Air Quality Forecast Based on Principal Component Analysis-Genetic Algorithm and Back Propagation Model
Under the circumstance of environment deterioration, people are increasingly concerned about the quality of the environment, especially air quality. As a result, it is of great value to give accurate and timely forecast of AQI (air quality index). In order to simplify influencing factors of air quality in a city, and forecast the city’s AQI tomorrow, this study used MATLAB software and adopted the method of constructing a mathematic model of PCA-GABP to provide a solution. To be specific, this study firstly made principal component analysis (PCA) of influencing factors of AQI tomorrow including aspects of weather, industry waste gas and IAQI data today. Then, we used the back propagation neural network model (BP), which is optimized by genetic algorithm (GA), to give forecast of AQI tomorrow. In order to verify validity and accuracy of PCA-GABP model’s forecast capability. The study uses two statistical indices to evaluate AQI forecast results (normalized mean square error and fractional bias). Eventually, this study reduces mean square error by optimizing individual gene structure in genetic algorithm and adjusting the parameters of back propagation model. To conclude, the performance of the model to forecast AQI is comparatively convincing and the model is expected to take positive effect in AQI forecast in the future.
Investigation of Active Modified Atmosphere and Nanoparticle Packaging on Quality of Tomatoes
This study investigated the effects of Ag nanoparticle polyethylene film and active modified atmosphere on the postharvest quality of tomatoes stored at 6 ºC. The atmosphere composition used in the packaging was 7% O2 + 7% CO2 + 86% N2, and synthetic air (control). The variables measured were weight loss, firmness, color and respiration rate over 21 days. The results showed that the combination of Ag nanoparticle polyethylene film and modified atmosphere could extend the shelf life of tomatoes to 21 days and could influence the postharvest quality of tomatoes. Also, existence of Ag nanoparticles caused preventing from increasing weight loss, a*, b*, Chroma, Hue angle and reducing firmness and L*. As well as, tomatoes at Ag nanoparticle polyethylene films had lower respiration rate than Polyethylene and paper bags to 13.27% and 23.50%, respectively. The combination of Ag nanoparticle polyethylene film and active modified atmosphere was effective with regard to delaying maturity during the storage period, and preserving the quality of tomatoes.
Experiences on the Application of WIKI Based Coursework in a Fourth-Year Engineering Module
This paper presents work on the application of wiki based coursework for a fourth-year engineering module delivered as part of both a MEng and MSc programme in Chemical Engineering. The module was taught with an equivalent structure simultaneously on two separate campuses, one in the United Kingdom (UK) and one in Malaysia, and the subsequent results were compared. Student feedback was sought via questionnaires, with 45 respondents from the UK and 49 from Malaysia. Results include discussion on; perceived difficulty; student enjoyment and experiences; differences between MEng and MSc students; differences between cohorts on different campuses. The response of students to the use of wiki-based coursework was found to vary based on their experiences and background, with UK students being generally more positive on its application than those in Malaysia.
Radio Regulation Development and Radio Spectrum Analysis of Earth Station in Motion Service
Although Earth Station in Motion (ESIM) services are widely used and there is a huge market demand around the world, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) does not have unified conclusion for the use of ESIM yet. ESIM are Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) due to its mobile-based attributes, while multiple administrations want to use ESIM in Fixed Satellite Service (FSS). However, Radio Regulations (RR) have strict distinction between MSS and FSS. In this case, ITU has been very controversial because this kind of application will violate the RR Article and the conflict will bring risks to the global deployment. Thus, this paper illustrates the development of rules, regulations, standards concerning ESIM and the radio spectrum usage of ESIM in different regions around the world. Firstly, the basic rules, standard and definition of ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is introduced. Secondly, the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) agenda item on radio spectrum allocation for ESIM, e.g. in C/Ku/Ka band, is introduced and multi-view on the radio spectrum allocation is elaborated, especially on 19.7-20.2 GHz & 29.5-30.0 GHz. Then, some ITU-R Recommendations and Reports are analyzed on the specific technique to enable these ESIM to communicate with Geostationary Earth Orbit Satellite (GSO) space stations in the FSS without causing interference at levels in excess of that caused by conventional FSS earth stations. Meanwhile, the opposite opinion on not allocating EISM service in FSS frequency band is also elaborated. Finally, based on the ESIM’s future application, the ITU-R standards development trend is forecasted. In conclusion, using radio spectrum resource in an equitable, rational and efficient manner is the basic guideline of ITU. Although it is not a good approach to obstruct the revise of RR when there is a large demand for radio spectrum resource in satellite industry, still the propulsion and global demand of the whole industry may face difficulties on the unclear application in modify rules of RR.
Study of Crashworthiness Behavior of Thin-Walled Tube under Axial Loading by Using Computational Mechanics
This paper presents the computationally mechanics analysis of energy absorption for cylindrical and square thin wall tubed structure by using ABAQUS/explicit. The crashworthiness behavior of AISI 1020 mild steel thin-walled tube under axial loading has been studied. The influence effects of different model’s cross-section, as well as model length on the crashworthiness behavior of thin-walled tube, are investigated. The model was placed on loading platform under axial loading with impact velocity of 5 m/s to obtain the deformation results of each model under quasi-static loading. The results showed that model undergoes different deformation mode exhibits different energy absorption performance.
Learning Outcomes Alignment across Engineering Core Courses
In this paper, a team of faculty members of the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, UAE representing six different courses across General Engineering (ENGR), Communication (COMM), and Design (STPS) worked together to establish a clear developmental progression of learning outcomes and performance indicators for targeted knowledge, areas of competency, and skills for the first three semesters of the Bachelor of Sciences in Engineering curriculum. The sequences of courses studied in this project were ENGR/COMM, COMM/STPS, and ENGR/STPS. For each course’s nine areas of knowledge, competency, and skills, the research team reviewed the existing learning outcomes and related performance indicators with a focus on identifying linkages across disciplines as well as within the courses of a discipline. The team reviewed existing performance indicators for developmental progression from semester to semester for same discipline related courses (vertical alignment) and for different discipline courses within the same semester (horizontal alignment). The results of this work have led to recommendations for modifications of the initial indicators when incoherence was identified, and/or for new indicators based on best practices (identified through literature searches) when gaps were identified. It also led to recommendations for modifications of the level of emphasis within each course to ensure developmental progression. The exercise has led to a revised Sequence Performance Indicator Mapping for the knowledge, skills, and competencies across the six core courses.
The Effects of Eight Weeks of Interval Endurance Training on hs-CRP Levels and Anthropometric Parameters in Overweight Men
Inflammatory markers are known as the main predictors of cardiovascular diseases. This study aimed at determining the effect of 8 weeks of interval endurance training on hs-CRP level and some anthropometric parameters in overweight men. Following the call for participation in research project in Kashan, 73 volunteers participated in it and constituted the statistical population of the study. Then, 28 overweight young men from the age of 22 to 25 years old were randomly assigned into two groups of experimental and control group (n=14). Anthropometric and the blood sample was collected before and after the termination of the program for measuring hs-CRP. The interval endurance program was performed at 60 to 75% of maximum heart rate in 2 sessions per week for 8 weeks. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to test whether two samples come from the same distribution and T-test was used to assess the difference of two groups which were statistically significant at the level of 0.05. The result indicated that there was a significant difference between the hs-RP, weight, BMI and W/H ratio of overweight men in posttest in the exercise group (P≤0.05) but not in the control group. Interval endurance training program causes decrease in hs-CRP level and anthropometric parameters.
Emotions and Message Sharing on the Chinese Microblog
The study aims to explore microblog users’ emotion expression and sharing behaviors on the Chinese microblog (Weibo). The first theme of study analyzed whether microblog emotions impact readers’ message sharing behaviors, specifically, how the strength of emotion (positive and negative) in microblog messages facilitate/inhibit readers’ sharing behaviors. The second theme compared the differences among the three types of microblog users (i.e., verified enterprise users, verified individual users and unverified users) in terms of their profiles and microblog behaviors. A total of 7114 microblog messages about 24 hot public events in China were sampled from Sina Weibo. The first study results show that strength of negative emotions that microblog messages carry significantly increase the possibility of the message being shared. The second study results indicate that there are significant differences across the three types of users in terms of their emotion expression and its influence on microblog behaviors.
Examination of the Reasons for the Formation of Red Oil in Spent Caustic from Olefin Plant
Due to the complexity of olefinic plants, various environmental pollutants exist such as NOx, CO2, Tar Water, and most importantly Spent Caustic. In this paper, instead of investigating ways of treating this pollutant, we evaluated the production in relation to plant’s variable items. We primarily discussed the factors affecting the quality of the output spent caustic such as impurities in the feed of olefin plant, the amount of injected dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) in furnaces, variation in feed composition, differences among gas temperatures and the concentration of caustic solution at the bottom of the tower. The results of the laboratory proved that in the formation of Red Oil, 1,3butadiene and acetaldehyde followed free radical and aldol condensation mechanism respectively. By increasing the injection rate of DMDS, Mercaptide amount increases in the effluent. In addition, pyrolysis gasoline accumulation is directly related to caustic concentration in the tower. Increasing naphtenes in the liquid feed augments the amount of 1,3butadiene, as one of the sources of Red Oil formation. By increasing the oxygenated compound in the feed, the rate of acetaldehyde formation, as the main source of Red Oil formation, increases.
Comparison of Zero Voltage Soft Switching and Hard Switching Boost Converter with Maximum Power Point Tracking
The inherent nature of normal boost converter has more voltage stress across the power electronics switch and ripple. The presented formation of the front end rectifier stage for a photovoltaic (PV) organization is mainly used to give the supply. Further increasing of the solar efficiency is achieved by connecting the zero voltage soft switching boost converter. The zero voltage boost converter is used to convert the low level DC voltage to high level DC voltage. The inherent nature of zero voltage switching boost converter is used to shrink the voltage tension across the power electronics switch and ripple. The input stage allows the determined power point tracking to be used to extract supreme power from the sun when it is available. The hardware setup was implemented by using PIC Micro controller (16F877A).
Fault and Theft Recognition Using Toro Dial Sensor in Programmable Current Relay for Feeder Security
Feeder protection is important in transmission and distribution side because if any fault occurs in any feeder or transformer, man power is needed to identify the problem and it will take more time. In the existing system, directional overcurrent elements with load further secured by a load encroachment function can be used to provide necessary security and sensitivity for faults on remote points in a circuit. It is validated only in renewable plant collector circuit protection applications over a wide range of operating conditions. In this method, the directional overcurrent feeder protection is developed by using monitoring of feeder section through internet. In this web based monitoring, the fault and power theft are identified by using Toro dial sensor and its information is received by SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and controlled by ARM microcontroller. This web based monitoring is also used to monitor the feeder management, directional current detection, demand side management, overload fault. This monitoring system is capable of monitoring the distribution feeder over a large area depending upon the cost. It is also used to reduce the power theft, time and man power. The simulation is done by MATLAB software.
Bandwidth and Delay Aware Routing Protocol with Scheduling Algorithm for Multi Hop Mobile Ad Hoc Networks
The scheduling based routing scheme is presented in this paper to avoid link failure. The main objective of this system is to introduce a cross-layer protocol framework that integrates routing with priority-based traffic management and distributed transmission scheduling. The reservation scheme is based on ID. The presented scheme guarantees that bandwidth reserved time slot is used by another packet in which end-to-end reservation is achieved. The Bandwidth and Delay Aware Routing Protocol with Scheduling Algorithm is presented to allocate channels efficiently. The experimental results show that the presented schemes performed well in various parameters compared to existing methods.
Internal Migration and Poverty Dynamic Analysis Using a Bayesian Approach: The Tunisian Case
We explore the relationship between internal migration
and poverty in Tunisia. We present a methodology combining
potential outcomes approach with multiple imputation to highlight the
effect of internal migration on poverty states. We find that probability
of being poor decreases when leaving the poorest regions (the west
areas) to the richer regions (greater Tunis and the east regions).
Airfield Pavements Made of Reinforced Concrete: Dimensioning According to the Theory of Limit States and Eurocode
In the previous airfield construction industry, pavements made of reinforced concrete have been used very rarely; however, the necessity to use this type of pavements in an emergency situations justifies the need reference to this issue. The paper concerns the problem of airfield pavement dimensioning made of reinforced concrete and the evaluation of selected dimensioning methods of reinforced concrete slabs intended for airfield pavements. Analysis of slabs dimensioning, according to classical method of limit states has been performed and it has been compared to results obtained in case of methods complying with Eurocode 2 guidelines. Basis of an analysis was a concrete slab of class C35/45 with reinforcement, located in tension zone. Steel bars of 16.0 mm have been used as slab reinforcement. According to comparative analysis of obtained results, conclusions were reached regarding application legitimacy of the discussed methods and their design advantages.
A Study on Learning Styles and Academic Performance in Relation with Kinesthetic, Verbal and Visual Intelligences
This study attempts to determine kinesthetic, verbal and visual intelligences among mechanical engineering undergraduate students and explores any probable relation with students’ learning styles and academic performance. The questionnaire used in this study is based on Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences theory comprising of five elements of learning style; environmental, sociological, emotional, physiological and psychological. Questionnaires are distributed amongst undergraduates in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Additional questions on students’ perception of learning styles and their academic performance are included in the questionnaire. The results show that one third of the students are strongly dominant in the kinesthetic intelligent (33%), followed by a combination of kinesthetic and visual intelligences (29%) and 21% are strongly dominant in all three types of intelligences. There is a statistically significant correlation between kinesthetic, verbal and visual intelligences and students learning styles and academic performances. The ANOVA analysis supports that there is a significant relationship between academic performances and level of kinesthetic, verbal and visual intelligences. In addition, it has also proven a remarkable relationship between academic performances and kinesthetic, verbal and visual learning styles amongst the male and female students. Thus, it can be concluded that, academic achievements can be enhanced by understanding as well as capitalizing the students’ types of intelligences and learning styles.
Effects of Intake Temperature and Intake Pressure on Combustion and Exhaust Emissions of HCCI Engine
In this paper, the effect of the intake temperature (IT) and intake pressure (IP) on ignition timing and pollutants emission of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine is investigated. Numerical computations are performed using the CHEMKIN computer code. The numerical temperature obtained using different boundary conditions is compared to published data and a good agreement is assigned. Results show that the HCCI combustion engine is significantly improved by increasing the IT. With a value of IT lower than 390 K, combustion cannot occur. However, with an IT greater than 420 K, the cylinder pressure decreases. An optimum crank rotation angle is achieved by using IT of 420 K. So, we can conclude that the variation of the IT and IP influence notably the emission concentration.
Solar Tracking System Using a Refrigerant as Working Medium for Solar Energy Conversion
Utilization of solar energy can be found in various domestic and industrial applications. The performance of any solar collector is largely affected by various parameters such as glazing, absorber plate, top covers, and heating pipes. Technology improvements have brought us another method for conversion of solar energy to direct electricity using solar photovoltaic system. Utilization and extraction of solar energy is the biggest problem in these conversion methods. This paper aims to overcome these problems and take the advantages of available energy from solar by maximizing the utilization through solar tracking system using a refrigerant as a working medium. The use of this tracking system can help increase the efficiency of conversion devices by maximum utilization of solar energy. The dual axis tracking system gives maximum energy output compared to single axis tracking system.
Bit Error Rate Analysis of Mobile Communication Network in Nakagami Fading Channel: Interference Considerations
Co-channel interference is one of the major problems in wireless systems. The effects of co-channel interference in a Nakagami fading channel on the ABER (Average Bit Error Rate) with static nodes are well analyzed. In this paper, we derive the ABER with the presence of mobile nodes. ABER is also derived for mobile systems in the presence of co-channel interference.
3A Distributed Method Algorithm for Exact Side Load Managing Smart Grid Using LABVIEW
The advancement of hybrid energy resources such as solar and wind power leading to the emergence of customer owned grid. It provides an opportunity to regulars to obtain low energy costs as well as enabling the power supplier to regulate the utility grid. There is a need to develop smart systems that will automatically submit energy demand schedule and monitors energy price signals in real-time without the prompt of customers. In this paper, a demand side energy management for a grid connected household and also smart preparation of electrical appliance have been presented. It also reduces electricity bill for the consumers in the grid. In addition to this, when production is high, the surplus energy fashioned in the customer owned grid is given to main grid or neighboring micro grids. The simulation of the entire system is presented using LabVIEW software.
A Cost-Effective Design and Analysis of Full Bridge LLC Resonant Converter
LLC (Inductor-inductor-capacitor) resonant converter has lots of advantages over other type of resonant converters which include high efficiency, more reliable and have high power density. This paper presents the design and analysis of a full bridge LLC resonant converter. In addition to the operational principle, the ZVS and ZCS conditions are also explained with the DC characteristics. Simulation of the LLC resonant converter is performed in MATLAB/ Simulink and the practical prototype setup is analyzed in Proteus software. The result is verified through analysis and design of a low cost, 200 watt prototype converter.
(λ,μ)-fuzzy Subrings and (λ,μ)-fuzzy Quotient Subrings with Operators
In this paper, we extend the fuzzy subrings with operators to the (λ, μ)-fuzzy subrings with operators. And the concepts of the (λ, μ)-fuzzy subring with operators and (λ, μ)-fuzzy quotient ring with operators are gived, while their elementary properties are discussed.
A Survey on Facial Feature Points Detection Techniques and Approaches
Automatic detection of facial feature points plays
an important role in applications such as facial feature tracking,
human-machine interaction and face recognition. The majority of
facial feature points detection methods using two-dimensional or
three-dimensional data are covered in existing survey papers. In
this article chosen approaches to the facial features detection have
been gathered and described. This overview focuses on the class
of researches exploiting facial feature points detection to represent
facial surface for two-dimensional or three-dimensional face. In
the conclusion, we discusses advantages and disadvantages of the
Single Phase 13-Level D-STATCOM Inverter with Distributed System
The global energy consumption is increasing persistently and need for distributed power generation through renewable energy is essential. To meet the power requirements for consumers without any voltage fluctuations and losses, modeling and design of multilevel inverter with Flexible AC Transmission System (FACTS) capability is presented. The presented inverter is provided with 13-level cascaded H-bridge topology of Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBTs) connected along with inbuilt Distributed Static Synchronous Compensators (DSTATCOM). The DSTATCOM device provides control of power factor stability at local feeder lines and the inverter eliminates Total Harmonic Distortion (THD). The 13-level inverter utilizes 52 switches of each H-bridge is fed with single DC sources separately and the Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technique is used for switching IGBTs. The control strategy implemented for inverter transmits active power to grid as well as it maintains power factor to be stable with achievement of steady state power transmission. Significant outcome of this project is improvement of output voltage quality with steady state power transmission with low THD. Simulation of inverter with DSTATCOM is performed using MATLAB/Simulink environment. The scaled prototype model of proposed inverter is built and its results were validated with simulated results.
Smart Trust Management for Vehicular Networks
Spontaneous networks such as VANET are in general deployed in an open and thus easily accessible environment. Therefore, they are vulnerable to attacks. Trust management is one of a set of security solutions dedicated to this type of networks. Moreover, the strong mobility of the nodes (in the case of VANET) makes the establishment of a trust management system complex. In this paper, we present a concept of ‘Active Vehicle’ which means an autonomous vehicle that is able to make decision about trustworthiness of alert messages transmitted about road accidents. The behavior of an “Active Vehicle” is modeled using Petri Nets.
Comparison of Central Light Reflex Width-to-Retinal Vessel Diameter Ratio between Glaucoma and Normal Eyes by Using Edge Detection Technique
Glaucoma is a disease that causes visual loss in adults. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve and its overall pathophysiology is still not fully understood. Vasculopathy may be one of the possible causes of nerve damage. Photographic imaging of retinal vessels by fundus camera during eye examination may complement clinical management. This paper presents an innovation for measuring central light reflex width-to-retinal vessel diameter ratio (CRR) from digital retinal photographs. Using our edge detection technique, CRRs from glaucoma and normal eyes were compared to examine differences and associations. CRRs were evaluated on fundus photographs of participants from Mettapracharak (Wat Raikhing) Hospital in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. Fifty-five photographs from normal eyes and twenty-one photographs from glaucoma eyes were included. Participants with hypertension were excluded. In each photograph, CRRs from four retinal vessels, including arteries and veins in the inferotemporal and superotemporal regions, were quantified using edge detection technique. From our finding, mean CRRs of all four retinal arteries and veins were significantly higher in persons with glaucoma than in those without glaucoma (0.34 vs. 0.32, p < 0.05 for inferotemporal vein, 0.33 vs. 0.30, p < 0.01 for inferotemporal artery, 0.34 vs. 0.31, p < 0.01 for superotemporal vein, and 0.33 vs. 0.30, p < 0.05 for superotemporal artery). From these results, an increase in CRRs of retinal vessels, as quantitatively measured from fundus photographs, could be associated with glaucoma.
Online Language Learning and Teaching Pedagogy: Constructivism and Beyond
In the last two decades, one can clearly observe a boom of interest for e-learning and web-supported programs. However, one can also notice that many of these programs focus on the accumulation and delivery of content generally as a business industry with no much concern for theoretical underpinnings. The existing research, at least in online English language teaching (ELT), has demonstrated a lack of an effective online teaching pedagogy anchored in a well-defined theoretical framework. Hence, this paper comes as an attempt to present constructivism as one of the theoretical bases for the design of an effective online language teaching pedagogy which is at the same time technologically intelligent and theoretically informed to help envision how education can best take advantage of the information and communication technology (ICT) tools. The present paper discusses the key principles underlying constructivism, its implications for online language teaching design, as well as its limitations that should be avoided in the e-learning instructional design. Although the paper is theoretical in nature, essentially based on an extensive literature survey on constructivism, it does have practical illustrations from an action research conducted by the author both as an e-tutor of English using Moodle online educational platform at the Virtual University of Tunis (VUT) from 2007 up to 2010 and as a face-to-face (F2F) English teaching practitioner in the Professional Certificate of English Language Teaching Training (PCELT) at AMIDEAST, Tunisia (April-May, 2013).
Wireless Power Transfer Application in GSM Controlled Robot for Home Automation
The aim of this paper is to combine the concept of wireless power transfer and GSM controlled robot for the application of home automation. The wireless power transfer concept can be well utilized to charge battery of the GSM controlled robot. When the robot has completed its task, it can come to the origin where it can charge itself. Robot can be charged wirelessly, when it is not performing any task. Combination of GSM controlled robot and wireless power transfer provides greater advantage such as; no wastage of charge stored in the battery when the robot is not doing any task. This provides greater reliability that at any instant, robot can do its work once it receives a message through GSM module. GSM module of the robot and user mobile phone must be interfaced properly, so that robot can do task when it receives message from same user mobile phone, not from any other phone. This paper approaches a robotic movement control through the smart phone and control of GSM robot is done by programming in Arduino environment. The commands used in controlling the robot movement are also explained.
The Influence of National Culture on Consumer Buying Behaviour: An Exploratory Study of Nigerian and British Consumers
Despite the considerable body of literature investigating the influence of National Culture (NC) dimensions on consumer behaviour, there is a lack of studies comparing the influence of NC in Africa with Western European countries. This study is intended to fill the vacuum in knowledge by exploring how NC affects consumer buyer behavior in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. The primary data were collected through in depth, semi-structured interviews conducted with three groups of individuals: British students, Nigerian students in the United Kingdom, and Nigerian-based students. This approach and new frontier to analyze culture and consumer behaviour could help understand residual cultural threads of people (that are ingrained in their being) irrespective of exposure to other cultures. The findings of this study show that Nigerian and British consumers differ remarkably in cultural orientations such as symbols, values and psychological standpoints. This ultimately affects the choices made at every stage of the decision building process, and proves beneficial for international retail marketing.
Undergraduates Learning Preferences: A Comparison of Science, Technology and Social Science Academic Disciplines in Relations to Teaching Designs and Strategies
Students learn effectively in a learning environment with a suitable teaching approach that matches their learning preferences. The main objective of the study is to examine the learning preferences amongst the students in the Science and Technology (S&T), and Social Science (SS) fields of study at the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Pulau Pinang. The measurement instrument is based on the Dunn and Dunn Learning Styles which measure five elements of learning styles; environmental, sociological, emotional, physiological and psychological. Questionnaires are distributed amongst undergraduates in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Faculty of Business Management. The respondents comprise of 131 diploma students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and 111 degree students of the Faculty of Business Management. The results indicate that, both S&T and SS students share a similar learning preferences on the environmental aspect, emotional preferences, motivational level, learning responsibility, persistent level in learning and learning structure. Most of the S&T students are concluded as analytical learners and the majority of SS students are global learners. Both S&T and SS students are concluded as visual learners, preferred to be in an active mobility in a relaxing and enjoying mode with some light of refreshments during the learning process and exhibited reflective characteristics in learning. Obviously, the S&T students are considered as left brain dominant, whereas the SS students are right brain dominant. The findings highlighted that both categories of students exhibited similar learning preferences except on psychological preferences.
A Review on Factors Influencing Implementation of Secure Software Development Practices
More and more businesses and services are depending on software to run their daily operations and business services. At the same time, cyber-attacks are becoming more covert and sophisticated, posing threats to software. Vulnerabilities exist in the software due to the lack of security practices during the phases of software development. Implementation of secure software development practices can improve the resistance to attacks. Many methods, models and standards for secure software development have been developed. However, despite the efforts, they still come up against difficulties in their deployment and the processes are not institutionalized. There is a set of factors that influence the successful deployment of secure software development processes. In this study, the methodology and results from a systematic literature review of factors influencing the implementation of secure software development practices is described. A total of 44 primary studies were analysed as a result of the systematic review. As a result of the study, a list of twenty factors has been identified. Some of factors that affect implementation of secure software development practices are: Involvement of the security expert, integration between security and development team, developer’s skill and expertise, development time and communication between stakeholders. The factors were further classified into four categories which are institutional context, people and action, project content and system development process. The results obtained show that it is important to take into account organizational, technical and people issues in order to implement secure software development initiatives.
Green Synthesis of Nanosilver-Loaded Hydrogel Nanocomposites for Antibacterial Application
Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) or hydrogels with three-dimensional hydrophilic network structure are high-performance water absorbent and retention materials. The in situ synthesis of metal nanoparticles within polymeric network as antibacterial agents for bio-applications is an approach that takes advantage of the existing free-space into networks, which not only acts as a template for nucleation of nanoparticles, but also provides long term stability and reduces their toxicity by delaying their oxidation and release. In this work, SAP/nanosilver nanocomposites were successfully developed by a unique green process at room temperature, which involves in situ formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) within hydrogels as a template. The aim of this study is to investigate whether these AgNPs-loaded hydrogels are potential candidates for antimicrobial applications. Firstly, the superabsorbents were prepared through radical copolymerization via grafting and crosslinking of acrylamide (AAm) onto chitosan backbone (Cs) using potassium persulfate as initiator and N,N’-methylenebisacrylamide as the crosslinker. Then, they were hydrolyzed to achieve superabsorbents with ampholytic properties and uppermost swelling capacity. Lastly, the AgNPs were biosynthesized and entrapped into hydrogels through a simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective method using aqueous silver nitrate as a silver precursor and curcuma longa tuber-powder extracts as both reducing and stabilizing agent. The formed superabsorbents nanocomposites (Cs-g-PAAm)/AgNPs were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), UV-visible Spectroscopy, Attenuated Total reﬂectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). Microscopic surface structure analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) has showed spherical shapes of AgNPs with size in the range of 3-15 nm. The extent of nanosilver loading was decreased by increasing Cs content into network. The silver-loaded hydrogel was thermally more stable than the unloaded dry hydrogel counterpart. The swelling equilibrium degree (Q) and centrifuge retention capacity (CRC) in deionized water were affected by both contents of Cs and the entrapped AgNPs. The nanosilver-embedded hydrogels exhibited antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These comprehensive results suggest that the elaborated AgNPs-loaded nanomaterials could be used to produce valuable wound dressing.
