Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Causality: Modeling and Inference

Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference

Judea Pearl
Cambridge University Press, 13-Mar-2000 - Philosophy - 384 pages

This book provides a comprehensive exposition of modern analysis of causation. It shows how causality has grown from a nebulous concept into a mathematical theory with significant applications in the fields of statistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, cognitive science, and the health and social sciences. Pearl presents a unified account of the probabilistic, manipulative, counterfactual and structural approaches to causation, and devises simple mathematical tools for analyzing the relationships between causal connections, statistical associations, actions and observations. The book will open the way for including causal analysis in the standard curriculum of statistics, artifical intelligence, business, epidemiology, social science and economics. Students in these areas will find natural models, simple identification procedures, and precise mathematical definitions of causal concepts that traditional texts have tended to evade or make unduly complicated. This book will be of interest to professionals and students in a wide variety of fields. Anyone who wishes to elucidate meaningful relationships from data, predict effects of actions and policies, assess explanations of reported events, or form theories of causal understanding and causal speech will find this book stimulating and invaluable.

Professor of Computer Science at the UCLA, Judea Pearl is the winner of the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award in Computers and Cognitive Science.


Causality - Aristotle, Aristotle's Legacy, Descartes, Descartes's Successors, Hume, Kant - Knowledge, Epistemic, Effect, and Issue

Efficient causation: Our debt to Aristotle and Hume

A Short History of ‘Causation’[1]

Menno Hulswit
University of Nijmegen
P.O. Box 9102
6500 HC, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Aristotle - Four Causes Model

Aristotle identified  four causes. This four causes model is applicable to everything that requires an explanation, including artistic production and human action. Four types of things  can be given in answer to a why-question:

The material cause: “that out of which”, e.g., material used to create the output

The formal cause: “the form”, “the account of what-it-is-to-be”, e.g., the shape of the output.

The efficient cause: “the primary source of the change or rest”, e.g., the artisan, the mangers, the doctor etc.

The final cause: “the end, that for the sake of which a thing is done”, e.g., for increasing efficiency or productivity

All the four (types of) causes may enter in the explanation of something.

Google Books - Links

Revitalizing Causality: Realism about Causality in Philosophy and Social Science

Ruth Groff
Routledge, 18-Dec-2007 - Philosophy - 288 pages

This cutting edge collection of new and previously published articles by philosophers and social scientists addresses just what it means to invoke causal mechanisms, or powers, in the context of offering a causal explanation. A unique collection, it offers the reader various disciplinary and inter-disciplinary divides, helping to stake out a new, neo-Aristotelian position within contemporary debate.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ph.d Research and Development Methodology - Bulletin Board

Ideas, views, opinions and news related to R&D projects, funding agencies, Laboratories, methodologies,  achievements and research conferences .

Authors and  Visitors can write their ideas, views, opinions and news related to R&D projects, funding agencies, Laboratories, methodologies and achievements in the comments


June 2017

Principles of Industrial Engineering - Taylor - Narayana Rao




Physiology of Organisations: An Integrated Functional Perspective

Cecilia Margaretha Dean
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 16-Jan-2013 - Business & Economics - 210 pages

Can we imagine organisations to be like human bodies? Modern medicine has advanced since the study of blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile was assumed to explain how the body functions. Organisational science today is in a similar mediaeval position, with fragmented theories of structure, competitiveness and human resources, and no overall theory of organising. This book fills that gap by constructing a physiological theory of organising.

During the middle of the twentieth century, the anthropologist Radcliffe-Brown asserted that there should be a single branch of science for the study of human society. He maintained that a natural science, in the form of the study of the physiology of societies, was not yet available to form a link between theory and applied science. This research-based book explores the feasibility of studying the physiology of organisations, and determines whether this sort of knowledge can offer an improved perspective on organisational functioning. If we think about organisations in the same way that we think about human bodies, then we will be able to treat them when they are ill, and ensure that they work at maximum efficiency.

The first chapter has  good content on research methodology.


Development of a Method:  Treating depression with software
June 5, 2017

New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function
Of the mice that received the treatment, 75 percent got their memory function back.


June 2014

Research Methodology - NITIE Course 2014 - Course Page


Proceedings of the 2nd European Conference on Intellectual Capital: ISCTE Lisbon University Institute Lisbon, Portugal: 29-30 March 2010
Google Book Link, Preview facility available

Susana Rodrigues
1 Review
Academic Conferences Limited, 2010 - 761 pages

Interesting article
Theory Status, Inductive Realism and Approximate truth
Shelby D. Hunt, Professor Marketing

Psychology has a problem. We have no core theory to guide our research; no analogue to the theories of evolution or relativity.

epetri dish for cell culture studies

Cars featuring universal wireless standard Qi were exhibited in April 2011 Shanghai auto show.

