Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 300

A Simple Autonomous Hovering and Operating Control of Multicopter Using Only Web Camera
In this paper, an autonomous hovering control method of multicopter using only Web camera is proposed. Recently, various control method of an autonomous flight for multicopter are proposed. But, in the previous proposed methods, a motion capture system (i. e., OptiTrack) and laser range finder are often used to measure the position and posture of multicopter. To achieve an autonomous flight control of multicopter with simple equipments, we propose an autonomous flight control method using AR marker and Web camera. AR marker can measure the position of multicopter with Cartesian coordinate in three dimensional, then its position connects with aileron, elevator, and accelerator throttle operation. A simple PID control method is applied to the each operation and adjust the controller gains. Experimental results are given to show the effectiveness of our proposed method. Moreover, another simple operation method for autonomous flight control multicopter is also proposed.
Association of Overweight and Obesity with Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is in the top rate of cancer. We analyzed the prevalence of obesity and its association with breast cancer and finally we reviewed 25 article that 320 patient and 320 control which enrolled to our study. The distribution of breast cancer patients and controls with respect to their anthropometric indices in patients with higher weight, which was statistically significant (60.2 ± 10.2 kg) compared with control group (56.1 ± 11.3 kg). The body mass index of patients was (26.06+/-3.42) and significantly higher than the control group (24.1+/-1.7). Obesity leads to increased levels of adipose tissue in the body that can be stored toxins and carcinogens to produce a continuous supply. Due to the high level of fat and the role of estrogen in a woman which is endogenous estrogen of the tumor and regulates the activities of growth steroids, obesity has confirmed as a risk factor for breast cancer. Our study and other studies have shown that obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer. And it can be prevented with a weight loss intervention for breast cancer in the future.
Agricultural Mechanisation for Transformation
This paper concludes that, for economic development, and to ensure survival, Kenya and similar countries must industrialize their economy and mechanize their agriculture using modern large scale methods.
Application and Assessment of Artificial Neural Networks for Biodiesel Iodine Value Prediction
Several parameters are established in order to measure biodiesel quality. One of them is the iodine value, which is an important parameter that measures the total unsaturation within a mixture of fatty acids. Limitation of unsaturated fatty acids is necessary since warming of higher quantity of these ones ends in either formation of deposits inside the motor or damage of lubricant. Determination of iodine value by official procedure tends to be very laborious, with high costs and toxicity of the reagents, this study uses artificial neural network (ANN) in order to predict the iodine value property as an alternative to these problems. The methodology of development of networks used 13 esters of fatty acids in the input with convergence algorithms of back propagation of back propagation type were optimized in order to get an architecture of prediction of iodine value. This study allowed us to demonstrate the neural networks’ ability to learn the correlation between biodiesel quality properties, in this caseiodine value, and the molecular structures that make it up. The model developed in the study reached a correlation coefficient (R) of 0.99 for both network validation and network simulation, with Levenberg-Maquardt algorithm.
ORR Activity and Stability of Pt-Based Electrocatalysts in PEM Fuel Cell
A comparison of activity and stability of the as-formed Pt/C, Pt-Co and Pt-Pd/C electrocatalysts, prepared by a combined approach of impregnation and seeding, was performed. According to the activity test in a single Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell, the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) activity of the Pt-M/C electrocatalyst was slightly lower than that of Pt/C. The j0.9 V and E10 mA/cm2 of the as-prepared electrocatalysts increased in the order of Pt/C > Pt-Co/C > Pt-Pd/C. However, in the medium-to-high current density region, Pt-Pd/C exhibited the best performance. With regard to their stability in a 0.5 M H2SO4 electrolyte solution, the electrochemical surface area decreased as the number of rounds of repetitive potential cycling increased due to the dissolution of the metals within the catalyst structure. For long-term measurement, Pt- Pd/C was the most stable than the other three electrocatalysts.
Alumina Supported Cu-Mn-Cr Catalysts for CO and VOCs Oxidation
This work studies the effect of chemical composition on the activity and selectivity of γ–alumina supported CuO/ MnO2/Cr2O3 catalysts toward deep oxidation of CO, dimethyl ether (DME) and methanol. The catalysts were prepared by impregnation of the support with an aqueous solution of copper nitrate, manganese nitrate and CrO3 under different conditions. Thermal, XRD and TPR analysis were performed. The catalytic measurements of single compounds oxidation were carried out on continuous flow equipment with a four-channel isothermal stainless steel reactor. Flow-line equipment with an adiabatic reactor for simultaneous oxidation of all compounds under the conditions that mimic closely the industrial ones was used. The reactant and product gases were analyzed by means of on-line gas chromatographs. On the basis of XRD analysis it can be concluded that the active component of the mixed Cu-Mn-Cr/γ–alumina catalysts consists of at least six compounds – CuO, Cr2O3, MnO2, Cu1.5Mn1.5O4, Cu1.5Cr1.5O4 and CuCr2O4, depending on the Cu/Mn/Cr molar ratio. Chemical composition strongly influences catalytic properties, this influence being quite variable with regards to the different processes. The rate of CO oxidation rapidly decrease with increasing of chromium content in the active component while for the DME was observed the reverse trend. It was concluded that the best compromise are the catalysts with Cu/(Mn + Cr) molar ratio 1:5 and Mn/Cr molar ratio from 1:3 to 1:4.
Flocculation on the Treatment of Olive Oil Mill Wastewater: Pretreatment
Currently, continuous two-phase decanter process used for olive oil production is the more internationally widespread. The wastewaters generated from this industry (OMW) are a real environmental problem because of its high organic load. Among proposed treatments for these wastewaters, advanced oxidation technologies (Fenton, ozone, photoFenton, etc.) are the most favourable. The direct application of these processes is somewhat expensive. Therefore, the application of a previous stage based on a flocculation-sedimentation operation is of high importance. In this research five commercial flocculants (three cationic, and two anionic) have been used to achieve the separation of phases (liquid clarifiedsludge). For each flocculant, different concentrations (0-1000 mg/L) have been studied. In these experiments, sludge volume formed and the final water quality were determined. The final removal percentages of total phenols (11.3-25.1%), COD (5.6-20.4%), total carbon (2.3-26.5%), total organic carbon (1.50-23.8%), total nitrogen (1.45-24.8%), and turbidity (27.9-61.4%) were determined. The variation on electric conductivity reduction percentage (1-8%) was also determined. Finally, the best flocculants with highest removal percentages have been determined (QG2001 and Flocudex CS49).
Handling Complexity of a Complex System Design: Paradigm, Formalism and Transformations
Current systems complexity has reached a degree that requires addressing conception and design issues while taking into account environmental, operational, social, legal and financial aspects. Therefore, one of the main challenges is the way complex systems are specified and designed. The exponential growing effort, cost and time investment of complex systems in modeling phase emphasize the need for a paradigm, a framework and an environment to handle the system model complexity. For that, it is necessary to understand the expectations of the human user of the model and his limits. This paper presents a generic framework for designing complex systems, highlights the requirements a system model needs to fulfill to meet human user expectations, and suggests a graphbased formalism for modeling complex systems. Finally, a set of transformations are defined to handle the model complexity.
Utility Assessment Model for Wireless Technology in Construction
Construction projects are information intensive in nature and involve many activities that are related to each other. Wireless technologies can be used to improve the accuracy and timeliness of data collected from construction sites and shares it with appropriate parties. Nonetheless, the construction industry tends to be conservative and shows hesitation to adopt new technologies. A main concern for owners, contractors or any person in charge on a job site is the cost of the technology in question. Wireless technologies are not cheap. There are a lot of expenses to be taken into consideration, and a study should be completed to make sure that the importance and savings resulting from the usage of this technology is worth the expenses. This research attempts to assess the effectiveness of using the appropriate wireless technologies based on criteria such as performance, reliability, and risk. The assessment is based on a utility function model that breaks down the selection issue into alternatives attribute. Then the attributes are assigned weights and single attributes are measured. Finally, single attribute are combined to develop one single aggregate utility index for each alternative.
Researches Concerning Photons as Corpuscles with Mass and Negative Electrostatic Charge
Let us consider that the entire universe is composed of a single hydrogen atom within which the electron is moving around the proton. In this case, according to classical theories of physics, radiation, photons respectively, should be absorbed by the electron. Depending on the number of photons absorbed, the electron radius of rotation around the proton is established. Until now, the principle of photons absorption by electrons and the electron transition to a new energy level, namely to a higher radius of rotation around the proton, is not clarified in physics. This paper aims to demonstrate that radiation, photons respectively, have mass and negative electrostatic charge similar to electrons but infinitely smaller. The experiments which demonstrate this theory are simple: thermal expansion, photoelectric effect and thermonuclear reaction.
Mind Your Product-Market Strategy on Selecting Marketing Inputs: An Uncertainty Approach in Indian Context
Market is an important factor for start-ups to look into during decision-making in product development and related areas. Emerging country markets are more uncertain in terms of information availability and institutional supports. The literature review of market uncertainty reveals the need for identifying factors representing the market uncertainty. This paper identifies factors for market uncertainty using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and confirmed the number of factor retention using an alternative factor retention criterion ‘Parallel Analysis’. 500 entrepreneurs, engaged in start-ups from all over India participated in the study. This paper concludes with the factor structure of ‘market uncertainty’ having dimensions of uncertainty in industry orientation, uncertainty in customer orientation and uncertainty in marketing orientation.
Equalization Algorithms for MIMO System

In recent years, multi-antenna techniques are being considered as a potential solution to increase the flow of future wireless communication systems. The objective of this article is to study the emission and reception system MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output), and present the different reception decoding techniques. First we will present the least complex technical, linear receivers such as the zero forcing equalizer (ZF) and minimum mean squared error (MMSE). Then a nonlinear technique called ordered successive cancellation of interferences (OSIC) and the optimal detector based on the maximum likelihood criterion (ML), finally, we simulate the associated decoding algorithms for MIMO system such as ZF, MMSE, OSIC and ML, thus a comparison of performance of these algorithms in MIMO context.

Small Scale Solar-Photovoltaic and Wind Pump-Storage Hydroelectric System for Remote Residential Applications
The use of hydroelectric pump-storage system at large scale, MW-size systems, is already widespread around the world. Designed for large scale applications, pump-storage station can be scaled-down for small, remote residential applications. Given the cost and complexity associated with installing a substation further than 100 miles from the main transmission lines, a remote, independent and self-sufficient system is by far the most feasible solution. This article is aiming at the design of wind and solar power generating system, by means of pumped-storage to replace the wind and /or solar power systems with a battery bank energy storage. Wind and solar pumped-storage power generating system can reduce the cost of power generation system, according to the user's electricity load and resource condition and also can ensure system reliability of power supply. Wind and solar pumped-storage power generation system is well suited for remote residential applications with intermittent wind and/or solar energy. This type of power systems, installed in these locations, could be a very good alternative, with economic benefits and positive social effects. The advantage of pumped storage power system, where wind power regulation is calculated, shows that a significant smoothing of the produced power is obtained, resulting in a power-on-demand system’s capability, concomitant to extra economic benefits.
Butene Catalytic Cracking to Propylene over Iron and Phosphorus Modified HZSM-5
HZSM-5 zeolites modified by iron and phosphorus were applied in catalytic cracking of butene. N2 adsorption and NH3-TPD were employed to measure the structure and acidity of catalysts. The results indicate that increasing phosphorus loading decreased surface area, pore volume and strong acidity of catalysts. The addition of phosphorus significantly decreased butene conversion and promoted propylene selectivity. The catalytic performance of catalyst was strongly dependent on the reaction conditions. Appropriate reaction conditions could suppress side reactions and enhance propylene selectivity.
Evaluation of Static Modulus of Elasticity Depending on Concrete Compressive Strength
The paper is focused on monitoring of dependencies of different composition concretes on elastic modulus values. To obtain a summary of elastic modulus development in dependence of concrete composition design variability was the objective of the experiment. Essential part of this work was initiated as a reaction to building practice when questions of elastic moduli arose at the same time and which mostly did not obtain the required and expected values from concrete constructions.
A Study on the Assessment of Prosthetic Infection after Total Knee Replacement Surgery
This study, for its research subjects, uses patients who had undergone total knee replacement surgery from the database of the National Health Insurance Administration. Through the review of literatures and the interviews with physicians, important factors are selected after careful screening. Then using Cross Entropy Method, Genetic Algorithm Logistic Regression, and Particle Swarm Optimization, the weight of each factor is calculated and obtained. In the meantime, Excel VBA and Case Based Reasoning are combined and adopted to evaluate the system. Results show no significant difference found through Genetic Algorithm Logistic Regression and Particle Swarm Optimization with over 97% accuracy in both methods. Both ROC areas are above 0.87. This study can provide critical reference to medical personnel as clinical assessment to effectively enhance medical care quality and efficiency, prevent unnecessary waste, and provide practical advantages to resource allocation to medical institutes.
3D-Printing Plates without “Support”
When printing a plate (or dish) by an FDM 3D printer, the process normally requires support material, which causes several problems. This paper proposes a method for forming thin plates without using wasteful support material. This method requires several extraordinary parameter values when slicing plates. The experiments show that the plates can, for the most part, be successfully formed using a conventional slicer and a 3D printer; however, seams between layers spoil them and the quality of printed objects strongly depends on the slicer.
Effect of Zidovudine on Hematological and Virologic Parameters among Female Sex Workers Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in North – Western Nigeria
Hemoglobin (HB) indicates anemia level and by extension may reflect the nutritional level and perhaps the immunity of an individual. Some antiretroviral drugs like Zidovudine are known to cause anemia in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). A cross sectional study using demographic data and blood specimen from 218 female commercial sex workers attending antiretroviral therapy (ART) clinics was conducted between December, 2009 and July, 2011 to assess the effect of zidovudine on hematologic, and RNA viral load of female sex workers receiving antiretroviral treatment in north western Nigeria. Anemia is a common and serious complication of both HIV infection and its treatment. In the setting of HIV infection, anemia has been associated with decreased quality of life, functional status, and survival. Antiretroviral therapy, particularly the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), has been associated with a decrease in the incidence and severity of anemia in HIV-infected patients who have received a HAART regimen for at least 1 year. In this study, result has shown that of the 218 patients, 26 with hemoglobin count between 5.1 – 10g/dl were observed to have the highest viral load count of 300,000 – 350,000copies/ml. It was also observed that most patients (190) with HB of 10.1 – 15.0g/dl had viral load count of 200,000 – 250,000 copies /ml. An inverse relationship therefore exists i.e. the lower the hemoglobin level, the higher the viral load count even though the test statistics did not show any significance between the two (P = 0.206). This shows that multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that anemia was associated with a CD4 + cell count below 50/μL, female sex workers with a viral load above 100,000 copies/mL, who use zidovudine. Severe anemia was less prevalent in this study population than in historical comparators; however, mild to moderate anemia rates remain high. The study therefore recommends that hematological and virologic parameters be monitored closely in patients receiving first line ART regimen.
Numerical Investigation on Optimizing Fatigue Life in a Lap Joint Structure
Riveting process is one of the important ways to keep fastening the lap joints in aircraft structures. Failure of aircraft lap joints directly depends on the stress field in the joint. An important application of riveting process is in the construction of aircraft fuselage structures. In this paper, a 3D finite element method is carried out in order to optimize residual stress field in a riveted lap joint and also to estimate its fatigue life. In continue, a number of experiments are designed and analyzed using design of experiments (DOE). Then, Taguchi method is used to select an optimized case between different levels of each factor. Besides that, the factor which affects the most on residual stress field is investigated. Such optimized case provides the maximum residual stress field. Fatigue life of the optimized joint is estimated by Paris-Erdogan law. Stress intensity factors (SIFs) are calculated using both finite element analysis and experimental formula. In addition, the effect of residual stress field, geometry and secondary bending are considered in SIF calculation. A good agreement is found between results of such methods. Comparison between optimized fatigue life and fatigue life of other joints has shown an improvement in the joint’s life.
New Security Approach of Confidential Resources in Hybrid Clouds

Nowadays, cloud environments are becoming a need for companies, this new technology gives the opportunities to access to the data anywhere and anytime. It also provides an optimized and secured access to the resources and gives more security for the data which is stored in the platform. However, some companies do not trust Cloud providers, they think that providers can access and modify some confidential data such as bank accounts. Many works have been done in this context, they conclude that encryption methods realized by providers ensure the confidentiality, but, they forgot that Cloud providers can decrypt the confidential resources. The best solution here is to apply some operations on the data before sending them to the provider Cloud in the objective to make them unreadable. The principal idea is to allow user how it can protect his data with his own methods. In this paper, we are going to demonstrate our approach and prove that is more efficient in term of execution time than some existing methods. This work aims at enhancing the quality of service of providers and ensuring the trust of the customers. 

Bone Mineral Density and Trabecular Bone Score in Ukrainian Women with Obesity
Obesity and osteoporosis are the two diseases whose increasing prevalence and high impact on the global morbidity and mortality, during the two recent decades, have gained a status of major health threats worldwide. Obesity purports to affect the bone metabolism through complex mechanisms. Debated data on the connection between the bone mineral density and fracture prevalence in the obese patients are widely presented in literature. There is evidence that the correlation of weight and fracture risk is sitespecific. This study is aimed at determining the connection between the bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) parameters in Ukrainian women suffering from obesity. We examined 1025 40-89-year-old women, divided them into the groups according to their body mass index: Group A included 360 women with obesity whose BMI was ≥30 kg/m2, and Group B – 665 women with no obesity and BMI of
Nonplanar Ion-acoustic Waves in a Relativistically Degenerate Quantum Plasma
Using the quantum hydrodynamic (QHD) model the nonlinear properties of ion-acoustic waves in are lativistically degenerate quantum plasma is investigated by deriving a nonlinear Spherical Kadomtsev–Petviashvili (SKP) equation using the standard reductive perturbation method equation. It was found that the electron degeneracy parameter significantly affects the linear and nonlinear properties of ion-acoustic waves in quantum plasma.
Multipath Routing Protocol Using Basic Reconstruction Routing (BRR) Algorithm in Wireless Sensor Network
A sensory network consists of multiple detection locations called sensor nodes, each of which is tiny, featherweight and portable. A single path routing protocols in wireless sensor network can lead to holes in the network, since only the nodes present in the single path is used for the data transmission. Apart from the advantages like reduced computation, complexity and resource utilization, there are some drawbacks like throughput, increased traffic load and delay in data delivery. Therefore, multipath routing protocols are preferred for WSN. Distributing the traffic among multiple paths increases the network lifetime. We propose a scheme, for the data to be transmitted through a dominant path to save energy. In order to obtain a high delivery ratio, a basic route reconstruction protocol is utilized to reconstruct the path whenever a failure is detected. A basic reconstruction routing (BRR) algorithm is proposed, in which a node can leap over path failure by using the already existing routing information from its neighbourhood while the composed data is transmitted from the source to the sink. In order to save the energy and attain high data delivery ratio, data is transmitted along a multiple path, which is achieved by BRR algorithm whenever a failure is detected. Further, the analysis of how the proposed protocol overcomes the drawback of the existing protocols is presented. The performance of our protocol is compared to AOMDV and energy efficient node-disjoint multipath routing protocol (EENDMRP). The system is implemented using NS-2.34. The simulation results show that the proposed protocol has high delivery ratio with low energy consumption.
Effect of Aquatic and Land Plyometric Training on Selected Physical Fitness Variables in Intercollegiate Male Handball Players
The purpose of the study was to find out the effects of Aquatic and Land plyometric training on selected physical variables in intercollegiate male handball players. To achieve this purpose of the study, forty five handball players of Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat, Gujarat were selected as players at random and their age ranged between 18 to 21 years. The selected players were divided into three equal groups of fifteen players each. Group I underwent Aquatic plyometric training, Group II underwent Land plyometric training and Group III Control group for three days per week for twelve weeks. Control Group did not participate in any special training programme apart from their regular activities as per their curriculum. The following physical fitness variables namely speed; leg explosive power and agility were selected as dependent variables. All the players of three groups were tested on selected dependent variables prior to and immediately after the training programme. The analysis of covariance was used to analyze the significant difference, if any among the groups. Since, three groups were compared, whenever the obtained ‘F’ ratio for adjusted posttest was found to be significant, the Scheffe’s test to find out the paired mean differences, if any. The 0.05 level of confidence was fixed as the level of significance to test the ‘F’ ratio obtained by the analysis of covariance, which was considered as an appropriate. The result of the study indicates due to Aquatic and Land plyometric training on speed, explosive power, and agility has been improved significantly.
The Design of Acoustic Horns for Ultrasonic Aided Tube Double Side Flange Making

Encapsulated O-rings are specifically designed to address the problem of sealing the most hostile chemicals and extreme temperature applications. Ultrasonic vibration hot embossing and ultrasonic welding techniques provide a fast and reliable method to fabricate encapsulated O-ring. This paper performs the design and analysis method of the acoustic horns with double extrusion to process tube double side flange simultaneously. The paper deals with study through Finite Element Method (FEM) of ultrasonic stepped horn used to process a capsulated O-ring, the theoretical dimensions of horns, and their natural frequencies and amplitudes are obtained through the simulations of COMOSOL software. Furthermore, real horns were fabricated, tested and verified to proof the practical utility of these horns. 

Comparison of Number of Waves Surfed and Duration Using Global Positioning System and Inertial Sensors

Surf is an increasingly popular sport and its performance evaluation is often qualitative. This work aims at using a smartphone to collect and analyze the GPS and inertial sensors data in order to obtain quantitative metrics of the surfing performance. Two approaches are compared for detection of wave rides, computing the number of waves rode in a surfing session, the starting time of each wave and its duration. The first approach is based on computing the velocity from the Global Positioning System (GPS) signal and finding the velocity thresholds that allow identifying the start and end of each wave ride. The second approach adds information from the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) of the smartphone, to the velocity thresholds obtained from the GPS unit, to determine the start and end of each wave ride. The two methods were evaluated using GPS and IMU data from two surfing sessions and validated with similar metrics extracted from video data collected from the beach. The second method, combining GPS and IMU data, was found to be more accurate in determining the number of waves, start time and duration. This paper shows that it is feasible to use smartphones for quantification of performance metrics during surfing. In particular, detection of the waves rode and their duration can be accurately determined using the smartphone GPS and IMU. 

Cyber Security in Nigeria: A Collaboration between Communities and Professionals

Security can be defined as the degree of resistance to, or protection from harm. It applies to any vulnerable and valuable assets, such as persons, dwellings, communities, nations or organizations. Cybercrime is any crime committed or facilitated via the Internet. It is any criminal activity involving computers and networks. It can range from fraud to unsolicited emails (spam). It includes the distant theft of government or corporate secrets through criminal trespass into remote systems around the globe. Nigeria like any other nations of the world is currently having her own share of the menace that has been used even as tools by terrorists. This paper is an attempt at presenting cyber security as an issue that requires a coordinated national response. It also acknowledges and advocates the key roles to be played by stakeholders and the importance of forging strong partnerships to prevent and tackle cybercrime in Nigeria. 

Automatic Motion Trajectory Analysis for Dual Human Interaction Using Video Sequences

Advance in techniques of image and video processing has enabled the development of intelligent video surveillance systems. This study was aimed to automatically detect moving human objects and to analyze events of dual human interaction in a surveillance scene. Our system was developed in four major steps: image preprocessing, human object detection, human object tracking, and motion trajectory analysis. The adaptive background subtraction and image processing techniques were used to detect and track moving human objects. To solve the occlusion problem during the interaction, the Kalman filter was used to retain a complete trajectory for each human object. Finally, the motion trajectory analysis was developed to distinguish between the interaction and non-interaction events based on derivatives of trajectories related to the speed of the moving objects. Using a database of 60 video sequences, our system could achieve the classification accuracy of 80% in interaction events and 95% in non-interaction events, respectively. In summary, we have explored the idea to investigate a system for the automatic classification of events for interaction and non-interaction events using surveillance cameras. Ultimately, this system could be incorporated in an intelligent surveillance system for the detection and/or classification of abnormal or criminal events (e.g., theft, snatch, fighting, etc.). 

Real-Time Recognition of Dynamic Hand Postures on a Neuromorphic System

To explore how the brain may recognise objects in its general,accurate and energy-efficient manner, this paper proposes the use of a neuromorphic hardware system formed from a Dynamic Video Sensor (DVS) silicon retina in concert with the SpiNNaker real-time Spiking Neural Network (SNN) simulator. As a first step in the exploration on this platform a recognition system for dynamic hand postures is developed, enabling the study of the methods used in the visual pathways of the brain. Inspired by the behaviours of the primary visual cortex, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are modelled using both linear perceptrons and spiking Leaky Integrate-and-Fire (LIF) neurons. In this study’s largest configuration using these approaches, a network of 74,210 neurons and 15,216,512 synapses is created and operated in real-time using 290 SpiNNaker processor cores in parallel and with 93.0% accuracy. A smaller network using only 1/10th of the resources is also created, again operating in real-time, and it is able to recognise the postures with an accuracy of around 86.4% - only 6.6% lower than the much larger system. The recognition rate of the smaller network developed on this neuromorphic system is sufficient for a successful hand posture recognition system, and demonstrates a much improved cost to performance trade-off in its approach.

Bread Quality Improvement with Special Novel Additives

Presently a significant portion of the Earth's population does not have access to healthy food. Either because they cannot afford it or because they do not know which one are they. The aim of the VII th Framework Chance project (Nr. 266331) supported by the European Union has been to develop relatively cheap food with favourable nutritional value and it should have acceptable quality for consumers. As one task of the project we manufactured bread products as a basic food. We examined the enrichment of bread products with four kinds of bran, with a special milling product of grain industry (aleurone-rich flour) and with a soy-based sprouted additive. The applied concentration of the six mentioned additives has been optimized and the physical properties of the bread products were monitored. The weight/density of the enriched breads increased a bit, however the volume and height decreased slightly compared to the corresponding data of the control bread. The optimized composition of the final product is favourably affected by these additives having highly preferred composition from nutritional point of view.

