and other information for more than half a million people in two countries. We show how standard machine learning algorithms trained on only 10,000 users are sufficient to predict individual’s gender with an accuracy ranging from 74.3 to 88.4% in a developed country and from 74.5 to 79.7% in a developing country using only metadata. This is significantly higher than previous approaches and, once calibrated, gives highly accurate estimates of gender balance in groups. Performance suffers only marginally if we reduce the training size to 5,000, but significantly decreases in a smaller training set. We finally show that our indicators capture a large range of behavioral traits using factor analysis and that the framework can be used to predict other indicators of vulnerability such as age or socio-economic status. M

  • Journal article
    Steele JE, Sundsoy PR, Pezzulo C, Alegana VA, Bird TJ, Blumenstock J, Bjelland J, Engo-Monsen K, de Montjoye YKJV, Iqbal AM, Hadiuzzaman KN, Lu X, Wetter E, Tatem AJ, Bengtsson Let al., 2017,

    Mapping poverty using mobile phone and satellite data

    , Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1742-5689

    Poverty is one of the most important determinants of adverse health outcomesglobally, a major cause of societal instability and one of the largest causes of losthuman potential. Traditional approaches to measuring and targeting povertyrely heavily on census data, which in most low- and middle-income countries(LMICs) are unavailable or out-of-date.Alternate measures are needed to comp-lement and update estimates between censuses. This study demonstrates howpublic and private data sources that are commonly available for LMICs can beused to provide novel insight into the spatial distribution of poverty. We evalu-ate the relative value of modelling three traditional poverty measures usingaggregate data from mobile operators and widely available geospatial data.Taken together, models combining these data sources providethebest predictivepower (highestr2¼0.78) and lowest error, but generally models employingmobile data only yield comparable results, offering the potential to measurepoverty more frequently and at finer granularity. Stratifying models intourban and rural areas highlights the advantage of using mobile data in urbanareas and different data in different contexts. The findings indicate the possibilityto estimate and continually monitor poverty rates at high spatial resolution incountries with limited capacity to support traditional methods of datacollection.

  • Journal article
    Molina-Solana MJ, Guo Y, Birch D, 2017,

    Improving data exploration in graphs with fuzzy logic and large-scale visualisation

    , Applied Soft Computing, Vol: 53, Pages: 227-235, ISSN: 1872-9681

    This work presents three case-studies of how fuzzy logic can be combined with large-scale immersive visualisation to enhance the process of graph sensemaking, enabling interactive fuzzy filtering of large global views of graphs. The aim is to provide users a mechanism to quickly identify interesting nodes for further analysis. Fuzzy logic allows a flexible framework to ask human-like curiosity-driven questions over the data, and visualisation allows its communication and understanding. Together, these two technologies successfully empower novices and experts to a faster and deeper understanding of the underlying patterns in big datasets compared to traditional means in a desktop screen with crisp queries. Among other examples, we provide evidence of how these two technologies successfully enable the identification of relevant transaction patterns in the Bitcoin network.

  • Journal article
    Molina-Solana M, Ros M, Ruiz MD, Gómez-Romero J, Martin-Bautista MJet al., 2016,

    Data science for building energy management: A review

    , Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol: 70, Pages: 598-609, ISSN: 1364-0321

    The energy consumption of residential and commercial buildings has risen steadily in recent years, an increase largely due to their HVAC systems. Expected energy loads, transportation, and storage as well as user behavior influence the quantity and quality of the energy consumed daily in buildings. However, technology is now available that can accurately monitor, collect, and store the huge amount of data involved in this process. Furthermore, this technology is capable of analyzing and exploiting such data in meaningful ways. Not surprisingly, the use of data science techniques to increase energy efficiency is currently attracting a great deal of attention and interest. This paper reviews how Data Science has been applied to address the most difficult problems faced by practitioners in the field of Energy Management, especially in the building sector. The work also discusses the challenges and opportunities that will arise with the advent of fully connected devices and new computational technologies.

