|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 588|
The level of penetration of Islamic banking products and services has recorded a reasonable growth at an exponential rate in many parts of the world. There are many factors which have contributed to this growth including, but not limited to the rapid growth of number of Muslims who are uncomfortable with the conventional ways of banking, interest and higher interest rates scheduled by conventional banks and financial institutions as well as the financial inclusion campaign conducted in many countries. The system is facing legal challenges which open the research fdoor for practitioners and academicians for the sake of finding out solutions to those challenges. This paper tries to investigate the development of the Islamic banking system in the United Kingdom (UK), Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Iran, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda in order to understand the modalities which have been employed to run an Islamic banking system in the aforementioned countries. The methodology which has been employed in doing this research paper is Doctrinal, of which legislations, policies and other legal tools have been carefully studied and analysed. Again, papers from academic journals, books and financial reports have been deeply analysed for the purpose of enriching the paper and come up with a tangible results. The paper found that in Asia, Malaysia has created the smoothest legal platform for Islamic banking system to work properly in the country. The United Kingdom has tried harder to smooth the banking system without affecting the conventional banking methods and without favouring the operations of Islamic banks. It also tries harder to make UK as an Islamic banking and finance hub in Europe. The entire banking system in Iran is Islamic, while Nigeria has undergone several legal reforms to suit Islamic banking system in the country. Kenya and Uganda are at a different pace in making Islamic Banking system work alongside the conventional banking system.
Pupils´ inquisitiveness at the beginning of their school attendance is reflected by characteristics of the questions they ask. Clearly most of the classroom communication sequences are initiated by the teacher. But the teaching process also includes questions initiated by pupils in the need to satisfy their need for knowledge. The purpose of our research is to present the results of our pre-research strategy of occurrence of pupil-initiated questions in math lessons at the lower elementary school level, and to reveal the extent to which they are influenced by the teacher´s teaching strategy. We used the research methods of direct and indirect observations of fifth year classes in primary school. We focused on questions asked by the pupils in their math lessons. Our research sample for the pre-research observation method was a collection of video recordings available online. We used them for analysing the nature of pupils´ questions identified there. On the basis of the analysis, we hereby present the results concerning the nature of pupils´ questions asked in math lessons on the lower elementary school level. The interpretation of the collected results will be the starting point for the selection of research strategies in the next research stages concerning pupils’ questions in the future.
The Colombian government has defined an e-government strategy to take advantage of Information Technologies (IT) in order to contribute to the building of a more efficient, transparent and participative State that provides better services to citizens and businesses. In this regard, the Justice sector is one of the government sectors where IT has generated more expectation considering that the country has a judicial processes backlog. This situation has led to the search for alternative forms of access to justice that speed up the process while providing a low cost for citizens. To this end, the Colombian government has authorized the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods (ADR), a remedy where disputes can be resolved more quickly compared to judicial processes while facilitating greater communication between the parties, without recourse to judicial authority. One of these methods is conciliation, which includes a special modality that takes advantage of IT for the development of itself known as virtual conciliation. With this option the conciliation is supported by information systems, applications or platforms and communications are provided through it. This paper evaluates the level of maturity in how the service of virtual conciliation is under the framework of this strategy. This evaluation is carried out considering Shahkooh's 5-phase model for e-government. As a result, it is evident that in the context of conciliation, maturity does not reach the necessary level in the model so that it can be considered as virtual conciliation; therefore, it is necessary to define strategies to maximize the potential of IT in this context.
By developing ultra-wideband (UWB) systems, there is a high demand for UWB filters with low insertion loss, wide bandwidth, and having a planar structure which is compatible with other components of the UWB system. A microstrip interdigital filter is a great option for designing UWB filters. However, the presence of via holes in this structure creates difficulties in the fabrication procedure of the filter. Especially in the higher frequency band, any misalignment of the drilled via hole with the Microstrip stubs causes large errors in the measurement results compared to the desired results. Moreover, in this case (high-frequency designs), the line width of the stubs are very narrow, so highly precise small via holes are required to be implemented, which increases the cost of fabrication significantly. Also, in this case, there is a risk of having fabrication errors. To combat this issue, in this paper, a via-less UWB microstrip filter is proposed which is designed based on a modification of a conventional inter-digital bandpass filter. The novel approaches in this filter design are 1) replacement of each via hole with a quarter-wavelength open circuit stub to avoid the complexity of manufacturing, 2) using a bend structure to reduce the unwanted coupling effects and 3) minimising the size. Using the proposed structure, a UWB filter operating in the frequency band of 3.9-6.6 GHz (1-dB bandwidth) is designed and fabricated. The promising results of the simulation and measurement are presented in this paper. The selected substrate for these designs was Rogers RO4003 with a thickness of 20 mils. This is a common substrate in most of the industrial projects. The compact size of the proposed filter is highly beneficial for applications which require a very miniature size of hardware.