Viscoelastic Characterization of Bovine Trabecular Bone Samples
Knowledge of bone mechanical properties is important for bone substitutes design and fabrication, and more efficient prostheses development. The aim of this study is to characterize the viscoelastic behavior of bone specimens, through stress relaxation and fatigue tests performed to trabecular bone samples from bovine femoral heads. Relaxation tests consisted on preloading the samples at five different magnitudes and evaluate them for 1020 seconds, adjusting the results to a KWW mathematical model. Fatigue tests consisted of 700 load cycles and analyze their status at the end of the tests. As a conclusion we have that between relaxation stress and each preload there is linear relation and for samples with initial Young´s modulus greater than 1.5 GPa showed no effects due fatigue test loading cycles.
Fluidised Bed Gasification of Multiple Agricultural Biomass Derived Briquettes
Biomass briquette gasification is regarded as a promising route for efficient briquette use in energy generation, fuels and other useful chemicals. However, previous research has been focused on briquette gasification in fixed bed gasifiers such as updraft and downdraft gasifiers. Fluidised bed gasifier has the potential to be effectively sized to medium or large scale. This study investigated the use of fuel briquettes produced from blends of rice husks and corn cobs biomass, in a bubbling fluidised bed gasifier. The study adopted a combination of numerical equations and Aspen Plus simulation software, to predict the product gas (syngas) composition base on briquette density and biomass composition (blend ratio of rice husks to corn cobs). The Aspen Plus model was based on an experimentally validated model from the literature. The results based on a briquette size 32 mm diameter and relaxed density range of 500 to 650kg/m3, indicated that fluidisation air required in the gasifier increased with increase in briquette density, and the fluidisation air showed to be the controlling factor compared with the actual air required for gasification of the biomass briquettes. The mass flowrate of CO2 in the predicted syngas composition increased with an increase in air flow, in the gasifier, while CO decreased and H2 was almost constant. The ratio of H2 to CO for various blends of rice husks and corn cobs did not significantly change at the designed process air, but a significant difference of 1.0 was observed between 10/90 and 90/10 % blend of rice husks and corn cobs.
Machining Stability of a Milling Machine with Different Preloaded Spindle
This study was aimed to investigate the machining stability of a spindle tool with different preloaded amount. To this end, the vibration tests were conducted on the spindle unit with different preload to assess the dynamic characteristics and machining stability of the milling machine. Current results demonstrate that the tool tip frequency response characteristics and the machining stabilities in X and Y direction are affected to change due to the different preload of spindle bearings. As found from the results, a high preloaded spindle tool shows higher limited cutting depth at mid position, while a spindle with low preload shows a higher limited depth. This indicates that the machining stability of a milling machine is affected to vary by the spindle unit when it was assembled with different bearing preload.
Organizational Socialization Levels in Nurses
The research was conducted in order to determine the organizational socialization levels of nurses working in hospitals in the form of a descriptive study. The research population was composed of nurses employed in public and private sector hospitals in the province of Konya with 0-3 years of professional experience in the hospitals (N=1200); and the sample was composed of 495 nurses that accepted to take part in the study voluntarily. Statistical evaluation of data was conducted in SPSS.16 software. The results of the study revealed that the total score taken by nurses at the organizational socialization scale was 262.95; and this was close to the maximum score. Particularly the departmental socialization sub-dimension proved to be higher in comparison to the other two dimensions (organization socialization and task socialization). Statistically meaningful differences were found in the levels of organization socialization in relation to the status of organizational orientation training, level of education and age group.
Cissampelos capensis Rhizome Extract Induces Intracellular ROS Production, Capacitation and DNA Fragmentation in Human Spermatozoa
More than 3000 plants of notable phyto-therapeutic value grow in South Africa; these include Cissampelos capensis, commonly known in Afrikaans as dawidjie or dawidjiewortel. C. capensis is the most significant and popular medicinal plant used by the Khoisan as well as other rural groups in the Western region of South Africa. Its rhizomes are traditionally used to treat male fertility problems. Yet, no studies have investigated the effects of this plant or its extracts on human spermatozoa. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the effects of C. capensis rhizome extract (CRE) fractions on ejaculated human spermatozoa in vitro. Spermatozoa from a total of 77 semen samples were washed with human tubular fluid medium supplemented with bovine serum albumin (HTF-BSA) and incubated for 2 hours with 20 μg/ml progesterone (P4) followed by incubation with different concentrations (0, 0.05, 0.5, 5, 50, 200 μg/ml) of fractionated CRE (F1=0% MeOH, F2=30% MeOH, F3=60% MeOH and F4=100% MeOH) for 1.5 hours at 37°C. A sample without addition of CRE fractions served as control. Samples were analyzed for sperm motility, reactive oxygen species (ROS), DNA-fragmentation, acrosome reaction and capacitation. Results showed that F1 resulted in significantly higher values for ROS, capacitation and hyper-activation compared to F2, F3, and F4 with P4-stimulated samples generally having higher values. No significant effect was found for the other parameters. In conclusion, alkaloids present in F1 of CRE appear to have triggered sperm intrinsic ROS production leading to sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction induced by P4.
Comparison of Processing Conditions for Plasticized PVC and PVB
It is the worldwide problem that the recycled PVB is not recycled and it is wildly stored in landfills. However, PVB has similar chemical properties such as PVC. Moreover, both of these polymers are plasticized. Therefore, the study of thermal properties of plasticized PVC and the recycled PVB obtained by recycling of windshields is carried out. This work has done in order to find nondegradable processing conditions applicable for both polymers. Tested PVC contained 38% of plasticizer diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and PVB was plasticized with 28% of triethylene glycol, bis(2-ethylhexanoate) (3GO). The thermal and thermo-oxidative decomposition of both vinyl polymers are compared by calorimetric analysis and by tensile strength analysis.
Numerical Simulation of Free Surface Water Wave for the Flow around NACA 0012 Hydrofoil and Wigley Hull Using VOF Method
Steady three-dimensional and two free surface waves generated by moving bodies are presented, the flow problem to be simulated is rich in complexity and poses many modeling challenges because of the existence of breaking waves around the ship hull, and because of the interaction of the two-phase flow with the turbulent boundary layer. The results of several simulations are reported. The first study was performed for NACA0012 of hydrofoil with different meshes, this section is analyzed at h/c= 1, 0345 for 2D. In the second simulation a mathematically defined Wigley hull form is used to investigate the application of a commercial CFD code in prediction of the total resistance and its components from tangential and normal forces on the hull wetted surface. The computed resistance and wave profiles are used to estimate the coefficient of the total resistance for Wigley hull advancing in calm water under steady conditions. The commercial CFD software FLUENT version 12 is used for the computations in the present study. The calculated grid is established using the code computer GAMBIT 2.3.26. The shear stress k-ωSST model is used for turbulence modeling and the volume of fluid technique is employed to simulate the free-surface motion. The second order upwind scheme is used for discretizing the convection terms in the momentum transport equations, the Modified HRIC scheme for VOF discretization. The results obtained compare well with the experimental data.
The Catalytic Activity of Cu2O Microparticles
Copper (I) oxide microparticles with the morphology of cubic and hollow sphere were synthesized with the assistance of surfactant as the shape controller. Both particles were then subjected to study the catalytic activity and observed the results of shape effects of catalysts on rate of catalytic reaction. The decolorizing reaction of crystal violet and sodium hydroxide was chosen and measured the decreasing of reactant with respect to times using spectrophotometer. The result revealed that morphology of crystal had no effect on the catalytic activity for crystal violet reaction but contributed to total surface area predominantly.
Numerical Simulation of Free Surface Water Wave for the Flow around NACA 0012 Hydrofoil and Wigley Hull Using VOF Method
Steady three-dimensional and two free surface waves generated by moving bodies are presented, the flow problem to be simulated is rich in complexity and poses many modeling challenges because of the existence of breaking waves around the ship hull, and because of the interaction of the two-phase flow with the turbulent boundary layer. The results of several simulations are reported. The first study was performed for NACA0012 of hydrofoil with different meshes, this section is analyzed at h/c= 1, 0345 for 2D. In the second simulation a mathematically defined Wigley hull form is used to investigate the application of a commercial CFD code in prediction of the total resistance and its components from tangential and normal forces on the hull wetted surface. The computed resistance and wave profiles are used to estimate the coefficient of the total resistance for Wigley hull advancing in calm water under steady conditions. The commercial CFD software FLUENT version 12 is used for the computations in the present study. The calculated grid is established using the code computer GAMBIT 2.3.26. The shear stress k-ωSST model is used for turbulence modeling and the volume of fluid technique is employed to simulate the free-surface motion. The second order upwind scheme is used for discretizing the convection terms in the momentum transport equations, the Modified HRIC scheme for VOF discretization. The results obtained compare well with the experimental data.
Effects of Boron Compounds in Rabbits Fed High Protein and Energy Diet: A Metabolomic and Transcriptomic Approach
Current research is targeting new molecular mechanisms that underlie non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and associated metabolic disorders like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Forty New Zealand White rabbits have been used and fed a high protein (HP) and energy diet based on grains and containing 11.76 MJ/kg. Boron added to 3 experimental groups’ drinking waters (30 mg boron/L) as boron compounds. Biochemical analysis including boron levels, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) based metabolomics evaluation, and mRNA expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) family was performed. LDLcholesterol concentrations alone were decreased in all the experimental groups. Boron levels in serum and feces were increased. Content of acetate was in about 2x higher for anhydrous borax group, at least 3x higher for boric acid group. PPARα mRNA expression was significantly decreased in boric acid group. Anhydrous borax attenuated mRNA levels of PPARγ, which was further suppressed by boric acid. Boron supplementation decreased the degenerative alterations in hepatocytes. Except borax group other boron groups did not have a pronounced change in tubular epithels of kidney. In conclusion, high protein and energy diet leads hepatocytes’ degenerative changes which can be prevented by boron supplementation. Boric acid seems to be more effective in this situation.
Design Optimisation of Compound Parabolic Concentrator (CPC) for Improved Performance
A compound parabolic concentrator (CPC) is a wellknown non-imaging concentrator that will concentrate the solar radiation onto receiver (PV cell). One of disadvantage of CPC is has tall and narrow height compared to its diameter entry aperture area. Therefore, for economic reason, a truncation had been done by removed from the top of the full height CPC. This also will lead to the decreases of concentration ratio but it will be negligible. In this paper, the flux distribution of untruncated and truncated 2-D hollow compound parabolic trough concentrator (hCPTC) design is presented. The untruncated design has initial height H=193.4mm with concentration ratio C_(2-D)=4. This paper presents the optical simulation of compound parabolic trough concentrator using raytracing software TracePro. Results showed that, after the truncation, the height of CPC reduced 45% from initial height with the geometrical concentration ratio only decrease 10%. Thus, the cost of reflector and material dielectric usage can be saved especially at manufacturing site.
Prioritising the TQM Enablers and IT Resources in the ICT Industry: An AHP Approach
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a managerial approach that improves the competitiveness of the industry, meanwhile Information technology (IT) was introduced with TQM for handling the technical issues which is supported by quality experts for fulfilling the customers’ requirement. Present paper aims to utilise AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) methodology to priorities and rank the hierarchy levels of TQM enablers and IT resource together for its successful implementation in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry. A total of 17 TQM enablers (nine) and IT resources (eight) were identified and partitioned into 3 categories and were prioritised by AHP approach. The finding indicates that the 17 sub-criteria can be grouped into three main categories namely organizing, tools and techniques, and culture and people. Further, out of 17 sub-criteria, three sub-criteria: top management commitment and support, total employee involvement, and continuous improvement got highest priority whereas three sub-criteria such as structural equation modelling, culture change, and customer satisfaction got lowest priority. The result suggests a hierarchy model for ICT industry to prioritise the enablers and resources as well as to improve the TQM and IT performance in the ICT industry. This paper has some managerial implication which suggests the managers of ICT industry to implement TQM and IT together in their organizations to get maximum benefits and how to utilize available resources. At the end, conclusions, limitation, future scope of the study are presented.
Characterization and Predictors of Community Integration of People with Psychiatric Problems: Comparisons with the General Population
Community integration is a construct that an increasing body of research has shown to have a significant impact on the wellbeing and recovery of people with psychiatric problems. However, there are few studies that explore which factors can be associated and predict community integration. Moreover, community integration has been mostly studied in minority groups, and current literature on the definition and manifestation of community integration in the general population is scarcer. Thus, the current study aims to characterize community integration and explore possible predictor variables in a sample of participants with psychiatric problems (PP, N=183) and a sample of participants from the general population (GP, N=211). Results show that people with psychiatric problems present above average values of community integration, but are significantly lower than their healthy counterparts. It was also possible to observe that community integration does not vary in terms of the sociodemographic characteristics of both groups in this study. Correlation and multiple regression showed that, among several variables that literature present as relevant in the community integration process, only three variables emerged as having the most explanatory value in community integration of both groups: sense of community, basic needs satisfaction and submission. These results also shown that those variables have increased explanatory power in the PP sample, which leads us to emphasize the need to address this issue in future studies and increase the understanding of the factors that can be involved in the promotion of community integration, in order to devise more effective interventions in this field.
Characterization and Predictors of Paranoid Ideation in Youths
Paranoid ideation is a common thought process that constitutes a defense against perceived social threats. The current study aimed at the characterization of paranoid ideation in youths and to explore the possible predictors involved in the development of paranoid ideations. Paranoid ideation, shame, submission, early childhood memories and current depressive, anxious and stress symptomatology were assessed in a sample of 1516 Portuguese youths. Higher frequencies of paranoid ideation were observed, particularly in females and youths from lower socioeconomic status. The main predictors identified relates to submissive behaviors and adverse childhood experiences, and especially to shame feelings. The current study emphasizes that the these predictors are similar to findings in adults and clinical populations, and future implications to research and clinical practice aiming at paranoid ideations are discussed, as well as the pertinence of the study of mediating factors that allow a wider understanding of this thought process in younger populations and the prevention of psychopathology in adulthood.
The Different Roles between Sodium and Potassium Ions in Ion Exchange of WO3/SiO2 Catalysts
WO3/SiO2 catalysts were modified by an ion exchange method with sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide solution. The performance of the modified catalysts was tested in the metathesis of ethylene and trans-2-butene to propylene. During ion exchange, sodium and potassium ions played different roles. Sodium modified catalysts revealed constant trans-2-butene conversion and propylene selectivity when the concentrations of sodium in the solution were varied. In contrast, potassium modified catalysts showed reduction of the conversion and increase of the selectivity. From these results, potassium hydroxide may affect the transformation of tungsten oxide active species, resulting in the decrease in conversion whereas sodium hydroxide did not. Moreover, the modification of catalysts by this method improved the catalyst stability by lowering the amount of coke deposited on the catalyst surface.
The Adoption of Process Management for Accounting Information Systems in Thailand
Information Quality (IQ) has become a critical, strategic issue in Accounting Information Systems (AIS) adoption. In order to implement AIS adoption successfully, it is important to consider the quality of information use throughout the adoption process, which seriously impacts the effectiveness of AIS adoption practice and the optimisation of AIS adoption decisions. There is a growing need for research to provide insights into issues and solutions related to IQ in AIS adoption. The need for an integrated approach to improve IQ in AIS adoption, as well as the unique characteristics of accounting data, demands an AIS adoption specific IQ framework. This research aims to explore ways of managing information quality and AIS adoption to investigate the relationship between the IQ issues and AIS adoption process. This study has led to the development of a framework for understanding IQ management in AIS adoption. This research was done on 44 respondents as ten organisations from manufacturing firms in Thailand. The findings of the research’s empirical evidence suggest that IQ dimensions in AIS adoption to provide assistance in all process of decision making. This research provides empirical evidence that information quality of AIS adoption affect decision making and suggests that these variables should be considered in adopting AIS in order to improve the effectiveness of AIS.
The Determination of the Potassium Nitrate, Sodium Hydroxide and Boric Acid Molar Ratio in the Synthesis of Potassium Borates via Hydrothermal Method
Potassium borates, which are widely used in welding and metal refining industry, as a lubricating oil additive, cement additive, fiberglass additive and insulation compound, are one of the important groups of borate minerals. In this study the production of a potassium borate mineral via hydrothermal method is aimed. The potassium source of potassium nitrate (KNO3) was used along with a sodium source of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and boron source of boric acid (H3BO3). The constant parameters of reaction temperature and reaction time were determined as 80°C and 1 h, respectively. The molar ratios of 1:1:3 (as KNO3:NaOH:H3BO3), 1:1:4, 1:1:5, 1:1:6 and 1:1:7 were used. Following the synthesis the identifications of the produced products were conducted by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) and Raman Spectroscopy. The results of the experiments and analysis showed in the ratio of 1:1:6, the Santite mineral with powder diffraction file number (pdf no.) of 01-072-1688, which is known as potassium pentaborate (KB5O8·4H2O) was synthesized as best.
Challenges in Anti-Counterfeiting of Cyber-Physical Systems
This paper examines the system protection for cyber-physical systems (CPS). CPS are particularly characterized by their networking system components. This means they are able to adapt to the needs of their users and its environment. With this ability, CPS have new, specific requirements on the protection against anti-counterfeiting, know-how loss and manipulation. They increase the requirements on system protection because piracy attacks can be more diverse, for example because of an increasing number of interfaces or through the networking abilities. The new requirements were identified and in a next step matched with existing protective measures. Due to the found gap the development of new protection measures has to be forced to close this gap. Moreover a comparison of the effectiveness between selected measures was realized and the first results are presented in this paper.
Bond-Slip Response of Reinforcing Bars Embedded in High Performance Fiber Reinforced Cement Composites
This paper presents the results of an experimental study undertaken to evaluate the local bond stress-slip response of short embedment of reinforcing bars in normal concrete (NC) and high performance fiber reinforced cement composites (HPFRCC) blocks. Long embedment was investigated as well to gain insights on the distribution of strain, slip, bar stress and bond stress along the bar especially in post-yield range. A total of 12 specimens were tested, by means of pull-out of the reinforcing bars from concrete blocks. It was found that the enhancement of local bond strength can be reached up to 50% and ductility of the bond behavior was improved significantly if HPFRCC is used. Also, under a constant strain at loaded end, HPFRCC has delayed yielding of bars at other location from the loaded end. Hence, the reduction of bond stress was slower for HPFRCC in comparison with NC. Due to the same reason, the total slips at loaded end for HPFRCC was smaller than NC as expected. Test results indicated that HPFRCC has better bond slip behavior which makes it a suitable material to be employed in anchorage zone such as beam-column joints.
The Study of Magnetic and Transport Properties in Normal State Eu1.85+yCe0.15-yCu1-yFeyO4+α-δ
The effect of partially substitution of magnetic impurity Fe for Cu to the magnetic and transport properties in electron-doped superconducting cuprates of Eu1.85+yCe0.15-yCu1-yFeyO4+α-δ (ECCFO) with y = 0, 0.010, 0.020, and 0.050 has been studied, in order to investigate the mechanism of magnetic and transport properties of ECCFO in normal-state. Magnetic properties are investigated by DC magnetic-susceptibility measurements that carried out at low temperatures down to 2 K using a standard SQUID magnetometer in a magnetic field of 5 Oe on field cooling. Transport properties addressed to electron mobility, are extracted from radius of electron localization calculated from temperature dependence of resistivity. For y = 0, temperature dependence of dc magnetic-susceptibility (χ) indicated the change of magnetic behavior from paramagnetic to diamagnetic below 15 K. Above 15 K, all samples show paramagnetic behavior with the values of magnetic moment in every volume unit increased with increasing y. Electron mobility decreased with increasing y.
How to Affect Brand Attitude with Authenticity in Advertising
Authenticity in advertising is the cornerstone of modern marketing. Despite research advances related to the role of authenticity in marketing, it remains unclear why customers respond to authentic brand stories. The results show that different personality traits will moderate the influence of different authenticity on the levels of emotion. Whether indexically authentic or iconically authentic advertisements were shown to extroverts, open people and agreeable people, they will evoke more positive emotions. When neurotic people and conscientious people see the iconically authentic advertising rather than the indexically authentic advertising, they will produce more negative emotions. In addition, the emotion evoked by advertising had significant positive impact on brand attitude evoked by advertising had significant negative impact on brand attitude. These findings provide some managerial implications and directions for further research.
A Comprehensive CFD Model for Sugar-Cane Bagasse Heterogeneous Combustion in a Grate Boiler System
The comprehensive CFD models have been used to represent and study the heterogeneous combustion of biomass. In the present work, the operation of a global flue gas circuit in the sugarcane bagasse combustion, from wind boxes below primary air grate supply, passing by bagasse insertion in swirl burners and boiler furnace, to boiler bank outlet is simulated. It uses five different meshes representing each part of this system located in sequence: wind boxes and grate, boiler furnace, swirl burners, superheaters and boiler bank. The model considers turbulence using standard k-ε, combustion using EDM, radiation heat transfer using DTM with 16 ray directions and bagasse particle tracking represented by Schiller- Naumann model. The results showed good agreement with expected behavior found in literature and equipment design. The more detailed results view in separated parts of flue gas system allows observing some flow behaviors that cannot be represented by usual simplifications like bagasse supply under homogeneous axial and rotational vectors and others that can be represented using new considerations like the representation of 26 thousand grate orifices by 144 rectangular inlets.
Forms of Social Quality Mobilization in Suburban Communities of a Changing World
This article is to introduce the meaning and form of social quality moving process as indicated by members of two suburb communities with different social and cultural contexts. The form of social quality moving process is very significant for the community and social development, because it will make the people living together with sustainable happiness. This is a qualitative study involving 30 key-informants from two suburb communities. Data were collected though key-informant interviews, and analyzed using logical content description and descriptive statistics. This research found that on the social quality component, the people in both communities stressed the procedure for social qualitymaking. This includes the generousness, sharing and assisting among people in the communities. These practices helped making people to live together with sustainable happiness. Living as a family or appear to be a family is the major social characteristic of these two communities. This research also found that form of social quality’s moving process of both communities stress relation of human and nature; “nature overpower humans” paradigm and influence of religious doctrine that emphasizes relations among humans. Both criteria make the form of social’s moving process simple, adaptive to nature and caring for opinion sharing and understanding among each other before action. This form of social quality’s moving process is composed of 4 steps; (1) awareness building, (2) motivation to change, (3) participation from every party which is concerned (4) self-reliance.
The Impact of Change Management on Employee Satisfaction and Engagement
The main purpose of this study was to figure out employees’ attitudes toward the new performance appraisal program and to examine whether three different types of appraisal processes differentially affected job satisfaction and employee engagement. The second purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between performance appraisal reform, job satisfaction, and employee engagement. A large polyester and textile corporation had 2046 non-operational employees in February 2014. The valid participants were 1474 (72.04%) in this study. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, one-way MANOVA, Pearson correlation, Content Validity Index, the exploratory factor analysis, and reliability analysis. The general results showed that employees who received the new performance appraisal program evaluated the program more positively and showed more job satisfaction than those who did not. In particular, the implementation effects of this new performance appraisal program were most highly rated by employees who used the KPI to rate their job performance. Moreover, employees’ attitudes toward the new performance appraisal program were positively related to their job satisfaction and employee engagement. Lastly, most employees regarded themselves as engaged workers. To sum up, the HR department of this company has made an effective contribution to performance appraisal reforms.
Hallucinatory Activity in Schizophrenia: The Relationship with Childhood Memories, Submissive Behavior, Social Comparison, and Depression
Auditory hallucinations among the most invalidating and distressing experiences reported by patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, leading to feelings of powerlessness and helplessness towards their illness. In more severe cases, these auditory hallucinations can take the form of commanding voices, which are often related to high suicidality rates in these patients. Several authors propose that the meanings attributed to the hallucinatory experience, rather than characteristics like form and content, can be determinant in patients’ reactions to hallucinatory activity, particularly in the case of voice-hearing experiences. In this study, 48 patients diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia presenting auditory hallucinations were studied. Multiple regression analyses were computed to study the influence of several developmental aspects, such as family and social dynamics, bullying, depression, and sociocognitive variables on the auditory hallucinations, on patients’ attributions and relationships with their voices, and on the resulting invalidation of hallucinatory experience. Overall, results showed how relationships with voices can mirror several aspects of interpersonal relationship with others, and how self-schemas, depression and actual social relationships help shaping the voice-hearing experience. Early experiences of victimization and submission help predict the attributions of omnipotence of the voices, and increased hostility from parents seems to increase the malevolence of the voices, suggesting that socio-cognitive factors can significantly contribute to the etiology and maintenance of auditory hallucinations. The understanding of the characteristics of auditory hallucinations and the relationships patients established with their voices can allow the development of more promising therapeutic interventions that can be more effective in decreasing invalidation caused by this devastating mental illness.
Motor Imagery Based Brain-Computer Interface for Cerebellar Impaired Patients
Cerebellar ataxia is a steadily progressive neurodegenerative disease associated with loss of motor control, leaving patients unable to walk, talk, or perform activities of daily living. Direct motor instruction in cerebella ataxia patients has limited effectiveness, presumably because an inappropriate closed-loop cerebellar response to the inevitable observed error confounds motor learning mechanisms. Could the use of EEG based BCI provide advanced biofeedback to improve motor imagery and provide a “backdoor” to improving motor performance in ataxia patients? In order to determine the feasibility of using EEG-based BCI control in this population, we compare the ability to modulate mu-band power (8-12 Hz) by performing a cued motor imagery task in an ataxia patient and healthy control.
Empirical Mode Decomposition Based Multiscale Analysis of Physiological Signal
We present a refined multiscale Shannon entropy for analyzing electroencephalogram (EEG), which reflects the underlying dynamics of EEG over multiple scales. The rationale behind this method is that neurological signals such as EEG possess distinct dynamics over different spectral modes. To deal with the nonlinear and nonstationary nature of EEG, the recently developed empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is incorporated, allowing a decomposition of EEG into its inherent spectral components, referred to as intrinsic mode functions (IMFs). By calculating the Shannon entropy of IMFs in a time-dependent manner and summing them over adaptive multiple scales, it results in an adaptive subscale entropy measure of EEG. Simulation and experimental results show that the proposed entropy properly reveals the dynamical changes over multiple scales.
Comparative Study between Classical P-Q Method and Modern Fuzzy Controller Method to Improve the Power Quality of an Electrical Network
This article presents two methods for the compensation of harmonics generated by a nonlinear load. The first is the classic method P-Q. The second is the controller by modern method of artificial intelligence specifically fuzzy logic. Both methods are applied to a shunt Active Power Filter (sAPF) based on a three-phase voltage converter at five levels NPC topology. In calculating the harmonic currents of reference, we use the algorithm P-Q and pulse generation, we use the intersective PWM. For flexibility and dynamics, we use fuzzy logic. The results give us clear that the rate of Harmonic Distortion issued by fuzzy logic is better than P-Q.
A New Authenticable Steganographic Method via the Use of Numeric Data on Public Websites
A new steganographic method via the use of numeric data on public websites with a self-authentication capability is proposed. The proposed technique transforms a secret message into partial shares by Shamir’s (k, n)-threshold secret sharing scheme with n = k + 1. The generated k+1 partial shares then are embedded into the numeric items to be disguised as part of the website’s numeric content, yielding the stego numeric content. Afterward, a receiver links to the website and extracts every k shares among the k+1 ones from the stego numeric content to compute k+1 copies of the secret, and the phenomenon of value consistency of the computed k+1 copies is taken as an evidence to determine whether the extracted message is authentic or not, attaining the goal of self-authentication of the extracted secret message. Experimental results and discussions are provided to show the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method.
Childrearing Styles and Family Communication Patterns among University Students
Family is a basic unit of the society and the main source of human development. The initial aim of the family is psychological and social support of its members and has special developmental stages. Researches show the families who have less cohesion, have more conflicts and maladjustments and the members of such families are not able to communicate effectively. Family is a system in which any inter communication is related to child rearing patterns and can affect it. Even the child rearing styles in childhood can determine the family communications in adulthood. Therefore, the aim of the present research was to examine the relationship between child-rearing styles including authoritative, authoritarian and permissive with dimensions of family communication patterns including the conversation and conformity. The research design was a correlational and the population consisted of the psychology students of Roudehen Islamic Azad University who were studying in academic year 2013-2014. A sample of 324 students was selected randomly from the population. The research tools were the Baumrind Child-rearing Questionnaires and Family Communication Patterns Inventory, The Revised Scale of Koerner and Fitzpatrick. The result was as below: (a) there was a positive and significant relationship between conversation orientation and authoritative style. (b) There was no significant relationship between conversation orientation and other child-rearing styles. (c) There was a negative significant relationship between conformity orientation and authoritative style. (d) There was a positive significant relationship between conformity orientation with authoritarian and permissive styles. (e) There was a significant relationship between 3 dimensions of child-rearing and communication patterns.
Multi-Channel Information Fusion in C-OTDR Monitoring Systems: Various Approaches to Classify of Targeted Events
The paper presents new results concerning selection of optimal information fusion formula for ensembles of C-OTDR channels. The goal of information fusion is to create an integral classificator designed for effective classification of seismoacoustic target events. The LPBoost (LP-β and LP-B variants), the Multiple Kernel Learning, and Weighing of Inversely as Lipschitz Constants (WILC) approaches were compared. The WILC is a brand new approach to optimal fusion of Lipschitz Classifiers Ensembles. Results of practical usage are presented.
Modernization of the Economic Price Adjustment Software
The US Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) measures hundreds of items in the US economy. Many social programs and government benefits index to the CPIs. The purpose of this project is to modernize an existing process. This paper will show the development of a small, visual, software product that documents the Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) for longterm contracts. The existing workbook does not provide the flexibility to calculate EPAs where the base-month and the option-month are different. Nor does the workbook provide automated error checking. The small, visual, software product provides the additional flexibility and error checking. This paper presents the feedback to project.
Choosing between the Regression Correlation, the Rank Correlation, and the Correlation Curve
This paper presents a rank correlation curve. The traditional correlation coefficient is valid for both continuous variables and for integer variables using rank statistics. Since the correlation coefficient has already been established in rank statistics by Spearman, such a calculation can be extended to the correlation curve. This paper presents two survey questions. The survey collected non-continuous variables. We will show weak to moderate correlation. Obviously, one question has a negative effect on the other. A review of the qualitative literature can answer which question and why. The rank correlation curve shows which collection of responses has a positive slope and which collection of responses has a negative slope. Such information is unavailable from the flat, ”first-glance” correlation statistics.
Symbiotic Organism Search (SOS) for Solving the Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem
This paper introduces symbiotic organism search (SOS) for solving capacitated vehicle routing problem (CVRP). SOS is a new approach in metaheuristics fields and never been used to solve discrete problems. A sophisticated decoding method to deal with a discrete problem setting in CVRP is applied using the basic symbiotic organism search (SOS) framework. The performance of the algorithm was evaluated on a set of benchmark instances and compared results with best known solution. The computational results show that the proposed algorithm can produce good solution as a preliminary testing. These results indicated that the proposed SOS can be applied as an alternative to solve the capacitated vehicle routing problem.
The Effect of the Side-Weir Crest Height to Scour in Clay-Sand Mixed Sediments
Experimental studies to investigate the depth of the scour conducted at a side-weir intersection located at the 1800 curved flume which located Hydraulic Laboratory of Yıldız Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey. Side weirs were located at the middle of the straight part of the main channel. Three different lengths (25, 40 and 50 cm) and three different weir crest height (7, 10 and 12 cm) of the side weir placed on the side weir station. There is no scour when the material is only kaolin. Therefore, the cohesive bed was prepared by properly mixing clay material (kaolin) with 31% sand in all experiments. Following 24h consolidation time, in order to observe the effect of flow intensity on the scour depth, experiments were carried out for five different upstream Froude numbers in the range of 0.33-0.81. As a result of this study the relation between scour depth and upstream flow intensity as a function of time have been established. The longitudinal velocities decreased along the side weir; towards the downstream due to overflow over the side-weirs. At the beginning, the scour depth increases rapidly with time and then asymptotically approached constant values in all experiments for all side weir dimensions as in non-cohesive sediment. Thus, the scour depth reached equilibrium conditions. Time to equilibrium depends on the approach flow intensity and the dimensions of side weirs. For different heights of the weir crest, dimensionless scour depths increased with increasing upstream Froude number. Equilibrium scour depths which formed 7 cm side-weir crest height were obtained higher than that of the 12 cm side-weir crest height. This means when side-weir crest height increased equilibrium scour depths decreased. Although the upstream side of the scour hole is almost vertical, the downstream side of the hole is inclined.
Semi-Automated Tracking of Vibrissal Movements in Free-Moving Rodents Captured by High-Speed Videos
Quantitative analyses of whisker movements provide a means to study functional recovery and regeneration of mouse facial nerve after an injury. However, accurate tracking of the mouse whisker movement is challenging. Most methods for whisker tracking require manual intervention, e.g. fixing the head of the mouse during a study. Here we describe a semi-automated image processing method, which is applied to high-speed video recordings of free-moving mice to track the whisker movements. We first track the head movement of a mouse by delineating the lower head contour frame-by-frame that allows for detection of the location and orientation of the head. Then, a region of interest is identified for each frame; the subsequent application of a mask and the Hough transform detects the selected whiskers on each side of the head. Our approach is used to examine the functional recovery of damaged facial nerves in mice over a course of 21 days.
Demographics Are Not Enough: Targeting and Segmentation of Anti-Obesity Campaigns in Mexico
