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See detailDistinct metabolomic signature in cerebrospinal fluid in early parkinson's disease: Early Parkinson'S CSF Metabolic Signature
Trezzi, Jean-Pierre UL; Galozzi, Sara; Jäger, Christian UL et al

in Movement Disorders (2017)

Objective: The purpose of this study was to profile cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from early-stage PD patients for disease-related metabolic changes and to determine a robust biomarker signature for early ... [more ▼]

Objective: The purpose of this study was to profile cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from early-stage PD patients for disease-related metabolic changes and to determine a robust biomarker signature for early-stage PD diagnosis. Methods: By applying a non-targeted and mass spectrometry-driven approach, we investigated the CSF metabolome of 44 early-stage sporadic PD patients yet without treatment (DeNoPa cohort). We compared all detected metabolite levels with those measured in CSF of 43 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. After this analysis, we validated the results in an independent PD study cohort (T€ubingen cohort). Results: We identified that dehydroascorbic acid levels were significantly lower and fructose, mannose, and threonic acid levels were significantly higher (P <.05) in PD patients when compared with healthy controls. These changes reflect pathological oxidative stress responses, as well as protein glycation/glycosylation reactions in PD. Using a machine learning approach based on logistic regression, we successfully predicted the origin (PD patients vs healthy controls) in a second (n518) as well as in a third and completely independent validation set (n536). The biomarker signature is composed of the three markers—mannose, threonic acid, and fructose—and allows for sample classification with a sensitivity of 0.790 and a specificity of 0.800. Conclusion: We identified PD-specific metabolic changes in CSF that were associated with antioxidative stress response, glycation, and inflammation. Our results disentangle the complexity of the CSF metabolome to unravel metabolome changes related to earlystage PD. The detected biomarkers help understanding PD pathogenesis and can be applied as biomarkers to increase clinical diagnosis accuracy and patient care in early-stage PD. [less ▲]

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See detailTeachers’, parents’ and students’ perspectives’ on teaching and learning Greek in a community school in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL

Scientific Conference (2017, August 25)

Many scholars have been interested in studying patterns of language shift or maintenance of migrants during their diaspora. One way of sustaining the development of the home language is through attending ... [more ▼]

Many scholars have been interested in studying patterns of language shift or maintenance of migrants during their diaspora. One way of sustaining the development of the home language is through attending a complementary school. This paper explores the differing perspectives on teaching and learning Greek in a complementary school in Luxembourg. The participants include the two teachers of this school, the mothers of three newly migrated families and their children. Like most children of newly migrated Greek families, the children in this study attend a state schools where they learn Luxembourgish, German and French (Gogonas & Kirsch 2016). They attend the Greek school one afternoon a week for three hours. The data stem from a survey with 37 parents and interviews with the teachers, parents and children. The findings of the survey indicate that the parents expect the school to develop high competences in Greek and knowledge of Greek culture and history. The newly arrived families have higher expectations than the established ones (Frygana 2016). The thematic analysis of the interviews indicates that the teachers adhered to a monolingual policy and reinforced a sense of “Greekness” by focusing on the Greek language and teaching some elements of culture (Tsagkogeorga 2016). They were aware that the multilingual children had different school experiences depending on their language competence and friendships. The children’s experiences varied in the light of their age and the teaching approaches. While the younger children saw little purpose in attending the school, the older child could make connections between the Greek school, the state school and her life and was motivated to learn Greek. The findings of this paper encourage teachers to reflect on their language policies and teaching approaches, and encourage them to capitalize on their students’ heterogeneity. [less ▲]

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See detailDeveloping language skills in 3-year-olds in multilingual Luxembourg: a case study
Kirsch, Claudine UL; Mortini, Simone UL

Scientific Conference (2017, August 24)

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See detailSocial acceptance and peer relationships of children with physical disabilities
Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke UL; Stevenson, Jim

Scientific Conference (2017, August 24)

