Recent advances in retinal imaging modality have enabled the identification of retinal vascular features which have been shown to predict cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Studies have shown that a number of retinal vascular features are associated with the signs of pre-clinical or clinical CVD. In this paper, we discuss these retinal vascular features and their association with CVD. We review the recent patents on feature extraction algorithms from retinal imaging. We explore existing algorithms on retinal vascular feature extraction; how these features are detected and analyzed from retinal images. We discuss the existing CVD prediction models and the potential for retinal vascular features which can improve the prediction models. We also illustrate the limitations of current retinal vascular feature analysis approaches in CVD prediction. Finally, we outline a future direction on retinal vascular feature analysis approach which can provide us more precise CVD prediction model.
In the last years more and more research efforts have been strengthened on the Multiview Video Coding (MVC). From the point of coding complexity balance, MVC can be divided into two categories: the first is used for the applications with complex encoder and simple decoder, and the second is used for the scenarios demanding simple encoder but allowing complex decoder. In general, the former is referred as “MVC” directly and most existing algorithms and patents are related to it, in contrast the latter is called as “DMVC” (distributed MVC). This paper focuses on the first type of MVC schemes, which can also be divided into two types: H.264/AVC-based and wavelet-based schemes. After briefly describing the prediction structures, various coding techniques are introduced by dividing them coarsely into five fields: prediction mode selection, illumination compensation/color correction, view interpolation/synthesis prediction, reference frame management and asymmetric decoding. In addition, distributed MVC are briefly introduced. Finally, some future directions are concluded.
With the explosion of data and information, researchers and practitioners have started to rethink how users can best interact with the massive text data found on the World Wide Web and in relational data warehouses. Traditional structured query languages, such as SQL and XQuery, are simply too inflexible and cumbersome for the mass public. In recent days, we have seen a resurgence of information retrieval and natural language processing techniques in information management for structured data. In this article, we emphasize on patents that utilize natural language queries and keyword queries as means of information retrieval. Without the declarative grammar structure, natural language and keyword queries pose unique challenges to query interpretation and document retrieval. Query interpretation and evaluation of such queries have received much attention in the past decade. We have selected four inventions that claim methods of improving the task of natural language and keyword query processing. We review the technical details and features of the patents, and compare them in a unified context.
This paper investigates the causes of variations in software piracy rates using panel data of 16 European countries for the years 1994, 1997 and 2000. Prior empirical research argued that much of piracy occurs due to a lack of economic development, education, weak enforcement, institutional quality and social culture. This paper, in addition to validating prior research, proves that ‘Information and Communication Technology (ICT) patent applications’ also play a significant role in explaining the variations in business software piracy. This new finding addresses the need for new explanations of piracy and provides insights for policy makers and business practitioners as well as for the research community.
In this paper, a boundary element method is developed for the nonlinear flexural-torsional dynamic analysis of beams of arbitrary, simply or multiply connected, constant cross section, undergoing moderate large deflections and twisting rotations under general boundary conditions, taking into account the effects of rotary and torsional warping inertia. The beam is subjected to the combined action of arbitrarily distributed or concentrated transverse loading in both directions as well as to twisting and/or axial loading. Four boundary value problems are formulated with respect to the transverse displacements, to the axial displacement and to the angle of twist and solved using the Analog Equation Method, a BEM based method. Application of the boundary element technique leads to a system of nonlinear coupled Differential-Algebraic Equations (DAE) of motion, which is solved iteratively using the Petzold-Gear Backward Differentiation Formula (BDF), a linear multistep method for differential equations coupled to algebraic equations (DAE). The geometric, inertia, torsion and warping constants are evaluated employing the Boundary Element Method. The proposed model takes into account, both the Wagners coefficients and the shortening effect. Numerical examples are worked out to illustrate the efficiency, wherever possible the accuracy, the range of applications of the developed method as well as the influence of the nonlinear effects to the response of the beam. We also discussed here some recent patents relevant to nonlinear analysis techniques.
In the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), synchronised clocks and circuit switching constitute basic building blocks and these coupled with dumb voice terminals ensure that network delays are deterministic, network devices are tightly synchronised and media synchronisation is largely unsupported. The same cannot be said of evolving IP-based networks that are slowly replacing legacy systems and end-user devices that host a multitude of voice/video/conferencing/gaming/messaging applications. In this new Next Generation Networks and Applications (NGNA) world, network delays are generally non-deterministic and end-user terminals are much more complex. This presents a whole range of challenges that can impact significantly on the final Quality of Service (QoS) as perceived by user (also termed Quality of Experience QoE). Previous work by the authors has shown that by incorporating synchronised time into Voice over IP (VoIP) terminals, significant gains in voice quality can be achieved. Related research by the authors has examined the extent to which a lack of synchronisation (or skew) between end-user terminal clocks can affect VoIP quality and has proposed and tested a high-level solution for skew detection/compensation. In this paper, we summarise the problem that skew presents and how it manifests itself in a number of evolving application scenarios. These include PSTN/VoIP gateways, the use of media mixers for combining media streams, conferencing services, MMOGs and IPTV. We then review the main body of research in this area and identify the key patents that have emerged in this field.
Authentication of digital documents has always been an important issue to be resolved so that the electronic document systems can be securely implemented. Typically, two major classes of methods are proposed in the literature, i.e., digital signature or message authentication code-based approach and watermarking or data hiding-based approach. In this paper, we review the existing techniques on the authentication of digital documents; we also reviewed some recent patents relevant to authentication. Specifically, we focus on the data hiding and watermarking techniques for the authentication of electronic text and binary images, reviews of some techniques for the authentication of halftone, grayscale and color images are also included for comparison. The pros and cons of different techniques are compared. Finally, current developments are summarized and future directions are suggested.