Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 867

Prediction Modeling of Alzheimer’s Disease and Its Prodromal Stages from Multimodal Data with Missing Values

A major challenge in medical studies, especially those that are longitudinal, is the problem of missing measurements which hinders the effective application of many machine learning algorithms. Furthermore, recent Alzheimer's Disease studies have focused on the delineation of Early Mild Cognitive Impairment (EMCI) and Late Mild Cognitive Impairment (LMCI) from cognitively normal controls (CN) which is essential for developing effective and early treatment methods. To address the aforementioned challenges, this paper explores the potential of using the eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) algorithm in handling missing values in multiclass classification. We seek a generalized classification scheme where all prodromal stages of the disease are considered simultaneously in the classification and decision-making processes. Given the large number of subjects (1631) included in this study and in the presence of almost 28% missing values, we investigated the performance of XGBoost on the classification of the four classes of AD, NC, EMCI, and LMCI. Using 10-fold cross validation technique, XGBoost is shown to outperform other state-of-the-art classification algorithms by 3% in terms of accuracy and F-score. Our model achieved an accuracy of 80.52%, a precision of 80.62% and recall of 80.51%, supporting the more natural and promising multiclass classification.

CookIT: A Web Portal for the Preservation and Dissemination of Traditional Italian Recipes

Food is a social and cultural aspect of every individual. Food products, processing, and traditions have been identified as cultural objects carrying history and identity of social groups. Traditional recipes are passed down from one generation to the other, often to strengthen the link with the territory. The paper presents CookIT, a web portal developed to collect Italian traditional recipes related to regional cuisine, with the purpose to disseminate the knowledge of typical Italian recipes and the Mediterranean diet which is a significant part of Italian cuisine. The system designed is completed with multimodal means of browsing and data retrieval. Stored recipes can be retrieved integrating and combining a number of different methods and keys, while the results are displayed using classical styles, such as list and mosaic, and also using maps and graphs, with which users can play using available keys for interaction.

A Study of the Assistant Application for Tourists Taking Metros

With the proliferation and development of mobile devices, various mobile apps have appeared to satisfy people’s needs. Metro, with the feature of convenient, punctuality and economic, is one of the most popular modes of transportation in cities. Yet, there are still some inconveniences brought by various factors, impacting tourists’ riding experience. The aim of this study is to help tourists to shorten the time of purchasing tickets, to provide them clear metro information and direct navigation, detailed schedule as well as a way to collect metro cards as souvenir. The study collects data through three phases, including observation, survey and test. Data collected from 106 tourists totally in Wuhan metro stations are discussed in the study. The result reflects tourists’ demand when they take the metro. It also indicates the feasibility of using mobile technology to improve passenger’s experience.

Distributed Cost-Based Scheduling in Cloud Computing Environment

Cloud computing can be defined as one of the prominent technologies that lets a user change, configure and access the services online. it can be said that this is a prototype of computing that helps in saving cost and time of a user practically the use of cloud computing can be found in various fields like education, health, banking etc.  Cloud computing is an internet dependent technology thus it is the major responsibility of Cloud Service Providers(CSPs) to care of data stored by user at data centers. Scheduling in cloud computing environment plays a vital role as to achieve maximum utilization and user satisfaction cloud providers need to schedule resources effectively.  Job scheduling for cloud computing is analyzed in the following work. To complete, recreate the task calculation, and conveyed scheduling methods CloudSim3.0.3 is utilized. This research work discusses the job scheduling for circulated processing condition also by exploring on this issue we find it works with minimum time and less cost. In this work two load balancing techniques have been employed: ‘Throttled stack adjustment policy’ and ‘Active VM load balancing policy’ with two brokerage services ‘Advanced Response Time’ and ‘Reconfigure Dynamically’ to evaluate the VM_Cost, DC_Cost, Response Time, and Data Processing Time. The proposed techniques are compared with Round Robin scheduling policy.

