|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 968|
Many of the regeneration failures in conifers are often being attributed to heavy insect attack and pathogens during the period of seed formation and under storage conditions. Conifer berries and seed insects occur throughout the known range of the hosts and also limit the production of seed for nursery stock. On occasion, even entire seed crops are lost due to insect attacks. The berry and seeds of both the species have been found to be infected with insects. Recently, heavy damage to the berry and seeds of Juniper and Chilgoza Pine was observed in the field as well as in stored conditions, leading to reduction in the viability of seeds to germinate. Both the species are under great threat and regeneration of the species is very low. Due to lack of adequate literature, the study on the damage potential of seed insects was urgently required to know the exact status of the insect-pests attacking seeds/berries of both the pine species so as to develop pest management practices against the insect pests attack. As both the species are also under threat and are fighting for survival, so the study is important to develop management practices for the insect-pests of seeds/berries of Juniper and Chilgoza pine so as to evaluate in the nursery, as these species form major vegetation of their distribution zones. A six-year study on the management of insect pests of seeds of Chilgoza revealed that seeds of this species are prone to insect pests mainly borers. During present investigations, it was recorded that cones of are heavily attacked only by Dioryctria abietella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in natural conditions, but seeds which are economically important are heavily infected, (sometimes up to 100% damage was also recorded) by insect borer, Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and is recorded for the first time ‘to author’s best knowledge’ infesting the stored Chilgoza seeds. Similarly, Juniper berries and seeds were heavily attacked only by a single borer, Homaloxestis cholopis (Lepidoptera: Lecithoceridae) recorded as a new report in natural habitat as well as in stored conditions. During the present investigation details of insect pest attack on Juniper and Chilgoza pine seeds and berries was observed and suitable management practices were also developed to contain the insect-pests attack.
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.
Concept of knowledge is discovered from conducted study for successive Competition in Sri Lankan Non-State Higher Educational Institutes. The Concept discovered out of collected Knowledge Management Practices from Emerald inside likewise reputed literatures and of Non-State Higher Educational sector. A test is conducted to reveal existences and its reason behind of these collected practices in Sri Lankan Non-State Higher Education Institutes. Further, unavailability of such study and uncertain on number of participants for data collection in the Sri Lankan context contributed selection of research method as qualitative method, which used attributes of Delphi Method to manage those likewise uncertainty. Data are collected under Dramaturgical Method, which contributes efficient usage of the Delphi method. Grounded theory is selected as data analysis techniques, which is conducted in intermixed discourse to manage different perspectives of data that are collected systematically through perspective and modified snowball sampling techniques. Data are then analysed using Grounded Theory Development Techniques in Intermix discourses to manage differences in Data. Consequently, Agreement in the results of Grounded theories and of finding in the Foreign Study is discovered in the analysis whereas present study conducted as Qualitative Research and The Foreign Study conducted as Quantitative Research. As such, the Present study widens the discovery in the Foreign Study. Further, having discovered reason behind of the existences, the Present result shows Concept for Knowledge from Sri Lankan Non-State sector to manage higher educational Institutes in successful manner.
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.
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».
Worldwide, improving tourism competitiveness has been on the agendas of many stakeholders of the hotel sector, and they seem to have agreed that one of the best ways to compete is via the implementation of electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM). In so doing, the organizations enjoy strategic positioning on the competitive market by managing better not only the customers but, other business components including knowledge and employee management. Over the recent years, the tourism industry in Mauritius has witnessed a drastic economic boom at international and national levels; providing a new outlook to boost business performance through existing and potential customers. E-CRM has been one of the management tools used to achieving this position. Thus, this insightful context- Mauritius- was opted for the study. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of e-CRM as a strategic tool in the hotel sector in Mauritius through the implementation of business strategy to create competitive advantage and impact on the business performance. To achieve the objectives of the study, a quantitative research methodology was adopted and the research revealed that e-CRM is indeed an effective strategic tool in the hotel industry in Mauritius that can provide a competitive advantage and impact positively on the organization’s performance.
