Astrocyte-Synapse Receptor Coupling in Tripartite Synapses: A Mechanism for Self-Observing Robots

Author: Bernhard J. Mitterauer

ABSTRACT
A model of an intentional self-observing system is proposed based on the structure and functions of astrocyte-synapse interactions in tripartite synapses. Astrocyte-synapse interactions are cyclically organized and operate via feedforward and feedback mechanisms, formally described by proemial counting. Synaptic, extrasynaptic and astrocyte receptors are interpreted as places with the same or different quality of information processing described by the combinatorics of tritograms. It is hypothesized that receptors on the astrocytic membrane may embody intentional programs that select corresponding synaptic and extrasynaptic receptors for the formation of receptor-receptor complexes. Basically, the act of self-observation is generated if the actual environmental information is appropriate to the intended observation processed by receptor-receptor complexes. This mechanism is implemented for a robot brain enabling the robot to experience environmental information as “its own”. It is suggested that this mechanism enables the robot to generate matches and mismatches between intended observations and the observations in the environment, based on the cyclic organization of the mechanism. In exploring an unknown environment the robot may stepwise construct an observation space, stored in memory, commanded and controlled by the intentional self-observing system. Finally, the role of self-observation in machine consciousness is shortly discussed.

Source:

Journal: Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology
DOI: 10.4236/abb.2018.92006 (PDF)
Paper Id: 82539 (metadata)

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The Implications of Mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility—A Literature Review Perspective

Author: Dinesh Ramdhony

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the implications of mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributions: the CSR levy. Using public interest theory as the theoretical lens, this paper adopts a pro-regulation approach and justifies the introduction of the CSR levy in Mauritius, based on the economic and business environment prevailing at the time. Secondary literature sources are used to investigate. Two further questions related to mandatory CSR are investigated: Does the CSR levy result in a competitive disadvantage? Does the CSR levy reduce profits? We conclude that the CSR levy does not disadvantage firms due to the uniform amount and its universal application. Furthermore, it can attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). However, the CSR levy does negatively impact on profits but has the potential to pay higher returns in the future if viewed as an investment. This research needs to be complemented by studies that empirically investigate the impacts of the CSR levy on companies and sectors in Mauritius.

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Journal: Theoretical Economics Letters
DOI: 10.4236/tel.2018.83031 (PDF)
Paper Id: 82474 (metadata)

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Fundamental Factor Models Using Machine Learning

Authors: Seisuke Sugitomo, Shotaro Minami

ABSTRACT
Fundamental factor models are one of the important methods for the quantitative active investors (Quants), so many investors and researchers use fundamental factor models in their work. But often we come up against the problem that highly effective factors do not aid in our portfolio performance. We think one of the reasons that why the traditional method is based on multiple linear regression. Therefore, in this paper, we tried to apply our machine learning methods to fundamental factor models as the return model. The results show that applying machine learning methods yields good portfolio performance and effectiveness more than the traditional methods.

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Journal: Journal of Mathematical Finance
DOI: 10.4236/jmf.2018.81009 (PDF)
Paper Id: 82430 (metadata)

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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Knowledge Assessment of Adults in a US South Eastern Texas Region

Authors: Israel G. Msengi, Clementine Msengi, Scholastique Nikuze, Joel Barton

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this cross-sectional descriptive study was to assess knowledge level regarding signs and symptoms, prevention, treatment of STIs among a sample of residents from Southeastern Texas. One hundred and fifty-seven participants age 18 and over responded to the 23 questionnaire items. Questionnaires were distributed to mostly public places such as hair salons, fitness centers, health centers, gas stations, apartments, and stores. Results indicated that 50.3% of participants reported syphilis was not curable; while over 61% reported gonorrhea was incurable. Over 64% of respondents reported they did know the symptoms for syphilis and over 70% believed that syphilis was vaccine preventable. The data collected from this study indicated that some residents from Southeast Texas lack basic information concerning Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia with regard to prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment. The cost and effort to increase educational programs and educational messages appear to be justified. Implications for practice include increasing funding and efforts to provide more educational programs focusing on sexually transmitted disease prevention, health literary education to dispel the myths and stigma related to STIs and community wide collaboration efforts to increase awareness.

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Journal: Open Journal of Preventive Medicine
DOI: 10.4236/ojpm.2018.82004 (PDF)
Paper Id: 82383 (metadata)

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Relationship among the President, Prime Minister and Parliament of Russia under the 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation

Author: Abdul Salim Amin

ABSTRACT
This paper discusses the relationship among the president, the prime minister and the parliament of Russia under the Constitution of the Russian Federation (1993). Although the legal system of Russia recognises independent functions of each state branch based on the principle of separation of power, it fails to provide genuine instruments that can limit the president from accumulating power in the executive branch. It is designed in a way that not only persuades imbalance in power distribution, but also gives a constrict space to the prime minister and the parliament to appear independent in a series of interactions and, therefore, resulting in an undemocratic political process and derailed economic development.

