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2018-10

The Realm of Randomistic Variables

Hugo Hernandez
ForsChem Research, 050030 Medellin, Colombia
hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.29034.16326

Abstract

Randomistic variables are variables whose behavior can be either random or deterministic.
They are, therefore, a generalization that allows integrating determinism and randomness in a
single idea. In fact, randomness emerges as soon as information about a deterministic variable
is missing. On the other hand, determinism emerges when the variation of a random variable
approaches zero. In this report, some definitions of properties and operators on randomistic
variables are presented. In particular, the generalized n-order moment operator of a
randomistic distribution, as well as the n-order moment variation of the distribution, is
discussed. These operators are generalized, because the order n can be any real number
instead of a nonnegative integer. This definition gives rise to complex values of the moments in
certain cases, i.e. when non-integer order moments are considered for randomistic variables
that may take negative values. Furthermore, randomistic variables themselves may take
imaginary or complex values, giving rise to particular behaviors such as negative variances,
complex variances and zero variance of non-deterministic variables. The definition of a
deterministic variable is revised, concluding that for a deterministic variable, all n-order
moment variations are equal to zero, for any real value of n. In addition, some comments about
the differences between discrete and continuous randomistic variables are presented, in order
to illustrate that there is only a subtle difference between both types of variables, and thus,
they can be considered within the same mathematical framework.

Keywords

Complex Numbers, Deterministic Variables, Distribution Moments, Distribution Moment


Variation, Imaginary Probability Density, Random Variables, Randomistic Variables,
Randomness, Variance.

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The Realm of Randomistic Variables
Hugo Hernandez
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1. Introduction

Random variables are variables with missing information.[1] Randomness may emerge from
deterministic variables just by removing any piece of information, whether it is information
about the dynamic behavior of the variable, about the initial conditions, or about external
factors.[2] Temporal information can also be missing. In this case, an ergodic-stochastic
transformation takes place.[3] On the other hand, deterministic variables can be considered as
zero-dimensional random variables.[4] Thus, as can be seen, random and deterministic
behavior are mutually related. A broad concept that considers both randomness and
determinism is that of randomistic variables.[5] A randomistic variable describes any variable
with any particular degree of uncertainty, from complete lack of uncertainty (deterministic) to
the highest dimension of randomness possible. This randomistic realm merges the predictable
behavior of deterministic variables with the stochastic behavior of random variables.
Furthermore, it will be shown in the present report that the concept of randomistic variables
can be extended even further to the realm of complex numbers. Thus, some basic definitions
and properties of randomistic variables are introduced, and the behavior of imaginary and
complex randomistic variables is presented and discussed.

2. Characterization and Types of Randomistic Variables

Definition 2.1: Randomistic variables are variables that can be measured several times under
identical conditions.

Such identical conditions should be previously defined and correspond to the set of factors
that are controlled during the measurement. In some cases, the values obtained of the
randomistic variable might be always the same (deterministic behavior). In other cases, the
values measured might be different (random behavior). In general, any certain value ( ) can be
obtained for such randomistic variable ( ) with a probability ( ) ranging between and . If
a certain value has a probability of zero, such value will never be obtained. If a certain value has
a probability of one, such value will always be measured. The probability of occurrence of the
value can be defined as the relative frequency of occurrence of such value after performing an
(almost) infinite number of measurements of the variable under identical measurement
conditions. As it can be seen, a randomistic variable is not only represented by the variable
being measured but also by the conditions of the measurement. Any change in the
measurement conditions will result in a completely different randomistic variable being
measured.

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The Realm of Randomistic Variables
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The set of probabilities of occurrence corresponding to each possible value in a randomistic


variable is called its probability distribution, since the total probability of occurrence ( ) is
distributed among all possible observed values. For numerical variables, if the probability
distribution can be represented by a mathematical function, such function is denoted as the
probability distribution function of the randomistic variable. However, in some cases a simple
mathematical function describing the probability distribution might not exist.

It is therefore possible to characterize the behavior of a numerical§ randomistic variable by


means of its raw moments.

Definition 2.2: The -order raw moment of a certain randomistic variable is defined as:

( ) ( )
(2.1)

where ( ) is the expected value operator, which is simply a probability-weighted average


operator:
∑ ( )
( ) ∑ ( )
∑ ( )
(2.2)
where
∑ ( )

(2.3)

is the total probability of occurrence of a measurement of the randomistic variable.

