Scholarly Research Excellence

Digital Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 2566

Early Recognition and Grading of Cataract Using a Combined Log Gabor/Discrete Wavelet Transform with ANN and SVM
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.
Searching for Forensic Evidence in a Compromised Virtual Web Server against SQL Injection Attacks and PHP Web Shell

SQL injection is one of the most common types of attacks and has a very critical impact on web servers. In the worst case, an attacker can perform post-exploitation after a successful SQL injection attack. In the case of forensics web servers, web server analysis is closely related to log file analysis. But sometimes large file sizes and different log types make it difficult for investigators to look for traces of attackers on the server. The purpose of this paper is to help investigator take appropriate steps to investigate when the web server gets attacked. We use attack scenarios using SQL injection attacks including PHP backdoor injection as post-exploitation. We perform post-mortem analysis of web server logs based on Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) POST and HTTP GET method approaches that are characteristic of SQL injection attacks. In addition, we also propose structured analysis method between the web server application log file, database application, and other additional logs that exist on the webserver. This method makes the investigator more structured to analyze the log file so as to produce evidence of attack with acceptable time. There is also the possibility that other attack techniques can be detected with this method. On the other side, it can help web administrators to prepare their systems for the forensic readiness.

An Integrated Solid Waste Management Strategy for Semi-Urban and Rural Areas of Pakistan

In Pakistan, environmental degradation and consequent human health deterioration has rapidly accelerated in the past decade due to solid waste mismanagement. As the situation worsens with time, establishment of proper waste management practices is urgently needed especially in semi urban and rural areas of Pakistan. This study uses a concept of Waste Bank, which involves a transfer station for collection of sorted waste fractions and its delivery to the targeted market such as recycling industries, biogas plants, composting facilities etc. The management efficiency and effectiveness of Waste Bank depend strongly on the proficient sorting and collection of solid waste fractions at household level. However, the social attitude towards such a solution in semi urban/rural areas of Pakistan demands certain prerequisites to make it workable. Considering these factors the objectives of this study are to: [A] Obtain reliable data about quantity and characteristics of generated waste to define feasibility of business and design factors, such as required storage area, retention time, transportation frequency of the system etc. [B] Analyze the effects of various social factors on waste generation to foresee future projections. [C] Quantify the improvement in waste sorting efficiency after awareness campaign. We selected Gujrat city of Central Punjab province of Pakistan as it is semi urban adjoined by rural areas. A total of 60 houses (20 from each of the three selected colonies), belonging to different social status were selected. Awareness sessions about waste segregation were given through brochures and individual lectures in each selected household. Sampling of waste, that households had attempted to sort, was then carried out in the three colored bags that were provided as part of the awareness campaign. Finally, refined waste sorting, weighing of various fractions and measurement of dry mass was performed in environmental laboratory using standard methods. It was calculated that sorting efficiency of waste improved from 0 to 52% as a result of the awareness campaign. The generation of waste (dry mass basis) on average from one household was 460 kg/year whereas per capita generation was 68 kg/year. Extrapolating these values for Gujrat Tehsil, the total waste generation per year is calculated to be 101921 tons dry mass (DM). Characteristics found in waste were (i) organic decomposable (29.2%, 29710 tons/year DM), (ii) recyclables (37.0%, 37726 tons/year DM) that included plastic, paper, metal and glass, and (iii) trash (33.8%, 34485 tons/year DM) that mainly comprised of polythene bags, medicine packaging, pampers and wrappers. Waste generation was more in colonies with comparatively higher income and better living standards. In future, data collection for all four seasons and improvements due to expansion of awareness campaign to educational institutes will be quantified. This waste management system can potentially fulfill vital sustainable development goals (e.g. clean water and sanitation), reduce the need to harvest fresh resources from the ecosystem, create business and job opportunities and consequently solve one of the most pressing environmental issues of the country.

Multi-Level Air Quality Classification in China Using Information Gain and Support Vector Machine

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.