Regulation of Water Balance of the Plant from the Different Geo-Environmental Locations
Under the drought stress condition, the plants would grow slower. Temperature is one of the most important abiotic factors which suppress the germination processes. However, the processes of transpiration are regulated directly by the cell water, which followed to an increase in volume of vacuoles. During stretching under the influence of water pressure, the cell goes into the state of turgor. In our experiments, lines of the semi-dental sweet maize of Armenian population from various zones of growth under mild and severe drought stress were tested. According to results, the value of the water balance of the plant cells may reflect the ability of plants to adapt to drought stress. It can be assumed that the turgor allows evaluating the number of received dissolved substance in cell.
An Experimental Study of Structural, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Lithium Ferrite
Nanomaterials ferrites have applications in making permanent magnets, high density information devices, color imaging etc. In the present examination, lithium ferrite is synthesized by sol-gel process. The x-ray diffraction (XRD) result shows that the structure of lithium ferrite is monoclinic structure. The average particle size 22 nm is calculated by Scherer formula. The lattice parameters and dislocation density (δ) are calculated from XRD data. Strain (ε) values are evaluated from Williamson – hall plot. The FT-IR study reveals the formation of ferrites showing the significant absorption bands. The VU-VIS spectroscopic data is used to calculate direct and indirect optical band gap (Eg) of 1.57eV and 1.01eV respectively for lithium ferrite by using Tauc plot at the edge of the absorption band. The energy dispersive x-ray analysis spectra showed that the expected elements exist in the material. The magnetic behaviour of the materials studied using vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM).
Availability Analysis of Milling System in a Rice Milling Plant
The paper describes the availability analysis of milling system of a rice milling plant using probabilistic approach. The subsystems under study are special purpose machines. The availability analysis of the system is carried out to determine the effect of failure and repair rates of each subsystem on overall performance (i.e. steady state availability) of system concerned. Further, on the basis of effect of repair rates on the system availability, maintenance repair priorities have been suggested. The problem is formulated using Markov Birth-Death process taking exponential distribution for probable failures and repair rates. The first order differential equations associated with transition diagram are developed by using mnemonic rule. These equations are solved using normalizing conditions and recursive method to drive out the steady state availability expression of the system. The findings of the paper are presented and discussed with the plant personnel to adopt a suitable maintenance policy to increase the productivity of the rice milling plant.
Hybrid Living: Emerging Out of the Crises and Divisions
The paper will focus on the hybrid living typologies which are brought about due to the Global Crisis. Mixing of the generations and the groups of people, mingling the functions of living with working and socializing, merging the act of living in synergy with the urban realm and its constituent elements will be the springboard of proposing an essential sustainable housing approach and the respective urban development. The thematic will be based on methodologies developed both on the academic, educational environment including participation of students’ research and on the practical aspect of architecture including case studies executed by the author in the island of Cyprus. Both paths of the research will deal with the explorative understanding of the hybrid ways of living, testing the limits of its autonomy. The evolution of the living typologies into substantial hybrid entities, will deal with the understanding of new ways of living which include among others: re-introduction of natural phenomena, accommodation of the activity of work and services in the living realm, interchange of public and private, injections of communal events into the individual living territories. The issues and the binary questions raised by what is natural and artificial, what is private and what public, what is ephemeral and what permanent and all the in-between conditions are eloquently traced in the everyday life in the island. Additionally, given the situation of Cyprus with the eminent scar of the dividing ‘Green line’ and the waiting of the ‘ghost city’ of Famagusta to be resurrected, the conventional way of understanding the limits and the definitions of the properties is irreversibly shaken. The situation is further aggravated by the unprecedented phenomenon of the crisis on the island. All these observations set the premises of reexamining the urban development and the respective sustainable housing in a synergy where their characteristics start exchanging positions, merge into each other, contemporarily emerge and vanish, changing from permanent to ephemeral. This fluidity of conditions will attempt to render a future of the built- and unbuilt realm where the main focusing point will be redirected to the human and the social. Weather and social ritual scenographies together with ‘spontaneous urban landscapes’ of ‘momentary relationships’ will suggest a recipe for emerging urban environments and sustainable living. Thus, the paper will aim at opening a discourse on the future of the sustainable living merged in a sustainable urban development in relation to the imminent solution of the division of island, where the issue of property became the main obstacle to be overcome. At the same time, it will attempt to link this approach to the global need for a sustainable evolution of the urban and living realms.
Effect of Mica Content in Sand on Site Response Analyses
This study presents the site response analysis of mica-sand mixtures available in certain parts of the world including Izmir, a highly populated city and located in a seismically active region in western part of Turkey. We performed site response analyses by employing SHAKE, an equivalent linear approach, for the micaceous soil deposits consisting of layers with different amount of mica contents and thicknesses. Dynamic behavior of micaceous sands such as shear modulus reduction and damping ratio curves are input for the ground response analyses. Micaceous sands exhibit a unique dynamic response under a scenario earthquake with a magnitude of Mw=6. Results showed that higher amount of mica caused higher spectral accelerations.
Posture Stabilization of Kinematic Model of Differential Drive Robots via Lyapunov-Based Control Design
In this paper, the problem of posture stabilization for a kinematic model of differential drive robots is studied. A more complex model of the kinematics of differential drive robots is used for the design of stabilizing control. This model is formulated in terms of the physical parameters of the system such as the radius of the wheels, and velocity of the wheels are the control inputs of it. In this paper, the framework of Lyapunov-based control design has been used to solve posture stabilization problem for the comprehensive model of differential drive robots. The results of the simulations show that the devised controller successfully solves the posture regulation problem. Finally, robustness and performance of the controller have been studied under system parameter uncertainty.
Fatty Acid Extracts of Sea Pen (Virgularia gustaviana) and Their Potential Applications as Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Anti-Inflammatory Agents
In this study, the crude extracts of Virgularia gustavina were examined as antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory agent. To assess inflammation, Xylene was applied to the ear of mice. The mice of the experimental group were fed with doses of 10 mg/kg, 20 mg/kg, and 40 mg/kg of lipid extract of chloroform and hexane as a separate group and then statistical analysis was performed on the results. Chloroform and hexane extracts of sea pen have strong anti-inflammatory effects even at low doses which is probably due to 54% arachidonic acid. Antibacterial and antifungal effects of hexane and chloroform extracts were measured with MIC and MBC methods and it is shown that chloroform extract has best activity against Staphylococcus aureus on 125 µg/ml doze in MIC method.
Effects of Corruption and Logistics Performance Inefficiencies on Container Throughput: The Latin America Case
Trade liberalizations measures, as import tariff cuts, are not a sufficient trigger for trade growth. Given that price margins are narrow, traders and cargo operators tend to opt out of markets where the process of goods clearance is slow and costly. Excess paperwork and slow customs dispatch not only lead to institutional breakdowns and corruption but also to increasing transaction cost and trade constraints. The objective of this paper is, therefore, two-fold: First, to evaluate the relationship between institutional and infrastructural performance indexes and trade growth in container throughput; and, second, to investigate the causes for differences in container demurrage and detention fees in Latin American countries (using other emerging countries as benchmarking). The analysis is focused on manufactured goods, typically transported by containers. Institutional and infrastructure bottlenecks and, therefore, the country logistics efficiency – measured by the Logistics Performance Index (LPI, World Bank-WB) – are compared with other indexes, such as the Doing Business index (WB) and the Corruption Perception Index (Transparency International). The main results based on the comparison between Latin American countries and the others emerging countries point out in that the growth in containers trade is directly related to LPI performance. It has also been found that the main hypothesis is valid as aspects that more specifically identify trade facilitation and corruption are significant drivers of logistics performance. The exam of port efficiency (demurrage and detention fees) has demonstrated that not necessarily higher level of efficiency is related to lower charges; however, reductions in fees have been more significant within non-Latin American emerging countries.
Experimental Study on the Vibration Isolation Performance of Metal-Net Rubber Vibration Absorber
Metal-net rubber is a new dry friction damping material, compared with the traditional metal rubber, which has high mechanization degree, and the mechanical performance of metal-net rubber is more stable. Through the sine sweep experiment and random vibration experiment of metal-net rubber vibration isolator, the influence of several important factors such as the lines slope, relative density and wire diameter on the transfer rate, natural frequency and root-mean-square response acceleration of metal-net rubber vibration isolation system, were studied through the method of control variables. Also, several relevant change curves under different vibration levels were derived, and the effects of vibration level on the natural frequency and root-mean-square response acceleration were analyzed through the curves.
Low Cost Technique for Measuring Luminance in Biological Systems
In this work, the relationship between the melanin content in a tissue and subsequent absorption of light through that tissue was determined using a digital camera. This technique proved to be simple, cost effective, efficient and reliable. Tissue phantom samples were created using milk and soy sauce to simulate the optical properties of melanin content in human tissue. Increasing the concentration of soy sauce in the milk correlated to an increase in melanin content of an individual. Two methods were employed to measure the light transmitted through the sample. The first was direct measurement of the transmitted intensity using a conventional lux meter. The second method involved correctly calibrating an ordinary digital camera and using image analysis software to calculate the transmitted intensity through the phantom. The results from these methods were then graphically compared to the theoretical relationship between the intensity of transmitted light and the concentration of absorbers in the sample. Conclusions were then drawn about the effectiveness and efficiency of these low cost methods.
Result of Fatty Acid Content in Meat of Selenge Breed Younger Cattle
The number of natural or organic product consumers is increased in recent years and this healthy demand pushes to increase usage of healthy meat. At the same time, consumers pay more attention on the healthy fat, especially on unsaturated fatty acids. These long chain carbohydrates reduce heart diseases, improve memory and eye sight and activate the immune system. One of the important issues to be solved for our Mongolia’s food security is to provide healthy, fresh, widely available and cheap meat for the population. Thus, an importance of the Selenge breed meat production is increasing in order to supply the quality meat food security since the Selenge breed cattle are rapidly multiplied, beneficial in term of income, the same quality as Mongolian breed, and well digested for human body. We researched the lipid, unsaturated and saturated fatty acid contents of meat of Selenge breed younger cattle by their muscle types. Result of our research reveals that 11 saturated fatty acids are detected. For the content of palmitic acid among saturated fatty acids, 23.61% was in the sirloin meat, 24.01% was in the round and chuck meat, and 24.83% was in the short loin meat.
Study on Optimal Control Strategy of PM2.5 in Wuhan, China
In this paper, we analyzed the correlation relationship among PM2.5 from other five Air Quality Indices (AQIs) based on the grey relational degree, and built a multivariate nonlinear regression equation model of PM2.5 and the five monitoring indexes. For the optimal control problem of PM2.5, we took the partial large Cauchy distribution of membership equation as satisfaction function. We established a nonlinear programming model with the goal of maximum performance to price ratio. And the optimal control scheme is given.
Perception of Hygiene Knowledge among Staff Working in Top Five Famous Restaurants of Male’
One of the major factors which can contribute greatly to success of catering businesses is to employ food and beverage staff having sound hygiene knowledge. Individuals having sound knowledge of hygiene has a higher chance of following safe food practices in food production. One of the leading causes of food poisoning and food borne illnesses has been identified as lack of hygiene knowledge among food and beverage staff working in catering establishments and restaurants. This research aims to analyze the hygiene knowledge among food and beverage staff working in top five restaurants of Male’, in relation to their age, educational background, occupation and training. The research uses quantitative and descriptive methods in data collection and in data analysis. Data was obtained through random sampling technique with self-administered survey questionnaires which was completed by 60 respondents working in 5 different restaurants operating at top level in Male’. The respondents of the research were service staff and chefs working in these restaurants. The responses to the questionnaires have been analyzed by using SPSS. The results of the research indicated that age, education level, occupation and training correlated with hygiene knowledge perception scores.
Performance Evaluation of Karanja Oil Based Biodiesel Engine Using Modified Genetic Algorithm
This paper presents the evaluation of performance (BSFC and BTE), combustion (Pmax) and emission (CO, NOx, HC and smoke opacity) parameters of karanja biodiesel in a single cylinder, four stroke, direct injection diesel engine by considering significant engine input parameters (blending ratio, compression ratio and load torque). Multi-objective optimization of performance, combustion and emission parameters is also carried out in a karanja biodiesel engine using hybrid RSM-NSGA-II technique. The pareto optimum solutions are predicted by running the hybrid RSM-NSGA-II technique. Each pareto optimal solution is having its own importance. Confirmation tests are also conducted at randomly selected few pareto solutions to check the authenticity of the results.
Mobile Augmented Reality for Collaboration in Operation
Mobile augmented reality (MAR) tracking targets from the surroundings and aids operators for interactive data and procedures visualization, potential equipment and system understandably. Operators remotely communicate and coordinate with each other for the continuous tasks, information and data exchange between control room and work-site. In the routine work, distributed control system (DCS) monitoring and work-site manipulation require operators interact in real-time manners. The critical question is the improvement of user experience in cooperative works through applying Augmented Reality in the traditional industrial field. The purpose of this exploratory study is to find the cognitive model for the multiple task performance by MAR. In particular, the focus will be on the comparison between different tasks and environment factors which influence information processing. Three experiments use interface and interaction design, the content of start-up, maintenance and stop embedded in the mobile application. With the evaluation criteria of time demands and human errors, and analysis of the mental process and the behavior action during the multiple tasks, heuristic evaluation was used to find the operators performance with different situation factors, and record the information processing in recognition, interpretation, judgment and reasoning. The research will find the functional properties of MAR and constrain the development of the cognitive model. Conclusions can be drawn that suggest MAR is easy to use and useful for operators in the remote collaborative works.
Augmented Reality for Maintenance Operator for Problem Inspections
Current production-oriented factories need maintenance operators to work in shifts monitoring and inspecting complex systems and different equipment in the situation of mechanical breakdown. Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging technology that embeds data into the environment for situation awareness to help maintenance operators make decisions and solve problems. An application was designed to identify the problem of steam generators and inspection centrifugal pumps. The objective of this research was to find the best medium of AR and type of problem solving strategies among analogy, focal object method and mean-ends analysis. Two scenarios of inspecting leakage were temperature and vibration. Two experiments were used in usability evaluation and future innovation, which included decision-making process and problem-solving strategy. This study found that maintenance operators prefer build-in magnifier to zoom the components (55.6%), 3D exploded view to track the problem parts (50%), and line chart to find the alter data or information (61.1%). There is a significant difference in the use of analogy (44.4%), focal objects (38.9%) and mean-ends strategy (16.7%). The marked differences between maintainers and operators are of the application of a problem solving strategy. However, future work should explore multimedia information retrieval which supports maintenance operators for decision-making.
The Effect of Religious Tourist Motivation and Satisfaction on Behavioral Intention
In recent years, the Chaoshan area, a special place located in the southeast of Guangdong province in China, actively protects religious heritage and is developing religious tourism, which is attracting many expatriate Chinese who are coming back for travel and to worship. This paper discussed three questions. Firstly, what is the current situation about the different social background of tourists’ motivation, satisfaction and behavioral intention? Secondly, is there a relationship between the motivation, satisfaction and behavioral intention and the different social backgrounds of tourists? Thirdly, what is the relationship between religious tourists’ motivation, satisfaction and behavioral intention? The research methods use a combination of qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis. Qualitative analysis uses the method of observation and interviews. Convenient sampling technique was used for quantitative analysis. The study showed that the different social backgrounds of tourists’ forms diverse cognition and experiences about religious tourism, and their motivations, satisfaction and behavioral intention as tourists vary. Tourists’ motivation and satisfaction has a positive phase relation. Tourists’ motivation with satisfaction as the intervening variable also has a positive phase effect on tourists’ behavior intention. The result shows that religious tourists’ motivations include experiencing a religious atmosphere, and having a rest and recreation. The result also shows that religious tourists want to travel with their family members and friends. While traveling, religious tourists like to talk with Buddhist monks or nuns. Compared to other tourism types, religious tourists have higher expectations about temple environment, traveling experience, peripheral service and temple management.
Relationship between Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions and Tourism Product Satisfaction
This paper aims to explore the satisfaction levels of tourism product components on the island of Samui by studying the cultural dimension relationships of Hofsted’s classic theory. Both the six Hofsted cultural dimensions and tourism production satisfaction measures have been of interest worldwide. Therefore, the challenge of this study is to re-confirm previous research results in the ever-changing current contexts of the modern globalized business era. Self-rated questionnaires were employed to collect data from six nationalities of tourists in Samui, totaling 386 samples. The reliability of this research methodology was 0.967. Correlation was applied to analyze the relationships. The results indicate that Masculinity is significantly related to tourism destination satisfaction for every factor, while the other five cultural dimensions are related to some factors of tourism satisfaction. Surprisingly, tourist satisfaction toward the bar/restaurant factor is significantly correlated with all six cultural dimensions.
Security Threats on Wireless Sensor Network Protocols
In this paper, we investigate security issues and challenges facing researchers in wireless sensor networks and countermeasures to resolve them. The broadcast nature of wireless communication makes Wireless Sensor Networks prone to various attacks. Due to resources limitation constraint in terms of limited energy, computation power and memory, security in wireless sensor networks creates different challenges than wired network security. We will discuss several attempts at addressing the issues of security in wireless sensor networks in an attempt to encourage more research into this area.
The Use of Methods and Techniques of Drama Education with Kindergarten Teachers
Present study deals with drama education in preschool education. The research made in this field brings a qualitative comparative survey with the aim to find out the use of methods and techniques of drama education in preschool education at university or secondary school graduate preschool teachers. The research uses a content analysis and an unstandardized questionnaire for preschool teachers and obtained data are processed with the help of descriptive methods and correlations. The results allow a comparison of aspects applied through drama in preschool education. The research brings impulses for education improvement in kindergartens and inspiration for university study programs of drama education in the professional training of preschool teachers.
Waste Generation in Iranian Building Industry: Addressing a Theory
Construction waste has been gradually increased as a result of upsizing construction projects which are occurred within the lifecycle of buildings. Since waste management is a major priority and has profound impacts on the volume of waste generated in construction stage, the majority of efforts have been attempted to reuse, recycle and reduce waste. However, there is still room to study on lack of sufficient knowledge about waste management in construction industry. This paper intends to provide an insight into the effect of project management knowledge areas on waste management solely on construction stage. To this end, a survey among Iranian building construction industry contractors was conducted to identify the effectiveness of project management knowledge areas on three jobsite key factors including ‘Site activity’, ‘Training’, and ‘Awareness’. As a result, four management disciplines were identified as most influential ones on amount of construction waste. These disciplines were Project Cost Management, Quality Management, Human Resource Management, and Integration Management. Based on the research findings, a new model was presented to develop effective construction waste strategies.
Performance Tests of Wood Glues on Different Wood Species Used in Wood Workshops: Morogoro Tanzania
High tropical forests deforestation for solid wood furniture industry is among of climate change contributing agents. This pressure indirectly is caused by furniture joints failure due to poor gluing technology based on improper use of different glues to different wood species which lead to low quality and weak wood-glue joints. This study was carried in order to run performance tests of wood glues on different wood species used in wood workshops: Morogoro Tanzania whereby three popular wood species of C. lusitanica, T. glandis and E. maidenii were tested against five glues of Woodfix, Bullbond, Ponal, Fevicol and Coral found in the market. The findings were necessary on developing a guideline for proper glue selection for a particular wood species joining. Random sampling was employed to interview carpenters while conducting a survey on the background of carpenters like their education level and to determine factors that influence their glues choice. Monsanto Tensiometer was used to determine bonding strength of identified wood glues to different wood species in use under British Standard of testing wood shear strength (BS EN 205) procedures. Data obtained from interviewing carpenters were analyzed through Statistical Package of Social Science software (SPSS) to allow the comparison of different data while laboratory data were compiled, related and compared by the use of MS Excel worksheet software as well as Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Results revealed that among all five wood glues tested in the laboratory to three different wood species, Coral performed much better with the average shear strength 4.18 N/mm2, 3.23 N/mm2 and 5.42 N/mm2 for Cypress, Teak and Eucalyptus respectively. This displays that for a strong joint to be formed to all tree wood species for soft wood and hard wood, Coral has a first priority in use. The developed table of guideline from this research can be useful to carpenters on proper glue selection to a particular wood species so as to meet glue-bond strength. This will secure furniture market as well as reduce pressure to the forests for furniture production because of the strong existing furniture due to their strong joints. Indeed, this can be a good strategy on reducing climate change speed in tropics which result from high deforestation of trees for furniture production.
Effect on Surface Temperature Reduction of Asphalt Pavements with Cement–Based Materials Containing Ceramic Waste Powder
The heat island phenomenon becomes one of the environmental problems. As countermeasures in the field of road engineering, cool pavements such as water retaining pavements and solar radiation reflective pavements have been developed to reduce the surface temperature of asphalt pavements in the hot summer climate in Japan. The authors have studied on the water retaining pavements with cement–based grouting materials. The cement–based grouting materials consist of cement, ceramic waste powder, and natural zeolite. The ceramic waste powder is collected through the recycling process of electric porcelain insulators. In this study, mixing ratio between the ceramic waste powder and the natural zeolite and a type of cement for the cement–based grouting materials is investigated to measure the surface temperature of asphalt pavements in the outdoor. All of the developed cement–based grouting materials were confirmed to effectively reduce the surface temperature of the asphalt pavements. Especially, the cement–based grouting material using the ultra–rapid hardening cement with the mixing ratio of 0.7:0.3 between the ceramic waste powder and the natural zeolite reduced mostly the surface temperature by 20 °C and more.
Investigation of Failures in Wadi-Crossing Pipe Culverts, Sennar State, Sudan
Crossing culverts are essential element of rural roads. The paper aims to investigate failures of recently constructed wadi-crossing pipe culverts in Sennar state and provide necessary remedial measures. The investigation is conducted to provide an extensive diagnosis study in order to find out the main structural and hydrological weaknesses of the culverts. Literature of steel pipe culverts related to construction practices and common types of culvert failures and their appropriate mitigation measures were reviewed. A detailed field survey was conducted to detect failures and defects appeared on the existing culverts. The results revealed that seepage of water through the embankment and foundation of the culverts leads to excessive erosion and scouring causing sever failures and damages. The design mistakes and poor construction were detected as the main causes of culverts failures. For sustainability of the culverts, various remedial measures are recommended to be considered in urgent rehabilitation of the existing crossings.
Integration of Unified Power Flow Controller with Backup Energy Supply System for Enhancing Power System Stability
An electrical power system has some negative aspects such as flickering and deviations of voltage/power. This can be eliminated using energy storage devices that will provide a backup energy at the time of voltage/power deviations. Energy-storage devices get charging when system voltage/power is higher than reference value and discharging when system voltage/power is lower than reference value, it is acting as catalysts to provide energy boost. In this paper, a dynamic control of Unified Power Flow Controller (UPFC) integrated with superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) is developed to improve the power quality, power oscillation damping, and dynamic voltage stability through the transmission line. UPFC inter-connected to SMES through an interface with DC-DC chopper. This inter-connected system is capable of injecting (absorbing) the real and reactive power into (from) the system at the beginning of stability problems. In this paper, the simulation results of UPFC integrated with SMES and UPFC integrated with fuel cells (FCs) are compared using MATLAB/Simulink software package.
Long Term Evolution Multiple-Input Multiple-Output Network in Unmanned Air Vehicles Platform
Line-of-sight (LOS) information, data rates, good quality, and flexible network service are limited by the fact that, for the duration of any given connection, they experience severe variation in signal strength due to fading and path loss. Wireless system faces major challenges in achieving wide coverage and capacity without affecting the system performance and to access data everywhere, all the time. In this paper, the cell coverage and edge rate of different Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) schemes in 20 MHz Long Term Evolution (LTE) system under Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) platform are investigated. After some background on the enormous potential of UAV, MIMO, and LTE in wireless links, the paper highlights the presented system model which attempts to realize the various benefits of MIMO being incorporated into UAV platform. The performances of the three MIMO LTE schemes are compared with the performance of 4x4 MIMO LTE in UAV scheme carried out to evaluate the improvement in cell radius, BER, and data throughput of the system in different morphology. The results show that significant performance gains such as bit error rate (BER), data rate, and coverage can be achieved by using the presented scenario.
Design of Compact UWB Multilayered Microstrip Filter with Wide Stopband
Design of compact UWB multilayered microstrip filter with E-shape resonator is presented, which provides wide stopband up to 20 GHz and arbitrary impedance matching. The design procedure is developed based on the method of least squares and theory of N-coupled transmission lines. The dimensions of designed filter are about 11 mm × 11 mm and the three E-shape resonators are placed among four dielectric layers. The average insertion loss in the passband is less than 1 dB and in the stopband is about 30 dB up to 20 GHz. Its group delay in the UWB region is about 0.5 ns. The performance of the optimized filter design perfectly agrees with the microwave simulation softwares.
Reflections on Opportunities and Challenges for Systems Engineering
This paper summarizes some of the discussions that occurred in a workshop in West Virginia, U.S.A which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in February 2016. The goal of the workshop was to explore the opportunities and challenges for applying systems engineering in large enterprises, and some of the issues that still persist. The main topics of the discussion included challenges with elaboration and abstraction in large systems, interfacing physical and social systems, and the need for axiomatic frameworks for large enterprises. We summarize these main points of discussion drawing parallels with decision making in organizations to instigate research in these discussion areas.
Surface Roughness Analysis, Modelling and Prediction in Fused Deposition Modelling Additive Manufacturing Technology
Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is one of the most prominent rapid prototyping (RP) technologies which is being used to efficiently fabricate CAD 3D geometric models. However, the process is coupled with many drawbacks, of which the surface quality of the manufactured RP parts is among. Hence, studies relating to improving the surface roughness have been a key issue in the field of RP research. In this work, a technique of modelling the surface roughness in FDM is presented. Using experimentally measured surface roughness response of the FDM parts, an ANFIS prediction model was developed to obtain the surface roughness in the FDM parts using the main critical process parameters that affects the surface quality. The ANFIS model was validated and compared with experimental test results.
Creation of Greater Mekong Subregion Regional Competitiveness through Cluster Mapping
This research investigates cluster development in the area called the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), which consists of Thailand, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Myanmar, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Cambodia, and Vietnam. The study utilized Porter’s competitiveness theory and the cluster mapping approach to analyze the competitiveness of the region. The data collection consists of interviews, focus groups, and the analysis of secondary data. The findings identify some evidence of cluster development in the GMS; however, there is no clear indication of collaboration among the components in the clusters. GMS clusters tend to be stand-alone. The clusters in Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Cambodia tend to be labor intensive, whereas the clusters in Thailand and the PRC (Yunnan) have the potential to successfully develop into innovative clusters. The collaboration and integration among the clusters in the GMS area are promising, though it could take a long time. The most likely relationship between the GMS countries could be, for example, suppliers of the low-end, labor-intensive products will be located in the low income countries such as Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Cambodia, and these countries will be providing input materials for innovative clusters in the middle income countries such as Thailand and the PRC.
The Impact of Drama Education on Creativity Development at Preschool Children
This paper points out at the importance of creativity development in children of preschool age and analyses certain conditions and pedagogical principles which should be respected during the development of creativity in kindergartens. Research survey focuses on the development of creativity reflection at children in kindergartens at preschool age and based on a test of creativity it compares creativity of children in experimental and control groups. The goal is to find out if there are any differences among children in experimental and control classrooms in kindergartens; wherein experimental groups, there is preschool education with the use of drama education while in control groups there is not. On the basis of certain aspects, the gained data is compared through descriptive methods and correlations. Research results refer to reserves in creativity development in modern pre-primary education in the context of implemented and expected changes in didactic approach in the education of kindergartens.
