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See detailNumerical modeling of the cardiac mechano-electric feedback within a thermo-electro-mechanical framework. Study of its consequences on arrhythmogenesis.
Collet, Arnaud ULg

Doctoral thesis (2015)

This doctoral study characterizes, for simple geometries, the cardiac autonomous electrical activity induced by the mechanical deformations of the myocardium via the mechano-electric feedback within a ... [more ▼]

This doctoral study characterizes, for simple geometries, the cardiac autonomous electrical activity induced by the mechanical deformations of the myocardium via the mechano-electric feedback within a thermo-electro-mechanical framework. The underlying fundamental mechanisms are highlighted and discussed in detail. In a healthy heart, the mechano-electric feedback acts as a regulator able to damp mechanical perturbations undergone by the heart, by appropriately modulating electrical activity shortly after these perturbations. In this way, a new healthy electromechanical situation is recovered. However, under certain conditions, this feedback can be a generator of dramatic cardiac arrhythmias by inducing local electrical depolarizations resulting from abnormal cardiac muscle tissue deformations. These local perturbations can then propagate in the whole heart and, thus, lead to global cardiac dysfunctions. The one- and two-dimensional models developed in this work to study the arrhythmogenic consequences of the mechano-electric feedback within a thermo-electro-mechanical framework account for three couplings: the excitation-contraction coupling, the mechano-electric feedback, and the thermo-electric coupling. The excitation-contraction coupling allows the mechanical contraction of cardiac muscle cells resulting from the electrical excitation of these cells, triggered by a propagating action potential initially generated by the sino-atrial node in a healthy heart. The mechano-electric feedback takes into account the influence of mechanical deformations on the electrical activity, both at the cell and the macroscopic level. The thermo-electric coupling then modulates certain electrical properties due to a temperature change. The excitation-contraction coupling is modeled in a phenomenological way by combining the Aliev-Panfilov model and the Rogers-McCulloch model. The propagation of the electrical excitation through cardiac muscle tissue is modeled by using the monodomain approach. The mechano-electric feedback is taken into account by considering two different contributions, namely the physiological contribution (physiological feedback) and the geometric contribution (geometric feedback). The physiological feedback consists in the onset of stretch-activated currents due to the deformations of the cardiac muscle tissue via specific mechanosensitive channels. Regarding the geometric feedback, it simply reflects that the propagation of the depolarization waves is altered by the deformations of the geometry. The thermo-electric coupling is modeled via a dependence with respect to the temperature which is exponential for the gating kinetics of ion channels, exponential for the kinetics of the active tension development in cardiomyocytes, and linear for the ionic conductances. This study shows that the mechano-electric feedback can be arrhythmogenic under specific conditions. In particular, this work clearly reveals that the size of the domain and the importance of stretch-activated currents are key factors in the behavior of the autonomous electrical activity induced by the mechano-electric feedback. This doctoral study also shows that temperature variations such as those undergone by the heart during therapeutic hypothermia or hyperthermia play a central role in the cardiac electromechanical behavior. Moreover, this work emphasizes the influence of the initial conditions on the electromechanical behavior of cardiac tissue. In the one-dimensional framework, an important result of this work is that the disappearance of the autonomous electrical activity induced by the deformations of the cardiac muscle can be associated with different types of bifurcation phenomena, depending on the values of the parameters. These bifurcations, which correspond in fact to different ways for the AEA to vanish, are emphasized and discussed in detail. [less ▲]

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See detailL'enseignement-apprentissage du néerlandais en Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles: objectifs, méthodes, résultats
Rasier, Laurent ULg; Hiligsmann, Philippe

Conference (2015, September 30)

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See detailStability and Aging of Phase Change Materials : An Ab Initio Perspective
Raty, Jean-Yves ULg

Conference (2015, September 17)

Data recording with Phase Change Materials is a much studied topic as the writing/erasing characteristics, cyclability and downscaling properties of these materials allow for efficient data storage in ... [more ▼]