Classification of high resolution polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (PolSAR) images plays an important role in land cover and land use management. Recently, classification algorithms based on Bag of Visual Words (BOVW) model have attracted significant interest among scholars and researchers in and out of the field of remote sensing. In this paper, BOVW model with pixel based low-level features has been implemented to classify a subset of San Francisco bay PolSAR image, acquired by RADARSAR 2 in C-band. We have used segment-based decision-making strategy and compared the result with the result of traditional Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier. 90.95% overall accuracy of the classification with the proposed algorithm has shown that the proposed algorithm is comparable with the state-of-the-art methods. In addition to increase in the classification accuracy, the proposed method has decreased undesirable speckle effect of SAR images.
The additional relationships i.e., start-to-start, finish-to-finish, and start-to-finish, between activity in Precedence Diagram Method (PDM) provides a more flexible schedule than traditional Critical Path Method (CPM). But, changing the duration of critical activities in the PDM network will have an anomalous effect on the critical path and the project completion date. In this study, we classified the critical activities in two groups i.e., 1. activity on single critical path and 2. activity on multi-critical paths, and six classes i.e., normal, reverse, neutral, perverse, decrease-reverse and increase-normal, based on their effects on project duration in PDM. Furthermore, we determined the maximum float of time by which the duration each type of critical activities can be changed without effecting the project duration. This study would help the project manager to clearly understand the behavior of each critical activity on critical path, and he/she would be able to change the project duration by shortening or lengthening activities based on project budget and project deadline.
Digital transformation is one of the latest trends on the global market. In order to maintain the competitive advantage and sustainability, increasing number of organizations are conducting digital transformation processes. Those organizations are changing their business processes and creating new business models with the help of digital technologies. In that sense, one should also observe the role of business process management (BPM) and its maturity in driving digital transformation. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to investigate the role of BPM in digital transformation process within one organization. Since experiences from practice show that organizations from financial sector could be observed as leaders in digital transformation, an insurance company has been selected to participate in the study. That company has been selected due to the high level of its BPM maturity and the fact that it has previously been through a digital transformation process. In order to fulfill the goals of the paper, several interviews, as well as questionnaires, have been conducted within the selected company. The results are presented in a form of a case study. Results indicate that digital transformation process within the observed company has been successful, with special focus on the development of digital strategy, BPM and change management. The role of BPM in the digital transformation of the observed company is further discussed in the paper.
Usability testing (UT) is one of the vital steps in the User-centred design (UCD) process when designing a product. In an e-commerce ecosystem, UT becomes primary as new products, features, and services are launched very frequently. And, there are losses attached to the company if an unusable and inefficient product is put out to market and is rejected by customers. This paper tries to answer why UT is important in the product life-cycle of an E-commerce ecosystem. Secondary user research was conducted to find out work patterns, development methods, type of stakeholders, and technology constraints, etc. of a typical E-commerce company. Qualitative user interviews were conducted with product managers and designers to find out the structure, project planning, product management method and role of the design team in a mid-level company. The paper tries to address the usual apprehensions of the company to inculcate UT within the team. As well, it stresses upon factors like monetary resources, lack of usability expert, narrow timelines, and lack of understanding of higher management as some primary reasons. Outsourcing UT to vendors is also very prevalent with mid-level e-commerce companies, but it has its own severe repercussions like very little team involvement, huge cost, misinterpretation of the findings, elongated timelines, and lack of empathy towards the customer, etc. The shortfalls of the unavailability of a UT process in place within the team and conducting UT through vendors are bad user experiences for customers while interacting with the product, badly designed products which are neither useful and nor utilitarian. As a result, companies see dipping conversions rates in apps and websites, huge bounce rates and increased uninstall rates. Thus, there was a need for a more lean UT system in place which could solve all these issues for the company. This paper highlights on optimizing the UT process with a collaborative method. The degree of optimization and structure of collaborative method is the highlight of this paper. Collaborative method of UT is one in which the centralised design team of the company takes for conducting and analysing the UT. The UT is usually a formative kind where designers take findings into account and uses in the ideation process. The success of collaborative method of UT is due to its ability to sync with the product management method employed by the company or team. The collaborative methods focus on engaging various teams (design, marketing, product, administration, IT, etc.) each with its own defined roles and responsibility in conducting a smooth UT with users In-house. The paper finally highlights the positive results of collaborative UT method after conducting more than 100 In-lab interviews with users across the different lines of businesses. Some of which are the improvement of interaction between stakeholders and the design team, empathy towards users, improved design iteration, better sanity check of design solutions, optimization of time and money, effective and efficient design solution. The future scope of collaborative UT is to make this method leaner, by reducing the number of days to complete the entire project starting from planning between teams to publishing the UT report.