An Investigation into the Impact of the Relocation of Tannery Industry on Water Quality Parameters of Urban River Buriganga

The study deals with an investigation into the impact of the relocation of tannery industry on water quality parameters of Buriganga. For this purpose, previous records have been collected from authentic data resources and for the attainment of present values, several samples were collected from three major locations of the Buriganga River during summer and winter seasons in 2018 to determine the distribution and variation of water quality parameters. Samples were collected six ft below the river water surface. Analysis indicates slightly acidic to slightly alkaline (6.8-7.49) in nature. Bio-Chemical Oxygen Demand, Total Dissolved Solids, Total Solids (TS) & Total Suspended Solids (TSS) have been found greater in summer. On the other hand, Dissolved Oxygen is found greater in rainy seasons. Relocation shows improvement in water quality parameters. Though the improvement related to relocation of tannery industry is not adequate to turn the water body to be an inhabitable place for aquatic lives.

An Investigation of a Three-Dimensional Constitutive Model of Gas Diffusion Layers in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

This research presents the three-dimensional mechanical characteristics of a commercial gas diffusion layer by experiment and simulation results. Although the mechanical performance of gas diffusion layers has attracted much attention, its reliability and accuracy are still a major challenge. With the help of simulation analysis methods, it is beneficial to the gas diffusion layer’s extensive commercial development and the overall stress analysis of proton electrolyte membrane fuel cells during its pre-production design period. Therefore, in this paper, a three-dimensional constitutive model of a commercial gas diffusion layer, including its material stiffness matrix parameters, is developed and coded, in the user-defined material model of a commercial finite element method software for simulation. Then, the model is validated by comparing experimental results as well as simulation outcomes. As a result, both the experimental data and simulation results show a good agreement with each other, with high accuracy.

Desktop High-Speed Aerodynamics by Shallow Water Analogy in a Tin Box for Engineering Students

In this paper, we show shallow water in a tin box as an analogous simulation tool for high-speed aerodynamics education and research. It is customary that we use a water tank to create shallow water flow. While a flow in a water tank is not necessarily uniform and is sometimes wavy, we can visualize a clear supercritical flow even when we move a body manually in stationary water in a simple shallow tin box. We can visualize a blunt shock wave around a moving circular cylinder together with a shock pattern around a diamond airfoil. Another interesting analogous experiment is a hydrodynamic shock tube with water and tea. We observe the contact surface clearly due to color difference of the two liquids those are invisible in the real gas dynamics experiment. We first revisit the similarities between high-speed aerodynamics and shallow water hydraulics. Several educational and research experiments are then introduced for engineering students. Shallow water experiments in a tin box simulate properly the high-speed flows.

An Approach of the Inverter Voltage Used for the Linear Machine with Multi Air-Gap Structure

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.

Methane Production from Biomedical Waste (Blood)

This study investigates the production of renewable energy (biogas) from biomedical hazard waste (blood) and eco-friendly disposal. Biogas is produced by the bacterial anaerobic digestion of biomaterial (blood). During digestion process bacterial feeding result in breaking down chemical bonds of the biomaterial and changing its features, by the end of the digestion (biogas production) the remains become manure as known. That has led to the economic and eco-friendly disposal of hazard biomedical waste (blood). The samples (Whole blood, Red blood cells 'RBCs', Blood platelet and Fresh Frozen Plasma ‘FFP’) are collected and measured in terms of carbon to nitrogen C/N ratio and total solid, then filled in connected flasks (three flasks) using water displacement method. The results of trails showed that the platelet and FFP failed to produce flammable gas, but via a gas analyzer, it showed the presence of the following gases: CO, HC, CO₂, and NOX. Otherwise, the blood and RBCs produced flammable gases: Methane-nitrous CH₃NO (99.45%), which has a blue color flame and carbon dioxide CO₂ (0.55%), which has red/yellow color flame. Methane-nitrous is sometimes used as fuel for rockets, some aircraft and racing cars.