Data recording with Phase Change Materials is a much studied topic as the writing/erasing characteristics, cyclability and downscaling properties of these materials allow for efficient data storage in future generations of devices. Nevertheless, some aspects of phase change materials are limiting their performances and delaying their wider technological application. First, aging phenomena are common to all amorphous structures, but of special importance PCMs since it impedes the realization of multi-level memories. Different interpretations have been proposed, but we focus here on the structural relaxation of amorphous GeTe, chosen because it is the simplest system that is representative of the wider class of GST alloys, lying along the GeTe-Sb2Te3 composition line of the GeSbTe phase diagram. One difficulty encountered in the simulation of these amorphous systems is that the direct generation of an amorphous structure by quenching a liquid using Density Functional Theory (DFT) based Molecular Dynamics leads to one sample with a small number of atoms, and, hence of small number of atomic environments. Here we sample a large number of local atomic environments, corresponding to different bonding schemes, by chemically substituting different alloys, selected to favor different local atomic structures. This enables spanning a larger fraction of the configuration space relevant to aging. Our results support a model of the amorphous phase and its time evolution that involves an evolution of the local (chemical) order towards that of the crystal. On the other hand its electronic properties drift away from those of the crystal, driven by an increase of the Peierls-like distortion of the local environments in the amorphous, as compared to the crystal [1]. A second problem faced by PCMs is the fact that data recording is limited at high temperature due to the increased propensity to recrystallize. One approach to counter this is to stabilize the PCM using impurity atoms such as C or N. Using DFT and the analysis of the mechanical properties (constraints theory), we demonstrate how these impurity atoms modify the rigidity of the network, which is experimentally correlated with the activation energy for crystallization [2]. Finally, the crystal phase itself has been shown to have variable conductivities depending on the thermal history and annealing conditions. If this could be used profitably for multi-level recording, it also indicates that the crystal is undergoes some temporal evolution. Using DFT, we clarify the stability behavior of GST crystal and show that the metal-insulator transition is driven by the migration of intrinsic vacancies and an Anderson localization transition [3]. [1] J.Y Raty, W. Zhang, J. Luckas, C. Chen, R. Mazzarello, C. Bichara and M. Wuttig, Nat. Comm. (2015) [2] G. Ghezzi, J.Y. Raty, S. Maitrejean, A. Roule, E. Elkaim and F. Hippert, Applied Physics Letters, 99 (2011) 151906 [3] W. Zhang, A. Thiess, P. Zalden, R. Zeller, P. H. Dederichs, J-Y. Raty, M.Wuttig, S. Blügel et R. Mazzarello, Nature Materials 11 (2012) 952 [less ▲]

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See detailAn Ant Colony System for Responsive Dynamic Vehicle Routing
Schyns, Michael ULg

in European Journal of Operational Research (2015), 245(3), 704-718

We present an algorithm based on an Ant Colony System to deal with a broad range of Dynamic Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problems with Time Windows, (partial) Split Delivery and Heterogeneous fleets ... [more ▼]

We present an algorithm based on an Ant Colony System to deal with a broad range of Dynamic Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problems with Time Windows, (partial) Split Delivery and Heterogeneous fleets (DVRPTWSD). Besides the traditional distance criterion, we address the important case of responsiveness. Responsiveness is defined here as completing a delivery as soon as possible, within the time window, such that the client or the truck may restart its activities. This is crucial for many production or service activities in different fields: express parcel deliveries, taxi services, Just in Time production, express repair services, medical care, petrol station replenishment, etc. We develop an interactive web-based solution to allow dispatchers to take new information into account in real-time. The algorithm and its parametrization were tested on real and artificial instances. We first illustrate our approach with a problem submitted by Liege Airport, the 8th biggest cargo airport in Europe. The goal is to develop a decision system to optimize the journey of the refueling trucks. We then consider some classical VRP benchmarks with extensions for more complex problems. [less ▲]

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See detailAls Staat stabilisiert, als Nation gescheitert? Belgien in der Nachkriegszeit (1945-ca. 1950)
Brüll, Christoph ULg

Scientific conference (2015, September 09)

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See detailIconic virtues of diagrams. Peirce and ampliative reasoning
Leclercq, Bruno ULg

Conference (2015, September 08)

In his Critic of pure reason, Immanuel Kant notoriously claimed that, being grounded on the forms of sense intuition, arithmetical and geometrical propositions are both synthetic (i.e. informative) and a ... [more ▼]

