Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 469

Reverse Logistics in Clothing Recycling: A Case Study in Chengdu

Clothing recycling bin is a traditional way to collect textile waste in many areas. In the clothing recycling business, the transportation cost normally takes over 50% of total costs. This case gives a good way to reduce transportation cost by reverse logistics system. In this reverse logistics system, there are offline strategic alliance partners, such as transport firms, convenience stores, laundries, and post office which are integrated onto the mobile APP. Offline strategic alliance partners provide the service of textile waste collection, and transportation by their vacant vehicles return journey from convenience stores, laundries and post offices to sorting centers. The results of the case study provide the strategic alliance with a valuable and light - asset business model by using the logistics of offline memberships. The company in this case just focuses on textile waste sorting, reuse, recycling etc. The research method of this paper is a case study of a clothing recycling company in Chengdu by field research and interview; the analysis is based on the theory of the reverse logistics system.

Parallel Querying of Distributed Ontologies with Shared Vocabulary

Ontologies and various semantic repositories became a convenient approach for implementing model-driven architectures of distributed systems on the Web. SPARQL is the standard query language for querying such. However, although SPARQL is well-established standard for querying semantic repositories in RDF and OWL format and there are commonly used APIs which supports it, like Jena for Java, its parallel option is not incorporated in them. This article presents a complete framework consisting of an object algebra for parallel RDF and an index-based implementation of the parallel query engine capable of dealing with the distributed RDF ontologies which share common vocabulary. It has been implemented in Java, and for validation of the algorithms has been applied to the problem of organizing virtual exhibitions on the Web.

An Investigation on Hybrid Composite Drive Shaft for Automotive Industry

Power transmitted from the engine to the final drive where useful work is applied through a system consisting of a gearbox, clutch, drive shaft and a differential in the rear-wheel-drive automobiles. It is well-known that the steel drive shaft is usually manufactured in two pieces to increase the fundamental bending natural frequency to ensure safe operation conditions. In this work, hybrid one-piece propeller shafts composed of carbon/epoxy and glass/epoxy composites have been designed for a rear wheel drive automobile satisfying three design specifications, such as static torque transmission capability, torsional buckling and the fundamental natural bending frequency. Hybridization of carbon and glass fibers is being studied to optimize the cost/performance requirements. Composites shaft materials with various fiber orientation angles and stacking sequences are being fabricated and analyzed using finite element analysis (FEA).

An Overview of the Islamic Banking Development in the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda

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.  

Shaft Friction of Bored Pile Socketed in Weathered Limestone in Qatar
Socketing of bored piles in rock is always seen as a matter of debate on construction sites between consultants and contractors. The socketing depth normally depends on the type of rock, depth at which the rock is available below the pile cap and load carrying capacity of the pile. In this paper, the review of field load test data of drilled shaft socketed in weathered limestone conducted using conventional static pile load test and dynamic pile load test was made to evaluate a unit shaft friction for the bored piles socketed in weathered limestone (weak rock). The borehole drilling data were also reviewed in conjunction with the pile test result. In addition, the back-calculated unit shaft friction was reviewed against various empirical methods for bored piles socketed in weak rock. The paper concludes with an estimated ultimate unit shaft friction from the case study in Qatar for preliminary design.
A Numerical Study of Seismic Response of Shallow Square Tunnels in Two-Layered Ground
In this study, the seismic behavior of a shallow tunnel with square cross section is investigated in a two layered and elastic heterogeneous environment using numerical method. To do so, FLAC finite difference software was used. Behavioral model of the ground and tunnel structure was assumed linear elastic. Dynamic load was applied to the model for 0.2 seconds from the bottom in form of a square pulse with maximum acceleration of 1 m/s2. The interface between the two layers was considered at three different levels of crest, middle, and bottom of the tunnel. The stiffness of the two upper and lower layers was considered to be varied from 10 MPa to 1000 MPa. Deformation of cross section of the tunnel due to dynamic load propagation, as well as the values of axial force and bending moment created in the tunnel structure, were examined in the three states mentioned above. The results of analyses show that heterogeneity of the environment, its stratification, and positioning of the interface of the two layers with respect to tunnel height and the stiffness ratio of the two layers have significant effects on the value of bending moment, axial force, and distortion of tunnel cross-section.
Metal Inert Gas Welding-Based-Shaped Metal Deposition in Additive Layered Manufacturing: A Review