Temperature Evolution, Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Heat-Treatable Aluminum Alloy Welded by Friction Stir Welding: Comparison with Tungsten Inert Gas

Friction Stir Welding (FSW) is a solid-state welding technique that can join material without melting the plates to be welded. In this work, we are interested to demonstrate the potentiality of FSW for joining the heat-treatable aluminum alloy 2024-T3 which is reputed as difficult to be welded by fusion techniques. Thereafter, the FSW joint is compared with another one obtained from a conventional fusion process Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG). FSW welds are made up using an FSW tool mounted on a milling machine. Single pass welding was applied to fabricated TIG joint. The comparison between the two processes has been made on the temperature evolution, mechanical and microstructure behavior. The microstructural examination revealed that FSW weld is composed of four zones: Base metal (BM), Heat affected zone (HAZ), Thermo-mechanical affected zone (THAZ) and the nugget zone (NZ). The NZ exhibits a recrystallized equiaxed refined grains that induce better mechanical properties and good ductility compared to TIG joint where the grains have a larger size in the welded region compared with the BM due to the elevated heat input. The microhardness results show that, in FSW weld, the THAZ contains the lowest microhardness values and increase in the NZ; however, in TIG process, the lowest values are localized on the NZ.

On the Efficiency and Robustness of Commingle Wiener and Lévy Driven Processes for Vasciek Model
The driven processes of Wiener and Lévy are known self-standing Gaussian-Markov processes for fitting non-linear dynamical Vasciek model. In this paper, a coincidental Gaussian density stationarity condition and autocorrelation function of the two driven processes were established. This led to the conflation of Wiener and Lévy processes so as to investigate the efficiency of estimates incorporated into the one-dimensional Vasciek model that was estimated via the Maximum Likelihood (ML) technique. The conditional laws of drift, diffusion and stationarity process was ascertained for the individual Wiener and Lévy processes as well as the commingle of the two processes for a fixed effect and Autoregressive like Vasciek model when subjected to financial series; exchange rate of Naira-CFA Franc. In addition, the model performance error of the sub-merged driven process was miniature compared to the self-standing driven process of Wiener and Lévy.
Synthesis, Physicochemical Characterization and Study of the Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorobutanol

Introduction and objectives: Chlorobutanol is a raw material, mainly used as an antiseptic and antimicrobial preservative in injectable and ophthalmic preparations. The main objective of our study was the synthesis and evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of chlorobutanol hemihydrates. Material and methods: Chlorobutanol was synthesized according to the nucleophilic addition reaction of chloroform to acetone, identified by an infrared absorption using Spectrum One FTIR spectrometer, melting point, Scanning electron microscopy and colorimetric reactions. The dosage of carvedilol active substance was carried out by assaying the degradation products of chlorobutanol in a basic solution. The chlorobutanol obtained was subjected to bacteriological tests in order to study its antimicrobial activity. The antibacterial activity was evaluated against strains such as Escherichia coli (ATCC 25 922), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25 923) and Pseudomonas aeroginosa (ATCC = American type culture collection). The antifungal activity was evaluated against human pathogenic fungal strains, such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger provided by the parasitology laboratory of the Hospital of Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. Results and discussion: Chlorobutanol was obtained in an acceptable yield. The characterization tests of the product obtained showed a white and crystalline appearance (confirmed by scanning electron microscopy), solubilities (in water, ethanol and glycerol), and a melting temperature in accordance with the requirements of the European pharmacopoeia. The colorimetric reactions were directed towards the presence of a trihalogenated carbon and an alcohol function. The spectral identification (IR) showed the presence of characteristic chlorobutanol peaks and confirmed the structure of the latter. The microbiological study revealed an antimicrobial effect on all strains tested (Sataphylococcus aureus (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), E. coli (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Pseudomonas aeroginosa (MIC = 1250 µg/ml), Candida albicans (MIC =2500 µg/ml), Aspergillus niger (MIC =2500 µg/ml)) with MIC values close to literature data. Conclusion: Thus, on the whole, the synthesized chlorobutanol satisfied the requirements of the European Pharmacopoeia, and possesses antibacterial and antifungal activity; nevertheless, it is necessary to insist on the purification step of the product in order to eliminate the maximum impurities.

Construction of Green Aggregates from Waste Processing

Nowadays construction industry is developing means to incorporate waste products in concrete to ensure sustainability. To meet the need of construction industry, a synthetic aggregate was developed using optimized technique called compression moulding press technique. The manufactured aggregate comprises mixture of plastic, waste which acts as binder, together with by-product waste which acts as fillers. The physical properties and microstructures of the inert materials and the manufactured aggregate were examined and compared with the conventional available aggregates. The outcomes suggest that the developed aggregate has potential to be used as substitution of conventional aggregate due to its less weight and water absorption. The microstructure analysis confirmed the efficiency of the manufacturing process where the final product has the same mixture of binder and filler.

