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See detailUnderstanding Random Forests: From Theory to Practice
Louppe, Gilles ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Data analysis and machine learning have become an integrative part of the modern scientific methodology, offering automated procedures for the prediction of a phenomenon based on past observations ... [more ▼]

Data analysis and machine learning have become an integrative part of the modern scientific methodology, offering automated procedures for the prediction of a phenomenon based on past observations, unraveling underlying patterns in data and providing insights about the problem. Yet, caution should avoid using machine learning as a black-box tool, but rather consider it as a methodology, with a rational thought process that is entirely dependent on the problem under study. In particular, the use of algorithms should ideally require a reasonable understanding of their mechanisms, properties and limitations, in order to better apprehend and interpret their results. Accordingly, the goal of this thesis is to provide an in-depth analysis of random forests, consistently calling into question each and every part of the algorithm, in order to shed new light on its learning capabilities, inner workings and interpretability. The first part of this work studies the induction of decision trees and the construction of ensembles of randomized trees, motivating their design and purpose whenever possible. Our contributions follow with an original complexity analysis of random forests, showing their good computational performance and scalability, along with an in-depth discussion of their implementation details, as contributed within Scikit-Learn. In the second part of this work, we analyze and discuss the interpretability of random forests in the eyes of variable importance measures. The core of our contributions rests in the theoretical characterization of the Mean Decrease of Impurity variable importance measure, from which we prove and derive some of its properties in the case of multiway totally randomized trees and in asymptotic conditions. In consequence of this work, our analysis demonstrates that variable importances as computed from non-totally randomized trees (e.g., standard Random Forest) suffer from a combination of defects, due to masking effects, misestimations of node impurity or due to the binary structure of decision trees. Finally, the last part of this dissertation addresses limitations of random forests in the context of large datasets. Through extensive experiments, we show that subsampling both samples and features simultaneously provides on par performance while lowering at the same time the memory requirements. Overall this paradigm highlights an intriguing practical fact: there is often no need to build single models over immensely large datasets. Good performance can often be achieved by building models on (very) small random parts of the data and then combining them all in an ensemble, thereby avoiding all practical burdens of making large data fit into memory. [less ▲]

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See detailEvidence of oxidative stress and mitochondrial respiratory chain dysfunction in an in vitro model of sepsis-induced kidney injury
Quoilin, Caroline ULg; Mouithys-Mickalad, Ange ULg; Lécart, Sandrine et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Bioenergetics (2014), 1837(10), 1790-1800

To investigate the role of oxidative stress and/or mitochondrial impairment in the occurrence of acute kidney injury (AKI) during sepsis, we developed a sepsis-induced in vitro model using proximal ... [more ▼]

To investigate the role of oxidative stress and/or mitochondrial impairment in the occurrence of acute kidney injury (AKI) during sepsis, we developed a sepsis-induced in vitro model using proximal tubular epithelial cells exposed to a bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS). This investigation has provided key features on the relationship between oxidative stress and mitochondrial respiratory chain activity defects. LPS treatment resulted in an increase in the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX-4), suggesting the cytosolic overexpression of nitric oxide and superoxide anion, the primary reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and reactive oxygen species (ROS). This oxidant state seemed to interrupt mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation by reducing cytochrome c oxidase activity. As a consequence, disruptions in the electron transport and the proton pumping across the mitochondrial inner membrane occurred, leading to a decrease of the mitochondrial membrane potential, a release of apoptotic-inducing factors and a depletion of adenosine triphosphate. Interestingly, after being targeted by RNS and ROS, mitochondria became in turn producer of ROS, thus contributing to increase the mitochondrial dysfunction. The role of oxidants in mitochondrial dysfunction was further confirmed by the use of iNOS inhibitors or antioxidants that preserve cytochrome c oxidase activity and prevent mitochondrial membrane potential dissipation. These results suggest that sepsis-induced AKI should not only be regarded as failure of energy status but also as an integrated response, including transcriptional events, ROS signaling, mitochondrial activity and metabolic orientation such as apoptosis. [less ▲]

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See detailOptimal Assignment of Off-Peak Hours to Lower Curtailments in the Distribution Network
Merciadri, Luca ULg; Mathieu, Sébastien ULg; Ernst, Damien ULg et al

in Proceedings of the 5th European Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT) (2014, October)

We consider a price signal with two settings: off-peak tariff and on-peak tariff. Some loads are connected to specific electricity meters which allow the consumption of power only in off-peak periods ... [more ▼]

