Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 8808

Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

The Use of Music Therapy to Improve Non-Verbal Communication Skills for Children with Autism
The number of school-aged children with autism in Indonesia has been increasing each year. Autism is a developmental disorder which can be diagnosed in childhood. One of the symptoms is the lack of communication skills. Music therapy is known as an effective treatment for children with autism. Music elements and structures create a good space for children with autism to express their feelings and communicate their thoughts. School-aged children are expected to be able to communicate non-verbally very well, but children with autism experience the difficulties of communicating non-verbally. The aim of this research is to analyze the significance of music therapy treatment to improve non-verbal communication tools for children with autism. This research informs teachers and parents on how music can be used as a media to communicate with children with autism. The qualitative method is used to analyze this research, while the result is described with the microanalysis technique. The result is measured specifically from the whole experiment, hours of every week, minutes of every session, and second of every moment. The samples taken are four school-aged children with autism in the age range of six to 11 years old. This research is conducted within four months started with observation, interview, literature research, and direct experiment. The result demonstrates that music therapy could be effectively used as a non-verbal communication tool for children with autism, such as changes of body gesture, eye contact, and facial expression.
Ruthenium Based Nanoscale Contact Coatings for Magnetically Controlled MEMS Switches

Magnetically controlled microelectromechanical system (MCMEMS) switches is one of the directions in the field of micropower switching technology. MCMEMS switches are a promising alternative to Hall sensors and reed switches. The most important parameter for MCMEMS is the contact resistance, which should have a minimum value and is to be stable for the entire duration of service life. The value and stability of the contact resistance is mainly determined by the contact coating material. This paper presents the research results of a contact coating based on nanoscale ruthenium films obtained by electrolytic deposition. As a result of the performed investigations, the deposition modes of ruthenium films are chosen, the regularities of the contact resistance change depending on the number of contact switching, and the coating roughness are established. It is shown that changing the coating roughness makes it possible to minimize the contact resistance.

An IM-COH Algorithm Neural Network Optimization with Cuckoo Search Algorithm for Time Series Samples
Back propagation algorithm (BP) is a widely used technique in artificial neural network and has been used as a tool for solving the time series problems, such as decreasing training time, maximizing the ability to fall into local minima, and optimizing sensitivity of the initial weights and bias. This paper proposes an improvement of a BP technique which is called IM-COH algorithm (IM-COH). By combining IM-COH algorithm with cuckoo search algorithm (CS), the result is cuckoo search improved control output hidden layer algorithm (CS-IM-COH). This new algorithm has a better ability in optimizing sensitivity of the initial weights and bias than the original BP algorithm. In this research, the algorithm of CS-IM-COH is compared with the original BP, the IM-COH, and the original BP with CS (CS-BP). Furthermore, the selected benchmarks, four time series samples, are shown in this research for illustration. The research shows that the CS-IM-COH algorithm give the best forecasting results compared with the selected samples.
Smart Lean Manufacturing in the Context of Industry 4.0: A Case Study
This paper introduces a framework to digitalize lean manufacturing tools to enhance smart lean-based manufacturing environments or Lean 4.0 manufacturing systems. The paper discusses the integration between lean tools and the powerful features of recent real-time data capturing systems with the help of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to develop an intelligent real-time monitoring and controlling system of production operations concerning lean targets. This integration is represented in the Lean 4.0 system called Dynamic Value Stream Mapping (DVSM). Moreover, the paper introduces the practice of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and ICT to smartly support lean tools and practices during daily production runs to keep the lean system alive and effective. This work introduces a practical description of how the lean method tools 5S, standardized work, and poka-yoke can be digitalized and smartly monitored and controlled through DVSM. A framework of the three tools has been discussed and put into practice in a German switchgear manufacturer.
CFD Analysis of the Blood Flow in Left Coronary Bifurcation with Variable Angulation

