1993-shiller.pdf: “Measuring Asset Values for Cash Settlement in Derivative Markets: Hedonic Repeated Measures Indices and Perpetual Futures”, (1993-07-01; ):
Two proposals are made that may facilitate the creation of derivative market instruments, such as futures contracts, cash settled based on economic indices.
The first proposal concerns index number construction: indices based on infrequent measurements of nonstandardized items may control for quality change by using a hedonic repeated measures method, an index number construction method that follows individual assets or subjects through time and also takes account of measured quality variables.
The second proposal is to establish markets for perpetual claims on cash flows matching indices of dividends or rents. Such markets may help us to measure the prices of the assets generating these dividends or rents even when the underlying asset prices are difficult or impossible to observe directly. A perpetual futures contract is proposed that would cash settle every day in terms of both the change in the futures price and the dividend or rent index for that day.
1988-gehr.pdf: “Undated Futures Markets”, (1988-02-01; ):
This article discusses the mechanics, economics, advantages and disadvantages of undated futures markets with specific reference to the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society of Hong Kong (CGSES). It also suggests a potential application of undated futures markets to the trading of stock index futures.
An undated futures market is an alternative to conventional futures markets. In conventional futures markets contracts mature at selected times during the year. Several contracts with different maturity dates trade simultaneously. In an undated futures market only a single contract trades, but that contract can serve the hedging purposes of the multiple contracts traded in a dated market. The CGSES is of interest both as a curiosum and as an example of a potentially valuable form of futures market.
The following section of this paper describes the operation of an undated futures market and the specific mechanics of trading on the CGSES. Sections II and III discuss the economics of price determination and hedging in undated futures markets. Section IV describes the advantages of undated futures markets to futures traders and points out potential problems in certain applications. Section V shows how such markets might be adapted to the US, especially for trading futures on a stock index or on other indices, and Section VI is a conclusion. [See also "Perpetual futures".]
2002-hall.pdf: “Object play in adult domestic cats: the roles of habituation and disinhibition”, (2002-11; ):
We have investigated the role of habituation and disinhibition in the control of object (predatory) play by adult domestic cats Felis silvestris catus both with and without prior experience of hunting. We hypothesised that object play is terminated by rapid habituation to the sensory characteristics of the object played with, and therefore should be disinhibited if the sensory characteristics of the object are changed. Three sequential sessions of play with an unchanging object (a toy) caused almost complete habituation of the play response; replacing the toy with one of contrasting colours in a fourth session elicited intense disinhibited play, suggesting that motivation for play itself had not diminished substantially during the first three sessions. The time interval between sessions affected the extent of disinhibition. After a long delay (25–45 min) between each session play was less intense in the fourth session than in the first; if the interval was 5 min, it was more intense, indicative of post-inhibitory rebound, possibly caused by initial positive feedback of play on its own performance. We suggest that object play by adult cats is controlled by two mechanisms derived from predatory behaviour: one responds to prey-like stimulus characteristics, such as texture and small size, which elicit play, while the second detects change in the toy. The behavioural default towards any object is initial interest if it possesses relevant stimulus characteristics, followed by rapid habituation unless these stimulus characteristics change.
Aaron Smith-Teller works in a kabbalistic sweatshop in Silicon Valley, where he and hundreds of other minimum-wage workers try to brute-force the Holy Names of God. All around him, vast forces have been moving their pieces into place for the final confrontation. An overworked archangel tries to debug the laws of physics. Henry Kissinger transforms the ancient conflict between Heaven and Hell into a US-Soviet proxy war. A Mexican hedge wizard with no actual magic wreaks havoc using the dark art of placebomancy. The Messiah reads a book by Peter Singer and starts wondering exactly what it would mean to do as much good as possible…
Aaron doesn’t care about any of this. He and his not-quite-girlfriend Ana are engaged in something far more important—griping about magical intellectual property law. But when a chance discovery brings them into conflict with mysterious international magic-intellectual-property watchdog UNSONG, they find themselves caught in a web of plots, crusades, and prophecies leading inexorably to the end of the world.
“Physics of Wound Healing I: Energy Considerations”, (2012-12-16):
Wound healing is a complex process with many components and interrelated processes on a microscopic level. This paper addresses a macroscopic view on wound healing based on an energy conservation argument coupled with a general scaling of the metabolic rate with body mass M as Mγ where 0<γ<1.
Our three main findings are:
- the wound healing rate peaks at a value determined by γ alone, suggesting a concept of wound acceleration to monitor the status of a wound.
- We find that the time-scale for wound healing is a factor 1/(1—γ) longer than the average internal timescale for producing new material filling the wound cavity in correspondence with that it usually takes weeks rather than days to heal a wound.
- The model gives a prediction for the maximum wound mass which can be generated in terms of measurable quantities related to wound status.
We compare our model predictions to experimental results for a range of different wound conditions (healthy, lean, diabetic and obese rats) in order to delineate the most important factors for a positive wound development trajectory. On this general level our model has the potential of yielding insights both into the question of local metabolic rates as well as possible diagnostic and therapeutic aspects.
Each day billions of photographs are uploaded to photo-sharing services and social media platforms. These images are packed with information about how people live around the world. In this paper we exploit this rich trove of data to understand fashion and style trends worldwide. We present a framework for visual discovery at scale, analyzing clothing and fashion across millions of images of people around the world and spanning several years. We introduce a large-scale dataset of photos of people annotated with clothing attributes, and use this dataset to train attribute classifiers via deep learning. We also present a method for discovering visually consistent style clusters that capture useful visual correlations in this massive dataset. Using these tools, we analyze millions of photos to derive visual insight, producing a first-of-its-kind analysis of global and per-city fashion choices and spatio-temporal trends.
“A deep architecture for unified aesthetic prediction”, (2017-08-16):
Image aesthetics has become an important criterion for visual content curation on social media sites and media content repositories. Previous work on aesthetic prediction models in the computer vision community has focused on aesthetic score prediction or binary image labeling. However, raw aesthetic annotations are in the form of score histograms and provide richer and more precise information than binary labels or mean scores. Consequently, in this work we focus on the rarely-studied problem of predicting aesthetic score distributions and propose a novel architecture and training procedure for our model. Our model achieves state-of-the-art results on the standard AVA large-scale benchmark dataset for three tasks: (i) aesthetic quality classification; (ii) aesthetic score regression; and (iii) aesthetic score distribution prediction, all while using one model trained only for the distribution prediction task. We also introduce a method to modify an image such that its predicted aesthetics changes, and use this modification to gain insight into our model.
Oriental ink painting, called Sumi-e, is one of the most appealing painting styles that has attracted artists around the world. Major challenges in computer-based Sumi-e simulation are to abstract complex scene information and draw smooth and natural brush strokes. To automatically find such strokes, we propose to model the brush as a reinforcement learning agent, and learn desired brush-trajectories by maximizing the sum of rewards in the policy search framework. We also provide elaborate design of actions, states, and rewards tailored for a Sumi-e agent. The effectiveness of our proposed approach is demonstrated through simulated Sumi-e experiments.