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Journal: Beijing Law Review
DOI: 10.4236/blr.2018.91001 (PDF)
Paper Id: 82344 (metadata)

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Review of the Global Trend of Interconnect Reliability for Integrated Circuit

Authors: Qian Lin, Haifeng Wu, Guoqing Jia

ABSTRACT
Interconnect reliability has been regarded as a discipline that must be seriously taken into account from the early design phase of integrated circuit (IC). In order to study the status and trend of the interconnect reliability, a comprehensive review of the published literatures is carried out. This can depict the global trend of ICs’ interconnect reliability and help the new entrants to understand the present situation of this area.

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Journal: Circuits and Systems
DOI: 10.4236/cs.2018.92002 (PDF)
Paper Id: 82335 (metadata)

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Enthalpy of Dissolution and Dehydration of Two Moroccan Clays

Authors: Jabrane Maissara, Halima Karym, Mohammed El Mahi Chbihi,
Mohammed Moutaabbid, Mohamed Abatal, Said Benmokhtar

ABSTRACT
This work aims to characterize and determine the dehydroxylation enthalpy variations of two natural Moroccan clays from the Nador region (denoted K1) and the Settat region (denoted by K2). The variations of dissolution enthalpies were determined by dissolving clays in hydrofluoric acid. They have a minimum value for dehydroxylation of clays made between 600°C and 700°C. The analysis of the two clays shows that they consist of kaolinite in significant proportion. The optimum calcination parameters, for which dehydroxylation is total, are 700°C with a heating time of 6 H. The conversion of the kaolinite to metakaolinite was confirmed by IR analyses of the starting and thermally treated kaolin samples. The result confirms previous observations about obtaining metakaolinite with optimum reactivity when hydrated with calcium hydroxide as chemical activator.

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Journal: World Journal of Engineering and Technology
DOI: 10.4236/wjet.2018.61007 (PDF)
Paper Id: 82304 (metadata)

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Tax Evasion in Small and Micro Greek Firms in the Light of the Economic Recession

Authors: George Drogalas, Evgenia Anagnostopoulou, Michail Pazarskis,
Sotirios Galeas

ABSTRACT
Reducing tax evasion has been among the top priorities of the Greek public administration especially during the last years of the economic recession. The purpose of this study is to examine the level of tax evasion of Greek small and micro firms and how it is affected by the inefficiency of the Public Administration, the negative economic environment and various negative psychological factors. We examine different economic sectors but focus on the retail sale of goods and services. The research hypotheses, regarding the relationship between tax evasion and the above factors are tested through a multiple linear regression model developed for this study. Factor analysis was used to construct the variables used in our model. Our results show that tax evasion is positively affected by the inefficiency of public administration in determining the appropriate rate of tax, in simplifying the complexity of laws and establishing an effective justice system. Finally, the hypothesis regarding the relationship between tax evasion and economic factors is rejected while the hypothesis regarding the relationship between tax evasion and psychological factors is marginally accepted.

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Journal: Theoretical Economics Letters
DOI: 10.4236/tel.2018.82009 (PDF)
Paper Id: 82295 (metadata)

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Using Swellable Polymers as Structure Directing Scaffolds in Mesoporous Titania Synthesis

Authors: Charalambos A. Papatryfonos, Charis R. Theocharis

ABSTRACT
This paper presents a novel synthesis of well characterized nanoporous materials. The development of mesoporous TiO2 with the use of crosslinked polymer network as structure and surface texture directing agent is reported in this study. Randomly cross-linked DMAEMA-50-PEGMA-50-EGDMA1 was synthesized by radical polymerisation to be used as removable scaffold. The resulting materials were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (pXRD), nitrogen adsorption, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The synthesized oxides morphology was strongly influenced by the polymer network used as removable scaffold. The modified materials exhibited a narrower pore size distribution and marginally higher specific surface area compared to the unmodified samples. The scaffold cross-linking ratio was also found to have a significant effect on the synthesized materials polymorph. The modification has a strong effect on the titania polymorph as the anatase-rutile transformation was observed only for the modified titania samples.

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Journal: Materials Sciences and Applications
DOI: 10.4236/msa.2018.92014 (PDF)
Paper Id: 82274 (metadata)

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The Method of Finite Difference Regression

Author: Arjun Banerjee

ABSTRACT
In this paper I present a novel polynomial regression method called Finite Difference Regression for a uniformly sampled sequence of noisy data points that determines the order of the best fitting polynomial and provides estimates of its coefficients. Unlike classical least-squares polynomial regression methods in the case where the order of the best fitting polynomial is unknown and must be determined from the R2 value of the fit, I show how the t-test from statistics can be combined with the method of finite differences to yield a more sensitive and objective measure of the order of the best fitting polynomial. Furthermore, it is shown how these finite differences used in the determination of the order, can be reemployed to produce excellent estimates of the coefficients of the best fitting polynomial. I show that not only are these coefficients unbiased and consistent, but also that the asymptotic properties of the fit get better with increasing degrees of the fitting polynomial.

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Journal: Open Journal of Social Sciences
DOI: 10.4236/ojs.2018.81005 (PDF)
Paper Id: 82248 (metadata)

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