Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

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

Sustainability Analysis and Quality Assessment of Rainwater Harvested from Green Roofs: A Review

Most people today are aware that global climate change is not just a scientific theory but also a fact with worldwide consequences. Global climate change is due to rapid urbanization, industrialization, high population growth and current vulnerability of the climatic condition. Water is becoming scarce as a result of global climate change. To mitigate the problem arising due to global climate change and its drought effect, harvesting rainwater from green roofs, an environmentally-friendly and versatile technology, is becoming one of the best assessment criteria and gaining attention in Malaysia. This paper addresses the sustainability of green roofs and examines the quality of water harvested from green roofs in comparison to rainwater. The factors that affect the quality of such water, taking into account, for example, roofing materials, climatic conditions, the frequency of rainfall frequency and the first flush. A green roof was installed on the Humid Tropic Centre (HTC) is a place of the study on monitoring program for urban Stormwater Management Manual for Malaysia (MSMA), Eco-Hydrological Project in Kuala Lumpur, and the rainwater was harvested and evaluated on the basis of four parameters i.e., conductivity, dissolved oxygen (DO), pH and temperature. These parameters were found to fall between Class I and Class III of the Interim National Water Quality Standards (INWQS) and the Water Quality Index (WQI). Some preliminary treatment such as disinfection and filtration could likely to improve the value of these parameters to class I. This review paper clearly indicates that there is a need for more research to address other microbiological and chemical quality parameters to ensure that the harvested water is suitable for use potable water for domestic purposes. The change in all physical, chemical and microbiological parameters with respect to storage time will be a major focus of future studies in this field.

Apoptosis Pathway Targeted by Thymoquinone in MCF7 Breast Cancer Cell Line

Array-based gene expression analysis is a powerful tool to profile expression of genes and to generate information on therapeutic effects of new anti-cancer compounds. Anti-apoptotic effect of thymoquinone was studied in MCF7 breast cancer cell line using gene expression profiling with cDNA microarray. The purity and yield of RNA samples were determined using RNeasyPlus Mini kit. The Agilent RNA 6000 NanoLabChip kit evaluated the quantity of the RNA samples. AffinityScript RT oligo-dT promoter primer was used to generate cDNA strands. T7 RNA polymerase was used to convert cDNA to cRNA. The cRNA samples and human universal reference RNA were labelled with Cy-3-CTP and Cy-5-CTP, respectively. Feature Extraction and GeneSpring softwares analysed the data. The single experiment analysis revealed involvement of 64 pathways with up-regulated genes and 78 pathways with downregulated genes. The MAPK and p38-MAPK pathways were inhibited due to the up-regulation of PTPRR gene. The inhibition of p38-MAPK suggested up-regulation of TGF-ß pathway. Inhibition of p38-MAPK caused up-regulation of TP53 and down-regulation of Bcl2 genes indicating involvement of intrinsic apoptotic pathway. Down-regulation of CARD16 gene as an adaptor molecule regulated CASP1 and suggested necrosis-like programmed cell death and involvement of caspase in apoptosis. Furthermore, down-regulation of GPCR, EGF-EGFR signalling pathways suggested reduction of ER. Involvement of AhR pathway which control cytochrome P450 and glucuronidation pathways showed metabolism of Thymoquinone. The findings showed differential expression of several genes in apoptosis pathways with thymoquinone treatment in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells.

Airport Check-In Optimization by IP and Simulation in Combination

The check-in area of airport terminal is one of the busiest sections at airports at certain periods. The passengers are subjected to queues and delays during the check-in process. These delays and queues are due to constraints in the capacity of service facilities. In this project, the airport terminal is decomposed into several check-in areas. The airport check-in scheduling problem requires both a deterministic (integer programming) and stochastic (simulation) approach. Integer programming formulations are provided to minimize the total number of counters in each check-in area under the realistic constraint that counters for one and the same flight should be adjacent and the desired number of counters remaining in each area should be fixed during check-in operations. By using simulation, the airport system can be modeled to study the effects of various parameters such as number of passengers on a flight and check-in counter opening and closing time.

Comparative Analysis of Ranunculus muricatus and Typha latifolia as Wetland Plants Applied for Domestic Wastewater Treatment in a Mesocosm Scale Study

Comparing other methods of waste water treatment, constructed wetlands are one of the most fascinating practices because being a natural process they are eco-friendly have low construction and maintenance cost and have considerable capability of wastewater treatment. The current research was focused mainly on comparison of Ranunculus muricatus and Typha latifolia as wetland plants for domestic wastewater treatment by designing and constructing efficient pilot scale horizontal subsurface flow mesocosms. Parameters like chemical oxygen demand, biological oxygen demand, phosphates, sulphates, nitrites, nitrates, and pathogenic indicator microbes were studied continuously with successive treatments. Treatment efficiency of the system increases with passage of time and with increase in temperature. Efficiency of T. latifolia planted setups in open environment was fairly good for parameters like COD and BOD5 which was showing reduction up to 82.5% for COD and 82.6% for BOD5 while DO was increased up to 125%. Efficiency of R. muricatus vegetated setup was also good but lowers than that of T. latifolia planted showing 80.95% removal of COD and BOD5. Ranunculus muricatus was found effective in reducing bacterial count in wastewater. Both macrophytes were found promising in wastewater treatment.

Role of Technological Innovation in Improving Manufacturing Performance: A Review

MSMEs are regarded as the sunrise sector of the Indian economy in view of its large potential for growth and likely socio economic impact specifically on employment and income generation. In today’s competitive business environment, global competition forces companies to continuously seek ways of improving their products and services. The pressure on organizations to adapt to new technologies and external threats requires resourcefulness, creativity and innovation. Market has become more open, competitive and customers more demanding. Without continuous technology innovation, no organization can ever remain competitive. Innovations reflect a critical way in which organizations respond to either technological or market challenges. The need of the market is to deliver high quality products through continuous changing in features in product, improve existing products, reduce their cost, and improve employee skills, training, technology infrastructure and financial policies. Therefore, the key factor of organization’s ability to change is innovation. The study presents a detailed review of literature on the role of technology innovation in improving manufacturing performance of industries.

Structural and Optical Properties of Pr3+ Doped ZnO and PVA:Zn98Pr2O Nanocomposite Free Standing Film

In this work, we report, a systematic study on the structural and optical properties of Pr-doped ZnO nanostructures and PVA:Zn98Pr2O polymer matrix nanocomposites free standing films. These particles are synthesized through simple wet chemical route and solution casting technique at room temperature, respectively. Structural studies carried out by X-ray diffraction method confirm that the prepared pure ZnO and Pr doped ZnO nanostructures are in hexagonal wurtzite structure and the microstrain is increased upon doping. TEM analysis reveals that the prepared materials are in sheet like nature. Absorption spectra show free excitonic absorption band at 370 nm and red shift for the Pr doped ZnO nanostructures. The PVA:Zn98Pr2O composite film exhibits both free excitonic and PVA absorption bands at 282 nm. Fourier transform infrared spectral studies confirm the presence of A1 (TO) and E1 (TO) modes of Zn-O bond vibration and the formation of polymer composite materials.

Study of the Behavior of an Organic Coating Applied on Algerian Oil Tanker in Seawater

Paints are the most widely used methods of protection against atmospheric corrosion of metals. The aim of this work was to determine the protective performance of epoxy coating against sea water before and after damage. Investigations are conducted using stationary and non-stationary electrochemical tools such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy has allowed us to characterize the protective qualities of these films. The application of the EIS on our damaged in-situ painting shows the existence of several capacitive loops which is an indicator of the failure of our tested paint. Microscopic analysis (micrograph) helped bring essential elements in understanding the degradation of our paint condition and immersion training corrosion products.

Local Spectrum Feature Extraction for Face Recognition

This paper presents two techniques, local feature extraction using image spectrum and low frequency spectrum modelling using GMM to capture the underlying statistical information to improve the performance of face recognition system. Local spectrum features are extracted using overlap sub block window that are mapped on the face image. For each of this block, spatial domain is transformed to frequency domain using DFT. A low frequency coefficient is preserved by discarding high frequency coefficients by applying rectangular mask on the spectrum of the facial image. Low frequency information is non- Gaussian in the feature space and by using combination of several Gaussian functions that has different statistical properties, the best feature representation can be modelled using probability density function. The recognition process is performed using maximum likelihood value computed using pre-calculated GMM components. The method is tested using FERET datasets and is able to achieved 92% recognition rates.

Vehicle Aerodynamics: Drag Reduction by Surface Dimples

For a bluff body, dimples behave like roughness elements in stimulating a turbulent boundary layer, leading to delayed flow separation, a smaller wake and lower form drag. This is very different in principle from the application of dimples to streamlined body, where any reduction in drag would be predominantly due to a reduction in skin friction. In the present work, a car model with different dimple geometry is simulated using k-ε turbulence modeling to determine its effect to the aerodynamics performance. Overall, the results show that the application of dimples manages to reduce the drag coefficient of the car model.

Fuzzy Modeling for Micro EDM Parameters Optimization in Drilling of Biomedical Implants Ti-6Al-4V Alloy for Higher Machining Performance

Ti6Al4V alloy is highly used in the automotive and aerospace industry due to its good machining characteristics. Micro EDM drilling is commonly used to drill micro hole on extremely hard material with very high depth to diameter ratio. In this study, the parameters of micro-electrical discharge machining (EDM) in drilling of Ti6Al4V alloy is optimized for higher machining accuracy with less hole-dilation and hole taper ratio. The micro-EDM machining parameters includes, peak current and pulse on time. Fuzzy analysis was developed to evaluate the machining accuracy. The analysis shows that hole-dilation and hole-taper ratio are increased with the increasing of peak current and pulse on time. However, the surface quality deteriorates as the peak current and pulse on time increase. The combination that gives the optimum result for hole dilation is medium peak current and short pulse on time. Meanwhile, the optimum result for hole taper ratio is low peak current and short pulse on time.

Parameters Used in Gateway Selection Schemes for Internet Connected MANETs: A Review

The wide use of the Internet-based applications bring many challenges to the researchers to guarantee the continuity of the connections needed by the mobile hosts and provide reliable Internet access for them. One of proposed solutions by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is to connect the local, multi-hop, and infrastructure-less Mobile Ad hoc Network (MANET) with Internet structure. This connection is done through multi-interface devices known as Internet Gateways. Many issues are related to this connection like gateway discovery, handoff, address auto-configuration and selecting the optimum gateway when multiple gateways exist. Many studies were done proposing gateway selection schemes with a single selection criterion or weighted multiple criteria. In this research, a review of some of these schemes is done showing the differences, the features, the challenges and the drawbacks of each of them.

Edge Detection in Low Contrast Images

The edges of low contrast images are not clearly distinguishable to human eye. It is difficult to find the edges and boundaries in it. The present work encompasses a new approach for low contrast images. The Chebyshev polynomial based fractional order filter has been used for filtering operation on an image. The preprocessing has been performed by this filter on the input image. Laplacian of Gaussian method has been applied on preprocessed image for edge detection. The algorithm has been tested on two test images.

Application of Costing System in the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) in Turkey

Standard processes, similar and limited production lines, the production of high direct costs will be more accurate than the use of parts of the traditional cost systems in the literature. However, direct costs, overhead expenses, in turn, decrease the burden of increasingly sophisticated production facilities, a situation that led the researchers to look for the cost of traditional systems of alternative techniques. Variety cost management approaches for example Total quality management (TQM), just-in-time (JIT), benchmarking, kaizen costing, targeting cost, life cycle costs (LLC), activity-based costing (ABC) value engineering have been introduced. Management and cost applications have changed over the past decade and will continue to change. Modern cost systems can provide relevant and accurate cost information. These methods provide the decisions about customer, product and process improvement. The aim of study is to describe and explain the adoption and application of costing systems in SME. This purpose reports on a survey conducted during 2014 small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in Ankara. The survey results were evaluated using SPSS18 package program.

Development of Star Tracker for Satellite

Much attention is paid to the development of space branch in Kazakhstan at present. Two Earth remote sensing satellites of Kazakhstan have been launched successfully. Many projects related to the development of components for satellite are carried in Kazakhstan, in particular the project related to the development of star tracker experimental model. It is planned to use the results of this project for development of star tracker prototype in the future. This article describes the main stages of development of star tracker experimental model.

Effect of Germination on Proximate, Available Phenol and Flavonoid Content, and Antioxidant Activities of African Yam Bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa)

The work studied the effect of germination on proximate, phenol and flavonoid content and antioxidant activities (AOA) of African Yam been (AYB). Germination was done in controlled dark chamber (100% RH, 28oC). The proximate, phenol and flavonoid content and antioxidant activities before and after germination were investigated. The crude protein, moisture, and crude fiber content of germinated AYB were significantly higher (P<0.05) than that of ungermianated seed, while the fat, Ash and carbohydrate content of ungerminated were higher than the germinated seed. Germination increased the phenol and flavoniod content by 19.14% and 14.53% respectively. The results of AOA assay showed that the DPPH, reducing power and FRAP of germinated AYB seed gave high values: 48.92 ±1.22 μg/ml, 0.75± 0.15μg/ml and 98.60±0.04 μmol/g while that of ungerminated seed were: 31.33μ/ml, 0.56±1.52μg/ml and 96.11±1.13μmol/g respectively. Germinated AYB has phytochemicals with potential AOA for disease prevention.

Hello Kitty's Popularity and Its Change of Representation

Since “Hello Kitty” was manufactured in the market in 1974, the manufacturer, Sanrio Co., Ltd. gains high profits not only Kitty’s products but also Kitty license, which gives us a picture of Sanrio’s sales strategy in the global market. Kitty’s history, its products, and Sanrio’s sales strategy are researched in this paper. Comparing it to American Girl, and focusing on KITTYLAB, a type of attraction where you can enjoy games with Kitty, and choose its parts to build your own Kitty, the image of the cultural icon can be altered.

Social Assistive Robots, Reframing the Human Robotics Interaction Benchmark of Social Success

It is likely that robots will cross the boundaries of industry into households over the next decades. With demographic challenges worldwide, the future ageing populations will require the introduction of assistive technologies capable of providing, care, human dignity and quality of life through the aging process. Robotics technology has a high potential for being used in the areas of social and healthcare by promoting a wide range of activities such as entertainment, companionship, supervision or cognitive and physical assistance. However such close Human Robotics Interaction (HRI) encompass a rich set of ethical scenarios that need to be addressed before Socially Assistive Robots (SARs) reach the global markets. Such interactions with robots may seem a worthy goal for many technical/financial reasons but inevitably require close attention to the ethical dimensions of such interactions. This article investigates the current HRI benchmark of social success. It revises it according to the ethical principles of beneficence, non-maleficence and justice aligned with social care ethos. An extension of such benchmark is proposed based on an empirical study of HRIs conducted with elderly groups.

A Study on Inference from Distance Variables in Hedonic Regression

In urban area, several landmarks may affect housing price and rents, and hedonic analysis should employ distance variables corresponding to each landmarks. Unfortunately, the effects of distances to landmarks on housing prices are generally not consistent with the true price. These distance variables may cause magnitude error in regression, pointing a problem of spatial multicollinearity. In this paper, we provided some approaches for getting the samples with less bias and method on locating the specific sampling area to avoid the multicollinerity problem in two specific landmarks case.

Eccentric Connectivity Index, First and Second Zagreb Indices of Corona Graph

The eccentric connectivity index based on degree and eccentricity of the vertices of a graph is a widely used graph invariant in mathematics. In this paper, we present the explicit eccentric connectivity index, first and second Zagreb indices for a Corona graph and sub divisionrelated corona graphs.

High Accuracy ESPRIT-TLS Technique for Wind Turbine Fault Discrimination

ESPRIT-TLS method appears a good choice for high resolution fault detection in induction machines. It has a very high effectiveness in the frequency and amplitude identification. Contrariwise, it presents a high computation complexity which affects its implementation in real time fault diagnosis. To avoid this problem, a Fast-ESPRIT algorithm that combined the IIR band-pass filtering technique, the decimation technique and the original ESPRIT-TLS method was employed to enhance extracting accurately frequencies and their magnitudes from the wind stator current with less computation cost. The proposed algorithm has been applied to verify the wind turbine machine need in the implementation of an online, fast, and proactive condition monitoring. This type of remote and periodic maintenance provides an acceptable machine lifetime, minimize its downtimes and maximize its productivity. The developed technique has evaluated by computer simulations under many fault scenarios. Study results prove the performance of Fast- ESPRIT offering rapid and high resolution harmonics recognizing with minimum computation time and less memory cost.

The Experimental and Statistical Analysis of the Wood Strength against Pressure According to Different Wood Types, Sizes, and Coatings

In this study, an experiment was executed related to the strength of wooden materials which have been commonly used both in the past and present against pressure and whether fire retardant materials used against fire have any effects or not. Totally 81 samples which included 3 different wood species, 3 different sizes, 2 different fire retardants and 2 unprocessed samples were prepared. Compressive pressure tests were applied to the prepared samples, their variance analyses were executed in accordance with the obtained results and it was aimed to determine the most convenient wooden materials and fire-retardant coating material. It was also determined that the species of wood and the species of coating caused the decrease and/or increase in the resistance against pressure.

Sound Exposure Effects towards Ross Broilers Growth Rate

Sound exposure effects have been investigated by broadcasting a group of broilers with sound of Quran verses (Group B) whereas the other group is the control broilers (Group C). The growth rate comparisons in terms of weight and raw meat texture measured by shear force have been investigated. Twenty-seven broilers were randomly selected from each group on Day 24 and weight measurement was carried out every week till the harvest day (Day 39).Group B showed a higher mean weight on Day 24 (1.441 ± 0.013 kg) than Group C. Significant difference in the weight on Day 39 existed for Group B compared to Group C (p < 0.05). However, there was no significant (p >0.05) difference of shear force in the same muscles (breast and drumstick raw meat) of both groups but the shear force of the breast meat for Group B and C broilers was lower (p < 0.05) than that of their drumstick meat. Thus, broadcasting the sound of Quran verses in the coop can be applied to improve the growth rate of broilers for producing better quality poultry.

Determining Fire Resistance of Wooden Construction Elements through Experimental Studies and Artificial Neural Network

Artificial intelligence applications are commonly used in industry in many fields in parallel with the developments in the computer technology. In this study, a fire room was prepared for the resistance of wooden construction elements and with the mechanism here, the experiments of polished materials were carried out. By utilizing from the experimental data, an artificial neural network (ANN) was modelled in order to evaluate the final cross sections of the wooden samples remaining from the fire. In modelling, experimental data obtained from the fire room were used. In the developed system, the first weight of samples (ws-gr), preliminary cross-section (pcs-mm2), fire time (ft-minute), and fire temperature (t-oC) as input parameters and final cross-section (fcs-mm2) as output parameter were taken. When the results obtained from ANN and experimental data are compared after making statistical analyses, the data of two groups are determined to be coherent and seen to have no meaning difference between them. As a result, it is seen that ANN can be safely used in determining cross sections of wooden materials after fire and it prevents many disadvantages.

Effect of Sodium Hydroxide Treatment on the Mechanical Properties of Crushed and Uncrushed Luffa cylindrica Fibre Reinforced rLDPE Composites

Sustainability and eco-friendly requirement of engineering materials are sort for in recent times, thus giving rise to the development of bio-composites. However, the natural fibres to matrix interface interactions remain a key issue in getting the desired mechanical properties from such composites. Treatment of natural fibres is essential in improving matrix to filler adhesion, hence improving its mechanical properties. In this study, investigations were carried out to determine the effect of sodium hydroxide treatment on the tensile, flexural, impact and hardness properties of crushed and uncrushed Luffa cylindrica fibre reinforced recycled low density polyethylene composites. The LC (Luffa cylindrica) fibres were treated with 0%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% wt. sodium hydroxide (NaOH) concentrations for a period of 24 hours under room temperature conditions. A formulation ratio of 80/20 g (matrix to reinforcement) was maintained for all developed samples. Analysis of the results showed that the uncrushed luffa fibre samples gave better mechanical properties compared with the crushed luffa fibre samples. The uncrushed luffa fibre composites had a maximum tensile and flexural strength of 7.65 MPa and 17.08 Mpa respectively corresponding to a young modulus and flexural modulus of 21.08 MPa and 232.22 MPa for the 8% and 4% wt. NaOH concentration respectively. Results obtained in the research showed that NaOH treatment with the 8% NaOH concentration improved the mechanical properties of the LC fibre reinforced composites when compared with other NaOH treatment concentration values.

Comparing Repaired and Undamaged Specimens Test Results of Post-Tensioned Beam to Column Connections

Since, it is essential to provide homeless people by the earthquake with safe, habitable accommodation repairing medium and slight levels of damage at the connection parts should be undertaken. In order to prove that a repaired connection was sufficiently strong, a precast beam to column post tensioned connection was tested in three phases. In phase one, the middle level damage was observed at 6% drift at these connections. As a result of the extra loads applied, little damage was observed. In the last phase, the four connections tested in the first phase were repaired using epoxy resin and then retested. The results from the tests on the repaired precast and the undamaged specimens showed that the repaired specimens were sufficiently strong, thus proving that repair to damaged precast beam to column post tensioned connections can be undertaken.

Automatic Verification Technology of Virtual Machine Software Patch on IaaS Cloud

In this paper, we propose an automatic verification technology of software patches for user virtual environments on IaaS Cloud to decrease verification costs of patches. In these days, IaaS services have been spread and many users can customize virtual machines on IaaS Cloud like their own private servers. Regarding to software patches of OS or middleware installed on virtual machines, users need to adopt and verify these patches by themselves. This task increases operation costs of users. Our proposed method replicates user virtual environments, extracts verification test cases for user virtual environments from test case DB, distributes patches to virtual machines on replicated environments and conducts those test cases automatically on replicated environments. We have implemented the proposed method on OpenStack using Jenkins and confirmed the feasibility. Using the implementation, we confirmed the effectiveness of test case creation efforts by our proposed idea of 2-tier abstraction of software functions and test cases. We also evaluated the automatic verification performance of environment replications, test cases extractions and test cases conductions.

Selection of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains Tolerant to Lead and Cadmium Toxicity

The aim of this study was to select the best strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae able to resist lead and cadmium. Ten strains were screened on the basis of their resistance at different concentrations of 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24 ppm for Pb and 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 ppm for Cd. The properties of baker's yeast quality were decreased by the increase of Pb or Cd in growth medium. The slope values of yield, total viable cells and gassing power of produced baker's yeast were investigated as an indicator of metal resistant. In addition, concentrations of Pb and Cd in produced baker's yeast were determined. The strain of S. cerevisiae FH-620 had the highest resistance against Pb and Cd and had the minimum levels of both two investigated metals in produced baker's yeast.

Acoustic Behavior of Polymer Foam Composite of Shorea leprosula after UV-Irradiation Exposure

This study was developed to compare the behavior and the ability of polymer foam composites towards sound absorption test of Shorea leprosula wood (SL) of acid hydrolysis treatment with particle size <355μm. Three different weight ratio of polyol to wood particle has been selected which are 10wt%, 15wt% and 20wt%. The acid hydrolysis treatment is to optimize the surface interaction of wood particle with polymer foam matrix. In addition, the acoustic characteristic of sound absorption coefficient (α) was determined. Further treatment is to expose the polymer composite in UV irradiation by using UV-Weatherometer. Polymer foam composite of untreated Shorea leprosula particle (SL-B) with respective percentage loading shows uniform pore structure as compared with treated wood particle (SL-A). As the filler percentage loading in polymer foam increases, the α value approaching 1 for both samples. Furthermore, SL-A shows better α value at 3500-4500 frequency absorption level (Hz), meanwhile α value for SL-B is maximum at 4000-5000 Hz. The frequencies absorption level for both SL-B and SL-A after UV exposure was increased with the increasing of exposure time from 0-1000 hours. It is therefore, concluded that the α for each sound absorbing material, with or without acid hydrolysis treatment of wood particles and it’s percentages loading in polymer matrix effect the sound absorption behavior.

Feature Selection for Web Page Classification Using Swarm Optimization

The web’s increased popularity has included a huge amount of information, due to which automated web page classification systems are essential to improve search engines’ performance. Web pages have many features like HTML or XML tags, hyperlinks, URLs and text contents which can be considered during an automated classification process. It is known that Webpage classification is enhanced by hyperlinks as it reflects Web page linkages. The aim of this study is to reduce the number of features to be used to improve the accuracy of the classification of web pages. In this paper, a novel feature selection method using an improved Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) using principle of evolution is proposed. The extracted features were tested on the WebKB dataset using a parallel Neural Network to reduce the computational cost.

Survey on Arabic Sentiment Analysis in Twitter

Large-scale data stream analysis has become one of the important business and research priorities lately. Social networks like Twitter and other micro-blogging platforms hold an enormous amount of data that is large in volume, velocity and variety. Extracting valuable information and trends out of these data would aid in a better understanding and decision-making. Multiple analysis techniques are deployed for English content. Moreover, one of the languages that produce a large amount of data over social networks and is least analyzed is the Arabic language. The proposed paper is a survey on the research efforts to analyze the Arabic content in Twitter focusing on the tools and methods used to extract the sentiments for the Arabic content on Twitter.

A Fuzzy Swarm Optimized Approach for Piece Selection in Bit Torrent Like Peer to Peer Network

Every machine plays roles of client and server simultaneously in a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. Though a P2P network has many advantages over traditional client-server models regarding efficiency and fault-tolerance, it also faces additional security threats. Users/IT administrators should be aware of risks from malicious code propagation, downloaded content legality, and P2P software’s vulnerabilities. Security and preventative measures are a must to protect networks from potential sensitive information leakage and security breaches. Bit Torrent is a popular and scalable P2P file distribution mechanism which successfully distributes large files quickly and efficiently without problems for origin server. Bit Torrent achieved excellent upload utilization according to measurement studies, but it also raised many questions as regards utilization in settings, than those measuring, fairness, and Bit Torrent’s mechanisms choice. This work proposed a block selection technique using Fuzzy ACO with optimal rules selected using ACO.

A Study on the Comparison of Mechanical and Thermal Properties According to Laminated Orientation of CFRP through Bending Test

In rapid industrial development, the demand for high-strength and lightweight materials have been increased. Thus, various CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics) with composite materials are being used. The design variables of CFRP are its lamination direction, order and thickness. Thus, the hardness and strength of CFRP depends much on their design variables. In this paper, the lamination direction of CFRP was used to produce a symmetrical ply [0°/0°, -15°/+15°, -30°/+30°, -45°/+45°, -60°/+60°, -75°/+75° and 90°/90°] and an asymmetrical ply [0°/15°, 0°/30°, 0°/45°, 0°/60° 0°/75° and 0°/90°]. The bending flexure stress of the CFRP specimen was evaluated through a bending test. Its thermal property was measured using an infrared camera. The symmetrical specimen and the asymmetrical specimen were analyzed. The results showed that the asymmetrical specimen increased the bending loads according to the increase in the orientation angle; and from 0°, the symmetrical specimen showed a tendency opposite the asymmetrical tendency because the tensile force of fiber differs at the vertical direction of its load. Also, the infrared camera showed that the thermal property had a trend similar to that of the mechanical properties.

Wear Measuring and Wear Modelling Based On Archard, ASTM, and Neural Network Models

The wear measuring and wear modelling are fundamental issues in the industrial field, mainly correlated to the economy and safety. Therefore, there is a need to study the wear measurements and wear estimation. Pin-on-disc test is the most common test which is used to study the wear behaviour. In this paper, the pin-on-disc (AEROTECH UNIDEX 11) is used for the investigation of the effects of normal load and hardness of material on the wear under dry and sliding conditions. In the pin-on-disc rig, two specimens were used; one, a pin is made of steel with a tip, positioned perpendicular to the disc, where the disc is made of aluminium. The pin wear and disc wear were measured by using the following instruments: The Talysurf instrument, a digital microscope, and the alicona instrument. The Talysurf profilometer was used to measure the pin/disc wear scar depth, digital microscope was used to measure the diameter and width of wear scar, and the alicona was used to measure the pin wear and disc wear. After that, the Archard model, American Society for Testing and Materials model (ASTM), and neural network model were used for pin/disc wear modelling. Simulation results were implemented by using the Matlab program. This paper focuses on how the alicona can be used for wear measurements and how the neural network can be used for wear estimation.

Multi-fidelity Fluid-Structure Interaction Analysis of a Membrane Wing

In order to study the aerodynamic performance of a semi-flexible membrane wing, Fluid-Structure Interaction simulations have been performed. The fluid problem has been modeled using two different approaches which are the vortex panel method and the numerical solution of the Navier-Stokes equations. Nonlinear analysis of the structural problem is performed using the Finite Element Method. Comparison between the two fluid solvers has been made. Aerodynamic performance of the wing is discussed regarding its lift and drag coefficients and they are compared with those of the equivalent rigid wing.

Detection of Transgenes in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) by Using Biotechnology/Molecular Biological Techniques

Agriculture is the backbone of economy of Pakistan and cotton is the major agricultural export and supreme source of raw fiber for our textile industry. To combat severe problems of insect and weed, combination of three genes namely Cry1Ac, Cry2A and EPSPS genes was transferred in locally cultivated cotton variety MNH-786 with the use of Agrobacterium mediated genetic transformation. The present study focused on the molecular screening of transgenic cotton plants at T3 generation in order to confirm integration and expression of all three genes (Cry1Ac, Cry2A and EPSP synthase) into the cotton genome. Initially, glyphosate spray assay was used for screening of transgenic cotton plants containing EPSP synthase gene at T3 generation. Transgenic cotton plants which were healthy and showed no damage on leaves were selected after 07 days of spray. For molecular analysis of transgenic cotton plants in the laboratory, the genomic DNA of these transgenic cotton plants were isolated and subjected to amplification of the three genes. Thus, seventeen out of twenty (Cry1Ac gene), ten out of twenty (Cry2A gene) and all twenty (EPSP synthase gene) were produced positive amplification. On the base of PCR amplification, ten transgenic plant samples were subjected to protein expression analysis through ELISA. The results showed that eight out of ten plants were actively expressing the three transgenes. Real-time PCR was also done to quantify the mRNA expression levels of Cry1Ac and EPSP synthase gene. Finally, eight plants were confirmed for the presence and active expression of all three genes at T3 generation.