Dispersion Rate of Spilled Oil in Water Column under Non-Breaking Water Waves
The purpose of this study is to present a mathematical phrase for calculating the dispersion rate of spilled oil in water column under non-breaking waves. In this regard, a multiphase numerical model is applied for which waves and oil phase were computed concurrently, and accuracy of its hydraulic calculations have been proven. More than 200 various scenarios of oil spilling in wave waters were simulated using the multiphase numerical model and its outcome were collected in a database. The recorded results were investigated to identify the major parameters affected vertical oil dispersion and finally 6 parameters were identified as main independent factors. Furthermore, some statistical tests were conducted to identify any relationship between the dependent variable (dispersed oil mass in the water column) and independent variables (water wave specifications containing height, length and wave period and spilled oil characteristics including density, viscosity and spilled oil mass). Finally, a mathematical-statistical relationship is proposed to predict dispersed oil in marine waters. To verify the proposed relationship, a laboratory example available in the literature was selected. Oil mass rate penetrated in water body computed by statistical regression was in accordance with experimental data was predicted. On this occasion, it was necessary to verify the proposed mathematical phrase. In a selected laboratory case available in the literature, mass oil rate penetrated in water body computed by suggested regression. Results showed good agreement with experimental data. The validated mathematical-statistical phrase is a useful tool for oil dispersion prediction in oil spill events in marine areas.
Application of Transportation Models for Analysing Future Intercity and Intracity Travel Patterns in Kuwait
In order to meet the increasing demand for housing care for Kuwaiti citizens, the government authorities in Kuwait are undertaking a series of projects in the form of new large cities, outside the current urban area. Al Mutlaa City located to the north-west of the Kuwait Metropolitan Area is one such project out of the 15 planned new cities. The city accommodates a wide variety of residential developments, employment opportunities, commercial, recreational, health care and institutional uses. This paper examines the application of comprehensive transportation demand modeling works undertaken in VISUM platform to understand the future intracity and intercity travel distribution patterns in Kuwait. The scope of models developed varied in levels of detail: strategic model update, sub-area models representing future demand of Al Mutlaa City, sub-area models built to estimate the demand in the residential neighborhoods of the city. This paper aims at offering model update framework that facilitates easy integration between sub-area models and strategic national models for unified traffic forecasts. This paper presents the transportation demand modeling results utilized in informing the planning of multi-modal transportation system for Al Mutlaa City. This paper also presents the household survey data collection efforts undertaken using GPS devices (first time in Kuwait) and notebook computer based digital survey forms for interviewing representative sample of citizens and residents. The survey results formed the basis of estimating trip generation rates and trip distribution coefficients used in the strategic base year model calibration and validation process.
Applying Audience Development Programs in Museums for Raising Community Awareness towards Cultural Heritage Preservation: A Case Study of Alexandria National Museum
Museums play a significant role in their communities with respect to culture, history, environment, and social development. They are considered as important sites for families, tourists, school groups, cultural visitors and individuals, looking to enjoy, learn and expand their horizons. Aim of audience development programs is to support individuals and organizations to work together to deliver messages that will raise museums' profile for both existing and potential visitors. They recognize the particular role that museums play for communities, the audiences they seek to reach, the experience they seek to offer and the extent and nature of their collections. This study aims at using both the qualitative and quantitative approach to explore the important role that audience development programs in museums can play in raising awareness in their communities concerning cultural heritage preservation and tourism. The Alexandria National Museum is considered as a valuable case study. In depth interviews with museum managers and staff was conducted as well as an online questionnaire. The study also includes suggestions and guidelines for applying audience development programs in Egyptian museums.
Experimental Analysis of Tools Used for Doxing and Proposed New Transforms to Help Organizations Protect against Doxing Attacks
Doxing is a term derived from documents, and hence consists of collecting information on an organization or individual through social media websites, search engines, password cracking methods, social engineering tools and other sources of publicly displayed information. The main purpose of doxing attacks is to threaten, embarrass, harass and humiliate the organization or individual. Various tools are used to perform doxing. Tools such as Maltego visualize organization’s architecture which helps in determining weak links within the organization. This paper discusses limitations of Maltego Chlorine CE 3.6.0 and suggests measures as to how organizations can use these tools to protect themselves from doxing attacks.
A Compact Quasi-Zero Stiffness Vibration Isolator Using Flexure-Based Spring Mechanisms Capable of Tunable Stiffness
This study presents a quasi-zero stiffness (QZS) vibration isolator using flexure-based spring mechanisms which afford both negative and positive stiffness elements, which enable self-adjustment. The QZS property of the isolator is achieved at the equilibrium position. A nonlinear mathematical model is then developed, based on the pre-compression of the flexure-based spring mechanisms. The dynamics are further analyzed using the Harmonic Balance method. The vibration attention efficiency is illustrated using displacement transmissibility, which is then compared with the corresponding linear isolator. The effects of parameters on performance are also investigated by numerical solutions. The flexure-based spring mechanisms are subsequently designed using the concept of compliant mechanisms, with evaluation by ANSYS software, and simulations of the QZS isolator.
Toxicological and Histopathological Studies on the Effect of Tartrazine in Male Albino Rats
Tartrazine is an organic azo dyes food additive widely used in foods, drugs, and cosmetics. The present study aimed to investigate the toxic effects of tartrazine on kidneys and liver biomarkers in addition to the investigation of oxidative stress and change of histopathological structure of liver and kidneys in 30 male rats. Tartrazine was orally administrated daily at dose 200 mg/ kg bw (1/ 10 LD50) for sixty days. Serum and tissue samples were collected at the end of the experiment to investigate the underlying mechanism of tartrazine through assessment oxidative stress (Glutathione (GSH), Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) and biochemical markers (alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), Total protein and Urea). Liver and kidneys tissue were collected and preserved in 10% formalin for histopathological examination. The obtained values were statistically analyzed by one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by multiple comparison test. Biochemical analysis revealed that tartrazine induced significant increase in serum ALT, AST, total protein, urea level compared to control group. Tartrazine showed significant decrease in liver GSH and SOD where their values when compared to control group. Tartrazine induced increase in liver MDA compared to control group. Histopathology of the liver showed diffuse vacuolar degeneration in hepatic parenchyma, the portal area showed sever changes sever in hepatoportal blood vessels and in the bile ducts. The kidneys showed degenerated tubules at the cortex together with mononuclear leucocytes inflammatory cells infiltration. There is perivascular edema with inflammatory cell infiltration surrounding the congested and hyalinized vascular wall of blood vessel. The present study indicates that the subchronic effects of tartrazine have a toxic effect on the liver and kidneys together with induction of oxidative stress by formation of free radicals. Therefore, people should avoid the hazards of consuming tartrazine.
Water Quality Assessment Based on Operational Indicator in West Coastal Water of Malaysia
In this study, water monitoring was performed from Nov. 2012 to Oct. 2013 to assess water quality and evaluate the spatial and temporal distribution of physicochemical and biological variables in water. Water samples were collected from 10 coastal water stations of West Port. In the case of water-quality assessment, multi-metric indices and operational indicators have been proposed to classify the trophic status at different stations. The trophic level of West Port coastal water ranges from eutrophic to hypertrophic. Chl-a concentration was used to estimate the biological response of phytoplankton biomass and indicated eutrophic conditions in West Port and mesotrophic conditions at the control site. During the study period, no eutrophication events or secondary symptoms occurred, which may be related to hydrodynamic turbulence and water exchange, which prevent the development of eutrophic conditions in the West Port.
Loading Methodology for a Capacity Constrained Job-Shop
This paper presents a genetic algorithm based loading methodology for a capacity constrained job-shop with the consideration of alternative process plans for each part to be produced. Performance analysis of the proposed methodology is carried out for two case studies by considering two different manufacturing scenarios. Results obtained indicate that the methodology is quite effective in improving the shop load balance, and hence, it can be included in the frameworks of manufacturing planning systems of job-shop oriented industries.
Improving Load Frequency Control of Multi-Area Power System by Considering Uncertainty by Using Optimized Type 2 Fuzzy Pid Controller with the Harmony Search Algorithm
This paper presents the method of designing the type 2 fuzzy PID controllers in order to solve the problem of Load Frequency Control (LFC). The Harmony Search (HS) algorithm is used to regulate the measurement factors and the effect of uncertainty of membership functions of Interval Type 2 Fuzzy Proportional Integral Differential (IT2FPID) controllers in order to reduce the frequency deviation resulted from the load oscillations. The simulation results implicitly show that the performance of the proposed IT2FPID LFC in terms of error, settling time and resistance against different load oscillations is more appropriate and preferred than PID and Type 1 Fuzzy Proportional Integral Differential (T1FPID) controllers.
On Four Models of a Three Server Queue with Optional Server Vacations
We study four models of a three server queueing system with Bernoulli schedule optional server vacations. Customers arriving at the system one by one in a Poisson process are provided identical exponential service by three parallel servers according to a first-come, first served queue discipline. In model A, all three servers may be allowed a vacation at one time, in Model B at the most two of the three servers may be allowed a vacation at one time, in model C at the most one server is allowed a vacation, and in model D no server is allowed a vacation. We study steady the state behavior of the four models and obtain steady state probability generating functions for the queue size at a random point of time for all states of the system. In model D, a known result for a three server queueing system without server vacations is derived.
Development of a Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain System with Double Continuously Variable Transmissions
This study developed a plug-in hybrid powertrain system which consisted of two continuous variable transmissions. By matching between the engine, motor, generator, and dual continuous variable transmissions, this integrated power system can take advantages of the components. The hybrid vehicle can be driven by the internal combustion engine, or electric motor alone, or by these two power sources together when the vehicle is driven in hard acceleration or high load. The energy management of this integrated hybrid system controls the power systems based on rule-based control strategy to achieve better fuel economy. When the vehicle driving power demand is low, the internal combustion engine is operating in the low efficiency region, so the internal combustion engine is shut down, and the vehicle is driven by motor only. When the vehicle driving power demand is high, internal combustion engine would operate in the high efficiency region; then the vehicle could be driven by internal combustion engine. This strategy would operate internal combustion engine only in optimal efficiency region to improve the fuel economy. In this research, the vehicle simulation model was built in MATLAB/ Simulink environment. The analysis results showed that the power coupled efficiency of the hybrid powertrain system with dual continuous variable transmissions was better than that of the Honda hybrid system on the market.
Comparative Performance of Artificial Bee Colony Based Algorithms for Wind-Thermal Unit Commitment
This paper presents the three optimization models, namely New Binary Artificial Bee Colony (NBABC) algorithm, NBABC with Local Search (NBABC-LS), and NBABC with Genetic Crossover (NBABC-GC) for solving the Wind-Thermal Unit Commitment (WTUC) problem. The uncertain nature of the wind power is incorporated using the Weibull probability density function, which is used to calculate the overestimation and underestimation costs associated with the wind power fluctuation. The NBABC algorithm utilizes a mechanism based on the dissimilarity measure between binary strings for generating the binary solutions in WTUC problem. In NBABC algorithm, an intelligent scout bee phase is proposed that replaces the abandoned solution with the global best solution. The local search operator exploits the neighboring region of the current solutions, whereas the integration of genetic crossover with the NBABC algorithm increases the diversity in the search space and thus avoids the problem of local trappings encountered with the NBABC algorithm. These models are then used to decide the units on/off status, whereas the lambda iteration method is used to dispatch the hourly load demand among the committed units. The effectiveness of the proposed models is validated on an IEEE 10-unit thermal system combined with a wind farm over the planning period of 24 hours.
BECOME: Body Experience-Based Co-Operation between Juveniles through Mutually Excited Team Gameplay
We aim to develop a full-body interaction game that could let children cooperate and interact with other children in small groups. As the first step for our aim, the objective of the full-body interaction game developed in this study is to make interaction between children. The game requires two children to jump together with the same timing. We let children experience the game and answer the questionnaires. The children using several strategies to coordinate the timing of their jumps were observed. These included shouting time, watching each other, and jumping in a constant rhythm as if they were skipping rope. In this manner, we observed the children playing the game while cooperating with each other. The results of a questionnaire to evaluate the proposed interactive game indicate that the jumping game was a very enjoyable experience in which the participants could immerse themselves. Therefore, the game enabled children to experience cooperation with others by using body movements.
Criminal Justice System, Health and Imprisonment in India
Imprisonment is an expansive concept, as it is regulated by laws under criminal justice system of the state. The state sets principles of punishment to control offenders and also puts limits to excess punitive control. One significant way through which it exercises control is through rules governing healthcare of imprisoned population. Prisons signify specialized settings which accommodate both medical and legal concerns. The provision of care operates within the institutional paradigm of punishment. This requires the state to negotiate adequately between goals of punishment and fulfilment of basic human rights of offenders. The present study is based on a critical analysis of prison healthcare standards in India, which include government policies and guidelines. It also demonstrates how healthcare is delivered by drawing insights from a primary study conducted in a correctional home in the state of West Bengal, India, which houses both male and female inmates. Forty women were interviewed through semi-structured interviews, followed by focus group discussions. Doctors and administrative personnel were also interviewed. Findings show how institutional practices control women through subversion of the role of doctors to prison administration. Also, poor healthcare infrastructure, unavailability of specialized services, hierarchies between personnel and inmates make prisons unlikely sites for therapeutic intervention. The paper further discusses how institutional practices foster gender-based discriminatory practices.
Innovation in Traditional Game: A Case Study of Trainee Teachers' Learning Experiences
The purpose of this study is to explore a case study of trainee teachers’ learning experience on innovating traditional games during the traditional game carnival. It explores issues arising from multiple case studies of trainee teachers learning experiences in innovating traditional games. A qualitative methodology was adopted through observations, semi-structured interviews and reflective journals’ content analysis of trainee teachers’ learning experiences creating and implementing innovative traditional games. Twelve groups of 36 trainee teachers who registered for Sports and Physical Education Management Course were the participants for this research during the traditional game carnival. Semi structured interviews were administrated after the trainee teachers learning experiences in creating innovative traditional games. Reflective journals were collected after carnival day and the content analyzed. Inductive data analysis was used to evaluate various data sources. All the collected data were then evaluated through the Nvivo data analysis process. Inductive reasoning was interpreted based on the Self Determination Theory (SDT). The findings showed that the trainee teachers had positive game participation experiences, game knowledge about traditional games and positive motivation to innovate the game. The data also revealed the influence of themes like cultural significance and creativity. It can be concluded from the findings that the organized game carnival, as a requirement of course work by the Institute of Teacher Training Malaysia, was able to enhance teacher trainers’ innovative thinking skills. The SDT, as a multidimensional approach to motivation, was utilized. Therefore, teacher trainers may have more learning experiences using the SDT.
Production of Pre-Reduction of Iron Ore Nuggets with Lesser Sulphur Intake by Devolatisation of Boiler Grade Coal
Boiler coals with low fixed carbon and higher ash content have always challenged the metallurgists to develop a suitable method for their utilization. In the present study, an attempt is made to establish an energy effective method for the reduction of iron ore fines in the form of nuggets by using ‘Syngas’. By devolatisation (expulsion of volatile matter by applying heat) of boiler coal, gaseous product (enriched with reducing agents like CO, CO2, H2, and CH4 gases) is generated. Iron ore nuggets are reduced by this syngas. For that reason, there is no direct contact between iron ore nuggets and coal ash. It helps to control the minimization of the sulphur intake of the reduced nuggets. A laboratory scale devolatisation furnace designed with reduction facility is evaluated after in-depth studies and exhaustive experimentations including thermo-gravimetric (TG-DTA) analysis to find out the volatile fraction present in boiler grade coal, gas chromatography (GC) to find out syngas composition in different temperature and furnace temperature gradient measurements to minimize the furnace cost by applying one heating coil. The nuggets are reduced in the devolatisation furnace at three different temperatures and three different times. The pre-reduced nuggets are subjected to analytical weight loss calculations to evaluate the extent of reduction. The phase and surface morphology analysis of pre-reduced samples are characterized using X-ray diffractometry (XRD), energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry (EDX), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), carbon sulphur analyzer and chemical analysis method. Degree of metallization of the reduced nuggets is 78.9% by using boiler grade coal. The pre-reduced nuggets with lesser sulphur content could be used in the blast furnace as raw materials or coolant which would reduce the high quality of coke rate of the furnace due to its pre-reduced character. These can be used in Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) as coolant also.
The Framework of System Safety for Multi Human-in-The-Loop System
In Cyber Physical System (CPS), if there are a large number of persons in the process, a role of person in CPS might be different comparing with the one-man system. It is also necessary to consider how Human-in-The-Loop Cyber Physical Systems (HiTLCPS) ensure safety of each person in the loop process. In this paper, the authors discuss a system safety framework with an illustrative example with STAMP model to clarify what point for safety should be considered and what role of person in the should have.
Oxidation of Amitriptyline by Bromamine-T in Acidic Buffer Medium: A Kinetic and Mechanistic Approach
The kinetics of the oxidation of amitriptyline (AT) by sodium N-bromotoluene sulphonamide (C6H5SO2NBrNa) has been studied in an acidic buffer medium of pH 1.2 at 303 K. The oxidation reaction of AT was followed spectrophotometrically at maximum wavelength, 410 nm. The reaction rate shows a first order dependence each on concentration of AT and concentration of sodium N-bromotoluene sulphonamide. The reaction also shows an inverse fractional order dependence at low or high concentration of HCl. The dielectric constant of the solvent shows negative effect on the rate of reaction. The addition of halide ions and the reduction product of BAT have no significant effect on the rate. The rate is unchanged with the variation in the ionic strength (NaClO4) of the medium. Addition of reaction mixtures to be aqueous acrylamide solution did not initiate polymerization, indicating the absence of free radical species. The stoichiometry of the reaction was found to be 1:1 and oxidation product of AT is identified. The Michaelis-Menton type of kinetics has been proposed. The CH3C6H5SO2NHBr has been assumed to be the reactive oxidizing species. Thermodynamical parameters were computed by studying the reactions at different temperatures. A mechanism consistent with observed kinetics is presented.
Hydraulic Analysis on Microhabitat of Benthic Macroinvertebrates at Riparian Riffles
Hydraulic analysis on microhabitat of Benthic Macro- invertebrates was performed at riparian riffles of Hongcheon River and Gapyeong Stream. As for the representative species, Ecdyonurus kibunensis, Paraleptophlebia cocorata, Chironomidae sp. and Psilotreta kisoensis iwata were chosen. They showed hydraulically different habitat types by flow velocity and particle diameters of streambed materials. Habitat conditions of the swimmers were determined mainly by the flow velocity rather than by flow depth or by riverbed materials. Burrowers prefer sand and silt, and inhabited at the riverbed. Sprawlers prefer cobble or boulder and inhabited for velocity of 0.05-0.15 m/s. Clingers prefer pebble or cobble and inhabited for velocity of 0.06-0.15 m/s. They were found to be determined mainly by the flow velocity.
A Faunistic Comparative Study of Families Hesperiidae and Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) of Syrian Arab Republic and Republic of Armenia
Comparative analysis of the fauna of two families of butterflies (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) – Hesperiidae and Nymphalidae were carried out. In general, 122 species of the families are recorded. among these 33 species belong to Hesperiidae and 89 to Nymphalidae. The numbers by countries are as follows: 72 species are found in Syria (including 24 Hesperiidae and 48 Nymphalidae) and 97 in Armenia (26 and 71 species, respectively). Two species of Hesperiidae are reported for Syrian fauna for the first time and one species is newly recorded for Armenia. From the species above mentioned 38 are common both for Syria and Armenia. For estimation of the similarity of faunas studied were used the Jaccard index. By families the index is rather different, consisting for Hesperiidae 0.5151 and for Nymphalidae 0.337.
A Quadratic Programming for Truck-to-Door Assignment Problem
Cross-docking includes receiving products supplied by a set of suppliers, unloading them from inbound trucks (ITs) at strip doors, consolidating and handling these products to stack doors based on their destinations, loading them into outbound trucks (OTs); then, delivering these products to customers. An effective assignment of the trucks to the doors would enhance the advantages of the cross-docking (e.g. reduction of the handling costs). This paper addresses the truck-to-door assignment problem in a cross-dock in which assignment of the ITs to the strip doors as well as assignment of the OTs to the stacks doors is determined so that total material handling cost in the cross-dock is minimized. Capacity constraints are applied for the ITs, OTs, strip doors, and stack doors. We develop a Quadratic Programming (QP) to formulate the problem. To solve it, the model is coded in LINGO software to specify the best assignment of the trucks to the doors.
Blind Speech Separation Using SRP-PHAT Localization and Optimal Beamformer in Two-Speaker Environments
This paper investigates the problem of blind speech separation from the speech mixture of two speakers. A voice activity detector employing the Steered Response Power - Phase Transform (SRP-PHAT) is presented for detecting the activity information of speech sources and then the desired speech signals are extracted from the speech mixture by using an optimal beamformer. For evaluation, the algorithm effectiveness, a simulation using real speech recordings had been performed in a double-talk situation where two speakers are active all the time. Evaluations show that the proposed blind speech separation algorithm offers a good interference suppression level whilst maintaining a low distortion level of the desired signal.
Environmental Accounting: A Conceptual Study of Indian Context
As the entire world continues its rapid move towards industrialization, it has seriously threatened mankind’s ability to maintain an ecological balance. Geographical and natural forces have a significant influence on the location of industries. Industrialization is the foundation stone of the development of any country, while the unplanned industrialization and discharge of waste by industries is the cause of environmental pollution. There is growing degree of awareness and concern globally among nations about environmental degradation or pollution. Environmental resources endowed by the gift of nature and not manmade are invaluable natural resources of a country like India. Any developmental activity is directly related to natural and environmental resources. Economic development without environmental considerations brings about environmental crises and damages the quality of life of present, as well as future generation. As corporate sectors in the global market, especially in India, are becoming anxious about environmental degradation, naturally more and more emphasis will be ascribed to how environment-friendly the outcomes are. Maintaining accounts of such environmental and natural resources in the country has become more urgent. Moreover, international awareness and acceptance of the importance of environmental issues has motivated the development of a branch of accounting called “Environmental Accounting”. Environmental accounting attempts to detect and focus the resources consumed and the costs rendered by an industrial unit to the environment. For the sustainable development of mankind, a healthy environment is indispensable. Gradually, therefore, in many countries including India, environment matters are being given top most priority. Accounting and disclosure of environmental matters have been increasingly manifesting as an important dimension of corporate accounting and reporting practices. But, as conventional accounting deals with mainly non-living things, the formulation of valuation, and measurement and accounting techniques for incorporating environment-related matters in the corporate financial statement sometimes creates problems for the accountant. In the light of this situation, the conceptual analysis of the study is concerned with the rationale of environmental accounting on the economy and society as a whole, and focuses the failures of the traditional accounting system. A modest attempt has been made to throw light on the environmental awareness in developing nations like India and discuss the problems associated with the implementation of environmental accounting. The conceptual study also reflects that despite different anomalies, environmental accounting is becoming an increasing important aspect of the accounting agenda within the corporate sector in India. Lastly, a conclusion, along with recommendations, has been given to overcome the situation.
The Effect of Iconic and Beat Gestures on Memory Recall in Greek’s First and Second Language
Gestures play a major role in comprehension and
memory recall due to the fact that aid the efficient channel of
the meaning and support listeners’ comprehension and memory. In
the present study, the assistance of two kinds of gestures (iconic
and beat gestures) is tested in regards to memory and recall. The
hypothesis investigated here is whether or not iconic and beat gestures
provide assistance in memory and recall in Greek and in Greek
speakers’ second language. Two groups of participants were formed,
one comprising Greeks that reside in Athens and one with Greeks
that reside in Copenhagen. Three kinds of stimuli were used: A video
with words accompanied with iconic gestures, a video with words
accompanied with beat gestures and a video with words alone. The
languages used are Greek and English. The words in the English
videos were spoken by a native English speaker and by a Greek
speaker talking English. The reason for this is that when it comes to
beat gestures that serve a meta-cognitive function and are generated
according to the intonation of a language, prosody plays a major
role. Thus, participants that have different influences in prosody may
generate different results from rhythmic gestures. Memory recall was
assessed by asking the participants to try to remember as many
words as they could after viewing each video. Results show that
iconic gestures provide significant assistance in memory and recall
in Greek and in English whether they are produced by a native or
a second language speaker. In the case of beat gestures though, the
findings indicate that beat gestures may not play such a significant
role in Greek language. As far as intonation is concerned, a significant
difference was not found in the case of beat gestures produced by a
native English speaker and by a Greek speaker talking English.
The Effect of a Three-Month Training Program on the Back Kyphosis of Former Male Addicts
Adopting inappropriate body posture during addiction can cause muscular and skeletal deformities. This study is aimed at investigating the effects of a program of the selected corrective exercises on the kyphosis of addicted male patients. Materials and methods: This was a quasi-experimental study. This study has been carried out using the semi-experimental method. The subjects of the present study included 104 addicted men between 25 to 45 years of age. In 2014, these men were referred to one of the NA (Narcotic Anonymous) centres in Kashan in 2015. A total of 24 people suffering from drug withdrawal, who had abnormal kyphosis, were purposefully selected as a sample. The sample was randomly divided into two groups, experimental and control; each group consisted of 12 people. The experimental group participated in a training program for 12 weeks consisting of three 60 minute sessions per week. That includes strengthening, stretching and PNF exercises (deep stretching of the muscle). The control group did no exercise or corrective activity. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to assess normal distribution of data; and a paired t-test and covariance analysis test were used to assess the effectiveness of the exercises, with a significance level of P≤0.05 by using SPSS18. The results showed that three months of the selected corrective exercises had a significant effect (P≤ 0.005) on the correction of the kyphosis of the addicted male patients after three months of rehabilitation (drug withdrawal) in the experimental group, while there was no significant difference recorded in the control group (P≥0.05). The results show that exercise and corrective activities can be used as non-invasive and non-pharmacological methods to rehabilitate kyphosis abnormalities after drug withdrawal and treatment for addiction.
Development Framework Based on Mobile Augmented Reality for Pre-Literacy Kit
Mobile technology, augmented reality, and game-based learning are some of the key learning technologies that can be fully optimized to promote pre-literacy skills. The problem is how to design an effective pre-literacy kit that utilizes some of the learning technologies. This paper presents a framework based on mobile augmented reality for the development of pre-literacy kit. This pre-literacy kit incorporates three main components which are contents, design, and tools. A prototype of a mobile app based on the three main components was developed for promoting pre-literacy. The results show that the children and teachers gave positive feedbacks after using the mobile app for the pre-literacy.
Teaching Method in Situational Crisis Communication Theory: A Literature Review
Crisis management strategies could be found in various curriculums, not only in schools of business, but also schools of communication. Young students, such as freshmen and sophomores of undergraduate schools, may not care about learning crisis management strategies. Moreover, crisis management strategies are not a topic art students are familiar with. The current paper discusses a way to adapt entertainment media into a crisis management lesson, and the importance of learning crisis management strategies in the school of animation. Students could learn crisis management strategies by watching movies with content about a crisis and responding to crisis responding. The students should then participate in follow up discussions related to the strategies that were used to address the crisis, as well as their success in solving the crisis.
CyberSecurity Malaysia: Towards Becoming a National Certification Body for Information Security Management Systems Internal Auditors
Internal auditing is one of the most important activities for organizations that implement information security management systems (ISMS). The purpose of internal audits is to ensure the ISMS implementation is in accordance to the ISO/IEC 27001 standard and the organization’s own requirements for its ISMS. Competent internal auditors are the main element that contributes to the effectiveness of internal auditing activities. To realize this need, CyberSecurity Malaysia is now in the process of becoming a certification body that certifies ISMS internal auditors. The certification scheme will assess the competence of internal auditors in generic knowledge and skills in management systems, and also in ISMS-specific knowledge and skills. The certification assessment is based on the ISO/IEC 19011 Guidelines for auditing management systems, ISO/IEC 27007 Guidelines for information security management systems auditing and ISO/IEC 27001 Information security management systems requirements. The certification scheme complies with the ISO/IEC 17024 General requirements for bodies operating certification systems of persons. Candidates who pass the exam will be certified as an ISMS Internal Auditor, whose competency will be evaluated every three years.
