Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 23

Using Focus Group Method to Identify Citizen Requirements to Saudi Mobile Government Services
Mobile government services implementation faces several challenges in developing countries. This paper studies some of those challenges in the context of Saudi Arabia. The study aims to investigate factors affecting m-government acceptance in Saudi Arabia, including ease of use, usefulness, service quality, trust, intention to use and users’ satisfaction. Our investigation will help in integrating the m-government services in citizens’ everyday life. We collected and analyzed our data from focus groups. These focus groups are from King Saud University and Imam Muhammed Bin Saud University, so the samples size are five and seven participants, respectively. We found that there are some factors to identifying citizen requirements to Saudi mobile government services. These services should be easy to use and not require too much effort. Also, these services must be fully trusted.
EEG Signal Processing Methods to Differentiate Mental States

EEG is a very complex signal with noises and other bio-potential interferences. EOG is the most distinct interfering signal when EEG signals are measured and analyzed. It is very important how to process raw EEG signals in order to obtain useful information. In this study, the EEG signal processing techniques such as EOG filtering and outlier removal were examined to minimize unwanted EOG signals and other noises. The two different mental states of resting and focusing were examined through EEG analysis. A focused state was induced by letting subjects to watch a red dot on the white screen. EEG data for 32 healthy subjects were measured. EEG data after 60-Hz notch filtering were processed by a commercially available EOG filtering and our presented algorithm based on the removal of outliers. The ratio of beta wave to theta wave was used as a parameter for determining the degree of focusing. The results show that our algorithm was more appropriate than the existing EOG filtering.

Using Focus Groups to Identify Mon Set Menus of Bang Kadi Community in Bangkok

In recent years, focus-group discussions, as a resources of qualitative facts collection, have gained popularity amongst practices within social science studies. Despite this popularity, studying qualitative information, particularly focus-group meetings, creates a challenge to most practitioner inspectors. The Mons, also known as Raman is considered to be one of the earliest peoples in mainland South-East Asia and to be found in scattered communities in Thailand, around the central valley and even in Bangkok. The present project responds to the needs identified traditional Mon set menus based on the participation of Bang Kadi community in Bangkok, Thailand. The aim of this study was to generate Mon food set menus based on the participation of the community and to study Mon food in set menus of Bang Kadi population by focus-group interviews and discussions during May to October 2015 of Bang Kadi community in Bangkok, Thailand. Data were collected using (1) focus group discussion between the researcher and 147 people in the community, including community leaders, women of the community and the elderly of the community (2) cooking between the researcher and 22 residents of the community. After the focus group discussion, the results found that Mon set menus of Bang Kadi residents involved of Kang Neng Kua-dit, Kang Luk-yom, Kang Som-Kajaeb, Kangleng Puk-pung, Yum Cha-cam, Pik-pa, Kao-new dek-ha and Num Ma-toom and the ingredients used in cooking are mainly found in local and seasonal regime. Most of foods in set menus are consequent from local wisdom.

Near Field Focusing Behaviour of Airborne Ultrasonic Phased Arrays Influenced by Airflows

This paper investigates the potential use of airborne ultrasonic phased arrays for imaging in outdoor environments as a means of overcoming the limitations experienced by kinect sensors, which may fail to work in the outdoor environments due to the oversaturation of the infrared photo diodes. Ultrasonic phased arrays have been well studied for static media, yet there appears to be no comparable examination in the literature of the impact of a flowing medium on the focusing behaviour of near field focused ultrasonic arrays. This paper presents a method for predicting the sound pressure fields produced by a single ultrasound element or an ultrasonic phased array influenced by airflows. The approach can be used to determine the actual focal point location of an array exposed in a known flow field. From the presented simulation results based upon this model, it can be concluded that uniform flows in the direction orthogonal to the acoustic propagation have a noticeable influence on the sound pressure field, which is reflected in the twisting of the steering angle of the array. Uniform flows in the same direction as the acoustic propagation have negligible influence on the array. For an array impacted by a turbulent flow, determining the location of the focused sound field becomes difficult due to the irregularity and continuously changing direction and the speed of the turbulent flow. In some circumstances, ultrasonic phased arrays impacted by turbulent flows may not be capable of producing a focused sound field.

