|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 2675|
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 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.
Producing a text in a language which is not one’s mother tongue can be a demanding task for language learners. Examining lexical errors committed by EFL learners is a challenging area of investigation which can shed light on the process of second language acquisition. Despite the considerable number of investigations into grammatical errors, few studies have tackled formal and semantic errors of lexis committed by EFL learners. The current study aimed at examining Persian learners’ formal and semantic errors of lexis in English. To this end, 60 students at three different proficiency levels were asked to write on 10 different topics in 10 separate sessions. Finally, 600 essays written by Persian EFL learners were collected, acting as the corpus of the study. An error taxonomy comprising formal and semantic errors was selected to analyze the corpus. The formal category covered misselection and misformation errors, while the semantic errors were classified into lexical, collocational and lexicogrammatical categories. Each category was further classified into subcategories depending on the identified errors. The results showed that there were 2583 errors in the corpus of 9600 words, among which, 2030 formal errors and 553 semantic errors were identified. The most frequent errors in the corpus included formal error commitment (78.6%), which were more prevalent at the advanced level (42.4%). The semantic errors (21.4%) were more frequent at the low intermediate level (40.5%). Among formal errors of lexis, the highest number of errors was devoted to misformation errors (98%), while misselection errors constituted 2% of the errors. Additionally, no significant differences were observed among the three semantic error subcategories, namely collocational, lexical choice and lexicogrammatical. The results of the study can shed light on the challenges faced by EFL learners in the second language acquisition process.
The purpose of this research is to examine the experiences of parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing in supporting their children to access education in Vietnam. Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children to gain full access to education. It was widely reported that parents of those children confronted a range of problems to support their children to access education. To author’s best knowledge, there has been a lack of research exploring the experiences of those parents in literature. This research examines factors affecting those parents in supporting their children to access education. To conduct the study, qualitative approach using a phenomenological research design was chosen to explore the central phenomena. Ten parents of children who were diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing and aged 6-9 years were recruited through the support of the Association of Parents of Children with Hearing Impairment. Participants were interviewed via telephone with a mix of open and closed questions; interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. The research results show that there are nine main factors that affected the parents in this study in making decisions relating to education for their children including: lack of information resources, perspectives of those parents on communication approaches, the families’ financial capacity, the psychological impact on the participants after their children’ diagnosis, the attitude of family members, attitude of school administrators, lack of local schools and qualified teachers, and current education system for the deaf in Vietnam. Apart from those factors, the lack of knowledge of the participants’ partners about deaf education and the partners’ employment are barriers to educational access and successful communication with their child.
This paper presents the Finite Element Method (FEM) for analyzing the failure pattern of rectangular slab with various edge conditions. Non-Linear static analysis is carried out using ANSYS 15 Software. Using SOLID65 solid elements, the compressive crushing of concrete is facilitated using plasticity algorithm, while the concrete cracking in tension zone is accommodated by the nonlinear material model. Smeared reinforcement is used and introduced as a percentage of steel embedded in concrete slab. The behavior of the analyzed concrete slab has been observed in terms of the crack pattern and displacement for various loading and boundary conditions. The finite element results are also compared with the experimental data. One of the other objectives of the present study is to show how similar the crack path found by ANSYS program to those observed for the yield line analysis. The smeared reinforcement method is found to be more practical especially for the layered elements like concrete slabs. The value of this method is that it does not require explicit modeling of the rebar, and thus a much coarser mesh can be defined.
This paper presents a context-sensitive media similarity search algorithm. One of the central problems regarding media search is the semantic gap between the low-level features computed automatically from media data and the human interpretation of them. This is because the notion of similarity is usually based on high-level abstraction but the low-level features do not sometimes reflect the human perception. Many media search algorithms have used the Minkowski metric to measure similarity between image pairs. However those functions cannot adequately capture the aspects of the characteristics of the human visual system as well as the nonlinear relationships in contextual information given by images in a collection. Our search algorithm tackles this problem by employing a similarity measure and a ranking strategy that reflect the nonlinearity of human perception and contextual information in a dataset. Similarity search in an image database based on this contextual information shows encouraging experimental results.
High cost of fossil fuels and intensifying installations of alternate energy generation sources are intimidating main challenges in power systems. Making accurate load forecasting an important and challenging task for optimal energy planning and management at both distribution and generation side. There are many techniques to forecast load but each technique comes with its own limitation and requires data to accurately predict the forecast load. Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is one such technique to efficiently forecast the load. Comparison between two different ranges of input datasets has been applied to dynamic ANN technique using MATLAB Neural Network Toolbox. It has been observed that selection of input data on training of a network has significant effects on forecasted results. Day-wise input data forecasted the load accurately as compared to year-wise input data. The forecasted load is then distributed among the six generators by using the linear programming to get the optimal point of generation. The algorithm is then verified by comparing the results of each generator with their respective generation limits.
