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  1. Bayesian inference allows the transparent communication and systematic updating of model uncertainty as new data become available. When applied to material flow analysis (MFA), however, Bayesian inference is undermined by the difficulty of defining proper priors for the MFA parameters and quantifying the noise in the collected data. We start to address these issues by first deriving and implementing an expert elicitation procedure suitable for generating MFA parameter priors. Second, we propose to learn the data noise concurrent with the parametric uncertainty. These methods are demonstrated using a case study on the 2012 US steel flow. Eight experts are interviewed to elicit distributions on steel flow uncertainty from raw materials to intermediate goods. The experts’ distributions are combined and weighted according to the expertise demonstrated in response to seeding questions. These aggregated distributions form our model parameters’ informative priors. Sensible, weakly informative priors are adopted for learning the data noise. Bayesian inference is then performed to update the parametric and data noise uncertainty given MFA data collected from the United States Geological Survey and the World Steel Association. The results show a reduction in MFA parametric uncertainty when incorporating the collected data. Only a modest reduction in data noise uncertainty was observed using 2012 data; however, greater reductions were achieved when using data from multiple years in the inference. These methods generate transparent MFA and data noise uncertainties learned from data rather than pre-assumed data noise levels, providing a more robust basis for decision-making that affects the system. 
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  2. As the influence of social robots in people’s daily lives grows, research on understanding people’s perception of robots including sociability, trust, acceptance, and preference becomes more pervasive. Research has considered visual, vocal, or tactile cues to express robots’ emotions, whereas little research has provided a holistic view in examining the interactions among different factors influencing emotion perception. We investigated multiple facets of user perception on robots during a conversational task by varying the robots’ voice types, appearances, and emotions. In our experiment, 20 participants interacted with two robots having four different voice types. While participants were reading fairy tales to the robot, the robot gave vocal feedback with seven emotions and the participants evaluated the robot’s profiles through post surveys. The results indicate that (1) the accuracy of emotion perception differed depending on presented emotions, (2) a regular human voice showed higher user preferences and naturalness, (3) but a characterized voice was more appropriate for expressing emotions with significantly higher accuracy in emotion perception, and (4) participants showed significantly higher emotion recognition accuracy with the animal robot than the humanoid robot. A follow-up study ([Formula: see text]) with voice-only conditions confirmed that the importance of embodiment. The results from this study could provide the guidelines needed to design social robots that consider emotional aspects in conversations between robots and users. 
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  3. Abstract

    Bayesian inference allows the transparent communication and systematic updating of model uncertainty as new data become available. When applied to material flow analysis (MFA), however, Bayesian inference is undermined by the difficulty of defining proper priors for the MFA parameters and quantifying the noise in the collected data. We start to address these issues by first deriving and implementing an expert elicitation procedure suitable for generating MFA parameter priors. Second, we propose to learn the data noise concurrent with the parametric uncertainty. These methods are demonstrated using a case study on the 2012 US steel flow. Eight experts are interviewed to elicit distributions on steel flow uncertainty from raw materials to intermediate goods. The experts' distributions are combined and weighted according to the expertise demonstrated in response to seeding questions. These aggregated distributions form our model parameters' informative priors. Sensible, weakly informative priors are adopted for learning the data noise. Bayesian inference is then performed to update the parametric and data noise uncertainty given MFA data collected from the United States Geological Survey and the World Steel Association. The results show a reduction in MFA parametric uncertainty when incorporating the collected data. Only a modest reduction in data noise uncertainty was observed using 2012 data; however, greater reductions were achieved when using data from multiple years in the inference. These methods generate transparent MFA and data noise uncertainties learned from data rather than pre‐assumed data noise levels, providing a more robust basis for decision‐making that affects the system.

     
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