Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 120

Factors Affecting Current Ratings for Underground and Air Cables

The aim of this paper is to present a parametric study to determine the major factors that influence the calculations of current rating for both air and underground cables. The current carrying capability of the power cables rely largely on the installation conditions and material properties. In this work, the influences on ampacity of conductor size, soil thermal resistivity and ambient soil temperature for underground installations are shown. The influences on the current-carrying capacity of solar heating (time of day effects and intensity of solar radiation), ambient air temperature and cable size for cables air are also presented. IEC and IEEE standards are taken as reference.

Iterative Learning Control of Two Coupled Nonlinear Spherical Tanks
This paper presents modeling and control of a highly nonlinear system including, non-interacting two spherical tanks using iterative learning control (ILC). Consequently, the objective of the paper is to control the liquid levels in the nonlinear tanks. First, a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller is applied to the plant model as a suitable benchmark for comparison. Then, dynamic responses of the control system corresponding to different step inputs are investigated. It is found that the conventional PID control is not able to fulfill the design criteria such as desired time constant. Consequently, an iterative learning controller is proposed to accurately control the coupled nonlinear tanks system. The simulation results clearly demonstrate the superiority of the presented ILC approach over the conventional PID controller to cope with the nonlinearities presented in the dynamic system.
Effect of the Ethanolic Leaf Extract of Ficus exasperata on Biochemical Indices of Albino Mice Experimentally Infected with Plasmodium berghei (NK 65)

Ficus exasperata is a plant used in the traditional management of malaria in south-south Nigeria. An investigation into the effects of the ethanolic extract of the leaf of the plant on some biochemical indices in albino mice infected with Plasmodium berghei (NK 65) was conducted. 48 mice with weight range of 13-23 g were grouped into six (A, B, C, D, E, and F). Each group contained 8 mice. Groups A, B, C, D and E were infected with blood containing the parasite. Group F was not infected and served as the normal control. On the 6th day after infection, 4 mice from each group were sacrificed and blood samples are collected for investigation. The remaining mice in each group were treated. Mice in Groups A, B and C were administered orally with 200, 300 and 500 mg/kg body weight of Ficus exasperata respectively for six days. Group D was not treated while Group F was given distilled water. Group E was treated with 5 mg/kg body weight of chloroquine. On the 6th day post treatment, these mice were sacrificed and blood samples were collected for biochemical analysis. The results indicated that on the 6th day post inoculation, the levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in all the mice infected with the parasite were significantly (p < 0.05) elevated. However, on the 6th day post administration of extract, the increased levels of AST, ALP and ALT were significantly (p < 0.05) reduced in groups administered with 300 and 500 mg/kg body weight of the extract compared with groups D and F. The reduction in the levels of these enzymes is an indication that F. exasperata have no hepatotoxic effect on the mice at the dose levels administered.

Conjugate Gradient Algorithm for the Symmetric Arrowhead Solution of Matrix Equation AXB=C
Based on the conjugate gradient (CG) algorithm, the constrained matrix equation AXB=C and the associate optimal approximation problem are considered for the symmetric arrowhead matrix solutions in the premise of consistency. The convergence results of the method are presented. At last, a numerical example is given to illustrate the efficiency of this method.
The Relationship between Human Values and Service Quality with the Mediating Role of Motivation: A Quantitative Study on Malaysian Commercial Banks

This study explores the mediating effects of motivation in the relationship between human values and service quality. To examine the fundamental relationships among human values, motivation, and service quality, a Structural Equation Model (SEM) with a full mediation model was adopted. The model was designed and subsequently analyzed by utilizing the Partial Least Squares (PLS) procedure on data collected from a survey that yielded 936 usable questionnaires. The survey was sent to all 117 branches of two local commercial banks (CIMB and Maybank) operating in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Both banks ranked the highest in terms of asset size and market capitalization. The mediating role of motivation was examined in the relationship between four dimensions of human values and bank service quality, whereby human values initiate service quality. The results support the notion that employee motivation fully mediates the relationship between self-enhancement values and service quality in commercial banks. These results demonstrate the unpredictable role of the interaction structures of human values on bank service quality.

Modified PSO Based Optimal Control for Maximizing Benefits of Distributed Generation System

Deregulation in the power system industry and the invention of new technologies for producing electrical energy has led to innovations in power system planning. Distributed generation (DG) is one of the most attractive technologies that bring different kinds of advantages to a lot of entities, engaged in power systems. In this paper, a model for considering DGs in the power system planning problem is presented. Dynamic power system planning for reduction of maintenance and operational cost is presented in this paper. In addition to that, a modified particle swarm optimization (PSO) is used to find the optimal topology solution. Voltage Profile Improvement Index (VPII) and Line Loss Reduction Index (LLRI) are taken as benefit index of employing DG. The effectiveness of this method is demonstrated through examination of IEEE 30 bus test system.

Impact of Moderating Role of e-Administration on Training, Perfromance Appraisal and Organizational Performance
In this age of information technology, organizations are revisiting their approach in great deal. E-administration is the most popular area to proceed with. Organizations in order to excel over their competitors are spending a substantial chunk of its resources on E-Administration as it is the most effective, transparent and efficient way to achieve their short term as well as long term organizational goals. E-administration being a tool of ICT plays a significant role towards effective management of HR practices resulting into optimal performance of an organization. The present research was carried out to analyze the impact of moderating role of e-administration in the relationships training and performance appraisal aligned with perceived organizational performance. The study is based on RBV and AMO theories, advocating that use of latest technology in execution of human resource (HR) functions enables an organization to achieve and sustain competitive advantage which leads to optimal firm performance.
Corporate Social Responsibility and Its Impact on Corporate Governance: Comparative Study between Listed Companies on Bucharest and Bombay Stock Exchange
This article is a research on corporate governance. The aim of the study is to focus a special attention on the importance of corporate social responsibility and corporate governance, which are relevant, indeed necessary, for organizations. In this regard, we analyzed the corporate social responsibility in the context of corporate governance for companies listed on Bucharest and Bombay Stock Exchange. Therefore, we bring into the spotlight some differences between India and Romania linked with the importance ascribed to corporate social responsibility of a company. We presented the results of the demarche and we concluded suggestions regarding further research in this area. The study increases the awareness, identifies and articulates desirable behaviors, which are not intended to be exhaustive.
Unlocking Tourism Value through a Tourist Experience Management Paradigm

Tourism has become a topical issue amongst academics and practitioners due to its potential to contribute significantly towards an economy’s GDP. The problem underpinning this research is the fact that the major attraction, Victoria Falls, is being marketed in neighboring countries like South Africa, Botswana and Zambia with tour operators providing just day trips to the Victoria Falls. This has deprived Zimbabwe of income from tourism with tourists making day trips and actually not spending nights in Zimbabwe. This therefore calls for cutting edge marketing strategies that are superior to or inimitable by competing nations such as South Africa and Zambia. This study proposes a shift towards an experience management paradigm in the tourism sector. A qualitative research was adopted for this study, and findings of this study were generalized across different tourism contexts, therefore making the survey based research design more appropriate. The target population for this study is tourists visiting Zimbabwe over the period 2016 and ZTA visitor database acquired from the Department of Immigration will form the sampling frame for the purposes of this study.

Hypertension and Its Association with Oral Health Status in Adults: A Pilot Study in Padusunan Adults Community
The association between general and oral health is clearly important, particularly in adults with medical conditions. Many of the medical systemic conditions are either caused or aggravated by poor oral hygiene and vice versa. Hypertension is one of common medical systemic problem which has been a public health concern worldwide due to its known consequences. Those consequences must be related to oral health status as well, whether it may cause or worsen the oral health conditions. The objective of this study was to find out the association between hypertension and oral health status in adults. This study was an analytical observational study by using cross-sectional method. A total of 42 adults both male and female in Padusunan Village, Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia were selected as subjects by using purposive sampling. Manual sphygmomanometer was used to measure blood pressure and dental examination was performed to calculate the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) scores in order to represent oral health status. The data obtained was analyzed statistically using One Way ANOVA to determine the association between hypertensive adults and their oral health status. The result showed that majority age of the subjects was ranging from 51-70 years (40.5%). Based on blood pressure examination, 57.1% of subjects were classified to prehypertension. Overall, the mean of DMFT score calculated in normal, prehypertension and hypertension group was not considered statistically significant. There was no significant association (p>0.05) between hypertension and oral health status in adults.
An Improved Design of Area Efficient Two Bit Comparator

In present era, development of digital circuits, signal processors and other integrated circuits, magnitude comparators are challenged by large area and more power consumption. Comparator is most basic circuit that performs comparison. This paper presents a technique to design a two bit comparator which consumes less area and power. DSCH and MICROWIND version 3 are used to design the schematic and design the layout of the schematic, observe the performance parameters at different nanometer technologies respectively.

Snails and Fish as Pollution Biomarkers in Lake Manzala and Laboratory C: Laboratory Exposed Snails to Chemical Mixtures
Snails are considered as suitable diagnostic organisms for heavy metal–contaminated sites. Biomphalaria alexandrina snails are used in this work as pollution bioindicators after exposure to chemical mixtures consisted of heavy metals (HM); zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and lead (Pb); and persistent organic pollutants; Decabromodiphenyl ether 98% (D) and Aroclor 1254 (A). The impacts of these tested chemicals, individual and mixtures, on liver and kidney functions, antioxidant enzymes, complete blood picture, and tissue histology were studied. Results showed that Cu was proved to be the highly toxic against snails than Zn and Pb where LC50 values were 1.362, 213.198 and 277.396 ppm, respectively. Also, B. alexandrina snails exposed to the mixture of HM (¼ LC5 Cu, Pb and Zn) showed the highest bioaccumulation of Cu and Zn in their whole tissue, the most significant increase in AST, ALT & ALP activities and the highest significant levels of total protein, albumin and globulin. Results showed significant alterations in CAT activity in snail tissue extracts while snail samples exposed to most experimental tests showed significant increase in GST activity. Snail samples that exposed to HM mixtures showed a significant decrease in total hemocytes count while snail samples that exposed to mixtures containing A & D showed a significant increase in total hemocytes and Hyalinocytes. Histopathological alterations in snail samples exposed to individual HM and their mixtures for 4 weeks showed degeneration, edema, hyper trophy and vaculation in head-foot muscle, degeneration and necrotic changes in the digestive gland and accumulation in most tested organs. Also, the hermaphrodite gland showed mature ova with irregular shape and reduction in sperm number. In conclusion, the resulted damage and alterations in B. alexandrina studied parameters can be used as bioindicators to the presence of pollutants in its habitats.
Analysis of Transmedia Storytelling in Pokémon GO
This study is part of a doctoral thesis on the topic of Hyperfiction: Past, Present and Future of Storytelling through Hypertext. It explores in depth the impact of transmedia storytelling and the role of hypertext in the realm of the currently popular social media phenomenon Pokémon GO. Storytelling is a powerful method to engage and unite people. Moreover, the technology progress adds a whole new angle to the method, with hypertext and cross-platform sharing that enhance the traditional storytelling so much that transmedia storytelling gives unlimited opportunities to affect the everyday life of people across the globe. This research aims at examining the transmedia storytelling approach in Pokémon GO, and explaining how that contributed to its establishment as a massive worldwide hit in less than a week. The social engagement is investigated in all major media platforms, including traditional and online media channels. Observation and content analyses are reported in this paper to form the conclusion that transmedia storytelling with the input of hypertext has a promising future as a method of establishing a productive and rewarding communication strategy.
Isolation of a Bacterial Community with High Removal Efficiencies of the Insecticide Bendiocarb

Bendiocarb is a known toxic xenobiotic that presents acute and chronic risks for freshwater invertebrates and estuarine and marine biota; thus, the treatment of water contaminated with the insecticide is of concern. In this paper, a bacterial community with the capacity to grow in bendiocarb as its sole carbon and nitrogen source was isolated by enrichment techniques in batch culture, from samples of a composting plant located in the northeast of Mexico City. Eight cultivable bacteria were isolated from the microbial community, by PCR amplification of 16 rDNA; Pseudoxanthomonas spadix (NC_016147.2, 98%), Ochrobacterium anthropi (NC_009668.1, 97%), Staphylococcus capitis (NZ_CP007601.1, 99%), Bosea thiooxidans. (NZ_LMAR01000067.1, 99%), Pseudomonas denitrificans. (NC_020829.1, 99%), Agromyces sp. (NZ_LMKQ01000001.1, 98%), Bacillus thuringiensis. (NC_022873.1, 97%), Pseudomonas alkylphenolia (NZ_CP009048.1, 98%). NCBI accession numbers and percentage of similarity are indicated in parentheses. These bacteria were regarded as the isolated species for having the best similarity matches. The ability to degrade bendiocarb by the immobilized bacterial community in a packed bed biofilm reactor, using as support volcanic stone fragments (tezontle), was evaluated. The reactor system was operated in batch using mineral salts medium and 30 mg/L of bendiocarb as carbon and nitrogen source. With this system, an overall removal efficiency (ηbend) rounding 90%, was reached.

Spatial Distribution of Socio-Economic Factors in Kogi State, Nigeria: Development Issues and Implication(s)

This study analyzed the spatial distribution of socio-economic factors in Kogi state with a view to examining its implications on the development of the state. Consequently, questionnaires were administered on both the selected individual respondents (784) in the state and on the administrative offices (local council offices, 21) to solicit relevant information on the spatial distribution of socio-economic factors in their areas. The collected data were tabulated and analyzed using percentages. The study revealed commerce/trade, education, and health care, etc. as the major socio-economic factors in the state but with marked variation/imbalance in their spatial distribution across the study area. The rural-based local government areas have far less of such important facilities. Conclusively, it was recommended that there is need for socio-economic transformation of living conditions of people in the study area especially by positively redistributing local political power and the resources that are abound in the state will be felt by everybody including the commoners.