Shaped Metal Deposition (SMD) in additive layered manufacturing technique is a promising alternative to traditional manufacturing used for manufacturing large, expensive metal components with complex geometry in addition to producing free structures by building materials in a layer by layer technique. The present paper is a comprehensive review of the literature and the latest rapid manufacturing technologies of the SMD technique. The aim of this paper is to comprehensively review the most prominent facts that researchers have dealt with in the SMD techniques especially those associated with the cold wire feed. The intent of this study is to review the literature presented on metal deposition processes and their classifications, including SMD process using Wire + Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) which divides into wire + tungsten inert gas (TIG), metal inert gas (MIG), or plasma. This literary research presented covers extensive details on bead geometry, process parameters and heat input or arc energy resulting from the deposition process in both cases MIG and Tandem-MIG in SMD process. Furthermore, SMD may be done using Single Wire-MIG (SW-MIG) welding and SMD using Double Wire-MIG (DW-MIG) welding. The present review shows that the method of deposition of metals when using the DW-MIG process can be considered a distinctive and low-cost method to produce large metal components due to high deposition rates as well as reduce the input of high temperature generated during deposition and reduce the distortions. However, the accuracy and surface finish of the MIG-SMD are less as compared to electron and laser beam.

Virtual Conciliation in Colombia: Evaluation of Maturity Level within the Framework of E-Government

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.

An Efficient Fall Detection Method for Elderly Care System
Fall detection is one of the challenging problems in elderly care system. The objective of this paper is to identify falls in elderly care system. In this paper, an efficient fall detection method is proposed to identify falls using correlation factor and Motion History Image (MHI). The proposed method is tested on URF (University of Rzeszow Fall detection) dataset and evaluated with some efficient measures like sensitivity, specificity, precision and classification accuracy. It is compared with other recent methods. The experimental results substantially proved that the proposed method achieves 1.5% higher sensitivity when compared to other methods.
Sharing Tourism Experience through Social Media: Consumer's Behavioral Intention for Destination Choice

Social media create a better opportunity for travelers to search for travel information, select destination and share their personal experiences of the travel. This study proposes a framework which describes the relationships between social media, and positive or negative tourism experience sharing impact on destination choice. To find out new trends of travelers behavioral intention, we propose an extended theoretical model, the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). We conducted a survey to analyze three external factors, subjective norms, and positive and negative experience influence on travel destination choice. Structural questionnaire analysis was employed to confirm the proposed research hypothesis within the relationship between consumer influences on the shared experience of social media. The results of the study confirm that sharing positive experiences influence the positive effect of destination choice, while negative experiences decrease the destination selection option. The results indicate that attitudes, subjective norms are passively influenced by shared experience. Moreover, we find that sharing live pictures of travel experiences through social media helps to reduce negative perceptions of the destination brand. This research contribution is useable to the research field as a new determination factor and the findings could be used by destination organization management (DMO) to enhancing their tourism promotion through social media.