Managing a Cross-Disciplinary Research Project in a University: The Case of LEARNIT

This paper explores the main issues related to implementing a cross-disciplinary research project (LEARNIT) based on collaboration between universities from three European countries. The paper discusses the importance of using the holistic approach to managing scientific projects with due account for the complicated nature of the educational environment of a modern university. To illustrate this approach, the author describes some actions to be taken for supporting different focus areas of LEARNIT project, in the process using integrated tangible, non-tangible, and semi-tangible resources of the partner university. The methodology of the paper is based on the academic literature and research papers analysis within management discipline. The analysis reported in the paper is also based on the author’s professional experience in the area of managing international research projects in a university.

Ultrasound Therapy: Amplitude Modulation Technique for Tissue Ablation by Acoustic Cavitation
In recent years, non-invasive Focused Ultrasound (FU) has been utilized for generating bubbles (cavities) to ablate target tissue by mechanical fractionation. Intensities >10 kW/cm2 are required to generate the inertial cavities. The generation, rapid growth, and collapse of these inertial cavities cause tissue fractionation and the process is called Histotripsy. The ability to fractionate tissue from outside the body has many clinical applications including the destruction of the tumor mass. The process of tissue fractionation leaves a void at the treated site, where all the affected tissue is liquefied to particles at sub-micron size. The liquefied tissue will eventually be absorbed by the body. Histotripsy is a promising non-invasive treatment modality. This paper presents a technique for generating inertial cavities at lower intensities (< 1 kW/cm2). The technique (patent pending) is based on amplitude modulation (AM), whereby a low frequency signal modulates the amplitude of a higher frequency FU wave. Cavitation threshold is lower at low frequencies; the intensity required to generate cavitation in water at 10 kHz is two orders of magnitude lower than the intensity at 1 MHz. The Amplitude Modulation technique can operate in both continuous wave (CW) and pulse wave (PW) modes, and the percentage modulation (modulation index) can be varied from 0 % (thermal effect) to 100 % (cavitation effect), thus allowing a range of ablating effects from Hyperthermia to Histotripsy. Furthermore, changing the frequency of the modulating signal allows controlling the size of the generated cavities. Results from in vitro work demonstrate the efficacy of the new technique in fractionating soft tissue and solid calcium carbonate (Chalk) material. The technique, when combined with MR or Ultrasound imaging, will present a precise treatment modality for ablating diseased tissue without affecting the surrounding healthy tissue.
The Effectiveness of Solution-Focused Group Therapy on Improving Depressed Mothers of Child Abuser Families

The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of solution-focused group therapy on improving the depressed mothers of child abuser families. This study was carried out in the form of a semi-pilot, pre-test and post-test on two groups (experimental and control). Subjects include all mothers and their children that are the members of Shush and Naser Khosro child home. Beck Depression Inventory and Child Trauma Questionnaire were used to collect data. First, child abuse questionnaire was completed by children, Then Beck Depression Inventory was completed by their mothers that 22 of them were recognized as depressed and randomly divided in two groups of experimental and control. After applying pre-test for both of these groups, the intervention of solution- focused group therapy was performed in five sessions on experimental group. Finally, post-test was applied on both groups and subsequently in a month, follow-up test was performed. T-test, multivariate variance, and repeated measurement analysis of variance were used to analyze the data. According to the findings, it can be concluded that this therapy leads to the improvement of depressed mother's mood. As a result, the intervention of solution-focused group therapy is useful in order to improve the depressing mood of mothers of child abuser families.