Mass media campaigns against obesity are often designed to impact large audiences. This usually means that their audience is defined based on general demographic characteristics like age, gender, occupation etc., not taking into account psychographics like behavior, motivations, wants, etc. Using psychographics, as the base for the audience segmentation, is a common practice in case of successful campaigns, as it allows developing more relevant messages. It also serves a purpose of identifying key segments, those that generate the best return on investment. For a health campaign, that would be segments that have the best chance of being converted into healthy lifestyle at the lowest cost. This paper presents the limitations of the demographic targeting, based on the findings from the reception study of IMSS (Mexican Social Security Institute) antiobesity TV commercials and proposes mothers as the first level of segmentation, in the process of identifying the key segment for these campaigns.
The Nature of the Complicated Fabric Textures: How to Represent in Primary Visual Cortex
Fabric textures are very common in our daily life. However, the representation of fabric textures has never been explored from neuroscience view. Theoretical studies suggest that primary visual cortex (V1) uses a sparse code to efficiently represent natural images. However, how the simple cells in V1 encode the artificial textures is still a mystery. So, here we will take fabric texture as stimulus to study the response of independent component analysis that is established to model the receptive field of simple cells in V1. We choose 140 types of fabrics to get the classical fabric textures as materials. Experiment results indicate that the receptive fields of simple cells have obvious selectivity in orientation, frequency and phase when drifting gratings are used to determine their tuning properties. Additionally, the distribution of optimal orientation and frequency shows that the patch size selected from each original fabric image has a significant effect on the frequency selectivity.
(Anti)Depressant Effects of Non-Steroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs in Mice
Purpose: The study aimed to assess the depressant or antidepressant effects of several Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) in mice: the selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor meloxicam, and the non-selective COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors lornoxicam, sodium metamizole, and ketorolac. The current literature data regarding such effects of these agents are scarce. Materials and methods: The study was carried out on NMRI mice weighing 20-35 g, kept in a standard laboratory environment. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy „Carol Davila”, Bucharest. The study agents were injected intraperitoneally, 10 mL/kg body weight (bw) 1 hour before the assessment of the locomotor activity by cage testing (n=10 mice/ group) and 2 hours before the forced swimming tests (n=15). The study agents were dissolved in normal saline (meloxicam, sodium metamizole), ethanol 11.8% v/v in normal saline (ketorolac), or water (lornoxicam), respectively. Negative and positive control agents were also given (amitryptilline in the forced swimming test). The cage floor used in the locomotor activity assessment was divided into 20 equal 10 cm squares. The forced swimming test involved partial immersion of the mice in cylinders (15/9cm height/diameter) filled with water (10 cm depth at 28C), where they were left for 6 minutes. The cage endpoint used in the locomotor activity assessment was the number of treaded squares. Four endpoints were used in the forced swimming test (immobility latency for the entire 6 minutes, and immobility, swimming, and climbing scores for the final 4 minutes of the swimming session), recorded by an observer that was „blinded” to the experimental design. The statistical analysis used the Levene test for variance homogeneity, ANOVA and post-hoc analysis as appropriate, Tukey or Tamhane tests. Results: No statistically significant increase or decrease in the number of treaded squares was seen in the locomotor activity assessment of any mice group. In the forced swimming test, amitryptilline showed an antidepressant effect in each experiment, at the 10 mg/kg bw dosage. Sodium metamizole was depressant at 100 mg/kg bw (increased the immobility score, p=0.049, Tamhane test), but not in lower dosages as well (25 and 50 mg/kg bw). Ketorolac showed an antidepressant effect at the intermediate dosage of 5 mg/kg bw, but not so in the dosages of 2.5 and 10 mg/kg bw, respectively (increased the swimming score, p=0.012, Tamhane test). Meloxicam and lornoxicam did not alter the forced swimming endpoints at any dosage level. Discussion: 1) Certain NSAIDs caused changes in the forced swimming patterns without interfering with locomotion. 2) Sodium metamizole showed a depressant effect, whereas ketorolac proved antidepressant. Conclusion: NSAID-induced mood changes are not class effects of these agents and apparently are independent of the type of inhibited cyclooxygenase (COX-1 or COX-2). Disclosure: This paper was co-financed from the European Social Fund, through the Sectorial Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013, project number POSDRU /159 /1.5 /S /138907 "Excellence in scientific interdisciplinary research, doctoral and postdoctoral, in the economic, social and medical fields -EXCELIS", coordinator The Bucharest University of Economic Studies.
Development and Validation of the Response to Stressful Situations Scale in the General Population
The aim of the current study was to develop and validate a Response to Stressful Situations Scale (RSSS) for the Portuguese population. This scale assesses the degree of stress experienced in scenarios that can constitute positive, negative and more neutral stressors, and also describes the physiological, emotional and behavioral reactions to those events according to their intensity. These scenarios include typical stressor scenarios relevant to patients with schizophrenia, which are currently absent from most scales, assessing specific risks that these stressors may bring on subjects, which may prove useful in non-clinical and clinical populations (i.e. Patients with mood or anxiety disorders, schizophrenia). Results from Principal Components Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis of two adult samples from general population allowed to confirm a three-factor model with good fit indices: χ2 (144)= 370.211, p = 0.000; GFI = 0.928; CFI = 0.927; TLI = 0.914, RMSEA = 0.055, P(rmsea ≤0.005) = .096; PCFI = .781. Further data analysis of the scale revealed that RSSS is an adequate assessment tool of stress response in adults to be used in further research and clinical settings, with good psychometric characteristics, adequate divergent and convergent validity, good temporal stability and high internal consistency.
A New OvS Approach in an Assembly Line Balancing Problem
One of the most famous techniques which affect the efficiency of a production line is the assembly line balancing (ALB) technique. This paper examines the balancing effect of a whole production line of a real auto glass manufacturer in three steps. In the first step, processing time of each activity in the workstations is generated according to a practical approach. In the second step, the whole production process is simulated and the bottleneck stations have been identified, and finally in the third step, several improvement scenarios are generated to optimize the system throughput, and the best one is proposed. The main contribution of the current research is the proposed framework which combines two famous approaches including Assembly Line Balancing and Optimization via Simulation technique (OvS). The results show that the proposed framework could be applied in practical environments, easily.
Application of Argumentation for Improving the Classification Accuracy in Inductive Concept Formation
This paper contains the description of argumentation approach for the problem of inductive concept formation. It is proposed to use argumentation, based on defeasible reasoning with justification degrees, to improve the quality of classification models, obtained by generalization algorithms. The experiment’s results on both clear and noisy data are also presented.
Durian Marker Kit for Durian (Durio zibethinus Murr.) Identity
Durian is the flagship fruit of Mindanao and there is an abundance of several cultivars with many confusing identities/ names. The project was conducted to develop procedure for reliable and rapid detection and sorting of durian planting materials. Moreover, it is also aimed to establish specific genetic or DNA markers for routine testing and authentication of durian cultivars in question. The project developed molecular procedures for routine testing. SSR primers were also screened and identified for their utility in discriminating durian cultivars collected. Results of the study showed the following accomplishments: 1. Twenty (29) SSR primers were selected and identified based on their ability to discriminate durian cultivars, 2. Optimized and established standard procedure for identification and authentication of Durian cultivars 3. Genetic profile of durian is now available at Biotech Unit Our results demonstrate the relevance of using molecular techniques in evaluating and identifying durian clones. The most polymorphic primers tested in this study could be useful tools for detecting variation even at the early stage of the plant especially for commercial purposes. The process developed combines the efficiency of the microsatellites development process with the optimization of non-radioactive detection process resulting in a user-friendly protocol that can be performed in two (2) weeks and easily incorporated into laboratories about to start microsatellite development projects. This can be of great importance to extend microsatellite analyses to other crop species where minimal genetic information is currently available. With this, the University can now be a service laboratory for routine testing and authentication of durian clones.
A Metallography Study of Secondary A226 Aluminium Alloy Used in Automotive Industries
The secondary alloy A226 is used for many automotive casting produced by mould casting and high pressure die casting. This alloy has excellent castability, good mechanical properties and cost-effectiveness. Production of primary aluminium alloys belong to heavy source fouling of life environs. The European Union calls for the emission reduction and reduction in energy consumption therefore increase production of recycled (secondary) aluminium cast alloys. The contribution is deal with influence of recycling on the quality of the casting made from A226 in automotive industry. The properties of the casting made from secondary aluminium alloys were compared with the required properties of primary aluminium alloys. The effect of recycling on microstructure was observed using combination different analytical techniques (light microscopy upon black-white etching, scanning electron microscopy - SEM upon deep etching and energy dispersive X-ray analysis - EDX). These techniques were used for the identification of the various structure parameters, which was used to compare secondary alloy microstructure with primary alloy microstructure.
Modelling of Powered Roof Supports Work
Due to the increasing efforts on saving our natural environment a change in the structure of energy resources can be observed - an increasing fraction of a renewable energy sources. In many countries traditional underground coal mining loses its significance but there are still countries, like Poland or Germany, in which the coal based technologies have the greatest fraction in a total energy production. This necessitates to make an effort to limit the costs and negative effects of underground coal mining. The longwall complex is as essential part of the underground coal mining. The safety and the effectiveness of the work is strongly dependent of the diagnostic state of powered roof supports. The building of a useful and reliable diagnostic system requires a lot of data. As the acquisition of a data of any possible operating conditions it is important to have a possibility to generate a demanded artificial working characteristics. In this paper a new approach of modelling a leg pressure in the single unit of powered roof support. The model is a result of the analysis of a typical working cycles.
Nutritional Composition of Iranian Desi and Kabuli Chickpea (Cicer Arietinum L.) Cultivars in Autumn Sowing
The grain quality of chickpea in Iran is low and instable, which may be attributed to the evolution of cultivars with a narrow genetic base making them vulnerable to biotic stresses. Four chickpea varieties from diverse geographic origins were chosen and arranged in a randomized complete block design. Mesorhizobium sp. cicer strain SW7 was added to all the chickpea seeds. Chickpea seeds were planted on October 9, 2013. Each genotype was sown 5 m in length, with 35 cm inter-row spacing, in 3 rows. Weeds were removed manually in all plots. Results showed that Analysis of variance on the studied traits showed significant differences among genotypes for N, P, K and Fe contents of chickpea, but there is not a significant difference among Ca, Zn and Mg continents of chickpea. The experimental coefficient of variation (CV) varied from 7.3 to 15.8. In general, the CV value lower than 20% is considered to be good, indicating the accuracy of conducted experiments. The highest grain N was observed in Hashem and Jam cultivars. The highest grain P was observed in Jam cultivar. Phosphorus content (mg/100g) ranged from 142.3 to 302.3 with a mean value of 221.3. The negative correlation (-0.126) was observed between the N and P of chickpea cultivars. The highest K and Fe contents were observed in Jam cultivar.
A Simple Adaptive Atomic Decomposition Voice Activity Detector Implemented by Matching Pursuit
A simple adaptive voice activity detector (VAD) is implemented using Gabor and gammatone atomic decomposition of speech for high Gaussian noise environments. Matching pursuit is used for atomic decomposition, and is shown to achieve optimal speech detection capability at high data compression rates for low signal to noise ratios. The most active dictionary elements found by matching pursuit are used for the signal reconstruction so that the algorithm adapts to the individual speakers dominant time-frequency characteristics. Speech has a high peak to average ratio enabling matching pursuit greedy heuristic of highest inner products to isolate high energy speech components in high noise environments. Gabor and gammatone atoms are both investigated with identical logarithmically spaced center frequencies, and similar bandwidths. The algorithm performs equally well for both Gabor and gammatone atoms with no significant statistical differences. The algorithm achieves 70% accuracy at a 0 dB SNR, 90% accuracy at a 5 dB SNR and 98% accuracy at a 20dB SNR using 30d B SNR as a reference for voice activity.
Chinese Tourists’s Behaviors towards Travel and Shopping in Bangkok
The objectives of this study are to study Chinese tourist’s Behaviors towards travel and shopping in Bangkok. The research methodology was a quantitative research. The sample of this research was 400 Chinese tourists in Bangkok chosen by the accidental sampling and the purposive sampling. Inferential Statistics Analysis by using the Chi-square statistics. As for the results of this study the researcher found that differences between personal, social and cultural information, i.e., gender, age, place of residence, educational level, occupation, income, family, and main objectives of tourism with behaviors of Chinese tourists in Bangkok towards travel and shopping in Bangkok.
Margin-Based Feed-Forward Neural Network Classifiers
Margin-Based Principle has been proposed for a long time, it has been proved that this principle could reduce the structural risk and improve the performance in both theoretical and practical aspects. Meanwhile, feed-forward neural network is a traditional classifier, which is very hot at present with a deeper architecture. However, the training algorithm of feed-forward neural network is developed and generated from Widrow-Hoff Principle that means to minimize the squared error. In this paper, we propose a new training algorithm for feed-forward neural networks based on Margin-Based Principle, which could effectively promote the accuracy and generalization ability of neural network classifiers with less labelled samples and flexible network. We have conducted experiments on four UCI open datasets and achieved good results as expected. In conclusion, our model could handle more sparse labelled and more high-dimension dataset in a high accuracy while modification from old ANN method to our method is easy and almost free of work.
Determination and Comparison of Some Elements in Different Types of Orange Juices and Investigation of Health Effects
Fruit juices play important roles in human health as being a key part of nutrition. Juice and nectar are two categories of drinks with so many variations for consumers, regardless of age, lifestyle and taste preferences, which they can find their favorites. Juices contain 100% pulp when pulp content of ‘nectar’ changes between 25%-50%. In this study, potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and phosphorus (P) contents in orange juice and nectar is determined for conscious consumption. For this purpose inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) is used to find out potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and phosphorus (P) contents in orange juices and nectar. Furthermore, the daily intake of elements from orange juice and nectar that affects human health is also investigated. From the results of experiments K, Mg and P contents are found in orange juice as 1351; 73,25; 89,27 ppm and in orange nectar as 986; 33,76; 51,30 respectively.
Kinetic Study of 1-Butene Isomerization over Hydrotalcite Catalyst
This work studied the isomerization of 1-butene over hydrotalcite catalyst. The experiments were conducted at various gas hourly space velocity (GHSV), reaction temperature and feed concentration. No catalyst deactivation was observed over the reaction time of 16 hours. Two major reaction products were trans-2- butene and cis-2-butene. The reaction temperature played an important role on the reaction selectivity. At high operating temperatures, the selectivity of trans-2-butene was higher than the selectivity of cis-2-butene while it was opposite at lower reaction temperature. In the range of operating condition, the maximum conversion of 1-butene was found at 74% when T = 673 K and GHSV = 4 m3/h/kg-cat with trans- and cis-2-butene selectivities of 54% and 46%, respectively. Finally, the kinetic parameters of the reaction were determined.
Temporal Case-Based Reasoning System for Automatic Parking Complex
In this paper the problem of the application of temporal reasoning and case-based reasoning in intelligent decision support systems is considered. The method of case-based reasoning with temporal dependences for the solution of problems of real-time diagnostics and forecasting in intelligent decision support systems is described. This paper demonstrates how the temporal case-based reasoning system can be used in intelligent decision support systems of the car access control. This work was supported by RFBR.
VHL, PBRM1 and SETD2 Genes in Kidney Cancer: A Molecular Investigation
Kidney cancer is the most lethal urological cancer accounting for 3% of adult malignancies. VHL, a tumor-suppressor gene, is best known to be associated with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The VHL functions as negative regulator of hypoxia inducible factors. Recent sequencing efforts have identified several novel frequent mutations of histone modifying and chromatin remodeling genes in ccRCC (clear cell RCC) including PBRM1 and SETD2. The PBRM1 gene encodes the BAF180 protein, which involved in transcriptional activation and repression of selected genes. SETD2 encodes a histone methyltransferase, which may play a role in suppressing tumor development. In this study, RNAs of 30 paired tumor and normal samples that were grouped according to the types of kidney cancer and clinical characteristics of patients, including gender and average age were examined by RT-PCR, SSCP and sequencing techniques. VHL, PBRM1 and SETD2 expressions were relatively down-regulated. However, statistically no significance was found (Wilcoxon signed rank test, p>0.05). Interestingly, no mutation was observed on the contrary of previous studies. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of RCC has aided the development of molecular-targeted drugs for kidney cancer. Further analysis is required to identify the responsible genes rather than VHL, PBRM1 and SETD2 in kidney cancer.
Gamma Irradiation Effect on Structural and Optical Properties of Bismuth-Boro-Tellurite Glasses
The changes of the optical and structural properties of Bismuth-Boro-Tellurite glasses pre and post gamma irradiation were studied. Six glass samples, with different composition [(TeO2)0.7 (B2O3)0.3]1-x (Bi2O3)x prepared by melt quenching method were irradiated with 25kGy gamma radiation at room temperature. The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to explore the structural bonding in the prepared glass samples due to exposure, while UV-VIS Spectrophotometer was used to evaluate the changes in the optical properties before and after irradiation. Gamma irradiation causes profound changes in the peak intensity as shown by FTIR spectra which is due to the breaking of the network bonding. Before gamma irradiation, the optical band gap, Eg value decreased from 2.44 eV to 2.15 eV with the addition of Bismuth content. The value kept decreasing (from 2.18 eV to 2.00 eV) following exposure to gamma radiation due to the increase of non-bridging oxygen (NBO) and the increase of defect in the glass. In conclusion, the glass with high content of Bi2O3 (0.30Bi) give smallest Eg and show less changes in FTIR spectra after gamma irradiation which indicate that this glass is more resistant to gamma radiation compared to other glasses.
Corrosion Monitoring of Weathering Steel in a Simulated Coastal-Industrial Environment
The atmospheres in many cities along the coastal lines in the world have been rapidly changed to coastal-industrial atmosphere. Hence, it is vital to investigate the corrosion behavior of steel exposed to this kind of environment. In this present study, Electrochemical Impedance Spectrography (EIS) and film thickness measurement were applied to monitor the corrosion behavior of weathering steel covered with a thin layer of the electrolyte in a wet-dry cyclic condition, simulating a coastal-industrial environment at 25oC and 60% RH. The results indicate that in all cycles, the corrosion rate increases during the drying process due to an increase in anion concentration and an acceleration of oxygen diffusion enhanced by the effect of the thinning out of the electrolyte. During the wet-dry cyclic corrosion test, the long-term corrosion behavior of this steel depends on the periods of exposure. Corrosion process is first accelerated and then decelerated. The decelerating corrosion process is contributed to the formation of the protective rust, favored by the wet-dry cycle and the acid regeneration process during the rusting process.
Teacher Training Course: Conflict Resolution through Mediation
In Hungary, the society has changed a lot for the past 25 years, and these changes could be detected in educational situations as well. The number and the intensity of conflicts have been increased in most fields of life, as well as at schools. Teachers have difficulties to be able to handle school conflicts. What is more, the new net generation, generation Z has values and behavioural patterns different from those of the previous one, which might generate more serious conflicts at school, especially with teachers who were mainly socialising in a traditional teacher – student relationship. In Hungary, the bill CCIV of 2011 declared the foundation of Institutes of Teacher Training in higher education institutes. One of the tasks of the Institutes is to survey the competences and needs of teachers working in public education and to provide further trainings and services for them according to their needs and requirements. This job is supported by the Social Renewal Operative Programs 4.1.2.B. The professors of a college carried out a questionnaire and surveyed the needs and the requirements of teachers working in the region. Based on the results, the professors of the Institute of Teacher Training decided to meet the requirements of teachers and to launch short teacher further training courses in spring 2015. One of the courses is going to focus on school conflict management through mediation. The aim of the pilot course is to provide conflict management techniques for teachers and to present different mediation techniques to them. The theoretical part of the course (5 hours) will enable participants to understand the main points and the advantages of mediation, while the practical part (10 hours) will involve teachers in role plays to learn how to cope with conflict situations applying mediation. We hope if conflicts could be reduced, it would influence school atmosphere in a positive way and the teaching – learning process could be more successful and effective.
The Classification Performance in Parametric and Nonparametric Discriminant Analysis for a Class- Unbalanced Data of Diabetes Risk Groups
The problems arising from unbalanced data sets generally appear in real world applications. Due to unequal class distribution, many researchers have found that the performance of existing classifiers tends to be biased towards the majority class. The k-nearest neighbors’ nonparametric discriminant analysis is a method that was proposed for classifying unbalanced classes with good performance. In this study, the methods of discriminant analysis are of interest in investigating misclassification error rates for classimbalanced data of three diabetes risk groups. The purpose of this study was to compare the classification performance between parametric discriminant analysis and nonparametric discriminant analysis in a three-class classification of class-imbalanced data of diabetes risk groups. Data from a project maintaining healthy conditions for 599 employees of a government hospital in Bangkok were obtained for the classification problem. The employees were divided into three diabetes risk groups: non-risk (90%), risk (5%), and diabetic (5%). The original data including the variables of diabetes risk group, age, gender, blood glucose, and BMI were analyzed and bootstrapped for 50 and 100 samples, 599 observations per sample, for additional estimation of the misclassification error rate. Each data set was explored for the departure of multivariate normality and the equality of covariance matrices of the three risk groups. Both the original data and the bootstrap samples showed nonnormality and unequal covariance matrices. The parametric linear discriminant function, quadratic discriminant function, and the nonparametric k-nearest neighbors’ discriminant function were performed over 50 and 100 bootstrap samples and applied to the original data. Searching the optimal classification rule, the choices of prior probabilities were set up for both equal proportions (0.33: 0.33: 0.33) and unequal proportions of (0.90:0.05:0.05), (0.80: 0.10: 0.10) and (0.70, 0.15, 0.15). The results from 50 and 100 bootstrap samples indicated that the k-nearest neighbors approach when k=3 or k=4 and the defined prior probabilities of non-risk: risk: diabetic as 0.90: 0.05:0.05 or 0.80:0.10:0.10 gave the smallest error rate of misclassification. The k-nearest neighbors approach would be suggested for classifying a three-class-imbalanced data of diabetes risk groups.
Mean Shift-based Preprocessing Methodology for Improved 3D Buildings Reconstruction
In this work, we explore the capability of the mean shift algorithm as a powerful preprocessing tool for improving the quality of spatial data, acquired from airborne scanners, from densely built urban areas. On one hand, high resolution image data corrupted by noise caused by lossy compression techniques are appropriately smoothed while at the same time preserving the optical edges and, on the other, low resolution LiDAR data in the form of normalized Digital Surface Map (nDSM) is upsampled through the joint mean shift algorithm. Experiments on both the edge-preserving smoothing and upsampling capabilities using synthetic RGB-z data show that the mean shift algorithm is superior to bilateral filtering as well as to other classical smoothing and upsampling algorithms. Application of the proposed methodology for 3D reconstruction of buildings of a pilot region of Athens, Greece results in a significant visual improvement of the 3D building block model.
Using Facebook as an Alternative Learning Tool in Malaysian Higher Learning Institutions: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
Networking is important among students to achieve better understanding. Social networking plays an important role in the education. Realizing its huge potential, various organizations, including institutions of higher learning have moved to the area of social networks to interact with their students especially through Facebook. Therefore, measuring the effectiveness of Facebook as a learning tool has become an area of interest to academicians and researchers. Therefore, this study tried to integrate and propose new theoretical and empirical evidences by linking the western idea of adopting Facebook as an alternative learning platform from a Malaysian perspective. This study, thus, aimed to fill a gap by being among the pioneering research that tries to study the effectiveness of adopting Facebook as a learning platform across other cultural settings, namely Malaysia. Structural equation modeling was employed for data analysis and hypothesis testing. This study finding has provided some insights that would likely affect students’ awareness towards using Facebook as an alternative learning platform in the Malaysian higher learning institutions. At the end, future direction is proposed.
The Influence of Swirl Burner Geometry on the Sugar-Cane Bagasse Injection and Burning
A comprehensive CFD model is developed to represent heterogeneous combustion and two burner designs of supply sugar-cane bagasse into a furnace. The objective of this work is to compare the insertion and burning of a Brazilian south-eastern sugar-cane bagasse using a new swirl burner design against an actual geometry under operation. The new design allows control the particles penetration and scattering inside furnace by adjustment of axial/tangential contributions of air feed without change their mass flow. The model considers turbulence using RNG k-, combustion using EDM, radiation heat transfer using DTM with 16 ray directions and bagasse particle tracking represented by Schiller-Naumann model. The obtained results are favorable to use of new design swirl burner because its axial/tangential control promotes more penetration or more scattering than actual design and allows reproduce the actual design operation without change the overall mass flow supply.
Non-Methane Hydrocarbons Emission during the Photocopying Process
Prosperity of electronic equipment in photocopying environment not only has improved work efficiency, but also has changed indoor air quality. Considering the number of photocopying employed, indoor air quality might be worse than in general office environments. Determining the contribution from any type of equipment to indoor air pollution is a complex matter. Non-methane hydrocarbons are known to have an important role on air quality due to their high reactivity. The presence of hazardous pollutants in indoor air has been detected in one photocopying shop in Novi Sad, Serbia. Air samples were collected and analyzed for five days, during 8-hr working time in three time intervals, whereas three different sampling points were determined. Using multiple linear regression model and software package STATISTICA 10 the concentrations of occupational hazards and microclimates parameters were mutually correlated. Based on the obtained multiple coefficients of determination (0.3751, 0.2389 and 0.1975), a weak positive correlation between the observed variables was determined. Small values of parameter F indicated that there was no statistically significant difference between the concentration levels of nonmethane hydrocarbons and microclimates parameters. The results showed that variable could be presented by the general regression model: y = b0 + b1xi1+ b2xi2. Obtained regression equations allow to measure the quantitative agreement between the variables and thus obtain more accurate knowledge of their mutual relations.
Nazi Propaganda and the 1930 Berlin Film Premiere of “All Quiet on the Western Front”
Historical narration is an act that necessarily develops and deforms history. This “translation” is examined within the historical and political context of the 1930 Berlin film premiere of “All Quiet on the Western Front,” a film based on Erich Maria Remarque’s 1928 best-selling novel. Both the film and the novel appeared during an era in which life was conceived of as innately artistic. The emergence of this “aestheticization” of memory and history enabled conservative propaganda of the period to denounce all art that did not adhere conceptually to its political tenets, with “All Quiet” becoming yet another of its “victims.”
A Probabilistic View of the Spatial Pooler in Hierarchical Temporal Memory
In the Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM) paradigm the effect of overlap between inputs on the activation of columns in the spatial pooler is studied. Numerical results suggest that similar inputs are represented by similar sets of columns and dissimilar inputs are represented by dissimilar sets of columns. It is shown that the spatial pooler produces these results under certain conditions for the connectivity and proximal thresholds. Following the discussion of the initialization of parameters for the thresholds, corresponding qualitative arguments about the learning dynamics of the spatial pooler are discussed.
Dependence of Dielectric Properties on Sintering Conditions of Lead Free KNN Ceramics Modified with Li-Sb
In order to produce lead free piezoceramics with optimum piezoelectric and dielectric properties, KNN modified with Li+ (as an A site dopant) and Sb5+ (as a B site dopant) (K0.49Na0.49Li0.02) (Nb0.96Sb0.04) O3 (referred as KNLNS in this paper) have been synthesized using solid state reaction method and conventional sintering technique. The ceramics were sintered in the narrow range of 1050°C-1090°C for 2-3 h to get precise information about sintering parameters. Detailed study of dependence of microstructural, dielectric and piezoelectric properties on sintering conditions was then carried out. The study suggests that the volatility of the highly hygroscopic KNN ceramics is not only sensitive to sintering temperatures but also to sintering durations. By merely reducing the sintering duration for a given sintering temperature we saw an increase in the density of the samples which was supported by the increase in dielectric constants of the ceramics. And since density directly or indirectly affects almost all the associated properties, other dielectric and piezoelectric properties were also enhanced as we approached towards the most suitable sintering temperature and duration combination. The detailed results are reported in this paper.
Study of Two MPPTs for Photovoltaic Systems Using Controllers Based in Fuzzy Logic and Sliding Mode
In this study, we proposed two techniques to track the maximum power point (MPPT) of a photovoltaic system. The first is an intelligent control technique, and the second is robust used for variable structure system. In fact the characteristics I-V and P–V of the photovoltaic generator depends on the solar irradiance and temperature. These climate changes cause the fluctuation of maximum power point; a maximum power point tracking technique (MPPT) is required to maximize the output power. For this we have adopted a control by fuzzy logic (FLC) famous for its stability and robustness. And a Siding Mode Control (SMC) widely used for variable structure system. The system comprises a photovoltaic panel (PV), a DC-DC converter, which is considered as an adaptation stage between the PV and the load. The modelling and simulation of the system is developed using MATLAB/Simulink. SMC technique provides a good tracking speed in fast changing irradiation and when the irradiation changes slowly or it is constant the panel power of FLC technique presents a much smoother signal with less fluctuations.
Substitution of Natural Aggregates by Crushed Concrete Waste in Concrete Products Manufacturing
This paper is aimed to the use of different types of industrial wastes in concrete production. From examined waste (crushed concrete waste) our tested concrete samples with dimension 150 mm were prepared. In these samples, fractions 4/8 mm and 8/16 mm by recycled concrete aggregate with a range of variation from 0 to 100% were replaced. Experiment samples were tested for compressive strength after 2, 7, 14 and 28 days of hardening. From obtained results it is evident that all samples prepared with washed recycled concrete aggregates met the requirement of standard for compressive strength of 20 MPa already after 14 days of hardening. Sample prepared with recycled concrete aggregates (4/8 mm: 100% and 8/16 mm: 60%) reached 101% of compressive strength value (34.7 MPa) after 28 days of hardening in comparison with the reference sample (34.4 MPa). The lowest strength after 28 days of hardening (27.42 MPa) was obtained for sample consisting of recycled concrete in proportion of 40% for 4/8 fraction and 100% for 8/16 fraction of recycled concrete.
Dynamic Construction Site Layout Using Ant Colony Optimization
Evolutionary optimization methods such as genetic algorithms have been used extensively for the construction site layout problem. More recently, ant colony optimization algorithms, which are evolutionary methods based on the foraging behavior of ants, have been successfully applied to benchmark combinatorial optimization problems. This paper proposes a formulation of the site layout problem in terms of a sequencing problem that is suitable for solution using an ant colony optimization algorithm. In the construction industry, site layout is a very important planning problem. The objective of site layout is to position temporary facilities both geographically and at the correct time such that the construction work can be performed satisfactorily with minimal costs and improved safety and working environment. During the last decade, evolutionary methods such as genetic algorithms have been used extensively for the construction site layout problem. This paper proposes an ant colony optimization model for construction site layout. A simple case study for a highway project is utilized to illustrate the application of the model.
Impact of Electronic Guest Relationship Management (e-GRM) on Brand Loyalty: The Case of Croatian Hotels
Quick adoption of e-business and emerging influence of “Electronic Word of Mouth e-WOM” communication on guests made leading hotel brands successful examples of electronic guest relationship management. Main reasons behind such success are well established procedures in collection, analysis and usage of highly valuable data available on the Internet, generated through some form of e-GRM programme. E-GRM is more than just a technology solution. It’s a system which balance respective guest demands, hotel technological capabilities and organizational culture of employees, discharging the universal approach in guest relations “same for all”. The purpose of this research derives from the necessity of determining the importance of monitoring and applying e-WOM communication as one of the methods used in managing guest relations. This paper analyses and compares different hotelier’s opinions on e-WOM communication.
The Role of Vibro-Stone Column for Enhancing the Soft Soil Properties
This study investigated the behavior of improved soft soils through the vibro replacement technique by considering their settlements and consolidation rates and the applicability of this technique in various types of soils and settlement and bearing capacity calculations.
Fermentation of Xylose and Glucose Mixture in Intensified Reactors by Scheffersomyces stipitis to Produce Ethanol
In this work, two fermentations at different temperatures (25 and 30ºC), with cell recycling, were accomplished to produce ethanol, using a mix of commercial substrates, xylose (70%) and glucose (30%), as organic source for Scheffersomyces stipitis. Five consecutive fermentations of 80 g L-1 (1º, 2º and 3º recycles), 96 g L-1 (4º recycle) and 120 g L-1 (5º recycle)reduced sugars led to a final maximum ethanol concentration of 17.2 and 34.5 g L-1, at 25 and 30ºC, respectively. Glucose was the preferred substrate; moreover xylose startup degradation was initiated after a remaining glucose presence in the medium. Results showed that yeast acid treatment, performed before each cycle, provided improvements on cell viability, accompanied by ethanol productivity of 2.16 g L-1 h- 1 at 30ºC. A maximum 36% of xylose was retained in the fermentation medium and after five-cycle fermentation an ethanol yield of 0.43 g ethanol/g sugars was observed. S. stipitis fermentation capacity and tolerance showed better results at 30ºC with 83.4% of theoretical yield referenced on initial biomass.
Dynamic Cellular Remanufacturing System (DCRS) Design
An efficient remanufacturing network lead to an efficient design of sustainable manufacturing enterprise. In remanufacturing network, products are collected from the customer zone, disassembled and remanufactured at a suitable remanufacturing facility. In this respect, another issue to consider is how the returned product to be remanufactured, in other words, what is the best layout for such facility. In order to achieve a sustainable manufacturing system, Cellular Manufacturing System (CMS) designs are highly recommended, CMSs combine high throughput rates of line layouts with the flexibility offered by functional layouts (job shop). Introducing the CMS while designing a remanufacturing network will benefit the utilization of such a network. This paper presents and analyzes a comprehensive mathematical model for the design of Dynamic Cellular Remanufacturing Systems (DCRSs). In this paper, the proposed model is the first one to date that considers CMS and remanufacturing system simultaneously. The proposed DCRS model considers several manufacturing attributes such as multi period production planning, dynamic system reconfiguration, duplicate machines, machine capacity, available time for workers, worker assignments, and machine procurement, where the demand is totally satisfied from a returned product. A numerical example is presented to illustrate the proposed model.
Development of Algorithms for the Study of the Image in Digital Form for Satellite Applications: Extraction of a Road Network and Its Nodes
In this paper we propose a novel methodology for extracting a road network and its nodes from satellite images of Algeria country. This developed technique is a progress of our previous research works. It is founded on the information theory and the mathematical morphology; the information theory and the mathematical morphology are combined together to extract and link the road segments to form a road network and its nodes. We therefore have to define objects as sets of pixels and to study the shape of these objects and the relations that exist between them. In this approach, geometric and radiometric features of roads are integrated by a cost function and a set of selected points of a crossing road. Its performances were tested on satellite images of Algeria country.
Chemical and Vibrational Nonequilibrium Hypersonic Viscous Flow around an Axisymmetric Blunt Body

