Abstract:
For many constraint satisfaction problems, the algorithm which chooses a random assignment achieves the best possible approximation ratio. For instance, a simple random assignment for {\sc Max-E3-Sat} allows 7/8-approximation and for every $\eps >0$ there is no polynomial-time ($7/8+\eps$)-approximation unless P=NP. Another example is the {\sc Permutation CSP} of bounded arity. Given the expected fraction $\rho$ of the constraints satisfied by a random assignment (i.e. permutation), there is no $(\rho+\eps)$-approximation algorithm for every $\eps >0$, assuming the Unique Games Conjecture (UGC). In this work, we consider the following parameterization of constraint satisfaction problems. Given a set of $m$ constraints of constant arity, can we satisfy at least $\rho m +k$ constraint, where $\rho$ is the expected fraction of constraints satisfied by a random assignment? {\sc Constraint Satisfaction Problems above Average} have been posed in different forms in the literature \cite{Niedermeier2006,MahajanRamanSikdar09}. We present a faster parameterized algorithm for deciding whether $m/2+k/2$ equations can be simultaneously satisfied over ${\mathbb F}_2$. As a consequence, we obtain $O(k)$-variable bikernels for {\sc boolean CSPs} of arity $c$ for every fixed $c$, and for {\sc permutation CSPs} of arity 3. This implies linear bikernels for many problems under the "above average" parameterization, such as {\sc Max-$c$-Sat}, {\sc Set-Splitting}, {\sc Betweenness} and {\sc Max Acyclic Subgraph}. As a result, all the parameterized problems we consider in this paper admit $2^{O(k)}$-time algorithms. We also obtain non-trivial hybrid algorithms for every Max $c$-CSP: for every instance $I$, we can either approximate $I$ beyond the random assignment threshold in polynomial time, or we can find an optimal solution to $I$ in subexponential time.

Abstract:
In the Permutation Constraint Satisfaction Problem (Permutation CSP) we are given a set of variables $V$ and a set of constraints C, in which constraints are tuples of elements of V. The goal is to find a total ordering of the variables, $\pi\ : V \rightarrow [1,...,|V|]$, which satisfies as many constraints as possible. A constraint $(v_1,v_2,...,v_k)$ is satisfied by an ordering $\pi$ when $\pi(v_1)<\pi(v_2)<...<\pi(v_k)$. An instance has arity $k$ if all the constraints involve at most $k$ elements. This problem expresses a variety of permutation problems including {\sc Feedback Arc Set} and {\sc Betweenness} problems. A naive algorithm, listing all the $n!$ permutations, requires $2^{O(n\log{n})}$ time. Interestingly, {\sc Permutation CSP} for arity 2 or 3 can be solved by Held-Karp type algorithms in time $O^*(2^n)$, but no algorithm is known for arity at least 4 with running time significantly better than $2^{O(n\log{n})}$. In this paper we resolve the gap by showing that {\sc Arity 4 Permutation CSP} cannot be solved in time $2^{o(n\log{n})}$ unless ETH fails.

Abstract:
In this paper, we consider a number of results and seven conjectures on properly edge-coloured (PC) paths and cycles in edge-coloured multigraphs. We overview some known results and prove new ones. In particular, we consider a family of transformations of an edge-coloured multigraph $G$ into an ordinary graph that allow us to check the existence PC cycles and PC $(s,t)$-paths in $G$ and, if they exist, to find shortest ones among them. We raise a problem of finding the optimal transformation and consider a possible solution to the problem.

Abstract:
Analysis of eye diseases of patients at Kasungu District Hospital in Malawi was made. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and the health system faces a lot challenges in terms of resources. The study was, therefore, done to understand the burden and distribution of eye diseases in this resource-limited setting. A retrospective study was conducted by extracting data from data registers in the outpatient eye department for the period of May 2015 to June 2016. The data of the reported eye diseases analyzed with variables such as patient gender, eye disease type, patient age and times of the year. There was no association between eye diseases and gender nor with times of the year. However, it was noted that the commonest type of eye disease was conjunctivitis. And, there was strong association of some disease type with age, for example, conjunctivitis was common in young age group while cataract was common in the elderly. It was shown in this study that many of the eye diseases endemic in Africa do generally occur in this selected district as well. However, the analysis presents the possibility of reducing the incidences of many diseases by preventive measures and access to health facilities on time.