Estimating the Traffic Impacts of Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory Systems Using Microsimulation

Even though signalised intersections are necessary for urban road traffic management, they can act as bottlenecks and disrupt traffic operations. Interrupted traffic flow causes congestion, delays, stop-and-go conditions (i.e. excessive acceleration/deceleration) and longer journey times. Vehicle and infrastructure connectivity offers the potential to provide improved new services with additional functions of assisting drivers. This paper focuses on one of the applications of vehicle-to-infrastructure communication namely Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA). To assess the effectiveness of GLOSA in the urban road network, an integrated microscopic traffic simulation framework is built into VISSIM software. Vehicle movements and vehicle-infrastructure communications are simulated through the interface of External Driver Model. A control algorithm is developed for recommending an optimal speed that is continuously updated in every time step for all vehicles approaching a signal-controlled point. This algorithm allows vehicles to pass a traffic signal without stopping or to minimise stopping times at a red phase. This study is performed with all connected vehicles at 100% penetration rate. Conventional vehicles are also simulated in the same network as a reference. A straight road segment composed of two opposite directions with two traffic lights per lane is studied. The simulation is implemented under 150 vehicles per hour and 200 per hour traffic volume conditions to identify how different traffic densities influence the benefits of GLOSA. The results indicate that traffic flow is improved by the application of GLOSA. According to this study, vehicles passed through the traffic lights more smoothly, and waiting times were reduced by up to 28 seconds. Average delays decreased for the entire network by 86.46% and 83.84% under traffic densities of 150 vehicles per hour per lane and 200 vehicles per hour per lane, respectively.

Current Status and Future Trends of Mechanized Fruit Thinning Devices and Sensor Technology

This paper reviews the different concepts that have been investigated concerning the mechanization of fruit thinning as well as multiple working principles and solutions that have been developed for feature extraction of horticultural products, both in the field and industrial environments. The research should be committed towards selective methods, which inevitably need to incorporate some kinds of sensor technology. Computer vision often comes out as an obvious solution for unstructured detection problems, although leaves despite the chosen point of view frequently occlude fruits. Further research on non-traditional sensors that are capable of object differentiation is needed. Ultrasonic and Near Infrared (NIR) technologies have been investigated for applications related to horticultural produce and show a potential to satisfy this need while simultaneously providing spatial information as time of flight sensors. Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology also shows a huge potential but it implies much greater costs and the related equipment is usually much larger, making it less suitable for portable devices, which may serve a purpose on smaller unstructured orchards. Portable devices may serve a purpose on these types of orchards. In what concerns sensor methods, on-tree fruit detection, major challenge is to overcome the problem of fruits’ occlusion by leaves and branches. Hence, nontraditional sensors capable of providing some type of differentiation should be investigated.