Ontology-Based Systemizing of the Science Information Devoted to Waste Utilizing by Methanogenesis

Over the past decades, amount of scientific information has been growing exponentially. It became more complicated to process and systemize this amount of data. The approach to systematization of scientific information on the production of biogas based on the ontological IT platform “T.O.D.O.S.” has been developed. It has been proposed to select semantic characteristics of each work for their further introduction into the IT platform “T.O.D.O.S.”. An ontological graph with a ranking function for previous scientific research and for a system of selection of microorganisms has been worked out. These systems provide high performance of information management of scientific information.

Implementation of Edge Detection Based on Autofluorescence Endoscopic Image of Field Programmable Gate Array

Autofluorescence Imaging (AFI) is a technology for detecting early carcinogenesis of the gastrointestinal tract in recent years. Compared with traditional white light endoscopy (WLE), this technology greatly improves the detection accuracy of early carcinogenesis, because the colors of normal tissues are different from cancerous tissues. Thus, edge detection can distinguish them in grayscale images. In this paper, based on the traditional Sobel edge detection method, optimization has been performed on this method which considers the environment of the gastrointestinal, including adaptive threshold and morphological processing. All of the processes are implemented on our self-designed system based on the image sensor OV6930 and Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), The system can capture the gastrointestinal image taken by the lens in real time and detect edges. The final experiments verified the feasibility of our system and the effectiveness and accuracy of the edge detection algorithm.

Determination of Surface Deformations with Global Navigation Satellite System Time Series

The development of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology has led to increasingly widely and successful applications of GNSS surveys for monitoring crustal movements. Instead of the multi-period GNSS solutions, this study utilizes GNSS time series that are required to more precisely determine the vertical deformations in the study area. In recent years, the surface deformations that are parallel and semi-parallel to Bolvadin fault have occurred in Western Anatolia. These surface deformations have continued to occur in Bolvadin settlement area that is located mostly on alluvium ground. Due to these surface deformations, a number of cracks in the buildings located in the residential areas and breaks in underground water and sewage systems have been observed. In order to determine the amount of vertical surface deformations, two continuous GNSS stations have been established in the region. The stations have been operating since 2015 and 2017, respectively. In this study, GNSS observations from the mentioned two GNSS stations were processed with GAMIT/GLOBK (GNSS Analysis Massachusetts Institute of Technology/GLOBal Kalman) program package to create coordinate time series. With the time series analyses, the GNSS stations’ behaviour models (linear, periodical, etc.), the causes of these behaviours, and mathematical models were determined. The study results from the time series analysis of these two 2 GNSS stations show approximately 50-90 mm/yr vertical movement.

Interaction of between Cd and Zn in Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Plant for Phytoextraction Method

The aim of this research is to remediation of the cadmium (Cd) pollution in agricultural soils by using barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plant. For this purpose, a pot experiment was done in greenhouse conditions. Cadmium (100 mg/kg) as CdSO4.8H2O forms was applied to each pot and incubated during 30 days. Then Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) chelate was applied to each pot at five doses (0, 3, 6, 8 and 10 mmol/kg) 20 days before harvesting time of the barley plants. The plants were harvested after two months planting. According to the pot experiment results, Cd and Zn amounts of barley plant increased with increasing EDTA application and Zn and Cd contents of barley 20,13 and 1,35 mg/kg for 0 mmol /kg EDTA; 58,61 and 113,24 mg/kg for 10 mmol/kg EDTA doses, respectively. On the other hand, Cd and Zn concentrations of experiment soil increased with EDTA application to the soil samples. Zinc and Cd concentrations of soil 0,31 and 0,021 mg/kg for 0 mmol /kg EDTA; 2,39 and 67,40 mg/kg for 10 mmol/kg EDTA doses, respectively. These increases were found to be statistically significant at the level of 1 %. According to the results of the pot experiment, some heavy metal especially Cd pollution of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plant province can be remediated by the phytoextraction method.