Following the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities a drive towards inclusive education can be observed. Inclusive education not only aims to reduce educational inequalities but also ... [more ▼]

Following the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities a drive towards inclusive education can be observed. Inclusive education not only aims to reduce educational inequalities but also promotes social participation. Although social participation partly depends on the opportunity of social interaction with peers (Kirpalani et al., 2000), other factors such as social competence and peer acceptance are important too (e.g. Schwab et al., 2013). Children with special needs are often found to be socially excluded by peers (Garrote & Dessemontet, 2015) and have fewer friends than their typically developing peers (e.g. Eriksson et al., 2007). Research has also indicated that the incidence of social maladjustment problems in children with disabilities is at least twice of that for typically developing children (Goodman & Graham, 1996; Wallander et al., 1989). Hence children with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable in regards to their peer relationships and social participation. Method: Data were collected for a clinical sample of 87 children (aged 6-18 years) with disabilities (i.e. hydrocephalus with or without spina bifida) and 57 typical developing children. Children or parents completed measures on social acceptance (the Self-Perception Profile, Harter, 1985; Harter & Pike, 1984), peer problems and prosocial behaviour (SDQ; Goodman, 1997, 1999), friendship (Berndt et al., 1986) and perceived quality of life (Graham, Stevenson, & Flynn, 1997). Results: Parent and child ratings of social acceptance and peer problems indicated children with disabilities felt less accepted and experienced more peer problems than typically developing children. No differences in prosocial behaviour were found. Although parents of children with disabilities rated the quality of life regarding friendships lower than parents of typically developing children, no differences in child ratings were found. Children with disabilities rated their friendships as less positive compared to typically developing children. Variance in the perceived quality of life could be explained by peer problems and friendship ratings but not social acceptance or peer problems. Conclusion: Friendship and peer relationships emerged as an area of specific difficulty for children with disabilities. These problems were reflected in reports of lower social acceptance, more peer problems and less positive friendship ratings. Child rated quality of life in the domain of friendship was predicted by peer problems and quality of friendship but not social acceptance. Although parents and children were generally in agreement, this study demonstrates the importance of collecting data from different sources, including the children with disabilities themselves. [less ▲]

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See detailAngiotensin II regulates phosphorylation of actin-associated proteins in human podocytes
Schaffner - Ep. Reckinger, Elisabeth UL

in FASEB Journal (2017)

Within the kidney, angiotensin II (AngII) targets different cell types in the vasculature, tubuli, and glomeruli. An important part of the renal filtration barrier is composed of podocytes with their ... [more ▼]

Within the kidney, angiotensin II (AngII) targets different cell types in the vasculature, tubuli, and glomeruli. An important part of the renal filtration barrier is composed of podocytes with their actin-rich foot processes. In this study, we used stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture coupled to mass spectrometry to characterize relative changes in the phosphoproteome of human podocytes in response to short-term treatment with AngII. In 4 replicates, we identified a total of 17,956 peptides that were traceable to 2081 distinct proteins. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that among the increasingly phosphorylated peptides are predominantly peptides that are related to actin filaments, cytoskeleton, lamellipodia, mammalian target of rapamycin, and MAPK signaling. Among others, this screening approach highlighted the increased phosphorylation of actin-bundling protein, L-plastin (LCP1). AngII-dependent phosphorylation of LCP1 in cultured podocytes was mediated by the kinases ERK, p90 ribosomal S6 kinase, PKA, or PKC. LCP1 phosphorylation increased filopodia formation. In addition, treatmentwith AngII led to LCP1 redistribution to the cell margins,membrane ruffling, and formation of lamellipodia. Our data highlight the importance of AngII-triggered actin cytoskeleton-associated signal transduction in podocytes. [less ▲]

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See detailPerspectives on translanguaging and its practices in early years in Luxembourg
Kirsch, Claudine UL

Scientific Conference (2017, August 23)

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See detailSocial participation of students with special educational needs in regular classes
Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke UL; Krischler, Mireille UL