Financial Portfolio Optimization in Turkish Electricity Market via Value at Risk
Electricity has an indispensable role in human daily life, technological development and economy. It is a special product or service that should be instantaneously generated and consumed. Sources of the world are limited so that effective and efficient use of them is very important not only for human life and environment but also for technological and economic development. Competitive electricity market is one of the important way that provides suitable platform for effective and efficient use of electricity. Besides benefits, it brings along some risks that should be carefully managed by a market player like Electricity Generation Company. Risk management is an essential part in market players’ decision making. In this paper, risk management through diversification is applied with the help of Value at Risk methods for case studies. Performance of optimal electricity sale solutions are measured and the portfolio performance has been evaluated via Sharpe-Ratio, and compared with conventional approach. Biennial historical electricity price data of Turkish Day Ahead Market are used to demonstrate the approach.
Non-Destructive Testing of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic by Infrared Thermography Methods
Composite materials are one answer to the growing demand for materials with better parameters of construction and exploitation. Composite materials also permit conscious shaping of desirable properties to increase the extent of reach in the case of metals, ceramics or polymers. In recent years, composite materials have been used widely in aerospace, energy, transportation, medicine, etc. Fiber-reinforced composites including carbon fiber, glass fiber and aramid fiber have become a major structural material. The typical defect during manufacture and operation is delamination damage of layered composites. When delamination damage of the composites spreads, it may lead to a composite fracture. One of the many methods used in non-destructive testing of composites is active infrared thermography. In active thermography, it is necessary to deliver energy to the examined sample in order to obtain significant temperature differences indicating the presence of subsurface anomalies. To detect possible defects in composite materials, different methods of thermal stimulation can be applied to the tested material, these include heating lamps, lasers, eddy currents, microwaves or ultrasounds. The use of a suitable source of thermal stimulation on the test material can have a decisive influence on the detection or failure to detect defects. Samples of multilayer structure carbon composites were prepared with deliberately introduced defects for comparative purposes. Very thin defects of different sizes and shapes made of Teflon or copper having a thickness of 0.1 mm were screened. Non-destructive testing was carried out using the following sources of thermal stimulation, heating lamp, flash lamp, ultrasound and eddy currents. The results are reported in the paper.
Determining the Spatial Vulnerability Levels and Typologies of Coastal Cities to Climate Change: Case of Turkey

One of the important impacts of climate change is the sea level rise. Turkey is a peninsula, so the coastal areas of the country are threatened by the problem of sea level rise. Therefore, the urbanized coastal areas are highly vulnerable to climate change. At the aim of enhancing spatial resilience of urbanized areas, this question arises: What should be the priority intervention subject in the urban planning process for a given city. To answer this question, by focusing on the problem of sea level rise, this study aims to determine spatial vulnerability typologies and levels of Turkey coastal cities based on morphological, physical and social characteristics. As a method, spatial vulnerability of coastal cities is determined by two steps as level and type. Firstly, physical structure, morphological structure and social structure were examined in determining spatial vulnerability levels. By determining these levels, most vulnerable areas were revealed as a priority in adaptation studies. Secondly, all parameters are also used to determine spatial typologies. Typologies are determined for coastal cities in order to use as a base for urban planning studies. Adaptation to climate change is crucial for developing countries like Turkey so, this methodology and created typologies could be a guide for urban planners as spatial directors and an example for other developing countries in the context of adaptation to climate change. The results demonstrate that the urban settlements located on the coasts of the Marmara Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean respectively, are more vulnerable than the cities located on the Black Sea’s coasts to sea level rise.

Agriculture in the Dominican Republic: Competitiveness in a New Trade Regime and Lessons for Cuba

Agriculture remains a sensitive issue during multilateral trade negotiations within the World Trade Organization (WTO). Similar problems arise at the bilateral level, as in the case of trade talks between the United States and the Dominican Republic. The study explores the determinant of agricultural industry competitiveness in the 21st century, particularly in the case of U.S. and Dominican agriculture in each other’s market. Complementing existing scholarship on industry competitiveness, the study argues that trade rules that are established under preferential access programs and trade agreements play a significant role in shaping an industry’s ability to compete. The final analysis is used to offer recommendations to the same sector in Cuba. Cuba currently relies heavily on U.S. food imports and is experiencing the gradual opening of trade with the United States.

Physical Properties and Resistant Starch Content of Rice Flour Residues Hydrolyzed by α-Amylase

Enzymatic modification of rice flour can produce highly functional derivatives use in food industries. This study aimed to evaluate the physical properties and resistant starch content of rice flour residues hydrolyzed by α-amylase. Rice flour hydrolyzed by α-amylase (60 and 300 u/g) for 1, 24 and 48 hours were investigated. Increasing enzyme concentration and hydrolysis time resulted in decreased rice flour residue’s lightness (L*) but increased redness (a*) and yellowness (b*) of rice flour residues. The resistant starch content and peak viscosity increased when hydrolysis time increased. Pasting temperature, trough viscosity, breakdown, final viscosity, setback and peak time of the hydrolyzed flours were not significantly different (p>0.05). The morphology of native flour was smooth without observable pores and polygonal with sharp angles and edges. However, after hydrolysis, granules with a slightly rough and porous surface were observed and a rough and porous surface was increased with increasing hydrolyzed time. The X-ray diffraction patterns of native flour showed A-type configuration, which hydrolyzed flour showed almost 0% crystallinity indicated that both amorphous and crystalline structures of starch were simultaneously hydrolyzed by α-amylase.

A Numerical Study on Micromechanical Aspects in Short Fiber Composites

This study focused on the contribution of micro-mechanical parameters on the macro-mechanical response of short fiber composites, namely polypropylene matrix reinforced by glass fibers. In the framework of this paper, an attention has been given to the glass fibers length, as micromechanical parameter influences the overall macroscopic material’s behavior. Three dimensional numerical models were developed and analyzed through the concept of a Representative Volume Element (RVE). Results of the RVE-based approach were compared with analytical Halpin-Tsai’s model.

Assessing Service Quality of Maritime Express

Ocean transport to international trade is very important in Taiwan. The direct shipping opened between Taiwan and China in 2008 and the rising of e-commerce business increases the volumes of cargoes between cross-strait. The communications between Taiwan and China have become more frequently. That is why the “maritime express” appeared. Comparison with air express, maritime express has an advantage in low cost. It uses high speed ship to reduce transit time significantly. For example, it only takes three hours to sail from Taipei port to Pingtan port. However, maritime express is still in early stages of development. The volumes of cargoes cannot meet the expectations, many supporting measures are not perfect, and the service quality needs to be improved. Therefore, this study investigates requirements of customers to provide some improvement strategies and improve the situation. This study lists the differences between air express and maritime express such as no. of operators, weight of limitation, freight, range of delivery, and other limitation. It provides SWOT analysis and review some related literature about service quality to be a basic of doing this research. Besides, this study combines AHP and quality function deployment which can consider the perspective from shippers to investigate the service quality of maritime express. We believe that using this method can transform customer requirements into technical requirements. Finally, this study can use the foresaid results to provide suggestions and conclusions. Hopefully it can make a reference for service providers to develop maritime express to attract more people to use this service and prosper this industry in the future.

Spatial and Temporal Variability of Fog Over the Indo-Gangetic Plains, India

The aim of the paper is to analyze the characteristics of winter fog in terms of its trend and spatial-temporal variability over Indo-Gangetic plains. The study reveals that during last four and half decades (1971-2015), an alarming increasing trend in fog frequency has been observed during the winter months of December and January over the study area. The frequency of fog has increased by 118.4% during the peak winter months of December and January. It has also been observed that on an average central part of IGP has 66.29% fog days followed by west IGP with 41.94% fog days. Further, Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) decomposition and Mann-Kendall variation analysis are used to analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of winter fog. The findings have significant implications for the further research of fog over IGP and formulate robust strategies to adapt the fog variability and mitigate its effects. The decision by Delhi Government to implement odd-even scheme to restrict the use of private vehicles in order to reduce pollution and improve quality of air may result in increasing the alarming increasing trend of fog over Delhi and its surrounding areas regions of IGP.

Run-Time Customisation of Soft-Core CPUs on Field Programmable Gate Array

The use of customised soft-core processors in which instructions can be integrated into a system in application hardware is increasing in the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) field. Specifically, the partial run-time reconfiguration of FPGAs in specialised processors for a particular domain can be very beneficial. In this report, the design and implementation for the customisation of a soft-core MIPS processor using an FPGA and partial reconfiguration (PR) of FPGA technology will be addressed to achieve efficient resource use. This can be achieved using a PR design flow that helps the design fit into a smaller device. Moreover, the impact of static power consumption could be reduced due to runtime reconfiguration. This will be done by configurable custom instructions implemented in the hardware as an extension on the MIPS CPU. The aim of this project is to investigate the PR of FPGAs for run-time adaptations of the instruction set of a soft-core CPU, including the integration of custom instructions and the exploration of the potential to use the MultiBoot feature available in Xilinx FPGAs to carry out the PR process. The system will be evaluated and tested on a Nexus 3 development board featuring a Xilinx Spartran-6 FPGA. The system will be able to load reconfigurable custom instructions dynamically into user programs with the help of the trap handler when the custom instruction is called by the MIPS CPU. The results of this experiment demonstrate that custom instructions in hardware can speed up a certain function and many instructions can be saved when compared to a software implementation of the same function. Implementing custom instructions in hardware is perfectly possible and worth exploring.

The Determination of Aflatoxins in Paddy and Milled Fractions of Rice in Guyana: Preliminary Results

A survey was conducted in the five rice-growing regions in Guyana to determine the presence of aflatoxins in multiple fractions of rice in June/October 2015 growing season. The fractions were paddy, steamed paddy, cargo rice, white rice and parboiled rice. Samples were analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. A subset of the samples was further analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for concurrence. All analyses were conducted at the University of Missouri, USA. Of the 186 samples tested, 16 had aflatoxin concentrations greater than 20 ppb the recommended limit for aflatoxins in food according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. An additional three samples had aflatoxin B1 concentrations greater than the European Union Commission maximum levels for aflatoxin B1 in rice at 5 µg/kg and total aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2) at 10 µg/kg. The survey indicates that there is no widespread aflatoxin problem in rice in Guyana. The incidence of aflatoxins appears to be localized.

Energy Efficient Plant Design Approaches: Case Study of the Sample Building of the Energy Efficiency Training Facilities
Nowadays, due to the growing problems of energy supply and the drastic reduction of natural non-renewable resources, the development of new applications in the energy sector and steps towards greater efficiency in energy consumption are required. Since buildings account for a large share of energy consumption, increasing the structural density of buildings causes an increase in energy consumption. This increase in energy consumption means that energy efficiency approaches to building design and the integration of new systems using emerging technologies become necessary in order to curb this consumption. As new systems for productive usage of generated energy are developed, buildings that require less energy to operate, with rational use of resources, need to be developed. One solution for reducing the energy requirements of buildings is through landscape planning, design and application. Requirements such as heating, cooling and lighting can be met with lower energy consumption through planting design, which can help to achieve more efficient and rational use of resources. Within this context, rather than a planting design which considers only the ecological and aesthetic features of plants, these considerations should also extend to spatial organization whereby the relationship between the site and open spaces in the context of climatic elements and planting designs are taken into account. In this way, the planting design can serve an additional purpose. In this study, a landscape design which takes into consideration location, local climate morphology and solar angle will be illustrated on a sample building project.
Modelling Medieval Vaults: Digital Simulation of the North Transept Vault of St Mary, Nantwich, England
Digital and virtual heritage is often associated with the recreation of lost artefacts and architecture; however, we can also investigate works that were not completed, using digital tools and techniques. Here we explore physical evidence of a fourteenth-century Gothic vault located in the north transept of St Mary’s church in Nantwich, Cheshire, using existing springer stones that are built into the walls as a starting point. Digital surveying tools are used to document the architecture, followed by an analysis process to hypothesise and simulate possible design solutions, had the vault been completed. A number of options, both two-dimensionally and three-dimensionally, are discussed based on comparison with examples of other contemporary vaults, thus adding another specimen to the corpus of vault designs. Dissemination methods such as digital models and 3D prints are also explored as possible resources for demonstrating what the finished vault might have looked like for heritage interpretation and other purposes.
Methodologies for Crack Initiation in Welded Joints Applied to Inspection Planning

Crack initiation and propagation threatens structural integrity of welded joints and normally inspections are assigned based on crack propagation models. However, the approach based on crack propagation models may not be applicable for some high-quality welded joints, because the initial flaws in them may be so small that it may take long time for the flaws to develop into a detectable size. This raises a concern regarding the inspection planning of high-quality welded joins, as there is no generally acceptable approach for modeling the whole fatigue process that includes the crack initiation period. In order to address the issue, this paper reviews treatment methods for crack initiation period and initial crack size in crack propagation models applied to inspection planning. Generally, there are four approaches, by: 1) Neglecting the crack initiation period and fitting a probabilistic distribution for initial crack size based on statistical data; 2) Extrapolating the crack propagation stage to a very small fictitious initial crack size, so that the whole fatigue process can be modeled by crack propagation models; 3) Assuming a fixed detectable initial crack size and fitting a probabilistic distribution for crack initiation time based on specimen tests; and, 4) Modeling the crack initiation and propagation stage separately using small crack growth theories and Paris law or similar models. The conclusion is that in view of trade-off between accuracy and computation efforts, calibration of a small fictitious initial crack size to S-N curves is the most efficient approach.

Classroom Incivility Behaviours among Medical Students: A Comparative Study in Pakistan

Trained medical practitioners are produced from medical colleges serving in public and private sectors. Prime responsibility of teaching faculty is to inculcate required work ethic among the students by serving as role models for them. It is an observed fact that classroom incivility behaviours are providing a friction in achieving these targets. Present study aimed at identification of classroom incivility behaviours observed by teachers and students of public and private medical colleges as per Glasser’s Choice Theory, making a comparison and investigating the strategies being adopted by teachers of both sectors to control undesired class room behaviours. Findings revealed that a significant difference occurs between teacher and student incivility behaviours. Public sector teacher focussed on survival as a strong factor behind in civil behaviours whereas private sector teachers considered power as the precedent for incivility. Teachers of both sectors are required to use verbal as well as non-verbal immediacy to reach a healthy leaning environment.

Lookup Table Reduction and Its Error Analysis of Hall Sensor-Based Rotation Angle Measurement

Hall sensor is widely used to measure rotation angle. When the Hall voltage is measured for linear displacement, it is converted to angular displacement using arctangent function, which requires a large lookup table. In this paper, a lookup table reduction technique is presented for angle measurement. When the input of the lookup table is small within a certain threshold, the change of the outputs with respect to the change of the inputs is relatively small. Thus, several inputs can share same output, which significantly reduce the lookup table size. Its error analysis was also performed, and the threshold was determined so as to maintain the error less than 1°. When the Hall voltage has 11-bit resolution, the lookup table size is reduced from 1,024 samples to 279 samples.

Multimedia Firearms Training System

The goal of the article is to present a novel Multimedia Firearms Training System. The system was developed in order to compensate for major problems of existing shooting training systems. The designed and implemented solution can be characterized by five major advantages: algorithm for automatic geometric calibration, algorithm of photometric recalibration, firearms hit point detection using thermal imaging camera, IR laser spot tracking algorithm for after action review analysis, and implementation of ballistics equations. The combination of the abovementioned advantages in a single multimedia firearms training system creates a comprehensive solution for detecting and tracking of the target point usable for shooting training systems and improving intervention tactics of uniformed services. The introduced algorithms of geometric and photometric recalibration allow the use of economically viable commercially available projectors for systems that require long and intensive use without most of the negative impacts on color mapping of existing multi-projector multimedia shooting range systems. The article presents the results of the developed algorithms and their application in real training systems.