In his Critic of pure reason, Immanuel Kant notoriously claimed that, being grounded on the forms of sense intuition, arithmetical and geometrical propositions are both synthetic (i.e. informative) and a priori. Bernard Bolzano, followed in this by the logicist movement (from Gottlob Frege to Rudolf Carnap), answered that the generality and necessity of mathematical propositions and proofs can only be grounded on conceptual analysis. Even though, just like Frege, he is one of the fathers of formal logic, Charles Sanders Peirce provides some semiotic reasons to think that Kant was right: diagrams do convey general meanings and provide some knowledge which is necessary yet non-trivial. Unlike logical analysis, visual presentation of concepts in schemas or diagrams helps to explore concepts by stressing some of their “side” features in such a way that new knowledge is gained: « diagrams evolve what was involved » (CP4/86). This is why, according to Kant’s notion of intuitive construction, mathematical inferences are not merely deductive but are inventive and ampliative. My talk aims at identifying some iconic virtues of diagrams which, according to Peirce, explain their epistemic productivity. A first one lies in the “formal” nature of icons, which allows them to express syntactic relations between descriptive (symbols) and demonstrative (indices) components of structured information. On this respect, even algebraic and ideographic expressions are icons exhibiting a general form – a “rheme” – in which places for indices are filled with variables “x” and “y” meaning “any individual”. For this reason, even though they are singular, diagrams are “abstractions” in the sense that they represent relations rather than their terms. Only with this in prospect can a second, and more studied, feature of diagrams matter, namely their two-dimensionality, which helps to exhibit complex relations that cannot be seen on linear linguistic expressions. Finally, a third feature of diagrams lies in their imaginary rather than referential character. Icons connote without denoting, and therefore they can be informational without this information being limited to singular individuals. Furthermore, this non referential character of icons is what makes them open to virtual exploratory manipulations that allow to consider and investigate possibilities which in turn inform us on not obvious properties of the presently visible configuration. [less ▲]

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See detailA stochastic computational multiscale approach; Application to MEMS resonators
Lucas, Vincent ULg; Golinval, Jean-Claude ULg; Paquay, Stéphane et al

in Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics & Engineering (2015), 294

The aim of this work is to develop a stochastic multiscale model for polycrystalline materials, which accounts for the uncertainties in the micro-structure. At the finest scale, we model the micro ... [more ▼]

The aim of this work is to develop a stochastic multiscale model for polycrystalline materials, which accounts for the uncertainties in the micro-structure. At the finest scale, we model the micro-structure using a random Voronoi tessellation, each grain being assigned a random orientation. Then, we apply a computational homogenization procedure on statistical volume elements to obtain a stochastic characterization of the elasticity tensor at the meso-scale. A random field of the meso-scale elasticity tensor can then be generated based on the information obtained from the SVE simulations. Finally, using a stochastic finite element method, these meso-scale uncertainties are propagated to the coarser scale. As an illustration we study the resonance frequencies of MEMS micro-beams made of poly-silicon materials, and we show that the stochastic multiscale approach predicts results in agreement with a Monte Carlo analysis applied directly on the fine finite-element model, i.e. with an explicit discretization of the grains. [less ▲]

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See detailInsolvabilité européenne et procédures secondaires
Wautelet, Patrick ULg

in Brulard, Yves (Ed.) Règlement 2015/848 relatif aux procédures d'insolvabilité - premier commentaire (2015)

Ce texte tente d'éclairer la portée des dispositions du Règlement N° 2015/848 du 20 mai 2015 relatives aux procédures secondaires : après un bilan sommaire de l'application des dispositions du Règlement ... [more ▼]

Ce texte tente d'éclairer la portée des dispositions du Règlement N° 2015/848 du 20 mai 2015 relatives aux procédures secondaires : après un bilan sommaire de l'application des dispositions du Règlement 1346/2000 relatives aux procédures secondaires, qui s'appuie principalement sur la jurisprudence de la Cour de justice, le texte commente les principales innovations du Règlement révisé. Une attention particulière est accordée à la technique de l'engagement par laquelle le syndic de la procédure principale peut éviter l'ouverture d'une procédure secondaire. [less ▲]

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See detailSimple median-based method for stationary background generation using background subtraction algorithms
Laugraud, Benjamin ULg; Pierard, Sébastien ULg; Braham, Marc ULg et al

in International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing (ICIAP) (2015, September)

The estimation of the background image from a video sequence is necessary in some applications. Computing the median for each pixel over time is effective, but it fails when the background is visible for ... [more ▼]

The estimation of the background image from a video sequence is necessary in some applications. Computing the median for each pixel over time is effective, but it fails when the background is visible for less than half of the time. In this paper, we propose a new method leveraging the segmentation performed by a background subtraction algorithm, which reduces the set of color candidates, for each pixel, before the median is applied. Our method is simple and fully generic as any background subtraction algorithm can be used. While recent background subtraction algorithms are excellent in detecting moving objects, our experiments show that the frame difference algorithm is a technique that compare advantageously to more advanced ones. Finally, we present the background images obtained on the SBI dataset, which appear to be almost perfect. The source code of our method can be downloaded at http://www.ulg.ac.be/telecom/research/sbg . [less ▲]

