81 results for Working or discussion paper, 2007

  • The anthropomorphic bias: How human thinking is prone to be self-referential.

    Strongman, L. (2007)

    Working or discussion paper
    Open Polytechnic

    This working paper attempts a synthesis of contemporary research into anthropomorphic bias. It provides an explanatory distinction between the concept of anthropocentrism and the more specific applications of anthropomorphism, as well as a critique of existing anthropocentric concepts and theories. The paper enters into analysis of some of the philosophical assumptions behind the related concepts of anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism. It provides a critical survey of the current literature and makes the argument that anthropomorphic bias can be understood as an innate existential tendency of human embodied thought, thereby presenting a potential problem to the fields of the philosophy of science and embodied cognition, and to social scientific experimental design and interpretation. The paper is divided into eight sections dealing with selected areas of discussion of anthropomorphic bias, involving summary explanations of experimental situations and everyday life behaviours: (1) Anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism: Definitions, ontologies, problematics and reflections; (2) Anthropocentrism and ecology; (3) Deep anthropocentrism and counterenvironmentalism; (4) Anthropomorphism and human and animal differences; (5) Anthropomorphism and quantum physics; (6) Anthropomorphism and robotics; (7) The problem of anthropomorphism; and (8) Attitudinal solutions to anthropocentric bias involving new attitudes in scientific and everyday life behaviours. These areas of focus are chosen as they comprise the clearest categories of research for the concept of anthropocentrism at the current time.

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  • Voices from the other side: User reports of New Zealand library reference encounters.

    Bidwell, P. (2007)

    Working or discussion paper
    Open Polytechnic

    This research examines user satisfaction with the quality of reference service in New Zealand libraries, and reminds library staff of how it feels on the 'public' side of the library desk. It analyses the experiences of Open Polytechnic of New Zealand students asking reference questions in libraries, including whether users were given skills to research their own questions. A strongly positive or negative experience can be a powerful learning tool for library staff. Understanding what users feel went wrong provides important insights, making staff more empathetic when responding to information requests. The paper combines student comments with behavioural guidelines from the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and key examples from international research. The research identified issues that inhibited appropriate responses, as well as useful strategies that were appreciated by users. Significant recommendations include Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) endorsement of RUSA guidelines, and the formation of a reference services special interest group. All libraries, particularly major reference libraries, should actively encourage staff awareness, library qualifications and training. Collaboration and information sharing should be encouraged, and could be assisted by a New Zealand-based reference discussion forum or web log. The active promotion of key staff as 'reference exemplars' who model good behaviours is a key recommendation. Libraries need to recognise the value of a checklist of essential elements for all reference encounters, and reference policies should include minimum standards for reference service that emphasise information literacy and user education.

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  • Economic integration and the choice of commodity tax base with endogenous market structures

    McCracken, Scott; Stähler, Frank (2007-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper analyzes the choice of commodity tax base when countries set their taxes non-cooperatively in a two-country symmetric reciprocal dumping model of intra-industry trade with free entry and trade costs. We show that the consumption base (destination principle) dominates the production base (origin principle) when trade costs are high or demand is linear. For lower levels of trade costs and nonlinear demand, the welfare ranking of the two tax bases is ambiguous. Hence, there is no clear preference for a tax principle with an ongoing movement towards closer economic Integration. JEL-Classification: F12, H20.

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  • Shifting the ‘goal posts’: What is the optimal allocation of Super Rugby competition points?

    Winchester, Niven (2007-11-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Competition points are awarded in sports events to determine which participants qualify for the playoffs or to identify the champion. We use competition points to measure strength in a prediction model and choose competition points to maximise prediction accuracy. This allows us to determine the allocation of competition points that most appropriately rewards strong teams. Our analysis focuses on Super Rugby as the characteristics of this competition closely match our modelling assumptions. We find that the current allocation of competition points is not optimal and suggest an alternative. Our findings have implications for other competitions.

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  • Role model based mechanism for norm emergence in artificial agent societies

    Savarimuthu, Bastin Tony Roy; Cranefield, Stephen; Purvis, Martin; Purvis, Maryam A. (2007-07)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    A revised version of this paper appears in the Proceedings of the AAMAS'07 Workshop on Coordination, Organization, Institutions and Norms in Agent Systems (COIN), Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 14th May, pp. 1-12. See http://www.ia.urjc.es/COIN2007/ for further details.