Abstract:
Aronia melamocarpa (AM) is a rich source of anthocyanins, which are known to help prevent obesity. The cyanidine-3-O-galactoside enriched AM extract (AM-Ex) containing more cyanidine-3-O-galactoside than conventional AM extract was recently developed. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of AM-Ex on adipogenesis and its action mechanisms in vitro using 3T3-L1 adipocytes. To examine the anti-obesity effect of AM-Ex, 3T3-L1 cells were induced adipocyte differentiation and incubated with various concentration of AM-Ex. Lipid accumulation, cellular triglyceride content, mRNA expression of transcription factors and adipogenic genes were analyzed. Treatment with 100 - 400 μg/mL of AM-Ex resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in adipocyte differentiation and triglyceride accumulation. mRNA expression of adipogenic transcription factors, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α, sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 were decreased. The level of gene expression of adipogenesis and lipogenesis-related genes, such as adipocyte protein 2, lipoprotein lipase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, ATP-citrate lyase and fatty acid synthase were decreased. These results suggest that AM-Ex alleviated risk factors related to obesity by modulating multiple pathways associated with adipogenesis.

Abstract:
As a preliminary study for the erection of floating structures using high performance concrete, this paper examines the bond characteristics between concrete and the reinforcing bar. Since the floating structure is constructed in aquatic environment, corrosion of the reinforcing steel is likely to develop more prematurely than in onshore structure in case of concrete cracking. A solution to this corrosion problem could use FRP rebar instead of steel reinforcement. To that goal, an experimental study is conducted on the concrete-FRP bond strength to verify if such FRP rebar develops performance comparable to the conventional steel rebar. A series of tests are performed considering the bond length of ordinary steel rebar and G-FRP rebar as test variable with respect to the strength of concrete, and the results are presented.

Abstract:
Given a digraph $D$, the Minimum Leaf Out-Branching problem (MinLOB) is the problem of finding in $D$ an out-branching with the minimum possible number of leaves, i.e., vertices of out-degree 0. Gutin, Razgon and Kim (2008) proved that MinLOB is polynomial time solvable for acyclic digraphs which are exactly the digraphs of directed path-width (DAG-width, directed tree-width, respectively) 0. We investigate how much one can extend this polynomiality result. We prove that already for digraphs of directed path-width (directed tree-width, DAG-width, respectively) 1, MinLOB is NP-hard. On the other hand, we show that for digraphs of restricted directed tree-width (directed path-width, DAG-width, respectively) and a fixed integer $k$, the problem of checking whether there is an out-branching with at most $k$ leaves is polynomial time solvable.

Abstract:
The study of arguments as abstract entities and their interaction as introduced by Dung (Artificial Intelligence 177, 1995) has become one of the most active research branches within Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning. A main issue for abstract argumentation systems is the selection of acceptable sets of arguments. Value-based argumentation, as introduced by Bench-Capon (J. Logic Comput. 13, 2003), extends Dung's framework. It takes into account the relative strength of arguments with respect to some ranking representing an audience: an argument is subjectively accepted if it is accepted with respect to some audience, it is objectively accepted if it is accepted with respect to all audiences. Deciding whether an argument is subjectively or objectively accepted, respectively, are computationally intractable problems. In fact, the problems remain intractable under structural restrictions that render the main computational problems for non-value-based argumentation systems tractable. In this paper we identify nontrivial classes of value-based argumentation systems for which the acceptance problems are polynomial-time tractable. The classes are defined by means of structural restrictions in terms of the underlying graphical structure of the value-based system. Furthermore we show that the acceptance problems are intractable for two classes of value-based systems that where conjectured to be tractable by Dunne (Artificial Intelligence 171, 2007).

Abstract:
We study the computational complexity of problems that arise in abstract argumentation in the context of dynamic argumentation, minimal change, and aggregation. In particular, we consider the following problems where always an argumentation framework F and a small positive integer k are given. - The Repair problem asks whether a given set of arguments can be modified into an extension by at most k elementary changes (i.e., the extension is of distance k from the given set). - The Adjust problem asks whether a given extension can be modified by at most k elementary changes into an extension that contains a specified argument. - The Center problem asks whether, given two extensions of distance k, whether there is a "center" extension that is a distance at most (k-1) from both given extensions. We study these problems in the framework of parameterized complexity, and take the distance k as the parameter. Our results covers several different semantics, including admissible, complete, preferred, semi-stable and stable semantics.

Abstract:
Given an input graph G and an integer k, the parameterized K_4-minor cover problem asks whether there is a set S of at most k vertices whose deletion results in a K_4-minor-free graph, or equivalently in a graph of treewidth at most 2. This problem is inspired by two well-studied parameterized vertex deletion problems, Vertex Cover and Feedback Vertex Set, which can also be expressed as Treewidth-t Vertex Deletion problems: t=0 for Vertex Cover and t=1 for Feedback Vertex Set. While a single-exponential FPT algorithm has been known for a long time for \textsc{Vertex Cover}, such an algorithm for Feedback Vertex Set was devised comparatively recently. While it is known to be unlikely that Treewidth-t Vertex Deletion can be solved in time c^{o(k)}.n^{O(1)}, it was open whether the K_4-minor cover problem could be solved in single-exponential FPT time, i.e. in c^k.n^{O(1)} time. This paper answers this question in the affirmative.