Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 328

328
10010151
Clique and Clan Analysis of Patient-Sharing Physician Collaborations
Abstract:

The collaboration among physicians during episodes of care for a hospitalised patient has a significant contribution towards effective health outcome. This research aims at improving this health outcome by analysing the attributes of patient-sharing physician collaboration network (PCN) on hospital data. To accomplish this goal, we present a research framework that explores the impact of several types of attributes (such as clique and clan) of PCN on hospitalisation cost and hospital length of stay. We use electronic health insurance claim dataset to construct and explore PCNs. Each PCN is categorised as ‘low’ and ‘high’ in terms of hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The results from the proposed model show that the clique and clan of PCNs affect the hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The clique and clan of PCNs show the difference between ‘low’ and ‘high’ PCNs in terms of hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The findings and insights from this research can potentially help the healthcare stakeholders to better formulate the policy in order to improve quality of care while reducing cost.

327
10010001
Cheiloscopy and Dactylography in Relation to ABO Blood Groups: Egyptian vs. Malay Populations
Abstract:
Establishing association between lip print patterns and those of fingerprints as well as blood groups is of fundamental importance in the forensic identification domain. The first aim of the current study was to determine the prevalent types of ABO blood groups, lip prints and fingerprints patterns in both studied populations. Secondly, to analyze any relation found between the different print patterns and the blood groups, which would be valuable in identification purposes. The present study was conducted on 60 healthy volunteers, (30 males and 30 females) from each of the studied population. Lip prints and fingerprints were obtained and classified according to Tsuchihashi's classification and Michael Kuchen’s classification, respectively. The results show that the ulnar loop was the most frequent among both populations. Blood group A was the most frequent among Egyptians, while blood groups O and B were the predominant among Malaysians. Significant relations were observed between lip print patterns and fingerprint (in the second quadrant for Egyptian males and the first one for Malaysian). For Malaysian females, a statistically significant association was proved in the fourth quadrant. Regarding the blood groups, 89.5% of ulnar loops were significantly related to blood group A among Egyptian males. The results proved an association between the fingerprint pattern and the lip prints, as well as between the ABO blood group and the pattern of fingerprints. However, further researches with larger sample sizes need to be directed to approve the current results.
326
10010020
Work-Related Shoulder Lesions and Labor Lawsuits in Brazil: Cross-Sectional Study on Worker Health Actions Developed by Employers
Abstract:
Introduction: The present study had the objective to present the profile of workers with shoulder disorders related to labor lawsuits in Brazil. The study analyzed the association between the worker’s health and the actions performed by the companies related to injured professional. The research method performed a retrospective, cross-sectional and quantitative database analysis. The documents of labor lawsuits with shoulder injury registered at the Regional Labor Court in the 15th region (Campinas - São Paulo) were submitted to the medical examination and evaluated during the period from 2012 until 2015. The data collected were age, gender, onset of symptoms, length of service, current occupation, type of shoulder injury, referred complaints, type of acromion, associated or related diseases, company actions as CAT (workplace accident communication), compliance of NR7 by the organization (Environmental Risk Prevention Program - PPRA and Medical Coordination Program in Occupational Health - PCMSO). Results: From the 93 workers evaluated, there was a prevalence of men (58.1%), with a mean age of 42.6 y-o, and 54.8% were included in the age group 35-49 years. Regarding the length of work time in the company, 66.7% have worked for more than 5 years. There was an association between gender and current occupational status (p < 0.005), with predominance of women in household occupation (13 vs. 2) and predominance of unemployed men in job search situation (24 vs. 10) and reintegrated to work by judicial decision (8 vs. 2). There was also a correlation between pain and functional limitation (p < 0.01). There was a positive association of PPRA with the complaint of functional limitation and negative association with pain (p < 0.04). There was also a correlation between the sedentary lifestyle and the presence of PCMSO and PPRA (p < 0.04), and the absence of CAT in the companies (p < 0.001). It was concluded that the appearance or aggravation of osseous and articular shoulder pathologies in workers who have undertaken labor law suits seem to be associated with individual habits or inadequate labor practices. These data can help preventing the occurrence of these lesions by implementing local health promotion policies at work.
325
10010035
CookIT: A Web Portal for the Preservation and Dissemination of Traditional Italian Recipes
Abstract:

Food is a social and cultural aspect of every individual. Food products, processing, and traditions have been identified as cultural objects carrying history and identity of social groups. Traditional recipes are passed down from one generation to the other, often to strengthen the link with the territory. The paper presents CookIT, a web portal developed to collect Italian traditional recipes related to regional cuisine, with the purpose to disseminate the knowledge of typical Italian recipes and the Mediterranean diet which is a significant part of Italian cuisine. The system designed is completed with multimodal means of browsing and data retrieval. Stored recipes can be retrieved integrating and combining a number of different methods and keys, while the results are displayed using classical styles, such as list and mosaic, and also using maps and graphs, with which users can play using available keys for interaction.

