Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 143

Review of Studies on Agility in Knowledge Management

Agility in Knowledge Management (AKM) tries to capture agility requirements and their respective answers within the framework of knowledge and learning for organizations. Since it is rather a new construct, it is difficult to claim that it has been sufficiently discussed and analyzed in practical and theoretical realms. Like the term ‘agile learning’, it is also commonly addressed in the software development and information technology fields and across the related areas where those technologies can be applied. The organizational perspective towards AKM, seems to need some more time to become scholarly mature. Nevertheless, in the literature one can come across some implicit usages of this term occasionally. This research is aimed to explore the conceptual background of agility in KM, re-conceptualize it and extend it to business applications with a special focus on e-business.

The Effect of Alkaline Treatment on Tensile Strength and Morphological Properties of Kenaf Fibres for Yarn Production
This paper investigates the effect of alkali treatment and mechanical properties of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) fibre for the development of yarn. Two different fibre sources are used for the yarn production. Kenaf fibres were treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in the concentration of 3, 6, 9, and 12% prior to fibre opening process and tested for their tensile strength and Young’s modulus. Then, the selected fibres were introduced to fibre opener at three different opening processing parameters; namely, speed of roller feeder, small drum, and big drum. The diameter size, surface morphology, and fibre durability towards machine of the fibres were characterized. The results show that concentrations of NaOH used have greater effects on fibre mechanical properties. From this study, the tensile and modulus properties of the treated fibres for both types have improved significantly as compared to untreated fibres, especially at the optimum level of 6% NaOH. It is also interesting to highlight that 6% NaOH is the optimum concentration for the alkaline treatment. The untreated and treated fibres at 6% NaOH were then introduced to fibre opener, and it was found that the treated fibre produced higher fibre diameter with better surface morphology compared to the untreated fibre. Higher speed parameter during opening was found to produce higher yield of opened-kenaf fibres.
Researches on Attractive Flowered Natural Woody Plants of Bursa Flora in Terms of Landscape Design

One of the most important criteria that increase the success of design in landscape architecture is the visual effect. The characteristics that affect visual appearance in plant design vary depending on the phenological periods of the plants. In plants, although different effects are observed in different periods of the year, this effect is felt most prominently in flowering periods. For this reason, knowing the flowering time, duration and flower characteristics should be considered as a factor increasing the success of plant design. In this study, flower characteristics of natural woody plants with attractive flowers have been examined. Because of the variability of these characteristics of plants in the region, consideration of these criteria in the planting design processes in the region may increase the success of the design. At the same time, when species selection is made considering the obtained data, visuality and sustainability of natural species can be possible in Bursa city with planting design.

Obtaining the Analytic Dependence for Estimating the Ore Mill Operation Modes

The particular significance of comprehensive estimation of the increase in the operation efficiency of the mill motor electromechanical system, providing the main technological process for obtaining a metallic concentrate, as well as the technical state of the system are substantiated. The works carried out in the sphere of investigating, creating, and improving the operation modes of electric drive motors and ore-grinding mills have been studied. Analytic dependences for estimating the operation modes of the ore-grinding mills aimed at improving the ore-crashing process maintenance and technical service efficiencies have been obtained. The obtained analytic dependencies establish a link between the technological and power parameters of the electromechanical system, and allow to estimate the state of the system and reveal the controlled parameters required for the efficient management in case of changing the technological parameters.                It has been substantiated that the changes in the technological factors affecting the consumption power of the drive motor do not cause an instability in the electromechanical system.

Rotor Side Speed Control Methods Using MATLAB/Simulink for Wound Induction Motor

In recent advancements in electric machine and drives, wound rotor motor is extensively used. The merit of using wound rotor induction motor is to control speed/torque characteristics by inserting external resistance. Wound rotor induction motor can be used in the cases such as (a) low inrush current, (b) load requiring high starting torque, (c) lower starting current is required, (d) loads having high inertia, and (e) gradual built up of torque. Examples include conveyers, cranes, pumps, elevators, and compressors. This paper includes speed control of wound induction motor using MATLAB/Simulink for rotor resistance and slip power recovery method. The characteristics of these speed control methods are hence analyzed.

Digital Geomatics Trends for Production and Updating Topographic Map by Using Digital Generalization Procedures

An accuracy digital map must satisfy the users for two main requirements, first, map must be visually readable and second, all the map elements must be in a good representation. These two requirements hold especially true for map generalization which aims at simplifying the representation of cartographic data. Different scales of maps are very important for any decision in any maps with different scales such as master plan and all the infrastructures maps in civil engineering. Cartographer cannot project the data onto a piece of paper, but he has to worry about its readability. The map layout of any geodatabase is very important, this layout is help to read, analyze or extract information from the map. There are many principles and guidelines of generalization that can be find in the cartographic literature. A manual reduction method for generalization depends on experience of map maker and therefore produces incompatible results. Digital generalization, rooted from conventional cartography, has become an increasing concern in both Geographic Information System (GIS) and mapping fields. This project is intended to review the state of the art of the new technology and help to understand the needs and plans for the implementation of digital generalization capability as well as increase the knowledge of production topographic maps.

Water Resources Vulnerability Assessment to Climate Change in a Semi-Arid Basin of South India

This paper examines vulnerability assessment of water resources in a semi-arid basin using the 4-step approach. The vulnerability assessment framework is developed to study the water resources vulnerability which includes the creation of GIS-based vulnerability maps. These maps represent the spatial variability of the vulnerability index. This paper introduces the 4-step approach to assess vulnerability that incorporates a new set of indicators. The approach is demonstrated using a framework composed of a precipitation data for (1975–2010) period, temperature data for (1965–2010) period, hydrological model outputs and the water resources GIS data base. The vulnerability assessment is a function of three components such as exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The current water resources vulnerability is assessed using GIS based spatio-temporal information. Rainfall Coefficient of Variation, monsoon onset and end date, rainy days, seasonality indices, temperature are selected for the criterion ‘exposure’. Water yield, ground water recharge, evapotranspiration (ET) are selected for the criterion ‘sensitivity’. Type of irrigation and storage structures are selected for the criterion ‘Adaptive capacity’. These indicators were mapped and integrated in GIS environment using overlay analysis. The five sub-basins, namely Arjunanadhi, Kousiganadhi, Sindapalli-Uppodai and Vallampatti Odai, fall under medium vulnerability profile, which indicates that the basin is under moderate stress of water resources. The paper also explores prioritization of sub-basinwise adaptation strategies to climate change based on the vulnerability indices.

Classification of Business Models of Italian Bancassurance by Balance Sheet Indicators

The aim of paper is to analyze business models of bancassurance in Italy for life business. The life insurance business is very developed in the Italian market and banks branches have 80% of the market share. Given its maturity, the life insurance market needs to consolidate its organizational form to allow for the development of non-life business, which nowadays collects few premiums but represents a great opportunity to enlarge the market share of bancassurance using its strength in the distribution channel while the market share of independent agents is decreasing. Starting with the main business model of bancassurance for life business, this paper will analyze the performances of life companies in the Italian market by balance sheet indicators and by main discriminant variables of business models. The study will observe trends from 2013 to 2015 for the Italian market by exploiting a database managed by Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Assicurazione (ANIA). The applied approach is based on a bottom-up analysis starting with variables and indicators to define business models’ classification. The statistical classification algorithm proposed by Ward is employed to design business models’ profiles. Results from the analysis will be a representation of the main business models built by their profile related to indicators. In that way, an unsupervised analysis is developed that has the limit of its judgmental dimension based on research opinion, but it is possible to obtain a design of effective business models.

Implication of the Exchange-Correlation on Electromagnetic Wave Propagation in Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes

Using the linearized quantum hydrodynamic model (QHD) and by considering the role of quantum parameter (Bohm’s potential) and electron exchange-correlation potential in conjunction with Maxwell’s equations, electromagnetic wave propagation in a single-walled carbon nanotubes was studied. The electronic excitations are described. By solving the mentioned equations with appropriate boundary conditions and by assuming the low-frequency electromagnetic waves, two general expressions of dispersion relations are derived for the transverse magnetic (TM) and transverse electric (TE) modes, respectively. The dispersion relations are analyzed numerically and it was found that the dependency of dispersion curves with the exchange-correlation effects (which have been ignored in previous works) in the low frequency would be limited. Moreover, it has been realized that asymptotic behaviors of the TE and TM modes are similar in single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs). The results show that by adding the function of electron exchange-correlation potential lead to the phenomena and make to extend the validity range of QHD model. The results can be important in the study of collective phenomena in nanostructures.

Detection of Voltage Sag and Voltage Swell in Power Quality Using Wavelet Transforms

Voltage sag, voltage swell, high-frequency noise and voltage transients are kinds of disturbances in power quality. They are also known as power quality events. Equipment used in the industry nowadays has become more sensitive to these events with the increasing complexity of equipment. This leads to the importance of distributing clean power quality to the consumer. To provide better service, the best analysis on power quality is very vital. Thus, this paper presents the events detection focusing on voltage sag and swell. The method is developed by applying time domain signal analysis using wavelet transform approach in MATLAB. Four types of mother wavelet namely Haar, Dmey, Daubechies, and Symlet are used to detect the events. This project analyzed real interrupted signal obtained from 22 kV transmission line in Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The signals will be decomposed through the wavelet mothers. The best mother is the one that is capable to detect the time location of the event accurately.

Optimal Placement and Sizing of Energy Storage System in Distribution Network with Photovoltaic Based Distributed Generation Using Improved Firefly Algorithms

The installation of photovoltaic based distributed generation (PVDG) in active distribution system can lead to voltage fluctuation due to the intermittent and unpredictable PVDG output power. This paper presented a method in mitigating the voltage rise by optimally locating and sizing the battery energy storage system (BESS) in PVDG integrated distribution network. The improved firefly algorithm is used to perform optimal placement and sizing. Three objective functions are presented considering the voltage deviation and BESS off-time with state of charge as the constraint. The performance of the proposed method is compared with another optimization method such as the original firefly algorithm and gravitational search algorithm. Simulation results show that the proposed optimum BESS location and size improve the voltage stability.

Torsional Rigidities of Reinforced Concrete Beams Subjected to Elastic Lateral Torsional Buckling
Reinforced concrete (RC) beams rarely undergo lateral-torsional buckling (LTB), since these beams possess large lateral bending and torsional rigidities owing to their stocky cross-sections, unlike steel beams. However, the problem of LTB is becoming more and more pronounced in the last decades as the span lengths of concrete beams increase and the cross-sections become more slender with the use of pre-stressed concrete. The buckling moment of a beam mainly depends on its lateral bending rigidity and torsional rigidity. The nonhomogeneous and elastic-inelastic nature of RC complicates estimation of the buckling moments of concrete beams. Furthermore, the lateral bending and torsional rigidities of RC beams and the buckling moments are affected from different forms of concrete cracking, including flexural, torsional and restrained shrinkage cracking. The present study pertains to the effects of concrete cracking on the torsional rigidities of RC beams prone to elastic LTB. A series of tests on rather slender RC beams indicated that torsional cracking does not initiate until buckling in elastic LTB, while flexural cracking associated with lateral bending takes place even at the initial stages of loading. Hence, the present study clearly indicated that the un-cracked torsional rigidity needs to be used for estimating the buckling moments of RC beams liable to elastic LTB.
An Electronic and Performance Test for the Applicants to Faculty of Education for Early Childhood in Egypt for Measuring the Skills of Teacher Students
The current study presents an electronic test to measure teaching skills. This test is a part of the admission system of the Faculty of Education for Early Childhood, Cairo University. The test has been prepared to evaluate university students who apply for admission the Faculty. It measures some social and physiological skills which are important for successful teachers, such as emotional adjustment and problem solving; moreover, the extent of their love for children and their capability to interact with them. The test has been approved by 13 experts. Finally, it has been introduced to 1,100 students during the admission system of the academic year 2016/2017. The results showed that most of the applicants have an auditory learning style. In addition, 97% of them have the minimum requirement skills for teaching children.
Inter-Area Oscillation Monitoring in Maghrebian Power Grid Using Phasor Measurement Unit

In the inter-connected power systems, a phenomenon called inter-area oscillation may be caused by several defects. In this paper, a study of the Maghreb countries inter-area power networks oscillation has been investigated. The inter-area oscillation monitoring can be enhanced by integrating Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) technology installed in different places. The data provided by PMU and recorded by PDC will be used for the monitoring, analysis, and control purposes. The proposed approach has been validated by simulation using MATLAB/Simulink.

Searching the Efficient Frontier for the Coherent Covering Location Problem
In this article, we will try to find an efficient boundary approximation for the bi-objective location problem with coherent coverage for two levels of hierarchy (CCLP). We present the mathematical formulation of the model used. Supported efficient solutions and unsupported efficient solutions are obtained by solving the bi-objective combinatorial problem through the weights method using a Lagrangean heuristic. Subsequently, the results are validated through the DEA analysis with the GEM index (Global efficiency measurement).
Field-Programmable Gate Array Based Tester for Protective Relay

The reliability of the power grid depends on the successful operation of thousands of protective relays. The failure of one relay to operate as intended may lead the entire power grid to blackout. In fact, major power system failures during transient disturbances may be caused by unnecessary protective relay tripping rather than by the failure of a relay to operate. Adequate relay testing provides a first defense against false trips of the relay and hence improves power grid stability and prevents catastrophic bulk power system failures. The goal of this research project is to design and enhance the relay tester using a technology such as Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) card NI 7851. A PC based tester framework has been developed using Simulink power system model for generating signals under different conditions (faults or transient disturbances) and LabVIEW for developing the graphical user interface and configuring the FPGA. Besides, the interface system has been developed for outputting and amplifying the signals without distortion. These signals should be like the generated ones by the real power system and large enough for testing the relay’s functionality. The signals generated that have been displayed on the scope are satisfactory. Furthermore, the proposed testing system can be used for improving the performance of protective relay.

Markov Random Field-Based Segmentation Algorithm for Detection of Land Cover Changes Using Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar Polarimetric Images

The information on land use/land cover changing plays an essential role for environmental assessment, planning and management in regional development. Remotely sensed imagery is widely used for providing information in many change detection applications. Polarimetric Synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) image, with the discrimination capability between different scattering mechanisms, is a powerful tool for environmental monitoring applications. This paper proposes a new boundary-based segmentation algorithm as a fundamental step for land cover change detection. In this method, first, two PolSAR images are segmented using integration of marker-controlled watershed algorithm and coupled Markov random field (MRF). Then, object-based classification is performed to determine changed/no changed image objects. Compared with pixel-based support vector machine (SVM) classifier, this novel segmentation algorithm significantly reduces the speckle effect in PolSAR images and improves the accuracy of binary classification in object-based level. The experimental results on Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) polarimetric images show a 3% and 6% improvement in overall accuracy and kappa coefficient, respectively. Also, the proposed method can correctly distinguish homogeneous image parcels.

Long Term Changes of Water Quality in Latvia

The aim of this study was to analyze long term changes of surface water quality in Latvia, spatial variability of water chemical composition, possible impacts of different pollution sources as well as to analyze the measures to protect national water resources - river basin management. Within this study, the concentrations of major water ingredients and microelements in major rivers and lakes of Latvia have been determined. Metal concentrations in river and lake waters were compared with water chemical composition. The mean concentrations of trace metals in inland waters of Latvia are appreciably lower than the estimated world averages for river waters and close to or lower than background values, unless regional impacts determined by local geochemistry. This may be explained by a comparatively lower level of anthropogenic load. In the same time in several places, direct anthropogenic impacts are evident, regarding influences of point sources both transboundary transport impacts. Also, different processes related to pollution of surface waters in Latvia have been analyzed. At first the analysis of changes and composition of pollutant emissions in Latvia has been realized, and the obtained results were compared with actual composition of atmospheric precipitation and their changes in time.

Effect of Span 60, Labrasol, and Cholesterol on Labisia pumila Loaded Niosomes Quality

Labisia pumila (LP) plant extract has the potential to be applied in cosmeceutical products due to its anti-photoaging properties. The main purpose of this study was to improve transdermal delivery of LP by encapsulating LP in niosomes. Niosomes loaded LPs were prepared by coacervation phase separation method using non-ionic surfactant (Span 60), labrasol, and cholesterol. The optimum formula obtained were Span 60, labrasol and cholesterol at the mole ratio of 6:1:4. At the optimum formulation, the niosome obtained significantly improved the quality of transdermal penetration of LP compared to free LP.

Selection of Intensity Measure in Probabilistic Seismic Risk Assessment of a Turkish Railway Bridge

Fragility curve is an effective common used tool to determine the earthquake performance of structural and nonstructural components. Also, it is used to determine the nonlinear behavior of bridges. There are many historical bridges in the Turkish railway network; the earthquake performances of these bridges are needed to be investigated. To derive fragility curve Intensity measures (IMs) and Engineering demand parameters (EDP) are needed to be determined. And the relation between IMs and EDP are needed to be derived. In this study, a typical simply supported steel girder riveted railway bridge is studied. Fragility curves of this bridge are derived by two parameters lognormal distribution. Time history analyses are done for selected 60 real earthquake data to determine the relation between IMs and EDP. Moreover, efficiency, practicality, and sufficiency of three different IMs are discussed. PGA, Sa(0.2s) and Sa(1s), the most common used IMs parameters for fragility curve in the literature, are taken into consideration in terms of efficiency, practicality and sufficiency.