Managing Multiple Change Projects in Supply Chains: A Case Study of a Moroccan Multi-Technical Services Company
In this paper, we try to address the topic of multiple change management by adopting an engineered research methodology, conducted within a Moroccan company during its implementation of several change projects that aim at improving its supply chain management performance. Firstly, we present the key concepts related to our research, namely change management, multiproject management and supply chain management. Then, we try to assess how the change management and multi-project management are applied in this company. Finally, we try to propose an approach that will help managers in dealing with multiple change projects. This approach proposes to integrate change management, project management and multi-project management for managing change projects according to three organizational levels: executive level, project portfolio level and change project level.
Early Recognition and Grading of Cataract Using a Combined Log Gabor/Discrete Wavelet Transform with ANN and SVM
Eyes are considered to be the most sensitive and important organ for human being. Thus, any eye disorder will affect the patient in all aspects of life. Cataract is one of those eye disorders that lead to blindness if not treated correctly and quickly. This paper demonstrates a model for automatic detection, classification, and grading of cataracts based on image processing techniques and artificial intelligence. The proposed system is developed to ease the cataract diagnosis process for both ophthalmologists and patients. The wavelet transform combined with 2D Log Gabor Wavelet transform was used as feature extraction techniques for a dataset of 120 eye images followed by a classification process that classified the image set into three classes; normal, early, and advanced stage. A comparison between the two used classifiers, the support vector machine SVM and the artificial neural network ANN were done for the same dataset of 120 eye images. It was concluded that SVM gave better results than ANN. SVM success rate result was 96.8% accuracy where ANN success rate result was 92.3% accuracy.
A Framework for Teaching Distributed Requirements Engineering in Latin American Universities
This work describes a framework for teaching of global software engineering (GSE) in university undergraduate programs. This framework proposes a method of teaching that incorporates adequate techniques of software requirements elicitation and validated tools of communication, critical aspects to global software development scenarios. The use of proposed framework allows teachers to simulate small software development companies formed by Latin American students, which build information systems. Students from three Latin American universities played the roles of engineers by applying an iterative development of a requirements specification in a global software project. The proposed framework involves the use of a specific purpose Wiki for asynchronous communication between the participants of the process. It is also a practice to improve the quality of software requirements that are formulated by the students. The additional motivation of students to participate in these practices, in conjunction with peers from other countries, is a significant additional factor that positively contributes to the learning process. The framework promotes skills for communication, negotiation, and other complementary competencies that are useful for working on GSE scenarios.
Expression of Tissue Plasminogen Activator in Transgenic Tobacco Plants by Signal Peptides Targeting for Delivery to Apoplast, Endoplasmic Reticulum and Cytosol Spaces

Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) as a serine protease plays an important role in the fibrinolytic system and the dissolution of fibrin clots in human body. The production of this drug in plants such as tobacco could reduce its production costs. In this study, expression of tPA gene and protein targeting to different plant cell compartments, using various signal peptides has been investigated. For high level of expression, Kozak sequence was used after CaMV35S in the beginning of the gene. In order to design the final construction, Extensin, KDEL (amino acid sequence including Lys-Asp-Glu-Leu) and SP (γ-zein signal peptide coding sequence) were used as leader signals to conduct this protein into apoplast, endoplasmic reticulum and cytosol spaces, respectively. Cloned human tPA gene under the CaMV (Cauliflower mosaic virus) 35S promoter and NOS (Nopaline Synthase) terminator into pBI121 plasmid was transferred into tobacco explants by Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA4404. The presence and copy number of genes in transgenic tobacco was proved by Southern blotting. Enzymatic activity of the rt-PA protein in transgenic plants compared to non-transgenic plants was confirmed by Zymography assay. The presence and amount of rt-PA recombinant protein in plants was estimated by ELISA analysis on crude protein extract of transgenic tobacco using a specific antibody. The yield of recombinant tPA in transgenic tobacco for SP, KDEL, Extensin signals were counted 0.50, 0.68, 0.69 microgram per milligram of total soluble proteins.

Multi-Level Air Quality Classification in China Using Information Gain and Support Vector Machine

Machine Learning and Data Mining are the two important tools for extracting useful information and knowledge from large datasets. In machine learning, classification is a wildly used technique to predict qualitative variables and is generally preferred over regression from an operational point of view. Due to the enormous increase in air pollution in various countries especially China, Air Quality Classification has become one of the most important topics in air quality research and modelling. This study aims at introducing a hybrid classification model based on information theory and Support Vector Machine (SVM) using the air quality data of four cities in China namely Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Tianjin from Jan 1, 2014 to April 30, 2016. China's Ministry of Environmental Protection has classified the daily air quality into 6 levels namely Serious Pollution, Severe Pollution, Moderate Pollution, Light Pollution, Good and Excellent based on their respective Air Quality Index (AQI) values. Using the information theory, information gain (IG) is calculated and feature selection is done for both categorical features and continuous numeric features. Then SVM Machine Learning algorithm is implemented on the selected features with cross-validation. The final evaluation reveals that the IG and SVM hybrid model performs better than SVM (alone), Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and K-Nearest Neighbours (KNN) models in terms of accuracy as well as complexity.

