1,734 results for Working or discussion paper

  • "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." A study of political violence and counter-insurgency in Egypt

    Fielding, David; Shortland, Anja (2005-05)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper analyses a newly collected time-series database measuring the dimensions of violent political conflict in Egypt. Attention is focused on the interaction between politically motivated attacks by Islamists and the counter-insurgency measures used by the Egyptian government. The intensity of security force activities responds immediately to all kinds of Islamist violence, regardless of the target of the attack. However, there are significant asymmetries in the way that the different forms of Islamist violence respond to the different security force activities.

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  • Wayfinding/navigation within a QTVR virtual environment: preliminary results

    Norris, Brian; Rashid, Da'oud; Wong, B L William (1999-09)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Please note that this is a searchable PDF derived via optical character recognition (OCR) from the original source document. As the OCR process is never 100% perfect, there may be some discrepancies between the document image and the underlying text.

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  • Modifications to Smith’s method for deriving normalised relations from a functional dependency diagram

    Stanger, Nigel (1999-12)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Smith’s method is a formal technique for deriving a set of normalised relations from a functional dependency diagram (FDD). Smith’s original rules for deriving these relations are incomplete, as they do not fully address the issue of determining the foreign key links between relations. In addition, one of the rules for deriving foreign keys can produce incorrect results, while the other rule is difficult to automate. In this paper are described solutions these issues.

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  • Using genetic algorithms for an optical thin-film learning model

    Li, Xiaodong; Purvis, Martin (1996-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Please note that this is a searchable PDF derived via optical character recognition (OCR) from the original source document. As the OCR process is never 100% perfect, there may be some discrepancies between the document image and the underlying text.

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  • Using data models to estimate required effort in creating a spatial information system

    Benwell, George L; MacDonell, Stephen (1996-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    The creation of spatial information systems can be viewed from many directions. One such view is to see the creation in terms of data collection, data modelling, codifying spatial processes, information management, analysis and presentation. The amount of effort to create such systems is frequently under-estimated; this is true for each aspect of the above view. The accuracy of the assessment of effort will vary for each aspect. This paper concentrates on the effort required to create the code for spatial processes and analysis. Recent experience has indicated that this is an area where considerable under-estimation is occurring. Function point analysis presented in this paper provides a reliable metric for spatial systems developers to assess required effort based on spatial data models.

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  • Using rough sets to study expert behaviour in induction of labour

    Parry, David; Yeap, Wai Kiang; Pattison, Neil (1999-12)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    The rate of induction of labour (IOL) is increasing, despite no obvious increase in the incidence of the major indications. However the rate varies widely between different centres and practitioners and this does not seem to be due to variations in patient populations. The IOL decision-making process of six clinicians was recorded and examined using hypothetical scenarios presented on a computer. Several rules were identified from a rough sets analysis of the data. These rules were compared to the actual practise of these clinicians in 1994 Initial tests of these rules show that they may form a suitable set for developing an expert system for the induction of labour.

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  • Smoke alarm detection, broadcast notifications and social implications

    Woods, Alan (2010-11)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Changes in population demographics and lifestyle choices have led to an increased risk of higher mortality from house fires. The current average of 27 house fire related deaths per year is likely to be exceeded in the following years. The aging population with its natural increase in age related hearing loss and the younger demographic only having mobile phones and no land-lines means there is a need for alternative warning methods of smoke alarm activation. This project develops a proof of concept application that runs on a smart phone and detects an activated smoke alarm. If there is no response by the occupants automatically trigger an alarm to a predefined contact group. This application can reduce the possibility of death or injury by persons unable to respond to an activated alarm.

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  • Sleaze or clear blue water: the evolution of corporate and pressure group representation at the major UK party conferences

    Harris, Phil; Lock, Andrew (2001)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    There has been growing academic and public interest in corporate political lobbying in both the UK and EU in recent years. In Britain, links between politicians and commercial interests have been one of the areas examined by the Committee on Standards in Public Life (“the Nolan Committee” and now “the Neill Committee”). A visible but under-researched aspect of political lobbying by firms and other groups is the range of activities that take place at annual party conferences. We report an exhaustive study of these activities at the three main British party conferences between 1994-97, covering the period from Tony Blair’s first appearance as party leader to the aftermath of the 1997 General Election. There is clear growth of visible lobbying, particularly at the Labour conferences, over the period leading up to the election, and a dropping off in 1997, particularly at the Conservative conference. The implications of the results for organisations, and particularly for public affairs practitioners, are considered.

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  • Measurement of database systems: an empirical study

    MacDonell, Stephen; Shepperd, Martin; Sallis, Philip (1996-08)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    There is comparatively little work, other than function points, that tackles the problem of building prediction systems for software that is dominated by data considerations, in particular systems developed using 4GLs. We describe an empirical investigation of 70 such systems. Various easily obtainable counts were extracted from data models (e.g. number of entities) and from specifications (e.g. number of screens). Using simple regression analysis, prediction systems of implementation size with accuracy of MMRE=21% were constructed. Our work shows that it is possible to develop simple and effective prediction systems based upon metrics easily derived from functional specifications and data models.