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  • Fair trade

    Richardson, Martin; Stähler, Frank (2007-07)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper deals with the behavior of fair trade organizations in an oligopolistic setting in which the vertically integrated fair trade firm produces a commodity which is a weak substitute for another commodity. Profit-maximizing oligopolists are vertically disintegrated and produce for both markets and the fair trade firm can charge a premium to consumers due to a “warm glow effect” that depends on the wage paid to fair trade producers. We show that trade integration will unambiguously increase the size of the fair trade firm. However, the relative size compared to oligopolists shrinks with integration. The effect of a change in substitutability between the two commodities on markets shares depends on the relative market potential. Furthermore, we show that the warm glow effect does not support an expansion of the volume of fair trade. JEL-Classification: F12.

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  • Demographic change and regional competitiveness: The effects of immigration and ageing

    Poot, Jacques (2007-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The demographic profile of a region is usually seen as a slowly changing background phenomenon in the analysis of regional competitiveness and regional growth. However, regional demographic change can have a significant impact on regional competitiveness and such change is often more rapid and profound than at the national level. In turn, regional population size, growth, composition and distribution are endogenous to regional economic development. This paper focuses on the impact of population ageing and immigration on aspects of regional competitiveness such as innovation, entrepreneurship and productivity. Immigration and ageing trends have generated huge separate literatures but it is argued here that it is fruitful to consider these trends jointly. Theoretically, there are many channels through which immigration and population ageing can affect regional competitiveness. There is empirical evidence that population ageing reduces regional competitiveness, while immigration – particularly of entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers to metropolitan areas – enhances competitiveness. Much of the available literature is based on smallscale case studies and rigorous econometric research on the impact of demographic change at the regional level is still remarkably rare. Some directions for further research are suggested.

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  • Bringing nature back into cities: urban land environments, indigenous cover and urban restoration

    Clarkson, Bruce D.; Wehi, Priscilla M.; Brabyn, Lars (2007)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    1. The restoration of urban ecosystems is an increasingly important strategy to maintain and enhance indigenous biodiversity as well as reconnecting people to the environment. High levels of endemism, the sensitivity of species that have evolved without humans, and the invasion of exotic species have all contributed to severe depletion of indigenous biodiversity in New Zealand. In this work, we analysed national patterns of urban biodiversity in New Zealand and the contribution that urban restoration can make to maximising and enhancing indigenous biodiversity. 2. We analysed data from two national databases in relation to the 20 largest New Zealand cities. We quantified existing indigenous biodiversity within cities, both within the core built up matrix and in centroid buffer zones of 5, 10 and 20 km around this urban centre. We analysed the type and frequency of land environments underlying cities as indicators of the range of native ecosystems that are (or can potentially be) represented within the broader environmental profile of New Zealand. We identified acutely threatened land environments that are represented within urban and periurban areas and the potential role of cities in enhancing biodiversity from these land environments. 3. New Zealand cities are highly variable in both landform and level of indigenous resource. Thirteen of 20 major land environments in New Zealand are represented in cities, and nearly three-quarters of all acutely threatened land environments are represented within 20 km of city cores nationally. Indigenous land cover is low within urban cores, with less than 2% on average remaining, and fragmentation is high. However, indigenous cover increases to more than 10% on average in the periurban zone, and the size of indigenous remnants also increases. The number of remaining indigenous landcover types also increases from only 5 types within the urban centre, to 14 types within 20 km of the inner urban cores. 4. In New Zealand, ecosystem restoration alone is not enough to prevent biodiversity loss from urban environments, with remnant indigenous cover in the urban core too small (and currently too degraded) to support biodiversity long-term. For some cities, indigenous cover in the periurban zone is also extremely low. This has significant ramifications for the threatened lowland and coastal environments that are most commonly represented in cities. Reconstruction of ecosystems is required to achieve a target of 10% indigenous cover in cities: the addition of land to land banks for this purpose is crucial. Future planning that protects indigenous remnants within the periurban zone is critical to the survival of many species within urban areas, mitigating the homogenisation and depletion of indigenous flora and fauna typical of urbanisation. A national urban biodiversity plan would help city councils address biodiversity issues beyond a local and regional focus, while encouraging predominantly local solutions to restoration challenges, based on the highly variable land environments, ecosystems and patch connectivity present within different urban areas.