The Development of a Low Carbon Cementitious Material Produced from Cement, Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag and High Calcium Fly Ash

This research represents experimental work for investigation of the influence of utilising Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS) and High Calcium Fly Ash (HCFA) as a partial replacement for Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) and produce a low carbon cementitious material with comparable compressive strength to OPC. Firstly, GGBS was used as a partial replacement to OPC to produce a binary blended cementitious material (BBCM); the replacements were 0, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50% by the dry mass of OPC. The optimum BBCM was mixed with HCFA to produce a ternary blended cementitious material (TBCM). The replacements were 0, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50% by the dry mass of BBCM. The compressive strength at ages of 7 and 28 days was utilised for assessing the performance of the test specimens in comparison to the reference mixture using 100% OPC as a binder. The results showed that the optimum BBCM was the mix produced from 25% GGBS and 75% OPC with compressive strength of 32.2 MPa at the age of 28 days. In addition, the results of the TBCM have shown that the addition of 10, 15, 20 and 25% of HCFA to the optimum BBCM improved the compressive strength by 22.7, 11.3, 5.2 and 2.1% respectively at 28 days. However, the replacement of optimum BBCM with more than 25% HCFA have showed a gradual drop in the compressive strength in comparison to the control mix. TBCM with 25% HCFA was considered to be the optimum as it showed better compressive strength than the control mix and at the same time reduced the amount of cement to 56%. Reducing the cement content to 56% will contribute to decrease the cost of construction materials, provide better compressive strength and also reduce the CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

An Investigation of Surface Texturing by Ultrasonic Impingement of Micro-Particles

Surface topography plays a significant role in the functional performance of engineered parts. It is important to have a control on the surface geometry and understanding on the surface details to get the desired performance. Hence, in the current research contribution, a non-contact micro-texturing technique has been explored and developed. The technique involves ultrasonic excitation of a tool as a prime source of surface texturing for aluminum alloy workpieces. The specimen surface is polished first and is then immersed in a liquid bath containing 10% weight concentration of Ti6Al4V grade 5 spherical powders. A submerged slurry jet is used to recirculate the spherical powders under the ultrasonic horn which is excited at an ultrasonic frequency and amplitude of 40 kHz and 70 µm respectively. The distance between the horn and workpiece surface was remained fixed at 200 µm using a precision control stage. Texturing effects were investigated for different process timings of 1, 3 and 5 s. Thereafter, the specimens were cleaned in an ultrasonic bath for 5 mins to remove loose debris on the surface. The developed surfaces are characterized by optical and contact surface profiler. The optical microscopic images show a texture of circular spots on the workpiece surface indented by titanium spherical balls. Waviness patterns obtained from contact surface profiler supports the texturing effect produced from the proposed technique. Furthermore, water droplet tests were performed to show the efficacy of the proposed technique to develop hydrophilic surfaces and to quantify the texturing effect produced.

Performance Analysis of ERA Using Fuzzy Logic in Wireless Sensor Network

In Wireless Sensor Network (WSN), the main limitation is generally inimitable energy consumption during processing of the sensor nodes. Cluster head (CH) election is one of the main issues that can reduce the energy consumption. Therefore, discovering energy saving routing protocol is the focused area for research. In this paper, fuzzy-based energy aware routing protocol is presented, which enhances the stability and network lifetime of the network. Fuzzy logic ensures the well-organized selection of CH by taking four linguistic variables that are concentration, energy, centrality, and distance to base station (BS). The results show that the proposed protocol shows better results in requisites of stability and throughput of the network.

Performance of Axially Loaded Single Pile Embedded in Cohesive Soil with Cavities

The stability of a single model pile located adjacent to a continuous cavity was studied. This paper is an attempt to understand the behaviour of axially loaded single pile embedded in clayey soil with the presences of cavities. The performance of piles located in such soils was studied analytically. A verification analysis was carried out on available studies to assess the ability of analytical model to correctly interpret the system behaviour. The study was adopted by finite element program (PLAXIS). The study included many cases; in each case, there is a critical value in which the presence of cavities has shown minimum effect on the pile performance. Figures including the load carrying capacity of pile with the affecting factors are presented. These figures provide beneficial information for pile design constructed close to underground cavities. It was concluded that the load carrying capacity of the pile is reduced by the presence of the cavity within the soil mass. This reduction varies according to the size and location of cavity.

Non-Revenue Water Management in Palestine

Water is the most important and valuable resource not only for human life but also for all living things on the planet. The water supply utilities should fulfill the water requirement quantitatively and qualitatively. Drinking water systems are exposed to both natural (hurricanes and flood) and manmade hazards (risks) that are common in Palestine. Non-Revenue Water (NRW) is a manmade risk which remains a major concern in Palestine, as the NRW levels are estimated to be at a high level. In this research, Hebron city water distribution network was taken as a case study to estimate and audit the NRW levels. The research also investigated the state of the existing water distribution system in the study area by investigating the water losses and obtained more information on NRW prevention and management practices. Data and information have been collected from the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) and Hebron Municipality (HM) archive. In addition to that, a questionnaire has been designed and administered by the researcher in order to collect the necessary data for water auditing. The questionnaire also assessed the views of stakeholder in PWA and HM (staff) on the current status of the NRW in the Hebron water distribution system. The important result obtained by this research shows that NRW in Hebron city was high and in excess of 30%. The main factors that contribute to NRW were the inaccuracies in billing volumes, unauthorized consumption, and the method of estimating consumptions through faulty meters. Policy for NRW reduction is available in Palestine; however, it is clear that the number of qualified staff available to carry out the activities related to leak detection is low, and that there is a lack of appropriate technologies to reduce water losses and undertake sufficient system maintenance, which needs to be improved to enhance the performance of the network and decrease the level of NRW losses.

Failure Criterion for Mixed Mode Fracture of Cracked Wood Specimens

Investigation of fracture of wood components can prevent from catastrophic failures. Created fracture process zone (FPZ) in crack tip vicinity has important effect on failure of cracked composite materials. In this paper, a failure criterion for fracture investigation of cracked wood specimens under mixed mode I/II loading is presented. This criterion is based on maximum strain energy release rate and material nonlinearity in the vicinity of crack tip due to presence of microcracks. Verification of results with available experimental data proves the coincidence of the proposed criterion with the nature of fracture of wood. To simplify the estimation of nonlinear properties of FPZ, a damage factor is also introduced for engineering and application purposes.

Understanding the Experience of the Visually Impaired towards a Multi-Sensorial Architectural Design

Visually impaired people, in their daily lives, face struggles and spatial barriers because the built environment is often designed with an extreme focus on the visual element, causing what is called architectural visual bias or ocularcentrism. The aim of the study is to holistically understand the world of the visually impaired as an attempt to extract the qualities of space that accommodate their needs, and to show the importance of multi-sensory, holistic designs for the blind. Within the framework of existential phenomenology, common themes are reached through "intersubjectivity": experience descriptions by blind people and blind architects, observation of how blind children learn to perceive their surrounding environment, and a personal lived blind-folded experience are analyzed. The extracted themes show how visually impaired people filter out and prioritize tactile (active, passive and dynamic touch), acoustic and olfactory spatial qualities respectively, and how this happened during the personal lived blind folded experience. The themes clarify that haptic and aural inclusive designs are essential to create environments suitable for the visually impaired to empower them towards an independent, safe and efficient life.

Preparation of Polymer-Stabilized Magnetic Iron Oxide as Selective Drug Nanocarriers to Human Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Drug delivery to target human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) using a nanoparticulate chemotherapeutic formulation that can deliver drugs selectively to AML cancer is hugely needed. In this work, we report the development of a nanoformulation made of polymeric-stabilized multifunctional magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (PMNP) loaded with the anticancer drug Doxorubicin (Dox) as a promising drug carrier to treat AML. [email protected] conjugates simultaneously exhibited high drug content, maximized fluorescence, and excellent release properties. Nanoparticulate uptake and cell death following addition of [email protected] were then evaluated in different types of human AML target cells, as well as on normal human cells. While the unloaded MNPs were not toxic to any of the cells, [email protected] were found to be highly toxic to the different AML cell lines, albeit at different inhibitory concentrations (IC50 values), but showed very little toxicity towards the normal cells. In comparison, free Dox showed significant potency concurrently to all the cell lines, suggesting huge potentials for the use of [email protected] as selective AML anticancer cargos. Live confocal imaging, fluorescence and electron microscopy confirmed that Dox is indeed delivered to the nucleus in relatively short periods of time, causing apoptotic cell death. Importantly, this targeted payload may potentially enhance the effectiveness of the drug in AML patients and may further allow physicians to image leukemic cells exposed to [email protected] using MRI.

A Methodology of Testing Beam to Column Connection under Lateral Impact Load

Beam to column connection can be considered as the most important structural part that affects the response of buildings to progressive collapse. However, many studies were conducted to investigate the beam to column connection under accidental loads such as fire, blast and impact load to investigate the connection response. The study is a part of a PhD plan to investigate different types of connections under lateral impact load. The conventional test setups, such as cruciform setup, were designed to apply shear forces and bending moment on the connection, whilst, in the lateral impact case, the connection is subjected to combined tension and moment. Hence, a review is presented to introduce the previous test setup that is used to investigate the connection behaviour. Then, the design and fabrication of the novel test setup is presented. Finally, some trial test results to investigate the efficiency of the proposed setup are discussed. The final results indicate that the setup was efficient in terms of the simplicity and strength.

The Efficiency of Cytochrome Oxidase Subunit 1 Gene (cox1) in Reconstruction of Phylogenetic Relations among Some Crustacean Species

Some Metapenaeus monoceros cox1 gene fragments were isolated, purified, sequenced, and comparatively analyzed with some other Crustacean Cox1 gene sequences (obtained from National Center for Biotechnology Information). This work was designed for testing the efficiency of this system in reconstruction of phylogenetic relations among some Crustacean species belonging to four genera (Metapenaeus, Artemia, Daphnia and Calanus). The single nucleotide polymorphism and haplotype diversity were calculated for all estimated mt-DNA fragments. The genetic distance values were 0.292, 0.015, 0.151, and 0.09 within Metapenaeus species, Calanus species, Artemia species, and Daphnia species, respectively. The reconstructed phylogenetic tree is clustered into some unique clades. Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1) was a powerful system in reconstruction of phylogenetic relations among evaluated crustacean species.

Quasi-Static Analysis of End Plate Beam-to-Column Connections

This paper presents a method for modelling and analysing end plate beam-to-column connections to obtain the quasi-static behaviour using non-linear dynamic explicit integration. In addition to its importance to study the static behaviour of a structural member, quasi-static behaviour is largely needed to be compared with the dynamic behaviour of such members in order to investigate the dynamic effect by proposing dynamic increase factors (DIFs). The beam-to-column bolted connections contain various contact surfaces at which the implicit procedure may have difficulties converging, resulting in a large number of iterations. Contrary, explicit procedure could deal effectively with complex contacts without converging problems. Hence, finite element modelling using ABAQUS/explicit is used in this study to address the dynamic effect may be produced using explicit procedure. Also, the effect of loading rate and mass scaling are discussed to investigate their effect on the time of analysis. The results show that the explicit procedure is valuable to model the end plate beam-to-column connections in terms of failure mode, load-displacement relationships. Also, it is concluded that loading rate and mass scaling should be carefully selected to avoid the dynamic effect in the solution.

Power of Doubling: Population Growth and Resource Consumption

Sustainability starts with conserving resources for future generations. Since human’s existence on this earth, he has been consuming natural resources. The resource consumption pace in the past was very slow, but industrialization in 18th century brought a change in the human lifestyle. New inventions and discoveries upgraded the human workforce to machines. The mass manufacture of goods provided easy access to products. In the last few decades, the globalization and change in technologies brought consumer oriented market. The consumption of resources has increased at a very high scale. This overconsumption pattern brought economic boom and provided multiple opportunities, but it also put stress on the natural resources. This paper tries to put forth the facts and figures of the population growth and consumption of resources with examples. This is explained with the help of the mathematical expression of doubling known as exponential growth. It compares the carrying capacity of the earth and resource consumption of humans’ i.e. ecological footprint and bio-capacity. Further, it presents the need to conserve natural resources and re-examine sustainable resource use approach for sustainability.

Nurses’ Views on ‘Effective Nurse Leader’ Characteristics in Iraq

This research explored ward nurses’ views about the characteristics of effective nurse leaders in the context of Iraq as a developing country, where the delivery of health care continues to face disruption and change. It is well established that the provision of modern health care requires effective nurse leaders, but in countries such as Iraq the lack of effective nurse leaders is noted as a major challenge. In a descriptive quantitative study, a survey questionnaire was administered to 210 ward nurses working in two public hospitals in a major city in the north of Iraq. The participating nurses were of the opinion that the effectiveness of their nurse leaders was evident in their ability to demonstrate: good clinical knowledge, effective communication and managerial skills. They also viewed their leaders as needing to hold high-level nursing qualifications, though this was not necessarily the case in practice. Additionally, they viewed nurse leaders’ personal qualities as important, which included politeness, ethical behaviour, and trustworthiness. When considered against the issues raised in interviews with a smaller group (20) of senior nurse leaders, representative of the various occupational levels, implications identify the need for professional development that focuses on how the underpinning competencies relate to leadership and how transformational leadership is evidenced in practice.

Improving Gas Separation Performance of Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride) Based Membranes Containing Ionic Liquid

Polymer based membranes are one of the low-cost technologies available for the gas separation. Three major elements required for a commercial gas separating membrane are high permeability, high selectivity, and good mechanical strength. Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) is a commercially available fluoropolymer and a widely used membrane material in gas separation devices since it possesses remarkable thermal, chemical stability, and excellent mechanical strength. The PVDF membrane was chemically modified by soaking in different ionic liquids and dried. The thermal behavior of modified membranes was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetry (TGA), and the results clearly show the best affinity between the ionic liquid and the polymer support. The porous structure of the PVDF membranes was clearly seen in the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. The CO₂ permeability of blended membranes was explored in comparison with the unmodified matrix. The ionic liquid immobilized in the hydrophobic PVDF support exhibited good performance for separations of CO₂/N₂. The improved permeability of modified membrane (PVDF-IL) is attributed to the high concentration of nitrogen rich imidazolium moieties.

Thermohydraulic Performance of Double Flow Solar Air Heater with Corrugated Absorber

This paper deals with the analytical investigation of thermal and thermohydraulic performance of double flow solar air heaters with corrugated and flat plate absorber. A mathematical model of double flow solar air heater has been presented, and a computer program in C++ language is developed to estimate the outlet temperature of air for the evaluation of thermal and thermohydraulic efficiency by solving the governing equations numerically using relevant correlations for heat transfer coefficients. The results obtained from the mathematical model is compared with the available experimental results and it is found to be reasonably good. The results show that the double flow solar air heaters have higher efficiency than conventional solar air heater, although the double flow corrugated absorber is superior to that of flat plate double flow solar air heater. It is also observed that the thermal efficiency increases with increase in mass flow rate; however, thermohydraulic efficiency increases with increase in mass flow rate up to a certain limit, attains the maximum value, then thereafter decreases sharply.

Spatial Variation of WRF Model Rainfall Prediction over Uganda
Rainfall is a major climatic parameter affecting many sectors such as health, agriculture and water resources. Its quantitative prediction remains a challenge to weather forecasters although numerical weather prediction models are increasingly being used for rainfall prediction. The performance of six convective parameterization schemes, namely the Kain-Fritsch scheme, the Betts-Miller-Janjic scheme, the Grell-Deveny scheme, the Grell-3D scheme, the Grell-Fretas scheme, the New Tiedke scheme of the weather research and forecast (WRF) model regarding quantitative rainfall prediction over Uganda is investigated using the root mean square error for the March-May (MAM) 2013 season. The MAM 2013 seasonal rainfall amount ranged from 200 mm to 900 mm over Uganda with northern region receiving comparatively lower rainfall amount (200–500 mm); western Uganda (270–550 mm); eastern Uganda (400–900 mm) and the lake Victoria basin (400–650 mm). A spatial variation in simulated rainfall amount by different convective parameterization schemes was noted with the Kain-Fritsch scheme over estimating the rainfall amount over northern Uganda (300–750 mm) but also presented comparable rainfall amounts over the eastern Uganda (400–900 mm). The Betts-Miller-Janjic, the Grell-Deveny, and the Grell-3D underestimated the rainfall amount over most parts of the country especially the eastern region (300–600 mm). The Grell-Fretas captured rainfall amount over the northern region (250–450 mm) but also underestimated rainfall over the lake Victoria Basin (150–300 mm) while the New Tiedke generally underestimated rainfall amount over many areas of Uganda. For deterministic rainfall prediction, the Grell-Fretas is recommended for rainfall prediction over northern Uganda while the Kain-Fritsch scheme is recommended over eastern region.
Design and Fabrication of Micro-Bubble Oxygenator

This paper applies the MEMS technology to design and fabricate a micro-bubble generator by a piezoelectric actuator. Coupled with a nickel nozzle plate, an annular piezoelectric ceramic was utilized as the primary structure of the generator. In operations, the piezoelectric element deforms transversely under an electric field applied across the thickness of the generator. The surface of the nozzle plate can expand or contract because of the induction of radial strain, resulting in the whole structure to bend, and successively transport oxygen micro-bubbles into the blood flow for enhancing the oxygen content in blood. In the tests, a high magnification microscope and a high speed CCD camera were employed to photograph the time evolution of meniscus shape of gaseous bubbles dispensed from the micro-bubble generator for flow visualization. This investigation thus explored the bubble formation process including the influences of inlet gas pressure along with driving voltage and resonance frequency on the formed bubble extent.