We discuss the alternative conceptions of students analysing the behaviour of electrical circuits. The present paper aims at, on one hand, studying the misconceptions of 80 elementary pre-service teachers from Quebec in Canada, in relation to the current source in DC circuits. To do this, they completed a two-choice questionnaire (true or false) with justification. Data analysis identifies many conceptual difficulties. For example, their majority considered a battery as a source of constant current: When a circuit composed of battery and resistors is modified, the current supplied by the battery remains unchanged. On the other hand, considering the alternatives conceptions identified we develop a two-tier test about source current. The aim of this two-tier test is to help teachers to diagnose rapidly their students’ misconceptions in order to consider in their teaching.
Next generation bio-alcohols produced from non-food based sources like cellulosic biomass are promising renewable energy sources. The present study investigates engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions of a small single cylinder direct injection diesel engine fueled by four kinds of next generation bio-alcohol isomer and diesel fuel blends with a constant blending ratio of 3:7 (mass). The tested bio-alcohol isomers here are n-butanol and iso-butanol (C4 alcohol), and n-pentanol and iso-pentanol (C5 alcohol). To obtain simultaneous reductions in NOx and smoke emissions, the experiments employed supercharging combined with EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). The boost pressures were fixed at two conditions, 100 kPa (naturally aspirated operation) and 120 kPa (supercharged operation) provided with a roots blower type supercharger. The EGR rates were varied from 0 to 25% using a cooled EGR technique. The results showed that both with and without supercharging, all the bio-alcohol blended diesel fuels improved the trade-off relation between NOx and smoke emissions at all EGR rates while maintaining good engine performance, when compared with diesel fuel operation. It was also found that regardless of boost pressure and EGR rate, the ignition delays of the tested bio-alcohol isomer blends are in the order of iso-butanol > n-butanol > iso-pentanol > n-pentanol. Overall, it was concluded that, except for the changes in the ignition delays the influence of bio-alcohol isomer blends on the engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions are relatively small.
In the last decade, automotive companies have invested a lot in terms of innovation about many aspects regarding the automatic driver assistance systems. One innovation regards the usage of a smart camera placed on the car’s side mirror for monitoring the back and lateral road situation. A common road scenario is the overtaking of the preceding car and, in this case, a brief distraction or a loss of concentration can lead the driver to undertake this action, even if there is an already overtaking vehicle, leading to serious accidents. A valid support for a secure drive can be a smart camera system, which is able to automatically analyze the road scenario and consequentially to warn the driver when another vehicle is overtaking. This paper describes a method for monitoring the side view of a vehicle by using camera optical flow motion vectors. The proposed solution detects the presence of incoming vehicles, assesses their distance from the host car, and warns the driver through different levels of alert according to the estimated distance. Due to the low complexity and computational cost, the proposed system ensures real time performances.
Botswana is an arid country that needs to start reusing wastewater as part of its water security plan. Pilot scale slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter was investigated for the treatment of effluent from Botswana International University of Science and Technology to meet Botswana irrigation standards. The system was operated at hydraulic loading rates of 0.04 m/hr and 0.12 m/hr. The results show that the system was able to reduce turbidity from 262 Nephelometric Turbidity Units to a range between 18 and 0 Nephelometric Turbidity Units which was below 30 Nephelometric Turbidity Units threshold limit. The overall efficacy ranged between 61% and 100%. Suspended solids, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, and Chemical Oxygen Demand removal efficiency averaged 42.6%, 45.5%, and 77% respectively and all within irrigation standards. Other physio-chemical parameters were within irrigation standards except for bicarbonate ion which averaged 297.7±44 mg L-1 in the influent and 196.22±50 mg L-1 in the effluent which was above the limit of 92 mg L-1, therefore averaging a reduction of 34.1% by the system. Total coliforms, fecal coliforms, and Escherichia coli in the effluent were initially averaging 1.1 log counts, 0.5 log counts, and 1.3 log counts respectively compared to corresponding influent log counts of 3.4, 2.7 and 4.1, respectively. As time passed, it was observed that only roughing filter was able to reach reductions of 97.5%, 86% and 100% respectively for faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, and total coliforms. These organism numbers were observed to have increased in slow sand filter effluent suggesting multiplication in the tank. Water quality index value of 22.79 for the physio-chemical parameters suggests that the effluent is of excellent quality and can be used for irrigation purposes. However, the water quality index value for the microbial parameters (1820) renders the quality unsuitable for irrigation. It is concluded that slow sand filtration in combination with roughing filter is a viable option for the treatment of secondary effluent for reuse purposes. However, further studies should be conducted especially for the removal of microbial parameters using the system.