Please notice that Eq. (2.3) is equivalent to the zero-order raw moment of the distribution of :

( ) ( ) ( ) ∑ ( ) ∑ ( )

(2.4)

Normally, is defined as a nonnegative integer number for random variables, but considering
the present randomistic generalization is allowed to be any real deterministic number.
However, as it will be seen in certain cases, some values of may lead to undetermined
moments. This is particularly true for large negative values of , when randomistic values that
can take a value of zero are considered.

§
Although categorical randomistic variables also have a probability distribution, since their values are not
numerical it is not possible to calculate their moments. From now on, all the discussion is limited only to
variables with a numerical interpretation.

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While there are an infinite number of moments for the distribution, it can be partially
characterized by a finite set of moments. The larger the set of moments, the more complete
the characterization of the distribution will be. Let us now consider another definition.

Definition 2.3: The -order moment variation of the randomistic variable is defined as:

( ) ( ) ( )
(2.5)

Definition 2.4: A randomistic variable is a deterministic variable if and only if

( )
(2.6)
for any arbitrary value .

If is a real random variable, then Eq. (2.6) is necessarily valid only for or .

If is a fixed random variable,[5] then the raw moments and the moment variations will
be deterministic variables. If is a moving or a drifting random variable,[5] then its raw and
variation moments will be random variables. Therefore, it can be concluded that both the raw
and variation moments are also randomistic variables. Please notice again that randomistic
variables may take complex values.

Furthermore, the second moment variation ( ) corresponds to the variance operator


( ), according to the following expression:

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ( ))
(2.7)

The variance operator is particularly important because it represents the behavior of different
types of randomistic variables as follows: If the randomistic variable is a deterministic variable,
then ( ) . If the randomistic variable is a real random variable, then ( ) . If the
randomistic variable is an imaginary random variable, then ( ) . Finally, if
( ( )) , then the randomistic variable is a complex random variable. Please notice
that a complex random variable might have a real variance, either positive, negative or zero, as
it will later be shown.

The behavior of imaginary random and complex random variables is much less familiar than the
behavior of deterministic and real random variables. Thus, imaginary and complex random
variables will be discussed in more detail in Section 4. But first in Section 3 some comments will
be presented regarding the difference between discrete and continuous randomistic variables.

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The Realm of Randomistic Variables
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3. Discrete vs. Continuous Randomistic Variables

The equations introduced in Section 2, although general, are considered only for discrete
variables and not for continuous variables. However, it will be shown that the continuous
variables are just a particular case (based on an ideal assumption) of discrete variables.
Although continuous variables exist in theory, in practice all measured variables are discrete.
The reason is because any real measurement has always a limited resolution ( ), and
therefore, there are only a finite number of possible values that can be obtained. As the
relative resolution (defined as the resolution divided by the range of the measured variable)
becomes smaller, the behavior of the variable is closer to that of an ideal continuous variable.

Let us assume that there exists a continuous variable , which when measured is rounded to
the nearest possible value (considering the limited resolution), resulting in the discrete variable
. Then, the probability ( ) of a certain observed value will be:

( ) ∑ ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

(3.1)
where
( ) ( )
(3.2)
represents the cumulative probability of at its value , and ( ) represents the central
finite difference about .

Only in the limit when the resolution approaches zero, which corresponds to the continuous
case, the probability of the observed value becomes identical to the probability of the true
value:

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
(3.3)

Definition 3.1: The finite probability density ( ) of the distribution is the relative change in
cumulative probability with respect to the measurement resolution:

( )
( )
(3.4)

Thus, combining Eq. (3.1) and (3.4) results in:

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The Realm of Randomistic Variables
Hugo Hernandez
ForsChem Research
hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

( )
( ) ( )
(3.5)

This means that the probability of an observed value is the finite probability density of the
observed value times the resolution of the measurement.

Definition 3.2: For the particular case of a continuous variable ( ), the probability density
becomes (from Eq. 3.4):
( )
( ) ( )
(3.6)

and the probability of the observed value (from Eq. 3.5) is:

( ) ( ) ( )
(3.7)

Now, combining Eq. (3.3) and (3.7) yields:

( ) ( )
(3.8)
from which it can be concluded that , and:

( ) ( )
(3.9)

Thus, continuous randomistic variables can be regarded as a particular case of the discrete
randomistic variables, which occurs when the measurement resolution approaches zero. No
real measurement system has such resolution, and therefore, all measured variables in practice
are discrete randomistic variables.

On the other hand, Eq. (3.5) can be replaced in Eq. (2.2) resulting in:

( ) ∑ ( )

(3.10)
which in the continuous limit, replacing the sum by an integral, becomes:

( ) ∫ ( )

(3.11)

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Hugo Hernandez
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hugo.hernandez@forschem.org

where and are the minimum and maximum possible values of (or ).