User Survey on Food and Drinks in Japanese Public Libraries

Several decades ago, food and drinks were disallowed in most Japanese libraries. However, as discussions of “Library as a Place” have increased in recent years, the number of public and university libraries that have relaxed their policies to allow food and drinks have been increasing. This study focused on the opinions of library users on allowing food and drinks in public libraries and conducted a questionnaire survey among users of nine Japanese libraries. The results indicated that many users favored allowing food and drinks in libraries. Furthermore, it was found that users tend to frequently visit and stay longer in libraries where food and drinks are allowed.

Moving towards a General Definition of Public Happiness: A Grounded Theory Approach to the Recent Academic Research on Well-Being

Although there seems to be a growing interest in the study of the citizen’s happiness as an alternative measure of a country’s progress to GDP, happiness as a public concern is still an ambiguous concept, hard to define. Moreover, different notions are used indiscriminately to talk about the same thing. This investigation aims to determine the conceptions of happiness, well-being and quality of life that originate from the indexes that different governments and public institutions around the world have created to study them. Through the Scoping Review method, this study identifies the recent academic research in this field (a total of 267 documents between 2006 and 2016) from some of the most popular social sciences databases around the world, Web of Science, Scopus, JSTOR, Sage, EBSCO, IBSS and Google Scholar, and in Spain, ISOC and Dialnet. These 267 documents referenced 53 different indexes and researches. The Grounded Theory method has been applied to a sample of 13 indexes in order to identify the main categories they use to determine these three concepts. The results show that these are multi-dimensional concepts and similar indicators are used indistinctly to measure happiness, well-being and quality of life.

Experimental Study on Thermomechanical Properties of New-Generation ODS Alloys

By using a combination of new technologies together with an unconventional use of different types of materials, specific mechanical properties and structures of the material can be achieved. Some possibilities are enabled by a combination of powder metallurgy in the preparation of a metal matrix with dispersed stable particles achieved by mechanical alloying and hot consolidation. This paper explains the thermomechanical properties of new generation of Oxide Dispersion Strengthened alloys (ODS) within three ranges of temperature with specified deformation profiles. The results show that the mechanical properties of new ODS alloys are significantly affected by the thermomechanical treatment.

Thermodynamic Analysis of an Ejector-Absorption Refrigeration Cycle with Using NH3-H2O
In this paper, the ejector-absorption refrigeration cycle is presented. This article deals with the thermodynamic simulation and the first and second law analysis of an ammonia-water. The effects of parameters such as condenser, absorber, generator, and evaporator temperatures have been investigated. The influence of the various operating parameters on the performance coefficient and exergy efficiency of this cycle has been studied. The results show that when the temperature of different parts increases, the performance coefficient and the exergy efficiency of the cycle decrease, except for evaporator and generator, that causes an increase in coefficient of performance (COP). According to the results, absorber and ejector have the highest exergy losses in the studied conditions.
Applying Different Working Fluids in a Combined Power and Ejector Refrigeration Cycle with Low Temperature Heat Sources

A power and cooling cycle, which combines the organic Rankine cycle and the ejector refrigeration cycle supplied by waste heat energy sources, is discussed in this paper. 13 working fluids including wet, dry, and isentropic fluids are studied in order to find their performances on the combined cycle. Various operating conditions’ effects on the proposed cycle are examined by fixing power/refrigeration ratio. According to the results, dry and isentropic fluids have better performance compared with wet fluids.

Numerical Modeling of Various Support Systems to Stabilize Deep Excavations
Urban development requires deep excavations near buildings and other structures. Deep excavation has become more a necessity for better utilization of space as the population of the world has dramatically increased. In Lebanon, some urban areas are very crowded and lack spaces for new buildings and underground projects, which makes the usage of underground space indispensable. In this paper, a numerical modeling is performed using the finite element method to study the deep excavation-diaphragm wall soil-structure interaction in the case of nonlinear soil behavior. The study is focused on a comparison of the results obtained using different support systems. Furthermore, a parametric study is performed according to the remoteness of the structure.
Generalization of Clustering Coefficient on Lattice Networks Applied to Criminal Networks
A lattice network is a special type of network in which all nodes have the same number of links, and its boundary conditions are periodic. The most basic lattice network is the ring, a one-dimensional network with periodic border conditions. In contrast, the Cartesian product of d rings forms a d-dimensional lattice network. An analytical expression currently exists for the clustering coefficient in this type of network, but the theoretical value is valid only up to certain connectivity value; in other words, the analytical expression is incomplete. Here we obtain analytically the clustering coefficient expression in d-dimensional lattice networks for any link density. Our analytical results show that the clustering coefficient for a lattice network with density of links that tend to 1, leads to the value of the clustering coefficient of a fully connected network. We developed a model on criminology in which the generalized clustering coefficient expression is applied. The model states that delinquents learn the know-how of crime business by sharing knowledge, directly or indirectly, with their friends of the gang. This generalization shed light on the network properties, which is important to develop new models in different fields where network structure plays an important role in the system dynamic, such as criminology, evolutionary game theory, econophysics, among others.
Sparse Unmixing of Hyperspectral Data by Exploiting Joint-Sparsity and Rank-Deficiency
In this work, we exploit two assumed properties of the abundances of the observed signatures (endmembers) in order to reconstruct the abundances from hyperspectral data. Joint-sparsity is the first property of the abundances, which assumes the adjacent pixels can be expressed as different linear combinations of same materials. The second property is rank-deficiency where the number of endmembers participating in hyperspectral data is very small compared with the dimensionality of spectral library, which means that the abundances matrix of the endmembers is a low-rank matrix. These assumptions lead to an optimization problem for the sparse unmixing model that requires minimizing a combined l2,p-norm and nuclear norm. We propose a variable splitting and augmented Lagrangian algorithm to solve the optimization problem. Experimental evaluation carried out on synthetic and real hyperspectral data shows that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art algorithms with a better spectral unmixing accuracy.
FCNN-MR: A Parallel Instance Selection Method Based on Fast Condensed Nearest Neighbor Rule
Instance selection (IS) technique is used to reduce the data size to improve the performance of data mining methods. Recently, to process very large data set, several proposed methods divide the training set into some disjoint subsets and apply IS algorithms independently to each subset. In this paper, we analyze the limitation of these methods and give our viewpoint about how to divide and conquer in IS procedure. Then, based on fast condensed nearest neighbor (FCNN) rule, we propose a large data sets instance selection method with MapReduce framework. Besides ensuring the prediction accuracy and reduction rate, it has two desirable properties: First, it reduces the work load in the aggregation node; Second and most important, it produces the same result with the sequential version, which other parallel methods cannot achieve. We evaluate the performance of FCNN-MR on one small data set and two large data sets. The experimental results show that it is effective and practical.
An Improved Method on Static Binary Analysis to Enhance the Context-Sensitive CFI
Control Flow Integrity (CFI) is one of the most promising technique to defend Code-Reuse Attacks (CRAs). Traditional CFI Systems and recent Context-Sensitive CFI use coarse control flow graphs (CFGs) to analyze whether the control flow hijack occurs, left vast space for attackers at indirect call-sites. Coarse CFGs make it difficult to decide which target to execute at indirect control-flow transfers, and weaken the existing CFI systems actually. It is an unsolved problem to extract CFGs precisely and perfectly from binaries now. In this paper, we present an algorithm to get a more precise CFG from binaries. Parameters are analyzed at indirect call-sites and functions firstly. By comparing counts of parameters prepared before call-sites and consumed by functions, targets of indirect calls are reduced. Then the control flow would be more constrained at indirect call-sites in runtime. Combined with CCFI, we implement our policy. Experimental results on some popular programs show that our approach is efficient. Further analysis show that it can mitigate COOP and other advanced attacks.
Latent Factors of Severity in Truck-Involved and Non-Truck-Involved Crashes on Freeways

Truck-involved crashes have higher crash severity than non-truck-involved crashes. There have been many studies about the frequency of crashes and the development of severity models, but those studies only analyzed the relationship between observed variables. To identify why more people are injured or killed when trucks are involved in the crash, we must examine to quantify the complex causal relationship between severity of the crash and risk factors by adopting the latent factors of crashes. The aim of this study was to develop a structural equation or model based on truck-involved and non-truck-involved crashes, including five latent variables, i.e. a crash factor, environmental factor, road factor, driver’s factor, and severity factor. To clarify the unique characteristics of truck-involved crashes compared to non-truck-involved crashes, a confirmatory analysis method was used. To develop the model, we extracted crash data from 10,083 crashes on Korean freeways from 2008 through 2014. The results showed that the most significant variable affecting the severity of a crash is the crash factor, which can be expressed by the location, cause, and type of the crash. For non-truck-involved crashes, the crash and environment factors increase severity of the crash; conversely, the road and driver factors tend to reduce severity of the crash. For truck-involved crashes, the driver factor has a significant effect on severity of the crash although its effect is slightly less than the crash factor. The multiple group analysis employed to analyze the differences between the heterogeneous groups of drivers.

Mineralogical and Geochemical Characteristics of Serpentinite-Derived Ni-Bearing Laterites from Fars Province, Iran: Implications for the Lateritization Process and Classification of Ni-Laterites

Nickel-bearing laterites occur as two parallel belts along Sedimentary Zagros Orogenic (SZO) and Metamorphic Sanandaj-Sirjan (MSS) petrostructural zones, Fars Province, south Iran. An undisturbed vertical profile of these laterites includes protolith, saprolite, clay, and oxide horizons from base to top. Highly serpentinized harzburgite with relicts of olivine and orthopyroxene is regarded as the source rock. The laterites are unusual in lacking a significant saprolite zone with little development of Ni-silicates. Hematite, saponite, dolomite, smectite and clinochlore increase, while calcite, olivine, lizardite and chrysotile decrease from saprolite to oxide zones. Smectite and clinochlore with minor calcite are the major minerals in clay zone. Contacts of different horizons in laterite profiles are gradual and characterized by a decrease in Mg concentration ranging from 18.1 to 9.3 wt.% in oxide and saprolite, respectively. The maximum Ni concentration is 0.34 wt.% (NiO) in the base of the oxide zone, and goethite is the major Ni-bearing phase. From saprolite to oxide horizons, Al2O3, K2O, TiO2, and CaO decrease, while SiO2, MnO, NiO, and Fe2O3 increase. Silica content reaches up to 45 wt.% in the upper part of the soil profile. There is a decrease in pH (8.44-8.17) and an increase in organic matter (0.28-0.59 wt.%) from base to top of the soils. The studied laterites are classified in the oxide clans which were derived from ophiolite ultramafic rocks under Mediterranean climate conditions.

Investigation of Utilizing L-Band Horn Antenna in Landmine Detection

Landmine detection is an important and yet challenging problem remains to be solved. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a powerful and rapidly maturing technology for subsurface threat identification. The detection methodology of GPR depends mainly on the contrast of the dielectric properties of the searched target and its surrounding soil. This contrast produces a partial reflection of the electromagnetic pulses that are being transmitted into the soil and then being collected by the GPR.  One of the most critical hardware components for the performance of GPR is the antenna system. The current paper explores the design and simulation of a pyramidal horn antenna operating at L-band frequencies (1- 2 GHz) to detect a landmine. A prototype model of the GPR system setup is developed to simulate full wave analysis of the electromagnetic fields in different soil types. The contrast in the dielectric permittivity of the landmine and the sandy soil is the most important parameter to be considered for detecting the presence of landmine. L-band horn antenna is proved to be well-versed in the investigation of landmine detection.

Language Processing of Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease: From the Perspective of Temporal Parameters

The present paper aims to examine the language processing of Chinese-speaking seniors with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) from the perspective of temporal cues. Twenty healthy adults, 17 healthy seniors, and 13 seniors with AD in Taiwan participated in this study to tell stories based on two sets of pictures. Nine temporal cues were fetched and analyzed. Oral productions in Mandarin Chinese were compared and discussed to examine to what extent and in what way these three groups of participants performed with significant differences. Results indicated that the age effects were significant in filled pauses. The dementia effects were significant in mean duration of pauses, empty pauses, filled pauses, lexical pauses, normalized mean duration of filled pauses and lexical pauses. The findings reported in the current paper help characterize the nature of language processing in seniors with or without AD, and contribute to the interactions between the AD neural mechanism and their temporal parameters.

An Approach to Physical Performance Analysis for Judo
Sport performance analysis is a technique that is becoming every year more important for athletes of every level. Many techniques have been developed to measure and analyse efficiently the performance of athletes in some sports, but in combat sports these techniques found in many times their limits, due to the high interaction between the two opponents during the competition. In this paper the problem will be framed. Moreover the physical performance measurement problem will be analysed and three different techniques to manage it will be presented. All the techniques have been used to analyse the performance of 22 high level Judo athletes.
Sustainability Reporting and Performances of the Companies in the Istanbul Stock Exchange Sustainability Index

In today's business world, in which it is difficult to survive, the economic life of products, services or knowledge is considerably reduced. Competitors produce similar products or extra-featured ones instantly. In this environment, the contribution of companies to the social and economic environment is a preferred criterion by consumers alongside products or services. Therefore, consumers need to obtain more detailed information about companies. Besides, this drastic change in the market encourages companies to become sustainable. Sustainable business means the company puts consumed products back. Corporate sustainability, corresponds to sustainability at the level of the company, and gives equal importance to company growth and profitability together with environmental and social issues. The BIST Sustainability Index started to be calculated by the Istanbul Stock Exchange (BIST) in 2014 to evaluate the sustainability performance of companies in Turkey. The main objective of this study is to present the importance of sustainability reports in Turkey. To this aim, the performances of 15 companies in the BIST Sustainability Index were compared the periods before and after entering the index. On the other hand, sustainability reporting practices should be encouraged to increase studies on this issue. In this context, to remain on the agenda of the issue is a further objective of this study. To achieve these objectives, the financial data of the companies in the period before and after entering to the BIST Sustainability Index were analyzed using t-test in Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) package. The results of the study showed that no significant difference between the performances of the companies in terms of the net profit margin, the return on assets and equity capital in these periods could be found. Therefore, it can be said that insufficient importance is given to sustainability issues in Turkey. The reasons for this situation might be considered as a lack of awareness due to the recent introduction and calculation of the index. It is expected that the awareness of firms and investors about sustainability will increase, and that they will demonstrate the necessary importance to this issue over time.

Revised Technology Acceptance Model Framework for M-Commerce Adoption

Following the E-Commerce era, M-Commerce is the next big phase in the technology involvement and advancement. This paper intends to explore how Indian consumers are influenced to adopt the M-commerce. In this paper, the revised Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) has been presented on the basis of the most dominant factors that affect the adoption of M-Commerce in Indian scenario. Furthermore, an analytical questionnaire approach was carried out to collect data from Indian consumers. These collected data were further used for the validation of the presented model. Findings indicate that customization, convenience, instant connectivity, compatibility, security, download speed in M-Commerce affect the adoption behavior. Furthermore, the findings suggest that perceived usefulness and attitude towards M-Commerce are positively influenced by number of M-Commerce drivers (i.e. download speed, compatibility, convenience, security, customization, connectivity, and input mechanism).

Fabrication and Characterization of Gelatin Nanofibers Dissolved in Concentrated Acetic Acid

Electrospinning is a simple, versatile and widely accepted technique to produce ultra-fine fibers ranging from nanometer to micron. Recently there has been great interest in developing this technique to produce nanofibers with novel properties and functionalities. The electrospinning field is extremely broad, and consequently there have been many useful reviews discussing various aspects from detailed fiber formation mechanism to the formation of nanofibers and to discussion on a wide range of applications. On the other hand, the focus of this study is quite narrow, highlighting electrospinning parameters. This work will briefly cover the solution and processing parameters (for instance; concentration, solvent type, voltage, flow rate, distance between the collector and the tip of the needle) impacting the morphological characteristics of nanofibers, such as diameter. In this paper, a comprehensive work would be presented on the research of producing nanofibers from natural polymer entitled Gelatin.