324
10010069
Design and Fabrication of a Parabolic Trough Collector and Experimental Investigation of Wind Impact on Direct Steam Production in Tehran
Abstract:

The present paper aims to the techno-economic feasibility of enhancing low-cost parabolic trough collectors in the light of developing the use of solar energy in under-developed regions where expensive high-tech solar devices cannot be afforded. Moreover, the collector is aimed to produce steam so that its performance is based on heat which can be discovered. In this regard, the manufacturing process and the detailed design models in Solidworks software are elaborated. Furthermore, the colletor’s material is chosen in a way to minimize the costs. Finally, to assess the performance of the built collector, it is installed in the site of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, and the values of the effective peripheral parameters, such as temperature, wind speed, and most importantly, solar irradiance, are recorded simultaneously in June. According to the results obtained, the manufactured collector with the aperture area of 2 m2 (1×2 m) is capable of producing 350 ml.h-1 steam. Also, the wind influence is comprehensively investigated in this paper. As a case in point, it was measured that as the wind speed maximized to 9.77 km/h, the amount of steam outlet is minimized to 580 ml.

323
10009923
Project Management at University: Towards an Evaluation Process around Cooperative Learning
Abstract:

The enrollment in current Master's degree programs usually pursues gaining the expertise required in real-life workplaces. The experience we present here concerns the learning process of "Project Management Methodology (PMM)", around a cooperative/collaborative mechanism aimed at affording students measurable learning goals and providing the teacher with the ability of focusing on the weaknesses detected. We have designed a mixed summative/formative evaluation, which assures curriculum engage while enriches the comprehension of PMM key concepts. In this experience we converted the students into active actors in the evaluation process itself and we endowed ourselves as teachers with a flexible process in which along with qualifications (score), other attitudinal feedback arises. Despite the high level of self-affirmation on their discussion within the interactive assessment sessions, they ultimately have exhibited a great ability to review and correct the wrong reasoning when that was the case.

322
10009968
Collaboration in Palliative Care Networks in Urban and Rural Regions of Switzerland
Abstract:
Due to aging populations, the need for seamless palliative care provision is of central interest for western societies. An essential aspect of palliative care delivery is the quality of collaboration amongst palliative care providers. Therefore, the current research is based on Bainbridge’s conceptual framework, which provides an outline for the evaluation of palliative care provision. This study is the first one to investigate the predictive validity of spatial distribution on the quantity of interaction amongst various palliative care providers. Furthermore, based on the familiarity principle, we examine whether the extent of collaboration influences the perceived quality of collaboration among palliative care providers in urban versus rural areas of Switzerland. Based on a population-representative survey of Swiss palliative care providers, the results of the current study show that professionals in densely populated areas report higher absolute numbers of interactions and are more satisfied with their collaborative practice. This indicates that palliative care providers who work in urban areas are better embedded into networks than their counterparts in more rural areas. The findings are especially important, considering that efficient collaboration is a prerequisite to achieve satisfactory patient outcomes. Conclusively, measures should be taken to foster collaboration in weakly interconnected palliative care networks.
321
10009852
Early Recognition and Grading of Cataract Using a Combined Log Gabor/Discrete Wavelet Transform with ANN and SVM
Abstract:
Eyes are considered to be the most sensitive and important organ for human being. Thus, any eye disorder will affect the patient in all aspects of life. Cataract is one of those eye disorders that lead to blindness if not treated correctly and quickly. This paper demonstrates a model for automatic detection, classification, and grading of cataracts based on image processing techniques and artificial intelligence. The proposed system is developed to ease the cataract diagnosis process for both ophthalmologists and patients. The wavelet transform combined with 2D Log Gabor Wavelet transform was used as feature extraction techniques for a dataset of 120 eye images followed by a classification process that classified the image set into three classes; normal, early, and advanced stage. A comparison between the two used classifiers, the support vector machine SVM and the artificial neural network ANN were done for the same dataset of 120 eye images. It was concluded that SVM gave better results than ANN. SVM success rate result was 96.8% accuracy where ANN success rate result was 92.3% accuracy.
320
10009860
A Framework for Teaching Distributed Requirements Engineering in Latin American Universities
Abstract:
This work describes a framework for teaching of global software engineering (GSE) in university undergraduate programs. This framework proposes a method of teaching that incorporates adequate techniques of software requirements elicitation and validated tools of communication, critical aspects to global software development scenarios. The use of proposed framework allows teachers to simulate small software development companies formed by Latin American students, which build information systems. Students from three Latin American universities played the roles of engineers by applying an iterative development of a requirements specification in a global software project. The proposed framework involves the use of a specific purpose Wiki for asynchronous communication between the participants of the process. It is also a practice to improve the quality of software requirements that are formulated by the students. The additional motivation of students to participate in these practices, in conjunction with peers from other countries, is a significant additional factor that positively contributes to the learning process. The framework promotes skills for communication, negotiation, and other complementary competencies that are useful for working on GSE scenarios.
319
10009823
Monitoring Co-Creation: A Survey of Lithuanian Urban Communities
Abstract:

In this paper, we conduct a systematic survey of urban communities in Lithuania to evaluate their potential to co-create collective intelligence or “civic intelligence” applying Digital Co-creation Index methodology that includes different socio-technological indicators. Civic intelligence is a form of collective intelligence that refers to the group’s capacity to perceive societal problems and to address them effectively. The research focuses on evaluation of diverse organizational designs that increase efficient collective performance. The current scientific project advanced the state of the art by evaluating the basic preconditions in the urban communities through which the collective intelligence is being co-created under the systemic manner. The research subject is the “bottom up” digital enabled urban platforms, initiated by Lithuanian public organizations, civic movements or business entities. The web-based monitoring results obtained by applying a social indices calculation methodology and Pearson correlation analysis provided the information about the potential and limits of the urban communities and what possible changes need to be implemented to overcome the limitations.

318
10009548
Optimizing Usability Testing with Collaborative Method in an E-Commerce Ecosystem
Abstract:

Usability testing (UT) is one of the vital steps in the User-centred design (UCD) process when designing a product. In an e-commerce ecosystem, UT becomes primary as new products, features, and services are launched very frequently. And, there are losses attached to the company if an unusable and inefficient product is put out to market and is rejected by customers. This paper tries to answer why UT is important in the product life-cycle of an E-commerce ecosystem. Secondary user research was conducted to find out work patterns, development methods, type of stakeholders, and technology constraints, etc. of a typical E-commerce company. Qualitative user interviews were conducted with product managers and designers to find out the structure, project planning, product management method and role of the design team in a mid-level company. The paper tries to address the usual apprehensions of the company to inculcate UT within the team. As well, it stresses upon factors like monetary resources, lack of usability expert, narrow timelines, and lack of understanding of higher management as some primary reasons. Outsourcing UT to vendors is also very prevalent with mid-level e-commerce companies, but it has its own severe repercussions like very little team involvement, huge cost, misinterpretation of the findings, elongated timelines, and lack of empathy towards the customer, etc. The shortfalls of the unavailability of a UT process in place within the team and conducting UT through vendors are bad user experiences for customers while interacting with the product, badly designed products which are neither useful and nor utilitarian. As a result, companies see dipping conversions rates in apps and websites, huge bounce rates and increased uninstall rates. Thus, there was a need for a more lean UT system in place which could solve all these issues for the company. This paper highlights on optimizing the UT process with a collaborative method. The degree of optimization and structure of collaborative method is the highlight of this paper. Collaborative method of UT is one in which the centralised design team of the company takes for conducting and analysing the UT. The UT is usually a formative kind where designers take findings into account and uses in the ideation process. The success of collaborative method of UT is due to its ability to sync with the product management method employed by the company or team. The collaborative methods focus on engaging various teams (design, marketing, product, administration, IT, etc.) each with its own defined roles and responsibility in conducting a smooth UT with users In-house. The paper finally highlights the positive results of collaborative UT method after conducting more than 100 In-lab interviews with users across the different lines of businesses. Some of which are the improvement of interaction between stakeholders and the design team, empathy towards users, improved design iteration, better sanity check of design solutions, optimization of time and money, effective and efficient design solution. The future scope of collaborative UT is to make this method leaner, by reducing the number of days to complete the entire project starting from planning between teams to publishing the UT report.