The Impact of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy on the Improvement of the Psychological Wellbeing of Family Supervisor Women
The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of the solution-focused brief therapy on improving the psychological wellbeing of family supervisor woman. This study has been carried out by semi-experimental method and in the form of pre-test, post-test performance on two groups (experimental and control), so that one sample group of 30 individuals was randomly achieved and were randomly divided in two groups of experimental (n=15) and control (n=15). To collect data, Ryff scale psychological wellbeing was used. After conducting pre-test (RSPWB) for two experimental and control groups, Solution-focused brief therapy interference was conducted on the experimental group during five two-hour sessions. Finally, Ryff scale psychological wellbeing was reused for the two groups as post-test and achieved outcomes that were analyzed using covariance. The results indicated that the significant increase of average marks of the experimental group in psychological wellbeing had better function than that of the control group. Finally, solution-focused brief therapy for improving psychological well-being of family supervisor women has a suitable capability and could be used in this way.
Long Term Examination of the Profitability Estimation Focused on Benefits
Strategic investment decisions are characterized by high innovation potential and long-term effects on the competitiveness of enterprises. Due to the uncertainty and risks involved in this complex decision making process, the need arises for well-structured support activities. A method that considers cost and the long-term added value is the cost-benefit effectiveness estimation. One of those methods is the “profitability estimation focused on benefits – PEFB”-method developed at the Institute of Management Cybernetics at RWTH Aachen University. The method copes with the challenges associated with strategic investment decisions by integrating long-term non-monetary aspects whilst also mapping the chronological sequence of an investment within the organization’s target system. Thus, this method is characterized as a holistic approach for the evaluation of costs and benefits of an investment. This participation-oriented method was applied to business environments in many workshops. The results of the workshops are a library of more than 96 cost aspects, as well as 122 benefit aspects. These aspects are preprocessed and comparatively analyzed with regards to their alignment to a series of risk levels. For the first time, an accumulation and a distribution of cost and benefit aspects regarding their impact and probability of occurrence are given. The results give evidence that the PEFB-method combines precise measures of financial accounting with the incorporation of benefits. Finally, the results constitute the basics for using information technology and data science for decision support when applying within the PEFB-method.
Role of Environmental Focus in Legal Protection and Efficient Management of Wetlands in the Republic of Kazakhstan

The article discusses the legal framework of the government’s environmental function and analyzes the role of the national policy in protection of wetlands. The problem is of interest for it deals with the most important branch of economy – utilization of Kazakhstan’s natural resources, protection of health and environmental wellbeing of the population. Development of a longterm environmental program addressing the protection of wetlands represents the final stage of the government’s environmental policy, and is a relatively new function for the public administration system. It appeared due to the environmental measures that require immediate decisions to be taken. It is an integral part of the effort in the field of management of state-owned natural resource, as well as of the measures aimed at efficient management of natural resources to avoid their early depletion or contamination.

Multi-Focus Image Fusion Using SFM and Wavelet Packet

In this paper, a multi-focus image fusion method using Spatial Frequency Measurements (SFM) and Wavelet Packet was proposed. The proposed fusion approach, firstly, the two fused images were transformed and decomposed into sixteen subbands using Wavelet packet. Next, each subband was partitioned into sub-blocks and each block was identified the clearer regions by using the Spatial Frequency Measurement (SFM). Finally, the recovered fused image was reconstructed by performing the Inverse Wavelet Transform. From the experimental results, it was found that the proposed method outperformed the traditional SFM based methods in terms of objective and subjective assessments.

EU Families and Adolescents Quit Tobacco Focus Group Analysis in Hungary

In the frame of the European Union project entitled EU-Families and Adolescents Quit Tobacco (www.eufaqt.eu) focus group analysis has been carried out in Hungary to acquire qualitative information on attitudes towards smoking in groups of adolescents, parents and educators, respectively. It rendered to identify methods for smoking prevention/ intervention with family approach. The results explored the role of the family in smoking behaviour. Teachers do not feel responsibility in prevention or cessation of smoking. Adolescents are not aware of the addictive effect of the cigarette. Water pipe is popular among adolescent, therefore spreading of more information needed on the harmful effects of water pipe. We outlined the requirement for professionals to provide interventions. Partnership of EU-FAQT project has worked out antismoking interventions for adolescents and their families conducted by psychologists to ensure skill development to prevent and quit tobacco.

