|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 269|
Worldwide and mainly in the European Union, many standards, regulations, models and systems exists for the evaluation and identification of stakeholders’ requirements of individual universities and higher education (HE) in general. All systems are targeting to measure or evaluate the Universities’ Quality Assurance Systems and the services offered to the recipients of HE, mainly the students. Numerous surveys were conducted in the past either by each university or by organized bodies to identify the students’ satisfaction or to evaluate to what extent these requirements are fulfilled. In this paper, the main results of an ongoing 6-year joint research will be presented very briefly. This research deals with an in depth investigation of student’s satisfaction, students personal requirements, a cup analysis among these two parameters and compares different universities. Through this research an attempt will be made to address four very important questions in higher education establishments (HEE): (1) Are there any common requirements, parameters, good practices or questions that apply to a large number of universities that will assure that students’ requirements are fulfilled? (2) Up to what extent the individual programs of HEE fulfil the requirements of the stakeholders? (3) Are there any similarities on specific programs among European HEE? (4) To what extent the knowledge acquired in a specific course program is utilized or used in a specific country? For the execution of the research an internationally accepted questionnaire(s) was used to evaluate up to what extent the students’ requirements and satisfaction were fulfilled in 2012 and five years later (2017). Samples of students and or universities were taken from many European Universities. The questionnaires used, the sampling method and methodology adopted, as well as the comparison tables and results will be very valuable to any university that is willing to follow the same route and methodology or compare the results with their own HHE. Apart from the unique methodology, valuable results are demonstrated from the four case studies. There is a great difference between the student’s expectations or importance from what they are getting from their universities (in all parameters they are getting less). When there is a crisis or budget cut in HEE there is a direct impact to students. There are many differences on subjects taught in European universities.
Science offers opportunities for revolutionizing human activities, enriched by input from scientific research and technology. Biotechnology is a major force for development in developing countries such as Nigeria. It is found to contribute to solving human problems like water and food insecurity that impede national development and threaten peace wherever it is applied. This review identified the problems of agricultural biotechnology in Nigeria. On the part of rural farmers, there is a lack of adequate knowledge or awareness of biotechnology despite the fact that they constitute the bulk of Nigerian farmers. On part of the government, the problems include: lack of adequate implementation of government policy on bio-safety and genetically modified products, inadequate funding of education as well as research and development of products related to biotechnology. Other problems include: inadequate infrastructures (including laboratory), poor funding and lack of national strategies needed for development and running of agricultural biotechnology. In spite of all the challenges associated with agricultural biotechnology, its prospects still remain great if Nigeria is to meet with the food needs of the country’s ever increasing population. The introduction of genetically engineered products will lead to the high productivity needed for commercialization and food security. Insect, virus and other related diseases resistant crops and livestock are another viable area of contribution of biotechnology to agricultural production. In conclusion, agricultural biotechnology will not only ensure food security, but, in addition, will ensure that the local farmers utilize appropriate technology needed for large production, leading to the prosperity of the farmers and national economic growth, provided government plays its role of adequate funding and good policy implementation.
Structural design and analysis is an important and time-consuming process, particularly at the conceptual design stage. Decisions made at this stage can have an enormous effect on the entire project, as it becomes ever costlier and more difficult to alter the choices made early on in the construction process. Hence, optimisation of the early stages of structural design can provide important efficiencies in terms of cost and time. This paper suggests a structural design optimisation (SDO) framework in which Genetic Algorithms (GAs) may be used to semi-automate the production and optimisation of early structural design alternatives. This framework has the potential to leverage conceptual structural design innovation in Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) projects. Moreover, this framework improves the collaboration between the architectural stage and the structural stage. It will be shown that this SDO framework can make this achievable by generating the structural model based on the extracted data from the architectural model. At the moment, the proposed SDO framework is in the process of validation, involving the distribution of an online questionnaire among structural engineers in the UK.
As a term for characterizing a process of devising a service system, the term ‘service engineering’ is still regarded as an ‘open’ research challenge due to unspecified details and conflicting perspectives. This paper presents consolidated service engineering ontologies in collecting, specifying and defining relationship between components pertinent within the context of service engineering. The ontologies are built by way of literature surveys from the collected conceptual works by collating various concepts into an integrated ontology. Two ontologies are produced: general service ontology and software service ontology. The software-service ontology is drawn from the informatics domain, while the generalized ontology of a service system is built from both a business management and the information system perspective. The produced ontologies are verified by exercising conceptual operationalizations of the ontologies in adopting several service orientation features and service system patterns. The proposed ontologies are demonstrated to be sufficient to serve as a basis for a service engineering framework.