Prospects of Iraq’s Maritime Openness and Their Effect on Its Economy

Port institutions serve as a link connecting the land areas that receive the goods and the areas from where ships sail. These areas hold great significance for the conversion of goods into commodities of economic value, capable of meeting the needs of the society. Development of ports constitutes a fundamental component of the comprehensive economic development process. Recognizing this fact, developing countries have always resorted to this infrastructural element to resolve the numerous problems they face, taking into account its contribution to the reformation of their economic conditions. Iraqi ports have played a major role in boosting the commercial movement in Iraq, as they are the starting point of its oil exports and a key constituent in fulfilling the consumer and production needs of the various economic sectors of Iraq. With the Gulf wars and the economic blockade, Iraqi ports have continued to deteriorate and become unable to perform their functions as first-generation ports, prompting Iraq to use the ports of neighboring countries such as Jordan's Aqaba commercial port. Meanwhile, Iraqi ports face strong competition from the ports of neighboring countries, which have achieved progress and advancement as opposed to the declining performance and efficiency of Iraqi ports. The great developments in the economic conditions of Iraq lay a too great burden on the Iraqi maritime transport and ports, which require development in order to be able to meet the challenges arising from the fierce international and regional competition in the markets. Therefore, it is necessary to find appropriate solutions in support of the role that can be played by Iraqi ports in serving Iraq's foreign trade transported by sea and in keeping up with the development of foreign trade. Thus, this research aims at tackling the current situation of the Iraqi ports and their commercial activity and studying the problems and obstacles they face. The research also studies the future prospects of these ports, the potentials of maritime openness to Iraq under the fierce competition of neighboring ports, and the possibility of enhancing Iraqi ports’ competitiveness. Among the results produced by this research is the future scenario it proposes for Iraqi ports, mainly represented in the establishment of Al-Faw Port, which will contribute to a greater openness of maritime transport in Iraq, and the rehabilitation and expansion of existing ports. This research seeks to develop solutions to Iraq ports so that they can be repositioned as a vital means of promoting economic development.

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

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

Investigating the Role of Community in Heritage Conservation through the Ladder of Citizen Participation Approach: Case Study, Port Said, Egypt

Egypt has countless prestigious buildings and diversity of cultural heritage which are located in many cities. Most of the researchers, archaeologists, stakeholders and governmental bodies are paying more attention to the big cities such as Cairo and Alexandria, due to the country’s centralization nature. However, there are other historic cities that are grossly neglected and in need of emergency conservation. For instance, Port Said which is a former colonial city that was established in nineteenth century located at the edge of the northeast Egyptian coast between the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal. This city is chosen because it presents one of the important Egyptian archaeological sites that archive Egyptian architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries. The historic urban fabric is divided into three main districts; the Arab, the European (Al-Afrang), and Port Fouad. The European district is selected to be the research case study as it has culture diversity, significant buildings, and includes the largest number of the listed heritage buildings in Port Said. Based on questionnaires and interviews, since 2003 several initiative trials have been taken by Alliance Francaise, the National Organization for Urban Harmony (NOUH), some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and few number of community residents to highlight the important city legacy and protect it from being demolished. Unfortunately, the limitation of their participation in decision-making policies is considered a crucial threat facing sustainable heritage conservation. Therefore, encouraging the local community to participate in their architecture heritage conservation would create a self-confident one, capable of making decisions for the city’s future development. This paper aims to investigate the role of the local inhabitants in protecting their buildings heritage through listing the community level of participations twice (2012 and 2018) in preserving their heritage based on the ladder citizen participation approach. Also, it is to encourage community participation in order to promote city architecture conservation, heritage management, and sustainable development. The methodology followed in this empirical research involves using several data assembly methods such as structural observations, questionnaires, interviews, and mental mapping. The questionnaire was distributed among 92 local inhabitants aged 18-60 years. However, the outset of this research at the beginning demonstrated the majority negative attitude, motivation, and confidence of the local inhabitants’ role to safeguard their architectural heritage. Over time, there was a change in the negative attitudes. Therefore, raising public awareness and encouraging community participation by providing them with a real opportunity to take part in the decision-making. This may lead to a positive relationship between the community residents and the built heritage, which is essential for promoting its preservation and sustainable development.

