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  • Rural Digital Europe
  • 2013-2022
  • Doctoral thesis
  • English

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    Authors: Krishnan, Parvathy;

    Pathogenic fungi impose a great threat to the global food production. They are globally distributed and display a huge amount of phenotypic diversity. They demonstrate high adaptability to diverse environments and to fluctuating conditions within their hosts. However, not much is known about the mechanisms underlying these processes of adaptation. Deciphering the genetic basis of phenotypic diversity may help us to get a deeper insight into the mechanisms that regulate complex adaptive traits. Furthermore, these findings may help in improving strategies for an effective and sustainable management of pathogens. In my PhD study, I aimed to understand the genetic basis of adaptation to variable environments using Zymoseptoria tritici. Z. tritici causes septoria leaf blotch of wheat and is considered to be the most devastating fungal wheat pathogen in Europe. In the first chapter of my thesis, I studied the role of melanin in adaptation of Z. tritici. I, demonstrated that melanin is essential for protection against harmful chemical fungicides such as bixafen. Remarkably, I observed high phenotypic variability in melanin accumulation levels in different Zymoseptoria tritici strains, most probably reflecting its role in adaptation to variable environments. Using genetic mapping, I was able to demonstrate that variability in melanization levels between two Swiss strains of Z. tritici was mediated by differential expression of the transcription factor Zmr1 (Zymoseptoria melanin regulation 1). I identified nucleotide mutations in the promoter region and an insertion of transposable elements (TEs) upstream of the promoter region as two mechanisms responsible for this observed differential expression of Zmr1. My findings clearly demonstrated the significance of gene expression regulation, mediated by the insertion of TEs and SNPs, in optimizing the growth and adaptation of the fungus under variable environments. Furthermore, these adaptive changes are responsible for the phenotypic diversity that we observe in Z. tritici strains from all over the world. In the second part of my thesis, I analyzed the expression of several secreted peptidases of Z. tritici at distinct stages during the infection process of wheat plants. Using computational genetic methods, I also analyzed nucleotide data sets of the peptidase genes for evolutionary signatures of genetic adaptation. By combining both approaches, I aimed at obtaining a more detailed picture of the relevance and the role of each enzyme during the infection process. I was able to show that the peptidases belonging to MEROPS families A1 and G1 were significantly up regulated during the asymptomatic phase of infection and displayed signatures of accelerated evolution, suggesting their key role in suppression of plant defenses and host specialization. In the third part of my thesis, I evaluated the role of a cellulase-encoding gene (JGI Prot. ID: 76589) using molecular biology techniques. This cellulase was only expressed during the final necrotrophic phase of Z. tritici infection and the nucleotide sequences of the gene showed signatures of diversifying selection. This pattern is consistent with the hypothesis of evasion from host recognition during the first phases of infection and subsequent induction of host-cell death by the secretion of an array of different cellulase isoforms by the fungus. To test this hypothesis, I constitutively expressed the cellulase-encoding gene in Z. tritici during all infection stages by inserting a constitutive promoter (originally from the Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene of Aspergillus nidulans) upstream of the start codon of the cellulase gene. I was able to show that the progress of infection in this mutant was delayed compared to the non-modified Z. tritici isolates. This suggests that the cellulase acts as an elicitor molecule that is detected by the plant and triggers the defense machinery that will hinder the growth of the pathogen. In summary, my PhD work demonstrated the significance of fine-tuning of gene expression regulation of various genes in plant pathogenic fungi to facilitate adaptation to different environmental conditions and host colonization. Remarkably, I was able to show that gene expression fine-tuning resulted in large amounts of phenotypic diversity in adaptive traits.

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    ETH Zürich Research Collection
    Doctoral thesis . 2018
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      Doctoral thesis . 2018
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  • Authors: Kounades-Bastian, Dionyssos;

    In this thesis we address the problem of multichannel audio source separa- tion (MASS) for underdetermined convolutive mixtures through probabilistic modeling. We focus on three aspects of the problem and make three contri- butions. Firstly, inspired from the empirically well validated representation of an audio signal, that is know as local Gaussian signal model (LGM) with non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), we propose a Bayesian extension to this, that overcomes some of the limitations of the NMF. We incorporate this representation in a MASS framework and compare it with the state of the art in MASS, yielding promising results. Secondly, we study how to separate mix- tures of moving sources and/or of moving microphones. Movements make the acoustic path between sources and microphones become time-varying. Ad- dressing time-varying audio mixtures appears is not so popular in the MASS literature. Thus, we begin from a state of the art LGM-with-NMF method designed for separating time-invariant audio mixtures and propose an exten- sion that uses a Kalman smoother to track the acoustic path across time. The proposed method is benchmarked against a block-wise adaptation of that state of the art (ran on time segments), and delivers competitive results on both simulated and real-world mixtures. Lastly, we investigate the link between MASS and the task of audio diarisation. Audio diarisation is the detection of the time intervals where each speaker/source is active or silent. Most state of the art MASS methods consider the sources to emit continuously; A hypothe- sis that can result in spurious signal estimates for a source, in intervals where that source was silent. Our aim is that diarisation can aid MASS by indicat- ing the emitting sources at each time frame. To that extent we design a joint framework for simultaneous diarisation and MASS, that incorporates a hidden Markov model (HMM) to track the temporal activity of the sources, within a state of the art LGM-with-NMF MASS framework. We compare the proposed method with the state of the art in MASS and audio diarisation tasks. We ob- tain performances comparable, with the state of the art, in terms of separation while winning in terms of diarisation.; Dans cette thèse nous abordons le problème de la séparation de sources audio dans des mélanges convolutifs multicanaux et sous-déterminés, en utilisant une modélisation probabiliste. Nous nous concentrons sur trois aspects, et nous apportons trois contributions. D’abord, nous nous inspirons du modèle Gaussien local par factorisation en matrices non-négatives (LGM-with-NMF), qui est un modèle empiriquement validé pour représenter un signal audio. Nous proposons une extension Bayésienne de ce modèle, qui permet de sur- passer certaines limitations du modèle NMF. Nous incorporons cette représentation dans un cadre de separation audio multicanaux, et le comparons avec l’état de l’art sur des tâches de séparation. Nous obtenons des résultats prometteurs. Deuxièment, nous étudions comment séparer des mélanges audio de sources et/ou des capteurs en mouvement. Ces déplacements rendent le chemin acoustique entre les sources et les microphones variant en cours du temps. L’adressage des mélanges convolutifs variant au cours du temps est peu exploré dans la littérature. Ainsi, nous partons d’une méthode de l’état de l’art développée pour la séparation de mélanges invariant (sources et microphones statiques) et utilisant LGM-with-NMF. Nous proposons à ceci une extension qui utilise un filtre de Kalman pour suivre le chemin acoustique au cours du temps. La technique proposée est comparée à une adaptation block-par-block d’une technique de l’état de l’art appliquée sur des intervalles de temps, et a donné des résultats exceptionels sur les mélanges simulés et les mélanges du monde réel. Enfin, nous investiguons les similitudes entre la séparation et la journalisation audio. La journalisation est le problème de détection des intervalles auxquels chaque locuteur/source est émettant. La plupart des méthodes de séparation supposent toutes les sources émettent continuellement. Cette hypothèe peut donner lieu à de fausses estimations durant les intervalles au cours desquels cette source n’a pas émis. Notre objectif est que la journalisation puisse aider à résoudre la séparation, en indiquant les sources qui émettent à chaque intervalle de temps. Dans cette mesure, nous concevons une cadre commun pour traiter simultanément la journalisation et la séparation du mélange audio. Ce cadre incorpore un modèle de Markov caché pour suivre les activités des sources au sein d’une technique de séparation LGM-with-NMF. Nous comparons l’algorithme proposé à l’état de l’art sur des tâches de séparation et de journalisation. Nous obtenons des performances comparables avec l’état de l’art pour la séparation, et supériures pour la journalisation.