  • Journal article
    Lefaudeux D, De Meulder B, Loza MJ, Peffer N, Rowe A, Baribaud F, Bansal AT, Lutter R, Sousa AR, Corfield J, Pandis I, Bakke PS, Caruso M, Chanez P, Dahlen S-E, Fleming LJ, Fowler SJ, Horvath I, Krug N, Montuschi P, Sanak M, Sandstrom T, Shaw DE, Singer F, Sterk PJ, Roberts G, Adcock IM, Djukanovic R, Auffray C, Chung KF, U-BIOPRED Study Groupet al., 2016,

    U-BIOPRED clinical adult asthma clusters linked to a subset of sputum -omics

    , Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol: 139, Pages: 1797-1807, ISSN: 1097-6825
  • Journal article
    Wilson SJ, Ward JA, Sousa AR, Corfield J, Bansal AT, De Meulder B, Lefaudeux D, Auffray C, Loza MJ, Baribaud F, Fitch N, Sterk PJ, Chung KF, Gibeon D, Sun K, Guo YK, Adcock I, Djukanovic R, Dahlen B, Chanez P, Shaw D, Krug N, Hohlfeld J, Sandström T, Howarth PH, U-BIOPRED Study Groupet al., 2016,

    Severe asthma exists despite suppressed tissue inflammation: findings of the U-BIOPRED study.

    , European Respiratory Journal, Vol: 48, Pages: 1307-1319, ISSN: 1399-3003

    The U-BIOPRED study is a multicentre European study aimed at a better understanding of severe asthma. It included three steroid-treated adult asthma groups (severe nonsmokers (SAn group), severe current/ex-smokers (SAs/ex group) and those with mild-moderate disease (MMA group)) and healthy controls (HC group). The aim of this cross-sectional, bronchoscopy substudy was to compare bronchial immunopathology between these groups.In 158 participants, bronchial biopsies and bronchial epithelial brushings were collected for immunopathologic and transcriptomic analysis. Immunohistochemical analysis of glycol methacrylate resin-embedded biopsies showed there were more mast cells in submucosa of the HC group (33.6 mm(-2)) compared with both severe asthma groups (SAn: 17.4 mm(-2), p<0.001; SAs/ex: 22.2 mm(-2), p=0.01) and with the MMA group (21.2 mm(-2), p=0.01). The number of CD4(+) lymphocytes was decreased in the SAs/ex group (4.7 mm(-2)) compared with the SAn (11.6 mm(-2), p=0.002), MMA (10.1 mm(-2), p=0.008) and HC (10.6 mm(-2), p<0.001) groups. No other differences were observed.Affymetrix microarray analysis identified seven probe sets in the bronchial brushing samples that had a positive relationship with submucosal eosinophils. These mapped to COX-2 (cyclo-oxygenase-2), ADAM-7 (disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain-containing protein 7), SLCO1A2 (solute carrier organic anion transporter family member 1A2), TMEFF2 (transmembrane protein with epidermal growth factor like and two follistatin like domains 2) and TRPM-1 (transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 1); the remaining two are unnamed.We conclude that in nonsmoking and smoking patients on currently recommended therapy, severe asthma exists despite suppressed tissue inflammation within the proximal airway wall.

  • Journal article
    de Montjoye YKJV, Rocher L, Pentland AS, 2016,

    bandicoot: an open-source Python toolbox to analyze mobile phone metadata

    , Journal of Machine Learning Research, Vol: 17, ISSN: 1532-4435

    bandicoot is an open-source Python toolbox to extract more than 1442 features from standard mobile phone metadata. bandicoot makes it easy for machine learning researchers and practitioners to load mobile phone data, to analyze and visualize them, and to extract robust features which can be used for various classification and clustering tasks. Emphasis is put on ease of use, consistency, and documentation. bandicoot has no dependencies and is distributed under MIT license

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