Effective Planning of Public Transportation Systems: A Decision Support Application

Decision making on the true planning of the public transportation systems to serve potential users is a must for metropolitan areas. To take attraction of travelers to projected modes of transport, adequately fair overall travel times should be provided. In this fashion, other benefits such as lower traffic congestion, road safety and lower noise and atmospheric pollution may be earned. The congestion which comes with increasing demand of public transportation is becoming a part of our lives and making residents’ life difficult. Hence, regulations should be done to reduce this congestion. To provide a constructive and balanced regulation in public transportation systems, right stations should be located in right places. In this study, it is aimed to design and implement a Decision Support System (DSS) Application to determine the optimal bus stop places for public transport in Istanbul which is one of the biggest and oldest cities in the world. Required information is gathered from IETT (Istanbul Electricity, Tram and Tunnel) Enterprises which manages all public transportation services in Istanbul Metropolitan Area. By using the most real-like values, cost assignments are made. The cost is calculated with the help of equations produced by bi-level optimization model. For this study, 300 buses, 300 drivers, 10 lines and 110 stops are used. The user cost of each station and the operator cost taken place in lines are calculated. Some components like cost, security and noise pollution are considered as significant factors affecting the solution of set covering problem which is mentioned for identifying and locating the minimum number of possible bus stops. Preliminary research and model development for this study refers to previously published article of the corresponding author. Model results are represented with the intent of decision support to the specialists on locating stops effectively.

A Review on Building Information Modelling in Nigeria and Its Potentials

Construction Industry has been evolving since the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM). This technological process is unstoppable; it is out to the market with remarkable case studies of solving the long industry’s history of fragmentation. This industry has been changing over time; United States has recorded the most significant development in construction digitalization, Australia, United Kingdom and some other developed nations are also amongst promoters of BIM process and its development. Recently, a developing country like China and Malaysia are keying into the industry’s digital shift, while very little move is seen in South Africa whose development is considered higher and perhaps leader in the digital transition amongst the African countries. To authors’ best knowledge, Nigerian construction industry has never engaged in BIM discussions hence has no attention at national level. Consequently, Nigeria has no “Noteworthy BIM publications.” Decision makers and key stakeholders need to be informed on the current trend of the industry’s development (BIM in specific) and the opportunities of adopting this digitalization trend in relation to the identified challenges. BIM concept can be traced mostly in Architectural practices than engineering practices in Nigeria. A superficial BIM practice is found to be at organisational level only and operating a model based - “BIM stage 1.” Research to adopting this innovation has received very little attention. This piece of work is literature review based, aimed at exploring BIM in Nigeria and its prospects. The exploration reveals limitations in the literature availability as to extensive research in the development of BIM in the country. Numerous challenges were noticed including building collapse, inefficiencies, cost overrun and late project delivery. BIM has potentials to overcome the above challenges and even beyond. Low level of BIM adoption with reasonable level of awareness is noticed. However, lack of policy and guideline as well as serious lack of experts in the field are amongst the major barriers to BIM adoption. The industry needs to embrace BIM to possibly compete with its global counterpart.

Monitoring Co-Creation: A Survey of Lithuanian Urban Communities

In this paper, we conduct a systematic survey of urban communities in Lithuania to evaluate their potential to co-create collective intelligence or “civic intelligence” applying Digital Co-creation Index methodology that includes different socio-technological indicators. Civic intelligence is a form of collective intelligence that refers to the group’s capacity to perceive societal problems and to address them effectively. The research focuses on evaluation of diverse organizational designs that increase efficient collective performance. The current scientific project advanced the state of the art by evaluating the basic preconditions in the urban communities through which the collective intelligence is being co-created under the systemic manner. The research subject is the “bottom up” digital enabled urban platforms, initiated by Lithuanian public organizations, civic movements or business entities. The web-based monitoring results obtained by applying a social indices calculation methodology and Pearson correlation analysis provided the information about the potential and limits of the urban communities and what possible changes need to be implemented to overcome the limitations.

