SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Forecasting

347

There is a general consensus among Earth scientists that melting of land ice greatly contributes to sea-level rise (SLR) and that future warming will exacerbate the risks posed to human civilization. As land ice is lost to the oceans, both the Earth’s gravitational and rotational potentials are perturbed, resulting in strong spatial patterns in SLR, termed sea-level fingerprints. We lack robust forecasting models for future ice changes, which diminishes our ability to use these fingerprints to accurately predict local sea-level (LSL) changes. We exploit an advanced mathematical property of adjoint systems and determine the exact gradient of sea-level fingerprints with respect to local variations in the ice thickness of all of the world’s ice drainage systems. By exhaustively mapping these fingerprint gradients, we form a new diagnosis tool, henceforth referred to as gradient fingerprint mapping (GFM), that readily allows for improved assessments of future coastal inundation or emergence. We demonstrate that for Antarctica and Greenland, changes in the predictions of inundation at major port cities depend on the location of the drainage system. For example, in London, GFM shows LSL that is significantly affected by changes on the western part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), whereas in New York, LSL change predictions are greatly sensitive to changes in the northeastern portions of the GrIS. We apply GFM to 293 major port cities to allow coastal planners to readily calculate LSL change as more reliable predictions of cryospheric mass changes become available.

Concepts: Water, Gradient, Ice sheet, Greenland ice sheet, Oceanography, Prediction, Atlantic Ocean, Forecasting

310

How does network structure affect diffusion? Recent studies suggest that the answer depends on the type of contagion. Complex contagions, unlike infectious diseases (simple contagions), are affected by social reinforcement and homophily. Hence, the spread within highly clustered communities is enhanced, while diffusion across communities is hampered. A common hypothesis is that memes and behaviors are complex contagions. We show that, while most memes indeed spread like complex contagions, a few viral memes spread across many communities, like diseases. We demonstrate that the future popularity of a meme can be predicted by quantifying its early spreading pattern in terms of community concentration. The more communities a meme permeates, the more viral it is. We present a practical method to translate data about community structure into predictive knowledge about what information will spread widely. This connection contributes to our understanding in computational social science, social media analytics, and marketing applications.

Concepts: Scientific method, Prediction, Futurology, Future, Sociology, Forecasting, Memetics, Meme

263

Secondary use of electronic health records (EHRs) promises to advance clinical research and better inform clinical decision making. Challenges in summarizing and representing patient data prevent widespread practice of predictive modeling using EHRs. Here we present a novel unsupervised deep feature learning method to derive a general-purpose patient representation from EHR data that facilitates clinical predictive modeling. In particular, a three-layer stack of denoising autoencoders was used to capture hierarchical regularities and dependencies in the aggregated EHRs of about 700,000 patients from the Mount Sinai data warehouse. The result is a representation we name “deep patient”. We evaluated this representation as broadly predictive of health states by assessing the probability of patients to develop various diseases. We performed evaluation using 76,214 test patients comprising 78 diseases from diverse clinical domains and temporal windows. Our results significantly outperformed those achieved using representations based on raw EHR data and alternative feature learning strategies. Prediction performance for severe diabetes, schizophrenia, and various cancers were among the top performing. These findings indicate that deep learning applied to EHRs can derive patient representations that offer improved clinical predictions, and could provide a machine learning framework for augmenting clinical decision systems.

Concepts: Scientific method, Medicine, Prediction, Futurology, Future, Prophecy, Electronic health record, Forecasting

192

Correctly assessing a scientist’s past research impact and potential for future impact is key in recruitment decisions and other evaluation processes. While a candidate’s future impact is the main concern for these decisions, most measures only quantify the impact of previous work. Recently, it has been argued that linear regression models are capable of predicting a scientist’s future impact. By applying that future impact model to 762 careers drawn from three disciplines: physics, biology, and mathematics, we identify a number of subtle, but critical, flaws in current models. Specifically, cumulative non-decreasing measures like the h-index contain intrinsic autocorrelation, resulting in significant overestimation of their “predictive power”. Moreover, the predictive power of these models depend heavily upon scientists' career age, producing least accurate estimates for young researchers. Our results place in doubt the suitability of such models, and indicate further investigation is required before they can be used in recruiting decisions.

Concepts: Scientific method, Regression analysis, Linear regression, Prediction, Futurology, Future, Science, Forecasting

176

Thousands of lives are lost every year in developing countries for failing to detect epidemics early because of the lack of real-time disease surveillance data. We present results from a large-scale deployment of a telephone triage service as a basis for dengue forecasting in Pakistan. Our system uses statistical analysis of dengue-related phone calls to accurately forecast suspected dengue cases 2 to 3 weeks ahead of time at a subcity level (correlation of up to 0.93). Our system has been operational at scale in Pakistan for the past 3 years and has received more than 300,000 phone calls. The predictions from our system are widely disseminated to public health officials and form a critical part of active government strategies for dengue containment. Our work is the first to demonstrate, with significant empirical evidence, that an accurate, location-specific disease forecasting system can be built using analysis of call volume data from a public health hotline.