E-Government Continuance Intention of Media Psychology: Some Insights from Psychographic Characteristics

Psychographic is a psychological study of values, attitudes, interests and it is used mostly in prediction, opinion research and social research. This study predicts the influence of performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence and facilitating condition on e-government acceptance among Malaysian citizens. The survey responses of 543 e-government users have been validated and analyzed by means of covariance-based Structural Equation Modeling. The findings indicate that e-government acceptance among Malaysian citizens are mainly influenced by performance expectancy (β = 0.66, t = 11.53, p < 0.01) and social influence (β = 0.20, t = 4.23, p < 0.01). Surprisingly, there is no significant effect of facilitating condition and effort expectancy on e-government continuance intention (β = 0.01, t = 0.27, p > 0.05; β = -0.01, t = -0.40, p > 0.05). This study offers government and vendors a frame of reference to analyze citizen’s situation before initiating new innovations. In case of Malaysian e-government technology, adoption strategies should be built around fostering level of citizens’ technological expectation and social influence on e-government usage.

Effect of Modified Atmosphere Packaging and Storage Temperatures on Quality of Shelled Raw Walnuts

This study was aimed at analyzing the effects of packaging (MAP) and preservation conditions on the packaged fresh walnut kernel quality. The central composite plan was used for evaluating the effect of oxygen (0–10%), carbon dioxide (0-10%), and temperature (4-26 °C) on qualitative characteristics of walnut kernels. Also, the response level technique was used to find the optimal conditions for interactive effects of factors, as well as estimating the best conditions of process using least amount of testing. Measured qualitative parameters were: peroxide index, color, decreased weight, mould and yeast counting test, and sensory evaluation. The results showed that the defined model for peroxide index, color, weight loss, and sensory evaluation is significant (p < 0.001), so that increase of temperature causes the peroxide value, color variation, and weight loss to increase and it reduces the overall acceptability of walnut kernels. An increase in oxygen percentage caused the color variation level and peroxide value to increase and resulted in lower overall acceptability of the walnuts. An increase in CO2 percentage caused the peroxide value to decrease, but did not significantly affect other indices (p ≥ 0.05). Mould and yeast were not found in any samples. Optimal packaging conditions to achieve maximum quality of walnuts include: 1.46% oxygen, 10% carbon dioxide, and temperature of 4 °C.

Study of Mechanical Properties of Aluminium Alloys on Normal Friction Stir Welding and Underwater Friction Stir Welding for Structural Applications

Friction stir welding is the new-fangled and cutting-edge technique in welding applications; it is widely used in the fields of transportation, aerospace, defense, etc. For thriving significant welding joints and properties of friction stir welded components, it is essential to carry out this advanced process in a prescribed systematic procedure. At this moment, Underwater Friction Stir Welding (UFSW) Process is the field of interest to do research work. In the continuous assessment, the study of UFSW process is to comprehend problems occurred in the past and the structure through which the mechanical properties of the welded joints can be value-added and contributes to conclude results an acceptable and resourceful joint. A meticulous criticism is given on how to modify the experimental setup from NFSW to UFSW. It can discern the influence of tool materials, feeds, spindle angle, load, rotational speeds and mechanical properties. By expending the DEFORM-3D simulation software, the achieved outcomes are validated.

Studying the Structural Behaviour of RC Beams with Circular Openings of Different Sizes and Locations Using FE Method

This paper aims to investigate the structural behaviour of RC beams with circular openings of different sizes and locations modelled using ABAQUS FEM software. Seven RC beams with the dimensions of 1200 mm×150 mm×150 mm were tested under three-point loading. Group A consists of three RC beams incorporating circular openings with diameters of 40 mm, 55 mm and 65 mm in the shear zone. However, Group B consists of three RC beams incorporating circular openings with diameters of 40 mm, 55 mm and 65 mm in the flexural zone. The final RC beam did not have any openings, to provide a control beam for comparison. The results show that increasing the diameter of the openings increases the maximum deflection and the ultimate failure load decreases relative to the control beam. In the shear zone, the presence of the openings caused an increase in the maximum deflection ranging between 4% and 22% and a decrease in the ultimate failure load of between 26% and 36% compared to the control beam. However, the presence of the openings in the flexural zone caused an increase in the maximum deflection of between 1.5% and 19.7% and a decrease in the ultimate failure load of between 6% and 13% relative to the control beam. In this study, the optimum location for placing circular openings was found to be in the flexural zone of the beam with a diameter of less than 30% of the depth of the beam.

Performance Analysis of Deterministic Stable Election Protocol Using Fuzzy Logic in Wireless Sensor Network

In Wireless Sensor Network (WSN), the sensor containing motes (nodes) incorporate batteries that can lament at some extent. To upgrade the energy utilization, clustering is one of the prototypical approaches for split sensor motes into a number of clusters where one mote (also called as node) proceeds as a Cluster Head (CH). CH selection is one of the optimization techniques for enlarging stability and network lifespan. Deterministic Stable Election Protocol (DSEP) is an effectual clustering protocol that makes use of three kinds of nodes with dissimilar residual energy for CH election. Fuzzy Logic technology is used to expand energy level of DSEP protocol by using fuzzy inference system. This paper presents protocol DSEP using Fuzzy Logic (DSEP-FL) CH by taking into account four linguistic variables such as energy, concentration, centrality and distance to base station. Simulation results show that our proposed method gives more effective results in term of a lifespan of network and stability as compared to the performance of other clustering protocols.

Assessment of Multi-Domain Energy Systems Modelling Methods

Emissions are a consequence of electricity generation. A major option for low carbon generation, local energy systems featuring Combined Heat and Power with solar PV (CHPV) has significant potential to increase energy performance, increase resilience, and offer greater control of local energy prices while complementing the UK’s emissions standards and targets. Recent advances in dynamic modelling and simulation of buildings and clusters of buildings using the IDEAS framework have successfully validated a novel multi-vector (simultaneous control of both heat and electricity) approach to integrating the wide range of primary and secondary plant typical of local energy systems designs including CHP, solar PV, gas boilers, absorption chillers and thermal energy storage, and associated electrical and hot water networks, all operating under a single unified control strategy. Results from this work indicate through simulation that integrated control of thermal storage can have a pivotal role in optimizing system performance well beyond the present expectations. Environmental impact analysis and reporting of all energy systems including CHPV LES presently employ a static annual average carbon emissions intensity for grid supplied electricity. This paper focuses on establishing and validating CHPV environmental performance against conventional emissions values and assessment benchmarks to analyze emissions performance without and with an active thermal store in a notional group of non-domestic buildings. Results of this analysis are presented and discussed in context of performance validation and quantifying the reduced environmental impact of CHPV systems with active energy storage in comparison with conventional LES designs.

Application of Particle Image Velocimetry in the Analysis of Scale Effects in Granular Soil

The available studies in the literature which dealt with the scale effects of strip footings on different sand packing systematically still remain scarce. In this research, the variation of ultimate bearing capacity and deformation pattern of soil beneath strip footings of different widths under plane-strain condition on the surface of loose, medium-dense and dense sand have been systematically studied using experimental and noninvasive methods for measuring microscopic deformations. The presented analyses are based on model scale compression test analysed using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) technique. Upper bound analysis of the current study shows that the maximum vertical displacement of the sand under the ultimate load increases for an increase in the width of footing, but at a decreasing rate with relative density of sand, whereas the relative vertical displacement in the sand decreases for an increase in the width of the footing. A well agreement is observed between experimental results for different footing widths and relative densities. The experimental analyses have shown that there exists pronounced scale effect for strip surface footing. The bearing capacity factors Nγ rapidly decrease up to footing widths B=0.25 m, 0.35 m, and 0.65 m for loose, medium-dense and dense sand respectively, after that there is no significant decrease in Nγ. The deformation modes of the soil as well as the ultimate bearing capacity values have been affected by the footing widths. The obtained results could be used to improve settlement calculation of the foundation interacting with granular soil.

Identification of 332G>A Polymorphism in Exon 3 of the Leptin Gene and Partially Effects on Body Size and Tail Dimension in Sanjabi Sheep

The objective of the present study was to determine the polymorphism in the leptin (332G>A) and its association with biometric traits in Sanjabi sheep. For this purpose, blood samples from 96 rams were taken, and tail length, width tail, circumference tail, body length, body width, and height were simultaneously recorded. PCR was performed using specific primer to amplify 463 bp fragment including exon 3 of leptin gene, and PCR products were digested by Cail restriction enzymes. The 332G>A (at 332th nucleotide of exon 3 leptin gene) that caused an amino acid change from Arg to Gln was detected by Cail (CAGNNNCTG) endonuclease, as the endonuclease cannot cut this region if G nucleotide is located in this position. Three genotypes including GG (463), GA (463, 360and 103 bp) and GG (360 bp and 103 bp) were identified after digestion by enzyme. The estimated frequencies of three genotypes including GG, GA, and AA for 332G>A locus were 0.68, 0.29 and 0.03 and those were 0.18 and 0.82 for A and G alleles, respectively. In the current study, chi-square test indicated that 332G>A positions did not deviate from the Hardy–Weinberg (HW) equilibrium. The most important reason to show HW equation was that samples used in this study belong to three large local herds with a traditional breeding system having random mating and without selection. Shannon index amount was calculated which represent an average genetic variation in Sanjabi rams. Also, heterozygosity estimated by Nei index indicated that genetic diversity of mutation in the leptin gene is moderate. Leptin gene polymorphism in the 332G>A had significant effect on body length (P<0.05) trait, and individuals with GA genotype had significantly the higher body length compared to other individuals. Although animals with GA genotype had higher body width, this difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05). This non-synonymous SNP resulted in different amino acid changes at codon positions111(R/Q). As leptin activity is localized, at least in part, in domains between amino acid residues 106-1406, it is speculated that the detected SNP at position 332 may affect the activity of leptin and may lead to different biological functions. Based to our results, due to significant effect of leptin gene polymorphism on body size traits, this gene may be used a candidate gene for improving these traits.

Electric Vehicle Market Penetration Impact on Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Policy-Making: A Case Study of United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is clearly facing a multitude of challenges in curbing its greenhouse gas emissions to meet its pre-allotted framework of Kyoto protocol and COP21 targets due to its hunger for modernization, industrialization, infrastructure growth, soaring population and oil and gas activity. In this work, we focus on the bonafide zero emission electric vehicles market penetration in the country’s transport industry for emission reduction. We study the global electric vehicle market trends, the complementary battery technologies and the trends by manufacturers, emission standards across borders and prioritized advancements which will ultimately dictate the terms of future conditions for the United Arab Emirate transport industry. Based on our findings and analysis at every stage of current viability and state-of-transport-affairs, we postulate policy recommendations to local governmental entities from a supply and demand perspective covering aspects of technology, infrastructure requirements, change in power dynamics, end user incentives program, market regulators behavior and communications amongst key stakeholders. 

Keyword Network Analysis on the Research Trends of Life-Long Education for People with Disabilities in Korea
The purpose of this study is to examine the research trends of life-long education for people with disabilities using a keyword network analysis. For this purpose, 151 papers were selected from 594 papers retrieved using keywords such as 'people with disabilities' and 'life-long education' in the Korean Education and Research Information Service. The Keyword network analysis was constructed by extracting and coding the keyword used in the title of the selected papers. The frequency of the extracted keywords, the centrality of degree, and betweenness was analyzed by the keyword network. The results of the keyword network analysis are as follows. First, the main keywords that appeared frequently in the study of life-long education for people with disabilities were 'people with disabilities', 'life-long education', 'developmental disabilities', 'current situations', 'development'. The research trends of life-long education for people with disabilities are focused on the current status of the life-long education and the program development. Second, the keyword network analysis and visualization showed that the keywords with high frequency of occurrences also generally have high degree centrality and betweenness centrality. In terms of the keyword network diagram, it was confirmed that research trends of life-long education for people with disabilities are centered on six prominent keywords. Based on these results, it was discussed that life-long education for people with disabilities in the future needs to expand the subjects and the supporting areas of the life-long education, and the research needs to be further expanded into more detailed and specific areas. 
Nonlinear Propagation of Acoustic Soliton Waves in Dense Quantum Electron-Positron Magnetoplasma
Propagation of nonlinear acoustic wave in dense electron-positron (e-p) plasmas in the presence of an external magnetic field and stationary ions (to neutralize the plasma background) is studied. By means of the quantum hydrodynamics model and applying the reductive perturbation method, the Zakharov-Kuznetsov equation is derived. Using the bifurcation theory of planar dynamical systems, the compressive structure of electrostatic solitary wave and periodic travelling waves is found. The numerical results show how the ion density ratio, the ion cyclotron frequency, and the direction cosines of the wave vector affect the nonlinear electrostatic travelling waves. The obtained results may be useful to better understand the obliquely nonlinear electrostatic travelling wave of small amplitude localized structures in dense magnetized quantum e-p plasmas and may be applicable to study the particle and energy transport mechanism in compact stars such as the interior of massive white dwarfs etc.
Fiber-Reinforced Sandwich Structures Based on Selective Laser Sintering: A Technological View

The demand for an increasing diversification of the product spectrum associated with the current huge customization desire and subsequently the decreasing unit quantities of each production lot is gaining more and more importance within a great variety of industrial branches, e.g. automotive industry. Nevertheless, traditional product development and production processes (molding, extrusion) are already reaching their limits or fail to address these trends of a flexible and digitized production in view of a product variability up to lot size one. Thus, upcoming innovative production concepts like the additive manufacturing technology basically create new opportunities with regard to extensive potentials in product development (constructive optimization) and manufacturing (economic individualization), but mostly suffer from insufficient strength regarding structural components. Therefore, this contribution presents an innovative technological and procedural conception of a hybrid additive manufacturing process (fiber-reinforced sandwich structures based on selective laser sintering technology) to overcome these current structural weaknesses, and consequently support the design of complex lightweight components.

Settlement Prediction for Tehran Subway Line-3 via FLAC3D and ANFIS

Nowadays, tunnels with different applications are developed, and most of them are related to subway tunnels. The excavation of shallow tunnels that pass under municipal utilities is very important, and the surface settlement control is an important factor in the design. The study sought to analyze the settlement and also to find an appropriate model in order to predict the behavior of the tunnel in Tehran subway line-3. The displacement in these sections is also determined by using numerical analyses and numerical modeling. In addition, the Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) method is utilized by Hybrid training algorithm. The database pertinent to the optimum network was obtained from 46 subway tunnels in Iran and Turkey which have been constructed by the new Austrian tunneling method (NATM) with similar parameters based on type of their soil. The surface settlement was measured, and the acquired results were compared to the predicted values. The results disclosed that computing intelligence is a good substitute for numerical modeling.

Decision Making under Strict Uncertainty: Case Study in Sewer Network Planning

In decision making under strict uncertainty, decision makers have to choose a decision without any information about the states of nature. The classic criteria of Laplace, Wald, Savage, Hurwicz and Starr are introduced and compared in a case study of sewer network planning. Furthermore, results from different criteria are discussed and analyzed. Moreover, this paper discusses the idea that decision making under strict uncertainty (DMUSU) can be viewed as a two-player game and thus be solved by a solution concept in game theory: Nash equilibrium.

Investigation of Solvent Effect on Viscosity of Lubricant in Disposable Medical Devices

The effects of type and amount of solvent on lubricant which is used in disposable medical devices are investigated in this article. Two kinds of common solvent, n-Hexane and n-Heptane, are used. The mechanical behavior of syringe has shown that n-Heptane has better mixing ratio and also more effective spray process in the barrel of syringe than n-Hexane because of similar solubility parameter to silicon oil. The results revealed that movement of plunger in the barrel increases when pure silicone is used because non-uniform film is created on the surface of barrel, and also, it seems that the form of silicon is converted from oil to gel due to sterilization process. The results showed that the convenient mixing ratio of solvent/lubricant oil is 80/20.

Parametric Study on Dynamic Analysis of Composite Laminated Plate

A laminated plate composite of graphite/epoxy has been analyzed dynamically in the present work by using a quadratic element (8-node diso-parametric), and by depending on 1st order shear deformation theory, every node in this element has 6-degrees of freedom (displacement in x, y, and z axis and twist about x, y, and z axis). The dynamic analysis in the present work covered parametric studies on a composite laminated plate (square plate) to determine its effect on the natural frequency of the plate. The parametric study is represented by set of changes (plate thickness, number of layers, support conditions, layer orientation), and the plates have been simulated by using ANSYS package 12. The boundary conditions considered in this study, at all four edges of the plate, are simply supported and fixed boundary condition. The results obtained from ANSYS program show that the natural frequency for both fixed and simply supported increases with increasing the number of layers, but this increase in the natural frequency for the first five modes will be neglected after 10 layers. And it is observed that the natural frequency of a composite laminated plate will change with the change of ply orientation, the natural frequency increases and it will be at maximum with angle 45 of ply for simply supported laminated plate, and maximum natural frequency will be with cross-ply (0/90) for fixed laminated composite plate. It is also observed that the natural frequency increase is approximately doubled when the thickness is doubled.

eTransformation Framework for the Cognitive Systems

Digital systems are in the Cognitive wave of the eTransformations and are now extensively aimed at meeting the individuals’ demands, both those of customers requiring services and those of service providers. It is also apparent that successful future systems will not just simply open doors to the traditional owners/users to offer and receive services such as Uber, for example, does today, but will in the future require more customized and cognitively enabled infrastructures that will be responsive to the system user’s needs. To be able to identify what is required for such systems this research reviews the historical and the current effects of the eTransformation process by studying: 1. eTransitions of company websites and mobile applications, 2. Emergence of new shared economy business models such as Uber, and 3. New requirements for demand driven, cognitive systems capable of learning and just-in-time decision-making. Based on the analysis, this study proposes a Cognitive eTransformation Framework capable of guiding implementations of new responsive and user aware systems.