Machine Learning and Data Mining are the two important tools for extracting useful information and knowledge from large datasets. In machine learning, classification is a wildly used technique to predict qualitative variables and is generally preferred over regression from an operational point of view. Due to the enormous increase in air pollution in various countries especially China, Air Quality Classification has become one of the most important topics in air quality research and modelling. This study aims at introducing a hybrid classification model based on information theory and Support Vector Machine (SVM) using the air quality data of four cities in China namely Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Tianjin from Jan 1, 2014 to April 30, 2016. China's Ministry of Environmental Protection has classified the daily air quality into 6 levels namely Serious Pollution, Severe Pollution, Moderate Pollution, Light Pollution, Good and Excellent based on their respective Air Quality Index (AQI) values. Using the information theory, information gain (IG) is calculated and feature selection is done for both categorical features and continuous numeric features. Then SVM Machine Learning algorithm is implemented on the selected features with cross-validation. The final evaluation reveals that the IG and SVM hybrid model performs better than SVM (alone), Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and K-Nearest Neighbours (KNN) models in terms of accuracy as well as complexity.
In this paper we present a contribution for the modelling and control of the inverter voltage of a permanent magnet linear generator with multi air-gap structure. The time domain control method is based on instant comparison of reference signals, in the form of current or voltage, with actual or measured signals. The reference current or voltage must be kept close to the actual signal with a reasonable tolerance. In this work, the time domain control method is used to control tracking signals. The performance evaluation concerns the continuation of reference signal. Simulations validate very well the tracking of reference variables (current, voltage) by measured or actual signals. All is simulated and presented under PSIM Software to show the performance and robustness of the proposed controller.
Passive resonant vibration absorbers are among the most widely used dynamic control systems in civil engineering. They typically consist in a single-degree-of-freedom mechanical appendage of the main structure, tuned to one structural target mode through frequency and damping optimization. One classical scheme is the pendulum absorber, whose mass is constrained to move along a curved trajectory and is damped by viscous dashpots. Even though the principle is well known, the search for improved arrangements is still under way. In recent years this investigation inspired a type of bidirectional pendulum absorber (BPA), consisting of a mass constrained to move along an optimal three-dimensional (3D) concave surface. For such a BPA, the surface principal curvatures are designed to ensure a bidirectional tuning of the absorber to both principal modes of the main structure, while damping is produced either by horizontal viscous dashpots or by vertical friction dashpots, connecting the BPA to the main structure. In this paper, a variant of BPA is proposed, where damping originates from the variable tangential friction force which develops between the pendulum mass and the 3D surface as a result of a spatially-varying friction coefficient pattern. Namely, a friction coefficient is proposed that varies along the pendulum surface in proportion to the modulus of the 3D surface gradient. With such an assumption, the dissipative model of the absorber can be proven to be nonlinear homogeneous in the small displacement domain. The resulting homogeneous BPA (HBPA) has a fundamental advantage over conventional friction-type absorbers, because its equivalent damping ratio results independent on the amplitude of oscillations, and therefore its optimal performance does not depend on the excitation level. On the other hand, the HBPA is more compact than viscously damped BPAs because it does not need the installation of dampers. This paper presents the analytical model of the HBPA and an optimal methodology for its design. Numerical simulations of single- and multi-story building structures under wind and earthquake loads are presented to compare the HBPA with classical viscously damped BPAs. It is shown that the HBPA is a promising alternative to existing BPA types and that homogeneous tangential friction is an effective means to realize systems provided with amplitude-independent damping.
Elastomeric bearings (EB) are used in many applications, such as base isolation of bridges, seismic protection and vibration control of other structures and machinery. Their versatility is due to their particular behavior since they have different stiffness in the vertical and horizontal directions, allowing to sustain vertical loads and at the same time horizontal displacements. Therefore, vertical, horizontal and bending stiffnesses are important parameters to take into account in the design of EB. In order to acquire a proper design methodology of EB all three, theoretical, finite element analysis and experimental, approaches should be taken into account to assess stability due to different loading states, predict their behavior and consequently their effects on the dynamic response of structures, and understand complex behavior and properties of rubber-like materials respectively. In particular, the recent large-displacement theory on the stability of EB formulated by Forcellini and Kelly is validated with both numerical simulations using the finite element method, and experimental results set at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia. In this regard, this study reproduces the behavior of EB under compression loads and investigates the stability behavior with the three mentioned points of view.