Efficient Feature Fusion for Noise Iris in Unconstrained Environment

This paper presents an efficient fusion algorithm for iris images to generate stable feature for recognition in unconstrained environment. Recently, iris recognition systems are focused on real scenarios in our daily life without the subject’s cooperation. Under large variation in the environment, the objective of this paper is to combine information from multiple images of the same iris. The result of image fusion is a new image which is more stable for further iris recognition than each original noise iris image. A wavelet-based approach for multi-resolution image fusion is applied in the fusion process. The detection of the iris image is based on Adaboost algorithm and then local binary pattern (LBP) histogram is then applied to texture classification with the weighting scheme. Experiment showed that the generated features from the proposed fusion algorithm can improve the performance for verification system through iris recognition.

Physical and Mechanical Performance of Mortars with Ashes from Straw and Bagasse Sugarcane

The objective of this study was to identify the optimal level of partial replacement of Portland cement by the ashes originating from burning straw and bagasse from sugar cane (ASB). Order to this end, were made five series of flat plates and cylindrical bodies: control and others with the partial replacement in 20, 30, 40 and 50% of ASB in relation to the mass of the Ordinary Portland cement, and conducted a mechanical testing of simple axial compression (cylindrical bodies) and the four-point bending (flat plates) and determined water absorption (WA), bulk density (BD) and apparent void volume (AVV) on both types of specimens. Based on the data obtained, it may be noted that the control treatment containing only Portland cement, obtained the best results. However, the cylindrical bodies with 20% ashes showed better results compared to the other treatments. And in the formulations plates, the treatment which showed the best results was 30% cement replacement by ashes.

Big Data: Big Challenges to Privacy and Data Protection

This paper seeks to analyse the benefits of big data and more importantly the challenges it pose to the subject of privacy and data protection. First, the nature of big data will be briefly deliberated before presenting the potential of big data in the present days. Afterwards, the issue of privacy and data protection is highlighted before discussing the challenges of implementing this issue in big data. In conclusion, the paper will put forward the debate on the adequacy of the existing legal framework in protecting personal data in the era of big data.

The Importance of Zakat in Struggle against Circle of Poverty and Income Redistribution

This paper examines how “Zakat” provides fair income redistribution and aids the struggle against poverty. Providing fair income redistribution and combating poverty constitutes some of the fundamental tasks performed by countries all over the world. Each country seeks a solution for these problems according to their political, economic and administrative styles through applying various economic and financial policies. The same situation can be handled via “zakat” association in Islam. Nowadays, we observe different versions of “zakat” in developed countries. Applications such as negative income tax denote merely a different form of “zakat” that is being applied almost in the same way but under changed names. However, the minimum values to donate under zakat (e.g. 85 gr. gold and 40 animals) get altered and various amounts are put into practice. It might be named as negative income tax instead of zakat, nonetheless, these applications are based on the Holy Koran and the hadith released 1400 years ago. Besides, considering the savage and slavery in the world at those times, we might easily recognize the true value of the zakat being applied for the first time then in the Islamic system. Through zakat, governments are able to transfer incomes to the poor as a means of enabling them achieve the minimum standard of living required. With regards to who benefits from the Zakat, an objective and fair criteria was used to determine who benefits from the zakat contrary to the notion that it was based on peoples’ own choices. Since the zakat is obligatory, the transfers do not get forwarded directly but via the government and get distributed, which requires vast governmental organizations. Through the application of Zakat, reduced levels of poverty can be achieved and also ensure the fair income redistribution.

Evaluation of Model Evaluation Criterion for Software Development Effort Estimation

Estimation of model parameters is necessary to predict the behavior of a system. Model parameters are estimated using optimization criteria. Most algorithms use historical data to estimate model parameters. The known target values (actual) and the output produced by the model are compared. The differences between the two form the basis to estimate the parameters. In order to compare different models developed using the same data different criteria are used. The data obtained for short scale projects are used here. We consider software effort estimation problem using radial basis function network. The accuracy comparison is made using various existing criteria for one and two predictors. Then, we propose a new criterion based on linear least squares for evaluation and compared the results of one and two predictors. We have considered another data set and evaluated prediction accuracy using the new criterion. The new criterion is easy to comprehend compared to single statistic. Although software effort estimation is considered, this method is applicable for any modeling and prediction.

Application of Statistical Approach for Optimizing CMCase Production by Bacillus tequilensis S28 Strain via Submerged Fermentation Using Wheat Bran as Carbon Source

Biofuels production has come forth as a future technology to combat the problem of depleting fossil fuels. Bio-based ethanol production from enzymatic lignocellulosic biomass degradation serves an efficient method and catching the eye of scientific community. High cost of the enzyme is the major obstacle in preventing the commercialization of this process. Thus main objective of the present study was to optimize composition of medium components for enhancing cellulase production by newly isolated strain of Bacillus tequilensis. Nineteen factors were taken into account using statistical Plackett-Burman Design. The significant variables influencing the cellulose production were further employed in statistical Response Surface Methodology using Central Composite Design for maximizing cellulase production. The optimum medium composition for cellulase production was: peptone (4.94 g/L), ammonium chloride (4.99 g/L), yeast extract (2.00 g/L), Tween-20 (0.53 g/L), calcium chloride (0.20 g/L) and cobalt chloride (0.60 g/L) with pH 7, agitation speed 150 rpm and 72 h incubation at 37oC. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed high coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.99. Maximum cellulase productivity of 11.5 IU/ml was observed against the model predicted value of 13 IU/ml. This was found to be optimally active at 60oC and pH 5.5.

Personal Authentication Using FDOST in Finger Knuckle-Print Biometrics

The inherent skin patterns created at the joints in the finger exterior are referred as finger knuckle-print. It is exploited to identify a person in a unique manner because the finger knuckle print is greatly affluent in textures. In biometric system, the region of interest is utilized for the feature extraction algorithm. In this paper, local and global features are extracted separately. Fast Discrete Orthonormal Stockwell Transform is exploited to extract the local features. Global feature is attained by escalating the size of Fast Discrete Orthonormal Stockwell Transform to infinity. Two features are fused to increase the recognition accuracy. A matching distance is calculated for both the features individually. Then two distances are merged mutually to acquire the final matching distance. The proposed scheme gives the better performance in terms of equal error rate and correct recognition rate.

Management of Meskit (Prosopis juliflora) Tree in Oman: The Case of Using Meskit (Prosopis juliflora) Pods for Feeding Omani Sheep

This study evaluated the use of raw or processed Prosopis juliflora (Meskit) pods as a major ingredient in a formulated ration to provide an alternative non-conventional concentrate for livestock feeding in Oman. Dry Meskit pods were reduced to lengths of 0.5- 1.0 cm to ensure thorough mixing into three diets. Meskit pods were subjected to two types of treatments; roasting and soaking. They were roasted at 150оC for 30 minutes using a locally-made roasting device (40 kg barrel container rotated by electric motor and heated by flame gas cooker). Chopped pods were soaked in tap water for 24 hours and dried for 2 days under the sun with frequent turning. The Meskit-pod-based diets (MPBD) were formulated and pelleted from 500 g/kg ground Meskit pods, 240 g/kg wheat bran, 200 g/kg barley grain, 50 g/kg local dried sardines and 10 g/kg of salt. Twenty four 10 months-old intact Omani male lambs with average body weight of 27.3 kg (± 0.5 kg) were used in a feeding trial for 84 days. They were divided (on body weight basis) and allocated to four diet combination groups. These were: Rhodes grass hay (RGH) plus a general ruminant concentrate (GRC); RGH plus raw Meskit pods (RMP) based concentrate; RGH plus roasted Meskit pods (ROMP) based concentrate; RGH plus soaked Meskit pods (SMP) based concentrate Daily feed intakes and bi-weekly body weights were recorded. MPBD had higher contents of crude protein (CP), acid detergent fibre (ADF) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF) than the GRC. Animals fed various types of MPBD did not show signs of ill health. There was a significant effect of feeding ROMP on the performance of Omani sheep compared to RMP and SMP. The ROMP fed animals had similar performance to those fed the GRC in terms of feed intake, body weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR).This study indicated that roasted Meskit pods based diet may be used instead of the commercial concentrate for feeding Omani sheep without adverse effects on performance. It offers a cheap alternative source of protein and energy for feeding Omani sheep. Also, it might help in solving the spread impact of Meskit trees, maintain the ecosystem and helping in preserving the local tree species.

Liberation as a Method for Monument Valorisation: The Case of the Defence Heritage Restoration

The practice of freeing monuments from subsequent additions crosses the entire history of conservation and it is traditionally connected to the aim of valorisation, both for cultural and educational purpose and recently even for touristic exploitation. Defence heritage has been widely interested by these cultural and technical moods from philological restoration to critic innovations. A renovated critical analysis of Italian episodes and in particular the Sardinian case of the area of San Pancrazio in Cagliari, constitute an important lesson about the limits of this practice and the uncertainty in terms of results, towards the definition of a sustainable good practice in the restoration of military architectures.

Study on Evaluating the Utilization of Social Media Tools (SMT) in Collaborative Learning Case Study: Faculty of Medicine, King Khalid University

Social Media (SM) is websites increasingly popular and built to allow people to express themselves and to interact socially with others. Most SMT are dominated by youth particularly College students. The proliferation of popular social media tools, which can accessed from any communication devices has become pervasive in the lives of today’s student life. Connecting traditional education to social media tools are a relatively new era and any collaborative tool could be used for learning activities. This study focuses (i) how the social media tools are useful for the learning activities of the students of faculty of medicine in King Khalid University (ii) whether the social media affects the collaborative learning with interaction among students, among course instructor, their engagement, perceived ease of use and perceived ease of usefulness (TAM) (iii) overall, the students satisfy with this collaborative learning through Social media.

Recognizing an Individual, Their Topic of Conversation, and Cultural Background from 3D Body Movement

The 3D body movement signals captured during human-human conversation include clues not only to the content of people’s communication but also to their culture and personality. This paper is concerned with automatic extraction of this information from body movement signals. For the purpose of this research, we collected a novel corpus from 27 subjects, arranged them into groups according to their culture. We arranged each group into pairs and each pair communicated with each other about different topics. A state-of-art recognition system is applied to the problems of person, culture, and topic recognition. We borrowed modeling, classification, and normalization techniques from speech recognition. We used Gaussian Mixture Modeling (GMM) as the main technique for building our three systems, obtaining 77.78%, 55.47%, and 39.06% from the person, culture, and topic recognition systems respectively. In addition, we combined the above GMM systems with Support Vector Machines (SVM) to obtain 85.42%, 62.50%, and 40.63% accuracy for person, culture, and topic recognition respectively. Although direct comparison among these three recognition systems is difficult, it seems that our person recognition system performs best for both GMM and GMM-SVM, suggesting that intersubject differences (i.e. subject’s personality traits) are a major source of variation. When removing these traits from culture and topic recognition systems using the Nuisance Attribute Projection (NAP) and the Intersession Variability Compensation (ISVC) techniques, we obtained 73.44% and 46.09% accuracy from culture and topic recognition systems respectively.

Automatic Segmentation of the Clean Speech Signal

Speech Segmentation is the measure of the change point detection for partitioning an input speech signal into regions each of which accords to only one speaker. In this paper, we apply two features based on multi-scale product (MP) of the clean speech, namely the spectral centroid of MP, and the zero crossings rate of MP. We focus on multi-scale product analysis as an important tool for segmentation extraction. The MP is based on making the product of the speech wavelet transform coefficients (WTC). We have estimated our method on the Keele database. The results show the effectiveness of our method. It indicates that the two features can find word boundaries, and extracted the segments of the clean speech.

Imputation Technique for Feature Selection in Microarray Data Set

Analyzing DNA microarray data sets is a great challenge, which faces the bioinformaticians due to the complication of using statistical and machine learning techniques. The challenge will be doubled if the microarray data sets contain missing data, which happens regularly because these techniques cannot deal with missing data. One of the most important data analysis process on the microarray data set is feature selection. This process finds the most important genes that affect certain disease. In this paper, we introduce a technique for imputing the missing data in microarray data sets while performing feature selection.

Men’s Engagement in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Prevention Programs

This review emphasizes the effectiveness of men’s participation in preventing domestic violence, and whether nonviolent (NV) boys’ and men’s perceptions of intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention programs affect their involvement. The main goals of this assessment were to investigate (1) how NV men engaged in anti-violence prevention programs that empower women, (2) what were the possible perceptions of NV men involved in prevention programs (3) how to identify effective approaches and strategies that encouraged NV men to become involved in prevention programs. This critical review also included the overview of prevention programs such as: The Mentors in Violence Prevention Programs (MVP), The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC), and Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership through Alliances (DELTA). The review suggested that (1) the expanding prevention programs need to reach more macro settings such as work place, faith-based and other community based organizations, and (2) territory prevention programs should expand through addressing the long-term effects of violence.

Numerical Modelling of Effective Diffusivity in Bone Tissue Engineering

These days, the field of tissue engineering is getting serious attention due to its usefulness. Bone tissue engineering helps to address and sort-out the critical sized and non-healing orthopedic problems by the creation of manmade bone tissue. We will design and validate an efficient numerical model, which will simulate the effective diffusivity in bone tissue engineering. Our numerical model will be based on the finite element analysis of the diffusion-reaction equations. It will have the ability to optimize the diffusivity, even at multi-scale, with the variation of time. It will also have a special feature “parametric sweep”, with which we will be able to predict the oxygen, glucose and cell density dynamics, more accurately. We will fix these problems by modifying the governing equations, by selecting appropriate spatio-temporal finite element schemes and by transient analysis.

Place Recommendation Using Location-Based Services and Real-time Social Network Data

Currently, there is excessively growing information about places on Facebook, which is the largest social network but such information is not explicitly organized and ranked. Therefore users cannot exploit such data to recommend places conveniently and quickly. This paper proposes a Facebook application and an Android application that recommend places based on the number of check-ins of those places, the distance of those places from the current location, the number of people who like Facebook page of those places, and the number of talking about of those places. Related Facebook data is gathered via Facebook API requests. The experimental results of the developed applications show that the applications can recommend places and rank interesting places from the most to the least. We have found that the average satisfied score of the proposed Facebook application is 4.8 out of 5. The users’ satisfaction can increase by adding the app features that support personalization in terms of interests and preferences.

Behavior of Confined Columns under Different Techniques

Since columns are the most important elements of the structures, failure of one column in a critical location can cause a progressive collapse. In this respect, the repair and strengthening of columns is a very important subject to reduce the building failure and to keep the columns capacity. Twenty columns with different parameters is tested and analysis. Eleven typical confined reinforced concrete (RC) columns with different types of techniques are assessment. And also, four confined concrete columns with plastic tube (PVC) are tested with and with four paralleling tested of unconfined plain concrete. The techniques of confined RC columns are mortar strengthening, Steel rings strengthening, FRP strengthening. Moreover, the technique of confined plain concrete (PC) column is used PVC tubes. The columns are tested under uniaxial compressive loads studied the effect of confinement on the structural behavior of circular RC columns. Test results for each column are presented in the form of crack patterns, stress-strain curves. Test results show that confining of the RC columns using different techniques of strengthening results significant improvement of the general behavior of the columns and can used in construction. And also, tested confined PC columns with PVC tubes results shown that the confined PC with PVC tubes can be used in economical building. The theoretical model for predicted column capacity is founded with experimental factor depends on the confined techniques used and the strain reduction.

Investigation and Perfection of Centrifugal Compressor Stages by CFD Methods

Stator elements «Vane diffuser + crossover + return channel» of stages with different specific speed were investigated by CFD calculations. The regime parameter was introduced to present efficiency and loss coefficient performance of all elements together. Flow structure demonstrated advantages and disadvantages of design. Flow separation in crossovers was eliminated by its shape modification. Efficiency increased visibly. Calculated CFD performances are in acceptable correlation with predicted ones by engineering design method. The information obtained is useful for design method better calibration.

Compact Ultra-Wideband Printed Monopole Antenna with Inverted L-Shaped Slots for Data Communication and RF Energy Harvesting

A compact UWB planar antenna fed with a microstrip-line is proposed. The new design consist of a rectangular patch with symmetric l-shaped slots and fed by 50 Ω microstrip transmission line and a reduced ground-plane which have a periodic slots with an overall size of 47 mm x 20 mm. It is intended to be used in wireless applications that cover the ultra-wideband (UWB) frequency band. A wider impedance bandwidth of around 116.5% (1.875 – 7.115 GHz) with stable radiation pattern is achieved. The proposed antenna has excellent characteristics, low profile and costeffective compared to existing UWB antennas. The UWB antenna is designed and analyzed using CST Microwave Studio in transient mode to verify antenna parameters improvements.

Using Technology to Enhance the Student Assessment Experience

The use of information tools is a common activity for students of any educational stage when they encounter online learning activities. Finding the relevant information for particular learning tasks is the topic of this paper as it investigates the use of information tools for a group of student participants. The paper describes and discusses the results with particular implications for use in higher education, and the findings suggest that improvement in assessment design and subsequent student learning may be achieved by structuring the purposefulness of information tools usage and online reading behaviors of university students.

The Effect of Surface Modifiers on the Mechanical and Morphological Properties of Waste Silicon Carbide Filled High-Density Polyethylene

Waste silicon carbide (waste SiC) filled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with and without surface modifiers were studied. Two types of surface modifiers namely; high-density polyethylene-grafted-maleic anhydride (HDPE-g-MA) and 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane have been used in this study. The composites were produced using a two roll mill, extruder and shaped in a hydraulic compression molding machine. The mechanical properties of polymer composites such as flexural strength and modulus, impact strength, tensile strength, stiffness and hardness were investigated over a range of compositions. It was found that, flexural strength and modulus, tensile modulus and hardness increased, whereas impact strength and tensile strength decreased with the increasing in filler contents, compared to the neat HDPE. At similar filler content, the effect of both surface modifiers increased flexural modulus, impact strength, tensile strength and stiffness but reduced the flexural strength. Morphological investigation using SEM revealed that the improvement in mechanical properties was due to enhancement of the interfacial adhesion between waste SiC and HDPE.

Advanced Deployable/Retractable Solar Panel System for Satellite Applications

Modern low earth orbit (LEO) satellites that require multi-mission flexibility are highly likely to be repositioned between different operational orbits. While executing this process the satellite may experience high levels of vibration and environmental hazards, exposing the deployed solar panel to dangerous stress levels, fatigue and space debris, hence it is desirable to retract the solar array before satellite repositioning to avoid damage or failure.

A novel concept of deployable/retractable hybrid solar array systemcomposed of both rigid and flexible solar panels arranged within a petal formation, aimed to provide a greater power to volume ratio while dramatically reducing mass and cost is proposed.

Sandwich Structure Composites: Effect of Kenaf on Mechanical Properties

Sandwich structure composites produced by epoxy core and aluminium skin were developed as potential building materials. Interface bonding between core and skin was controlled by varying kenaf content. Five different weight percentage of kenaf loading ranging from 10 wt% to 50 wt% were employed in the core manufacturing in order to study the mechanical properties of the sandwich composite. Properties of skin aluminium with epoxy were found to be affected by drying time of the adhesive. Mechanical behavior of manufactured sandwich composites in relation with properties of constituent materials was studied. It was found that 30 wt% of kenaf loading contributed to increase the flexural strength and flexural modulus up to 102 MPa and 32 GPa, respectively. Analysis were done on the flatwise and edgewise compression test. For flatwise test, it was found that 30 wt% of fiber loading could withstand maximum force until 250 kN, with compressive strength results at 96.94 MPa. However, at edgewise compression test, the sandwich composite with same fiber loading only can withstand 31 kN of the maximum load with 62 MPa of compressive strength results.

Modern State of the Universal Modeling for Centrifugal Compressors

The 6th version of Universal modeling method for centrifugal compressor stage calculation is described. Identification of the new mathematical model was made. As a result of identification the uniform set of empirical coefficients is received. The efficiency definition error is 0,86 % at a design point. The efficiency definition error at five flow rate points (except a point of the maximum flow rate) is 1,22 %. Several variants of the stage with 3D impellers designed by 6th version program and quasi threedimensional calculation programs were compared by their gas dynamic performances CFD (NUMECA FINE TURBO). Performance comparison demonstrated general principles of design validity and leads to some design recommendations.

Numerical Simulation of Fiber Bragg Grating Spectrum for Mode-І Delamination Detection

Fiber Bragg optic sensor is embedded in composite material to detect and monitor the damage that occurs in composite structures. In this paper, we deal with the mode-Ι delamination to determine the material strength to crack propagation, using the coupling mode theory and T-matrix method to simulate the FBGs spectrum for both uniform and non-uniform strain distribution. The double cantilever beam test is modeled in FEM to determine the longitudinal strain. Two models are implemented, the first is the global half model, and the second is the sub-model to represent the FBGs with higher refined mesh. This method can simulate damage in composite structures and converting strain to a wavelength shifting in the FBG spectrum.

Effect of Be, Zr and Heat Treatment on Mechanical Behavior of Cast Al-Mg-Zn-Cu Alloys (7075)

The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of aging parameters (time and temperature) on the mechanical properties of Be-and/or Zr- treated Al-Mg-Zn (7075) alloys. Ultimate tensile strength, 0.5% offset yield strength and % elongation measurements were carried out on specimens prepared from cast and heat treated 7075 alloys containing Be and/or Zr. Different aging treatment were carried out for the as solution treated (SHT) specimens (after quenching in warm water). The specimens were aged at different conditions; Natural and artificial aging was carried out at room temperature, 120C, 150C, 180C and 220C for different periods of time. Duplex aging was performed for SHT conditions (pre-aged at different time and temperature followed by high temperature aging). Ultimate tensile strength, yield strength and % elongation data results as a function of different aging parameters are analysed. A statistical design of experiments (DOE) approach using fractional factorial design is applied to acquire an understanding of the effects of these variables and their interactions on the mechanical properties of Be- and/or Zr- treated 7075 alloys. Mathematical models are developed to relate the alloy mechanical properties with the different aging parameters.

Application of Digital Tools for Improving Learning

The use of technology in the classroom is an issue that is constantly evolving. Digital age students learn differently than their teachers did, so now the teacher should be constantly evolving their methods and teaching techniques to be more in touch with the student. In this paper a case study presents how were used some of these technologies by accompanying a classroom course, this in order to provide students with a different and innovative experience as their teacher usually presented the activities to develop. As students worked in the various activities, they increased their digital skills by employing unknown tools that helped them in their professional training. The twenty-first century teacher should consider the use of Information and Communication Technologies in the classroom thinking in skills that students of the digital age should possess. It also takes a brief look at the history of distance education and it is also highlighted the importance of integrating technology as part of the student's training.

Physical Properties of Uranium Dinitride UN2 by Using Density Functional Theory (DFT and DFT+U)

Physical properties of uranium dinitride (UN2) were investigated in detail using first principle calculations based on density functional theory (DFT). To study the strong correlation effects due to 5f uranium valence electrons, the on-site coulomb interaction correction U via the Hubbard-like term (DFT+U) was employed. The UN2 structural, mechanical and thermodynamic properties were calculated within DFT and Various U of DFT+U approach. The Perdew–Burke–Ernzerhof (PBE.5.2) version of the generalized gradient approximation (GGA) is used to describe the exchange-correlation with the projector-augmented wave (PAW) pseudo potentials. A comparative study shows that results are improved by using the Hubbard formalism for a certain U value correction like the structural parameter. For some physical properties the variation versus Hubbard-U is strong like Young modulus but for others it is weakly noticeable such as bulk modulus. We noticed also that from U=7.5 eV, elastic results don’t agree with the cubic cell because of the C44 values which turn out to be negative.

Boundary Layer Flow of a Casson Nanofluid past a Vertical Exponentially Stretching Cylinder in the Presence of a Transverse Magnetic Field with Internal Heat Generation/Absorption

An analysis is carried out to investigate the effect of magnetic field and heat source on the steady boundary layer flow and heat transfer of a Casson nanofluid over a vertical cylinder stretching exponentially along its radial direction. Using a similarity transformation, the governing mathematical equations, with the boundary conditions are reduced to a system of coupled, non –linear ordinary differential equations. The resulting system is solved numerically by the fourth order Runge – Kutta scheme with shooting technique. The influence of various physical parameters such as Reynolds number, Prandtl number, magnetic field, Brownian motion parameter, thermophoresis parameter, Lewis number and the natural convection parameter are presented graphically and discussed for non – dimensional velocity, temperature and nanoparticle volume fraction. Numerical data for the skin – friction coefficient, local Nusselt number and the local Sherwood number have been tabulated for various parametric conditions. It is found that the local Nusselt number is a decreasing function of Brownian motion parameter Nb and the thermophoresis parameter Nt.

Investigating Student Behavior in Adopting Online Formative Assessment Feedback

In this paper we describe one critical research program within a complex, ongoing multi-year project (2010 to 2014 inclusive) with the overall goal to improve the learning outcomes for first year undergraduate commerce/business students within an Information Systems (IS) subject with very large enrolment. The single research program described in this paper is the analysis of student attitudes and decision making in relation to the availability of formative assessment feedback via Web-based real time conferencing and document exchange software (Adobe Connect). The formative assessment feedback between teaching staff and students is in respect of an authentic problem-based, team-completed assignment. The analysis of student attitudes and decision making is investigated via both qualitative (firstly) and quantitative (secondly) application of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) with a two statistically-significant and separate trial samples of the enrolled students. The initial qualitative TPB investigation revealed that perceived self-efficacy, improved time-management, and lecturer-student relationship building were the major factors in shaping an overall favorable student attitude to online feedback, whilst some students expressed valid concerns with perceived control limitations identified within the online feedback protocols. The subsequent quantitative TPB investigation then confirmed that attitude towards usage, subjective norms surrounding usage, and perceived behavioral control of usage were all significant in shaping student intention to use the online feedback protocol, with these three variables explaining 63 percent of the variance in the behavioral intention to use the online feedback protocol. The identification in this research of perceived behavioral control as a significant determinant in student usage of a specific technology component within a virtual learning environment (VLE) suggests that VLEs could now be viewed not as a single, atomic entity, but as a spectrum of technology offerings ranging from the mature and simple (e.g., email, Web downloads) to the cutting-edge and challenging (e.g., Web conferencing and real-time document exchange). That is, that all VLEs should not be considered the same. The results of this research suggest that tertiary students have the technological sophistication to assess a VLE in this more selective manner.

Modeling the Transport of Charge Carriers in the Active Devices MESFET, Based of GaInP by the Monte Carlo Method

The progress of industry integrated circuits in recent years has been pushed by continuous miniaturization of transistors. With the reduction of dimensions of components at 0.1 micron and below, new physical effects come into play as the standard simulators of two dimensions (2D) do not consider. In fact the third dimension comes into play because the transverse and longitudinal dimensions of the components are of the same order of magnitude. To describe the operation of such components with greater fidelity, we must refine simulation tools and adapted to take into account these phenomena. After an analytical study of the static characteristics of the component, according to the different operating modes, a numerical simulation is performed of field-effect transistor with submicron gate MESFET GaInP. The influence of the dimensions of the gate length is studied. The results are used to determine the optimal geometric and physical parameters of the component for their specific applications and uses.

Dialogue Journals as an EFL Learning Strategy in the Preparatory Year Program: Learners' Attitudes and Perceptions

This study attempts to elicit the perceptions and attitudes of EFL learners of the Preparatory Year Program at KSU towards dialogue journal writing as an EFL learning strategy. The descriptive research design used incorporated both qualitative and quantitative instruments to accomplish the objectives of the study. A learners’ attitude questionnaire and follow-up interviewswith learners from a randomly selected representative sample of the participants were employed. The participants were 55 female Saudi university students in the Preparatory Year Program at King Saud University. The analysis of the results indicated that the PYP learners had highly positive attitudes towards dialogue journal writing in their EFL classes and positive perceptions of the benefits of the use of dialogue journal writing as an EFL learning strategy. The results also revealed that dialogue journals are considered an effective EFL learning strategy since they fulfill various needs for both learners and instructors. Interestingly, the analysis of the results also revealed that Saudi university level students tend to write about personal topics in their dialogue journals more than academic ones.

Properties of Bio-Phenol Formaldehyde Composites Filled with Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber

Bio-composites derived from plant fiber and/or bioderived polymer, are likely more ecofriendly and demonstrate competitive performance with petroleum based composites. In this research, the bio phenol-formaldehyde (bio-PF) was used as a matrix and oil palm empty fruit bunch fiber (EFB) as reinforcement. The matrix was synthesized via liquefaction and condensation to enhance the combination of phenol and formaldehyde, during the process. Then, the bio-PF was mixed with different percentage of EFB (5%, 10%, 15% and 20%) and molded at 180oC. The samples that viewed under scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed an excellent wettability and interaction between EFB and matrix. Samples of 10% EFB gave the optimum properties of impact and hardness meanwhile sample 15% of EFB gave the highest reading of flexural modulus (MOE) and flexural strength (MOR). For thermal stability analysis, it was found that the weight loss and the activation energy (Ea) of the bio-composites samples were decreased as the filler content increased.