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the main cause of death globally. Most CVDs can be prevented by avoiding habitual risk factors. Separate from the habitual risk factors, there are some inherent factors in each individual that can increase the risk potential of CVDs. Vessel shapes and geometry are influential factors, having great impact on the blood flow and the hemodynamic behavior of the vessels. In the present study, the influence of bifurcation angle on blood flow characteristics is studied. In order to approach this topic, by simplifying the details of the bifurcation, three models with angles 30°, 45°, and 60° were created, then by using CFD analysis, the response of these models for stable flow and pulsatile flow was studied. In the conducted simulation in order to eliminate the influence of other geometrical factors, only the angle of the bifurcation was changed and other parameters remained constant during the research. Simulations are conducted under dynamic and stable condition. In the stable flow simulation, a steady velocity of 0.17 m/s at the inlet plug was maintained and in dynamic simulations, a typical LAD flow waveform is implemented. The results show that the bifurcation angle has an influence on the maximum speed of the flow. In the stable flow condition, increasing the angle lead to decrease the maximum flow velocity. In the dynamic flow simulations, increasing the bifurcation angle lead to an increase in the maximum velocity. Since blood flow has pulsatile characteristics, using a uniform velocity during the simulations can lead to a discrepancy between the actual results and the calculated results.

Stochastic Modeling for Parameters of Modified Car-Following Model in Area-Based Traffic Flow

The driving behavior in area-based (i.e., non-lane based) traffic is induced by the presence of other individuals in the choice space from the driver’s visual perception area. The driving behavior of a subject vehicle is constrained by the potential leaders and leaders are frequently changed over time. This paper is to determine a stochastic model for a parameter of modified intelligent driver model (MIDM) in area-based traffic (as in developing countries). The parametric and non-parametric distributions are presented to fit the parameters of MIDM. The goodness of fit for each parameter is measured in two different ways such as graphically and statistically. The quantile-quantile (Q-Q) plot is used for a graphical representation of a theoretical distribution to model a parameter and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) test is used for a statistical measure of fitness for a parameter with a theoretical distribution. The distributions are performed on a set of estimated parameters of MIDM. The parameters are estimated on the real vehicle trajectory data from India. The fitness of each parameter with a stochastic model is well represented. The results support the applicability of the proposed modeling for parameters of MIDM in area-based traffic flow simulation.

Production of Spherical Cementite within Bainitic Matrix Microstructures in High Carbon Powder Metallurgy Steels

The hardness-microstructure relationships of spherical cementite in bainitic matrix obtained by a different heat treatment cycles carried out to high carbon powder metallurgy (P/M) steel were investigated. For this purpose, 1.5 wt.% natural graphite powder admixed in atomized iron powders and the mixed powders were compacted under 700 MPa at room temperature and then sintered at 1150 °C under a protective argon gas atmosphere. The densities of the green and sintered samples were measured via the Archimedes method. A density of 7.4 g/cm3 was obtained after sintering and a density of 94% was achieved. The sintered specimens having primary cementite plus lamellar pearlitic structures were fully quenched from 950 °C temperature and then over-tempered at 705 °C temperature for 60 minutes to produce spherical-fine cementite particles in the ferritic matrix. After by this treatment, these samples annealed at 735 °C temperature for 3 minutes were austempered at 300 °C salt bath for a period of 1 to 5 hours. As a result of this process, it could be able to produced spherical cementite particle in the bainitic matrix. This microstructure was designed to improve wear and toughness of P/M steels. The microstructures were characterized and analyzed by SEM and micro and macro hardness.

Promoting Social Advocacy through Digital Storytelling: The Case of Ocean Acidification

