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See detailGenetic diagnosis and emergence of patients and relatives' evidence-based activism
Duysens, Fanny ULg

Conference (2016, December 07)

Health- and disease-related events may be of highly significance for patients and their relatives. Naming a medical diagnosis is one of them. It carries the inherent power of (re)configuring the ... [more ▼]

Health- and disease-related events may be of highly significance for patients and their relatives. Naming a medical diagnosis is one of them. It carries the inherent power of (re)configuring the individuals' life courses, which are moreover closely linked to those of their relatives, and especially blood families in the case of (hereditary) genetic diseases. Drawing on ethnographic observations and narratives from patients and relatives involved in some Belgian organizations concerned with genetic disorders, this paper is interested in the ways these concerned people make sense of the naming of a medical diagnosis event by (re)interpreting their past familial stories, trying to intervene in the present, and designing a desired future. Then, it explores the case of the annual charity TV show "Téléthon", which is an initiative launched at the initiative of some French-speaking patients’ organizations (POs) concerned with neuromuscular disorders in the aims at putting awareness on rare disorders and raising funds in order to support biomedical research, especially in the field of medical genetics. The point is to question the dynamic relationships between the individual and familial experiences and such collective mobilizations, that is to say the dynamic relationships between individual and collective dimensions of POs' evidence-based activism. The argument is that such forms of activism participate in the co-construction of "gene worlds" (Timmermans & Shostak, 2015), through the relations between various actors and institutions: POs, scientific and medical professionals, public health institutions, and healthcare systems. [less ▲]

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See detailRésister à l’essentialisation de l’Allemagne : Les Temps Modernes, revue franco-allemande ?
Franck, Thomas ULg

in Trajectoires (2016), 10

Im Zentrum des vorliegenden Aufsatzes steht die Doppelausgabe (46-47) der französischen Zeitschrift Temps Modernes, die unter dem Titel „Allemagne“ im August-September 1949 erschien und einen besonderen ... [more ▼]

Im Zentrum des vorliegenden Aufsatzes steht die Doppelausgabe (46-47) der französischen Zeitschrift Temps Modernes, die unter dem Titel „Allemagne“ im August-September 1949 erschien und einen besonderen Fall von kulturellem und intellektuellem Transfer zwischen Deutschland und Frankreich darstellt. Mit Mitteln der Diskursanalyse und der Imagologie sollen hier rhetorische Strategien herausgearbeitet werden, die der Realisierung eines kritischen Projekts und der Anprangerung der Stereotypen dienen, die Deutschland damals zugeschrieben wurden. Aufgestellt wird folgende These: Indem sie Intellektuelle aus unterschiedlichen Orten und Disziplinen und heterogenes Wissen zusammenbringt, bietet sich die Zeitschrift besonders gut für eine kritische Reflexion der herrschenden Ideologien und kollektiven Überzeugungen an. Indem es Deutschen mit kommunistischer und antifaschistischer Gesinnung das Wort erteilt, will das Heft „Allemagne“ zu Erkenntnissen über ein ‚anderes Deutschland‘ kommen, das von Aufstand und Widerstand geprägt ist, und bricht so mit einer Reduktion des Landes auf eine unveränderliche und monolithische Identität, die als gleichermaßen fügsam und autoritär verstanden wurde. [less ▲]

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See detailIn vitro evaluation of biocompatibility of uncoated thermally reduced graphene and carbon nanotube-loaded PVDF membranes with adult neural stem cell-derived neurons and glia
Defteralı, Çağla; Verdejo, Raquel; Majeed, Shahid et al

in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (2016), 4(n° 64),

Graphene, graphene-based nanomaterials (GBNs), and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being investigated as potential substrates for the growth of neural cells. However, in most in vitro studies, the cells were ... [more ▼]

Graphene, graphene-based nanomaterials (GBNs), and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are being investigated as potential substrates for the growth of neural cells. However, in most in vitro studies, the cells were seeded on these materials coated with various proteins implying that the observed effects on the cells could not solely be attributed to the GBN and CNT properties. Here, we studied the biocompatibility of uncoated thermally reduced graphene (TRG) and poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membranes loaded with multi-walled CNTs (MWCNTs) using neural stem cells isolated from the adult mouse olfactory bulb (termed aOBSCs). When aOBSCs were induced to differentiate on coverslips treated with TRG or control materials (polyethyleneimine-PEI and polyornithine plus fibronectin- PLO/F) in a serum-free medium, neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes were generated in all conditions, indicating that TRG permits the multi-lineage differentiation of aOBSCs. However, the total number of cells was reduced on both PEI and TRG. In a serum-containing medium, aOBSC-derived neurons and oligodendrocytes grown on TRG were more numerous than in controls; the neurons developed synaptic boutons and oligodendrocytes were more branched. In contrast, neurons growing on PVDF membranes had reduced neurite branching, and on MWCNTs-loaded membranes oligodendrocytes were lower in numbers than in controls. Overall, these findings indicate that uncoated TRG may be biocompatible with the generation, differentiation, and maturation of aOBSC-derived neurons and glial cells, implying a potential use for TRG to study functional neuronal networks. [less ▲]