Improving Automotive Efficiency through Lean Management Tools: A Case Study

Managing and improving efficiency in the current highly competitive global automotive industry demands that those companies adopt leaner and more flexible systems. During the past 20 years the domestic automotive industry in North America has been focusing on establishing new management strategies in order to meet market demands. The lean management process also known as Toyota Manufacturing Process (TPS) or lean manufacturing encompasses tools and techniques that were established in order to provide the best quality product with the fastest lead time at the lowest cost. The following paper presents a study that focused on improving labor efficiency at one of the Big Three (Ford, GM, Chrysler LLC) domestic automotive facility in North America. The objective of the study was to utilize several lean management tools in order to optimize the efficiency and utilization levels at the “Pre- Marriage” chassis area in a truck manufacturing and assembly facility. Utilizing three different lean tools (i.e. Standardization of work, 7 Wastes, and 5S) this research was able to improve efficiency by 51%, utilization by 246%, and reduce operations by 14%. The return on investment calculated based on the improvements made was 284%.

Antimicrobial, Antioxidant and Free Radical Scavenging Activities of Essential Oils Extracted from Six Eucalyptus Species

Eucalyptus species are well reputed for their traditional use in Asia as well as in other parts of the world; therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities associated with essential oils from different Eucalyptus species. Essential oils from the leaves of six Eucalyptus species, including: Eucalyptus woodwardi, Eucalyptus stricklandii, Eucalyptus salubris, Eucalyptus sargentii, Eucalyptus torquata and Eucalyptus wandoo were separated by hydrodistillation and dried over anhydrous sodium sulphate. DPPH, ferric reducing antioxidant power, and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity assays were carried out to evaluate the antioxidant potential of the oils. The results indicate that examined oils exhibit substantial antioxidant activities relative to ascorbic acid. Previously, these oils were evaluated for their antimicrobial activities, against wide range of bacterial and fungal strains, and they were shown to possess significant antimicrobial activities. In this study, further investigation into the growth kinetics of oil-treated microbial cultures was conducted. The results clearly demonstrate that the microbial growth was markedly inhibited when treated with sub-MIC concentrations of the oils. Taken together, the results obtained indicate a high potential of the examined essential oils as bioactive oils, for nutraceutical and medical applications, possessing significant antioxidant and anti microbial activities.

Towards an Intelligent Ontology Construction Cost Estimation System: Using BIM and New Rules of Measurement Techniques

Construction cost estimation is one of the most important aspects of construction project design. For generations, the process of cost estimating has been manual, time-consuming and error-prone. This has partly led to most cost estimates to be unclear and riddled with inaccuracies that at times lead to over- or underestimation of construction cost. The development of standard set of measurement rules that are understandable by all those involved in a construction project, have not totally solved the challenges. Emerging Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies can exploit standard measurement methods to automate cost estimation process and improve accuracies. This requires standard measurement methods to be structured in ontological and machine readable format; so that BIM software packages can easily read them. Most standard measurement methods are still text-based in textbooks and require manual editing into tables or Spreadsheet during cost estimation. The aim of this study is to explore the development of an ontology based on New Rules of Measurement (NRM) commonly used in the UK for cost estimation. The methodology adopted is Methontology, one of the most widely used ontology engineering methodologies. The challenges in this exploratory study are also reported and recommendations for future studies proposed.

Sustainable Tourism and Heritage in Sigacık/Seferihisar

The rapid development of culture tourism has drawn attention to conserving cultural values especially by developing countries that would like to benefit from the economic contribution this type of tourism attracts. Tourism can have both positive and negative outcomes for historical settlements and their residents. The accommodation-purposed rehabilitation and revitalization project in “Sigacik Old City Zone” are to be discussed with spatial, economic, social and organizational dimensions. It is aimed to evaluate the relationship between the development of tourism and sustainable heritage conservation.

Effect of Iterative Algorithm on the Performance of MC-CDMA System with Nonlinear Models of HPA

High Peak to Average Power Ratio (PAPR) of the transmitted signal is a serious problem in multicarrier systems (MC), such as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), or in Multi-Carrier Code Division Multiple Access (MC-CDMA) systems, due to large number of subcarriers. This effect is possible reduce with some PAPR reduction techniques. Spreading sequences at the presence of Saleh and Rapp models of high power amplifier (HPA) have big influence on the behavior of system. In this paper we investigate the bit-error-rate (BER) performance of MC-CDMA systems. Basically we can see from simulations that the MC-CDMA system with Iterative algorithm can be providing significantly better results than the MC-CDMA system. The results of our analyses are verified via simulation.

Size-Reduction Strategies for Iris Codes

Iris codes contain bits with different entropy. This work investigates different strategies to reduce the size of iris code templates with the aim of reducing storage requirements and computational demand in the matching process. Besides simple subsampling schemes, also a binary multi-resolution representation as used in the JBIG hierarchical coding mode is assessed. We find that iris code template size can be reduced significantly while maintaining recognition accuracy. Besides, we propose a two-stage identification approach, using small-sized iris code templates in a pre-selection stage, and full resolution templates for final identification, which shows promising recognition behaviour.

Speech Acts and Politeness Strategies in an EFL Classroom in Georgia

The paper deals with the usage of speech acts and politeness strategies in an EFL classroom in Georgia (Rep of). It explores the students’ and the teachers’ practice of the politeness strategies and the speech acts of apology, thanking, request, compliment / encouragement, command, agreeing / disagreeing, addressing and code switching. The research method includes observation as well as a questionnaire. The target group involves the students from Georgian public schools and two certified, experienced local English teachers. The analysis is based on Searle’s Speech Act Theory and Brown and Levinson’s politeness strategies. The findings show that the students have certain knowledge regarding politeness yet they fail to apply them in English communication. In addition, most of the speech acts from the classroom interaction are used by the teachers and not the students. Thereby, it is suggested that teachers should cultivate the students’ communicative competence and attempt to give them opportunities to practise more English speech acts than they do today.

ICT Education: Digital History Learners

This article is to review and understand the new generation of students to understand their expectations and attitudes. There are a group of students on school projects, creative work, educational software and digital signal source, the use of social networking tools to communicate with friends and a part in the competition. Today's students have been described as the new millennium students. They use information and communication technology in a more creative and innovative at home than at school, because the information and communication technologies for different purposes, in the home, usually occur in school. They collaborate and communicate more effectively when they are at home. Most children enter school, they will bring about how to use information and communication technologies, some basic skills and some tips on how to use information and communication technology will provide a more advanced than most of the school's expectations. Many teachers can help students, however, still a lot of work, "tradition", without a computer, and did not see the "new social computing networks describe young people to learn and new ways of working life in the future", in the education system of the benefits of using a computer.

Effect of Nanofibers on the Behavior of Cement Mortar and Concrete

The main objective of this paper is study the influence of carbon nano-tubes fibers and nano silica fibers on the characteristic compressive strength and flexural strength on concrete and cement mortar. Twelve tested specimens were tested with square section its dimensions (4040 160) mm, divided into four groups. The first and second group studied the effect of carbon nano-tubes (CNTs) fibers with different percentage equal to 0.0, 0.11%, 0.22%, and 0.33% by weight of cement and effect of nano-silica (nS) fibers with different percentages equal to 0.0, 1.0%, 2.0%, and 3.0% by weight of cement on the cement mortar. The third and fourth groups studied the effect of CNTs fiber with different percentage equal to 0.0%, 0.11%, and 0.22% by weight of cement, and effect of nS fibers with different percentages were equal to 0.0%, 1.0%, and 2.0% by weight of cement on the concrete. The compressive strength and flexural strength at 7, 28, and 90 days is determined. From analysis of tested results concluded that the nano-fibers is more effective when used with cement mortar more than used with concrete because of increasing the surface area, decreasing the pore and the collection of nano-fibers. And also by adding nano-fibers the improvement of flexural strength of concrete and cement mortar is more than improvement of compressive strength.

Impact Modified Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber/Poly(Lactic) Acid Composite

In this study, composites were fabricated from oil palm empty fruit bunch fiber and poly(lactic) acid by extrusion followed by injection moulding. Surface of the fiber was pre-treated by ultrasound in an alkali medium and treatment efficiency was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis and Fourier transforms infrared spectrometer (FTIR). Effect of fiber treatment on composite was characterized by tensile strength (TS), tensile modulus (TM) and impact strength (IS). Furthermore, biostrong impact modifier was incorporated into the treated fiber composite to improve its impact properties. Mechanical testing showed an improvement of up to 23.5% and 33.6% respectively for TS and TM of treated fiber composite above untreated fiber composite. On the other hand incorporation of impact modifier led to enhancement of about 20% above the initial IS of the treated fiber composite.

Thermally Stable Nanocrystalline Aluminum Alloys Processed by Mechanical Alloying and High Frequency Induction Heat Sintering

The current study investigated the influence of milling time and ball-to-powder (BPR) weight ratio on the microstructural constituents and mechanical properties of bulk nanocrystalline Al; Al-10%Cu; and Al-10%Cu-5%Ti alloys. Powder consolidation was carried out using a high frequency induction heat sintering where the processed metal powders were sintered into a dense and strong bulk material. The powders and the bulk samples were characterized using XRD and FEGSEM techniques. The mechanical properties were evaluated at various temperatures of 25°C, 100°C, 200°C, 300°C and 400°C to study the thermal stability of the processed alloys. The processed bulk nanocrystalline alloys displayed extremely high hardness values even at elevated temperatures. The Al-10%Cu-5%Ti alloy displayed the highest hardness values at room and elevated temperatures which are related to the presence of Ti-containing phases such as Al3Ti and AlCu2Ti. These phases are thermally stable and retain the high hardness values at elevated temperatures up to 400ºC.

Encryption Image via Mutual Singular Value Decomposition

Image or document encryption is needed through egovernment data base. Really in this paper we introduce two matrices images, one is the public, and the second is the secret (original). The analyses of each matrix is achieved using the transformation of singular values decomposition. So each matrix is transformed or analyzed to three matrices say row orthogonal basis, column orthogonal basis, and spectral diagonal basis. Product of the two row basis is calculated. Similarly the product of the two column basis is achieved. Finally we transform or save the files of public, row product and column product. In decryption stage, the original image is deduced by mutual method of the three public files.

5iD Viewer - Observation of Fish School Behaviour in Labyrinths and Use of Semantic and Syntactic Entropy for School Structure Definition

In this article is reported a construction and some properties of the 5iD viewer, the system recording simultaneously 5 views of a given experimental object. Properties of the system are demonstrated on the analysis of fish schooling behaviour. It is demonstrated the method of instrument calibration which allows inclusion of image distortion and it is proposed and partly tested also the method of distance assessment in the case that only two opposite cameras are available. Finally, we demonstrate how the state trajectory of the behaviour of the fish school may be constructed from the entropy of the system.

Flow Behavior and Performances of Centrifugal Compressor Stage Vaneless Diffusers

Parameters of flow are calculated in vaneless diffusers with relative width 0,014–0,10. Inlet angles of flow and similarity criteria were varied. There is information on flow separation, boundary layer development, configuration of streamlines. Polytrophic efficiency, loss coefficient and recovery coefficient are used to compare effectiveness of diffusers. The sample of optimization of narrow diffuser with conical walls is presented. Three wide diffusers with narrowing walls are compared. The work is made in the R&D laboratory “Gas dynamics of turbo machines” of the TU SPb.

Design of a Novel CPW Fed Fractal Antenna for UWB

This paper presents a novel fractal antenna structure proposed for UWB (Ultra – Wideband) applications. The frequency band 3.1-10.6GHz released by FCC (Federal Communication Commission) as the commercial operation of UWB has been chosen as frequency range for this antenna based on coplanar waveguide (CPW) feed and circular shapes fulfilled according to fractal geometry. The proposed antenna is validated and designed by using an FR4 substrate with overall area of 34x43 mm2. The simulated results performed by CST-Microwave Studio and compared by ADS (Advanced Design System) show good matching input impedance with return loss less than -10dB between 2.9 GHz and 11 GHz.

Pruning Algorithm for the Minimum Rule Reduct Generation

In this paper we consider the rule reduct generation problem. Rule Reduct Generation (RG) and Modified Rule Generation (MRG) algorithms, that are used to solve this problem, are well-known. Alternative to these algorithms, we develop Pruning Rule Generation (PRG) algorithm. We compare the PRG algorithm with RG and MRG.

Aerodynamic Designing of Supersonic Centrifugal Compressor Stages

Universal modeling method well proven for industrial compressors was applied for design of the high flow rate supersonic stage. Results were checked by ANSYS CFX and NUMECA Fine Turbo calculations. The impeller appeared to be very effective at transonic flow velocities. Stator elements efficiency is acceptable at design Mach numbers too. Their loss coefficient versus inlet flow angle performances correlates well with Universal modeling prediction. The impeller demonstrates ability of satisfactory operation at design flow rate. Supersonic flow behavior in the impeller inducer at the shroud blade to blade surface Φ des deserves additional study.

Calculation Analysis of an Axial Compressor Supersonic Stage Impeller

There is an evident trend to elevate pressure ratio of a single stage of a turbo compressors - axial compressors in particular. Whilst there was an opinion recently that a pressure ratio 1,9 was a reasonable limit, later appeared information on successful modeling tested of stages with pressure ratio up to 2,8. The authors recon that lack of information on high pressure stages makes actual a study of rational choice of design parameters before high supersonic flow problems solving. The computer program of an engineering type was developed. Below is presented a sample of its application to study possible parameters of the impeller of the stage with pressure ratio 3,0. Influence of two main design parameters on expected efficiency, periphery blade speed and flow structure is demonstrated. The results had lead to choose a variant for further analysis and improvement by CFD methods.

How to Use E-Learning to Increase Job Satisfaction in Large Commercial Bank in Bangkok

Many organizations bring e-Learning to use as a tool in their training and human development department. It is getting more popular because it is easy to access to get knowledge all the time and also it provides a rich content, which can develop the employees’ skill efficiently. This study is focused on the factors that affect using e-Learning efficiently, so it will make job satisfaction increasing. The questionnaires were sent to employees in large commercial banks, which use e-Learning located in Bangkok, the results from multiple linear regression analysis showed that employee’s characteristics, characteristics of e-Learning, learning and growth have influence on job satisfaction.

Efficient Utilization of Biomass for Bioenergy in Environmental Control

The continuous decline of petroleum and natural gas reserves and non linear rise of oil price has brought about a realisation of the need for a change in our perpetual dependence on the fossil fuel. A day to day increased consumption of crude and petroleum products has made a considerable impact on our foreign exchange reserves. Hence, an alternate resource for the conversion of energy (both liquid and gas) is essential for the substitution of conventional fuels. Biomass is the alternate solution for the present scenario. Biomass can be converted into both liquid as well as gaseous fuels and other feedstocks for the industries.

Tribological Aspects of Advanced Roll Material in Cold Rolling of Stainless Steel

Vancron 40, a nitrided powder metallurgical tool Steel, is used in cold work applications where the predominant failure mechanisms are adhesive wear or galling. Typical applications of Vancron 40 are among others fine blanking, cold extrusion, deep drawing and cold work rolls for cluster mills. Vancron 40 positive results for cold work rolls for cluster mills and as a tool for some severe metal forming process makes it competitive compared to other type of work rolls that require higher precision, among others in cold rolling of thin stainless steel, which required high surface finish quality. In this project, three roll materials for cold rolling of stainless steel strip was examined, Vancron 40, Narva 12B (a high-carbon, high-chromium tool steel alloyed with tungsten) and Supra 3 (a Chromium-molybdenum tungsten-vanadium alloyed high speed steel). The purpose of this project was to study the depth profiles of the ironed stainless steel strips, emergence of galling and to study the lubrication performance used by steel industries. Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine scratch of the strip, galling and surface roughness of the roll materials under severe tribological conditions. The critical sliding length for onset of galling was estimated for stainless steel with four different lubricants. Laboratory experiments result of performance evaluation of resistance capability of rolls toward adhesive wear under severe conditions for low and high reductions. Vancron 40 in combination with cold rolling lubricant gave good surface quality, prevents galling of metal surfaces and good bearing capacity.

Model-Based Automotive Partitioning and Mapping for Embedded Multicore Systems

This paper introduces novel approaches to partitioning and mapping in terms of model-based embedded multicore system engineering and further discusses benefits, industrial relevance and features in common with existing approaches. In order to assess and evaluate results, both approaches have been applied to a real industrial application as well as to various prototypical demonstrative applications, that have been developed and implemented for different purposes. Evaluations show, that such applications improve significantly according to performance, energy efficiency, meeting timing constraints and covering maintaining issues by using the AMALTHEA platform and the implemented approaches. Furthermore, the model-based design provides an open, expandable, platform independent and scalable exchange format between OEMs, suppliers and developers on different levels. Our proposed mechanisms provide meaningful multicore system utilization since load balancing by means of partitioning and mapping is effectively performed with regard to the modeled systems including hardware, software, operating system, scheduling, constraints, configuration and more data.

Auditor with the Javanese Characters and Non Javanese in Audit Firm: Conflict of Interest

Many issues about the relationship between auditors in auditing practices with its stakeholders often heard. It appears in perspectives of bringing out the variety of phenomena affecting from the audit practice of greed and not appreciating from the independency of the audit profession and professional code of ethics. It becomes a logical consequence in practicing of capitalism in accounting. The main purpose of this article would like to uncover the existing auditing practices in Indonesia, especially in Java that associated with a strong influence of Javanese culture with reluctant /”shy", politely, "legowo (gratefully accepted)", "ngemong" (friendly), "not mentholo" (lenient), "tepo seliro" (tolerance), "ngajeni" (respectful), "acquiescent" and also reveals its relationships with Non Javanese culture in facing the conflict of interest in practical of auditing world. The method used by interpretive approach that emphasizes the role of language, interpret and understand and see social reality as something other than a label, name or concept. Global practices in auditing of each country have particular cultures that affect the standard set by those regulatory standards results the adaptation of IAS. The majority of parties in Indonesia is dominated by Javanese racial regulators, so Java culture is embedded in every audit practices and those conditions in Java leads auditors in having similar behaviour, sometimes interfere with standard Java code of conduct must be executed by an auditor. Auditors who live in Java have the characters of Javanese culture that is hard to avoid in the audit practice. However, practically, the auditors still are relevant in their profession.

Turbulence Modeling and Wave-Current Interactions

The mechanics of rip currents are complex, involving interactions between waves, currents, water levels and the bathymetry, that present particular challenges for numerical models. Here, the effects of a grid-spacing dependent horizontal mixing on the wave-current interactions are studied. Near the shore, wave rays diverge from channels towards bar crests because of refraction by topography and currents, in a way that depends on the rip current intensity which is itself modulated by the horizontal mixing. At low resolution with the grid-spacing dependent horizontal mixing, the wave motion is the same for both coupling modes because the wave deviation by the currents is weak. In high resolution case, however, classical results are found with the stabilizing effect of the flow by feedback of waves on currents. Lastly, wave-current interactions and the horizontal mixing strongly affect the intensity of the three-dimensional rip velocity.

Mobile Mediated Learning and Teachers Education in Less Resourced Region

Conventional educational practices, do not offer all the required skills for teachers to successfully survive in today’s workplace. Due to poor professional training, a big gap exists across the curriculum plan and the teacher practices in the classroom. As such, raising the quality of teaching through ICT-enabled training and professional development of teachers should be an urgent priority. ‘Mobile Learning’, in that vein, is an increasingly growing field of educational research and practice across schools and work places. In this paper, we propose a novel Mobile learning system that allows the users to learn through an intelligent mobile learning in cooperatively every-time and every-where. The system will reduce the training cost and increase consistency, efficiency, and data reliability. To establish that our system will display neither functional nor performance failure, the evaluation strategy is based on formal observation of users interacting with system followed by questionnaires and structured interviews.

A Study on the Interlaminar Shear Strength of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics Depending on the Lamination Methods

The prepreg process among the CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) forming methods is the short term of ‘Pre-impregnation’, which is widely used for aerospace composites that require a high quality property such as a fiber-reinforced woven fabric, in which an epoxy hardening resin is impregnated the reality. However, that this process requires continuous researches and developments for its commercialization because the delamination characteristically develops between the layers when a great weight is loaded from outside to supplement such demerit, three lamination methods among the prepreg lamination methods of CFRP were designed to minimize the delamination between the layers due to external impacts. Further, the newly designed methods and the existing lamination methods were analyzed through a mechanical characteristic test, Interlaminar Shear Strength test. The Interlaminar Shear Strength test result confirmed that the newly proposed three lamination methods, i.e. the Roll, Half and Zigzag laminations, presented more excellent strengths compared to the conventional Ply lamination. The interlaminar shear strength in the roll method with relatively dense fiber distribution was approximately 1.75% higher than that in the existing ply lamination method, and in the half method, it was approximately 0.78% higher.

Electromagnetic Interference Shielding Characteristics for Stainless Wire Mesh and Number of Plies of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic

In this paper, the electromagnetic shielding characteristics of an up-to-date typical carbon filler material, carbon fiber used with a metal mesh were investigated. Carbon fiber 12k-prepregs, where carbon fibers were impregnated with epoxy, were laminated with wire meshes, vacuum bag-molded and hardened to manufacture hybrid-type specimens, with which an electromagnetic shield test was performed in accordance with ASTM D4935-10, through which was known as the most excellent reproducibility is obtainable among electromagnetic shield tests. In addition, glass fiber prepregs whose electromagnetic shielding effect were known as insignificant were laminated and formed with wire meshes to verify the validity of the electromagnetic shield effect of wire meshes in order to confirm the electromagnetic shielding effect of metal meshes corresponding existing carbon fiber 12k-prepregs. By grafting carbon fibers, on which studies are being actively underway in the environmental aspects and electromagnetic shielding effect, with hybrid-type wire meshes that were analysed through the tests, in this study, the applicability and possibility are proposed.

Biodegradation of Malathion by Acinetobacter baumannii Strain AFA Isolated from Domestic Sewage in Egypt

Bacterial strains capable of degradation of malathion from the domestic sewage were isolated by an enrichment culture technique. Three bacterial strains were screened and identified as Acinetobacter baumannii (AFA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PS1), and Pseudomonas mendocina (PS2) based on morphological, biochemical identification and 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Acinetobacter baumannii AFA was the most efficient malathion degrading bacterium, so used for further biodegradation study. AFA was able to grow in mineral salt medium (MSM) supplemented with malathion (100 mg/l) as a sole carbon source, and within 14 days, 84% of the initial dose was degraded by the isolate measured by high performance liquid chromatography. Strain AFA could also degrade other organophosphorus compounds including diazinon, chlorpyrifos and fenitrothion. The effect of different culture conditions on the degradation of malathion like inoculum density, other carbon or nitrogen sources, temperature and shaking were examined. Degradation of malathion and bacterial cell growth were accelerated when culture media were supplemented with yeast extract, glucose and citrate. The optimum conditions for malathion degradation by strain AFA were; an inoculum density of 1.5x 10^12CFU/ml at 30°C with shaking. A specific polymerase chain reaction primers were designed manually using multiple sequence alignment of the corresponding carboxylesterase enzymes of Acinetobacter species. Sequencing result of amplified PCR product and phylogenetic analysis showed low degree of homology with the other carboxylesterase enzymes of Acinetobacter strains, so we suggested that this enzyme is a novel esterase enzyme. Isolated bacterial strains may have potential role for use in bioremediation of malathion contaminated.

Assessing Chemo-Radiotherapy Induced Toxicity and Quality of Life of Cancer Patients

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are one of the major treatment modalities that play important role in the management of a number of different cancers. This study for the first time evaluates the toxicity of these treatment modalities and its impact on quality of life of cancer patients in Pakistan. The study also for the first time determines what cancer patients of different ages and cancer stages believe would be an effective intervention to manage their psychosocial needs and treatment induced toxicity. The article also provides evidence based approach for the use of variety of interventions to mange cancer treatment induced morbidity and toxicity. In light of the present study and reviewed research data, evidence based recommendations are also made for selection of appropriate interventions to manage Pain, Nausea and Vomiting, Anxiety and Depression, Fatigue and Overall QOL of cancer survivors.

Optimal Classifying and Extracting Fuzzy Relationship from Query Using Text Mining Techniques

Text mining techniques are generally applied for classifying the text, finding fuzzy relations and structures in data sets. This research provides plenty text mining capabilities. One common application is text classification and event extraction, which encompass deducing specific knowledge concerning incidents referred to in texts. The main contribution of this paper is the clarification of a concept graph generation mechanism, which is based on a text classification and optimal fuzzy relationship extraction. Furthermore, the work presented in this paper explains the application of fuzzy relationship extraction and branch and bound (BB) method to simplify the texts.

A Novel Approach to Asynchronous State Machine Modeling on Multisim for Avoiding Function Hazards

The aim of this study was to design and simulate a particular type of Asynchronous State Machine (ASM), namely a ‘traffic light controller’ (TLC), operated at a frequency of 0.5 Hz. The design task involved two main stages: firstly, designing a 4-bit binary counter using J-K flip flops as the timing signal and, subsequently, attaining the digital logic by deploying ASM design process. The TLC was designed such that it showed a sequence of three different colours, i.e. red, yellow and green, corresponding to set thresholds by deploying the least number of AND, OR and NOT gates possible. The software Multisim was deployed to design such circuit and simulate it for circuit troubleshooting in order for it to display the output sequence of the three different colours on the traffic light in the correct order. A clock signal, an asynchronous 4- bit binary counter that was designed through the use of J-K flip flops along with an ASM were used to complete this sequence, which was programmed to be repeated indefinitely. Eventually, the circuit was debugged and optimized, thus displaying the correct waveforms of the three outputs through the logic analyser. However, hazards occurred when the frequency was increased to 10 MHz. This was attributed to delays in the feedback being too high.

Negative Pressure Waves in Hydraulic Systems

Negative pressure phenomenon appears in many thermodynamic, geophysical and biophysical processes in the Nature and technological systems. For more than 100 years of the laboratory researches beginning from F. M. Donny’s tests, the great values of negative pressure have been achieved. But this phenomenon has not been practically applied, being only a nice lab toy due to the special demands for the purity and homogeneity of the liquids for its appearance. The possibility of creation of direct wave of negative pressure in real heterogeneous liquid systems was confirmed experimentally under the certain kinetic and hydraulic conditions. The negative pressure can be considered as the factor of both useful and destroying energies. The new approach to generation of the negative pressure waves in impure, unclean fluids has allowed the creation of principally new energy saving technologies and installations to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of different production processes. It was proved that the negative pressure is one of the main factors causing hard troubles in some technological and natural processes. Received results emphasize the necessity to take into account the role of the negative pressure as an energy factor in evaluation of many transient thermohydrodynamic processes in the Nature and production systems.

Dynamic Risk Identification Using Fuzzy Failure Mode Effect Analysis in Fabric Process Industries: A Research Article as Management Perspective

In and around Erode District, it is estimated that more than 1250 chemical and allied textile processing fabric industries are affected, partially closed and shut off for various reasons such as poor management, poor supplier performance, lack of planning for productivity, fluctuation of output, poor investment, waste analysis, labor problems, capital/labor ratio, accumulation of stocks, poor maintenance of resources, deficiencies in the quality of fabric, low capacity utilization, age of plant and equipment, high investment and input but low throughput, poor research and development, lack of energy, workers’ fear of loss of jobs, work force mix and work ethic. The main objective of this work is to analyze the existing conditions in textile fabric sector, validate the break even of Total Productivity (TP), analyze, design and implement fuzzy sets and mathematical programming for improvement of productivity and quality dimensions in the fabric processing industry. It needs to be compatible with the reality of textile and fabric processing industries. The highly risk events from productivity and quality dimension were found by fuzzy systems and results are wrapped up among the textile fabric processing industry.

Unsupervised Segmentation Technique for Acute Leukemia Cells Using Clustering Algorithms

Leukaemia is a blood cancer disease that contributes to the increment of mortality rate in Malaysia each year. There are two main categories for leukaemia, which are acute and chronic leukaemia. The production and development of acute leukaemia cells occurs rapidly and uncontrollable. Therefore, if the identification of acute leukaemia cells could be done fast and effectively, proper treatment and medicine could be delivered. Due to the requirement of prompt and accurate diagnosis of leukaemia, the current study has proposed unsupervised pixel segmentation based on clustering algorithm in order to obtain a fully segmented abnormal white blood cell (blast) in acute leukaemia image. In order to obtain the segmented blast, the current study proposed three clustering algorithms which are k-means, fuzzy c-means and moving k-means algorithms have been applied on the saturation component image. Then, median filter and seeded region growing area extraction algorithms have been applied, to smooth the region of segmented blast and to remove the large unwanted regions from the image, respectively. Comparisons among the three clustering algorithms are made in order to measure the performance of each clustering algorithm on segmenting the blast area. Based on the good sensitivity value that has been obtained, the results indicate that moving kmeans clustering algorithm has successfully produced the fully segmented blast region in acute leukaemia image. Hence, indicating that the resultant images could be helpful to haematologists for further analysis of acute leukaemia.