Resilience Engineering is a new paradigm of safety management that proposes to change the way of managing the safety to focus on the things that go well instead of the things that go wrong. Many complex and high-risk sectors such as air traffic control, health care, nuclear power plants, railways or emergencies, have applied this new vision of safety and have obtained very positive results. In the construction sector, safety management continues to be a problem as indicated by the statistics of occupational injuries worldwide. Therefore, it is important to improve safety management in this sector. For this reason, it is proposed to apply Resilience Engineering to the construction sector. The Construction Phase Health and Safety Plan emerges as a key element for the planning of safety management. One of the key tools of Resilience Engineering is the Resilience Assessment Grid that allows measuring the four essential abilities (respond, monitor, learn and anticipate) for resilient performance. The purpose of this paper is to develop a questionnaire based on the Resilience Assessment Grid, specifically on the ability to learn, to assess whether a Construction Phase Health and Safety Plans helps companies in a construction site to implement this ability. The research process was divided into four stages: (i) initial design of a questionnaire, (ii) validation of the content of the questionnaire, (iii) redesign of the questionnaire and (iii) application of the Delphi method. The questionnaire obtained could be used as a tool to help construction companies to evolve from Safety-I to Safety-II. In this way, companies could begin to develop the ability to learn, which will serve as a basis for the development of the other abilities necessary for resilient performance. The following steps in this research are intended to develop other questions that allow evaluating the rest of abilities for resilient performance such as monitoring, learning and anticipating.
Research background: Problems related to the occupational health and decreasing level of safety occur commonly in the construction industry. Important factor in the occupational safety in construction industry is scaffold use. All scaffolds used in construction, renovation, and demolition shall be erected, dismantled and maintained in accordance with safety procedure. Increasing demand for new construction projects unfortunately still is linked to high level of occupational accidents. Therefore, it is crucial to implement concrete actions while dealing with scaffolds and risk assessment in construction industry, the way on doing assessment and liability of assessment is critical for both construction workers and regulatory framework. Unfortunately, professionals, who tend to rely heavily on their own experience and knowledge when taking decisions regarding risk assessment, may show lack of reliability in checking the results of decisions taken. Purpose of the article: The aim was to indicate crucial parameters that could be modeling with Risk Assessment Model (RAM) use for improving both building enterprise productivity and/or developing potential and safety climate. The developed RAM could be a benefit for predicting high-risk construction activities and thus preventing accidents occurred based on a set of historical accident data. Methodology/Methods: A RAM has been developed for assessing risk levels as various construction process stages with various work trades impacting different spheres of enterprise activity. This project includes research carried out by teams of researchers on over 60 construction sites in Poland and Portugal, under which over 450 individual research cycles were carried out. The conducted research trials included variable conditions of employee exposure to harmful physical and chemical factors, variable levels of stress of employees and differences in behaviors and habits of staff. Genetic modeling tool has been used for developing the RAM. Findings and value added: Common types of trades, accidents, and accident causes have been explored, in addition to suitable risk assessment methods and criteria. We have found that the initial worker stress level is more direct predictor for developing the unsafe chain leading to the accident rather than the workload, or concentration of harmful factors at the workplace or even training frequency and management involvement.
Requirements modeling and analysis are important in successful information systems' maintenance. Unified Modeling Language (UML) class diagrams are useful standards for modeling information systems. To our best knowledge, there is a lack of a systems development methodology described by the organism metaphor. The core concept of this metaphor is adaptation. Using the knowledge representation and reasoning approach and ontologies to adopt new requirements are emergent in recent years. This paper proposes an organic methodology which is based on constructivism theory. This methodology is a knowledge representation and reasoning approach to analyze new requirements in the class diagrams maintenance. The process and rules in the proposed methodology automatically analyze inconsistencies in the class diagram. In the big data era, developing an automatic tool based on the proposed methodology to analyze large amounts of class diagram data is an important research topic in the future.