We consider a price signal with two settings: off-peak tariff and on-peak tariff. Some loads are connected to specific electricity meters which allow the consumption of power only in off-peak periods. Historically, off-peak periods were located during the night and on-peak periods during the day. Changing the assignment of off-peak periods is an easy method for distribution system operators to access to the flexibility of small consumers. This solution can be implemented quickly as the infrastructure needed already exists in some countries. We propose a mixed-integer linear model to assign optimally the off-peak hours so as to minimize a societal cost. This cost gathers together the cost of electricity, the financial losses due to energy curtailments of photovoltaic installations and the loads' wellbeing. Our model considers automatic tripping of inverters and constraints of the electrical distribution networks. Simulation results show that the new disposition of off-peak hours could reduce significantly the photovoltaic energy curtailed in the summer. [less ▲]

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See detailLes porcheries : réservoirs des culicoïdes (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), vecteurs des virus de la Maladie de la Langue bleue et de Schmallenberg ?
Zimmer, Jean-Yves ULg; Saegerman, Claude; Martinelle, Ludovic et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2014)

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See detailDevenir art-thérapeute
Vandeninden, Elise ULg

in SociologieS (2014)

In the field of mental health workers, a new profession is emerging: animators of art workshops in psychiatry, also called ‘art therapists’. Our paper reveals the results of a survey conducted in Belgium ... [more ▼]

In the field of mental health workers, a new profession is emerging: animators of art workshops in psychiatry, also called ‘art therapists’. Our paper reveals the results of a survey conducted in Belgium among these new professionals. In portraying this new group of ‘distributed’ workers, we will discuss the reasons for their difficult process of professionalization [less ▲]

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See detailHighly dispersed iron xerogel catalysts for p-nitrophenol degradation by photo-Fenton effects
Mahy, Julien ULg; Tasseroul, Ludivine ULg; Zubiaur, Anthony ULg et al

in Microporous and Mesoporous Materials (2014), 197

Several iron xerogel catalysts were synthesized by hydrolysis and condensation of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and 3-(2-aminoethylamino)propyltrimethoxysilane (EDAS) which is able to form a chelate with iron ... [more ▼]

Several iron xerogel catalysts were synthesized by hydrolysis and condensation of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) and 3-(2-aminoethylamino)propyltrimethoxysilane (EDAS) which is able to form a chelate with iron ions. The EDAS/TEOS ratio strongly influences the texture of xerogel catalysts. The specific surface area and the micro- and mesoporous volume increase with this ratio. It seems that EDAS plays a nucleating agent role for silica particles and allows to anchor Fe-based moieties inside the silica network. Iron oxide nanoparticles of diameter 1-1.5 nm and Fe3+ ions result, encapsulated in silica particles with sizes of about 10-30 nm in diameter. The iron species was determined by Mössbauer spectroscopy and magnetometry measurements and only Fe3+ species were observed in xerogel catalysts. The Fenton and photo-Fenton effect of these catalysts were evaluated on the degradation of p-nitrophenol in aqueous media under different conditions. Results show that in the presence of H2O2, iron xerogel catalysts present a photo-Fenton effect, reaching 99 % of degradation after 24 h. [less ▲]

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See detailThe impact and retention of spray droplets on a horizontal hydrophobic surface
Zwertvaegher, Ingrid; Verhaeghe, Micheline; Brusselman, Eva et al

in Biosystems Engineering (2014), 126

Spray retention, i.e. the overall capture of spray droplets by plants on initial or subsequent impact, and after loss due to run-off, is an important stage in the spray application process as droplet ... [more ▼]

Spray retention, i.e. the overall capture of spray droplets by plants on initial or subsequent impact, and after loss due to run-off, is an important stage in the spray application process as droplet losses may result in reduced efficacy, economic loss, and environmental contamination. The aim of this exploratory study is to determine whether a new method based on calculating the volumetric proportions per impact type, i.e. adhesion, rebound and shatter, can be used to predict spray retention. These volumetric proportions are calculated based on logistic regression models, derived from vision-based droplet characteristics and impact assessments, and laser-based spray characteristics. The advantages and limitations of such a method are explored. The volumetric proportions per impact type on a horizontal, synthetic hydrophobic surface were determined for four different nozzles (XR 110 01 VS flat-fan nozzle, XR 110 04 VS flat-fan nozzle, XR 110 08 VS flat-fan nozzle and AI 110 08 VS air-induction nozzle) under controlled realistic conditions, and compared to the results of a retention test. The volumetric proportions of adhesion were much lower than the relative retentions, indicating that a considerable amount of rebound and shatter also contributed to final retention. The method should thus be improved by including the droplets retained after first impact and the retained proportions of partial droplet fragmentation but it is nevertheless considered a promising technique. [less ▲]

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See detailPrevenção Quaternária e limites em medicina
Jamoulle, Marc ULg; Gomes, Luis

in Revista Brasileira de Medicina de Família e Comunidade (2014), 9(31),

O conceito de Prevenção Quaternária, um questionamento sobre a base da ação médica, nasceu na articulação da relação médico-paciente. Refere-se a toda a atividade médica, sendo uma importante ferramenta ... [more ▼]