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  • Assurance of agent systems: What role should formal verification play?

    Winikoff, Michael (2010-01)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    In this paper we consider the broader issue of gaining assurance that an agent system will behave appropriately when it is deployed. We ask to what extent this problem is addressed by existing research into formal verification. We identify a range of issues with existing work which leads us to conclude that, broadly speaking, verification approaches on their own are too narrowly focussed. We argue that a shift in direction is needed, and outline some possibilities for such a shift in direction.

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  • Looking for a new AI paradigm: Evolving connectionist and fuzzy connectionist systems—Theory and applications for adaptive, on-line intelligent systems

    Kasabov, Nikola (1998-03)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Please note that this is a searchable PDF derived via optical character recognition (OCR) from the original source document. As the OCR process is never 100% perfect, there may be some discrepancies between the document image and the underlying text.

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  • UML and the Semantic Web

    Cranefield, Stephen (2001-02)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper discusses technology to support the use of UML for representing ontologies and domain knowledge in the Semantic Web. Two mappings have been defined and implemented using XSLT to produce Java classes and an RDF schema from an ontology represented as a UML class diagram and encoded using XMI. A Java application can encode domain knowledge as an object diagram realised as a network of instances of the generated classes. Support is provided for marshalling and unmarshalling this object-oriented knowledge to and from an RDF/XML serialisation.

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  • Liberating Middle Earth: how will changes in the global trading system affect New Zealand?

    Winchester, Niven (2005-05)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    Trade liberalisation has gained momentum in recent decades due to the increased popularity of free trade areas and the continued progress of multilateral liberalisation via the World Trade Organisation (WTO). We analyse how likely changes in the global trading environment will influence New Zealand – a small, relatively open economy with a comparative advantage in the world’s most protected sector – using a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of global production and trade. We find that most bilateral free trade agreements have a small but positive impact on New Zealand welfare and multilateral trade liberalisation generates significant benefits for New Zealand.

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  • Strategic Issues for GMOs in Primary Production: Key Economic Drivers and Emerging Issues

    Campbell, Hugh; Fitzgerald, Ruth; Saunders, Caroline; Sivak, Leda (2000)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    The Warrant of the Royal Commission of Enquiry into Genetic Modification asks a range of questions about the kinds of consequences (health, environmental, legal, cultural, ethical and economic) that might occur should GM technologies be commercially released in New Zealand. These are important questions, as New Zealand is one of only a few countries that rely on food exports to generate a major proportion of national revenue, but which have not yet released GMOs into commercial production of food, fibre or nutriceuticals. Focussing specifically on the economic consequences of commercial GM production, there is clearly both an opportunity for unique economic outcomes that must be considered, and also a series of major methodological challenges surrounding how we might quantify the nature of these opportunities given that such an exercise is entirely predictive (ie. we have no actual commercial production of GMOs to evaluate). This difficulty is evidenced by the level of claims-making taking place about the potential economic value to New Zealand of either avoiding or encouraging GM technologies in commercial production of food, fibre and nutriceuticals. There are clearly few certainties in this discussion. The New York Times reported in 1999 that even Monsanto had hired a group of independent consultants to try and estimate the nature of the biotechnology landscape in several decades time (‘Plotting Corporate Futures: Outlining What Could Go Wrong’ New York Times: 24/6/99). The consultants drew up three scenarios – one reasonably positive, one uncertain and contingent on the outcomes of many unpredictable variables, and one primarily negative for GM food. However, they were unable to recommend which one they considered the most likely to happen. Such caution is scarcely reflected in some of the recent claims-making in public fora about the presumed benefits and disadvantages of either a biotechnologically- driven or GM-free economic future for New Zealand.

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  • The New Zealand sustainability dashboard: unified monitoring and learning for sustainable agriculture in New Zealand