Collaborative Research between Malaysian and Australian Universities on Learning Analytics: Challenges and Strategies
Research on Learning Analytics is progressively developing in the higher education field by concentrating on the process of students' learning. Therefore, a research project between Malaysian and Australian Universities was initiated in 2015 to look at the use of Learning Analytics to support the development of teaching practice. The focal point of this article is to discuss and share the experiences of Malaysian and Australian universities in the process of developing the collaborative research on Learning Analytics. Three aspects of this will be discussed: 1) Establishing an international research project and team members, 2) cross-cultural understandings, and 3) ways of working in relation to the practicalities of the project. This article is intended to benefit other researchers by highlighting the challenges as well as the strategies used in this project to ensure such collaborative research succeeds.
Snails and Fish as Pollution Biomarkers in Lake Manzala and Laboratory B: Lake Manzala Fish
This work aimed to examine Oreochromis niloticus fish from Lake Manzala in Port Said, Dakahlya and Damietta governorates, Egypt, as a bio-indicator for the lake water pollution through recording alterations in their hematological, physiological, and histopathological parameters. All fish samples showed a significant increase in levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), creatinine and glutathione-S-transferase (GST); only Dakahlya samples showed a significant increase (p<0.01) in aspartate aminotransferase (AST) level and most Dakahlya and Damietta samples showed reversed albumin and globulin ratio and a significant increase in γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) level. Port-Said and Damietta samples showed a significant decrease of hemoglobin (Hb) while Dakahlya samples showed a significant decrease in white blood cell (WBC) count. Histopathological investigation for different fish organs showed that Port-Said and Dakahlya samples were more altered than Damietta. The muscle and gill followed by intestine were the most affected organs. The muscle sections showed severe edema, neoplasia, necrotic change, fat vacuoles and splitting of muscle fiber. The gill sections showed dilated blood vessels of the filaments, curling of gill lamellae, severe hyperplasia, edema and blood vessels congestion of filaments. The intestine sections revealed degeneration, atrophy, dilation in blood vessels and necrotic changes in sub-mucosa and mucosa with edema in between. The recorded significant alterations, in most of the physiological and histological parameters in O. niloticus samples from Lake Manzala, were alarming for water pollution impacts on lake fish community, which constitutes the main diet and the main source of income for the people inhabiting these areas, and were threatening their public health and economy. Also, results evaluate the use of O. niloticus fish as important bio-indicator for their habitat stressors.
Application of UV-C Irradiation on Quality and Textural Properties of Button Mushrooms
The effect of 1.0 kJ/m2 Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light on pH, weight loss, color, and firmness of button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) tissues during 21-days storage at 4 ºC was studied. UV-C irradiation enhanced pH, weight, color parameters, and firmness of mushroom during storage compared to control treatment. However, application of 1.0 kJ/m2 UV-C treatment could effectively induce the increase of weight loss, firmness, and pH to 14.53%, 49.82%, and 10.39%, respectively. These results suggest that the application of UV-C irradiation could be an effective method to maintain the postharvest quality of mushrooms.
Using Simulation Modeling Approach to Predict USMLE Steps 1 and 2 Performances
The prediction models for the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) Steps 1 and 2 performances were constructed by the Monte Carlo simulation modeling approach via linear regression. The purpose of this study was to build robust simulation models to accurately identify the most important predictors and yield the valid range estimations of the Steps 1 and 2 scores. The application of simulation modeling approach was deemed an effective way in predicting student performances on licensure examinations. Also, sensitivity analysis (a/k/a what-if analysis) in the simulation models was used to predict the magnitudes of Steps 1 and 2 affected by changes in the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Basic Science Subject Board scores. In addition, the study results indicated that the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Verbal Reasoning score and Step 1 score were significant predictors of the Step 2 performance. Hence, institutions could screen qualified student applicants for interviews and document the effectiveness of basic science education program based on the simulation results.
Analysis of Critical Success Factors of Six Sigma in Pakistani Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Six Sigma is a widely adapted quality improvement methodology applied throughout the world. Through this paper, an attempt has been made to identify Critical Success Factors (CSF) for successful implementation of Six Sigma in Pakistani Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). A survey methodology was used to collect the data from SMEs in Pakistan. The results of this exploratory empirical research reflect the importance of different CSFs of Six Sigma implementation in SMEs in Pakistan. On the basis of extracted factors, a framework has been proposed for successful Six Sigma implementation in Pakistani SMEs. This study will provide a base for Pakistani SMEs and future researchers working in Six Sigma implementation and help them to prepare a road map to eradicate the hurdles in Six Sigma implementation.
Analytic Hierarchy Process Method for Supplier Selection Considering Green Logistics: Case Study of Aluminum Production Sector
The emergence of many environmental issues began with the Industrial Revolution. The depletion of natural resources and emerging environmental challenges over time requires enterprises and managers to take into consideration environmental factors while managing business. If we take notice of these causes; the design and implementation of environmentally friendly green purchasing, production and waste management systems become very important at green logistics systems. Companies can adopt green supply chain with the awareness of these facts. The concept of green supply chain constitutes from green purchasing, green production, green logistics, waste management and reverse logistics. In this study, we wanted to identify the concept of green supply chain and why green supply chain should be applied. In the practice part of the study an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) study is conducted on an aluminum production company to evaluate suppliers.
Measuring Innovative and Entrepreneurial Networks Performance
Nowadays innovation represents a challenge crucial to remaining globally competitive. This study seeks to develop a conceptual model aimed at measuring the dynamic interactions of the triple/quadruple helix, balancing innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives as pillars of regional competitiveness – the Regional Helix Scoreboard (RHS). To this aim, different strands of literature are identified according to their focus on specific regional competitiveness governance mechanisms. We put forward an overview of the state-of-the-art of research and is duly assessed in order to develop and propose a framework of analysis that enables an integrated approach in the context of collaborative dynamics. We conclude by presenting the RHS for the study of regional competitiveness dynamics, which integrates and associates different backgrounds and identifies a number of key performance indicators for research challenges.
Degradation of Amitriptyline Hydrochloride, Methyl Salicylate and 2-Phenoxyethanol in Water Systems by the Combination UV/Cl2
Three emerging contaminants (amitriptyline hydrochloride, methyl salicylate and 2-phenoxyethanol) frequently found in waste-waters were selected to be individually degraded in ultra-pure water by the combined advanced oxidation process constituted by UV radiation and chlorine. The influence of pH, initial chlorine concentration and nature of the contaminants was firstly explored. The trend for the reactivity of the selected compounds was deduced: amitriptyline hydrochloride > methyl salicylate > 2-phenoxyethanol. A later kinetic study was carried out and focused on the specific evaluation of the first-order rate constants and the determination of the partial contribution to the global reaction of the direct photochemical pathway and the radical pathway. A comparison between the rate constant values among photochemical experiments without and with the presence of Cl2 reveals a clear increase in the oxidation efficiency of the combined process with respect to the photochemical reaction alone. In a second stage, the simultaneous oxidation of mixtures of the selected contaminants in several types of water (ultrapure water, surface water from a reservoir, and two secondary effluents) was also performed by the same combination UV/Cl2 under more realistic operating conditions. The efficiency of this combined system UV/Cl2 was compared to other oxidants such as the UV/S2O82- and UV/H2O2 AOPs. Results confirmed that the UV/Cl2 system provides higher elimination efficiencies among the AOPs tested.
Characterization of Two Hybrid Welding Techniques on SA 516 Grade 70 Weldments
Commercially SA 516 Grade 70 is frequently used for the manufacturing of pressure vessels, boilers and storage tanks etc. in fabrication industry. Heat input is the major parameter during welding that may bring significant changes in the microstructure as well as the mechanical properties. Different welding technique has different heat input rate per unit surface area. Materials with large thickness are dealt with different combination of welding techniques to achieve required mechanical properties. In the present research two schemes: Scheme 1: SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding) & GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) and Scheme 2: SMAW & SAW (Submerged Arc Welding) of hybrid welding techniques have been studied. The purpose of these schemes was to study hybrid welding effect on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the weldment, heat affected zone and base metal area. It is significant to note that the thickness of base plate was 12 mm, also welding conditions and parameters were set according to ASME Section IX. It was observed that two different hybrid welding techniques performed on two different plates demonstrated that the mechanical properties of both schemes are more or less similar. It means that the heat input, welding techniques and varying welding operating conditions & temperatures did not make any detrimental effect on the mechanical properties. Hence, the hybrid welding techniques mentioned in the present study are favorable to implicate for the industry using the plate thickness around 12 mm thick.
Characterizing Multivariate Thresholds in Industrial Engineering
This paper highlights some of the normative issues that might result by setting independent thresholds in risk analyses and particularly with safety regions. A second objective is to explain how such regions can be specified appropriately in a meaningful way. We start with a review of the importance of setting deterministic trade-offs among target requirements. We then show how to determine safety regions for risk analysis appropriately using utility functions.
Molecular Dynamics Analysis onI mpact Behaviour of Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene Sheets
Impact behavior of striker on graphene sheet and carbon nanotube is investigated based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. A MD simulation is conducted to obtain the maximum dynamic deflections of a square and rectangular single-layered graphene sheets (SLGSs) with various values of side-length and striker parameter. Effect of (i) chirality, (ii) graphene side-length and nanotube length, (iii) striker mass on the maximum dynamic deflections of graphene and nanotube are investigated. The effect of different types of boundary condition on the maximum dynamic deflections is studied for zigzag and armchair SWCNTs with various aspect ratios (Length/Diameter).
Enhancing Cooperation Between LEAs and Citizens: The INSPEC2T Approach
Enhancing the feeling of public safety and crime prevention are tasks customarily assigned to the Police. Police departments have, however, recognized that traditional ways of policing methods are becoming obsolete; Community Policing (CP) philosophy; however, when applied appropriately, leads to seamless collaboration between various stakeholders like the Police, NGOs and the general public and provides the opportunity to identify risks, assist in solving problems of crime, disorder, safety and crucially contribute to improving the quality of life for everyone in a community. Social Media, on the other hand, due to its high level of infiltration in modern life, constitutes a powerful mechanism which offers additional and direct communication channels to reach individuals or communities. These channels can be utilized to improve the citizens’ perception of the Police and to capture individual and community needs, when their feedback is taken into account by Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in a structured and coordinated manner. This paper presents research conducted under INSPEC2T (Inspiring CitizeNS Participation for Enhanced Community PoliCing AcTions), a project funded by the European Commission’s research agenda to bridge the gap between CP as a philosophy and as an organizational strategy, capitalizing on the use of Social Media. The project aims to increase transparency, trust, police accountability, and the role of civil society. It aspires to build strong, trusting relationships between LEAs and the public, supporting two-way, contemporary communication while at the same time respecting anonymity of all affected parties. Results presented herein summarize the outcomes of four online multilingual surveys, focus group interviews, desktop research and interviews with experts in the field of CP practices. The above research activities were conducted in various EU countries aiming to capture requirements of end users from diverse backgrounds (social, cultural, legal and ethical) and determine public expectations regarding CP, community safety and crime prevention.
Application of Various Methods for Evaluation of Heavy Metal Pollution in Soils around Agarak Copper-Molybdenum Mine Complex, Armenia
The present study was aimed in assessing the heavy metal pollution of the soils around Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex and related environmental risks. This mine complex is located in the south-east part of Armenia, and the present study was conducted in 2013. The soils of the five riskiest sites of this region were studied: surroundings of the open mine, the sites adjacent to processing plant of Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex, surroundings of Darazam active tailing dump, the recultivated tailing dump of “ravine - 2”, and the recultivated tailing dump of “ravine - 3”. The mountain cambisol was the main soil type in the study sites. The level of soil contamination by heavy metals was assessed by Contamination factors (Cf), Degree of contamination (Cd), Geoaccumulation index (I-geo) and Enrichment factor (EF). The distribution pattern of trace metals in the soil profile according to Cf, Cd, I-geo and EF values shows that the soil is much polluted. Almost in all studied sites, Cu, Mo, Pb, and Cd were the main polluting heavy metals, and this was conditioned by Agarak copper-molybdenum mine complex activity. It is necessary to state that the pollution problem becomes pressing as some parts of these highly polluted region are inhabited by population, and agriculture is highly developed there; therefore, heavy metals can be transferred into human bodies through food chains and have direct influence on public health. Since the induced pollution can pose serious threats to public health, further investigations on soil and vegetation pollution are recommended. Finally, Cf calculating based on distance from the pollution source and the wind direction can provide more reasonable results.
Convex Restrictions for Outage Constrained MU-MISO Downlink under Imperfect Channel State Information
In this paper, we consider the MU-MISO downlink scenario, under imperfect channel state information (CSI). The main issue in imperfect CSI is to keep the probability of each user achievable outage rate below the given threshold level. Such a rate outage constraints present significant and analytical challenges. There are many probabilistic methods are used to minimize the transmit optimization problem under imperfect CSI. Here, decomposition based large deviation inequality and Bernstein type inequality convex restriction methods are used to perform the optimization problem under imperfect CSI. These methods are used for achieving improved output quality and lower complexity. They provide a safe tractable approximation of the original rate outage constraints. Based on these method implementations, performance has been evaluated in the terms of feasible rate and average transmission power. The simulation results are shown that all the two methods offer significantly improved outage quality and lower computational complexity.
The Impact of Metacognitive Knowledge and Experience on Top Management Team Diversity and Small to Medium Enterprises Performance
The aim of this study is to determine the impact of metacognition on top management team members and firm performance based on full team integration. A survey of 1500 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) was initiated and 140 firms were obtained in this study (with response rate of 9%). The result showed that different metacognitive abilities of managers [knowledge and experience] could enhance team decision-making and problem solving, resulting in greater firm performance. This is a significant finding for SMEs because these organisations have small teams with owner leadership and entrepreneurial orientation.
The Catalytic Properties of PtSn/Al2O3 for Acetic Acid Hydrogenation
Alumina supported platinum and tin catalysts with different loadings of Pt and Sn were prepared and characterized by low temperature N2 adsorption/desorption, H2-temperature programed reduction and CO pulse chemisorption. Pt and Sn below 1% loading were suitable for acetic acid hydrogenation. The best performance over 0.75Pt1Sn/Al2O3 can reach 87.55% conversion of acetic acid and 47.39% selectivity of ethanol. The operating conditions of acetic acid hydrogenation over 1Pt1Sn/Al2O3 were investigated. High reaction temperature can enhance the conversion of acetic acid, but it decreased total selectivity of ethanol and acetyl acetate. High pressure and low weight hourly space velocity were beneficial to both conversion of acetic acid and selectivity to ethanol.
Ecolodging as an Answer for Sustainable Development and Successful Resource Management: The Case of North West Coast in Alexandria
The continued growth of tourism in the future relies on maintaining a clean environment by achieving sustainable development. The erosion and degradation of beaches, the deterioration of coastal water quality, visual pollution of coastlines by massive developments, all this has contributed heavily to the loss of the natural attractiveness for tourism. In light of this, promoting the concept of sustainable coastal development is becoming a central goal for governments and private sector. An ecolodge is a small hotel or guesthouse that incorporates local architectural, cultural and natural characteristics, promotes environmental conservation through minimizing the use of waste and energy and produces social and economic benefits for local communities. Egypt has some scattered attempts in some areas like Sinai in the field of ecolodging. This research tends to investigate the potentials of the North West Coast (NWC) in Alexandria as a new candidate for ecolodging investments. The area is full of primitive natural and man-made resources. These, if used in an environmental-friendly way could achieve cost reductions as a result of successful resource management for investors on the one hand, and coastal preservation on the other hand. In-depth interviews will be conducted with stakeholders in the tourism sector to examine their opinion about the potentials of the research area for ecolodging developments. The candidates will be also asked to rate the importance of the availability of certain environmental aspects in such establishments such as the uses of resources that originate from local communities, uses of natural power sources, uses of an environmental-friendly sewage disposal, forbidding the use of materials of endangered species and enhancing cultural heritage conservation. The results show that the area is full of potentials that could be effectively used for ecolodging investments. This if efficiently used could attract ecotourism as a supplementary type of tourism that could be promoted in Alexandria aside cultural, recreational and religious tourism.
Liquidity Risk of Banks in Light of a Dominant Share of Foreign Capital in the Polish Banking Sector
This article investigates liquidity risk management by banks, which has gained significant importance since the global financial crisis of 2008. The issue is of particular interest for countries like Poland, in which foreign capital plays a dominant role. Such an ownership structure poses certain risks to the local banking sector, which faces an increased probability of the withdrawal of funding or assets’ transfers abroad in case of a crisis. Both these factors can have a detrimental influence on the liquidity position of foreign-owned banks and hence negatively affect the financial stability of the whole banking sector. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of a dominating share of foreign investors in the Polish banking sector on the liquidity position of commercial banks. The study hypothesizes that the ownership structure of the Polish banking sector, in which there are banks predominantly controlled by foreign investors, does not pose a threat to the liquidity position of Polish banks. A supplementary research hypothesis is that the liquidity risk profile of foreign-owned banks differs from that of domestic banks. The sample consists of 14 foreign-owned banks and 5 domestic banks owned by local investors, which together constitute approximately 87% of the banking sector’s assets. The data covers the period of 2004–2014. The results of the regression models show no evidence of significant differences in terms of the dynamics of changes of the liquidity buffers between the foreign-owned and domestic banks, although the signs of the coefficients might suggest that the foreign-owned banks were decreasing the holdings of liquid assets at a slower pace over the examined period, compared to the domestic banks. However, no proof of the statistical significance of these findings has been found. The supplementary research hypothesis that the liquidity risk profile of foreign-controlled banks differs from that of domestic banks was rejected.
Sliding Mode Control of a Bus Suspension System
The vibrations, caused by the irregularities of the road surface, are to be suppressed via suspension systems. In this paper, sliding mode control for a half bus model with air suspension system is presented. The bus is modelled as five degrees of freedom (DoF) system. The mathematical model of the half bus is developed using Lagrange Equations. For time domain analysis, the bus model is assumed to travel at certain speed over the bump road. The numerical results of the analysis indicate that the sliding mode controllers can be effectively used to suppress the vibrations and to improve the ride comfort of the busses.
Spectral Coherence Analysis between Grinding Interaction Forces and the Relative Motion of the Workpiece and the Cutting Tool
Grinding operation is performed in order to obtain desired surfaces precisely in machining process. The needed relative motion between the cutting tool and the workpiece is generally created either by the movement of the cutting tool or by the movement of the workpiece or by the movement of both of them as in our case. For all these cases, the coherence level between the movements and the interaction forces is a key influential parameter for efficient grinding. Therefore, in this work, spectral coherence analysis has been performed to investigate the coherence level between grinding interaction forces and the movement of the workpiece on our robotic-grinding experimental setup in METU Mechatronics Laboratory.
Applying Transformative Service Design to Develop Brand Community Service in Women, Children and Infants Retailing
This research discussed the various theories of service design, the importance of service design methodology, and the development of transformative service design framework. In this study, transformative service design is applied while building a new brand community service for women, children and infants retailing business. The goal is to enhance the brand recognition and customer loyalty, effectively increase the brand community engagement by embedding the brand community in social network and ultimately, strengthen the impact and the value of the company brand.
Beneficiation of Low Grade Chromite Ore and Its Characterization for the Formation of Magnesia-Chromite Refractory by Economically Viable Process
Chromite ores are primarily used for extraction of chromium, which is an expensive metal. For low grade chromite ores (containing less than 40% Cr2O3), the chromium extraction is not usually economically viable. India possesses huge quantities of low grade chromite reserves. This deposit can be utilized after proper physical beneficiation. Magnetic separation techniques may be useful after reduction for the beneficiation of low grade chromite ore. The sample collected from the sukinda mines is characterized by XRD which shows predominant phases like maghemite, chromite, silica, magnesia and alumina. The raw ore is crushed and ground to below 75 micrometer size. The microstructure of the ore shows that the chromite grains surrounded by a silicate matrix and porosity observed the exposed side of the chromite ore. However, this ore may be utilized in refractory applications. Chromite ores contain Cr2O3, FeO, Al2O3 and other oxides like Fe-Cr, Mg-Cr have a high tendency to form spinel compounds, which usually show high refractoriness. Initially, the low grade chromite ore (containing 34.8% Cr2O3) was reduced at 1200 0C for 80 minutes with 30% coke fines by weight, before being subjected to magnetic separation. The reduction by coke leads to conversion of higher state of iron oxides converted to lower state of iron oxides. The pre-reduced samples are then characterized by XRD. The magnetically inert mass was then reacted with 20% MgO by weight at 1450 0C for 2 hours. The resultant product was then tested for various refractoriness parameters like apparent porosity, slag resistance etc. The results were satisfactory, indicating that the resultant spinel compounds are suitable for refractory applications for elevated temperature processes.
Development of Elementary Literacy in the Czech Republic
There is great attention being paid in the field of development of first reading, thus early literacy skills in the Czech Republic. Yet inconclusive results of PISA and PIRLS force us to think over the teacher´s work, his/her roles in the education process and methods and forms used in lessons. There is also a significant importance to monitor the family environment and the pupil, themselves. The aim of the publishing output is to focus on one side dealing with methods of practicing reading technique and their results in the process of comprehension. In the first part of the contribution there are the goals of development of reading literacy and the methods used in reading practice in some EU countries and a follow-up comparison of research implemented by the help of modern technology of an eye tracker device in the year 2015 and a research conducted at the Institute of Education and Psychological Counselling of the Czech Republic in the year 2011/12. These are the results of a diagnostic test of reading in first classes of primary schools, taught by the genetic method and analytic-synthetic method. The results show that in the first stage of practice there are no statistically significant differences between any researched subjects taught by different methods of reading practice (with the use of several diagnostic texts focused on reading technique and its comprehension). Different results are shown at the end of Grade One and during Grade Two of primary school.
Thermal Performance Analysis of Nanofluids in a Concetric Heat Exchanger Equipped with Turbulators
Turbulent forced convection heat transfer and pressure drop characteristics of Al2O3–water nanofluid flowing through a concentric tube heat exchanger with and without coiled wire turbulators were studied experimentally. The experiments were conducted in the Reynolds number ranging from 4000 to 20000, particle volume concentrations of 0.8 vol.% and 1.6 vol.%. Two turbulators with the pitches of 25 mm and 39 mm were used. The results of nanofluids indicated that average Nusselt number increased much more with increasing Reynolds number compared to that of pure water. Thermal conductivity enhancement by the nanofluids resulted in heat transfer enhancement. Once the pressure drop of the alumina/water nanofluid was analyzed, it was nearly equal to that of pure water at the same Reynolds number range. It was concluded that nanofluids with the volume fractions of 0.8 and 1.6 did not have a significant effect on pressure drop change. However, the use of wire coils in heat exchanger enhanced heat transfer as well as the pressure drop.
Determination of Thermophysical Properties of Water Based Magnetic Nanofluids
In this study, it was aimed to determine the thermophysical properties of two different magnetic nanofluids (NiFe2O4-water and CoFe2O4-water). Magnetic nanoparticles were dispersed into the pure water at different volume fractions from 0 vol.% to 4 vol.%. The measurements were performed in the temperature range of 15 oC-55 oC. In order to get better idea on the temperature dependent thermophysical properties of magnetic nanofluids (MNFs), viscosity and thermal conductivity measurements were made. SEM images of both NiFe2O4 and CoFe2O4 nanoparticles were used in order to confirm the average dimensions. The measurements showed that the thermal conductivity of MNFs increased with an increase in the volume fraction as well as viscosity. Increase in the temperature of both MNFs resulted in an increase in the thermal conductivity and a decrease in the viscosity. Based on the measured data, the correlations for both the viscosity and the thermal conductivity were presented with respect to solid volume ratio and temperature. Effective thermal conductivity of the prepared MNFs was also calculated. The results indicated that water based NiFe2O4 nanofluid had higher thermal conductivity than that of the CoFe2O4. Once the viscosity values of both MNFs were compared, almost no difference was observed.
The Mass Attenuation Coefficients, Effective Atomic Cross Sections, Effective Atomic Numbers and Electron Densities of Some Halides
The total mass attenuation coefficients m/r, of some halides such as, NaCl, KCl, CuCl, NaBr, KBr, RbCl, AgCl, NaI, KI, AgBr, CsI, HgCl2, CdI2 and HgI2 were determined at photon energies 279.2, 320.07, 514.0, 661.6, 1115.5, 1173.2 and 1332.5 keV in a well-collimated narrow beam good geometry set-up using a high resolution, hyper pure germanium detector. The mass attenuation coefficients and the effective atomic cross sections are found to be in good agreement with the XCOM values. From these mass attenuation coefficients, the effective atomic cross sections sa, of the compounds were determined. These effective atomic cross section sa data so obtained are then used to compute the effective atomic numbers Zeff. For this, the interpolation of total attenuation cross-sections of photons of energy E in elements of atomic number Z was performed by using the logarithmic regression analysis of the data measured by the authors and reported earlier for the above said energies along with XCOM data for standard energies. The best-fit coefficients in the photon energy range of 250 to 350 keV, 350 to 500 keV, 500 to 700 keV, 700 to 1000 keV and 1000 to 1500 keV by a piecewise interpolation method were then used to find the Zeff of the compounds with respect to the effective atomic cross section sa from the relation obtained by piece wise interpolation method. Using these Zeff values, the electron densities Nel of halides were also determined. The present Zeff and Nel values of halides are found to be in good agreement with the values calculated from XCOM data and other available published values.
Microbiological Analysis, Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Effects from Material Captured in PM2.5 and PM10 Filters Used in the Aburrá Valley Air Quality Monitoring Network (Colombia)
This study aims to evaluate the diversity of microorganisms in filters PM2.5 and PM10; and determine the genotoxic and cytotoxic activity of the complex mixture present in PM2.5 filters used in the Aburrá Valley Air Quality Monitoring Network (Colombia). The research results indicate that particulate matter PM2.5 of different monitoring stations are bacteria; however, this study of detection of bacteria and their phylogenetic relationship is not complete evidence to connect the microorganisms with pathogenic or degrading activities of compounds present in the air. Additionally, it was demonstrated the damage induced by the particulate material in the cell membrane, lysosomal and endosomal membrane and in the mitochondrial metabolism; this damage was independent of the PM2.5 concentrations in almost all the cases.
Examining the Usefulness of an ESP Textbook for Information Technology: Learner Perspectives
Many English for Specific Purposes (ESP) textbooks are distributed globally as the content development is often obliged to compromises between commercial and pedagogical demands. Therefore, the issue of regional application and usefulness of globally published ESP textbooks has received much debate. For ESP instructors, textbook selection is definitely a priority consideration for curriculum design. An appropriate ESP textbook can facilitate teaching and learning, while an inappropriate one may cause a disaster for both teachers and students. This study aims to investigate the regional application and usefulness of an ESP textbook for information technology (IT). Participants were 51 sophomores majoring in Applied Informatics and Multimedia at a university in Taiwan. As they were non-English majors, their English proficiency was mostly at elementary and elementary-to-intermediate levels. This course was offered for two semesters. The textbook selected was Oxford English for Information Technology. At class end, the students were required to complete a survey comprising five choices of Very Easy, Easy, Neutral, Difficult, and Very Difficult for each item. Based on the content design of the textbook, the survey investigated how the students viewed the difficulty of grammar, listening, speaking, reading, and writing materials of the textbook. In terms of difficulty, results reveal that only 22% of them found the grammar section difficult and very difficult. For listening, 71% responded difficult and very difficult. For general reading, 55% responded difficult and very difficult. For speaking, 56% responded difficult and very difficult. For writing, 78% responded difficult and very difficult. For advanced reading, 90% reported difficult and very difficult. These results indicate that, except the grammar section, more than half of the students found the textbook contents difficult in terms of listening, speaking, reading, and writing materials. Such contradictory results between the easy grammar section and the difficult four language skills sections imply that the textbook designers do not well understand the English learning background of regional ESP learners. For the participants, the learning contents of the grammar section were the general grammar level of junior high school, while the learning contents of the four language skills sections were more of the levels of college English majors. Implications from the findings are obtained for instructors and textbook designers. First of all, existing ESP textbooks for IT are few and thus textbook selections for instructors are insufficient. Second, existing globally published textbooks for IT cannot be applied to learners of all English proficiency levels, especially the low level. With limited textbook selections, third, instructors should modify the selected textbook contents or supplement extra ESP materials to meet the proficiency level of target learners. Fourth, local ESP publishers should collaborate with local ESP instructors who understand best the learning background of their students in order to develop appropriate ESP textbooks for local learners. Even though the instructor reduced learning contents and simplified tests in curriculum design, in conclusion, the students still found difficult. This implies that in addition to the instructor’s professional experience, there is a need to understand the usefulness of the textbook from learner perspectives.