Flood Modeling in Urban Area Using a Well-Balanced Discontinuous Galerkin Scheme on Unstructured Triangular Grids
Urban flooding resulting from a sudden release of water due to dam-break or excessive rainfall is a serious threatening environment hazard, which causes loss of human life and large economic losses. Anticipating floods before they occur could minimize human and economic losses through the implementation of appropriate protection, provision, and rescue plans. This work reports on the numerical modelling of flash flood propagation in urban areas after an excessive rainfall event or dam-break. A two-dimensional (2D) depth-averaged shallow water model is used with a refined unstructured grid of triangles for representing the urban area topography. The 2D shallow water equations are solved using a second-order well-balanced discontinuous Galerkin scheme. Theoretical test case and three flood events are described to demonstrate the potential benefits of the scheme: (i) wetting and drying in a parabolic basin (ii) flash flood over a physical model of the urbanized Toce River valley in Italy; (iii) wave propagation on the Reyran river valley in consequence of the Malpasset dam-break in 1959 (France); and (iv) dam-break flood in October 1982 at the town of Sumacarcel (Spain). The capability of the scheme is also verified against alternative models. Computational results compare well with recorded data and show that the scheme is at least as efficient as comparable second-order finite volume schemes, with notable efficiency speedup due to parallelization.
Rotor Dynamic Analysis for a Shaft Train by Using Finite Element Method

In the present paper, a large turbo-generator shaft train including a heavy-duty gas turbine engine, a coupling, and a generator is established. The method of analysis is based on finite element simplified model for lateral and torsional vibration calculation. The basic elements of rotor are the shafts and the disks which are represented as circular cross section flexible beams and rigid body elements, respectively. For more accurate results, the gyroscopic effect and bearing dynamics coefficients and function of rotation are taken into account, and for the influence of shear effect, rotor has been modeled in the form of Timoshenko beam. Lateral critical speeds, critical speed map, damped mode shapes, Campbell diagram, zones of instability, amplitudes, phase angles response due to synchronous forces of excitation and amplification factor are calculated. Also, in the present paper, the effect of imbalanced rotor and effects of changing in internal force and temperature are studied.

Stability of a Self-Excited Machine Due to the Mechanical Coupling

Generally, different rods in shaft systems can be misaligned based on the mechanical system usages. These rods can be linked together via U-coupling easily. The system is self-stimulated and may cause instabilities due to the inherent behavior of the coupling. In this study, each rod includes an elastic shaft with an angular stiffness and structural damping. Moreover, the mass of shafts is considered via attached solid disks. The impact of the system architecture and shaft mass on the instability of such mechanism are studied. Stability charts are plotted via a method based on Floquet theory. Eventually, the unstable points have been found and analyzed in detail. The results show that stabilizing the driveline is feasible by changing the system characteristics which include shaft mass and architecture.

Arabic Character Recognition Using Regression Curves with the Expectation Maximization Algorithm

In this paper, we demonstrate how regression curves can be used to recognize 2D non-rigid handwritten shapes. Each shape is represented by a set of non-overlapping uniformly distributed landmarks. The underlying models utilize 2nd order of polynomials to model shapes within a training set. To estimate the regression models, we need to extract the required coefficients which describe the variations for a set of shape class. Hence, a least square method is used to estimate such modes. We then proceed by training these coefficients using the apparatus Expectation Maximization algorithm. Recognition is carried out by finding the least error landmarks displacement with respect to the model curves. Handwritten isolated Arabic characters are used to evaluate our approach.

Using ALOHA Code to Evaluate CO2 Concentration for Maanshan Nuclear Power Plant

ALOHA code was used to calculate the concentration under the CO2 storage burst condition for Maanshan nuclear power plant (NPP) in this study. Five main data are input into ALOHA code including location, building, chemical, atmospheric, and source data. The data from Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) and some reports were used in this study. The ALOHA results are compared with the failure criteria of R.G. 1.78 to confirm the habitability of control room. The result of comparison presents that the ALOHA result is below the R.G. 1.78 criteria. This implies that the habitability of control room can be maintained in this case. The sensitivity study for atmospheric parameters was performed in this study. The results show that the wind speed has the larger effect in the concentration calculation.