317
10009573
Developing an Instrument to Measure Teachers’ Self-Efficacy of Teaching Innovation Skills
Abstract:

There is a growing consensus that adoption of teachers’ self-efficacy measurement tools help to assess teachers’ abilities in specific areas in order to improve their skills. As a result, different instruments to assess teachers’ ability were developed by academics and practitioners. However, many of these instruments focused either on general teaching skills, or on the other hand, were very specific to one subject. As such, these instruments do not offer a tool to measure the ability of teachers in teaching 21st century skills such as innovation skills. Teaching innovation skills helps to prepare students for lives and careers in the 21st century. The purpose of this study is to develop an instrument measuring teachers’ self-efficacy of teaching innovation skills related to the classroom context and evaluating the teachers’ beliefs regarding their ability in teaching innovation skills. To reach this goal, the 16-item instrument measures four dimensions of innovation skills: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. 211 secondary-school teachers filled out the survey to quantitatively analyze the quality of the instrument. The instrument’s reliability and item analysis were measured by using jMetrik. The results concluded that the mean of self-efficacy ranged from 3 to 3.6 without extreme high or low self-efficacy scores. The discrimination analysis revealed that one item recorded a negative correlation with the total, and three items recorded low correlation with the total. The reliabilities of items ranged from 0.64 to 0.69 and the instrument needed a couple of revisions before practical use. The study concluded the need to discard one item and revise five items to increase the quality of the instrument for future work.

316
10009197
Metabolic Predictive Model for PMV Control Based on Deep Learning
Abstract:

In this study, a predictive model for estimating the metabolism (MET) of human body was developed for the optimal control of indoor thermal environment. Human body images for indoor activities and human body joint coordinated values were collected as data sets, which are used in predictive model. A deep learning algorithm was used in an initial model, and its number of hidden layers and hidden neurons were optimized. Lastly, the model prediction performance was analyzed after the model being trained through collected data. In conclusion, the possibility of MET prediction was confirmed, and the direction of the future study was proposed as developing various data and the predictive model.

315
10009275
An Analysis of Digital Forensic Laboratory Development among Malaysia’s Law Enforcement Agencies
Abstract:

Cybercrime is on the rise, and yet many Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in Malaysia have no Digital Forensics Laboratory (DFL) to assist them in the attrition and analysis of digital evidence. From the estimated number of 30 LEAs in Malaysia, sadly, only eight of them owned a DFL. All of the DFLs are concentrated in the capital of Malaysia and none at the state level. LEAs are still depending on the national DFL (CyberSecurity Malaysia) even for simple and straightforward cases. A survey was conducted among LEAs in Malaysia owning a DFL to understand their history of establishing the DFL, the challenges that they faced and the significance of the DFL to their case investigation. The results showed that the while some LEAs faced no challenge in establishing a DFL, some of them took seven to 10 years to do so. The reason was due to the difficulty in convincing their management because of the high costs involved. The results also revealed that with the establishment of a DFL, LEAs were better able to get faster forensic result and to meet agency’s timeline expectation. It is also found that LEAs were also able to get more meaningful forensic results on cases that require niche expertise, compared to sending off cases to the national DFL. Other than that, cases are getting more complex, and hence, a continuous stream of budget for equipment and training is inevitable. The result derived from the study is hoped to be used by other LEAs in justifying to their management the benefits of establishing an in-house DFL.

314
10009092
Economized Sensor Data Processing with Vehicle Platooning
Abstract:

We present vehicular platooning as a special case of crowd-sensing framework where sharing sensory information among a crowd is used for their collective benefit. After offering an abstract policy that governs processes involving a vehicular platoon, we review several common scenarios and components surrounding vehicular platooning. We then present a simulated prototype that illustrates efficiency of road usage and vehicle travel time derived from platooning. We have argued that one of the paramount benefits of platooning that is overlooked elsewhere, is the substantial computational savings (i.e., economizing benefits) in acquisition and processing of sensory data among vehicles sharing the road. The most capable vehicle can share data gathered from its sensors with nearby vehicles grouped into a platoon.

313
10008942
Associations between Metabolic Syndrome and Bone Mineral Density and Trabecular Bone Score in Postmenopausal Women with Non-Vertebral Fractures
Abstract:

Medical, social, and economic relevance of osteoporosis is caused by reducing quality of life, increasing disability and mortality of the patients as a result of fractures due to the low-energy trauma. This study is aimed to examine the associations of metabolic syndrome components, bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) in menopausal women with non-vertebral fractures. 1161 menopausal women aged 50-79 year-old were examined and divided into three groups: A included 419 women with increased body weight (BMI - 25.0-29.9 kg/m2), B – 442 females with obesity (BMI >29.9 kg/m2)i and C – 300 women with metabolic syndrome (diagnosis according to IDF criteria, 2005). BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and forearm was investigated with usage of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The bone quality indexes were measured according to Med-Imaps installation. All analyses were performed using Statistical Package 6.0. BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body, and ultradistal radius was significant higher in women with obesity and metabolic syndrome compared to the pre-obese ones (p<0.001). TBS was significantly higher in women with increased body weight compared to obese and metabolic syndrome patients. Analysis showed significant positive correlation between waist circumference, triglycerides level and BMD of lumbar spine and femur. Significant negative association between serum HDL level and BMD of investigated sites was established. The TBS (L1-L4) indexes positively correlated with HDL (high-density lipoprotein) level. Despite the fact that BMD indexes were better in women with metabolic syndrome, the frequency of non-vertebral fractures was significantly higher in this group of patients.