Liquid Fuel Production via Catalytic Pyrolysis of Waste Oil

Pyrolysis of waste oil is an effective process to produce high quality liquid fuels. In this work, pyrolysis experiments of waste oil over Y zeolite were carried out in a semi-batch reactor under a flow of nitrogen at atmospheric pressure and at different reaction temperatures (350-450 oC). The products were gas, liquid fuel, and residue. Only liquid fuel was further characterized for its composition and properties by using gas chromatography, thermogravimetric analyzer, and bomb calorimeter. Experimental results indicated that the pyrolysis reaction temperature significantly affected both yield and composition distribution of pyrolysis oil. An increase in reaction temperature resulted in increased fuel yield, especially gasoline fraction. To obtain high amount of fuel, the optimal reaction temperature should be higher than 350 oC. A presence of Y zeolite in the system enhanced the cracking activity. In addition, the pyrolysis oil yield is proportional to the catalyst quantity.

Microstrip Patch Antenna Enhancement Techniques
Microstrip patch antennas are widely used in many wireless communication applications because of their various advantages such as light weight, compact size, inexpensive, ease of fabrication and high reliability. However, narrow bandwidth and low gain are the major drawbacks of microstrip antennas. The radiation properties of microstrip antenna is affected by many designing factors like feeding techniques, manufacturing substrate, patch and ground structure. This manuscript presents a review of the most popular gain and bandwidth enhancement methods of microstrip antenna and reports a brief description of its feeding techniques.
Challenges of Sustainable Marine Fishing in Ghana

Traditionally, Ghana is a marine fishing country. The fishing industry dominated by artisanal marine fishing helps Ghana to meet its fish and protein requirements. Also, it provides employment for most coastal dwellers that depend on fishing as their main economic enterprise. Nonetheless, the marine fishing industry is confronted with challenges that have contributed to a declining fish production in recent past decade. Bad fishing practices and the general limited knowledge on sustainable management of fisheries resources are the limiting factors that affect sustainable fish production and sustainable marine biodiversity management in Ghana. This paper discusses the challenges and strategies for attaining and maintaining sustainable marine fishing in Ghana as well as the state of marine fishing in Ghana. It concludes that an increase in the level of involvement of local fishers in the management of fisheries resources of the country could help local fishers to employ sustainable fisheries resources exploitation methods that could result in an improvement in the spatio-economic development and wellbeing of affected fishing communities in particular and Ghana in general.

Tools and Techniques in Risk Assessment in Public Risk Management Organisations

Risk assessment and the knowledge provided through this process is a crucial part of any decision-making process in the management of risks and uncertainties. Failure in assessment of risks can cause inadequacy in the entire process of risk management, which in turn can lead to failure in achieving organisational objectives as well as having significant damaging consequences on populations affected by the potential risks being assessed. The choice of tools and techniques in risk assessment can influence the degree and scope of decision-making and subsequently the risk response strategy. There are various available qualitative and quantitative tools and techniques that are deployed within the broad process of risk assessment. The sheer diversity of tools and techniques available to practitioners makes it difficult for organisations to consistently employ the most appropriate methods. This tools and techniques adaptation is rendered more difficult in public risk regulation organisations due to the sensitive and complex nature of their activities. This is particularly the case in areas relating to the environment, food, and human health and safety, when organisational goals are tied up with societal, political and individuals’ goals at national and international levels. Hence, recognising, analysing and evaluating different decision support tools and techniques employed in assessing risks in public risk management organisations was considered. This research is part of a mixed method study which aimed to examine the perception of risk assessment and the extent to which organisations practise risk assessment’ tools and techniques. The study adopted a semi-structured questionnaire with qualitative and quantitative data analysis to include a range of public risk regulation organisations from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The results indicated the public risk management organisations mainly use diverse tools and techniques in the risk assessment process. The primary hazard analysis; brainstorming; hazard analysis and critical control points were described as the most practiced risk identification techniques. Within qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, the participants named the expert judgement, risk probability and impact assessment, sensitivity analysis and data gathering and representation as the most practised techniques.