Islam, Gender and Education in Contemporary Georgia: The Example of Kvemo Kartli

Religious minorities of Georgia include Muslims. Their composition is sufficiently miscellaneous, enclosing both ethnical viewpoint and belonging to the inner Islamic denomination. A majority of Muslims represent Azerbaijanis, who chiefly live in Kvemo Kartli (Bolnisi, Gardabani, Dmanisi, Tetri Tskaro, Marneuli and Tsalka). The catalyst for researchers of Islamic History is the geopolitical interests of Georgia, centuries-old contacts with the Islamic world, the not entirely trivial portion of Islam confessor population, the increasing influence of the Islamic factor in current religious-political processes in the world, the elevating procedure of Muslim religious self-consciousness in the Post-Soviet states, significant challenges of international terrorism, and perspectives of rapid globalization. The rise in the level of religious identity of Muslim citizens of Georgia (first of all of those who are not ethnic Georgians) is noticeable. New mosques have been constructed and, sometimes, even young people are being sent to the religious educational institutions of Muslim countries to gain a higher Islamic education. At a time when gender studies are substantive, the goal of which is to eliminate gender-based discrimination and violence in societies, it is essential in Georgia to conduct researches around the concrete problem – Islamic tradition, woman and education in Georgia. A woman’s right to education is an important indicator of women’s general status in a society. The appropriate resources, innovative analysis of Georgian ethnological materials, and surveying of the population (quantitative and qualitative research reports, working papers), condition the success of these researches. In the presented work, interrelation matters of Islam, gender and education in contemporary Georgia by the example of the Azerbaijani population in Kvemo Kartli during period 1992-2016 are studied. We researched the history of Muslim religious education centers in Tbilisi and Kvemo Kartli (Bolnisi, Gardabani, Dmanisi, Tetri Tskaro, Marneuli and Tsalka) in 1992-2016, on the one hand, and the results of sociological interrogation, on the other. As a result of our investigation, we found that Azeri women in the Kvemo Kartli (Georgia) region mostly receive their education in Georgia and Azerbaijan. Educational and Cultural Institutions are inaccessible for most Azeri women. The main reasons are the absence of educational and religious institutions at their places of residence and state policies towards Georgia’s Muslims. 

Non-Stationary Stochastic Optimization of an Oscillating Water Column
A non-stationary stochastic optimization methodology is applied to an OWC (oscillating water column) to find the design that maximizes the wave energy extraction. Different temporal cycles are considered to represent the long-term variability of the wave climate at the site in the optimization problem. The results of the non-stationary stochastic optimization problem are compared against those obtained by a stationary stochastic optimization problem. The comparative analysis reveals that the proposed non-stationary optimization provides designs with a better fit to reality. However, the stationarity assumption can be adequate when looking at averaged system response.
Quantifying Freeway Capacity Reductions by Rainfall Intensities Based on Stochastic Nature of Flow Breakdown

This study quantifies a decrement in freeway capacity during rainfall. Traffic and rainfall data were gathered from Highway Agencies and Wunderground weather service. Three inter-urban freeway sections and its nearest weather stations were selected as experimental sites. Capacity analysis found reductions of maximum and mean pre-breakdown flow rates due to rainfall. The Kruskal-Wallis test also provided some evidence to suggest that the variance in the pre-breakdown flow rate is statistically insignificant. Potential application of this study lies in the operation of real time traffic management schemes such as Variable Speed Limits (VSL), Hard Shoulder Running (HSR), and Ramp Metering System (RMS), where speed or flow limits could be set based on a number of factors, including rainfall events and their intensities.

Investigation of Main Operating Parameters Affecting Gas Turbine Efficiency and Gas Releases

This work presents a study on the influence of the main operating variables on the gas turbine cycle. A numerical simulation of a gas turbine cycle is performed for a real net power of 100 MW. A calculation code is developed using EES software. The operating variables are taken in conformity with the local environmental conditions adopted by the Tunisian Society of Electricity and Gas. Results show that the increase of ambient temperature leads to an increase of Tpz and NOx emissions rate and a decrease of cycle efficiency and UHC emissions. The CO emissions decrease with the raise of residence time, while NOx emissions rate increases and UHC emissions rate decreases. Furthermore, both of cycle efficiency and NOx emissions increase with the increase of the pressure ratio.

Existence of Nano-Organic Carbon Particles below the Size Range of 10 nm in the Indoor Air Environment

Indoor air environment is a big concern in the last few decades in the developing countries, with increased focus on monitoring the air quality. In this work, an experimental study has been conducted to establish the existence of carbon nanoparticles below the size range of 10 nm in the non-sooting zone of a LPG/air partially premixed flame. Mainly, four optical techniques, UV absorption spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering and TEM have been used to characterize and measure the size of carbon nanoparticles in the sampled materials collected from the inner surface of the flame front. The existence of the carbon nanoparticles in the sampled material has been confirmed with the typical nature of the absorption and fluorescence spectra already reported in the literature. The band gap energy shows that the particles are made up of three to six aromatic rings. The size measurement by DLS technique also shows that the particles below the size range of 10 nm. The results of DLS are also corroborated by the TEM image of the same material. 

Predictors of Social Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Primary Schools in Czech Republic

Cerebral palsy is primarily reflected in the disorder of the development of movement and posture, which may be accompanied by sensory disturbances, disturbances of perception, cognition and communication, behavioural disorders and epilepsy. According to current inclusive attitudes towards people with disabilities implies that full social participation of children with cerebral palsy means inclusion in all activities in family, peer, school and leisure environments in the same scope and to the same extent as is the case with the children of proper development and without physical difficulties. Due to the fact that it has been established that the quality of children's participation in primary school is directly related to their social inclusion in future life, the aim of the paper is to identify predictors of social participation, respectively, and in particular, factors that could to improve the quality of social participation of children with cerebral palsy, in the primary school environment in Czech Republic. The study includes children with cerebral palsy (n = 75) in the Czech Republic, aged between six and 12 years who attend mainstream or special primary schools to the sixth grade. The main instrument used was the first and third part of the School function assessment questionnaire. It will also take into account the type of damage assessed according to a scale the Gross motor function classification system, five–level classification system for cerebral palsy. The research results will provide detailed insight into the degree of social participation of children with cerebral palsy and the factors that would be a potential cause of their levels of participation, in regular and special primary schools, in different socioeconomic environments in Czech Republic.

Using Manipulating Urban Layouts to Enhance Ventilation and Thermal Comfort in Street Canyons

High density of high rise buildings in urban areas lead to a deteriorative Urban Heat Island Effect, gradually. This study focuses on discussing the relationship between urban layout and ventilation comfort in street canyons. This study takes Songjiang Nanjing Rd. area of Taipei, Taiwan as an example to evaluate the wind environment comfort index by field measurement and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to improve both the quality and quantity of the environment. In this study, different factors including street blocks size, the width of buildings, street width ratio and the direction of the wind were used to discuss the potential of ventilation. The environmental wind field was measured by the environmental testing equipment, Testo 480. Evaluation of blocks sizes, the width of buildings, street width ratio and the direction of the wind was made under the condition of constant floor area with the help of Stimulation CFD to adjust research methods for optimizing regional wind environment. The results of this study showed the width of buildings influences the efficiency of outdoor ventilation; improvement of the efficiency of ventilation with large street width was also shown. The study found that Block width and H/D value and PR value has a close relationship. Furthermore, this study showed a significant relationship between the alteration of street block geometry and outdoor comfortableness.

Nickel Electroplating in Post Supercritical CO2 Mixed Watts Bath under Different Agitations

The process of post-supercritical CO2 electroplating uses the electrolyte solution after being mixed with supercritical CO2 and released to atmospheric pressure. It utilizes the microbubbles that form when oversaturated CO2 in the electrolyte returns to gaseous state, which gives the similar effect of pulsed electroplating. Under atmospheric pressure, the CO2 bubbles gradually diffuse. Therefore, the introduction of ultrasound and/or other agitation can potentially excite the CO2 microbubbles to achieve an electroplated surface of even higher quality. In this study, during the electroplating process, three different modes of agitation: magnetic stirrer agitation, ultrasonic agitation and a combined mode (magnetic + ultrasonic) were applied, respectively, in order to obtain an optimal surface morphology and mechanical properties for the electroplated Ni coating. It is found that the combined agitation mode at a current density of 40 A/dm2 achieved the smallest grain size, lower surface roughness, and produced an electroplated Ni layer that achieved hardness of 320 HV, much higher when compared with conventional method, which were usually in the range of 160 to 300 HV. However, at the same time, the electroplating with combined agitation developed a higher internal stress of 320 MPa due to the lower current efficiency of the process and finer grain in the coating. Moreover, a new control methodology for tailoring the coating’s mechanical property through its thickness was demonstrated by the timely introduction of ultrasonic agitation during the electroplating process with post supercritical CO2 mixed electrolyte.

Low Energy Technology for Leachate Valorisation

Landfills present long-term threats to soil, air, groundwater and surface water due to the formation of greenhouse gases (methane gas and carbon dioxide) and leachate from decomposing garbage. The composition of leachate differs from site to site and also within the landfill. The leachates alter with time (from weeks to years) since the landfilled waste is biologically highly active and their composition varies. Mainly, the composition of the leachate depends on factors such as characteristics of the waste, the moisture content, climatic conditions, degree of compaction and the age of the landfill. Therefore, the leachate composition cannot be generalized and the traditional treatment models should be adapted in each case. Although leachate composition is highly variable, what different leachates have in common is hazardous constituents and their potential eco-toxicological effects on human health and on terrestrial ecosystems. Since leachate has distinct compositions, each landfill or dumping site would represent a different type of risk on its environment. Nevertheless, leachates consist always of high organic concentration, conductivity, heavy metals and ammonia nitrogen. Leachate could affect the current and future quality of water bodies due to uncontrolled infiltrations. Therefore, control and treatment of leachate is one of the biggest issues in urban solid waste treatment plants and landfills design and management. This work presents a treatment model that will be carried out "in-situ" using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The plant is powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality is very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses. In the particular case of this work, the final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream is also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.

A Retrospective Cohort Study on an Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Linked to a Buffet Lunch Served during a Conference in Accra

On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.

A Case Study of Clinicians’ Perceptions of Enterprise Content Management at Tygerberg Hospital
Healthcare is a human right. The sensitivity of health issues has necessitated the introduction of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) at district hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The objective is understanding clinicians’ perception of ECM at their workplace. It is a descriptive case study design of constructivist paradigm. It employed a phenomenological data analysis method using a pattern matching deductive based analytical procedure. Purposive and s4nowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting participants. Clinicians expressed concerns and frustrations using ECM such as, non-integration with other hospital systems. Inadequate access points to ECM. Incorrect labelling of notes and bar-coding causes more time wasted in finding information. System features and/or functions (such as search and edit) are not possible. Hospital management and clinicians are not constantly interacting and discussing. Information turnaround time is unacceptably lengthy. Resolving these problems would involve a positive working relationship between hospital management and clinicians. In addition, prioritising the problems faced by clinicians in relation to relevance can ensure problem-solving in order to meet clinicians’ expectations and hospitals’ objective. Clinicians’ perception should invoke attention from hospital management with regards technology use. The study’s results can be generalised across clinician groupings exposed to ECM at various district hospitals because of professional and hospital homogeneity.
Identifying Common Behavioural Traits of Lone-Wolves in Recent Terrorist Attacks in Europe
This article attempts to analyse behavioural traits of lone-wolves who struck and killed innocents in six different attacks in Europe in last nine months. The main objective of this study is to develop a profiling template in order to capture commonality of characteristics of these attackers. This study tries to understand the homogeneity of lone-wolves in terms of their social background and state of mind. The commonality among them can possibly be used to build a profiling template that could help detecting vulnerable persons who are prone to be self-radicalised or radicalised by someone else. The result of this study provides us an understanding of their commonality in terms of their state of mind and social characteristics.
The Magnetized Quantum Breathing in Cylindrical Dusty Plasma
A quantum breathing mode has been theatrically studied in quantum dusty plasma. By using linear quantum hydrodynamic model, not only the quantum dispersion relation of rotation mode but also void structure has been derived in the presence of an external magnetic field. Although the phase velocity of the magnetized quantum breathing mode is greater than that of unmagnetized quantum breathing mode, attenuation of the magnetized quantum breathing mode along radial distance seems to be slower than that of unmagnetized quantum breathing mode. Clearly, drawing the quantum breathing mode in the presence and absence of a magnetic field, we found that the magnetic field alters the distribution of dust particles and changes the radial and azimuthal velocities around the axis. Because the magnetic field rotates the dust particles and collects them, it could compensate the void structure.
Assessing the Ways of Improving the Power Saving Modes in the Ore-Grinding Technological Process

Monitoring the distribution of electric power consumption in the technological process of ore grinding is conducted. As a result, the impacts of the mill filling rate, the productivity of the ore supply, the volumetric density of the grinding balls, the specific density of the ground ore, and the relative speed of the mill rotation on the specific consumption of electric power have been studied. The power and technological factors affecting the reactive power generated by the synchronous motors, operating within the technological scheme are studied. A block diagram for evaluating the power consumption modes of the technological process is presented, which includes the analysis of the technological scheme, the determination of the place and volumetric density of the ore-grinding mill, the evaluation of the technological and power factors affecting the energy saving process, as well as the assessment of the electric power standards.

Structure-Activity Relationship of Gold Catalysts on Alumina Supported Cu-Ce Oxides for CO and Volatile Organic Compound Oxidation

The catalytic oxidation of CO and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is considered as one of the most efficient ways to reduce harmful emissions from various chemical industries. The effectiveness of gold-based catalysts for many reactions of environmental significance was proven during the past three decades. The aim of this work was to combine the favorable features of Au and Cu-Ce mixed oxides in the design of new catalytic materials of improved efficiency and economic viability for removal of air pollutants in waste gases from formaldehyde production. Supported oxides of copper and cerium with Cu: Ce molar ratio 2:1 and 1:5 were prepared by wet impregnation of g-alumina. Gold (2 wt.%) catalysts were synthesized by a deposition-precipitation method. Catalysts characterization was carried out by texture measurements, powder X-ray diffraction, temperature programmed reduction and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The catalytic activity in the oxidation of CO, CH3OH and (CH3)2O was measured using continuous flow equipment with fixed bed reactor. Both Cu-Ce/alumina samples demonstrated similar catalytic behavior. The addition of gold caused significant enhancement of CO and methanol oxidation activity (100 % degree of CO and CH3OH conversion at about 60 and 140 oC, respectively). The composition of Cu-Ce mixed oxides affected the performance of gold-based samples considerably. Gold catalyst on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 1:5 exhibited higher activity for CO and CH3OH oxidation in comparison with Au on Cu-Ce/γ-Al2O3 2:1. The better performance of Au/Cu-Ce 1:5 was related to the availability of highly dispersed gold particles and copper oxide clusters in close contact with ceria.

Interruption Overload in an Office Environment: Hungarian Survey Focusing on the Factors that Affect Job Satisfaction and Work Efficiency

On the one hand, new technologies and communication tools improve employee productivity and accelerate information and knowledge transfer, while on the other hand, information overload and continuous interruptions make it even harder to concentrate at work. It is a great challenge for companies to find the right balance, while there is also an ongoing demand to recruit and retain the talented employees who are able to adopt the modern work style and effectively use modern communication tools. For this reason, this research does not focus on the objective measures of office interruptions, but aims to find those disruption factors which influence the comfort and job satisfaction of employees, and the way how they feel generally at work. The focus of this research is on how employees feel about the different types of interruptions, which are those they themselves identify as hindering factors, and those they feel as stress factors. By identifying and then reducing these destructive factors, job satisfaction can reach a higher level and employee turnover can be reduced. During the research, we collected information from depth interviews and questionnaires asking about work environment, communication channels used in the workplace, individual communication preferences, factors considered as disruptions, and individual steps taken to avoid interruptions. The questionnaire was completed by 141 office workers from several types of workplaces based in Hungary. Even though 66 respondents are working at Hungarian offices of multinational companies, the research is about the characteristics of the Hungarian labor force. The most important result of the research shows that while more than one third of the respondents consider office noise as a disturbing factor, personal inquiries are welcome and considered useful, even if in such cases the work environment will not be convenient to solve tasks requiring concentration. Analyzing the sizes of the offices, in an open-space environment, the rate of those who consider office noise as a disturbing factor is surprisingly lower than in smaller office rooms. Opinions are more diverse regarding information communication technologies. In addition to the interruption factors affecting the employees' job satisfaction, the research also focuses on the role of the offices in the 21st century.