312
10008975
The Cooperation among Insulin, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Morbid Obese Children and Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:

Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.

311
10008988
An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
Abstract:

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.

310
10009150
The Valuable Triad of Adipokine Indices to Differentiate Pediatric Obesity from Metabolic Syndrome: Chemerin, Progranulin, Vaspin
Abstract:
Obesity is associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors and metabolic syndrome (MetS). In this study, associations between adipokines and adipokine as well as obesity indices were evaluated. Plasma adipokine levels may exhibit variations according to body adipose tissue mass. Besides, upon consideration of obesity as an inflammatory disease, adipokines may play some roles in this process. The ratios of proinflammatory adipokines to adiponectin may act as highly sensitive indicators of body adipokine status. The aim of the study is to present some adipokine indices, which are thought to be helpful for the evaluation of childhood obesity and also to determine the best discriminators in the diagnosis of MetS. 80 prepubertal children (aged between 6-9.5 years) included in the study were divided into three groups; 30 children with normal weight (NW), 25 morbid obese (MO) children and 25 MO children with MetS. Physical examinations were performed. Written informed consent forms were obtained from the parents. The study protocol was approved by Ethics Committee of Namik Kemal University Medical Faculty. Anthropometric measurements, such as weight, height, waist circumference (C), hip C, head C, neck C were recorded. Values for body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment Index-II (D2 index) as well as waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Adiponectin, resistin, leptin, chemerin, vaspin, progranulin assays were performed by ELISA. Adipokine-to-adiponectin ratios were obtained. SPSS Version 20 was used for the evaluation of data. p values ≤ 0.05 were accepted as statistically significant. Values of BMI and D2 index, waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios did not differ between MO and MetS groups (p ≥ 0.05). Except progranulin (p ≤ 0.01), similar patterns were observed for plasma levels of each adipokine. There was not any difference in vaspin as well as resistin levels between NW and MO groups. Significantly increased leptin-to-adiponectin, chemerin-to-adiponectin and vaspin-to-adiponectin values were noted in MO in comparison with those of NW. The most valuable adipokine index was progranulin-to-adiponectin (p ≤ 0.01). This index was strongly correlated with vaspin-to-adiponectin ratio in all groups (p ≤ 0.05). There was no correlation between vaspin-to-adiponectin and chemerin-to--adiponectin in NW group. However, a correlation existed in MO group (r = 0.486; p ≤ 0.05). Much stronger correlation (r = 0.609; p ≤ 0.01) was observed in MetS group between these two adipokine indices. No correlations were detected between vaspin and progranulin as well as vaspin and chemerin levels. Correlation analyses showed a unique profile confined to MetS children. Adiponectin was found to be correlated with waist-to-hip (r = -0.435; p ≤ 0.05) as well as head-to-neck (r = 0.541; p ≤ 0.05) ratios only in MetS children. In this study, it has been investigated if adipokine indices have priority over adipokine levels. In conclusion, vaspin-to-adiponectin, progranulin-to-adiponectin, chemerin-to-adiponectin along with waist-to-hip and head-to-neck ratios were the optimal combinations. Adiponectin, waist-to-hip, head-to-neck, vaspin-to-adiponectin, chemerin-to-adiponectin ratios had appropriate discriminatory capability for MetS children.
309
10009195
Cobalamin, Folate and Metabolic Syndrome Parameters in Pediatric Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:
Obesity is known to be associated with many clinically important diseases including metabolic syndrome (MetS). Vitamin B12 plays essential roles in fat and protein metabolisms and its cooperation with vitamin B9 is well-known. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible contributions as well as associations of these micronutrients upon obesity and MetS during childhood. A total of 128 children admitted to Namik Kemal University, Medical Faculty, Department of Pediatrics Outpatient Clinics were included into the scope of this study. The mean age±SEM of 92 morbid obese (MO) children and 36 with MetS were 118.3±3.8 months and 129.5±6.4 months, respectively (p > 0.05). The study was approved by Namık Kemal University, Medical Faculty Ethics Committee. Written informed consent forms were obtained from the parents. Demographic features and anthropometric measurements were recorded. WHO BMI-for age percentiles were used. The values above 99 percentile were defined as MO. Components of MetS [waist circumference (WC), fasting blood glucose (FBG), triacylglycerol (TRG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-Chol), systolic pressure (SP), diastolic pressure (DP)] were determined. Routine laboratory tests were performed. Serum vitamin B12 concentrations were measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Vitamin B9 was analyzed by an immunoassay analyzer. Values for vitamin B12 < 148 pmol/L, 148-221 pmol/L, > 221 pmol/L were accepted as low, borderline and normal, respectively. Vitamin B9 levels ≤ 4 mcg/L defined deficiency state. Statistical evaluations were performed by SPSSx Version 16.0. p≤0.05 was accepted as statistical significance level. Statistically higher body mass index (BMI), WC, hip circumference (C) and neck C were calculated in MetS group compared to children with MO. No difference was noted for head C. All MetS components differed between the groups (SP, DP p < 0.001; WC, FBG, TRG p < 0.01; HDL-Chol p < 0.05). Significantly decreased vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 levels were detected (p < 0.05) in children with MetS. In both groups percentage of folate deficiency was 5.5%. No cases were below < 148 pmol/L. However, in MO group 14.3% and in MetS group 22.2% of the cases were of borderline status. In MO group B12 levels were negatively correlated with BMI, WC, hip C and head C, but not with neck C. WC, hip C, head C and neck C were all negatively correlated with HDL-Chol. None of these correlations were observed in the group of children with MetS. Strong positive correlation between FBG and insulin as well as strong negative correlation between TRG and HDL-Chol detected in MO children were lost in MetS group. Deficiency state end-products of both B9 and B12 may interfere with the expected profiles of MetS components. In this study, the alterations in MetS components affected vitamin B12 metabolism and also its associations with anthropometric body measurements. Further increases in vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 deficiency in MetS associated with the increased vitamin B12 as well as vitamin B9 deficiency metabolites may add to MetS parameters.
308
10008702
Application of Subversion Analysis in the Search for the Causes of Cracking in a Marine Engine Injector Nozzle
Abstract:

Subversion analysis is a tool used in the TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) methodology. This article introduces the history and describes the process of subversion analysis, as well as function analysis and analysis of the resources, used at the design stage when generating possible undesirable situations. The article charts the course of subversion analysis when applied to a fuel injection nozzle of a marine engine. The work describes the fuel injector nozzle as a technological system and presents principles of analysis for the causes of a cracked tip of the nozzle body. The system is modelled with functional analysis. A search for potential causes of the damage is undertaken and a cause-and-effect analysis for various hypotheses concerning the damage is drawn up. The importance of particular hypotheses is evaluated and the most likely causes of damage identified.

307
10008795
Study on the Integration Schemes and Performance Comparisons of Different Integrated Solar Combined Cycle-Direct Steam Generation Systems
Abstract:

The integrated solar combined cycle (ISCC) system has a series of advantages such as increasing the system power generation, reducing the cost of solar power generation, less pollutant and CO2 emission. In this paper, the parabolic trough collectors with direct steam generation (DSG) technology are considered to replace the heat load of heating surfaces in heat regenerator steam generation (HRSG) of a conventional natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) system containing a PG9351FA gas turbine and a triple pressure HRSG with reheat. The detailed model of the NGCC system is built in ASPEN PLUS software and the parabolic trough collectors with DSG technology is modeled in EBSILON software. ISCC-DSG systems with the replacement of single, two, three and four heating surfaces are studied in this paper. Results show that: (1) the ISCC-DSG systems with the replacement heat load of HPB, HPB+LPE, HPE2+HPB+HPS, HPE1+HPE2+ HPB+HPS are the best integration schemes when single, two, three and four stages of heating surfaces are partly replaced by the parabolic trough solar energy collectors with DSG technology. (2) Both the changes of feed water flow and the heat load of the heating surfaces in ISCC-DSG systems with the replacement of multi-stage heating surfaces are smaller than those in ISCC-DSG systems with the replacement of single heating surface. (3) ISCC-DSG systems with the replacement of HPB+LPE heating surfaces can increase the solar power output significantly. (4) The ISCC-DSG systems with the replacement of HPB heating surfaces has the highest solar-thermal-to-electricity efficiency (47.45%) and the solar radiation energy-to-electricity efficiency (30.37%), as well as the highest exergy efficiency of solar field (33.61%).