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See detailNudge and the Law: A European Perspective
Sibony, Anne-Lise ULg; Alemanno, Alberto

Book published by Hart Publishing (2015)

Behavioural sciences provide a better understanding of human decision-making. Increasingly, governments around the world are keen to rely on these insights for reshaping public interventions in a wide ... [more ▼]

Behavioural sciences provide a better understanding of human decision-making. Increasingly, governments around the world are keen to rely on these insights for reshaping public interventions in a wide range of policy areas such as energy, health, financial services and data protection. When policy-making meets behavioural sciences, effective, low- cost and choice preserving regulations can emerge in the form of default rules, smart disclosure and simplification requirements. While behaviourally-informed regulation has a huge potential, it also attracts legitimacy and practicability concerns. Nudge and the Law explores the legal implications of the emergent phenomenon of behavioural regulation by focusing on the challenges and opportunities it may offer to EU policy-making and beyond [less ▲]

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See detailGalland épigraphiste et philologue classique
Famerie, Etienne ULg

in Bauden, Frédéric; Waller, Richard (Eds.) Actes du Colloque "Antoine Galland (1646-1715) : orientaliste, antiquaire, numismate, humaniste" (2015, September)

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See detailCoupled modeling of Excavation Damaged Zone in Boom clay: Strain localization in rock and distribution of contact pressure on the gallery’s lining
Salehnia, Fatemeh ULg; Collin, Frédéric ULg; Li, Xiang Ling et al

in Computers and Geotechnics (2015), 69

Around galleries excavated at depth in geological media, the creation of a damaged zone with significant irreversible deformation is generally unavoidable. In the case of a geological disposal system for ... [more ▼]

Around galleries excavated at depth in geological media, the creation of a damaged zone with significant irreversible deformation is generally unavoidable. In the case of a geological disposal system for high-level radioactive waste, the resulting change in the host rock properties in this damaged zone may potentially be important with respect to the long-term evolution and the performance of that system. In this context, predicting the extent of the so-called Excavation Damaged Zone (EDZ) and, possibly, the fractures' network topology remains a challenge. This study is aimed to simulate numerically the extension of this zone at the large scale's excavation, around the Connecting gallery (HADES URL, Mol, Belgium), in Boom clay host rock through analyzing the evolution of strain localization in shear bands mode. To realistically model the involved phenomena, the concrete lining is considered on the gallery wall highlighting its impacts on the evolution of convergence and EDZ around the gallery. The focus of the current paper is made on analyzing the coupled hydro-mechanical behavior of Boom clay host rock during and after the gallery excavation with respect to the evolution of localized shear bands around the gallery. This study is accompanied by the analysis of the contact mechanism on the interface between the clay massive and the lining. The obtained results reveal some interesting features regarding the contact phenomenon relatively to the evolution pattern of shear bands within the clay around the gallery. To assess the reliability of the proposed approach, a discussion on some in-situ observations during the gallery's construction is also performed based on which a good agreement is found between the in-situ evidence and simulated results. [less ▲]

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See detailLes valeurs et les valorisations des images
Dondero, Maria Giulia ULg

in Biglari, Amir; Lopes, Iva (Eds.) Valeurs. Aux fondements de la sémiotique (2015)

Cet article vise à explorer la manière dont la sémiotique greimassienne a traité la question des valeurs dans le cadre de l’image, notamment photographique et artistique. Après une relecture critique de ... [more ▼]

Cet article vise à explorer la manière dont la sémiotique greimassienne a traité la question des valeurs dans le cadre de l’image, notamment photographique et artistique. Après une relecture critique de l’ouvrage de Jean-Marie Floch, Les formes de l’empreinte, et de la distinction entre valeurs dans l’image et valorisations des images, ce travail se consacre à l’exposition de nouvelles propositions de la sémiotique des pratiques de Jacques Fontanille en essayant de les lier à des réflexions sur les objets et les pratiques de la photographie artistique (l’utilisation des séries, de l’original, des différents tirages, etc.). Si l’attention est portée surtout sur la photo artistique, ce texte envisage également une comparaison avec les pratiques de l’original et de l’authenticité dans la photo de guerre, la photo de famille et la photo-image pieuse. L’objectif majeur de ce travail est d’étudier les diverses pratiques de valorisation des images photographiques afin de faire éclater la notion ontologique de trace photographique. [less ▲]