Microkinetic Modelling of NO Reduction on Pt Catalysts

The major harmful automobile exhausts are nitric oxide (NO) and unburned hydrocarbon (HC). Reduction of NO using unburned fuel HC as a reductant is the technique used in hydrocarbon-selective catalytic reduction (HC-SCR). In this work, we study the microkinetic modelling of NO reduction using propene as a reductant on Pt catalysts. The selectivity of NO reduction to N2O is detected in some ranges of operating conditions, whereas the effect of inlet O2% causes a number of changes in the feasible regimes of operation.

Effect of Water Hardness and Free Residual Chlorine on Black Tea Brew

Water used for brewing tea plays a major role in the quality of tea. Water with higher hardness gives very dark coloured brew. This study was conducted to determine the effect of water hardness and free residual chlorine on the quality of black tea liquor. Theaflavin (TF) and Thearubigin (TR) levels are lower in comparison with the tea brewed in distilled water. At the same time, there is an increase in High Polymerized Substance (HPS) and Total Liquor Colour (TLC). While water with higher hardness has a negative impact on tea brew, water with high concentration of free residual chlorine did not affect the quality of tea brew.

Chemical Reaction Algorithm for Expectation Maximization Clustering
Clustering is an intensive research for some years because of its multifaceted applications, such as biology, information retrieval, medicine, business and so on. The expectation maximization (EM) is a kind of algorithm framework in clustering methods, one of the ten algorithms of machine learning. Traditionally, optimization of objective function has been the standard approach in EM. Hence, research has investigated the utility of evolutionary computing and related techniques in the regard. Chemical Reaction Optimization (CRO) is a recently established method. So the property embedded in CRO is used to solve optimization problems. This paper presents an algorithm framework (EM-CRO) with modified CRO operators based on EM cluster problems. The hybrid algorithm is mainly to solve the problem of initial value sensitivity of the objective function optimization clustering algorithm. Our experiments mainly take the EM classic algorithm:k-means and fuzzy k-means as an example, through the CRO algorithm to optimize its initial value, get K-means-CRO and FKM-CRO algorithm. The experimental results of them show that there is improved efficiency for solving objective function optimization clustering problems.
Quality of Life of the Beneficiaries of the Government’s Bolsa Família Program: A Case Study in Mateiros/TO/Brazil
The quality of life index, despite elucidating many discussions, the conceptual subjectivity of the term does not show precision, and consequently, many researchers seek to develop methods aiming to measure this concept, bringing it to a more concrete approach. In this study, the quality of life index method was used to analyze the population of Mateiros, Tocantins, Brazil for quality of life. After data collection, it was compared the quality of life index between the population and the group of beneficiaries of the Brazilian government assistance program Bolsa Família (Family Allowance). Some of the people interviewed receive financial aid from the federal government program Bolsa Família (22%). Comparisons were made among the final score of the quality of life index of the Mateiros population and the following factors: Gender, age, education, those working or not with tourism and those who receive or do not receive the Bolsa Família. It was observed that only the factor, Bolsa Família (p-score 0.0138), shows an association with quality of life improvement, noticing that those who have financial aid had a higher quality of life improvement than the rest of the population. It was concluded that, government assistance has shown a decisive element on the enhancement of Mateiros population quality of life, indicating that similar actions should be maintained.
The Ecological Footprint of Tourism in Jalapão/TO/Brazil

The development of tourism causes negative impacts on the environment. It is in this context, through the Ecological Footprint (EF) method that this study aimed to characterize the impacts of ecotourism on the community of Mateiros, Jalapão, Brazil. The EF, which consisted in its original a method to construct a land use matrix, considering some major categories of human consumption such as food, housing, transportation, consumer goods and services, and six other categories from the main land use which are divided into the topics: land use, degraded environment, gardens, fertile land, pasture and forests protected by the government. The main objective of this index is to calculate the land area required for the production and maintenance of goods and services consumed by a community. The field research was conducted throughout the year of 2014 until July 2015. After the calculations of each category, these components were added according to the presented method in order to determine the annual EF of the tourism sector in Mateiros. The results show that the EF resulting from tourism in Mateiros is 2,194.22 hectares of land required for tourism activities in the region. The EF of tourism was considered high, nevertheless, if it is added the total of hectares needed annually for tourism activities, the result found would be 2,194.22 hectares needed to absorb the CO2 emissions generated in the region directly from the tourism sector.

An Investigation into the Social Factors that Influence Sport Participation: A Case of Gymnastics in the Western Cape

Gymnastics is the umbrella term that represents seven different and unique disciplines of gymnastics. Men and women of all ages and abilities practice this sport, and participation in gymnastics can develop both gross and fine motor skills, strength, flexibility, coordination and balance. There are various social factors, such as a family’s socioeconomic status or accessibility to sports facilities that may play a role in affecting levels of participation. The aim of this study is to investigate the social factors that have an influence on gymnastics participation in the Western Cape. To this end, a qualitative approach is adopted to collect data. This study also adopts the ecological systems theory as the theoretical framework, and is used to analyze and interpret current social factors that directly or indirectly influence participation in gymnastics. The study’s objectives were to ascertain which social factors hinder participation, and which social factors promote participation, thus, coaches, parents and gymnasts participated in focus group discussions. Key informant interviews took place with experts in the field of gymnastics in the Western Cape. A thematic analysis was conducted on transcriptions from the focus group discussions and key informant interviews. Social factors investigated in this study occurred in the chronosystem, macrosystem, exosystem, mesosystem, and microsystem, and had both a direct and indirect influence on the gymnast’s continued participation. These systems are defined as the environment of the individual, in which they grow and develop. The research findings of this paper are used to draw conclusions and make specific recommendations for practice and further research. The information gathered in this study can assist all stakeholders within the field of gymnastics, such as parents, judges, coaches, gymnasts, and the supporting community which surround the participating gymnast.

Optimization of Loudspeaker Part Design Parameters by Air Viscosity Damping Effect

This study optimized the design parameters of a cone loudspeaker as an example of high flexibility of the product design. We developed an acoustic analysis software program that considers the impact of damping caused by air viscosity. In sound reproduction, it is difficult to optimize each parameter of the loudspeaker design. To overcome the limitation of the design problem in practice, this study presents an acoustic analysis algorithm to optimize the design parameters of the loudspeaker. The material character of cone paper and the loudspeaker edge were the design parameters, and the vibration displacement of the cone paper was the objective function. The results of the analysis showed that the design had high accuracy as compared to the predicted value. These results suggested that although the parameter design is difficult, with experience and intuition, the design can be performed easily using the optimized design found with the acoustic analysis software.

Innovation in Lean Thinking to Achieve Rapid Construction

Lean thinking holds the potential for improving the construction sector, and therefore, it is a concept that should be adopted by construction sector players and academicians in the real industry. Bridging from that, a learning process for construction sector players regarding this matter should be the agenda in gaining the knowledge in preparation for their career. Lean principles offer opportunities for reducing lead times, eliminating non-value adding activities, reducing variability, and are facilitated by methods such as pull scheduling, simplified operations and buffer reduction. Thus, the drive for rapid construction, which is a systematic approach in enhancing efficiency to deliver a project using time reduction, while lean is the continuous process of eliminating waste, meeting or exceeding all customer requirements, focusing on the entire value stream and pursuing perfection in the execution of a constructed project. The methodology presented is shown to be valid through literature, interviews and questionnaire. The results show that the majority of construction sector players unfamiliar with lean thinking and they agreed that it can improve the construction process flow. With this background knowledge established and identified, best practices and recommended action are drawn.

The Influence of Fiber Volume Fraction on Thermal Conductivity of Pultruded Profile
Thermal conductivity in the x, y and z-directions was measured on a pultruded profile that was manufactured by the technology of pulling from glass fibers and a polyester matrix. The results of measurements of thermal conductivity showed considerable variability in different directions. The caused variability in thermal conductivity was expected due fraction variations. The cross-section of the pultruded profile was scanned. An image analysis illustrated an uneven distribution of the fibers and the matrix in the cross-section. The distribution of these inequalities was processed into a Voronoi diagram in the observed area of the pultruded profile cross-section. In order to verify whether the variation of the fiber volume fraction in the pultruded profile can affect its thermal conductivity, the numerical simulations in the ANSYS Fluent were performed. The simulation was based on the geometry reconstructed from image analysis. The aim is to quantify thermal conductivity numerically. Above all, images with different volume fractions were chosen. The results of the measured thermal conductivity were compared with the calculated thermal conductivity. The evaluated data proved a strong correlation between volume fraction and thermal conductivity of the pultruded profile. Based on presented results, a modification of production technology may be proposed.
Bifurcation and Chaos of the Memristor Circuit

In this paper, a magnetron memristor model based on hyperbolic sine function is presented and the correctness proved by studying the trajectory of its voltage and current phase, and then a memristor chaotic system with the memristor model is presented. The phase trajectories and the bifurcation diagrams and Lyapunov exponent spectrum of the magnetron memristor system are plotted by numerical simulation, and the chaotic evolution with changing the parameters of the system is also given. The paper includes numerical simulations and mathematical model, which confirming that the system, has a wealth of dynamic behavior.

Organisational Effectiveness and Its Implications for Seaports

The main purpose of this study was to explore the role of organisational effectiveness (OE) in seaports. OE is an important managerial concept, one that is necessary for leaders and directors in any organisation to understand the output of their work. OE has been applied in many organisations; however, it is a vital concept in the port business. This paper examines various approaches and applications of the OE concept to business management, and describes benefits that are important and applicable to seaport management. This research reviews and classifies articles published in relevant journals and books between 1950 and 2016; from the general literature on OE to the narrower field of OE in seaports. Based on the extensive literature review, this study identifies and discusses several issues relevant to both practices and theories of this concept. The review concludes by presenting a gap in the literature, as it found only a limited amount of research that endeavours to clarify OE in the seaport sector. As a result of this gap, seaports suffer from a lack of empirical study and are largely neglected in this subject area. The implementation of OE in this research has led to the maritime sector interfacing with different disciplines in order to acquire the advantage of enhancing managerial knowledge and competing successfully in the international marketplace.

Techniques of Construction Management in Civil Engineering

The Middle East Gulf region has witnessed rapid growth and development in many areas over the last two decades. The development of the real-estate sector, construction industry and infrastructure projects are a major share of the development that has participated in the civilization of the countries of the Gulf. Construction industry projects were planned and managed by different types of experts, who came from all over the world having different types of experiences in construction management and industry. Some of these projects were completed on time, while many were not, due to many accumulating factors. Many accumulated factors are considered as the principle reason for the problem experienced at the project construction stage, which reflected negatively on the project success. Specific causes of delay have been identified by construction managers to avoid any unexpected delays through proper analysis and considerations to some implications such as risk assessment and analysis for many potential problems to ensure that projects will be delivered on time. Construction management implications were adopted and considered by project managers who have experience and knowledge in applying the techniques of the system of engineering construction management. The aim of this research is to determine the benefits of the implications of construction management by the construction team and level of considerations of the techniques and processes during the project development and construction phases to avoid any delay in the projects. It also aims to determine the factors that participate to project completion delays in case project managers are not well committed to their roles and responsibilities. The results of the analysis will determine the necessity of the applications required by the project team to avoid the causes of delays that help them deliver projects on time, e.g. verifying tender documents, quantities and preparing the construction method of the project.

Design of Local Interconnect Network Controller for Automotive Applications

Local interconnect network (LIN) is a communication protocol that combines sensors, actuators, and processors to a functional module in automotive applications. In this paper, a LIN ver. 2.2A controller was designed in Verilog hardware description language (Verilog HDL) and implemented in field-programmable gate array (FPGA). Its operation was verified by making full-scale LIN network with the presented FPGA-implemented LIN controller, commercial LIN transceivers, and commercial processors. When described in Verilog HDL and synthesized in 0.18 μm technology, its gate size was about 2,300 gates.

Synthesis of Vic-Dioxime Palladium (II) Complex: Precursor for Deposition on SBA-15 in ScCO2

Synthesizing supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) soluble precursors would be helpful for many processes of material syntheses based on scCO2. Ligand (amphi-(1Z, 2Z)-N-(2-fluoro-3-(trifluoromethyl) phenyl)-N'-hydroxy-2-(hydroxyimino) were synthesized from chloro glyoxime and flourus aniline and Pd(II) complex (precursor) prepared. For scCO2 deposition method, organometallic precursor was dissolved in scCO2 and impregnated onto the SBA-15 at 90 °C and 3000 psi. Then the organometallic precursor was reduced with H2 in the CO2 mixture (150 psi H2 + 2850 psi CO2). Pd deposited support material was characterized by ICP-OES, XRD, FE-SEM, TEM and EDX analyses. The Pd loading of the prepared catalyst, measured by ICP-OES showed a value of about 1.64% mol/g Pd of catalyst. Average particle size was found 5.3 nm. The catalytic activity of prepared catalyst was investigated over Suzuki-Miyaura C-C coupling reaction in different solvent with K2CO3 at 50 oC. The conversion ratio was determined by gas chromatography.

Hand Gesture Interpretation Using Sensing Glove Integrated with Machine Learning Algorithms
In this paper, we present a low cost design for a smart glove that can perform sign language recognition to assist the speech impaired people. Specifically, we have designed and developed an Assistive Hand Gesture Interpreter that recognizes hand movements relevant to the American Sign Language (ASL) and translates them into text for display on a Thin-Film-Transistor Liquid Crystal Display (TFT LCD) screen as well as synthetic speech. Linear Bayes Classifiers and Multilayer Neural Networks have been used to classify 11 feature vectors obtained from the sensors on the glove into one of the 27 ASL alphabets and a predefined gesture for space. Three types of features are used; bending using six bend sensors, orientation in three dimensions using accelerometers and contacts at vital points using contact sensors. To gauge the performance of the presented design, the training database was prepared using five volunteers. The accuracy of the current version on the prepared dataset was found to be up to 99.3% for target user. The solution combines electronics, e-textile technology, sensor technology, embedded system and machine learning techniques to build a low cost wearable glove that is scrupulous, elegant and portable.
H.264 Video Privacy Protection Method Using Regions of Interest Encryption

Like a closed-circuit television (CCTV), video surveillance system is widely placed for gathering video from unspecified people to prevent crime, surveillance, or many other purposes. However, abuse of CCTV brings about concerns of personal privacy invasions. In this paper, we propose an encryption method to protect personal privacy system in H.264 compressed video bitstream with encrypting only regions of interest (ROI). There is no need to change the existing video surveillance system. In addition, encrypting ROI in compressed video bitstream is a challenging work due to spatial and temporal drift errors. For this reason, we propose a novel drift mitigation method when ROI is encrypted. The proposed method was implemented by using JM reference software based on the H.264 compressed videos, and experimental results show the verification of our proposed methods and its effectiveness.