Design of a Pneumonia Ontology for Diagnosis Decision Support System

Diagnosis error problem is frequent and one of the most important safety problems today. One of the main objectives of our work is to propose an ontological representation that takes into account the diagnostic criteria in order to improve the diagnostic. We choose pneumonia disease since it is one of the frequent diseases affected by diagnosis errors and have harmful effects on patients. To achieve our aim, we use a semi-automated method to integrate diverse knowledge sources that include publically available pneumonia disease guidelines from international repositories, biomedical ontologies and electronic health records. We follow the principles of the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry. The resulting ontology covers symptoms and signs, all the types of pneumonia, antecedents, pathogens, and diagnostic testing. The first evaluation results show that most of the terms are covered by the ontology. This work is still in progress and represents a first and major step toward a development of a diagnosis decision support system for pneumonia.

Evaluating Accessibility to Bangkok Mass Transit System: Case Study of Saphan Taksin BTS Station

Access to the mass transit system, including rapid elevated and underground transport has become an outstanding issue for many cities. The mass transit access development should focus on behavioral responses of the different passenger groups. Moreover, it should consider about the appearance of intent-oriented action related accessibility that was explored from user’s satisfaction and attitudes related to services quality. This study aims to evaluate mass transit accessibility from passenger’s satisfaction, therefore, understanding the passenger’s attitudes about mass transit accessibility. The study area of this research is Bangkok Mass Transit system (BTS Skytrain) at Saphan Taksin station. 200 passengers at Saphan Taksin station were asked to rate the questionnaires survey that considers accessibility aspects of convenience, safety, feeder connectivity, and other dimensions. The survey was to find out the passenger attitudes and satisfaction for access to the BTS station, and the result shows several factors that influence the passenger choice of using the BTS as a public transportation mode and passenger’s opinion that needs to concern for the development mass transit system and accessibility performance.

Understanding Barriers to Sports Participation as a Means of Achieving Sustainable Development in Michael Otedola College of Primary Education
During these difficult economic times, nations are looking for ways to improve their finances, preserve the environment as well as the socio-political climate and educational institutions, which are needed to increase their economy and preserve their sustainable development. Sport is one of the ways through which sustainable development can be achieved. The purpose of this study was to examine and understanding barriers to participation in sport. A total of 1,025 students were purposively selected from five schools (School of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Languages, School of Education, School of Sciences and School of Vocational and Technical Education) in Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED). A questionnaire, with a tested reliability coefficient of 0.71, was used for data collection. The collected data were subjected to the descriptive survey research design. The findings showed that sports facilities, funding and lecture schedules were significant barriers to sports participation. It was recommended that sports facilities be provided by the Lagos State government.
A Comparative Analysis Approach Based on Fuzzy AHP, TOPSIS and PROMETHEE for the Selection Problem of GSCM Solutions
Sustainable economic growth is nowadays driving firms to extend toward the adoption of many green supply chain management (GSCM) solutions. However, the evaluation and selection of these solutions is a matter of concern that needs very serious decisions, involving complexity owing to the presence of various associated factors. To resolve this problem, a comparative analysis approach based on multi-criteria decision-making methods is proposed for adequate evaluation of sustainable supply chain management solutions. In the present paper, we propose an integrated decision-making model based on FAHP (Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process), TOPSIS (Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) and PROMETHEE (Preference Ranking Organisation METHod for Enrichment Evaluations) to contribute to a better understanding and development of new sustainable strategies for industrial organizations. Due to the varied importance of the selected criteria, FAHP is used to identify the evaluation criteria and assign the importance weights for each criterion, while TOPSIS and PROMETHEE methods employ these weighted criteria as inputs to evaluate and rank the alternatives. The main objective is to provide a comparative analysis based on TOPSIS and PROMETHEE processes to help make sound and reasoned decisions related to the selection problem of GSCM solution.
Economic Growth Relations to Domestic and International Air Passenger Transport in Brazil