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    Authors: van Iersel, W.K.;

    Natural lowland rivers are dynamic environments with a high ecological value. However, 90% of the European and North-American river floodplains are in a degraded state. The functions of floodplains are strongly determined by land cover and they often compete for space in narrowed floodplains. Integrated river management (IRM) tries to take care of floodplains in such way that land cover is optimized for multiple functions. For IRM, monitoring is essential to capture the dynamics, to evaluate changes, and to document the state of floodplains over time. The main objective of this thesis was to establish remote-sensing methods for the monitoring of floodplain land cover over multiple spatial and temporal scales. Several remote-sensing based solutions have been developed for the monitoring of land-cover dynamics in river floodplains and tested in floodplains of the lower Rhine. The phenological change of floodplain vegetation over the course of one year was studied using temporal profiles of its height and greenness. Using multitemporal UAV images, vegetation height was determined with an accuracy similar to much more expensive airborne LiDAR data. Multitemporal elevation models yielded meaningful profiles of greenness and vegetation height over time, which enabled discriminating the different land-cover types. The same dataset combined with a powerful machine learning model (Random Forest) yielded unprecedented high classification accuracies for floodplain vegetation (> 90%), even for similar vegetation types such as grassland and herbaceous vegetation. This method is a practical and highly accurate solution for monitoring areas of a few square kilometres. For large-scale monitoring of floodplains, the same method is recommended, but with data from airborne platforms covering larger extents. Land-cover change over the course of five years was studied for a 100-km river section using satellite images. Using an object-based approach, a sequential deviation of a land-cover object from its class mean was used to detect land-cover change. For most classes the method was unsuccessful (accuracy 75%. The developed method has important advantages, such as high observation frequency, independence of repeated land-cover classification, and fast processing. At sub-daily frequency, it was assessed how accurate water temperature in a floodplain side channel can be documented from thermal UAV maps. The associated habitat suitability for native and alien fish assemblages was estimated based on the produced temperature maps. Water surface temperatures were mapped four times during a hot summer day with an overall RMSE of 0.53 oC. During the day, temperatures in the side channel increased rapidly to values detrimental for many fish species. The study showed that thermal imagery from UAVs is an efficient and accurate information source to monitor spatiotemporal patterns of thermal habitat suitability. The presently available range of spaceborne and airborne platforms and sensors offers great opportunities to collect information on land-cover change across a range of spatial and temporal scales. This may advance our management of floodplains and help us recovering and protecting these rich ecosystems and the benefits they provide us.

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    Authors: Nasrallah, Ali;

    Avec une production mondiale dépassant 750 millions de tonnes en 2017, le blé est considéré comme un aliment de base pour la population mondiale. Sa cartographie et sa surveillance pourraient alors se révéler être un outil très efficace pour atteindre les objectifs de développement durable (ODD2-Faim zéro). Au Liban, en vue d’assurer la sécurité alimentaire nationale, le blé reçoit un soutien financier et technique du gouvernement. Cependant, de nombreuses erreurs dans l'estimation de la superficie en blé à travers le pays sont dues principalement aux déclarations peu fiables des agriculteurs. De plus, le choix du système de culture basé sur le blé (en termes de type de rotation et de pratiques agricoles) peut avoir un impact considérable sur la productivité du système (protéines et rentabilité), l'efficacité d'utilisation des ressources (efficacité d'utilisation de l'eau et utilisation de l’azote), ainsi que sur le risque économique pour les agriculteurs. La présente étude menée dans la plaine de la Bekaa au Liban a pour objectif d'utiliser la télédétection et la modélisation de la croissance des cultures pour fournir aux décideurs politiques et aux utilisateurs finaux les informations dont ils ont besoin sur le blé d’hiver.La première partie évalue le potentiel des images optiques pour la cartographie du blé d'hiver précoce en permettant le transfert de connaissances d'une année à l'autre (2016 et 2017) Les résultats montrent que, lorsque l'approche développée est appliquée à la série chronologique Sentinel-2 de 2017, en utilisant les données de vérité au sol 2016, la précision globale atteint 87,0%, tandis que, lorsqu'elle est mise en œuvre avec les données de vérité au sol 2017, elle est de 82,6% en 2016. Les classifications pour distinguer le blé d'hiver de céréales similaires (orge et triticale) sont réalisées jusqu'à six semaines avant la récolte.La deuxième partie examine la capacité des images radar en bande C du nouveau satellite Sentinel-1 à surveiller la culture de blé d'hiver en identifiant les stades phénologiques économiquement importants qui ne peuvent pas être détectés en utilisant uniquement les indices issus de l’optique (Sentinel-2). Les résultats montrent que la polarisation VV (incidence de 32°-34°) et VH (incidence de 43°-45°) sont respectivement préférables pour estimer les stades de l'épiaison et de pâteux mou. De plus, le rapport VV/VH (incidence de 32°-34°) est préférable pour détecter la germination et la récolte.La troisième partie a pour objectif de vérifier si la rotation blé-féverole, nécessitant des intrants agricoles extensifs (eau et azote), a une performance nettement meilleure que la rotation intensive blé-blé en termes de productivité, d’utilisation rationnelle des ressources, et de minimisation du risque économique à l’échelle parcellaire. Le modèle de croissance des cultures «CropSyst» a été adopté après avoir été calibré et validé sur notre zone d'étude. Les résultats montrent qu’il n’existe pas un scénario de système de culture optimal permettant d’assurer une productivité élevée, de réduire le risque économique et d’obtenir une efficacité élevée de l’utilisation de l’eau et de l’azote. Cependant, le scenario de rotation blé-féverole sans fertilisation du blé semble être un meilleur substitut à la rotation blé-blé en termes de production de protéines. Pour un sol avec une faible capacité de rétention, la production de protéines est de 0,93 t/ha et de 0,8 t/ha respectivement pour les rotations blé-féverole et blé-blé. Pour un sol avec capacité de rétention élevée, la production de protéines est de 1,34 t/ha pour blé-féverole contre 1,17 t/ha pour blé-blé. De plus, ce système de culture blé-féverole pourrait générer un bénéfice net plus élevé que celui du blé-blé. Enfin, la rotation blé-pomme de terre peut générer des bénéfices nets très élevés (8640 US DOLL./ha et 12170 US DOLL./ha) mais avec une faible efficacité des intrants et un risque économique élevé With global production exceeding 750 million tons in 2017, wheat is considered a staple food for the world's population. Wheat mapping and monitoring could then be a very effective tool for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2-Zero Hunger). In Lebanon, wheat receives technical and financial support, yet many errors occur in estimating the wheat acreage due to absence of reliable agricultural census and lack of wheat mapping using satellite images. In addition, identifying the best rotation type and agricultural practices leads to identify the most efficient wheat-based cropping system in terms of productivity (protein production and net profit), efficiency (water and nitrogen use), as well as the economic risk on the farmer. Thus, The aim of the current study, which is conducted in the Bekaa plain of Lebanon, is to utilize remote sensing technology and crop modelling for supporting policy makers and end-users in making strategic decisions regarding one of the most food security-driving crop in the Mediterranean (i.e. winter wheat).The first part of the thesis evaluates the potential of optical data for early winter wheat mapping by allowing the transfer of knowledge from one year to another (2016 and 2017 in this study). For its high spatial and temporal resolutions, Sentinel-2 data are employed. Results show that when the developed approach was applied on Sentinel-2 time series of 2017 in using 2016 ground truth data, the overall accuracy reaches 87.0%, whereas, when implemented using 2017 ground truth data, the overall accuracy is 82.6% on 2016 data. The outputs are executed up to six weeks before harvest, as well as distinguishing winter wheat from similar cereals (barley and triticale).The second part of the thesis examines the ability of the SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) C-band data of the new radar satellite (Sentinel-1) regarding its ability to monitor winter wheat crop by identifying the economically important phenological phases that cannot be detected relying solely on NDVI derived from optical satellite Sentinel-2. Results show that VV polarization at incidence angle of 32°-34° is best for predicting heading, VH polarization at incidence angle of 43°-45° for predicting soft dough, and the ratio VV/VH at incidence angle of 32°-34° for predicting germination and harvesting.The third part of the thesis is dedicated to test, in contrasted biophysical and management conditions, the hypothesis that promoting wheat-fava bean rotation leads to a significantly better productivity and resources use efficiency, as well as, reducing economic risk than the promoted intensive wheat-wheat and wheat-potato rotations. The cropping simulation model “CropSyst” is used after being calibrated and validated by using experimental data for different wheat-based rotations combining different soil, climate and management options. The results show that there is no particular optimal scenario that can simultaneously ensure high productivity, reduce economic risk, and achieve high wheat- water- and nitrogen-use efficiency. However, the wheat-fava bean rotation cultivated with no wheat fertilization appears to be a better substitute to the wheat-wheat rotation in terms of protein production in both (low and high) Water Holding Capacity (WHC) soils (0.93 t/ha versus 0.8 t/ha in low WHC and 1.34 t/ha versus 1.17 t/ha in high WHC). This cropping system could achieve a higher net profit, showing high resource-use efficiency and good economic sustainability. Moreover, a very high profit could only be attained with the wheat-potato rotation (8640 US DOLL./ha and 12170 US DOLL./ha), yet with low input-efficiency and high economic risk.