A High Time Resolution Digital Pulse Width Modulator Based on Field Programmable Gate Array’s Phase Locked Loop Megafunction

The digital pulse width modulator (DPWM) is the crucial building block for digitally-controlled DC-DC switching converter, which converts the digital duty ratio signal into its analog counterpart to control the power MOSFET transistors on or off. With the increase of switching frequency of digitally-controlled DC-DC converter, the DPWM with higher time resolution is required. In this paper, a 15-bits DPWM with three-level hybrid structure is presented; the first level is composed of a7-bits counter and a comparator, the second one is a 5-bits delay line, and the third one is a 3-bits digital dither. The presented DPWM is designed and implemented using the PLL megafunction of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays), and the required frequency of clock signal is 128 times of switching frequency. The simulation results show that, for the switching frequency of 2 MHz, a DPWM which has the time resolution of 15 ps is achieved using a maximum clock frequency of 256MHz. The designed DPWM in this paper is especially useful for high-frequency digitally-controlled DC-DC switching converters.

On the Optimality of Blocked Main Effects Plans
In this article, experimental situations are considered where a main effects plan is to be used to study m two-level factors using n runs which are partitioned into b blocks, not necessarily of same size. Assuming the block sizes to be even for all blocks, for the case n ≡ 2 (mod 4), optimal designs are obtained with respect to type 1 and type 2 optimality criteria in the class of designs providing estimation of all main effects orthogonal to the block effects. In practice, such orthogonal estimation of main effects is often a desirable condition. In the wider class of all available m two level even sized blocked main effects plans, where the factors do not occur at high and low levels equally often in each block, E-optimal designs are also characterized. Simple construction methods based on Hadamard matrices and Kronecker product for these optimal designs are presented.
Socio-Economic Determinants of Physical Activity of Non-Manual Workers, Including the Early Senior Group, from the City of Wroclaw in Poland
Physical activity as a part of people’s everyday life reduces the risk of many diseases, including those induced by lifestyle, e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, degenerative arthritis, and certain types of cancer. That refers particularly to professionally active people, including the early senior group working on non-manual positions. The aim of the study is to evaluate the relationship between physical activity and the socio-economic status of non-manual workers from Wroclaw—one of the biggest cities in Poland, a model setting for such investigations in this part of Europe. The crucial problem in the research is to find out the percentage of respondents who meet the health-related recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning the volume, frequency, and intensity of physical activity, as well as to establish if the most important socio-economic factors, such as gender, age, education, marital status, per capita income, savings and debt, determine the compliance with the WHO physical activity recommendations. During the research, conducted in 2013, 1,170 people (611 women and 559 men) aged 21–60 years were examined. A diagnostic poll method was applied to collect the data. Physical activity was measured with the use of the short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire with extended socio-demographic questions, i.e. concerning gender, age, education, marital status, income, savings or debts. To evaluate the relationship between physical activity and selected socio-economic factors, logistic regression was used (odds ratio statistics). Statistical inference was conducted on the adopted ex ante probability level of p<0.05. The majority of respondents met the volume of physical effort recommended for health benefits. It was particularly noticeable in the case of the examined men. The probability of compliance with the WHO physical activity recommendations was highest for workers aged 21–30 years with secondary or higher education who were single, received highest incomes and had savings. The results indicate the relations between physical activity and socio-economic status in the examined women and men. People with lower socio-economic status (e.g. manual workers) are physically active primarily at work, whereas those better educated and wealthier implement physical effort primarily in their leisure time. Among the investigated subjects, the youngest group of non-manual workers have the best chances to meet the WHO standards of physical activity. The study also confirms that secondary education has a positive effect on the public awareness on the role of physical activity in human life. In general, the analysis of the research indicates that there is a relationship between physical activity and some socio-economic factors of the respondents, such as gender, age, education, marital status, income per capita, and the possession of savings. Although the obtained results cannot be applied for the general population, they show some important trends that will be verified in subsequent studies conducted by the authors of the paper.
The Challenges of Cloud Computing Adoption in Nigeria

Cloud computing, a technology that is made possible through virtualization within networks represents a shift from the traditional ownership of infrastructure and other resources by distinct organization to a more scalable pattern in which computer resources are rented online to organizations on either as a pay-as-you-use basis or by subscription. In other words, cloud computing entails the renting of computing resources (such as storage space, memory, servers, applications, networks, etc.) by a third party to its clients on a pay-as-go basis. It is a new innovative technology that is globally embraced because of its renowned benefits, profound of which is its cost effectiveness on the part of organizations engaged with its services. In Nigeria, the services are provided either directly to companies mostly by the key IT players such as Microsoft, IBM, and Google; or in partnership with some other players such as Infoware, Descasio, and Sunnet. This action enables organizations to rent IT resources on a pay-as-you-go basis thereby salvaging them from wastages accruable on acquisition and maintenance of IT resources such as ownership of a separate data centre. This paper intends to appraise the challenges of cloud computing adoption in Nigeria, bearing in mind the country’s peculiarities’ in terms of infrastructural development. The methodologies used in this paper include the use of research questionnaires, formulated hypothesis, and the testing of the formulated hypothesis. The major findings of this paper include the fact that there are some addressable challenges to the adoption of cloud computing in Nigeria. Furthermore, the country will gain significantly if the challenges especially in the area of infrastructural development are well addressed. This is because the research established the fact that there are significant gains derivable by the adoption of cloud computing by organizations in Nigeria. However, these challenges can be overturned by concerted efforts in the part of government and other stakeholders.

Yield and Sward Composition Responses of Natural Grasslands to Treatments Meeting Sustainability

An outstanding part of the animal products are based on the grasslands, due to the fact that the grassland ecosystems can be found all over the globe. In places where economical and successful crop production cannot be managed, the grassland based animal husbandry can be an efficient way of food production. In addition, these ecosystems have an important role in carbon sequestration, and with their rich flora – and fauna connected to it – in conservation of biodiversity. The protection of nature, and the sustainable agriculture is getting more and more attention in the European Union, but, looking at the consumers’ needs, the production of healthy food cannot be neglected either. Because of these facts, the effects of two specific composts - which are officially authorized in organic farming, in Agri-environment Schemes and Natura 2000 programs – on grass yields and sward compositions were investigated in a field trial. The investigation took place in Hungary, on a natural grassland based on solonetz soil. Three rates of compost (10 t/ha, 20 t/ha, 30 t/ha) were tested on 3 m X 10 m experimental plots. Every treatment had four replications and both type of compost had four-four control plots too, this way 32 experimental plots were included in the investigations. The yield of the pasture was harvested two-times (in May and in September) and before cutting the plots, measurements on botanical compositions were made. Samples for laboratory analysis were also taken. Dry matter yield of pasture showed positive responses to the rates of composts. The increase in dry matter yield was partly due to some positive changes in sward composition. It means that the proportions of grass species with higher yield potential increased in ground cover of the sward without depressing out valuable native species of diverse natural grasslands. The research results indicate that the use of organic compost can be an efficient way to increase grass yields in a sustainable way.

Facilitating Familial Support of Saudi Arabians Living with HIV/AIDS
This paper provides an overview of the current situation of HIV/AIDS patients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and a literature review of the concepts of stigma communication, communication of social support. These concepts provide the basis for the proposed methods, which will include conducting a textual analysis of materials that are currently distributed to family members of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHIV/A) in KSA and creating an educational brochure. The brochure will aim to help families of PLWHIV/A in KSA (1) understand how stigma shapes the experience of PLWHIV/A, (2) realize the role of positive communication as a helpful social support, and (3) develop the ability to provide positive social support for their loved ones.
Decision Framework for Cross-Border Railway Infrastructure Projects

Transport infrastructure assets are key components of the national asset portfolio. The decision to invest in a new infrastructure in transports could take from a few years to some decades. This is mainly because of the need to reserve and spent many capitals, the long payback period, the number of the stakeholders involved in decision process and –many times- the investment and business risks are high. Therefore, the decision assessment framework is an essential challenge linked with the key decision factors meet the stakeholder expectations highlighting project trade-offs, financial risks, business uncertainties and market limitations. This paper examines the decision process for new transport infrastructure projects in cross border regions, where a wide range of stakeholders with different expectation is involved. According to a consequences analysis systemic approach, the relationship of transport infrastructure development, economic system development and stakeholder expectation is analyzed. Adopting the on system of system methodological approach, the decision making framework, variables, inputs and outputs are defined, highlighting the key shareholder’s role and expectations. The application provides the methodology outputs presenting the proposed decision framework for a strategic railway project in north Greece deals with the upgrade of the existing railway corridor connecting Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.

Authoring Tactile Gestures: Case Study for Emotion Stimulation

The haptic modality has brought a new dimension to human computer interaction by engaging the human sense of touch. However, designing appropriate haptic stimuli, and in particular tactile stimuli, for various applications is still challenging. To tackle this issue, we present an intuitive system that facilitates the authoring of tactile gestures for various applications. The system transforms a hand gesture into a tactile gesture that can be rendering using a home-made haptic jacket. A case study is presented to demonstrate the ability of the system to develop tactile gestures that are recognizable by human subjects. Four tactile gestures are identified and tested to intensify the following four emotional responses: high valence – high arousal, high valence – low arousal, low valence – high arousal, and low valence – low arousal. A usability study with 20 participants demonstrated high correlation between the selected tactile gestures and the intended emotional reaction. Results from this study can be used in a wide spectrum of applications ranging from gaming to interpersonal communication and multimodal simulations.

An Experimental Study on the Effect of Operating Parameters during the Micro-Electro-Discharge Machining of Ni Based Alloy
Ni alloys have managed to cover wide range of applications such as automotive industries, oil gas industries, and aerospace industries. However, these alloys impose challenges while using conventional machining technologies. On the other hand, Micro-Electro-Discharge machining (micro-EDM) is a non-conventional machining method that uses controlled sparks energy to remove material irrespective of the materials hardness. There has been always a huge interest from the industries for developing optimum methodology and parameters in order to enhance the productivity of micro-EDM in terms of reducing machining time and tool wear for different alloys. Therefore, the aims of this study are to investigate the effects of the micro-EDM process parameters, in order to find their optimal values. The input process parameters include voltage, capacitance, and electrode rotational speed, whereas the output parameters considered are machining time, entrance diameter of hole, overcut, tool wear, and crater size. The surface morphology and element characterization are also investigated with the use of SEM and EDX analysis. The experimental result indicates the reduction of machining time with the increment of discharge energy. Discharge energy also contributes to the enlargement of entrance diameter as well as overcut. In addition, tool wears show reduction with the increase of discharge energy. Moreover, crater size is found to be increased in size along with the increment of discharge energy.
Seismic Behavior of Self-Balancing Post-Tensioned Reinforced Concrete Spatial Structure

The construction industry is currently trying to develop sustainable reinforced concrete structures. In trying to aid in the effort, the research presented in this paper aims to prove the efficiency of modified special hybrid moment frames composed of discretely jointed precast and post-tensioned concrete members. This aim is due to the fact that current design standards do not cover the spatial design of moment frame structures assembled by post-tensioning with special hybrid joints. This lack of standardization is coupled with the fact that previous experimental programs, available in scientific literature, deal mainly with plane structures and offer little information regarding spatial behavior. A spatial model of a modified hybrid moment frame is experimentally analyzed. The experimental results of a natural scale model test of a corner column-beams sub-structure, cut from an actual multilevel building tested to seismic type loading are presented in order to highlight the behavior of this type of structure. The test is performed under alternative cycles of imposed lateral displacements, up to a storey drift ratio of 0.035. Seismic response of the spatial model is discussed considering the acceptance criteria for reinforced concrete frame structures designed based on experimental tests, as well as some of its major sustainability features. The results obtained show an overall excellent behavior of the system. The joint detailing allows for quick and cheap repairs after an accidental event and a self-balancing behavior of the system that ensures it can be used almost immediately after an accidental event it.

Augmented Reality and Storytelling in Cities: An Application to Lisbon Street Art

Cities are spaces of memory with several zones (parts of cities) with their own history and cultural events. Today, cities are also marked by a form of intangible cultural heritage like street art, which creates a visual culture based on the process of reflection about the city and the world. To link these realities and create a personal user interaction with this cultural heritage it is important to capture the story and aesthetics, and find alternatives to immerse the user in these spaces of memory. To that end, this article presents a project which combines Augmented Reality technologies and concepts of Transmedia Storytelling applied to Lisbon City, using Street Art artifacts as markers in a framework of digital media-art.

A Proposal of a Method to Measure the Satisfaction Indicator of the Local Community Concerning Tourism: A Case Study of Jalapão State Park, Tocantins

Tourists bring many benefits to a local community, encouraging it to be involved in that activity; however, it may also have detrimental effects like garbage, noise, violence, external culture and the damaging of the natural environment among others, which may promote community dissatisfaction. The contact between the tourist and the local community is a concern, especially when the community is located near protected areas. In this case, the community must know the tourist destination well, so it can collaborate in the tourism development without harming the environment. In this context, the present article aims to demonstrate the results of a research study conducted as part of a doctorate program in Sciences from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It had as an objective to elaborate a methodology proposal to measure the local community satisfaction indicator, with applicability on a case study in the Mateiros community located in the surrounding area of the Parque Estadual do Jalapão –PEJ conservation unit in the state of Tocantins, Brazil. This is a study of an interdisciplinary nature that had the deductive method as its guide. The indicator result is going to be presented in this study. It pointed out as negative factors: there is no involvement between the local community and the tourism sector, and there is also dissatisfaction with regard to the town’s basic services. The study showed as positive the local community knowledge about the various attractions in the surrounding area and that the group recognizes the importance of the tourism for the town and life. Concerning the methodology that was used, the results showed that it can collaborate in seeking actions of improvement and involvement of the community in the planning and development of the local tourism. It comes out as an efficient analysis tool, thus enabling the perceiving of the local community point of view.

Monitoring of Key Indicators of Sustainable Tourism in the Jalapão State Park/Tocantins: A Case Study of Environmental Indicators

Since the 1980s, global tourism activity has consolidated worldwide to become an important economic contributor, and consequently, the sociocultural and environmental impacts are starting to become evidenced. This raises the need of discussing about actions for sustainable tourism that should be linked not only to the economy, but also to the environment and social aspects. The work that is going to be presented is part of a doctoral research project in Sciences undertaken at the Sao Paulo University, Brazil. It aims to analyze whether the monitoring of the tourism sector with a focus on sustainability is applicable or not, through those indicators, put in a case study in the Jalapão State Park (JSP) conservation unit, in the state of Tocantins, Brazil. This is a study of an interdisciplinary nature that had the deductive method as its guide. We concluded that the key points of the sustainable tourism, when analyzed with the focal point in environmental indicators, are an important evaluation and quantification tool of that activity in the study locus. It displayed itself as an adequate tool for monitoring, thus decoding, the main environmental impacts that occur in tourism regions and their intensity, which is made possible through analysis, and has the objective to trace ways to prevent and correct the presented impacts.