Many chemical changes in the atmosphere and the ocean are invisible to the naked eye, but they have profound impacts. These changes not only confirm the phenomenon of global carbon pollution, but also forewarn that more changes are coming. The carbon dioxide gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels dissolve into the ocean and chemically react with seawater to form carbonic acid, which increases the acidity of the originally alkaline seawater. This gradual acidification is occurring at an unprecedented rate and will affect the effective formation of carapace of some marine organisms such as corals and crustaceans, which are almost entirely composed of calcium carbonate. The carapace of these organisms will become more dissoluble. Acidified seawater not only threatens the survival of marine life, but also negatively impacts the global ecosystem via the food chain. Faced with the threat of ocean acidification, all humans are duty-bound. The industrial sector outputs the highest level of carbon dioxide emissions in Taiwan, and the petrochemical industry is the major contributor. Ever since the construction of Formosa Plastics Group's No. 6 Naphtha Cracker Plant in Yunlin County, there have been many environmental concerns such as air pollution and carbon dioxide emission. The marine life along the coast of Yunlin is directly affected by ocean acidification arising from the carbon emissions. Societal change demands our willingness to act, which is what social advocacy promotes. This study uses digital storytelling for social advocacy and ocean acidification as the subject of a visual narrative in visualization to demonstrate the subsequent promotion of social advocacy. Storytelling can transform dull knowledge into an engaging narrative of the crisis faced by marine life. Digital dissemination is an effective social-work practice. The visualization promoting awareness on ocean acidification disseminated via social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Social media enables users to compose their own messages and share information across different platforms, which helps disseminate the core message of social advocacy.

Routing Medical Images with Tabu Search and Simulated Annealing: A Study on Quality of Service

In telemedicine, the image repository service is important to increase the accuracy of diagnostic support of medical personnel. This study makes comparison between two routing algorithms regarding the quality of service (QoS), to be able to analyze the optimal performance at the time of loading and/or downloading of medical images. This study focused on comparing the performance of Tabu Search with other heuristic and metaheuristic algorithms that improve QoS in telemedicine services in Colombia. For this, Tabu Search and Simulated Annealing heuristic algorithms are chosen for their high usability in this type of applications; the QoS is measured taking into account the following metrics: Delay, Throughput, Jitter and Latency. In addition, routing tests were carried out on ten images in digital image and communication in medicine (DICOM) format of 40 MB. These tests were carried out for ten minutes with different traffic conditions, reaching a total of 25 tests, from a server of Universidad Militar Nueva Granada (UMNG) in Bogotá-Colombia to a remote user in Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH) - Chile. The results show that Tabu search presents a better QoS performance compared to Simulated Annealing, managing to optimize the routing of medical images, a basic requirement to offer diagnostic images services in telemedicine.

Influence of Surfactant on Supercooling Degree of Aqueous Titania Nanofluids in Energy Storage Systems

Considering the demand to reduce global warming potential and importance of solidification in various applications, there is an increasing interest in energy storage systems to find the efficient phase change materials. Therefore, this paper presents an experimental study and comparison on the potential of titania nanofluids with and without surfactant for cooling energy storage systems. A designed cooling generation device based on compression refrigeration cycle is used to explore nanofluids solidification characteristics. In this work, titania nanoparticles of 0.01, 0.02 and 0.04 wt.% are dispersed in deionized water as base fluid. Measurement of phase change parameters of nanofluids illustrates that the addition of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as surfactant to titania nanofluids advances the onset nucleation time and leads to lower solidification time. Also, the experimental results show that only adding 0.02 wt.% titania nanoparticles, especially in the case of nanofluids with a surfactant, can evidently reduce the supercooling degree by nearly 70%. Hence, it is concluded that there is a great energy saving potential in the energy storage systems using titania nanofluid with PVP.

Emotions in Health Tweets: Analysis of American Government Official Accounts

The Government Departments of Health have the task of informing and educating citizens about public health issues. For this, they use channels like Twitter, key in the search for health information and the propagation of content. The tweets, important in the virality of the content, may contain emotions that influence the contagion and exchange of knowledge. The goal of this study is to perform an analysis of the emotional projection of health information shared on Twitter by official American accounts: the disease control account CDCgov, National Institutes of Health, NIH, the government agency HHSGov, and the professional organization PublicHealth. For this, we used Tone Analyzer, an International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) tool specialized in emotion detection in text, corresponding to the categorical model of emotion representation. For 15 days, all tweets from these accounts were analyzed with the emotional analysis tool in text. The results showed that their tweets contain an important emotional load, a determining factor in the success of their communications. This exposes that official accounts also use subjective language and contain emotions. The predominance of emotion joy over sadness and the strong presence of emotions in their tweets stimulate the virality of content, a key in the work of informing that government health departments have.