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    Other literature type . 2019
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    Authors: Mackay, Heather;

    This research contributes to countering a large city research bias by focusing on the food, farming and health experiences of two secondary cities of Uganda: Mbale and Mbarara. It is not an apocalyptic story. Like anywhere in the world, for some residents things were going well; for others, less well. My research explores the varied geometries of advantage and disadvantage in diets, food security, and livelihood circumstances to shed light on why things were more secure for some than for others. I used multiple methods including a household survey, focus groups with local healthcare professionals, and in-depth interviews with varied city residents. A geographic perspective explored intersections of food, farming and health with aspects of identity (such as gender, class, tribe), and with place (the city itself, but also with rural areas, or other urban areas). The starting point was the theorised food system, nutritional and epidemiologic transitions predicted to occur with urban development, often called nutrition transition theory. My research suggests caution with dominant models of how urban life shifts food and farming systems towards a food system and diet pattern focused around large retailer supermarkets, processed foods, fast foods, more meat, less agriculture, less movement. Nutrition transition theory postulates these changes causing a shift in epidemiology from infectious to non-infectious diseases in urban areas. Instead of the suggestion from nutrition transition theory, my work presents evidence of non-communicable disease (obesity, diabetes, hypertension) experience in Mbale and Mbarara’s residents, but without evidence of advanced change in food and farming systems. Findings revealed relatively low dietary diversities and common food insecurity. Diets remained predominantly traditional, as did the main food sources (traditional markets and neighbourhood shops), across diverse residents. The more food secure had regular salaried employment and strong relational links with rural farms and family, supporting work on multi-spatial livelihoods. This contrasts with earlier ideas of who farms the African city, or retains farming livelihoods. Most vulnerable to food insecurity and low diet diversity were those who were most dependent on purchasing all their food. In conclusion, this research suggests that food system, nutritional and epidemiologic transitions in Mbale and Mbarara may be less linked than previously thought, or linked in more complex ways. Other drivers of epidemiologic change are likely. Findings highlight the importance of local data and specific city investigations.

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  • Authors: Rosendo, Juan Luis;

    This work seeks to mitigate the effects of constraints on mobile robotic systems. To this end, auxiliary control loops and robust tuning techniques are proposed. The former are proposed to mitigate the effects of constraints on the input and output of the systems through the modification of the motion parameter in path following applications.Then, PID controllers are considered as a structural constraint, given its wide use in robotics particularly at low control level. A robust tuning methodology considering this constraint is proposed which achieves good performancelevels even when facing disturbances. Finally, to deal with robustness in presence of robots nonlinearity constraints, an analysis and tuning tool for sliding mode controllers is proposed. The particularity of this tuning method, based on global optimization and interval techniques,is that it allows generating tuning maps of the parameter regions where the desired performance criterion is fulfilled. All the proposed strategies are put into practice, through real experimentation or invalidated simulators, over the AUV Ciscrea available at ENSTA Bretagne.; Ce travail vise à atténuer les effets des contraintes sur les systèmes robotiques mobiles. À cette fin, des structures de commande auxiliaire et des techniques de réglage robuste sont proposées. Les structures sont proposées dans le cadre du suivi de chemin pour atténuer les effets des contraintes sur les entrées et les sorties des systèmes. Ensuite, étant donnée leur utilisation répandue en robotique, les contrôleurs de type PID sont considérés comme une contrainte structurelle. Une méthode de réglage robuste, tenant compte de cette contrainte, est proposée permettant d’atteindre de bons niveaux de performance même en présence de perturbations. Enfin, pour faire face à la robustesse en présence des contraintes de non-linéarité sur robots, un outil d’analyse et de réglage pour les contrôleurs de mode glissant est proposé. La particularité de cette méthode de réglage, basée sur des techniques d’optimisation globale et de calculs par intervalles, est qu’elle permet de générer des cartographies de réglage des paramètres pour lesquels le critère de performance souhaité est rempli.Toutes les stratégies proposées sont mises en pratique par des expérimentations réelles ou sur des simulateurs validés (AUV Ciscrea disponible à l’ENSTA Bretagne).

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    Authors: Kumar, Sandhya Sasi;

    Since its founding as a social welfare state, India has been meandering through “a life of contradictions” when it comes to social and economic equality. A potent indicator of this reality is the state of food and nutrition security across the country. India’s meager progress comes on the heels of rapid economic growth over the last two decades and a slew of public programs have attempted to address the multi-faceted nature of food and nutrition security. These efforts have included subsidized grains for households through the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), village health, nutrition and education programming through the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers (NRCs) to treat cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Though these programs have been scaled across the country, numerous governance challenges and institutional failures have persisted. The latest development in India’s food and nutrition policy landscape is the National Food Security Act (hereafter referred to as the Act) of 2013, which leverages existing national programs, including the TPDS and ICDS, to grant legal entitlements to nearly 70% of the total population. This Act was the fruit of a rights-based movement in India that demanded for over a decade to codify social and economic rights. However, the question arises as to whether this new Act been able to achieve its goal to ensure food and nutrition security by strengthening the governance of these programs? This is the central question of the present thesis. This thesis investigates how the Act has reformed the implementation of food and nutrition programs in the states of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and the capital of New Delhi. The four key objectives of this study are to investigate 1) what changes are prescribed by the Act; 2) how effective these reforms have been in addressing persistent governance challenges; 3) what challenges remain and why; and 4) what strategies could be used to address these gaps. A qualitative case study approach was applied, which involved the following data collection methods: key informant and in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, participant observation, matrix ranking and process net-mapping, an innovative participatory tool that maps complex institutional processes and actors. This thesis is comprised of nine chapters. The first chapter introduces the puzzle of India’s nutritional status and explores why government efforts to tackle this problem have had tepid results. The second chapter presents the conceptual framework that defines governance challenges and an institutional framework of demand and supply side factors that contribute to effective policy and programming. Chapters three and four present an overview of the TPDS, ICDS and NRCs, and review the existing literature on the governance issues of these programs. Chapter 5 lays out the study design, methods and ethical protocols. Chapters six through eight explore each of the three programs and present key findings across the selected study sites. The last chapter presents cross-cutting conclusions for these programs in the wake of the Act and proposes a way forward to address institutional gaps in tackling food and nutrition security. Seit der Gründung des Wohlfahrtsstaates erlebt Indien eine Reihe von Widersprüchen, was die soziale und wirtschaftliche Gerechtigkeit des Landes angeht. Ein aussagekräftiger Indikator dieser Realität ist der Stand der Ernährungsicherheit im Land. Indiens dürftiger Fortschritt in der Ernährungssicherung folgt einer zwei Jahrzehnte andauernden Periode rasantem Wirtschaftswachstum, sowie einer Reihe von öffentlichen Programmen, die versuchen, die vielschichtigen Aspekte von Ernährung zu adressieren. Zu diesen Bemühungen gehören subventioniertes Getreide für Haushalte durch das gezielte öffentliche Vergabesystem TPDS, dörfliche Gesundheits-, Ernährungs- und Bildungsprogramme durch die Integrierten Dienstleistungen zur Entwicklung von Kindern ICDS und Rehabilitierungszentren für Fälle von schwerer akuter Mangelernährung (NRCs). Obwohl diese Programme auf ganz Indien ausgeweitet wurden, bestehen weiterhin institutionelle Mängel sowie zahlreiche Governance-Herausforderungen. Die jüngste Entwicklung in der Indischen Ernährungspolitik ist das Gesetz zur nationalen Ernährungssicherheit NFSA aus dem Jahr 2013. Das NFSA nutzt zwei bestehende nationale Programme, TPDS und ICDS, um fast 70% der Bevölkerung Rechtsansprüche zu gewähren. Dieses Gesetz war das Ergebnis einer größeren rechtebasierten Bewegung in Indien, die seit über einem Jahrzehnt das Ziel hat, soziale und wirtschaftliche Rechte zu kodifizieren. Es stellt sich die Frage, ob dieses neue Gesetz es ermöglicht hat, durch eine Stärkung der Governance der bestehenden Programme einen Lebenszyklusansatz in der Ernährungssicherung zu etablieren. Diese Doktorarbeit verwendet einen Ansatz vergleichender Fallstudien, um zu untersuchen, wie das NFSA die Umsetzung der Ernährungsprogramme in den Staaten Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh und der Hauptstadt Neu Delhi reformiert hat. Die vier Hauptziele der Dissertation sind: 1) die Änderungen, die durch das NFSA vorgeschrieben wurden, zu beschreiben 2) die Effektivität dieser Reformen bei der Bewältigung von Governance-Herausforderungen zu erklären, 3) die weiterhin bestehenden Governanceprobleme und Gründe dafür zu erklären, und 4) Strategien zu erarbeiten, die zur Behebung dieser Defizite beitragen können. Diese vier Aspekte wurden untersucht mittels Befragung von Schlüsselpersonen, Tiefeninterviews, Fokusgruppendiskussionen, teilnehmender Beobachtung, Matrix-Ranking und Prozessnetzkartierung (process net-mapping), ein innovatives und partizipatives Instrument, das komplexe institutionelle Prozesse und Akteure abbildet. Die vorliegende Doktorarbeit besteht aus neun Kapiteln. Das erste Kapitel gibt eine Einleitung in die Rätselhaftigkeit der Ernährungslage in Indien, und warum staatliche Bemühungen dieses Problem anzugehen, nur dürftige Ergebnisse erzielt haben. Das zweite Kapitel stellt einen konzeptionellen Rahmen bezüglich Governance-Herausforderungen und einen institutionellen Rahmen bezüglich Nachfrage- und Angebotsfaktoren, die zu wirkungsvollen Politikmaßnahmen und Programmgestaltung beitragen, dar. Kapitel drei und vier geben einen Überblick über TPDS, ICDS und NRCs, und über die bestehende Literatur bezüglich der Governance-Herausforderungen dieser drei Programme. Kapitel fünf beschreibt das Studiendesign, die angewandten Methoden und die Forschungsprotokolle. Kapitel sechs bis acht untersuchen jeweils eins der drei Programme und erklären Schlüsselergebnisse über die drei ausgewählten Untersuchungsstandorte hinweg. Die Dissertation schließt mit einer übergreifenden Zusammenfassung für diese Programme vor dem Hintergrund des neuen Gesetzes und gibt wegweisende Vorschläge wie man diese institutionellen Defizite zur Verbesserung der Ernährungssicherheit adressiert.