Scientific Conference (2017, August 23)

Theoretical background: Although more than twenty years have passed since the Salamanca statement (UNESCO, 1994), research still shows that children with special educational needs (SEN) are often socially ... [more ▼]

Theoretical background: Although more than twenty years have passed since the Salamanca statement (UNESCO, 1994), research still shows that children with special educational needs (SEN) are often socially excluded by peers (Garrote & Dessemontet, 2015) and have fewer friends than their typically developing peers (e.g. Eriksson, Welander, & Granlund, 2007). Following UN conventions (UN, 2006; UNESCO, 2000) there is a drive to a more inclusive society and hence inclusive education is on the political agenda of many countries. Inclusive education not only aims to reduce educational inequalities but also promotes social participation as being accepted and appreciated by typically developing peers facilitates the development of social relations and creates opportunities for participating in peer groups (Hartup, 1996). However, social participation not only depends on the opportunity of social interaction with peers but is also affected by social competence and peer acceptance (e.g. Schwab, Gebhardt, & Gasteiger-Klicpera, 2013). To this extent, children with SEN seem to have poorer social skills than their peers and experience more problems in creating and maintaining social relations (Carlson, 1987). Students with SEN are also more vulnerable of being bullied by their typically developing peers (Rose, Monda-Amaya, & Espelage, 2011). Studies comparing the social participation of groups of students having different types of SEN suggest that the risk of being less well accepted by peers is higher for students with behavioural problems than for students with learning difficulties (Avramidis, 2010; Bossaert, Colpin, Pijl, & Petry, 2013a). Social participation includes the extent of social interactions, peer acceptance, friendships as well as social self-concept (Bossaert et al., 2013a; 2013b). As merely including these students in regular classes alone cannot guarantee social participation, the question arises to what extent different person variables contribute to social inclusion or rejection. To this extent Bossaert et al (2013a) reported that not all students with SEN experience difficulties, and that especially boys with social-emotional difficulties (i.e. autistic spectrum disorders) and girls with motor and sensory difficulties were at risk. Similarly, Schwab et al (2013) concluded that social participation was associated with specific behavioural difficulties of some students with SEN. Students with learning difficulties may also be at risk as research generally has found that these students often have problems with social skills (Wight & Chapparo, 2008), which may affect their friendships and social participation. The current study therefore first aimed to investigate the social participation of primary school students with SEN (i.e bahvioural problems or learning difficulties) attending regular schools. Second, we investigated to what extent social participation was related to academic performance, behavioural problems, and prosocial behaviour. Method: Preservice teachers completed measures of social participation, behavior and academic performance for a total of 50 primary students. Students attended different primary school classes and were described as having learning difficulties, behavioural difficulties, or both. More specifically, preservice teachers completed the Perceptions of Inclusion Questionnaire (Venetz, et al., 2015), the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman, 1997) and estimated the students´ academic performance in German, French and Mathematics. The PIQ is a brief measure to assess the emotional, social and competence-based relatedness of students aged 8-16 years. The 12 items comprise 3 scales: social inclusion, emotional inclusion and academic self-concept. Each item is rated on a 4-point scale from 1 (not at all true) to 4 (certainly true). The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire consists of 25 statements of behavior. For each statement the degree to which this behavior is typical of their child Is rated on a 3-point scale (0 = not true, 1 = somewhat true, 2 = certainly true). The scale contains four behaviour difficulty subscales (conduct problems; hyperactivity; peer problems; and emotional symptoms) and one strength category (prosocial behavior). A total behaviour score is calculated by adding the scores of the four problem domains. Academic performance was assessed by estimates of students´ academic performance in German, French and Mathematics. Preliminary Results: Frequency distributions indicate that although the social participation of students with learning difficulties and behavioural problems, nearly one third experiences problems. In addition preservice teachers reported behavioural difficulties for a large proportion of their students (34-42%). Furthermore, for 46% of the students, prosocial behavior was rated low (i.e. scores less than 5). No differences in social inclusion were found for students with behavioural or learning difficulties. However, students with behavioural problems had significantly higher SDQ scores (i.e. more behavioural problems) than students with learning difficulties Social inclusion was negatively correlated with peer problems and conduct problems, that is students with more peer or conduct problems are less socially integrated. In contrast, a positive correlation between prosocial behavior and social inclusion indicated that students displaying kindness and support towards others are more successful in participating in their social group. No relationships were found between academic performance and social participation. Conclusion: Students with SEN may have difficulties to be fully accepted in social groups, even when educated in inclusive schools, whereby especially students with conduct and peer problems may be vulnerable. Prosocial behavior however may facilitate social participation. [less ▲]