Multi Objective Simultaneous Assembly Line Balancing and Buffer Sizing

Assembly line balancing problem is aimed to divide the tasks among the stations in assembly lines and optimize some objectives. In assembly lines the workload on stations is different from each other due to different tasks times and the difference in workloads between stations can cause blockage or starvation in some stations in assembly lines. Buffers are used to store the semi-finished parts between the stations and can help to smooth the assembly production. The assembly line balancing and buffer sizing problem can affect the throughput of the assembly lines. Assembly line balancing and buffer sizing problems have been studied separately in literature and due to their collective contribution in throughput rate of assembly lines, balancing and buffer sizing problem are desired to study simultaneously and therefore they are considered concurrently in current research. Current research is aimed to maximize throughput, minimize total size of buffers in assembly line and minimize workload variations in assembly line simultaneously. A multi objective optimization objective is designed which can give better Pareto solutions from the Pareto front and a simple example problem is solved for assembly line balancing and buffer sizing simultaneously. Current research is significant for assembly line balancing research and it can be significant to introduce optimization approaches which can optimize current multi objective problem in future.

Training Isolated Respiratory in Rehabilitation

A game for training of breath (TRABR) for continuous monitoring of pulmonary ventilation during the patients’ therapy focuses especially on monitoring of their ventilation processes. It is necessary to detect, monitor and differentiate abdominal and thoracic breathing during the therapy. It is a fun form of rehabilitation where the patient plays and also practicing isolated breathing. Finally the game to practice breath was designed to evaluate whether the patient uses two types of breathing or not.

Enhancement of Mechanical Properties for Al-Mg-Si Alloy Using Equal Channel Angular Pressing

Equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) of commercial Al-Mg-Si alloy was conducted using two strain rates. The ECAP processing was conducted at room temperature and at 250°C. Route A was adopted up to a total number of four passes in the present work. Structural evolution of the aluminum alloy discs was investigated before and after ECAP processing using optical microscopy (OM). Following ECAP, simple compression tests and Vicker’s hardness were performed. OM micrographs showed that, the average grain size of the as-received Al-Mg-Si disc tends to be larger than the size of the ECAP processed discs. Moreover, significant difference in the grain morphologies of the as-received and processed discs was observed. Intensity of deformation was observed via the alignment of the Al-Mg-Si consolidated particles (grains) in the direction of shear, which increased with increasing the number of passes via ECAP. Increasing the number of passes up to 4 resulted in increasing the grains aspect ratio up to ~5. It was found that the pressing temperature has a significant influence on the microstructure, Hv-values, and compressive strength of the processed discs. Hardness measurements demonstrated that 1-pass resulted in increase of Hv-value by 42% compared to that of the as-received alloy. 4-passes of ECAP processing resulted in additional increase in the Hv-value. A similar trend was observed for the yield and compressive strength. Experimental data of the Hv-values demonstrated that there is a lack of any significant dependence on the processing strain rate.

Formulation and ex vivo Evaluation of Solid Lipid Nanoparticles (SLNS) Based Hydrogel for Intranasal Drug Delivery

Risperidone (RISP) is an antipsychotic agent and has low water solubility and nontargeted delivery results in numerous side effects. Hence, an attempt was made to develop SLNs hydrogel for intranasal delivery of RISP to achieve maximum bioavailability and reduction of side effects. RISP loaded SLNs composed of 1.65% (w/v) lipid mass were produced by high shear homogenization (HSH) coupled ultrasound (US) method using glycerylmonostearate (GMS) or Imwitor 900K (solid lipid). The particles were loaded with 0.2% (w/v) of the RISP & surface-tailored with a 2.02% (w/v) non-ionic surfactant Tween® 80. Optimization was done using 32 factorial design using Design Expert® software. The prepared SLNs dispersion incorporated into Polycarbophil AA1 hydrogel (0.5% w/v). The final gel formulation was evaluated for entrapment efficiency, particle size, rheological properties, X ray diffraction, in vitro diffusion, ex vivo permeation using sheep nasal mucosa and histopathological studies for nasocilliary toxicity. The entrapment efficiency of optimized SLNs was found to be 76 ± 2%, polydispersity index <0.3., particle size 278 ± 5 nm. This optimized batch was incorporated into hydrogel. The pH was found to be 6.4 ± 0.14. The rheological behaviour of hydrogel formulation revealed no thixotropic behaviour. In histopathology study, there was no nasocilliary toxicity observed in nasal mucosa after ex vivo permeation. X-ray diffraction data shows drug was in amorphous form. Ex vivo permeation study shows controlled release profile of drug.

The Perspectives of Preparing Psychology Practitioners in Armenian Universities

The problem of psychologist training remains a key priority in Armenia. During the Soviet period, the notion of a psychologist was obscure not only in Armenia but also in other Soviet republics. The breakup of the Soviet Union triggered a gradual change in this area activating the cooperation with specialists from other countries. The need for recovery from the psychological trauma caused by the 1988 earthquake pushed forward the development of practical psychology in Armenia. This phenomenon led to positive changes in perception of and interest to a psychologist profession.Armenian universities started designing special programs for psychologists’ preparation. Armenian psychologists combined their efforts in the field of training relevant specialists. During the recent years, the Bologna educational system was introduced in Armenia which led to implementation of education quality improvement programs. Nevertheless, even today the issue of psychologists’ training is not yet settled in Armenian universities. So far graduate psychologists haven’t got a clear idea of personal and professional qualities of a psychologist. Recently, as a result of educational reforms, the psychology curricula underwent changes, but so far they have not led to a desired outcome. Almost all curricula in certain specialties are aimed to form professional competencies and strengthen practical skills. A survey conducted in Armenia aimed to identify what are the ideas of young psychology specialists on the image of a psychologist. The survey respondents were 45 specialists holding bachelor’s degree as well as 30 master degree graduates, who have not been working yet. The research reveals that we need to change the approach of preparing psychology practitioners in the universities of Armenia. Such an approach to psychologist training will make it possible to train qualified specialists for enhancement of modern psychology theory and practice.

Development of a New Polymeric Material with Controlled Surface Micro-Morphology Aimed for Biosensors Applications

Compositions of different molar ratios of polymethylmethacrylate-co-methacrylic acid (PMMA-co-MAA) were synthesized via free-radical polymerization. Polymer coated surfaces have been produced on silicon wafers. Coated samples were analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The results have shown that the roughness of the surfaces have increased by increasing the molar ratio of monomer methacrylic acid (MAA). This study reveals that the gradual increase in surface roughness is due to the fact that carboxylic functional groups have been generated by MAA segments. Such surfaces can be desirable platforms for fabrication of the biosensors for detection of the viruses and diseases.

Burnishing of Aluminum-Magnesium-Graphite Composites

Burnishing is increasingly used as a finishing operation to improve surface roughness and surface hardness. This can be achieved by applying a hard ball or roller onto metallic surfaces under pressure, in order to achieve many advantages in the metallic surface. In the present work, the feed rate, speed and force have been considered as the basic burnishing parameters to study the surface roughness and surface hardness of metallic matrix composites. The considered metal matrix composites were made from Aluminum-Magnesium-Graphite with five different weight percentage of graphite. Both effects of burnishing parameters mentioned above and the graphite percentage on the surface hardness and surface roughness of the metallic matrix composites were studied. The results of this investigation showed that the surface hardness of the metallic composites increases with the increase of the burnishing force and decreases with the increase in the burnishing feed rate and burnishing speed. The surface roughness of the metallic composites decreases with the increasing of the burnishing force, feed rate, and speed to certain values, then it starts to increase. On the other hand, the increase in the weight percentage of the graphite in the considered composites causes a decrease in the surface hardness and an increase in the surface roughness.

Impact of Solar Energy Based Power Grid for Future Prospective of Pakistan

Shortfall of electrical energy in Pakistan is a challenge adversely affecting its industrial output and social growth. As elsewhere, Pakistan derives its electrical energy from a number of conventional sources. The exhaustion of petroleum and conventional resources, the rising costs coupled with extremely adverse climatic effects are taking its toll especially on the under-developed countries like Pakistan. As alternate, renewable energy sources like hydropower, solar, wind, even bio-energy and a mix of some or all of them could provide a credible alternative to the conventional energy resources that would not only be cleaner but sustainable as well. As a model, solar energy-based power grid for the near future has been attempted to offset the energy shortfalls as a mix with our existing sustainable natural energy resources. An assessment of solar energy potential for electricity generation is being presented for fulfilling the energy demands with higher level of reliability and sustainability. This model is based on the premise that solar energy potential of Pakistan is not only reliable but also sustainable. This research estimates the present & future approaching renewable energy resource specially the impact of solar energy based power grid for mitigating energy shortage in Pakistan.

Seismic Assessment of Old Existing RC Buildings with Masonry Infill in Madinah as per ASCE

An existing RC building in Madinah is seismically evaluated with and without infill wall. Four model systems have been considered i.e. model I (no infill), model IIA (strut infill-update from field test), model IIB (strut infill- ASCE/SEI 41) and model IIC (strut infill-Soft storey- ASCE/SEI 41). Three dimensional pushover analyses have been carried out using SAP2000 software incorporating inelastic material behavior for concrete, steel and infill walls. Infill wall has been modeled as equivalent strut according to suggested equation matching field test measurements and to the ASCE/SEI 41 equation. The effect of building modeling on the performance point as well as capacity and demand spectra due to EQ design spectrum function in Madinah area has been investigated. The response modification factor (R) for the 5 story RC building is evaluated from capacity and demand spectra (ATC-40) for the studied models. The results are summarized and discussed.

Seismic Assessment of Old Existing RC Buildings on Madinah with Masonry Infilled Using Ambient Vibration Measurements

Early pre-code reinforced concrete structures present undetermined resistance to earthquakes. This situation is particularly unacceptable in the case of essential structures, such as healthcare structures and pilgrims' houses. Amongst these, an existing old RC building in Madinah city (KSA) is seismically evaluated with and without infill wall and their dynamic characteristics are compared with measured values in the field using ambient vibration measurements (AVM). After updating the mathematical models for this building with the experimental results, three dimensional pushover analysis (Nonlinear static analysis) was carried out using commercial structural analysis software incorporating inelastic material properties for concrete, infill and steel. The purpose of this analysis is to evaluate the expected performance of structural systems by estimating, strength and deformation demands in design, and comparing these demands to available capacities at the performance levels of interest. The results summarized and discussed.

Transparent and Solution Processable Low Contact Resistance SWCNT/AZONP Bilayer Electrodes for Sol-Gel Metal Oxide Thin Film Transistor

The contact resistance between source/drain electrodes and semiconductor layer is an important parameter affecting electron transporting performance in the thin film transistor (TFT). In this work, we introduced a transparent and the solution prossable single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT)/Al-doped ZnO nano particle (AZO NP) bilayer electrodes showing low contact resistance with indium-oxide (In2O3) sol gel thin film. By inserting low work function AZO NPs into the interface between the SWCNTs and the In2O3 which has a high energy barrier, we could obtain an electrical Ohmic contact between them. Finally, with the SWCNT-AZO NP bilayer electrodes, we successfully fabricated a TFT showing a field effect mobility of 5.38 cm2/V·s at 250°C.

Performance Evaluation of an Efficient Asynchronous Protocol for WDM Ring MANs

The idea of the asynchronous transmission in wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) ring MANs is studied in this paper. Especially, we present an efficient access technique to coordinate the collisions-free transmission of the variable sizes of IP traffic in WDM ring core networks. Each node is equipped with a tunable transmitter and a tunable receiver. In this way, all the wavelengths are exploited for both transmission and reception. In order to evaluate the performance measures of average throughput, queuing delay and packet dropping probability at the buffers, a simulation model that assumes symmetric access rights among the nodes is developed based on Poisson statistics. Extensive numerical results show that the proposed protocol achieves apart from high bandwidth exploitation for a wide range of offered load, fairness of queuing delay and dropping events among the different packets size categories.

The Relationship between Citizenship Acquisition and Ethnic Identity of Immigrant Women in Taiwan

In the last few decades, many southeast-Asia women migrate to Taiwan by marriage, and it usually takes several years for them to acquire Taiwanese citizenship. This study investigates the relationship between their citizenship acquisition and whether they develop Taiwanese identities, and how does it affect their ethnical identity towards their original ethnics. Furthermore, the present study also explores that whether citizenship acquisition help the immigrant women to explore the host society further and make commitment to it, or the identification towards mainstream Taiwanese society is only symbolic and superficial? One hundred and ninety-two immigrant women were measured using Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure-Revised and a global 10-point ethnic identity question. Correlation tests, t-test, and hierarchical regression were performed to answer the above questions. The results revealed that citizenship acquisition does help immigrant women to identify with Taiwanese society, but it does not affect how they identify with their own ethnics. Furthermore, the results also indicated that acquiring citizenship would not help these immigrant women become involved in deeper cultural exploration of Taiwan nor would it encourage them to make commitments to the host society.

Evaluation of Longitudinal and Hoop Stresses and a Critical Study of Factor of Safety (FoS) in Design of a Glass-Fiber Pressure Vessel

The design, manufacture, and operation of thin-walled pressure vessels must be based on maximum safe operating pressure and an adequate factor of safety (FoS). This research paper first reports experimental evaluation of longitudinal and hoops stresses based on working pressure as well as maximum pressure; and then includes a critical study of factor of safety (FoS) in the design of a glass fiber pressure vessel. Experimental work involved the use of measuring instruments and the readings from pressure gauges. Design calculations involved the computations of design stress and FoS; the latter was based on breaking strength of 55 MPa for the glass fiber (pressure-vessel material). The experimentally determined FoS value has been critically compared with the general FoS allowed in the design of glass fiber pressure vessels.

The Traits That Facilitate Successful Student Performance in Distance Education: The Case of the Distance Education Unit at European University Cyprus

Although it is not intended to identify distance education students as a homogeneous group, recent research has demonstrated that there are some demographic and personality common traits among most of them that provide the basis for the description of a typical distance learning student. The purpose of this paper is to describe these common traits and to facilitate their learning journey within a distance education program. The described research is an initiative of the Distance Education Unit at the European University Cyprus (Laureate International Universities) in the context of its action for the improvement of the students’ performance.

The Effect of Different Levels of Seed and Extract of Harmal (Peganum harmala L.) on Immune Responses of Broiler Chicks

The present study was carried out to evaluate the effect of different levels of dietary seed and extract of Harmal (Peganum harmala L.) on immunity of broiler chicks. A total of 350 one-day old broiler chicks (Ross 308) were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments with four replicates pen of 14 birds each. Dietary treatments consisted of control, 1 and 2 g/kg Harmal seed in diet, 100 and 200 mg/L Harmal seed extract in water. Broilers received dietary treatments from 1 to 42 d. Two birds from each pen were randomly weighed and sacrificed at 42 d of age, the relative weight of lymphoid organs (bursa of Fabercius and spleen) to live weight were calculated. Antibody titers against Newcastle and influenza viruses and sheep red blood cell were measured at 30 d of age. Results showed that the relative weights of lymphoid organs were not affected by dietary treatments. Furthermore, antibody titer against Newcastle and influenza viruses as well as sheep red blood cell antigen were significantly (P<0.05) enhanced by feeding Harmal seed and extract. In conclusion, the results indicated that dietary inclusion of Harmal seed and extract enhanced immunological responses in broiler chicks.

Adapting the Chemical Reaction Optimization Algorithm to the Printed Circuit Board Drilling Problem

Chemical Reaction Optimization (CRO) is an optimization metaheuristic inspired by the nature of chemical reactions as a natural process of transforming the substances from unstable to stable states. Starting with some unstable molecules with excessive energy, a sequence of interactions takes the set to a state of minimum energy. Researchers reported successful application of the algorithm in solving some engineering problems, like the quadratic assignment problem, with superior performance when compared with other optimization algorithms. We adapted this optimization algorithm to the Printed Circuit Board Drilling Problem (PCBDP) towards reducing the drilling time and hence improving the PCB manufacturing throughput. Although the PCBDP can be viewed as instance of the popular Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP), it has some characteristics that would require special attention to the transactions that explore the solution landscape. Experimental test results using the standard CROToolBox are not promising for practically sized problems, while it could find optimal solutions for artificial problems and small benchmarks as a proof of concept.

Vertically Grown p–Type ZnO Nanorod on Ag Thin Film

A Silver (Ag) thin film is introduced as a template and doping source for vertically aligned p–type ZnO nanorods. ZnO nanorods were grown using an ammonium hydroxide based hydrothermal process. During the hydrothermal process, the Ag thin film was dissolved to generate Ag ions in the solution. The Ag ions can contribute to doping in the wurzite structure of ZnO and the (111) grain of Ag thin film can be the epitaxial temporal template for the (0001) plane of ZnO. Hence, Ag–doped p–type ZnO nanorods were successfully grown on the substrate, which can be an electrode or semiconductor for the device application. To demonstrate the potentials of this idea, p–n diode was fabricated and its electrical characteristics were demonstrated.

Modeling and Simulation of Standalone Photovoltaic Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles

Batteries of electric vehicles (BEV) are becoming more attractive with the advancement of new battery technologies and promotion of electric vehicles. BEV batteries are recharged on board vehicles using either the grid (G2V for Grid to Vehicle) or renewable energies in a stand-alone application (H2V for Home to Vehicle). This paper deals with the modeling, sizing and control of a photovoltaic stand-alone application that can charge the BEV at home. The modeling approach and developed mathematical models describing the system components are detailed. Simulation and experimental results are presented and commented.

Studies on the Applicability of Artificial Neural Network (ANN) in Prediction of Thermodynamic Behavior of Sodium Chloride Aqueous System Containing a Non-Electrolytes

In this study a ternary system containing sodium chloride as solute, water as primary solvent and ethanol as the antisolvent was considered to investigate the application of artificial neural network (ANN) in prediction of sodium solubility in the mixture of water as the solvent and ethanol as the antisolvent. The system was previously studied using by Extended UNIQUAC model by the authors of this study. The comparison between the results of the two models shows an excellent agreement between them (R2=0.99), and also approves the capability of ANN to predict the thermodynamic behavior of ternary electrolyte systems which are difficult to model.

Food Security in the Middle East and North Africa

To date, one of the few comprehensive indicators for the measurement of food security is the Global Food Security Index (GFSI). This index is a dynamic quantitative and qualitative benchmarking model, constructed from 28 unique indicators, that measures drivers of food security across both developing and developed countries. Whereas the GFSI has been calculated across a set of 109 countries, in this paper we aim to present and compare, for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 1) the Food Security Index scores achieved and 2) the data available on affordability, availability, and quality of food. The data for this work was taken from the latest available report published by the creators of the GFSI, which in turn used information from national and international statistical sources. MENA countries rank from place 17/109 (Israel, although with resent political turmoil this is likely to have changed) to place 91/109 (Yemen) with household expenditure spent in food ranging from 15.5% (Israel) to 60% (Egypt). Lower spending on food as a share of household consumption in most countries and better food safety net programs in the MENA have contributed to a notable increase in food affordability. The region has also, however, experienced a decline in food availability, owing to more limited food supplies and higher volatility of agricultural production. In terms of food quality and safety the MENA has the top ranking country (Israel). The most frequent challenges faced by the countries of the MENA include public expenditure on agricultural research and development as well as volatility of agricultural production. Food security is a complex phenomenon that interacts with many other indicators of a country’s wellbeing; in the MENA it is slowly but markedly improving.

A Novel Design of a Low Cost Wideband Wilkinson Power Divider

This paper presents analysis and design of a wideband Wilkinson power divider for wireless applications. The design is accomplished by transforming the lengths and impedances of the quarter wavelength sections of the conventional Wilkinson power divider into U-shaped sections. The designed power divider is simulated by using ADS Agilent technologies and CST microwave studio software. It is shown that the proposed power divider has simple topology and good performances in terms of insertion loss, port matching and isolation at all operating frequencies (1.8 GHz, 2.45 GHz and 3.55 GHz).

An Innovation and Development System for a New Hybrid Composite Technology in Aerospace Industry

Lightweight design represents an important key to successful implementation of energy-saving, fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly means of transport in the aerospace and automotive industry. In this context the use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) which are distinguished by their outstanding mechanical properties at relatively low weight, promise significant improvements. Due to the reduction of the total mass, with the resulting lowered fuel or energy consumption and CO2 emissions during the operational phase, commercial aircraft will increasingly be made of CFRP. An auspicious technology for the efficient and economic production of high performance thermoset composites and hybrid structures for future lightweight applications is the combination of carbon fibre sheet moulding compound, tailored continuous carbon fibre reinforcements and metallic components in a one-shot pressing and curing process. This paper deals with a hybrid composite technology for aerospace industries, which was developed with the help of a special innovation and development system.

3D Objects Indexing Using Spherical Harmonic for Optimum Measurement Similarity

In this paper, we propose a method for three-dimensional (3-D)-model indexing based on defining a new descriptor, which we call new descriptor using spherical harmonics. The purpose of the method is to minimize, the processing time on the database of objects models and the searching time of similar objects to request object. Firstly we start by defining the new descriptor using a new division of 3-D object in a sphere. Then we define a new distance which will be used in the search for similar objects in the database.

Coordinated Multi-Point Scheme Based On Channel State Information in MIMO-OFDM System

Recently, increasing the quality of experience (QoE) is an important issue. Since performance degradation at cell edge extremely reduces the QoE, several techniques are defined at LTE/LTE-A standard to remove inter-cell interference (ICI). However, the conventional techniques have disadvantage because there is a trade-off between resource allocation and reliable communication. The proposed scheme reduces the ICI more efficiently by using channel state information (CSI) smartly. It is shown that the proposed scheme can reduce the ICI with fewer resources.

Improvement of Monacolin K and Minimizing of Citrinin Content in Korkor 6 (RD 6) Red Yeast Rice

A strain of Monascus purpureus CMU001 was used to prepare red yeast rice from Thai glutinous rice Korkor 6 (RD 6). Adding of different amounts of histidine (156, 312, 625 and 1250 mg in 100 g of rice grains)) under aerobic and air limitation (air-lock) condition were used in solid fermentation. Determination of the yield as well as monacolin K content was done. Citrinin content was also determined in order to confirm the safety use of prepared red yeast rice. It was found that under air-lock condition with 1250 mg of histidine addition gave the highest yield of 37.40 g of dried red yeast rice prepared from 100 g of rice. Highest 5.72 mg content of monacolin K was obtained under air-lock condition with 312 mg histidine addition. In the other hand, citrinin content was found to be less than 24462 ng/g of all dried red yeast rice samples under the experimental methods used in this work.

Electric Field Investigation in MV PILC Cables with Void Defect

Worldwide, most PILC MV underground cables in use are approaching the end of their design life; hence, failures are likely to increase. This paper studies the electric field and potential distributions within the PILC insulted cable containing common void-defect. The finite element model of the performance of the belted PILC MV underground cable is presented. The variation of the electric field stress within the cable using the Finite Element Method (FEM) is concentrated. The effects of the void-defect within the insulation are given. Outcomes will lead to deeper understanding of the modeling of Paper Insulated Lead Covered (PILC) and electric field response of belted PILC insulted cable containing void defect.

Recording Video in the CAVE

Evaluating the performance of a simulator in the CAVE has to be confirmed by encouraging people to live the experience of virtual reality. In this paper, a detailed procedure of recording video is presented. Limitations of the experimental device are firstly exposed. Then, solutions for improving this idea are finally described.

A Genetic Based Algorithm to Generate Random Simple Polygons Using a New Polygon Merge Algorithm

In this paper a new algorithm to generate random simple polygons from a given set of points in a two dimensional plane is designed. The proposed algorithm uses a genetic algorithm to generate polygons with few vertices. A new merge algorithm is presented which converts any two polygons into a simple polygon. This algorithm at first changes two polygons into a polygonal chain and then the polygonal chain is converted into a simple polygon. The process of converting a polygonal chain into a simple polygon is based on the removal of intersecting edges. The experiments results show that the proposed algorithm has the ability to generate a great number of different simple polygons and has better performance in comparison to celebrated algorithms such as space partitioning and steady growth.

Artificial Neural Networks for Cognitive Radio Network: A Survey

The main aim of a communication system is to achieve maximum performance. In Cognitive Radio any user or transceiver has ability to sense best suitable channel, while channel is not in use. It means an unlicensed user can share the spectrum of a licensed user without any interference. Though, the spectrum sensing consumes a large amount of energy and it can reduce by applying various artificial intelligent methods for determining proper spectrum holes. It also increases the efficiency of Cognitive Radio Network (CRN). In this survey paper we discuss the use of different learning models and implementation of Artificial Neural Network (ANN) to increase the learning and decision making capacity of CRN without affecting bandwidth, cost and signal rate.

The Effect of Particle Porosity in Mixed Matrix Membrane Permeation Models

The purpose of this paper is to examine gas transport behavior of mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) combined with porous particles. Main existing models are categorized in two main groups; two-phase (ideal contact) and three-phase (non-ideal contact). A new coefficient, J, was obtained to express equations for estimating effect of the particle porosity in two-phase and three-phase models. Modified models evaluates with existing models and experimental data using Matlab software. Comparison of gas permeability of proposed modified models with existing models in different MMMs shows a better prediction of gas permeability in MMMs.

Facebook Spam and Spam Filter Using Artificial Neural Networks

Spam is any unwanted electronic message or material in any form posted too many people. As the world is growing as global world, social networking sites play an important role in making world global providing people from different parts of the world a platform to meet and express their views. Among different social networking sites Facebook become the leading one. With increase in usage different users start abusive use of Facebook by posting or creating ways to post spam. This paper highlights the potential spam types nowadays Facebook users’ faces. This paper also provide the reason how user become victim to spam attack. A methodology is proposed in the end discusses how to handle different types of spam.

Geomorphology of Karst Features of Shiraz City and Arjan Plain and Development Limitations

Karst term is the determiner of a variety of areas or landforms and unique perspectives that have been formed in result of the of the ingredients dissolution of rocks constituter by natural waters. Shiraz area with an area of 5322km2 is located in the simple folded belt in the southern part of Zagros Mountain of Fars, and is surrounded with Limestone Mountains (Asmari formation). Shiraz area is located in Calcareous areas. The infrastructure of this city is lime and absorbing wells that the city can influence the Limestone dissolution and those accelerate its rate and increase the cavitation below the surface. Dasht-e Arjan is a graben, which has been created as the result of activity of two normal faults in its east and west sides. It is a complete sample of Karst plains (Polje) which has been created with the help of tectonic forces (fault) and dissolution process of water in Asmari limestone formation. It is located 60km. off south west of Shiraz (on Kazeroon-Shiraz road). In 1971, UNESCO has recognized this plain as a reserve of biosphere. It is considered as one of the world’s most beautiful geological phenomena, so that most of the world’s geologists are interested in visiting this place. The purpose of this paper is to identify and introduce landscapes of Karst features shiraz city and Dasht-e Arjan including Karst dissolution features (Lapiez, Karst springs, dolines, caves, underground caves, ponors, and Karst valleys), anticlines and synclines, and Arjan Lake.

On the Network Packet Loss Tolerance of SVM Based Activity Recognition

In this study, data loss tolerance of Support Vector Machines (SVM) based activity recognition model and multi activity classification performance when data are received over a lossy wireless sensor network is examined. Initially, the classification algorithm we use is evaluated in terms of resilience to random data loss with 3D acceleration sensor data for sitting, lying, walking and standing actions. The results show that the proposed classification method can recognize these activities successfully despite high data loss. Secondly, the effect of differentiated quality of service performance on activity recognition success is measured with activity data acquired from a multi hop wireless sensor network, which introduces  high data loss. The effect of number of nodes on the reliability and multi activity classification success is demonstrated in simulation environment. To the best of our knowledge, the effect of data loss in a wireless sensor network on activity detection success rate of an SVM based classification algorithm has not been studied before.

A Further Study on the 4-Ordered Property of Some Chordal Ring Networks

Given a graph G. A cycle of G is a sequence of vertices of G such that the first and the last vertices are the same. A hamiltonian cycle of G is a cycle containing all vertices of G. The graph G is k-ordered (resp. k-ordered hamiltonian) if for any sequence of k distinct vertices of G, there exists a cycle (resp. hamiltonian cycle) in G containing these k vertices in the specified order. Obviously, any cycle in a graph is 1-ordered, 2-ordered and 3- ordered. Thus the study of any graph being k-ordered (resp. k-ordered hamiltonian) always starts with k = 4. Most studies about this topic work on graphs with no real applications. To our knowledge, the chordal ring families were the first one utilized as the underlying topology in interconnection networks and shown to be 4-ordered. Furthermore, based on our computer experimental results, it was conjectured that some of them are 4-ordered hamiltonian. In this paper, we intend to give some possible directions in proving the conjecture.

Enhanced Disk-Based Databases Towards Improved Hybrid In-Memory Systems

In-memory database systems are becoming popular due to the availability and affordability of sufficiently large RAM and processors in modern high-end servers with the capacity to manage large in-memory database transactions. While fast and reliable inmemory systems are still being developed to overcome cache misses, CPU/IO bottlenecks and distributed transaction costs, disk-based data stores still serve as the primary persistence. In addition, with the recent growth in multi-tenancy cloud applications and associated security concerns, many organisations consider the trade-offs and continue to require fast and reliable transaction processing of diskbased database systems as an available choice. For these organizations, the only way of increasing throughput is by improving the performance of disk-based concurrency control. This warrants a hybrid database system with the ability to selectively apply an enhanced disk-based data management within the context of inmemory systems that would help improve overall throughput. The general view is that in-memory systems substantially outperform disk-based systems. We question this assumption and examine how a modified variation of access invariance that we call enhanced memory access, (EMA) can be used to allow very high levels of concurrency in the pre-fetching of data in disk-based systems. We demonstrate how this prefetching in disk-based systems can yield close to in-memory performance, which paves the way for improved hybrid database systems. This paper proposes a novel EMA technique and presents a comparative study between disk-based EMA systems and in-memory systems running on hardware configurations of equivalent power in terms of the number of processors and their speeds. The results of the experiments conducted clearly substantiate that when used in conjunction with all concurrency control mechanisms, EMA can increase the throughput of disk-based systems to levels quite close to those achieved by in-memory system. The promising results of this work show that enhanced disk-based systems facilitate in improving hybrid data management within the broader context of in-memory systems.