Concepts: Scientific method, Regression analysis, Health, Epidemiology, Future, Forecasting, Telephone, Telephone exchange

172

(1) To develop an automated algorithm to predict a patient’s response (ie, if the patient agrees or declines) before he/she is approached for a clinical trial invitation; (2) to assess the algorithm performance and the predictors on real-world patient recruitment data for a diverse set of clinical trials in a pediatric emergency department; and (3) to identify directions for future studies in predicting patients' participation response.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Patient, Hospital, Prediction, Futurology, Future, ClinicalTrials.gov, Forecasting

167

Many spatial interpolation methods perform well for gentle terrains when producing spatially continuous surfaces based on ground point data. However, few interpolation methods perform satisfactorily for complex terrains. Our objective in the present study was to analyze the suitability of several popular interpolation methods for complex terrains and propose an optimal method. A data set of 153 soil water profiles (1 m) from the semiarid hilly gully Loess Plateau of China was used, generated under a wide range of land use types, vegetation types and topographic positions. Four spatial interpolation methods, including ordinary kriging, inverse distance weighting, linear regression and regression kriging were used for modeling, randomly partitioning the data set into 2/3 for model fit and 1/3 for independent testing. The performance of each method was assessed quantitatively in terms of mean-absolute-percentage-error, root-mean-square-error, and goodness-of-prediction statistic. The results showed that the prediction accuracy differed significantly between each method in complex terrain. The ordinary kriging and inverse distance weighted methods performed poorly due to the poor spatial autocorrelation of soil moisture at small catchment scale with complex terrain, where the environmental impact factors were discontinuous in space. The linear regression model was much more suitable to the complex terrain than the former two distance-based methods, but the predicted soil moisture changed too sharply near the boundary of the land use types and junction of the sunny (southern) and shady (northern) slopes, which was inconsistent with reality because soil moisture should change gradually in short distance due to its mobility in soil. The most optimal interpolation method in this study for the complex terrain was the hybrid regression kriging, which produced a detailed, reasonable prediction map with better accuracy and prediction effectiveness.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Linear regression, Statistics, Forecasting, Interpolation, Landform, Kriging, Multivariate interpolation

166

BACKGROUND: The severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should not be based on the level of airflow limitation alone. A multicomponent index such as the DOSE index (dyspnoea score (D), level of airflow obstruction (O), current smoking status (S), and exacerbations (E)) has the potential to predict important future outcomes in patients with COPD more effectively than the forced expiratory volume in one second. Health status deterioration should be prevented in COPD patients. AIMS: To investigate whether the DOSE index can predict which patients are at risk of a clinically relevant change in health status. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was performed using data from primary and secondary care. The DOSE score was determined at baseline and the 2-year change in the Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ) score was calculated. Linear regression analysis was performed for the effect of a high DOSE score (≥4) on the change in CCQ score. RESULTS: The study population consisted of 209 patients (112 patients from primary care). Overall, a high DOSE score was a significant predictor of a change in CCQ score after 2 years (0.41, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.70), particularly in primary care patients. CONCLUSIONS: A DOSE score of ≥4 has the ability to identify COPD patients with a greater risk of future worsening in health status.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Linear regression, Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Asthma, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Primary care, Forecasting

120

Climate is changing across the world, including the major maize-growing state of Iowa in the USA. To maintain crop yields, farmers will need a suite of adaptation strategies, and choice of strategy will depend on how the local to regional climate is expected to change. Here we predict how maize yield might change through the 21st century as compared with late 20th century yields across Iowa, USA, a region representing ideal climate and soils for maize production that contributes substantially to the global maize economy. To account for climate model uncertainty, we drive a dynamic ecosystem model with output from six climate models and two future climate forcing scenarios. Despite a wide range in the predicted amount of warming and change to summer precipitation, all simulations predict a decrease in maize yields from late 20th century to middle and late 21st century ranging from 15% to 50%. Linear regression of all models predicts a 6% state-averaged yield decrease for every 1°C increase in warm season average air temperature. When the influence of moisture stress on crop growth is removed from the model, yield decreases either remain the same or are reduced, depending on predicted changes in warm season precipitation. Our results suggest that even if maize were to receive all the water it needed, under the strongest climate forcing scenario yields will decline by 10-20% by the end of the 21st century.

Concepts: Regression analysis, United States, Climate, Ecosystem, Climate change, Forecasting, 21st century, Global warming

117

Despite the prediction that temperatures are expected to increase in the future, little is known about the health effects of increasing temperatures on pregnant women. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of apparent temperature on spontaneous preterm delivery (PTD).

Concepts: Childbirth, Prediction, Futurology, Future, Thermodynamics, Forecasting