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See detailWhy and how to repair concrete? Compatibility assessment
Courard, Luc ULg

Scientific conference (2016, December 06)

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See detailSocialisation et articulation des régimes d'historicités
Grandjean, Geoffrey ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2016)

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See detailBerge-acyclic multilinear 0-1 optimization problems
Buchheim, Christoph; Crama, Yves ULg; Rodriguez Heck, Elisabeth ULg

E-print/Working paper (2016)

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See detailEvaluation des impacts des projets de développement sur les exploitations agricoles familiales et les ménages de l’ATACORA (Nord-Ouest du Benin)
Tohinlo, Yecy ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

This doctoral research aims to contribute to a better understanding of the effects of development projects on the improvement of living conditions and livelihoods of rural households in Benin. It begins ... [more ▼]

This doctoral research aims to contribute to a better understanding of the effects of development projects on the improvement of living conditions and livelihoods of rural households in Benin. It begins with the analysis of development trends in Atacora known about the last three decades. It is focused on matching between the dynamics promoted by intervention devices and those endogenous or emerging to lead a part in the consideration of the productive trajectories and performance of family farms and also in the analysis of effects of development projects on food security, living standards and poverty of rural households. The post-development theories and the various conceptions of poverty have served as a guideline for research work. The intervention mechanisms conducted in Atacora (north-western Benin) by the various cooperations (bilateral and multilateral) between 1990 and 2010 constituted the research object of this thesis. The empirical phase took place in the communes of Cobly (West) and Péhunco (East). These communes were selected from their contrasting agro-ecological and socio-economic situations and socio-economic indicators on the one hand and on the other on a typology of the concentration of development projects and the perception of their effects by local people. A stratified sample of 344 households (respectively 214 in Cobly and 130 in Péunco) was formed for the characterization survey. Later, a thorough investigation on living conditions and livelihood of households followed and involved 208 households (129 Cobly; 79 Péhunco). Finally 16 case studies (8 per commune) were conducted on the trajectories of evolution and accumulation of property and wealth of households and farms. Due to the empirical research, special attention was given to primary data collection which lasted more than three (3) years. Qualitative and quantitative tools (including PSM) were combined for the analysis of collected data through individual and group interviews. Results show that the development interventions do not always promote the endogenous dynamics but they generate and maintain, in rural areas, pathways that allow the integration and participation of producers in the world market for agricultural products. And to benefit from various promotional activities, producers adopt supported crops, this have some positive and negative consequences. The integration and participation of rural producers of Atacora to international trade, promote the increase of production and crop yields while further increasing their dependence on the world prices of agricultural products. So while the income of producers is increasing their vulnerability to food insecurity is also increasing because many of the food crops, already insufficient (because of the share of the cotton planted and the cotton production quotas established by the government) to cover food needs, are substracted from consumption to be sold on the market to meet urgent liquidity needs. Thereby, Atacora's rural households, despite the increase of their food production, suffered a rupture of food stocks resulting to annual food crises of at least 4 months (16 weeks) which strikes indiscriminately both recipient households than non-project beneficiaries. However with the increase of sources and income level of recipient households (36% of households of the study sites), those beneficiaries improve their homes and food consumption and invest more in the education of their children. This marks a significant difference between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of development projects. Indeed, installed with the same resources, we counted, in 2014, twice more prosperous households and fewer poor among beneficiaries than non-beneficiaries. Furthermore farms and households beneficiaries of assistance have accumulated and hold more productive assets (land, farm equipment, livestock rearing), economic assets and holdines (transportation measures, housing, plots and houses to rent, etc.) than non-beneficiaries with a highly significant difference at 1%. However the level of improvements and living conditions induced by development interventions are still inadequate and insecure, as reduced to the equivalent adult,income as well as capital show no significant difference between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. Thus, households (even beneficiaries) remain vulnerable to crises so that any natural disaster (flood, drought, pest invasion, etc.), illness, injury and death of a member of the household, provokes the rapid degradation of living standards and the fall into poverty. This is compounded by the fact that farms owners’ don’t invest really in the restoration and enhancement of the capital '' land fertility ''; mainly in Cobly where the soil fertility level experienced a drastic decline with a consequent increasing use of chemical fertilizers that degrade the soil structure furthermore. It follows that any action aimed at poverty reduction should allow a sustainable improvement in conditions and livelihoods of rural producers by the preservation and restoration of soil fertility on the one hand and the increased resilience to crises on the other hand. Actions to identify specific needs with measures and solutions adapted to each category of producers and households with mainly particular mechanisms of management and restoration of the fertility of agricultural land shall be considered and implemented. [less ▲]