The bearing capacity of closely spaced shallow footings alters with their spacing and the shape of footing. In this study, the bearing capacity and settlement of two adjacent footings constructed on a sand layer are investigated. The effect of different footing shapes including square, circular, ring and strip on sandy soil is captured in the calculations. The investigations are carried out numerically using PLAXIS-3D software and analytically employing conventional settlement equations. For this purpose, foundations are modelled in the program with practical dimensions and various spacing ratios ranging from 1 to 5. The spacing ratio is defined as the centre-to-centre distance to the width of foundations (S/B). Overall, 24 models are analyzed; and the results are compared and discussed in detail. It can be concluded that the presence of adjacent foundation leads to the reduction in bearing capacity for round shape footings while it can increase the bearing capacity of rectangular footings in some specific distances.
Allowable-bearing capacity is the competency of soil to safely carries the pressure from the superstructure without experiencing a shear failure with accompanying excessive settlements. Ensuring a safe bearing pressure with respect to failure does not tolerate settlement of the foundation will be within acceptable limits. Therefore, settlement analysis should always be performed since most structures are settlement sensitive. When visualising the movement of a soil wedge in the bearing capacity criterion, both vertically and horizontally, it becomes clear that by confining the soil surrounding the foundation, both the bearing capacity and settlement values improve. In this study, two sizes of spread foundation were considered; (2×4) m and (3×5) m. These represent two real problem case studies of an existing building. The foundations were analysed in terms of dimension as well as position with respect to a confining wall (i.e., sheet piles on both sides). Assuming B is the least foundation dimension, the study comprised the analyses of three distances; (0.1 B), (0.5 B), and (0.75 B) between the sheet piles and foundations alongside three depths of confinement (0.5 B), (1 B), and (1.5 B). Nonlinear three-dimensional finite element analysis (ANSYS) was adopted to perform an analytical investigation on the behaviour of the two foundations contained by the case study. Results showed that confinement of foundations reduced the overall stresses near the foundation by 65% and reduced the vertical displacement by 90%. Moreover, the most effective distance between the confinement wall and the foundation was found to be 0.5 B.
Multiobjective Particle Swarm Optimization (MOPSO) has shown an effective performance for solving test functions and real-world optimization problems. However, this method has a premature convergence problem, which may lead to lack of diversity. In order to improve its performance, this paper presents a hybrid approach which embedded the MOPSO into the island model and integrated a local search technique, Variable Neighborhood Search, to enhance the diversity into the swarm. Experiments on two series of test functions have shown the effectiveness of the proposed approach. A comparison with other evolutionary algorithms shows that the proposed approach presented a good performance in solving multiobjective optimization problems.
Over the last few years, the amount of data available on the globe has been increased rapidly. This came up with the emergence of recent concepts, such as the big data and the Internet of Things, which have furnished a suitable solution for the availability of data all over the world. However, managing this massive amount of data remains a challenge due to their large verity of types and distribution. Therefore, locating the required file particularly from the first trial turned to be a not easy task, due to the large similarities of names for different files distributed on the web. Consequently, the accuracy and speed of search have been negatively affected. This work presents a method using Electroencephalography signals to locate the files based on their contents. Giving the concept of natural mind waves processing, this work analyses the mind wave signals of different people, analyzing them and extracting their most appropriate features using multi-objective metaheuristic algorithm, and then classifying them using artificial neural network to distinguish among files with similar names. The aim of this work is to provide the ability to find the files based on their contents using human thoughts only. Implementing this approach and testing it on real people proved its ability to find the desired files accurately within noticeably shorter time and retrieve them as a first choice for the user.
Wearable robotics is a potential solution in aiding gait rehabilitation of lower limbs dyskinesia patients, such as knee osteoarthritis or stroke afflicted patients. Many wearable robots have been developed in the form of rigid exoskeletons, but their bulk devices, high cost and control complexity hinder their popularity in the field of gait rehabilitation. Thus, the development of a portable, compliant and low-cost wearable robot for gait rehabilitation is necessary. Inspired by Chinese traditional folding fans and balloon inflators, the authors present an inflatable, foldable and variable stiffness knee exosuit (IFVSKE) in this paper. The pneumatic actuator of IFVSKE was fabricated in the shape of folding fans by using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fabric materials. The geometric and mechanical properties of IFVSKE were characterized with experimental methods. To assist the knee joint smartly, an intelligent control profile for IFVSKE was proposed based on the concept of full-cycle energy management of the biomechanical energy during human movement. The biomechanical energy of knee joints in a walking gait cycle of patients could be collected and released to assist the joint motion just by adjusting the inner pressure of IFVSKE. Finally, a healthy subject was involved to walk with and without the IFVSKE to evaluate the assisting effects.