Due to the economic and environmental benefits of producing less waste, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduces source reduction as one of the most important means to deal with the problems caused by increased landfills and pollution. Waste reduction involves all waste management methods, including source reduction, recycling, and composting, which reduce waste flow to landfills or other disposal facilities. Source reduction of waste can be studied from two perspectives: avoiding waste production, or reducing per capita waste production, and waste deviation that indicates the reduction of waste transfer to landfills. The present paper has investigated home composting as a managerial solution for reduction of waste transfer to landfills. Home composting has many benefits. The use of household waste for the production of compost will result in a much smaller amount of waste being sent to landfills, which in turn will reduce the costs of waste collection, transportation and burial. Reducing the volume of waste for disposal and using them for the production of compost and plant fertilizer might help to recycle the material in a shorter time and to use them effectively in order to preserve the environment and reduce contamination. Producing compost in a home-based manner requires very small piece of land for preparation and recycling compared with other methods. The final product of home-made compost is valuable and helps to grow crops and garden plants. It is also used for modifying the soil structure and maintaining its moisture. The food that is transferred to landfills will spoil and produce leachate after a while. It will also release methane and greenhouse gases. But, composting these materials at home is the best way to manage degradable materials, use them efficiently and reduce environmental pollution. Studies have shown that the benefits of the sale of produced compost and the reduced costs of collecting, transporting, and burying waste can well be responsive to the costs of purchasing home compost machine and the cost of related trainings. Moreover, the process of producing home compost may be profitable within 4 to 5 years and as a result, it will have a major role in reducing waste management.
Relational databases constitute a very vital tool for the effective management and administration of both personal and organizational data. Data access ranges from a single user database management software to a more complex distributed server system. This paper intends to appraise the use a programming language extension like structured query language (SQL) to establish links to a relational database (Microsoft Access 2013) using Visual C++ 9 programming language environment. The methodology used involves the creation of tables to form a database using Microsoft Access 2013, which is Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) database compliant. The SQL command is used to query the tables in the database for easy extraction of expected records inside the visual C++ environment. The findings of this paper reveal that records can easily be accessed and manipulated to filter exactly what the user wants, such as retrieval of records with specified criteria, updating of records, and deletion of part or the whole records in a table.
In this paper, we report how to acquire serious victims’ locations in the Acute Stage of Large-scale Disasters, in an Emergency Information Network System designed by us. The background of our concept is based on the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11th, 2011. Through many experiences of national crises caused by earthquakes and tsunamis, we have established advanced communication systems and advanced disaster medical response systems. However, Japan was devastated by huge tsunamis swept a vast area of Tohoku causing a complete breakdown of all the infrastructures including telecommunications. Therefore, we noticed that we need interdisciplinary collaboration between science of disaster medicine, regional administrative sociology, satellite communication technology and systems engineering experts. Communication of emergency information was limited causing a serious delay in the initial rescue and medical operation. For the emergency rescue and medical operations, the most important thing is to identify the number of casualties, their locations and status and to dispatch doctors and rescue workers from multiple organizations. In the case of the Tohoku earthquake, the dispatching mechanism and/or decision support system did not exist to allocate the appropriate number of doctors and locate disaster victims. Even though the doctors and rescue workers from multiple government organizations have their own dedicated communication system, the systems are not interoperable.
For decades, South Africa has been planning transportation systems from a supply, rather than a demand side, perspective. In terms of parking, this relates to requiring the minimum parking provision that is enforced by city officials. Newer insight is starting to indicate that South Africa needs to re-think this philosophy in light of a new policy environment that desires a different outcome. Urban policies have shifted from reliance on the private car for access, to employing a wide range of alternative modes. Car dominated travel is influenced by various parameters, of which the availability and location of parking plays a significant role. The question is therefore, what is the right strategy to achieve the desired transport outcomes for SA. The focus of this paper is used to assess this issue with regard to parking provision, and specifically at a tertiary institution. A parking audit was conducted at the Stellenbosch campus of Stellenbosch University, monitoring occupancy at all 60 parking areas, every hour during business hours over a five-day period. The data from this survey was compared with the prescribed number of parking bays according to the Stellenbosch Municipality zoning scheme (requiring a minimum of 0.4 bays per student). The analysis shows that by providing 0.09 bays per student, the maximum total daily occupation of all the parking areas did not exceed an 80% occupation rate. It is concluded that the prevailing parking standards are not supportive of the new urban and transport policy environment, but that it is extremely conservative from a practical demand point of view.