22 physicochemical variables have been determined in water samples collected weekly from January to December in 2013 from three sampling stations located within a major drinking water reservoir. Classical Multivariate Curve Resolution Alternating Least Squares (MCR-ALS) analysis was used to investigate the environmental factors associated with the physico-chemical variability of the water samples at each of the sampling stations. Matrix augmentation MCR-ALS (MA-MCR-ALS) was also applied, and the two sets of results were compared for interpretative clarity. Links between these factors, reservoir inflows and catchment land-uses were investigated and interpreted in relation to chemical composition of the water and their resolved geographical distribution profiles. The results suggested that the major factors affecting reservoir water quality were those associated with agricultural runoff, with evidence of influence on algal photosynthesis within the water column. Water quality variability within the reservoir was also found to be strongly linked to physical parameters such as water temperature and the occurrence of thermal stratification. The two methods applied (MCR-ALS and MA-MCR-ALS) led to similar conclusions; however, MA-MCR-ALS appeared to provide results more amenable to interpretation of temporal and geological variation than those obtained through classical MCR-ALS.
Determination of state of charge (SOC) in today’s world becomes an increasingly important issue in all the applications that include a battery. In fact, estimation of the SOC is a fundamental need for the battery, which is the most important energy storage in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs), smart grid systems, drones, UPS and so on. Regarding those applications, the SOC estimation algorithm is expected to be precise and easy to implement. This paper presents an online method for the estimation of the SOC of Valve-Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries. The proposed method uses the well-known Kalman Filter (KF), and Neural Networks (NNs) and all of the simulations have been done with MATLAB software. The NN is trained offline using the data collected from the battery discharging process. A generic cell model is used, and the underlying dynamic behavior of the model has used two capacitors (bulk and surface) and three resistors (terminal, surface, and end), where the SOC determined from the voltage represents the bulk capacitor. The aim of this work is to compare the performance of conventional integration-based SOC estimation methods with a mixed algorithm. Moreover, by containing the effect of temperature, the final result becomes more accurate.
This study presents a precise relative navigational method for satellites flying in formation using laser-based intermittent measurement data. The measurement data for the relative navigation between two satellites consist of a relative distance measured by a laser instrument and relative attitude angles measured by attitude determination. The relative navigation solutions are estimated by both the Extended Kalman filter (EKF) and unscented Kalman filter (UKF). The solutions estimated by the EKF may become inaccurate or even diverge as measurement outage time gets longer because the EKF utilizes a linearization approach. However, this study shows that the UKF with the appropriate scaling parameters provides a stable and accurate relative navigation solutions despite the long measurement outage time and large initial error as compared to the relative navigation solutions of the EKF. Various navigation results have been analyzed by adjusting the scaling parameters of the UKF.
In this paper, we propose a blind and robust audio watermarking scheme based on spread spectrum in Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) domain. Watermarks are embedded in the low-frequency coefficients, which is less audible. The key idea is dividing the audio signal into small frames, and magnitude of the 6th level of DWT approximation coefficients is modifying based upon the Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technique. Also, the psychoacoustic model for enhancing in imperceptibility, as well as Savitsky-Golay filter for increasing accuracy in extraction, is used. The experimental results illustrate high robustness against most common attacks, i.e. Gaussian noise addition, Low pass filter, Resampling, Requantizing, MP3 compression, without significant perceptual distortion (ODG is higher than -1). The proposed scheme has about 83 bps data payload.
A broadband resonant terminal antenna has been developed. It can be used in different MIMO arrangements such as 2x2, 4x4, 8x8, or even 12x12 MIMO configurations. The antenna covers the whole LTE and WiFi bands besides the existing 2G/3G bands (700-5800 MHz), without using any matching/tuning circuits. Matching circuits significantly reduce the efficiency of any antenna and reduce the battery life. They also reduce the bandwidth because they are frequency dependent. The antenna can be implemented in smartphone handsets, tablets, laptops, notebooks or any other terminal. It is also suitable for different IoT and vehicle applications. The antenna is manufactured from a flexible material and can be bent or folded and shaped in any form to fit any available space in any terminal. It is self-contained and does not need to use the ground plane, the chassis or any other component of the terminal. Hence, it can be mounted on any terminal at different positions and configurations. Its performance does not get affected by the terminal, regardless of its type, shape or size. Moreover, its performance does not get affected by the human body of the terminal’s users. Because of all these unique features of the antenna, multiples of them can be simultaneously used for MIMO diversity coverage in any terminal device with a high isolation and a low correlation factor between them.