International conference "Language Teaching in Increasingly Multilingual Environments: From Research to Practice"
16-18 September 2010
University of Warsaw, Poland
Conference announcement
We are pleased to announce an international conference “Language Teaching in Increasingly Multilingual Environments: From Research to Practice”, which will take place in September 2010 at the scenic campus of the University of Warsaw.
The aim of the conference is to provide a multilingual, international platform for exploration and exchange of research findings, perspectives, and experience in language teaching and language development in multilingual environments. The event will bring together academics, researchers, teacher trainers, materials writers, practitioners, and students concerned with foreign/second language acquisition and instruction. Special emphasis will be given to empirical research which can inform foreign language teaching practice. The event will combine plenary addresses, roundtable discussions, paper sessions in thematic strands, and a poster session.
Second call for papers

There are still a few presentation slots available. Proposals are invited for high-quality, original 20-minute oral presentations and posters that broadly fall within the following themes and topics:
A. language instruction, acquisition and learning, including CLIL, bilingual education, and TLA;
B. resources and technology, including native- and non-native corpus-based materials;
C. language assessment and program evaluation;
D. special education, including sign language and teaching students with a visual impairment.

Paper submission:

Please send two copies of an abstract of no more than 300 words (excluding references), in .rtf format, as e-mail attachments to Michal.Paradowski(at)uw.edu.pl by April 30, 2010. The e-mail should use the subject header “LTIME submission”, your last name, the language of your submission, the letter of your chosen thematic strand, and whether you intend to present a paper or poster
Information sent to Narayana Rao by Prof MBP Lee, A Knol Author.

A progesterone injection can help breast cancer patients

The research related to this discovery and prescription was carried out by Dr. Rajendra Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Hospital. The research has a 18 year history. Dr. Badwe observed that women who were operated in the second half of their menstrual cycle had a  better outcome.
On 12th December 2009, Dr. Badwe presented his recent research paper that describes the validation of the hypothesis. The study was conducted on more than 1000 women.
Related Link
Primary Progesterone Therapy for Operable Breast Cancer
Some Research papers of Dr. Badwe

Does primary tumor location have prognostic significance in operable breast cancer?
Rajendra A Badwe & Mangesh A Thorat
Dr Badwe is first Indian to win the global cancer award in 2003


A fundamental hypothesis of science is that appearances are deceptive adn that there is a way of looking at or interpreting or organising the evidence that will reveal superficially disconnected ad diverse phenomena to be manifestations of a more fundamental and relatively simple structure.
A theory is the way we perceive "facts,' and we cannot perceive "facts" without a theory. -  Milton Friedman in Essays Positive  Economics.
What Friedman means by the statement  "A theory is the way we perceive "facts,' and we cannot perceive "facts" without a theory." is that unless a theory is developed by some scientists, many cannot perceive the facts appropriately. Only when a theory was proposed and empirically found to be acceptable, proper perception of the facts takes places.


What is Theory?

The purpose of any theory in an subject is to facilitate deduction of logical propositions that help us to predict the phenomenon related to the theory. Theories keep changing on the basis of research results. Sutton and Staw have pointed out that references, data, lists of variables or constructs, diagrams, and hypotheses are not theory. They point out that "theory is the answer to queries of why. Theory is about the connections among phenomena, a story about why acts, events, structure, and thoughts occur. Theory emphasizes the nature of causal relationships, identifying what comes first as well as the timing of such events. Strong theory in our view, delves into the underlying processes so as to understand the systematic reasons for a particular occurrence or non-occurrence.

4.6.2009 Doing research that makes a difference

An interesting reading for research scholars
Hackman, J. R.  1985,  "Doing research that makes a difference."  In E. E. Lawler, A. M. Mohrman, S. A. Mohrman, G. E. Ledford, & T. G. Cummings (Eds.), Doing research that is useful for theory and practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.  
You can request for a copy from the web page of Prof Hackman,

4.6.2009 Prof Kembhavi

Professor Ajit K Kembhavi will be the new director of the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, India

2.6.2009  1st Annual “Global Conference on Systems and Enterprises”


Research papers are invited  for the 1st Annual “Global Conference on Systems and Enterprises” jointly organized by NTU and Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey, and to be held in NTU, Singapore Dec 2-4, 2009.
Deadline for submission of a full paper is July 15.
The theme for the conference this year is “Critical Infrastructure Systems and Enterprises.
Nanyang Technical University - NTU, Singapore