Effect of Footing Shape on Bearing Capacity and Settlement of Closely Spaced Footings on Sandy Soil

The bearing capacity of closely spaced shallow footings alters with their spacing and the shape of footing. In this study, the bearing capacity and settlement of two adjacent footings constructed on a sand layer are investigated. The effect of different footing shapes including square, circular, ring and strip on sandy soil is captured in the calculations. The investigations are carried out numerically using PLAXIS-3D software and analytically employing conventional settlement equations. For this purpose, foundations are modelled in the program with practical dimensions and various spacing ratios ranging from 1 to 5. The spacing ratio is defined as the centre-to-centre distance to the width of foundations (S/B). Overall, 24 models are analyzed; and the results are compared and discussed in detail. It can be concluded that the presence of adjacent foundation leads to the reduction in bearing capacity for round shape footings while it can increase the bearing capacity of rectangular footings in some specific distances.

Effect of the Support Shape on Fischer-Tropsch Cobalt Catalyst Performance

Cobalt catalysts were supported on extruded silica carrier and different-type (SiO2, γ-Al2O3) commercial supports with different shapes and sizes to produce heavy hydrocarbons for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The catalysts were characterized by N2 physisorption and H2-TPR. The catalytic performance of the catalysts was tested in a fixed bed reactor. The results of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis performance showed that the cobalt catalyst supported on spherical silica supports displayed a higher activity and a higher selectivity to C5+ products, due to the fact that the active components were only distributed in the surface layer of spherical carrier, and the influence of gas diffusion restriction on catalytic performance was weakened. Therefore, it can be concluded that the eggshell cobalt catalyst was superior to precious metals modified catalysts in the synthesis of heavy hydrocarbons.

A Procedure for Post-Earthquake Damage Estimation Based on Detection of High-Frequency Transients
In the current research structural health monitoring is considered for addressing the critical issue of post-earthquake damage detection. A non-standard approach for damage detection via acoustic emission is presented - acoustic emissions are monitored in the low frequency range (up to 120 Hz). Such emissions are termed high-frequency transients. Further a damage indicator defined as the Time-Ratio Damage Indicator is introduced. The indicator relies on time-instance measurements of damage initiation and deformation peaks. Based on the time-instance measurements a procedure for estimation of the maximum drift ratio is proposed. Monitoring data is used from a shaking-table test of a full-scale reinforced concrete bridge pier. Damage of the experimental column is successfully detected and the proposed damage indicator is calculated.
Automatic Extraction of Arbitrarily Shaped Buildings from VHR Satellite Imagery
Satellite imagery is one of the emerging technologies which are extensively utilized in various applications such as detection/extraction of man-made structures, monitoring of sensitive areas, creating graphic maps etc. The main approach here is the automated detection of buildings from very high resolution (VHR) optical satellite images. Initially, the shadow, the building and the non-building regions (roads, vegetation etc.) are investigated wherein building extraction is mainly focused. Once all the landscape is collected a trimming process is done so as to eliminate the landscapes that may occur due to non-building objects. Finally the label method is used to extract the building regions. The label method may be altered for efficient building extraction. The images used for the analysis are the ones which are extracted from the sensors having resolution less than 1 meter (VHR). This method provides an efficient way to produce good results. The additional overhead of mid processing is eliminated without compromising the quality of the output to ease the processing steps required and time consumed.
Using TRACE and SNAP Codes to Establish the Model of Maanshan PWR for SBO Accident

In this research, TRACE code with the interface code-SNAP was used to simulate and analyze the SBO (station blackout) accident which occurred in Maanshan PWR (pressurized water reactor) nuclear power plant (NPP). There are four main steps in this research. First, the SBO accident data of Maanshan NPP were collected. Second, the TRACE/SNAP model of Maanshan NPP was established by using these data. Third, this TRACE/SNAP model was used to perform the simulation and analysis of SBO accident. Finally, the simulation and analysis of SBO with mitigation equipments was performed. The analysis results of TRACE are consistent with the data of Maanshan NPP. The mitigation equipments of Maanshan can maintain the safety of Maanshan in the SBO according to the TRACE predictions.