Hypersonic flows around spatial vehicles during their reentry phase in planetary atmospheres are characterized by intense aerothermodynamics phenomena. The aim of this work is to analyze high temperature flows around an axisymmetric blunt body taking into account chemical and vibrational non-equilibrium for air mixture species and the no slip condition at the wall. For this purpose, the Navier-Stokes equations system is resolved by the finite volume methodology to determine the flow parameters around the axisymmetric blunt body especially at the stagnation point and in the boundary layer along the wall of the blunt body. The code allows the capture of shock wave before a blunt body placed in hypersonic free stream. The numerical technique uses the Flux Vector Splitting method of Van Leer. CFL coefficient and mesh size level are selected to ensure the numerical convergence.

First-Principles Investigation of the Structural and Electronic Properties of Mg1-xBixO
We investigated the structure and electronic properties of the compound Mg1-xBixO with varying concentrations of 0, ¼, ½, and ¾ x bismuth in the the cesium chloride (CsCl), zinc-blende (ZnS), nickel arsenide (NiAs) NaCl (rock-salt) and WZ (wurtzite) phases. We calculated. The calculations were performed using the first-principles pseudo-potential method within the framework of spin density functional theory (DFT).
The Role of Brand Loyalty in Generating Positive Word of Mouth among Malaysian Hypermarket Customers
Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to test a hypothesized model explaining Malaysian hypermarket customers’ perceptions of brand trust (BT), customer perceived value (CPV) and perceived service quality (PSQ) on building their brand loyalty (CBL) and generating positive word-of-mouth communication (WOM). Self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from 374 Malaysian hypermarket customers from Mydin, Tesco, Aeon Big and Giant in Kuala Lumpur, a metropolitan city of Malaysia. The data strongly supported the model exhibiting that BT, CPV and PSQ are prerequisite factors in building customer brand loyalty, while PSQ has the strongest effect on prediction of customer brand loyalty compared to other factors. Besides, the present study suggests the effect of the aforementioned factors via customer brand loyalty strongly contributes to generate positive word of mouth communication.
Toward a Measure of Appropriateness of User Interfaces Adaptations Solutions
The development of adaptive user interfaces (UI) presents for a long time an important research area in which researcher attempt to call upon the full resources and skills of several disciplines, The adaptive UI community holds a thorough knowledge regarding the adaptation of UIs with users and with contexts of use. Several solutions, models, formalisms, techniques and mechanisms were proposed to develop adaptive UI. In this paper, we propose an approach based on the fuzzy set theory for modeling the concept of the appropriateness of different solutions of UI adaptation with different situations for which interactive systems have to adapt their UIs.
Influence of MgO Physically Mixed with Tungsten Oxide Supported Silica Catalyst on Coke Formation
The effect of additional magnesium oxide (MgO) was investigated by using the tungsten oxide supported on silica catalyst (WOx/SiO2) physically mixed with MgO in a weight ratio 1:1. The both fresh and spent catalysts were characterized by FT-Raman spectrometer, UV-Vis spectrometer, X-Ray diffraction (XRD) and temperature programmed oxidation (TPO). The results indicated that the additional MgO could enhance the conversion of trans-2-butene due to isomerization reaction. However, adding MgO would increase the amount of coke deposit on the WOx/SiO2 catalyst. The TPO profile presented two peaks when the WOx/SiO2 catalyst was physically mixed with MgO. The further peak was suggested that came from coke precursor could be produced by isomerization reaction of undesired product. Then, the occurred coke precursor could deposit and form coke on the acid catalyst.
Impacts of Financial Development and Operating Scale on Bank Efficiencies in Taiwan
This paper adopts a two-stage data envelopment analysis to explore the impacts of financial development and bank operating scale on bank efficiencies. The sample comprises unbalanced panel data of 32 Taiwanese listed domestic commercial banks over the period 1998 to 2013. Empirical results show that pure technical efficiency is positively related to financial development, whereas the effect of financial development on scale efficiency is insignificant. Enlargement of bank operating scale improves bank efficiencies, but the efficiency gains are decreased gradually when the scale increases. Increases in capital adequacy ratio and market power of loans lead into a growth of bank efficiencies.
Relocation of Plastic Hinge of Interior Beam-Column Connections with Intermediate Bars in Reinforced Concrete and T-Section Steel Inserts in Precast Concrete Frames
Failure of typical seismic frames has been found by plastic hinge occurring on beams section near column faces. On the other hand, the seismic capacity of the frames can be enhanced if the plastic hinges of the beams are shifted away from the column faces. This paper presents detailing of reinforcements in the interior beam– column connections aiming to relocate the plastic hinge of reinforced concrete and precast concrete frames. Four specimens were tested under quasi-static cyclic load including two monolithic specimens and two precast specimens. For one monolithic specimen, typical seismic reinforcement was provided and considered as a reference specimen named M1. The other reinforced concrete frame M2 contained additional intermediate steel in the connection area compared with the specimen M1. For the precast specimens, embedded T-section steels in joint were provided, with and without diagonal bars in the connection area for specimen P1 and P2, respectively. The test results indicated the ductile failure with beam flexural failure in monolithic specimen M1 and the intermediate steel increased strength and improved joint performance of specimen M2. For the precast specimens, cracks generated at the end of the steel inserts. However, slipping of reinforcing steel lapped in top of the beams was seen before yielding of the main bars leading to the brittle failure. The diagonal bars in precast specimens P2 improved the connection stiffness and the energy dissipation capacity.
Kinetic Study of Thermal Degradation of a Lignin Nanoparticle-Reinforced Phenolic Foam
In the present study, the kinetics of thermal degradation of a phenolic and lignin reinforced phenolic foams, and the lignin used as reinforcement were studied and the activation energies of their degradation processes were obtained by a DAEM model. The average values for five heating rates of the mean activation energies obtained were: 99.1, 128.2, and 144.0 kJ.mol-1 for the phenolic foam; 109.5, 113.3, and 153.0 kJ.mol-1 for the lignin reinforcement; and 82.1, 106.9, and 124.4 kJ.mol-1 for the lignin reinforced phenolic foam. The standard deviation ranges calculated for each sample were 1.27-8.85, 2.22-12.82, and 3.17-8.11 kJ.mol-1 for the phenolic foam, lignin and the reinforced foam, respectively. The DAEM model showed low mean square errors (
Data Hiding by Vector Quantization in Color Image
With the growing of computer and network, digital data can be spread to anywhere in the world quickly. In addition, digital data can also be copied or tampered easily so that the security issue becomes an important topic in the protection of digital data. Digital watermark is a method to protect the ownership of digital data. Embedding the watermark will influence the quality certainly. In this paper, Vector Quantization (VQ) is used to embed the watermark into the image to fulfill the goal of data hiding. This kind of watermarking is invisible which means that the users will not conscious the existing of embedded watermark even though the embedded image has tiny difference compared to the original image. Meanwhile, VQ needs a lot of computation burden so that we adopt a fast VQ encoding scheme by partial distortion searching (PDS) and mean approximation scheme to speed up the data hiding process. The watermarks we hide to the image could be gray, bi-level and color images. Texts are also can be regarded as watermark to embed. In order to test the robustness of the system, we adopt Photoshop to fulfill sharpen, cropping and altering to check if the extracted watermark is still recognizable. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed system can resist the above three kinds of tampering in general cases.
Low-Cost Inertial Sensors Modeling Using Allan Variance
Micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) accelerometers and gyroscopes are suitable for the inertial navigation system (INS) of many applications due to low price, small dimensions and light weight. The main disadvantage in a comparison with classic sensors is a worse long term stability. The estimation accuracy is mostly affected by the time-dependent growth of inertial sensor errors, especially the stochastic errors. In order to eliminate negative effects of these random errors, they must be accurately modeled. In this paper, the Allan variance technique will be used in modeling the stochastic errors of the inertial sensors. By performing a simple operation on the entire length of data, a characteristic curve is obtained whose inspection provides a systematic characterization of various random errors contained in the inertial-sensor output data.
OPEN_EmoRec_II- A Multimodal Corpus of Human-Computer Interaction
OPEN_EmoRec_II is an open multimodal corpus with experimentally induced emotions. In the first half of the experiment, emotions were induced with standardized picture material and in the second half during a human-computer interaction (HCI), realized with a wizard-of-oz design. The induced emotions are based on the dimensional theory of emotions (valence, arousal and dominance). These emotional sequences - recorded with multimodal data (facial reactions, speech, audio and physiological reactions) during a naturalistic-like HCI-environment one can improve classification methods on a multimodal level. This database is the result of an HCI-experiment, for which 30 subjects in total agreed to a publication of their data including the video material for research purposes*. The now available open corpus contains sensory signal of: video, audio, physiology (SCL, respiration, BVP, EMG Corrugator supercilii, EMG Zygomaticus Major) and facial reactions annotations.
OPEN_EmoRec_II- A Multimodal Corpus of Human-Computer Interaction
OPEN_EmoRec_II is an open multimodal corpus with experimentally induced emotions. In the first half of the experiment, emotions were induced with standardized picture material and in the second half during a human-computer interaction (HCI), realized with a wizard-of-oz design. The induced emotions are based on the dimensional theory of emotions (valence, arousal and dominance). These emotional sequences - recorded with multimodal data (facial reactions, speech, audio and physiological reactions) during a naturalistic-like HCI-environment one can improve classification methods on a multimodal level. This database is the result of an HCI-experiment, for which 30 subjects in total agreed to a publication of their data including the video material for research purposes*. The now available open corpus contains sensory signal of: video, audio, physiology (SCL, respiration, BVP, EMG Corrugator supercilii, EMG Zygomaticus Major) and facial reactions annotations.
Numerical Investigation of Natural Convection of Pine, Olive, and Orange Leaves
Heat transfer of leaves is a crucial factor in optimal operation of metabolic functions in plants. In order to quantify this phenomenon in different leaves and investigate the influence of leaf shape on heat transfer, natural convection for pine, orange and olive leaves was simulated as representatives of different groups of leaf shapes. CFD techniques were used in this simulation with the purpose to calculate heat transfer of leaves in similar environmental conditions. The problem was simulated for steady state and threedimensional conditions. From obtained results, it was concluded that heat fluxes of all three different leaves are almost identical, however, total rate of heat transfer have highest and lowest values for orange leaves, and pine leaves, respectively.
Information Theoretical Analysis of Neural Spiking Activity with Temperature Modulation
This work assesses the cortical and the sub-cortical neural activity recorded from rodents using entropy and mutual information based approaches to study how hypothermia affects neural activity. By applying the multi-scale entropy and Shannon entropy, we quantify the degree of the regularity embedded in the cortical and sub-cortical neurons and characterize the dependency of entropy of these regions on temperature. We study also the degree of the mutual information on thalamocortical pathway depending on temperature. The latter is most likely an indicator of coupling between these highly connected structures in response to temperature manipulation leading to arousal after global cerebral ischemia.
The Strengths and Limitations of the Statistical Modeling of Complex Social Phenomenon: Focusing on SEM, Path Analysis, or Multiple Regression Models
This paper analyzes the conceptual framework of three statistical methods, multiple regression, path analysis, and structural equation models. When establishing research model of the statistical modeling of complex social phenomenon, it is important to know the strengths and limitations of three statistical models. This study explored the character, strength, and limitation of each modeling and suggested some strategies for accurate explaining or predicting the causal relationships among variables. Especially, on the studying of depression or mental health, the common mistakes of research modeling were discussed.
Unconventional Composite Inorganic Membrane Fabrication for Carbon Emissions Mitigation
An unconventional composite inorganic ceramic membrane capable of enhancing carbon dioxide emission decline was fabricated and tested at laboratory scale in conformism to various environmental guidelines and also to mitigate the effect of global warming. A review of the existing membrane technologies for carbon capture including the relevant gas transport mechanisms is presented. Single gas permeation experiments using silica modified ceramic membrane with internal diameter 20mm, outside diameter 25mm and length of 368mm deposited on a macro porous support was carried out to investigate individual gas permeation behaviours at different pressures at room temperature. Membrane fabrication was achieved using after a dip coating method. Nitrogen, Carbon dioxide, Argon, Oxygen and Methane pure gases were used to investigate their individual permeation rates at various pressures. Results show that the gas flow rate increases with pressure drop. However above a pressure of 3bar, CO2 permeability ratio to that of the other gases indicated control of a more selective surface adsorptive transport mechanism.
Effect on Nutritional and Antioxidant Properties of Yellow Noodles Substituted with Different Levels of Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) Pericarp Powder
Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) pericarp is considered as agricultural waste and not fully utilized in food products. It is widely reported that mangosteen pericarp contains high antioxidant properties. The objective of this study is to develop novel yellow alkaline noodle (YAN) substituted with different levels of mangosteen pericarp powder (MPP). YAN formulation was substituted with different levels of MPP (0%, 5%, 10% and 15%). The effect on nutritional and antioxidant properties was evaluated. Higher substitution levels of MPP resulted in significant increase (p
Nonlinear Modeling of the PEMFC Based On NNARX Approach
Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is such a time-vary nonlinear dynamic system. The traditional linear modeling approach is hard to estimate structure correctly of PEMFC system. From this reason, this paper presents a nonlinear modeling of the PEMFC using Neural Network Auto-regressive model with eXogenous inputs (NNARX) approach. The multilayer perception (MLP) network is applied to evaluate the structure of the NNARX model of PEMFC. The validity and accuracy of NNARX model are tested by one step ahead relating output voltage to input current from measured experimental of PEMFC. The results show that the obtained nonlinear NNARX model can efficiently approximate the dynamic mode of the PEMFC and model output and system measured output consistently.
Real-time Detection of Space Manipulator Self-collision
In order to avoid self-collision of space manipulators during operation process, a real-time detection method is proposed in this paper. The manipulator is fitted into a cylinder-enveloping surface, and then, a kind of detection algorithm of collision between cylinders is analyzed. The collision model of space manipulator self-links can be detected by using this algorithm in real-time detection during the operation process. To ensure security of the operation, a safety threshold is designed. The simulation and experiment results verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm for a 7-DOF space manipulator.
Using Time-Series NDVI to Model Land Cover Change: A Case Study in the Berg River Catchment Area, Western Cape, South Africa
This study investigates the use of a time-series of MODIS NDVI data to identify agricultural land cover change on an annual time step (2007 - 2012) and characterize the trend. Following an ISODATA classification of the MODIS imagery to selectively mask areas not agriculture or semi-natural, NDVI signatures were created to identify areas cereals and vineyards with the aid of ancillary, pictometry and field sample data for 2010. The NDVI signature curve and training samples were used to create a decision tree model in WEKA 3.6.9 using decision tree classifier (J48) algorithm; Model 1 including ISODATA classification and Model 2 not. These two models were then used to classify all data for the study area for 2010, producing land cover maps with classification accuracies of 77% and 80% for Model 1 and 2 respectively. Model 2 was subsequently used to create land cover classification and change detection maps for all other years. Subtle changes and areas of consistency (unchanged) were observed in the agricultural classes and crop practices. Over the years as predicted by the land cover classification. Forty one percent of the catchment comprised of cereals with 35% possibly following a crop rotation system. Vineyards largely remained constant with only one percent conversion to vineyard from other land cover classes.
The Applications of Toyota Production System to Reduce Wastes in Agricultural Products Packing Process: A Study of Onion Packing Plant
Agro-industry is one of major industries that have strong impacts on national economic incomes, growth, stability, and sustainable development. Moreover, this industry also has strong influences on social, cultural and political issues. Furthermore, this industry, as producing primary and secondary products, is facing challenges from such diverse factors such as demand inconsistency, intense international competition, technological advancements and new competitors. In order to maintain and to improve industry’s competitiveness in both domestics and international markets, science and technology are key factors. Besides hard sciences and technologies, modern industrial engineering concepts such as Just in Time (JIT) Total Quality Management (TQM), Quick Response (QR), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Lean can be very effective to support to increase efficiency and effectiveness of these agricultural products on world stage. Onion is one of Thailand’s major export products which bring back national incomes. But, it is also facing challenges in many ways. This paper focused its interests in onion packing process and its related activities such as storage and shipment from one of major packing plant and storage in Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai, Thailand, by applying Toyota Production System (TPS) or Lean concepts, to improve process capability throughout the entire packing and distribution process which will be profitable for the whole onion supply chain. And it will be beneficial to other related agricultural products in Thailand and other ASEAN countries.
A Parallel Approach for 3D-Variational Data Assimilation on GPUs in Ocean Circulation Models
This work is the first dowel in a rather wide research activity in collaboration with Euro Mediterranean Center for Climate Changes, aimed at introducing scalable approaches in Ocean Circulation Models. We discuss designing and implementation of a parallel algorithm for solving the Variational Data Assimilation (DA) problem on Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). The algorithm is based on the fully scalable 3DVar DA model, previously proposed by the authors, which uses a Domain Decomposition approach (we refer to this model as the DD-DA model). We proceed with an incremental porting process consisting of 3 distinct stages: requirements and source code analysis, incremental development of CUDA kernels, testing and optimization. Experiments confirm the theoretic performance analysis based on the so-called scale up factor demonstrating that the DD-DA model can be suitably mapped on GPU architectures.
Preliminary Roadway Alignment Design: A Spatial-Data Optimization Approach
Roadway planning and design is a very complex process involving five key phases before a project is completed; planning, project development, final design, right-of-way, and construction. The planning phase for a new roadway transportation project is a very critical phase as it greatly affects all latter phases of the project. A location study is usually performed during the preliminary planning phase in a new roadway project. The objective of the location study is to develop alignment alternatives that are cost efficient considering land acquisition and construction costs. This paper describes a methodology to develop optimal preliminary roadway alignments utilizing spatial-data. Four optimization criteria are taken into consideration; roadway length, land cost, land slope, and environmental impacts. The basic concept of the methodology is to convert the proposed project area into a grid, which represents the search space for an optimal alignment. The aforementioned optimization criteria are represented in each of the grid’s cells. A spatial-data optimization technique is utilized to find the optimal alignment in the search space based on the four optimization criteria. Two case studies for new roadway projects in Duval County in the State of Florida are presented to illustrate the methodology. The optimization output alignments are compared to the proposed Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) alignments. The comparison is based on right-of-way costs for the alignments. For both case studies, the right-of-way costs for the developed optimal alignments were found to be significantly lower than the FDOT alignments.
Flexural Performance of the Sandwich Structures Having Aluminum Foam Core with Different Thicknesses
The structures obtained with the use of sandwich technologies combine low weight with high energy absorbing capacity and load carrying capacity. Hence, there is a growing and markedly interest in the use of sandwiches with aluminum foam core because of very good properties such as flexural rigidity and energy absorption capability. In the current investigation, the static threepoint bending tests were carried out on the sandwiches with aluminum foam core and glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) skins at different values of support span distances aiming the analyses of their flexural performance. The influence of the core thickness and the GFRP skin type was reported in terms of peak load and energy absorption capacity. For this purpose, the skins with two different types of fabrics which have same thickness value and the aluminum foam core with two different thicknesses were bonded with a commercial polyurethane based flexible adhesive in order to combine the composite sandwich panels. The main results of the bending tests are: force-displacement curves, peak force values, absorbed energy, collapse mechanisms and the effect of the support span length and core thickness. The results of the experimental study showed that the sandwich with the skins made of S-Glass Woven fabrics and with the thicker foam core presented higher mechanical values such as load carrying and energy absorption capacities. The increment of the support span distance generated the decrease of the mechanical values for each type of panels, as expected, because of the inverse proportion between the force and span length. The most common failure types of the sandwiches are debonding of the lower skin and the core shear. The obtained results have particular importance for applications that require lightweight structures with a high capacity of energy dissipation, such as the transport industry (automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding and marine industry), where the problems of collision and crash have increased in the last years.
Potential of Lavender (Lavandula vera L.) for Phytoremediation of Soils Contaminated with Heavy Metals
A field study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of lavender for phytoremediation of contaminated soils. The experiment was performed on an agricultural fields contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The concentrations of Pb, Zn and Cd in lavender (roots, stems, leaves and inflorescences) and in the essential oils of lavender were determined. Lavender is a plant which is tolerant to heavy metals and can be grown on contaminated soils, and which can be referred to the hyperaccumulators of lead and the accumulators of cadmium and zinc, and can be successfully used in the phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils. Favorable is also the fact that heavy metals do not influence the development of the lavender, as well as on the quality and quantity of the essential oil. The possibility of further industrial processing will make lavender economically interesting crops for farmers of phytoextraction technology.
Nonlinear Mathematical Model of the Rotor Motion in a Thin Hydrodynamic Gap
The article presents two mathematical models of the interaction between a rotating shaft and an incompressible fluid. The mathematical model includes both the journal bearings and the axially traversed hydrodynamic sealing gaps of hydraulic machines. A method is shown for the identification of additional effects of the fluid acting on the rotor of the machine, both for a linear and a nonlinear model. The interaction is expressed by matrices of mass, stiffness and damping.
Triadic Relationship of Icon Design for Semi-Literate Communities
Icons, or pictorial and graphical objects, are commonly used in human-computer interaction (HCI) fields as the mediator in order to communicate information to users. Yet there has been little studies focusing on a majority of the world’s population – semi-literate communities – in terms of the fundamental knowhow for designing icons for such population. In this study, two sets of icons belonging in different icon taxonomy – abstract and concrete – are designed for a mobile application for semi-literate agricultural communities. In this paper, we propose a triadic relationship of an icon, namely meaning, task and mental image, which inherits the triadic relationship of a sign. User testing with the application and a post-pilot questionnaire are conducted as the experimental approach in two rural villages in India. Icons belonging to concrete taxonomy perform better than abstract icons on the premise that the design of the icon fulfills the underlying rules of the proposed triadic relationship.
Phyllantus niruri Protects against Fe2+ and SNP Induced Oxidative Damage in Mitochondrial Enriched Fractions of Rats Brain
The potential neuroprotective effect of Phyllantus nuriri against Fe2+ and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) induced oxidative stress in mitochondria of rats brain was evaluated. Cellular viability was assessed by MTT reduction, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was measured using the probe 2,7-dichlorofluoresce indiacetate (DCFH-DA). Glutathione content was measured using dithionitrobenzoic acid (DTNB). Fe2+ (10μM) and SNP (5μM) significantly decreased mitochondrial activity, assessed by MTT reduction assay, in a dose-dependent manner, this occurred in parallel with increased glutathione oxidation, ROS production and lipid peroxidation end-products (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS). The co-incubation with methanolic extract of Phyllantus nuriri (10-200 μg/ml) reduced the disruption of mitochondrial activity, gluthathione oxidation, ROS production as well as the increase in TBARS levels caused by both Fe2+ and SNP in a dose dependent manner. HPLC analysis of the extract revealed the presence of gallic acid (20.540.01), caffeic acid (7.930.02), rutin (25.310.05), quercetin (31.280.03) and kaemferol (14.360.01). This result suggests that these phytochemicals account for the protective actions of P. niruri against Fe2+ and SNP -induced oxidative stress. Our results show that P. nuriri consist important bioactive molecules in the search for an improved therapy against the deleterious effects of Fe2+, an intrinsic producer of reactive oxygen species (ROS), that leads to neuronal oxidative stress and neurodegeneration.
Shear Buckling of a Large Pultruded Composite I-Section under Asymmetric Loading
An experimental and analytical research on shear buckling of a comparably large polymer composite I-section is presented. It is known that shear buckling load of a large span composite beam is difficult to determine experimentally. In order to sensitively detect shear buckling of the tested I-section, twenty strain rosettes and eight displacement sensors were applied and attached on the web and flange surfaces. The tested specimen was a pultruded composite beam made of vinylester resin, E-glass, carbon fibers and micro-fillers. Various coupon tests were performed before the shear buckling test to obtain fundamental material properties of the Isection. An asymmetric four-point bending loading scheme was utilized for the shear test. The loading scheme resulted in a high shear and almost zero moment condition at the center of the web panel. The shear buckling load was successfully determined after analyzing the obtained test data from strain rosettes and displacement sensors. An analytical approach was also performed to verify the experimental results and to support the discussed experimental program.
A Novel Design in the Use of Planar Transformers for LDMOS Based Amplifiers in Bands II, III, DRM+, DVB-T and DAB+
The coaxial transformer-coupled push-pull circuitry has been used widely in HF and VHF amplifiers for many decades without significant changes in the topology of the transformers. Basic changes over the years concerned the construction and turns ratio of the transformers as has been imposed upon the newer technologies active devices demands. The balun transmission line transformers applied in push-pull amplifiers enable input/output impedance transformation, but are mainly used to convert the balanced output into unbalanced and the input unbalanced into balanced. A simple and affordable alternative solution over the traditional coaxial transformer is the coreless planar balun. A key advantage over the traditional approach lies in the high specifications repeatability; simplifying the amplifier construction requirements as the planar balun constitutes an integrated part of the PCB copper layout. This paper presents the performance analysis of a planar LDMOS MRFE6VP5600 Push-Pull amplifier that enables robust operation in Band III, DVB-T, DVB-T2 standards but functions equally well in Band II, for DRM+ new generation transmitters.
A Study on the Relation among Primary Care Professionals Serving the Disadvantaged Community, Socioeconomic Status, and Adverse Health Outcome
During the post-Civil War era, the city of Nashville, Tennessee, had the highest mortality rate in the United States. The elevated death and disease rates among former slaves were attributable to lack of quality healthcare. To address the paucity of healthcare services, Meharry Medical College, an institution with the mission of educating minority professionals and serving the underserved population, was established in 1876. Purpose: The social ecological framework and partial least squares (PLS) path modeling were used to quantify the impact of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving the disadvantaged community. Thus, the study results could demonstrate the accomplishment of the College’s mission of training primary care professionals to serve in underserved areas. Methods: Various statistical methods were used to analyze alumni data from 1975 – 2013. K-means cluster analysis was utilized to identify individual medical and dental graduates in the cluster groups of the practice communities (Disadvantaged or Non-disadvantaged Communities). Discriminant analysis was implemented to verify the classification accuracy of cluster analysis. The independent t-test was performed to detect the significant mean differences of respective clustering and criterion variables. Chi-square test was used to test if the proportions of primary care and non-primary care specialists are consistent with those of medical and dental graduates practicing in the designated community clusters. Finally, the PLS path model was constructed to explore the construct validity of analytic model by providing the magnitude effects of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving the disadvantaged community. Results: Approximately 83% (3,192/3,864) of Meharry Medical College’s medical and dental graduates from 1975 to 2013 were practicing in disadvantaged communities. Independent t-test confirmed the content validity of the cluster analysis model. Also, the PLS path modeling demonstrated that alumni served as primary care professionals in communities with significantly lower socioeconomic status and higher adverse health outcome (p < .001). The PLS path modeling exhibited the meaningful interrelation between primary care professionals practicing communities and surrounding environments (socioeconomic statues and adverse health outcome), which yielded model reliability, validity, and applicability. Conclusion: This study applied social ecological theory and analytic modeling approaches to assess the attainment of Meharry Medical College’s mission of training primary care professionals to serve in underserved areas, particularly in communities with low socioeconomic status and high rates of adverse health outcomes. In summary, the majority of medical and dental graduates from Meharry Medical College provided primary care services to disadvantaged communities with low socioeconomic status and high adverse health outcome, which demonstrated that Meharry Medical College has fulfilled its mission. The high reliability, validity, and applicability of this model imply that it could be replicated for comparable universities and colleges elsewhere.
Determinants of Never Users of Contraception – Results from Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2012-13
Introduction: There are multiple social, individual and cultural factors that influence an individual’s decision to adopt family planning methods especially among non-users in patriarchal societies like Pakistan. Non-users, if targeted efficiently, can contribute significantly to country’s CPR. A research study showed that nonusers if convinced to adopt lactational amenorrhea method can shift to long term methods in future. Research shows that if non users are targeted efficiently a 59% reduction in unintended pregnancies in Saharan Africa and South-Central and South-East Asia is anticipated. Methods: We did secondary data analysis on Pakistan Demographic Heath Survey (2012-13) dataset. Use of contraception (never-use/ever-use) was the outcome variable. At univariate level Chi-square/Fisher Exact test was used to assess relationship of baseline covariates with contraception use. Then variables to be incorporated in the model were checked for multicollinearity, confounding and interaction. Then binary logistic regression (with an urban-rural stratification) was done to find relationship between contraception use and baseline demographic and social variables. Results: The multivariate analyses of the study showed that younger women (≤ 29 years)were more prone to be never users as compared to those who were >30 years and this trend was seen in urban areas (AOR 1.92, CI 1.453-2.536) as well as rural areas (AOR 1.809, CI 1.421-2.303). While looking at regional variation, women from urban Sindh (AOR 1.548, CI 1.142-2.099) and urban Balochistan (AOR 2.403, CI 1.504-3.839) had more never users as compared to other urban regions. Women in the rich wealth quintile were more never users and this was seen both in urban and rural localities (urban (AOR 1.106 CI .753-1.624); rural areas (AOR 1.162, CI .887-1.524)) even though these were not statistically significant. Women idealizing more children (>4) are more never users as compared to those idealizing less children in both urban (AOR 1.854, CI 1.275-2.697) and rural areas (AOR 2.101, CI 1.514-2.916). Women who never lost a pregnancy were more inclined to be nonusers in rural areas (AOR 1.394, CI 1.127-1.723) .Women familiar with only traditional or no method had more never users in rural areas (AOR 1.717, CI 1.127-1.723) but in urban areas it wasn’t significant. Women unaware of Lady Health Worker’s presence in their area were more never users especially in rural areas (AOR 1.276, CI 1.014-1.607). Women who did not visit any care provider were more never users (urban (AOR 11.738, CI 9.112-15.121) rural areas (AOR 7.832, CI 6.243-9.826)). Discussion/Conclusion: This study concluded that government, policy makers and private sector family planning programs should focus on the untapped pool of never users (younger women from underserved provinces, in higher wealth quintiles, who desire more children.). We need to make sure to cover catchment areas where there are less LHWs and less providers as ignorance to modern methods and never been visited by an LHW are important determinants of never use. This all is in sync with previous literate from similar developing countries.
Time-Domain Analysis of Pulse Parameters Effects on Crosstalk (In High Speed Circuits)
Crosstalk among interconnects and printed-circuit board (PCB) traces is a major limiting factor of signal quality in highspeed digital and communication equipments especially when fast data buses are involved. Such a bus is considered as a planar multiconductor transmission line. This paper will demonstrate how the finite difference time domain (FDTD) method provides an exact solution of the transmission-line equations to analyze the near end and the far end crosstalk. In addition, this study makes it possible to analyze the rise time effect on the near and far end voltages of the victim conductor. The paper also discusses a statistical analysis, based upon a set of several simulations. Such analysis leads to a better understanding of the phenomenon and yields useful information.
Applications of Big Data in Education
Big Data and analytics have gained a huge momentum in recent years. Big Data feeds into the field of Learning Analytics (LA) that may allow academic institutions to better understand the learners’ needs and proactively address them. Hence, it is important to have an understanding of Big Data and its applications. The purpose of this descriptive paper is to provide an overview of Big Data, the technologies used in Big Data, and some of the applications of Big Data in education. Additionally, it discusses some of the concerns related to Big Data and current research trends. While Big Data can provide big benefits, it is important that institutions understand their own needs, infrastructure, resources, and limitation before jumping on the Big Data bandwagon.
Effect of N2 Pretreatment on the Properties of Tungsten-Based Catalysts in Metathesis of Ethylene and 2-Butene
The effect of N2 pretreatment on the catalytic activity of tungsten-based catalysts was investigated in the metathesis of ethylene and trans-2-butene at 450oC and atmospheric pressure. The presence of tungsten active species was confirmed by UV-Vis and Raman spectroscopy. Compared to the WO3-based catalysts treated in air, higher amount of WO4 2-tetrahedral species and lower amount of WO3 crystalline species were observed on the N2-treated ones. These contribute to the higher conversion of 2-butene and propylene selectivity during 10 h time-on-stream. Moreover, N2 treatment led to lower amount of coke formation as revealed by TPO of the spent catalysts.
Theory of Mind and Its Brain Distribution in Patients with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Theory of Mind (ToM) refers to the ability to infer another’s mental state. With appropriate ToM, one can behave well in social interactions. A growing body of evidence has demonstrated that patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) may damage ToM by affecting on regions of the underlying neural network of ToM. However, the question of whether there is cerebral laterality for ToM functions remains open. This study aimed to examine whether there is cerebral lateralization for ToM abilities in TLE patients. Sixty-seven adult TLE patients and 30 matched healthy controls (HC) were recruited. Patients were classified into right (RTLE), left (LTLE), and bilateral (BTLE) TLE groups on the basis of a consensus panel review of their seizure semiology, EEG findings, and brain imaging results. All participants completed an intellectual test and four tasks measuring basic and advanced ToM. The results showed that, on all ToM tasks, (1) each patient group performed worse than HC; (2) there were no significant differences between LTLE and RTLE groups; and (3) the BTLE group performed the worst. It appears that the neural network responsible for ToM is distributed evenly between the cerebral hemispheres.
Accumulation of Pollutants, Self-purification and Impact on Peripheral Urban Areas: A Case Study in Shantytowns in Argentina
This work sets out to debate the tensions involved in the processes of contamination and self-purification in the urban space, particularly in the streams that run through the Buenos Aires metropolitan area. For much of their course, those streams are piped; their waters do not come into contact with the outdoors until they have reached deeply impoverished urban areas with high levels of environmental contamination. These are peripheral zones that, until thirty years ago, were marshlands and fields. They are now densely populated areas largely lacking in urban infrastructure. The Cárcova neighborhood, where this project is underway, is in the José León Suárez section of General San Martín county, Buenos Aires province. A stretch of José León Suarez canal crosses the neighborhood. Starting upstream, this canal carries pollutants due to the sewage and industrial waste released into it. Further downstream, in the neighborhood, domestic drainage is poured into the stream. In this paper, we formulate a hypothesis diametrical to the one that holds that these neighborhoods are the primary source of contamination, suggesting instead that in the stretch of the canal that runs through the neighborhood the stream’s waters are actually cleaned and the sediments accumulate pollutants. Indeed, the stretches of water that runs through these neighborhoods act as water processing plants for the metropolis. This project has studied the different organic-load polluting contributions to the water in a certain stretch of the canal, the reduction of that load over the course of the canal, and the incorporation of pollutants into the sediments. We have found that the surface water has considerable ability to self-purify, mostly due to processes of sedimentation and adsorption. The polluting load is accumulated in the sediments where that load stabilizes slowly by means of anaerobic processes. In this study, we also investigated the risks of sediment management and the use of the processes studied here in controlled conditions as tools of environmental restoration.
The Impact of System and Data Quality on Organizational Success in the Kingdom of Bahrain
Data and system quality play a central role in organizational success, and the quality of any existing information system has a major influence on the effectiveness of overall system performance. Given the importance of system and data quality to an organization, it is relevant to highlight their importance on organizational performance in the Kingdom of Bahrain. This research aims to discover whether system quality and data quality are related, and to study the impact of system and data quality on organizational success. A theoretical model based on previous research is used to show the relationship between data and system quality, and organizational impact. We hypothesize, first, that system quality is positively associated with organizational impact, secondly that system quality is positively associated with data quality, and finally that data quality is positively associated with organizational impact. A questionnaire was conducted among public and private organizations in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The results show that there is a strong association between data and system quality, that affects organizational success.
Factors Determining the Women Empowerment through Microfinance: An Empirical Study in Sri Lanka
This study attempts to identify the factors influencing on women empowerment of rural area in Sri Lanka through micro finance services. Data were collected from one hundred (100) rural women involving self-employment activities through a questionnaire using direct personal interviews. Judgment and Convenience Random sampling technique was used to select the sample size from three Divisional Secretariat divisions of Kandawalai, Poonakari and Karachchi in Kilinochchi District. The factor analysis was performed on fourteen (14) variables for screening and reducing the variables to identify the influencing factors on empowerment. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify the relationship between the three empowerment factors and the impact of micro finance on overall empowerment of rural women. The result of this study summarized the variables into three factors namely decision making, freedom to mobility and family support and which are positively associated with empowerment. In addition to this the value of adjusted R2 is 0.248 indicates that all the variables extracted can be explained 24.8% of the variation in the women empowerment through microfinance. Independent variables of these three factors have positive correlation with women empowerment as well as significant values at 5 percent level.
Design and Performance Evaluation of Hybrid Corrugated-GFRP Infill Panels
This study presented to reduce earthquake damage and emergency rehabilitation of critical structures such as schools, hightech factories, and hospitals due to strong ground motions associated with climate changes. Regarding recent trend, a strong earthquake causes serious damage to critical structures and then the critical structure might be influenced by sequence aftershocks (or tsunami) due to fault plane adjustments. Therefore, in order to improve seismic performance of critical structures, retrofitted or strengthening study of the structures under aftershocks sequence after emergency rehabilitation of the structures subjected to strong earthquakes is widely carried out. Consequently, this study used composite material for emergency rehabilitation of the structure rather than concrete and steel materials because of high strength and stiffness, lightweight, rapid manufacturing, and dynamic performance. Also, this study was to develop or improve the seismic performance or seismic retrofit of critical structures subjected to strong ground motions and earthquake aftershocks, by utilizing GFRP-Corrugated Infill Panels (GCIP).
A Cost Effective Approach to Develop Mid-size Enterprise Software Adopted the Waterfall Model
Organizational tendencies towards computer-based information processing have been observed noticeably in the third-world countries. Many enterprises are taking major initiatives towards computerized working environment because of massive benefits of computer-based information processing. However, designing and developing information resource management software for small and mid-size enterprises under budget costs and strict deadline is always challenging for software engineers. Therefore, we introduced an approach to design mid-size enterprise software by using the Waterfall model, which is one of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycles), in a cost effective way. To fulfill research objectives, in this study, we developed mid-sized enterprise software named “BSK Management System” that assists enterprise software clients with information resource management and perform complex organizational tasks. Waterfall model phases have been applied to ensure that all functions, user requirements, strategic goals, and objectives are met. In addition, Rich Picture, Structured English, and Data Dictionary have been implemented and investigated properly in engineering manner. Furthermore, an assessment survey with 20 participants has been conducted to investigate the usability and performance of the proposed software. The survey results indicated that our system featured simple interfaces, easy operation and maintenance, quick processing, and reliable and accurate transactions.
Public-Private Partnership Projects in Canada: A Case Study Approach
Public-private partnerships (PPP) arrangements have been extensively used in Canada, where the participation of private companies in financing and managing infrastructure projects has increased significantly in the last decade, particularly in the transportation sector. This paper analyses the evolution of the PPP market for transportation projects in Canada and examines the participation of Spanish developers in this market, which have been particularly successful in winning PPP contracts during the last decade.
Sensitive Analysis of the ZF Model for ABC Multi Criteria Inventory Classification
ABC classification is widely used by managers for inventory control. The classical ABC classification is based on Pareto principle and according to the criterion of the annual use value only. Single criterion classification is often insufficient for a closely inventory control. Multi-criteria inventory classification models have been proposed by researchers in order to consider other important criteria. From these models, we will consider a specific model in order to make a sensitive analysis on the composite score calculated for each item. In fact, this score, based on a normalized average between a good and a bad optimized index, can affect the ABC-item classification. We will focus on items differently assigned to classes and then propose a classification compromise.
Research on Modern Semiconductor Converters and the Usage of SiC Devices in the Technology Centre of Ostrava
The following article presents Technology Centre of Ostrava (TCO) in the Czech Republic describing the structure and main research areas realized by the project ENET - Energy Units for Utilization of non Traditional Energy Sources. More details are presented from the research program dealing with transformation, accumulation and distribution of electric energy. Technology Centre has its own energy mix consisting of alternative sources of fuel sources that use of process gases from the storage part and also the energy from distribution network. The article will be focus on the properties and application possibilities SiC semiconductor devices for power semiconductor converter for photovoltaic systems.
The Common Agricultural Policy in a Czech Context
The largest share of policy and money within the European Union goes to agriculture. The Union’s Common Agricultural Policy has undergone several transformations in the last five decades, with the main change taking place in the 1990s. This change influenced agriculture in the Czech Republic, inasmuch as the fledgling republic was preparing to join the European Union and adopt its policies. In the 1990s, Czech agriculture passed from a centrally planned economy to a market economy and subsequently adopted the terms of the Common Agricultural Policy. The Czech Republic is also characterized by a significant diversification of landscape sphere. Agricultural entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic are still not accustomed to the possibility of grants from the European Union. They focus rather on national or regional subsidies. Only half of all agricultural entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic use European subsidies. This article focuses on the introduction of the Common Agricultural Policy to the Czech Republic and its subsequent influence on Czech agriculture. It is demonstrated through the implementation rate of the CAP in the EU Member States and a closer focus on Czech integration.
A Study of Behavioral Phenomena Using ANN