UEFA Super Cup: Economic Effects on Georgian Economy

Tourism is the most viable and sustainable economic development option for Georgia and one of the main sources of foreign exchange earnings. Events are considered as one of the most effective ways to attract foreign visitors to the country, and, recently, the government of Georgia has begun investing in this sector very actively. This article stresses the necessity of research based economic policy in the tourism sector. In this regard, it is of paramount importance to measure the economic effects of the events which are subsidized by taxpayers’ money. The economic effect of events can be analyzed from two perspectives; financial perspective of the government and perspective of economic effects of the tourism administration. The article emphasizes more realistic and all-inclusive focus of the economic effect analysis of the tourism administration as it concentrates on the income of residents and local businesses, part of which generate tax revenues for the government. The public would like to know what the economic returns to investment are. In this article, the methodology used to describe the economic effects of UEFA Super Cup held in Tbilisi, will help to answer this question. Methodology is based on three main principles and covers three stages. Using the suggested methodology article estimates the direct economic effect of UEFA Super cup on Georgian economy. Although the attempt to make an economic effect analysis of the event was successful in Georgia, some obstacles and insufficiencies were identified during the survey. The article offers several recommendations that will help to refine methodology and improve the accuracy of the data. Furthermore, it is very important to receive the correct standard of measurement of events in Georgia. In this caseü non-ethical acts of measurement which are widely utilized by different research companies will not trigger others to show overestimated effects. It is worth mentioning that to author’s best knowledge, this is the first attempt to measure the economic effect of an event held in Georgia.

Autohydrolysis Treatment of Olive Cake to Extract Fructose and Sucrose

The production of olive oil is considered as one of the most important agri-food industries. However, some of the by-products generated in the process are potential pollutants and cause environmental problems. Consequently, the management of these by-products is currently considered as a challenge for the olive oil industry. In this context, several technologies have been developed and tested. In this sense, the autohydrolysis of these by-products could be considered as a promising technique. Therefore, this study focused on autohydrolysis treatments of a solid residue from the olive oil industry denominated olive cake. This one comes from the olive pomace extraction with hexane. Firstly, a water washing was carried out to eliminate the water soluble compounds. Then, an experimental design was developed for the autohydrolysis experiments carried out in the hydrothermal pressure reactor. The studied variables were temperature (30, 60 and 90 ºC) and time (30, 60, 90 min). On the other hand, aliquots of liquid obtained fractions were analysed by HPLC to determine the fructose and sucrose contents present in the liquid fraction. Finally, the obtained results of sugars contents and the yields of the different experiments were fitted to a neuro-fuzzy and to a polynomial model.

Solar Seawater Desalination Still with Seawater Preheater Using Efficient Heat Transfer Oil: Numerical Investigation and Data Verification
The feasibility of improving the performance of the proposed solar still unit which operated in very hot climate is investigated numerically and verified with experimental data. This solar desalination unit with proposed auxiliary device as seawater preheating system using petrol based textherm oil was used to produce pure fresh water from seawater. The effective evaporation area of basin is about 1 m2. The unit was tested in two main operation modes which are normal and with seawater preheating system. The results showed that, there is good agreement between the theoretical data and the experimental data; this means that the numerical model can be accurately dependable for predicting the proposed solar still performance and design parameters. The results also showed that the fresh water productivity of the solar still in the modified preheating case which is higher than normal case, leads to an increase in productivity of 42%.
Fault Detection and Diagnosis of Broken Bar Problem in Induction Motors Base Wavelet Analysis and EMD Method: Case Study of Mobarakeh Steel Company in Iran

Nowadays, induction motors have a significant role in industries. Condition monitoring (CM) of this equipment has gained a remarkable importance during recent years due to huge production losses, substantial imposed costs and increases in vulnerability, risk, and uncertainty levels. Motor current signature analysis (MCSA) is one of the most important techniques in CM. This method can be used for rotor broken bars detection. Signal processing methods such as Fast Fourier transformation (FFT), Wavelet transformation and Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) are used for analyzing MCSA output data. In this study, these signal processing methods are used for broken bar problem detection of Mobarakeh steel company induction motors. Based on wavelet transformation method, an index for fault detection, CF, is introduced which is the variation of maximum to the mean of wavelet transformation coefficients. We find that, in the broken bar condition, the amount of CF factor is greater than the healthy condition. Based on EMD method, the energy of intrinsic mode functions (IMF) is calculated and finds that when motor bars become broken the energy of IMFs increases.