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See detailL'Afrique centrale: entre traditions et transitions. La mutation des socio-écosystèmes en Afrique centrale
Gillet, Pauline ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The forests of the Congo Basin are among the best preserved areas on Earth. Nevertheless, the factors causing deforestation around the world are also present in this subregion. The forest transition ... [more ▼]

The forests of the Congo Basin are among the best preserved areas on Earth. Nevertheless, the factors causing deforestation around the world are also present in this subregion. The forest transition theory describes how the trend of forest areas decline at national level may precede an increase in these areas. If the effects of the forest transition are well known in terms of forest cover degradation, little is known about the effects of forest transition on socio-ecosystems (SES) (understood as a group of actors with impacts on a group of resources and subject to specific institutions). The general objective of this thesis is to characterize the mutation of socio-ecosystems in the Congo Basin in order to identify dynamic of change of Congo Basin forested SES and their possible futures. The collection of socioeconomic data, focusing on the description of the population, the description of the different activities and incomes, the description of food intake and the access to land and resources, were conducted in three SES with a forest cover gradient, located in Cameroon and Gabon. The results show that the cost price of meals is globally increasing with the loss of forest cover. The share of food intake related to the exploitation of natural resources such as hunting, fishing and gathering decreases in favor of proteins from livestock and agricultural products. This leads to the translocation of demand but also to pressures on other anthropogenic ecosystems. The effects of deforestation are then visible at the local level but also on neighboring areas. The diversity of the game and prey decreases moving towards smaller species with the progression of the forest transition. Consequently, there is a reduction in the proportion of these products in both the food intake and household incomes. This analysis shows a decline in the importance of NTFPs in the production and villagers livelihoods. Slash and burn agriculture is practiced in three SES. If the ratio between fallow period and cultivation period decreases with the forest transition, there is an increase in crop diversification leading to a diversification of the diet. Access to forest resources, agricultural land, markets and an external source of employment condition the village activities. The land potential is made to report levels of ownership and co-management of customary space (Le Roy et al., 1996). During the progression of the forest transition curve, the land potential evolves from relatively loose to privatization and the ability to alienate resources. These important modifications of traditional control systems of the relations between man and resources lead to a more adequate management of some commercial resources value (such as agricultural products or mining resources). But, this process is incompatible with the maintenance of certain ecosystem services like large populations of wildlife preservation. If these results fit rather well with the forest transition curve, this is not the case of all SES in Central Africa. Therefore, we propose to combine some results to reflect significant changes of the qualities of a socio-ecosystem, regardless of forest cover rate. The priority would be to establish a standardized data collection protocol to test sites with different forest cover and located on different trajectories. The use of a socio-economic index would make it possible to predict the evolution of SES under different scenarios, whether linked to global or regional pressures (such as the emergence plans enacted by the Central African States) or in contexts of economic crisis or the introduction of new legislation. [less ▲]

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See detailLa nostra «avvelenata» (Guccini non ne ha colpa)
Curreri, Luciano ULg; Belletti, Gabriele

Article for general public (2016)

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See detailSpace Thermal Analysis through Reduced Finite Element Modelling
Jacques, Lionel ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The finite element method (FEM) is widely used in mechanical engineering, in particular for structure design. However, it is not often exploited for the thermal analysis of space structures for which the ... [more ▼]