Behavioral aspects of experience such as will power are rarely subjected to quantitative study owing to the numerous complexities involved. Will is a phenomenon that has puzzled humanity for a long time. It is a belief that will power of an individual affects the success achieved by them in life. It is also thought that a person endowed with great will power can overcome even the most crippling setbacks in life while a person with a weak will cannot make the most of life even the greatest assets. This study is an attempt to subject the phenomena of will to the test of an artificial neural network through a computational model. The claim being tested is that will power of an individual largely determines success achieved in life. It is proposed that data pertaining to success of individuals be obtained from an experiment and the phenomenon of will be incorporated into the model, through data generated recursively using a relation between will and success characteristic to the model. An artificial neural network trained using part of the data, could subsequently be used to make predictions regarding data points in the rest of the model. The procedure would be tried for different models and the model where the networks predictions are found to be in greatest agreement with the data would be selected; and used for studying the relation between success and will.

Using of Cavitation Disperser, for Porous Ceramic and Concrete Material Preparation

Present paper describes method of obtaining clay ceramic foam (CCF) and foam concrete (FC), by direct foaming with high speed mixer-disperser (HSMD). Three foaming agents (FA) are compared for the FC and CCF production: SCHÄUMUNGSMITTEL W 53 FLÜSSIG (Zschimmer & Schwarz Gmbh, Germany), SCF- 1245 (Sika, test sample, Latvia) and FAB-12 (Elade, Latvija). CCF were obtained at 950, 1000°C, 1150°C and 1150°C firing temperature and have mechanical compressive strength 1.2, 2.55 and 4.3 MPa and porosity 79.4, 75.1, 71.6%, respectively. Obtained FC has 6-14 MPa compressive strength and porosity 44-55%. The goal of this work was development of a sustainable and durable ceramic cellular structures using HSMD.

Forecasting of Grape Juice Flavor by Using Support Vector Regression

The research of juice flavor forecasting has become more important in China. Due to the fast economic growth in China, many different kinds of juices have been introduced to the market. If a beverage company can understand their customers’ preference well, the juice can be served more attractive. Thus, this study intends to introducing the basic theory and computing process of grapes juice flavor forecasting based on support vector regression (SVR). Applying SVR, BPN, and LR to forecast the flavor of grapes juice in real data shows that SVR is more suitable and effective at predicting performance.

The Capacity Building in the Natural Disaster Management of Thailand

The past two decades, Thailand faced the natural disasters, for instance, Gay typhoon in 1989, tsunami in 2004, and huge flood in 2011. The disaster management in Thailand was improved both structure and mechanism for cope with the natural disaster since 2007. However, the natural disaster management in Thailand has various problems, for examples, cooperation between related an organizations have not unity, inadequate resources, the natural disaster management of public sectors not proactive, people has not awareness the risk of the natural disaster, and communities did not participate in the natural disaster management. Objective of this study is to find the methods for capacity building in the natural disaster management of Thailand. The concept and information about the capacity building and the natural disaster management of Thailand were reviewed and analyzed by classifying and organizing data. The result found that the methods for capacity building in the natural disaster management of Thailand should be consist of 1) link operation and information in the natural disaster management between nation, province, local and community levels, 2) enhance competency and resources of public sectors which relate to the natural disaster management, 3) establish proactive natural disaster management both planning and implementation, 4) decentralize the natural disaster management to local government organizations, 5) construct public awareness in the natural disaster management to community, 6) support Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) seriously, and 7) emphasis on participation in the natural disaster management of all stakeholders.

Factors Associated with Mammography Screening Behaviors: A Cross-Sectional Descriptive Study of Egyptian Women

Breast cancer is considered as a substantial health concern and practicing mammography screening [MS] is important in minimizing its related morbidity. So it is essential to have a better understanding of breast cancer screening behaviors of women and factors that influence utilization of them. The aim of this study is to identify the factors that are linked to MS behaviors among the Egyptian women. A cross-sectional descriptive design was carried out to provide a snapshot of the factors that are linked to MS behaviors. A convenience sample of 311 women was utilized and all eligible participants admitted to the Women Imaging Unit who are 40 years of age or above, coming for mammography assessment, not pregnant or breast feeding and who accepted to participate in the study were included. A structured questionnaire was developed by the researchers and contains three parts; Socio-demographic data; Motivating factors associated with MS; and association between MS and model of behavior change. The analyzed data indicated that most of the participated women (66.6%) belonged to the age group of 40- 49.A high proportion of participants (58.1%) of group having previous MS influenced by their neighbors to practice MS, whereas 32.7 % in group not having previous MS were influenced by family members which indicated significant differences (P <0.05). Doctors and media shown to be the least influence of others to practice MS. Women with intention to have a future mammogram had higher OR (1.404) for practicing MS compared with women with no intention. Further studies are needed to examine the relation between Transtheoretical Model [TTM] and practicing MS.

The High Temperature Damage of DV – 2 Turbine Blade Made from Ni – Base Superalloy
High pressure turbine (HPT) blades of DV – 2 jet engines are made from Ni – based superalloy. This alloy was originally manufactured in the Soviet Union and referred as ŽS6K. For improving alloy’s high temperature resistance are blades coated with Al – Si diffusion layer. A regular operation temperature of HPT blades vary from 705°C to 750°C depending on jet engine regime. An overcrossing working temperature range causes degradation of the protective coating as well as base material which microstructure is formed by the gamma matrix and strengthening phase gamma prime (forming small particles in the microstructure). Diffusion processes inside the material during exposition of the material to high temperatures causes mainly coarsening of the gamma prime particles, thus decreasing its strengthening effect. Degradation of the Al – Si coating caused its thickness growth. All the microstructure changes and coating layer thickness growth results in decreasing of the turbine blade operation lifetime.
Spatial Resilience of the Ageing Population in the Romanian Functional Urban Areas
The authors propose the identification, analysis and prognosis of the quantitative and qualitative evolution of the elderly population in the functional urban areas. The present paper takes into account the analysis of some representative indicators (the weight of the elderly population, ageing index, dynamic index of economic ageing of productive population etc.) and the elaboration of an integrated indicator that would help differentiate the population ageing forms in the 48 functional urban areas that were defined based on demographic and social-economic criteria for all large and medium cities in Romania.
Meaningful General Education Reform: Integrating Core Curricula and Institutional Values
A central element of higher education today is the “core” or “general education” curriculum: that configuration of courses that often encompasses the essence of liberal arts education. Ensuring that such offerings reflect the mission and values of the institution is a challenge faced by most college and universities, often more than once. This paper presents an action model of program planning designed to structure the processes of developing, implementing and revising core curricula in a manner consistent with key institutional goals and objectives. Through presentation of a case study from a university in the United States, the elements of needs assessment, stakeholder investment and collaborative compromise are shown as key components of a planning strategy that can produce a general education program that is comprehensive, academically rigorous, assessable, and mission consistent. The paper concludes with recommendations for both the implementation and evaluation of such programs in practice.
3D Finite Element Analysis for Mechanics of Soil-Tool Interaction
This paper is part of a study to develop robots for farming. As such power requirement to operate equipment attach to such robots become an important factor. Soil-tool interaction plays major role in power consumption, thus predicting accurately the forces which act on the blade during the farming is very important for optimal designing of farm equipment. In this paper, a finite element investigation for tillage tools and soil interaction is described by using an inelastic constitutive material law for agriculture application. A 3-dimensional (3D) nonlinear finite element analysis (FEA) is developed to examine behavior of a blade with different rake angles moving in a block of soil, and to estimate the blade force. The soil model considered is an elastic-plastic with non-associated Drucker-Prager material model. Special use of contact elements are employed to consider connection between soil-blade and soil-soil surfaces. The FEA results are compared with experimental ones, which show good agreement in accurately predicting draft forces developed on the blade when it moves through the soil. Also a very good correlation was obtained between FEA results and analytical results from classical soil mechanics theories for straight blades. These comparisons verified the FEA model developed. For analyzing complicated soil-tool interactions and for optimum design of blades, this method will be useful.
Managerial Leadership Styles of Deans in Indonesian Universities
Indonesian higher education has experienced significant changes over the last decade. In 1999, the government published an overall strategy for decentralisation and enhancement of local autonomy in many sectors, including (higher) education. Indonesian higher education reforms have forced universities to restructure their internal university governance to become more entrepreneurial. These new types of internal university governance are likely to affect the institutions’ leadership and management. This paper discusses the approach and findings of a study on the managerial leadership styles of deans in Indonesian universities. The study aims to get a better understanding of styles exhibited by deans manifested in their behaviours. Using the theories of reasoned action and planned behaviour, in combination with the competing values framework, a large-scale survey was conducted to gather information on the deans’ behaviours, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control. Based on the responses of a sample of 218 deans, the study identifies a number of leadership styles: the Master, the Competitive Consultant, the Consensual Goal-Setter, the Focused Team Captain, and the Informed Trust-Builder style. The study demonstrates that attitudes are the primary determinant of the styles that were found. Perceived behavioural control is a factor that explains some managerial leadership styles. By understanding the attitudes of deans in Indonesian universities, and their leadership styles, universities can strengthen their management and governance, and thus improve their effectiveness.
A Comparative Study of Malware Detection Techniques Using Machine Learning Methods
In the past few years, the amount of malicious software increased exponentially and, therefore, machine learning algorithms became instrumental in identifying clean and malware files through (semi)-automated classification. When working with very large datasets, the major challenge is to reach both a very high malware detection rate and a very low false positive rate. Another challenge is to minimize the time needed for the machine learning algorithm to do so. This paper presents a comparative study between different machine learning techniques such as linear classifiers, ensembles, decision trees or various hybrids thereof. The training dataset consists of approximately 2 million clean files and 200.000 infected files, which is a realistic quantitative mixture. The paper investigates the above mentioned methods with respect to both their performance (detection rate and false positive rate) and their practicability.
Bibliometric Analysis of the Impact of Funding on Scientific Development of Researchers
Every year, a considerable amount of money is being invested on research, mainly in the form of funding allocated to universities and research institutes. To better distribute the available funds and to set the most proper R&D investment strategies for the future, evaluation of the productivity of the funded researchers and the impact of such funding is crucial. In this paper, using the data on 15 years of journal publications of the NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering research Council of Canada) funded researchers and by means of bibliometric analysis, the scientific development of the funded researchers and their scientific collaboration patterns will be investigated in the period of 1996-2010. According to the results it seems that there is a positive relation between the average level of funding and quantity and quality of the scientific output. In addition, whenever funding allocated to the researchers has increased, the number of co-authors per paper has also augmented. Hence, the increase in the level of funding may enable researchers to get involved in larger projects and/or scientific teams and increase their scientific output respectively.
Analysis of Direct Current Motor in LabVIEW
DC motors have been widely used in the past centuries which are proudly known as the workhorse of industrial systems until the invention of the AC induction motors which makes a huge revolution in industries. Since then, the use of DC machines has been decreased due to enormous factors such as reliability, robustness and complexity but it lost its fame due to the losses. In this paper a new methodology is proposed to construct a DC motor through the simulation in LabVIEW to get an idea about its real time performances, if a change in parameter might have bigger improvement in losses and reliability.
Induction Motor Analysis Using LabVIEW

Proposed paper dealt with the modelling and analysis of induction motor based on the mathematical expression using the graphical programming environment of Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench (LabVIEW). Induction motor modelling with the mathematical expression enables the motor to be simulated with the various required parameters. Owing to the invention of variable speed drives study about the induction motor characteristics became complex. In this simulation motor internal parameter such as stator resistance and reactance, rotor resistance and reactance, phase voltage, frequency and losses will be given as input. By varying the speed of motor corresponding parameters can be obtained they are input power, output power, efficiency, torque induced, slip and current.

Selection of Pichia kudriavzevii Strain for the Production of Single-Cell Protein from Cassava Processing Waste
A total of 115 yeast strains isolated from local cassava processing wastes were measured for crude protein content. Among these strains, the strain MSY-2 possessed the highest protein concentration (>3.5 mg protein/mL). By using molecular identification tools, it was identified to be a strain of Pichia kudriavzevii based on similarity of D1/D2 domain of 26S rDNA region. In this study, to optimize the protein production by MSY-2 strain, Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was applied. The tested parameters were the carbon content, nitrogen content, and incubation time. Here, the value of regression coefficient (R2) = 0.7194 could be explained by the model which is high to support the significance of the model. Under the optimal condition, the protein content was produced up to 3.77 g per L of the culture and MSY-2 strain contains 66.8 g protein per 100 g of cell dry weight. These results revealed the plausibility of applying the novel strain of yeast in single-cell protein production.
Evaluation of Heterogeneity of Paint Coating on Metal Substrate Using Laser Infrared Thermography and Eddy Current
Non contact evaluation of the thickness of paint coatings can be attempted by different destructive and nondestructive methods such as cross-section microscopy, gravimetric mass measurement, magnetic gauges, Eddy current, ultrasound or terahertz. Infrared thermography is a nondestructive and non-invasive method that can be envisaged as a useful tool to measure the surface thickness variations by analyzing the temperature response. In this paper, the thermal quadrupole method for two layered samples heated up with a pulsed excitation is firstly used. By analyzing the thermal responses as a function of thermal properties and thicknesses of both layers, optimal parameters for the excitation source can be identified. Simulations show that a pulsed excitation with duration of ten milliseconds allows obtaining a substrate-independent thermal response. Based on this result, an experimental setup consisting of a near-infrared laser diode and an Infrared camera was next used to evaluate the variation of paint coating thickness between 60 μm and 130 μm on two samples. Results show that the parameters extracted for thermal images are correlated with the estimated thicknesses by the Eddy current methods. The laser pulsed thermography is thus an interesting alternative nondestructive method that can be moreover used for nonconductive substrates.
Immigration and Gender Equality – An Analysis of the Labor Market Characteristics of Turkish Migrants Living in Germany
Turkish migrants constitute the largest group among people with migration background living in Germany. Turkish women’s labor market participation is of significant importance for their social and economic integration to the German society. This paper thus aims to investigate their labor market positions. Turkish migrant women participate less in the labor market compared to men, and are responsible for most of the housework, child care, and elderly care. This is due to their traditional roles in the family, educational level, insufficient knowledge of German language, and insufficient professional experience. We strongly recommend that wide-reaching integration policies for women are formulated, so as to encourage participation of not only migrant women but also their husbands, fathers and/or brothers, and natives.
Automatic Flood Prediction Using Rainfall Runoff Model in Moravian-Silesian Region
Rainfall runoff models play important role in hydrological predictions. However, the model is only one part of the process for creation of flood prediction. The aim of this paper is to show the process of successful prediction for flood event (May 15 – May 18 2014). Prediction was performed by rainfall runoff model HEC–HMS, one of the models computed within Floreon+ system. The paper briefly evaluates the results of automatic hydrologic prediction on the river Olše catchment and its gages Český Těšín and Věřňovice.
Assuming the Decision of Having One (More) Child: The New Dimensions of the Post Communist Romanian Family
The first part of the paper analyzes the dynamics of the total fertility rate both at the national and regional level, pointing out the regional disparities in the distribution of this indicator. At the same time, we also focus on the collapse of the number of live births, on the changes in the fertility rate by birth rank, as well as on the failure of acquiring the desired number of children. The second part of the study centres upon a survey applied to urban families with 3 and more than 3 offspring. The preliminary analysis highlights the fact that an increased fertility (more than 3rd rank) is triggered by the parents’ above the average material condition and superior education. The current situation of Romania, which is still passing through a period of relatively rapid demographic changes, marked by numerous convulsions, requires a new approach, in compliance with the recent interpretations appropriate to a new post-transitional demographic regime.
Motion Planning of SCARA Robots for Trajectory Tracking
The paper presents a method for a simple and immediate motion planning of a SCARA robot, whose end-effector has to move along a given trajectory; the calculation procedure requires the user to define in analytical form or by points the trajectory to be followed and to assign the curvilinear abscissa as function of the time. On the basis of the geometrical characteristics of the robot, a specifically developed program determines the motion laws of the actuators that enable the robot to generate the required movement; this software can be used in all industrial applications for which a SCARA robot has to be frequently reprogrammed, in order to generate various types of trajectories with different motion times.
PhilSHORE: Development of a WebGIS-Based Marine Spatial Planning Tool for Tidal Current Energy Resource Assessment and Site Suitability Analysis
PhilSHORE is a multi-site, multi-device and multicriteria decision support tool designed to support the development of tidal current energy in the Philippines. Its platform is based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) which allows for the collection, storage, processing, analyses and display of geospatial data. Combining GIS tools with open source web development applications, PhilSHORE becomes a webGIS-based marine spatial planning tool. To date, PhilSHORE displays output maps and graphs of power and energy density, site suitability and site-device analysis. It enables stakeholders and the public easy access to the results of tidal current energy resource assessments and site suitability analyses. Results of the initial development show that PhilSHORE is a promising decision support tool for ORE project developments.
Geochemistry of Natural Radionuclides Associated with Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) in a Coal Mining Area in Southern Brazil
Coal is an important non-renewable energy source of and can be associated with radioactive elements. In Figueira city, Paraná state, Brazil, it was recorded high uranium activity near the coal mine that supplies a local thermoelectric power plant. In this context, the radon activity (Rn-222, produced by the Ra-226 decay in the U-238 natural series) was evaluated in groundwater, river water and effluents produced from the acid mine drainage in the coal reject dumps. The samples were collected in August 2013 and in February 2014 and analyzed at LABIDRO (Laboratory of Isotope and Hydrochemistry), UNESP, Rio Claro city, Brazil, using an alpha spectrometer (AlphaGuard) adjusted to evaluate the mean radon activity concentration in five cycles of 10 minutes. No radon activity concentration above 100 Bq.L-1, which was a previous critic value established by the World Health Organization. The average radon activity concentration in groundwater was higher than in surface water and in effluent samples, possibly due to the accumulation of uranium and radium in the aquifer layers that favors the radon trapping. The lower value in the river waters can indicate dilution and the intermediate value in the effluents may indicate radon absorption in the coal particles of the reject dumps. The results also indicate that the radon activities in the effluents increase with the sample acidification, possibly due to the higher radium leaching and the subsequent radon transport to the drainage flow. The water samples of Laranjinha River and Ribeirão das Pedras stream, which, respectively, supply Figueira city and receive the mining effluent, exhibited higher pH values upstream the mine, reflecting the acid mine drainage discharge. The radionuclides transport indicates the importance of monitoring their activity concentration in natural waters due to the risks that the radioactivity can represent to human health.
Effect of Fly Ash Fineness on Sorption Properties of Geopolymers Based On Liquid Glass
Fly ash (FA) thanks to the significant presence of SiO2 and Al2O3 as the main components is a potential raw material for geopolymers production. Mechanical activation is a method for improving FA reactivity and also the porosity of final mixture; those parameters can be analysed through sorption properties. They have direct impact on the durability of fly ash based geopolymer mortars. In the paper, effect of FA fineness on sorption properties of geopolymers based on sodium silicate, as well as relationship between fly ash fineness and apparent density, compressive and flexural strength of geopolymers are presented. The best results in the evaluated area reached the sample H1, which contents the highest portion of particle under 20μm (100% of GFA). The interdependence of individual tested properties was confirmed for geopolymer mixtures corresponding to those in the cement based mixtures: higher is portion of fine particles < 20μm, higher is strength, density and lower are sorption properties. The compressive strength as well as sorption parameters of the geopolymer can be reasonably controlled by grinding process and also ensured by the higher share of fine particle (to 20μm) in total mass of the material.
The Impact of Host Country Effects on Transferring HRM Practices from Western Headquarters to Ukrainian Subsidiaries
The emerging markets of post-USSR countries have attracted Western multinational companies; however, weak institutions and unstable host country environments have hindered the implementation of successful management practices. The Ukrainian market, in light of recent events, is particularly interesting to study for its compatibility with Western businesses. This paper focuses on factors that can facilitate or inhibit the transfer of human resource management practices from Western headquarters to Ukrainian subsidiaries. To explain the national context’s effects better, a business systems approach has been applied to a qualitative study of 16 wholly owned Western subsidiaries, dissecting the reasons for a weak integration of Western practices in Ukraine. Results show that underdeveloped institutions have forced companies to develop additional practices that compensate for national weaknesses, as well as to adjust to a constantly changing environment. Flexibility and local responsiveness were observed as vital for success in Ukraine.
F-IVT Actuation System to Power Artificial Knee Joint
The efficiency of the actuation system of exoskeletons and active orthoses for lower limbs is a significant aspect of the design of such devices because it affects their efficacy. The F-IVT is an innovative actuation system to power artificial knee joint with energy recovery capabilities. Its key and non-conventional elements are a flywheel that acts as a mechanical energy storage system, and an Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT). The design of the F-IVT can be optimized for a certain walking condition, resulting in a heavy reduction of both the electric energy consumption and of the electric peak power. In this work, by means of simulations of level ground walking at different speeds, it is demonstrated that the F-IVT is still an advantageous actuator which permits to save energy consumption and to downsize the electric motor even when it does not work in nominal conditions.
Critical Factors Affecting the Implementation of Total Quality Management in the Construction Industry in U.A.E
The purpose of the paper is to examine the most critical and important factor which will affect the implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) in the construction industry in the United Arab Emirates. It also examines the most effected Project outcome from implementing TQM. A framework was also proposed depending on the literature studies. The method used in this paper is a quantitative study. A survey with a sample of 60 respondents was created and distributed in a construction company in Abu Dhabi, which includes 15 questions to examine the most critical factor that will affect the implementation of TQM in addition to the most effected project outcome from implementing TQM. The survey showed that management commitment is the most important factor in implementing TQM in a construction company. Also it showed that Project cost is most effected outcome from the implementation of TQM. Management commitment is very important for implementing TQM in any company. If the management loose interest in quality then everyone in the organization will do so. The success of TQM will depend mostly on the top of the pyramid. Also cost is reduced and money is saved when the project team implement TQM. While if no quality measures are present within the team, the project will suffer a commercial failure. Based on literature, more factors can be examined and added to the model. In addition, more construction companies could be surveyed in order to obtain more accurate results. Also this study could be conducted outside the United Arab Emirates for further enchantment.
Available Transmission Transfer Efficiency (ATTE) as an Index Measurement for Power Transmission Grid Performance
Transmission system performance analysis is vital to proper planning and operations of power systems in the presence of deregulation. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are often used as measure of degree of performance. This paper gives a novel method to determine the transmission efficiency by evaluating the ratio of real power losses incurred from a specified transfer direction. Available Transmission Transfer Efficiency (ATTE) expresses the percentage of real power received resulting from inter-area available power transfer. The Tie line (Rated system path) performance is seen to differ from system wide (Network response) performance and ATTE values obtained are transfer direction specific. The required sending end quantities with specified receiving end ATC and the receiving end power circle diagram are obtained for the tie line analysis. The amount of real power loss load relative to the available transfer capability gives a measure of the transmission grid efficiency.
Microstructural and Magnetic Properties of Ni50Mn39Sn11 and Ni50Mn36Sn14 Heusler Alloys
We report the microstructural and magnetic properties of Ni50Mn39Sn11 and Ni50Mn36Sn14 ribbon Heusler alloys. Experimental results were obtained by differential scanning calorymetry, X-ray diffraction and vibrating sample magnetometry techniques. The Ni-Mn-Sn system undergoes a martensitic structural transformation in a wide temperature range. For example, for Ni50Mn39Sn11 the start and finish temperatures of the martensitic and austenite phase transformation for ribbon alloy were Ms=336K, Mf=328K, As=335K and Af=343K whereas no structural transformation is observed for Ni50Mn36Sn14 alloys. Magnetic measurements show the typical ferromagnetic behavior with Curie temperature 207 K at low applied field of 50 Oe. The complex behavior exhibited by these Heusler alloys should be ascribed to the strong coupling between magnetism and structure, being their magnetic behavior determined by the distance between Mn atoms.
Influence of Single and Multiple Skin-Core Debonding on Free Vibration Characteristics of Innovative GFRP Sandwich Panels
An Australian manufacturer has fabricated an innovative GFRP sandwich panel made from E-glass fiber skin and a modified phenolic core for structural applications. Debonding, which refers to separation of skin from the core material in composite sandwiches, is one of the most common types of damage in composites. The presence of debonding is of great concern because it not only severely affects the stiffness but also modifies the dynamic behaviour of the structure. Generally it is seen that the majority of research carried out has been concerned about the delamination of laminated structures whereas skin-core debonding has received relatively minor attention. Furthermore it is observed that research done on composite slabs having multiple skin-core debonding is very limited. To address this gap, a comprehensive research investigating dynamic behaviour of composite panels with single and multiple debonding is presented. The study uses finite-element modelling and analyses for investigating the influence of debonding on free vibration behaviour of single and multilayer composite sandwich panels. A broad parametric investigation has been carried out by varying debonding locations, debonding sizes and support conditions of the panels in view of both single and multiple debonding. Numerical models were developed with Strand7 finite element package by innovatively selecting the suitable elements to diligently represent their actual behavior. Three-dimensional finite element models were employed to simulate the physically real situation as close as possible, with the use of an experimentally and numerically validated finite element model. Comparative results and conclusions based on the analyses are presented. For similar extents and locations of debonding, the effect of debonding on natural frequencies appears greatly dependent on the end conditions of the panel, giving greater decrease in natural frequency when the panels are more restrained. Some modes are more sensitive to debonding and this sensitivity seems to be related to their vibration mode shapes. The fundamental mode seems generally the least sensitive mode to debonding with respect to the variation in free vibration characteristics. The results indicate the effectiveness of the developed three dimensional finite element models in assessing debonding damage in composite sandwich panels.
The Preparation of Silicon and Aluminum Extracts from Tuncbilek and Orhaneli Fly Ashes by Alkali Fusion
Coal fly ash is formed as a solid waste product from the combustion of coal in coal fired power stations. Huge amounts of fly ash are produced globally every year and are predicted to increase. Nowadays, less than half of the fly ash is used as a raw material for cement manufacturing, construction and the rest of it is disposed as a waste causing yet another environmental concern. For this reason, the recycling of this kind of slurries into useful materials is quite important in terms of economical and environmental aspects. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the Orhaneli and Tuncbilek coal fly ashes for utilization in some industrial applications. Therefore the mineralogical and chemical compositions of these fly ashes were analyzed by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, ourier-transform infrared spectrometer, and X-ray diffraction. The silicon (Si) and aluminum (Al) in the fly ashes were activated by alkali fusion technique with sodium hydroxide. The obtained extracts were analyzed for Si and Al content by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry.
Adverse Impacts of Poor Wastewater Management Practices on Water Quality in Gebeng Industrial Area, Pahang, Malaysia
This study was carried out to investigate the adverse effect of industrial wastewater on surface water quality in Gebeng industrial estate, Pahang, Malaysia. Surface water was collected from six sampling stations. Physicochemical parameters were characterized based on in-situ and ex-situ analysis according to standard methods by American Public Health Association (APHA). Selected heavy metals were determined by using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP MS). The results revealed that the concentration of heavy metals such as Pb, Cu, Cd, Cr and Hg were high in samples. The results also showed that the value of Pb and Hg were higher in the wet season in comparison to dry season. According to Malaysia National Water Quality Standard (NWQS) and Water Quality Index (WQI) all the sampling station were categorized as class IV (highly polluted). The present study revealed that the adverse effects of careless disposal of wastes and directly discharge of effluents affected on surface water quality. Therefore, the authorities should implement the laws to ensure the proper practices of wastewater management for environmental sustainability around the study area.
Out-of-Plane Free Vibrations of Circular Rods
In this study, out-of-plane free vibrations of a circular rods is investigated theoretically. The governing equations for naturally twisted and curved spatial rods are obtained using Timoshenko beam theory and rewritten for circular rods. Effects of the axial and shear deformations are considered in the formulations. Ordinary differential equations in scalar form are solved analytically by using transfer matrix method. The circular rods of the mass matrix are obtained by using straight rod of consistent mass matrix. Free vibrations frequencies obtained by solving eigenvalue problem. A computer program coded in MATHEMATICA language is prepared. Circular beams are analyzed through various examples for free vibrations analysis. Results are compared with ANSYS results based on finite element method and available in the literature.
Effect of Infill Walls on Response of Multi Storey Reinforced Concrete Structure
The present research work investigates the seismic response of reinforced concrete (RC) frame building considering the effect of modeling masonry infill (MI) walls. The seismic behavior of a residential 6-storey RC frame building, considering and ignoring the effect of masonry, is numerically investigated using response spectrum (RS) analysis. The considered herein building is designed as a moment resisting frame (MRF) system following the Egyptian code (EC) requirements. Two developed models in terms of bare frame and infill walls frame are used in the study. Equivalent diagonal strut methodology is used to represent the behavior of infill walls, whilst the well-known software package ETABS is used for implementing all frame models and performing the analysis. The results of the numerical simulations such as base shear, displacements, and internal forces for the bare frame as well as the infill wall frame are presented in a comparative way. The results of the study indicate that the interaction between infill walls and frames significantly change the responses of buildings during earthquakes compared to the results of bare frame building model. Specifically, the seismic analysis of RC bare frame structure leads to underestimation of base shear and consequently damage or even collapse of buildings may occur under strong shakings. On the other hand, considering infill walls significantly decrease the peak floor displacements and drifts in both X and Y-directions.
Students’ Perception of Their M-Learning Readiness
The following paper presents the results of a study aimed at achieving a better understanding of the psychological readiness for mobile learning (m-learning) among Saudi students, while also evaluating m-learning readiness as a whole in Saudi Arabia - a topic that has not yet received adequate attention from researchers. Data was acquired via a questionnaire administered to 131 Saudi students at UK universities, in July 2013. The study confirmed that students are confident about using mobile devices in their daily lives, and that they would welcome more opportunities for mobile learning. The findings also indicated that Saudi higher education students are very familiar with, and psychologically ready for, m-learning.
Horizontal Directivity of Pipa Radiation
Pipa is one of the most important Chinese traditional plucked instruments, but its directivity has never been measured systematically. In western, directivity of loudness for western instruments is deeply researched through analysis of sound pressure level, whereas the directivity of timbre is seldom studied. In this paper, a new method for directivity of timbre was proposed, and horizontal directivity patterns of loudness and timbre of Pipa were measured. Directivity of Pipa radiation was measured in an anechoic room. The sound of Pipa played by a musician was recorded simultaneously by 32 microphones with Pipa in the center. The measuring results were examined through listening test. According to the measurement of Pipa directivity radiation, we put forward the best localization of Pipa in the Chinese traditional orchestra and the optimal recording region.
Performance of the Aptima® HIV-1 Quant Dx Assay on the Panther System
The Aptima® HIV-1 Quant Dx Assay is a fully automated assay on the Panther system. It is based on Transcription- Mediated Amplification and real time detection technologies. This assay is intended for monitoring HIV-1 viral load in plasma specimens and for the detection of HIV-1 in plasma and serum specimens. Nine-hundred and seventy nine specimens selected at random from routine testing at St Thomas’ Hospital, London were anonymised and used to compare the performance of the Aptima HIV-1 Quant Dx assay and Roche COBAS® AmpliPrep/COBAS® TaqMan® HIV-1 Test, v2.0. Two-hundred and thirty four specimens gave quantitative HIV-1 viral load results in both assays. The quantitative results reported by the Aptima Assay were comparable to those reported by the Roche COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HIV-1 Test, v2.0 with a linear regression slope of 1.04 and an intercept on -0.097. The Aptima assay detected HIV-1 in more samples than the COBAS assay. This was not due to lack of specificity of the Aptima assay because this assay gave 99.83% specificity on testing plasma specimens from 600 HIV-1 negative individuals. To understand the reason for this higher detection rate a side-by-side comparison of low level panels made from the HIV-1 3rd international standard (NIBSC10/152) and clinical samples of various subtypes were tested in both assays. The Aptima assay was more sensitive than the COBAS assay. The good sensitivity, specificity and agreement with other commercial assays make the HIV-1 Quant Dx Assay appropriate for both viral load monitoring and detection of HIV-1 infections.
Open Educational Resource in Online Mathematics Learning
Technology, multimedia in Open Educational Resources, can contribute positively to student performance in an online instructional environment. Student performance data of past four years were obtained from an online course entitled Applied Calculus (MA139). This paper examined the data to determine whether multimedia (independent variable) had any impact on student performance (dependent variable) in online math learning, and how students felt about the value of the technology. Two groups of student data were analyzed, group 1 (control) from the online applied calculus course that did not use multimedia instructional materials, and group 2 (treatment) of the same online applied calculus course that used multimedia instructional materials. For the MA139 class, results indicate a statistically significant difference (p = .001) between the two groups, where group 1 had a final score mean of 56.36 (out of 100), group 2 of 70.68. Additionally, student testimonials were discussed in which students shared their experience in learning applied calculus online with multimedia instructional materials.
Awareness of Students and Teachers towards AIDS and AIDS Education
600 schools going adolescents and 100 teachers from 16 schools of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur district of Assam, India were surveyed to assess and compare their awareness regarding AIDS and AIDS Education. An awareness test was administered containing 38 items for adolescents and 40 items for teachers in the test. Observations revealed that the majority of school-going adolescents are poor in their HIV/AIDS and AIDS education awareness. It shows that the school going adolescents of Dhemaji district are better in HIV/AIDS and AIDS education awareness than the school going adolescents of Lakhimpur district while comparing the gender, settlement, steam and district wise variables.
Economic Neoliberalism: Property Right and Redistribution Policy