Effects of Increased Green Surface on a Densely Built Urban Fabric: The Case of Budapest

Urban greenery has multiple positive effects both on the city and its residents. Apart from the visual advantages, it changes the micro-climate by cooling and shading, also increasing vapor and oxygen, reducing dust and carbon-dioxide content at the same time. The above are all critical factors of livability of an urban fabric. Unfortunately, in a dense, historical district there are restricted possibilities to build green surfaces. The present study collects and systemizes the applicable green solutions in the case of a historical downtown district of Budapest. The study contains a GIS-based measurement of the eligible surfaces for greenery, and also calculates the potential of oxygen production, carbon-dioxide reduction and cooling effect of an increased green surface.  It can be concluded that increasing the green surface has measurable effects on a densely built urban fabric, including air quality, micro-climate and other environmental factors.

The Influence of Beta Shape Parameters in Project Planning

Networks can be utilized to represent project planning problems, using nodes for activities and arcs to indicate precedence relationship between them. For fixed activity duration, a simple algorithm calculates the amount of time required to complete a project, followed by the activities that comprise the critical path. Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) generalizes the above model by incorporating uncertainty, allowing activity durations to be random variables, producing nevertheless a relatively crude solution in planning problems. In this paper, based on the findings of the relevant literature, which strongly suggests that a Beta distribution can be employed to model earthmoving activities, we utilize Monte Carlo simulation, to estimate the project completion time distribution and measure the influence of skewness, an element inherent in activities of modern technical projects. We also extract the activity criticality index, with an ultimate goal to produce more accurate planning estimations.

Shear Layer Investigation through a High-Load Cascade in Low-Pressure Gas Turbine Conditions

This paper deals with the steady and unsteady flow behavior on the separation bubble occurring on the rear portion of the suction side of T106A blade. The first phase was to implement the steady condition capturing the separation bubble. To accurately predict the separated region, the effects of three different turbulence models and computational grids were separately investigated. The results of Large Eddy Simulation (LES) model on the finest grid structure are acceptably in a good agreement with its relevant experimental results. The second phase is mainly to address the effects of wake entrance on bubble disappearance in unsteady situation. In the current simulations, from what was suggested in an experiment, simulating the flow unsteadiness, with concentrations on small scale disturbances instead of simulating a complete oncoming wake, is the key issue. Subsequently, the results from the current strategy to apply the effects of the wake and two other experimental work were compared to be in a good agreement. Between the two experiments, one of them deals with wake passing unsteady flow, and the other one implements experimentally the same approach as the current Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation.

Comparison of Machine Learning Models for the Prediction of System Marginal Price of Greek Energy Market

The Greek Energy Market is structured as a mandatory pool where the producers make their bid offers in day-ahead basis. The System Operator solves an optimization routine aiming at the minimization of the cost of produced electricity. The solution of the optimization problem leads to the calculation of the System Marginal Price (SMP). Accurate forecasts of the SMP can lead to increased profits and more efficient portfolio management from the producer`s perspective. Aim of this study is to provide a comparative analysis of various machine learning models such as artificial neural networks and neuro-fuzzy models for the prediction of the SMP of the Greek market. Machine learning algorithms are favored in predictions problems since they can capture and simulate the volatilities of complex time series.