Economic Policy of Tourism and the Development Tendencies of Medical Wellness Resorts in Georgia

This paper discusses the current condition of tourism and its economic policy in Georgia. It analyzes and studies wellness tourism, as one of the directions of tourism; the newest niche in the wellness industry – triggering wellness resorts with medical ideology. The paper discusses the development tendencies of medical wellness resorts in Georgia and its main economic preferences. The main finding of the research is that Georgia is a unique place in the world according to the variety of medical recourses. This makes the opportunity to create and successfully operate medical wellness resorts, as well as develop it as a brand for Georgia in the world. The research represents the development strategies of tourism and its medical wellness resorts in Georgia, and offers recommendations based on the relevant conclusions.

The Microstructural and Mechanical Characterization of Organo-Clay-Modified Bitumen, Calcareous Aggregate, and Organo-Clay Blends

Bitumen has been widely used as the binder of aggregate in road pavement due to its good viscoelastic properties, as a viscous organic mixture with various chemical compositions. Bitumen is a liquid at high temperature and it becomes brittle at low temperatures, and this temperature-sensitivity can cause the rutting and cracking of the pavement and limit its application. Therefore, the properties of existing asphalt materials need to be enhanced. The pavement with polymer modified bitumen exhibits greater resistance to rutting and thermal cracking, decreased fatigue damage, as well as stripping and temperature susceptibility; however, they are expensive and their applications have disadvantages. Bituminous mixtures are composed of very irregular aggregates bound together with hydrocarbon-based asphalt, with a low volume fraction of voids dispersed within the matrix. Montmorillonite (MMT) is a layered silicate with low cost and abundance, which consists of layers of tetrahedral silicate and octahedral hydroxide sheets. Recently, the layered silicates have been widely used for the modification of polymers, as well as in many different fields. However, there are not too much studies related with the preparation of the modified asphalt with MMT, currently. In this study, organo-clay-modified bitumen, and calcareous aggregate and organo-clay blends were prepared by hot blending method with OMMT, which has been synthesized using a cationic surfactant (Cetyltrymethylammonium bromide, CTAB) and long chain hydrocarbon, and MMT. When the exchangeable cations in the interlayer region of pristine MMT were exchanged with hydrocarbon attached surfactant ions, the MMT becomes organophilic and more compatible with bitumen. The effects of the super hydrophobic OMMT onto the micro structural and mechanic properties (Marshall Stability and volumetric parameters) of the prepared blends were investigated. Stability and volumetric parameters of the blends prepared were measured using Marshall Test. Also, in order to investigate the morphological and micro structural properties of the organo-clay-modified bitumen and calcareous aggregate and organo-clay blends, their SEM and HRTEM images were taken. It was observed that the stability and volumetric parameters of the prepared mixtures improved significantly compared to the conventional hot mixes and even the stone matrix mixture. A micro structural analysis based on SEM images indicates that the organo-clay platelets dispersed in the bitumen have a dominant role in the increase of effectiveness of bitumen - aggregate interactions.

Development of Extended Trapezoidal Method for Numerical Solution of Volterra Integro-Differential Equations

Volterra integro-differential equations appear in many models for real life phenomena. Since analytical solutions for this type of differential equations are hard and at times impossible to attain, engineers and scientists resort to numerical solutions that can be made as accurately as possible. Conventionally, numerical methods for ordinary differential equations are adapted to solve Volterra integro-differential equations. In this paper, numerical solution for solving Volterra integro-differential equation using extended trapezoidal method is described. Formulae for the integral and differential parts of the equation are presented. Numerical results show that the extended method is suitable for solving first order Volterra integro-differential equations.

Frank Norris’ McTeague: An Entropic Melodrama

According to Naturalistic principles, human destiny in the form of blind chance and determinism, entraps the individual, so man is a defenceless creature unable to escape from the ruthless paws of a stoical universe. In Naturalism; nonetheless, melodrama mirrors a conscious alternative with a peculiar function. A typical American Naturalistic character thus cannot be a subject for social criticism of American society since they are not victims of the ongoing virtual slavery, capitalist system, nor of a ruined milieu, but of their own volition, and more importantly, their character frailty. Through a Postmodern viewpoint, each Naturalistic work can encompass some entropic trends and changes culminating in an entire failure and devastation. Frank Norris in McTeague displays the futile struggles of ordinary men and how they end up brutes. McTeague encompasses intoxication, abuse, violation, and ruthless homicides. Norris’ depictions of the falling individual as a demon represent the entropic dimension of Naturalistic novels. McTeague’s defeat is somewhat his own fault, the result of his own blunders and resolution, not the result of sheer accident. Throughout the novel, each character is a kind of insane quester indicating McTeague’s decadence and, by inference, the decadence of Western civilisation. McTeague seems to designate Norris’ solicitude for a community fabricated by the elements of human negative demeanours and conducts hauling acute symptoms of infectious dehumanisation. The aim of this article is to illustrate how one specific negative human disposition gradually, like a running fire, can spread everywhere and burn everything in itself. The author applies the concept of entropy metaphorically to describe the individual devolutions that necessarily comprise community entropy in McTeague, a dying universe.

Tool Damage and Adhesion Effects in Turning and Drilling of Hardened Steels
Noteworthy results have been obtained in the turning and drilling of hardened high-strength steels using tungsten carbide based cutting tools. In a finish turning process, it was seen that surface roughness and tool flank wear followed very different trends against cutting time. The suggested explanation for this behaviour is that the profile cut into the workpiece surface is determined by the tool’s cutting edge profile. It is shown that the profile appearing on the cut surface changes rapidly over time, so the profile of the tool cutting edge should also be changing rapidly. Workpiece material adhered onto the cutting tool, which is also known as a built-up edge, is a phenomenon which could explain the observations made. In terms of tool damage modes, workpiece material adhesion is believed to have contributed to tool wear in examples provided from finish turning, thread turning and drilling. Additionally, evidence of tool fracture and tool abrasion were recorded.
Finite Element Analysis of Ball-Joint Boots under Environmental and Endurance Tests

Ball joints support and guide certain automotive parts that move relative to the frame of the vehicle. Such ball joints are covered and protected from dust, mud, and other interfering materials by ball-joint boots made of rubber—a flexible and near-incompressible material. The boots may experience twisting and bending deformations because of the motion of the joint arm. Thus, environmental and endurance tests of ball-joint boots apply both bending and twisting deformations. In this study, environmental and endurance testing was simulated via the finite element method performed by using a commercial software package. The ranges of principal stress and principal strain values that are known to directly affect the fatigue lives of the parts were sought. By defining these ranges, the number of iterative tests and modifications of the materials and dimensions of the boot can be decreased. Therefore, instead of performing actual part tests, manufacturers can perform standard fatigue tests in trials of different materials by applying only the defined range of stress or strain values.

Performance Analysis of Air-Tunnel Heat Exchanger Integrated into Raft Foundation

In this study, a field experiment and performance analysis of air-tunnel heat exchanger integrated with water-filled raft foundation of residential building were performed. In order to obtain better performance, conventional applications of air-tunnel inevitably have high initial cost or issues about insufficient installation space. To improve the feasibility of air tunnel heat exchanger in high-density housing, an integrated system consisting of air pipes immersed in the water-filled raft foundation was presented, taking advantage of immense amount of water and relatively stable temperature in raft foundation of building. The foundation-integrated air tunnel was applied to a residential building located in Yilan, Taiwan, and its thermal performance was measured in the field experiment. The results indicated that the cooling potential of integrated system was close to the potential of soil-based EAHE at 2 m depth or deeper. An analytical model based on thermal resistance method was validated by measurement results, and was used to carry out the dimensioning of foundation-integrated air tunnel. The discrepancies between calculated value and measured data were less than 2.7%. In addition, the return-on-investment with regard to thermal performance and economics of the application was evaluated. Because the installation for air tunnel is scheduled in the building foundation construction, the utilization of integrated system spends less construction cost compare to the conventional earth-air tunnel.

In vitro Effects of Amygdalin on the Functional Competence of Rabbit Spermatozoa
The present in vitro study was designed to reveal whether amygdalin (AMG) is able to cause changes to the motility, viability and mitochondrial activity of rabbit spermatozoa. New Zealand White rabbits (n = 10) aged four months were used in the study. Semen samples were collected from each animal and used for the in vitro incubation. The samples were divided into five equal parts and diluted with saline supplemented with 0, 0.5, 1, 2.5 and 5 mg/mL AMG. At times 0h, 3h and 5h spermatozoa motion parameters were assessed using the SpermVision™ computer-aided sperm analysis (CASA) system, cell viability was examined with the metabolic activity (MTT) assay, and the eosin-nigrosin staining technique was used to evaluate the viability of rabbit spermatozoa. All AMG concentrations exhibited stimulating effects on the spermatozoa activity, as shown by a significant preservation of the motility (P<0.05 with respect to 0.5 mg/mL and 1 mg/mL AMG; Time 5 h) and mitochondrial activity (P< 0.05 in case of 0.5 mg/mL AMG; P< 0.01 in case of 1 mg/mL AMG; P < 0.001 with respect to 2.5 mg/mL and 5 mg/mL AMG; Time 5 h). None of the AMG doses supplemented had any significant impact of the spermatozoa viability. In conclusion, the data revealed that short-term co-incubation of spermatozoa with AMG may result in a higher preservation of the sperm structural integrity and functional activity.
Digital Control Algorithm Based on Delta-Operator for High-Frequency DC-DC Switching Converters

In this paper, a digital control algorithm based on delta-operator is presented for high-frequency digitally-controlled DC-DC switching converters. The stability and the controlling accuracy of the DC-DC switching converters are improved by using the digital control algorithm based on delta-operator without increasing the hardware circuit scale. The design method of voltage compensator in delta-domain using PID (Proportion-Integration- Differentiation) control is given in this paper, and the simulation results based on Simulink platform are provided, which have verified the theoretical analysis results very well. It can be concluded that, the presented control algorithm based on delta-operator has better stability and controlling accuracy, and easier hardware implementation than the existed control algorithms based on z-operator, therefore it can be used for the voltage compensator design in high-frequency digitally- controlled DC-DC switching converters.

The Effect of Curcumin on Cryopreserved Bovine Semen

Oxidative stress associated with semen cryopreservation may result in lipid peroxidation (LPO), DNA damage and apoptosis, leading to decreased sperm motility and fertilization ability. Curcumin (CUR), a natural phenol isolated from Curcuma longa Linn. has been presented as a possible supplement for a more effective semen cryopreservation because of its antioxidant properties. This study focused to evaluate the effects of CUR on selected oxidative stress parameters in cryopreserved bovine semen. 20 bovine ejaculates were split into two aliquots and diluted with a commercial semen extender containing CUR (50 μmol/L) or no supplement (control), cooled to 4 °C, frozen and kept in liquid nitrogen. Frozen straws were thawed in a water bath for subsequent experiments. Computer assisted semen analysis was used to evaluate spermatozoa motility, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was quantified by using luminometry. Superoxide generation was evaluated with the NBT test, and LPO was assessed via the TBARS assay. CUR supplementation significantly (P<0.001) increased the spermatozoa motility and provided a significantly higher protection against ROS (P<0.001) or superoxide (P<0.01) overgeneration caused by semen freezing and thawing. Furthermore, CUR administration resulted in a significantly (P<0.01) lower LPO of the experimental semen samples. In conclusion, CUR exhibits significant ROS-scavenging activities which may prevent oxidative insults to cryopreserved spermatozoa and thus may enhance the post-thaw functional activity of male gametes.

Correlation to Predict the Effect of Particle Type on Axial Voidage Profile in Circulating Fluidized Beds

Bed voidage behavior among different flow regimes for Geldart A, B, and D particles (fluid catalytic cracking catalyst (FCC), particle A and glass beads) of diameter range 57-872 μm, apparent density 1470-3092 kg/m3, and bulk density range 890-1773 kg/m3 were investigated in a gas-solid circulating fluidized bed of 0.1 m-i.d. and 2.56 m-height of plexi-glass. Effects of variables (gas velocity, particle properties, and static bed height) were analyzed on bed voidage. The axial voidage profile showed a typical trend along the riser: a dense bed at the lower part followed by a transition in the splash zone and a lean phase in the freeboard. Bed expansion and dense bed voidage increased with an increase of gas velocity as usual. From experimental results, a generalized model relationship based on inverse fluidization number for dense bed voidage from bubbling to fast fluidization regimes was presented.

Fabrication, Testing and Machinability Evaluation of Glass Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composites

The present paper deals with designing and fabricating an apparatus for the speedy and accurate manufacturing of fiber reinforced composite lamina of different orientation, thickness and stacking sequences for testing. Properties derived through an analytical approach are verified through measuring the elastic modulus, ultimate tensile strength, flexural modulus and flexural strength of the samples. The 00 orientation ply looks stiffer compared to the 900 ply. Similarly, the flexural strength of 00 ply is higher than to the 900 ply. Sample machinability has been studied by conducting numbers of drilling based on Taguchi Design experiments. Multi Responses (Delamination and Damage grading) is obtained using the desirability approach and optimum cutting condition (spindle speed, feed and drill diameter), at which responses are minimized is obtained thereafter. Delamination increases nonlinearly with the increase in spindle speed. Similarly, the influence of the drill diameter on delamination is higher than the spindle speed and feed rate.

Role of Sodium Concentration, Waiting Time and Constituents’ Temperature on the Rheological Behavior of Alkali Activated Slag Concrete
In this paper, rheological behavior of alkali activated slag concretes were investigated depending on the sodium concentration (SC), waiting time (WT) after production, and constituents’ temperature (CT) parameters. For this purpose, an experimental program was conducted with four different SCs of 1.85, 3.0, 4.15, and 5.30%, three different WT of 0 (just after production), 15, and 30 minutes and three different CT of 18, 30, and 40 °C. Solid precursors are activated by water glass and sodium hydroxide solutions with silicate modulus (Ms = SiO2/Na2O) of 1. Slag content and (water + activator solution)/slag ratio were kept constant in all mixtures. Yield stress and plastic viscosity values were defined for each mixture by using the ICAR rheometer. Test results were demonstrated that all of the three studied parameters have tremendous effect on the yield stress and plastic viscosity values of the alkali activated slag concretes. Increasing the SC, WT, and CT drastically augmented the rheological parameters. At the 15 and 30 minutes WT after production, most of the alkali activated slag concretes were set instantaneously, and rheological measurements were not performed.
The Effect of Addition of Dioctyl Terephthalate and Calcite on the Tensile Properties of Organoclay/Linear Low Density Polyethylene Nanocomposites

In recent years, polymer/clay nanocomposites have generated great interest in the polymer industry as a new type of composite material because of their superior properties, which includes high heat deflection temperature, gas barrier performance, dimensional stability, enhanced mechanical properties, optical clarity and flame retardancy when compared with the pure polymer or conventional composites. The investigation of change of the tensile properties of organoclay/linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) nanocomposites with the use of Dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) (as plasticizer) and calcite (as filler) has been aimed. The composites and organoclay synthesized were characterized using the techniques such as XRD, HRTEM and FTIR techniques. The spectroscopic results indicate that platelets of organoclay were well dispersed within the polymeric matrix. The tensile properties of the composites were compared considering the stress-strain curve drawn for each composite and pure polymer. It was observed that the composites prepared by adding the plasticizer at different ratios and a certain amount of calcite exhibited different tensile behaviors compared to pure polymer.