Crack Width Evaluation for Flexural RC Members with Axial Tension

Proof of controlling crack width is a basic condition for securing suitable performance in serviceability limit state. The cracking in concrete can occur at any time from the casting of time to the years after the concrete has been set in place. Most codes struggle with offering procedure for crack width calculation. There is lack in availability of design charts for designers to compute crack width with ease. The focus of the study is to utilize design charts and parametric equations in calculating crack width with minimum error. The paper contains a simplified procedure to calculate crack width for reinforced concrete (RC) sections subjected to bending with axial tensile force following the guidelines of Euro code [DS EN-1992-1-1 & DS EN-1992-1-2]. Numerical examples demonstrate the application of the suggested procedure. Comparison with parallel analytical tools supports the validity of result and show the percentage deviation of crack width in both the procedures. The technique is simple, user friendly and ready to evolve for a greater spectrum of section sizes and materials.

Environmentally Adaptive Acoustic Echo Suppression for Barge-in Speech Recognition

In this study, we propose a novel technique for acoustic echo suppression (AES) during speech recognition under barge-in conditions. Conventional AES methods based on spectral subtraction apply fixed weights to the estimated echo path transfer function (EPTF) at the current signal segment and to the EPTF estimated until the previous time interval. However, the effects of echo path changes should be considered for eliminating the undesired echoes. We describe a new approach that adaptively updates weight parameters in response to abrupt changes in the acoustic environment due to background noises or double-talk. Furthermore, we devised a voice activity detector and an initial time-delay estimator for barge-in speech recognition in communication networks. The initial time delay is estimated using log-spectral distance measure, as well as cross-correlation coefficients. The experimental results show that the developed techniques can be successfully applied in barge-in speech recognition systems.

Influence of Transportation Mode to the Deterioration Rate: Case Study of Food Transport by Ship

Food as perishable goods represents a specific and sensitive part in the supply chain theory, since changing physical or chemical characteristics considerably influence the approach to stock management. The most delicate phase of this process is transportation, where it becomes difficult to ensure the stable conditions which limit deterioration, since the value of the deterioration rate could be easily influenced by the mode of transportation. The fuzzy definition of variables allows one to take these variations into account. Furthermore, an appropriate choice of the defuzzification method permits one to adapt results to real conditions as far as possible. In this article those methods which take into account the relationship between the deterioration rate of perishable goods and transportation by ship will be applied with the aim of (a) minimizing the total cost function, defined as the sum of the ordering cost, holding cost, disposing cost and transportation costs, and (b) improving the supply chain sustainability by reducing environmental impact and waste disposal costs.

Advanced Simulation of Power Consumption of Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are one of the most complicated electric devices to simulate due to the significant number of different processes involved in electrical structure of it. There are concurrent processes of energy consumption and generation with different onboard systems, which make simulation tasks more complicated to perform. More accurate simulation on energy consumption can provide a better understanding of all energy management for electric transport. As a result of all those processes, electric transport can allow for a more sustainable future and become more convenient in relation to the distance range and recharging time. This paper discusses the problems of energy consumption simulations for electric vehicles using different software packages to provide ideas on how to make this process more precise, which can help engineers create better energy management strategies for electric vehicles.

Customer Satisfaction and Effective HRM Policies: Customer and Employee Satisfaction

The purpose of this study is to examine the possible link between employee and customer satisfaction. The service provided by employees, help to build a good relationship with customers and can help at increasing their loyalty. Published data for job satisfaction and indicators of customer services of banks were gathered from relevant published works which included data from five different countries. The scores of customers and employees satisfaction of the different published works were transformed and normalized to the scale of 1 to 100. The data were analyzed and a regression analysis of the two parameters was used to describe the link between employee’s satisfaction and customer’s satisfaction. Assuming that employee satisfaction has a significant influence on customer’s service and the resulting customer satisfaction, the reviewed data indicate that employee’s satisfaction contributes significantly on the level of customer satisfaction in the Banking sector. There was a significant correlation between the two parameters (Pearson correlation R2=0.52 P<0.05). The reviewed data indicate that published data support the hypothesis that practical evidence link these two parameters. During the recent global economic crisis, the financial services sector was affected severely and job security, remuneration and recruitment of personnel of banks was in many countries, including Greece, significantly reduced. Nevertheless, modern organizations should always consider their personnel as a capital, which is the driving force for success in the future. Appropriate human resource management policies can increase the level of job satisfaction of the personnel with positive consequences for the level of customer’s satisfaction.

Cost of Governance in Nigeria: In Whose Interest?

Cost of governance in Nigeria has become a challenge to development and concern to practitioners and scholars alike in the field of business and social science research. In the 2010 national budget of NGN4.6 trillion or USD28.75billion for instance, only a pantry sum of NGN1.8trillion or USD11.15billion was earmarked for capital expenditure. Similarly, in 2013, out of a total national budget of NGN4.92trillion or USD30.75billion, only the sum of NGN1.50trllion or USD9.38billion was voted for capital expenditure. Therefore, based on the data sourced from the Nigerian Office of Statistics, Central bank of Nigeria Statistical Bulletin as well as from the United Nations Development Programme, this study examined the causes of high cost of governance in Nigeria. It found out that the high cost of governance in the country is in the interest of the ruling class, arising from their unethical behaviour – corrupt practices and the poor management of public resources. As a result, the study recommends the need to intensify the war against corruption and mismanagement of public resources by government officials as possible solution to overcome the high cost of governance in Nigeria. This could be achieved by strengthening the constitutional powers of the various anti-corruption agencies in the area of arrest, investigation and prosecution of offenders without the interference of the executive arm of government either at the local, state or federal level.

IT Systems of the US Federal Courts, Justice, and Governance

Validity, integrity, and impacts of the IT systems of the US federal courts have been studied as part of the Human Rights Alert-NGO (HRA) submission for the 2015 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights in the United States by the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations (UN). The current report includes overview of IT system analysis, data-mining and case studies. System analysis and data-mining show: Development and implementation with no lawful authority, servers of unverified identity, invalidity in implementation of electronic signatures, authentication instruments and procedures, authorities and permissions; discrimination in access against the public and unrepresented (pro se) parties and in favor of attorneys; widespread publication of invalid judicial records and dockets, leading to their false representation and false enforcement. A series of case studies documents the impacts on individuals' human rights, on banking regulation, and on international matters. Significance is discussed in the context of various media and expert reports, which opine unprecedented corruption of the US justice system today, and which question, whether the US Constitution was in fact suspended. Similar findings were previously reported in IT systems of the State of California and the State of Israel, which were incorporated, subject to professional HRC staff review, into the UN UPR reports (2010 and 2013). Solutions are proposed, based on the principles of publicity of the law and the separation of power: Reliance on US IT and legal experts under accountability to the legislative branch, enhancing transparency, ongoing vigilance by human rights and internet activists. IT experts should assume more prominent civic duties in the safeguard of civil society in our era.

Computer Assisted Learning in a Less Resource Region

Passing the entrance exam to a university is a major step in one's life. University entrance exam commonly known as Kankor is the nationwide entrance exam in Afghanistan. This examination is prerequisite for all public and private higher education institutions at undergraduate level. It is usually taken by students who are graduated from high schools. In this paper, we reflect the major educational school graduates issues and propose ICT-based test preparation environment, known as ‘Online Kankor Exam Prep System’ to give students the tools to help them pass the university entrance exam on the first try. The system is based on Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS), which introduced an essential package of educational technology for learners that features: (I) exam-focused questions and content; (ii) self-assessment environment; and (iii) test preparation strategies in order to help students to acquire the necessary skills in their carrier and keep them up-to-date with instruction.

Limitations of Selected e-Governance Services in India: Policy Change as Solution for Experience Enhancement of Citizen Services

This paper identifies limitations of existing two e- Governance services viz. railway ticket booking and passport service in India. The comparison has been made as to how in the past these two citizen services were operating manually and how these services are taken online via e-Governance. Different e-Governance projects, investment aspects, and role of corporate are discussed. For Indian Railway online ticketing a comparison has been made between state run booking website and popular private firm run booking websites. For passport service, observations through personal visit to passport center is described. Suggestions are made to improve these services further to improve citizen service experiences.

Effect of Chlorophyll Concentration Variations from Extract of Papaya Leaves on Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell

In this paper, extract of papaya leaves are used as a natural dye and combined by variations of solvent concentration applied on DSSC (Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell). Indonesian geographic located on the equator line occasions the magnitude of the potential to develop organic solar cells made from extracts of chlorophyll as a substitute for inorganic materials or synthetic dye on DSSC material. Dye serves as absorbing photons which are then converted into electrical energy. A conductive coated glass layer called TCO (Transparent Conductive Oxide) is used as a substrate of electrode. TiO2 nanoparticles as binding dye molecules, redox couple iodide/ tri-iodide as the electrolyte and carbon as the counter electrode in the DSSC are used. TiO2 nanoparticles, organic dyes, electrolytes, and counter electrode are arranged and combined with the layered structure of the photo-catalyst absorption layer. Dye absorption measurements using a spectrophotometer at 400-800 nm light spectrum produces a total amount of chlorophyll 80.076 mg/l. The test cell at 7 watt LED light with 5000 lux luminescence was obtained Voc and Isc of 235.5 mV and 14 μA, respectively.

Fiber Braggs Grating Sensor Based Instrumentation to Evaluate Postural Balance and Stability on an Unstable Platform

This paper describes a novel application of Fiber Braggs Grating (FBG) sensors in the assessment of human postural stability and balance on an unstable platform. In this work, FBG sensor Stability Analyzing Device (FBGSAD) is developed for measurement of plantar strain to assess the postural stability of subjects on unstable platforms during different stances in eyes open and eyes closed conditions on a rocker board. The studies are validated by comparing the Centre of Gravity (CG) variations measured on the lumbar vertebra of subjects using a commercial accelerometer. The results obtained from the developed FBGSAD depict qualitative similarities with the data recorded by commercial accelerometer. The advantage of the FBGSAD is that it measures simultaneously plantar strain distribution and postural stability of the subject along with its inherent benefits like non-requirement of energizing voltage to the sensor, electromagnetic immunity and simple design which suits its applicability in biomechanical applications. The developed FBGSAD can serve as a tool/yardstick to mitigate space motion sickness, identify individuals who are susceptible to falls and to qualify subjects for balance and stability, which are important factors in the selection of certain unique professionals such as aircraft pilots, astronauts, cosmonauts etc.

Central Finite Volume Methods Applied in Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamics: Applications in Disks and Jets

We have developed a new computer program in Fortran 90, in order to obtain numerical solutions of a system of Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamics partial differential equations with predetermined gravitation (GRMHD), capable of simulating the formation of relativistic jets from the accretion disk of matter up to his ejection. Initially we carried out a study on numerical methods of unidimensional Finite Volume, namely Lax-Friedrichs, Lax-Wendroff, Nessyahu-Tadmor method and Godunov methods dependent on Riemann problems, applied to equations Euler in order to verify their main features and make comparisons among those methods. It was then implemented the method of Finite Volume Centered of Nessyahu-Tadmor, a numerical schemes that has a formulation free and without dimensional separation of Riemann problem solvers, even in two or more spatial dimensions, at this point, already applied in equations GRMHD. Finally, the Nessyahu-Tadmor method was possible to obtain stable numerical solutions - without spurious oscillations or excessive dissipation - from the magnetized accretion disk process in rotation with respect to a central black hole (BH) Schwarzschild and immersed in a magnetosphere, for the ejection of matter in the form of jet over a distance of fourteen times the radius of the BH, a record in terms of astrophysical simulation of this kind. Also in our simulations, we managed to get substructures jets. A great advantage obtained was that, with the our code, we got simulate GRMHD equations in a simple personal computer.

Study on the Self-Location Estimate by the Evolutional Triangle Similarity Matching Using Artificial Bee Colony Algorithm

In previous study, technique to estimate a self-location by using a lunar image is proposed.We consider the improvement of the conventional method in consideration of FPGA implementationin this paper. Specifically, we introduce Artificial Bee Colony algorithm for reduction of search time.In addition, we use fixed point arithmetic to enable high-speed operation on FPGA.

Deficiency Risk in Islamic and Conventional Banks

In this article, we have elaborated a study over the nature of financial intermediation in Islamic banks by comparison to those of conventional ones. We have found a striking difference between two kinds of intermediation. We tried, from another side, to study the relationship between the capital level and deficiency risk relying on econometric model, and we have obtained a positive and significant relation between the capital and the deficiency risk for the conventional banks. This means that when the capital of these banks increases, the deficiency risk increases as well. In return, since the Islamic banks are constrained to respect the Sharia Committee as well as customers’ demands that may, in certain contracts, choose to invest their capitals in projects they are interested in. These constraints have as effects to reduce the deficiency risk even when the capital increases.

Design and Implementation of DC-DC Converter with Inc-Cond Algorithm

The most important component affecting the efficiency of photovoltaic power systems are solar panels. In other words, efficiency of these systems are significantly affected due to the being low efficiency of solar panel. Thus, solar panels should be operated under maximum power point conditions through a power converter. In this study, design of boost converter has been carried out with maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithm which is incremental conductance (Inc-Cond). By using this algorithm, importance of power converter in MPPT hardware design, impacts of MPPT operation have been shown. It is worth noting that initial operation point is the main criteria for determining the MPPT performance. In addition, it is shown that if value of load resistance is lower than critical value, failure operation is realized. For these analyzes, direct duty control is used for simplifying the control.

Effects of Dietary Protein and Lipid Levels on Growth and Body Composition of Juvenile Fancy Carp, Cyprinus carpio var. Koi

A feeding experiment was conducted to determine the optimum dietary protein and lipid levels for juvenile fancy carp. Eight experimental diets were formulated to contain four protein levels (200, 300, 400 and 500 g kg-1) with two lipid levels (70 and 140 g kg-1). Triplicate groups of fish (initial weight, 12.1±0.2 g fish-1) were hand-fed the diets to apparent satiation for 8 weeks. Fish growth performance, feed utilization and feed intake were significantly (P<0.0001) affected by dietary protein level, but not by dietary lipid level (P>0.05). Weight gain and feed efficiency ratio tended to increase as dietary protein level increased up to 400 and 500 g kg-1, respectively. Daily feed intake of fish decreased with increasing dietary protein level and that of fish fed diet contained 500 g kg-1 protein was significantly lower than other fish groups. The protein efficiency ratio of fish fed 400 and 500 g kg-1 protein was lower than that of fish fed 200 and 300 g kg-1 protein. Moisture, crude protein and crude lipid contents of muscle and liver were significantly affected by dietary protein, but not by dietary lipid level (P>0.05). The increase in dietary lipid level resulted in an increase in linoleic acid in liver and muscle paralleled with a decrease in n-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids content in muscle of fish. In considering these results, it was concluded that the diet containing 400 g kg-1 protein with 70 g kg-1 lipid level is optimal for growth and efficient feed utilization of juvenile fancy carp.

Measurement Tools of the Maturity Model for IT Service Outsourcing in Higher Education Institutions

Nowadays, the successful implementation of ICTs is vital for almost any kind of organization. Good governance and ICT management are essential for delivering value, managing technological risks, managing resources and performance measurement. In addition, outsourcing is a strategic IT service solution which complements IT services provided internally in organizations. This paper proposes the measurement tools of a new holistic maturity model based on standards ISO/IEC 20000 and ISO/IEC 38500, and the frameworks and best practices of ITIL and COBIT, with a specific focus on IT outsourcing. These measurement tools allow independent validation and practical application in the field of higher education, using a questionnaire, metrics tables, and continuous improvement plan tables as part of the measurement process. Guidelines and standards are proposed in the model for facilitating adaptation to universities and achieving excellence in the outsourcing of IT services.

Optimization of Flexible Job Shop Scheduling Problem with Sequence Dependent Setup Times Using Genetic Algorithm Approach

This paper presents optimization of makespan for ‘n’ jobs and ‘m’ machines flexible job shop scheduling problem with sequence dependent setup time using genetic algorithm (GA) approach. A restart scheme has also been applied to prevent the premature convergence. Two case studies are taken into consideration. Results are obtained by considering crossover probability (pc = 0.85) and mutation probability (pm = 0.15). Five simulation runs for each case study are taken and minimum value among them is taken as optimal makespan. Results indicate that optimal makespan can be achieved with more than one sequence of jobs in a production order.

Wind Energy Status in Turkey

Since large part of electricity is generated by using fossil based resources, energy is an important agenda for countries. In this context, renewable energy sources are alternative to conventional sources due to the depletion of fossil resources, increasing awareness of climate change and global warming concerns. Solar, wind and hydropower energy are the main renewable energy sources. Among of them, since installed capacity of wind power has increased approximately eight times between 2008 - November of 2014, wind energy is a promising source for Turkey. Furthermore, signing of Kyoto Protocol can be accepted as a milestone for Turkey's energy policy. Turkish Government has announced Vision 2023 (energy targets by 2023) in 2010-2014 Strategic Plan prepared by Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR). Energy targets in this plan can be summarized as follows: Share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation is 30% of total electricity generation by 2023. Installed capacity of wind energy will be 20 GW by 2023. Other renewable energy sources such as solar, hydropower and geothermal are encouraged with new incentive mechanisms. Dependence on foreign energy is reduced for sustainability and energy security. On the other hand, since Turkey is surrounded by three coastal areas, wind energy potential is convenient for wind power application. As of November of 2014, total installed capacity of wind power plants is 3.51 GW and a lot of wind power plants are under construction with capacity 1.16 GW. Turkish government also encourages the locally manufactured equipments. In this context, one of the projects funded by private sector, universities and TUBİTAK names as MILRES is an important project aimed to promote the use wind energy in electricity generation. Within this project, wind turbine with 500 kW power has been produced and will be installed at the beginning of the 2015. After that, by using the experience obtained from the first phase of the project, a wind turbine with 2.5 MW power will be manufactured in an industrial scale.

Interactive of Calcium, Potassium and Dynamic Unequal Salt Distribution on the Growth of Tomato in Hydroponic System

Due to water shortage, application of saline water for irrigation is an urgent in agriculture. In this study the effect of calcium and potassium application as additive in saline root media for reduce salinity adverse effects was investigated on tomato growth in a hydroponic system with unequal distribution of salts in the root media, which was divided in to two equal parts containing full Johnson nutrient solution and 40 mMNaCl solution, alone or in combination with KCl (6 mM), CaCl2 (4 mM), K+Ca (3+2 mM) or half-strength Johnson nutrient solution. The root splits were exchanged every 7 days. Results showed that addition of calcium, calcium-potassium and nutrition elements equivalent to half the concentration of Johnson formula to the saline-half of culture media minimized the reduction in plant growth caused by NaCl, although addition of potassium to culture media wasn’t effective. The greatest concentration of sodium was observed at the shoot of treatments which had smallest growth. According to the results of this study, in case of dynamic and non-uniform distribution of salts in the root media, by addition of additive to the saline solution, it would be possible to use of saline water with no significant growth reduction.

Investigations on the Influence of Optimized Charge Air Cooling for a Diesel Passenger Car

Starting in 2020, an EU-wide CO2-limitation of 95 g/km is scheduled for the average of an OEMs passenger car fleet. Taking that into consideration additional improvement measures of the Diesel cycle are necessary in order to reduce fuel consumption and emissions while boosting, or at the least, keeping performance values at the same time. The present article deals with the possibilities of an optimized air/water charge air cooler, also called iCAC (indirect Charge Air Cooler) for a Diesel passenger car amongst extreme-boundary conditions. In this context, the precise objective was to show the impact of improved intercooling with reference to the engine working process (fuel consumption and NOx-emissions). Several extremeboundaries - e.g. varying ambient temperatures or mountainous routes - that will become very important in the near future regarding RDE (Real Driving emissions) were subject of the investigation. With the introduction of RDE in 2017 (EU6c measure), the controversial NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) will belong to the past and the OEMs will have to avoid harmful emissions in any conceivable real life situation. This is certainly going to lead to optimization-measurements at the powertrain, which again is going to make the implementation of iCACs, presently solely used for the premium class, more and more attractive for compact class cars. The investigations showed a benefit in FC between 1 and 3% for the iCAC in real world conditions.

The Effect of Discontinued Water Spray Cooling on the Heat Transfer Coefficient

Water spray cooling is a technique typically used in heat treatment and other metallurgical processes where controlled temperature regimes are required. Water spray cooling is used in static (without movement) or dynamic (with movement of the steel plate) regimes. The static regime is notable for the fixed position of the hot steel plate and fixed spray nozzle. This regime is typical for quenching systems focused on heat treatment of the steel plate. The second application of spray cooling is the dynamic regime. The dynamic regime is notable for its static section cooling system and moving steel plate. This regime is used in rolling and finishing mills. The fixed position of cooling sections with nozzles and the movement of the steel plate produce nonhomogeneous water distribution on the steel plate. The length of cooling sections and placement of water nozzles in combination with the nonhomogeneity of water distribution lead to discontinued or interrupted cooling conditions. The impact of static and dynamic regimes on cooling intensity and the heat transfer coefficient during the cooling process of steel plates is an important issue. Heat treatment of steel is accompanied by oxide scale growth. The oxide scale layers can significantly modify the cooling properties and intensity during the cooling. The combination of static and dynamic (section) regimes with the variable thickness of the oxide scale layer on the steel surface impact the final cooling intensity. The study of the influence of the oxide scale layers with different cooling regimes was carried out using experimental measurements and numerical analysis. The experimental measurements compared both types of cooling regimes and the cooling of scale-free surfaces and oxidized surfaces. A numerical analysis was prepared to simulate the cooling process with different conditions of the section and samples with different oxide scale layers.

Port Governance in Santos, Brazil: A Qualitative Approach

Given the importance of ports as links in the global supply chains and because they are key elements to induce competitiveness in their hinterlands, the number of studies devoted to port governance, management and operations has increased in the last decades. Some of these studies address the port governance model as an element to improve coordination among the actors of the portlogistics chain and to generate a better port performance. In this context, the present study analyzes the governance of Port of Santos through individual interviews with port managers, based on a conceptual model that considers the key dimensions associated with port governance. The results reinforce the usefulness of the applied model and highlight some existing improvement opportunities in the port studied.

Kinetic Modeling of Transesterification of Triacetin Using Synthesized Ion Exchange Resin (SIERs)

Strong anion exchange resins with QN+OH-, have the potential to be developed and employed as heterogeneous catalyst for transesterification, as they are chemically stable to leaching of the functional group. Nine different SIERs (SIER1-9) with QN+OH-were prepared by suspension polymerization of vinylbenzyl chloridedivinylbenzene (VBC-DVB) copolymers in the presence of n-heptane (pore-forming agent). The amine group was successfully grafted into the polymeric resin beads through functionalization with trimethylamine. These SIERs are then used as a catalyst for the transesterification of triacetin with methanol. A set of differential equations that represents the Langmuir-Hinshelwood-Hougen- Watson (LHHW) and Eley-Rideal (ER) models for the transesterification reaction were developed. These kinetic models of LHHW and ER were fitted to the experimental data. Overall, the synthesized ion exchange resin-catalyzed reaction were welldescribed by the Eley-Rideal model compared to LHHW models, with sum of square error (SSE) of 0.742 and 0.996, respectively.

Investigation of Minor Actinide-Contained Thorium Fuel Impacts on CANDU-Type Reactor Neutronics Using Computational Method

Currently, thorium fuel has been especially noticed because of its proliferation resistance than long half-life alpha emitter minor actinides, breeding capability in fast and thermal neutron flux and mono-isotopic naturally abundant. In recent years, efficiency of minor actinide burning up in PWRs has been investigated. Hence, a minor actinide-contained thorium based fuel matrix can confront both proliferation resistance and nuclear waste depletion aims. In the present work, minor actinide depletion rate in a CANDU-type nuclear core modeled using MCNP code has been investigated. The obtained effects of minor actinide load as mixture of thorium fuel matrix on the core neutronics has been studied with comparing presence and non-presence of minor actinide component in the fuel matrix. Depletion rate of minor actinides in the MA-contained fuel has been calculated using different power loads. According to the obtained computational data, minor actinide loading in the modeled core results in more negative reactivity coefficients. The MA-contained fuel achieves less radial peaking factor in the modeled core. The obtained computational results showed 140 kg of 464 kg initial load of minor actinide has been depleted in during a 6-year burn up in 10 MW power.

Particle Concentration Distribution under Idling Conditions in a Residential Underground Garage

Particles exhausted from cars have adverse impacts on human health. The study developed a three-dimensional particle dispersion numerical model including particle coagulation to simulate the particle concentration distribution under idling conditions in a residential underground garage. The simulation results demonstrate that particle disperses much faster in the vertical direction than that in horizontal direction. The enhancement of particle dispersion in the vertical direction due to the increase of cars with engine running is much stronger than that in the car exhaust direction. Particle dispersion from each pair of adjacent cars has little influence on each other in the study. Average particle concentration after 120 seconds exhaust is 1.8-4.5 times higher than the initial total particles at ambient environment. Particle pollution in the residential underground garage is severe.

Seat Assignment Model for Student Admissions Process at Saudi Higher Education Institutions

In this paper, student admission process is studied to optimize the assignment of vacant seats with three main objectives. Utilizing all vacant seats, satisfying all programs of study admission requirements and maintaining fairness among all candidates are the three main objectives of the optimization model. Seat Assignment Method (SAM) is used to build the model and solve the optimization problem with help of Northwest Coroner Method and Least Cost Method. A closed formula is derived for applying the priority of assigning seat to candidate based on SAM.

Employing Operations Research at Universities to Build Management Systems

Operations research science (OR) deals with good success in developing and applying scientific methods for problem solving and decision-making. However, by using OR techniques, we can enhance the use of computer decision support systems to achieve optimal management for institutions. OR applies comprehensive analysis including all factors that effect on it and builds mathematical modeling to solve business or organizational problems. In addition, it improves decision-making and uses available resources efficiently. The adoption of OR by universities would definitely contributes to the development and enhancement of the performance of OR techniques. This paper provides an understanding of the structures, approaches and models of OR in problem solving and decisionmaking.

Construction Unit Rate Factor Modelling Using Neural Networks

Factors affecting construction unit cost vary depending on a country’s political, economic, social and technological inclinations. Factors affecting construction costs have been studied from various perspectives. Analysis of cost factors requires an appreciation of a country’s practices. Identified cost factors provide an indication of a country’s construction economic strata. The purpose of this paper is to identify the essential factors that affect unit cost estimation and their breakdown using artificial neural networks. Twenty five (25) identified cost factors in road construction were subjected to a questionnaire survey and employing SPSS factor analysis the factors were reduced to eight. The 8 factors were analysed using neural network (NN) to determine the proportionate breakdown of the cost factors in a given construction unit rate. NN predicted that political environment accounted 44% of the unit rate followed by contractor capacity at 22% and financial delays, project feasibility and overhead & profit each at 11%. Project location, material availability and corruption perception index had minimal impact on the unit cost from the training data provided. Quantified cost factors can be incorporated in unit cost estimation models (UCEM) to produce more accurate estimates. This can create improvements in the cost estimation of infrastructure projects and establish a benchmark standard to assist the process of alignment of work practises and training of new staff, permitting the on-going development of best practises in cost estimation to become more effective.

A New Microstrip Diplexer Using Coupled Stepped Impedance Resonators

This paper presents a new structure of microstrip band pass filter (BPF) based on coupled stepped impedance resonators. Each filter consists of two coupled stepped impedance resonators connected to microstrip feed lines. The coupled junction is utilized to connect the two BPFs to the antenna. This two band pass filters are designed and simulated to operate for the digital communication system (DCS) and Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands at 1.8 GHz and 2.45 GHz respectively. The proposed circuit presents good performances with an insertion loss lower than 2.3 dB and isolation between the two channels greater than 21 dB. The prototype of the optimized diplexer have been investigated numerically by using ADS Agilent and verified with CST microwave software.

Effect of Impact Load on the Bond between Steel and CFRP Laminate

Carbon fiber reinforced polymersarewidely used to strengthen steel structural elements. These structural elements are normally subjected to static, dynamic and fatigue loadings during their life-time. CFRP laminate is commonly used to strengthen these structures under the subjected loads. A number of studies have focused on the characteristics of CFRP sheets bonded to steel members under static, dynamic and fatigue loadings. However, there is a gap in understanding the bonding behavior between CFRP laminates and steel members under impact loading. This paper shows the effect of high load rates on this bond. CFRP laminate CFK 150/2000 was used to strengthen steel joints using Araldite 420 epoxy. The results show that applying a high load rate significantly affects the bond strength but has little influence on the effective bond length.

Causal Relationship between Macro-Economic Indicators and Funds Unit Prices Behavior: Evidence from Malaysian Islamic Equity Unit Trust Funds Industry

In this study, attempt has been made to investigate the relationship specifically the causal relation between fund unit prices of Islamic equity unit trust fund which measure by fund NAV and the selected macro-economic variables of Malaysian economy by using VECM causality test and Granger causality test. Monthly data has been used from Jan, 2006 to Dec, 2012 for all the variables. The findings of the study showed that industrial production index, political election and financial crisis are the only variables having unidirectional causal relationship with fund unit price. However the global oil price is having bidirectional causality with fund NAV. Thus, it is concluded that the equity unit trust fund industry in Malaysia is an inefficient market with respect to the industrial production index, global oil prices, political election and financial crisis. However the market is approaching towards informational efficiency at least with respect to four macroeconomic variables, treasury bill rate, money supply, foreign exchange rate, and corruption index.