Greywater Treatment Using Activated Biochar Produced from Agricultural Waste

The increase in urbanisation in South Africa has led to an increase in water demand and a decline in freshwater supply. Despite this, poor water usage is still a major challenge in South Africa, for instance, freshwater is still used for non-drinking applications. The freshwater shortage can be alleviated by using other sources of water for non-portable purposes such as greywater treated with activated biochar produced from agricultural waste. The success of activated biochar produced from agricultural waste to treat greywater can be both economically and environmentally beneficial. Greywater treated with activated biochar produced from agricultural waste is considered a cost-effective wastewater treatment.  This work was aimed at determining the ability of activated biochar to remove Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Ammonium (NH4-N), Nitrate (NO3-N), and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) from greywater. The experiments were carried out in 800 ml laboratory plastic cylinders used as filter columns. 2.5 cm layer of gravel was used at the bottom and top of the column to sandwich the activated biochar material. Activated biochar (200 g and 400 g) was loaded in a column and used as a filter medium for greywater. Samples were collected after a week and sent for analysis. Four types of greywater were treated: Kitchen, floor cleaning water, shower and laundry water. The findings showed: 95% removal of TSS, 76% of NO3-N and 63% of COD on kitchen greywater and 85% removal of NH4-N on bathroom greywater, as highest removal of efficiency of the studied pollutants. The results showed that activated biochar produced from agricultural waste reduces a certain amount of pollutants from greywater. The results also indicated the ability of activated biochar to treat greywater for onsite non-potable reuse purposes.

The Use of Mnemonic and Mathematical Mnemonic Method in Improving Historical Understanding

This paper discusses the use of mnemonic and mathematical methods in enhancing the understanding of history. Mnemonics can help students from all levels including high school and in various disciplines including language, math and history. At the secondary level, students are exposed to various courses that require them to remember many facts that can be mastered through the application of mnemonic techniques. Researchers use narrative literature studies to illustrate the current state of art and science in the field of research focused. Researchers used narrative literature reviews to build a scientific base of knowledge. Researchers gather all the key points in the discussion, and put it here by referring to the specific field where the paper is essentially based. The findings suggest that the use of mnemonic techniques can improve the individual's memory by adding little effort. In implementing mnemonic techniques, it is important to integrate mathematics and history in the course as both are interconnected as mathematics has shaped our history and vice versa. This study shows that memory skills can actually be improved; the human mind can remember something more than expected.

Mapping the Quotidian Life of Practitioners of Various Religious Sects in Late Medieval Bengal: Portrayals on the Front Façades of the Baranagar Temple Cluster

Bengal has a long history (8th century A.D. onwards) of decorating the wall of brick-built temples with curved terracotta plaques on a diverse range of subjects. These could be considered as one of the most significant visual archives to understand the various facets of the then contemporary societies. The temples under focus include Char-bangla temple complex (circa 1755 A.D.), Bhavanishvara temple (circa 1755 A.D.) and the Gangeshvara Shiva Jor-bangla temple (circa 1753 A.D.), located within a part of the river Bhagirathi basin in Baranagar, Murshidabad, West Bengal, India. Though, a diverse range of subjects have been intricately carved mainly on the front façades of the Baranagar temple cluster, the study specifically concentrates on depictions related to religious and non-religious acts performed by practitioners of various religious sects of late medieval Bengal with the intention to acquire knowledge about the various facets of their life. Apart from this, the paper also mapped the spatial location of these religious performers on the temples’ façades to examine if any systematic plan or arrangement had been employed for connoting a particular idea. Further, an attempt is made to provide a commentary on the attire worn by followers of various religious sects of late medieval Bengal. The primary materials for the study comprise the depictions which denote religious activities carved on the terracotta plaques. The secondary material has been collected from published and unpublished theses, journals and books. These data have been further supplemented with photographic documentation, some useful line-drawings and descriptions in table format to get a clear understanding of the concerned issues.