    Moller, Henrik; Barber, Andrew; Saunders, Caroline; MacLeod, Catriona; Rosin, Chris; Lucock, Dave; Post, Elizabeth; Ombler, Franz; Campbell, Hugh; Benge, Jayson; Reid, John; Hunt, Lesley; Hansen, Paul; Carey, Peter; Rotarangi, Stephanie; Ford, Stuart; Barr, Tremane; Manhire, Jon (2012)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    The New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard project will develop a sustainability assessment and reporting tool in partnership with five primary industry sectors in New Zealand. Internationally recognised frameworks and their key generic sustainability performance indicators (KPIs) will be co-opted to ensure that overseas consumers can benchmark and verify the sustainability credentials of New Zealand exported products. We will also design New Zealand and sector-specific KPIs to guide farmers and local consumers to best practices of special relevance to New Zealand society, ecology and land care. Monitoring protocols will be described, where possible for the farmers themselves to rapidly score their own performance across economic, social and environmental dimensions of food and fibre production. A multifunctional web application will be created that facilitates uploading of regular monitoring results and instantly summarises and reports back trends to the growers, to industry representatives, and to agriculture regulators and policy makers at regional and national government levels. Tests of the accuracy and statistical reliability of the KPIs will be coupled with ongoing research on how much the farmers use the tool, whether it changes their actions and beliefs for more sustainable agriculture, and whether stakeholders at all levels of global food systems trust and regularly use the tool. The Dashboard will be more than just a compliance and eco-verification tool – it will also provide a hub for learning to become more sustainable. It will create an information ‘clearing house’ for linking past data sources and at least five existing decision-support software applications so that growers can discover optimal choices for improved farming practice, should the Dashboard alert them that their KPIs are approaching amber of red alert thresholds. We will also design and test two new decision-support packages; one enabling farmers to calculate their energy and carbon footprint and how it can best be reduced; and a whole-farm ‘What if’ decision-support package that explores how investment in improving one sustainability KPI (eg. application of nitrogen fertilser) affects another (eg. farm profit). The Sustainability Dashboard will also include customisation capabilities for use in product traceability; for undertaking surveys of users; for estimating the value placed on different aspects of sustainability by growers, industry representatives, regulators and consumers; for comparing Māori and other communities’ values in sustainability assessments; and for identifying market opportunities and constraints. The Dashboard web application will be designed so it can be quickly integrated into an industry’s/sector’s existing IT platform and infrastructure and this will facilitate rapid uptake. Some host industries may force growers to use the Sustainability Dashboard as part of their existing Market Assurance scheme.

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  • Artificial Neural Networks and Aggregate Consumption Patterns in New Zealand

    Farhat, Dan (2012-11)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This study uses artificial neural networks (ANNs) to reproduce aggregate per-capita consumption patterns for the New Zealand economy. Results suggest that non-linear ANNs can outperform a linear econometric model at out-of-sample forecasting. The best ANN at matching in-sample data, however, is rarely the best predictor. To improve the accuracy of ANNs using only in-sample information, methods for combining heterogeneous ANN forecasts are explored. The frequency that an individual ANN is a top performer during in-sample training plays a beneficial role in consistently producing accurate out-of-sample patterns. Possible avenues for incorporating ANN structures into social simulation models of consumption are discussed.

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  • A New Test of Ricardian Equivalence Using the Narrative Record on Tax Changes

    Haug, Alfred (2016-07)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    This paper empirically tests the Ricardian equivalence hypothesis with a narrative measure of tax shocks. The present value, at the time of legislation,for tax increases motivated solely by concerns for improving the fiscal health of the government is used for the tests. These tax news represent a switch from debt to tax financing that should have no effects on the economy if Ricardian equivalence holds as a good approximation. Such a tax increase seems to have positive e ects on real GDP in the post-1980:IV period. However, this is due to fiscal anticipation as many of the tax increases are implemented with substantial delays and distortionary taxes increase economic activity before taxes go up, which is caused by intertemporal substitution. Therefore, Ricardian equivalence is rejected.

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  • Dire Straits v The Cure: Emphasising the Problem or the Solution in Charitable Fundraising for International Development

    Clark, Jeremy; Garces-Ozanne, Arlene; Knowles, Stephen (2016-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    We conduct a laboratory experiment to test the effect on charitable donations to international development NGOs (INGOs) of emphasising current deprivation in a developing country, versus emphasising the potential good a donation can achieve. Using a double-blind dictator experiment with earned endowments, we find that varying the information/emphasis has no significant effect on total donations, or on the probability of donating. An emphasis on current deprivation does, however, significantly raise the variance of donations, so that conditional on donating, it significantly raises donations compared to emphasising potential gains from the charity’s work.

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  • How do empowerment and self-determination affect national health outcomes?

    Garces-Ozanne, Arlene; Kalu, Edna Ikechi; Audas, Richard (2016-10)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Otago

    There remains a persistent gap in health outcomes between wealthy and poor countries. Basic measures such as life expectancy, infant and child mortality remain divergent, with preventable deaths being unacceptably high, despite significant efforts to reduce these disparities. We examine the impact of empowerment, measured by Freedom House’s ratings of country’s political and civil rights freedom, while controlling for per capita GDP, secondary school enrollment and income inequality, on national health outcomes. Using data from 1970-2013 across 149 countries, our results suggest, quite strongly, that higher levels of empowerment have a significant positive association with life expectancy, particularly for females, and lower rates of infant and child mortality. Our results point to the need for efforts to stimulate economic growth be accompanied with reforms to increase the levels of empowerment through increased political and economic freedom.

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  • A summary of ecosystem service economic valuation methods and recommendations for future studies

    Kaval, Pamela (2010-04)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This short working paper summarizes ecosystem service economic valuation methods. The paper begins with an introduction to ecosystem services, and then describes the various methods that can be used to value them. An extensive literature review was carried out, illustrating those ecosystem service studies that attempted to value three or more ecosystem services using original data and more than one valuation method. Recommendations are then offered on how to conduct ecosystem service valuation studies.

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