This study aims to develop the Relational Mobility Scale for the Indonesian population and to investigate its psychometric properties. New items of the scale were created taking into account the Indonesian population which consists of two parallel forms (A and A’). This study uses 30 newly orchestrated items while keeping in mind the characteristics of the targeted population. The scale was administered to 433 public high school students in Malang, Indonesia. Construct validity of its factor structure was demonstrated using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. The result exhibits that he model fits the data, and that the delayed alternate form method shows acceptable result. Results yielded that 21 items of the three-dimensional Relational Mobility Scale is suitable for measuring relational mobility in high school students of Indonesian population.
Wax and asphaltene are high molecular weighted compounds that contribute to the stability of crude oil at a dispersed state. Transportation of crude oil along pipelines from the oil rig to the refineries causes fluctuation of temperature which will lead to the coagulation of wax and flocculation of asphaltenes. This paper focuses on the prevention of wax and asphaltene precipitate deposition on the inner surface of the pipelines by using a wax inhibitor and an asphaltene dispersant. The novelty of this prevention method is the combination of three substances; a wax inhibitor dissolved in a wax inhibitor solvent and an asphaltene solvent, namely, ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer dissolved in methylcyclohexane (MCH) and toluene (TOL) to inhibit the precipitation and deposition of wax and asphaltene. The objective of this paper was to optimize the percentage composition of each component in this inhibitor which can maximize the viscosity reduction of crude oil. The optimization was divided into two stages which are the laboratory experimental stage in which the viscosity of crude oil samples containing inhibitor of different component compositions is tested at decreasing temperatures and the data optimization stage using response surface methodology (RSM) to design an optimizing model. The results of experiment proved that the combination of 50% EVA + 25% MCH + 25% TOL gave a maximum viscosity reduction of 67% while the RSM model proved that the combination of 57% EVA + 20.5% MCH + 22.5% TOL gave a maximum viscosity reduction of up to 61%.
Incorporating Home eNodeB (HeNB) in cellular networks, e.g. Long Term Evolution Advanced (LTE-A), is beneficial for extending coverage and enhancing capacity at low price especially within the non-line-of sight (NLOS) environments such as homes. HeNB or femtocell is a small low powered base station which provides radio coverage to the mobile users in an indoor environment. This deployment results in a heterogeneous network where the available spectrum becomes shared between two layers. Therefore, a problem of Inter Cell Interference (ICI) appears. This issue is the main challenge in LTE-A. To deal with this challenge, various techniques based on frequency, time and power control are proposed. This paper deals with the impact of carrier aggregation and higher order MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) schemes on the LTE-Advanced performance. Simulation results show the advantages of these schemes on the system capacity (4.109 b/s/Hz when bandwidth B=100 MHz and when applying MIMO 8x8 for SINR=30 dB), maximum theoretical peak data rate (more than 4 Gbps for B=100 MHz and when MIMO 8x8 is used) and spectral efficiency (15 b/s/Hz and 30b/s/Hz when MIMO 4x4 and MIMO 8x8 are applying respectively for SINR=30 dB).
This study focuses on the sheltering response in the Middle East, specifically through reviewing two Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, involving Zaatari and Azraq. Zaatari camp involved the rapid deployment of tents and shelters over a very short period of time and Azraq was purpose built and pre-planned over a longer period. At present, both camps collectively host more than 133,000 occupants. Field visits were taken to both camps and the main issues and problems in the sheltering response were highlighted through focus group discussions with camp occupants and inspection of shelter habitats. This provided both subjective and objective research data sources. While every case has its own significance and deployment to meet humanitarian needs, there are some common requirements irrespective of geographical region. The results suggest that there is a gap in the suitability of the required habitat needs and what has been provided. It is recommended that the global international response and support could be improved in relation to the habitat form, construction type, layout, function and critically the cultural aspects. Services, health and hygiene are key elements to the shelter habitat provision. The study also identified the amendments to shelters undertaken by the beneficiaries providing insight into their key main requirements. The outcomes from this study could provide an important learning opportunity to develop improved habitat response for future shelters.
To acquire accurate ship motions at the center of gravity, a single low-cost inertial sensor is utilized and applied on board to measure ship oscillating motions. As observations, the three axes accelerations and three axes rotational rates provided by the sensor are used. The mathematical model of processing the observation data includes determination of the distance vector between the sensor and the center of gravity in x, y, and z directions. After setting up the transfer matrix from sensor’s own coordinate system to the ship’s body frame, an extended Kalman filter is applied to deal with nonlinearities between the ship motion in the body frame and the observation information in the sensor’s frame. As a side effect, the method eliminates sensor noise and other unwanted errors. Results are not only roll and pitch, but also linear motions, in particular heave and surge at the center of gravity. For testing, we resort to measurements recorded on a small vessel in a well-defined sea state. With response amplitude operators computed numerically by a commercial software (Seaway), motion characteristics are estimated. These agree well with the measurements after processing with the suggested method.