Requirement Engineering (RE) is a part being created for programming structure during the software development lifecycle. Software product line development is a new topic area within the domain of software engineering. It also plays important role in decision making and it is ultimately helpful in rising business environment for productive programming headway. Decisions are central to engineering processes and they hold them together. It is argued that better decisions will lead to better engineering. To achieve better decisions requires that they are understood in detail. In order to address the issues, companies are moving towards Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) which helps in providing large varieties of products with minimum development effort and cost. This paper proposed a new framework for software product line and compared with other models. The results can help to understand the needs in SPL testing, by identifying points that still require additional investigation. In our future scenario, we will combine this model in a controlled environment with industrial SPL projects which will be the new horizon for SPL process management testing strategies.
Integrated resilience engineering (IRE) is capable of returning banking systems to the normal state in extensive economic circumstances. In this study, information system of a large bank (with several branches) is assessed and optimized under severe economic conditions. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) models are employed to achieve the objective of this study. Nine IRE factors are considered to be the outputs, and a dummy variable is defined as the input of the DEA models. A standard questionnaire is designed and distributed among executive managers to be considered as the decision-making units (DMUs). Reliability and validity of the questionnaire is examined based on Cronbach's alpha and t-test. The most appropriate DEA model is determined based on average efficiency and normality test. It is shown that the proposed integrated design provides higher efficiency than the conventional RE design. Results of sensitivity and perturbation analysis indicate that self-organization, fault tolerance, and reporting culture respectively compose about 50 percent of total weight.
The paper shows the development and implementation of the syllabus of the subject 'Distribution and Industrial Networks', attended by the vocational specialist Year 4 students of the Electric Power Engineering study programme at the Higher Education Technical School of Vocational Studies in Novi Sad. The aim of the subject is to equip students with the knowledge necessary for planning, exploitation and management of distributive and industrial electric power networks in an open electricity market environment. The results of the evaluation of educational outcomes on the subject are presented and discussed.
The objectives of the research are to find the basic engineering properties of lateritic soil and to predict the impact on community members who live nearby the excavation pits in the area of Amphur Pak Thor, Ratchaburi Province in the western area of Thailand. The research was conducted by collecting soil samples from four excavation pits for basic engineering properties, testing and collecting questionnaire data from 120 community members who live nearby the excavation pits, and applying statistical analysis. The results found that the basic engineering properties of lateritic soil can be classified into silt soil type which is cohesionless as the loess or collapsible soil which is not suitable to be used for a pavement structure for commuting highway because it could lead to structural and functional failure in the long run. In terms of opinion from community members toward the impact, the highest impact was on the dust from excavation activities. The prediction from the logistic regression in terms of impact on community members was at 84.32 which can be adapted and applied onto other areas with the same context as a guideline for risk prevention and risk communication since it could impact the infrastructures and also impact the health of community members.
Cyclists often run through a crosswind and sometimes we experience the adverse pressure. We came to an idea that Wells turbine can be used as power augmentation device in the crosswind something like sails of a yacht. Wells turbine always rotates in the same direction irrespective of the incoming flow direction, and we use it in the small-scale power generation in the ocean where waves create an oscillating flow. We incorporate the turbine to the wheel of a bike. A commercial device integrates strain gauges in the crank of a bike and transmitted force and torque applied to the pedal of the bike as an e-mail to the driver’s mobile phone. We can analyze the unsteady data in a spreadsheet sent from the crank sensor. We run the bike with the crank sensor on the rollers at the exit of a low-speed wind tunnel and analyze the effect of the crosswind to the wheel with a Wells turbine. We also test the aerodynamic characteristics of the turbine separately. Although power gain depends on the flow direction, several Watts increase might be possible by the Wells turbine incorporated to a bike wheel.
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.
This paper critically examines the evolution of socio-technical systems theory, its practices, and challenges in system design and development. It examines concepts put forward by researchers focusing on the application of the theory in software engineering. There are various methods developed that use socio-technical concepts based on systems engineering without remarkable success. The main constraint is the large amount of data and inefficient techniques used in the application of the concepts in system engineering for developing time-bound systems and within a limited/controlled budget. This paper critically examines each of the methods, highlight bottlenecks and suggest the way forward. Since socio-technical systems theory only explains what to do, but not how doing it, hence engineers are not using the concept to save time, costs and reduce risks associated with new frameworks. Hence, a new framework, which can be considered as a practical approach is proposed that borrows concepts from soft systems method, agile systems development and object-oriented analysis and design to bridge the gap between theory and practice. The approach will enable the development of systems using socio-technical systems theory to attract/enable the system engineers/software developers to use socio-technical systems theory in building worthwhile information systems to avoid fragilities and hostilities in the work environment.