A Recommender System Fusing Collaborative Filtering and User’s Review Mining
Collaborative filtering (CF) algorithm has been popularly used for recommender systems in both academic and practical applications. It basically generates recommendation results using users’ numeric ratings. However, the additional use of the information other than user ratings may lead to better accuracy of CF. Considering that a lot of people are likely to share their honest opinion on the items they purchased recently due to the advent of the Web 2.0, user's review can be regarded as the new informative source for identifying user's preference with accuracy. Under this background, this study presents a hybrid recommender system that fuses CF and user's review mining. Our system adopts conventional memory-based CF, but it is designed to use both user’s numeric ratings and his/her text reviews on the items when calculating similarities between users.
Internal and External Factors Affecting Teachers’ Adoption of Formative Assessment to Support Learning
Assessment forms an important part of instruction. Assessment that aims to support learning is known as formative assessment and it contributes student’s learning gain and motivation. However, teachers rarely use assessment formatively to aid their students’ learning. Thus, reviewing the factors that limit or support teachers’ practices of formative assessment will be crucial for guiding educators to support prospective teachers in using formative assessment and also eliminate limiting factors to let practicing teachers to engage in formative assessment practices during their instruction. The study, by using teacher’s change environment framework, reviews literature on formative assessment and presents a tentative model that illustrates the factors impacting teachers’ adoption of formative assessment in their teaching. The results showed that there are four main factors consisting personal, contextual, resource-related and external factors that influence teachers’ practices of formative assessment.
Adaptive Transmission Scheme Based on Channel State in Dual-Hop System
In this paper, a dual-hop relay based on channel state is studied. In the conventional relay scheme, a relay uses the same modulation method without reference to channel state. But, a relay uses an adaptive modulation method with reference to channel state. If the channel state is poor, a relay eliminates latter 2 bits and uses Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK) modulation. If channel state is good, a relay modulates the received symbols with 16-QAM symbols by using 4 bits. The performance of the proposed scheme for Symbol Error Rate (SER) and throughput is analyzed.
Age and Second Language Acquisition: A Case Study from Maldives
The age a child to be exposed to a second language is a controversial issue in communities such as the Maldives where English is taught as a second language. It has been observed that different stakeholders have different viewpoints towards the issue. Some believe that the earlier children are exposed to a second language, the better they learn, while others disagree with the notion. Hence, this case study investigates whether children learn a second language better when they are exposed at an earlier age or not. The spoken and written data collected confirm that earlier exposure helps in mastering the sound pattern and speaking fluency with more native-like accent, while a later age is better for learning more abstract and concrete aspects such as grammar and syntactic rules.
Radon Concentration in the Water Samples of Hassan District, Karnataka, India
Radon is a radioactive gas emitted from radium, a daughter product of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. Radon, together with its decay products, emits alpha particles that can damage lung tissue. The activity concentration of 222Ra has been analyzed in water samples collected from borewells and rivers in and around Hassan city, Karnataka State, India. The measurements were performed by Emanometry technique. The concentration of 222Rn in borewell waters varies from 18.49±1.89 to 397.26±12.3 Bql-1 with geometric mean 120.48±12.87 Bql-1 and in river waters it varies from 92.63±9.31 to 93.98±9.51 Bql-1 with geometric mean of 93.16±9.33 Bql-1. In the present study, the radon concentrations are higher in Adarshanagar and Viveka Nagar which are found to be 397.26±12.3 Bql-1 and 325.78±32.56 Bql-1. Most of the analysed samples show a 222Rn concentration more than 100 Bql-1 and this can be attributed to the geology of the area where the ground waters are located, which is predominantly of granitic characteristic. The average inhalation dose and ingestion dose in the borewell water are found to be 0.405 and 0.033 µSvy-1; and in river water it is found to be 0.234 and 0.019 µSvy-1, respectively. The average total effective dose rate in borewell waters and river waters are found to be 0.433 and 0.253 µSvy-1, which does not cause any health risk to the population of Hassan region.
Determinants of Conference Service Quality as Perceived by International Attendees
In recent years, conference destinations have been highly competitive; therefore, it is necessary to know about the behaviours of conference participants such as the process of their decision-making and the assessment of perceived conference quality. A conceptual research framework based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour model is presented in this research to get better understanding factors that influence it. This research study highlights key factors presented in previous studies in which behaviour intentions of participants are affected by the quality of conference. Therefore, this study is believed to provide an idea that conference participants should be encouraged to contribute to the quality and behaviour intention of the conference.
A Calibration Device for Force-Torque Sensors
The paper deals with the existing methods of force-torque sensor calibration with a number of components from one to six, analyzed their advantages and disadvantages, the necessity of introduction of a calibration method. Calibration method and its constructive realization are also described here. A calibration method allows performing automated force-torque sensor calibration both with selected components of the main vector of forces and moments and with complex loading. Thus, two main advantages of the proposed calibration method are achieved: the automation of the calibration process and universality.
Reading Literacy and Methods of Improving Reading
The paper presents results of a research team from Faculty of Education, University of Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic. It introduces with the most reading methods used in the 1st classes of a primary school and presents results of a pilot research focused on mastering reading techniques and the quality of reading comprehension of pupils in the first half of a school year during training in teaching reading by an analytic-synthetic method and by a genetic method. These methods of practicing reading skills are the most used ones in the Czech Republic. During the school year 2015/16 there has been a measurement made of two groups of pupils of the 1st year and monitoring of quantitative and qualitative parameters of reading pupils’ outputs by several methods. Both of these methods are based on different theoretical basis and each of them has a specific educational and methodical procedure. This contribution represents results during a piloting project and draws pilot conclusions which will be verified in the subsequent broader research at the end of the school year of the first class of primary school.
Modal Dynamic Analysis of a Mechanism with Deformable Elements from an Oil Pump Unit Structure
On this research, experimental analyses have been performed in order to determine the oil pump mechanism dynamics and stability from an oil unit mechanical structure. The experimental tests were focused on the vibrations which occur inside of the rod element during functionality of the oil pump unit. The oil pump mechanism dynamic parameters were measured and also determined through numerical computations. Entire research is based on the oil pump unit mechanical system virtual prototyping. For a complete analysis of the mechanism, the frequency dynamic response was identified, mainly for the mechanism driven element, based on two methods: processing and virtual simulations with MSC Adams aid and experimental analysis. In fact, through this research, a complete methodology is presented where numerical simulations of a mechanism with deformed elements are developed on a dynamic mode and these can be correlated with experimental tests.
Effect of Weathering on the Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Sediments of the Hyper Saline Urmia Salt Lake, Iran
Urmia Salt Lake (USL) is a hypersaline lake in the northwest of Iran. It contains halite as main dissolved and precipitated mineral and the major mineral mixed with lake bed sediments. Other detrital minerals such as calcite, aragonite, dolomite, quartz, feldspars, augite are forming lake sediments. This study examined the impact of weathering of this sediments collected from 1.5 meters depth and augite placers. The study indicated that weathering of tephritic and adakite rocks of the Islamic Island at the immediate boundary of the lake play a main control of lake bed sediments and has produced a large volume of augite placer along the lake bank. Weathering increases from south to toward north with increasing distance from Islamic Island. Geochemistry of lake sediments demonstrated the enrichment of MgO, CaO, Sr with an elevated anomaly of Eu, possibly due to surface absorbance of Mn and Fe associated Sr elevation originating from adakite volcanic rocks in the vicinity of the lake basin. The study shows the local geology is the major factor in origin of lake sediments than chemical and biochemical produced mineral during diagenetic processes.
Safety Culture Implementation Based on Occupational Health and Safety Assessment
Safety or the state of being safe can be described as a condition of being not dangerous or not harmful. It is necessary for an individual to avoid dangerous situations every day. Also, an organization is subject to legal requirements for the health and safety of persons inside and around the immediate workplace, or who are exposed to the workplace activities. Although it might be difficult to keep a situation where complete safety is ensured, efforts must nonetheless be made to consider ways of removing any potential danger within an organization. In order to ensure a safe working environment, the capability of responding (i.e., resilience) to signals (i.e., information concerning events that could pose future problems that must be taken into account) that occur in and around corporations is necessary. The ability to evaluate this essential point is thus one way in which safety and security can be managed. This study focuses on OHSAS18001, an internationally applied standard for the construction and operation of occupational health and safety management systems, by using IDEF0 for Function Modeling (IDEF0) and the Resilience Matrix originally made by Bracco. Further, this study discusses a method for evaluating a manner in which Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) systematically functions within corporations. Based on the findings, this study clarifies the potential structural objection for corporations when implementing and operating the OHSAS standard.
Non-Linear Numerical Modeling of the Interaction of Twin Tunnels-Structure
Structures on the ground surface bear impact from the tunneling-induced settlement, especially when twin tunnels are constructed. The tunneling influence on the structure is considered as a critical issue based on the construction procedure and relative position of tunnels. Lebanon is suffering from a traffic phenomenon caused by the lack of transportation systems. After several traffic counts and geotechnical investigations in Beirut city, efforts aim for the construction of tunneling systems. In this paper, we present a non-linear numerical modeling of the effect of the twin tunnels constructions on the structures located at soil surface for a particular site in Beirut. A parametric study, which concerns the geometric configuration of tunnels, the distance between their centers, the construction order, and the position of the structure, is performed. The tunnel-soil-structure interaction is analyzed by using the non-linear finite element modeling software PLAXIS 2D. The results of the surface settlement and the bending moment of the structure reveal significant influence when the structure is moved away, especially in vertical aligned tunnels.
Effect of Laser Input Energy on the Laser Joining of Polyethylene Terephthalate to Titanium
This paper reports the effects of laser energy on the characteristics of bubbles generated in the weld zone and the formation of new chemical bonds at the Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)/Ti joint interface in laser joining of PET to Ti. The samples were produced by using different laser energies ranging from 1.5 J – 6 J in steps of 1.5 J, while all other joining parameters remained unchanged. The types of chemical bonding at the joint interface were analysed by the x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) depth-profiling method. The results show that the characteristics of the bubbles and the thickness of the chemically bonded interface, which contains the laser generated bonds of Ti–C and Ti–O, increase markedly with increasing laser energy input. The tensile failure load of the joint depends on the combined effect of the amount and distribution of the bubbles formed and the chemical bonding intensity of the joint interface.
Energy Efficient Autonomous Lower Limb Exoskeleton for Human Motion Enhancement
The paper describes conceptual design, control strategies, and partial simulation for a new fully autonomous lower limb wearable exoskeleton system for human motion enhancement that can support its weight and increase strength and endurance. Various problems still remain to be solved where the most important is the creation of a power and cost efficient system that will allow an exoskeleton to operate for extended period without batteries being frequently recharged. The designed exoskeleton is enabling to decouple the weight/mass carrying function of the system from the forward motion function which reduces the power and size of propulsion motors and thus the overall weight, cost of the system. The decoupling takes place by blocking the motion at knee joint by placing passive air cylinder across the joint. The cylinder is actuated when the knee angle has reached the minimum allowed value to bend. The value of the minimum bending angle depends on usual walk style of the subject. The mechanism of the exoskeleton features a seat to rest the subject’s body weight at the moment of blocking the knee joint motion. The mechanical structure of each leg has six degrees of freedom: four at the hip, one at the knee, and one at the ankle. Exoskeleton legs are attached to subject legs by using flexible cuffs. The operation of all actuators depends on the amount of pressure felt by the feet pressure sensors and knee angle sensor. The sensor readings depend on actual posture of the subject and can be classified in three distinct cases: subject stands on one leg, subject stands still on both legs and subject stands on both legs but transit its weight from one leg to other. This exoskeleton is power efficient because electrical motors are smaller in size and did not participate in supporting the weight like in all other existing exoskeleton designs.
Comparing the Willingness to Communicate in a Foreign Language of Bilinguals and Monolinguals
This study explored the relationship between L2 Willingness to Communicate (WTC) of bilinguals and monolinguals in a foreign language using a snowball sampling method to collect questionnaire data from 200 bilinguals and monolinguals studying a foreign language (FL). The results indicated a higher willingness to communicate in a foreign language (WTC-FL) performed by bilinguals compared to that of the monolinguals with a weak significance. Yet a stronger significance was found in the relationship between the age of onset of bilingualism and WTC-FL. The researcher proposed that L2 WTC is indirectly influenced by knowledge of other languages, which can boost L2 confidence and reduce L2 anxiety and consequently lead to higher L2 WTC when learning a different L2. The study also found the age of onset of bilingualism to be a predictor of L2 WTC when learning a FL. The results emphasize the importance of bilingualism and early bilingualism in particular.
Mining User-Generated Contents to Detect Service Failures with Topic Model
Online user-generated contents (UGC) significantly change the way customers behave (e.g., shop, travel), and a pressing need to handle the overwhelmingly plethora amount of various UGC is one of the paramount issues for management. However, a current approach (e.g., sentiment analysis) is often ineffective for leveraging textual information to detect the problems or issues that a certain management suffers from. In this paper, we employ text mining of Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) on a popular online review site dedicated to complaint from users. We find that the employed LDA efficiently detects customer complaints, and a further inspection with the visualization technique is effective to categorize the problems or issues. As such, management can identify the issues at stake and prioritize them accordingly in a timely manner given the limited amount of resources. The findings provide managerial insights into how analytics on social media can help maintain and improve their reputation management. Our interdisciplinary approach also highlights several insights by applying machine learning techniques in marketing research domain. On a broader technical note, this paper illustrates the details of how to implement LDA in R program from a beginning (data collection in R) to an end (LDA analysis in R) since the instruction is still largely undocumented. In this regard, it will help lower the boundary for interdisciplinary researcher to conduct related research.
Ideal School of the Future from the Parents´ View: Quantitative Research of Faculty of Education of the University of Hradec Králové
The topic of possible forms of future schools according to rapid changes of life in the 21st century has become to reach several economic and social prognoses. In our research, we have tried to find out what the future school form is according to pupils’ parent’s view. School is a part of life of each person and based on own experience there is a certain individual picture created about a possible look of future education. The aim of our quantitative research was to find out how parents of first grade primary school pupils see the ideal school of the future. The quantitative research realized at the Faculty of Education of the University of Hradec Králové (Czech Republic). By statistical analysis of gained data from 120 respondents, there have been several views of schools of future identified in terms of mission and also the way of education. But a common indicator according to addressed parents would be more focused on the overall personality development rather than the field practice which is related to a realistic idea that school of the future is not and will not be the only source of education.
Identification of Common Indicators of Family Environment of Pupils of Alternative Schools
The paper presents the results of research in which we were looking for common characteristics of the family environment of students alternative and innovative education systems. Topicality comes from the fact that nowadays in the Czech Republic there are several civic and parental initiatives held with the aim to establish schools for their children. The goal of our research was to reveal key aspects of these families and to identify their common indicators. Among other things, we were interested what reasons lead parents to decide to enroll their child into different education than standard (common). The survey was qualitative and there were eighteen respondents of parents of alternative schools´ pupils. The reason to implement qualitative design was the opportunity to gain deeper insight into the essence of phenomena and to obtain detailed information, which would become the basis for subsequent quantitative research. There have been semi structured interviews done with the respondents which had been recorded and transcribed. By an analysis of gained data (categorization and by coding), we found out that common indicator of our respondents is higher education and higher economic level. This issue should be at the forefront of the researches because there is lack of analysis which would provide a comparison of common and alternative schools in the Czech Republic especially with regard to quality of education. Based on results, we consider questions whether approaches of these parents towards standard education come from their own experience or from the lack of knowledge of current goals and objectives of education policy of the Czech Republic.
Application of Post-Stack and Pre-Stack Seismic Inversion for Prediction of Hydrocarbon Reservoirs in a Persian Gulf Gas Field
Seismic inversion is a technique which has been in use for years and its main goal is to estimate and to model physical characteristics of rocks and fluids. Generally, it is a combination of seismic and well-log data. Seismic inversion can be carried out through different methods; we have conducted and compared post-stack and pre- stack seismic inversion methods on real data in one of the fields in the Persian Gulf. Pre-stack seismic inversion can transform seismic data to rock physics such as P-impedance, S-impedance and density. While post- stack seismic inversion can just estimate P-impedance. Then these parameters can be used in reservoir identification. Based on the results of inverting seismic data, a gas reservoir was detected in one of Hydrocarbon oil fields in south of Iran (Persian Gulf). By comparing post stack and pre-stack seismic inversion it can be concluded that the pre-stack seismic inversion provides a more reliable and detailed information for identification and prediction of hydrocarbon reservoirs.
Tuned Mass Damper Effects of Stationary People on Structural Damping of Footbridge Due to Dynamic Interaction in Vertical Motion
It is known that stationary human occupants act as dynamic mass-spring-damper systems and can change the modal properties of civil engineering structures. This paper describes the full scale measurement to explain the tuned mass damper effects of stationary people on structural damping of footbridge with center span length of 33 m. A human body can be represented by a lumped system consisting of masses, springs, and dashpots. Complex eigenvalue calculation is also conducted by using ISO5982:1981 human model (two degree of freedom system). Based on experimental and analytical results for the footbridge with the stationary people in the standing position, it is demonstrated that stationary people behave as a tuned mass damper and that ISO5982:1981 human model can explain the structural damping characteristics measured in the field.
An Evaluation of Barriers to Implement Reverse Logistics: A Case Study of Indian Fastener Industry
Reverse logistics (RL) is supposed to be a systematic procedure that helps in improving the environmental hazards and maintain business sustainability for industries. Industries in Indian are now opting for adoption of RL techniques in business. But, RL practices are not popular in Indian industries because of many barriers for its successful implementation. Therefore, need arises to identify and evaluate the barriers to implement RL practices by taking an Indian industries perspective. Literature review approach and case study approach have been adapted to identify relevant barriers to implement RL practices. Further, Fuzzy Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory methodology has been brought into use for evaluating causal relationships among the barriers to implement RL practices. Seven barriers out of ten barriers have been categorized into the cause group and remaining into effect group. This research will help Indian industries to manage these barriers towards effective implementing RL practices.
Development of Bicomponent Fibre to Combat Insects
Crop yields have not increased as dramatically as the demand for food. One method to counteract this is to use pesticides to keep away predators, e.g. several forms of insecticide are available to fight insects. These insecticides and pesticides are both controversial as their application and their residue in the food product can also harm humans. In this study an alternative method to combat insects is studied. A physical insect-killing effect of SiO2 particles is used. The particles are applied on fibres to avoid erosion in the fields, which would occur when applied separately. The development of such SiO2 functionalized PP fibres is shown.
A Practical Model for Managing Beach Safety Focusing on Tourist Drownings in Koh Samui, Thailand
This paper aims to investigate management of beach safety with a focus on tourist drownings in Samui. The data collected in this investigation will then lead to the proposal of a practical management model suitable for use in Samui. Qualitative research was conducted in the following manner: nine stakeholders from local government organizations and tourism businesses were interviewed in-depth. Additionally, a best practice case study from Phuket was applied to analyze beach safety. Twelve foreign tourists were also interviewed. Then, a focus group comprised of 32 people was used to determine practical solutions for enhancing tourists’ safety on the beach in Samui. A steering committee to coordinate between public and private organizations was proposed to manage and enhance tourists’ safety. A practical model is proposed to increase the safety level of tourists in Samui
The Effects of Transformational Leadership on Process Innovation through Knowledge Sharing
Transformational leadership has been identified as the most important factor affecting innovation and knowledge sharing; it leads to increased goal-directed behavior exhibited by followers and thus to enhanced performance and innovation for the organization. However, there is a lack of models linking transformational leadership, knowledge sharing, and process innovation within higher education (HE) institutions in general within developing countries, particularly in Iraq. This research aims to examine the mediating role of knowledge sharing in the transformational leadership and process innovation relationship. A quantitative approach was taken and 254 usable questionnaires were collected from public HE institutions in Iraq. Structural equation modelling with AMOS 22 was used to analyze the causal relationships among factors. The research found that knowledge sharing plays a pivotal role in the relationship between transformational leadership and process innovation, and that transformational leadership would be ideal in an educational context, promoting knowledge sharing activities and influencing process innovation in the public HE in Iraq. The research has developed some guidelines for researchers as well as leaders and provided evidence to support the use of TL to increase process innovation within HE environment in developing countries, particularly in Iraq.
An Optimization Algorithm Based on Dynamic Schema with Dissimilarities and Similarities of Chromosomes
Optimization is necessary for finding appropriate solutions to a range of real-life problems. In particular, genetic (or more generally, evolutionary) algorithms have proved very useful in solving many problems for which analytical solutions are not available. In this paper, we present an optimization algorithm called Dynamic Schema with Dissimilarity and Similarity of Chromosomes (DSDSC) which is a variant of the classical genetic algorithm. This approach constructs new chromosomes from a schema and pairs of existing ones by exploring their dissimilarities and similarities. To show the effectiveness of the algorithm, it is tested and compared with the classical GA, on 15 two-dimensional optimization problems taken from literature. We have found that, in most cases, our method is better than the classical genetic algorithm.
Optimization of Quercus cerris Bark Liquefaction
The liquefaction process of cork based tree barks has led to an increase of interest due to its potential innovation in the lumber and wood industries. In this particular study the bark of Quercus cerris (Turkish oak) is used due to its appreciable amount of cork tissue, although of inferior quality when compared to the cork provided by other Quercus trees. This study aims to optimize alkaline catalysis liquefaction conditions, regarding several parameters. To better comprehend the possible chemical characteristics of the bark of Quercus cerris, a complete chemical analysis was performed. The liquefaction process was performed in a double-jacket reactor heated with oil, using glycerol and a mixture of glycerol/ethylene glycol as solvents, potassium hydroxide as a catalyst, and varying the temperature, liquefaction time and granulometry. Due to low liquefaction efficiency resulting from the first experimental procedures a study was made regarding different washing techniques after the filtration process using methanol and methanol/water. The chemical analysis stated that the bark of Quercus cerris is mostly composed by suberin (ca. 30%) and lignin (ca. 24%) as well as insolvent hemicelluloses in hot water (ca. 23%). On the liquefaction stage, the results that led to higher yields were: using a mixture of methanol/ethylene glycol as reagents and a time and temperature of 120 minutes and 200 ºC, respectively. It is concluded that using a granulometry of <80 mesh leads to better results, even if this parameter barely influences the liquefaction efficiency. Regarding the filtration stage, washing the residue with methanol and then distilled water leads to a considerable increase on final liquefaction percentages, which proves that this procedure is effective at liquefying suberin content and lignocellulose fraction.
Production of Polyurethane Foams from Bark Wastes
Currently, the polyurethanes industry is dependent on fossil resources to obtain their basic raw materials (polyols and isocyanate), as these are obtained from petroleum products. The aim of this work was to use biopolyols from liquefied Pseudotsuga (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) barks for the production of polyurethane foams and optimize the process. Liquefaction was done with glycerol catalyzed by KOH. Foams were produced following different formulations and using biopolyols from both barks. Subsequently, the foams were characterized according to their mechanical properties and the reaction of the foam formation was monitored by FTIR-ATR. The results show that it is possible to produce polyurethane foams using bio-based polyols and the liquefaction conditions are very important because they influence the characteristics of biopolyols and, consequently the characteristics of the foams. However, the process has to be further optimized so that it can obtain better quality foams.
Reducing Uncertainty of Monte Carlo Estimated Fatigue Damage in Offshore Wind Turbines Using FORM
Uncertainties related to fatigue damage estimation of
non-linear systems are highly dependent on the tail behaviour
and extreme values of the stress range distribution. By using
a combination of the First Order Reliability Method (FORM)
and Monte Carlo simulations (MCS), the accuracy of the fatigue
estimations may be improved for the same computational efforts.
The method is applied to a bottom-fixed, monopile-supported large
offshore wind turbine, which is a non-linear and dynamically sensitive
system. Different curve fitting techniques to the fatigue damage
distribution have been used depending on the sea-state dependent
response characteristics, and the effect of a bi-linear S-N curve is
discussed. Finally, analyses are performed on several environmental
conditions to investigate the long-term applicability of this multistep
method. Wave loads are calculated using state-of-the-art theory, while
wind loads are applied with a simplified model based on rotor thrust
A Knee Modular Orthosis Design Based on Kinematic Considerations
This paper addresses attention to a research regarding the design of a knee orthosis in a modular form used on children walking rehabilitation. This research is focused on the human lower limb kinematic analysis which will be used as input data on virtual simulations and prototype validation. From this analysis, important data will be obtained and used as input for virtual simulations of the knee modular orthosis. Thus, a knee orthosis concept was obtained and validated through virtual simulations by using MSC Adams software. Based on the obtained results, the modular orthosis prototype will be manufactured and presented in this article.
Numerical Modelling of Dry Stone Masonry Structures Based on Finite-Discrete Element Method
This paper presents numerical model based on finite-discrete element method for analysis of the structural response of dry stone masonry structures under static and dynamic loads. More precisely, each discrete stone block is discretized by finite elements. Material non-linearity including fracture and fragmentation of discrete elements as well as cyclic behavior during dynamic load are considered through contact elements which are implemented within a finite element mesh. The application of the model was conducted on several examples of these structures. The performed analysis shows high accuracy of the numerical results in comparison with the experimental ones and demonstrates the potential of the finite-discrete element method for modelling of the response of dry stone masonry structures.
Sparse Coding Based Classification of Electrocardiography Signals Using Data-Driven Complete Dictionary Learning
In this paper, a data-driven dictionary approach is proposed for the automatic detection and classification of cardiovascular abnormalities. Electrocardiography (ECG) signal is represented by the trained complete dictionaries that contain prototypes or atoms to avoid the limitations of pre-defined dictionaries. The data-driven trained dictionaries simply take the ECG signal as input rather than extracting features to study the set of parameters that yield the most descriptive dictionary. The approach inherently learns the complicated morphological changes in ECG waveform, which is then used to improve the classification. The classification performance was evaluated with ECG data under two different preprocessing environments. In the first category, QT-database is baseline drift corrected with notch filter and it filters the 60 Hz power line noise. In the second category, the data are further filtered using fast moving average smoother. The experimental results on QT database confirm that our proposed algorithm shows a classification accuracy of 92%.
Co-Composting of Poultry Manure with Different Organic Amendments
To study the influence of different organic amendments on the quality of poultry manure compost, three pilot composting trials were carried out with different mixes: poultry manure/carcasse meal/ashes/grape pomace (Pile 1), poultry manure/ cellulosic sludge (Pile 2) and poultry manure (Pile 3). For all piles, wood chips were applied as bulking agent. The process was monitored, over time, by evaluating standard physical and chemical parameters, such as, pH, electric conductivity, moisture, organic matter and ash content, total carbon and total nitrogen content, carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N) and content in mineral elements. Piles 1 and 2 reached a thermophilic phase, however having different trends. Pile 1 reached this phase earlier than Pile 2. For both, the pH showed a slight alkaline character and the electric conductivity was lower than 2 mS/cm. Also, the initial C/N value was 22 and reached values lower than 15 at the end of composting process. The total N content of the Pile 1 increased slightly during composting, in contrast with the others piles. At the end of composting process, the phosphorus content ranged between 54 and 236 mg/kg dry matter, for Pile 2 and 3, respectively. Generally, the Piles 1 and 3 exhibited similar heavy metals content. This study showed that organic amendments can be used as carbon source, given that the final composts presented parameters within the range of those recommended in the 2nd Draft of EU regulation proposal (DG Env.A.2 2001) for compost quality.