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  • Another tale of two-sided markets

    Kind, Hans Jarle; Stähler, Frank (2007-06)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This note generalizes the frequently used Hotelling model for two-sided markets. We demonstrate an invariance theorem: advertisement levels neither depend on the media price nor on the location of the media firm. An increase in advertising revenues does not change location but only the media price. In conclusion, a Hotelling model of two-sided markets is equivalent to one of one-sided markets. JEL-Classification: D43, L82.

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  • Regional asymmetries in the impact of monetary policy shocks on prices: Evidence from US cities

    Fielding, David; Shields, Kalvinder (2007-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    JEL Classification: E31, E52, R19

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  • Aid and Dutch Disease in the South Pacific

    Fielding, David (2007-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    The impact of aid inflows on relative prices and output is ambiguous. Aid inflows that increase domestic expenditure are likely to cause real exchange rate appreciation, ceteris paribus. However, if this expenditure raises the capital stock in the traded goods sector, then output in this sector might not contract, at least in the steady state. Moreover, if investment in the nontraded goods sector is relatively high and/or productive, then there is not necessarily any real exchange rate appreciation in the steady state. We use time-series data to examine the impact of aid inflows on output and real exchange rates in ten South Pacific island states, and find aid inflows to produce a variety of outcomes in economies of different kinds.

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  • A study on feature analysis for musical instrument classification

    Deng, Da; Simmermacher, Christian; Cranefield, Stephen (2007-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    In tackling data mining and pattern recognition tasks, finding a compact but effective set of features has often been found to be a crucial step in the overall problem-solving process. In this paper we present an empirical study on feature analysis for classical instrument recognition, using machine learning techniques to select and evaluate features extracted from a number of different feature schemes. It is revealed that there is significant redundancy between and within feature schemes commonly used in practice. Our results suggest that further feature analysis research is necessary in order to optimize feature selection and achieve better results for the instrument recognition problem.

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  • Building privacy infrastructure for culturally sensitive information of New Zealand Maori

    Deng, Xianglin; Foukia, Noria; Savarimuthu, Bastin Tony Roy (2007-07)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper proposes to design a mechanism that will allow Maori users to specify their privacy preferences related to their culture when a software system asks for culturally sensitive information. We first identify various concepts associated with sensitive aspects of Maori culture, such as tapu. We propose to build an ontology that describes these concepts and the relations between them in a formal way. This ontology will help service providers integrate Maori cultural protocols in order to make Maori users more confident about the use of the sensitive information related to their culture.

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  • Linear or Nonlinear Cointegration in the Purchasing Power Parity Relationship?

    Haug, Alfred A.; Basher, Syed Abul (2007-08-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We test long-run PPP within a general model of cointegration of linear and nonlinear form. Nonlinear cointegration is tested with rank tests of Breitung (2001). We determine first the order of integration of each variable, using monthly data from the post-Bretton Woods era for G-10 countries. In many cases prices are I(2), whereas all exchange rates are I(1). However, there are several countries that have a price level that linearly cointegrates with the US price level so that this combination is I(1). Overall, we find some, though limited, evidence for nonlinear and also linear cointegration in the PPP model.

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  • Using trust for key distribution and route selection in wireless sensor networks

    Lewis, Nathan D; Foukia, Noria; Govan, Donovan G (2007-09)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Submitted to IEEE/IFIP Network Operations and Management Symposium (NOMS 2008).