Design Resilient Building Strategies in Face of Climate Change

Climate change confronts the built environment with many new challenges in the form of more severe and frequent hydrometeorological events. A series of strategies is proposed whereby the various aspects of buildings and their sites can be made more resilient to the effects of such events.

Estimation of Thermal Conductivity of Nanofluids Using MD-Stochastic Simulation Based Approach

The thermal conductivity of a fluid can be significantly enhanced by dispersing nano-sized particles in it, and the resultant fluid is termed as "nanofluid". A theoretical model for estimating the thermal conductivity of a nanofluid has been proposed here. It is based on the mechanism that evenly dispersed nanoparticles within a nanofluid undergo Brownian motion in course of which the nanoparticles repeatedly collide with the heat source. During each collision a rapid heat transfer occurs owing to the solidsolid contact. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of the collision of nanoparticles with the heat source has shown that there is a pulselike pick up of heat by the nanoparticles within 20-100 ps, the extent of which depends not only on thermal conductivity of the nanoparticles, but also on the elastic and other physical properties of the nanoparticle. After the collision the nanoparticles undergo Brownian motion in the base fluid and release the excess heat to the surrounding base fluid within 2-10 ms. The Brownian motion and associated temperature variation of the nanoparticles have been modeled by stochastic analysis. Repeated occurrence of these events by the suspended nanoparticles significantly contributes to the characteristic thermal conductivity of the nanofluids, which has been estimated by the present model for a ethylene glycol based nanofluid containing Cu-nanoparticles of size ranging from 8 to 20 nm, with Gaussian size distribution. The prediction of the present model has shown a reasonable agreement with the experimental data available in literature.

Improving the Performance of Back-Propagation Training Algorithm by Using ANN

Artificial Neural Network (ANN) can be trained using back propagation (BP). It is the most widely used algorithm for supervised learning with multi-layered feed-forward networks. Efficient learning by the BP algorithm is required for many practical applications. The BP algorithm calculates the weight changes of artificial neural networks, and a common approach is to use a twoterm algorithm consisting of a learning rate (LR) and a momentum factor (MF). The major drawbacks of the two-term BP learning algorithm are the problems of local minima and slow convergence speeds, which limit the scope for real-time applications. Recently the addition of an extra term, called a proportional factor (PF), to the two-term BP algorithm was proposed. The third increases the speed of the BP algorithm. However, the PF term also reduces the convergence of the BP algorithm, and criteria for evaluating convergence are required to facilitate the application of the three terms BP algorithm. Although these two seem to be closely related, as described later, we summarize various improvements to overcome the drawbacks. Here we compare the different methods of convergence of the new three-term BP algorithm.

IPO Price Performance and Signaling

This study examines the credibility of the signaling as explanation for IPO initial underpricing. Findings reveal the initial underpricing and the long-term underperformance of IPOs in Taiwan. However, we only find weak support for signaling as explanation of IPO underpricing.

An Output Oriented Super-Efficiency Model for Considering Time Lag Effect

There exists some time lag between the consumption of inputs and the production of outputs. This time lag effect should be considered in calculating efficiency of decision making units (DMU). Recently, a couple of DEA models were developed for considering time lag effect in efficiency evaluation of research activities. However, these models can’t discriminate efficient DMUs because of the nature of basic DEA model in which efficiency scores are limited to ‘1’. This problem can be resolved a super-efficiency model. However, a super efficiency model sometimes causes infeasibility problem. This paper suggests an output oriented super-efficiency model for efficiency evaluation under the consideration of time lag effect. A case example using a long term research project is given to compare the suggested model with the MpO model.

The Influence of Gender on Job-Competencies Requirements of Chemical-Based Industries and Undergraduate-Competencies Acquisition of Chemists in South West, Nigeria

Developing young people’s employability is a key policy issue for ensuring their successful transition to the labour market and their access to career oriented employment. The youths of today irrespective of their gender need to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable them to create or find jobs as well as cope with unpredictable labour market changes throughout their working lives. In a study carried out to determine the influence of gender on job-competencies requirements of chemical-based industries and undergraduate-competencies acquisition by chemists working in the industries, all chemistry graduates working in twenty (20) chemical-based industries that were randomly selected from six sectors of chemical-based industries in Lagos and Ogun States of Nigeria were administered with Job-competencies required and undergraduate-competencies acquired assessment questionnaire. The data were analysed using means and independent sample t-test. The findings revealed that the population of female chemists working in chemical-based industries is low compared with the number of male chemists; furthermore, job-competencies requirements are found not to be gender biased while there is no significant difference in undergraduate-competencies acquisition of male and female chemists. This suggests that females should be given the same opportunity of employment in chemical-based industries as their male counterparts. The study also revealed the level of acquisition of undergraduate competencies as related to the needs of chemicalbased industries.

Using Discrete Event Simulation Approach to Reduce Waiting Times in Computed Tomography Radiology Department

The purpose of this study was to reduce patient waiting times, improve system throughput and improve resources utilization in radiology department. A discrete event simulation model was developed using Arena simulation software to investigate different alternatives to improve the overall system delivery based on adding resource scenarios due to the linkage between patient waiting times and resource availability. The study revealed that there is no addition investment need to procure additional scanner but hospital management deploy managerial tactics to enhance machine utilization and reduce the long waiting time in the department.

Effect of Marginal Quality Groundwater on Yield of Cotton Crop and Soil Salinity Status

In this paper, effect of marginal quality groundwater on yield of cotton crop and soil salinity was studied. In this connection, three irrigation treatments each with four replications were applied. These treatments were i) use of canal water (T1), ii) use of marginal quality groundwater from tubewell (T2), and iii) conjunctive use by mixing with the ratio of 1:1 of canal water and marginal quality tubewell water (T3). Water was applied to the crop cultivated in Kharif season 2011; its quantity has been measured using cut-throat flume. Total 11 watering each of 50 mm depth have been applied from 20th April to 20th July, 2011. Further, irrigations were stopped due to monsoon rainfall up to crop harvesting. Maximum crop yield (seed cotton) was observed under T1 which was 1,517 kg/ha followed by T3 (mixed canal and tubewell water) having 1009 kg/ha and T2 i.e. marginal quality groundwater having 709 kg/ha. This concludes that crop yield in T2 and T3 in comparison to T1was reduced by about 53 and 30% respectively. It has been observed that yield of cotton crop is below potential limit for three treatments due to unexpected rainfall at the time of full flowering season; thus the yield was adversely affected. However, salt deposition in soil profiles was not observed that is due to leaching effect of heavy rainfall occurred during monsoon season.

The Efficiency of Mechanization in Weed Control in Artificial Regeneration of Oriental Beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky.)

In this study which has been conducted in Akçasu Forest Range District of Devrek Forest Directorate; 3 methods (weed control with labourer power, cover removal with Hitachi F20 Excavator, and weed control with agricultural equipment mounted on a Ferguson 240S agriculture tractor) were utilized in weed control efforts in regeneration of degraded oriental beech forests have been compared. In this respect, 3 methods have been compared by determining certain work hours and standard durations of unit areas (1 hectare). For this purpose, evaluating the tasks made with human and machine force from the aspects of duration, productivity and costs, it has been aimed to determine the most productive method in accordance with the actual ecological conditions of research field. Within the scope of the study, the time studies have been conducted for 3 methods used in weed control efforts. While carrying out those studies, the performed implementations have been evaluated by dividing them into business stages. Also, the actual data have been used while calculating the cost accounts. In those calculations, the latest formulas and equations which are also used in developed countries have been utilized. The variance of analysis (ANOVA) was used in order to determine whether there is any statistically significant difference among obtained results, and the Duncan test was used for grouping if there is significant difference. According to the measurements and findings carried out within the scope of this study, it has been found during living cover removal efforts in regeneration efforts in demolished oriental beech forests that the removal of weed layer in 1 hectare of field has taken 920 hours with labourer force, 15.1 hours with excavator and 60 hours with an equipment mounted on a tractor. On the other hand, it has been determined that the cost of removal of living cover in unit area (1 hectare) was 3220.00 TL for labourer power, 1250 TL for excavator and 1825 TL for equipment mounted on a tractor. According to the obtained results, it has been found that the utilization of excavator in weed control effort in regeneration of degraded oriental beech regions under actual ecological conditions of research field has been found to be more productive from both of aspects of duration and costs. These determinations carried out should be repeated in weed control efforts in degraded forest fields with different ecological conditions, it is compulsory for finding the most efficient weed control method. These findings will light the way of technical staff of forestry directorate in determination of the most effective and economic weed control method. Thus, the more actual data will be used while preparing the weed control budgets, and there will be significant contributions to national economy. Also the results of this and similar studies are very important for developing the policies for our forestry in short and long term.

Harmony Search-based K-Coverage Enhancement in Wireless Sensor Networks

Many wireless sensor network applications require K-coverage of the monitored area. In this paper, we propose a scalable harmony search based algorithm in terms of execution time, K-Coverage Enhancement Algorithm (KCEA), it attempts to enhance initial coverage, and achieve the required K-coverage degree for a specific application efficiently. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm achieves coverage improvement of 5.34% compared to K-Coverage Rate Deployment (K-CRD), which achieves 1.31% when deploying one additional sensor. Moreover, the proposed algorithm is more time efficient.

Features for Measuring Credibility on Facebook Information

Nowadays social media information, such as news, links, images, or VDOs, is shared extensively. However, the effectiveness of disseminating information through social media lacks in quality: less fact checking, more biases, and several rumors. Many researchers have investigated about credibility on Twitter, but there is no the research report about credibility information on Facebook. This paper proposes features for measuring credibility on Facebook information. We developed the system for credibility on Facebook. First, we have developed FB credibility evaluator for measuring credibility of each post by manual human’s labelling. We then collected the training data for creating a model using Support Vector Machine (SVM). Secondly, we developed a chrome extension of FB credibility for Facebook users to evaluate the credibility of each post. Based on the usage analysis of our FB credibility chrome extension, about 81% of users’ responses agree with suggested credibility automatically computed by the proposed system.

Fabrication of Cylindrical Silicon Nanowire-Embedded Field Effect Transistor Using Al2O3 Transfer Layer

In order to manufacture short gap single Si nanowire (NW) field effect transistor (FET) by imprinting and transferring method, we introduce the method using Al2O3 sacrificial layer. The diameters of cylindrical Si NW addressed between Au electrodes by dielectrophoretic (DEP) alignment method are controlled to 106, 128, and 148 nm. After imprinting and transfer process, cylindrical Si NW is embedded in PVP adhesive and dielectric layer. By curing transferred cylindrical Si NW and Au electrodes on PVP-coated p++ Si substrate with 200nm-thick SiO2, 3μm gap Si NW FET fabrication was completed. As the diameter of embedded Si NW increases, the mobility of FET increases from 80.51 to 121.24 cm2/V·s and the threshold voltage moves from –7.17 to –2.44 V because the ratio of surface to volume gets reduced.

ANN Modeling for Cadmium Biosorption from Potable Water Using a Packed-Bed Column Process

The recommended limit for cadmium concentration in potable water is less than 0.005 mg/L. A continuous biosorption process using indigenous red seaweed, Gracilaria corticata, was performed to remove cadmium from the potable water. The process was conducted under fixed conditions and the breakthrough curves were achieved for three consecutive sorption-desorption cycles. A modeling based on Artificial Neural Network (ANN) was employed to fit the experimental breakthrough data. In addition, a simplified semi empirical model, Thomas, was employed for this purpose. It was found that ANN well described the experimental data (R2>0.99) while the Thomas prediction were a bit less successful with R2>0.97. The adjusted design parameters using the nonlinear form of Thomas model was in a good agreement with the experimentally obtained ones. The results approve the capability of ANN to predict the cadmium concentration in potable water.

Environmental Policy Instruments and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: VAR Analysis

The paper examines the interaction between the environmental taxation, size of government spending on environmental protection and greenhouse gas emissions and gross inland energy consumption. The aim is to analyze the effects of environmental taxation and government spending on environmental protection as an environmental policy instruments on greenhouse gas emissions and gross inland energy consumption in the EU15. The empirical study is performed using a VAR approach with the application of aggregated data of EU15 over the period 1995 to 2012. The results provide the evidence that the reactions of greenhouse gas emission and gross inland energy consumption to the shocks of environmental policy instruments are strong, mainly in the short term and decay to zero after about 8 years. Further, the reactions of the environmental policy instruments to the shocks of greenhouse gas emission and gross inland energy consumption are also strong in the short term, however with the deferred effects. In addition, the results show that government spending on environmental protection together with gross inland energy consumption has stronger effect on greenhouse gas emissions than environmental taxes in EU15 over the examined period.

Using the Transtheoretical Model to Investigate Stages of Change in Regular Volunteer Service among Seniors in Community

Background: Taiwan now is an aging society. Research on the elderly should not be confined to caring for seniors, but should also be focused on ways to improve health and the quality of life. Senior citizens who participate in volunteer services could become less lonely, have new growth opportunities, and regain a sense of accomplishment. Thus, the question of how to get the elderly to participate in volunteer service is worth exploring. Objective: Apply the Transtheoretical Model to understand stages of change in regular volunteer service and voluntary service behaviour among the seniors. Methods: 1525 adults over the age of 65 from the Renai district of Keelung City were interviewed. The research tool was a self-constructed questionnaire, and individual interviews were conducted to collect data. Then the data was processed and analyzed using the IBM SPSS Statistics 20 (Windows version) statistical software program. Results: In the past six months, research subjects averaged 9.92 days of volunteer services. A majority of these elderly individuals had no intention to change their regular volunteer services. We discovered that during the maintenance stage, the self-efficacy for volunteer services was higher than during all other stages, but self-perceived barriers were less during the preparation stage and action stage. Self-perceived benefits were found to have an important predictive power for those with regular volunteer service behaviors in the previous stage, and self-efficacy was found to have an important predictive power for those with regular volunteer service behaviors in later stages. Conclusions/Implications for Practice: The research results support the conclusion that community nursing staff should group elders based on their regular volunteer services change stages and design appropriate behavioral change strategies.

A Comparative Study of Standard, Casted and Riveted Eye Design of a Mono Leaf Spring Using CAE Tools

The objective of the present study is to determine better eye end design of a mono leaf spring used in light motor vehicle. A conventional 65Si7 spring steel leaf spring model with standard eye, casted and riveted eye end are considered. The CAD model of the leaf springs is prepared in CATIA and analyzed using ANSYS. The standard eye, casted and riveted eye leaf springs are subjected to similar loading conditions. The CAE analysis of the leaf spring is performed for various parameters like deflection and Von- Mises stress. Mass reduction of 62.9% is achieved in case of riveted eye mono leaf spring as compared to standard eye mono leaf spring for the same loading conditions.

Performance Comparisons between PID and Adaptive PID Controllers for Travel Angle Control of a Bench-Top Helicopter

This paper provides a comparative study on the performances of standard PID and adaptive PID controllers tested on travel angle of a 3-Degree-of-Freedom (3-DOF) Quanser bench-top helicopter. Quanser, a well-known manufacturer of educational bench-top helicopter has developed Proportional Integration Derivative (PID) controller with Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) for all travel, pitch and yaw angle of the bench-top helicopter. The performance of the PID controller is relatively good; however, its performance could also be improved if the controller is combined with adaptive element. The objective of this research is to design adaptive PID controller and then compare the performances of the adaptive PID with the standard PID. The controller design and test is focused on travel angle control only. Adaptive method used in this project is self-tuning controller, which controller’s parameters are updated online. Two adaptive algorithms those are pole-placement and deadbeat have been chosen as the method to achieve optimal controller’s parameters. Performance comparisons have shown that the adaptive (deadbeat) PID controller has produced more desirable performance compared to standard PID and adaptive (poleplacement). The adaptive (deadbeat) PID controller attained very fast settling time (5 seconds) and very small percentage of overshoot (5% to 7.5%) for 10° to 30° step change of travel angle.

Ultrasonographic Manifestations of Periventricular Leukomalacia in Preterm Neonates at Teaching Hospital Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL) is a White Matter Injury (WMI) of preterm neonatal brain. Objectives of the study were to assess the neuro-developmental outcome at one year of age and to determine a good protocol of cranial ultrasonography to detect PVL. Two hundred and sixty four preterm neonates were included in the study. Series of cranial ultrasound scans were done by using a dedicated neonatal head probe 4-10 MHz of Logic e portable ultrasound scanner. Clinical history of seizures, abnormal head growth (hydrocephalus or microcephaly) and developmental milestones were assessed and neurological examinations were done until one year of age. Among live neonates, 57% who had cystic PVL (Grades 2 and 3) manifested as cerebral palsy. In conclusion cystic PVL has permanent neurological disabilities like cerebral palsy. Good protocol of real time cranial ultrasonography to detect PVL is to perform scans at least once a week until one month and at term (40 weeks of gestation).

Dual-Task – Immersion in the Interactions of Simultaneously Performed Tasks

With a long history, dual-task has become one of the most intriguing research fields regarding human brain functioning and cognition. However, findings considering effects of taskinterrelations are limited (especially, in combined motor and cognitive tasks). Therefore, we aimed at developing a measurement system in order to analyse interrelation effects of cognitive and motor tasks. On the one hand, the present study demonstrates the applicability of the measurement system and on the other hand first results regarding a systematisation of different task combinations are shown. Future investigations should combine imagine technologies and this developed measurement system.

Role of Biorefining and Biomass Utilization in Environmental Control

The continuous decline of petroleum and natural gas reserves and non linear rise of oil price has brought about a realisation of the need for a change in our perpetual dependence on the fossil fuel. A day to day increased consumption of crude and petroleum products has made a considerable impact on our foreign exchange reserves. Hence, an alternate resource for the conversion of energy (both liquid and gas) is essential for the substitution of conventional fuels. Biomass is the alternate solution for the present scenario. Biomass can be converted into both liquid as well as gaseous fuels and other feedstocks for the industries.

A Simulation Modeling Approach for Optimization of Storage Space Allocation in Container Terminal

Container handling problems at container terminals are NP-hard problems. This paper presents an approach using discrete-event simulation modeling to optimize solution for storage space allocation problem, taking into account all various interrelated container terminal handling activities. The proposed approach is applied on a real case study data of container terminal at Alexandria port. The computational results show the effectiveness of the proposed model for optimization of storage space allocation in container terminal where 54% reduction in containers handling time in port is achieved.

New Design of a Broadband Microwave Zero Bias Power Limiter

In this paper a new design of a broadband microwave power limiter is presented and validated into simulation by using ADS software (Advanced Design System) from Agilent technologies. The final circuit is built on microstrip lines by using identical Zero Bias Schottky diodes. The power limiter is designed by Associating 3 stages Schottky diodes. The obtained simulation results permit to validate this circuit with a threshold input power level of 0 dBm until a maximum input power of 30 dBm.

A Simplified Distribution for Nonlinear Seas

The exact theoretical expression describing the probability distribution of nonlinear sea-surface elevations derived from the second-order narrowband model has a cumbersome form that requires numerical computations, not well-disposed to theoretical or practical applications. Here, the same narrowband model is reexamined to develop a simpler closed-form approximation suitable for theoretical and practical applications. The salient features of the approximate form are explored, and its relative validity is verified with comparisons to other readily available approximations, and oceanic data.

Expatriation Success: Different Perceptions

The globalization of markets, the need to develop competitive advantages and core competencies, among other things, lead organizations to increasingly cross borders to operate in other countries. The expatriation of professionals who go to work in another country besides their own becomes increasingly common. In order to generate data about this issue, research was conducted concerning the perception of expatriate employees concerning expatriation success. The research method used was case study through a qualitative approach. This research was done through interviews with five India expatriates and five China expatriates, interview with expatriate department heads and analysis of company documents. It was found that there are differences between the organizational perception and perception of expatriates of what constitutes mission success. The paper also provides suggestions for further research and suggestions for future expatriates.

Optimization of Bit Error Rate and Power of Ad-hoc Networks Using Genetic Algorithm

The ad hoc networks are the future of wireless technology as everyone wants fast and accurate error free information so keeping this in mind Bit Error Rate (BER) and power is optimized in this research paper by using the Genetic Algorithm (GA). The digital modulation techniques used for this paper are Binary Phase Shift Keying (BPSK), M-ary Phase Shift Keying (M-ary PSK), and Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM). This work is implemented on Wireless Ad Hoc Networks (WLAN). Then it is analyze which modulation technique is performing well to optimize the BER and power of WLAN.

Recognition of Grocery Products in Images Captured by Cellular Phones

In this paper, we present a robust algorithm to recognize extracted text from grocery product images captured by mobile phone cameras. Recognition of such text is challenging since text in grocery product images varies in its size, orientation, style, illumination, and can suffer from perspective distortion. Pre-processing is performed to make the characters scale and rotation invariant. Since text degradations can not be appropriately defined using well-known geometric transformations such as translation, rotation, affine transformation and shearing, we use the whole character black pixels as our feature vector. Classification is performed with minimum distance classifier using the maximum likelihood criterion, which delivers very promising Character Recognition Rate (CRR) of 89%. We achieve considerably higher Word Recognition Rate (WRR) of 99% when using lower level linguistic knowledge about product words during the recognition process.

Oncological Management of Medulloblastoma and New Viral Therapeutic Targets

Medulloblastoma (MB) is one of the most prevalent brain tumours among paediatrics. Although its management has evolved over time still there is need to find new therapeutic targets for MB that can result in less normal tissue toxicity while improving survival and reducing recurrence. This literature review is aimed at finding new potential therapeutic targets for MB focusing on viruses that can be used as potential targets for MB. The review also gives an over-view of management of paediatric Medulloblastoma focusing on Radiotherapy management.

Co-tier and Co-channel Interference Avoidance Algorithm for Femtocell Networks

Femtocells are regarded as a milestone for next generation cellular networks. As femtocells are deployed in an unplanned manner, there is a chance of assigning same resource to neighboring femtocells. This scenario may induce co-channel interference and may seriously affect the service quality of neighboring femtocells. In addition, the dominant transmit power of a femtocell will induce co-tier interference to neighboring femtocells. Thus to jointly handle co-tier and co-channel interference, we propose an interference-free power and resource block allocation (IFPRBA) algorithm for closely located, closed access femtocells. Based on neighboring list, inter-femto-base station distance and uplink noise power, the IFPRBA algorithm assigns non-interfering power and resource to femtocells. The IFPRBA algorithm also guarantees the quality of service to femtouser based on the knowledge of resource requirement, connection type, and the tolerable delay budget. Simulation result shows that the interference power experienced in IFPRBA algorithm is below the tolerable interference power and hence the overall service success ratio, PRB efficiency and network throughput are maximum when compared to conventional resource allocation framework for femtocell (RAFF) algorithm.

The Legal Procedure of Attestation of Public Servants

The main purpose of this research is to comprehensively explore and identify the problems of attestation of the public servants and to propose solutions for these issues through deeply analyzing laws and the legal theoretical literature. For the detailed analysis of the above-mentioned problems we will use some research methods, the implementation of which has a goal to ensure the objectivity and clarity of scientific research and its results.

A Novel Method to Manufacture Superhydrophobic and Insulating Polyester Nanofibers via a Meso-Porous Aerogel Powder

In this research, waterglass based aerogel powder was prepared by sol–gel process and ambient pressure drying. Inspired by limited dust releasing, aerogel powder was introduced to the PET electrospinning solution in an attempt to create required bulk and surface structure for the nanofibers to improve their hydrophobic and insulation properties. The samples evaluation was carried out by measuring density, porosity, contact angle, heat transfer, FTIR, BET, and SEM. According to the results, porous silica aerogel powder was fabricated with mean pore diameter of 24 nm and contact angle of 145.9º. The results indicated the usefulness of the aerogel powder confined into nanofibers to control surface roughness for manipulating superhydrophobic nanowebs with water contact angle of 147º. It can be due to a multi-scale surface roughness which was created by nanowebs structure itself and nanofibers surface irregularity in presence of the aerogels while a layer of fluorocarbon created low surface energy. The wettability of a solid substrate is an important property that is controlled by both the chemical composition and geometry of the surface. Also, a decreasing trend in the heat transfer was observed from 22% for the nanofibers without any aerogel powder to 8% for the nanofibers with 4% aerogel powder. The development of thermal insulating materials has become increasingly more important than ever in view of the fossil energy depletion and global warming that call for more demanding energysaving practices.

IT Perspective of Service-Oriented eGovernment Enterprise

The focal aspire of e-Government (eGovt) is to offer citizen-centered service delivery. Accordingly, the citizenry consumes services from multiple government agencies through national portal. Thus, eGovt is an enterprise with the primary business motive of transparent, efficient and effective public services to its citizenry and its logical structure is the eGovernment Enterprise Architecture (eGEA). Since eGovt is IT oriented multifaceted service-centric system, EA doesn’t do much on an automated enterprise other than the business artifacts. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) manifestation led some governments to pertain this in their eGovts, but it limits the source of business artifacts. The concurrent use of EA and SOA in eGovt executes interoperability and integration and leads to Service-Oriented e-Government Enterprise (SOeGE). Consequently, agile eGovt system becomes a reality. As an IT perspective eGovt comprises of centralized public service artifacts with the existing application logics belong to various departments at central, state and local level. The eGovt is renovating to SOeGE by apply the Service-Orientation (SO) principles in the entire system. This paper explores IT perspective of SOeGE in India which encompasses the public service models and illustrated with a case study the Passport service of India.

High Level Synthesis of Canny Edge Detection Algorithm on Zynq Platform

Real time image and video processing is a demand in many computer vision applications, e.g. video surveillance, traffic management and medical imaging. The processing of those video applications requires high computational power. Thus, the optimal solution is the collaboration of CPU and hardware accelerators. In this paper, a Canny edge detection hardware accelerator is proposed. Edge detection is one of the basic building blocks of video and image processing applications. It is a common block in the pre-processing phase of image and video processing pipeline. Our presented approach targets offloading the Canny edge detection algorithm from processing system (PS) to programmable logic (PL) taking the advantage of High Level Synthesis (HLS) tool flow to accelerate the implementation on Zynq platform. The resulting implementation enables up to a 100x performance improvement through hardware acceleration. The CPU utilization drops down and the frame rate jumps to 60 fps of 1080p full HD input video stream.

Phelipanche ramosa (L. - Pomel) Control in Field Tomato Crop

The tomato is a very important crop, whose cultivation in the Mediterranean basin is severely affected by the phytoparasitic weed Phelipanche ramosa. The semiarid regions of the world are considered the main areas where this parasitic weed is established causing heavy infestation as it is able to produce high numbers of seeds (up to 500,000 per plant), which remain viable for extended period (more than 20 years). In this paper the results obtained from eleven treatments in order to control this parasitic weed including chemical, agronomic, biological and biotechnological methods compared with the untreated test under two plowing depths (30 and 50 cm) are reported. The split-plot design with 3 replicates was adopted. In 2014 a trial was performed in Foggia province (southern Italy) on processing tomato (cv Docet) grown in the field infested by Phelipanche ramosa. Tomato seedlings were transplant on May 5, on a clay-loam soil. During the growing cycle of the tomato crop, at 56-78 and 92 days after transplantation, the number of parasitic shoots emerged in each plot was detected. At tomato harvesting, on August 18, the major quantity-quality yield parameters were determined (marketable yield, mean weight, dry matter, pH, soluble solids and color of fruits). All data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the means were compared by Tukey's test. Each treatment studied did not provide complete control against Phelipanche ramosa. However, among the different methods tested, some of them which Fusarium, gliphosate, radicon biostimulant and Red Setter tomato cv (improved genotypes obtained by Tilling technology) under deeper plowing (50 cm depth) proved to mitigate the virulence of the Phelipanche ramose attacks. It is assumed that these effects can be improved combining some of these treatments each other, especially for a gradual and continuing reduction of the “seed bank” of the parasite in the soil.

Comparison between Approaches Used in Two WalkAbout Projects

Learning through creation of contextual games is a very promising approach when undertaking interdisciplinary and international group projects. During 2013 and 2014 the authors organized two intensive student projects. The two projects were in different countries and different conditions. Between them, the two projects involved 68 students and 12 mentors from five EU countries and from various academic disciplines. In this paper we share our experience of these two projects and we suggest approaches that can be utilized to strengthen the chances of succeeding in short (12-15 days long) intensive student projects.

Strengthening RC Columns Using Carbon Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composites Modified with Carbon Nanotubes

This paper investigates the viability of using carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composites modified with carbon nanotubes to strengthening reinforced concrete (RC) columns. Six RC columns was designed and constructed according to ASCE standards. The columns were wrapped using carbon fiber sheets impregnated with either neat epoxy or CNTs modified epoxy. These columns were then tested under concentric axial loading. Test results show that; compared to the unwrapped specimens; wrapping concrete columns with carbon fiber sheet embedded in CNTs modified epoxy resulted in an increase in its axial load resistance, maximum displacement, and toughness values by 24%, 109% and 232%, respectively. These results reveal that adding CNTs into epoxy resin enhanced the confinement effect, specifically, increased the axial load resistance, maximum displacement, and toughness values by 11%, 6%, and 19%, respectively compared with columns strengthening with carbon fiber sheet embedded in neat epoxy.