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    Authors: Chugh, Tushar;

    Steering feedback is an important element that defines driver–vehicle interaction. It strongly affects driving performance and is primarily dependent on the steering actuator's control strategy. Typically, the control method is open loop, that is without any reference tracking; and its drawbacks are hardware dependent steering feedback response and attenuated driver–environment transparency. This thesis investigates a closed-loop control method for electric power assisted steering and steer-by-wire systems. The advantages of this method, compared to open loop, are better hardware impedance compensation, system independent response, explicit transparency control and direct interface to active safety functions. The closed-loop architecture, outlined in this thesis, includes a reference model, a feedback controller and a disturbance observer. The feedback controller forms the inner loop and it ensures: reference tracking, hardware impedance compensation and robustness against the coupling uncertainties. Two different causalities are studied: torque and position control. The two are objectively compared from the perspective of (uncoupled and coupled) stability, tracking performance, robustness, and transparency. The reference model forms the outer loop and defines a torque or position reference variable, depending on the causality. Different haptic feedback functions are implemented to control the following parameters: inertia, damping, Coulomb friction and transparency. Transparency control in this application is particularly novel, which is sequentially achieved. For non-transparent steering feedback, an environment model is developed such that the reference variable is a function of virtual dynamics. Consequently, the driver–steering interaction is independent from the actual environment. Whereas, for the driver–environment transparency, the environment interaction is estimated using an observer; and then the estimated signal is fed back to the reference model. Furthermore, an optimization-based transparency algorithm is proposed. This renders the closed-loop system transparent in case of environmental uncertainty, even if the initial condition is non-transparent. The steering related active safety functions can be directly realized using the closed-loop steering feedback controller. This implies, but is not limited to, an angle overlay from the vehicle motion control functions and a torque overlay from the haptic support functions. Throughout the thesis, both experimental and the theoretical findings are corroborated. This includes a real-time implementation of the torque and position control strategies. In general, it can be concluded that position control lacks performance and robustness due to high and/or varying system inertia. Though the problem is somewhat mitigated by a robust H-infinity controller, the high frequency haptic performance remains compromised. Whereas, the required objectives are simultaneously achieved using a torque controller.

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    Chalmers Research
    Doctoral thesis . 2021
    Data sources: Chalmers Research
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      Chalmers Research
      Doctoral thesis . 2021
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  • Authors: Egli, Sebastian; Bendix, Jörg (Prof. Dr.);

    Nebel hat eine große Anzahl wirtschaftlicher und ökologischer Auswirkungen und beeinflusst das menschliche Leben in vielerlei Hinsicht. Die Menge der Einflussfaktoren zeigt, dass ein umfassendes Verständnis seiner Bildungsursachen und eine genaue Erfassung seiner raumzeitlichen Verteilungsmuster von großem Interesse sind. Da es berechtigte Bedenken hinsichtlich der allgemeinen Anwendbarkeit bestehender Nebelerkennungsverfahren gibt, werden in dieser Arbeit neue Techniken der satellitengestützten Nebelerkennung untersucht und darauf aufbauend raumzeitliche Informationen über die Nebelverteilung in Europa abgeleitet. Die zentralen Neuentwicklungen dieser Arbeit sind: - Bei der Nebelerkennung wurden keine statischen Annahmen bezüglich der mikrophysikalischen Eigenschaften herangezogen. - Es wurde ein neuartiger hybrider Ansatz auf Basis von maschinellen Lernmethoden entwickelt, der 24 Stunden am Tag kontinuierlich angewendet werden kann. - Der Algorithmus berücksichtigt alle Nebeltypen. Regionen mit unterschiedlichen Nebeltypen konnten auf Basis des erzeugten Nebelprodukts aufgrund ihrer typischen Tages- und Jahresgänge indirekt voneinander unterschieden werden. - Erstmals konnten für Europa Nebelfrequenzkarten für verschiedene Großwetterlagen separat für jeden Nebeltyp erstellt werden. Fog has many economic as well as ecological impacts and it directly affects human life in many ways. The large number of fog influence factors shows that a comprehensive understanding of its causes and a precise mapping of the spatio-temporal distribution patterns are of great interest. Since there are justifiable concerns about the general applicability of existing fog retrieval methods, this thesis investigates new techniques of satellite based fog detection and the derivation of spatio-temporal information on fog distribution in Europe. The central novelties of this study are: - No static assumptions about microphysical properties were used during fog retrieval. - A novel hybrid approach based on machine learning methods was developed that can be continuously applied 24 hours a day. - The algorithm covers all fog types. Areas of different fog types could also be differentiated indirectly from the generated product due to their typical diurnal and annual frequency cycles. - For the first time, fog frequency maps for Europe could be produced for different general weather situations separately for each fog type.