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  • Market integration, choice of technology and welfare

    Hansen, Jørgen Drud; Nielsen, Jørgen Ulff-Møller (2007-04)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper develops an international trade model where firms in a duopoly may diversify their technologies for strategic reasons. The firms face the same set of technologies given by a trade-off between marginal costs and fixed costs, but depending on trade costs the firms may choose different technologies. Market integration may induce a technological restructuring where the firms either diversify their technologies or switch to a homogenous technology leaving jumps in welfare both in the home and foreign country. It is shown that with respect to global welfare Cournot Nash equilibria with homogeneous firms are in some cases inferior to Cournot Nash equilibria with heterogeneous firms. A small decrease in trade costs, which induces a switch from heterogeneous technologies to a homogeneous technology, reduces global welfare. Extensive reductions in trade costs allow for the traditional positive global welfare effects of market integration.

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  • Verifying social expectations by model checking truncated paths

    Cranefield, Stephen; Winikoff, Michael (2007-12)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    One approach to moderating the behaviour of agents in open societies is the use of explicit languages for defining norms, conditional commitments and/or social expectations, together with infrastructure supporting conformance checking and the identification and possible punishment of anti-social agents. This paper presents a logical account of the creation, fulfilment and violation of social expectations modelled as conditional rules over a hybrid propositional temporal logic. The semantics are designed to allow model checking over finite histories to be used to check for fulfilment and violation of expectations in both online and offline modes. For online checking, expectations are always considered at the last state in the history, but in the offline mode expectations in previous states are also checked. At each past state, the then active expectations must be checked for fulfilment without recourse to information from later states: the truth of a future-oriented temporal proposition φ at state s over the full history does not imply the fulfilment at s of an expectation with content φ. This issue is addressed by defining fulfilment and violation in terms of an extension of Eisner et al.’s weak/strong semantics for LTL over truncated paths. The update of expectations from one state to the next is based on formula progression and the approach has been implemented by extending the MCLITE and MCFULL algorithms of the Hybrid Logic Model Checker.

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  • Positional equity and equal sacrifice: design principles for an EU-wide income tax?

    Lambert, Peter J (2007-04)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Conditions are explored under which a putative EU-wide layer of income tax, additional to the national income taxes of the Member States, would: (a) be horizontally equitable, taking the equals in different EU counties to be those at the same percentile points in the country-specific income distributions, assuming these to differ in logarithms by location and scale only; (b) satisfy an extended equity criterion, that of equal progression among equals; and (c) engender equal sacrifices from the citizens of each country in terms of rank-dependent and utilitarian social evaluation functions. Numerical simulations are undertaken to explore the form that such an EU-wide income tax would take and the properties it would have.

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  • A two-stage double-bootstrap data envelopment analysis of efficiency differences of New Zealand secondary schools

    Alexander, W Robert J; Jaforullah, Mohammad; Haug, Alfred A. (2007-11-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We conduct a two-stage (DEA and regression) analysis of the efficiency of New Zealand secondary schools. Unlike previous applications of two-stage semi-parametric modelling of the school “production process”, we use Simar and Wilson’s double bootstrap procedure, which permits valid inference in the presence of unknown serial correlation in the efficiency scores. We are therefore able to draw robust conclusions about a system that has undergone extensive reforms with respect to ideas high on the educational agenda such as decentralised school management and parental choice. Most importantly, we find that school type affects school efficiency and so too does teacher quality.

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  • Social collaboration, stochastic strategies and information referrals

    Nowostawski, Mariusz; Foukia, Noria (2007-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Referrals are used in multi-agent systems, network agents and peer-to-peer systems for the purpose of global or local information spreading to facilitate trust relationships and reciprocal interactions. Based on referral local interactions can be altered with a purpose to maximise the utility function of each of the participants, which in many cases requires mutual co-operation of participants. The referral system is often based on the global detailed or statistical behaviour of the overall society. Traditionally, referrals are collected by referring agents and the information is provided upon request to individuals. In this article, we provide a simple taxonomy of referral systems and on that basis we discuss three distinct ways information can be collected and aggregated. We analyse the effects of global vs. local information spreading, in terms of individual and global performance of a population based on the maximisation of a utility function of each of the agents. Our studies show that under certain conditions such as large number of non uniformly acting autonomous agents the spread of global information is undesirable. Collecting and providing local information only yields better overall results. In some experimental setups however, it might be necessary for global information to be available otherwise global stable optimal behaviour cannot be achieved. We analyse both of these extreme cases based on simple game-theoretic setup. We analyse and relate our results in the context of e-mail relying and spam filtering.

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