Retrospective Synthetic Focusing with Correlation Weighting for Very High Frame Rate Ultrasound

The need of high frame-rate imaging has been triggered by the new applications of ultrasound imaging to transient elastography and real-time 3D ultrasound. Using plane wave excitation (PWE) is one of the methods to achieve very high frame-rate imaging since an image can be formed with a single insonification. However, due to the lack of transmit focusing, the image quality with PWE is lower compared with those using conventional focused transmission. To solve this problem, we propose a filter-retrieved transmit focusing (FRF) technique combined with cross-correlation weighting (FRF+CC weighting) for high frame-rate imaging with PWE. A restrospective focusing filter is designed to simultaneously minimize the predefined sidelobe energy associated with single PWE and the filter energy related to the signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR). This filter attempts to maintain the mainlobe signals and to reduce the sidelobe ones, which gives similar mainlobe signals and different sidelobes between the original PWE and the FRF baseband data. Normalized cross-correlation coefficient at zero lag is calculated to quantify the degree of similarity at each imaging point and used as a weighting matrix to the FRF baseband data to further suppress sidelobes, thus improving the filter-retrieved focusing quality.

Uniform Heating during Focused Ultrasound Thermal Therapy
The focal spot of a high intensity focused ultrasound transducer is small. To heat a large target volume, multiple treatment spots are required. If the power of each treatment spot is fixed, it could results in insufficient heating of initial spots and over-heating of later ones, which is caused by the thermal diffusion. Hence, to produce a uniform heated volume, the delivered energy of each treatment spot should be properly adjusted. In this study, we proposed an iterative, extrapolation technique to adjust the required ultrasound energy of each treatment spot. Three different scanning pathways were used to evaluate the performance of this technique. Results indicate that by using the proposed technique, uniform heating volume could be obtained.
Ten Limit Cycles in a Quintic Lyapunov System

In this paper, center conditions and bifurcation of limit cycles at the nilpotent critical point in a class of quintic polynomial differential system are investigated.With the help of computer algebra system MATHEMATICA, the first 10 quasi Lyapunov constants are deduced. As a result, sufficient and necessary conditions in order to have a center are obtained. The fact that there exist 10 small amplitude limit cycles created from the three order nilpotent critical point is also proved. Henceforth we give a lower bound of cyclicity of three-order nilpotent critical point for quintic Lyapunov systems. At last, we give an system which could bifurcate 10 limit circles.

Computing Center Conditions for Non-analytic Vector Fields with Constant Angular Speed

We investigate the planar quasi-septic non-analytic systems which have a center-focus equilibrium at the origin and whose angular speed is constant. The system could be changed into an analytic system by two transformations, with the help of computer algebra system MATHEMATICA, the conditions of uniform isochronous center are obtained.

Volatile Organochlorine Compounds Emitted by Temperate Coniferous Forests
Chlorine is one of the most abundant elements in nature, which undergoes a complex biogeochemical cycle. Chlorine bound in some substances is partly responsible for atmospheric ozone depletion and contamination of some ecosystems. As due to international regulations anthropogenic burden of volatile organochlorines (VOCls) in atmosphere decreases, natural sources (plants, soil, abiotic formation) are expected to dominate VOCl production in the near future. Examples of plant VOCl production are methyl chloride, and bromide emission from (sub)tropical ferns, chloroform, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and tetrachloromethane emission from temperate forest fern and moss. Temperate forests are found to emit in addition to the previous compounds tetrachloroethene, and brominated volatile compounds. VOCls can be taken up and further metabolized in plants. The aim of this work is to identify and quantitatively analyze the formed VOCls in temperate forest ecosystems by a cryofocusing/GC-ECD detection method, hence filling a gap of knowledge in the biogeochemical cycle of chlorine.
Voltage-Controllable Liquid Crystals Lens

This study investigates a voltage-controllable liquid crystals lens with a Fresnel zone electrode. When applying a proper voltage on the liquid crystal cell, a Fresnel-zone-distributed electric field is induced to direct liquid crystals aligned in a concentric structure. Owing to the concentrically aligned liquid crystals, a Fresnel lens is formed. We probe the Fresnel liquid crystal lens using a polarized incident beam with a wavelength of 632.8 nm, finding that the diffraction efficiency depends on the applying voltage. A remarkable diffraction efficiency of ~39.5 % is measured at the voltage of 0.9V. Additionally, a dual focus lens is fabricated by attaching a plane-convex lens to the Fresnel liquid crystals cell. The Fresnel LC lens and the dual focus lens may be applied for DVD/CD pick-up head, confocal microscopy system, or electrically-controlling optical systems.