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See detailLived Histories of Science Education in Modern Luxembourg: Interactions between Global Policies, National Curriculum and Local Practices.
Reuter, Bob UL; Schreiber, Catherina

Scientific Conference (2017, August 23)

The current paper is part of a larger research project, that seeks to gain insights into the policy and curricular reform of science education in Luxembourg’s primary schools through a state of the art ... [more ▼]

The current paper is part of a larger research project, that seeks to gain insights into the policy and curricular reform of science education in Luxembourg’s primary schools through a state of the art approach that integrates research in educational sciences (interviews and classroom observations) with research in the history of education (interviews and document analyses). Beginning with the premise that “science education” as a school discipline is the product of culturally shaped expectations, we examine the interface of international and national educational policy with local educational practice through the lens of primary school science education in Luxembourg (from 1920 through the present). This papers focuses on the historical analysis of science education and policy changes in modern Luxembourg using (1) a document-based historical analysis of curricula, textbooks and public discourses and (2) interviews with curriculum developers from the 1980s and 1990s and with key participants in science education in Luxembourg to examine the lived practices in a local context. In the synergy of the different approaches, local analysis of historically shaped notions of science education can be integrated with a transnational global perspective. Our analysis shows, among other findings, that the science education curriculum was conceived as a response to a variety of specific national educational needs (e.g. environmental protection, love of nature, scientific rational thinking, economy development, technological progress, social progress, demographic changes and challenges). But at the same time, it was covertly in line with international “scientization” policies (e.g. Drori & Meyer, 2009) building on transnational ideas such as the “spiral curriculum”. The analysed educational reform is thus a relevant example to understand culturally and historically embedded perspectives of what “science” is, and how this shapes ideals of “science education” as a discipline in school. [less ▲]

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See detailUnemployment Normalization in Different Economic Contexts
Houssemand, Claude UL; Pignault, Anne UL

in Liu, Yang (Ed.) Unemployment - Perspectives and Solutions (2017)

A recent strand of research has raised the question of whether a change is underway in the relationships that people have with work and nonwork. This body of work suggests that the manner in which people ... [more ▼]

A recent strand of research has raised the question of whether a change is underway in the relationships that people have with work and nonwork. This body of work suggests that the manner in which people view unemployment and not working is changing. This chapter pursues and clarifies the first results of this research. The authors hypothesize a process of unemployment normalization, defined as the view that unemployment is a normal or even inevitable phase of life in a person’s career path and is the result of external circumstances rather than personal ones. This was tested with 600 unemployed people in two different economic contexts—France and Luxembourg—using a scale that revealed two latent factors: Justification for current unemployment situation and Perceived normality of unemployment. The findings reveal differences in the degree of normalization according to socioeconomic variables as well as an impact on the perceived health of the unemployed. [less ▲]

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See detailFacial Expression Recognition via Joint Deep Learning of RGB-Depth Map Latent Representations
Oyedotun, Oyebade UL; Demisse, Girum UL; Shabayek, Abd El Rahman UL et al

in 2017 IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision Workshop (ICCVW) (2017, August 21)

Humans use facial expressions successfully for conveying their emotional states. However, replicating such success in the human-computer interaction domain is an active research problem. In this paper, we ... [more ▼]

