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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 18, 2024
  2. The importance of machine learning (ML) in scientific discovery is growing. In order to prepare the next generation for a future dominated by data and artificial intelligence, we need to study how ML can improve K-12 students’ scientific discovery in STEM learning and how to assist K-12 teachers in designing ML-based scientific discovery (SD) learning activities. This study proposes research ideas and provides initial findings on the relationship between different ML components and young learners’ scientific investigation behaviors. Results show that cluster analysis is promising for supporting pattern interpretation and scientific communication behaviors. The levels of cognitive complexity are associated with different ML-powered SD and corresponding learning support is needed. The next steps include a further co-design study between K-12 STEM teachers and ML experts and a plan for collecting and analyzing data to further understand the connection between ML and SD. 
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  3. Machine Learning (ML) technologies have been increasingly adopted in Medical Cyber-Physical Systems (MCPS) to enable smart healthcare. Assuring the safety and effectiveness of learning-enabled MCPS is challenging, as such systems must account for diverse patient profiles and physiological dynamics and handle operational uncertainties. In this paper, we develop a safety assurance case for ML controllers in learning-enabled MCPS, with an emphasis on establishing confidence in the ML-based predictions. We present the safety assurance case in detail for Artificial Pancreas Systems (APS) as a representative application of learning-enabled MCPS, and provide a detailed analysis by implementing a deep neural network for the prediction in APS. We check the sufficiency of the ML data and analyze the correctness of the ML-based prediction using formal verification. Finally, we outline open research problems based on our experience in this paper. 
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  4. Abstract X-ray bursts are among the brightest stellar objects frequently observed in the sky by space-based telescopes. A type-I X-ray burst is understood as a violent thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a neutron star, accreting matter from a companion star in a binary system. The bursts are powered by a nuclear reaction sequence known as the rapid proton capture process (rp process), which involves hundreds of exotic neutron-deficient nuclides. At so-called waiting-point nuclides, the process stalls until a slower β + decay enables a bypass. One of the handful of rp process waiting-point nuclides is 64 Ge, which plays a decisive role in matter flow and therefore the produced X-ray flux. Here we report precision measurements of the masses of 63 Ge, 64,65 As and 66,67 Se—the relevant nuclear masses around the waiting-point 64 Ge—and use them as inputs for X-ray burst model calculations. We obtain the X-ray burst light curve to constrain the neutron-star compactness, and suggest that the distance to the X-ray burster GS 1826–24 needs to be increased by about 6.5% to match astronomical observations. The nucleosynthesis results affect the thermal structure of accreting neutron stars, which will subsequently modify the calculations of associated observables. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  5. Li, J. ; Spanos, P. D. ; Chen, J. B. ; Peng, Y. B. (Ed.)
    Infrastructure networks offer critical services to modern society. They dynamically interact with the environment, operators, and users. Infrastructure networks are unique engineered systems, large in scale and high in complexity. One fundamental issue for their reliability assessment is the uncertainty propagation from stochastic disturbances across interconnected components. Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) remains approachable to quantify stochastic dynamics from components to systems. Its application depends on time efficiency along with the capability of delivering reliable approximations. In this paper, we introduce Quasi Monte Carlo (QMC) sampling techniques to improve modeling efficiency. Also, we suggest a principled Monte Carlo (PMC) method that equips the crude MCS with Probably Approximately Correct (PAC) approaches to deliver guaranteed approximations. We compare our proposed schemes with a competitive approach for stochastic dynamic analysis, namely the Probability Density Evolution Method (PDEM). Our computational experiments are on ideal but complex enough source-terminal (S-T) dynamic network reliability problems. We endow network links with oscillators so that they can jump across safe and failed states allowing us to treat the problem from a stochastic process perspective. We find that QMC alone can yield practical accuracy, and PMC with a PAC algorithm can deliver accuracy guarantees. Also, QMC is more versatile and efficient than the PDEM for network reliability assessment. The QMC and PMC methods provide advanced uncertainty propagation techniques to support decision makers with their reliability problems. 