The total number of elements considered in the sum of Eq. (3.10) is:

⟦ ⟧

(3.12)

which is the integer reciprocal of the relative resolution of the measured variable. Please notice
that in the continuous limit, .

It is therefore possible to consider that a discrete variable can be approximately treated as a


continuous variable, as long as is large, or alternatively as long as . While
there is no absolute limit for identifying the emergence of continuity, a simple rule of thumb
may be when , which corresponds to a relative resolution of maximum .

4. Imaginary and Complex Randomistic Variables

4.1. Complex behavior of the Moments of the Distribution

Imaginary and complex numbers may arise in real randomistic variables when determining the
moments of the distribution. Let us consider for example a continuous uniform distribution ( )
defined in the range from to , where and are arbitrary real numbers such that . For
this distribution, the -order raw moment will be given by:

( ) ( )( )

( ) ( )
{
(4.1)

On the other hand, since ( ) , the -order moment variation for this distribution is:

( )
( )( )
( )
( ) ( )
{
(4.2)

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While these results are relatively simple mathematical expressions, if , and , the
resulting values for ( ) and ( ) are complex numbers. Furthermore, if , and
, the result of the integral is undetermined.**

Particularly, let us consider the Type I standard uniform distribution,[4] with zero mean and
variance one ( ). In this case √ , and √ . Since ( ) , the raw moments
and the corresponding moment variation are identical, and are given by (for ):

( ( ) )
( ) ( )
( )
(4.3)

The real and imaginary parts of the moments ( ) as a function of , with , are
presented in Figure 1. Please notice the oscillatory behavior of both the real and imaginary
parts of the raw moments of this distribution. The oscillation frequency is , since a complete
cycle corresponds to units of . Furthermore, as increases the amplitude of the sinusoidal
oscillation also increases, as expected by the exponential growth in the numerator given by .
Notice that previously, the following equivalent expression was reported for the nonnegative
integer moments of this distribution:[6]

( ) {

(4.4)

Figure 1. Raw moments of the Type I standard uniform distribution as a function of


( ).

**
The result is undetermined because it involves a division by zero during the integration. While for
, there is also a division by zero, the result of the integral can be determined but it will be
complex.

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The complex moments of the Type I standard uniform distribution can also be represented in
the complex plane, as can be seen in Figure 2. For larger values of , the plot is expected to
continue on a growing spiral, always going through the origin of the complex plane when is
an odd integer.

Figure 2. Raw moments of the Type I standard uniform distribution represented in the complex
plane ( ).

Just by changing the values of and in the uniform distribution, different behaviors of the
moments are observed in the complex plane. Figure 3 presents the results obtained for the
uniform distributions considered in Table 1. These results are presented considering in a
different axis. If the range of values of the uniform distribution is in the real positive domain,
like in case B, then the moments of the distribution are only real values. Any change either in
variance (case C) or in the mean value of the distribution (case D) results in a completely
different behavior of the moments.

Table 1. Characteristics of different uniform distributions considered for comparing their


moments. Along with the limits and , the first raw moment (mean) and the second moment
variation (variance) are included.
Uniform Distribution
A √ √
B

D √ √

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A) B)
10
10
8
8
6
6
4
n

n
2
2
0
0

-2 -2
10
1
5 25 0.5 100
20 80
0 15 0 60
-5 10 40
5 -0.5
20
Im(Mn) -10 0 -1 0
Re(Mn) Im(Mn) Re(Mn)

C)
D)
10
10
8
8
6
6
4
n

4
n

2
2
0
0
-2
-2
1
5000
1.5 0 3
0
1 -5000 2
-1 1 4
0.5 -10000 x 10
0
Im(Mn) -2 0 -15000 -1
Re(Mn) Im(Mn) Re(Mn)

Figure 3. Three dimensional representation of the raw moments for different uniform
distributions. The order of the moment is presented in the vertical axis. A) Type I standard
uniform distribution. B) Type III standard uniform distribution. C) Uniform distribution between
and . D) Uniform distribution between √ and .

Similarly, it is possible to determine the behavior of the moments for any probability
distribution. As an additional example, let us consider the moments of the standard normal
distribution ( ). The probability density function for this distribution is given by:

( )

(4.5)

where represents any possible realization of

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The Realm of Randomistic Variables
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The moments of the distribution (for ) are given by††:

( )( ( ) )
( ) ∫ ( ) ∫
√ √

(4.6)

where ( ) represents the gamma function.