306
10009031
A Hybrid Algorithm for Collaborative Transportation Planning among Carriers
Abstract:

In this paper, there is concentration on collaborative transportation planning (CTP) among multiple carriers with pickup and delivery requests and time windows. This problem is a vehicle routing problem with constraints from standard vehicle routing problems and new constraints from a real-world application. In the problem, each carrier has a finite number of vehicles, and each request is a pickup and delivery request with time window. Moreover, each carrier has reserved requests, which must be served by itself, whereas its exchangeable requests can be outsourced to and served by other carriers. This collaboration among carriers can help them to reduce total transportation costs. A mixed integer programming model is proposed to the problem. To solve the model, a hybrid algorithm that combines Genetic Algorithm and Simulated Annealing (GASA) is proposed. This algorithm takes advantages of GASA at the same time. After tuning the parameters of the algorithm with the Taguchi method, the experiments are conducted and experimental results are provided for the hybrid algorithm. The results are compared with those obtained by a commercial solver. The comparison indicates that the GASA significantly outperforms the commercial solver.

305
10008853
Design of Collaborative Web System: Based on Case Study of PBL Support Systems
Authors:
Abstract:
This paper describes the design and implementation of web system for continuable and viable collaboration. This study proposes the improvement of the system based on a result of a certain practice. As contemporary higher education information environments transform, this study highlights the significance of university identity and college identity that are formed continuously through independent activities of the students. Based on these discussions, the present study proposes a practical media environment design which facilitates the processes of organizational identity formation based on a continuous and cyclical model. Even if users change by this system, the communication system continues operation and cooperation. The activity becomes the archive and produces new activity. Based on the result, this study elaborates a plan with a re-design by a system from the viewpoint of second-order cybernetics. Systems theory is a theoretical foundation for our study.
304
10008602
Collaboration versus Cooperation: Grassroots Activism in Divided Cities and Communication Networks
Authors:
Abstract:

Peace-building organisations act as a network of information for communities. Through fieldwork, it was highlighted that grassroots organisations and activists may cooperate with each other in their actions of peace-building; however, they would not collaborate. Within two divided societies; Nicosia in Cyprus and Jerusalem in Israel, there is a distinction made by organisations and activists with regards to activities being more ‘co-operative’ than ‘collaborative’. This theme became apparent when having informal conversations and semi-structured interviews with various members of the activist communities. This idea needs further exploration as these distinctions could impact upon the efficiency of peacebuilding activities within divided societies. Civil societies within divided landscapes, both physically and socially, play an important role in conflict resolution. How organisations and activists interact with each other has the possibility to be very influential with regards to peacebuilding activities. Working together sets a positive example for divided communities. Cooperation may be considered a primary level of interaction between CSOs. Therefore, at the beginning of a working relationship, organisations cooperate over basic agendas, parallel power structures and focus, which led to the same objective. Over time, in some instances, due to varying factors such as funding, more trust and understanding within the relationship, it could be seen that processes progressed to more collaborative ways. It is evident to see that NGOs and activist groups are highly independent and focus on their own agendas before coming together over shared issues. At this time, there appears to be more collaboration in Nicosia among CSOs and activists than Jerusalem. The aims and objectives of agendas also influence how organisations work together. In recent years, Nicosia, and Cyprus in general, have perhaps changed their focus from peace-building initiatives to more environmental issues which have become new-age reconciliation topics. Civil society does not automatically indicate like-minded organisations however solidarity within social groups can create ties that bring people and resources together. In unequal societies, such as those in Nicosia and Jerusalem, it is these ties that cut across groups and are essential for social cohesion. Societies are a collection of social groups; individuals who have come together over common beliefs. These groups in turn shape the identities and determine the values and structures within societies. At many different levels and stages, social groups work together through cooperation and collaboration. These structures in turn have the capabilities to open up networks to less powerful or excluded groups, with the aim to produce social cohesion which may contribute social stability and economic welfare over any extended period.

303
10009002
Selection of Strategic Suppliers for Partnership: A Model with Two Stages Approach
Abstract:

Strategic partnerships with suppliers play a vital role for the long-term value-based supply chain. This strategic collaboration keeps still being one of the top priority of many business organizations in order to create more additional value; benefiting mainly from supplier’s specialization, capacity and innovative power, securing supply and better managing costs and quality. However, many organizations encounter difficulties in initiating, developing and managing those partnerships and many attempts result in failures. One of the reasons for such failure is the incompatibility of members of this partnership or in other words wrong supplier selection which emphasize the significance of the selection process since it is the beginning stage. An effective selection process of strategic suppliers is critical to the success of the partnership. Although there are several research studies to select the suppliers in literature, only a few of them is related to strategic supplier selection for long-term partnership. The purpose of this study is to propose a conceptual model for the selection of strategic partnership suppliers. A two-stage approach has been used in proposed model incorporating first segmentation and second selection. In the first stage; considering the fact that not all suppliers are strategically equal and instead of a long list of potential suppliers, Kraljic’s purchasing portfolio matrix can be used for segmentation. This supplier segmentation is the process of categorizing suppliers based on a defined set of criteria in order to identify types of suppliers and determine potential suppliers for strategic partnership. In the second stage, from a pool of potential suppliers defined at first phase, a comprehensive evaluation and selection can be performed to finally define strategic suppliers considering various tangible and intangible criteria. Since a long-term relationship with strategic suppliers is anticipated, criteria should consider both current and future status of the supplier. Based on an extensive literature review; strategical, operational and organizational criteria have been determined and elaborated. The result of the selection can also be used to determine suppliers who are not ready for a partnership but to be developed for strategic partnership. Since the model is based on multiple criteria for both stages, it provides a framework for further utilization of Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) techniques. The model may also be applied to a wide range of industries and involve managerial features in business organizations.