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.

A Finite Element/Finite Volume Method for Dam-Break Flows over Deformable Beds
A coupled two-layer finite volume/finite element method was proposed for solving dam-break flow problem over deformable beds. The governing equations consist of the well-balanced two-layer shallow water equations for the water flow and a linear elastic model for the bed deformations. Deformations in the topography can be caused by a brutal localized force or simply by a class of sliding displacements on the bathymetry. This deformation in the bed is a source of perturbations, on the water surface generating water waves which propagate with different amplitudes and frequencies. Coupling conditions at the interface are also investigated in the current study and two mesh procedure is proposed for the transfer of information through the interface. In the present work a new procedure is implemented at the soil-water interface using the finite element and two-layer finite volume meshes with a conservative distribution of the forces at their intersections. The finite element method employs quadratic elements in an unstructured triangular mesh and the finite volume method uses the Rusanove to reconstruct the numerical fluxes. The numerical coupled method is highly efficient, accurate, well balanced, and it can handle complex geometries as well as rapidly varying flows. Numerical results are presented for several test examples of dam-break flows over deformable beds. Mesh convergence study is performed for both methods, the overall model provides new insight into the problems at minimal computational cost.
Finite Element Analysis of Raft Foundation on Various Soil Types under Earthquake Loading

The design of shallow foundations to withstand different dynamic loads has given considerable attention in recent years. Dynamic loads may be due to the earthquakes, pile driving, blasting, water waves, and machine vibrations. But, predicting the behavior of shallow foundations during earthquakes remains a difficult task for geotechnical engineers. A database for dynamic and static parameters for different soils in seismic active zones in Iraq is prepared which has been collected from geophysical and geotechnical investigation works. Then, analysis of a typical 3-D soil-raft foundation system under earthquake loading is carried out using the database. And a parametric study has been carried out taking into consideration the influence of some parameters on the dynamic behavior of the raft foundation, such as raft stiffness, damping ratio as well as the influence of the earthquake acceleration-time records. The results of the parametric study show that the settlement caused by the earthquake can be decreased by about 72% with increasing the thickness from 0.5 m to 1.5 m. But, it has been noticed that reduction in the maximum bending moment by about 82% was predicted by decreasing the raft thickness from 1.5 m to 0.5 m in all sites model. Also, it has been observed that the maximum lateral displacement, the maximum vertical settlement and the maximum bending moment for damping ratio 0% is about 14%, 20%, and 18% higher than that for damping ratio 7.5%, respectively for all sites model.

Free Vibration of Axially Functionally Graded Simply Supported Beams Using Differential Transformation Method

Free vibration analysis of homogenous and axially functionally graded simply supported beams within the context of Euler-Bernoulli beam theory is presented in this paper. The material properties of the beams are assumed to obey the linear law distribution. The effective elastic modulus of the composite was predicted by using the rule of mixture. Here, the complexities which appear in solving differential equation of transverse vibration of composite beams which limit the analytical solution to some special cases are overcome using a relatively new approach called the Differential Transformation Method. This technique is applied for solving differential equation of transverse vibration of axially functionally graded beams. Natural frequencies and corresponding normalized mode shapes are calculated for different Young’s modulus ratios. MATLAB code is designed to solve the transformed differential equation of the beam. Comparison of the present results with the exact solutions proves the effectiveness, the accuracy, the simplicity, and computational stability of the differential transformation method. The effect of the Young’s modulus ratio on the normalized natural frequencies and mode shapes is found to be very important.