Since ( ) , then:

( ) ( )
(4.7)

The real and imaginary values of the moments of the standard normal distribution for
are presented in Figure 4 as a function of , in Figure 5 in the complex plane, and in
Figure 6 in three dimensions.

Figure 4. Raw moments of the standard normal distribution as a function of ( ).

††
The analytical integration result was obtained with the assistance of WolframAlpha.

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Figure 5. Raw moments of the standard normal distribution represented in the complex plane
( ).

4
n

-2
20
20
10
15
0 10
5
Im(Mn) -10 0
Re(Mn)

Figure 6. Three dimensional representation of the raw moments of the standard normal
distribution. The order of the moment is presented in the vertical axis.

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4.2. Randomistic Variables with Complex Values

Even though measuring an imaginary or a complex variable in practice is quite unlikely, there
are many mathematical functions of real randomistic variables that lead to imaginary or
complex results. Such functions thus become imaginary or complex randomistic variables. As
an example let us consider the following function of a certain real randomistic variable :


(4.8)
where √ represents the unit imaginary number.

If is a continuous variable with a certain probability density function ( ), then the


probability density function of is (using the change of variable theorem):[7]

| | ( )
( ) ( )| | ( ) ( )

(4.9)

Please notice that although mathematically | | , since the absolute value of an imaginary or
complex number is its distance with respect to the origin, the unit imaginary number in the
derivative should not be considered in the determination of the absolute value because
otherwise an imaginary probability would emerge. Please recall that ( ) ( ) , and
since is imaginary, must be imaginary and negative in order to obtain a positive
real probability.

In particular, if is a standard normal distribution with probability density function given by Eq.
(4.5), then:
( )

( )
√ √ √
(4.10)

Definition 4.1: Let us define this probability density function as the imaginary standard normal
distribution, which corresponds to that of a normal distribution with a mean value of zero and
a variance of (or a standard deviation of ).

It is possible to confirm these results from Eq. (4.8), by using the expected value and the
variance operators:

( ) ( ) ( )
(4.11)

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( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
(4.12)

Now, let us consider the more general of a complex function defined as:

(4.13)

where and are arbitrary real randomistic variables, and is an imaginary randomistic
variable. If and represent the mean and variance of , and and represent the
mean and variance of , then the mean and variance of are:

( ) ( ) ( )
(4.14)

( ) ( ) ( ( )) ( ) ( ) ( )
( )
(4.15)

where ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) is the covariance operator between and .

Eq. (4.15) indicates that if both randomistic variables and are independent, that is, if
( ) , then the variance of is a real number. On the contrary, if they are dependent
( ( ) ), the resulting variance is a complex number. Furthermore, If the variance of
is the same variance of (independently of their particular probability distributions), the real
part of the variance of is ; in addition, if and not only have the same variance but are
also independent, the variance of is zero, even though it is not a deterministic variable. Now,
if variables and are independent, and the variance of (the imaginary component) is
larger than the variance of (the real component) then the variance of is negative. The
opposite is also true, if the variance of is larger than the variance of , then the variance of
is positive.

Now, in order to understand the probability density of , let us go back to the expressions
given in Eq. (3.3) and (3.7), which when applied to and combined yields:

( )
( ) ( ) ( )
(4.16)
If and are independent variables, then:

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
(4.17)

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Therefore:

( ) ( ) ( )
(4.18)
Dividing by and assuming that is known, Eq. (4.18) can be transformed into:

( | ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
(4.19)

or into (if is known):


( ) ( ) ( )
( | ) ( )
(4.20)

Thus, we have obtained the conditional probability density functions of .

Definition 4.2: The conditional probability density function of a complex randomistic variable
is the probability density function of obtained when one of its components (either or )
is known.

Clearly from Eq. (4.19) and (4.20), if and are continuous, then ( ) . There is an
exception, however, when one of the two variables is deterministic. In those cases either
( ) , or ( ) . Representing the deterministic values as either ̌ or ̌, the
following deterministic conditional probability density functions are obtained:

( | ̌) ( ̌)
(4.21)

̌
( ) ̌
( | ̌) ( )
(4.22)

This means that the probability density function in the continuous complex plane is
infinitesimally small, similar to the probability of a continuous real variable. It is however,
possible to consider the behavior of the conditional probability density, if one of the variables is
deterministic, if the components of the complex variable are discrete or if they are continuous
but with a finite measurement resolution.