Characteristics of Football Spectators Using Second Screen
The parallel usage of different media channels has increased recently owing to technological advances. Second Screen describes the use of a second device by television viewers to consume further content which is related to the program they are watching. This study analysed the characteristics of football spectators regarding their media consumption in relation to Second Screen usage while watching a football match on TV. The existing literature on Second Screen usage is still very limited, especially in the context of particular broadcasting settings such as sport or even more specific such as football matches. Therefore, the primary research objective was to reveal first insights into the user behaviour of football spectators regarding Second Screen services. The survey, which was conducted among German football supporters in 2015, revealed some characteristics such as the identification and involvement into the sports which are related to an increased use of Second Screen services. One important finding for football supporters was that at the time of a match they have a lower parallel media usage compared to other TV broadcastings. Nevertheless, if supporters used a second device while watching a match on TV, then they were using specific Second Screen services. This means they searched for more content related information. The findings on the habits and characteristics of people who are using Second Screen services are relevant for future developments in that area as well as for marketing decisions.
Exploring the Nature and Meaning of Theory in the Field of Neuroeducation Studies
Neuroeducation is one of the most exciting research fields which is continually evolving. However, there is a need to develop its theoretical bases in connection to practice. The present paper is a starting attempt in this regard to provide a space from which to think about neuroeducational theory and invoke more investigation in this area. Accordingly, a comprehensive theory of neuroeducation could be defined as grouping or clustering of concepts and propositions that describe and explain the nature of human learning to provide valid interpretations and implications useful for educational practice in relation to philosophical aspects or values. Whereas it should be originated from the philosophical foundations of the field and explain its normative significance, it needs to be testable in terms of rigorous evidence to fundamentally advance contemporary educational policy and practice. There is thus pragmatically a need to include a course on neuroeducational theory into the curriculum of the field. In addition, there is a need to articulate and disseminate considerable discussion over the subject within professional journals and academic societies.
Performance Assessment of Carbon Nano Tube Based Cutting Fluid in Machining Process
In machining, there is always a problem with heat generation and friction produced during the process as they consequently affect tool wear and surface finish. An instant heat transfer mechanism could protect the cutting tool edge and enhance the tool life by cooling the cutting edge of the tool. In the present work, carbon nanotube (CNT) based nano-cutting fluid is proposed for machining a hard-to-cut material. Tool wear and surface roughness are considered for the evaluation of the nano-cutting fluid in turning process. The performance of nanocoolant is assessed against the conventional coolant and dry machining conditions and it is observed that the proposed nanocoolant has produced better performance than the conventional coolant.
Material Concepts and Processing Methods for Electrical Insulation
Epoxy composites are broadly used as an electrical insulation for the high voltage applications since only such materials can fulfill particular mechanical, thermal, and dielectric requirements. However, properties of the final product are strongly dependent on proper manufacturing process with minimized material failures, as too large shrinkage, voids and cracks. Therefore, application of proper materials (epoxy, hardener, and filler) and process parameters (mold temperature, filling time, filling velocity, initial temperature of internal parts, gelation time), as well as design and geometric parameters are essential features for final quality of the produced components. In this paper, an approach for three-dimensional modeling of all molding stages, namely filling, curing and post-curing is presented. The reactive molding simulation tool is based on a commercial CFD package, and include dedicated models describing viscosity and reaction kinetics that have been successfully implemented to simulate the reactive nature of the system with exothermic effect. Also a dedicated simulation procedure for stress and shrinkage calculations, as well as simulation results are presented in the paper. Second part of the paper is dedicated to recent developments on formulations of functional composites for electrical insulation applications, focusing on thermally conductive materials. Concepts based on filler modifications for epoxy electrical composites have been presented, including the results of the obtained properties. Finally, having in mind tough environmental regulations, in addition to current process and design aspects, an approach for product re-design has been presented focusing on replacement of epoxy material with the thermoplastic one. Such “design-for-recycling” method is one of new directions associated with development of new material and processing concepts of electrical products and brings a lot of additional research challenges. For that, one of the successful products has been presented to illustrate the presented methodology.
Relocation of the Air Quality Monitoring Stations Network for Aburrá Valley Based on Local Climatic Zones
The majority of the urban areas in Latin America face the challenges associated with city planning and development problems, attributed to human, technical, and economical factors; therefore, we cannot ignore the issues related to climate change because the city modifies the natural landscape in a significant way transforming the radiation balance and heat content in the urbanized areas. These modifications provoke changes in the temperature distribution known as “the heat island effect”. According to this phenomenon, we have the need to conceive the urban planning based on climatological patterns that will assure its sustainable functioning, including the particularities of the climate variability. In the present study, it is identified the Local Climate Zones (LCZ) in the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley (Colombia) with the objective of relocate the air quality monitoring stations as a partial solution to the problem of how to measure representative air quality levels in a city for a local scale, but with instruments that measure in the microscale.
Production of Pig Iron by Smelting of Blended Pre-Reduced Titaniferous Magnetite Ore and Hematite Ore Using Lean Grade Coal
The rapid depletion of high-grade iron ore (Fe2O3) has gained attention on the use of other sources of iron ore. Titaniferous magnetite ore (TMO) is a special type of magnetite ore having high titania content (23.23% TiO2 present in this case). Due to high TiO2 content and high density, TMO cannot be treated by the conventional smelting reduction. In this present work, the TMO has been collected from high-grade metamorphic terrain of the Precambrian Chotanagpur gneissic complex situated in the eastern part of India (Shaltora area, Bankura district, West Bengal) and the hematite ore has been collected from Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), Visakhapatnam. At VSP, iron ore is received from Bailadila mines, Chattisgarh of M/s. National Mineral Development Corporation. The preliminary characterization of TMO and hematite ore (HMO) has been investigated by WDXRF, XRD and FESEM analyses. Similarly, good quality of coal (mainly coking coal) is also getting depleted fast. The basic purpose of this work is to find how lean grade coal can be utilised along with TMO for smelting to produce pig iron. Lean grade coal has been characterised by using TG/DTA, proximate and ultimate analyses. The boiler grade coal has been found to contain 28.08% of fixed carbon and 28.31% of volatile matter. TMO fines (below 75 μm) and HMO fines (below 75 μm) have been separately agglomerated with lean grade coal fines (below 75 μm) in the form of briquettes using binders like bentonite and molasses. These green briquettes are dried first in oven at 423 K for 30 min and then reduced isothermally in tube furnace over the temperature range of 1323 K, 1373 K and 1423 K for 30 min & 60 min. After reduction, the reduced briquettes are characterized by XRD and FESEM analyses. The best reduced TMO and HMO samples are taken and blended in three different weight percentage ratios of 1:4, 1:8 and 1:12 of TMO:HMO. The chemical analysis of three blended samples is carried out and degree of metallisation of iron is found to contain 89.38%, 92.12% and 93.12%, respectively. These three blended samples are briquetted using binder like bentonite and lime. Thereafter these blended briquettes are separately smelted in raising hearth furnace at 1773 K for 30 min. The pig iron formed is characterized using XRD, microscopic analysis. It can be concluded that 90% yield of pig iron can be achieved when the blend ratio of TMO:HMO is 1:4.5. This means for 90% yield, the maximum TMO that could be used in the blend is about 18%.
Investigating Climate Change Trend Based on Data Simulation and IPCC Scenario during 2010-2030 AD: Case Study of Fars Province
The development of industrial activities, increase in fossil fuel consumption, vehicles, destruction of forests and grasslands, changes in land use, and population growth have caused to increase the amount of greenhouse gases especially CO2 in the atmosphere in recent decades. This has led to global warming and climate change. In the present paper, we have investigated the trend of climate change according to the data simulation during the time interval of 2010-2030 in the Fars province. In this research, the daily climatic parameters such as maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation and number of sunny hours during the 1977-2008 time interval for synoptic stations of Shiraz and Abadeh and during 1995-2008 for Lar stations and also the output of HADCM3 model in 2010-2030 time interval have been used based on the A2 propagation scenario. The results of the model show that the average temperature will increase by about 1 degree centigrade and the amount of precipitation will increase by 23.9% compared to the observational data. In conclusion, according to the temperature increase in this province, the amount of precipitation in the form of snow will be reduced and precipitations often will occur in the form of rain. This 1-degree centigrade increase during the season will reduce production by 6 to 10% because of shortening the growing period of wheat.
A Feasibility and Implementation Model of Small-Scale Hydropower Development for Rural Electrification in South Africa: Design Chart Development
Small scale hydropower used to play a very important role in the provision of energy to urban and rural areas of South Africa. The national electricity grid, however, expanded and offered cheap, coal generated electricity and a large number of hydropower systems were decommissioned. Unfortunately, large numbers of households and communities will not be connected to the national electricity grid for the foreseeable future due to high cost of transmission and distribution systems to remote communities due to the relatively low electricity demand within rural communities and the allocation of current expenditure on upgrading and constructing of new coal fired power stations. This necessitates the development of feasible alternative power generation technologies. A feasibility and implementation model was developed to assist in designing and financially evaluating small-scale hydropower (SSHP) plants. Several sites were identified using the model. The SSHP plants were designed for the selected sites and the designs for the different selected sites were priced using pricing models (civil, mechanical and electrical aspects). Following feasibility studies done on the designed and priced SSHP plants, a feasibility analysis was done and a design chart developed for future similar potential SSHP plant projects. The methodology followed in conducting the feasibility analysis for other potential sites consisted of developing cost and income/saving formulae, developing net present value (NPV) formulae, Capital Cost Comparison Ratio (CCCR) and levelised cost formulae for SSHP projects for the different types of plant installations. It included setting up a model for the development of a design chart for a SSHP, calculating the NPV, CCCR and levelised cost for the different scenarios within the model by varying different parameters within the developed formulae, setting up the design chart for the different scenarios within the model and analyzing and interpreting results. From the interpretation of the develop design charts for feasible SSHP in can be seen that turbine and distribution line cost are the major influences on the cost and feasibility of SSHP. High head, short transmission line and islanded mini-grid SSHP installations are the most feasible and that the levelised cost of SSHP is high for low power generation sites. The main conclusion from the study is that the levelised cost of SSHP projects indicate that the cost of SSHP for low energy generation is high compared to the levelised cost of grid connected electricity supply; however, the remoteness of SSHP for rural electrification and the cost of infrastructure to connect remote rural communities to the local or national electricity grid provides a low CCCR and renders SSHP for rural electrification feasible on this basis.
Innovation and Analysis of Vibrating Fork Level Switch
A vibrating-fork sensor can measure the level height of solids and liquids and operates according to the principle that vibrations created by piezoelectric ceramics are transmitted to the vibrating fork, which produces resonance. When the vibrating fork touches an object, its resonance frequency changes and produces a signal that returns to a controller for immediate adjustment, so as to effectively monitor raw material loading. The design of the vibrating fork in a vibrating-fork material sensor is crucial. In this paper, ANSYS finite element analysis software is used to perform modal analysis on the vibrations of the vibrating fork. In addition, to design and produce a superior vibrating fork, the dimensions and welding shape of the vibrating fork are compared in a simulation performed using the Taguchi method.
A Detection Method of Faults in Railway Pantographs Based on Dynamic Phase Plots
Systems for detection of damages in railway pantographs effectively reduce the cost of maintenance and improve time scheduling. In this paper, we present an approach to design a monitoring tool fitting strong customer requirements such as portability and ease of use. Pantograph has been modeled to estimate its dynamical properties, since no data are available. With the aim to focus on suspensions health, a two Degrees of Freedom (DOF) scheme has been adopted. Parameters have been calculated by means of analytical dynamics. A Finite Element Method (FEM) modal analysis verified the former model with an acceptable error. The detection strategy seeks phase-plots topology alteration, induced by defects. In order to test the suitability of the method, leakage in the dashpot was simulated on the lumped model. Results are interesting because changes in phase plots are more appreciable than frequency-shift. Further calculations as well as experimental tests will support future developments of this smart strategy.
Energy Deposited by Secondary Electrons Generated by Swift Proton Beams through Polymethylmethacrylate
The ionization yield of ion tracks in polymers and bio-molecular systems reaches a maximum, known as the Bragg peak, close to the end of the ion trajectories. Along the path of the ions through the materials, many electrons are generated, which produce a cascade of further ionizations and, consequently, a shower of secondary electrons. Among these, very low energy secondary electrons can produce damage in the biomolecules by dissociative electron attachment. This work deals with the calculation of the energy distribution of electrons produced by protons in a sample of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), a material that is used as a phantom for living tissues in hadron therapy. PMMA is also of relevance for microelectronics in CMOS technologies and as a photoresist mask in electron beam lithography. We present a Monte Carlo code that, starting from a realistic description of the energy distribution of the electrons ejected by protons moving through PMMA, simulates the entire cascade of generated secondary electrons. By following in detail the motion of all these electrons, we find the radial distribution of the energy that they deposit in PMMA for several initial proton energies characteristic of the Bragg peak.
Investigation on Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis over Cobalt-Gadolinium Catalyst
Cobalt-gadolinium catalyst for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis was prepared by impregnation method with commercial silica gel, and its texture properties were characterized by BET, XRD, and TPR. The catalytic performance of the catalyst was tested in a fixed bed reactor. The results showed that the addition of gadolinium to the cobalt catalyst might decrease the size of cobalt particles, and increased the dispersion of catalytic active cobalt phases. The carbon number distributions for the catalysts was calculated by ASF equation.
A Social Decision Support Mechanism for Group Purchasing
With the advancement of information technology and development of group commerce, people have obviously changed in their lifestyle. However, group commerce faces some challenging problems. The products or services provided by vendors do not satisfactorily reflect customers’ opinions, so that the sale and revenue of group commerce gradually become lower. On the other hand, the process for a formed customer group to reach group-purchasing consensus is time-consuming and the final decision is not the best choice for each group members. In this paper, we design a social decision support mechanism, by using group discussion message to recommend suitable options for group members and we consider social influence and personal preference to generate option ranking list. The proposed mechanism can enhance the group purchasing decision making efficiently and effectively and venders can provide group products or services according to the group option ranking list.
Combining Mobile Intelligence with Formation Mechanism for Group Commerce
The rise of smartphones brings new concept So-Lo-Mo (social-local-mobile) in mobile commerce area in recent years. However, current So-Lo-Mo services only focus on individual users but not a group of users, and the development of group commerce is not enough to satisfy the demand of real-time group buying and less to think about the social relationship between customers. In this research, we integrate mobile intelligence with group commerce and consider customers' preference, real-time context, and social influence as components in the mechanism. With the support of this mechanism, customers are able to gather near customers with the same potential purchase willingness through mobile devices when he/she wants to purchase products or services to have a real-time group-buying. By matching the demand and supply of mobile group-buying market, this research improves the business value of mobile commerce and group commerce further.
Production and Market of Certified Organic Products in Thailand
The objective of this study was to assess the production and market of certified organic products in Thailand. A purposive sampling technique was used to identify a sample group of 154 organic entrepreneurs for the study. A survey and in-depth interview were employed for data collection. Also, secondary data from organic agriculture certification body and publications was collected. Then descriptive statistics and content analysis technique were used to describe about production and market of certified organic products in Thailand. Results showed that there were 9,218 farmers on 213,183.68 Rai (83,309.2 acre) of certified organic agriculture land (0.29% of national agriculture land). A total of 57.8% of certified organic agricultural lands were certified by the international certification body. Organic farmers produced around 71,847 tons/year and worth around THB 1,914 million (Euro 47.92 million). Excluding primary producers, 471 operators involved in the Thai organic supply chains, including processors, exporters, distributors, green shops, modern trade shops (supermarket shop), farmer’s markets and food establishments were included. Export market was the major market channel and most of organic products were exported to Europe and North America. The total Thai organic market in 2014 was estimated to be worth around THB 2,331.55 million (Euro 58.22 million), of which, 77.9% was for export and 22.06% was for the domestic market. The largest exports of certified organic products were processed foods (66.1% of total export value), followed by organic rice (30.4%). In the domestic market, modern trade was the largest sale channel, accounting for 59.48% of total domestic sales, followed by green shop (29.47%) and food establishment (5.85%). To become a center of organic farming and trading within ASEAN, the Thai organic sector needs to have more policy support in regard to agricultural chemicals, GMO, and community land title. In addition, appropriate strategies need to be developed.
Students as Global Citizens: Lessons from the International Study Tour
Study and work operations are being transformed with the uses of technologies and are consequently becoming global. This paper outlines lessons learned based on the international study tour that Australian Bachelor of Information Systems students undertook. This research identifies that for the study tour to be successful, students need to gain skills that global citizens require. For example, students will need to gain an understanding of local cultures, local customs and habits. Furthermore, students would also need to gain an understanding of how a field of their future career expertise operates in the host country, how study and business are conducted internationally, which tools and technologies are currently being utilized on a global scale, what trends drive future developments world-wide and how business negotiations and collaborations are being undertaken across borders. Furthermore, this research provides a guide to educators who are planning, guiding and running study tours as it outlines the requirements of having a pre-tour preparatory session, carefully planned and executed tour itineraries and post-tour sessions during which students can reflect on their experiences and lessons learned so that they can apply them to future international business visits and ventures.
Identity Management in Virtual Worlds Based on Biometrics Watermarking
With the technological development and rise of virtual worlds, these spaces are becoming more and more attractive for cybercriminals, hidden behind avatars and fictitious identities. Since access to these spaces is not restricted or controlled, some impostors take advantage of gaining unauthorized access and practicing cyber criminality. This paper proposes an identity management approach for securing access to virtual worlds. The major purpose of the suggested solution is to install a strong security mechanism to protect virtual identities represented by avatars. Thus, only legitimate users, through their corresponding avatars, are allowed to access the platform resources. Access is controlled by integrating an authentication process based on biometrics. In the request process for registration, a user fingerprint is enrolled and then encrypted into a watermark utilizing a cancelable and non-invertible algorithm for its protection. After a user personalizes their representative character, the biometric mark is embedded into the avatar through a watermarking procedure. The authenticity of the avatar identity is verified when it requests authorization for access. We have evaluated the proposed approach on a dataset of avatars from various virtual worlds, and we have registered promising performance results in terms of authentication accuracy, acceptation and rejection rates.
Dynamic Programming Based Algorithm for the Unit Commitment of the Transmission-Constrained Multi-Site Combined Heat and Power System
High penetration of intermittent renewable energy sources (RES) such as solar power and wind power into the energy system has caused temporal and spatial imbalance between electric power supply and demand for some countries and regions. This brings about the critical need for coordinating power production and power exchange for different regions. As compared with the power-only systems, the combined heat and power (CHP) systems can provide additional flexibility of utilizing RES by exploiting the interdependence of power and heat production in the CHP plant. In the CHP system, power production can be influenced by adjusting heat production level and electric power can be used to satisfy heat demand by electric boiler or heat pump in conjunction with heat storage, which is much cheaper than electric storage. This paper addresses multi-site CHP systems without considering RES, which lay foundation for handling penetration of RES. The problem under study is the unit commitment (UC) of the transmission-constrained multi-site CHP systems. We solve the problem by combining linear relaxation of ON/OFF states and sequential dynamic programming (DP) techniques, where relaxed states are used to reduce the dimension of the UC problem and DP for improving the solution quality. Numerical results for daily scheduling with realistic models and data show that DP-based algorithm is from a few to a few hundred times faster than CPLEX (standard commercial optimization software) with good solution accuracy (less than 1% relative gap from the optimal solution on the average).
Enhanced Magnetoelastic Response near Morphotropic Phase Boundary in Ferromagnetic Materials: Experimental and Theoretical Analysis
The morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) recently has attracted constant interest in ferromagnetic systems for obtaining enhanced large magnetoelastic response. In the present study, structural and magnetoelastic properties of MPB involved ferromagnetic Tb1-xGdxFe2 (0≤x≤1) system has been investigated. The change of easy magnetic direction from <111> to <100> with increasing x up MPB composition of x=0.9 is detected by step-scanned  synchrotron X-ray diffraction reflections. The Gd substitution for Tb changes the composition for the anisotropy compensation near MPB composition of x=0.9, which was confirmed by the analysis of detailed scanned XRD, magnetization curves and the calculation of the first anisotropy constant K1. The spin configuration diagram accompanied with different crystal structures for Tb1-xGdxFe2 was designed. The calculated first anisotropy constant K1 shows a minimum value at MPB composition of x=0.9. In addition, the large ratio between magnetostriction, and the absolute values of the first anisotropy constant │λS∕K1│ appears at MPB composition, which makes it a potential material for magnetostrictive application. Based on experimental results, a theoretically approach was also proposed to signify that the facilitated magnetization rotation and enhanced magnetoelastic effect near MPB composition are a consequence of the anisotropic flattening of free energy of ferromagnetic crystal. Our work specifies the universal existence of MPB in ferromagnetic materials which is important for substantial improvement of magnetic and magnetostrictive properties and may provide a new route to develop advanced functional materials.
Mesoporous Material Nanofibers by Electrospinning
In this paper, MCM-41 mesoporous material nanofibers were synthesized by an electrospinning technique. The nanofibers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and nitrogen adsorption–desorption measurement. Tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) were used as a silica source and fiber forming source, respectively. TEM and SEM images showed synthesis of MCM-41 nanofibers with a diameter of 200 nm. The pore diameter and surface area of calcined MCM-41 nanofibers was 2.2 nm and 970 m2/g, respectively. The morphology of the MCM-41 nanofibers depended on spinning voltages.
A Developmental Survey of Local Stereo Matching Algorithms
This paper presents an overview of the history and development of stereo matching algorithms. Details from its inception, up to relatively recent techniques are described, noting challenges that have been surmounted across these past decades. Different components of these are explored, though focus is directed towards the local matching techniques. While global approaches have existed for some time, and demonstrated greater accuracy than their counterparts, they are generally quite slow. Many strides have been made more recently, allowing local methods to catch up in terms of accuracy, without sacrificing the overall performance.
The Use of Nuclear Generation to Provide Power System Stability
The decreasing use of fossil fuel power stations has
a negative effect on the stability of the electricity systems in many
countries. Nuclear power stations have traditionally provided minimal
ancillary services to support the system but this must change in the
future as they replace fossil fuel generators. This paper explains the
development of the four most popular reactor types still in regular
operation across the world which have formed the basis for most
reactor development since their commercialisation in the 1950s. The
use of nuclear power in four countries with varying levels of capacity
provided by nuclear generators is investigated, using the primary
frequency response provided by generators as a measure for the
electricity networks stability, to assess the need for nuclear generators
to provide additional support as their share of the generation capacity
Mediation in Turkish Health Law for Healthcare Disputes
In order to prevent overburdened courts, rising costs of litigation, and lengthy trial resolutions, the Law on Mediation for Civil Disputes was enacted, which was aimed at defining the procedure and guiding principles for dispute resolutions under Civil Law, in 2012. This “Mediation Code” also applies for civil healthcare disputes in Turkey. Aside from mediation, reconciliation, governed by Articles 253-255 of Criminal Procedure Law, has emerged as an alternative way to resolve criminal medical disputes, but the difference between mediation and conciliation is mostly procedural. This article deals with mediation in Turkish health law and aspect of medical malpractice mediation in Turkey. In addition, this study examines the issue of mediation in health law from both a legal and normative point of view, including codes of mediation which regulate both the structural and professional practice of mediation providers. As a result, although there is not official record about success rate of medical malpractice litigations and malpractice mediation in Turkey, it is widely accepted that the success rate for medical malpractice cases is relatively low compared to other personal injury cases even if it is generally considered that medical malpractice case filings have gradually increased recently. According to the Justice Ministry’s Department of Mediation in Turkey, 719 civil disputes have referred to mediators since 2013 (when the first mediation law came into force) with a 98% success rate.
Mechanism of Dual Ferroic Properties Formation in Substituted M-Type Hexaferrites
It has been shown that BaFe12O19 is a perspective room-temperature multiferroic material. A large spontaneous polarization was observed for the BaFe12O19 ceramics revealing a clear ferroelectric hysteresis loop. The maximum polarization was estimated to be approximately 11.8 μC/cm2. The FeO6 octahedron in its perovskite-like hexagonal unit cell and the shift of Fe3+ off the center of octahedron are suggested to be the origin of the polarization in BaFe12O19. The magnetic field induced electric polarization has been also observed in the doped BaFe12-x-δScxMδO19 (δ=0.05) at 10 K and in the BaScxFe12−xO19 and SrScxFe12−xO19 (x = 1.3–1.7) M-type hexaferrites. The investigated BaFe12-xDxO19 (x=0.1, D-Al3+, In3+) samples have been obtained by two-step “topotactic” reactions. The powder neutron investigations of the samples were performed by neutron time of flight method at High Resolution Fourier Diffractometer.
Effect of Loop Diameter, Height and Insulation on a High Temperature CO2 Based Natural Circulation Loop
Natural circulation loops (NCLs) are buoyancy driven flow systems without any moving components. NCLs have vast applications in geothermal, solar and nuclear power industry where reliability and safety are of foremost concern. Due to certain favorable thermophysical properties, especially near supercritical regions, carbon dioxide can be considered as an ideal loop fluid in many applications. In the present work, a high temperature NCL that uses supercritical carbon dioxide as loop fluid is analysed. The effects of relevant design and operating variables on loop performance are studied. The system operating under steady state is modelled taking into account the axial conduction through loop fluid and loop wall, and heat transfer with surroundings. The heat source is considered to be a heater with controlled heat flux and heat sink is modelled as an end heat exchanger with water as the external cold fluid. The governing equations for mass, momentum and energy conservation are normalized and are solved numerically using finite volume method. Results are obtained for a loop pressure of 90 bar with the power input varying from 0.5 kW to 6.0 kW. The numerical results are validated against the experimental results reported in the literature in terms of the modified Grashof number (Grm) and Reynolds number (Re). Based on the results, buoyancy and friction dominated regions are identified for a given loop. Parametric analysis has been done to show the effect of loop diameter, loop height, ambient temperature and insulation. The results show that for the high temperature loop, heat loss to surroundings affects the loop performance significantly. Hence this conjugate heat transfer between the loop and surroundings has to be considered in the analysis of high temperature NCLs.
The Investigation of Precipitation Conditions of Chevreul’s Salt
In this study, the precipitation conditions of Chevreul’s salt were evaluated. The structure of Chevreul’s salt was examined by considering the previous studies. Thermodynamically, the most important precipitation parameters were pH, temperature, and sulphite-copper(II) ratio. The amount of Chevreul’s salt increased with increasing the temperature and sulphite-copper(II) ratio at the certain range, while it increased with decreasing the pH value at the chosen range. The best solution medium for recovery of Chevreul’s salt is sulphur dioxide gas-water system. Moreover, the soluble sulphite salts are used as efficient precipitating reagents. Chevreul’s salt is generally used to produce the highly pure copper powders from synthetic copper sulphate solutions and impure leach solutions. When the pH of the initial ammoniacal solution is greater than 8.5, ammonia in the medium is not free, and Chevreul’s salt from solution does not precipitate. In contrast, copper ammonium sulphide is precipitated. The pH of the initial solution containing ammonia for precipitating of Chevreul’s salt must be less than 8.5.
Effect of the Experimental Conditions on the Adsorption Capacities in the Removal of Pb2+ from Aqueous Solutions by the Hydroxyapatite Nanopowders
In this study, Pb2+ uptake by the hydroxyapatite nanopowders (n-Hap) from aqueous solutions was investigated by using batch adsorption techniques. The adsorption equilibrium studies were carried out as a function of contact time, adsorbent dosage, pH, temperature, and initial Pb2+ concentration. The results showed that the equilibrium time of adsorption was achieved within 60 min, and the effective pH was selected to be 5 (natural pH). The maximum adsorption capacity of Pb2+ on n-Hap was found as 565 mg.g-1. It is believed that the results obtained for adsorption may provide a background for the detailed mechanism investigations and the pilot and industrial scale applications.