In recent approaches to heritage conservation, the whole context of historic areas becomes as important as the single historic building. This makes the provision of infrastructure and network of mobility an effective element in the urban conservation. Sustainable urban conservation projects consider the high density of activities, the need for a good quality access system to the transit system, and the importance of the configuration of the mobility network by identifying the best way to connect the different districts of the urban area through a complex unique system that helps the synergic development to achieve a sustainable mobility system. A sustainable urban mobility is a key factor in maintaining the integrity between socio-cultural aspects and functional aspects. This paper illustrates the mobility aspects, mobility problems in historic districts, and the needs of the mobility systems in the first part. The second part is a practical analysis for different mobility plans. It is challenging to find innovative and creative conservation solutions fitting modern uses and needs without risking the loss of inherited built resources. Urban mobility management is becoming an essential and challenging issue in the urban conservation projects. Depending on literature review and practical analysis, this paper tries to define and clarify the guidelines for mobility management in historic districts as a key element in sustainability of urban conservation and development projects. Such rules and principles could control the conflict between the socio–cultural and economic activities, and the different needs for mobility in these districts in a sustainable way. The practical analysis includes a comparison between mobility plans which have been implemented in four different cities; Freiburg in Germany, Zurich in Switzerland and Bray Town in Ireland. This paper concludes with a matrix of guidelines that considers both principles of sustainability and livability factors in urban historic districts.
Industry accounts for one-third of global final energy demand. Crossover technologies (e.g. motors, pumps, process heat, and air conditioning) play an important role in improving energy efficiency. These technologies are used in many applications independent of the production branch. Especially electrical power is used by drives, pumps, compressors, and lightning. The paper demonstrates the algorithm of the energy analysis by some selected case studies for typical industrial processes. The energy analysis represents an essential part of energy management systems (EMS). Generally, process control system (PCS) can support EMS. They provide information about the production process, and they organize the maintenance actions. Combining these tools into an integrated process allows the development of an energy critical equipment strategy. Thus, asset and energy management can use the same common data to improve the energy efficiency.
The stakeholders’ pressure on corporate managers to maintain firm’s profitability has created economic incentives for management to engage in earnings management practices. Therefore, this study examines the effects of audit quality and corporate governance on earnings management of quoted deposit money banks (DMBs) in Nigeria. This study specifically investigates the influence of audit tenure, audit fee, board independence, and board size on earnings management of DMBs. Explanatory research design was employed in carrying out the study while secondary data were sourced from the annual reports and accounts of all the 15 quoted DMBs in Nigerian Stock Exchange as at December 31, 2015 for a period of 10 years covering from 2006 to 2015. The data obtained for the study were analyzed using panel regression analysis approach. The findings reveal that board independence has a negative significant effect on earnings management at a 5% level of significance (p=0.002), while audit fee has a positive significant effect on earnings management at a 5% level of significance (p=0.013) and audit tenure has a negative significant effect on earnings management of DMBs at a 5% level of significance (p=0.003). Surprisingly, board size was statistically not significant at a 5% level of significance (p=0.086). The study concludes that high audit quality and sound corporate governance could improve the earnings quality of DMBs. Hence, the study recommends that the authorities saddled with the responsibility of banking supervision in Nigeria such the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and CBN to advise the National Assembly in Nigeria to pass into law the three years professional requirement for audit tenure.
An online performance management system was evaluated, and recommendations were made to improve the system. The study shows the effects of not adhering to the established web design principles and conventions. Furthermore, the study indicates that if the online performance management system is not well designed, it may have negative effects on the overall usability of the system and these negative effects will have consequences for both the employer and employees. The evaluation was done in terms of the usability metrics of effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction. Effectiveness was measured in terms of the success rate with which users could execute prescribed tasks in a sandbox system. Efficiency was expressed in terms of the time it took participants to understand what is expected of them and to execute the tasks. Post-test questionnaires were used in order to determine the satisfaction of the participants. Recommendations were made to improve the usability of the online performance management system.