The finite element method (FEM) is widely used in mechanical engineering, in particular for structure design. However, it is not often exploited for the thermal analysis of space structures for which the use of the lumped parameter method is still commonplace. To alleviate the computational burden of the FEM for thermal analyses involving conduction and radiation, an innovative global conductive-radiative reduction scheme based on the clustering of the finite element mesh is presented. The proposed method leads to a significant reduction of the number of radiative exchange factors (REFs) to compute and size of the corresponding matrix. It further keeps accurate conduction information by introducing the concept of physically meaningful super nodes associated to the clusters from which are derived the reduced conductive couplings. To complement the reduction of the number of faces, an improved Monte Carlo ray tracing algorithm is developed. It provides better accuracy and convergence rate than the classic Monte Carlo method. The algorithm is adapted to the partitioned FE mesh and includes quadrics fitting for accurate normal representation. The resulting conductive-radiative reduced model is solved using standard iterative techniques and the detailed mesh temperatures, recovered from the super nodes temperatures, can be directly exploited for thermo-mechanical analysis. The proposed global reduction method is validated on several space structures and is benchmarked against ESATAN-TMS, the standard thermal analysis software used in the European aerospace industry. [less ▲]

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See detailLarge neighborhood search for multi-trip vehicle routing
François, Véronique ULg; Arda, Yasemin ULg; Crama, Yves ULg et al

in European Journal of Operational Research (2016), 255(2), 422-441

We consider the multi-trip vehicle routing problem, in which each vehicle can perform several routes during the same working shift to serve a set of customers. The problem arises when customers are close ... [more ▼]

We consider the multi-trip vehicle routing problem, in which each vehicle can perform several routes during the same working shift to serve a set of customers. The problem arises when customers are close to each other or when their demands are large. A common approach consists of solving this problem by combining vehicle routing heuristics with bin packing routines in order to assign routes to vehicles. We compare this approach with a heuristic that makes use of specific operators designed to tackle the routing and the assignment aspects of the problem simultaneously. Two large neighborhood search heuristics are proposed to perform the comparison. We provide insights into the configuration of the proposed algorithms by analyzing the behavior of several of their components. In particular, we question the impact of the roulette wheel mechanism. We also observe that guiding the search with an objective function designed for the multi-trip case is crucial even when exploring the solution space of the vehicle routing problem. We provide several best known solutions for benchmark instances. [less ▲]

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See detailL'art de gouverner les déchets hautement radioactifs. Analyse comparée de la Belgique, la France et le Canada
Parotte, Céline ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Comment l'art de gouverner les déchets hautement radioactifs, tel qu'il a évolué au cours des deux dernières décennies, a-t-il redéfini les enjeux sociotechniques du programme de gestion des déchets ... [more ▼]

Comment l'art de gouverner les déchets hautement radioactifs, tel qu'il a évolué au cours des deux dernières décennies, a-t-il redéfini les enjeux sociotechniques du programme de gestion des déchets hautement radioactifs et réciproquement? Telle est la question qui traverse cette thèse. Combinant l'analytique de gouvernement (Dean 2010) à une approche co-productionniste forte (Joly 2015), trois régimes de pratiques de gouvernement, en France, en Belgique et au Canada sont scrutés et comparés. Cet écrit propose de suivre l'objet, en cinq chapitres, depuis sa définition (au travers des systèmes de classification), en passant par l’élaboration, la mise en oeuvre territoriale et l'évaluation régulière de son programme de gestion. Chemin faisant, nous cherchons à comprendre comment le dépôt géologique est resté l’option de référence clef pour la catégorie "déchet hautement radioactif". Différentes co-productions seront mises à jour révélant l'asymétrie de pouvoir entre les acteurs, la trajectoire (dis)continue du programme et le caractère expérimental de l’art de gouverner les déchets hautement radioactifs. Un art expérimental, dont nous soutenons que les formes peuvent varier, entre autres, selon l'attitude des expérimentateurs. [less ▲]

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See detailGeneralized Pascal triangles and binomial coefficients of words
Stipulanti, Manon ULg

Poster (2016, December 01)

We introduce a generalization of Pascal triangle based on binomial coefficients of finite words. These coefficients count the number of times a word appears as a subsequence of another finite word ... [more ▼]

We introduce a generalization of Pascal triangle based on binomial coefficients of finite words. These coefficients count the number of times a word appears as a subsequence of another finite word. Similarly to the Sierpinski gasket that can be built as the limit set, for the Hausdorff distance, of a convergent sequence of normalized compact blocks extracted from Pascal triangle modulo 2, we describe and study the first properties of the subset of [0, 1] × [0, 1] associated with this extended Pascal triangle modulo a prime p. From the extended Pascal triangle obtained when p is equal to 2, we derive a sequence of which we study the regularity and the asymptotic behavior of the summatory function. Inspired from this regularity, we extend our results to another famous numeration systems, namely the Zeckendorff numeration system. [less ▲]