Descriptive Accuracy and Analytical Relevance in Theory Building

Milton Friedman says "ideal types" in the abstract models developed by economists have been regarded by some as strictly descriptive categories intended to correspond directly and fully to entities in the real world. Economists take the real world as it is, and construct "ideal types" to analyse it. Analysis means judgment regarding future outcomes. Marshall's perfect competition is an engine to analyse say, price formation in real world markets. An "ideal type" used in the model is not a photographic reproduction. Scientists have to focus on analytical relevance in theory building.

28.5.2009 Monsanto International Scholars Research Programme

Monsanto's Beacheli-Borlaug International Scholars programme to improve research and production in rice and wheat invites applications. To apply log onto www.monsanto.com/mbbischolars until May 31, 2009.

28.5.2009 - Talcott Parsons - Theory

Theory according to one view, would consist only in generalisation from known facts, in the sense of what general statements the know body of fact would justify. Development of theory would consist  entirely in the process of of modification of these general statements to take account of new discoveries of fact. The process of discovery of fact is held to be essentially independent of the existing body of "theory".  Discovery of facts is the result of some such impulse as "idle curiosity.

Against the above view may be set another. Theory most generally defined as a body of logically interrelated "general concepts" of empirical reference - in not only a dependent but an independent variable in the development of science. A theory to be sound must fit the facts but it does not follow that the facts alone, discovered independently of theory, determine what the theory is to be. Also one cannot say theory is not a factor in determining what facts will be discovered, what is to be the direction of interest of scientific investigation. 

(Source: The Structure of Social Action? Source to be verified)


14.5.2009 - INSA medals for Young Scientist 2009 

Indian National Science Academy declared INSA medals for Young Scientist 2009.

13.5.2009 Vodafone Essar-IIT centre of Excellence in Telecom

Twentyone research fellow ships positions at Vodafone Essar-IIT centre of Excellence in Telecom.
Kharagpur, India

11.5.2009 - Wikipedia is not allowing material from recent research papers

Read Wikipedia Inquisition a knol by Claes Johnson    . 

11.5.2009 - Prizes for R&D

Innocentive Inc. http://www.innocentive.com/  has posted hundreds of lucrative research contests, offering cash prizes up to $1 million.

A sample

INNOCENTIVE 8104947         eRFP      

Optimum-Cost Development Partner Search
The Seeker would like to identify optimum-cost development partner candidates around the world. The Seeker will be developing several liquid product dispensing platforms over the next several years. The dispensers will be modular and will contain functional modules that are standard across all dispenser platforms. We are looking for an optimum cost development partner who is capable of doing routine engineering work including designing, and prototyping future pieces of dispensing equipment utilizing the existing functional modules.
Kavli Foundation endow three $1 million prizes to recognize basic discoveries in astrophysics, neuroscience and nanoscience.

11.5.2009 - Bulletin Board Started

Original knol - http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/research-and-development-knol-bulletin/ 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 1196

Updated  7 June 2017, 7 June 2014

Friday, May 26, 2017

Action Research

French and Bell (1978) defined it as:  The process of systematically collecting research data about an ongoing system relative to some objective, goal or need of that system; feeding these data back into the system, taking action by altering selected variable within the system based both on the data and on hypotheses; and evaluating the results of the actions by collecting more data.

Action research essentially involves:

* taking a static picture of the organisational situation
* formulating a hypotheses based on the picture
* the manipulation of variables in control of the researcher
* taking and evaluating a second static picture of the situation.

 Doing Research in Business and Management - Dan Remenyi et al.

"Action research...aims to contribute both to the practical concerns of people in an immediate problematic situation and to further the goals of social science simultaneously.  Thus, there is a dual commitment in action research to study a system and concurrently to collaborate with members of the system in changing it in what is together regarded as a desirable direction.  Accomplishing this twin goal requires the active collaboration of researcher and client, and thus it stresses the importance of co-learning as a primary aspect of the research process."
Editors, Action Reseach Journal
Ethnographic Action Research - 9 projects - Report on use of ICT in Poverty Reduction
Action Research Project - Zero budget natural farming

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research

David Coghlan, Mary Brydon-Miller
SAGE, 11-Aug-2014 - Social Science - 904 pages

Action research is a term used to describe a family of related approaches that integrate theory and action with a goal of addressing important organizational, community, and social issues together with those who experience them. It focuses on the creation of areas for collaborative learning and the design, enactment and evaluation of liberating actions through combining action and research, reflection and action in an ongoing cycle of cogenerative knowledge. While the roots of these methodologies go back to the 1940s, there has been a dramatic increase in research output and adoption in university curricula over the past decade. This is now an area of high popularity among academics and researchers from various fields—especially business and organization studies, education, health care, nursing, development studies, and social and community work.