Analysis of Nonlinear Pulse Propagation Characteristics in Semiconductor Optical Amplifier for Different Input Pulse Shapes

This paper presents nonlinear pulse propagation characteristics for different input optical pulse shapes with various input pulse energy levels in semiconductor optical amplifiers. For simulation of nonlinear pulse propagation, finite-difference beam propagation method is used to solve the nonlinear Schrödinger equation. In this equation, gain spectrum dynamics, gain saturation are taken into account which depends on carrier depletion, carrier heating, spectral-hole burning, group velocity dispersion, self-phase modulation and two photon absorption. From this analysis, we obtained the output waveforms and spectra for different input pulse shapes as well as for different input energies. It shows clearly that the peak position of the output waveforms are shifted toward the leading edge which due to the gain saturation of the SOA for higher input pulse energies. We also analyzed and compared the normalized difference of full-width at half maximum for different input pulse shapes in the SOA.

IT Workforce Enablement – How Cloud Computing Changes the Competence Mix of the IT Workforce

Cloud computing has provided the impetus for change in the demand, sourcing, and consumption of IT-enabled services. The technology developed from an emerging trend towards a ‘musthave’. Many organizations harnessed on the quick-wins of cloud computing within the last five years but nowadays reach a plateau when it comes to sustainable savings and performance. This study aims to investigate what is needed from an organizational perspective to make cloud computing a sustainable success. The study was carried out in Germany among senior IT professionals, both in management and delivery positions. Our research shows that IT executives must be prepared to realign their IT workforce to sustain the advantage of cloud computing for today and the near future. While new roles will undoubtedly emerge, roles alone cannot ensure the success of cloud deployments. What is needed is a change in the IT workforce’s business behaviour, or put more simply, the ways in which the IT personnel works. It gives clear guidance on which dimensions of an employees’ working behaviour need to be adapted. The practical implications are drawn from a series of semi-structured interviews, resulting in a high-level workforce enablement plan. Lastly, it elaborates on tools and gives clear guidance on which pitfalls might arise along the proposed workforce enablement process.

Simulations of Cryogenic Cavitation of Low Temperature Fluids with Thermodynamics Effects

Cavitation in cryogenic liquids is widely present in contemporary science. In the current study, we re-examine a previously validated acoustic cavitation model which was developed for a gas bubble in liquid water. Furthermore, simulations of cryogenic fluids including the thermal effect, the effect of acoustic pressure amplitude and the frequency of sound field on the bubble dynamics are presented. A gas bubble (Helium) in liquids Nitrogen, Oxygen and Hydrogen in an acoustic field at ambient pressure and low temperature is investigated numerically. The results reveal that the oscillation of the bubble in liquid Hydrogen fluctuates more than in liquids Oxygen and Nitrogen. The oscillation of the bubble in liquids Oxygen and Nitrogen is approximately similar.

A Four Method Framework for Fighting Software Architecture Erosion

Software Architecture is the basic structure of software that states the development and advancement of a software system. Software architecture is also considered as a significant tool for the construction of high quality software systems. A clean design leads to the control, value and beauty of software resulting in its longer life while a bad design is the cause of architectural erosion where a software evolution completely fails. This paper discusses the occurrence of software architecture erosion and presents a set of methods for the detection, declaration and prevention of architecture erosion. The causes and symptoms of architecture erosion are observed with the examples of prescriptive and descriptive architectures and the practices used to stop this erosion are also discussed by considering different types of software erosion and their affects. Consequently finding and devising the most suitable approach for fighting software architecture erosion and in some way reducing its affect is evaluated and tested on different scenarios.

Interactive Shadow Play Animation System

The paper describes a Chinese shadow play animation system based on Kinect. Users, without any professional training, can personally manipulate the shadow characters to finish a shadow play performance by their body actions and get a shadow play video through giving the record command to our system if they want. In our system, Kinect is responsible for capturing human movement and voice commands data. Gesture recognition module is used to control the change of the shadow play scenes. After packaging the data from Kinect and the recognition result from gesture recognition module, VRPN transmits them to the server-side. At last, the server-side uses the information to control the motion of shadow characters and video recording. This system not only achieves human-computer interaction, but also realizes the interaction between people. It brings an entertaining experience to users and easy to operate for all ages. Even more important is that the application background of Chinese shadow play embodies the protection of the art of shadow play animation.

Design of a Novel Fractal Multiband Planar Antenna with a CPW-Feed

This work presents a new planar multiband antenna based on fractal geometry. This structure is optimized and validated into simulation by using CST-MW Studio. To feed this antenna we have used a CPW line which makes it easy to be incorporated with integrated circuits. The simulation results presents a good matching input impedance and radiation pattern in the GSM band at 900 MHz and ISM band at 2.4 GHz. The final structure is a dual band fractal antenna with 70 x 70 mm² as a total area by using an FR4 substrate.

Design and Analysis of a New Dual-Band Microstrip Fractal Antenna

This paper presents a novel design of a microstrip fractal antenna based on the use of Sierpinski triangle shape, it’s designed and simulated by using FR4 substrate in the operating frequency bands (GPS, WiMAX), the design is a fractal antenna with a modified ground structure. The proposed antenna is simulated and validated by using CST Microwave Studio Software, the simulated results presents good performances in term of radiation pattern and matching input impedance.

Training in Psychology in Brazil – Reflections on the Role of Early Supervised Internships in Undergraduate Courses

This paper presents observations on the early supervised internships in Psychology, currently called basic internships in Brazil, and its importance in professional training. The work is an experience report and focuses on the Professional training, illustrated by the reality of a Brazilian institution, used as a case study. It was developed from the authors' experience as academic supervisors of this kind of practice throughout this undergraduate course, combined with aspects investigated in the post-doctoral research of one of them. Theoretical references on the subject and related national legislation are analyzed, as well as reports of students who experienced at least one semester of this type of practice, articulated to the observations of the authors. The results demonstrate the importance of the early supervised internships as a way of creating opportunities for the students of a first contact with the professional reality and the practice of psychologists in different fields of insertion, preparing them for further experiments that require more involvement in activities of training and practices in Psychology.

Reliability of Intra-Logistics Systems – Simulating Performance Availability

Logistics distributors face the issue of having to provide increasing service levels while being forced to reduce costs at the same time. Same-day delivery, quick order processing and rapidly growing ranges of articles are only some of the prevailing challenges. One key aspect of the performance of an intra-logistics system is how often and in which amplitude congestions and dysfunctions affect the processing operations. By gaining knowledge of the so called ‘performance availability’ of such a system during the planning stage, oversizing and wasting can be reduced whereas planning transparency is increased. State of the art for the determination of this KPI is simulation studies. However, their structure and therefore their results may vary unforeseeably. This article proposes a concept for the establishment of ‘certified’ and hence reliable and comparable simulation models.

Electronic and Computer-Assisted Refreshable Braille Display Developed for Visually Impaired Individuals

Braille alphabet is an important tool that enables visually impaired individuals to have a comfortable life like those who have normal vision. For this reason, new applications related to the Braille alphabet are being developed. In this study, a new Refreshable Braille Display was developed to help visually impaired individuals learn the Braille alphabet easier. By means of this system, any text downloaded on a computer can be read by the visually impaired individual at that moment by feeling it by his/her hands. Through this electronic device, it was aimed to make learning the Braille alphabet easier for visually impaired individuals with whom the necessary tests were conducted.

Circular Approximation by Trigonometric Bézier Curves

We present a trigonometric scheme to approximate a circular arc with its two end points and two end tangents/unit tangents. A rational cubic trigonometric Bézier curve is constructed whose end control points are defined by the end points of the circular arc. Weight functions and the remaining control points of the cubic trigonometric Bézier curve are estimated by variational approach to reproduce a circular arc. The radius error is calculated and found less than the existing techniques.

Knowledge Management (KM) Practices - A Study of KM Adoption among Doctors in Kuwait

Knowledge management is considered as an important factor in improving health care services. KM facilitates the transfer of existing knowledge and the development of new knowledge in hospitals. This paper reviews practices adopted by doctors in Kuwait for capturing, sharing, and generating knowledge. It also discusses the perceived impact of KM practices on performance of hospitals. Based on a survey of 277 doctors, the study found that KM practices among doctors in the sampled hospitals were not very effective. Little attention was paid to the main activities that support the transfer of expertise among doctors in hospitals. However, as predicted by previous studies, good km practices were perceived by doctors to have a positive impact on performance of hospitals. It was concluded that through effective KM practices hospitals could improve the services they provide. Documentation of best practices and capturing of lessons learnt for re-use of knowledge could help transform the hospitals into learning organizations.

Pilot Scale Production and Compatibility Criteria of New Self-Cleaning Materials

The paper involves a chain of activities from synthesis, establishment of the methodology for characterization and testing of novel protective materials through the pilot production and application on model supports. It summarizes the results regarding the development of the pilot production protocol for newly developed self-cleaning materials. The optimization of the production parameters was completed in order to improve the most important functional properties (mineralogy characteristics, particle size, self-cleaning properties and photocatalytic activity) of the newly designed nanocomposite material.

The Effect of Global Solar Variations on the Performance of n-AlGaAs/p-GaAs Solar Cells

This study investigates how AlGaAs/GaAs thin film solar cells perform under varying global solar spectrum due to the changes of environmental parameters such as the air mass and the atmospheric turbidity. The solar irradiance striking the solar cell is simulated using the spectral irradiance model SMARTS2 (Simple Model of the Atmospheric Radiative Transfer of Sunshine) for clear skies on the site of Setif (Algeria). The results show a reduction in the short circuit current due to increasing atmospheric turbidity, it is 63.09% under global radiation. However increasing air mass leads to a reduction in the short circuit current of 81.73%. The efficiency decreases with increasing atmospheric turbidity and air mass.

Free Fatty Acid Assessment of Crude Palm Oil Using a Non-Destructive Approach

Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy has always been of great interest in the food and agriculture industries. The development of prediction models has facilitated the estimation process in recent years. In this study, 110 crude palm oil (CPO) samples were used to build a free fatty acid (FFA) prediction model. 60% of the collected data were used for training purposes and the remaining 40% used for testing. The visible peaks on the NIR spectrum were at 1725 nm and 1760 nm, indicating the existence of the first overtone of C-H bands. Principal component regression (PCR) was applied to the data in order to build this mathematical prediction model. The optimal number of principal components was 10. The results showed R2=0.7147 for the training set and R2=0.6404 for the testing set.

Investigation of VN/TiN Multilayer Coatings on AZ91D Mg Alloys

To develop AZ91D magnesium alloys with improved properties, we have applied TiN and VN/TiN multilayer coatings using DC magnetron sputter technique. Coating structure, surface morphology, chemical bonding and corrosion resistance of coatings were analyzed by x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and tafel extrapolation method, respectively. XPS analysis reveal that VN overlayer reacts with oxygen at the VN/TiN interface and forms more stable TiN layer. Morphological investigations and the corrosion results show that VN/TiN multilayer thin film coatings are quite effective to optimize the corrosion resistance of Mg alloys.

Aerodynamic Analysis of a Frontal Deflector for Vehicles

This work was one of the tasks of the Manufacturing2Client project, whose objective was to develop a frontal deflector to be commercialized in the automotive industry, using new project and manufacturing methods. In this task, in particular, it was proposed to develop the ability to predict computationally the aerodynamic influence of flow in vehicles, in an effort to reduce fuel consumption in vehicles from class 3 to 8. With this aim, two deflector models were developed and their aerodynamic performance analyzed. The aerodynamic study was done using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software Ansys CFX and allowed the calculation of the drag coefficient caused by the vehicle motion for the different configurations considered. Moreover, the reduction of diesel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with the optimized deflector geometry could be assessed.

Semiconductor Supported Gold Nanoparticles for Photodegradation of Rhodamine B

Rhodamine B (RB) is a toxic dye used extensively in textile industry, which must be remediated before its drainage to environment. In the present study, supported gold nanoparticles on commercially available titania and zincite were successfully prepared and then their activity on the photodegradation of RB under UV A light irradiation were evaluated. The synthesized photocatalysts were characterized by ICP, BET, XRD, and TEM. Kinetic results showed that Au/TiO2 was an inferior photocatalyst to Au/ZnO. This observation could be attributed to the strong reflection of UV irradiation by gold nanoparticles over TiO2 support.

Using Data Mining in Automotive Safety

Safety is one of the most important considerations when buying a new car. While active safety aims at avoiding accidents, passive safety systems such as airbags and seat belts protect the occupant in case of an accident. In addition to legal regulations, organizations like Euro NCAP provide consumers with an independent assessment of the safety performance of cars and drive the development of safety systems in automobile industry. Those ratings are mainly based on injury assessment reference values derived from physical parameters measured in dummies during a car crash test. The components and sub-systems of a safety system are designed to achieve the required restraint performance. Sled tests and other types of tests are then carried out by car makers and their suppliers to confirm the protection level of the safety system. A Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) process is proposed in order to minimize the number of tests. The KDD process is based on the data emerging from sled tests according to Euro NCAP specifications. About 30 parameters of the passive safety systems from different data sources (crash data, dummy protocol) are first analysed together with experts opinions. A procedure is proposed to manage missing data and validated on real data sets. Finally, a procedure is developed to estimate a set of rough initial parameters of the passive system before testing aiming at reducing the number of tests.

Eco-Friendly Preservative Treated Bamboo Culm: Compressive Strength Analysis

Bamboo is extensively used in construction industry. Low durability of bamboo due to fungus infestation and termites attack under storage puts certain constrains for it usage as modern structural material. Looking at many chemical formulations for bamboo treatment leading to severe harmful environment effects, research on eco-friendly preservatives for bamboo treatment has been initiated world-over. In the present studies, eco-friendly preservative for bamboo treatment has been developed. To validate its application for structural purposes, investigation of effect of treatment on compressive strength has been investigated. Neemoil (25%) integrated with copper naphthenate (0.3%) on dilution with kerosene oil impregnated into bamboo culm at 2 bar pressure, has shown weight loss of only 3.15% in soil block analysis method. The results from compressive strength analysis using HEICO Automatic Compression Testing Machine reveal that preservative treatment has not altered the structural properties of bamboo culms. Compressive strength of control (11.72 N/mm2) and above treated samples (11.71 N/mm2) was found to be comparable.

The Nature of Origin of New Criminal Occurrences in Gjakova Region: Cultural and Criminological “Intersection” in 1999-2009

The transition period of Kosovo society brought fundamental changes in all the spheres of organizing life. This was the period when also in the cultural tradition the biggest movement and an emerging from ‘isolation’ or from the ‘shell’ occurred. Transformation of the traditional and embracing of the modern began here. The same was experienced and is currently being experienced also by Gjakova and its surrounding which is historically renowned for its great tradition and culture. The population of this region is actually facing a transition from the traditional system into the modern one and quite often with huge leaps. These ‘movements’ or ‘evolutions’ of the society of this region, besides the numerous positive things it ‘harvested’, also brought things that do not at all correspond with their tradition as well as new criminal occurrences which in the past were not present in this area. Furthermore, some of the ‘new’ behaviors that are embraced from other ‘cultures’ and ‘civilizations’, and which are often exceeded, are quite perturbing. The security situation is also worrying, particularly following the appearance of some new criminal occurrences. Therefore, with this research paper we will strive to analyze the new cultural “intersections” as well as the nature of the origin of some new very worrying criminal occurrences. We will present there also some factors inciting into these occurrences, which were confessed by the persons involved in these criminal occurrences and who come from this very region.

Overview of Risk Management in Electricity Markets Using Financial Derivatives

Electricity spot prices are highly volatile under optimal generation capacity scenarios due to factors such as nonstorability of electricity, peak demand at certain periods, generator outages, fuel uncertainty for renewable energy generators, huge investments and time needed for generation capacity expansion etc. As a result market participants are exposed to price and volume risk, which has led to the development of risk management practices. This paper provides an overview of risk management practices by market participants in electricity markets using financial derivatives.

Assessment the Quality of Telecommunication Services by Fuzzy Inferences System

Fuzzy inference method based approach to the forming of modular intellectual system of assessment the quality of communication services is proposed. Developed under this approach the basic fuzzy estimation model takes into account the recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union in respect of the operation of packet switching networks based on IPprotocol. To implement the main features and functions of the fuzzy control system of quality telecommunication services it is used multilayer feedforward neural network.

Tool Wear of Metal Matrix Composite 10wt% AlN Reinforcement Using TiB2 Cutting Tool

Metal matrix composites (MMCs) attract considerable attention as a result from its ability in providing a high strength, high modulus, high toughness, high impact properties, improving wear resistance and providing good corrosion resistance compared to unreinforced alloy. Aluminium Silicon (Al/Si) alloy MMC has been widely used in various industrial sectors such as in transportation, domestic equipment, aerospace, military, construction, etc. Aluminium silicon alloy is an MMC that had been reinforced with aluminium nitrate (AlN) particle and become a new generation material use in automotive and aerospace sector. The AlN is one of the advance material that have a bright prospect in future since it has features such as lightweight, high strength, high hardness and stiffness quality. However, the high degree of ceramic particle reinforcement and the irregular nature of the particles along the matrix material that contribute to its low density is the main problem which leads to difficulties in machining process. This paper examined the tool wear when milling AlSi/AlN Metal Matrix Composite using a TiB2 (Titanium diboride) coated carbide cutting tool. The volume of the AlN reinforced particle was 10% and milling process was carried out under dry cutting condition. The TiB2 coated carbide insert parameters used were at the cutting speed of (230, 300 and 370m/min, feed rate of 0.8, Depth of Cut (DoC) at 0.4m). The Sometech SV-35 video microscope system used to quantify of the tool wear. The result shown that tool life span increasing with the cutting speeds at (370m/min, feed rate of 0.8mm/tooth and DoC at 0.4mm) which constituted an optimum condition for longer tool life lasted until 123.2 mins. Meanwhile, at medium cutting speed which at 300m/m, feed rate of 0.8mm/tooth and depth of cut at 0.4mm we found that tool life span lasted until 119.86 mins while at low cutting speed it lasted in 119.66 mins. High cutting speed will give the best parameter in cutting AlSi/AlN MMCs material. The result will help manufacturers in machining process of AlSi/AlN MMCs materials.

Comparative Study Using Weka for Red Blood Cells Classification

Red blood cells (RBC) are the most common types of blood cells and are the most intensively studied in cell biology. The lack of RBCs is a condition in which the amount of hemoglobin level is lower than normal and is referred to as “anemia”. Abnormalities in RBCs will affect the exchange of oxygen. This paper presents a comparative study for various techniques for classifying the RBCs as normal or abnormal (anemic) using WEKA. WEKA is an open source consists of different machine learning algorithms for data mining applications. The algorithms tested are Radial Basis Function neural network, Support vector machine, and K-Nearest Neighbors algorithm. Two sets of combined features were utilized for classification of blood cells images. The first set, exclusively consist of geometrical features, was used to identify whether the tested blood cell has a spherical shape or non-spherical cells. While the second set, consist mainly of textural features was used to recognize the types of the spherical cells. We have provided an evaluation based on applying these classification methods to our RBCs image dataset which were obtained from Serdang Hospital - Malaysia, and measuring the accuracy of test results. The best achieved classification rates are 97%, 98%, and 79% for Support vector machines, Radial Basis Function neural network, and K-Nearest Neighbors algorithm respectively.

Probing Anomalous WW γ and WWZ Couplings with Polarized Electron Beam at the LHeC and FCC-Ep Collider

We study the anomalous WWγ and WWZ couplings by calculating total cross sections of two processes at the LHeC with electron beam energy Ee=140 GeV and the proton beam energy Ep=7 TeV, and at the FCC-ep collider with the polarized electron beam energy Ee=80 GeV and the proton beam energy Ep=50 TeV. At the LHeC with electron beam polarization, we obtain the results for the difference of upper and lower bounds as (0.975, 0.118) and (0.285, 0.009) for the anomalous (Δκγ, λγ) and (Δκz, λz) couplings, respectively. As for FCC-ep collider, these bounds are obtained as (1.101, 0.065) and (0.320, 0.002) at an integrated luminosity of Lint=100 fb^-1.

Fault Tolerant (n, k)-Star Power Network Topology for Multi-Agent Communication in Automated Power Distribution Systems

This paper investigates the joint effect of the interconnected (n,k)-star network topology and Multi-Agent automated control on restoration and reconfiguration of power systems. With the increasing trend in development in Multi-Agent control technologies applied to power system reconfiguration in presence of faulty components or nodes. Fault tolerance is becoming an important challenge in the design processes of the distributed power system topology. Since the reconfiguration of a power system is performed by agent communication, the (n,k)-star interconnected network topology is studied and modeled in this paper to optimize the process of power reconfiguration. In this paper, we discuss the recently proposed (n,k)-star topology and examine its properties and advantages as compared to the traditional multi-bus power topologies. We design and simulate the topology model for distributed power system test cases. A related lemma based on the fault tolerance and conditional diagnosability properties is presented and proved both theoretically and practically. The conclusion is reached that (n,k)-star topology model has measurable advantages compared to standard bus power systems while exhibiting fault tolerance properties in power restoration, as well as showing efficiency when applied to power system route discovery.

Health Information Technology in Developing Countries: A Structured Literature Review with Reference to the Case of Libya

This paper reports a structured literature review of the application of Health Information Technology in developing countries, defined as the World Bank categories Low-income countries, Lower-middle-income, and Upper-middle-income countries. The aim was to identify and classify the various applications of health information technology to assess its current state in developing countries and explore potential areas of research. We offer specific analysis and application of HIT in Libya as one of the developing countries. A structured literature review was conducted using the following online databases: IEEE, Science Direct, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Publication dates were set for 2000-2013. For the PubMed search, publications in English, French, and Arabic were specified. Using a content analysis approach, 159 papers were analyzed and a total number of 26 factors were identified that affect the adoption of health information technology. Of the 2681 retrieved articles, 159 met the inclusion criteria which were carefully analyzed and classified. The implementation of health information technology across developing countries is varied. Whilst it was initially expected financial constraints would have severely limited health information technology implementation, some developing countries like India have nevertheless dominated the literature and taken the lead in conducting scientific research. Comparing the number of studies to the number of countries in each category, we found that Low-income countries and Lower-middle-income had more studies carried out than Upper-middle-income countries. However, whilst IT has been used in various sectors of the economy, the healthcare sector in developing countries is still failing to benefit fully from the potential advantages that IT can offer.

A Study on Method for Identifying Capacity Factor Declination of Wind Turbines

The investigation on wind turbine degradation was carried out using the nacelle wind data. The three Vestas V80-2MW wind turbines of Sungsan wind farm in Jeju Island, South Korea were selected for this work. The SCADA data of the wind farm for five years were analyzed to draw power curve of the turbines. It is assumed that the wind distribution is the Rayleigh distribution to calculate the normalized capacity factor based on the drawn power curve of the three wind turbines for each year. The result showed that the reduction of power output from the three wind turbines occurred every year and the normalized capacity factor decreased to 0.12%/year on average.

Current Issues on Enterprise Architecture Implementation Evaluation

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is employed by enterprises for providing integrated Information Systems (ISs) in order to support alignment of their business and Information Technology (IT). Evaluation of EA implementation can support enterprise to reach intended goals. There are some problems in current evaluation methods of EA implementation that lead to ineffectiveness implementation of EA. This paper represents current issues on evaluation of EA implementation. In this regard, we set the framework in order to represent evaluation’s issues based on their functionality and structure. The results of this research not only increase the knowledge of evaluation, but also could be useful for both academics and practitioners in order to realize the current situation of evaluations.

Underneath Vehicle Inspection Using Fuzzy Logic, Subsumption and OpenCV Library

The inspection of underneath vehicle system has been given significant attention by governments after the threat of terrorism become more prevalent. New technologies such as mobile robots and computer vision are led to have more secure environment. This paper proposed that a mobile robot like Aria robot can be used to search and inspect the bombs under parking a lot vehicle. This robot is using fuzzy logic and subsumption algorithms to control the robot that movies underneath the vehicle. An OpenCV library and laser Hokuyo are added to Aria robot to complete the experiment for under vehicle inspection. This experiment was conducted at the indoor environment to demonstrate the efficiency of our methods to search objects and control the robot movements under vehicle. We got excellent results not only by controlling the robot movement but also inspecting object by the robot camera at same time. This success allowed us to know the requirement to construct a new cost effective robot with more functionality.

A Temporal QoS Ontology for ERTMS/ETCS

Ontologies offer a means for representing and sharing information in many domains, particularly in complex domains. For example, it can be used for representing and sharing information of System Requirement Specification (SRS) of complex systems like the SRS of ERTMS/ETCS written in natural language. Since this system is a real-time and critical system, generic ontologies, such as OWL and generic ERTMS ontologies provide minimal support for modeling temporal information omnipresent in these SRS documents. To support the modeling of temporal information, one of the challenges is to enable representation of dynamic features evolving in time within a generic ontology with a minimal redesign of it. The separation of temporal information from other information can help to predict system runtime operation and to properly design and implement them. In addition, it is helpful to provide a reasoning and querying techniques to reason and query temporal information represented in the ontology in order to detect potential temporal inconsistencies. To address this challenge, we propose a lightweight 3-layer temporal Quality of Service (QoS) ontology for representing, reasoning and querying over temporal and non-temporal information in a complex domain ontology. Representing QoS entities in separated layers can clarify the distinction between the non QoS entities and the QoS entities in an ontology. The upper generic layer of the proposed ontology provides an intuitive knowledge of domain components, specially ERTMS/ETCS components. The separation of the intermediate QoS layer from the lower QoS layer allows us to focus on specific QoS Characteristics, such as temporal or integrity characteristics. In this paper, we focus on temporal information that can be used to predict system runtime operation. To evaluate our approach, an example of the proposed domain ontology for handover operation, as well as a reasoning rule over temporal relations in this domain-specific ontology, are presented.

A Cooperative Transmission Scheme Using Two Sources Based On OFDM System

In wireless communication, space-time block code (STBC), cyclic delay diversity (CDD) and space-time cyclic delay diversity (STCDD)are used as the spatial diversity schemes and have been widely studied for the reliablecommunication. If these schemes are used, the communication system can obtain the improved performance. However,the quality of the system is degraded when the distance between a source and a destination is distant in wireless communication system. In this paper, the cooperative transmission scheme using two sources is proposed and improves the performance of the wireless communication system.

A Study on the Non-Destructive Test Characterization of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics Using Thermo-Graphic Camera

Non-destructive testing and evaluation techniques for assessing the integrity of composite structures are essential to both reduce manufacturing costs and out of service time of transport means due to maintenance. In this study, Analyze into non-destructive test characterization of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) internal and external defects using thermo-graphic camera and transient thermography method. non-destructive testing were characterized by defect size (Ø8, Ø10, Ø12, Ø14) and depth (1.2mm, 2.4mm).

Microwave-Assisted Alginate Extraction from Portuguese Saccorhiza polyschides – Influence of Acid Pretreatment

Brown seaweeds are abundant in Portuguese coastline and represent an almost unexploited marine economic resource. One of the most common species, easily available for harvesting in the northwest coast, is Saccorhiza polyschides grows in the lowest shore and costal rocky reefs. It is almost exclusively used by local farmers as natural fertilizer, but contains a substantial amount of valuable compounds, particularly alginates, natural biopolymers of high interest for many industrial applications. Alginates are natural polysaccharides present in cell walls of brown seaweed, highly biocompatible, with particular properties that make them of high interest for the food, biotechnology, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Conventional extraction processes are based on thermal treatment. They are lengthy and consume high amounts of energy and solvents. In recent years, microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) has shown enormous potential to overcome major drawbacks that outcome from conventional plant material extraction (thermal and/or solvent based) techniques, being also successfully applied to the extraction of agar, fucoidans and alginates. In the present study, acid pretreatment of brown seaweed Saccorhiza polyschides for subsequent microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) of alginate was optimized. Seaweeds were collected in Northwest Portuguese coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean between May and August, 2014. Experimental design was used to assess the effect of temperature and acid pretreatment time in alginate extraction. Response surface methodology allowed the determination of the optimum MAE conditions: 40 mL of HCl 0.1 M per g of dried seaweed with constant stirring at 20ºC during 14h. Optimal acid pretreatment conditions have enhanced significantly MAE of alginates from Saccorhiza polyschides, thus contributing for the development of a viable, more environmental friendly alternative to conventional processes.

A Sequential Approach to Random-Effects Meta-Analysis

The objective of meta-analysis is to combine results from several independent studies in order to create generalization and provide evidence base for decision making. But recent studies show that the magnitude of effect size estimates reported in many areas of research significantly changed over time and this can impair the results and conclusions of meta-analysis. A number of sequential methods have been proposed for monitoring the effect size estimates in meta-analysis. However they are based on statistical theory applicable only to fixed effect model (FEM) of meta-analysis. For random-effects model (REM), the analysis incorporates the heterogeneity variance, τ 2 and its estimation create complications. In this paper we study the use of a truncated CUSUM-type test with asymptotically valid critical values for sequential monitoring in REM. Simulation results show that the test does not control the Type I error well, and is not recommended. Further work required to derive an appropriate test in this important area of applications.