In this paper, we will analyze the relationship between the neo-liberal concept of property rights and redistribution policy. This issue is back in the focus of interest due to the crisis 2008. The crisis has reaffirmed the influence of the state on the free-market processes. The interference of the state with property relations reopened a classical question: is it legitimate to redistribute resources of a man in favor of another man with taxes? The dominant view is that the neoliberal philosophy of natural rights is incompatible with redistributive measures. In principle, this view can be accepted. However, when we look into the details of the theory of natural rights proposed by some coryphaei of neoliberal philosophy, such as Hayek, Nozick, Buchanan and Rothbard, we can see that it is not such an unequivocal view. 

Effects of Coupling Agent on the Properties of Henequen Microfiber (NF) Filled High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Composites

The main objective of incorporating natural fibers such as Henequen microfibers (NF) into the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) polymer matrix is to reduce the cost and to enhance the mechanical as well as other properties. The Henequen microfibers were chopped manually to 5-7mm in length and added into the polymer matrix at the optimized concentration of 8 wt %. In order to facilitate the link between Henequen microfibers (NF) and HDPE matrix, coupling agent such as Glycidoxy (Epoxy) Functional Methoxy Silane (GPTS) at various concentrations from 0.1%, 0.3%, 0.5%, 0.7%, 0.9% and 1% by weight to the total fibers were added. The tensile strength of the composite increased marginally while % elongation at break of the composites decreased with increase in silane loading by wt %. Tensile modulus and stiffness observed increased at 0.9 wt % GPTS loading. Flexural as well as impact strength of the composite decreased with increase in GPTS loading by weight %. Dielectric strength of the composite also found increased marginally up to 0.5wt % silane loading and thereafter remained constant. 

Application of Ultrasonic Assisted Machining Technique for Glass-Ceramic Milling

In this study, ultrasonic assisted machining (UAM) technique is applied in side-surface milling experiment for glass-ceramic workpiece material. The tungsten carbide cutting-tool with diamond coating is used in conjunction with two kinds of cooling/lubrication mediums such as water-soluble (WS) cutting fluid and minimum quantity lubricant (MQL). Full factorial process parameter combinations on the milling experiments are planned to investigate the effect of process parameters on cutting performance. From the experimental results, it tries to search for the better process parameter combination which the edge-indentation and the surface roughness are acceptable. In the machining experiments, ultrasonic oscillator was used to excite a cutting-tool along the radial direction producing a very small amplitude of vibration frequency of 20KHz to assist the machining process. After processing, toolmaker microscope was used to detect the side-surface morphology, edge-indentation and cutting tool wear under different combination of cutting parameters, and analysis and discussion were also conducted for experimental results. The results show that the main leading parameters to edge-indentation of glass ceramic are cutting depth and feed rate. In order to reduce edge-indentation, it needs to use lower cutting depth and feed rate. Water-soluble cutting fluid provides a better cooling effect in the primary cutting area; it may effectively reduce the edge-indentation and improve the surface morphology of the glass ceramic. The use of ultrasonic assisted technique can effectively enhance the surface finish cleanness and reduce cutting tool wear and edge-indentation. 

Introduction of the Harmfulness of the Seismic Signal in the Assessment of the Performance of Reinforced Concrete Frame Structures

The principle of the seismic performance evaluation methods is to provide a measure of capability for a building or set of buildings to be damaged by an earthquake. The common objective of many of these methods is to supply classification criteria. The purpose of this study is to present a method for assessing the seismic performance of structures, based on Pushover method; we are particularly interested in reinforced concrete frame structures, which represent a significant percentage of damaged structures after a seismic event. The work is based on the characterization of seismic movement of the various earthquake zones in terms of PGA and PGD that is obtained by means of SIMQK_GR and PRISM software and the correlation between the points of performance and the scalar characterizing the earthquakes will developed.

Client Satisfaction: Does Private or Public Health Sector Make a Difference? Results from Secondary Data Analysis in Sindh, Pakistan

Introduction: Researchers globally have strived to explore diverse factors that augment the continuation and uptake of family planning methods. Clients’ satisfaction is one of the core determinants facilitating continuation of family planning methods. There is a major debate yet scanty evidence to contrast public and private sectors with respect to client satisfaction. The objective of this study is to compare quality-of-care provided by public and private sectors of Pakistan through a client satisfaction lens. Methods: We used Pakistan Demographic Heath Survey 2012-13 dataset on 3133 women. Ten different multivariate models were made. to explore the relationship between client satisfaction and dependent outcome after adjusting for all known confounding factors and results are presented as OR and AOR (95% CI). Results: Multivariate analyses showed that clients were less satisfied in contraceptive provision from private sector as compared to public sector (AOR 0.92, 95% CI 0.63-1.68) even though the result was not statistically significant. Clients were more satisfied from private sector as compared to the public sector with respect to other determinants of quality-of-care follow-up care (AOR 3.29, 95% CI 1.95-5.55), infection prevention (AOR 2.41, 95% CI 1.60-3.62), counseling services (AOR 2.01, 95% CI 1.27-3.18, timely treatment (AOR 3.37, 95% CI 2.20-5.15), attitude of staff (AOR 2.23, 95% CI 1.50-3.33), punctuality of staff (AOR 2.28, 95% CI 1.92-4.13), timely referring (AOR 2.34, 95% CI 1.63-3.35), staff cooperation (AOR 1.75, 95% CI 1.22-2.51) and complications handling (AOR 2.27, 95% CI 1.56-3.29). Discussion: Public sector has successfully attained substantial satisfaction levels with respect to provision of contraceptives, but it contrasts previous literature from a multi country studies. Our study though in is concordance with a study from Tanzania where public sector was more likely to offer family planning services to clients as compared to private facilities. Conclusion: In majority of the developing countries, public sector is more involved in FP service provision; however, in Pakistan clients’ satisfaction in private sector is more, which opens doors for public-private partnerships and collaboration in the near future. 

Improved FP-growth Algorithm with Multiple Minimum Supports Using Maximum Constraints

Association rule mining is one of the most important fields of data mining and knowledge discovery. In this paper, we propose an efficient multiple support frequent pattern growth algorithm which we called “MSFP-growth” that enhancing the FPgrowth algorithm by making infrequent child node pruning step with multiple minimum support using maximum constrains. The algorithm is implemented, and it is compared with other common algorithms: Apriori-multiple minimum supports using maximum constraints and FP-growth. The experimental results show that the rule mining from the proposed algorithm are interesting and our algorithm achieved better performance than other algorithms without scarifying the accuracy. 

Consumer Market for Georgian Hazelnut and the Strategy to Improve Its Competitiveness

The paper presents the trends of Georgian hazelnut market development and analyses the competitive advantages which will help Georgia to enter international hazelnut market using modern technologies. The history of hazelnut crop development and hazelnut varieties in Georgia are discussed. For hazelnut supply analysis trends in hazelnut production are considered, trends in export and import development is evaluated, domestic hazelnut market is studied and analysed based on expert interviews and initial accounting materials. In order to achieve and strengthen its position in international market, potential advantages and disadvantages of Georgian hazelnut are revealed, analysis of export and import possibilities of hazelnut is presented. Recommendations are developed based on the conclusions, which are made through identifying the key factors that hinder development of Georgian hazelnut market. 

Numerical Analysis of Laminar Reflux Condensation from Gas-Vapour Mixtures in Vertical Parallel Plate Channels

Reflux condensation occurs in vertical channels and tubes when there is an upward core flow of vapour (or gas-vapour mixture) and a downward flow of the liquid film. The understanding of this condensation configuration is crucial in the design of reflux condensers, distillation columns, and in loss-of-coolant safety analyses in nuclear power plant steam generators. The unique feature of this flow is the upward flow of the vapour-gas mixture (or pure vapour) that retards the liquid flow via shear at the liquid-mixture interface. The present model solves the full, elliptic governing equations in both the film and the gas-vapour core flow. The computational mesh is non-orthogonal and adapts dynamically the phase interface, thus produces a sharp and accurate interface. Shear forces and heat and mass transfer at the interface are accounted for fundamentally. This modeling is a big step ahead of current capabilities by removing the limitations of previous reflux condensation models which inherently cannot account for the detailed local balances of shear, mass, and heat transfer at the interface. Discretisation has been done based on finite volume method and co-located variable storage scheme. An in-house computer code was developed to implement the numerical solution scheme. Detailed results are presented for laminar reflux condensation from steam-air mixtures flowing in vertical parallel plate channels. The results include velocity and gas mass fraction profiles, as well as axial variations of film thickness.

The Modification of the Mixed Flow Pump with Respect to Stability of the Head Curve

This paper is focused on the CFD simulation of the radiaxial pump (i.e. mixed flow pump) with the aim to detect the reasons of Y-Q characteristic instability. The main reasons of pressure pulsations were detected by means of the analysis of velocity and pressure fields within the pump combined with the theoretical approach. Consequently, the modifications of spiral case and pump suction area were made based on the knowledge of flow conditions and the shape of dissipation function. The primary design of pump geometry was created as the base model serving for the comparison of individual modification influences. The basic experimental data are available for this geometry. This approach replaced the more complicated and with respect to convergence of all computational tasks more difficult calculation for the compressible liquid flow. The modification of primary pump consisted in inserting the three fins types. Subsequently, the evaluation of pressure pulsations, specific energy curves and visualization of velocity fields were chosen as the criterion for successful design. 

Optimization of Diluted Organic Acid Pretreatment on Rice Straw Using Response Surface Methodology

Lignocellolusic material is a substance that is resistant to be degraded by microorganisms or hydrolysis enzymes. To be used as materials for biofuel production, it needs pretreatment process to improve efficiency of hydrolysis. In this work, chemical pretreatments on rice straw using three diluted organic acids, including acetic acid, citric acid, oxalic acid, were optimized. Using Response Surface Methodology (RSM), the effect of three pretreatment parameters, acid concentration, treatment time, and reaction temperature, on pretreatment efficiency were statistically evaluated. The results indicated that dilute oxalic acid pretreatment led to the highest enhancement of enzymatic saccharification by commercial cellulase and yielded sugar up to 10.67 mg/ml when using 5.04% oxalic acid at 137.11 oC for 30.01 min. Compared to other acid pretreatment by acetic acid, citric acid, and hydrochloric acid, the maximum sugar yields are 7.07, 6.30, and 8.53 mg/ml, respectively. Here, it was demonstrated that organic acids can be used for pretreatment of lignocellulosic materials to enhance of hydrolysis process, which could be integrated to other applications for various biorefinery processes. 

Effects of Different Drying Methods on the Properties of Viscose Single Jersey Fabrics
The study discussed in this paper was conducted in an attempt to investigate effects of different drying methods (line dry and tumble dry) on viscose single jersey fabrics knitted with ring yarn.
Yawning and Cortisol as a Potential Biomarker for Early Detection of Multiple Sclerosis
Cortisol is essential to the regulation of the immune system and yawning is a pathological symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). Electromyography activity (EMG) in the jaw muscles typically rises when the muscles are moved and with yawning is highly correlated with cortisol levels in healthy people. Saliva samples from 59 participants were collected at the start and after yawning, or at the end of the presentation of yawning-provoking stimuli, in the absence of a yawn, together with EMG data and questionnaire data: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Yawning Susceptibility Scale, General Health Questionnaire, demographic, health details. Exclusion criteria: chronic fatigue, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart condition, high blood pressure, hormone replacement therapy, multiple sclerosis, stroke. Significant differences were found between the saliva cortisol samples for the yawners, t (23) = -4.263, p = 0.000, as compared with the non-yawners between rest and post-stimuli, which was nonsignificant. Significant evidence was found to support the Thompson Cortisol Hypothesis suggesting that rises in cortisol levels are associated with yawning. Further research is exploring the use of cortisol as an early diagnostic tool for MS. Ethics approval granted and professional code of conduct, confidentiality, and safety issues are approved therein.
Early-Age Structural and Thermal Performance of GGBS Concrete
A large amount of blast furnace slag is generated in China. Most ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) however ends up in low-grade applications. Blast furnace slag, ground to an appropriate fineness, can be used as a partial replacement of cementitious material in concrete. The potential for using GGBS in structural concrete, e.g. concrete beams and columns is investigated at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). With 50% of CEM I cement replaced with GGBS, peak hydration temperatures determined in a suspended concrete slab reduced by 20%. This beneficiary effect has not been further improved with 70% of CEM I replaced with GGBS. Partial replacement of CEM I with GGBS has a retardation effect on the early-age strength of concrete. More GGBS concrete mixes will be conducted to identify an ‘optimum’ replacement level which will lead to a reduced thermal loading, without significantly compromising the early-age strength of concrete.
Hydrothermal Treatment for Production of Aqueous Co-Product and Efficient Oil Extraction from Microalgae

Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) is a technique for obtaining clean biofuel from biomass in the presence of heat and pressure in an aqueous medium which leads to a decomposition of this biomass to the formation of various products. A role of operating conditions is essential for the bio-oil and other products’ yield and also quality of the products. The effects of these parameters were investigated in regards to the composition and yield of the products. Chlorellaceae microalgae were tested under different HTL conditions to clarify suitable conditions for extracting bio-oil together with value-added co-products. Firstly, different microalgae loading rates (5-30%) were tested and found that this parameter has not much significant to product yield. Therefore, 10% microalgae loading rate was selected as a proper economical solution for conditioned schedule at 250oC and 30 min-reaction time. Next, a range of temperature (210-290oC) was applied to verify the effects of each parameter by keeping the reaction time constant at 30 min. The results showed no linkage with the increase of the reaction temperature and some reactions occurred that lead to different product yields. Moreover, some nutrients found in the aqueous product are possible to be utilized for nutrient recovery.

State of Freelancing in IT and Future Trends
Freelancing in IT has seen an increased popularity during the last years mainly because of the fast Internet adoption in the countries with emerging economies, correlated with the continuous seek for reduced development costs as well with the rise of online platforms which address planning, coordination and various development tasks. This paper conducts an overview of the most relevant Freelance Marketplaces available and studies the market structure, distribution of the workforce and trends in IT freelancing.
Farm Diversification and the Corresponding Policy for Its Implementation in Georgia
The paper shows the necessity of farm diversification in accordance with the current trends in agricultural sector of Georgia. The possibilities for the diversification and the corresponding economic policy are suggested. The causes that hinder diversification of farms are revealed, possibilities of diversification are identified and the ability of increasing employment through diversification is proved. Index of harvest diversification is calculated based on the areas used for cereals and legumes, potatoes and vegetables and other food crops. Crop and livestock production indexes are analyzed; correlation between crop capacity index and value added per worker and per hectare is studied. Based on the research farm diversification strategies and priorities of corresponding economic policy are presented. Based on the conclusions relevant recommendations are suggested.
The Comparison of Parental Childrearing Styles and Anxiety in Children with Stuttering and Normal Population
Family has a crucial role in maintaining the physical, social and mental health of the children. Most of the mental and anxiety problems of children reflect the complex interpersonal situations among family members, especially parents. In other words, anxiety problems of the children are correlated with deficit relationships of family members and improper childrearing styles. The parental child rearing styles leads to positive and negative consequences which affect the children’s mental health. Therefore, the present research was aimed to compare the parental childrearing styles and anxiety of children with stuttering and normal population. It was also aimed to study the relationship between parental child rearing styles and anxiety of children. The research sample included 54 boys with stuttering and 54 normal boys who were selected from the children (boys) of Tehran, Iran in the age range of 5 to 8 years in 2013. In order to collect data, Baum-rind Childrearing Styles Inventory and Spence Parental Anxiety Inventory were used. Appropriate descriptive statistical methods and multivariate variance analysis and t test for independent groups were used to test the study hypotheses. Statistical data analyses demonstrated that there was a significant difference between stuttering boys and normal boys in anxiety (t = 7.601, p< 0.01); but there was no significant difference between stuttering boys and normal boys in parental childrearing styles (F = 0.129). There was also not found significant relationship between parental childrearing styles and children anxiety (F = 0.135, p< 0.05). It can be concluded that the influential factors of children’s society are parents, school, teachers, peers and media. So, parental childrearing styles are not the only influential factors on anxiety of children, and other factors including genetic, environment and child experiences are effective in anxiety as well. Details are discussed.
The TiO2 Refraction Film for CsI Scintillator

Cesium iodide (CsI) melt was injected into anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template and was solidified to CsI column. The controllable AAO channel size (10~500 nm) can makes CsI column size from 10 to 500 nm in diameter. In order to have a shorter light irradiate from each singe CsI column top to bottom the AAO template was coated a TiO2 nano-film. The TiO2 film acts a refraction film and makes X-ray has a shorter irradiation path in the CsI crystal making a stronger the photo-electron signal. When the incidence light irradiate from air (R=1.0) to CsI’s first surface (R=1.84) the first refraction happen, the first refraction continue into TiO2 film (R=2.88) and produces the low angle of the second refraction. Then the second refraction continue into AAO wall (R=1.78) and produces the third refraction after refractions between CsI and AAO wall (R=1.78) produce the fourth refraction. The incidence light through TiO2 filmand the first surface of CsI then arrive to the second surface of CsI. Therefore, the TiO2 film can has shorter refraction path of incidence light and increase the photo-electron conversion efficiency.

Analysis of a Lignocellulose Degrading Microbial Consortium to Enhance the Anaerobic Digestion of Rice Straws

Rice straw is lignocellulosic biomass which can be utilized as substrate for the biogas production. However, due to the property and composition of rice straw, it is difficult to be degraded by hydrolysis enzymes. One of the pretreatment methods that modify such properties of lignocellulosic biomass is the application of lignocellulose-degrading microbial consortia. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of microbial consortia to enhance biogas production. To select the high efficient consortium, cellulase enzymes were extracted and their activities were analyzed. The results suggested that microbial consortium culture obtained from cattle manure is the best candidate compared to decomposed wood and horse manure. A microbial consortium isolated from cattle manure was then mixed with anaerobic sludge and used as inoculum for biogas production. The optimal conditions for biogas production were investigated using response surface methodology (RSM). The tested parameters were the ratio of amount of microbial consortium isolated and amount of anaerobic sludge (MI:AS), substrate to inoculum ratio (S:I) and temperature. Here, the value of the regression coefficient R2 = 0.7661 could be explained by the model which is high to advocate the significance of the model. The highest cumulative biogas yield was 104.6 ml/g-rice straw at optimum ratio of MI:AS, ratio of S:I, and temperature of 2.5:1, 15:1 and 44°C respectively.

Gamification as a Tool for Influencing Customers' Behaviour

The objective of the article was to identify the impacts of gamification on customers' behaviour. The most important applications of games in marketing and mechanisms of gamification are presented in the article. A detailed analysis of the influence of gamification on customers using two brands, Foursquare and Nike, was also presented. Research studies using auditory survey methods were carried out among 176 young respondents, who are potential targets of gamification. The studies confirmed a huge participation of young people in customer loyalty programs with relatively low participation in other gamificationbased marketing activities. The research findings clearly indicate that gamification mechanisms are the most attractive.

Data-driven Multiscale Tsallis Complexity: Application to EEG Analysis

This work proposes a data-driven multiscale based quantitative measures to reveal the underlying complexity of electroencephalogram (EEG), applying to a rodent model of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and recovery. Motivated by that real EEG recording is nonlinear and non-stationary over different frequencies or scales, there is a need of more suitable approach over the conventional single scale based tools for analyzing the EEG data. Here, we present a new framework of complexity measures considering changing dynamics over multiple oscillatory scales. The proposed multiscale complexity is obtained by calculating entropies of the probability distributions of the intrinsic mode functions extracted by the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) of EEG. To quantify EEG recording of a rat model of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury following cardiac arrest, the multiscale version of Tsallis entropy is examined. To validate the proposed complexity measure, actual EEG recordings from rats (n=9) experiencing 7 min cardiac arrest followed by resuscitation were analyzed. Experimental results demonstrate that the use of the multiscale Tsallis entropy leads to better discrimination of the injury levels and improved correlations with the neurological deficit evaluation after 72 hours after cardiac arrest, thus suggesting an effective metric as a prognostic tool.

Outsourcing the Front End of Innovation

The paper presents a new method for efficient innovation process management. Even though the innovation management methods, tools and knowledge are well established and documented in literature, most of the companies still do not manage it efficiently. Especially in SMEs the front end of innovation - problem identification, idea creation and selection - is often not optimally performed. Our eMIPS methodology represents a sort of "umbrella methodology" - a well-defined set of procedures, which can be dynamically adapted to the concrete case in a company. In daily practice, various methods (e.g. for problem identification and idea creation) can be applied, depending on the company's needs. It is based on the proactive involvement of the company's employees supported by the appropriate methodology and external experts. The presented phases are performed via a mixture of face-to-face activities (workshops) and online (eLearning) activities taking place in eLearning Moodle environment and using other e-communication channels. One part of the outcomes is an identified set of opportunities and concrete solutions ready for implementation. The other also very important result is connected to innovation competences for the participating employees related with concrete tools and methods for idea management. In addition, the employees get a strong experience for dynamic, efficient and solution oriented managing of the invention process. The eMIPS also represents a way of establishing or improving the innovation culture in the organization. The first results in a pilot company showed excellent results regarding the motivation of participants and also as to the results achieved.