Humans use facial expressions successfully for conveying their emotional states. However, replicating such success in the human-computer interaction domain is an active research problem. In this paper, we propose deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) for joint learning of robust facial expression features from fused RGB and depth map latent representations. We posit that learning jointly from both modalities result in a more robust classifier for facial expression recognition (FER) as opposed to learning from either of the modalities independently. Particularly, we construct a learning pipeline that allows us to learn several hierarchical levels of feature representations and then perform the fusion of RGB and depth map latent representations for joint learning of facial expressions. Our experimental results on the BU-3DFE dataset validate the proposed fusion approach, as a model learned from the joint modalities outperforms models learned from either of the modalities. [less ▲]

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See detailA "Flagship University" for Luxembourg?
Harmsen, Robert UL

Article for general public (2017)

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See detailEvolution systems of measures and semigroup properties on evolving manifolds
Cheng, Li Juan UL; Thalmaier, Anton UL

E-print/Working paper (2017)

An evolving Riemannian manifold (M,g_t)_{t\in I} consists of a smooth d-dimensional manifold M, equipped with a geometric flow g_t of complete Riemannian metrics, parametrized by I=(-\infty,T). Given an ... [more ▼]

An evolving Riemannian manifold (M,g_t)_{t\in I} consists of a smooth d-dimensional manifold M, equipped with a geometric flow g_t of complete Riemannian metrics, parametrized by I=(-\infty,T). Given an additional C^{1,1} family of vector fields (Z_t)_{t\in I} on M. We study the family of operators L_t=\Delta_t +Z_t where \Delta_t denotes the Laplacian with respect to the metric g_t. We first give sufficient conditions, in terms of space-time Lyapunov functions, for non-explosion of the diffusion generated by L_t, and for existence of evolution systems of probability measures associated to it. Coupling methods are used to establish uniqueness of the evolution systems under suitable curvature conditions. Adopting such a unique system of probability measures as reference measures, we characterize supercontractivity, hypercontractivity and ultraboundedness of the corresponding time-inhomogeneous semigroup. To this end, gradient estimates and a family of (super-)logarithmic Sobolev inequalities are established. [less ▲]

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See detailPrototype Incorporated Emotional Neural Network (PI-EmNN)
Oyedotun, Oyebade UL; Khashman, Adnan

in IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems (2017)

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) aim to simulate the biological neural activities. Interestingly, many ‘engineering’ prospects in ANN have relied on motivations from cognition and psychology studies. So ... [more ▼]

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) aim to simulate the biological neural activities. Interestingly, many ‘engineering’ prospects in ANN have relied on motivations from cognition and psychology studies. So far, two important learning theories that have been subject of active research are the prototype and adaptive learning theories. The learning rules employed for ANNs can be related to adaptive learning theory, where several examples of the different classes in a task are supplied to the network for adjusting internal parameters. Conversely, prototype learning theory uses prototypes (representative examples); usually, one prototype per class of the different classes contained in the task. These prototypes are supplied for systematic matching with new examples so that class association can be achieved. In this paper, we propose and implement a novel neural network algorithm based on modifying the emotional neural network (EmNN) model to unify the prototype and adaptive learning theories. We refer to our new model as “PI-EmNN” (Prototype-Incorporated Emotional Neural Network). Furthermore, we apply the proposed model to two real-life challenging tasks, namely; static hand gesture recognition and face recognition, and compare the result to those obtained using the popular back propagation neural network (BPNN), emotional back propagation neural network (EmNN), deep networks and an exemplar classification model, k-nearest neighbor (k-NN). [less ▲]

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See detailCoverage optimization with connectivity preservation for UAV swarms applying chaotic dynamics
Rosalie, Martin UL; Brust, Matthias UL; Danoy, Grégoire UL et al

in IEEE International Conference on Autonomic Computing (ICAC), Columbus 17-21 July 2017 (2017, August 11)