Smart Help at theWorkplace for Persons with Disabilities (SHW-PWD)

The Smart Help for persons with disability (PWD) is a part of the project SMARTDISABLE which aims to develop relevant solution for PWD that target to provide an adequate workplace environment for them. It would support PWD needs smartly through smart help to allow them access to relevant information and communicate with other effectively and flexibly, and smart editor that assist them in their daily work. It will assist PWD in knowledge processing and creation as well as being able to be productive at the work place. The technical work of the project involves design of a technological scenario for the Ambient Intelligence (AmI) - based assistive technologies at the workplace consisting of an integrated universal smart solution that suits many different impairment conditions and will be designed to empower the Physically disabled persons (PDP) with the capability to access and effectively utilize the ICTs in order to execute knowledge rich working tasks with minimum efforts and with sufficient comfort level. The proposed technology solution for PWD will support voice recognition along with normal keyboard and mouse to control the smart help and smart editor with dynamic auto display interface that satisfies the requirements for different PWD group. In addition, a smart help will provide intelligent intervention based on the behavior of PWD to guide them and warn them about possible misbehavior. PWD can communicate with others using Voice over IP controlled by voice recognition. Moreover, Auto Emergency Help Response would be supported to assist PWD in case of emergency. This proposed technology solution intended to make PWD very effective at the work environment and flexible using voice to conduct their tasks at the work environment. The proposed solution aims to provide favorable outcomes that assist PWD at the work place, with the opportunity to participate in PWD assistive technology innovation market which is still small and rapidly growing as well as upgrading their quality of life to become similar to the normal people at the workplace. Finally, the proposed smart help solution is applicable in all workplace setting, including offices, manufacturing, hospital, etc.

Thermal Property of Multi-Walled-Carbon-Nanotube Reinforced Epoxy Composites

In this study, epoxy composite specimens reinforced with multi-walled carbon nanotube filler were fabricated using shear mixer and ultra-sonication processor. The mechanical and thermal properties of the fabricated specimens were measured and evaluated. From the electron microscope images and the results from the measurements of tensile strengths, the specimens having 0.6 wt% nanotube content show better dispersion and higher strength than those of the other specimens. The Young’s moduli of the specimens increased as the contents of the nanotube filler in the matrix were increased. The specimen having a 0.6 wt% nanotube filler content showed higher thermal conductivity than that of the other specimens. While, in the measurement of thermal expansion, specimens having 0.4 and 0.6 wt% filler contents showed a lower value of thermal expansion than that of the other specimens. On the basis of the measured and evaluated properties of the composites, we believe that the simple and time-saving fabrication process used in this study was sufficient to obtain improved properties of the specimens.

Users’ Preferences for Map Navigation Gestures

Map is a powerful and convenient tool in helping us to navigate to different places, but the use of indirect devices often makes its usage cumbersome. This study intends to propose a new map navigation dialogue that uses hand gesture. A set of dialogue was developed from users’ perspective to provide users complete freedom for panning, zooming, rotate, tilt and find direction operations. A participatory design experiment was involved here where one hand gesture and two hand gesture dialogues had been analysed in the forms of hand gestures to develop a set of usable dialogues. The major finding was that users prefer one-hand gesture compared to two-hand gesture in map navigation.

Study of Bored Pile Retaining Wall Using Physical Modeling

Excavation and retaining walls are of challenging issues in civil engineering. In this study, the behavior of one important type of supporting systems called Contiguous Bored Pile (CBP) retaining wall is investigated using a physical model. Besides, a comparison is made between two modes of free end piles (soft bed) and fixed end piles (stiff bed). Also a back calculation of effective length (the real free length of pile) is done by measuring lateral deflection of piles in different stages of excavation in both aforementioned cases. Based on observed results, for the fixed end mode, the effective length to free length ratio (Leff/L0) is equal to unity in initial stages of excavation and less than 1 in its final stages in a decreasing manner. While this ratio for free end mode, remains constant during all stages of excavation and is always less than unity.

Using Data from Foursquare Web Service to Represent the Commercial Activity of a City

This paper aims to represent the commercial activity of a city taking as source data the social network Foursquare. The city of Murcia is selected as case study, and the location-based social network Foursquare is the main source of information. After carrying out a reorganisation of the user-generated data extracted from Foursquare, it is possible to graphically display on a map the various city spaces and venues especially those related to commercial, food and entertainment sector businesses. The obtained visualisation provides information about activity patterns in the city of Murcia according to the people‘s interests and preferences and, moreover, interesting facts about certain characteristics of the town itself.

Modelling of Heating and Evaporation of Biodiesel Fuel Droplets

This paper presents the application of the Discrete Component Model for heating and evaporation to multi-component biodiesel fuel droplets in direct injection internal combustion engines. This model takes into account the effects of temperature gradient, recirculation and species diffusion inside droplets. A distinctive feature of the model used in the analysis is that it is based on the analytical solutions to the temperature and species diffusion equations inside the droplets. Nineteen types of biodiesel fuels are considered. It is shown that a simplistic model, based on the approximation of biodiesel fuel by a single component or ignoring the diffusion of components of biodiesel fuel, leads to noticeable errors in predicted droplet evaporation time and time evolution of droplet surface temperature and radius.

Effect of High-Energy Ball Milling on the Electrical and Piezoelectric Properties of (K0.5Na0.5)(Nb0.9Ta0.1)O3 Lead-Free Piezoceramics

Nanocrystalline powders of the lead-free piezoelectric material, tantalum-substituted potassium sodium niobate (K0.5Na0.5)(Nb0.9Ta0.1)O3 (KNNT), were produced using a Retsch PM100 planetary ball mill by setting the milling time to 15h, 20h, 25h, 30h, 35h and 40h, at a fixed speed of 250rpm. The average particle size of the milled powders was found to decrease from 12nm to 3nm as the milling time increases from 15h to 25h, which is in agreement with the existing theoretical model. An anomalous increase to 98nm and then a drop to 3nm in the particle size were observed as the milling time further increases to 30h and 40h respectively. Various sizes of these starting KNNT powders were used to investigate the effect of milling time on the microstructure, dielectric properties, phase transitions and piezoelectric properties of the resulting KNNT ceramics. The particle size of starting KNNT was somewhat proportional to the grain size. As the milling time increases from 15h to 25h, the resulting ceramics exhibit enhancement in the values of relative density from 94.8% to 95.8%, room temperature dielectric constant (εRT) from 878 to 1213, and piezoelectric charge coefficient (d33) from 108pC/N to 128pC/N. For this range of ceramic samples, grain size refinement suppresses the maximum dielectric constant (εmax), shifts the Curie temperature (Tc) to a lower temperature and the orthorhombic-tetragonal phase transition (Tot) to a higher temperature. Further increase of milling time from 25h to 40h produces a gradual degradation in the values of relative density, εRT, and d33 of the resulting ceramics.

The Effect of Culture on User Interface Design of Social Media - A Case Study on Preferences of Saudi Arabians on the Arabic User Interface of Facebook

Social media continues to grow, and user interfaces may become more appealing if cultural characteristics are incorporated into their design. Facebook was designed in the west, and the original language was English. Subsequently, the words in the user interface were translated to other languages, including Arabic. Arabic words are written from right to left, and English is written from left to right. The translated version may misrepresent the original design and users’ preferences may be influenced by their culture, which should be considered in the user interface design. Previous research indicates that users are more comfortable when interacting with a user interface, which relates to their own culture. Therefore, this paper, using a survey, investigates the preferences of Saudi Arabians on the Arabic version of the user interface of Facebook.

Enhanced Thermal Properties of Rigid PVC Foams Using Fly Ash

PVC foam-fly ash composites (PVC-FA) are characterized for their structural, morphological, mechanical and thermal properties. The tensile strength of the composites increased modestly with higher fly ash loading, while there was a significant increase in the elastic modulus for the same composites. On the other hand, a decrease in elongation at UTS was observed upon increasing fly ash content due to increased rigidity of the composites. Similarly, the flexural modulus increased as the fly ash loading increased, where the composites containing 25 phr fly ash showed the highest flexural strength. Thermal properties of PVC-fly ash composites were determined by Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA). The microstructural properties were studied by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). SEM results confirm that fly ash particles were mechanically interlocked in PVC matrix with good interfacial interaction with the matrix. Particle agglomeration and debonding was observed in samples containing higher amounts of fly ash.

Enhanced Dimensional Stability of Rigid PVC Foams Using Glass Fibers

Two types of glass fibers having different lengths (1/16" and 1/32") were added into rigid PVC foams to enhance the dimensional stability of extruded rigid Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) foam at different concentrations (0-20 phr) using a single screw profile extruder. PVC foam-glass fiber composites (PVC-GF) were characterized for their dimensional stability, structural, thermal, and mechanical properties. Experimental results show that the dimensional stability, heat resistance, and storage modulus were enhanced without compromising the tensile and flexural strengths of the composites. Overall, foam composites which were prepared with longer glass fibers exhibit better mechanical and thermal properties than those prepared with shorter glass fibers due to higher interlocking between the fibers and the foam cells, which result in better load distribution in the matrix.

The Impacts of Local Decision Making on Customisation Process Speed across Distributed Boundaries: A Case Study

Communicating and managing customers’ requirements in software development projects play a vital role in the software development process. While it is difficult to do so locally, it is even more difficult to communicate these requirements over distributed boundaries and to convey them to multiple distribution customers. This paper discusses the communication of multiple distribution customers’ requirements in the context of customised software products. The main purpose is to understand the challenges of communicating and managing customisation requirements across distributed boundaries. We propose a model for Communicating Customisation Requirements of Multi-Clients in a Distributed Domain (CCRD). Thereafter, we evaluate that model by presenting the findings of a case study conducted with a company with customisation projects for 18 distributed customers. Then, we compare the outputs of the real case process and the outputs of the CCRD model using simulation methods. Our conjecture is that the CCRD model can reduce the challenge of communication requirements over distributed organisational boundaries, and the delay in decision making and in the entire customisation process time.

Microcrystalline Cellulose (MCC) From Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) Fiber via Simultaneous Ultrasonic and Alkali Treatment

In this study, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) was extracted from oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) cellulose which was earlier isolated from oil palm EFB fibre. In order to isolate the cellulose, the chlorination method was carried out. Then, the MCC was prepared by simultaneous ultrasonic and alkali treatment from the isolated α-cellulose. Based on mass balance calculation, the yields for MCC obtained from EFB was 44%. For fiber characterization, it is observed that the chemical composition of the hemicellulose and lignin for all samples decreased while composition for cellulose increased. The structural property of the MCC was studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD) method and the result shows that the MCC produced is a cellulose-I polymorph, with 73% crystallinity.

A Comparative Study of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Particle Tracking Velocimetry (PTV) for Airflow Measurement

Among modern airflow measurement methods, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Particle Tracking Velocimetry (PTV), as visualized and non-instructive measurement techniques, are playing more important role. This paper conducts a comparative experimental study for airflow measurement employing both techniques with the same condition. Velocity vector fields, velocity contour fields, voticity profiles and turbulence profiles are selected as the comparison indexes. The results show that the performance of both PIV and PTV techniques for airflow measurement is satisfied, but some differences between the both techniques are existed, it suggests that selecting the measurement technique should be based on a comprehensive consideration.

Music in the Early Stages of Life: Considerations from Working with Groups of Mothers and Babies

This paper discusses the role of music as a ludic activity and constituent element of voice in the construction and consolidation of the relationship of the baby and his/her mother or caretaker, evaluating its implications in his/her psychic structure and constitution as a subject. The work was based on the research developed as part of the author’s doctoral activities carried out from her insertion in a project of the Music Department of Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul - UFRGS, which objective was the development of musical activities with groups of babies from 0 to 24 months old and their caretakers. Observations, video recordings of the meetings, audio testemonies, and evaluation tools applied to group participants were used as instruments for this research. Information was collected on the participation of 195 babies, among which 8 were more focused on through interviews with their mothers or caretakers. These interviews were analyzed based on the referential of French Discourse Analysis, Psychoanalysis, Psychology of Development and Musical Education. The results of the research were complemented by other posterior experiences that the author developed with similar groups, in a context of a private clinic. The information collected allowed the observation of the ludic and structural functions of musical activities, when developed in a structured environment, as well as the importance of the musicality of the mother’s voice to the psychical structuring of the baby, allowing his/her insertion in the language and his/her constitution as a subject.

Development of a Rating Scale for Elementary EFL Writing

In EFL programs, rating scales used in writing assessment are often constructed by intuition. Intuition-based scales tend to provide inaccurate and divisive ratings of learners’ writing performance. Hence, following an empirical approach, this study attempted to develop a rating scale for elementary-level writing at an EFL program in Saudi Arabia. Towards this goal, 98 students’ essays were scored and then coded using comprehensive taxonomy of writing constructs and their measures. An automatic linear modeling was run to find out which measures would best predict essay scores. A nonparametric ANOVA, the Kruskal-Wallis test, was then used to determine which measures could best differentiate among scoring levels. Findings indicated that there were certain measures that could serve as either good predictors of essay scores or differentiators among scoring levels, or both. The main conclusion was that a rating scale can be empirically developed using predictive and discriminative statistical tests.

Evaluation of Medication Administration Process in a Paediatric Ward

Children are more susceptible to medication errors than adults. Medication administration process is the last stage in the medication treatment process and most of the errors detected in this stage. Little research has been undertaken about medication errors in children in the Middle East countries. This study was aimed to evaluate how the paediatric nurses adhere to the medication administration policy and also to identify any medication preparation and administration errors or any risk factors. An observational, prospective study of medication administration process from when the nurses preparing patient medication until administration stage (May to August 2014) was conducted in Saudi Arabia. Twelve paediatric nurses serving 90 paediatric patients were observed. 456 drug administered doses were evaluated. Adherence rate was variable in 7 steps out of 16 steps. Patient allergy information, dose calculation, drug expiry date were the steps in medication administration with lowest adherence rates. 63 medication preparation and administration errors were identified with error rate 13.8% of medication administrations. No potentially life-threating errors were witnessed. Few logistic and administrative factors were reported. The results showed that the medication administration policy and procedure need an urgent revision to be more sensible for nurses in practice. Nurses’ knowledge and skills regarding to the medication administration process should be improved.

A Hybrid Recommendation System Based On Association Rules

Recommendation systems are widely used in e-commerce applications. The engine of a current recommendation system recommends items to a particular user based on user preferences and previous high ratings. Various recommendation schemes such as collaborative filtering and content-based approaches are used to build a recommendation system. Most of current recommendation systems were developed to fit a certain domain such as books, articles, and movies. We propose1 a hybrid framework recommendation system to be applied on two dimensional spaces (User × Item) with a large number of Users and a small number of Items. Moreover, our proposed framework makes use of both favorite and non-favorite items of a particular user. The proposed framework is built upon the integration of association rules mining and the content-based approach. The results of experiments show that our proposed framework can provide accurate recommendations to users.

Port Governance Model by International Freight Forwarders’ Point of View: A Study at Port of Santos - Brazil

Due to the importance of ports to trade and economic development of the regions in which they are inserted, in recent decades the number of studies devoted to this subject has increased. Part of these studies considers the ports as business agglomerations and focuses on port governance. This is an important approach since the port performance is the result of activities performed by actors belonging to the port-logistics chain, which need to be properly coordinated. This coordination takes place through a port governance model. Given this context, this study aims to analyze the governance model of the port of Santos from the perspective of port customers. To do this, a closed-ended questionnaire based on a conceptual model that considers the key dimensions associated with port governance was applied to the international freight forwarders that operate in the port. The results show the applicability of the considered model and highlight improvement opportunities to be implemented at the port of Santos.

Effect of the Accelerated Carbonation in Fibercement Composites Reinforced with Eucalyptus Pulp and Nanofibrillated Cellulose

The main purpose of this work was verify the influence of the accelerated carbonation in the physical and mechanical properties of the hybrid composites, reinforced with micro and nanofibers and composites with microfibers. The composites were produced by the slurry vacuum dewatering method, followed by pressing. It was produced using two formulations: 8% of eucalyptus pulp + 1% of the nanofibrillated cellulose and 9% of eucalyptus pulp, both were subjected to accelerated carbonation. The results showed that the accelerated carbonation contributed to improve the physical and mechanical properties of the hybrid composites and of the composites reinforced with microfibers (eucalyptus pulp).

The Impact of Environmental Dynamism on Strategic Outsourcing Success

Adapting quickly to environmental dynamism is essential for an organization to develop outsourcing strategic and management in order to sustain competitive advantage. This research used the Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLSSEM) tool to investigate the factors of environmental dynamism impact on the strategic outsourcing success among electrical and electronic manufacturing industries in outsourcing management. Statistical results confirm that the inclusion of customer demand, technological change, and competition level as a new combination concept of environmental dynamism, has positive effects on outsourcing success. Additionally, this research demonstrates the acceptability of PLS-SEM as a statistical analysis to furnish a better understanding of environmental dynamism in outsourcing management in Malaysia. A practical finding contributes to academics and practitioners in the field of outsourcing management.

An Experimental Procedure for Design and Construction of Monocopter and Its Control Using Optical and GPS-Aided AHRS Sensors

Monocopter is a single-wing rotary flying vehicle which has the capability of hovering. This flying vehicle includes two dynamic parts in which more efficiency can be expected rather than other Micro UAVs due to the extended area of wing compared to its fuselage. Low cost and simple mechanism in comparison to other vehicles such as helicopter are the most important specifications of this flying vehicle. In the previous paper we discussed the introduction of the final system but in this paper, the experimental design process of Monocopter and its control algorithm has been investigated in general. Also the editorial bugs in the previous article have been corrected and some translational ambiguities have been resolved. Initially by constructing several prototypes and carrying out many flight tests the main design parameters of this air vehicle were obtained by experimental measurements. Eventually the required main monocopter for this project was constructed. After construction of the monocopter in order to design, implementation and testing of control algorithms first a simple optic system used for determining the heading angle. After doing numerous tests on Test Stand, the control algorithm designed and timing of applying control inputs adjusted. Then other control parameters of system were tuned in flight tests. Eventually the final control system designed and implemented using the AHRS sensor and the final operational tests performed successfully.

Determining a Suitable Maintenance Measure for Gentelligent Components Using Case-Based Reasoning

Components with sensory properties such as gentelligent components developed at the Collaborative Research Centre 653 offer a new angle in terms of the full utilization of the remaining service life as well as preventive maintenance. The developed methodology of component status driven maintenance analyzes the stress data obtained during the component's useful life and on the basis of this knowledge assesses the type of maintenance required in this case. The procedure is derived from the case-based reasoning method and will be explained in detail. The method's functionality is demonstrated with real-life data obtained during test runs of a racing car prototype.

Impact of Masonry Joints on Detection of Humidity Distribution in Aerated Concrete Masonry Constructions by Electric Impedance Spectrometry Measurements

Aerated concrete is a load bearing construction material, which has high heat insulation parameters. Walls can be erected from aerated concrete masonry constructions and in perfect circumstances additional heat insulation is not required. The most common problem in aerated concrete heat insulation properties is the humidity distribution throughout the cross section of the masonry elements as well as proper and conducted drying process of the aerated concrete construction because only dry aerated concrete masonry constructions can reach high heat insulation parameters. In order to monitor drying process of the masonry and detect humidity distribution throughout the cross section of aerated concrete masonry construction application of electrical impedance spectrometry is applied. Further test results and methodology of this non-destructive testing method is described in this paper.

SQL Generator Based On MVC Pattern

Structured Query Language (SQL) is the standard de facto language to access and manipulate data in a relational database. Although SQL is a language that is simple and powerful, most novice users will have trouble with SQL syntax. Thus, we are presenting SQL generator tool which is capable of translating actions and displaying SQL commands and data sets simultaneously. The tool was developed based on Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern. The MVC pattern is a widely used software design pattern that enforces the separation between the input, processing, and output of an application. Developers take full advantage of it to reduce the complexity in architectural design and to increase flexibility and reuse of code. In addition, we use White-Box testing for the code verification in the Model module.

Urban Citizenship in a Sensor Rich Society

Urban public spaces are sutured with a range of surveillance and sensor technologies that claim to enable new forms of ‘data based citizen participation’, but also increase the tendency for ‘function-creep’, whereby vast amounts of data are gathered, stored and analysed in a broad application of urban surveillance. This kind of monitoring and capacity for surveillance connects with attempts by civic authorities to regulate, restrict, rebrand and reframe urban public spaces. A direct consequence of the increasingly security driven, policed, privatised and surveilled nature of public space is the exclusion or ‘unfavourable inclusion’ of those considered flawed and unwelcome in the ‘spectacular’ consumption spaces of many major urban centres. In the name of urban regeneration, programs of securitisation, ‘gentrification’ and ‘creative’ and ‘smart’ city initiatives refashion public space as sites of selective inclusion and exclusion. In this context of monitoring and control procedures, in particular, children and young people’s use of space in parks, neighbourhoods, shopping malls and streets is often viewed as a threat to the social order, requiring various forms of remedial action. This paper suggests that cities, places and spaces and those who seek to use them, can be resilient in working to maintain and extend democratic freedoms and processes enshrined in Marshall’s concept of citizenship, calling sensor and surveillance systems to account. Such accountability could better inform the implementation of public policy around the design, build and governance of public space and also understandings of urban citizenship in the sensor saturated urban environment.

Implementing a Database from a Requirement Specification

Creating a database scheme is essentially a manual process. From a requirement specification the information contained within has to be analyzed and reduced into a set of tables, attributes and relationships. This is a time consuming process that has to go through several stages before an acceptable database schema is achieved. The purpose of this paper is to implement a Natural Language Processing (NLP) based tool to produce a relational database from a requirement specification. The Stanford CoreNLP version 3.3.1 and the Java programming were used to implement the proposed model. The outcome of this study indicates that a first draft of a relational database schema can be extracted from a requirement specification by using NLP tools and techniques with minimum user intervention. Therefore this method is a step forward in finding a solution that requires little or no user intervention.

Application of Strong Optical Feedback to Enhance the Modulation Bandwidth of Semiconductor Lasers to the Millimeter-Wave Band

We report on the use of strong external optical feedback to enhance the modulation response of semiconductor lasers over a frequency passband around modulation frequencies higher than 60 GHz. We show that this modulation enhancement is a type of photon-photon resonance (PPR) of oscillating modes in the external cavity formed between the laser and the external reflector. The study is based on a time-delay rate equation model that takes into account both the strong feedback and multiple reflections in the external cavity. We examine the harmonic and intermodulation distortions associated with single and two-tone modulations in the mm-wave band of the resonant modulation. We show that compared with solitary lasers modulated around the carrier-photon resonance frequency, the present mm-wave modulated signal has lower distortions.

Influence of Chirp of High-Speed Laser Diodes and Fiber Dispersion on Performance of Non-Amplified 40-Gbps Optical Fiber Links

We model and simulate the combined effect of fiber dispersion and frequency chirp of a directly modulated high-speed laser diode on the figures of merit of a non-amplified 40-Gbps optical fiber link. We consider both the return to zero (RZ) and non-return to zero (NRZ) patterns of the pseudorandom modulation bits. The performance of the fiber communication system is assessed by the fiber-length limitation due to the fiber dispersion. We study the influence of replacing standard single-mode fibers by non-zero dispersion-shifted fibers on the maximum fiber length and evaluate the associated power penalty. We introduce new dispersion tolerances for 1-dB power penalty of the RZ and NRZ 40-Gbps optical fiber links.

A Rapid and Cost-Effective Approach to Manufacturing Modeling Platform for Fused Deposition Modeling

This study presents a cost-effective approach for rapid fabricating modeling platforms utilized in fused deposition modeling system. A small-batch production of modeling platforms about 20 pieces can be obtained economically through silicone rubber mold using vacuum casting without applying the plastic injection molding. The air venting systems is crucial for fabricating modeling platform using vacuum casting. Modeling platforms fabricated can be used for building rapid prototyping model after sandblasting. This study offers industrial value because it has both time-effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Flood-Induced River Disruption: Geomorphic Imprints and Topographic Effects in Kelantan River Catchment from Kemubu to Kuala Besar, Kelantan, Malaysia

Floods play a key role in landform evolution of an area. This process is likely to alter the topography of the earth’s surface. The present study area, Kota Bharu is very prone to floods extends from upstream of Kelantan River near Kemubu to the downstream area near Kuala Besar. These flood events which occur every year in the study area exhibit a strong bearing on river morphological set-up. In the present study, three satellite imageries of different time periods have been used to manifest the post-flood landform changes. The pre-processing of the images such as subset, geometric corrections and atmospheric corrections were carried-out using ENVI 4.5 followed by the analysis processes. Twenty sets of cross sections were plotted using software Erdas 9.2, ERDAS and ArcGis 10 for the all three images. The results show a significant change in the length of the cross section which suggest that the geomorphological processes play a key role in carving and shaping the river banks during the floods. 

In Search of Zero Beta Assets: Evidence from the Sukuk Market

The financial crises caused a collapse in prices of most asset classes, raising the attention on alternative investments such as sukuk, a smaller, fast growing but often misunderstood market. We study diversification benefits of sukuk, their correlation with other asset classes and the effects of their inclusion in investment portfolios of institutional and retail investors, through a comprehensive comparison of their risk/return profiles during and after the financial crisis. We find a beneficial performance adjusted for the specific volatility together with a lower correlation especially during the financial crisis. The distribution of sukuk returns is positively skewed and leptokurtic, with a risk/return profile similarly to high yield bonds. Overall, our results suggest that sukuk present diversification opportunities, a significant volatility-adjusted performance and lower correlations especially during the financial crisis. Our findings are relevant for a number of institutional investors. Long term investors, such as life insurers would benefit from sukuk’s protective features during financial crisis yet keeping return and growth opportunities, whereas banks would gain due to their role of placers, advisors, market makers or underwriters.

Influence of Internal Topologies on Components Produced by Selective Laser Melting: Numerical Analysis

Regardless of the manufacturing process used, subtractive or additive, material, purpose and application, produced components are conventionally solid mass with more or less complex shape depending on the production technology selected. Aspects such as reducing the weight of components, associated with the low volume of material required and the almost non-existent material waste, speed and flexibility of production and, primarily, a high mechanical strength combined with high structural performance, are competitive advantages in any industrial sector, from automotive, molds, aviation, aerospace, construction, pharmaceuticals, medicine and more recently in human tissue engineering. Such features, properties and functionalities are attained in metal components produced using the additive technique of Rapid Prototyping from metal powders commonly known as Selective Laser Melting (SLM), with optimized internal topologies and varying densities. In order to produce components with high strength and high structural and functional performance, regardless of the type of application, three different internal topologies were developed and analyzed using numerical computational tools. The developed topologies were numerically submitted to mechanical compression and four point bending testing. Finite Element Analysis results demonstrate how different internal topologies can contribute to improve mechanical properties, even with a high degree of porosity relatively to fully dense components. Results are very promising not only from the point of view of mechanical resistance, but especially through the achievement of considerable variation in density without loss of structural and functional high performance.

New Fourth Order Explicit Group Method in the Solution of the Helmholtz Equation

In this paper, the formulation of a new group explicit method with a fourth order accuracy is described in solving the two dimensional Helmholtz equation. The formulation is based on the nine-point fourth order compact finite difference approximation formula. The complexity analysis of the developed scheme is also presented. Several numerical experiments were conducted to test the feasibility of the developed scheme. Comparisons with other existing schemes will be reported and discussed. Preliminary results indicate that this method is a viable alternative high accuracy solver to the Helmholtz equation.

Models and Metamodels for Computer-Assisted Natural Language Grammar Learning

The paper follows a discourse on computer-assisted language learning. We examine problems of foreign language teaching and learning and introduce a metamodel that can be used to define learning models of language grammar structures in order to support teacher/student interaction. Special attention is paid to the concept of a virtual language lab. Our approach to language education assumes to encourage learners to experiment with a language and to learn by discovering patterns of grammatically correct structures created and managed by a language expert.

Accounting Policies in Polish and International Legal Regulations

Accounting policies are a set of solutions compliant with legal regulations that an entity selects and adopts, and which guarantee a proper quality of financial statements. Those solutions may differ depending on whether the entity adopts national or international accounting standards. The aim of this article is to present accounting principles (policies) in Polish and international legal regulations and their adoption in selected Polish companies listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The research method adopted in this work is the analysis and evaluation of legal conditions in Polish companies.

Organisational Blogging: Reviewing Its Effectiveness as an Organisational Learning Tool

This paper reviews the internal use of blogs and their potential effectiveness as organisational learning tools. Since the emergence of the concept of ‘Enterprise 2.0’ there remains a lack of empirical evidence associated with how organisations are applying social media tools and whether they are effective towards supporting organisational learning. Surprisingly, blogs, one of the more traditional social media tools, still remains under-researched in the context of ‘Enterprise 2.0’ and organisational learning. The aim of this paper is to identify the theoretical linkage between blogs and organisational learning in addition to reviewing prior research on organisational blogging exploring why this area remains underresearched. Through a literature review, one of the principal findings of this paper is that organisational blogs have a mutual compatibility with the interpretivist aspect of organisational learning. This paper further advocates that further empirical work in this subject area is required to substantiate this theoretical assumption.

Retrieving Similar Segmented Objects Using Motion Descriptors

The fuzzy composition of objects depicted in images acquired through MR imaging or the use of bio-scanners has often been a point of controversy for field experts attempting to effectively delineate between the visualized objects. Modern approaches in medical image segmentation tend to consider fuzziness as a characteristic and inherent feature of the depicted object, instead of an undesirable trait. In this paper, a novel technique for efficient image retrieval in the context of images in which segmented objects are either crisp or fuzzily bounded is presented. Moreover, the proposed method is applied in the case of multiple, even conflicting, segmentations from field experts. Experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of the suggested method in retrieving similar objects from the aforementioned categories while taking into account the fuzzy nature of the depicted data.

Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Flow Control Using a Novel Active Slat

An active slat is developed to increase the lift and delay the separation for a DU96-W180 airfoil. The active slat is a fixed slat that can be closed, fully opened or intermittently opened by a rotating vane depending on the need. Experimental results show that the active slat has reduced the mean pressure and increased the mean velocity on the suction side of the airfoil for all positive angles of attack, indicating an increase of lift. The experimental data and numerical simulations also show that the direction of actuator vane rotation can influence the mixing of the flow streams on the suction side and hence influence the aerodynamic performance.