A Robotic Cube to Preschool Children for Acquiring the Mathematical and Colours Concepts

This work presents a robot called Conceptual Robotic Cube, CR-Cube. The robot can be used as an educational tool for children from the age of three. It has a cube shape attached with a camera colours sensor. In addition, it contains four wheels to move smoothly. The researchers prepared a questionnaire to measure the efficiency of the robot. The design and the questionnaire was presented to 11 experts who agreed that the robot is appropriate for learning numbering and colours for preschool children.

A Transform Domain Function Controlled VSSLMS Algorithm for Sparse System Identification
The convergence rate of the least-mean-square (LMS) algorithm deteriorates if the input signal to the filter is correlated. In a system identification problem, this convergence rate can be improved if the signal is white and/or if the system is sparse. We recently proposed a sparse transform domain LMS-type algorithm that uses a variable step-size for a sparse system identification. The proposed algorithm provided high performance even if the input signal is highly correlated. In this work, we investigate the performance of the proposed TD-LMS algorithm for a large number of filter tap which is also a critical issue for standard LMS algorithm. Additionally, the optimum value of the most important parameter is calculated for all experiments. Moreover, the convergence analysis of the proposed algorithm is provided. The performance of the proposed algorithm has been compared to different algorithms in a sparse system identification setting of different sparsity levels and different number of filter taps. Simulations have shown that the proposed algorithm has prominent performance compared to the other algorithms.
Surface Topography Measurement by Confocal Spectral Interferometry

Confocal spectral interferometry (CSI) is an innovative optical method for determining microtopography of surfaces and thickness of transparent layers, based on the combination of two optical principles: confocal imaging, and spectral interferometry. Confocal optical system images at each instant a single point of the sample. The whole surface is reconstructed by plan scanning. The interference signal generated by mixing two white-light beams is analyzed using a spectrometer. In this work, five ‘rugotests’ of known standard roughnesses are investigated. The topography is then measured and illustrated, and the equivalent roughness is determined and compared with the standard values.

Hacking's 'Between Goffman and Foucault': A Theoretical Frame for Criminology
This paper aims to analyse how Ian Hacking states the theoretical basis of his research on the classification of people. Although all his early philosophical education had been based in Foucault, it is also true that Erving Goffman’s perspective provided him with epistemological and methodological tools for understanding face-to-face relationships. Hence, all his works must be thought of as social science texts that combine the research on how the individuals are constituted ‘top-down’ (as in Foucault), with the inquiry into how people renegotiate ‘bottom-up’ the classifications about them. Thus, Hacking´s proposal constitutes a middle ground between the French Philosopher and the American Sociologist. Placing himself between both authors allows Hacking to build a frame that is expected to adjust to Social Sciences’ main particularity: the fact that they study interactive kinds. These are kinds of people, which imply that those who are classified can change in certain ways that prompt the need for changing previous classifications themselves. It is all about the interaction between the labelling of people and the people who are classified. Consequently, understanding the way in which Hacking uses Foucault’s and Goffman’s theories is essential to fully comprehend the social dynamic between individuals and concepts, what Bert Hansen had called dialectical realism. His theoretical proposal, therefore, is not only valuable because it combines diverse perspectives, but also because it constitutes an utterly original and relevant framework for Sociological theory and particularly for Criminology.
Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Positive Psychological Capital on Employees Outcomes: The Moderating Role of Tenure

This research examines the effects of positive psychological capital (or PsyCap) on employee’s outcomes (satisfaction, commitment, organizational citizenship behavior, innovation behavior and individual creativity). This study conducted a meta-analysis of articles published in the Republic of Korea. As a result, positive psychological capital has a positive effect on the behavior of employees. Heterogeneity was identified among the studies included in the analysis and the context factors were analyzed; the study proposes contextual factors such as team tenure. The moderating effect of team tenure was not statistically significant. The implications were discussed based on the analysis results.

Structure and Properties of Meltblown Polyetherimide as High Temperature Filter Media

Polyetherimide (PEI), an engineering plastic with very high glass transition temperature and excellent chemical and thermal stability, has been processed into a controlled porosity filter media of varying pore size, performance, and surface characteristics. A special grade of the PEI was processed by melt blowing to produce microfiber nonwovens suitable as filter media. The resulting microfiber webs were characterized to evaluate their structure and properties. The fiber webs were further modified by hot pressing, a post processing technique, which reduces the pore size in order to improve the barrier properties of the resulting membranes. This ongoing research has shown that PEI can be a good candidate for filter media requiring high temperature and chemical resistance with good mechanical properties. Also, by selecting the appropriate processing conditions, it is possible to achieve desired filtration performance from this engineering plastic.

Scale, Technique and Composition Effects of CO2 Emissions under Trade Liberalization of EGS: A CGE Evaluation for Argentina
Current literature about trade liberalization of environmental goods and services (EGS) raises doubts about the extent of the triple win-win situation for trade, development and the environment. However, much of this literature does not consider the possibility that this agreement carries technological transmissions, either through trade or foreign direct investment. This paper presents a computable general equilibrium model calibrated for Argentina, where there are alternative technologies (one dirty and one clean according to carbon emissions) to produce the same goods. In this context, the trade liberalization of EGS allows to increase GDP, trade, reduce unemployment and improve the households welfare. However, the capital mobility appears as the key assumption to jointly reach the environmental target, when the positive scale effect generated by the increase in trade is offset by the change in the composition of production (composition and technical effects by the use of the clean alternative technology) and of consumption (composition effect by substitution of relatively lesspolluting imported goods).
Family Functionality in Mexican Children with Congenital and Non-Congenital Deafness

A total of 100 primary caregivers (mothers, fathers, grandparents) with at least one child or grandchild with a diagnosis of congenital bilateral profound deafness were assessed in order to evaluate the functionality of families with a deaf member, who was evaluated by specialists in audiology, molecular biology, genetics and psychology. After confirmation of the clinical diagnosis, DNA from the patients and parents were analyzed in search of the 35delG deletion of the GJB2 gene to determine who possessed the mutation. All primary caregivers were provided psychological support, regardless of whether or not they had the mutation, and prior and subsequent, the family APGAR test was applied. All parents, grandparents were informed of the results of the genetic analysis during the psychological intervention. The family APGAR, after psychological and genetic counseling, showed that 14% perceived their families as functional, 62% moderately functional and 24% dysfunctional. This shows the importance of psychological support in family functionality that has a direct impact on the quality of life of these families.

Erythema Multiforme Exudativum Major Caused by Isoniazid Hypersensitivity in a Child

Erythema Multiforme Exudativum Major (EMEM) is one of the drug allergy diseases. Drug allergies caused by isoniazid rarely causes EMEM. Cutaneous reactions caused by isoniazid were obtained in 0.98% of patients, but the precise occurrence of Steven Johnson’s Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermolisis Necrolisis (TEN) due to isoniazid is not known for certain. We present this case to show hypersensitivity of isoniazid in a child. Based on the history of drug intake, physical diagnostic tests, drug elimination and provocation; we established the diagnosis of isoniazid hypersensitivity. The child showed improvement on skin manifestation after stopped isoniazid therapy.

Financial Instrument with High Investment Risk on the Warsaw Stock Exchange

The market of financial instruments with high risk is developing very dynamically in recent years and attracts more and more interest of investors. It consists essentially of two groups of instruments, i.e. derivatives and exchange traded product (ETP), and each year new types are introduced and offered to investors. The aim of this paper is to present the principles concerning financial instruments with high investment risk available on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), because they have quite complex constructions, and to evaluate the development of this market. In order to achieve this aim, statistical data from 2014-2016 was analyzed. The results confirm that the financial instruments with high investment risk available on the WSE constitute a diversified and the most numerous group of financial instruments and attract the most interest of investors. Responsible investing requires, however, a good knowledge of how they work and how they can generate profit to not expose oneself to unexpected losses.

Computer-Aided Teaching of Transformers for Undergraduates

In the era of technological advancement, use of computer technology has become inevitable. Hence it has become the need of the hour to integrate software methods in engineering curriculum as a part to boost pedagogy techniques. Simulations software is a great help to graduates of disciplines such as electrical engineering. Since electrical engineering deals with high voltages and heavy instruments, extra care must be taken while operating with them. The viable solution would be to have appropriate control. The appropriate control could be well designed if engineers have knowledge of kind of waveforms associated with the system. Though these waveforms can be plotted manually, but it consumes a lot of time. Hence aid of simulation helps to understand steady state of system and resulting in better performance. In this paper computer, aided teaching of transformer is carried out using MATLAB/Simulink. The test carried out on a transformer includes open circuit test and short circuit respectively. The respective parameters of transformer are then calculated using the values obtained from open circuit and short circuit test respectively using Simulink.

Modern Pedagogy Techniques for DC Motor Speed Control

Based on a survey conducted for second and third year students of the electrical engineering department at Maharishi Markandeshwar University, India, it was found that around 92% of students felt that it would be better to introduce a virtual environment for laboratory experiments. Hence, a need was felt to perform modern pedagogy techniques for students which consist of a virtual environment using MATLAB/Simulink. In this paper, a virtual environment for the speed control of a DC motor is performed using MATLAB/Simulink. The various speed control methods for the DC motor include the field resistance control method and armature voltage control method. The performance analysis of the DC motor is hence analyzed.

Profile Analysis and Experiences on the Tourism of Jalapão State Park, Tocantins, Brazil

The State Park Jalapão - PEJ proved to be one of the protected areas that has attracted tourists from all over the world with its unique scenic landscapes. Although the region already has a considerable tourist flow, to our knowledge there is a lack of continuity of studies in the region capable of drawing a plan of activities, such as the profile of the tourist and analysis of their experiences in the region, carried out from 2006-2007. Therefore, this study was proposed to know the profile and experiences of tourists visiting the park today, making a connection with the earlier study, in order to generate subsidies to trace improvement actions. We conducted interviews with tourists in the main tourism season 2015. The results show that after eight years of carrying out the first study, there were no changes, highlighting the lack of a tourism plan for the park.

Proposed Program for Developing Some Concepts for Nursery School Children in Egypt Using Artistic Activities

The study presents a proposed program for nursery school children in Egypt. The program consists of a collection of artistic activities and aims to develop the language, mathematical, and artistic skills of preschool children. Furthermore, the researcher has presented a questionnaire to experts about the link between the target group and the content. Finally, the proposed program was applied to group of 30 children. In addition, the researcher has prepared another questionnaire for measuring the effect of the program. This questionnaire was used as a pre-test and post-test, and at the end of the study, a significant difference was determined in favour of the post-test results.

Design of Parity-Preserving Reversible Logic Signed Array Multipliers
Reversible logic as a new favorable design domain can be used for various fields especially creating quantum computers because of its speed and intangible power consumption. However, its susceptibility to a variety of environmental effects may lead to yield the incorrect results. In this paper, because of the importance of multiplication operation in various computing systems, some novel reversible logic array multipliers are proposed with error detection capability by incorporating the parity-preserving gates. The new designs are presented for two main parts of array multipliers, partial product generation and multi-operand addition, by exploiting the new arrangements of existing gates, which results in two signed parity-preserving array multipliers. The experimental results reveal that the best proposed 4×4 multiplier in this paper reaches 12%, 24%, and 26% enhancements in the number of constant inputs, number of required gates, and quantum cost, respectively, compared to previous design. Moreover, the best proposed design is generalized for n×n multipliers with general formulations to estimate the main reversible logic criteria as the functions of the multiplier size.
Solving Process Planning and Scheduling with Number of Operation Plus Processing Time Due-Date Assignment Concurrently Using a Genetic Search
Traditionally process planning, scheduling and due date assignment are performed sequentially and separately. High interrelation between these functions makes integration very useful. Although there are numerous works on integrated process planning and scheduling and many works on scheduling with due date assignment, there are only a few works on the integration of these three functions. Here we tested the different integration levels of these three functions and found a fully integrated version as the best. We applied genetic search and random search and genetic search was found better compared to the random search. We penalized all earliness, tardiness and due date related costs. Since all these three terms are all undesired, it is better to penalize all of them.
Relationship between Functionality and Cognitive Impairment in Older Adult Women from the Southeast of Mexico

This study explores the relationship between the level of functionality and cognitive impairment in older adult women from the south-east of Mexico. It is a descriptive, cross-sectional study; performed with 172 participants in total who attended a health institute and live in Merida, Yucatan Mexico. After a non-probabilistic sampling, Barthel and Pfeiffer scales were applied. The results show statistically significant correlation between the cognitive impairment (Pfeiffer) and the levels of independence and function (Barthel) (r =0.489; p =0.001). Both determine a dependence level so they need either a little or a lot of help. Society needs that the older woman be healthy and that the professionals of mental health develop activities to prevent and rehabilitate because cognitive impairment and function are directly related with the quality of life.

Component Comparison of Polyaluminum Chloride Produced from Various Methods

The main objective of this research was to study the differences of aluminum hydrolytic products between two PACl preparation methods. These two methods were the acidification process of freshly formed amorphous Al(OH)3 and the conventional alkalization process of aluminum chloride solution. According to Ferron test and 27Al NMR analysis of those two PACl preparation procedures, the reaction rate constant (k) values and Al13 percentage of acid addition process at high basicity value were both lower than those values of the alkaline addition process. The results showed that the molecular structure and size distribution of the aluminum species in both preparing methods were suspected to be significantly different at high basicity value.

Experimental Studies of Sigma Thin-Walled Beams Strengthen by CFRP Tapes

The review of selected methods of strengthening of steel structures with carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) tapes and the analysis of influence of composite materials on the steel thin-walled elements are performed in this paper. The study is also focused to the problem of applying fast and effective strengthening methods of the steel structures made of thin-walled profiles. It is worth noting that the issue of strengthening the thin-walled structures is a very complex, due to inability to perform welded joints in this type of elements and the limited ability to applying mechanical fasteners. Moreover, structures made of thin-walled cross-section demonstrate a high sensitivity to imperfections and tendency to interactive buckling, which may substantially contribute to the reduction of critical load capacity. Due to the lack of commonly used and recognized modern methods of strengthening of thin-walled steel structures, authors performed the experimental studies of thin-walled sigma profiles strengthened with CFRP tapes. The paper presents the experimental stand and the preliminary results of laboratory test concerning the analysis of the effectiveness of the strengthening steel beams made of thin-walled sigma profiles with CFRP tapes. The study includes six beams made of the cold-rolled sigma profiles with height of 140 mm, wall thickness of 2.5 mm, and a length of 3 m, subjected to the uniformly distributed load. Four beams have been strengthened with carbon fiber tape Sika CarboDur S, while the other two were tested without strengthening to obtain reference results. Based on the obtained results, the evaluation of the accuracy of applied composite materials for strengthening of thin-walled structures was performed.

Basket Option Pricing under Jump Diffusion Models
Pricing financial contracts on several underlying assets received more and more interest as a demand for complex derivatives. The option pricing under asset price involving jump diffusion processes leads to the partial integral differential equation (PIDEs), which is an extension of the Black-Scholes PDE with a new integral term. The aim of this paper is to show how basket option prices in the jump diffusion models, mainly on the Merton model, can be computed using RBF based approximation methods. For a test problem, the RBF-PU method is applied for numerical solution of partial integral differential equation arising from the two-asset European vanilla put options. The numerical result shows the accuracy and efficiency of the presented method.
Classification of Germinatable Mung Bean by Near Infrared Hyperspectral Imaging

Hard seeds will not grow and can cause mold in sprouting process. Thus, the hard seeds need to be separated from the normal seeds. Near infrared hyperspectral imaging in a range of 900 to 1700 nm was implemented to develop a model by partial least squares discriminant analysis to discriminate the hard seeds from the normal seeds. The orientation of the seeds was also studied to compare the performance of the models. The model based on hilum-up orientation achieved the best result giving the coefficient of determination of 0.98, and root mean square error of prediction of 0.07 with classification accuracy was equal to 100%.

Sustainability of Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Concrete

Concrete, despite being one of the most produced materials in the world, still has weaknesses and drawbacks. Significant concern of the cementitious materials in structural applications is their quasi-brittle behavior, which causes the material to crack and lose its durability. One of the very recently proposed mitigations for this problem is the implementation of nanotechnology in the concrete mix by adding carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to it. CNTs can enhance the critical mechanical properties of concrete as a structural material. Thus, this paper demonstrates a state-of-the-art review of reinforcing concrete with CNTs, emphasizing on the structural performance. It also goes over the properties of CNTs alone, the present methods and costs associated with producing them, the possible special applications of concretes reinforced with CNTs, the key challenges and drawbacks that this new technology still encounters, and the most reliable practices and methodologies to produce CNT-reinforced concrete in the lab. This work has shown that the addition of CNTs to the concrete mix in percentages as low as 0.25% weight of cement could increase the flexural strength and toughness of concrete by more than 45% and 25%, respectively, and enhance other durability-related properties, given that an effective dispersion of CNTs in the cementitious mix is achieved. Since nano reinforcement for cementitious materials is a new technology, many challenges have to be tackled before it becomes practiced at the mass level.