Experimental Investigation on the Optimal Operating Frequency of a Thermoacoustic Refrigerator

This paper presents effects of the mean operating pressure on the optimal operating frequency based on temperature differences across stack ends in a thermoacoustic refrigerator. In addition to the length of the resonance tube, components of the thermoacoustic refrigerator have an influence on the operating frequency due to their acoustic properties, i.e., absorptivity, reflectivity and transmissivity. The interference of waves incurs and distorts the original frequency generated by the driver so that the optimal operating frequency differs from the designs. These acoustic properties are not parameters in the designs and be very complicated to infer their responses. A prototype thermoacoustic refrigerator is constructed and used to investigate its optimal operating frequency compared to the design at various operating pressures. Helium and air are used as working fluids during the experiments. The results indicate that the optimal operating frequency of the prototype thermoacoustic refrigerator using helium is at 6 bar and 490Hz or approximately 20% away from the design frequency. The optimal operating frequency at other mean pressures differs from the design in an unpredictable manner, however, the optimal operating frequency and pressure can be identified by testing.

Heat Transfer of an Impinging Jet on a Plane Surface

A cold, thin film of liquid impinging on an isothermal hot, horizontal surface has been investigated. An approximate solution for the velocity and temperature distributions in the flow along the horizontal surface is developed, which exploits the hydrodynamic similarity solution for thin film flow. The approximate solution may provide a valuable basis for assessing flow and heat transfer in more complex settings.

Entomological Origin of Honey Discriminated by NMR Chloroform Extracts in Ecuadorian Honey

Honeys are produced by Apis mellifera and stingless bees (Meliponini) in Ecuador. We studied honey produced in beeswax combs by Apis mellifera, and honey produced in pots by Geotrigona and Scaptotrigona bees. Chloroform extracts of honey were obtained for fast NMR spectra. The 1D spectra were acquired at 298 K, with a 600 MHz NMR Bruker instrument, using a modified double pulsed field gradient spin echoes (DPFGSE) sequence. Signals of 1H NMR spectra were integrated and used as inputs for PCA, PLS-DA analysis, and labelled sets of classes were successfully identified, enhancing the separation between the three groups of honey according to the entomological origin: A. mellifera, Geotrigona and Scaptotrigona. This procedure is therefore recommended for authenticity test of honey in Ecuador.

Determination of Some Physical and Mechanical Properties of Pofaki Variety of Pea

In this research the effect of moisture at three levels (47, 57, and 67 w.b.%) on the physical properties of the Pofaki pea variety including, dimensions, geometric mean diameter, volume, sphericity index and the surface area was determined. The influence of different moisture levels (47, 57 and 67 w.b.%), in two loading orientation (longitudinal and transverse) and three loading speed (4,6 and 8 mm min-1) on the mechanical properties of pea such as maximum deformation, rupture force, rupture energy, toughness and the power to break the pea was investigated. It was observed in the physical properties that moisture changes were affective at 1% on, dimensions, geometric mean diameter, volume, sphericity index and the surface area. It was observed in the mechanical properties that moisture changes were effective at 1% on, maximum deformation, rupture force, rupture energy, toughness and the power to break. Loading speed was effective on maximum deformation, rupture force, rupture energy at 1% and it was effective on toughness at 5%. Loading orientation was effective on maximum deformation, rupture force, rupture energy, toughness at 1% and it was effective on power at 5%. The mutual effect of speed and orientation were effective on rupture energy at 1% and were effective on toughness at 5% probability. The mutual effect of moisture and speed were effective on rupture force and rupture energy at 1% and were effective on toughness 5% probability. The mutual effect of orientation and moisture on rupture energy and toughness were effective at 1%.

Environmental Limits of Using Newly Developed Progressive Polymer Protection and Repair Systems

The paper is focused on the identification of limiting environmental factors of individual industrial floors on which newly developed polymer protection and repair systems with the use of secondary raw materials will be used. These mainly include floors with extreme stresses and special requirements for materials used. In relation to the environment of a particular industrial floor, it is necessary to ensure, for example, chemical stability, resistance to higher temperatures, resistance to higher mechanical stress, etc. for developed materials, which is reflected in the demands for the developed material systems. The paper describes individual environments and, in relation to them, also requirements for individual components of the developed materials and for the developed materials as a whole.

MHD Boundary Layer Flow of a Nanofluid Past a Wedge Shaped Wick in Heat Pipe

This paper deals with the theoretical and numerical investigation of magneto hydrodynamic boundary layer flow of a nanofluid past a wedge shaped wick in heat pipe used for the cooling of electronic components and different type of machines. To incorporate the effect of nanoparticle diameter, concentration of nanoparticles in the pure fluid, nanothermal layer formed around the nanoparticle and Brownian motion of nanoparticles etc., appropriate models are used for the effective thermal and physical properties of nanofluids. To model the rotation of nanoparticles inside the base fluid, microfluidics theory is used. In this investigation ethylene glycol (EG) based nanofluids, are taken into account. The non-linear equations governing the flow and heat transfer are solved by using a very effective particle swarm optimization technique along with Runge-Kutta method. The values of heat transfer coefficient are found for different parameters involved in the formulation viz. nanoparticle concentration, nanoparticle size, magnetic field and wedge angle etc. It is found that, the wedge angle, presence of magnetic field, nanoparticle size and nanoparticle concentration etc. have prominent effects on fluid flow and heat transfer characteristics for the considered configuration.

Investigation of Heating Behaviour of E-textile Structures

By textile science incorporating with electronic industry, developed textile products start to take part in different areas such as industry, military, space, medical etc. for health, protection, defense, communication and automation. Electronic textiles (e-textiles) are fabrics that contain electronics and interconnections with them. In this study, two types of base yarns (cotton and acrylic) and three types of conductive steel yarns with different linear resistance values (14Ω/m, 30Ω/m, 70Ω/m) were used to investigate the effect of base yarn type and linear resistance of conductive yarns on thermal behavior of e-textile structures. Thermal behavior of samples was examined by thermal camera.

Proposal of Solidification/Stabilisation Process of Chosen Hazardous Waste by Cementation

This paper presents a part of the project solving which is dedicated to the identification of the hazardous waste with the most critical production within the Czech Republic with the aim to study and find the optimal composition of the cement matrix that will ensure maximum content disposal of chosen hazardous waste. In the first stage of project solving – which represents this paper – a specific hazardous waste was chosen, its properties were identified and suitable solidification agents were chosen. Consequently solidification formulas and testing methodology was proposed.

Designing a Patient Monitoring System Using Cloud and Semantic Web Technologies

Moving into a new era of healthcare, new tools and devices are developed to extend and improve health services, such as remote patient monitoring and risk prevention. In this concept, Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud Computing present great advantages by providing remote and efficient services, as well as cooperation between patients, clinicians, researchers and other health professionals. This paper focuses on patients suffering from bipolar disorder, a brain disorder that belongs to a group of conditions called affective disorders, which is characterized by great mood swings. We exploit the advantages of Semantic Web and Cloud Technologies to develop a patient monitoring system to support clinicians. Based on intelligently filtering of evidence-knowledge and individual-specific information we aim to provide treatment notifications and recommended function tests at appropriate times or concluding into alerts for serious mood changes and patient’s nonresponse to treatment. We propose an architecture as the back-end part of a cloud platform for IoT, intertwining intelligence devices with patients’ daily routine and clinicians’ support.

An Evaluation Method of Accelerated Storage Life Test for Typical Mechanical and Electronic Products

Reliability of long-term storage products is related to the availability of the whole system, and the evaluation of storage life is of great necessity. These products are usually highly reliable and little failure information can be collected. In this paper, an analytical method based on data from accelerated storage life test is proposed to evaluate the reliability index of the long-term storage products. Firstly, singularities are eliminated by data normalization and residual analysis. Secondly, with the preprocessed data, the degradation path model is built to obtain the pseudo life values. Then by life distribution hypothesis, we can get the estimator of parameters in high stress levels and verify failure mechanism consistency. Finally, the life distribution under the normal stress level is extrapolated via the acceleration model and evaluation of the actual average life is available. An application example with the camera stabilization device is provided to illustrate the methodology we proposed.

Synthesis of Filtering in Stochastic Systems on Continuous-Time Memory Observations in the Presence of Anomalous Noises

We have conducted the optimal synthesis of rootmean- squared objective filter to estimate the state vector in the case if within the observation channel with memory the anomalous noises with unknown mathematical expectation are complement in the function of the regular noises. The synthesis has been carried out for linear stochastic systems of continuous - time.

Relaxation Dynamics of Quantum Emitters Resonantly Coupled to a Localized Surface Plasmon

We investigate relaxation dynamics of a quantum dipole emitter (QDE), e.g., a molecule or quantum dot, located near a metal nanoparticle (MNP) exhibiting a dipolar localized surface plasmon (LSP) resonance at the frequency of the QDE radiative transition. It is shown that under the condition of the QDE-MNP characteristic relaxation time being much shorter than that of the QDE in free-space but much longer than the LSP lifetime. It is also shown that energy dissipation in the QDE-MNP system is relatively weak with the probability of the photon emission being about 0.75, a number which, rather surprisingly, does not explicitly depend on the metal absorption characteristics. The degree of entanglement measured by the concurrency takes the maximum value, while the distances between the QDEs and metal ball approximately are equal.

Ultrasensitive Hepatitis B Virus Detection in Blood Using Nano-Porous Silicon Oxide: Towards POC Diagnostics

Early diagnosis of infection like Hep-B virus in blood is important for low cost medical treatment. For this purpose, it is desirable to develop a point of care device which should be able to detect trace quantities of the target molecule in blood. In this paper, we report a nanoporous silicon oxide sensor which is capable of detecting down to 1fM concentration of Hep-B surface antigen in blood without the requirement of any centrifuge or pre-concentration. This has been made possible by the presence of resonant peak in the sensitivity characteristics. This peak is observed to be dependent only on the concentration of the specific antigen and not on the interfering species in blood serum. The occurrence of opposite impedance change within the pores and at the bottom of the pore is responsible for this effect. An electronic interface has also been designed to provide a display of the virus concentration.

An Investigation on Fresh and Hardened Properties of Concrete while Using Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) as Aggregate

This study investigates the suitability of using plastic, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), as a partial replacement of natural coarse and fine aggregates (for example, brick chips and natural sand) to produce lightweight concrete for load bearing structural members. The plastic coarse aggregate (PCA) and plastic fine aggregate (PFA) were produced from melted polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. Tests were conducted using three different water–cement (w/c) ratios, such as 0.42, 0.48, and 0.57, where PCA and PFA were used as 50% replacement of coarse and fine aggregate respectively. Fresh and hardened properties of concrete have been compared for natural aggregate concrete (NAC), PCA concrete (PCC) and PFA concrete (PFC). The compressive strength of concrete at 28 days varied with the water–cement ratio for both the PCC and PFC. Between PCC and PFC, PFA concrete showed the highest compressive strength (23.7 MPa) at 0.42 w/c ratio and also the lowest compressive strength (13.7 MPa) at 0.57 w/c ratio. Significant reduction in concrete density was mostly observed for PCC samples, ranging between 1977–1924 kg/m³. With the increase in water–cement ratio PCC achieved higher workability compare to both NAC and PFC. It was found that both the PCA and PFA contained concrete achieved the required compressive strength to be used for structural purpose as partial replacement of the natural aggregate; but to obtain the desired lower density as lightweight concrete the PCA is most suited.

A Comprehensive Method of Fault Detection and Isolation Based On Testability Modeling Data

Testability modeling is a commonly used method in testability design and analysis of system. A dependency matrix will be obtained from testability modeling, and we will give a quantitative evaluation about fault detection and isolation. Based on the dependency matrix, we can obtain the diagnosis tree. The tree provides the procedures of the fault detection and isolation. But the dependency matrix usually includes built-in test (BIT) and manual test in fact. BIT runs the test automatically and is not limited by the procedures. The method above cannot give a more efficient diagnosis and use the advantages of the BIT. A Comprehensive method of fault detection and isolation is proposed. This method combines the advantages of the BIT and Manual test by splitting the matrix. The result of the case study shows that the method is effective.

Damage to Strawberries Caused by Simulated Transport

The quality and condition of perishable products delivered to the market and their subsequent selling prices are directly affected by the care taken during harvesting and handling. Mechanical injury, in fact, occurs at all stages, from pre-harvest operations through post-harvest handling, packing and transport to the market. The main implications of this damage are the reduction of the product’s quality and economical losses related to the shelf life diminution. For most perishable products, the shelf life is relatively short and it is typically dictated by microbial growth related to the application of dynamic and static loads during transportation. This paper presents the correlation between vibration levels and microbiological growth on strawberries and woodland strawberries and detects the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in order to develop an intelligent logistic unit capable of monitoring VOCs using a specific sensor system. Fresh fruits were exposed to vibrations by means of a vibrating table in a temperature-controlled environment. Microbiological analyses were conducted on samples, taken at different positions along the column of the crates. The values obtained were compared with control samples not exposed to vibrations and the results show that different positions along the column influence the development of bacteria, yeasts and filamentous fungi.

Propylene Self-Metathesis to Ethylene and Butene over WOx/SiO2, Effect of Nano-Sized Extra Supports (SiO2 and TiO2)

Propylene self-metathesis to ethylene and butene was studied over WOx/SiO2 catalysts at 450oC and atmospheric pressure. The WOx/SiO2 catalysts were prepared by incipient wetness impregnation of ammonium metatungstate aqueous solution. It was found that, adding nano-sized extra supports (SiO2 and TiO2) by physical mixing with the WOx/SiO2 enhanced propylene conversion. The UV-Vis and FT-Raman results revealed that WOx could migrate from the original silica support to the extra support, leading to a better dispersion of WOx. The ICP-OES results also indicate that WOx existed on the extra support. Coke formation was investigated on the catalysts after 10 h time-on-stream by TPO. However, adding nano-sized extra supports led to higher coke formation which may be related to acidity as characterized by NH3-TPD.

Proposed Alternative System to Existing Traffic Signal System

Alone with fast urbanization in world, traffic control became a big issue in urban construction. Having an efficient and reliable traffic control system is crucial to macro-traffic control. Traffic signal is used to manage conflicting requirement by allocating different sets of mutually compatible traffic movement during distinct time interval. Many approaches have been made proposed to solve this discrete stochastic problem. Recognizing the need to minimize right-of-way impacts while efficiently handling the anticipated high traffic volumes, the proposed alternative system gives effective design. This model allows for increased traffic capacity and reduces delays by eliminating a step in maneuvering through the freeway interchange. The concept proposed in this paper involves construction of bridges and ramps at intersection of four roads to control the vehicular congestion and to prevent traffic breakdown.

High Aspect Ratio SiO2 Capillary Based On Silicon Etching and Thermal Oxidation Process for Optical Modulator

This paper presents the design and fabrication of an optical window for an optical modulator toward image sensing applications. An optical window consists of micrometer-order SiO2 capillaries (porous solid) that can modulate transmission light intensity by moving the liquid in and out of porous solid. A high optical transmittance of the optical window can be achieved due to refractive index matching when the liquid is penetrated into the porous solid. Otherwise, its light transmittance is lower because of light reflection and scattering by air holes and capillary walls. Silicon capillaries fabricated by deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) process are completely oxidized to form the SiO2 capillaries. Therefore, high aspect ratio SiO2 capillaries can be achieved based on silicon capillaries formed by DRIE technique. Large compressive stress of the oxide causes bending of the capillary structure, which is reduced by optimizing the design of device structure. The large stress of the optical window can be released via thin supporting beams. A 7.2 mm x 9.6 mm optical window area toward a fully integrated with the image sensor format is successfully fabricated and its optical transmittance is evaluated with and without inserting liquids (ethanol and matching oil). The achieved modulation range is approximately 20% to 35% with and without liquid penetration in visible region (wavelength range from 450 nm to 650 nm).

Cell Biomass and Lipid Productivities of Meyerella planktonica under Autotrophic and Heterotrophic Growth Conditions

Microalgae Meyerella planktonica is a potential biofuel source because it can grow in bulk in either autotrophic or heterotrophic condition. However, the quantitative growth of this algal type is still low as it tends to precipitates on the bottom. Besides, the lipid concentration is still low when grown in autotrophic condition. In contrast, heterotrophic condition can enhance the lipid concentration. The combination of autotrophic condition and agitation treatment was conducted to increase the density of the culture. On the other hand, a heterotrophic condition was set up to raise the lipid production. A two-stage experiment was applied to increase the density at the first step and to increase the lipid concentration in the next step. The autotrophic condition resulted higher density but lower lipid concentration compared to heterotrophic one. The agitation treatment produced higher density in both autotrophic and heterotrophic conditions. The two-stage experiment managed to enhance the density during the autotrophic stage and the lipid concentration during the heterotrophic stage. The highest yield was performed by using 0.4% v/v glycerol as a carbon source (2.9±0.016 x 10^6 cells w/w) attained 7 days after the heterotrophic stage began. The lipid concentration was stable starting from day 7.

Cyclostationary Gaussian Linearization for Analyzing Nonlinear System Response under Sinusoidal Signal and White Noise Excitation

A cyclostationary Gaussian linearization method is formulated for investigating the time average response of nonlinear system under sinusoidal signal and white noise excitation. The quantitative measure of cyclostationary mean, variance, spectrum of mean amplitude, and mean power spectral density of noise are analyzed. The qualitative response behavior of stochastic jump and bifurcation are investigated. The validity of the present approach in predicting the quantitative and qualitative statistical responses is supported by utilizing Monte Carlo simulations. The present analysis without imposing restrictive analytical conditions can be directly derived by solving non-linear algebraic equations. The analytical solution gives reliable quantitative and qualitative prediction of mean and noise response for the Duffing system subjected to both sinusoidal signal and white noise excitation.

An Investigation on the Sandwich Panels with Flexible and Toughened Adhesives under Flexural Loading

The material selection in the design of the sandwich structures is very crucial aspect because of the positive or negative influences of the base materials to the mechanical properties of the entire panel. In the literature, it was presented that the selection of the skin and core materials plays very important role on the behavior of the sandwich. Beside this, the use of the correct adhesive can make the whole structure to show better mechanical results and behavior. In the present work, the static three-point bending tests were performed on the sandwiches having an aluminum alloy foam core, the skins made of three different types of fabrics and two different commercial adhesives (flexible polyurethane and toughened epoxy based) at different values of support span distances by aiming the analyses of their flexural performance in terms of absorbed energy, peak force values and collapse mechanisms. The main results of the flexural loading are: force-displacement curves obtained after the bending tests, peak force and absorbed energy values, collapse mechanisms and adhesion quality. The experimental results presented that the sandwiches with epoxy based toughened adhesive and the skins made of S-Glass Woven fabrics indicated the best adhesion quality and mechanical properties. The sandwiches with toughened adhesive exhibited higher peak force and energy absorption values compared to the sandwiches with flexible adhesive. The use of these sandwich structures can lead to a weight reduction of the transport vehicles, providing an adequate structural strength under operating conditions.

Modeling and Validation of Microspheres Generation in the Modified T-Junction Device

This paper presents a model for a modified T-junction device for microspheres generation. The numerical model is developed using a commercial software package: COMSOL Multiphysics. In order to test the accuracy of the numerical model, multiple variables, such as the flow rate of cross-flow, fluid properties, structure, and geometry of the microdevice are applied. The results from the model are compared with the experimental results in the diameter of the microsphere generated. The comparison shows a good agreement. Therefore the model is useful in further optimization of the device and feedback control of microsphere generation if any.

The Adsorption of Zinc Metal in Waste Water Using ZnCl2 Activated Pomegranate Peel

Activated carbon is an amorphous carbon chain which has extremely extended surface area. High surface area of activated carbon is due to the porous structure. Activated carbon, using a variety of materials such as coal and cellulosic materials; can be obtained by both physical and chemical methods. The prepared activated carbon can be used for decolorize, deodorize and also can be used for removal of organic and non-organic pollution. In this study, pomegranate peel was subjected to 800W microwave power for 1 to 4 minutes. Also fresh pomegranate peel was used for the reference material. Then ZnCl2 was used for the chemical activation purpose. After the activation process, activated pomegranate peels were used for the adsorption of Zn metal (40 ppm) in the waste water. As a result of the adsorption experiments, removal of heavy metals ranged from 89% to 85%.

Improve Safety Performance of Un-Signalized Intersections in Oman

The main objective of this paper is to provide a new methodology for road safety assessment in Oman through the development of suitable accident prediction models. GLM technique with Poisson or NBR using SAS package was carried out to develop these models. The paper utilized the accidents data of 31 un-signalized T-intersections during three years. Five goodness-of-fit measures were used to assess the overall quality of the developed models. Two types of models were developed separately; the flow-based models including only traffic exposure functions, and the full models containing both exposure functions and other significant geometry and traffic variables. The results show that, traffic exposure functions produced much better fit to the accident data. The most effective geometric variables were major-road mean speed, minor-road 85th percentile speed, major-road lane width, distance to the nearest junction, and right-turn curb radius. The developed models can be used for intersection treatment or upgrading and specify the appropriate design parameters of T-intersections. Finally, the models presented in this thesis reflect the intersection conditions in Oman and could represent the typical conditions in several countries in the middle east area, especially gulf countries.

Assessing Complexity of Neuronal Multiunit Activity by Information Theoretic Measure

This paper provides a quantitative measure of the time-varying multiunit neuronal spiking activity using an entropy based approach. To verify the status embedded in the neuronal activity of a population of neurons, the discrete wavelet transform (DWT) is used to isolate the inherent spiking activity of MUA. Due to the de-correlating property of DWT, the spiking activity would be preserved while reducing the non-spiking component. By evaluating the entropy of the wavelet coefficients of the de-noised MUA, a multiresolution Shannon entropy (MRSE) of the MUA signal is developed. The proposed entropy was tested in the analysis of both simulated noisy MUA and actual MUA recorded from cortex in rodent model. Simulation and experimental results demonstrate that the dynamics of a population can be quantified by using the proposed entropy.

Sensitive Detection of Nano-Scale Vibrations by the Metal-Coated Fiber Tip at the Liquid-Air Interface

Optical radiation emitted from a metal-coated fiber tip apex at liquid-air interface was measured. The intensity of the output radiation was strongly depend on the relative position of the tip to a liquid-air interface and varied with surface fluctuations. This phenomenon permits in-situ real-time investigation of nano-metric vibrations of the liquid surface and provides a basis for development of various origin ultrasensitive vibration detecting sensors. The described method can be used for detection of week seismic vibrations.

A New Reliability Allocation Method Based On Fuzzy Numbers

Reliability allocation is quite important during early design and development stages for a system to apportion its specified reliability goal to subsystems. This paper improves the reliability fuzzy allocation method, and gives concrete processes on determining the factor and sub-factor sets, weight sets, judgment set, and multi-stage fuzzy evaluation. To determine the weight of factor and sub-factor sets, the modified trapezoidal numbers are proposed to reduce errors caused by subjective factors. To decrease the fuzziness in fuzzy division, an approximation method based on linear programming is employed. To compute the explicit values of fuzzy numbers, centroid method of defuzzification is considered. An example is provided to illustrate the application of the proposed reliability allocation method based on fuzzy arithmetic.

A Medical Resource Forecasting Model for Emergency Room Patients with Acute Hepatitis

Taiwan is a hyper endemic area for the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). The estimated total number of HBsAg carriers in the general population who are more than 20 years old is more than 3 million. Therefore, a case record review is conducted from January 2003 to June 2007 for all patients with a diagnosis of acute hepatitis who were admitted to the Emergency Department (ED) of a well-known teaching hospital. The cost for the use of medical resources is defined as the total medical fee. In this study, principal component analysis (PCA) is firstly employed to reduce the number of dimensions. Support vector regression (SVR) and artificial neural network (ANN) are then used to develop the forecasting model. A total of 117 patients meet the inclusion criteria. 61% patients involved in this study are hepatitis B related. The computational result shows that the proposed PCA-SVR model has superior performance than other compared algorithms. In conclusion, the Child-Pugh score and echogram can both be used to predict the cost of medical resources for patients with acute hepatitis in the ED.

Towards Innovation Performance among University Staff

This study examined how individuals in their respective teams contributed to innovation performance besides defining the term of innovation in their own respective views. This study also identified factors that motivated University staff to contribute to the innovation products. In addition, it examined whether there is a significant relationship between professional training level and the length of service among university staff towards innovation and to what extent do the two variables contributed towards innovative products. The significance of this study is that it revealed the strengths and weaknesses of the university staff when contributing to innovation performance. Stratified-random sampling was employed to determine the samples representing the population of lecturers in the study, involving 123 lecturers in one of the local universities in Malaysia. The method employed to analyze the data is through categorizing into themes for the open-ended questions besides using descriptive and inferential statistics for the quantitative data. This study revealed that two types of definition for the term “innovation” exist among the university staff, namely, creation of new product or new approach to do things as well as value-added creative way to upgrade or improve existing process and service to be more efficient. This study found that the most prominent factor that propels them towards innovation is to improve the product in order to benefit users, followed by selfsatisfaction and recognition. This implies that the staff in the organization viewed the creation of innovative products as a process of growth to fulfill the needs of others and also to realize their personal potential. This study also found that there was only a significant relationship between the professional training level and the length of service of 4 - 6 years among the university staff. The rest of the groups based on the length of service showed that there was no significant relationship with the professional training level towards innovation. Moreover, results of the study on directional measures depicted that the relationship for the length of service of 4- 6 years with professional training level among the university staff is quite weak. This implies that good organization management lies on the shoulders of the key leaders who enlighten the path to be followed by the staff.

Possible Exposure of Persons with Cardiac Pacemakers to Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Electric and Magnetic Fields

The number of persons with implanted cardiac pacemakers (PM) has increased in Western countries. The aim of this paper is to investigate the possible situations where persons with a PM may be exposed to extremely low frequency (ELF) electric (EF) and magnetic fields (MF) that may disturb their PM. Based on our earlier studies, it is possible to find such high public exposure to EFs only in some places near 400 kV power lines, where an EF may disturb a PM in unipolar mode. Such EFs cannot be found near 110 kV power lines. Disturbing MFs can be found near welding machines. However, we do not have measurement data from welding. Based on literature and earlier studies at Tampere University of Technology, it is difficult to find public EF or MF exposure that is high enough to interfere with PMs.

Studies of Zooplankton in Gdańsk Basin (2010-2011)

In 2010-2011, the research on zooplankton was conducted in the southern part of the Baltic Sea to determine seasonal variability in changes occurring throughout the zooplankton in 2010 and 2011, both in the region of Gdańsk Deep, and in the western part of Gdańsk Bay. The research in the sea showed that the taxonomic composition of holoplankton in the southern part of the Baltic Sea was similar to that recorded in this region for many years. The maximum values of abundance and biomass of zooplankton both in the Deep and the Bay of Gdańsk were observed in the summer season. Copepoda dominated in the composition of zooplankton for almost the entire study period, while rotifers occurred in larger numbers only in the summer 2010 in the Gdańsk Deep as well as in May and July 2010 in the western part of Gdańsk Bay, and meroplankton – in April 2011.

Accidents and Close Call Situations Connected to the Use of Mobile Phones in Working-Age People ≥ 50 Years Old

The aim of this paper is to investigate accidents and close call situations connected to the use of mobile phones in working-age people ≥ 50 years old. The paper is part of a crosssectional study that was carried out in 2002 in 15,000 working-age Finns. The study showed that mobile-phone-related accidents and close call situations, both at work and at leisure, are more common in people under 50 years that in people ≥ 50 years old. However, people under 50 use mobile phones more than those aged ≥ 50.

Energetic and Exergetic Evaluation of Box-Type Solar Cookers Using Different Insulation Materials

The performance of box-type solar cookers has been reported by several researchers but little attention was paid to the effect of the type of insulation material on the energy and exergy efficiency of these cookers. This research aimed at evaluating the energy and exergy efficiencies of the box-type cookers containing different insulation materials. Energy and exergy efficiencies of five box-type solar cookers insulated with maize cob, air (control), maize husk, coconut coir and polyurethane foam respectively were obtained over a period of three years. The cookers were evaluated using water heating test procedures in determining the energy and exergy analysis. The results were subjected to statistical analysis using ANOVA. The result shows that the average energy input for the five solar cookers were: 245.5, 252.2, 248.7, 241.5 and 245.5J respectively while their respective average energy losses were: 201.2, 212.7, 208.4, 189.1 and 199.8J. The average exergy input for five cookers were: 228.2, 234.4, 231.1, 224.4 and 228.2J respectively while their respective average exergy losses were: 223.4, 230.6, 226.9, 218.9 and 223.0J. The energy and exergy efficiency was highest in the cooker with coconut coir (37.35 and 3.90% respectively) in the first year but was lowest for air (11 and 1.07% respectively) in the third year. Statistical analysis showed significant difference between the energy and exergy efficiencies over the years. These results reiterate the importance of a good insulating material for a box-type solar cooker.

Development of Researcher Knowledge in Mathematics Education: Towards a Confluence Framework

We present a framework of researcher knowledge development in conducting a study in mathematics education. The key components of the framework are: knowledge germane to conducting a particular study, processes of knowledge accumulation, and catalyzing filters that influence a researcher decision making. The components of the framework originated from a confluence between constructs and theories in Mathematics Education, Higher Education and Sociology. Drawing on a self-reflective interview with a leading researcher in mathematics education, Professor Michèle Artigue, we illustrate how the framework can be utilized in data analysis. Criteria for framework evaluation are discussed.

Effect of Fiber Types and Elevated Temperatures on the Bond Characteristic of Fiber Reinforced Concretes

In this paper, the effects of fiber types and elevated temperatures on compressive strength, modulus of rapture and the bond characteristics of fiber reinforced concretes (FRC) are presented. By using the three different types of fibers (steel fiber-SF, polypropylene-PPF and polyvinyl alcohol-PVA), FRC specimens were produced and exposed to elevated temperatures up to 800 ºC for 1.5 hours. In addition, a plain concrete (without fiber) was produced and used as a control. Test results obtained showed that the steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) had the highest compressive strength, modulus of rapture and bond stress values at room temperatures, the residual bond, flexural and compressive strengths of both FRC and plain concrete dropped sharply after exposure to high temperatures. The results also indicated that the reduction of bond, flexural and compressive strengths with increasing the exposed temperature was relatively less for SFRC than for plain, and FRC with PPF and PVA.

Modeling Methodologies for Optimization and Decision Support on Coastal Transport Information System (Co.Tr.I.S.)

The aim of this paper is to present the optimization methodology developed in the frame of a Coastal Transport Information System. The system will be used for the effective design of coastal transportation lines and incorporates subsystems that implement models, tools and techniques that may support the design of improved networks. The role of the optimization and decision subsystem is to provide the user with better and optimal scenarios that will best fulfill any constrains, goals or requirements posed. The complexity of the problem and the large number of parameters and objectives involved led to the adoption of an evolutionary method (Genetic Algorithms). The problem model and the subsystem structure are presented in detail, and, its support for simulation is also discussed.