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    Authors: Bader, Cédric;

    Organic soils develop under waterlogged conditions, leading to a reduced decomposition of biomass. Over the last millennia this led to the development of a large carbon (C) pool in the global C cycle. Drainage, necessary for agriculture and forestry, triggers rapid decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM). While undisturbed organic soils are C-sinks, drainage transforms them into C-sources. Climate, drainage depth and land-use are considered the main factors controlling SOM decomposition. However, there is still a large variation in decomposition rates among organic soils, even when climate, drainage and land-use conditions are similar. This thesis investigates the role of SOM composition on peat decomposability in a variety of differently managed drained organic soils. Peat samples from 21 organic soils managed as cropland, grassland and forest soils situated in Switzerland were incubated at 10 and 20 °C for more than 6 months. During incubation, we monitored CO2 emissions and related them to soil characteristics, including bulk density, soil pH, soil organic carbon (SOC) content, and elemental ratios (C/N, H/C and O/C). The incubated samples lost between 0.6 to 1.9% of their SOC at 10 °C and between 1.2 to 42% at 20 °C over the course of 10,000 h (>1 yr). This huge variation occurring under controlled conditions suggests that, besides drainage depth, climate and management, SOM composition is an underestimated factor that determines CO2 fluxes measured in field experiments. In contrast, correlations between the investigated soil characteristics and CO2 emissions were weak. Furthermore, there were no land-use effects. Such effects were expected based on the measured SOM characteristics and IPCC data. Temperature sensitivity of decomposition decreased with depth, indicating an enrichment of recalcitrant SOM in topsoils. This finding stands in contrast to findings in studies of undisturbed organic soils and Further it suggests that future C loss from agriculturally managed organic soils will be similar considering warmer climate conditions. Cultivation of organic soils is accompanied by inputs of young organic carbon (YOC) from plant residues. The amount of YOC inputs, their potential to compensate for oxidative peat loss as well as their lability are unknown. Studying the δ13C signatures in the topsoil of a managed organic soil revealed that at least 19 ± 2.4% of the SOC originate from YOC being accumulated recently. Yet, the accumulation rates are substantially smaller than average peat loss rates on the studied soils. Remarkably, the percentage of YOC in decomposing SOC was 53 ± 0.1%, indicating that YOC is more labile than bulk SOC. These findings are supported by the 14C age of emitted CO2 being younger than that of SOC. Inputs of fresh organic matter (FOM) to soil are known to induce priming effects, i.e. an altered decomposition of resident SOM. The effect of FOM addition on peat decomposition of agriculturally used organic soils has seldom been quantified experimentally. Therefore, we incubated soil samples from managed organic soils over three weeks with and without adding corn straw as FOM. The 13C and 14C signatures of SOC and emitted CO2 enabled us to apportion the amount of decomposed corn, as well as to estimate relative effects of corn addition on the decomposition of SOC from old peat and from YOC. FOM addition induced negative, positive and neutral priming of SOC decomposition. Further, the relative contribution of peat SOC to the overall CO2 release consistently decreased after FOM addition, suggesting that young and old C pools in managed organic soils respond differently to the addition of fresh plant residues. A combination of those two findings indicates that FOM addition can effectively reduce the decomposition of old peat. The results of this thesis suggest that agricultural use of organic soils has a tremendous effect on the composition and decomposability of SOC in organic soils. Furthermore, they show that also crop species known for their carbon sequestration potential are not likely to counteract peat losses caused by drainage. Therefore, agricultural management of organic soils without the risk of losing vast amounts of SOC seems unrealistic and thus, CO2 emissions from organic soils are not likely to decrease in the future. This means that they remain a big issue of concern for future generations in order to counteract climate change.

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    ETH Zürich Research Collection
    Doctoral thesis . 2017
    Data sources: Datacite
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      ETH Zürich Research Collection
      Doctoral thesis . 2017
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    Authors: Krishnan, Parvathy;

    Pathogenic fungi impose a great threat to the global food production. They are globally distributed and display a huge amount of phenotypic diversity. They demonstrate high adaptability to diverse environments and to fluctuating conditions within their hosts. However, not much is known about the mechanisms underlying these processes of adaptation. Deciphering the genetic basis of phenotypic diversity may help us to get a deeper insight into the mechanisms that regulate complex adaptive traits. Furthermore, these findings may help in improving strategies for an effective and sustainable management of pathogens. In my PhD study, I aimed to understand the genetic basis of adaptation to variable environments using Zymoseptoria tritici. Z. tritici causes septoria leaf blotch of wheat and is considered to be the most devastating fungal wheat pathogen in Europe. In the first chapter of my thesis, I studied the role of melanin in adaptation of Z. tritici. I, demonstrated that melanin is essential for protection against harmful chemical fungicides such as bixafen. Remarkably, I observed high phenotypic variability in melanin accumulation levels in different Zymoseptoria tritici strains, most probably reflecting its role in adaptation to variable environments. Using genetic mapping, I was able to demonstrate that variability in melanization levels between two Swiss strains of Z. tritici was mediated by differential expression of the transcription factor Zmr1 (Zymoseptoria melanin regulation 1). I identified nucleotide mutations in the promoter region and an insertion of transposable elements (TEs) upstream of the promoter region as two mechanisms responsible for this observed differential expression of Zmr1. My findings clearly demonstrated the significance of gene expression regulation, mediated by the insertion of TEs and SNPs, in optimizing the growth and adaptation of the fungus under variable environments. Furthermore, these adaptive changes are responsible for the phenotypic diversity that we observe in Z. tritici strains from all over the world. In the second part of my thesis, I analyzed the expression of several secreted peptidases of Z. tritici at distinct stages during the infection process of wheat plants. Using computational genetic methods, I also analyzed nucleotide data sets of the peptidase genes for evolutionary signatures of genetic adaptation. By combining both approaches, I aimed at obtaining a more detailed picture of the relevance and the role of each enzyme during the infection process. I was able to show that the peptidases belonging to MEROPS families A1 and G1 were significantly up regulated during the asymptomatic phase of infection and displayed signatures of accelerated evolution, suggesting their key role in suppression of plant defenses and host specialization. In the third part of my thesis, I evaluated the role of a cellulase-encoding gene (JGI Prot. ID: 76589) using molecular biology techniques. This cellulase was only expressed during the final necrotrophic phase of Z. tritici infection and the nucleotide sequences of the gene showed signatures of diversifying selection. This pattern is consistent with the hypothesis of evasion from host recognition during the first phases of infection and subsequent induction of host-cell death by the secretion of an array of different cellulase isoforms by the fungus. To test this hypothesis, I constitutively expressed the cellulase-encoding gene in Z. tritici during all infection stages by inserting a constitutive promoter (originally from the Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene of Aspergillus nidulans) upstream of the start codon of the cellulase gene. I was able to show that the progress of infection in this mutant was delayed compared to the non-modified Z. tritici isolates. This suggests that the cellulase acts as an elicitor molecule that is detected by the plant and triggers the defense machinery that will hinder the growth of the pathogen. In summary, my PhD work demonstrated the significance of fine-tuning of gene expression regulation of various genes in plant pathogenic fungi to facilitate adaptation to different environmental conditions and host colonization. Remarkably, I was able to show that gene expression fine-tuning resulted in large amounts of phenotypic diversity in adaptive traits.

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    ETH Zürich Research Collection
    Doctoral thesis . 2018
    Data sources: Datacite
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  • Authors: Kounades-Bastian, Dionyssos;