With the rapid development of information technology, project management has gained more and more attention recently. Based on CDIO, this paper proposes some teaching reform ideas for software project management curriculum. We first change from Teacher-centered classroom to Student-centered and adopt project-driven, scenario animation show, teaching rhythms, case study and team work practice to improve students' learning enthusiasm. Results showed these attempts have been well received and very effective; as well, students prefer to learn with this curriculum more than before the reform.
Critical depth meters, such as abroad crested weir, Venture Flume and combined control flume are standard devices for measuring flow in open channels. The discharge relation for these devices cannot be solved directly, but it needs iteration process to account for the approach velocity head. In this paper, analytical solution was developed to calculate the discharge in a combined critical depth-meter namely, a hump combined with lateral contraction in rectangular channel with subcritical approach flow including energy losses. Also analytical formulae were derived for approach velocity head coefficient for different types of critical depth meters. The solution was derived by solving a standard cubic equation considering energy loss on the base of trigonometric identity. The advantage of this technique is to avoid iteration process adopted in measuring flow by these devices. Numerical examples are chosen for demonstration of the proposed solution.
Researchers are responding to the environmental challenges of Kuwait in localized, innovative, effective and economic ways. One of the vital and significant examples of the natural challenges is lack or water and desertification. In this research, the project team focuses on redesigning a prototype, using Value Engineering Methodology, which would provide similar functionalities to the well-known technology of Waterboxx kits while reducing the capital and operational costs and simplifying the process of manufacturing and usability by regular farmers. The design employs used tires and recycled plastic sheets as raw materials. Hence, this approach is going to help not just fighting desertification but also helping in getting rid of ever growing huge tire dumpsters in Kuwait, as well as helping in avoiding hazards of tire fires yielding in a safer and friendlier environment. Several alternatives for implementing the prototype have been considered. The best alternative in terms of value has been selected after thorough Function Analysis System Technique (FAST) exercise has been developed. A prototype has been fabricated and tested in a controlled simulated lab environment that is being followed by real environment field testing. Water and soil analysis conducted on the site of the experiment to cross compare between the composition of the soil before and after the experiment to insure that the prototype being tested is actually going to be environment safe. Experimentation shows that the design was equally as effective as, and may exceed, the original design with significant savings in cost. An estimated total cost reduction using the VE approach of 43.84% over the original design. This cost reduction does not consider the intangible costs of environmental issue of waste recycling which many further intensify the total savings of using the alternative VE design. This case study shows that Value Engineering Methodology can be an important tool in innovating new designs for reducing costs.
Dependencies between diverse factors involved in probabilistic seismic loss evaluation are recognized to be an imperative issue in acquiring accurate loss estimates. Dependencies among component damage costs could be taken into account considering two partial distinct states of independent or perfectly-dependent for component damage states; however, in our best knowledge, there is no available procedure to take account of loss dependencies in story level. This paper attempts to present a method called "modal cost superposition method" for decoupling story damage costs subjected to earthquake ground motions dealt with closed form differential equations between damage cost and engineering demand parameters which should be solved in complex system considering all stories' cost equations by the means of the introduced "substituted matrixes of mass and stiffness". Costs are treated as probabilistic variables with definite statistic factors of median and standard deviation amounts and a presumed probability distribution. To supplement the proposed procedure and also to display straightforwardness of its application, one benchmark study has been conducted. Acceptable compatibility has been proven for the estimated damage costs evaluated by the new proposed modal and also frequently used stochastic approaches for entire building; however, in story level, insufficiency of employing modification factor for incorporating occurrence probability dependencies between stories has been revealed due to discrepant amounts of dependency between damage costs of different stories. Also, more dependency contribution in occurrence probability of loss could be concluded regarding more compatibility of loss results in higher stories than the lower ones, whereas reduction in incorporation portion of cost modes provides acceptable level of accuracy and gets away from time consuming calculations including some limited number of cost modes in high mode situation.