Cooperative usage of multiple UAVs as a swarm can deliver high-quality surveillance performance. However, the communication capabilities within the UAV swarm must be maintained for local data propagation ... [more ▼]

Cooperative usage of multiple UAVs as a swarm can deliver high-quality surveillance performance. However, the communication capabilities within the UAV swarm must be maintained for local data propagation to swarm members in favor of achieving an efficient global behavior. In this paper, we address the problem of optimizing two adversary criteria for such a UAV swarm: (a) maximizing the area coverage, while (b) preserving network connectivity. Our approach, called CACOC², solves the problem with a novel chaotic ant colony optimization approach, which combines an Ant Colony Optimization approach (ACO) with a chaotic dynamical system. CACOC² employs swarming behavior to obtain UAV clustering that result in maximized area coverage and preserved network connectivity. We show by extensive simulations how the size of the UAV swarm influences the coverage and connectivity. A metrics comparison chart shows the correlation of coverage and connectivity metrics. [less ▲]

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See detailDignity as Discursive Enactment of Tradition: A Narrative Approach on Tradition in Family Business
Adiguna, Rocky UL

Scientific Conference (2017, August 06)

Our current understanding of tradition in organizations remain very limited. The lack of studies that take tradition as the main focus have made this concept overlooked as an important organizational ... [more ▼]

Our current understanding of tradition in organizations remain very limited. The lack of studies that take tradition as the main focus have made this concept overlooked as an important organizational feature. In this paper, I set out to address this issue by exploring how tradition is (re)produced and (re)interpreted in a century-old family-owned hotel. By adopting a narrative approach as an interpretive lens, I found that the reproduction and reinterpretation of tradition is discursively mediated through the notion of dignity. In particular, this paper argues for three forms of 'doing' dignity: first, dignity-by-category that is enacted through the discursive use of category making; second, dignity-by-sanctity that is enacted through sanctifying particular relations; and third, dignity-by-authority that is enacted through the exercise of authority to compel others to acknowledge one's dignity. To extend it further, the possibility of conceptual relations between tradition, dignity, and narrative identity is discussed. Drawing from the broader fields of social sciences, this study contributes to the scarce literature on tradition theory and dignity in organizations. [less ▲]

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See detailPanel participant
Greiff, Samuel UL

Scientific Conference (2017, August)

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See detailCollaborative problem solving behavior. A deep dive into log files
Schweitzer, Nick UL; Herborn, Katharina UL; Mustafic, Maida UL et al

Scientific Conference (2017, August)

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See detailAn Integrated Approach for Effective Injection Vulnerability Analysis of Web Applications through Security Slicing and Hybrid Constraint Solving
Thome, Julian UL; Shar, Lwin Khin UL; Bianculli, Domenico UL et al

Report (2017)

Malicious users can attack Web applications by exploiting injection vulnerabilities in the source code. This work addresses the challenge of detecting injection vulnerabilities in a scalable and effective ... [more ▼]

Malicious users can attack Web applications by exploiting injection vulnerabilities in the source code. This work addresses the challenge of detecting injection vulnerabilities in a scalable and effective way. We propose an integrated approach that seamlessly combines security slicing with hybrid constraint solving, i.e., constraint solving based on a combination of automata-based solving and meta-heuristic search. We use static analysis to extract minimal program slices relevant to security from Web programs and to generate attack conditions. We then apply hybrid constraint solving to determine the satisfiability of attack conditions and thus detect vulnerabilities. The experimental results, using a benchmark suite comprising nine diverse and representative Web applications, show that our approach (implemented in the JOACO tool) is significantly more effective at detecting injection vulnerabilities than state-of-the-art approaches, achieving 98% recall, without producing any false alarm. We also compared the constraint solving module of our approach with state-of-the-art constraint solvers, using five different benchmark suites; our approach correctly solved the highest number of constraints (43177 out of 43184), without producing any incorrect result, and was the one with the least number of time-out/failing cases. In both scenarios, the execution time was practically acceptable, given the offline nature of vulnerability detection. [less ▲]

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