Generic Data Warehousing for Consumer Electronics Retail Industry

The dynamic and highly competitive nature of the consumer electronics retail industry means that businesses in this industry are experiencing different decision making challenges in relation to pricing, inventory control, consumer satisfaction and product offerings. To overcome the challenges facing retailers and create opportunities, we propose a generic data warehousing solution which can be applied to a wide range of consumer electronics retailers with a minimum configuration. The solution includes a dimensional data model, a template SQL script, a high level architectural descriptions, ETL tool developed using C#, a set of APIs, and data access tools. It has been successfully applied by ASK Outlets Ltd UK resulting in improved productivity and enhanced sales growth.

The Spectral Power Amplification on the Regular Lattices

We show that a simple transformation between the regular lattices (the square, the triangular, and the honeycomb) belonging to the same dimensionality can explain in a natural way the universality of the critical exponents found in phase transitions and critical phenomena. It suffices that the Hamiltonian and the lattice present similar writing forms. In addition, it appears that if a property can be calculated for a given lattice then it can be extrapolated simply to any other lattice belonging to the same dimensionality. In this study, we have restricted ourselves on the spectral power amplification (SPA), we note that the SPA does not have an effect on the critical exponents but does have an effect by the criticality temperature of the lattice; the generalisation to other lattice could be shown according to the containment principle.

Vegetation Index-Deduced Crop Coefficient of Wheat (Triticum aestivum) Using Remote Sensing: Case Study on Four Basins of Golestan Province, Iran

Crop coefficient (Kc) is an important factor contributing to estimation of evapotranspiration, and is also used to determine the irrigation schedule. This study investigated and determined the monthly Kc of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using five vegetation indices (VIs): Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Difference Vegetation Index (DVI), Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), Infrared Percentage Vegetation Index (IPVI), and Ratio Vegetation Index (RVI) of four basins in Golestan province, Iran. 14 Landsat-8 images according to crop growth stage were used to estimate monthly Kc of wheat. VIs were calculated based on infrared and near infrared bands of Landsat 8 images using Geographical Information System (GIS) software. The best VIs were chosen after establishing a regression relationship among these VIs with FAO Kc and Kc that was modified for the study area by the previous research based on R² and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE). The result showed that local modified SAVI with R²= 0.767 and RMSE= 0.174 was the best index to produce monthly wheat Kc maps.

GGE-Biplot Analysis of Nano-Titanium Dioxide and Nano-Silica Effects on Sunflower

Present investigation is performed to evaluate the effects of foliar application of salicylic acid, glycine betaine, ascorbic acid, nano-silica, and nano-titanium dioxide on sunflower. Results showed that the first two principal components were sufficient to create a two-dimensional treatment by trait biplot, and such biplot accounted percentages of 49% and 19%, respectively of the interaction between traits and treatments. The vertex treatments of polygon were ascorbic acid, glycine betaine, nano-TiO2, and control indicated that high performance in some important traits consists of number of days to seed maturity, number of seeds per head, number heads per single plant, hundred seed weight, seed length, seed yield performance, and oil content. Treatments suitable for obtaining the high seed yield were identified in the vector-view function of biplot and displayed nano-silica and nano titanium dioxide as the best treatments suitable for obtaining of high seed yield.

Molecular Dynamics Simulation of the Effect of the Solid Gas Interface Nanolayer on Enhanced Thermal Conductivity of Copper-CO2 Nanofluid

The use of CO2 in oil recovery and in CO2 capture and storage is gaining traction in recent years. These applications involve heat transfer between CO2 and the base fluid, and hence, there arises a need to improve the thermal conductivity of CO2 to increase the process efficiency and reduce cost. One way to improve the thermal conductivity is through nanoparticle addition in the base fluid. The nanofluid model in this study consisted of copper (Cu) nanoparticles in varying concentrations with CO2 as a base fluid. No experimental data are available on thermal conductivity of CO2 based nanofluid. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are an increasingly adopted tool to perform preliminary assessments of nanoparticle (NP) fluid interactions. In this study, the effect of the formation of a nanolayer (or molecular layering) at the gas-solid interface on thermal conductivity is investigated using equilibrium MD simulations by varying NP diameter and keeping the volume fraction (1.413%) of nanofluid constant to check the diameter effect of NP on the nanolayer and thermal conductivity. A dense semi-solid fluid layer was seen to be formed at the NP-gas interface, and the thickness increases with increase in particle diameter, which also moves with the NP Brownian motion. Density distribution has been done to see the effect of nanolayer, and its thickness around the NP. These findings are extremely beneficial, especially to industries employed in oil recovery as increased thermal conductivity of CO2 will lead to enhanced oil recovery and thermal energy storage.

Exploring Entrepreneurship Intension Aptitude along Gender Lines among Business Decision Students in Nigeria

The study investigated the variability in aptitude amidst interactive effects of several social and environmental factors that could influence individual tendencies to engage in entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Consequently, the study targeted a population having similar backgrounds in type and level of higher education that are tailored toward enterprise management and development in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. A two-stage sampling procedure was used to select 67 respondents. Primarily, the study assessed the salient pattern of entrepreneurship aptitude of respondents, and estimated and analyzed the index against their personal characteristics. Male respondents belonged to two extremes of aptitude index ranges (poor and high). Though female respondents did not exhibit a poor entrepreneurship aptitude index, the incidence percentage of the high index range of entrepreneurship aptitude among male trainees was more than the combined incidence percentage of their female counterparts. Respondents’ backgrounds outside gender presented a serious influence on entrepreneurship uptake likelihood if all situations were normal.

Transformative Leadership and Learning Management Systems Implementation: Leadership Practices in Instructional Design for Online Learning

With the growth of online learning, several higher education institutions have attempted to incorporate technology in their curriculum. Successful technology implementation projects really on technology infrastructure and on the acceptance of education professionals towards innovation. This research study is aimed at illustrating the relevance of the human component in technology implementation projects in higher education by describing the Learning Management System implementation project executed by instructional designers working for a higher education institution in the southeast region of the United States. An analysis of the Transformative Leadership Theory, the Technology Acceptance Model, and the Diffusion of Innovation Process provide the support for a solid understanding of this issue and address recommendations for future technology implementation projects in higher education institutions.

Proposition of a Knowledge Management Approach Based on the Cloud Computing

The significant growth in the use of technologies in all life domains created numerous hurdles that derailed many knowledge management projects. Cloud computing choices are commencement to untangle these obstacles. Linking Cloud computing with knowledge management (KM) is a challenging task. Small amount of researches have been done regarding cloud computing and KM. In this paper, we consider Cloud-based KM as a new KM approach, and study the contribution of Cloud Computing to organizational KM. In fact, KM and cloud computing have many things in common, this similarity allows deriving very interesting features. Our approach is based on these features and focuses on the advantages of Cloud computing in the context of organizational KM. Finally, we highlight some challenges that have to be addressed when adopting a Cloud Computing approach to KM.

Digital Manufacturing: Evolution and a Process Oriented Approach to Align with Business Strategy

The paper intends to highlight the significance of Digital Manufacturing (DM) strategy in support and achievement of business strategy and goals of any manufacturing organization. Towards this end, DM initiatives have been given a process perspective, while not undermining its technological significance, with a view to link its benefits directly with fulfilment of customer needs and expectations in a responsive and cost-effective manner. A digital process model has been proposed to categorize digitally enabled organizational processes with a view to create synergistic groups, which adopt and use digital tools having similar characteristics and functionalities. This will throw future opportunities for researchers and developers to create a unified technology environment for integration and orchestration of processes. Secondly, an effort has been made to apply “what” and “how” features of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) framework to establish the relationship between customers’ needs – both for external and internal customers, and the features of various digital processes, which support for the achievement of these customer expectations. The paper finally concludes that in the present highly competitive environment, business organizations cannot thrive to sustain unless they understand the significance of digital strategy and integrate it with their business strategy with a clearly defined implementation roadmap. A process-oriented approach to DM strategy will help business executives and leaders to appreciate its value propositions and its direct link to organization’s competitiveness.

Designing for Experience-Based Tourism: A Virtual Tour in Tehran

As one of the most significant phenomena of industrialized societies, tourism plays a key role in encouraging regional developments and enhancing higher standards of living for local communities in particular. Traveling is a formative experience endowed with lessons on various aspects of life. It allows us learning how to enhance the social position as well as the social relationships. However, people forget the need to travel and gain first-hand experiences as they have to cope with the ever-increasing rate of stress created by the disorders and routines of the urban dwelling style. In this paper, various spaces of such experiences were explored through a virtual tour with two underlying aims: 1) encouraging, informing, and educating the community in terms of tourism development, and 2) introducing a temporary release from the routines. This study enjoyed a practical-qualitative research methodology, and the required data were collected through observation and using a multiple-response questionnaire. The participants (19-48 years old) included 41 citizens of both genders (63.4% male and 36.6% female) from two regions in Tehran, selected by cluster-probability sampling. The results led to development of a spatial design for a virtual tour experience in Tehran where different areas are explored to both raise people’s awareness and educate them on their cultural heritage.

A Comparative Study of a Defective Superconductor/ Semiconductor-Dielectric Photonic Crystal
Temperature-dependent tunable photonic crystals have attracted widespread interest in recent years. In this research, transmission characteristics of a one-dimensional photonic crystal structure with a single defect have been studied. Here, we assume two different defect layers: InSb as a semiconducting layer and HgBa2Ca2Cu3O10 as a high-temperature superconducting layer. Both the defect layers have temperature-dependent refractive indexes. Two different types of dielectric materials (Si as a high-refractive index dielectric and MgF2 as a low-refractive index dielectric) are used to construct the asymmetric structures (Si/MgF2)NInSb(Si/MgF2)N named S.I, and (Si/MgF2)NHgBa2Ca2Cu3O10(Si/MgF2)N named S.II. It is found that in response to the temperature changes, transmission peaks within the photonic band gap of the S.II structure, in contrast to S.I, show a small wavelength shift. Furthermore, the results show that under the same conditions, S.I structure generates an extra defect mode in the transmission spectra. Besides high efficiency transmission property of S.II structure, it can be concluded that the semiconductor-dielectric photonic crystals are more sensitive to temperature variation than superconductor types.
Emotional, Behavioural and Social Development: Modality of Hierarchy of Needs in Supporting Parents with Special Needs

Emotional development is developed between the parents and their child. Behavioural development is also developed between the parents and their child. Social Development is how parents can help their special needs child to adapt to society and to face challenges. In promoting a lifelong learning mindset, enhancing skill sets and readiness to face challenges, parents would be able to counter balance these challenges during their care giving process and better manage their expectations through understanding the hierarchy of needs modality towards a positive attitude, and in turn, improve their quality of life and participation in society. This paper aims to demonstrate how the hierarchy of needs can be applied in various situations of caregiving for parents with a special needs child.

Parametric Design as an Approach to Respond to Complexity

A city is an intertwined texture from the relationship of different components in a whole which is united in a one, so designing the whole complex and its planning is not an easy matter. By considering that a city is a complex system with infinite components and communications, providing flexible layouts that can respond to the unpredictable character of the city, which is a result of its complexity, is inevitable. Parametric design approach as a new approach can produce flexible and transformative layouts in any stage of design. This study aimed to introduce parametric design as a modern approach to respond to complex urban issues by using descriptive and analytical methods. This paper firstly introduces complex systems and then giving a brief characteristic of complex systems. The flexible design and layout flexibility is another matter in response and simulation of complex urban systems that should be considered in design, which is discussed in this study. In this regard, after describing the nature of the parametric approach as a flexible approach, as well as a tool and appropriate way to respond to features such as limited predictability, reciprocating nature, complex communications, and being sensitive to initial conditions and hierarchy, this paper introduces parametric design.

Assessment of Urban Heat Island through Remote Sensing in Nagpur Urban Area Using Landsat 7 ETM+ Satellite Images

Urban Heat Island (UHI) is found more pronounced as a prominent urban environmental concern in developing cities. To study the UHI effect in the Indian context, the Nagpur urban area has been explored in this paper using Landsat 7 ETM+ satellite images through Remote Sensing and GIS techniques. This paper intends to study the effect of LU/LC pattern on daytime Land Surface Temperature (LST) variation, contributing UHI formation within the Nagpur Urban area. Supervised LU/LC area classification was carried to study urban Change detection using ENVI 5. Change detection has been studied by carrying Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to understand the proportion of vegetative cover with respect to built-up ratio. Detection of spectral radiance from the thermal band of satellite images was processed to calibrate LST. Specific representative areas on the basis of urban built-up and vegetation classification were selected for observation of point LST. The entire Nagpur urban area shows that, as building density increases with decrease in vegetation cover, LST increases, thereby causing the UHI effect. UHI intensity has gradually increased by 0.7°C from 2000 to 2006; however, a drastic increase has been observed with difference of 1.8°C during the period 2006 to 2013. Within the Nagpur urban area, the UHI effect was formed due to increase in building density and decrease in vegetative cover.

A Study of Mode Choice Model Improvement Considering Age Grouping

The purpose of this study is providing an improved mode choice model considering parameters including age grouping of prime-aged and old age. In this study, 2010 Household Travel Survey data were used and improper samples were removed through the analysis. Chosen alternative, date of birth, mode, origin code, destination code, departure time, and arrival time are considered from Household Travel Survey. By preprocessing data, travel time, travel cost, mode, and ratio of people aged 45 to 55 years, 55 to 65 years and over 65 years were calculated. After the manipulation, the mode choice model was constructed using LIMDEP by maximum likelihood estimation. A significance test was conducted for nine parameters, three age groups for three modes. Then the test was conducted again for the mode choice model with significant parameters, travel cost variable and travel time variable. As a result of the model estimation, as the age increases, the preference for the car decreases and the preference for the bus increases. This study is meaningful in that the individual and households characteristics are applied to the aggregate model.

Fusion of Shape and Texture for Unconstrained Periocular Authentication

Unconstrained authentication is an important component for personal automated systems and human-computer interfaces. Existing solutions mostly use face as the primary object of analysis. The performance of face-based systems is largely determined by the extent of deformation caused in the facial region and amount of useful information available in occluded face images. Periocular region is a useful portion of face with discriminative ability coupled with resistance to deformation. A reliable portion of periocular area is available for occluded images. The present work demonstrates that joint representation of periocular texture and periocular structure provides an effective expression and poses invariant representation. The proposed methodology provides an effective and compact description of periocular texture and shape. The method is tested over four benchmark datasets exhibiting varied acquisition conditions.

Investigation of Possible Behavioural and Molecular Effects of Mobile Phone Exposure on Rats

The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-dependent pathway is the major intracellular signaling pathway implemented in both short- and long-term memory formation in the hippocampus which is the most studied brain structure because of its well documented role in learning and memory. However, little is known about the effects of RF-EMR exposure on NMDA receptor signaling pathway including activation of protein kinases, notably Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα). The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and chronic 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure on both passive avoidance behaviour and hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and its phosphorylated form (pCaMKIIα). Rats were divided into the following groups: Sham rats, and rats exposed to 900 MHz RF-EMR for 2 h/day for 1 week (acute group) or 10 weeks (chronic group), respectively. Passive avoidance task was used as a behavioural method. The hippocampal levels of selected kinases were measured using Western Blotting technique. The results of passive avoidance task showed that both acute and chronic exposure to 900 MHz RF-EMR can impair passive avoidance behaviour with minor effects on chronic group of rats. The analysis of western blot data of selected protein kinases demonstrated that hippocampal levels of CaMKIIα and pCaMKIIα were significantly higher in chronic group of rats as compared to acute groups. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that different duration times (1 week vs 10 weeks) of 900 MHz RF-EMR exposure have different effects on both passive avoidance behaviour of rats and hippocampal levels of selected protein kinases.

An Innovative Green Cooling Approach Using Peltier Chip in Milling Operation for Surface Roughness Improvement

Surface roughness is one of the key quality parameters of the finished product. During any machining operation, high temperatures are generated at the tool-chip interface impairing surface quality and dimensional accuracy of products. Cutting fluids are generally applied during machining to reduce temperature at the tool-chip interface. However, usages of cutting fluids give rise to problems such as waste disposal, pollution, high cost, and human health hazard. Researchers, now-a-days, are opting towards dry machining and other cooling techniques to minimize use of coolants during machining while keeping surface roughness of products within desirable limits. In this paper, a concept of using peltier cooling effects during aluminium milling operation has been presented and adopted with an aim to improve surface roughness of the machined surface. Experimental evidence shows that peltier cooling effect provides better surface roughness of the machined surface compared to dry machining.

FEM Simulations to Study the Effects of Laser Power and Scan Speed on Molten Pool Size in Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) is increasingly crucial in biomedical and aerospace industries. As a recently developed AM technique, selective laser melting (SLM) has become a commercial method for various manufacturing processes. However, the molten pool configuration during SLM of metal powders is a decisive issue for the product quality. It is very important to investigate the heat transfer characteristics during the laser heating process. In this work, the finite element method (FEM) software ANSYS® (work bench module 16.0) was used to predict the unsteady temperature distribution for resolving molten pool dimensions with consideration of temperature-dependent thermal physical properties of TiAl6V4 at different laser powers and scanning speeds. The simulated results of the temperature distributions illustrated that the ratio of laser power to scanning speed can greatly influence the size of molten pool of titanium alloy powder for SLM development.

