Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 355

355
10009451
A Holistic Conceptual Measurement Framework for Assessing the Effectiveness and Viability of an Academic Program
Abstract:
In today’s very competitive higher education industry (HEI), HEIs are faced with the primary concern of developing, deploying, and sustaining high quality academic programs. Today, the HEI has well-established accreditation systems endorsed by a country’s legislation and institutions. The accreditation system is an educational pathway focused on the criteria and processes for evaluating educational programs. Although many aspects of the accreditation process highlight both the past and the present (prove), the “program review” assessment is "forward-looking assessment" (improve) and thus transforms the process into a continuing assessment activity rather than a periodic event. The purpose of this study is to propose a conceptual measurement framework for program review to be used by HEIs to undertake a robust and targeted approach to proactively and continuously review their academic programs to evaluate its practicality and effectiveness as well as to improve the education of the students. The proposed framework consists of two main components: program review principles and the program review measurement matrix.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
354
10009457
Social Enterprise Concept in Sustaining Agro-Industry Development in Indonesia: Case Study of Yourgood Social Business
Abstract:

Fruters model is a concept of technopreneurship-based on empowerment, in which technology research results were designed to create high value-added products and implemented as a locomotive of collaborative empowerment; thereby, the impact was widely spread. This model still needs to be inventoried and validated concerning the influenced variables in the business growth process. Model validation accompanied by mapping was required to be applicable to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) agro-industry based on sustainable social business and existing real cases. This research explained the empowerment model of Yourgood, an SME, which emphasized on empowering the farmers/ breeders in farmers in rural areas, Cipageran, Cimahi, to housewives in urban areas, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. This research reviewed some works of literature discussing the agro-industrial development associated with the empowerment and social business process and gained a unique business model picture with the social business platform as well. Through the mapped business model, there were several advantages such as technology acquisition, independence, capital generation, good investment growth, strengthening of collaboration, and improvement of social impacts that can be replicated on other businesses. This research used analytical-descriptive research method consisting of qualitative analysis with design thinking approach and that of quantitative with the AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process). Based on the results, the development of the enterprise’s process was highly affected by supplying farmers with the score of 0.248 out of 1, being the most valuable for the existence of the enterprise. It was followed by university (0.178), supplying farmers (0.153), business actors (0.128), government (0.100), distributor (0.092), techno-preneurship laboratory (0.069), banking (0.033), and Non-Government Organization (NGO) (0.031).

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
353
10009467
Influence of a High-Resolution Land Cover Classification on Air Quality Modelling
Abstract:
Poor air quality is one of the main environmental causes of premature deaths worldwide, and mainly in cities, where the majority of the population lives. It is a consequence of successive land cover (LC) and use changes, as a result of the intensification of human activities. Knowing these landscape modifications in a comprehensive spatiotemporal dimension is, therefore, essential for understanding variations in air pollutant concentrations. In this sense, the use of air quality models is very useful to simulate the physical and chemical processes that affect the dispersion and reaction of chemical species into the atmosphere. However, the modelling performance should always be evaluated since the resolution of the input datasets largely dictates the reliability of the air quality outcomes. Among these data, the updated LC is an important parameter to be considered in atmospheric models, since it takes into account the Earth’s surface changes due to natural and anthropic actions, and regulates the exchanges of fluxes (emissions, heat, moisture, etc.) between the soil and the air. This work aims to evaluate the performance of the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem), when different LC classifications are used as an input. The influence of two LC classifications was tested: i) the 24-classes USGS (United States Geological Survey) LC database included by default in the model, and the ii) CLC (Corine Land Cover) and specific high-resolution LC data for Portugal, reclassified according to the new USGS nomenclature (33-classes). Two distinct WRF-Chem simulations were carried out to assess the influence of the LC on air quality over Europe and Portugal, as a case study, for the year 2015, using the nesting technique over three simulation domains (25 km2, 5 km2 and 1 km2 horizontal resolution). Based on the 33-classes LC approach, particular emphasis was attributed to Portugal, given the detail and higher LC spatial resolution (100 m x 100 m) than the CLC data (5000 m x 5000 m). As regards to the air quality, only the LC impacts on tropospheric ozone concentrations were evaluated, because ozone pollution episodes typically occur in Portugal, in particular during the spring/summer, and there are few research works relating to this pollutant with LC changes. The WRF-Chem results were validated by season and station typology using background measurements from the Portuguese air quality monitoring network. As expected, a better model performance was achieved in rural stations: moderate correlation (0.4 – 0.7), BIAS (10 – 21µg.m-3) and RMSE (20 – 30 µg.m-3), and where higher average ozone concentrations were estimated. Comparing both simulations, small differences grounded on the Leaf Area Index and air temperature values were found, although the high-resolution LC approach shows a slight enhancement in the model evaluation. This highlights the role of the LC on the exchange of atmospheric fluxes, and stresses the need to consider a high-resolution LC characterization combined with other detailed model inputs, such as the emission inventory, to improve air quality assessment.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
352
10009397
Safety Assessment of Traditional Ready-to-Eat Meat Products Vended at Retail Outlets in Kebbi and Sokoto States, Nigeria
Abstract:

Food safety is a significant and growing public health problem in the world and Nigeria as a developing country, since food-borne diseases are important contributors to the huge burden of sickness and death of humans. In Nigeria, traditional ready-to-eat meat products (RTE-MPs) like balangu, tsire, guru and dried meat products like kilishi, dambun nama, banda, were reported to be highly appreciated because of their eating qualities. The consumption of these products was considered as safe due to the treatments that are usually involved during their production process. However, during processing and handling, the products could be contaminated by pathogens that could cause food poisoning. Therefore, a hazard identification for pathogenic bacteria on some traditional RTE-MPs was conducted in Kebbi and Sokoto States, Nigeria. A total of 116 RTE-MPs (balangu-38, kilishi-39 and tsire-39) samples were obtained from retail outlets and analyzed using standard cultural microbiological procedures in general and selective enrichment media to isolate the target pathogens. A six-fold serial dilution was prepared and using the pour plating method, colonies were counted. Serial dilutions were selected based on the prepared pre-labeled Petri dishes for each sample. A volume of 10-12 ml of molten Nutrient agar cooled to 42-45°C was poured into each Petri dish and 1 ml each from dilutions of 102, 104 and 106 for every sample was respectively poured on a pre-labeled Petri plate after which colonies were counted. The isolated pathogens were identified and confirmed after series of biochemical tests. Frequencies and percentages were used to describe the presence of pathogens. The General Linear Model was used to analyze data on pathogen presence according to RTE-MPs and means were separated using the Tukey test at 0.05 confidence level. Of the 116 RTE-MPs samples collected, 35 (30.17%) samples were found to be contaminated with some tested pathogens. Prevalence results showed that Escherichia coli, salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus were present in the samples. Mean total bacterial count was 23.82×106 cfu/g. The frequency of individual pathogens isolated was; Staphylococcus aureus 18 (15.51%), Escherichia coli 12 (10.34%) and Salmonella 5 (4.31%). Also, among the RTE-MPs tested, the total bacterial counts were found to differ significantly (P < 0.05), with 1.81, 2.41 and 2.9×104 cfu/g for tsire, kilishi, and balangu, respectively. The study concluded that the presence of pathogenic bacteria in balangu could pose grave health risks to consumers, and hence, recommended good manufacturing practices in the production of balangu to improve the products’ safety.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
351
10009259
Psychometric Examination of the QUEST-25: An Online Assessment of Intellectual Curiosity and Scientific Epistemology
Abstract:

The current study reports an examination of the QUEST-25 (Q-Assessment of Undergraduate Epistemology and Scientific Thinking) online version for assessing the dispositional attitudes toward scientific thinking and intellectual curiosity among undergraduate students. The QUEST-25 consists of scientific thinking (SIQ-25) and intellectual curiosity (ICIQ-25), which were correlated in hypothesized directions with the Religious Commitment Inventory, Curiosity and Exploration Inventory, Belief in Science scale, and measures of academic self-efficacy. Additionally, concurrent validity was established by the resulting significant differences between those identifying the centrality of religious belief in their lives and those who do not self-identify as being guided daily by religious beliefs. This study demonstrates the utility of the QUEST-25 for research, evaluation, and theory development.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
350
10009220
Holistic Simulation-Based Impact Analysis Framework for Sustainable Manufacturing
Abstract:

The emerging approaches to sustainable manufacturing are considered to be solution-oriented with the aim of addressing the environmental, economic and social issues holistically. However, the analysis of the interdependencies amongst the three sustainability dimensions has not been fully captured in the literature. In a recent review of approaches to sustainable manufacturing, two categories of techniques are identified: 1) Sustainable Product Development (SPD), and 2) Sustainability Performance Assessment (SPA) techniques. The challenges of the approaches are not only related to the arguments and misconceptions of the relationships between the techniques and sustainable development but also to the inability to capture and integrate the three sustainability dimensions. This requires a clear definition of some of the approaches and a road-map to the development of a holistic approach that supports sustainability decision-making. In this context, eco-innovation, social impact assessment, and life cycle sustainability analysis play an important role. This paper deployed an integrative approach that enabled amalgamation of sustainable manufacturing approaches and the theories of reciprocity and motivation into a holistic simulation-based impact analysis framework. The findings in this research have the potential to guide sustainability analysts to capture the aspects of the three sustainability dimensions into an analytical model. Additionally, the research findings presented can aid the construction of a holistic simulation model of a sustainable manufacturing and support effective decision-making.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
349
10009035
Valorization of Residues from Forest Industry for the Generation of Energy
Abstract:

The use of biomass to produce renewable energy is one of the forms that can be used to reduce the impact of energy production. Like any other energy resource, there are limitations for biomass use, and it must compete not only with fossil fuels but also with other renewable energy sources such as solar or wind energy. Combustion is currently the most efficient and widely used waste-to-energy process, in the areas where direct use of biomass is possible, without the need to make large transfers of raw material. Many industrial facilities can use agricultural or forestry waste, straw, chips, bagasse, etc. in their thermal systems without making major transformations or adjustments in the feeding to the ovens, making this waste an attractive and cost-effective option in terms of availability, access, and costs. In spite of the facilities and benefits, the environmental reasons (emission of gases and particulate material) are decisive for its use for energy purpose. This paper describes a valorization of residues from forest industry to generate energy, using a case study.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
348
10009386
The Integration of Cleaner Production Innovation and Creativity for Supply Chain Sustainability of Bogor Batik SMEs
Abstract:
Competitiveness and sustainability issues not only put pressure on big companies, but also small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SMEs Batik Bogor is one of the local culture-based creative industries in Bogor city which is also dealing with the issue of sustainability. The purpose of this research is to develop framework of sustainability at SMEs Batik Indonesia case of SMEs Batik Bogor by integrating innovation of cleaner production in its supply chain. The approach used is desk study, field survey, in-depth interviews, and benchmarking best practices of SMEs sustainability. In-depth interviews involve stakeholders to identify the needs and standards of sustainability of SMEs Batik. Data analysis was done by benchmarking method, Multi Dimension Scaling (MDS) method, and Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat (SWOT) analysis. The results recommend the framework of sustainability for SMEs Batik in Indonesia. The sustainability status of SMEs Batik Bogor is classified as Moderate Sustainable. Factors that support the sustainability of SMEs Batik Bogor such is a strong commitment of top management in adopting cleaner production innovation and creativity approach. Successful cleaner production innovations are implemented primarily in the substitution of dye materials from toxic to non-toxic, reducing the intensity of non-renewable energy use, as well as the reuse and recycle of solid waste. “Mosaic Batik” is one of the innovations of solid waste utilization of batik waste produced by company R&D center that gives benefit to three pillars of sustainability, that is financial benefit, environmental benefit, and social benefit. The sustainability of SMEs Batik Bogor cannot be separated from the support of Bogor City Government which proactively facilitates the promotion of sustainable innovation produced by SMEs Batik Bogor.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
347
10008989
Using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and Mini Mental State Examination-2 in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Case Studies
Abstract:

From a psychological perspective, psychopathology is the area of clinical psychology that has at its core psychological assessment and psychotherapy. In day-to-day clinical practice, psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy are used independently, according to their intended purpose and their specific methods of application. The paper explores how the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and Mini Mental State Examination-2 (MMSE-2) psychological tools contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT). This combined approach, psychotherapy in conjunction with assessment of personality and cognitive functions, is illustrated by two cases, a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms and a mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. The order in which CBT, MMPI-2, and MMSE-2 were used in the diagnostic and therapeutic process was determined by the particularities of each case. In the first case, the sequence started with psychotherapy, followed by the administration of blue form MMSE-2, MMPI-2, and red form MMSE-2. In the second case, the cognitive screening with blue form MMSE-2 led to a personality assessment using MMPI-2, followed by red form MMSE-2; reapplication of the MMPI-2 due to the invalidation of the first profile, and finally, psychotherapy. The MMPI-2 protocols gathered useful information that directed the steps of therapeutic intervention: a detailed symptom picture of potentially self-destructive thoughts and behaviors otherwise undetected during the interview. The memory loss and poor concentration were confirmed by MMSE-2 cognitive screening. This combined approach, psychotherapy with psychological assessment, aligns with the trend of adaptation of the psychological services to the everyday life of contemporary man and paves the way for deepening and developing the field.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
346
10009184
Study on Practice of Improving Water Quality in Urban Rivers by Diverting Clean Water
Abstract:

With rapid development of industrialization and urbanization, water environmental deterioration is widespread in majority of urban rivers, which seriously affects city image and life satisfaction of residents. As an emergency measure to improve water quality, clean water diversion is introduced for water environmental management. Lubao River and Southwest River, two urban rivers in typical plain tidal river network, are identified as technically and economically feasible for the application of clean water diversion. One-dimensional hydrodynamic-water quality model is developed to simulate temporal and spatial variations of water level and water quality, with satisfactory accuracy. The mathematical model after calibration is applied to investigate hydrodynamic and water quality variations in rivers as well as determine the optimum operation scheme of water diversion. Assessment system is developed for evaluation of positive and negative effects of water diversion, demonstrating the effectiveness of clean water diversion and the necessity of pollution reduction.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
345
10008662
Quality Function Deployment Application in Sewer Pipeline Assessment
Abstract:

Infrastructure assets are essential in urban cities; their purpose is to facilitate the public needs. As a result, their conditions and states shall always be monitored to avoid any sudden malfunction. Sewer systems, one of the assets, are an essential part of the underground infrastructure as they transfer sewer medium to designated areas. However, their conditions are subject to deterioration due to ageing. Therefore, it is of great significance to assess the conditions of pipelines to avoid sudden collapses. Current practices of sewer pipeline assessment rely on industrial protocols that consider distinct defects and grades to conclude the limited average or peak score of the assessed assets. This research aims to enhance the evaluation by integrating the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) methods in assessing the condition of sewer pipelines. The methodology shall study the cause and effect relationship of the systems’ defects to deduce the relative influence weights of each defect. Subsequently, the overall grade is calculated by aggregating the WHAT’s and HOW’s of the House of Quality (HOQ) using the computed relative weights. Thus, this study shall enhance the evaluation of the assets to conclude informative rehabilitation and maintenance plans for decision makers.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
344
10008920
Human Factors as the Main Reason of the Accident in Scaffold Use Assessment
Abstract:

Main goal of the research project is Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model (SURAM) formulation, developed for the assessment of risk levels as a various construction process stages with various work trades. Finally, in 2016, the project received financing by the National Center for Research and development according to PBS3/A2/19/2015–Research Grant. The presented data, calculations and analyzes discussed in this paper were created as a result of the completion on the first and second phase of the PBS3/A2/19/2015 project. Method: One of the arms of the research project is the assessment of worker visual concentration on the sight zones as well as risky visual point inadequate observation. In this part of research, the mobile eye-tracker was used to monitor the worker observation zones. SMI Eye Tracking Glasses is a tool, which allows us to analyze in real time and place where our eyesight is concentrated on and consequently build the map of worker's eyesight concentration during a shift. While the project is still running, currently 64 construction sites have been examined, and more than 600 workers took part in the experiment including monitoring of typical parameters of the work regimen, workload, microclimate, sound vibration, etc. Full equipment can also be useful in more advanced analyses. Because of that technology we have verified not only main focus of workers eyes during work on or next to scaffolding, but we have also examined which changes in the surrounding environment during their shift influenced their concentration. In the result of this study it has been proven that only up to 45.75% of the shift time, workers’ eye concentration was on one of three work-related areas. Workers seem to be distracted by noisy vehicles or people nearby. In opposite to our initial assumptions and other authors’ findings, we observed that the reflective parts of the scaffoldings were not more recognized by workers in their direct workplaces. We have noticed that the red curbs were the only well recognized part on a very few scaffoldings. Surprisingly on numbers of samples, we have not recognized any significant number of concentrations on those curbs. Conclusion: We have found the eye-tracking method useful for the construction of the SURAM model in the risk perception and worker’s behavior sub-modules. We also have found that the initial worker's stress and work visual conditions seem to be more predictive for assessment of the risky developing situation or an accident than other parameters relating to a work environment.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
343
10008980
Comprehensive Risk Assessment Model in Agile Construction Environment
Abstract:

The article focuses on a developed comprehensive model to be used in an agile environment for the risk assessment and selection based on multi-attribute methods. The model is based on a multi-attribute evaluation of risk in construction, and the determination of their optimality criterion values are calculated using complex Multiple Criteria Decision-Making methods. The model may be further applied to risk assessment in an agile construction environment. The attributes of risk in a construction project are selected by applying the risk assessment condition to the construction sector, and the construction process efficiency in the construction industry accounts for the agile environment. The paper presents the comprehensive risk assessment model in an agile construction environment. It provides a background and a description of the proposed model and the developed analysis of the comprehensive risk assessment model in an agile construction environment with the criteria.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
342
10008537
Systems Engineering and Project Management Process Modeling in the Aeronautics Context: Case Study of SMEs
Abstract:

The aeronautics sector is currently living an unprecedented growth largely due to innovative projects. In several cases, such innovative developments are being carried out by Small and Medium sized-Enterprises (SMEs). For instance, in Europe, a handful of SMEs are leading projects like airships, large civil drones, or flying cars. These SMEs have all limited resources, must make strategic decisions, take considerable financial risks and in the same time must take into account the constraints of safety, cost, time and performance as any commercial organization in this industry. Moreover, today, no international regulations fully exist for the development and certification of this kind of projects. The absence of such a precise and sufficiently detailed regulatory framework requires a very close contact with regulatory instances. But, SMEs do not always have sufficient resources and internal knowledge to handle this complexity and to discuss these issues. This poses additional challenges for those SMEs that have system integration responsibilities and that must provide all the necessary means of compliance to demonstrate their ability to design, produce, and operate airships with the expected level of safety and reliability. The final objective of our research is thus to provide a methodological framework supporting SMEs in their development taking into account recent innovation and institutional rules of the sector. We aim to provide a contribution to the problematic by developing a specific Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach. Airspace regulation, aeronautics standards and international norms on systems engineering are taken on board to be formalized in a set of models. This paper presents the on-going research project combining Systems Engineering and Project Management process modeling and taking into account the metamodeling problematic.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
341
10008590
Development of Active Learning Calculus Course for Biomedical Program
Abstract:

The paper reviews design and implementation of a Calculus Course required for the Biomedical Competency Based Program developed as a joint project between The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the University of Texas’ Institute for Transformational Learning, from the theoretical perspective as presented in scholarly work on active learning, formative assessment, and on-line teaching. Following a four stage curriculum development process (objective, content, delivery, and assessment), and theoretical recommendations that guarantee effectiveness and efficiency of assessment in active learning, we discuss the practical recommendations on how to incorporate a strong formative assessment component to address disciplines’ needs, and students’ major needs. In design and implementation of this project, we used Constructivism and Stage-by-Stage Development of Mental Actions Theory recommendations.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
340
10009095
Time and Cost Efficiency Analysis of Quick Die Change System on Metal Stamping Industry
Abstract:

Manufacturing cost and setup time are the hot topics to improve in Metal Stamping industry because material and components price are always rising up while costumer requires to cut down the component price year by year. The Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) is one of many methods to reduce waste in stamping industry. The Japanese Quick Die Change (QDC) dies system is one of SMED systems that could reduce both of setup time and manufacturing cost. However, this system is rarely used in stamping industries. This paper will analyze how deep the QDC dies system could reduce setup time and the manufacturing cost. The research is conducted by direct observation, simulating and comparing of QDC dies system with conventional dies system. In this research, we found that the QDC dies system could save up to 35% of manufacturing cost and reduce 70% of setup times. This simulation proved that the QDC die system is effective for cost reduction but must be applied in several parallel production processes.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
339
10008728
Complementing Assessment Processes with Standardized Tests: A Work in Progress
Abstract:

ABET accredited programs must assess the development of student learning outcomes (SOs) in engineering programs. Different institutions implement different strategies for this assessment, and they are usually designed “in house.” This paper presents a proposal for including standardized tests to complement the ABET assessment model in an engineering college made up of six distinct engineering programs. The engineering college formulated a model of quality assurance in education to be implemented throughout the six engineering programs to regularly assess and evaluate the achievement of SOs in each program offered. The model uses diverse techniques and sources of data to assess student performance and to implement actions of improvement based on the results of this assessment. The model is called “Assessment Process Model” and it includes SOs A through K, as defined by ABET. SOs can be divided into two categories: “hard skills” and “professional skills” (soft skills). The first includes abilities, such as: applying knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering and designing and conducting experiments, as well as analyzing and interpreting data. The second category, “professional skills”, includes communicating effectively, and understanding professional and ethnical responsibility. Within the Assessment Process Model, various tools were used to assess SOs, related to both “hard” as well as “soft” skills. The assessment tools designed included: rubrics, surveys, questionnaires, and portfolios. In addition to these instruments, the Engineering College decided to use tools that systematically gather consistent quantitative data. For this reason, an in-house exam was designed and implemented, based on the curriculum of each program. Even though this exam was administered during various academic periods, it is not currently considered standardized. In 2017, the Engineering College included three standardized tests: one to assess mathematical and scientific reasoning and two more to assess reading and writing abilities. With these exams, the college hopes to obtain complementary information that can help better measure the development of both hard and soft skills of students in the different engineering programs. In the first semester of 2017, the three exams were given to three sample groups of students from the six different engineering programs. Students in the sample groups were either from the first, fifth, and tenth semester cohorts. At the time of submission of this paper, the engineering college has descriptive statistical data and is working with various statisticians to have a more in-depth and detailed analysis of the sample group of students’ achievement on the three exams. The overall objective of including standardized exams in the assessment model is to identify more precisely the least developed SOs in order to define and implement educational strategies necessary for students to achieve them in each engineering program.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
338
10008771
Assessment of Physicochemical Characteristics and Heavy Metals Concentration in Freshwater from Jega River, Kebbi State, Nigeria
Abstract:

This study was conducted to determine the physicochemical characteristics and heavy metal concentration (Cadmium (Cd), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn)) in freshwater from Jega river. 30 water samples were collected in two 1-liter sterile plastic containers from three designated sampling points, namely; Station A (before the bridge; upstream), Station B (at the bridge where human activities such as washing of cars, motorbike, clothes, bathing and other household materials are concentrated), Station C (after the bridge; downstream) fortnightly, between March and July 2014. Results indicated that the highest pH mean value of 7.08 ± 1.12 was observed in station C, the highest conductivity with the mean 58.75 ± 7.87 µs/cm was observed at station A, the highest mean value of the water total hardness was observed at station A (54 ± 16.11 mg/L), the highest mean value of nitrate deposit was observed in station A (1.66 ± 1.33 mg/L), the highest mean value of alkalinity was observed at station B (51.33 ± 6.66 mg/L) and the highest mean (39.56 ± 3.24 mg/L) of total dissolved solids was observed at station A. The highest concentration mean value of Fe was observed in station C (65.33 ± 4.50 mg/L), the highest concentrations of Cd was observed in station C (0.99 ± 0.36 mg/L), the mean value of 2.13 ± 1.99 mg/L was the highest concentration of Zn observed in station B, the concentration of Pb was not detected (ND) and the highest concentration of Cu with the mean value of 0.43 ± 0.16 mg/L was observed in station B, while the lowest concentration was observed at station C (0.27 ± 0.26 mg/L). Statistical analysis shows no significant difference (P > 0.05) among the sampling stations for both the physicochemical characteristics and heavy metal concentrations. The results were found to be within the internationally acceptable standard limits.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
337
10008836
Reference Model for the Implementation of an E-Commerce Solution in Peruvian SMEs in the Retail Sector
Abstract:

E-commerce is a business model that allows companies to optimize the processes of buying, selling, transferring goods and exchanging services through computer networks or the Internet. In Peru, the electronic commerce is used infrequently. This situation is due, in part to the fact that there is no model that allows companies to implement an e-commerce solution, which means that most SMEs do not have adequate knowledge to adapt to electronic commerce. In this work, a reference model is proposed for the implementation of an e-commerce solution in Peruvian SMEs in the retail sector. It consists of five phases: Business Analysis, Business Modeling, Implementation, Post Implementation and Results. The present model was validated in a SME of the Peruvian retail sector through the implementation of an electronic commerce platform, through which the company increased its sales through the delivery channel by 10% in the first month of deployment. This result showed that the model is easy to implement, is economical and agile. In addition, it allowed the company to increase its business offer, adapt to e-commerce and improve customer loyalty.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
336
10008936
Fragility Analysis of Weir Structure Subjected to Flooding Water Damage
Abstract:

In this study, seepage analysis was performed by the level difference between upstream and downstream of weir structure for safety evaluation of weir structure against flooding. Monte Carlo Simulation method was employed by considering the probability distribution of the adjacent ground parameter, i.e., permeability coefficient of weir structure. Moreover, by using a commercially available finite element program (ABAQUS), modeling of the weir structure is carried out. Based on this model, the characteristic of water seepage during flooding was determined at each water level with consideration of the uncertainty of their corresponding permeability coefficient. Subsequently, fragility function could be constructed based on this response from numerical analysis; this fragility function results could be used to determine the weakness of weir structure subjected to flooding disaster. They can also be used as a reference data that can comprehensively predict the probability of failur,e and the degree of damage of a weir structure.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
335
10008993
Evaluation of Food Safety Management Systems of Food Service Establishments within the Greater Accra Region
Abstract:

Food contaminated with biological, chemical and physical hazards usually leads to foodborne illnesses which in turn increase the disease burden of developing and developed economies. Restaurants play a key role in the food service industry and violations in application of standardized food safety management systems in these establishments have been associated with foodborne disease outbreaks. This study was undertaken to assess the level of compliance to the Code of practice that was developed and implemented after conducting needs assessment of the food safety management systems employed by the Food Service Establishments in Ghana. Data on pre-licence inspections were reviewed to assess the compliance of the Food Service Establishments. During the period under review (2012-2016), 74.52% of the food service facilities in the hospitality industry were in compliance with the FDA’s code of practice. Main violations observed during the study bordered on facility layout and fabrication (61.8%) and this is because these facilities may not have been built for use as a food service establishment. Another fact that came to the fore was that the redesigning of the facilities to bring them into compliance required capital intensive investments, which some establishments are not prepared for. Other challenges faced by the industry regarded issues on records and documentations, personnel facilities and hygiene, raw materials acquisition, storage and control, and cold storage.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
334
10008281
All-or-None Principle and Weakness of Hodgkin-Huxley Mathematical Model
Abstract:

Mathematical and computational modellings are the necessary tools for reviewing, analysing, and predicting processes and events in the wide spectrum range of scientific fields. Therefore, in a field as rapidly developing as neuroscience, the combination of these two modellings can have a significant role in helping to guide the direction the field takes. The paper combined mathematical and computational modelling to prove a weakness in a very precious model in neuroscience. This paper is intended to analyse all-or-none principle in Hodgkin-Huxley mathematical model. By implementation the computational model of Hodgkin-Huxley model and applying the concept of all-or-none principle, an investigation on this mathematical model has been performed. The results clearly showed that the mathematical model of Hodgkin-Huxley does not observe this fundamental law in neurophysiology to generating action potentials. This study shows that further mathematical studies on the Hodgkin-Huxley model are needed in order to create a model without this weakness.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
333
10008458
Deterministic Modelling to Estimate Economic Impact from Implementation and Management of Large Infrastructure
Abstract:

It is widely recognised that the assets portfolio development is helping to enhance economic growth, productivity and competitiveness. While numerous studies and reports certify the positive effect of investments in large infrastructure investments on the local economy, still, the methodology to estimate the contribution in economic development is a challenging issue for researchers and economists. The key question is how to estimate those economic impacts in each economic system. This paper provides a compact and applicable methodological framework providing quantitative results in terms of the overall jobs and income generated into the project life cycle. According to a deterministic mathematical approach, the key variables and the modelling framework are presented. The numerical case study highlights key results for a new motorway project in Greece, which is experienced economic stress for many years, providing the opportunity for comparisons with similar cases.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
332
10008019
An Exploratory Study of Reliability of Ranking vs. Rating in Peer Assessment
Abstract:

Fifty years of research has found great potential for peer assessment as a pedagogical approach. With peer assessment, not only do students receive more copious assessments; they also learn to become assessors. In recent decades, more educational peer assessments have been facilitated by online systems. Those online systems are designed differently to suit different class settings and student groups, but they basically fall into two categories: rating-based and ranking-based. The rating-based systems ask assessors to rate the artifacts one by one following some review rubrics. The ranking-based systems allow assessors to review a set of artifacts and give a rank for each of them. Though there are different systems and a large number of users of each category, there is no comprehensive comparison on which design leads to higher reliability. In this paper, we designed algorithms to evaluate assessors' reliabilities based on their rating/ranking against the global ranks of the artifacts they have reviewed. These algorithms are suitable for data from both rating-based and ranking-based peer assessment systems. The experiments were done based on more than 15,000 peer assessments from multiple peer assessment systems. We found that the assessors in ranking-based peer assessments are at least 10% more reliable than the assessors in rating-based peer assessments. Further analysis also demonstrated that the assessors in ranking-based assessments tend to assess the more differentiable artifacts correctly, but there is no such pattern for rating-based assessors.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
331
10008027
Student and Group Activity Level Assessment in the ELARS Recommender System
Abstract:

This paper presents an original approach to student and group activity level assessment that relies on certainty factors theory. Activity level is used to represent quantity and continuity of student’s contributions in individual and collaborative e‑learning activities (e‑tivities) and is calculated to assist teachers in assessing quantitative aspects of student's achievements. Calculated activity levels are also used to raise awareness and provide recommendations during the learning process. The proposed approach was implemented within the educational recommender system ELARS and validated using data obtained from e‑tivity realized during a blended learning course. The results showed that the proposed approach can be used to estimate activity level in the context of e-tivities realized using Web 2.0 tools as well as to facilitate the assessment of quantitative aspect of students’ participation in e‑tivities.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
330
10008420
Risk Assessment for Aerial Package Delivery
Abstract:

Recent developments in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have begun to attract intense interest. UAVs started to use for many different applications from military to civilian use. Some online retailer and logistics companies are testing the UAV delivery. UAVs have great potentials to reduce cost and time of deliveries and responding to emergencies in a short time. Despite these great positive sides, just a few works have been done for routing of UAVs for package deliveries. As known, transportation of goods from one place to another may have many hazards on delivery route due to falling hazards that can be exemplified as ground objects or air obstacles. This situation refers to wide-range insurance concept. For this reason, deliveries that are made with drones get into the scope of shipping insurance. On the other hand, air traffic was taken into account in the absence of unmanned aerial vehicle. But now, it has been a reality for aerial fields. In this study, the main goal is to conduct risk analysis of package delivery services using drone, based on delivery routes.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
329
10008616
Sustainability Impact Assessment of Construction Ecology to Engineering Systems and Climate Change
Abstract:

Construction industry, as one of the main contributor in depletion of natural resources, influences climate change. This paper discusses incremental and evolutionary development of the proposed models for optimization of a life-cycle analysis to explicit strategy for evaluation systems. The main categories are virtually irresistible for introducing uncertainties, uptake composite structure model (CSM) as environmental management systems (EMSs) in a practice science of evaluation small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The model simplified complex systems to reflect nature systems’ input, output and outcomes mode influence “framework measures” and give a maximum likelihood estimation of how elements are simulated over the composite structure. The traditional knowledge of modeling is based on physical dynamic and static patterns regarding parameters influence environment. It unified methods to demonstrate how construction systems ecology interrelated from management prospective in procedure reflects the effect of the effects of engineering systems to ecology as ultimately unified technologies in extensive range beyond constructions impact so as, - energy systems. Sustainability broadens socioeconomic parameters to practice science that meets recovery performance, engineering reflects the generic control of protective systems. When the environmental model employed properly, management decision process in governments or corporations could address policy for accomplishment strategic plans precisely. The management and engineering limitation focuses on autocatalytic control as a close cellular system to naturally balance anthropogenic insertions or aggregation structure systems to pound equilibrium as steady stable conditions. Thereby, construction systems ecology incorporates engineering and management scheme, as a midpoint stage between biotic and abiotic components to predict constructions impact. The later outcomes’ theory of environmental obligation suggests either a procedures of method or technique that is achieved in sustainability impact of construction system ecology (SICSE), as a relative mitigation measure of deviation control, ultimately.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
328
10007336
Life Cycle Datasets for the Ornamental Stone Sector
Abstract:

The environmental impact related to ornamental stones (such as marbles and granites) is largely debated. Starting from the industrial revolution, continuous improvements of machineries led to a higher exploitation of this natural resource and to a more international interaction between markets. As a consequence, the environmental impact of the extraction and processing of stones has increased. Nevertheless, if compared with other building materials, ornamental stones are generally more durable, natural, and recyclable. From the scientific point of view, studies on stone life cycle sustainability have been carried out, but these are often partial or not very significant because of the high percentage of approximations and assumptions in calculations. This is due to the lack, in life cycle databases (e.g. Ecoinvent, Thinkstep, and ELCD), of datasets about the specific technologies employed in the stone production chain. For example, databases do not contain information about diamond wires, chains or explosives, materials commonly used in quarries and transformation plants. The project presented in this paper aims to populate the life cycle databases with specific data of specific stone processes. To this goal, the methodology follows the standardized approach of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), according to the requirements of UNI 14040-14044 and to the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook guidelines of the European Commission. The study analyses the processes of the entire production chain (from-cradle-to-gate system boundaries), including the extraction of benches, the cutting of blocks into slabs/tiles and the surface finishing. Primary data have been collected in Italian quarries and transformation plants which use technologies representative of the current state-of-the-art. Since the technologies vary according to the hardness of the stone, the case studies comprehend both soft stones (marbles) and hard stones (gneiss). In particular, data about energy, materials and emissions were collected in marble basins of Carrara and in Beola and Serizzo basins located in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola. Data were then elaborated through an appropriate software to build a life cycle model. The model was realized setting free parameters that allow an easy adaptation to specific productions. Through this model, the study aims to boost the direct participation of stone companies and encourage the use of LCA tool to assess and improve the stone sector environmental sustainability. At the same time, the realization of accurate Life Cycle Inventory data aims at making available, to researchers and stone experts, ILCD compliant datasets of the most significant processes and technologies related to the ornamental stone sector.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
327
10007485
Predictors of Social Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Primary Schools in Czech Republic
Abstract:

Cerebral palsy is primarily reflected in the disorder of the development of movement and posture, which may be accompanied by sensory disturbances, disturbances of perception, cognition and communication, behavioural disorders and epilepsy. According to current inclusive attitudes towards people with disabilities implies that full social participation of children with cerebral palsy means inclusion in all activities in family, peer, school and leisure environments in the same scope and to the same extent as is the case with the children of proper development and without physical difficulties. Due to the fact that it has been established that the quality of children's participation in primary school is directly related to their social inclusion in future life, the aim of the paper is to identify predictors of social participation, respectively, and in particular, factors that could to improve the quality of social participation of children with cerebral palsy, in the primary school environment in Czech Republic. The study includes children with cerebral palsy (n = 75) in the Czech Republic, aged between six and 12 years who attend mainstream or special primary schools to the sixth grade. The main instrument used was the first and third part of the School function assessment questionnaire. It will also take into account the type of damage assessed according to a scale the Gross motor function classification system, five–level classification system for cerebral palsy. The research results will provide detailed insight into the degree of social participation of children with cerebral palsy and the factors that would be a potential cause of their levels of participation, in regular and special primary schools, in different socioeconomic environments in Czech Republic.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
326
10008109
Deterioration Assessment Models for Water Pipelines
Abstract:

The aging and deterioration of water pipelines in cities worldwide result in more frequent water main breaks, water service disruptions, and flooding damage. Therefore, there is an urgent need for undertaking proper maintenance procedures to avoid breaks and disastrous failures. However, due to budget limitations, the maintenance of water pipeline networks needs to be prioritized through efficient deterioration assessment models. Previous studies focused on the development of structural or physical deterioration assessment models, which require expensive inspection data. But, this paper aims at developing deterioration assessment models for water pipelines using statistical techniques. Several deterioration models were developed based on pipeline size, material type, and soil type using linear regression analysis. The categorical nature of some variables affecting pipeline deterioration was considered through developing several categorical models. The developed models were validated with an average validity percentage greater than 95%. Moreover, sensitivity analysis was carried out against different classifications and it displayed higher importance of age of pipes compared to other factors. The developed models will be helpful for the water municipalities and asset managers to assess the condition of their pipes and prioritize them for maintenance and inspection purposes.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
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