The paper presents design and production of thin-walled U-profile footbridge made of UHPFRC. The main structure of the bridge is one prefabricated shell structure made of UHPFRC with dispersed steel fibers without any conventional reinforcement. The span of the bridge structure is 10 m and the clear width of 1.5 m. The thickness of the UHPFRC shell structure oscillated in an interval of 30-45 mm. Several calculations were made during the bridge design and compared with the experiments. For the purpose of verifying the calculations, a segment of 1.5 m was first produced, followed by the whole footbridge for testing. After the load tests were done, the design was optimized to cast the final footbridge.
The probability distributions are the best method for forecasting of extreme hydrologic phenomena such as rainfall and flood flows. In this research, in order to determine suitable probability distribution for estimating of annual extreme rainfall and flood flows (discharge) series with different return periods, precipitation with 40 and discharge with 58 years time period had been collected from Karkheh River at Iran. After homogeneity and adequacy tests, data have been analyzed by Stormwater Management and Design Aid (SMADA) software and residual sum of squares (R.S.S). The best probability distribution was Log Pearson Type III with R.S.S value (145.91) and value (13.67) for peak discharge and Log Pearson Type III with R.S.S values (141.08) and (8.95) for maximum discharge in Jelogir Majin and Pole Zal stations, respectively. The best distribution for maximum precipitation in Jelogir Majin and Pole Zal stations was Log Pearson Type III distribution with R.S.S values (1.74&1.90) and then Pearson Type III distribution with R.S.S values (1.53&1.69). Overall, the Log Pearson Type III distributions are acceptable distribution types for representing statistics of extreme hydrologic phenomena in Karkheh River at Iran with the Pearson Type III distribution as a potential alternative.
Earthquakes are considered to be the most destructive rapid-onset disasters human beings are exposed to. The amount of loss it brings in is sufficient to take careful considerations for designing of structures and facilities. Seismic Hazard Analysis is one such tool which can be used for earthquake resistant design. Ground Response Analysis is one of the most crucial and decisive steps for seismic hazard analysis. Rapar district of Kutch, Gujarat falls in Zone 5 of earthquake zone map of India and thus has high seismicity because of which it is selected for analysis. In total 8 bore-log data were studied at different locations in and around Rapar district. Different soil engineering properties were analyzed and relevant empirical correlations were used to calculate maximum shear modulus (Gmax) and shear wave velocity (Vs) for the soil layers. The soil was modeled using Pressure-Dependent Modified Kodner Zelasko (MKZ) model and the reference curve used for fitting was Seed and Idriss (1970) for sand and Darendeli (2001) for clay. Both Equivalent linear (EL), as well as Non-linear (NL) ground response analysis, has been carried out with Masing Hysteretic Re/Unloading formulation for comparison. Commercially available DEEPSOIL v. 7.0 software is used for this analysis. In this study an attempt is made to quantify ground response regarding generated acceleration time-history at top of the soil column, Response spectra calculation at 5 % damping and Fourier amplitude spectrum calculation. Moreover, the variation of Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA), Maximum Displacement, Maximum Strain (in %), Maximum Stress Ratio, Mobilized Shear Stress with depth is also calculated. From the study, PGA values estimated in rocky strata are nearly same as bedrock motion and marginal amplification is observed in sandy silt and silty clays by both analyses. The NL analysis gives conservative results of maximum displacement as compared to EL analysis. Maximum strain predicted by both studies is very close to each other. And overall NL analysis is more efficient and realistic because it follows the actual hyperbolic stress-strain relationship, considers stiffness degradation and mobilizes stresses generated due to pore water pressure.
Group task is one method to create the conducive environment for the active teaching-learning process. Performing group task with active involvement of students will benefit the students in many ways. However, in most cases all students do not participate actively in the group task, and hence the intended benefits are not acquired. This paper presents the improvements of students’ participation in the group task and learning from the group task by introducing different techniques to enhance students’ participation. For the purpose of this research Carpentry and Joinery II (WT-392) course from Wood Technology Department at Adama Science and Technology University was selected, and five groups were formed. Ten group tasks were prepared and the first five group tasks were distributed to the five groups in the first day without introducing the techniques that are used to enhance participation of students in the group task. On another day, the other five group tasks were distributed to the same groups and various techniques were introduced to enhance students’ participation in the group task. The improvements of students’ learning from the group task after the implementation of the techniques. After implementing the techniques the evaluation showed that significant improvements were obtained in the students’ participation and learning from the group task.