Optimization of Dissolution of Chevreul’s Salt in Ammonium Chloride Solutions
In this study, Chevreul’s salt was dissolved in ammonium chloride solutions. All experiments were performed in a batch reactor. The obtained results were optimized. Parameters used in the experiments were the reaction temperature, the ammonium chloride concentration, the reaction time and the solid-to-liquid ratio. The optimum conditions were determined by 24 factorial experimental design method. The best values of four parameters were determined as based on the experiment results. After the evaluation of experiment results, all parameters were found as effective in experiment conditions selected. The optimum conditions on the maximum Chevreul’s salt dissolution were the ammonium chloride concentration 4.5 M, the reaction time 13.2 min., the reaction temperature 25 oC, and the solid-to-liquid ratio 9/80 g.mL-1. The best dissolution yield in these conditions was 96.20%.
Dissolution Leaching Kinetics of Ulexite in Sodium Dihydrogen Phosphate Solutions
The aim of the present study was to investigate the dissolution kinetics of ulexite in sodium dihydrogen phosphate in a mechanical agitation system and also to declare an alternative reactant to produce the boric acid. Reaction temperature, concentration of sodium dihydrogen phosphate, stirring speed, solid-liquid ratio, and ulexite particle size were selected as parameters. The experimental results were successfully correlated by using linear regression and a statistical program. Dissolution curves were evaluated in order to test the shrinking core models for solid-fluid systems. It was observed that increase in the reaction temperature and decrease in the solid/liquid ratio causes an increase in the dissolution rate of ulexite. The activation energy was found to be 36.4 kJ/mol. The leaching of ulexite was controlled by diffusion through the ash (or product) layer.
Understanding the Influence on Drivers’ Recommendation and Review-Writing Behavior in the P2P Taxi Service
The booming mobile business has been penetrating the taxi industry worldwide with P2P (peer to peer) taxi services, as an emerging business model, transforming the industry. Parallel with other mobile businesses, member recommendations and online reviews are believed to be very effective with regard to acquiring new users for P2P taxi services. Based on an empirical dataset of the taxi industry in China, this study aims to reveal which factors influence users’ recommendations and review-writing behaviors. Differing from the existing literature, this paper takes the taxi driver’s perspective into consideration and hence selects a group of variables related to the drivers. We built two models to reflect the factors that influence the number of recommendations and reviews posted on the platform (i.e., the app). Our models show that all factors, except the driver’s score, significantly influence the recommendation behavior. Likewise, only one factor, passengers’ bad reviews, is insignificant in generating more drivers’ reviews. In the conclusion, we summarize the findings and limitations of the research.
An Analysis of Institutional Environments on Corporate Social Responsibility Practices in Nigerian Renewable Energy Firms
Several studies have proposed a one-size fit all approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices, such that CSR as it applies to developed countries is adapted to developing countries, ignoring the differing institutional environments (such as the regulative, economic, social and political environments), which affects the profitability and practices of businesses operating in them. CSR as it applies to filling institutional gaps in developing countries, was categorized into four themes: environmental protection, product and service innovation, social innovation and local cluster development. Based on the four themes, the study employed a qualitative research approach through the use of interviews and review of available publications to study the influence of institutional environments on CSR practices engaged in by three renewable energy firms operating in Nigeria. Over the course of three 60-minutes sessions with the top management and selected workers of the firms, four propositions were made: regulatory environment influences environmental protection practice of Nigerian renewable firms, economic environment influences product and service innovation practice of Nigerian renewable energy firms, the social environment impacts on social innovation in Nigerian renewable energy firms, and political environment affects local cluster development practice of Nigerian renewable energy firms. It was also observed that beyond institutional environments, the international exposure of an organization’s managers reflected in their approach to CSR. This finding on the influence of international exposure on CSR practices creates an area for further study. Insights from this paper are set to help policy makers in developing countries, CSR managers, and future researchers.
Cardiopulmonary Disease in Bipolar Disorder Patient with History of SJS: Evidence Based Case Report
Patients with bipolar disorder are three times more likely to suffer cardiovascular disorders than the general population, which will influence their level of morbidity and rate of mortality. Bipolar disorder also affects the pulmonary system. The choice of long term-monotherapy and other combinative therapies have clinical impacts on patients. This study investigates the case of a woman who has been suffering from bipolar disorder for 16 years, and who has a history of Steven Johnson Syndrome. At present she is suffering also from cardiovascular and pulmonary disorder. An analysis of the results of this study suggests that there is a relationship between cardiovascular disorder, drug therapies, Steven Johnson Syndrome and mood stabilizer obtained from the PubMed, Cochrane, Medline, and ProQuest (publications between 2005 and 2015). Combination therapy with mood stabilizer is recommended for patients who do not have side effect histories from these drugs. The replacement drugs and combinations may be applied, especially for those with bipolar disorders, and the combination between atypical antipsychotic groups and mood stabilizers is often made. Clinicians, however, should be careful with the patients’ physical and metabolic changes, especially those who have experienced long-term therapy and who showed a history of Steven Johnson Syndrome (for which clinicians probably prescribed one type of medicine).
Stabilization of a Three-Pole Active Magnetic Bearing by Hybrid Control Method in Static Mode
The design and implementation of the hybrid control method for a three-pole active magnetic bearing (AMB) is proposed in this paper. The system is inherently nonlinear and conventional nonlinear controllers are a little complicated, while the proposed hybrid controller has a piecewise linear form, i.e. linear in each sub-region. A state-feedback hybrid controller is designed in this study, and the unmeasurable states are estimated by an observer. The gains of the hybrid controller are obtained by the Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) method in each sub-region. To evaluate the performance, the designed controller is implemented on an experimental setup in static mode. The experimental results show that the proposed method can efficiently stabilize the three-pole AMB system. The simplicity of design, domain of attraction, uncomplicated control law, and computational time are advantages of this method over other nonlinear control strategies in AMB systems.
Sliding Mode Control for Active Suspension System with Actuator Delay
Sliding mode controller for a vehicle active suspension
system is designed in this study. The widely used quarter car model
is preferred and it is aimed to improve the ride comfort of the
passengers. The effect of the actuator time delay, which may arise
due to the information processing, sensors or actuator dynamics, is
also taken into account during the design of the controller. A sliding
mode controller was designed that has taken into account the actuator
time delay by using Smith predictor. The successful performance of
the designed controller is confirmed via numerical results.
Non-Singular Gravitational Collapse of a Homogeneous Scalar Field in Deformed Phase Space
In the present work, we revisit the collapse process of a spherically symmetric homogeneous scalar field (in FRW background) minimally coupled to gravity, when the phase-space deformations are taken into account. Such a deformation is mathematically introduced as a particular type of noncommutativity between the canonical momenta of the scale factor and of the scalar field. In the absence of such deformation, the collapse culminates in a spacetime singularity. However, when the phase-space is deformed, we find that the singularity is removed by a non-singular bounce, beyond which the collapsing cloud re-expands to infinity. More precisely, for negative values of the deformation parameter, we identify the appearance of a negative pressure, which decelerates the collapse to finally avoid the singularity formation. While in the un-deformed case, the horizon curve monotonically decreases to finally cover the singularity, in the deformed case the horizon has a minimum value that this value depends on deformation parameter and initial configuration of the collapse. Such a setting predicts a threshold mass for black hole formation in stellar collapse and manifests the role of non-commutative geometry in physics and especially in stellar collapse and supernova explosion.
Performance of On-site Earthquake Early Warning Systems for Different Sensor Locations
Regional earthquake early warning (EEW) systems are not suitable for Taiwan, as most destructive seismic hazards arise due to in-land earthquakes. These likely cause the lead-time provided by regional EEW systems before a destructive earthquake wave arrives to become null. On the other hand, an on-site EEW system can provide more lead-time at a region closer to an epicenter, since only seismic information of the target site is required. Instead of leveraging the information of several stations, the on-site system extracts some P-wave features from the first few seconds of vertical ground acceleration of a single station and performs a prediction of the oncoming earthquake intensity at the same station according to these features. Since seismometers could be triggered by non-earthquake events such as a passing of a truck or other human activities, to reduce the likelihood of false alarms, a seismometer was installed at three different locations on the same site and the performance of the EEW system for these three sensor locations were discussed. The results show that the location on the ground of the first floor of a school building maybe a good choice, since the false alarms could be reduced and the cost for installation and maintenance is the lowest.
The Effect of Geogrid Reinforcement Pre-Stressing on the Performance of Sand Bed Supporting a Strip Foundation
In this paper, an experimental and numerical study was adopted to investigate the effect geogrid soil reinforcement pre-stressing on the pressure settlement relation of sand bed supporting a strip foundation. The studied parameters include foundation depth and pre-stress ratio for the cases of one and two pre-stressed reinforcement layers. The study reflected that pre-stressing of soil reinforcement resulted in a marked enhancement in reinforced bed soil stiffness compared to the reinforced soil without pre-stress. The best benefit of pre-stressing reinforcement was obtained as the overburden pressure and pre-straining ratio increase. Pre-stressing of double reinforcement topmost layers results in further enhancement of stress strain relation of bed soil.
Axiomatic Systems as an Alternative to Teach Physics
In the last few years, students from higher education have difficulties in grasping mathematical concepts which support physical matters, especially those in the first years of this education. Classical Physics teaching turns to be complex when students are not able to make use of mathematical tools which lead to the conceptual structure of Physics. When derivation and integration rules are not used or developed in parallel with other disciplines, the physical meaning that we attempt to convey turns to be complicated. Due to this fact, it could be of great use to see the Classical Mechanics from an axiomatic approach, where the correspondence rules give physical meaning, if we expect students to understand concepts clearly and accurately. Using the Minkowski point of view adapted to a two-dimensional space and time where vectors, matrices, and straight lines (worked from an affine space) give mathematical and physical rigorosity even when it is more abstract. An interesting option would be to develop the disciplinary contents from an axiomatic version which embraces the Classical Mechanics as a particular case of Relativistic Mechanics. The observation about the increase in the difficulties stated by students in the first years of education allows this idea to grow as a possible option to improve performance and understanding of the concepts of this subject.
Intelligent Irrigation Control System Using Wireless Sensors and Android Application
Agriculture is the major occupation in India and forms the backbone of Indian economy in which irrigation plays a crucial role for increasing the quality and quantity of crop yield. In spite of many revolutionary advancements in agriculture, there has not been a dramatic increase in agricultural performance. Lack of irrigation infrastructure and agricultural knowledge are the critical factors influencing agricultural performance. However, by using advanced agricultural equipment, the effect of these factors can be curtailed. The presented system aims at increasing the yield of crops by using an intelligent irrigation controller that makes use of wireless sensors. Sensors are used to monitor primary parameters such as soil moisture, soil pH, temperature and humidity. Irrigation decisions are taken based on the sensed data and the type of crop being grown. The system provides a mobile application in which farmers can remotely monitor and control the irrigation system. Also, the water pump is protected against damages due to voltage variations and dry running.
Planning a Supply Chain with Risk and Environmental Objectives
The main objective of the current work is to introduce sustainability factors in optimizing the supply chain model for process industries. The supply chain models are normally based on purely economic considerations related to costs and profits. To account for sustainability, two additional factors have been introduced; environment and risk. A supply chain for an entire petroleum organization has been considered for implementing and testing the proposed optimization models. The environmental and risk factors were introduced as indicators reflecting the anticipated impact of the optimal production scenarios on sustainability. The aggregation method used in extending the single objective function to multi-objective function is proven to be quite effective in balancing the contribution of each objective term. The results indicate that introducing sustainability factor would slightly reduce the economic benefit while improving the environmental and risk reduction performances of the process industries.
Lyapunov-Based Tracking Control for Nonholonomic Wheeled Mobile Robot
This paper presents a tracking control strategy based on Lyapunov approach for nonholonomic wheeled mobile robot. This control strategy consists of two levels. First, a kinematic controller is developed to adjust the right and left wheel velocities. Using this velocity control law, the stability of the tracking error is guaranteed using Lyapunov approach. This kinematic controller cannot be generated directly by the motors. To overcome this problem, the second level of the controllers, dynamic control, is designed. This dynamic control law is developed based on Lyapunov theory in order to track the desired trajectories of the mobile robot. The stability of the tracking error is proved using Lupunov and Barbalat approaches. Simulation results on a nonholonomic wheeled mobile robot are given to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the presented approach.
Analysis of Possibilities for Using Recycled Concrete Aggregate in Concrete Pavement
The present article describes the limits of using recycled concrete aggregate (denoted as RCA) in the top layer of concrete roads. The main aim of this work is to investigate the possibility of reuse of recycled aggregates obtained by crushing the old concrete roads as a building material in the new top layers of concrete pavements. The paper is based on gathering the current knowledge about how to use recycled concrete aggregate, suitability, and modification of the properties and its standards. Regulations are detailed and described especially for European Union and for Czech Republic.
Design and Fabrication of a Programmable Stiffness-Sensitive Gripper for Object Handling
Stiffness sensing is an important issue in medical diagnostic, robotics surgery, safe handling, and safe grasping of objects in production lines. Detecting and obtaining the characteristics in dwelling lumps embedded in a soft tissue and safe removing and handling of detected lumps is needed in surgery. Also in industry, grasping and handling an object without damaging in a place where it is not possible to access a human operator is very important. In this paper, a method for object handling is presented. It is based on the use of an intelligent gripper to detect the object stiffness and then setting a programmable force for grasping the object to move it. The main components of this system includes sensors (sensors for measuring force and displacement), electrical (electrical and electronic circuits, tactile data processing and force control system), mechanical (gripper mechanism and driving system for the gripper) and the display unit. The system uses a rotary potentiometer for measuring gripper displacement. A microcontroller using the feedback received by the load cell, mounted on the finger of the gripper, calculates the amount of stiffness, and then commands the gripper motor to apply a certain force on the object. Results of Experiments on some samples with different stiffness show that the gripper works successfully. The gripper can be used in haptic interfaces or robotic systems used for object handling.
Creating Shared Value: A Paradigm Shift from Corporate Social Responsibility to Creating Shared Value
Businesses operating in the modern business world are faced with varying challenges; amongst which is the need to ensure that they are performing their societal function of being responsible in the society in which they operate. This responsibility to society is generally termed as corporate social responsibility. For many years, the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) was solely philanthropic, where organizations gave ‘charity’ or ‘alms’ to society, without any link to the organization’s mission and objectives. However, there has arisen a shift in the application of CSR from an act of philanthropy to a strategy with a business model engaged in by organizations to create a win-win situation of performing their societal obligation, whilst simultaneously performing their economic obligation. In more recent times, the term has moved from CSR to creating shared value, which is simply corporate policies and practices that enhance the competitiveness of a business organization while simultaneously advancing social and economic conditions in the communities in which the company operates. Creating shared value has in more recent light found more meaning in underdeveloped countries, faced with deep societal challenges that businesses can solve whilst creating economic value. This study thus reviews literature on CSR, conceptualizing the shift to creating shared value and finally viewing its potential significance in Africa’s development.
Misleading Node Detection and Response Mechanism in Mobile Ad-Hoc Network
Mobile Ad-hoc Network (MANET) is an infrastructure-less network of mobile devices, also known as nodes. These nodes heavily rely on each other’s resources such as memory, computing power, and energy. Thus, some nodes may become selective in forwarding packets so as to conserve their resources. These nodes are called misleading nodes. Several reputation-based techniques (e.g. CORE, CONFIDANT, LARS, SORI, OCEAN) and acknowledgment-based techniques (e.g. TWOACK, S-TWOACK, EAACK) have been proposed to detect such nodes. These techniques do not appropriately punish misleading nodes. Hence, this paper addresses the limitations of these techniques using a system called MINDRA.
Balancing and Synchronization Control of a Two Wheel Inverted Pendulum Vehicle
A two wheel inverted pendulum (TWIP) vehicle is built with two hub DC motors for motion control evaluation. Arduino Nano micro-processor is chosen as the control kernel for this electric test plant. Accelerometer and gyroscope sensors are built in to measure the tilt angle and angular velocity of the inverted pendulum vehicle. Since the TWIP has significantly hub motor dead zone and nonlinear system dynamics characteristics, the vehicle system is difficult to control by traditional model based controller. The intelligent model-free fuzzy sliding mode controller (FSMC) was employed as the main control algorithm. Then, intelligent controllers are designed for TWIP balance control, and two wheels synchronization control purposes.
A Hybrid Multi-Criteria Hotel Recommender System Using Explicit and Implicit Feedbacks
Recommender systems, also known as recommender engines, have become an important research area and are now being applied in various fields. In addition, the techniques behind the recommender systems have been improved over the time. In general, such systems help users to find their required products or services (e.g. books, music) through analyzing and aggregating other users’ activities and behavior, mainly in form of reviews, and making the best recommendations. The recommendations can facilitate user’s decision making process. Despite the wide literature on the topic, using multiple data sources of different types as the input has not been widely studied. Recommender systems can benefit from the high availability of digital data to collect the input data of different types which implicitly or explicitly help the system to improve its accuracy. Moreover, most of the existing research in this area is based on single rating measures in which a single rating is used to link users to items. This paper proposes a highly accurate hotel recommender system, implemented in various layers. Using multi-aspect rating system and benefitting from large-scale data of different types, the recommender system suggests hotels that are personalized and tailored for the given user. The system employs natural language processing and topic modelling techniques to assess the sentiment of the users’ reviews and extract implicit features. The entire recommender engine contains multiple sub-systems, namely users clustering, matrix factorization module, and hybrid recommender system. Each sub-system contributes to the final composite set of recommendations through covering a specific aspect of the problem. The accuracy of the proposed recommender system has been tested intensively where the results confirm the high performance of the system.
Antioxidant Capacity of Maize Corn under Drought Stress from the Different Zones of Growing
The semidental sweet maize of Armenian population under drought stress and pollution by some heavy metals (HMs) in sites along the river Debet was studied. Accordingly, the objective of this work was to investigate the antioxidant status of maize plant in order to identify simple and reliable criteria for assessing the degree of adaptation of plants to abiotic stress of drought and HMs. It was found that in the case of removal from the mainstream of the river, the antioxidant status of the plant varies. As parameters, the antioxidant status of the plant has been determined by the activity of malondialdehyde (MDA) and Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma (FRAP), taking into account the characteristics of natural drought of this region. The possibility of using some indicators which characterized the antioxidant status of the plant was concluded. The criteria for assessing the extent of environmental pollution could be HMs. This fact can be used for the early diagnosis of diseases in the population who lives in these areas and uses corn as the main food.
Degree of Hydrolysis of Proteinaceous Components of Porang Flour Using Papain
Glucomannan can be found in the tuber of porang together with starch and proteinaceous components which were regarded as impurities. An enzymatic process for obtaining higher glucomannan content from Porang flour have been conducted. Papain was used for hydrolysing proteinaceous components in Porang flour which was conducted after a simultaneous extraction of glucomannan and enzymatic starch hydrolysis. Three variables affecting the rate were studied, i.e. temperature, the amount of enzyme and the stirring speed. The ninhydrin method was used to determine degree of protein hydrolysis. Results showed that the rising of degree of hydrolysis were fast in the first ten minutes of the reaction and then proceeded slowly afterward. The optimum temperature for hydrolysis was 60 oC. Increasing the amount of enzyme showed a remarkable effect to degree of hydrolysis, but the stirring speed had no significant effect. This indicated that the reaction controlled the rate of hydrolysis.
Multidimensional Sports Spectators Segmentation and Social Media Marketing
Understanding consumers is elementary for practitioners in marketing. Consumers of sports events, the sports spectators, are a particularly complex consumer crowd. In order to identify and define their profiles different segmentation approaches can be found in literature, one of them being multidimensional segmentation. Multidimensional segmentation models correspond to the broad range of attitudes, behaviours, motivations and beliefs of sports spectators, other than earlier models. Moreover, in sports there are some well-researched disciplines (e.g. football or North American sports) where consumer profiles and marketing strategies are elaborate and others where no research at all can be found. For example, there is almost no research on athletics spectators. This paper explores the current state of research on sports spectators segmentation. An in-depth literature review provides the framework for a spectators segmentation in athletics. On this basis, additional potential consumer groups and implications for social media marketing will be explored. The findings are the basis for further research.
Comparison of the Dynamic Characteristics of Active and Passive Hybrid Bearings
One of the ways of reducing vibroactivity of rotor systems is to apply active hybrid bearings. Their design allows correction of the rotor’s location by means of separately controlling the supply pressure of the lubricant into the friction area. In a most simple case, the control system is based on a P-regulator. Increase of the gain coefficient allows decreasing the amplitude of rotor’s vibrations. The same effect can be achieved by means of increasing the pressure in the collector of a traditional passive hybrid bearing. However, these approaches affect the dynamic characteristics of the bearing differently. Theoretical studies show that the increase of the gain coefficient of an active bearing increases the stiffness of the bearing, as well as the increase of the pressure in the collector. Nevertheless, in case of a passive bearing, the damping properties deteriorate, whereas the active hybrid bearings obtain higher damping properties, which allow effectively providing the energy dissipation of the rotor vibrations and reducing the load on the constructional elements of a machine.
Analysis of Factors Used by Farmers to Manage Risk: A Case Study on Italian Farms
The study analyses the strategies Italian farmers use to cope with the risks that face their production. We specifically explore the potential and the limitations of the economic tools for climatic risk management in agriculture of the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020, that foresees contributions for economic tools for risk management, in relation to farms’ needs, exposure and vulnerability of agricultural areas to climatic risk. We consider at the farm level approaches to hedge risks in terms of the use of technical tools (agricultural practices, pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation) and economic/financial instruments (insurances, etc.). We develop cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses as well as analyses of correlation that underline the main differences between the way farms adapt their structure and management towards risk. The results show a preference for technical tools, despite the presence of important public aids on economic tools such as insurances. Therefore, there is a strong need for a more effective and integrated risk management policy scheme. Synergies between economic tools and risk reduction actions of a more technical, structural and management nature (production diversification, irrigation infrastructures, technological and management innovations and formation-information-consultancy, etc.) are emphasized.
Application Problems of Anchor Dowels in Reinforced Concrete Shear Wall and Frame Connections
Strengthening of the existing seismically deficient reinforced concrete (RC) buildings is an important issue in earthquake prone regions. Addition of RC shear wall as infill or external walls into the structural system has been a commonly preferred strengthening technique since the Big Erzincan Earthquake occurred in Turkey, 1992. The newly added rigid infill walls act primarily as shear walls and relieve the non-ductile existing frames from being subjected to large shear demands providing that new RC inner or external walls are adequately anchored to the existing weak RC frame. The performance of the RC shear walls-RC weak frame connections by steel anchor dowels depends on some parameters such as compressive strength of the existing RC frame concrete, diameter and embedment length of anchored rebar, type of rebar, yielding stress of bar, properties of used chemicals, position of the anchor bars in RC. In this study, application problems of the steel anchor dowels have been checked with some field studies such as tensile test. Two different RC buildings which will be strengthened were selected, and before strengthening, some tests have been performed in the existing RC buildings. According to the field observation and experimental studies, if the concrete compressive strength is lower than 10 MPa, the performance of the anchors is reduced by 70%.
Risk Based Building Information Modeling (BIM) for Urban Infrastructure Transportation Project
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a holistic documentation process for operational visualization, design coordination, estimation and project scheduling. BIM software defines objects parametrically and it is a tool for virtual reality. Primary advantage of implementing BIM is the visual coordination of the building structure and systems such as Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) and it also identifies the possible conflicts between the building systems. This paper is an attempt to develop a risk based BIM model which would highlight the primary advantages of application of BIM pertaining to urban infrastructure transportation project. It has been observed that about 40% of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) companies use BIM but primarily for their outsourced projects. Also, 65% of the respondents agree that BIM would be used quiet strongly for future construction projects in India. The 3D models developed with Revit 2015 software would reduce co-ordination problems amongst the architects, structural engineers, contractors and building service providers (MEP). Integration of risk management along with BIM would provide enhanced co-ordination, collaboration and high probability of successful completion of the complex infrastructure transportation project within stipulated time and cost frame.
Swelling Behaviour of Kappa Carrageenan Hydrogel in Neutral Salt Solution
Hydrogel films were prepared from kappa carrageenan by crosslinking with glutaraldehyde. Carrageenan films extracted from Kappaphycus alvarezii seaweed were immersed in glutaraldehyde solution for 2 min and then cured at 110 °C for 25 min. The obtained crosslinked films were washed with ethanol to remove the unreacted glutaraldehyde and then air dried to constant weights. The aim of this research was to study the swelling degree behaviour of the hydrogel film to neutral salts solution, namely NaCl, KCl, and CaCl2. The results showed that swelling degree of crosslinked films varied non-monotonically with salinity of NaCl. Swelling degree decreased with the increasing of KCl concentration. Swelling degree of crosslinked film in CaCl2 solution was lower than that in NaCl and in KCl solutions.
Modeling and Simulation of Honeycomb Steel Sandwich Panels under Blast Loading
Honeycomb sandwich panels have been widely used as protective structural elements against blast loading. The main advantages of these panels include their light weight due to the presence of voids, as well as their energy absorption capability. Terrorist activities have imposed new challenges to structural engineers to design protective measures for vital structures. Since blast loading is not usually considered in the load combinations during the design process of a structure, researchers around the world have been motivated to study the behavior of potential elements capable of resisting sudden loads imposed by the detonation of explosive materials. One of the best candidates for this objective is the honeycomb sandwich panel. Studying the effects of explosive materials on the panels requires costly and time-consuming experiments. Moreover, these type of experiments need permission from defense organizations which can become a hurdle. As a result, modeling and simulation using an appropriate tool can be considered as a good alternative. In this research work, the finite element package ABAQUS® is used to study the behavior of hexagonal and squared honeycomb steel sandwich panels under the explosive effects of different amounts of trinitrotoluene (TNT). The results of finite element modeling of a specific honeycomb configuration are initially validated by comparing them with the experimental results from literature. Afterwards, several configurations including different geometrical properties of the honeycomb wall are investigated and the results are compared with the original model. Finally, the effectiveness of the core shape and wall thickness are discussed, and conclusions are made.
Identification of Ice Hockey World Championship International Sports Event through Brand Personality
This research focused on the dimensions of brand personality of the Ice Hockey World Championship sporting event. The authors compared the elements in relation to different demographic groups including gender, age, level of education and student status of the population of Prague. Moreover, the differences of opinions of respondents who had experience of visiting a sports event and those who had not were assessed. In the research, the modified brand personality scale was used. This modified scale consists of five dimensions: responsibility, activity, toughness, individuality and emotionality, none of which was previously tested. The authors had an intentional sample of 291 respondents from Prague available, ranging in age from 18 years to 75 years, with either a high school or university education. The respondents rated the characteristic features in a seven-point Likert Scale and the data was collected in November 2012. The results suggest that the Ice Hockey World Championship is most identified with these dimensions: responsibility, emotionality and activity. Men had higher mean scores (4.93) on the Likert Scale in the emotionality dimension, while women had higher mean scores (4.91) in the activity dimension. Those respondents with experience visiting an Ice Hockey World Championship match had the highest mean score (5.10) in the emotionality dimension. This research had expected to show more pronounced mean values (above six) on the Likert scale in the emotionality and activity dimensions that more strongly characterize the brand personality of the Ice Hockey World Championship, however this expectation was not confirmed.
Education of Purchasing Professionals in Austria: Competence Based View
This paper deals with the education of purchasing professionals in Austria. In this education, equivalent and measurable criteria are collected in order to create a comparison. The comparison shows the problem. To make the aforementioned comparison possible, methodologies such as KODE-Competence Atlas or presentations in a matrix form are used. The result shows the content taught and whether there are any similarities or interesting differences in the current Austrian purchasers’ formations. Purchasing professionals learning competencies are also illustrated in the study result.