This study examined cointegration and causal relationships between economic growth and regular domestic and international passenger air transport in Brazil. Total passengers embarked and disembarked were used as a proxy for air transport activity and gross domestic product (GDP) as a proxy for economic development. The test spanned the period from 2000 to 2015 for domestic passenger traffic and from 1995 to 2015 for international traffic. The results confirm the hypothesis that there is cointegration between passenger traffic series and economic development, showing a bi-directional Granger causal relationship between domestic traffic and economic development and unidirectional influence by economic growth on international passenger air transport demand. Variance decomposition of the series showed that domestic air transport was far more important than international transport to promoting economic development in Brazil.

Improvement of Ride Comfort of Turning Electric Vehicle Using Optimal Speed Control
With the spread of EVs (electric Vehicles), the ride comfort has been gaining a lot of attention. The influence of the lateral acceleration is important for the improvement of ride comfort of EVs as well as the longitudinal acceleration, especially upon turning of the vehicle. Therefore, this paper proposes a practical optimal speed control method to greatly improve the ride comfort in the vehicle turning situation. For consturcting this method, effective criteria that can appropriately evaluate deterioration of ride comfort is derived. The method can reduce the influence of both the longitudinal and the lateral speed changes for providing a confortable ride. From several simulation results, we can see the fact that the method can prevent aggravation of the ride comfort by suppressing the influence of longitudinal speed change in the turning situation. Hence, the effectiveness of the method is recognized.
The Effect of Dopamine D2 Receptor TAQ A1 Allele on Sprinter and Endurance Athlete

Genetic structure is very important to understand the brain dopamine system which is related to athletic performance. Hopefully, there will be enough studies about athletics performance in the terms of addiction-related genetic markers in the future. In the present study, we intended to investigate the Receptor-2 Gene (DRD2) rs1800497, which is related to brain dopaminergic system. 10 sprinter and 10 endurance athletes were enrolled in the study. Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction method was used for genotyping. According to results, A1A1, A1A2 and A2A2 genotypes in athletes were 0 (%0), 3 (%15) and 17 (%85). A1A1 genotype was not found and A2 allele was counted as the dominating allele in our cohort. These findings show that dopaminergic mechanism effects on sport genetic may be explained by the polygenic and multifactorial view.

A Holistic Conceptual Measurement Framework for Assessing the Effectiveness and Viability of an Academic Program
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.
Utilizing the Analytic Hierarchy Process in Improving Performances of Blind Judo

Identifying, structuring, and racking the most important factors related to improving athletes’ performances could pave the way for improve training system. The purpose of this study was to identify the relative importance factors to improve performance of the of judo athletes with visual impairments, including blindness by using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). After reviewing the literature, the relative importance of factors affecting performance of the blind judo was selected. A group of expert reviewed the first draft of the questionnaires, and then finally selected performance factors were classified into the major categories of techniques, physical fitness, and psychological categories. Later, a pre-selected experts group was asked to review the final version of questionnaire and confirm the priories of performance factors. The order of priority was determined by performing pairwise comparisons using Expert Choice 2000. Results indicated that “grappling” (.303) and “throwing” (.234) were the most important lower hierarchy factors for blind judo skills. In addition, the most important physical factors affecting performance were “muscular strength and endurance” (.238). Further, among other psychological factors “competitive anxiety” (.393) was important factor that affects performance. It is important to offer psychological skills training to reduce anxiety of judo athletes with visual impairments and blindness, so they can compete in their optimal states. These findings offer insights into what should be considered when determining factors to improve performance of judo athletes with visual impairments and blindness.