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See detailA perfect estimation of a background image does not lead to a perfect background subtraction: analysis of the upper bound on the performance
Pierard, Sébastien ULg; Van Droogenbroeck, Marc ULg

in International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing (ICIAP) (2015, September)

The quest for the “best” background subtraction technique is ongoing. Despite that a considerable effort has been undertaken to develop flexible and efficient methods, some elementary questions are still ... [more ▼]

The quest for the “best” background subtraction technique is ongoing. Despite that a considerable effort has been undertaken to develop flexible and efficient methods, some elementary questions are still unanswered. One of them is the existence of an intrinsic upper bound to the performance. In fact, data are affected by noise, and therefore it is illusory to believe that it is possible to achieve a perfect segmentation. This paper aims at exploring some intrinsic limitations of the principle of background subtraction. The purpose consists in studying the impact of several limiting factors separately. One of our conclusions is that even if an algorithm would be able to calculate a perfect background image, it is not sufficient to achieve a perfect segmentation with background subtraction, due to other intrinsic limitations. [less ▲]

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See detailAn enhanced version of a bone remodelling model based on the continuum damage mechanics theory.
Mengoni, Marlène ULg; Ponthot, Jean-Philippe ULg

in Computer Methods in Biomechanics & Biomedical Engineering (2015), 18(12), 1367-1376

The purpose of this work is to propose an enhancement of Doblaré and García's internal bone remodelling model based on the continuum damage mechanics theory. In their paper, they stated that the evolution ... [more ▼]

The purpose of this work is to propose an enhancement of Doblaré and García's internal bone remodelling model based on the continuum damage mechanics theory. In their paper, they stated that the evolution of the internal variables of the bone microstructure, and its incidence on the modification of the elastic constitutive parameters, may be formulated following the principles of Continuum Damage Mechanics, although no actual damage was considered. The resorption and apposition criteria (similar to the damage criterion) were expressed in terms of a mechanical stimulus. However, the resorption criterion is lacking a dimensional consistency with the remodelling rate. We here propose an enhancement to this resorption criterion, insuring the dimensional consistency while retaining the physical properties of the original remodelling model. We then analyse the change in the resorption criterion hypersurface in the stress space for a 2D analysis. We finally apply the new formulation to analyse the structural evolution of a 2D femur. This analysis gives results consistent with the original model but with a faster and more stable convergence rate. [less ▲]

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See detailNonlinear Background Filter to Improve Pedestrian Detection
Wang, Yi; Pierard, Sébastien ULg; Su, Song-Zhi et al

in Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing (ICIAP), workshop "Scene Background Modeling and Initialization (SBMI)" (2015, September)

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See detailThe materiality of Intangible Cultural Heritage: food and social encounters.
Mescoli, Elsa ULg

Conference (2015, September)

Following the patrimonialization process of the Mediterranean diet, some gastronomies found themselves involved within a common framework of food traditions. Some regional practices, indicated as ... [more ▼]

Following the patrimonialization process of the Mediterranean diet, some gastronomies found themselves involved within a common framework of food traditions. Some regional practices, indicated as representative of national food cultures, were chosen to illustrate a shared heritage that historically took a shape around the Mediterranean sea. This heritage, still concretely performed, needed to be stated and preserved against the globalization of food practices. Institutional and political dynamics, occurring on a transnational level, triggered this process, which is nevertheless not detached from the communities involved. Common people played a fundamental role not only in promoting the patrimonialization process itself, but above all in concretely perpetuating some traditions and in spreading them in the contemporary world. In particular, some different cultural groups that found themselves living a common territory and social context thanks to migration, began dialoguing about their own food traditions, starting from some shared elements. As a consequence, some gastronomies interact through people’s practices and define in relation one to the other. This is the case, among others, of Moroccan and Italian cuisine. Throughout a doctoral research conducted within a group of Moroccan women living in the North of Italy, I collected an amount of ethnographic materials showing how social encounters developed through food. The influence of the patrimonialization process on these encounters made people try to find similarities among different traditional practices or to describe some ways of reinterpreting them in reason of the new context. My presentation will focus on these dynamics, thus proving that the Intangible Cultural Heritage is indeed grounded on materiality, that is, in this case, the concrete performance of food practices and their pragmatic effects on relations among humans. [less ▲]

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