    In this thesis we address the problem of multichannel audio source separa- tion (MASS) for underdetermined convolutive mixtures through probabilistic modeling. We focus on three aspects of the problem and make three contri- butions. Firstly, inspired from the empirically well validated representation of an audio signal, that is know as local Gaussian signal model (LGM) with non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), we propose a Bayesian extension to this, that overcomes some of the limitations of the NMF. We incorporate this representation in a MASS framework and compare it with the state of the art in MASS, yielding promising results. Secondly, we study how to separate mix- tures of moving sources and/or of moving microphones. Movements make the acoustic path between sources and microphones become time-varying. Ad- dressing time-varying audio mixtures appears is not so popular in the MASS literature. Thus, we begin from a state of the art LGM-with-NMF method designed for separating time-invariant audio mixtures and propose an exten- sion that uses a Kalman smoother to track the acoustic path across time. The proposed method is benchmarked against a block-wise adaptation of that state of the art (ran on time segments), and delivers competitive results on both simulated and real-world mixtures. Lastly, we investigate the link between MASS and the task of audio diarisation. Audio diarisation is the detection of the time intervals where each speaker/source is active or silent. Most state of the art MASS methods consider the sources to emit continuously; A hypothe- sis that can result in spurious signal estimates for a source, in intervals where that source was silent. Our aim is that diarisation can aid MASS by indicat- ing the emitting sources at each time frame. To that extent we design a joint framework for simultaneous diarisation and MASS, that incorporates a hidden Markov model (HMM) to track the temporal activity of the sources, within a state of the art LGM-with-NMF MASS framework. We compare the proposed method with the state of the art in MASS and audio diarisation tasks. We ob- tain performances comparable, with the state of the art, in terms of separation while winning in terms of diarisation.; Dans cette thèse nous abordons le problème de la séparation de sources audio dans des mélanges convolutifs multicanaux et sous-déterminés, en utilisant une modélisation probabiliste. Nous nous concentrons sur trois aspects, et nous apportons trois contributions. D’abord, nous nous inspirons du modèle Gaussien local par factorisation en matrices non-négatives (LGM-with-NMF), qui est un modèle empiriquement validé pour représenter un signal audio. Nous proposons une extension Bayésienne de ce modèle, qui permet de sur- passer certaines limitations du modèle NMF. Nous incorporons cette représentation dans un cadre de separation audio multicanaux, et le comparons avec l’état de l’art sur des tâches de séparation. Nous obtenons des résultats prometteurs. Deuxièment, nous étudions comment séparer des mélanges audio de sources et/ou des capteurs en mouvement. Ces déplacements rendent le chemin acoustique entre les sources et les microphones variant en cours du temps. L’adressage des mélanges convolutifs variant au cours du temps est peu exploré dans la littérature. Ainsi, nous partons d’une méthode de l’état de l’art développée pour la séparation de mélanges invariant (sources et microphones statiques) et utilisant LGM-with-NMF. Nous proposons à ceci une extension qui utilise un filtre de Kalman pour suivre le chemin acoustique au cours du temps. La technique proposée est comparée à une adaptation block-par-block d’une technique de l’état de l’art appliquée sur des intervalles de temps, et a donné des résultats exceptionels sur les mélanges simulés et les mélanges du monde réel. Enfin, nous investiguons les similitudes entre la séparation et la journalisation audio. La journalisation est le problème de détection des intervalles auxquels chaque locuteur/source est émettant. La plupart des méthodes de séparation supposent toutes les sources émettent continuellement. Cette hypothèe peut donner lieu à de fausses estimations durant les intervalles au cours desquels cette source n’a pas émis. Notre objectif est que la journalisation puisse aider à résoudre la séparation, en indiquant les sources qui émettent à chaque intervalle de temps. Dans cette mesure, nous concevons une cadre commun pour traiter simultanément la journalisation et la séparation du mélange audio. Ce cadre incorpore un modèle de Markov caché pour suivre les activités des sources au sein d’une technique de séparation LGM-with-NMF. Nous comparons l’algorithme proposé à l’état de l’art sur des tâches de séparation et de journalisation. Nous obtenons des performances comparables avec l’état de l’art pour la séparation, et supériures pour la journalisation.

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    Authors: van Iersel, W.K.;

    Natural lowland rivers are dynamic environments with a high ecological value. However, 90% of the European and North-American river floodplains are in a degraded state. The functions of floodplains are strongly determined by land cover and they often compete for space in narrowed floodplains. Integrated river management (IRM) tries to take care of floodplains in such way that land cover is optimized for multiple functions. For IRM, monitoring is essential to capture the dynamics, to evaluate changes, and to document the state of floodplains over time. The main objective of this thesis was to establish remote-sensing methods for the monitoring of floodplain land cover over multiple spatial and temporal scales. Several remote-sensing based solutions have been developed for the monitoring of land-cover dynamics in river floodplains and tested in floodplains of the lower Rhine. The phenological change of floodplain vegetation over the course of one year was studied using temporal profiles of its height and greenness. Using multitemporal UAV images, vegetation height was determined with an accuracy similar to much more expensive airborne LiDAR data. Multitemporal elevation models yielded meaningful profiles of greenness and vegetation height over time, which enabled discriminating the different land-cover types. The same dataset combined with a powerful machine learning model (Random Forest) yielded unprecedented high classification accuracies for floodplain vegetation (> 90%), even for similar vegetation types such as grassland and herbaceous vegetation. This method is a practical and highly accurate solution for monitoring areas of a few square kilometres. For large-scale monitoring of floodplains, the same method is recommended, but with data from airborne platforms covering larger extents. Land-cover change over the course of five years was studied for a 100-km river section using satellite images. Using an object-based approach, a sequential deviation of a land-cover object from its class mean was used to detect land-cover change. For most classes the method was unsuccessful (accuracy 75%. The developed method has important advantages, such as high observation frequency, independence of repeated land-cover classification, and fast processing. At sub-daily frequency, it was assessed how accurate water temperature in a floodplain side channel can be documented from thermal UAV maps. The associated habitat suitability for native and alien fish assemblages was estimated based on the produced temperature maps. Water surface temperatures were mapped four times during a hot summer day with an overall RMSE of 0.53 oC. During the day, temperatures in the side channel increased rapidly to values detrimental for many fish species. The study showed that thermal imagery from UAVs is an efficient and accurate information source to monitor spatiotemporal patterns of thermal habitat suitability. The presently available range of spaceborne and airborne platforms and sensors offers great opportunities to collect information on land-cover change across a range of spatial and temporal scales. This may advance our management of floodplains and help us recovering and protecting these rich ecosystems and the benefits they provide us.

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    Authors: Nasrallah, Ali;