Development of a Double Coating Technique for Recycled Concrete Aggregates Used in Hot-mix Asphalt

The use of recycled concrete aggregates (RCAs) in hot-mix asphalt (HMA) production could ease natural aggregate shortage and maintain sustainability in modern societies. However, it was the attached cement mortar and other impurities that make the RCAs behave differently than high-quality aggregates. Therefore, different upgrading treatments were suggested to enhance its properties before being used in HMA production. Disappointedly, some of these treatments had caused degradation to some RCA properties. In order to avoid degradation, a coating technique is developed. This technique is based on combining of two main treatments, so it is named as double coating technique (DCT). Dosages of 0%, 20%, 40% and 60% uncoated RCA, RCA coated with Cement Slag Paste (CSP), and Double Coated Recycled Concrete Aggregates (DCRCAs) in place of granite aggregates were evaluated. The results indicated that the DCT improves strength and reduces water absorption of the DCRCAs compared with uncoated RCAs and RCA coated with CSP. In addition, the DCRCA asphalt mixtures exhibit stability values higher than those obtained for mixes made with granite aggregates, uncoated RCAs and RCAs coated with CSP. Also, the DCRCA asphalt mixtures require less bitumen to achieve the optimum bitumen content (OBC) than those manufactured with uncoated RCA and RCA-coated with CSP. Although the results obtained were encouraging, more testing is required in order to examine the effect of the DCT on performance properties of DCRCA- asphalt mixtures such as rutting and fatigue.

Teachers' Preferences on the Issue of Segregation of Gifted Pupils in Czech Educational System

The issue of inclusion - segregation in the current Czech educational system is highly actual due to changes in legislation. It applies primarily to pupils with special educational needs, but it should also apply to pupils with giftedness. The paper presents chosen results of an exploratory survey that was carried out on a convenience sample of 1101 Czech teachers working in lower secondary education (ISCED2). The rate of teachers´ agreement with segregation of gifted pupils in the education system was monitored during this investigation. A validated questionnaire of our own design was used for the purpose of this investigation. The results were compared across groups of teachers in terms of selected variables. Results show that 36,3 % of teachers incline to segregation (rather than inclusion) of gifted pupils. Teachers who are not educated in this field and have no experience in teaching gifted pupils tend to support their segregation more in comparison with other teachers. Teachers of specialized schools for gifted pupils paradoxically agree with segregation to a slightly lesser extent than teachers from traditional schools, but they also manifest the most hesitant attitude in this issue. Preferences for segregation of gifted pupils are not related to attitudes toward gifted pupils or teachers' self-evaluation in terms of care for the gifted. Investigation indicates that the issue of education of gifted children and their inclusion in the educational system needs more space within the further education of teachers.

An Inflatable and Foldable Knee Exosuit Based on Intelligent Management of Biomechanical Energy

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.

Design of Low Noise Amplifiers for 10 GHz Application

This work deals with the designing of an efficient low noise amplifier for 10.00 GHz applications. The amplifier is designed using Gallium Arsenide High Electron Mobility Transistor (GaAs HEMT) ATF – 36077 with inductive source degeneration technique which is one of the techniques to improve the stability of the potentially unstable device and make it unconditionally stable. Also, different substrates are used for designing the LNA to identify the suitable substrate that gives optimum results. It is observed that the noise immunity is more in Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) designed using RT Duroid 5880 substrate. This design resulted in noise figure of 0.859 dB and power gain of 15.530 dB. The comparative analysis of the LNA design is discussed in this paper.

Impact of Zn/Cr Ratio on ZnCrOx-SAPO-34 Bifunctional Catalyst for Direct Conversion of Syngas to Light Olefins