Prediction Modeling of Alzheimer’s Disease and Its Prodromal Stages from Multimodal Data with Missing Values

A major challenge in medical studies, especially those that are longitudinal, is the problem of missing measurements which hinders the effective application of many machine learning algorithms. Furthermore, recent Alzheimer's Disease studies have focused on the delineation of Early Mild Cognitive Impairment (EMCI) and Late Mild Cognitive Impairment (LMCI) from cognitively normal controls (CN) which is essential for developing effective and early treatment methods. To address the aforementioned challenges, this paper explores the potential of using the eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) algorithm in handling missing values in multiclass classification. We seek a generalized classification scheme where all prodromal stages of the disease are considered simultaneously in the classification and decision-making processes. Given the large number of subjects (1631) included in this study and in the presence of almost 28% missing values, we investigated the performance of XGBoost on the classification of the four classes of AD, NC, EMCI, and LMCI. Using 10-fold cross validation technique, XGBoost is shown to outperform other state-of-the-art classification algorithms by 3% in terms of accuracy and F-score. Our model achieved an accuracy of 80.52%, a precision of 80.62% and recall of 80.51%, supporting the more natural and promising multiclass classification.

The Impact of Gamification on Self-Assessment for English Language Learners in Saudi Arabia
Continuous self-assessment becomes crucial in self-paced online learning environments. Students often depend on themselves to assess their progress; which is considered an essential requirement for any successful learning process. Today’s education institutions face major problems around student motivation and engagement. Thus, personalized e-learning systems aim to help and guide the students. Gamification provides an opportunity to help students for self-assessment and social comparison with other students through attempting to harness the motivational power of games and apply it to the learning environment. Furthermore, Open Social Student Modeling (OSSM) as considered as the latest user modeling technologies is believed to improve students’ self-assessment and to allow them to social comparison with other students. This research integrates OSSM approach and gamification concepts in order to provide self-assessment for English language learners at King Abdulaziz University (KAU). This is achieved through an interactive visual representation of their learning progress.
The Experimental and Numerical Analysis of the Joining Processes for Air Conditioning Systems

In the paper the results of welding of car’s air-conditioning elements are presented. These systems based on, mainly, the environmental unfriendly refrigerants. Thus, the producers of cars will have to stop using traditional refrigerant and to change it to carbon dioxide (R744). This refrigerant is environmental friendly. However, it should be noted that the air condition system working with R744 refrigerant operates at high temperature (up to 150 °C) and high pressure (up to 130 bar). These two parameters are much higher than for other refrigerants. Thus new materials, design as well as joining technologies are strongly needed for these systems. AISI 304 and 316L steels as well as aluminium alloys 5xxx are ranked among the prospective materials. As a joining process laser welding, plasma welding, electron beam welding as well as high rotary friction welding can be applied. In the study, the metallographic examination based on light microscopy as well as SEM was applied to estimate the quality of welded joints. The analysis of welding was supported by numerical modelling based on Sysweld software. The results indicated that using laser, plasma and electron beam welding, it is possible to obtain proper quality of welds in stainless steel. Moreover, high rotary friction welding allows to guarantee the metallic continuity in the aluminium welded area. The metallographic examination revealed that the grain growth in the heat affected zone (HAZ) in laser and electron beam welded joints were not observed. It is due to low heat input and short welding time. The grain growth and subgrains can be observed at room temperature when the solidification mode is austenitic. This caused low microstructural changes during solidification. The columnar grain structure was found in the weld metal. Meanwhile, the equiaxed grains were detected in the interface. The numerical modelling of laser welding process allowed to estimate the temperature profile in the welded joint as well as predicts the dimensions of welds. The agreement between FEM analysis and experimental data was achieved.  

Implementation of a Multimodal Biometrics Recognition System with Combined Palm Print and Iris Features

With extensive application, the performance of unimodal biometrics systems has to face a diversity of problems such as signal and background noise, distortion, and environment differences. Therefore, multimodal biometric systems are proposed to solve the above stated problems. This paper introduces a bimodal biometric recognition system based on the extracted features of the human palm print and iris. Palm print biometric is fairly a new evolving technology that is used to identify people by their palm features. The iris is a strong competitor together with face and fingerprints for presence in multimodal recognition systems. In this research, we introduced an algorithm to the combination of the palm and iris-extracted features using a texture-based descriptor, the Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT). Since the feature sets are non-homogeneous as features of different biometric modalities are used, these features will be concatenated to form a single feature vector. Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is used as a feature selection technique to reduce the dimensionality of the feature. The proposed algorithm will be applied to the Institute of Technology of Delhi (IITD) database and its performance will be compared with various iris recognition algorithms found in the literature.