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research brings together the many strands of action research and addresses the interplay between these disciplines by presenting a state-of-the-art overview and comprehensive breakdown of the key tenets and methods of action research as well as detailing the work of key theorists and contributors to action research.

Qualimetrics is an approach discussed in the above encyclopedia. There is a full book available on qualimetrics

The Qualimetrics Approach: Observing the Complex Object

Henri Savall, VĂ©ronique Zardet
IAP, 2011 - Business & Economics - 387 pages

Edited by Henri Savall and Veronique Zardet, Institut de Socio-Economie des Entreprises et des Organisations A volume in Research in Management Consulting Series Editor Anthony F. Buono, Bentley University The impetus for this work emerged from Savall's belief that there is a doubleloop interaction between social and economic factors in organizations, between behaviors and structures, and between the quality of life in organizations and their economic performance. When managers underestimate this dynamic interaction, the resulting tension ultimately manifests in lowered performance and increased costs, what he refers to as the "hidden costs" of organizational life. Only by delving into the depths of these organizational dynamics can we hope to fully understand - and create the basis for improving - organizational performance. The Qualimetrics Approach presents a different and challenging way of thinking about analyzing organizations, one that draws together quantitative information, financial analysis and qualitative insights into organizational dynamics. As Savall and Zardet argue, to gain a true understanding of what is happening in organizations, intervener-researchers must focus on all three perspectives, as ignoring any one of them will lead to incomplete understandings. Their approach underscores the importance of using qualitative data to validate quantitative depictions ("the numbers") of organizational performance in understanding the construction of financial statements. The strength of Savall and Zardet's approach is that it pushes us to go deeper, to fully understand the narratives underlying the numbers and the social construction of our financial assessments."

Visit Management Videos Collection


Updated   28 May 2017,  28 Jan 2016,  7 Jan 2012

Statistical Analysis - Dan Remenyi - Chapter Summary

Ph.D Research Methodology - Statistical Analysis

Mathematics and Statistics are  important for the analysis and interpretation of evidence in the business and management world. They enable us to deal with and to solve problems that otherwise would be quite intractable.

Representing Evidence
Evidence may be represented by graphical summaries such as bar charts and histograms, tabular summaries such as one-way and two-way relative frequency tables and by numerical summaries such as the mean and the standard deviation.

Bar Charts and Histograms
Familiar to everyone, is to use bar charts or frequency histograms.  A chart is drawn in which the height of each bar is proportional to the frequency with which that outcome occurs or, by dividing each bar by the total number of observed events, to estimate the probability with which that outcome occurs.

Measures of distribution
Distributions can be summaries in terms of certain key characteristics.  Range and quartiles are other dimensions that are sometimes used.

The Mean
The most common measure of location is the mean.

The Median
Another measure of location is the median, which is the measurement that falls in the middle of the distribution so that there are as many items below it as above it.

Standard Deviation

The range would then simply correspond to the largest value minus the smallest value.  The lower corresponding to a point below which one quarter of the points lie (the lower quartile) and the other to a point above which one quarter of the points lie( the upper quartile).

Important, distributions which arise in statistics.   The first is the binomial distribution, which is the case whenever there are only two possible outcomes: heads or tails, true of false, girls or boys, and so on.  The Poisson distribution is the limiting case of the binomial distribution when the probability of one of the outcomes is very small.

But the most important of all is the Normal distribution in which the distribution of outcomes follows the familiar bell-shaped curve.

Testing Hypotheses

The hypothesis of the thesis is many times tested using statistical tests of hypothesis.
A null hypothesis is stated and an alternate hypothesis is stated. One of them is accepted. Technical it is said
that the null hypothesis has not been disproved or disproved.

Type I and Type II Errors
The null hypothesis can be rejected when it is true (Type I) or be accepted when it is false (Type II). A Type I error is small – this is referred to as the significance level of the test.  5 per cent and 1 per cent it is given one star, between 1 per cent and 0.1 per cent two stars; and below 0.1 per cent three stars.