O conceito de Prevenção Quaternária, um questionamento sobre a base da ação médica, nasceu na articulação da relação médico-paciente. Refere-se a toda a atividade médica, sendo uma importante ferramenta para a medicina de família. É uma interrogação ética sobre os excessos da demasiada e demasiadamente pouca medicina e fornece algumas respostas. [less ▲]

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See detailInter-professional cooperation between family, occupational and social insurance physicians in managing long-term sickness absence
Mairiaux, Philippe ULg; Vanmeerbeek, Marc ULg; Schippers, Nathalie ULg et al

Conference (2014, September 30)

Background In the Belgian health system, sickness absence (SA) management implies complementary roles for general practitioners (GPs), social insurance physicians (SIPs) and occupational physicians (OPs ... [more ▼]

Background In the Belgian health system, sickness absence (SA) management implies complementary roles for general practitioners (GPs), social insurance physicians (SIPs) and occupational physicians (OPs): GPs deliver sick notes and treatment, SIPs control SA benefits and OPs strive to adapt work environments to workers’ remaining capacities. In practice however, there is little cooperation between the three physicians. In 2009, the Ministry of Employment commissioned a study to identify GP-OP-SIP cooperation channels in order to prevent long-term work disability. Methods The study involved two phases. 1) Researchers from the three groups agreed on 15 proposals to enhance cooperation: to establish a formal contact between GP, SIP and OP for patients with > 3 months SA (n=3) ; SIP decision to end SA benefit to be forwarded to the GP (n=2) ; work-related information to be provided by the OP to GP and/or SIP (n=4); website giving contact data of GPs, SIPs, and OPs (n=2) ; initial and continuous education focusing on inter-physician cooperation (n=3); electronic data exchange when dealing with long-term SA (n=1). 2) A Delphi study was conducted in 2012 to validate these proposals: 61 experts representing professional groups of physicians (GP, SIP, OP), patients, government, employers and labor unions were asked to participate. A 18-items questionnaire (the 15 proposals and 3 open questions) was used in a 2-round Delphi study. Proposals were accepted if 80% of experts agreed. For drafting the final proposals, the research team relied on a multidisciplinary expert group. Results Participation rate was 77% (47/61 experts) in round 1 and 7 out of the 15 proposals were accepted. During round 2, participation rate was 94% (44/47); 2 of the remaining proposals reached agreement level. Public authorities were thus advised to invest in a) promotion of pre-return to work visit with the OP for sick-listed patients; b) a website with OPs contact data; c) joint guidelines for return to work guidance; d) joint training of the 3 physician groups; 5) methods ensuring safe electronic information exchange. Conclusions The need for inter-physician cooperation in disability management may exceed individual goodwill and should best be organised by public authorities. The current study may be a first step in this process. [less ▲]

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See detailTable ronde autour de "Psychopathologie de l'homme en situation"
Englebert, Jérôme ULg

Scientific conference (2014, September 29)

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See detailDysphasie : Réflexions autour de la définition et des critères diagnostiques
Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULg; Maillart, Christelle ULg

in Les entretiens de Bichat : les entretiens d'orthophonie 2014 : Les "dys", état de l'art et orientations cliniques (2014, September 27)

Specific language impairment refers to a non-homogeneous group: linguistic and non-linguistic abilities differ from one child to another. Increasing knowledge in this field has led to clarify both the ... [more ▼]

Specific language impairment refers to a non-homogeneous group: linguistic and non-linguistic abilities differ from one child to another. Increasing knowledge in this field has led to clarify both the definition and the diagnostic criteria in order to facilitate its diagnosis. However, the clinical complexity of this trouble questions the relevance of these diagnostic criteria. The present article intends to think about the clinical diagnostic of specific language impairment in order to allow informed decision making during its assessment and therapy. [less ▲]

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See detailFORMATION: Atelier clinique en prise en charge neuropsychologique
Adam, Stéphane ULg

Diverse speeche and writing (2014)

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See detail9th Congress of the International Society of NeuroImmunoModulation (ISNIM)
Geenen, Vincent ULg

Scientific conference (2014, September 25)

Detailed reference viewed: 51 (2 ULg)
See detailDevant le forum de la perception interne. Sur les objets d’ordre supérieur III
Zincq, Aurélien ULg

Conference (2014, September 25)

Detailed reference viewed: 21 (2 ULg)
See detailObjets réels et objets idéaux. Sur les objets d’ordre supérieur II
Zincq, Aurélien ULg

Conference (2014, September 23)

Detailed reference viewed: 16 (1 ULg)