Historical Development of Bagh-e Dasht in Herat, Afghanistan: A Comprehensive Field Survey of Physical and Social Aspects

Bagh-e Dasht area is situated in the northern part of Herat, an old city in western Afghanistan located on the Silk Road which has received a strong influence from Persian culture. Initially, the Bagh-e Dasht area was developed for gardens and palaces near Joy-e Injil canal during the Timurid Empire in the 15th century. It is assumed Bagh-e Dasht became a settlement in the 16th century during the Safavid Empire. The oldest area is the southern part around the canal bank which is characterized by Dalans, sun-dried brick arcades above which houses are often constructed. Traditional houses in this area are built with domical vault roofs constructed with sun-dried bricks. Bagh-e Dasht is one of the best-preserved settlements of traditional houses in Herat. This study examines the transformation of the Bagh-e Dasht area with a focus on Dalans, where traditional houses with domical vault roofs have been well-preserved until today. The aim of the study is to examine the extent of physical changes to the area as well as changes to houses and the community. This research paper contains original results which have previously not been published in architectural history. The roof types of houses in the area are investigated through examining high resolution satellite images. The boundary of each building and space is determined by both a field survey and aerial photographs of the study area. A comprehensive field survey was then conducted to examine each space and building in the area. In addition, a questionnaire was distributed to the residents of the Dalan houses and interviews were conducted with the Wakil (Chief) of the area, a local historian, residents and traditional builders. The study finds that the oldest part of Bagh-e Dasht area, the south, contains both Dalans and domical vault roof houses. The next oldest part, which is the north, only has domical vault roof houses. The rest of the area only has houses with modernized flat roofs. This observation provides an insight into the process of historical development in the Bagh-e Dasht area.

Seismic Behavior of Suction Caisson Foundations

Increasing population growth requires more sustainable development of energy. This non-contaminated energy has an inexhaustible energy source. One of the vital parameters in such structures is the choice of foundation type. Suction caissons are now used extensively worldwide for offshore wind turbine. Considering the presence of a number of offshore wind farms in earthquake areas, the study of the seismic behavior of suction caisson is necessary for better design. In this paper, the results obtained from three suction caisson models with different diameter (D) and skirt length (L) in saturated sand were compared with centrifuge test results. All models are analyzed using 3D finite element (FE) method taking account of elasto-plastic Mohr–Coulomb constitutive model for soil which is available in the ABAQUS library. The earthquake load applied to the base of models with a maximum acceleration of 0.65g. The results showed that numerical method is in relative good agreement with centrifuge results. The settlement and rotation of foundation decrease by increasing the skirt length and foundation diameter. The sand soil outside the caisson is prone to liquefaction due to its low confinement.

Growth of Multi-Layered Graphene Using Organic Solvent-PMMA Film as the Carbon Source under Low Temperature Conditions

Multi-layered graphene has been produced under low temperature chemical vapour deposition (CVD) growth conditions by utilizing an organic solvent and polymer film source. Poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) was dissolved in chlorobenzene solvent and used as a drop-cast film carbon source on a quartz slide. A source temperature (Tsource) of 180 °C provided sufficient carbon to grow graphene, as identified by Raman spectroscopy, on clean copper foil catalytic surfaces.  Systematic variation of hydrogen gas (H2) flow rate from 25 standard cubic centimeters per minute (sccm) to 100 sccm and CVD temperature (Tgrowth) from 400 to 800 °C, yielded graphene films of varying quality as characterized by Raman spectroscopy. The optimal graphene growth parameters were found to occur with a hydrogen flow rate of 75 sccm sweeping the 180 °C source carbon past the Cu foil at 600 °C for 1 min. The deposition at 600 °C with a H2 flow rate of 75 sccm yielded a 2D band peak with ~53.4 cm-1 FWHM and a relative intensity ratio of the G to 2D bands (IG/I2D) of 0.21. This recipe fabricated a few layers of good quality graphene.

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