Study of Current Sheath Velocities in Tridimensional with Sahand Plasma Focus
The current sheath dynamics in plasma focus facilities is the most important factors. In this paper the current sheath velocity at three dimensional with Sahand plasma focus facility is investigated. For this purpose the discharge is produced in argon gas with deposited energy lying in the range of 20-37kJ. The current sheath is monitored using two tridimensional magnetic probes. These probes installed near the surface of the interior electrode (anode) at 125mm from the anode axis (pinch place). The effect of gas pressure on the current sheath velocity also is investigated.
Identifying Key Success Factor For Supply Chain Management System in the Semiconductor Industry - A Focus Group Approach

Developing a supply chain management (SCM) system is costly, but important. However, because of its complicated nature, not many of such projects are considered successful. Few research publications directly relate to key success factors (KSFs) for implementing a SCM system. Motivated by the above, this research proposes a hierarchy of KSFs for SCM system implementation in the semiconductor industry by using a two-step approach. First, the literature review indicates the initial hierarchy. The second step includes a focus group approach to finalize the proposed KSF hierarchy by extracting valuable experiences from executives and managers that actively participated in a project, which successfully establish a seamless SCM integration between the world's largest semiconductor foundry manufacturing company and the world's largest assembly and testing company. Future project executives may refer the resulting KSF hierarchy as a checklist for SCM system implementation in semiconductor or related industries.

Innovativeness, Risk Taking, Focusing on Opportunity Attitudes on Nurse Managers and Nurses

The aim of this study is to compare the innovativeness, risk taking, and focusing on opportunity of the nurse managers and nurses. The data are collected from nurse managers and nurses in Ondokuz Mayıs University, Faculty of Medicine Hospital and Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Medicine Hospital. The study sample consisted of 151 participants, 76 nurse managers (50.3%) and 75 nurses (49.7%). All participants have been assessed by Participant Information Form and Corporate Entrepreneurship Scale. In data analysis, independent t-test has applied. The results show that there are significant differences between nurse managers and nurses on innovativeness (t = 2.42, p < 0.05), risk taking (t = 3.62, p < 0.01), and focusing on opportunity (t = 2.16, p < 0.05). Consequently, it can be said that nurse managers have more innovativeness than nurses and tend to take more risks and focus more on opportunities. 

A Case Study of Reactive Focus on Form through Negotiation on Spoken Errors: Does It Work for All Learners?
This case study investigates the effects of reactive focus on form through negotiation on the linguistic development of an adult EFL learner in an exclusive private EFL classroom. The findings revealed that in this classroom negotiated feedback occurred significantly more often than non-negotiated feedback. However, it was also found that in the long run the learner was significantly more successful in correcting his own errors when he had received nonnegotiated feedback than negotiated feedback. This study, therefore, argues that although negotiated feedback seems to be effective for some learners in the short run, it is non-negotiated feedback which seems to be more effective in the long run. This long lasting effect might be attributed to the impact of schooling system which is itself indicative of the dominant culture, or to the absence of other interlocutors in the course of interaction.
How to Connect User Research and not so Forthcoming Technology Scenarios – The Extended Home Environment Case Study

This paper draws a methodological framework adopted within an internal Telecomitalia project aimed to identify, on a user centred base, the potential interest towards a technological scenario aimed to extend on a personal bubble the typical communication and media fruition home environment. The problem is that involving user in the early stage of the development of such disruptive technology scenario asking users opinions on something that users actually do not manage even in a rough manner could lead to wrong or distorted results. For that reason we chose an approach that indirectly aim to understand users hidden needs in order to obtain a meaningful picture of the possible interest for a technological proposition non yet easily understandable.

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