The Role of Public Education in Increasing Public Awareness through Mass Media with Emphasis on Newspapers and TV: Coping with Possible Earthquake in Tehran

This study aimed to evaluate the role of state education in increasing public awareness through mass media (with emphasis on newspapers and TV) coping with possible earthquake in Tehran. All residents aged 15 to 65 who live in the five regions of Tehran (North, South, East, West and Center) during the plan implementation were selected and studied. The required sample size in each region was calculated based on the Cochran formula (n=380). In order to collect and analyze the data, a questionnaire with reliability (82%) and a one-sample t-test has been used, respectively. The results showed that warnings related to the Tehran earthquake affected people in the pre-contemplation stage, while public education through mass media did not promote public awareness about prevention, preparedness and rehabilitation.

Cuban Shelf Results of Exploration and Petroleum Potential

Oil-and-gas potential of Cuba is found through the discoveries among which there are the most large-scale deposits, such as the Boca de Jaruco and Varadero fields of heavy oils. Currently, the petroleum and petroleum products needs of the island state are satisfied by own sources by less than a half. The prospects of the hydrocarbon resource base development are connected with the adjacent water area of the Gulf of Mexico where foreign companies had been granted license blocks for geological study and further development since 2001. Two Russian companies - JSC Gazprom Neft and OJSC Zarubezhneft, among others, took part in the development of the Cuban part of the Gulf of Mexico. Since 2004, five oil wells have been drilled by various companies in the deep waters of the exclusive economic zone of Cuba. Commercial oil-and-gas bearing prospects have been established in neither of them for both geological and technological reasons. However, only a small part of the water area has been covered by drilling and the productivity of the drill core has been tested at the depth of Cretaceous sediments only. In our opinion, oil-and-gas bearing prospects of the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cuba in the Gulf of Mexico remain undervalued and the mentioned water area needs additional geological exploration. The planning of exploration work in this poorly explored region shall be carried out systematically and it shall be based on the results of the regional scientific research.

Feasibility Study of Distributed Lightless Intersection Control with Level 1 Autonomous Vehicles

Urban intersection control without the use of the traffic light has the potential to vastly improve the efficiency of the urban traffic flow. For most proposals in the literature, such lightless intersection control depends on the mass market commercialization of highly intelligent autonomous vehicles (AV), which limits the prospects of near future implementation. We present an efficient lightless intersection traffic control scheme that only requires Level 1 AV as defined by NHTSA. The technological barriers of such lightless intersection control are thus very low. Our algorithm can also accommodate a mixture of AVs and conventional vehicles. We also carry out large scale numerical analysis to illustrate the feasibility, safety and robustness, comfort level, and control efficiency of our intersection control scheme.

Topochemical Synthesis of Epitaxial Silicon Carbide on Silicon

A method is developed for the solid-phase synthesis of epitaxial layers when the substrate itself is involved into a topochemical reaction and the reaction product grows in the interior of substrate layer. It opens up new possibilities for the relaxation of the elastic energy due to the attraction of point defects formed during the topochemical reaction in anisotropic media. The presented method of silicon carbide (SiC) formation employs a topochemical reaction between the single-crystalline silicon (Si) substrate and gaseous carbon monoxide (CO). The corresponding theory of interaction of point dilatation centers in anisotropic crystals is developed. It is eliminated that the most advantageous location of the point defects is the direction (111) in crystals with cubic symmetry. The single-crystal SiC films with the thickness up to 200 nm have been grown on Si (111) substrates owing to the topochemical reaction with CO. Grown high-quality single-crystal SiC films do not contain misfit dislocations despite the huge lattice mismatch value of ~20%. Also the possibility of growing of thick wide-gap semiconductor films on these templates SiC/Si(111) and, accordingly, its integration into Si electronics, is demonstrated. Finally, the ab initio theory of SiC formation due to the topochemical reaction has been developed.

The Effect of User Comments on Traffic Application Usage

With the unprecedented rates of technological improvements, people start to solve their problems with the help of technological tools. According to application stores and websites in which people evaluate and comment on the traffic apps, there are more than 100 traffic applications which have different features with respect to their purpose of usage ranging from the features of traffic apps for public transit modes to the features of traffic apps for private cars. This study focuses on the top 30 traffic applications which were chosen with respect to their download counts. All data about the traffic applications were obtained from related websites. The purpose of this study is to analyze traffic applications in terms of their categorical attributes with the help of developing a regression model. The analysis results suggest that negative interpretations (e.g., being deficient) does not lead to lower star ratings of the applications. However, those negative interpretations result in a smaller increase in star rate. In addition, women use higher star rates than men for the evaluation of traffic applications.

A Security Cloud Storage Scheme Based Accountable Key-Policy Attribute-Based Encryption without Key Escrow

With the development of cloud computing, more and more users start to utilize the cloud storage service. However, there exist some issues: 1) cloud server steals the shared data, 2) sharers collude with the cloud server to steal the shared data, 3) cloud server tampers the shared data, 4) sharers and key generation center (KGC) conspire to steal the shared data. In this paper, we use advanced encryption standard (AES), hash algorithms, and accountable key-policy attribute-based encryption without key escrow (WOKE-AKP-ABE) to build a security cloud storage scheme. Moreover, the data are encrypted to protect the privacy. We use hash algorithms to prevent the cloud server from tampering the data uploaded to the cloud. Analysis results show that this scheme can resist conspired attacks.

Ontology-Navigated Tutoring System for Flipped-Mastery Model

Nowadays, in Japan, variety of students get into a university and one of the main roles of introductory courses for freshmen is to make such students well prepared for subsequent intermediate courses. For that purpose, the flipped-mastery model is not enough because videos usually used in a flipped classroom is not adaptive and does not fit all freshmen with different academic performances. This paper proposes an ontology-navigated tutoring system called EduGraph. Using EduGraph, students can prepare for and review a class, in a more flexibly personalizable way than by videos. Structuralizing learning materials by its ontology, EduGraph also helps students integrate what they learn as knowledge, and makes learning materials sharable. EduGraph was used for an introductory course for freshmen. This application suggests that EduGraph is effective.

Feature Extractions of EMG Signals during a Constant Workload Pedaling Exercise

Electromyography (EMG) is one of the important indicators during exercise, as it is closely related to the level of muscle activations. This work quantifies the muscle conditions of the lower limbs in a constant workload exercise. Surface EMG signals of the vastus laterals (VL), vastus medialis (VM), rectus femoris (RF), gastrocnemius medianus (GM), gastrocnemius lateral (GL) and Soleus (SOL) were recorded from fourteen healthy males. The EMG signals were segmented in two phases: activation segment (AS) and relaxation segment (RS). Period entropy (PE), peak count (PC), zero crossing (ZC), wave length (WL), mean power frequency (MPF), median frequency (MDF) and root mean square (RMS) are calculated to provide the quantitative information of the measured EMG segments. The outcomes reveal that the PE, PC, ZC and RMS have significantly changed (p<.001); WL presents moderately changed (p<.01); MPF and MDF show no changed (p>.05) during exercise. The results also suggest that the RS is also preferred for performance evaluation, while the results of the extracted features in AS are usually affected directly by the amplitudes. It is further found that the VL exhibits the most significant changes within six muscles during pedaling exercise. The proposed work could be applied to quantify the stamina analysis and to predict the instant muscle status in athletes.

Dissipation Capacity of Steel Building with Fiction Pendulum Base-Isolation System
Use of base isolators in the seismic design of structures has attracted considerable attention in recent years. The major concern in the design of these structures is to have enough lateral stability to resist wind and seismic forces. There are different systems providing such isolation, among them there are friction- pendulum base isolation systems (FPS) which are rather widely applied nowadays involving to both affordable cost and high fundamental periods. These devices are characterised by a stiff resistance against wind loads and to be flexible to the seismic tremors, which make them suitable for different situations. In this paper, a 3D numerical investigation is done considering the seismic response of a twelve-storey steel building retrofitted with a FPS. Fast nonlinear time history analysis (FNA) of Boumerdes earthquake (Algeria, May 2003) is considered for analysis and carried out using SAP2000 software. Comparisons between fixed base, bearing base isolated and braced structures are shown in a tabulated and graphical format. The results of the various alternatives studies to compare the structural response without and with this device of dissipation energy thus obtained were discussed and the conclusions showed the interesting potential of the FPS isolator. This system may to improve the dissipative capacities of the structure without increasing its rigidity in a significant way which contributes to optimize the quantity of steel necessary for its general stability.
Offline Parameter Identification and State-of-Charge Estimation for Healthy and Aged Electric Vehicle Batteries Based on the Combined Model

Recently, Electric Vehicles (EVs) have received extensive consideration since they offer a more sustainable and greener transportation alternative compared to fossil-fuel propelled vehicles. Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) batteries are increasingly being deployed in EVs because of their high energy density, high cell-level voltage, and low rate of self-discharge. Since Li-ion batteries represent the most expensive component in the EV powertrain, accurate monitoring and control strategies must be executed to ensure their prolonged lifespan. The Battery Management System (BMS) has to accurately estimate parameters such as the battery State-of-Charge (SOC), State-of-Health (SOH), and Remaining Useful Life (RUL). In order for the BMS to estimate these parameters, an accurate and control-oriented battery model has to work collaboratively with a robust state and parameter estimation strategy. Since battery physical parameters, such as the internal resistance and diffusion coefficient change depending on the battery state-of-life (SOL), the BMS has to be adaptive to accommodate for this change. In this paper, an extensive battery aging study has been conducted over 12-months period on 5.4 Ah, 3.7 V Lithium polymer cells. Instead of using fixed charging/discharging aging cycles at fixed C-rate, a set of real-world driving scenarios have been used to age the cells. The test has been interrupted every 5% capacity degradation by a set of reference performance tests to assess the battery degradation and track model parameters. As battery ages, the combined model parameters are optimized and tracked in an offline mode over the entire batteries lifespan. Based on the optimized model, a state and parameter estimation strategy based on the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF) and the relatively new Smooth Variable Structure Filter (SVSF) have been applied to estimate the SOC at various states of life.

Thermal Radiation and Noise Safety Assessment of an Offshore Platform Flare Stack as Sudden Emergency Relief Takes Place

To study the potential hazards of the sudden emergency relief of flare stack, the thermal radiation and noise calculation of flare stack is carried out by using Flaresim program 2.0. Thermal radiation and noise analysis should be considered as the sudden emergency relief takes place. According to the Flaresim software simulation results, the thermal radiation and noise meet the requirement.

Semilocal Convergence of a Three Step Fifth Order Iterative Method under Höolder Continuity Condition in Banach Spaces
In this paper, we study the semilocal convergence of a fifth order iterative method using recurrence relation under the assumption that first order Fréchet derivative satisfies the Hölder condition. Also, we calculate the R-order of convergence and provide some a priori error bounds. Based on this, we give existence and uniqueness region of the solution for a nonlinear Hammerstein integral equation of the second kind.
Tracked Robot with Blade Arms to Enhance Crawling Capability

This paper presents a tracked robot with blade arms powered to assist movement in difficult environments. As a result, the tracked robot is able to pass a ramp or climb stairs. The main feature is a pair of blade arms on both sides of the vehicle body working in collaboration with previously validated transformable track system. When the robot encounters an obstacle in a terrain, it enlists the blade arms with power to overcome the obstacle. In disaster areas, there usually will be terrains that are full of broken and complicated slopes, broken walls, rubbles, and ditches. Thereupon, a robot, which is instructed to pass through such disaster areas, needs to have a good off-road capability for such complicated terrains. The robot with crawling-assisting blade arms would overcome the obstacles along the terrains, and possibly become to be a rescue robot. A prototype has been developed and built; experiments were carried out to validate the enhanced crawling capability of the robot.

A Failure Criterion for Unsupported Boreholes in Poorly Cemented Granular Formations
The breakage of bonding between sand particles and their dislodgment from the borehole wall are among the main factors resulting in a borehole failure in poorly cemented granular formations. The grain debonding usually precedes the borehole failure and it can be considered as a sign that the onset of the borehole collapse is imminent. Detecting the bonding breakage point and introducing an appropriate failure criterion will play an important role in borehole stability analysis. To study the influence of different factors on the initiation of sand bonding breakage at the borehole wall, a series of laboratory tests was designed and conducted on poorly cemented sand samples. The total absorbed strain energy per volume of material up to the point of the observed particle debonding was computed. The results indicated that the particle bonding breakage point at the borehole wall was reached both before and after the peak strength of the thick-walled hollow cylinder specimens depending on the stress path and cement content. Three different cement contents and two borehole sizes were investigated to study the influence of the bonding strength and scale on the particle dislodgment. Test results showed that the stress path has a significant influence on the onset of the sand bonding breakage. It was shown that for various stress paths, there is a near linear relationship between the absorbed energy and the normal effective mean stress.
Determination of Agricultural Characteristics of Smooth Bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) Lines under Konya Regional Conditions

The present study was conducted to determine the yield and yield components of smooth bromegrass lines under the environmental conditions of the Konya region during the growing seasons between 2011 and 2013. The experiment was performed in the randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. It was found that the selected lines had a statistically significant effect on all the investigated traits, except for the main stem length and the number of nodes in the main stem. According to the two-year average calculated for various parameters checked in the smooth bromegrass lines, the main stem length ranged from 71.6 cm to 79.1 cm, the main stem diameter from 2.12 mm from 2.70 mm, the number of nodes in the main stem from 3.2 to 3.7, the internode length from 11.6 cm to 18.9 cm, flag leaf length from 9.7 cm to 12.7 cm, flag leaf width from 3.58 cm to 6.04 mm, herbage yield from 221.3 kg da–1 to 354.7 kg da–1 and hay yield from 100.4 kg da–1 to 190.1 kg da–1. The study concluded that the smooth bromegrass lines differ in terms of yield and yield components. Therefore, it is very crucial to select suitable varieties of smooth bromegrass to obtain optimum yield.