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See detailHistoire politique de la construction européenne
Grandjean, Geoffrey ULg

Learning material (2016)

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See detailMachine Learning based Prediction of Internet Path Dynamics
Wassermann, Sarah ULg; Casas, Pedro; Donnet, Benoît ULg

in ACM CoNEXT Student Workshop: Irvine 12 décembre 2016 (2016, December)

We study the problem of predicting Internet path changes and path performance using traceroute and machine-learning techniques. Path changes are frequently linked to path inflation and performance ... [more ▼]

We study the problem of predicting Internet path changes and path performance using traceroute and machine-learning techniques. Path changes are frequently linked to path inflation and performance degradation. Therefore, predicting their occurrence could improve the analysis of path dynamics using traceroute. By relying on neural networks and using empirical distribution based input features, we show that we are able to predict (i) the remaining life time of a path before it actually changes, and (ii) the number of path changes in a certain time slot with relatively high accuracy. We also show that it is possible to predict path performance in terms of latency, opening the door to novel, machine-learning-based approaches for RTT prediction. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact de l’érosion sur l’envasement des barrages, la recharge des nappes phréatiques côtières et les intrusions marines dans la zone semi-aride méditerranéenne : cas du barrage de Boukourdane (Algérie)
Tadrist, Nassima ULg; Debauche, Olivier

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment (2016), 20(4), 453-467

Description of the subject. Water erosion is a particularly important issue, especially in the Mediterranean and semi-arid zone. This zone is characterized by irregular rainfall patterns, which have a ... [more ▼]

Description of the subject. Water erosion is a particularly important issue, especially in the Mediterranean and semi-arid zone. This zone is characterized by irregular rainfall patterns, which have a considerable influence on soil loss. In mountainous areas, water erosion phenomena are accentuated by steep slopes and low ground cover. The dams draining these areas undergound siltation linked to significant erosion. The silting of the dams drastically limits their capacity and thus their operating life. When used for recharging aquifers, the resuspension of fine particles may accumulate in the recharge areas and reduce infiltration capacity by clogging soil porosity. This leads to a significant reduction of groundwater levels. Additionally, groundwater situated in the coastal zone is submitted to intensive pumping. These two phenomena make groundwater particularly sensitive to marine intrusions. Objectives. This article aims, on the one hand to quantify the rate of siltation in the case of the Boukourdane dam (northern Algeria), which is used to recharge groundwater. On the other hand, the article also shows the reduction in permeability in the capturing field with the current management of releases. Method. Solid rates were set in relation to the liquid flow and sediment concentration occasionally taken from the wadi. The relation established made it possible to evaluate the solid contributions to the dam of Boukourdane. The impact of the releases on recharging the well field was evaluated by grouping wells and the well field mushrooms using heuristic k-means. Regressions were applied to the piezometric variations of each group. Results. This dam is fed by a catchment area of 156 km². Sediment transport was estimated from empirical formulas. The specific degradation rate was estimated at 366 t.km-2.year-1 during the 1993 to 2005 period. The increase in the frequency of extreme rainfall resulted in an increase in the soil erosion rate to 446 t.km-2.year-1 during the 1993 to 2013 period. The volume of sediments accumulated in the dam reached 8.104 m³.year-1 and 11.104 m³.year-1 respectively during these two periods. Conclusions. A change in the management of current releases has a positive impact on the partial restoration of the hydraulic conductivity and de facto, on the fight against marine intrusion. [less ▲]

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See detailDeep Reinforcement Learning Solutions for Energy Microgrids Management
François-Lavet, Vincent ULg; Taralla, David; Ernst, Damien ULg et al

in European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning (EWRL 2016) (2016, December)

This paper addresses the problem of efficiently operating the storage devices in an electricity microgrid featuring photovoltaic (PV) panels with both short- and long-term storage capacities. The problem ... [more ▼]

This paper addresses the problem of efficiently operating the storage devices in an electricity microgrid featuring photovoltaic (PV) panels with both short- and long-term storage capacities. The problem of optimally activating the storage devices is formulated as a sequential decision making problem under uncertainty where, at every time-step, the uncertainty comes from the lack of knowledge about future electricity consumption and weather dependent PV production. This paper proposes to address this problem using deep reinforcement learning. To this purpose, a specific deep learning architecture has been designed in order to extract knowledge from past consumption and production time series as well as any available forecasts. The approach is empirically illustrated in the case of a residential customer located in Belgium. [less ▲]

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