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  6. The subphylum Saccharomycotina is a lineage in the fungal phylum Ascomycota that exhibits levels of genomic diversity similar to those of plants and animals. The Saccharomycotina consist of more than 1 200 known species currently divided into 16 families, one order, and one class. Species in this subphylum are ecologically and metabolically diverse and include important opportunistic human pathogens, as well as species important in biotechnological applications. Many traits of biotechnological interest are found in closely related species and often restricted to single phylogenetic clades. However, the biotechnological potential of most yeast species remains unexplored. Although the subphylum Saccharomycotina has much higher rates of genome sequence evolution than its sister subphylum, Pezizomycotina , it contains only one class compared to the 16 classes in Pezizomycotina . The third subphylum of Ascomycota , the Taphrinomycotina , consists of six classes and has approximately 10 times fewer species than the Saccharomycotina . These data indicate that the current classification of all these yeasts into a single class and a single order is an underappreciation of their diversity. Our previous genome-scale phylogenetic analyses showed that the Saccharomycotina contains 12 major and robustly supported phylogenetic clades; seven of these are current families ( Lipomycetaceae , Trigonopsidaceae , Alloascoideaceae , Pichiaceae , Phaffomycetaceae , Saccharomycodaceae , and Saccharomycetaceae ), one comprises two current families ( Dipodascaceae and Trichomonascaceae ), one represents the genus Sporopachydermia , and three represent lineages that differ in their translation of the CUG codon (CUG-Ala, CUG-Ser1, and CUG-Ser2). Using these analyses in combination with relative evolutionary divergence and genome content analyses, we propose an updated classification for the Saccharomycotina , including seven classes and 12 orders that can be diagnosed by genome content. This updated classification is consistent with the high levels of genomic diversity within this subphylum and is necessary to make the higher rank classification of the Saccharomycotina more comparable to that of other fungi, as well as to communicate efficiently on lineages that are not yet formally named. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 25, 2024
  7. The development of fully autonomous artificial pancreas systems (APS) that independently regulate the glucose levels of patients with Type 1 diabetes has been a long-standing goal of diabetes research. A significant barrier to progress is the difficulty of testing new control algorithms and safety features, since clinical trials are time- and resource-intensive. To facilitate ease of validation, we propose an open-source APS testbed that can integrate state-of-the-art APS controllers and glucose simulators with a novel fault injection engine. The testbed is used to reproduce the blood glucose trajectories of real patients from a clinical trial conducted over six months. We evaluate the performance of two closed-loop control algorithms (OpenAPS and Basal Bolus) using the testbed and find that these control algorithms are able to keep blood glucose in a safe region 93.49% and 79.46% of the time on average, compared with 66.18% of the time for the clinical trial. The fault injection engine simulates the real recalls and adverse events reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and demonstrates the resilience of the controller in hazardous conditions. We use the testbed to generate 2.5 years of synthetic data representing 20 different patient profiles with realistic adverse event scenarios, which would have been expensive and risky to collect in a clinical trial. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
    Next-generation scientific applications in various fields are experiencing a rapid transition from traditional experiment-based methodologies to large-scale computation-intensive simulations featuring complex numerical modeling with a large number of tunable parameters. Such model-based simulations generate colossal amounts of data, which are then processed and analyzed against experimental or observation data for parameter calibration and model validation. The sheer volume and complexity of such data, the large model-parameter space, and the intensive computation make it practically infeasible for domain experts to manually configure and tune hyperparameters for accurate modeling in complex and distributed computing environments. This calls for an online computational steering service to enable real-time multi-user interaction and automatic parameter tuning. Towards this goal, we design and develop a generic steering framework based on Bayesian Optimization (BO) and conduct theoretical performance analysis of the steering service. We present a case study with the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model, which illustrates the performance superiority of the BO-based tuning over other heuristic methods and manual settings of domain experts using regret analysis. 
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