Miniaturized PVC Sensors for Determination of Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+ in Buffalo-Cows’ Cervical Mucus Samples

Three polyvinyl chloride membrane sensors were developed for the electrochemical evaluation of ferrous, manganese and zinc ions. The sensors were used for assaying metal ions in cervical mucus (CM) of Egyptian river buffalo-cows (Bubalus bubalis) as their levels vary dependent on cyclical hormone variation during different phases of estrus cycle. The presented sensors are based on using ionophores, β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), hydroxypropyl β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) and sulfocalix-4-arene (SCAL) for sensors 1, 2 and 3 for Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+, respectively. Dioctyl phthalate (DOP) was used as the plasticizer in a polymeric matrix of polyvinylchloride (PVC). For increasing the selectivity and sensitivity of the sensors, each sensor was enriched with a suitable complexing agent, which enhanced the sensor’s response. For sensor 1, β-CD was mixed with bathophenanthroline; for sensor 2, porphyrin was incorporated with HP-β-CD; while for sensor 3, oxine was the used complexing agent with SCAL. Linear responses of 10-7-10-2 M with cationic slopes of 53.46, 45.01 and 50.96 over pH range 4-8 were obtained using coated graphite sensors for ferrous, manganese and zinc ionic solutions, respectively. The three sensors were validated, according to the IUPAC guidelines. The obtained results by the presented potentiometric procedures were statistically analyzed and compared with those obtained by atomic absorption spectrophotometric method (AAS). No significant differences for either accuracy or precision were observed between the two techniques. Successful application for the determination of the three studied cations in CM, for the purpose to determine the proper time for artificial insemination (AI) was achieved. The results were compared with those obtained upon analyzing the samples by AAS. Proper detection of estrus and correct time of AI was necessary to maximize the production of buffaloes. In this experiment, 30 multi-parous buffalo-cows were in second to third lactation and weighting 415-530 kg, and were synchronized with OVSynch protocol. Samples were taken in three times around ovulation, on day 8 of OVSynch protocol, on day 9 (20 h before AI) and on day 10 (1 h before AI). Beside analysis of trace elements (Fe2+, Mn2+ and Zn2+) in CM using the three sensors, the samples were analyzed for the three cations and also Cu2+ by AAS in the CM samples and blood samples. The results obtained were correlated with hormonal analysis of serum samples and ultrasonography for the purpose of determining of the optimum time of AI. The results showed significant differences and powerful correlation with Zn2+ composition of CM during heat phase and the ovulation time, indicating that the parameter could be used as a tool to decide optimal time of AI in buffalo-cows.

ISME: Integrated Style Motion Editor for 3D Humanoid Character

The motion of a realistic 3D humanoid character is very important especially for the industries developing computer animations and games. However, this type of motion is seen with a very complex dimensional data as well as body position, orientation, and joint rotation. Integrated Style Motion Editor (ISME), on the other hand, is a method used to alter the 3D humanoid motion capture data utilised in computer animation and games development. Therefore, this study was carried out with the purpose of demonstrating a method that is able to manipulate and deform different motion styles by integrating Key Pose Deformation Technique and Trajectory Control Technique. This motion editing method allows the user to generate new motions from the original motion capture data using a simple interface control. Unlike the previous method, our method produces a realistic humanoid motion style in real time.

3D Point Cloud Model Color Adjustment by Combining Terrestrial Laser Scanner and Close Range Photogrammetry Datasets

3D models obtained with advanced survey techniques such as close-range photogrammetry and laser scanner are nowadays particularly appreciated in Cultural Heritage and Archaeology fields. In order to produce high quality models representing archaeological evidences and anthropological artifacts, the appearance of the model (i.e. color) beyond the geometric accuracy, is not a negligible aspect. The integration of the close-range photogrammetry survey techniques with the laser scanner is still a topic of study and research. By combining point cloud data sets of the same object generated with both technologies, or with the same technology but registered in different moment and/or natural light condition, could construct a final point cloud with accentuated color dissimilarities. In this paper, a methodology to uniform the different data sets, to improve the chromatic quality and to highlight further details by balancing the point color will be presented.

Exploring Pisa Monuments Using Mobile Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) has taken a big leap with the introduction of mobile applications which co-locate bi-dimensional (e.g. photo, video, text) and tridimensional information with the location of the user enriching his/her experience. This study presents the advantages of using Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) technologies in traveling applications, improving cultural heritage exploration. We propose a location-based AR application which combines co-location with the augmented visual information about Pisa monuments to establish a friendly navigation in this historic city. AR was used to render contextual visual information in the outdoor environment. The developed Android-based application offers two different options: it provides the ability to identify the monuments positioned close to the user’s position and it offers location information for getting near the key touristic objectives. We present the process of creating the monuments’ 3D map database and the navigation algorithm.

Design Consideration of a Plastic Shredder in Recycling Processes

Plastic waste management has emerged as one of the greatest challenges facing developing countries. This paper describes the design of various components of a plastic shredder. This machine is widely used in industries and recycling plants. The introduction of plastic shredder machine will promote reduction of post-consumer plastic waste accumulation and serves as a system for wealth creation and empowerment through conversion of waste into economically viable products. In this design research, a 10 kW electric motor with a rotational speed of 500 rpm was chosen to drive the shredder. A pulley size of 400 mm is mounted on the electric motor at a distance of 1000 mm away from the shredder pulley. The shredder rotational speed is 300 rpm.

Self-Perceived Employability of Students of International Relations of University of Warmia and Mazury in Poland
Nowadays, graduates should be prepared for serious challenges in the internal and external labor market. The notion that a degree is a “passport to employment” has been relegated to the past. In the last few years a phenomenon in the form of the increasing unemployment of highly educated young people in EU countries, including Poland has been observed. Empirical studies were conducted among Polish students in the scope of the so-called self-perceived employability review. In this study, a special scale was used which consisted of 19 statements regarding five components: student’s perception of university; field of study; self-belief; state of the external labor market; and, personal knowledge management. The respondent group consisted of final-year master’s students of International Relations at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland. The findings of the empirical studies were compiled using statistical methods: descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. In general, in light of the conducted studies, the self-perceived employability of the Polish students was not high. Limitations of the studies were discussed, as well as the implications for future research in the scope of the students’ employability.
Kuehne + Nagel's PharmaChain: IoT-Enabled Product Monitoring Using Radio Frequency Identification

This case study features the Kuehne + Nagel PharmaChain solution for ‘cold chain’ pharmaceutical and biologic product shipments with IOT-enabled features for shipment temperature and location tracking. Using the case study method and content analysis, this research project investigates the application of the structurational model of technology theory introduced by Orlikowski in order to interpret the firm’s entry and participation in the IOT-impelled marketplace.

Experimental and Finite Element Study of Bending Fatigue Failure: A Case Study on Main Shaft of a Gyrator Crusher

This study investigates the mechanism of a Gyratory crusher-located in Golgohar mining and industrial Co. specifically with a focus on stresses distribution and fatigue failure of its main shaft. At first step, the cross section of the fractured shaft is studied, and the crack growth is analyzed. Then, the rotational motion of the shaft and the oil temperature of oil circuit of equipment are monitored. Condition monitoring is used to help finding a better modification. Based on the results of this study, the main causes of shaft failure are identified, and corrective solution is offered to increase crusher performance, especially its main shaft life. To predict the efficiency of the proposed modification, finite element simulation is performed, and its results are compared with the similar modified cases. The comparison and interpretation of simulation results confirm the efficiency of proposed corrective method.

Ultra-High Frequency Passive Radar Coverage for Cars Detection in Semi-Urban Scenarios

A study of achievable coverages using passive radar systems in terrestrial traffic monitoring applications is presented. The study includes the estimation of the bistatic radar cross section of different commercial vehicle models that provide challenging low values which make detection really difficult. A semi-urban scenario is selected to evaluate the impact of excess propagation losses generated by an irregular relief. A bistatic passive radar exploiting UHF frequencies radiated by digital video broadcasting transmitters is assumed. A general method of coverage estimation using electromagnetic simulators in combination with estimated car average bistatic radar cross section is applied. In order to reduce the computational cost, hybrid solution is implemented, assuming free space for the target-receiver path but estimating the excess propagation losses for the transmitter-target one.

Investigating the Efficiency of Stratified Double Median Ranked Set Sample for Estimating the Population Mean

Stratified double median ranked set sampling (SDMRSS) method is suggested for estimating the population mean. The SDMRSS is compared with the simple random sampling (SRS), stratified simple random sampling (SSRS), and stratified ranked set sampling (SRSS). It is shown that SDMRSS estimator is an unbiased of the population mean and more efficient than SRS, SSRS, and SRSS. Also, by SDMRSS, we can increase the efficiency of mean estimator for specific value of the sample size. SDMRSS is applied on real life examples, and the results of the example agreed the theoretical results.

Perception of Neighbourhood-Level Built Environment in Relation to Youth Physical Activity in Malaysia

Neighbourhood environment walkability on reported physical activity (PA) levels of students of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Malaysia. Compared with previous generations, today’s young people spend less time playing outdoors and have lower participation rates in PA. Research suggests that negative perceptions of neighbourhood walkability may be a potential barrier to adolescents’ PA. The sample consisted of 200 USM students (to 24 years old) who live outside of the main campus and engage in PA in sport halls and sport fields of USM. The data were analysed using the t-test, binary logistic regression, and discriminant analysis techniques. The present study found that youth PA was affected by neighbourhood environment walkability factors, including neighbourhood infrastructures, neighbourhood safety (crime), and recreation facilities, as well as street characteristics and neighbourhood design variables such as facades of sidewalks, roadside trees, green spaces, and aesthetics. The finding also illustrated that active students were influenced by street connectivity, neighbourhood infrastructures, recreation facilities, facades of sidewalks, and aesthetics, whereas students in the less active group were affected by access to destinations, neighbourhood safety (crime), and roadside trees and green spaces for their PAs. These results report which factors of built environments have more effect on youth PA and they message to the public to create more awareness about the benefits of PA on youth health.

Arabic Light Stemmer for Better Search Accuracy
Arabic is one of the most ancient and critical languages in the world. It has over than 250 million Arabic native speakers and more than twenty countries having Arabic as one of its official languages. In the past decade, we have witnessed a rapid evolution in smart devices, social network and technology sector which led to the need to provide tools and libraries that properly tackle the Arabic language in different domains. Stemming is one of the most crucial linguistic fundamentals. It is used in many applications especially in information extraction and text mining fields. The motivation behind this work is to enhance the Arabic light stemmer to serve the data mining industry and leverage it in an open source community. The presented implementation works on enhancing the Arabic light stemmer by utilizing and enhancing an algorithm that provides an extension for a new set of rules and patterns accompanied by adjusted procedure. This study has proven a significant enhancement for better search accuracy with an average 10% improvement in comparison with previous works.
Financial Portfolio Optimization in Electricity Markets: Evaluation via Sharpe Ratio

Electricity plays an indispensable role in human life and the economy. It is a unique product or service that must be balanced instantaneously, as electricity is not stored, generation and consumption should be proportional. Effective and efficient use of electricity is very important not only for society, but also for the environment. A competitive electricity market is one of the best ways to provide a suitable platform for effective and efficient use of electricity. On the other hand, it carries some risks that should be carefully managed by the market players. Risk management is an essential part in market players’ decision making. In this paper, risk management through diversification is applied with the help of Markowitz’s Mean-variance, Down-side and Semi-variance methods for a case study. Performance of optimal electricity sale solutions are measured and evaluated via Sharpe-Ratio, and the optimal portfolio solutions are improved. Two years of historical weekdays’ price data of the Turkish Day Ahead Market are used to demonstrate the approach.

Identifying and Analyzing the Role of Brand Loyalty towards Incumbent Smartphones in New Branded Smartphone Adoption: Approach by Dual Process Theory

Fierce competition in smartphone market may encourage users to switch brands when buying a new smartphone. However, many smartphone users continue to use the same brand although other branded smartphones are perceived to be more attractive. The purpose of this study is to identify and analyze the effects of brand loyalty toward incumbent smartphone on new smartphone adoption. For this purpose, a research model including two hypotheses, the positive effect on rational judgments and the negative effect on rational judgments, are proposed based on the dual process theory. For the validation of the research model, the data was collected by surveying Korean university students and tested by the group comparison between high and low brand loyalty. The results show that the two hypotheses were statistically supported.

Equations of Pulse Propagation in Three-Layer Structure of As2S3 Chalcogenide Plasmonic Nano-Waveguides

This research aims at obtaining the equations of pulse propagation in nonlinear plasmonic waveguides created with As2S3 chalcogenide materials. Via utilizing Helmholtz equation and first-order perturbation theory, two components of electric field are determined within frequency domain. Afterwards, the equations are formulated in time domain. The obtained equations include two coupled differential equations that considers nonlinear dispersion.

Self-Tuning Power System Stabilizer Based on Recursive Least Square Identification and Linear Quadratic Regulator

Available commercial applications of power system stabilizers assure optimal damping of synchronous generator’s oscillations only in a small part of operating range. Parameters of the power system stabilizer are usually tuned for the selected operating point. Extensive variations of the synchronous generator’s operation result in changed dynamic characteristics. This is the reason that the power system stabilizer tuned for the nominal operating point does not satisfy preferred damping in the overall operation area. The small-signal stability and the transient stability of the synchronous generators have represented an attractive problem for testing different concepts of the modern control theory. Of all the methods, the adaptive control has proved to be the most suitable for the design of the power system stabilizers. The adaptive control has been used in order to assure the optimal damping through the entire synchronous generator’s operating range. The use of the adaptive control is possible because the loading variations and consequently the variations of the synchronous generator’s dynamic characteristics are, in most cases, essentially slower than the adaptation mechanism. The paper shows the development and the application of the self-tuning power system stabilizer based on recursive least square identification method and linear quadratic regulator. Identification method is used to calculate the parameters of the Heffron-Phillips model of the synchronous generator. On the basis of the calculated parameters of the synchronous generator’s mathematical model, the synthesis of the linear quadratic regulator is carried-out. The identification and the synthesis are implemented on-line. In this way, the self-tuning power system stabilizer adapts to the different operating conditions. A purpose of this paper is to contribute to development of the more effective power system stabilizers, which would replace currently used linear stabilizers. The presented self-tuning power system stabilizer makes the tuning of the controller parameters easier and assures damping improvement in the complete operating range. The results of simulations and experiments show essential improvement of the synchronous generator’s damping and power system stability.