    Avec une production mondiale dépassant 750 millions de tonnes en 2017, le blé est considéré comme un aliment de base pour la population mondiale. Sa cartographie et sa surveillance pourraient alors se révéler être un outil très efficace pour atteindre les objectifs de développement durable (ODD2-Faim zéro). Au Liban, en vue d’assurer la sécurité alimentaire nationale, le blé reçoit un soutien financier et technique du gouvernement. Cependant, de nombreuses erreurs dans l'estimation de la superficie en blé à travers le pays sont dues principalement aux déclarations peu fiables des agriculteurs. De plus, le choix du système de culture basé sur le blé (en termes de type de rotation et de pratiques agricoles) peut avoir un impact considérable sur la productivité du système (protéines et rentabilité), l'efficacité d'utilisation des ressources (efficacité d'utilisation de l'eau et utilisation de l’azote), ainsi que sur le risque économique pour les agriculteurs. La présente étude menée dans la plaine de la Bekaa au Liban a pour objectif d'utiliser la télédétection et la modélisation de la croissance des cultures pour fournir aux décideurs politiques et aux utilisateurs finaux les informations dont ils ont besoin sur le blé d’hiver.La première partie évalue le potentiel des images optiques pour la cartographie du blé d'hiver précoce en permettant le transfert de connaissances d'une année à l'autre (2016 et 2017) Les résultats montrent que, lorsque l'approche développée est appliquée à la série chronologique Sentinel-2 de 2017, en utilisant les données de vérité au sol 2016, la précision globale atteint 87,0%, tandis que, lorsqu'elle est mise en œuvre avec les données de vérité au sol 2017, elle est de 82,6% en 2016. Les classifications pour distinguer le blé d'hiver de céréales similaires (orge et triticale) sont réalisées jusqu'à six semaines avant la récolte.La deuxième partie examine la capacité des images radar en bande C du nouveau satellite Sentinel-1 à surveiller la culture de blé d'hiver en identifiant les stades phénologiques économiquement importants qui ne peuvent pas être détectés en utilisant uniquement les indices issus de l’optique (Sentinel-2). Les résultats montrent que la polarisation VV (incidence de 32°-34°) et VH (incidence de 43°-45°) sont respectivement préférables pour estimer les stades de l'épiaison et de pâteux mou. De plus, le rapport VV/VH (incidence de 32°-34°) est préférable pour détecter la germination et la récolte.La troisième partie a pour objectif de vérifier si la rotation blé-féverole, nécessitant des intrants agricoles extensifs (eau et azote), a une performance nettement meilleure que la rotation intensive blé-blé en termes de productivité, d’utilisation rationnelle des ressources, et de minimisation du risque économique à l’échelle parcellaire. Le modèle de croissance des cultures «CropSyst» a été adopté après avoir été calibré et validé sur notre zone d'étude. Les résultats montrent qu’il n’existe pas un scénario de système de culture optimal permettant d’assurer une productivité élevée, de réduire le risque économique et d’obtenir une efficacité élevée de l’utilisation de l’eau et de l’azote. Cependant, le scenario de rotation blé-féverole sans fertilisation du blé semble être un meilleur substitut à la rotation blé-blé en termes de production de protéines. Pour un sol avec une faible capacité de rétention, la production de protéines est de 0,93 t/ha et de 0,8 t/ha respectivement pour les rotations blé-féverole et blé-blé. Pour un sol avec capacité de rétention élevée, la production de protéines est de 1,34 t/ha pour blé-féverole contre 1,17 t/ha pour blé-blé. De plus, ce système de culture blé-féverole pourrait générer un bénéfice net plus élevé que celui du blé-blé. Enfin, la rotation blé-pomme de terre peut générer des bénéfices nets très élevés (8640 US DOLL./ha et 12170 US DOLL./ha) mais avec une faible efficacité des intrants et un risque économique élevé With global production exceeding 750 million tons in 2017, wheat is considered a staple food for the world's population. Wheat mapping and monitoring could then be a very effective tool for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG2-Zero Hunger). In Lebanon, wheat receives technical and financial support, yet many errors occur in estimating the wheat acreage due to absence of reliable agricultural census and lack of wheat mapping using satellite images. In addition, identifying the best rotation type and agricultural practices leads to identify the most efficient wheat-based cropping system in terms of productivity (protein production and net profit), efficiency (water and nitrogen use), as well as the economic risk on the farmer. Thus, The aim of the current study, which is conducted in the Bekaa plain of Lebanon, is to utilize remote sensing technology and crop modelling for supporting policy makers and end-users in making strategic decisions regarding one of the most food security-driving crop in the Mediterranean (i.e. winter wheat).The first part of the thesis evaluates the potential of optical data for early winter wheat mapping by allowing the transfer of knowledge from one year to another (2016 and 2017 in this study). For its high spatial and temporal resolutions, Sentinel-2 data are employed. Results show that when the developed approach was applied on Sentinel-2 time series of 2017 in using 2016 ground truth data, the overall accuracy reaches 87.0%, whereas, when implemented using 2017 ground truth data, the overall accuracy is 82.6% on 2016 data. The outputs are executed up to six weeks before harvest, as well as distinguishing winter wheat from similar cereals (barley and triticale).The second part of the thesis examines the ability of the SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) C-band data of the new radar satellite (Sentinel-1) regarding its ability to monitor winter wheat crop by identifying the economically important phenological phases that cannot be detected relying solely on NDVI derived from optical satellite Sentinel-2. Results show that VV polarization at incidence angle of 32°-34° is best for predicting heading, VH polarization at incidence angle of 43°-45° for predicting soft dough, and the ratio VV/VH at incidence angle of 32°-34° for predicting germination and harvesting.The third part of the thesis is dedicated to test, in contrasted biophysical and management conditions, the hypothesis that promoting wheat-fava bean rotation leads to a significantly better productivity and resources use efficiency, as well as, reducing economic risk than the promoted intensive wheat-wheat and wheat-potato rotations. The cropping simulation model “CropSyst” is used after being calibrated and validated by using experimental data for different wheat-based rotations combining different soil, climate and management options. The results show that there is no particular optimal scenario that can simultaneously ensure high productivity, reduce economic risk, and achieve high wheat- water- and nitrogen-use efficiency. However, the wheat-fava bean rotation cultivated with no wheat fertilization appears to be a better substitute to the wheat-wheat rotation in terms of protein production in both (low and high) Water Holding Capacity (WHC) soils (0.93 t/ha versus 0.8 t/ha in low WHC and 1.34 t/ha versus 1.17 t/ha in high WHC). This cropping system could achieve a higher net profit, showing high resource-use efficiency and good economic sustainability. Moreover, a very high profit could only be attained with the wheat-potato rotation (8640 US DOLL./ha and 12170 US DOLL./ha), yet with low input-efficiency and high economic risk.

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    Authors: Mackay, Heather;

    This research contributes to countering a large city research bias by focusing on the food, farming and health experiences of two secondary cities of Uganda: Mbale and Mbarara. It is not an apocalyptic story. Like anywhere in the world, for some residents things were going well; for others, less well. My research explores the varied geometries of advantage and disadvantage in diets, food security, and livelihood circumstances to shed light on why things were more secure for some than for others. I used multiple methods including a household survey, focus groups with local healthcare professionals, and in-depth interviews with varied city residents. A geographic perspective explored intersections of food, farming and health with aspects of identity (such as gender, class, tribe), and with place (the city itself, but also with rural areas, or other urban areas). The starting point was the theorised food system, nutritional and epidemiologic transitions predicted to occur with urban development, often called nutrition transition theory. My research suggests caution with dominant models of how urban life shifts food and farming systems towards a food system and diet pattern focused around large retailer supermarkets, processed foods, fast foods, more meat, less agriculture, less movement. Nutrition transition theory postulates these changes causing a shift in epidemiology from infectious to non-infectious diseases in urban areas. Instead of the suggestion from nutrition transition theory, my work presents evidence of non-communicable disease (obesity, diabetes, hypertension) experience in Mbale and Mbarara’s residents, but without evidence of advanced change in food and farming systems. Findings revealed relatively low dietary diversities and common food insecurity. Diets remained predominantly traditional, as did the main food sources (traditional markets and neighbourhood shops), across diverse residents. The more food secure had regular salaried employment and strong relational links with rural farms and family, supporting work on multi-spatial livelihoods. This contrasts with earlier ideas of who farms the African city, or retains farming livelihoods. Most vulnerable to food insecurity and low diet diversity were those who were most dependent on purchasing all their food. In conclusion, this research suggests that food system, nutritional and epidemiologic transitions in Mbale and Mbarara may be less linked than previously thought, or linked in more complex ways. Other drivers of epidemiologic change are likely. Findings highlight the importance of local data and specific city investigations.

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  • Authors: Rosendo, Juan Luis;

    This work seeks to mitigate the effects of constraints on mobile robotic systems. To this end, auxiliary control loops and robust tuning techniques are proposed. The former are proposed to mitigate the effects of constraints on the input and output of the systems through the modification of the motion parameter in path following applications.Then, PID controllers are considered as a structural constraint, given its wide use in robotics particularly at low control level. A robust tuning methodology considering this constraint is proposed which achieves good performancelevels even when facing disturbances. Finally, to deal with robustness in presence of robots nonlinearity constraints, an analysis and tuning tool for sliding mode controllers is proposed. The particularity of this tuning method, based on global optimization and interval techniques,is that it allows generating tuning maps of the parameter regions where the desired performance criterion is fulfilled. All the proposed strategies are put into practice, through real experimentation or invalidated simulators, over the AUV Ciscrea available at ENSTA Bretagne.; Ce travail vise à atténuer les effets des contraintes sur les systèmes robotiques mobiles. À cette fin, des structures de commande auxiliaire et des techniques de réglage robuste sont proposées. Les structures sont proposées dans le cadre du suivi de chemin pour atténuer les effets des contraintes sur les entrées et les sorties des systèmes. Ensuite, étant donnée leur utilisation répandue en robotique, les contrôleurs de type PID sont considérés comme une contrainte structurelle. Une méthode de réglage robuste, tenant compte de cette contrainte, est proposée permettant d’atteindre de bons niveaux de performance même en présence de perturbations. Enfin, pour faire face à la robustesse en présence des contraintes de non-linéarité sur robots, un outil d’analyse et de réglage pour les contrôleurs de mode glissant est proposé. La particularité de cette méthode de réglage, basée sur des techniques d’optimisation globale et de calculs par intervalles, est qu’elle permet de générer des cartographies de réglage des paramètres pour lesquels le critère de performance souhaité est rempli.Toutes les stratégies proposées sont mises en pratique par des expérimentations réelles ou sur des simulateurs validés (AUV Ciscrea disponible à l’ENSTA Bretagne).