As an example of the determination of the conditional probability density function of a


complex randomistic variable, let us consider and to be real normal random variables.
From Eq. (4.19), the conditional probability density function of when has a known value at
its mean is:

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( )

( | )
√ √
(4.23)

Now, considering the result in Eq. (4.14) the following expression is obtained:

( )

( | )

(4.24)

Similarly, the conditional probability density function of when has a known value at its
mean is (from Eq.4.22):

( ) ( ) ( )

( | )
√ √
(4.25)

For the particular case when both variables are standard normal distributions ( ,
) then Eq. (4.24) and (4.25) become:

( | )
(4.26)

( | )
(4.27)

This case when both components are standard normal distribution is particularly interesting
because the mean value of is , and its variance is . However, this is
not a deterministic variable because the moment variation of is not zero for any value of . In
order to check this, it is important to present the expression of the -order moment for a
complex variable:

( ) ( ) ∫ ( ) ∫ ∫ ( ) ( ) ( )

(4.28)
and also the -order moment variation:

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( ) ( ) ( ) ∫ ∫ ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

(4.29)

For the standard normal distributions considered in this example, if the half-order
moment variation is‡‡:

( ) ( ) ∫ ∫ √
√ √
(4.30)

Since it was shown that there is at least one moment variation different from zero, this variable
is not deterministic although ( ) for .

Finally, as an example of a complex variable whose components are dependent let us consider
the following function:

( )
(4.31)
where is an arbitrary real randomistic variable with mean and variance .

The mean value and variance of for this example are:

( )
(4.32)

( )
(4.33)

This result indicates that the mean value of the distribution is complex, whereas its variance is
imaginary. Furthermore, the standard deviation of is:

√ ( )
(4.34)

which is also a complex number.

In this case, using the change of variable theorem it is possible to conclude that:

( )
( ) ( )| | ( ) ( )
(4.35)

‡‡
Numerical integration performed with WolframAlpha

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If is a standard normal distribution, then , , and:

( )

( ) ( )
√ ( ) √
(4.36)

In this case, there is no need of using a conditional probability density function because the
complex randomistic variable can be expressed as a function of one single real randomistic
variable.

5. Conclusion

The realm of randomistic variables integrates opposite concepts into one single mathematical
framework. A randomistic variable can present a deterministic or a random behavior,
depending on the observed variation of the possible values of the variable. Only if the variation
of all the moments of the distribution is zero, the behavior is deterministic, i.e. it is a zero-
dimensional random variable. The dimensions of randomness depend on the set of controlled
conditions associated to the measurement of the variable. Each uncontrolled factor (missing
information) leads to an additional dimension of randomness.

On the other hand, the concept of randomistic variables also integrates the behavior of
continuous and discrete variables. Continuity is seen as an ideal limit of discrete variables, but
the mathematics involved is essentially the same.

Finally, the generalization of randomistic variables includes the complex domain, integrating
real and imaginary variables. Since randomistic variables are not limited to real values only,
several interesting situations are possible, like for example negative or imaginary variances,
and random variables whose integer moment variations are always zero but are not
deterministic.

The complex domain of randomistic variables also allows the emergence of imaginary
probability densities, and particular probability density functions with complex mean values
and complex standard deviations. In addition, conditional probability density functions are
important in the case of complex variables where their real and imaginary parts are
independent.

It is expected that the randomistic generalization might provide the mathematical support for a
better understanding of the behavior of the World.

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Acknowledgments

The author gratefully acknowledges Prof. Jaime Aguirre (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)
for his helpful suggestions and discussion.

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public,
commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

References

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Perspectives. ForsChem Research Reports 2018-03. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.18642.04803.

[2] Tsonis, A. A. (2008). Randomnicity: Rules and Randomness in the Realm of the Infinite.
World Scientific.

[3] Hernandez, H. (2017). Ergodic-Stochastic Transformations. ForsChem Research Reports


2017-12. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.20325.70881.

[4] Hernandez, H. (2018). Multidimensional Randomness, Standard Random Variables and


Variance Algebra. ForsChem Research Reports 2018-02. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.11902.48966.

[5] Hernandez, H. (2018). On the Behavior of Dynamic Random Variables. ForsChem Research
Reports 2018-09. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.20135.19366.

[6] Hernandez, H. (2018). Expected Value, Variance and Covariance of Natural Powers of
Representative Standard Random Variables. ForsChem Research Reports 2018-08. doi:
10.13140/RG.2.2.15187.07205.

[7] Hernandez, H. (2017). Multivariate Probability Theory: Determination of Probability Density


Functions. ForsChem Research Reports 2017-13. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.28214.60481.

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