Solid-Liquid-Polymer Mixed Matrix Membrane Using Liquid Additive Adsorbed on Activated Carbon Dispersed in Polymeric Membrane for CO2/CH4 Separation
Gas separation by selective transport through polymeric membranes is one of the rapid growing branches of membrane technology. However, the tradeoff between the permeability and selectivity is one of the critical challenges encountered by pure polymer membranes, which in turn limits their large-scale application. To enhance gas separation performances, mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) have been developed. In this study, MMMs were prepared by a solution-coating method and tested for CO2/CH4 separation through permeability and selectivity using a membrane testing unit at room temperature and a pressure of 100 psig. The fabricated MMMs were composed of silicone rubber dispersed with the activated carbon individually absorbed with polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a liquid additive. PEG emulsified silicone rubber MMMs showed superior gas separation on cellulose acetate membrane with both high permeability and selectivity compared with silicone rubber membrane and alone support membrane. However, the MMMs performed limited stability resulting from the undesirable PEG leakage. To stabilize the MMMs, PEG was then incorporated into activated carbon by adsorption. It was found that the incorporation of solid and liquid was effective to improve the separation performance of MMMs.
The Impact of Information and Communication Technology on Bilateral Trade in Goods

This paper investigates the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on bilateral trade in goods. Empirical analysis is performed on the United States and 34 partnering countries from 2000 to 2013. Our econometric model fits the data well, explaining 52% of the variation in trade flows for goods trade, 53.2% of the variation in trade flows for goods export and 48% of the variation in trade flows for goods import. For every 10% increase in fixed broadband Internet subscribers per 100 people increases, goods trade by 7.9% and for every 5% increase in fixed broadband Internet subscribers per 100 people, goods export increases by 11%. For every 1% increase in fixed telephone line penetration per 100 people, goods trade increases by 26.3%, goods export increases by 24.4% and goods import increases by 24.8%. For every 1% increase in mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions, goods trade decreases by 29.6% and goods export decreases by 27.1%, whilst for every 0.01% increase in mobile-cellular telephone subscriptions, goods import decreases by 34.3%. For every 1% increase in the percentage of population who used the Internet from any location in the last 12 months Internet, goods trade increases by 32.5%, goods export increases by 38.9%, goods import increases by 33%. All our trade determinants as well as our ICT variables have significances on goods exports for the US. We can also draw from our study that the US relies more rather heavily on ICT for its goods export compared to goods import.

Environmental Science: A Proposal for Constructing New Knowledge for Ecotourism Itineraries

The principle of sustainability has been studied by different sciences with the purpose of formulating clear and concrete models. Much has been discussed about sustainability, and several points of view have been used to try to explain it; environmental science emerges from various environmental discourses that are willing to establish a new concept for understanding this complexity. This way, we focus on the activity of ecotourism as a way to integrate sustainable practices proposed by environmental science, and thus, make it possible to create a new perspective for eco-tourists and the managers of tourist destinations towards nature. The aim of this study was to suggest a direction for environmental awareness, based on environmental science, to change the eco-tourist's view of nature in ecotourism tours. The methodology used was based on a case study concerning the Jalapão State Park - JSP, located in the State of Tocantins, Northern Brazil. The study was based on discussions, theoretical studies, bibliographical research and on-site research. We have identified that to incite the tourists’ awareness, they need to visit nature to understand the environmental problems and promote actions for its preservation. We highlight in this study actions to drive their human perception through environmental science, so that the ecotourism itinerary tours to the JSP, promote a balance between the natural environment and the tourist, making them, in this way, environmental tourists.

Factors Affecting Slot Machine Performance in an Electronic Gaming Machine Facility

A facility exploiting only electronic gambling machines (EGMs) opened in 2007 in Quebec City, Canada under the name of Salons de Jeux du Québec (SdjQ). This facility is one of the first worldwide to rely on that business model. This paper models the performance of such EGMs. The interest from a managerial point of view is to identify the variables that can be controlled or influenced so that a comprehensive model can help improve the overall performance of the business. The EGM individual performance model contains eight different variables under study (Game Title, Progressive jackpot, Bonus Round, Minimum Coin-in, Maximum Coin-in, Denomination, Slant Top and Position). Using data from Quebec City’s SdjQ, a linear regression analysis explains 90.80% of the EGM performance. Moreover, results show a behavior slightly different than that of a casino. The addition of GameTitle as a factor to predict the EGM performance is one of the main contributions of this paper. The choice of the game (GameTitle) is very important. Games having better position do not have significantly better performance than games located elsewhere on the gaming floor. Progressive jackpots have a positive and significant effect on the individual performance of EGMs. The impact of BonusRound on the dependent variable is significant but negative. The effect of Denomination is significant but weakly negative. As expected, the Language of an EGMS does not impact its individual performance. This paper highlights some possible improvements by indicating which features are performing well. Recommendations are given to increase the performance of the EGMs performance.

Cyber Security Situational Awareness among Students: A Case Study in Malaysia

This paper explores the need for a national baseline study on understanding the level of cyber security situational awareness among primary and secondary school students in Malaysia. The online survey method was deployed to administer the data collection exercise. The target groups were divided into three categories: Group 1 (primary school aged 7-9 years old), Group 2 (primary school aged 10-12 years old), and Group 3 (secondary school aged 13-17 years old). A different questionnaire set was designed for each group. The survey topics/areas included Internet and digital citizenship knowledge. Respondents were randomly selected from rural and urban areas throughout all 14 states in Malaysia. A total of 9,158 respondents participated in the survey, with most states meeting the minimum sample size requirement to represent the country’s demographics. The findings and recommendations from this baseline study are fundamental to develop teaching modules required for children to understand the security risks and threats associated with the Internet throughout their years in school. Early exposure and education will help ensure healthy cyber habits among millennials in Malaysia.

An Improved Sub-Nyquist Sampling Jamming Method for Deceiving Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar

Sub-Nyquist sampling jamming method (SNSJ) is a well known deception jamming method for inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR). However, the anti-decoy of the SNSJ method performs easier since the amplitude of the false-target images are weaker than the real-target image; the false-target images always lag behind the real-target image, and all targets are located in the same cross-range. In order to overcome the drawbacks mentioned above, a simple modulation based on SNSJ (M-SNSJ) is presented in this paper. The method first uses amplitude modulation factor to make the amplitude of the false-target images consistent with the real-target image, then uses the down-range modulation factor and cross-range modulation factor to make the false-target images move freely in down-range and cross-range, respectively, thus the capacity of deception is improved. Finally, the simulation results on the six available combinations of three modulation factors are given to illustrate our conclusion.

The Effect of Strength Training and Consumption of Glutamine Supplement on GH/IGF1 Axis

Physical activity and diet are factors that influence the body's structure. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of four weeks of resistance training, and glutamine supplement consumption on growth hormone (GH), and Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) Axis. 40 amateur male bodybuilders, participated in this study. They were randomly divided into four equal groups, Resistance (R), Glutamine (G), Resistance with Glutamine (RG), and Control (C). The R group was assigned to a four week resistance training program, three times/week, three sets of 10 exercises with 6-10 repetitions, at the 80-95% 1RM (One Repetition Maximum), with 120 seconds rest between sets), G group is consuming l-glutamine (0.1 g/kg-1/day-1), RG group resistance training with consuming L-glutamine, and C group continued their normal lifestyle without exercise training. GH, IGF1, IGFBP-III plasma levels were measured before and after the protocol. One-way ANOVA indicated significant change in GH, IGF, and IGFBP-III between the four groups, and the Tukey test demonstrated significant increase in GH, IGF1, IGFBP-III plasma levels in R, and RG group. Based upon these findings, we concluded that resistance training at 80-95% 1RM intensity, and resistance training along with oral glutamine shows significantly increase secretion of GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-III in amateur males, but the addition of oral glutamine to the exercise program did not show significant difference in GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-III.

Distributed Coverage Control by Robot Networks in Unknown Environments Using a Modified EM Algorithm
In this paper, we study a distributed control algorithm for the problem of unknown area coverage by a network of robots. The coverage objective is to locate a set of targets in the area and to minimize the robots’ energy consumption. The robots have no prior knowledge about the location and also about the number of the targets in the area. One efficient approach that can be used to relax the robots’ lack of knowledge is to incorporate an auxiliary learning algorithm into the control scheme. A learning algorithm actually allows the robots to explore and study the unknown environment and to eventually overcome their lack of knowledge. The control algorithm itself is modeled based on game theory where the network of the robots use their collective information to play a non-cooperative potential game. The algorithm is tested via simulations to verify its performance and adaptability.
Life Cycle Datasets for the Ornamental Stone Sector

The environmental impact related to ornamental stones (such as marbles and granites) is largely debated. Starting from the industrial revolution, continuous improvements of machineries led to a higher exploitation of this natural resource and to a more international interaction between markets. As a consequence, the environmental impact of the extraction and processing of stones has increased. Nevertheless, if compared with other building materials, ornamental stones are generally more durable, natural, and recyclable. From the scientific point of view, studies on stone life cycle sustainability have been carried out, but these are often partial or not very significant because of the high percentage of approximations and assumptions in calculations. This is due to the lack, in life cycle databases (e.g. Ecoinvent, Thinkstep, and ELCD), of datasets about the specific technologies employed in the stone production chain. For example, databases do not contain information about diamond wires, chains or explosives, materials commonly used in quarries and transformation plants. The project presented in this paper aims to populate the life cycle databases with specific data of specific stone processes. To this goal, the methodology follows the standardized approach of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), according to the requirements of UNI 14040-14044 and to the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook guidelines of the European Commission. The study analyses the processes of the entire production chain (from-cradle-to-gate system boundaries), including the extraction of benches, the cutting of blocks into slabs/tiles and the surface finishing. Primary data have been collected in Italian quarries and transformation plants which use technologies representative of the current state-of-the-art. Since the technologies vary according to the hardness of the stone, the case studies comprehend both soft stones (marbles) and hard stones (gneiss). In particular, data about energy, materials and emissions were collected in marble basins of Carrara and in Beola and Serizzo basins located in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola. Data were then elaborated through an appropriate software to build a life cycle model. The model was realized setting free parameters that allow an easy adaptation to specific productions. Through this model, the study aims to boost the direct participation of stone companies and encourage the use of LCA tool to assess and improve the stone sector environmental sustainability. At the same time, the realization of accurate Life Cycle Inventory data aims at making available, to researchers and stone experts, ILCD compliant datasets of the most significant processes and technologies related to the ornamental stone sector.

Analyzing the Perception of Social Networking Sites as a Learning Tool among University Students: Case Study of a Business School in India

Universities and higher education institutes are finding it increasingly difficult to engage students fruitfully through traditional pedagogic tools. Web 2.0 technologies comprising social networking sites (SNSs) offer a platform for students to collaborate and share information, thereby enhancing their learning experience. Despite the potential and reach of SNSs, its use has been limited in academic settings promoting higher education. The purpose of this paper is to assess the perception of social networking sites among business school students in India and analyze its role in enhancing quality of student experiences in a business school leading to the proposal of an agenda for future research. In this study, more than 300 students of a reputed business school were involved in a survey of their preferences of different social networking sites and their perceptions and attitudes towards these sites. A questionnaire with three major sections was designed, validated and distributed among  a sample of students, the research method being descriptive in nature. Crucial questions were addressed to the students concerning time commitment, reasons for usage, nature of interaction on these sites, and the propensity to share information leading to direct and indirect modes of learning. It was further supplemented with focus group discussion to analyze the findings. The paper notes the resistance in the adoption of new technology by a section of business school faculty, who are staunch supporters of the classical “face-to-face” instruction. In conclusion, social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn provide new avenues for students to express themselves and to interact with one another. Universities could take advantage of the new ways  in which students are communicating with one another. Although interactive educational options such as Moodle exist, social networking sites are rarely used for academic purposes. Using this medium opens new ways of academically-oriented interactions where faculty could discover more about students' interests, and students, in turn, might express and develop more intellectual facets of their lives. hitherto unknown intellectual facets.  This study also throws up the enormous potential of mobile phones as a tool for “blended learning” in business schools going forward.

General Formula for Water Surface Profile over Side Weir in the Combined, Trapezoidal and Exponential, Channels

A side weir is a hydraulic structure set into the side of a channel. This structure is used for water level control in channels, to divert flow from a main channel into a side channel when the water level in the main channel exceeds a specific limit and as storm overflows from urban sewerage system. Computation of water surface over the side weirs is essential to determine the flow rate of the side weir. Analytical solutions for water surface profile along rectangular side weir are available only for the special cases of rectangular and trapezoidal channels considering constant specific energy. In this paper, a rectangular side weir located in a combined (trapezoidal with exponential) channel was considered. Expanding binominal series of integer and fraction powers and the using of reduction formula of cosine function integrals, a general analytical formula was obtained for water surface profile along a side weir in a combined (trapezoidal with exponential) channel. Since triangular, rectangular, trapezoidal and parabolic cross-sections are special cases of the combined cross section, the derived formula, is applicable to triangular, rectangular, trapezoidal cross-sections as analytical solution and semi-analytical solution to parabolic cross-section with maximum relative error smaller than 0.76%. The proposed solution should be a useful engineering tool for the evaluation and design of side weirs in open channel.

Innovative Waste Management Practices in Remote Areas

Municipal waste consist of a variety of items that are everyday discarded by the population. They are usually collected by municipalities and include waste generated by households, commercial activities (local shops) and public buildings. The composition of municipal waste varies greatly from place to place, being mostly related to levels and patterns of consumption, rates of urbanization, lifestyles, and local or national waste management practices. Each year, a huge amount of resources is consumed in the EU, and according to that, also a huge amount of waste is produced. The environmental problems derived from the management and processing of these waste streams are well known, and include impacts on land, water and air. The situation in remote areas is even worst. Difficult access when climatic conditions are adverse, remoteness of centralized municipal treatment systems or dispersion of the population, are all factors that make remote areas a real municipal waste treatment challenge. Furthermore, the scope of the problem increases significantly because the total lack of awareness of the existing risks in this area together with the poor implementation of advanced culture on waste minimization and recycling responsibly. The aim of this work is to analyze the existing situation in remote areas in reference to the production of municipal waste and evaluate the efficiency of different management alternatives. Ideas for improving waste management in remote areas include, for example: the implementation of self-management systems for the organic fraction; establish door-to-door collection models; promote small-scale treatment facilities or adjust the rates of waste generation thereof.

Studies on the Mechanical Behavior of Bottom Ash for a Sustainable Environment

Bottom ash is a by-product of the combustion process of coal in furnaces in the production of electricity in thermal power plants. In India, about 75% of total power is produced by using pulverized coal. The coal of India has a high ash content which leads to the generation of a huge quantity of bottom ash per year posing the dual problem of environmental pollution and difficulty in disposal. This calls for establishing strategies to use this industry by-product effectively and efficiently. However, its large-scale utilization is possible only in geotechnical applications, either alone or with soil. In the present investigation, bottom ash was collected from National Capital Power Station Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, India. Test samples of bottom ash admixed with 20% clayey soil were prepared and treated with different cement content by weight and subjected to various laboratory tests for assessing its suitability as an engineered construction material. This study has shown that use of 10% cement content is a viable chemical additive to enhance the mechanical properties of bottom ash, which can be used effectively as an engineered construction material in various geotechnical applications. More importantly, it offers an interesting potential for making use of an industrial waste to overcome challenges posed by bottom ash for a sustainable environment.

Features of Formation and Development of Possessory Risk Management Systems of Organization in the Russian Economy

The study investigates the impact of the ongoing financial crisis, started in the 2nd half of 2014, on marketing budgets spent by Fast-moving consumer goods companies. In these conditions, special importance is given to efficient possessory risk management systems. The main objective for establishing and developing possessory risk management systems for FMCG companies in a crisis is to analyze the data relating to the external environment and consumer behavior in a crisis. Another important objective for possessory risk management systems of FMCG companies is to develop measures and mechanisms to maintain and stimulate sales. In this regard, analysis of risks and threats which consumers define as the main reasons affecting their level of consumption become important. It is obvious that in crisis conditions the effective risk management systems responsible for development and implementation of strategies for consumer demand stimulation, as well as the identification, analysis, assessment and management of other types of risks of economic security will be the key to sustainability of a company. In terms of financial and economic crisis, the problem of forming and developing possessory risk management systems becomes critical not only in the context of management models of FMCG companies, but for all the companies operating in other sectors of the Russian economy. This study attempts to analyze the specifics of formation and development of company possessory risk management systems. In the modern economy, special importance among all the types of owner’s risks has the risk of reduction in consumer activity. This type of risk is common not only for the consumer goods trade. Study of consumer activity decline is especially important for Russia due to domestic market of consumer goods being still in the development stage, despite its significant growth. In this regard, it is especially important to form and develop possessory risk management systems for FMCG companies. The authors offer their own interpretation of the process of forming and developing possessory risk management systems within owner’s management models of FMCG companies as well as in Russian economy in general. Proposed methods and mechanisms of problem analysis of formation and development of possessory risk management systems in FMCG companies and the results received can be helpful for researchers interested in problems of consumer goods market development in Russia and overseas.

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