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    Authors: Kumar, Sandhya Sasi;

    Since its founding as a social welfare state, India has been meandering through “a life of contradictions” when it comes to social and economic equality. A potent indicator of this reality is the state of food and nutrition security across the country. India’s meager progress comes on the heels of rapid economic growth over the last two decades and a slew of public programs have attempted to address the multi-faceted nature of food and nutrition security. These efforts have included subsidized grains for households through the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), village health, nutrition and education programming through the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), and Nutrition Rehabilitation Centers (NRCs) to treat cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Though these programs have been scaled across the country, numerous governance challenges and institutional failures have persisted. The latest development in India’s food and nutrition policy landscape is the National Food Security Act (hereafter referred to as the Act) of 2013, which leverages existing national programs, including the TPDS and ICDS, to grant legal entitlements to nearly 70% of the total population. This Act was the fruit of a rights-based movement in India that demanded for over a decade to codify social and economic rights. However, the question arises as to whether this new Act been able to achieve its goal to ensure food and nutrition security by strengthening the governance of these programs? This is the central question of the present thesis. This thesis investigates how the Act has reformed the implementation of food and nutrition programs in the states of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and the capital of New Delhi. The four key objectives of this study are to investigate 1) what changes are prescribed by the Act; 2) how effective these reforms have been in addressing persistent governance challenges; 3) what challenges remain and why; and 4) what strategies could be used to address these gaps. A qualitative case study approach was applied, which involved the following data collection methods: key informant and in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, participant observation, matrix ranking and process net-mapping, an innovative participatory tool that maps complex institutional processes and actors. This thesis is comprised of nine chapters. The first chapter introduces the puzzle of India’s nutritional status and explores why government efforts to tackle this problem have had tepid results. The second chapter presents the conceptual framework that defines governance challenges and an institutional framework of demand and supply side factors that contribute to effective policy and programming. Chapters three and four present an overview of the TPDS, ICDS and NRCs, and review the existing literature on the governance issues of these programs. Chapter 5 lays out the study design, methods and ethical protocols. Chapters six through eight explore each of the three programs and present key findings across the selected study sites. The last chapter presents cross-cutting conclusions for these programs in the wake of the Act and proposes a way forward to address institutional gaps in tackling food and nutrition security. Seit der Gründung des Wohlfahrtsstaates erlebt Indien eine Reihe von Widersprüchen, was die soziale und wirtschaftliche Gerechtigkeit des Landes angeht. Ein aussagekräftiger Indikator dieser Realität ist der Stand der Ernährungsicherheit im Land. Indiens dürftiger Fortschritt in der Ernährungssicherung folgt einer zwei Jahrzehnte andauernden Periode rasantem Wirtschaftswachstum, sowie einer Reihe von öffentlichen Programmen, die versuchen, die vielschichtigen Aspekte von Ernährung zu adressieren. Zu diesen Bemühungen gehören subventioniertes Getreide für Haushalte durch das gezielte öffentliche Vergabesystem TPDS, dörfliche Gesundheits-, Ernährungs- und Bildungsprogramme durch die Integrierten Dienstleistungen zur Entwicklung von Kindern ICDS und Rehabilitierungszentren für Fälle von schwerer akuter Mangelernährung (NRCs). Obwohl diese Programme auf ganz Indien ausgeweitet wurden, bestehen weiterhin institutionelle Mängel sowie zahlreiche Governance-Herausforderungen. Die jüngste Entwicklung in der Indischen Ernährungspolitik ist das Gesetz zur nationalen Ernährungssicherheit NFSA aus dem Jahr 2013. Das NFSA nutzt zwei bestehende nationale Programme, TPDS und ICDS, um fast 70% der Bevölkerung Rechtsansprüche zu gewähren. Dieses Gesetz war das Ergebnis einer größeren rechtebasierten Bewegung in Indien, die seit über einem Jahrzehnt das Ziel hat, soziale und wirtschaftliche Rechte zu kodifizieren. Es stellt sich die Frage, ob dieses neue Gesetz es ermöglicht hat, durch eine Stärkung der Governance der bestehenden Programme einen Lebenszyklusansatz in der Ernährungssicherung zu etablieren. Diese Doktorarbeit verwendet einen Ansatz vergleichender Fallstudien, um zu untersuchen, wie das NFSA die Umsetzung der Ernährungsprogramme in den Staaten Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh und der Hauptstadt Neu Delhi reformiert hat. Die vier Hauptziele der Dissertation sind: 1) die Änderungen, die durch das NFSA vorgeschrieben wurden, zu beschreiben 2) die Effektivität dieser Reformen bei der Bewältigung von Governance-Herausforderungen zu erklären, 3) die weiterhin bestehenden Governanceprobleme und Gründe dafür zu erklären, und 4) Strategien zu erarbeiten, die zur Behebung dieser Defizite beitragen können. Diese vier Aspekte wurden untersucht mittels Befragung von Schlüsselpersonen, Tiefeninterviews, Fokusgruppendiskussionen, teilnehmender Beobachtung, Matrix-Ranking und Prozessnetzkartierung (process net-mapping), ein innovatives und partizipatives Instrument, das komplexe institutionelle Prozesse und Akteure abbildet. Die vorliegende Doktorarbeit besteht aus neun Kapiteln. Das erste Kapitel gibt eine Einleitung in die Rätselhaftigkeit der Ernährungslage in Indien, und warum staatliche Bemühungen dieses Problem anzugehen, nur dürftige Ergebnisse erzielt haben. Das zweite Kapitel stellt einen konzeptionellen Rahmen bezüglich Governance-Herausforderungen und einen institutionellen Rahmen bezüglich Nachfrage- und Angebotsfaktoren, die zu wirkungsvollen Politikmaßnahmen und Programmgestaltung beitragen, dar. Kapitel drei und vier geben einen Überblick über TPDS, ICDS und NRCs, und über die bestehende Literatur bezüglich der Governance-Herausforderungen dieser drei Programme. Kapitel fünf beschreibt das Studiendesign, die angewandten Methoden und die Forschungsprotokolle. Kapitel sechs bis acht untersuchen jeweils eins der drei Programme und erklären Schlüsselergebnisse über die drei ausgewählten Untersuchungsstandorte hinweg. Die Dissertation schließt mit einer übergreifenden Zusammenfassung für diese Programme vor dem Hintergrund des neuen Gesetzes und gibt wegweisende Vorschläge wie man diese institutionellen Defizite zur Verbesserung der Ernährungssicherheit adressiert.

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    Authors: Chugh, Tushar;

    Steering feedback is an important element that defines driver–vehicle interaction. It strongly affects driving performance and is primarily dependent on the steering actuator's control strategy. Typically, the control method is open loop, that is without any reference tracking; and its drawbacks are hardware dependent steering feedback response and attenuated driver–environment transparency. This thesis investigates a closed-loop control method for electric power assisted steering and steer-by-wire systems. The advantages of this method, compared to open loop, are better hardware impedance compensation, system independent response, explicit transparency control and direct interface to active safety functions. The closed-loop architecture, outlined in this thesis, includes a reference model, a feedback controller and a disturbance observer. The feedback controller forms the inner loop and it ensures: reference tracking, hardware impedance compensation and robustness against the coupling uncertainties. Two different causalities are studied: torque and position control. The two are objectively compared from the perspective of (uncoupled and coupled) stability, tracking performance, robustness, and transparency. The reference model forms the outer loop and defines a torque or position reference variable, depending on the causality. Different haptic feedback functions are implemented to control the following parameters: inertia, damping, Coulomb friction and transparency. Transparency control in this application is particularly novel, which is sequentially achieved. For non-transparent steering feedback, an environment model is developed such that the reference variable is a function of virtual dynamics. Consequently, the driver–steering interaction is independent from the actual environment. Whereas, for the driver–environment transparency, the environment interaction is estimated using an observer; and then the estimated signal is fed back to the reference model. Furthermore, an optimization-based transparency algorithm is proposed. This renders the closed-loop system transparent in case of environmental uncertainty, even if the initial condition is non-transparent. The steering related active safety functions can be directly realized using the closed-loop steering feedback controller. This implies, but is not limited to, an angle overlay from the vehicle motion control functions and a torque overlay from the haptic support functions. Throughout the thesis, both experimental and the theoretical findings are corroborated. This includes a real-time implementation of the torque and position control strategies. In general, it can be concluded that position control lacks performance and robustness due to high and/or varying system inertia. Though the problem is somewhat mitigated by a robust H-infinity controller, the high frequency haptic performance remains compromised. Whereas, the required objectives are simultaneously achieved using a torque controller.

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    Chalmers Research
    Doctoral thesis . 2021
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      Chalmers Research
      Doctoral thesis . 2021
      Data sources: Chalmers Research