Light olefins are important building blocks for chemical industry. Direct conversion of syngas to light olefins has been investigated for decades. Meanwhile, the limit for light olefins selectivity described by Anderson-Schulz-Flory (ASF) distribution model is still a great challenge to conventional Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The emerging strategy called oxide-zeolite concept (OX-ZEO) is a promising way to get rid of this limit. ZnCrOx was prepared by co-precipitation method and (NH4)2CO3 was used as precipitant. SAPO-34 was prepared by hydrothermal synthesis, and Tetraethylammonium hydroxide (TEAOH) was used as template, while silica sol, pseudo-boehmite, and phosphoric acid were Al, Si and P source, respectively. The bifunctional catalyst was prepared by mechanical mixing of ZnCrOx and SAPO-34. Catalytic reactions were carried out under H2/CO=2, 380 ℃, 1 MPa and 6000 mL·gcat-1·h-1 in a fixed-bed reactor with a quartz lining. Catalysts were characterized by XRD, N2 adsorption-desorption, NH3-TPD, H2-TPR, and CO-TPD. The addition of Al as structure promoter enhances CO conversion and selectivity to light olefins. Zn/Cr ratio, which decides the active component content and chemisorption property of the catalyst, influences CO conversion and selectivity to light olefins at the same time. C2-4= distribution of 86% among hydrocarbons at CO conversion of 14% was reached when Zn/Cr=1.5.

Numerical Investigation for External Strengthening of Dapped-End Beams
The reduction in dapped end beams depth nearby the supports tends to produce stress concentration and hence results in shear cracks, if it does not have an adequate reinforcement detailing. This study investigates numerically the efficiency of applying different external strengthening techniques to the dapped end of such beams. A two-dimensional finite element model was built to predict the structural behavior of dapped ends strengthened with different techniques. The techniques included external bonding of the steel angle at the re-entrant corner, un-bounded bolt anchoring, external steel plate jacketing, exterior carbon fiber wrapping and/or stripping and external inclined steel plates. The FE analysis results are then presented in terms of the ultimate load capacities, load-deflection and crack pattern at failure. The results showed that the FE model, at various stages, was found to be comparable to the available test data. Moreover, it enabled the capture of the failure progress, with acceptable accuracy, which is very difficult in a laboratory test.
FPGA Implementation of the BB84 Protocol

The development of a quantum key distribution (QKD) system on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) platform is the subject of this paper. A quantum cryptographic protocol is designed based on the properties of quantum information and the characteristics of FPGAs. The proposed protocol performs key extraction, reconciliation, error correction, and privacy amplification tasks to generate a perfectly secret final key. We modeled the presence of the spy in our system with a strategy to reveal some of the exchanged information without being noticed. Using an FPGA card with a 100 MHz clock frequency, we have demonstrated the evolution of the error rate as well as the amounts of mutual information (between the two interlocutors and that of the spy) passing from one step to another in the key generation process.

Optimization of Technical and Technological Solutions for the Development of Offshore Hydrocarbon Fields in the Kaliningrad Region

Currently, LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft» is implementing a comprehensive program for the development of offshore fields of the Kaliningrad region. This is largely associated with the depletion of the resource base of land in the region, as well as the positive results of geological investigation surrounding the Baltic Sea area and the data on the volume of hydrocarbon recovery from a single offshore field are working on the Kaliningrad region – D-6 «Kravtsovskoye».The article analyzes the main stages of the LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft»’s development program for the development of the hydrocarbon resources of the region's shelf and suggests an optimization algorithm that allows managing a multi-criteria process of development of shelf deposits. The algorithm is formed on the basis of the problem of sequential decision making, which is a section of dynamic programming. Application of the algorithm during the consolidation of the initial data, the elaboration of project documentation, the further exploration and development of offshore fields will allow to optimize the complex of technical and technological solutions and increase the economic efficiency of the field development project implemented by LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft».

Constraints on IRS Control: An Alternative Approach to Tax Gap Analysis
A tax authority wants to take actions it knows will foster the greatest degree of voluntary taxpayer compliance to reduce the “tax gap.” This paper suggests that even if a tax authority could attain a state of complete knowledge, there are constraints on whether and to what extent such actions would result in reducing the macro-level tax gap. These limits are not merely a consequence of finite agency resources. They are inherent in the system itself. To show that this is one possible interpretation of the tax gap data, the paper formulates known results in a different way by analyzing tax compliance as a population with a single covariate. This leads to a standard use of the logistic map to analyze the dynamics of non-compliance growth or decay over a sequence of periods. This formulation gives the same results as the tax gap studies performed over the past fifty years in the U.S. given the published margins of error. Limitations and recommendations for future work are discussed, along with some implications for tax policy.

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