A Numerical Method for Diffusion and Cahn-Hilliard Equations on Evolving Spherical Surfaces
In this paper, we present a simple effective numerical geometric method to estimate the divergence of a vector field over a curved surface. The conservation law is an important principle in physics and mathematics. However, many well-known numerical methods for solving diffusion equations do not obey conservation laws. Our presented method in this paper combines the divergence theorem with a generalized finite difference method and obeys the conservation law on discrete closed surfaces. We use the similar method to solve the Cahn-Hilliard equations on evolving spherical surfaces and observe stability results in our numerical simulations.
A Study of Numerical Reaction-Diffusion Systems on Closed Surfaces
The diffusion-reaction equations are important Partial Differential Equations in mathematical biology, material science, physics, and so on. However, finding efficient numerical methods for diffusion-reaction systems on curved surfaces is still an important and difficult problem. The purpose of this paper is to present a convergent geometric method for solving the reaction-diffusion equations on closed surfaces by an O(r)-LTL configuration method. The O(r)-LTL configuration method combining the local tangential lifting technique and configuration equations is an effective method to estimate differential quantities on curved surfaces. Since estimating the Laplace-Beltrami operator is an important task for solving the reaction-diffusion equations on surfaces, we use the local tangential lifting method and a generalized finite difference method to approximate the Laplace-Beltrami operators and we solve this reaction-diffusion system on closed surfaces. Our method is not only conceptually simple, but also easy to implement.
Ship Detection Requirements Analysis for Different Sea States: Validation on Real SAR Data
Ship detection is nowadays quite an important issue in tasks related to sea traffic control, fishery management and ship search and rescue. Although it has traditionally been carried out by patrol ships or aircrafts, coverage and weather conditions and sea state can become a problem. Synthetic aperture radars can surpass these coverage limitations and work under any climatological condition. A fast CFAR ship detector based on a robust statistical modeling of sea clutter with respect to sea states in SAR images is used. In this paper, the minimum SNR required to obtain a given detection probability with a given false alarm rate for any sea state is determined. A Gaussian target model using real SAR data is considered. Results show that SNR does not depend heavily on the class considered. Provided there is some variation in the backscattering of targets in SAR imagery, the detection probability is limited and a post-processing stage based on morphology would be suitable.
Managing of Work Risk in Small and Medium-Size Companies
The purpose of the article is presentation and analysis of the aspect of job security in small and medium-size enterprises in Poland with reference to other EU countries. We show the theoretical aspects of the risk with reference to managing small and medium enterprises, next risk management in small and medium enterprises in Poland, which were subjected to a detailed analysis. We show in detail the risk associated with the operation of the mentioned above companies, as well as analyses its levels on various stages and for different kinds of conducted activity.
Power Integrity Analysis of Power Delivery System in High Speed Digital FPGA Board

Power plane noise is the most significant source of signal integrity (SI) issues in a high-speed digital design. In this paper, power integrity (PI) analysis of multiple power planes in a power delivery system of a 12-layer high-speed FPGA board is presented. All 10 power planes of HSD board are analyzed separately by using 3D Electromagnetic based PI solver, then the transient simulation is performed on combined PI data of all planes along with voltage regulator modules (VRMs) and 70 current drawing chips to get the board level power noise coupling on different high-speed signals. De-coupling capacitors are placed between power planes and ground to reduce power noise coupling with signals.

Creative Mapping Landuse and Human Activities: From the Inventories of Factories to the History of the City and Citizens
Digital technologies offer possibilities to effectively convert historical archives into instruments of knowledge able to provide a guide for the interpretation of historical phenomena. Digital conversion and management of those documents allow the possibility to add other sources in a unique and coherent model that permits the intersection of different data able to open new interpretations and understandings. Urban history uses, among other sources, the inventories that register human activities in a specific space (e.g. cadastres, censuses, etc.). The geographic localisation of that information inside cartographic supports allows for the comprehension and visualisation of specific relationships between different historical realities registering both the urban space and the peoples living there. These links that merge the different nature of data and documentation through a new organisation of the information can suggest a new interpretation of other related events. In all these kinds of analysis, the use of GIS platforms today represents the most appropriate answer. The design of the related databases is the key to realise the ad-hoc instrument to facilitate the analysis and the intersection of data of different origins. Moreover, GIS has become the digital platform where it is possible to add other kinds of data visualisation. This research deals with the industrial development of Turin at the beginning of the 20th century. A census of factories realized just prior to WWI provides the opportunity to test the potentialities of GIS platforms for the analysis of urban landscape modifications during the first industrial development of the town. The inventory includes data about location, activities, and people. GIS is shaped in a creative way linking different sources and digital systems aiming to create a new type of platform conceived as an interface integrating different kinds of data visualisation. The data processing allows linking this information to an urban space, and also visualising the growth of the city at that time. The sources, related to the urban landscape development in that period, are of a different nature. The emerging necessity to build, enlarge, modify and join different buildings to boost the industrial activities, according to their fast development, is recorded by different official permissions delivered by the municipality and now stored in the Historical Archive of the Municipality of Turin. Those documents, which are reports and drawings, contain numerous data on the buildings themselves, including the block where the plot is located, the district, and the people involved such as the owner, the investor, and the engineer or architect designing the industrial building. All these collected data offer the possibility to firstly re-build the process of change of the urban landscape by using GIS and 3D modelling technologies thanks to the access to the drawings (2D plans, sections and elevations) that show the previous and the planned situation. Furthermore, they access information for different queries of the linked dataset that could be useful for different research and targets such as economics, biographical, architectural, or demographical. By superimposing a layer of the present city, the past meets to the present-industrial heritage, and people meet urban history.
H.264 Video Privacy Protection Method Using Regions of Interest Encryption

Like a closed-circuit television (CCTV), video surveillance system is widely placed for gathering video from unspecified people to prevent crime, surveillance, or many other purposes. However, abuse of CCTV brings about concerns of personal privacy invasions. In this paper, we propose an encryption method to protect personal privacy system in H.264 compressed video bitstream with encrypting only regions of interest (ROI). There is no need to change the existing video surveillance system. In addition, encrypting ROI in compressed video bitstream is a challenging work due to spatial and temporal drift errors. For this reason, we propose a novel drift mitigation method when ROI is encrypted. The proposed method was implemented by using JM reference software based on the H.264 compressed videos, and experimental results show the verification of our proposed methods and its effectiveness.

Long Term Follow-Up, Clinical Outcomes and Quality of Life after Total Arterial Revascularisation versus Conventional Coronary Surgery: A Retrospective Study

Graft patency underpins long-term prognosis after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (CABG). The benefits of the combined use of only the left internal mammary artery and radial artery, referred to as total arterial revascularisation (TAR), on long-term clinical outcomes and quality of life are relatively unknown. The aim of this study was to identify whether there were differences in long term clinical outcomes between recipients of TAR compared to a cohort of mostly arterial revascularization involving the left internal mammary, at least one radial artery and at least one saphenous vein graft. A retrospective analysis was performed on all patients who underwent TAR or were re-vascularized with supplementary saphenous vein graft from February 1996 to December 2004. Telephone surveys were conducted to obtain clinical outcome parameters including major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) and Short Form (SF-36v2) Health Survey responses. A total of 176 patients were successfully contacted to obtain postop follow up results. The mean follow-up length from time of surgery in our study was TAR 12.4±1.8 years and conventional 12.6±2.1. PCS score was TAR 45.9±8.8 vs LIMA/Rad/ SVG 44.9±9.2 (p=0.468) and MCS score was TAR 52.0±8.9 vs LIMA/Rad/SVG 52.5±9.3 (p=0.723). There were no significant differences between groups for NYHA class 3+ TAR 9.4% vs. LIMA/Rad/SVG 6.6%; or CCS 3+ TAR 2.35% vs. LIMA/Rad/SVG 0%.

Re-Use of Waste Marble in Producing Green Concrete

In this study, literature related to the replacement of cement with waste marble and the use of waste marble as an aggregate in concrete production was examined. Workability of the concrete decreased when marble powder was used as a substitute for fine aggregate. Marble powder contributed to the compressive strength of concrete because of the CaCO3 and SiO2 present in the chemical structure of the marble. Additionally, the use of marble pieces in place of coarse aggregate revealed that this contributed to the workability and mechanical properties of the concrete. When natural standard sand was replaced with marble dust at a ratio of 15% and 75%, the compressive strength and splitting tensile strength of the concrete increased by 20%-26% and 10%-15%, respectively. However, coarse marble aggregates exhibited the best performance at a 100% replacement ratio. Additionally, there was a greater improvement in the mechanical properties of concrete when waste marble was used in a coarse aggregate form when compared to that of when marble was used in a dust form. If the cement was replaced with marble powder in proportions of 20% or more, then adverse effects were observed on the compressive strength and workability of the concrete. This study indicated that marble dust at a cement-replacement ratio of 5%-10% affected the mechanical properties of concrete by decreasing the global annual CO2 emissions by 12% and also lowering the costs from US$40/m3 to US$33/m3.

Applicability of Linearized Model of Synchronous Generator for Power System Stability Analysis

For the synchronous generator simulation and analysis and for the power system stabilizer design and synthesis a mathematical model of synchronous generator is needed. The model has to accurately describe dynamics of oscillations, while at the same time has to be transparent enough for an analysis and sufficiently simplified for design of control system. To study the oscillations of the synchronous generator against to the rest of the power system, the model of the synchronous machine connected to an infinite bus through a transmission line having resistance and inductance is needed. In this paper, the linearized reduced order dynamic model of the synchronous generator connected to the infinite bus is presented and analysed in details. This model accurately describes dynamics of the synchronous generator only in a small vicinity of an equilibrium state. With the digression from the selected equilibrium point the accuracy of this model is decreasing considerably. In this paper, the equations’ descriptions and the parameters’ determinations for the linearized reduced order mathematical model of the synchronous generator are explained and summarized and represent the useful origin for works in the areas of synchronous generators’ dynamic behaviour analysis and synchronous generator’s control systems design and synthesis. The main contribution of this paper represents the detailed analysis of the accuracy of the linearized reduced order dynamic model in the entire synchronous generator’s operating range. Borders of the areas where the linearized reduced order mathematical model represents accurate description of the synchronous generator’s dynamics are determined with the systemic numerical analysis. The thorough eigenvalue analysis of the linearized models in the entire operating range is performed. In the paper, the parameters of the linearized reduced order dynamic model of the laboratory salient poles synchronous generator were determined and used for the analysis. The theoretical conclusions were confirmed with the agreement of experimental and simulation results.

Decision Making during the Project Management Life Cycle of Infrastructure Projects

The various disciplines in the construction industry and the co-existence of the people in the various disciplines are what builds well-developed, closely-knit interpersonal skills at various hierarchical levels thus leading to a varied way of leadership. The varied decision making aspects during the lifecycle of a project include: autocratic, participatory and last but not least, free-rein. We can classify some of the decision makers in the construction industry in a hierarchical manner as follows: project executive, project manager, superintendent, office engineer and finally the field engineer. This survey looked at how decisions are made during the construction period by the key stakeholders in the project. From the paper it is evident that the three decision making aspects can be used at different times or at times together in order to bring out the best leadership decision. A blend of different leadership styles should be used to enhance the success rate during the project lifecycle.

Motor Coordination and Body Mass Index in Primary School Children

Obese children will probably become obese adults, consequently exposed to an increased risk of comorbidity and premature mortality. Body weight may be indirectly determined by continuous development of coordination and motor skills. The level of motor skills and abilities is an important factor that promotes physical activity since early childhood. The aim of the study is to thoroughly understand the internal relations between motor coordination abilities and the somatic development of prepubertal children and to determine the effect of excess body weight on motor coordination by comparing the motor ability levels of children with different body mass index (BMI) values. The data were collected from 436 children aged 7–10 years, without health limitations, fully participating in school physical education classes. Body height was measured with portable stadiometers (Harpenden, Holtain Ltd.), and body mass—with a digital scale (HN-286, Omron). Motor coordination was evaluated with the Kiphard-Schilling body coordination test, Körperkoordinationstest für Kinder. The normality test by Shapiro-Wilk was used to verify the data distribution. The correlation analysis revealed a statistically significant negative association between the dynamic balance and BMI, as well as between the motor quotient and BMI (p<0.01) for both boys and girls. The results showed no effect of gender on the difference in the observed trends. The analysis of variance proved statistically significant differences between normal weight children and their overweight or obese counterparts. Coordination abilities probably play an important role in preventing or moderating the negative trajectory leading to childhood overweight and obesity. At this age, the development of coordination abilities should become a key strategy, targeted at long-term prevention of obesity and the promotion of an active lifestyle in adulthood. Motor performance is essential for implementing a healthy lifestyle in childhood already. Physical inactivity apparently results in motor deficits and a sedentary lifestyle in children, which may be accompanied by excess energy intake and overweight.

PYTHEIA: A Scale for Assessing Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics

The objective of the present study was to develop a scale called PYTHEIA. The PYTHEIA is a self-reported measure for the assessment of rehabilitation and assistive robotics and other assistive technology devices. The development of PYTHEIA faced the absence of a valid instrument that can be used to evaluate the assistive robotic devices both as a whole, as well as any of their individual components or functionalities implemented. According to the results presented, PYTHEIA is a valid and reliable scale able to be applied to different target groups for the subjective evaluation of various assistive technology devices.

Inquiry on the Improvement Teaching Quality in the Classroom with Meta-Teaching Skills
When teachers reflect and evaluate whether their teaching methods actually have an impact on students’ learning, they will adjust their practices accordingly. This inevitably improves their students’ learning and performance. The approach in meta-teaching can invigorate and create a passion for teaching. It thus helps to increase the commitment and love for the teaching profession. This study was conducted to determine the level of metacognitive thinking of teachers in the process of teaching and learning in the classroom. Metacognitive thinking teachers include the use of metacognitive knowledge which consists of different types of knowledge: declarative, procedural and conditional. The ability of the teachers to plan, monitor and evaluate the teaching process can also be determined. This study was conducted on 377 graduate teachers in Klang Valley, Malaysia. The stratified sampling method was selected for the purpose of this study. The metacognitive teaching inventory consisting of 24 items is called InKePMG (Teacher Indicators of Effectiveness Meta-Teaching). The results showed the level of mean is high for two components of metacognitive knowledge; declarative knowledge (mean = 4.16) and conditional (mean = 4.11) whereas, the mean of procedural knowledge is 4.00 (moderately high). Similarly, the level of knowledge in monitoring (mean = 4.11), evaluating (mean = 4.00) which indicate high score and planning (mean = 4.00) are moderately high score among teachers. In conclusion, this study shows that the planning and procedural knowledge is an important element in improving the quality of teachers teaching in the classroom. Thus, the researcher recommended that further studies should focus on training programs for teachers on metacognitive skills and also on developing creative thinking among teachers.
Determining Food Habits in Süleymanpasa Town of Tekirdag City, Turkey
Food-borne problems have been placed among the most leading problems of the society especially in recent years. This state arises as a problem which affects the society wholly such as the supply of food stuffs that are necessary for an individual to perform his physiological and biological functions, their amount, compound, their effects on health and distribution by individuals. This study was conducted in order to determine the sensitivities and criteria of people, who have different socio-economic backgrounds and live in Süleymanpasa Town of Tekirdag City, in their preference of food stuffs. The research data were collected by means of Interview Technique with individuals within the scope of the study (300) and applying surveys with convenience sampling. According to the research results, quality appears in the first rank among the factors by which consumers are affected while buying food stuffs. Consumers stated that they try to be careful with not buying food sold outdoors. The most preferred food among the ones being sold outdoor were found to be breakfast food. Also, food stuff which consumers become the most selective for while buying was determined to be meat and meat products. Due to general knowledge about the food stuff consumed in human nutrition may affect their health negatively; consumers expressed that they are very relevant with their diets and this circumstances affects their purchase preferences.  
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