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  1. Diffusion State Distance (DSD) is a data-dependent metric that compares data points using a data-driven diffusion process and provides a powerful tool for learning the underlying structure of high-dimensional data. While finding the exact nearest neighbors in the DSD metric is computationally expensive, in this paper, we propose a new random-walk based algorithm that empirically finds approximate k-nearest neighbors accurately in an efficient manner. Numerical results for real-world protein-protein interaction networks are presented to illustrate the efficiency and robustness of the proposed algorithm. The set of approximate k-nearest neighbors performs well when used to predict proteins’ functional labels.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 18, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2023
  3. Task-specific, trajectory-based control methods commonly used in exoskeletons may be appropriate for individuals with paraplegia, but they overly constrain the volitional motion of individuals with remnant voluntary ability (representing a far larger population). Human-exoskeleton systems can be represented in the form of the Euler-Lagrange equations or, equivalently, the port-controlled Hamiltonian equations to design control laws that provide task-invariant assistance across a continuum of activities/environments by altering energetic properties of the human body. We previously introduced a port-controlled Hamiltonian framework that parameterizes the control law through basis functions related to gravitational and gyroscopic terms, which are optimized to fit normalized able-bodied joint torques across multiple walking gaits on different ground inclines. However, this approach did not have the flexibility to reproduce joint torques for a broader set of activities, including stair climbing and stand-to-sit, due to strict assumptions related to input-output passivity, which ensures the human remains in control of energy growth in the closed-loop dynamics. To provide biomimetic assistance across all primary activities of daily life, this paper generalizes this energy shaping framework by incorporating vertical ground reaction forces and global planar orientation into the basis set, while preserving passivity between the human joint torques and human joint velocities. Wemore »present an experimental implementation on a powered knee-ankle exoskeleton used by three able-bodied human subjects during walking on various inclines, ramp ascent/descent, and stand-to-sit, demonstrating the versatility of this control approach and its effect on muscular effort.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  4. This paper establishes bounds on the homogenized surface tension for a heterogeneous Allen-Cahn energy functional in a periodic medium. The approach is based on relating the homogenized energy to a purely geometric variational problem involving the large scale behaviour of the signed distance function to a hyperplane in periodic media. Motivated by this, a homogenization result for the signed distance function to a hyperplane in both periodic and almost periodic media is proven.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  5. A fundamental challenge in energy sustainability is efficient utilization of solar energy towards energy-neutral systems. The current solar cell technologies have been most widely employed to achieve this goal, but are limited to a single-layer 2D surface. To harvest solar light more efficiently, a multilayer system capable of harvesting solar light in a cuboid through transparent photothermal thin films of iron oxide and a porphyrin compound is developed. Analogous to a multilayer capacitor, an array of transparent, spectral selective, photothermal thin films allows white light to penetrate them, not only collecting photon energy in a 3D space, but generating sufficient heat on each layer with significantly increased total surface area. In this fashion, thermal energy is generated via a multilayer photothermal system that functions as an efficient solar collector, energy converter and generator with high energy density. A solar-activated thermal energy generator that can produce heat without any power supply and reach a maximum temperature of 76.1 °C is constructed. With a constant incoming white light (0.4 W cm−2), the thermal energy generated can be amplified 12-fold via multilayers. The multilayer system extends another dimension in solar harvesting and paves a new path to energy generation for the energy-neutral system.
  6. To address the critical issues in solar energy, the current research has focused on developing advanced solar harvesting materials that are low cost, lightweight, and environmentally friendly. Among many organic photovoltaics (PVs), the porphyrin compounds exhibit unique structural features that are responsible for strong ultraviolet (UV) and near infrared absorptions and high average visible transmittance, making them ideal candidates for solar-based energy applications. The porphyrin compounds have also been found to exhibit strong photothermal (PT) effects and recently applied for optical thermal insulation of building skins. These structural and optical properties of the porphyrin compounds enable them to function as a PT or a PV device upon sufficient solar harvesting. It is possible to develop a transparent porphyrin thin film with PT- and PV-dual-modality for converting sunlight to either electricity or thermal energy, which can be altered depending on energy consumption needs. A building skin can be engineered into an active device with the PT- and PV-dual modality for large-scale energy harvesting, saving, and generation. This review provides the current experimental results on the PT and PV properties of the porphyrin compounds such as chlorophyll and chlorophyllin. Their PT and PV mechanisms are discussed in correlations to their electronic structures.more »Also discussed are the synthesis routes, thin film deposition, and potential energy applications of the porphyrin compounds.« less
  7. Acoustic compressional and shear wave velocities (VP, VS) of anhydrous (AHRG) and hydrous rhyolitic glasses (HRG) containing 3.28 wt% (HRG-3) and 5.90 wt% (HRG-6) total water concentra- tion (H2Ot) have been measured using Brillouin light scattering (BLS) spectroscopy up to 3 GPa in a diamond-anvil cell at ambient temperature. In addition, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to measure the speciation of H2O in the glasses up to 3 GPa. At ambient pressure, HRG-3 contains 1.58 (6) wt% hydroxyl groups (OH–) and 1.70 (7) wt% molecular water (H2Om) while HRG-6 contains 1.67 (10) wt% OH– and 4.23 (17) wt% H2Om where the numbers in parentheses are ±1σ. With increasing pressure, very little H2Om, if any, converts to OH– within uncertainties in hydrous rhyolitic glasses such that HRG-6 contains much more H2Om than HRG-3 at all experimental pressures. We observe a nonlinear relationship between high-pressure sound velocities and H2Ot, which is attributed to the distinct effects of each water species on acoustic velocities and elastic moduli of hydrous glasses. Near ambient pressure, depolymerization due to OH– reduces VS and G more than VP and KS. VP and KS in both anhydrous and hydrous glasses decrease with increasing pressure up to ~1–2more »GPa before increasing with pressure. Above ~1–2 GPa, VP and KS in both hydrous glasses converge with those in AHRG. In particular, VP in HRG-6 crosses over and becomes higher than VP in AHRG. HRG-6 displays lower VS and G than HRG-3 near ambient pressure, but VS and G in these glasses converge above ~2 GPa. Our results show that hydrous rhyolitic glasses with ~2–4 wt% H2Om can be as incompressible as their anhydrous counterpart above ~1.5 GPa. The nonlinear effects of hydration on high-pressure acoustic velocities and elastic moduli of rhyolitic glasses observed here may provide some insight into the behavior of hydrous silicate melts in felsic magma chambers at depth.« less