Non-Linear Load-Deflection Response of Shape Memory Alloys-Reinforced Composite Cylindrical Shells under Uniform Radial Load

Shape memory alloys (SMA) are often implemented in smart structures as the active components. Their ability to recover large displacements has been used in many applications, including structural stability/response enhancement and active structural acoustic control. SMA wires or fibers can be embedded with composite cylinders to increase their critical buckling load, improve their load-deflection behavior, and reduce the radial deflections under various thermo-mechanical loadings. This paper presents a semi-analytical investigation on the non-linear load-deflection response of SMA-reinforced composite circular cylindrical shells. The cylinder shells are under uniform external pressure load. Based on first-order shear deformation shell theory (FSDT), the equilibrium equations of the structure are derived. One-dimensional simplified Brinson’s model is used for determining the SMA recovery force due to its simplicity and accuracy. Airy stress function and Galerkin technique are used to obtain non-linear load-deflection curves. The results are verified by comparing them with those in the literature. Several parametric studies are conducted in order to investigate the effect of SMA volume fraction, SMA pre-strain value, and SMA activation temperature on the response of the structure. It is shown that suitable usage of SMA wires results in a considerable enhancement in the load-deflection response of the shell due to the generation of the SMA tensile recovery force.

The Influence of Transformational Leadership on Knowledge Sharing in Iraq’s Public and Private Higher Education: A Comparison Study
Transformational leadership (TL) has been found to have an important influence on knowledge and knowledge management (KM). It can contribute to organizational learning, employees’ creativity, encourage followers to participate in educational programs and develop the skills needed to achieve exceptional performance. This research sought to examine the impact of TL on knowledge donating and collecting and the differences between these impacts in public and private higher education institutes (HEIs) in Iraq. A mixed method approach was taken and 580 valid responses were collected to test the causal relationships between the factors, then 12 interviews were conducted with the leaders of HEIs to give more insight of the findings from quantitative stage. Employing structural equation modelling with AMOS v.24, the research found that TL would be ideal in an educational context, promoting knowledge sharing activities in both sectors. The interviews revealed differences between public and private HEIs in terms of the effects relationships. Guidelines are developed for academics as well as leaders and provided evidence to support the use of TL to encourage knowledge sharing activities within higher education in developing countries particularly Iraq.
A Hybrid Artificial Intelligence and Two Dimensional Depth Averaged Numerical Model for Solving Shallow Water and Exner Equations Simultaneously

Modeling sediment transport processes by means of numerical approach often poses severe challenges. In this way, a number of techniques have been suggested to solve flow and sediment equations in decoupled, semi-coupled or fully coupled forms. Furthermore, in order to capture flow discontinuities, a number of techniques, like artificial viscosity and shock fitting, have been proposed for solving these equations which are mostly required careful calibration processes. In this research, a numerical scheme for solving shallow water and Exner equations in fully coupled form is presented. First-Order Centered scheme is applied for producing required numerical fluxes and the reconstruction process is carried out toward using Monotonic Upstream Scheme for Conservation Laws to achieve a high order scheme.  In order to satisfy C-property of the scheme in presence of bed topography, Surface Gradient Method is proposed. Combining the presented scheme with fourth order Runge-Kutta algorithm for time integration yields a competent numerical scheme. In addition, to handle non-prismatic channels problems, Cartesian Cut Cell Method is employed. A trained Multi-Layer Perceptron Artificial Neural Network which is of Feed Forward Back Propagation (FFBP) type estimates sediment flow discharge in the model rather than usual empirical formulas. Hydrodynamic part of the model is tested for showing its capability in simulation of flow discontinuities, transcritical flows, wetting/drying conditions and non-prismatic channel flows. In this end, dam-break flow onto a locally non-prismatic converging-diverging channel with initially dry bed conditions is modeled. The morphodynamic part of the model is verified simulating dam break on a dry movable bed and bed level variations in an alluvial junction. The results show that the model is capable in capturing the flow discontinuities, solving wetting/drying problems even in non-prismatic channels and presenting proper results for movable bed situations. It can also be deducted that applying Artificial Neural Network, instead of common empirical formulas for estimating sediment flow discharge, leads to more accurate results.