In order to determine the probability of making a Type II error, is specified as the power of the test.   At the 5 per cent significance level and with 90 per cent power.

m1 and S1, m2 and S2  then the difference in the means is d = m1- m2

 and the standard error of the difference is:
                       e =  S²1  + S² 2
So a null hypothesis is made that the true value of d is equal to zero and the d  calculated should exceed 1.96 x e with less than 5 per cent probability.

Gossett showed that even for small numbers of evidence points it is still possible to test the ratio of d/e, and he provided what is now called Student’s t –distribution which is used instead of the normal distribution.

Paired and Unpaired t-Tests
If it is possible to make both measurements on the same person, organisation or sampling unit, a more powerful test can be developed. Instead of testing the difference between the means, the difference between each pair of means is calculated and then the standard deviations of the mean of the differences is calculated.  This is called a paired t-test since it has been possible to treat the evidence points in pairs.

Tests of Association

For example, to ascertain if more beer is sold when the weather is hot the first step would be to plot a graph of the amount of beer sold against the temperatures.
A straight line could be drawn that is considered to ‘best fit’ the evidence and secondly it enables the error in the slope to be determined so that it can be seen if the slope differs significantly from zero.

Y = a + bx   (5)

Factor Analysis
For data reduction and the exploration of underlying dimensions.  It is therefore a technique that can be used to provide a parsimonious description of complex multi-faceted intangible concept such as the quality of service or the relationship between individuals in an organisation.

Consult the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling adequacy as it offers some idea of how relevant the factor analysis is for the evidence being used.  The rule for the use of this statistic is that if the KMO is less than 0.50 there is no value in proceeding with the technique.  The greater the value of the KMO the more effective the factor analysis is likely to be.

Examine the eigen-values.  Only factors with an eigen-value of greater than one are used in the analysis will explain more variability than any one of the original variables on their own.

Study the rotated factor matrix.  Examine each factor separately, looking for the input variables that influence the factor, which have a loading of 0.5 or more.

Attempt to combine the meaning of the variables identified in 3 above into an underlying factor or super-variable which will explain the combined effect of these individual variables, what is being sought is a relatively simple description of the complex effect of several of the original variables.

Correspondence Analysis

Correspondence analysis is a multivariate analysis technique that can be used to analyse and interpret cross-tabulations of categorical data.  The only constraint on the cell entries in the contingency table is that they be non negative.

The main output from a correspondence analysis is a graphical display that is a simultaneous plot of the rows and columns of the contingency table in a space of two or more dimensions.  Those rows with similar profiles are plotted ‘close’ together, as are columns with similar profiles.

The number of dimensions needed for  a perfect representation of a contingency table is given by the minimum of (R-1) and (C-1), which for a large contingency table will clearly not be helpful.
The ANACOR program within the SPSS package can be used to perform a correspondence analysis.

Very detailed description of Statistics used in Research Studies

Handbook of Chemometrics and Qualimetrics, Part 1

Elsevier, 12-Dec-1997 - Technology & Engineering - 886 pages

Handbook of Chemometrics and Qualimetrics, Part 2

Elsevier, 04-Dec-1998 - Science - 876 pages

Updated 28 May 2017, 1 June 2013

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Essays on Research Methodology - Dinesh Hegde - Book Information

Essays on Research Methodology

Dinesh S. Hegde
Springer, 03-Jun-2015 - Business & Economics - 234 pa

The book presents a collection of essays addressing a perceived need for persistent and logical thinking, critical reasoning, rigor and relevance on the part of researchers pursuing their doctorates. Accordingly, eminent experts have come together to consider these significant aspects of the research process, which result in different knowledge claims in different fields or subject areas. An attempt has been made to find a common denominator across diverse management disciplines, so that the broadest range of researchers can benefit from the book. The topics have been carefully chosen to cover problem formulation, contextualizing, soft & hard modeling, qualitative and quantitative analysis and ethical issues, in addition to the design of experiments and survey-based research.

The distinguishing feature of this book is that it recognizes the diverse backgrounds of scholars from different interdisciplinary areas as well as their varying needs with regard to modeling, observations, measurements, aggregation, data analyses, etc. After all, researchers are expected to deepen our understanding, expand on existing information, introduce fresh insights, present new evidence and/or disprove accepted theories, hypotheses etc. More importantly, the book cautions against the over-reliance on software packages and mechanical interpretation of results based on the size, sign and significance of the coefficients obtained. Instead, the focus is on the underlying theories, hypotheses and relationships and on establishing new ones. In doing so, due care is taken to clearly enunciate what exactly constitutes a knowledge claim and what is methodology as distinct from methods, tools and techniques.