Rating prediction is an important problem for recommender systems. The task is to predict the rating for an item that a user would give. Most of the existing algorithms for the task ignore the effect of negative ratings rated by users on items, but the negative ratings have a significant impact on users’ purchasing decisions in practice. In this paper, we present a rating prediction algorithm based on factorization machines that consider the effect of negative ratings inspired by Loss Aversion theory. The aim of this paper is to develop a concave and a convex negative disgust function to evaluate the negative ratings respectively. Experiments are conducted on MovieLens dataset. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods by comparing with other four the state-of-the-art approaches. The negative ratings showed much importance in the accuracy of ratings predictions.
Software maintenance phase is started once a software project has been developed and delivered. After that, any modification to it corresponds to maintenance. Software maintenance involves modifications to keep a software project usable in a changed or a changing environment, to correct discovered faults, and modifications, and to improve performance or maintainability. Software maintenance and management of software maintenance are recognized as two most important and most expensive processes in a life of a software product. This research is basing the prediction of maintenance, on risks and time evaluation, and using them as data sets for working with neural networks. The aim of this paper is to provide support to project maintenance managers. They will be able to pass the issues planned for the next software-service-patch to the experts, for risk and working time evaluation, and afterward to put all data to neural networks in order to get software maintenance prediction. This process will lead to the more accurate prediction of the working hours needed for the software-service-patch, which will eventually lead to better planning of budget for the software maintenance projects.
Traveling salesman problem (TSP) is a combinatorial integer optimization problem that asks "What is the optimal route for a vehicle to traverse in order to deliver requests to a given set of customers?”. It is widely used by the package carrier companies’ distribution centers. The main goal of applying the TSP in courier organizations is to minimize the time that it takes for the courier in each trip to deliver or pick up the shipments during a day. In this article, an optimization model is constructed to create a new TSP variant to optimize the routing in a courier organization with a consideration of congestion in Amman, the capital of Jordan. Real data were collected by different methods and analyzed. Then, concert technology - CPLEX was used to solve the proposed model for some random generated data instances and for the real collected data. At the end, results have shown a great improvement in time compared with the current trip times, and an economic study was conducted afterwards to figure out the impact of using such models.
Coastal regions are the one of the most commonly used places by the natural balance and the growing population. In coastal engineering, the most valuable data is wave behaviors. The amount of this data becomes very big because of observations that take place for periods of hours, days and months. In this study, some statistical methods such as the wave spectrum analysis methods and the standard statistical methods have been used. The goal of this study is the discovery profiles of the different coast areas by using these statistical methods, and thus, obtaining an instance based data set from the big data to analysis by using data mining algorithms. In the experimental studies, the six sample data sets about the wave behaviors obtained by 20 minutes of observations from Mersin Bay in Turkey and converted to an instance based form, while different clustering techniques in data mining algorithms were used to discover similar coastal places. Moreover, this study discusses that this summarization approach can be used in other branches collecting big data such as medicine.
Energy production optimization has been traditionally very important for utilities in order to improve resource consumption. However, load forecasting is a challenging task, as there are a large number of relevant variables that must be considered, and several strategies have been used to deal with this complex problem. This is especially true also in microgrids where many elements have to adjust their performance depending on the future generation and consumption conditions. The goal of this paper is to present a solution for short-term load forecasting in microgrids, based on three machine learning experiments developed in R and web services built and deployed with different components of Cortana Intelligence Suite: Azure Machine Learning, a fully managed cloud service that enables to easily build, deploy, and share predictive analytics solutions; SQL database, a Microsoft database service for app developers; and PowerBI, a suite of business analytics tools to analyze data and share insights. Our results show that Boosted Decision Tree and Fast Forest Quantile regression methods can be very useful to predict hourly short-term consumption in microgrids; moreover, we found that for these types of forecasting models, weather data (temperature, wind, humidity and dew point) can play a crucial role in improving the accuracy of the forecasting solution. Data cleaning and feature engineering methods performed in R and different types of machine learning algorithms (Boosted Decision Tree, Fast Forest Quantile and ARIMA) will be presented, and results and performance metrics discussed.
This paper presents a probabilistic incremental dynamic analysis (IDA) of a full reinforced concrete building subjected to column loss scenario for the assessment of progressive collapse. The IDA is chosen to explicitly account for uncertainties in loads and system capacity. Fragility curves are developed to predict the probability of progressive collapse given the loss of one or more columns. At a broader scale, it will also provide critical information needed to support the development of a new generation of design codes that attempt to explicitly quantify structural robustness.