Effects of Different Dietary Crude Fiber Levels on the Growth Performance of Finishing Su-Shan Pigs

The utilization of dietary crude fiber in different breed pigs is not the same. Su-shan pigs are a new breed formed by crossing Taihu pigs and Yorkshire pigs. In order to understand the resistance of Su-shan pigs to dietary crude fiber, 150 Su-shan pigs with 60 kg of average body weight and similar body conditions were allocated to three groups randomly, and there are 50 pigs in each group. The percentages of dietary crude fiber were 8.35%, 9.10%, and 11.39%, respectively. At the end of the experiment, 15 pigs randomly selected from each group were slaughtered. The results showed as follows: average daily gain of the 9.10% group was higher than that of the 8.35% group and the 11.39% group; there was a significant difference between the 9.10% group and the 8.35% group (p < 0.05. Levels of urea nitrogen, total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein in the 9.10% group were significantly higher than those in the 8.35% group and the 11.39% group (p < 0.05). Ratios of meat to fat in the 9.10% group and the 11.39% group were significantly higher than that in the 8.35% group (p < 0.05). Lean percentage of 9.10% group was higher than that of 8.35% group and 11.39% group, but there was no significant difference in three groups (p > 0.05). The weight of small intestine and large intestine in the 11.39% group was higher than that in the 8.35% group, and the 9.10% group and the difference reached a significant level (p < 0.05). In conclusion, increasing dietary crude fiber properly could reduce fat percentage, and improve the ratio of meat to fat of finishing Su-shan pigs. The digestion and metabolism of dietary crude fiber promoted the development of stomach and intestine of finishing Su-shan pig.

Plastic Waste Utilization as Asphalt Binder Modifier in Asphalt Concrete Pavement
The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the use of plastic waste as a low cost asphalt binder modifier. For this purpose Marshall mix design procedure was used. Marshall mix design procedure seeks to select the Optimum Binder Content (OBC) to be added to a specific aggregate blend resulting in a mixture that satisfies the desired properties of strength and durability. In order to evaluate the plastic waste modified (PWM) asphalt mixtures, the OBC for the conventional asphalt mix was first identified, and then different percentages of crushed plastic waste by weight of the identified OBC were tested. Marshall test results for the modified asphalt mixtures were analyzed to find the optimum PWM content. Finally, the static indirect tensile strength (IDT) was determined for all mixtures using the splitting tensile test. It was found that PWM content of 7.43% by weight of OBC is recommended as the optimum PWM content needed for enhancing the performance of asphalt mixtures. It enhanced stability by 42.56%, flow by 89.91% and strength by 13.54%. This would lead to a more durable pavement by improving the pavement resistance to fatigue cracking and rutting.
Influence of Shading on a BIPV System’s Performance in an Urban Context: Case Study of BIPV Systems of the Science Center of Complexity Building of the National and Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City

The purpose of this paper is to establish the influence of shading on a Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) system´s performance in an urban context. The PV systems of the Science Center of Complexity (Centro de Ciencias de la Complejidad) Building based in the Main Campus of the National and Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City was taken as case study.  The PV systems are placed on the rooftop and on the south façade of the building.  The south-façade PV system, operating as sunshades, consists of two strings:  one at the ground floor and the other one at the first floor.  According to the building’s facility manager, the south-façade PV system generates 42% less electricity per kilowatt peak (kWp) installed than the one on the roof.  The methods applied in this study were Solar Radiation Analysis (SRA) simulations performed with the Insight 360 Plug-in from Revit 2018® and an on-site measurement using specialized tools.  The results of the SRA simulations showed that the shading casted by the PV system placed on the first floor on top of the PV system of the ground floor decreases its solar incident radiation over 50%.  The simulation outcome was compared and validated to the measured data obtained from the on-site measurement.  In conclusion, the loss factor achieved from the shading of the PVs is due to the surroundings and the PV system´s own design.  The south-façade BIPV system’s deficient design generates critical losses on its performance and decreases its profitability.

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