302
10008394
Experimental Investigation on the Efficiency of Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam Post and Beam System in Protecting Lifelines
Abstract:
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam is a cellular geosynthetic material that can be used to protect lifelines (e.g. pipelines, electricity cables, etc.) below ground. Post and beam system is the most recent configuration of EPS blocks which can be implemented for this purpose. It provides a void space atop lifelines which allows settlement of the loading surface with imposing no pressure on the lifelines system. This paper investigates the efficiency of the configuration of post-beam system subjected to static loading. To evaluate the soil surface settlement, beam deformation and transferred pressure over the beam, laboratory tests using two different densities for EPS blocks are conducted. The effect of geogrid-reinforcing the cover soil on system response is also investigated. The experimental results show favorable performance of EPS post and beam configuration in protecting underground lifelines. 
301
10008463
Definition and Core Components of the Role-Partner Allocation Problem in Collaborative Networks
Abstract:
In the current constantly changing economic context, collaborative networks allow partners to undertake projects that would not be possible if attempted by them individually. These projects usually involve the performance of a group of tasks (named roles) that have to be distributed among the partners. Thus, an allocation/matching problem arises that will be referred to as Role-Partner Allocation problem. In real life this situation is addressed by negotiation between partners in order to reach ad hoc agreements. Besides taking a long time and being hard work, both historical evidence and economic analysis show that such approach is not recommended. Instead, the allocation process should be automated by means of a centralized matching scheme. However, as a preliminary step to start the search for such a matching mechanism (or even the development of a new one), the problem and its core components must be specified. To this end, this paper establishes (i) the definition of the problem and its constraints, (ii) the key features of the involved elements (i.e., roles and partners); and (iii) how to create preference lists both for roles and partners. Only this way it will be possible to conduct subsequent methodological research on the solution method.     
300
10008502
The Changing Trend of Collaboration Patterns in the Social Sciences: Institutional Influences on Academic Research in Korea, 2013-2016
Abstract:

Collaborative research has become more prevalent and important across disciplines because it stimulates innovation and interaction between scholars. Seeing as existing studies relatively disregarded the institutional conditions triggering collaborative research, this work aims to analyze the changing trend in collaborative work patterns among Korean social scientists. The focus of this research is the performance of social scientists who received research grants through the government’s Social Science Korea (SSK) program. Using quantitative statistical methods, collaborative research patterns in a total of 2,354 papers published under the umbrella of the SSK program in peer-reviewed scholarly journals from 2013 to 2016 were examined to identify changing trends and triggering factors in collaborative research. A notable finding is that the share of collaborative research is overwhelmingly higher than that of individual research. In particular, levels of collaborative research surpassed 70%, increasing much quicker compared to other research done in the social sciences. Additionally, the most common composition of collaborative research was for two or three researchers to conduct joint research as coauthors, and this proportion has also increased steadily. Finally, a strong association between international journals and co-authorship patterns was found for the papers published by SSK program researchers from 2013 to 2016. The SSK program can be seen as the driving force behind collaboration between social scientists. Its emphasis on competition through a merit-based financial support system along with a rigorous evaluation process seems to have influenced researchers to cooperate with those who have similar research interests.

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10008219
Analysis of the Interference from Risk-Determining Factors of Cooperative and Conventional Construction Contracts
Abstract:
As a result of intensive competition, the building sector is suffering from a high degree of rivalry. Furthermore, there can be observed an unbalanced distribution of project risks. Clients are aimed to shift their own risks into the sphere of the constructors or planners. The consequence of this is that the number of conflicts between the involved parties is inordinately high or even increasing; an alternative approach to counter on that developments are cooperative project forms in the construction sector. This research compares conventional contract models and models with partnering agreements to examine the influence on project risks by an early integration of the involved parties. The goal is to show up deviations in different project stages from the design phase to the project transfer phase. These deviations are evaluated by a survey of experts from the three spheres: clients, contractors and planners. By rating the influence of the participants on specific risk factors it is possible to identify factors which are relevant for a smooth project execution.
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