High Gain Broadband Plasmonic Slot Nano-Antenna

High gain broadband plasmonic slot nano-antenna has been considered. The theory of plasmonic slot nano-antenna (PSNA) has been developed. The analytical model takes into account also the electrical field inside the metal due to imperfectness of metal in optical range, as well as numerical investigation based on finite element method (FEM) has been realized. It should be mentioned that Yagi-Uda configuration improves directivity in the plane of structure. In contrast, in this paper the possibility of directivity improvement of proposed PSNA in perpendicular plane of structure by using reflection metallic surface placed under the slot in fixed distance has been demonstrated. It is well known that a directivity improvement brings to the antenna gain increasing. This method of diagram improving is also well known from RF antenna design theory. Moreover the improvement of directivity in the perpendicular plane gives more flexibility in such application as improving the light and atom, ion, molecule interactions by using such type of plasmonic slot antenna. By the analogy of dipole type optical antennas the widening of working wavelengths has been realized by using bowtie geometry of slots, which made the antenna broadband.

Buckling Performance of Irregular Section Cold-Formed Steel Columns under Axially Concentric Loading

This paper presents experimental investigation and finite element analysis on buckling behavior of irregular section coldformed steel columns under axially concentric loading. For the experimental study, four different sections of columns were tested to investigate effect of stiffening and width-to-thickness ratio on buckling behavior. For each of the section, three lengths of 230, 950 and 1900 mm. were studied representing short, intermediate long and long columns, respectively. Then, nonlinear finite element analyses of the tested columns were performed. The comparisons in terms of load-deformation response and buckling mode show good agreement and hence the FEM models were validated. Parametric study of stiffening element and thickness of 1.0, 1.15, 1.2, 1.5, 1.6 and 2.0 mm. was analyzed. The test results showed that stiffening effect pays a large contribution to prevent distortional mode. The increase in wall thickness enhanced buckling stress beyond the yielding strength in short and intermediate columns, but not for the long columns.

Evaluation of Azo Dye Toxicity Using Some Haematological and Histopathological Alterations in Fish Catla catla

The textile industry plays a major role in the economy of India and on the other side of the coin it is the major source for water pollution. As azo dyes is the largest dye class they are extensively used in many fields such as textile industry, leather tanning industry, paper production, food, color photography, pharmaceuticals and medicine, cosmetic, hair colorings, wood staining, agricultural, biological and chemical research etc. In addition to these, they can have acute and/or chronic effects on organisms depending on their concentration and length of exposure when they discharged as effluent in the environment. The aim of this study was to assess the genotoxic and histotoxic potentials of environmentally relevant concentrations of C. I. Reactive Red 120 (RR 120) on Catla catla, important edible freshwater fingerlings. For this, healthy Catla catla fingerlings were procured from the Government Fish Farm and acclimatized in 100 L capacity and continuously aerated glass aquarium in laboratory for 15 days. According to APHA some physic-chemical parameters were measured and maintained such as temperature, pH, dissolve oxygen, alkalinity, total hardness. Water along with excreta had been changed every 24 hrs. All fingerlings were fed artificial food palates once a day @ body weight. After 15 days fingerlings were grouped in 5 (10 in each) and exposed to various concentrations of RR 120 (Control, 10, 20, 30 and 40 mg.l-1) and samples (peripheral blood and gills, kidney) were collected and analyzed at 96 hrs. All results were compared with the control. Micronuclei (MN), nuclear buds (NB), fragmented-apoptotic (FA) and bi-nucleated (BN) cells in blood smears and in tissues (gills and kidney cells) were observed. Prominent histopathological alterations were noticed in gills such as aneurism, hyperplasia, degenerated central axis, lifting of gill epithelium, curved secondary gill lamellae etc. Similarly kidney showed some detrimental changes like shrunken glomeruli with increased periglomerular space, degenerated renal tubules etc. Both haematological and histopathological changes clearly reveal the toxic potential of RR 120. This work concludes that water pollution assessment can be done by these two biomarkers which provide baseline to the further chromosomal or molecular work.

Determination of Resistance to Freezing of Bonded Façade Joint

Verification of vented wooden façade system with bonded joints is presented in this paper. The potential of bonded joints is studied and described in more detail. The paper presents the results of an experimental and theoretical research about the effects of freeze cycling on the bonded joint. For the purpose of tests spruce timber profiles were chosen for the load bearing substructure. Planks from wooden plastic composite and Siberian larch are representing facade cladding. Two types of industrial polyurethane adhesives intended for structural bonding were selected. The article is focused on the preparation as well as on the subsequent curing and conditioning of test samples. All test samples were subjected to 15 cycles that represents sudden temperature changes, i.e. immersion in a water bath at (293.15 ± 3) K for 6 hours and subsequent freezing to (253.15 ± 2) K for 18 hours. Furthermore, the retention of bond strength between substructure and cladding wastested and strength in shear was determined under tensile stress.Research data indicate that little, if any, damage to the bond results from freezingcycles. Additionally, the suitability of selected group of adhesives in combination with timber substructure was confirmed.

Strengthening and Toughening of Dental Porcelain by the Inclusion of an Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Reinforcing Phase

Dental porcelain composites reinforced and toughened by 20 wt.% tetragonal zirconia (3Y-TZP) were processed by hot pressing at 1000°C. Two types of particles were tested: yttriastabilized zirconia (ZrO2–3%Y2O3) agglomerates and pre-sintered yttria-stabilized zirconia (ZrO2–3%Y2O3) particles. The composites as well as the reinforcing particles were analyzed by the means of optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersion Spectroscopy (EDS) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). The mechanical properties were obtained by the transverse rupture strength test. Wear tests were also performed on the composites and monolithic porcelain. The best mechanical results were displayed by the porcelain reinforced with the pre-sintered ZrO2–3%Y2O3 agglomerates.

Networked Radar System to Increase Safety of Urban Railroad Crossing

The paper presents an innovative networked radar system for detection of obstacles in a railway level crossing scenario. This Monitoring System (MS) is able to detect moving or still obstacles within the railway level crossing area automatically, avoiding the need of human presence for surveillance. The MS is also connected to the National Railway Information and Signaling System to communicate in real-time the level crossing status. The architecture is compliant with the highest Safety Integrity Level (SIL4) of the CENELEC standard. The number of radar sensors used is configurable at set-up time and depends on how large the level crossing area can be. At least two sensors are expected and up four can be used for larger areas. The whole processing chain that elaborates the output sensor signals, as well as the communication interface, is fully-digital, was designed in VHDL code and implemented onto a Xilinx Virtex 6.

T Cell Immunity Profile in Pediatric Obesity and Asthma

The mechanisms underlying the association between obesity and asthma may be related to a decreased immunological tolerance induced by a defective function of regulatory T cells (Tregs). The aim of this study is to establish the potential link between these diseases and CD4+, CD25+ FoxP3+ Tregs as well as T helper cells (Ths) in children. This is a prospective case control study. Obese (n:40), asthmatic (n:40), asthmatic obese (n:40) and healthy children (n:40), who don't have any acute or chronic diseases, were included in this study. Obese children were evaluated according to WHO criteria. Asthmatic patients were chosen based on GINA criteria. Parents were asked to fill up the questionnaire. Informed consent forms were taken. Blood samples were marked with CD4+, CD25+ and FoxP3+ in order to determine Tregs and Ths by flow cytometric method. Statistical analyses were performed. p≤0.05 was chosen as meaningful threshold. Tregs exhibiting anti-inflammatory nature were significantly lower in obese (0,16%; p≤0,001), asthmatic (0,25%; p≤0,01) and asthmatic obese (0,29%; p≤0,05) groups than the control group (0,38%). Ths were counted higher in asthma group than the control (p≤0,01) and obese (p≤0,001) groups. T cell immunity plays important roles in obesity and asthma pathogeneses. Decreased numbers of Tregs found in obese, asthmatic and asthmatic obese children may help to elucidate some questions in pathophysiology of these diseases. For HOMA-IR levels, any significant difference was not noted between control and obese groups, but statistically higher values were found for obese asthmatics. The values obtained in all groups were found to be below the critical cut off points. This finding has made the statistically significant difference observed between Tregs of obese, asthmatic, obese asthmatic and control groups much more valuable. These findings will be useful in diagnosis and treatment of these disorders and future studies are needed. The production and propagation of Tregs may be promising in alternative asthma and obesity treatments.

The Importance of Erythrocyte Parameters in Obese Children

Increasing prevalence of childhood obesity has increased the interest in early and late indicators of gaining weight. Cell blood counts may be indicators of pro-inflammatory states. The aim was to evaluate associations of hematological parameters, including hematocrit (HTC), hemoglobin, blood cell counts and their indices with the degree of obesity in pediatric population. A total of 249; -139 morbidly obese (MO), 82 healthy normal weight (NW) and 28 overweight (OW) children were included into the scope of the study. WHO BMI-for age percentiles were used to form age- and sexmatched groups. Informed consent forms and the Ethics Committee approval were obtained. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Hematological parameters were determined. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The degree for statistical significance was p≤0.05. Significant differences (p=0.000) between waist-to-hip ratios and head-to- neck ratios (hnrs) of MO and NW children were detected. A significant difference between hnrs of OW and MO children (p=0.000) was observed. Red cell distribution width (RDW) was higher in OW children than NW group (p=0.030). Such finding couldn’t be detected between MO and NW groups. Increased RDW was prominent in OW children. The decrease in mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) values in MO children was sharper than the values in OW children (p=0.006 vs p=0.042) compared to those in NW group. Statistically higher HTC levels were observed between MO-NW (p=0.014), but none between OW-NW. Though the cause-effect relationship between obesity and erythrocyte indices still needs further investigation, alterations in RDW, HTC, MCHC during obesity may be of significance in the early life.

Possibilities of Utilization Zeolite in Concrete

There are several possibilities of reducing the required amount of cement in concrete production. Natural zeolite is one of the raw materials which can partly substitute Portland cement. The effort to reduce the amount of Portland cement used in concrete production is brings both economical as well as ecological benefits. The paper presents the properties of concrete containing natural zeolite as an active admixture in the concrete which partly substitutes Portland cement. The properties discussed here bring information about the basic mechanical properties and frost resistance of concrete containing zeolite. The properties of concretes with the admixture of zeolite are compared with a reference concrete with no content of zeolite. The properties of the individual concretes are observed for 360 days.

The Effects of Quality of Web-Based Applications on Competitive Advantage: An Empirical Study in Commercial Banks in Jordan

Many organizations are investing in web applications and technologies in order to be competitive, some of them could not achieve its goals. The quality of web-based applications could play an important role for organizations to be competitive. So the aim of this study is to investigate the impact of quality of web-based applications to achieve a competitive advantage. A new model has been developed. An empirical investigation was performed on a banking sector in Jordan to test the new model. The results show that impact of web-based applications on competitive advantage is significant. Finally, further work is planned to validate and evaluate the proposed model using several domains.

Secure Image Retrieval Based On Orthogonal Decomposition under Cloud Environment

In order to protect data privacy, image with sensitive or private information needs to be encrypted before being outsourced to the cloud. However, this causes difficulties in image retrieval and data management. A secure image retrieval method based on orthogonal decomposition is proposed in the paper. The image is divided into two different components, for which encryption and feature extraction are executed separately. As a result, cloud server can extract features from an encrypted image directly and compare them with the features of the queried images, so that the user can thus obtain the image. Different from other methods, the proposed method has no special requirements to encryption algorithms. Experimental results prove that the proposed method can achieve better security and better retrieval precision.

Investigation of Heat Transfer by Natural Convection in an Open Channel

Experimental study of natural convection heat transfer inside smooth and rough surfaces of vertical and inclined equilateral triangular channels of different inclination angles with a uniformly heated surface are performed. The inclination angle is changed from 15º to 90º. Smooth and rough surface of average roughness (0.02mm) are used and their effect on the heat transfer characteristics are studied. The local and average heat transfer coefficients and Nusselt number are obtained for smooth and rough channels at different heat flux values, different inclination angles and different Rayleigh numbers (Ra) 6.48 × 105 ≤ Ra ≤ 4.78 × 106. The results show that the local Nusselt number decreases with increase of axial distance from the lower end of the triangular channel to a point near the upper end of channel, and then, it slightly increases. Higher values of local Nusselt number for rough channel along the axial distance compared with the smooth channel. The average Nusselt number of rough channel is higher than that of smooth channel by about 8.1% for inclined case at θ = 45o and 10% for vertical case. The results obtained are correlated using dimensionless groups for both rough and smooth surfaces of the inclined and vertical triangular channels.

Three Dimensional Large Eddy Simulation of Blood Flow and Deformation in an Elastic Constricted Artery

In the current work, a three-dimensional geometry of a 75% stenosed blood vessel is analyzed. Large eddy simulation (LES) with the help of a dynamic subgrid scale Smagorinsky model is applied to model the turbulent pulsatile flow. The geometry, the transmural pressure and the properties of the blood and the elastic boundary were based on clinical measurement data. For the flexible wall model, a thin solid region is constructed around the 75% stenosed blood vessel. The deformation of this solid region was modelled as a deforming boundary to reduce the computational cost of the solid model. Fluid-structure interaction is realized via a twoway coupling between the blood flow modelled via LES and the deforming vessel. The information of the flow pressure and the wall motion was exchanged continually during the cycle by an arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian method. The boundary condition of current time step depended on previous solutions. The fluctuation of the velocity in the post-stenotic region was analyzed in the study. The axial velocity at normalized position Z=0.5 shows a negative value near the vessel wall. The displacement of the elastic boundary was concerned in this study. In particular, the wall displacement at the systole and the diastole were compared. The negative displacement at the stenosis indicates a collapse at the maximum velocity and the deceleration phase.

Validation of an Acuity Measurement Tool for Maternity Services

Background - The TrendCare Patient Dependency System is currently used by a large number of maternity Services across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. In 2012, 2013 and 2014 validation studies were initiated in all three countries to validate the acuity tools used for women in labour, and postnatal mothers and babies. This paper will present the findings of the validation study. Aim - The aim of this study was to; identify if the care hours provided by the TrendCare acuity system was an accurate reflection of the care required by women and babies; obtain evidence of changes required to acuity indicators and/or category timings to ensure the TrendCare acuity system remains reliable and valid across a range of maternity care models in three countries. Method - A non-experimental action research methodology was used across maternity services in four District Health Boards in New Zealand, a large tertiary and a large secondary maternity service in Singapore and a large public maternity service in Australia. Standardised data collection forms and timing devices were used to collect midwife contact times, with women and babies included in the study. Rejection processes excluded samples when care was not completed/rationed, and contact timing forms were incomplete. The variances between actual timed midwife/mother/baby contact and the TrendCare acuity category times were identified and investigated. Results - Thirty two (88.9%) of the 36 TrendCare acuity category timings, fell within the variance tolerance levels when compared to the actual timings recorded for midwifery care. Four (11.1%) TrendCare categories provided less minutes of care than the actual timings and exceeded the variance tolerance level. These were all night shift category timings. Nine postnatal categories were not able to be compared as the sample size for these categories was statistically insignificant. 100% of labour ward TrendCare categories matched actual timings for midwifery care, all falling within the variance tolerance levels. The actual time provided by core midwifery staff to assist lead maternity carer (LMC) midwives in New Zealand labour wards showed a significant deviation to previous studies. The findings of the study demonstrated the need for additional time allocations in TrendCare to accommodate an increased level of assistance given to LMC midwives. Conclusion - The results demonstrated the importance of regularly validating the TrendCare category timings with actual timings of the care hours provided. It was evident from the findings that variances to models of care and length of stay in maternity units have increased midwifery workloads on the night shift. The level of assistance provided by the core labour ward staff to the LMC midwife has increased substantially. Outcomes - As a consequence of this study, changes were made to the night duty TrendCare maternity categories, additional acuity indicators were developed and times for assisting LMC midwives in labour ward increased. The updated TrendCare version was delivered to maternity services in 2014.

Effect of Chemical Additive on Fixed Abrasive Polishing of LBO Crystal with Non-water Based Slurry

Non-water based fixed abrasive polishing was adopted to manufacture LBO crystal for nano precision surface quality because of its deliquescent. Ethyl alcohol was selected as the non-water based slurry solvent and ethanediamine, lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide was added in the slurry as a chemical additive, respectively. Effect of different additives with non-water based slurry on material removal rate, surface topography, microscopic appearances, and surface roughness were investigated in fixed abrasive polishing of LBO crystal. The results show the best surface quality of LBO crystal with surface roughness Sa 8.2 nm and small damages was obtained by non-water based slurry with lactic acid. Non-water based fixed abrasive polishing can achieve nano precision surface quality of LBO crystal with high material removal.

Promoting Authenticity in Employer Brands to Address the Global-Local Problem in Complex Organisations: The Case of a Developing Country

Employer branding is considered as a useful tool for addressing the global-local problem facing complex organisations that have operations scattered across the globe and face challenges of dealing with the local environment alongside. Despite being an established field of study within the Western developed world, there is little empirical evidence concerning the relevance of employer branding to global companies that operate in the under-developed economies. This paper fills this gap by gaining rich insight into the implementation of employer branding programs in a foreign multinational operating in Pakistan dealing with the global-local problem. The study is qualitative in nature and employs semistructured and focus group interviews with senior/middle managers and local frontline employees to deeply examine the phenomenon in case organisation. Findings suggest that authenticity is required in employer brands to enable them to respond to the local needs thereby leading to the resolution of the global-local problem. However, the role of signaling theory is key to the development of authentic employer brands as it stresses on the need to establish an efficient and effective signaling environment where in signals travel in both directions (from signal designers to receivers and backwards) and facilitate firms with the global-local problem. The paper also identifies future avenues of research for the employer branding field.

Assessment of Collapse Potential of Degrading SDOF Systems

Predicting the collapse potential of a structure during earthquakes is an important issue in earthquake engineering. Many researchers proposed different methods to assess the collapse potential of structures under the effect of strong ground motions. However most of them did not consider degradation and softening effect in hysteretic behavior. In this study, collapse potential of SDOF systems caused by dynamic instability with stiffness and strength degradation has been investigated. An equation was proposed for the estimation of collapse period of SDOF system which is a limit value of period for dynamic instability. If period of the considered SDOF system is shorter than the collapse period then the relevant system exhibits dynamic instability and collapse occurs.

Simulation Studies of Solid-Particle and Liquid-Drop Erosion of NiAl Alloy

This article presents modeling studies of NiAl alloy under solid-particle erosion and liquid-drop erosion. In the solid-particle erosion simulation, attention is paid to the oxide scale thickness variation on the alloy in high-temperature erosion environments. The erosion damage is assumed to be deformation wear and cutting wear mechanisms, incorporating the influence of the oxide scale on the eroded surface; thus the instantaneous oxide thickness is the result of synergetic effect of erosion and oxidation. For liquid-drop erosion, special interest is in investigating the effects of drop velocity and drop size on the damage of the target surface. The models of impact stress wave, mean depth of penetration, and maximum depth of erosion rate (Max DER) are employed to develop various maps for NiAl alloy, including target thickness vs. drop size (diameter), rate of mean depth of penetration (MDRP) vs. drop impact velocity, and damage threshold velocity (DTV) vs. drop size.

Freeze-Thaw Resistance of Concretes with BFSA

Air-cooled Blast Furnace Slag Aggregate (BFSA) is usually referred to as a material providing for unique properties of concrete. On the other hand, negative influences are also presented in many aspects. The freeze-thaw resistance of concrete is dependent on many factors, including regional specifics and when a concrete mix is specified it is still difficult to tell its exact freeze-thaw resistance due to the different components affecting it. An important consideration in working with BFSA is the granularity and whether slag is sorted or not. The experimental part of the article represents a comparative testing of concrete using both the sorted and unsorted BFSA through the freeze-thaw resistance as an indicator of durability. Unsorted BFSA is able to be successfully used for concretes as they are specified for exposure class XF4 with providing that the type of cement is precisely selected.

Alternative Robust Estimators for the Shape Parameters of the Burr XII Distribution

In general, classical methods such as maximum likelihood (ML) and least squares (LS) estimation methods are used to estimate the shape parameters of the Burr XII distribution. However, these estimators are very sensitive to the outliers. To overcome this problem we propose alternative robust estimators based on the M-estimation method for the shape parameters of the Burr XII distribution. We provide a small simulation study and a real data example to illustrate the performance of the proposed estimators over the ML and the LS estimators. The simulation results show that the proposed robust estimators generally outperform the classical estimators in terms of bias and root mean square errors when there are outliers in data.

Slope Stability of an Earthen Levee Strengthened by HPTRM under Turbulent Overtopping Conditions

High performance turf reinforcement mat (HPTRM) is one of the most advanced flexible armoring technologies for severe erosion challenges. The effect of turbulence on the slope stability of an earthen levee strengthened by high performance turf reinforcement mat (HPTRM) is investigated in this study for combined storm surge and wave overtopping conditions. The results show that turbulence has strong influence on the slope stability during the combined storm surge and wave overtopping conditions. Among the surge height, peak wave force and turbulent force. The turbulent force has the ability to stabilize the earthen levee at the large wave force the turbulent force has strongest effect on the FS. The surge storm acts as an independent force on the slope stability of the earthen levee. It just adds to the effects of the turbulent force and wave force on the slope stability of HPTRM strengthened levee.

Maximum Entropy Based Image Segmentation of Human Skin Lesion

Image segmentation plays an important role in medical imaging applications. Therefore, accurate methods are needed for the successful segmentation of medical images for diagnosis and detection of various diseases. In this paper, we have used maximum entropy to achieve image segmentation. Maximum entropy has been calculated using Shannon, Renyi and Tsallis entropies. This work has novelty based on the detection of skin lesion caused by the bite of a parasite called Sand Fly causing the disease is called Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

Large Scale Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from Wastewater: A Study of Techno-Economics, Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The biodegradable family of polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates is an interesting substitute for convectional fossil-based plastics. However, the manufacturing and environmental impacts associated with their production via intracellular bacterial fermentation are strongly dependent on the raw material used and on energy consumption during the extraction process, limiting their potential for commercialization. Industrial wastewater is studied in this paper as a promising alternative feedstock for waste valorization. Based on results from laboratory and pilot-scale experiments, a conceptual process design, techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment are developed for the large-scale production of the most common type of polyhydroxyalkanoate, polyhydroxbutyrate. Intracellular polyhydroxybutyrate is obtained via fermentation of microbial community present in industrial wastewater and the downstream processing is based on chemical digestion with surfactant and hypochlorite. The economic potential and environmental performance results help identifying bottlenecks and best opportunities to scale-up the process prior to industrial implementation. The outcome of this research indicates that the fermentation of wastewater towards PHB presents advantages compared to traditional PHAs production from sugars because the null environmental burdens and financial costs of the raw material in the bioplastic production process. Nevertheless, process optimization is still required to compete with the petrochemicals counterparts.

Failure to React Positively to Flood Early Warning Systems: Lessons Learned by Flood Victims from Flash Flood Disasters: The Malaysia Experience

This paper describes the issues relating to the role of the flash flood early warning system provided by the Malaysian Government to the communities in Malaysia, specifically during the flash flood disaster in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Normally, flash flood disasters can occur as a result of heavy rainfall in an area, and that water may possibly cause flooding via streams or narrow channels. The focus of this study is the flash flood disaster which occurred on 23 October 2013 in the Cameron Highlands, and as a result the Sungai Bertam overflowed after the release of water from the Sultan Abu Bakar Dam. This release of water from the dam caused flash flooding which led to damage to properties and also the death of residents and livestock in the area. Therefore, the effort of this study is to identify the perceptions of the flash flood victims on the role of the flash flood early warning system. For the purposes of this study, data were gathered through face-to-face interviews from those flood victims who were willing to participate in this study. This approach helped the researcher to glean in-depth information about their feelings and perceptions of the role of the flash flood early warning system offered by the government. The data were analysed descriptively and the findings show that the respondents of 22 flood victims believe strongly that the flash flood early warning system was confusing and dysfunctional, and communities had failed to response positively to it. Therefore, most of the communities were not well prepared for the releasing of water from the dam which caused property damage, and 3 people were killed in the Cameron Highland flash flood disaster.

Effect of Selenite and Selenate Uptake by Maize Plants on Specific Leaf Area

Specific leaf area (SLA; cm2leaf g-1leaf) the ratio of leaf area to leaf dry mass is a key ecophysiological parameter influencing leaf physiology, photosynthesis, and whole plant carbon gain and also can be used as a rapid and diagnostic tool. In this study, two species of soluble inorganic selenium forms, selenite (Se^IV) and selenate (Se^VI) at different concentrations were investigated on maize plants that were growing in nutrient solutions during 2 weeks and at the end of the experiment, amounts of SLA for first and second leaves of maize were measured. In accordance with the results we observed that our regarded Se concentrations in both forms of Se^IV and Se^VI were not effective on maize plants’ SLA significantly although high level of 3 mg.kg-1 Se^IV had negative affect on growth of the samples that had been treated by it but about Se^VI samples we did not observe this state and our different considered Se^VI concentrations were not toxic for maize plants.

Consumer Market for Mineral Water and Development Policy in Georgia

The paper discusses mineral water consumer market and development policy in Georgia, the tools and measures, which will contribute to production of mineral waters and increase its export. The paper studies and analyses current situation in mineral water production sector as well as the factors affecting increase and reduction of its export. It’s noted that in order to gain and maintain competitive advantage, it’s necessary to provide continuous supply of high quality goods with modern design, open new distribution channels to enter new markets, carry out broad promotional activities, organize e-commerce. Economic policy plays an important role in protecting markets from counterfeit goods. The state also plays an important role in attracting foreign direct investments. Stable business environment and export oriented strategy is the basis for the country’s economic growth. Based on the research, the paper suggests the strategy for improving competitiveness of Georgian mineral waters; relevant conclusions and recommendations are provided.

Event Monitoring Based On Web Services for Heterogeneous Event Sources

This article discusses event monitoring options for heterogeneous event sources as they are given in nowadays heterogeneous distributed information systems. It follows the central assumption, that a fully generic event monitoring solution cannot provide complete support for event monitoring; instead, event source specific semantics such as certain event types or support for certain event monitoring techniques have to be taken into account. Following from this, the core result of the work presented here is the extension of a configurable event monitoring (Web) service for a variety of event sources. A service approach allows us to trade genericity for the exploitation of source specific characteristics. It thus delivers results for the areas of SOA, Web services, CEP and EDA.

Chloroform-Formic Acid Solvent Systems for Nanofibrous Polycaprolactone Webs

In this study, polycaprolactone (PCL) was dissolved in chloroform:ethanol solvent system at a concentration of 18 w/v %. 1, 2, 4, and 6 droplets of formic acid were added to the prepared 10ml PCL-chloroform:ethanol solutions separately. Fibrous webs were produced by electrospinning technique based on the horizontal working principle. Morphology of the webs was investigated by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) whereas fiber diameters were measured by Image J Software System. The effect of formic acid addition to the mostly used chloroform solvent on fiber morphology was examined. Results indicate that there is a distinct fall in fiber diameter with the addition of formic acid drops. The average fiber diameter was measured as 2.22μm in PCL /chloroform:ethanol solution system. On the other hand, 328nm and 256 nm average fiber diameters were measured for the samples of 4 drops and 6 drops formic acid added. This study offers alternative solvent systems to produce nanoscaled, nontoxic PCL fibrous webs by electrospinning technique.

Thermal Insulating Silicate Materials Suitable for Thermal Insulation and Rehabilitation Structures

Problems insulation of building structures is often closely connected with the problem of moisture remediation. In the case of historic buildings or if only part of the redevelopment of envelope of structures, it is not possible to apply the classical external thermal insulation composite systems. This application is mostly effective thermal insulation plasters with high porosity and controlled capillary properties which assures improvement of thermal properties construction, its diffusion openness towards the external environment and suitable treatment capillary properties of preventing the penetration of liquid moisture and salts thereof toward the outer surface of the structure. With respect to the current trend of reducing the energy consumption of building structures and reduce the production of CO2 is necessary to develop capillary-active materials characterized by their low density, low thermal conductivity while maintaining good mechanical properties. The aim of researchers at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Brno University of Technology is the development and study of hygrothermal behaviour of optimal materials for thermal insulation and rehabilitation of building structures with the possible use of alternative, less energy demanding binders in comparison with conventional, frequently used binder, which represents cement. The paper describes the evaluation of research activities aimed at the development of thermal insulation and repair materials using lightweight aggregate and alternative binders such as metakaolin and finely ground fly ash.

Experimental Study on Slicing of Sapphire with Fixed Abrasive Diamond Wire Saw

Experimental study on slicing of sapphire with fixed abrasive diamond wire saw was conducted in this paper. The process parameters were optimized through orthogonal experiment of three factors and four levels. The effects of wire speed, feed speed and tension pressure on the surface roughness were analyzed. Surface roughness in cutting direction and feed direction were both detected. The results show that feed speed plays the most significant role on the surface roughness of sliced sapphire followed by wire speed and tension pressure. The optimized process parameters are as follows: wire speed 1.9 m/s, feed speed 0.187 mm/min and tension pressure 0.18 MPa. In the end, the results were verified by analysis of variance.

Finite Element Analysis of Oil-Lubricated Elliptical Journal Bearings

Fixed-geometry hydrodynamic journal bearings are one of the best supporting systems for several applications of rotating machinery. Cylindrical journal bearings present excellent loadcarrying capacity and low manufacturing costs, but they are subjected to the oil-film instability at high speeds. An attempt of overcoming this instability problem has been the development of non-circular journal bearings. This work deals with an analysis of oil-lubricated elliptical journal bearings using the finite element method. Steadystate and dynamic performance characteristics of elliptical bearings are rendered by zeroth- and first-order lubrication equations obtained through a linearized perturbation method applied on the classical Reynolds equation. Four-node isoparametric rectangular finite elements are employed to model the bearing thin film flow. Curves of elliptical bearing load capacity and dynamic force coefficients are rendered at several operating conditions. The results presented in this work demonstrate the influence of the bearing ellipticity on its performance at different loading conditions.

Effects of Molybdenum Treatments on Maize and Sunflower Seedlings

The aim of the present study was to examine whether increasing molybdenum (Mo) concentration affects the growth and Mo concentration of maize (Zea mays L. cv Norma SC) and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L. cv Arena PR) seedlings within laboratory conditions. In this experiment, calcareous chernozem soil was used and Mo was supplemented into the soil as ammonium molybdate [(NH4)6Mo7O24.4H2O] in four different concentrations as follow: 0 (control), 30, 90 and 270 mg·kg-1. In this study, we found that molybdenum in small amount (30 mg·kg-1) affects positively on growth of maize and sunflower seedlings, however, higher concentration of Mo reduces the dry weights of shoots and roots. In the case of maize the highest Mo treatment (270 mg·kg-1) and in sunflower 90 mg·kg-1 treatment caused significant reduction in plant growth. In addition, we observed that molybdenum contents in the roots and shoots were very low in case of control soil but were significantly elevated with increasing concentration of Mo treatment. Only in case of sunflower the highest 270 mg·kg-1 Mo treatment caused decrease in Mo concentration.

Accounting Performance of the Leading Companies in the Construction Sector in Brazil during the Period 2009-2012

The construction industry has been demonstrating increased growth and importance in Brazil’s national economic development. This study aims to evaluate the financial performance of the leading companies in the construction sector in Brazil in the period from 2009 to 2012. An analysis is made of the capital structure, liquidity, and profitability of the six largest companies in the construction sector in Brazil: Brookfield, Cyrela, Gafisa, MRV, PDG and Rossi. The results are then compared with standard industry ratios. It was found that among the companies analyzed, MRV and Cyrela showed the best relative performance in the period under consideration.