Model Updating-Based Approach for Damage Prognosis in Frames via Modal Residual Force
This paper presents an effective model updating strategy for damage localization and quantification in frames by defining damage detection problem as an optimization issue. A generalized version of the Modal Residual Force (MRF) is employed for presenting a new damage-sensitive cost function. Then, Grey Wolf Optimization (GWO) algorithm is utilized for solving suggested inverse problem and the global extremums are reported as damage detection results. The applicability of the presented method is investigated by studying different damage patterns on the benchmark problem of the IASC-ASCE, as well as a planar shear frame structure. The obtained results emphasize good performance of the method not only in free-noise cases, but also when the input data are contaminated with different levels of noises.
Modeling, Analysis and Control of a Smart Composite Structure
In modern engineering, weight optimization has a priority during the design of structures. However, optimizing the weight can result in lower stiffness and less internal damping, causing the structure to become excessively prone to vibration. To overcome this problem, active or smart materials are implemented. The coupled electromechanical properties of smart materials, used in the form of piezoelectric ceramics in this work, make these materials well-suited for being implemented as distributed sensors and actuators to control the structural response. The smart structure proposed in this paper is composed of a cantilevered steel beam, an adhesive or bonding layer, and a piezoelectric actuator. The static deflection of the structure is derived as function of the piezoelectric voltage, and the outcome is compared to theoretical and experimental results from literature. The relation between the voltage and the piezoelectric moment at both ends of the actuator is also investigated and a reduced finite element model of the smart structure is created and verified. Finally, a linear controller is implemented and its ability to attenuate the vibration due to the first natural frequency is demonstrated.
Tool Condition Monitoring of Ceramic Inserted Tools in High Speed Machining through Image Processing
Cutting tools with ceramic inserts are often used in the process of machining many types of superalloy, mainly due to their high strength and thermal resistance. Nevertheless, during the cutting process, the plastic flow wear generated in these inserts enhances and propagates cracks due to high temperature and high mechanical stress. This leads to a very variable failure of the cutting tool. This article explores the relationship between the continuous wear that ceramic SiAlON (solid solutions based on the Si3N4 structure) inserts experience during a high-speed machining process and the evolution of sparks created during the same process. These sparks were analysed through pictures of the cutting process recorded using an SLR camera. Features relating to the intensity and area of the cutting sparks were extracted from the individual pictures using image processing techniques. These features were then related to the ceramic insert’s crater wear area.
An Energy Detection-Based Algorithm for Cooperative Spectrum Sensing in Rayleigh Fading Channel
Cognitive radios have been recognized as one of the most promising technologies dealing with the scarcity of the radio spectrum. In cognitive radio systems, secondary users are allowed to utilize the frequency bands of primary users when the bands are idle. Hence, how to accurately detect the idle frequency bands has attracted many researchers’ interest. Detection performance is sensitive toward noise power and gain fluctuation. Since signal to noise ratio (SNR) between primary user and secondary users are not the same and change over the time, SNR and noise power estimation is essential. In this paper, we present a cooperative spectrum sensing algorithm using SNR estimation to improve detection performance in the real situation.
Quintic Spline Solution of Fourth-Order Parabolic Equations Arising in Beam Theory
We develop a method based on polynomial quintic
spline for numerical solution of fourth-order non-homogeneous
parabolic partial differential equation with variable coefficient. By
using polynomial quintic spline in off-step points in space and
finite difference in time directions, we obtained two three level
implicit methods. Stability analysis of the presented method has been
carried out. We solve four test problems numerically to validate the
derived method. Numerical comparison with other methods shows
the superiority of presented scheme.
Tracking Trajectory of a Cable-Driven Robot for Lower Limb Rehabilitation
This paper investigates and presents a cable-driven
robot to lower limb rehabilitation use in sagittal plane. The presented
rehabilitation robot is used for a trajectory tracking in joint space.
The paper covers kinematic and dynamic analysis, which reveals
the tensionability of the used cables as being the actuating source
to provide a rehabilitation exercises of the human leg. The desired
trajectory is generated to be used in the control system design in joint
space. The obtained simulation results is showed to be efficient in
this kind of application.
Comparative Performance of Artificial Bee Colony Based Algorithms for Wind-Thermal Unit Commitment
This paper presents the three optimization models, namely New Binary Artificial Bee Colony (NBABC) algorithm, NBABC with Local Search (NBABC-LS), and NBABC with Genetic Crossover (NBABC-GC) for solving the Wind-Thermal Unit Commitment (WTUC) problem. The uncertain nature of the wind power is incorporated using the Weibull probability density function, which is used to calculate the overestimation and underestimation costs associated with the wind power fluctuation. The NBABC algorithm utilizes a mechanism based on the dissimilarity measure between binary strings for generating the binary solutions in WTUC problem. In NBABC algorithm, an intelligent scout bee phase is proposed that replaces the abandoned solution with the global best solution. The local search operator exploits the neighboring region of the current solutions, whereas the integration of genetic crossover with the NBABC algorithm increases the diversity in the search space and thus avoids the problem of local trappings encountered with the NBABC algorithm. These models are then used to decide the units on/off status, whereas the lambda iteration method is used to dispatch the hourly load demand among the committed units. The effectiveness of the proposed models is validated on an IEEE 10-unit thermal system combined with a wind farm over the planning period of 24 hours.
Analysis of the Black Sea Gas Hydrates
Gas hydrate deposits which are found in deep ocean sediments and in permafrost regions are supposed to be a fossil fuel reserve for the future. The Black Sea is also considered rich in terms of gas hydrates. It abundantly contains gas hydrates as methane (CH4~80 to 99.9%) source. In this study, by using the literature, seismic and other data of the Black Sea such as salinity, porosity of the sediments, common gas type, temperature distribution and pressure gradient, the optimum gas production method for the Black Sea gas hydrates was selected as mainly depressurization method. Numerical simulations were run to analyze gas production from gas hydrate deposited in turbidites in the Black Sea by depressurization.
Vehicle Risk Evaluation in Low Speed Accidents: Consequences for Relevant Test Scenarios
Projects of accident research analysis are mostly focused on accidents involving personal damage. Property damage only has a high frequency of occurrence combined with high economic impact. This paper describes main influencing parameters for the extent of damage and presents a repair cost model. For a prospective evaluation method of the monetary effect of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), it is necessary to be aware of and quantify all influencing parameters. Furthermore, this method allows the evaluation of vehicle concepts in combination with an ADAS at an early point in time of the product development process. In combination with a property damage database and the introduced repair cost model relevant test scenarios for specific vehicle configurations and their individual property damage risk may be determined. Currently, equipment rates of ADAS are low and a purchase incentive for customers would be beneficial. The next ADAS generation will prevent property damage to a large extent or at least reduce damage severity. Both effects may be a purchasing incentive for the customer and furthermore contribute to increased traffic safety.
Virtual Routing Function Allocation Method for Minimizing Total Network Power Consumption
In a conventional network, most network devices, such as routers, are dedicated devices that do not have much variation in capacity. In recent years, a new concept of network functions virtualisation (NFV) has come into use. The intention is to implement a variety of network functions with software on general-purpose servers and this allows the network operator to select their capacities and locations without any constraints. This paper focuses on the allocation of NFV-based routing functions which are one of critical network functions, and presents the virtual routing function allocation algorithm that minimizes the total power consumption. In addition, this study presents the useful allocation policy of virtual routing functions, based on an evaluation with a ladder-shaped network model. This policy takes the ratio of the power consumption of a routing function to that of a circuit and traffic distribution between areas into consideration. Furthermore, the present paper shows that there are cases where the use of NFV-based routing functions makes it possible to reduce the total power consumption dramatically, in comparison to a conventional network, in which it is not economically viable to distribute small-capacity routing functions.
Modeling and Control of a 4DoF Robotic Assistive Device for Hand Rehabilitation
For those who have lost the ability to move their hand, going through repetitious motions with the assistance of a therapist is the main method of recovery. We have been developed a robotic assistive device to rehabilitate the hand motions in place of the traditional therapy. The developed assistive device (RAD-HR) is comprised of four degrees of freedom enabling basic movements, hand function, and assists in supporting the hand during rehabilitation. We used a nonlinear computed torque control technique to control the RAD-HR. The accuracy of the controller was evaluated in simulations (MATLAB/Simulink environment). To see the robustness of the controller external disturbance as modelling uncertainty (±10% of joint torques) were added in each joints.
A Risk Management Approach for Nigeria Manufacturing Industries
To be successful in today’s competitive global environment, manufacturing industry must be able to respond quickly to changes in technology. These changes in technology introduce new risks and hazards. The management of risk/hazard in a manufacturing process recommends method through which the success rate of an organization can be increased. Thus, there is a continual need for manufacturing industries to invest significant amount of resources in risk management, which in turn optimizes the production output and profitability of any manufacturing industry (if implemented properly). To help improve the existing risk prevention and mitigation practices in Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in Nigeria Manufacturing Industries (NMI), the researcher embarks on this research to develop a systematic Risk Management process.
Self-Tuning Robot Control Based on Subspace Identification
The paper describes the use of subspace based
identification methods for auto tuning of a state space control system.
The plant is an unstable but self balancing transport robot. Because
of the unstable character of the process it has to be identified
from closed loop input-output data. Based on the identified model
a state space controller combined with an observer is calculated. The
subspace identification algorithm and the controller design procedure
is combined to a auto tuning method. The capability of the approach
was verified in a simulation experiments under different process
Improving the Management Systems of the Ownership Risks in Conditions of Transformation of the Russian Economy
The article analyzes problems of improving the management systems of the ownership risks in the conditions of the transformation of the Russian economy. Among the main sources of threats business owners should highlight is the inefficiency of the implementation of business models and interaction with hired managers. In this context, it is particularly important to analyze the relationship of business models and ownership risks. The analysis of this problem appears to be relevant for a number of reasons: Firstly, the increased risk appetite of the owner directly affects the business model and the composition of his holdings; secondly, owners with significant stakes in the company are factors in the formation of particular types of risks for owners, for which relations have a significant influence on a firm's competitiveness and ultimately determines its survival; and thirdly, inefficient system of management ownership of risk is one of the main causes of mass bankruptcies, which significantly affects the stable operation of the economy as a whole. The separation of the processes of possession, disposal and use in modern organizations is the cause of not only problems in the process of interaction between the owner and managers in managing the organization as a whole, but also the asymmetric information about the kinds and forms of the main risks. Managers tend to avoid risky projects, inhibit the diversification of the organization's assets, while owners can insist on the development of such projects, with the aim not only of creating new values for themselves and consumers, but also increasing the value of the company as a result of increasing capital. In terms of separating ownership and management, evaluation of projects by the ratio of risk-yield requires preservation of the influence of the owner on the process of development and making management decisions. It is obvious that without a clearly structured system of participation of the owner in managing the risks of their business, further development is hopeless. In modern conditions of forming a risk management system, owners are compelled to compromise between the desire to increase the organization's ability to produce new value, and, consequently, increase its cost due to the implementation of risky projects and the need to tolerate the cost of lost opportunities of risk diversification. Improving the effectiveness of the management of ownership risks may also contribute to the revitalization of creditors on implementation claims to inefficient owners, which ultimately will contribute to the efficiency models of ownership control to exclude variants of insolvency. It is obvious that in modern conditions, the success of the model of the ownership of risk management and audit is largely determined by the ability and willingness of the owner to find a compromise between potential opportunities for expanding the firm's ability to create new value through risk and maintaining the current level of new value creation and an acceptable level of risk through the use of models of diversification.
Application of Fourier Series Based Learning Control on Mechatronic Systems
A Fourier series based learning control (FSBLC)
algorithm for tracking trajectories of mechanical systems with
unknown nonlinearities is presented. Two processes are introduced to
which the FSBLC with PD controller is applied. One is a simplified
service robot capable of climbing stairs due to special wheels and
the other is a propeller driven pendulum with nearly the same
requirements on control. Additionally to the investigation of learning
the feed forward for the desired trajectories some considerations on
the implementation of such an algorithm on low cost microcontroller
hardware are made. Simulations of the service robot as well as
practical experiments on the pendulum show the capability of the used
FSBLC algorithm to perform the task of improving control behavior
for repetitive task of such mechanical systems.
Design of a Drift Assist Control System Applied to Remote Control Car
In this paper, a drift assist control system is proposed for remote control (RC) cars to get the perfect drift angle. A steering servo control scheme is given powerfully to assist the drift driving. A gyroscope sensor is included to detect the machine's tail sliding and to achieve a better automatic counter-steering to prevent RC car from spinning. To analysis tire traction and vehicle dynamics is used to obtain the dynamic track of RC cars. It comes with a control gain to adjust counter-steering amount according to the sensor condition. An illustrated example of 1:10 RC drift car is given and the real-time control algorithm is realized by Arduino Uno.
Performance Management of Tangible Assets within the Balanced Scorecard and Interactive Business Decision Tools
The present study investigated approaches and techniques to enhance strategic management governance and decision making within the framework of a performance-based balanced scorecard. The review of best practices from strategic, program, process, and systems engineering management provided for a holistic approach toward effective outcome-based capability management. One technique, based on factorial experimental design methods, was used to develop an empirical model. This model predicted the degree of capability effectiveness and is dependent on controlled system input variables and their weightings. These variables represent business performance measures, captured within a strategic balanced scorecard. The weighting of these measures enhances the ability to quantify causal relationships within balanced scorecard strategy maps. The focus in this study was on the performance of tangible assets within the scorecard rather than the traditional approach of assessing performance of intangible assets such as knowledge and technology. Tangible assets are represented in this study as physical systems, which may be thought of as being aboard a ship or within a production facility. The measures assigned to these systems include project funding for upgrades against demand, system certifications achieved against those required, preventive maintenance to corrective maintenance ratios, and material support personnel capacity against that required for supporting respective systems. The resultant scorecard is viewed as complimentary to the traditional balanced scorecard for program and performance management. The benefits from these scorecards are realized through the quantified state of operational capabilities or outcomes. These capabilities are also weighted in terms of priority for each distinct system measure and aggregated and visualized in terms of overall state of capabilities achieved. This study proposes the use of interactive controls within the scorecard as a technique to enhance development of alternative solutions in decision making. These interactive controls include those for assigning capability priorities and for adjusting system performance measures, thus providing for what-if scenarios and options in strategic decision-making. In this holistic approach to capability management, several cross functional processes were highlighted as relevant amongst the different management disciplines. In terms of assessing an organization’s ability to adopt this approach, consideration was given to the P3M3 management maturity model.
Performance of Stiffened Slender Built up Steel I-Columns
The present work illustrates a parametric study for the effect of stiffeners on the performance of slender built up steel I-columns. To achieve the desired analysis, finite element technique is used to develop nonlinear three-dimensional models representing the investigated columns. The finite element program (ANSYS 13.0) is used as a calculation tool for the necessary nonlinear analysis. A validation of the obtained numerical results is achieved. The considered parameters in the study are the column slenderness ratio and the horizontal stiffener's dimensions as well as the number of stiffeners. The dimensions of the stiffeners considered in the analysis are the stiffener width and the stiffener thickness. Numerical results signify a considerable effect of stiffeners on the performance and failure load of slender built up steel I-columns.
Nuclear Safety and Security in France in the 1970s: A Turning Point for the Media
In France, in the main media, the concern about nuclear safety and security has not really appeared before the beginning of the 1970s. The gradual changes in its perception are studied here through the arguments given in the main French news magazines, linked with several parameters. As this represents a considerable amount of copies and thus of information, are selected here the main articles as well as the main “mental images” aiming to persuade the readers and which have led the public awareness to evolve. Indeed, in the 1970s, in France, these evolutions were not made in one day. Indeed, over the period, many articles were still in favor of nuclear power plants and promoted the technological advances that were made in this field. They had to be taken into account. But, gradually, grew up arguments and mental images discrediting the perception of nuclear technology. Among these were the environmental impacts of this industry, as the question of pollution progressively appeared. So, between 1970 and 1979, the language has changed, as the perceptible objectives of the communication, allowing to discern the deepest intentions of the editorial staffs of the French news magazines. This is all these changes that are emphasized here, over a period when the safety and security concern linked to the nuclear technology, to there a field for specialists, has become progressively a social issue seemingly open to all.
Development of a Wall Climbing Robotic Ground Penetrating Radar System for Inspection of Vertical Concrete Structures
This paper describes the design process of a 200 MHz Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and a battery powered concrete vertical concrete surface climbing mobile robot. The key design feature is a miniaturized 200 MHz dipole antenna using additional radiating arms and procedure records a reduction of 40% in length compared to a conventional antenna. The antenna set is mounted in front of the robot using a servo mechanism for folding and unfolding purposes. The robot’s adhesion mechanism to climb the reinforced concrete wall is based on neodymium permanent magnets arranged in a unique combination to concentrate and maximize the magnetic flux to provide sufficient adhesion force for GPR installation. The experiments demonstrated the robot’s capability of climbing reinforced concrete wall carrying the attached prototype GPR system and perform floor-to-wall transition and vice versa. The developed GPR’s performance is validated by its capability of detecting and localizing an aluminium sheet and a reinforcement bar (rebar) of 12 mm diameter buried under a test rig built of wood to mimic the concrete structure environment. The present robotic GPR system proves the concept of feasibility of undertaking inspection procedure on large concrete structures in hazardous environments that may not be accessible to human inspectors.
Effect of Stiffeners on the Behavior of Slender Built up Steel I-Beams
This paper presents the effect of stiffeners on the behavior of slender steel I-beams. Nonlinear three dimensional finite element models are developed to represent the stiffened steel I-beams. The well established finite element (ANSYS 13.0) program is used to simulate the geometric and material nonlinear nature of the problem. Verification is achieved by comparing the obtained numerical results with the results of previous published experimental work. The parameters considered in the analysis are the horizontal stiffener's position and the horizontal stiffener's dimensions as well as the number of vertical stiffeners. The studied dimensions of the horizontal stiffeners include the stiffener width, the stiffener thickness and the stiffener length. The results of the achieved numerical parametric study for slender steel I-beams show the significant effect of stiffeners on the beam behavior and its failure load.
Assessing the Actual Status and Farmer’s Attitude towards Agroforestry in Chiniot, Pakistan
In Pakistan, major demands of fuel wood and timber wood are fulfilled by agroforestry. However, the information regarding economic significance of agroforestry and its productivity in Pakistan is still insufficient and unreliable. Survey of field conditions to examine the agroforestry status at local level helps us to know the future trends and to formulate the policies for sustainable wood supply. The objectives of this research were to examine the actual status and potential of agroforestry and to point out the barriers that are faced by farmers in the adoption of agroforestry. Research was carried out in Chiniot district, Pakistan because it is the famous city for furniture industry that is largely dependent on farm trees. A detailed survey of district Chiniot was carried out from 150 randomly selected farmer respondents using multi-objective oriented and pre-tested questionnaire. It was found that linear tree planting method was more adopted (45%) as compared to linear + interplanting (42%) and/or compact planting (12.6%). Chi-square values at P-value <0.5 showed that age (11.35) and education (17.09) were two more important factors in the quick adoption of agroforestry as compared to land holdings (P-value of 0.7). The major reason of agroforestry adoption was to obtain income, fodder and fuelwood. The most dominant species in farmlands was shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) but since last five years, mostly farmers were growing Sufeida (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), kikar (Acacia nilotica) and popular (Populus deltoides) on their fields due to “Shisham die-back” problem. It was found that agro-forestry can be increased by providing good quality planting material to farmers and improving wood markets.
E-Government, China Internet Plus, and the One Belt One Road Initiative: The Africa Connection
The lack of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) infrastructure in African countries is hampering the successful adoption, development and implementation of e-government in Africa. Electronic government is the use of ICTs to modernize government public administration processes and to provide government services to citizens with a purpose to enhance efficiency, accountability, and transparency in government’s interaction with the citizenry. ICT application in public administration has the potential to modernize and create smarter government and improvement in public service delivery. China’s Internet Plus policy and One Belt One Road strategy present a golden opportunity for countries in Africa to attract the huge financial investment through Chinese IT companies to develop and close Africa’s ICT infrastructure gap. This study recommends the establishment of One Belt One Road ICT Infrastructure Fund for Africa (OBOR ICT Fund for Africa) to enable countries in Africa to source solely for the purpose of ICT infrastructure development in the public sector/government machinery which would in turn promote the adoption and development of e-government in the public sectors of respective countries in Africa.
Legal Theories Underpinning Access to Justice for Victims of Sexual Violence in Refugee Camps in Africa
Legal theory has been referred to as the explanation of why things do or do not happen. It also describes situations and why they ensue. It provides a normative framework by which things are regulated and a foundation for the establishment of legal mechanisms/institutions that can bring about a desired change in a society. Furthermore, it offers recommendations in resolving practical problems and describes what the law is, what the law ought to be and defines the legal landscape generally. Some legal theories provide a universal standard, e.g. human rights, while others are capable of organizing and streamlining the collective use, and, by extension, bring order to society. Legal theory is used to explain how the world works and how it does not work. This paper will argue for the application of the principles of legal theory in the achievement of access to justice for female victims of sexual violence in refugee camps in Africa through the analysis of legal theories underpinning the access to justice for these women. It is a known fact that female refugees in camps in Africa often experience some form of sexual violation. The perpetrators of these incidents may never be apprehended, prosecuted, convicted or sentenced. Where prosecution does occur, the perpetrators are either acquitted as a result of poor investigation, inept prosecution, a lack of evidence, or the case may be dismissed owing to tardiness on the part of the prosecutor, which accounts for the culture of impunity in refugee camps. In other words, victims do not have access to the justice that could ameliorate the plight of the victims. There is, thus, a need for a legal framework that will facilitate access to justice for these victims. This paper will start with an introduction, and be followed by the definition of legal theory, its functions and its application in law. Secondly, it will provide a brief explanation of the problems faced by female refugees who are victims of sexual violence in refugee camps in Africa. Thirdly, it will embark on an analysis of theories which will be a help to an understanding of the precarious situation of female refugees, why they are violated, the need for access to justice for these victims, and the principles of legal theory in its usefulness in resolving access to justice for these victims.
Iterative Estimator-Based Nonlinear Backstepping Control of a Robotic Exoskeleton
A repetitive training movement is an efficient method
to improve the ability and movement performance of stroke survivors
and help them to recover their lost motor function and acquire new
skills. The ETS-MARSE is seven degrees of freedom (DOF)
exoskeleton robot developed to be worn on the lateral side of the
right upper-extremity to assist and rehabilitate the patients with
upper-extremity dysfunction resulting from stroke. Practically,
rehabilitation activities are repetitive tasks, which make the
assistive/robotic systems to suffer from repetitive/periodic
uncertainties and external perturbations induced by the high-order
dynamic model (seven DOF) and interaction with human muscle
which impact on the tracking performance and even on the stability
of the exoskeleton. To ensure the robustness and the stability of the
robot, a new nonlinear backstepping control was implemented with
designed tests performed by healthy subjects. In order to limit and to
reject the periodic/repetitive disturbances, an iterative estimator was
integrated into the control of the system. The estimator does not need
the precise dynamic model of the exoskeleton. Experimental results
confirm the robustness and accuracy of the controller performance to
deal with the external perturbation, and the effectiveness of the
iterative estimator to reject the repetitive/periodic disturbances.
Promoting Gender Equality within Islamic Tradition via Contextualist Approach
The importance of advancing women’s rights is closely intertwined with the development of civil society and the institutionalization of democracy in Middle Eastern countries. There is indeed an intimate relationship between the process of democratization and promoting gender equality, since democracy necessitates equality between men and women. In order to advance the issue of gender equality, what is required is a solid theoretical framework which has its roots in the reexamination of pre-modern interpretation of certain Qurʾānic passages that seem to have given men more rights than it gives women. This paper suggests that those Muslim scholars who adopt a contextualist approach to the Qurʾānic text and its interpretation provide a solid theoretical background for improving women’s rights. Indeed, the aim of the paper is to discuss how the contextualist approach to the Qurʾānic text and its interpretation given by a number of prominent scholars is capable of promoting the issue of gender equality. The paper concludes that since (1) much of the gender inequality found in the primary sources of Islam as well as pre-modern Muslim writings is rooted in the natural cultural norms and standards of early Islamic societies and (2) since the context of today’s world is so different from that of the pre-modern era, the proposed models provide a solid theoretical framework for promoting women’s rights and gender equality.
A Nonlinear Parabolic Partial Differential Equation Model for Image Enhancement
We present a robust nonlinear parabolic partial
differential equation (PDE)-based denoising scheme in this article.
Our approach is based on a second-order anisotropic diffusion model
that is described first. Then, a consistent and explicit numerical
approximation algorithm is constructed for this continuous model by
using the finite-difference method. Finally, our restoration
experiments and method comparison, which prove the effectiveness
of this proposed technique, are discussed in this paper.
Consumer Behavior and Knowledge on Organic Products in Thailand
The objective of this study was to investigate the
awareness, knowledge and consumer behavior towards organic
products in Thailand. For this study, a purposive sampling technique
was used to identify a sample group of 2,575 consumers over the age
of 20 years who intended or made purchases from 1) green shops; 2)
supermarkets with branches; and, 3) green markets. A questionnaire
was used for data collection across the country. Descriptive statistics
were used for data analysis. The results showed that more than 92%
of consumers were aware of organic agriculture, but had less
knowledge about it. More than 60% of consumers knew that organic
agriculture production and processing did not allow the use of
chemicals. And about 40% of consumers were confused between the
food safety logo and the certified organic logo, and whether GMO
was allowed in organic agriculture practice or not. In addition, most
consumers perceived that organic agricultural products, good
agricultural practice (GAP) products, agricultural chemicals free
products, and hydroponic vegetable products had the same standard.
In the view of organic consumers, the organic Thailand label was the
most seen and reliable among various organic labels. Less than 3% of
consumers thought that the International Federation of Organic
Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Global Organic Mark (GOM) was
the most seen and reliable. For the behaviors of organic consumers,
they purchased organic products mainly at the supermarket and green
shop (55.4%), one to two times per month, and with a total
expenditure of about 200 to 400 baht each time. The main reason for
buying organic products was safety and free from agricultural
chemicals. The considered factors in organic product selection were
price (29.5%), convenience (22.4%), and a reliable certification
system (21.3%). The demands for organic products were mainly rice,
vegetables and fruits. Processed organic products were relatively
small in quantity.
Towards the Design of Gripper Independent of Substrate Surface Structures
End effectors for robotic systems are becoming more
and more advanced, resulting in a growing variety of gripping tasks.
However, most grippers are application specific. This paper presents
a gripper that interacts with an object’s surface rather than being
dependent on a defined shape or size. For this purpose, ingressive and
astrictive features are combined to achieve the desired gripping
capabilities. The developed prototype is tested on a variety of
surfaces with different hardness and roughness properties. The results
show that the gripping mechanism works on all of the tested surfaces.
The influence of the material properties on the amount of the
supported load is also studied and the efficiency is discussed.
Identification of Key Parameters for Benchmarking of Combined Cycle Power Plants Retrofit
Benchmarking of a process with respect to energy consumption, without accomplishing a full retrofit study, can save both engineering time and money. In order to achieve this goal, the first step is to develop a conceptual-mathematical model that can easily be applied to a group of similar processes. In this research, we have aimed to identify a set of key parameters for the model which is supposed to be used for benchmarking of combined cycle power plants. For this purpose, three similar combined cycle power plants were studied. The results showed that ambient temperature, pressure and relative humidity, number of HRSG evaporator pressure levels and relative power in part load operation are the main key parameters. Also, the relationships between these parameters and produced power (by gas/ steam turbine), gas turbine and plant efficiency, temperature and mass flow rate of the stack flue gas were investigated.