The Impact of Open Defecation on Fecal-Oral Infections: A Case Study in Burat and Ngaremara Wards of Isiolo County, Kenya

The practice of open defecation can be devastating for human health as well as the environment, and this practice persistence could be due to ingrained habits that individuals continue to engage in despite having a better alternative. Safe disposal of human excreta is essential for public health protection. This study sought to find if open defecation relates to fecal-oral infections in Burat and Ngaremara Wards in Isiolo County. This was achieved through conducting a cross-sectional study. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 385 households that were used in the study. Data collection was done by use of questionnaires and observation checklists. The result show that 66% of the respondents disposed-off fecal matter in a safe manner, whereas 34% disposed-off fecal matter in unsafe manner through open defecation. The prevalence proportions per 1000 of diarrhea and intestinal worms among children under-5 years of age were 142 and 21, respectively. The prevalence proportions per 1000 of diarrhea and typhoid among children over-5 years of age were 20 and 20, respectively.

Mechanistic Study of Composite Pavement Behavior in Heavy Duty Area

In heavy duty areas, asphalt pavement constructed as entrance roadway may expose distresses such as cracking and rutting during service life. To mitigate these problems, composite pavement with a roller-compacted concrete base may be a good alternative; however, it should be initially investigated. Structural performances such as fatigue cracking and rut depth may be changed due to variation of some design factors. Therefore, this study focuses on the variation effect of material modulus, layer thickness and loading on composite pavement performances. Stress and strain at the critical location are determined and used as the input of transfer function for corresponding distresses to evaluate the pavement performance. Also, composite pavement satisfying the design criteria may be selected as a design section for heavy duty areas. Consequently, this investigation indicates that composite pavement has the ability to eliminate fatigue cracking in asphalt surfaces and significantly reduce rut depth. In addition, a thick or strong rigid base can significantly reduce rut depth and prolong fatigue life of this layer.

Improving Health Care and Patient Safety at the ICU by Using Innovative Medical Devices and ICT Tools: Examples from Bangladesh

Innovative medical technologies offer more effective medical care, with less risk to patient and healthcare personnel. Medical technology and devices when properly used provide better data, precise monitoring and less invasive treatments and can be more targeted and often less costly. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipped with patient monitoring, respiratory and cardiac support, pain management, emergency resuscitation and life support devices is particularly prone to medical errors for various reasons. Many people in the developing countries now wonder whether their visit to hospital might harm rather than help them. This is because; clinicians in the developing countries are required to maintain an increasing workload with limited resources and absence of well-functioning safety system. A team of experts from the medical, biomedical and clinical engineering in Sweden and Bangladesh have worked together to study the incidents, adverse events at the ICU in Bangladesh. The study included both public and private hospitals to provide a better understanding for physical structure, organization and practice in operating processes of care, and the occurrence of adverse outcomes the errors, risks and accidents related to medical devices at the ICU, and to develop a ICT based support system in order to reduce hazards and errors and thus improve the quality of performance, care and cost effectiveness at the ICU. Concrete recommendations and guidelines have been made for preparing appropriate ICT related tools and methods for improving the routine for use of medical devices, reporting and analyzing of the incidents at the ICU in order to reduce the number of undetected and unsolved incidents and thus improve the patient safety.

Hybrid Anomaly Detection Using Decision Tree and Support Vector Machine

Intrusion detection systems (IDS) are the main components of network security. These systems analyze the network events for intrusion detection. The design of an IDS is through the training of normal traffic data or attack. The methods of machine learning are the best ways to design IDSs. In the method presented in this article, the pruning algorithm of C5.0 decision tree is being used to reduce the features of traffic data used and training IDS by the least square vector algorithm (LS-SVM). Then, the remaining features are arranged according to the predictor importance criterion. The least important features are eliminated in the order. The remaining features of this stage, which have created the highest level of accuracy in LS-SVM, are selected as the final features. The features obtained, compared to other similar articles which have examined the selected features in the least squared support vector machine model, are better in the accuracy, true positive rate, and false positive. The results are tested by the UNSW-NB15 dataset.

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