Delays in the construction industry are a global phenomenon. Many construction projects experience extensive delays exceeding the initially estimated completion time. The main purpose of this study is to identify construction projects typical behaviors in order to develop a prognosis and management tool. Being able to know a construction projects schedule tendency will enable evidence-based decision-making to allow resolutions to be made before delays occur. This study presents an innovative approach that uses Cluster Analysis Method to support predictions during Earned Value Analyses. A clustering analysis was used to predict future scheduling, Earned Value Management (EVM), and Earned Schedule (ES) principal Indexes behaviors in construction projects. The analysis was made using a database with 90 different construction projects. It was validated with additional data extracted from literature and with another 15 contrasting projects. For all projects, planned and executed schedules were collected and the EVM and ES principal indexes were calculated. A complete linkage classification method was used. In this way, the cluster analysis made considers that the distance (or similarity) between two clusters must be measured by its most disparate elements, i.e. that the distance is given by the maximum span among its components. Finally, through the use of EVM and ES Indexes and Tukey and Fisher Pairwise Comparisons, the statistical dissimilarity was verified and four clusters were obtained. It can be said that construction projects show an average delay of 35% of its planned completion time. Furthermore, four typical behaviors were found and for each of the obtained clusters, the interim milestones and the necessary rhythms of construction were identified. In general, detected typical behaviors are: (1) Projects that perform a 5% of work advance in the first two tenths and maintain a constant rhythm until completion (greater than 10% for each remaining tenth), being able to finish on the initially estimated time. (2) Projects that start with an adequate construction rate but suffer minor delays culminating with a total delay of almost 27% of the planned time. (3) Projects which start with a performance below the planned rate and end up with an average delay of 64%, and (4) projects that begin with a poor performance, suffer great delays and end up with an average delay of a 120% of the planned completion time. The obtained clusters compose a tool to identify the behavior of new construction projects by comparing their current work performance to the validated database, thus allowing the correction of initial estimations towards more accurate completion schedules.
The generation of solid waste and its effective management are debated topics in Sri Lanka as well as in the global environment. It was estimated that the most of the waste generated in global was originated from construction and demolition of buildings. Thus, the proportion of construction waste in solid waste generation cannot be underestimated. The construction waste, which is the by-product generated and removed from work sites is collected in direct and indirect processes. Hence, the objectives of this research are to identify the proportion of construction waste which can be reused and identify the methods to reduce the waste generation without reducing the quality of the process. A 6-storey building construction site was selected for this research. The site was divided into six zones depending on the process. Ten waste materials were identified by considering the adverse effects on safety and health of people and the economic value of them. The generated construction waste in each zone was recorded per week for a period of five months. The data revealed that sand, cement, wood used for form work and rusted steel rods were the generated waste which has higher economic value in all zones. Structured interviews were conducted to gather information on how the materials are categorized as waste and the capability of reducing, reusing and recycling the waste. It was identified that waste is generated in following processes; ineffective storage of material for a longer time and improper handling of material during the work process. Further, the alteration of scheduled activities of construction work also yielded more waste. Finally, a proper management of construction waste is suggested to reduce and reuse waste.
In recent few decades, business process management (BPM) has been in focus of a great number of researchers and organizations. There are many benefits derived from the implementation of BPM in organizations. However, there has been also noticed that lately traditional BPM faces some difficulties in terms of the divide between models and their execution, lost innovations, lack of information fusioning and so on. As a result, there has been a new discipline, called social BPM, which incorporates principles of social software into the BPM. On the other hand, many researchers indicate organizational culture as a vital part of the BPM success and maturity. Therefore, the goal of this study is to investigate the current state of BPM maturity and the usage of social BPM among the organizations from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, with the regards to the organizational culture as well. The paper presents the results of a survey conducted as part of the PROSPER project (IP-2014-09-3729), financed by Croatian Science Foundation. The results indicate differences in the level of BPM maturity, the usage of social BPM and the dominant organizational culture in the observed organizations from different countries. These differences are further discussed in the paper.