Application of Three Phase Partitioning (TPP) for the Purification of Serratiopeptidase
Three phase partitioning (TPP) an efficient bioseparation technique integrates the concentration and partial purification step of downstream processing of a biomolecule. Three Phase Partitioning is reported here for the first time for purification of Serratiopeptidase from fermentation broths of Serratia marcescens NRRL B-23112. The influence of various salts and solvents, Concentration of ammonium sulphate (20-60% w/v), Crude extract to t-butanol ratio (1:0.5-1:2.5) and system pH on Serratiopeptidase partitioning were investigated and optimum conditions for TPP were obtained in order to enhance the degree of purification and activity recovery of Serratiopeptidase. Under the optimal conditions of TPP, serratiopeptidase has been efficiently separated and concentrated with maximum recovery and degree of purification of 95.70% and 4.95 fold respectively. The present study shows TPP as an attractive downstream process for the purification of serratiopeptidase.
Efficient Filtering of Graph Based Data Using Graph Partitioning
An algebraic framework for processing graph signals
axiomatically designates the graph adjacency matrix as the shift
operator. In this setup, we often encounter a problem wherein we
know the filtered output and the filter coefficients, and need to
find out the input graph signal. Solution to this problem using
direct approach requires O(N3) operations, where N is the number
of vertices in graph. In this paper, we adapt the spectral graph
partitioning method for partitioning of graphs and use it to reduce
the computational cost of the filtering problem. We use the example
of denoising of the temperature data to illustrate the efficacy of the
Exploration of Various Metrics for Partitioning of Cellular Automata Units for Efficient Reconfiguration of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)
Using FPGA devices to improve the behavior of time-critical parts of embedded systems is a proven concept for years. With reconfigurable FPGA devices, the logical blocks can be partitioned and grouped into static and dynamic parts. The dynamic parts can be reloaded 'on demand' at runtime. This work uses cellular automata, which are constructed through compilation from (partially restricted) ANSI-C sources, to determine the suitability of various metrics for optimal partitioning. Significant metrics, in this case, are for example the area on the FPGA device for the partition, the pass count for loop constructs and communication characteristics to other partitions. With successful partitioning, it is possible to use smaller FPGA devices for the same requirements as with not reconfigurable FPGA devices or – vice versa – to use the same FPGAs for larger programs.
Real-Time Data Stream Partitioning over a Sliding Window in Real-Time Spatial Big Data
In recent years, real-time spatial applications, like
location-aware services and traffic monitoring, have become more
and more important. Such applications result dynamic environments
where data as well as queries are continuously moving. As a result,
there is a tremendous amount of real-time spatial data generated
every day. The growth of the data volume seems to outspeed the
advance of our computing infrastructure. For instance, in real-time
spatial Big Data, users expect to receive the results of each query
within a short time period without holding in account the load
of the system. But with a huge amount of real-time spatial data
generated, the system performance degrades rapidly especially in
overload situations. To solve this problem, we propose the use of
data partitioning as an optimization technique. Traditional horizontal
and vertical partitioning can increase the performance of the system
and simplify data management. But they remain insufficient for
real-time spatial Big data; they can’t deal with real-time and
stream queries efficiently. Thus, in this paper, we propose a novel
data partitioning approach for real-time spatial Big data named
VPA-RTSBD (Vertical Partitioning Approach for Real-Time Spatial
Big data). This contribution is an implementation of the Matching
algorithm for traditional vertical partitioning. We find, firstly, the
optimal attribute sequence by the use of Matching algorithm. Then,
we propose a new cost model used for database partitioning, for
keeping the data amount of each partition more balanced limit and
for providing a parallel execution guarantees for the most frequent
queries. VPA-RTSBD aims to obtain a real-time partitioning scheme
and deals with stream data. It improves the performance of query
execution by maximizing the degree of parallel execution. This affects
QoS (Quality Of Service) improvement in real-time spatial Big Data
especially with a huge volume of stream data. The performance of
our contribution is evaluated via simulation experiments. The results
show that the proposed algorithm is both efficient and scalable, and
that it outperforms comparable algorithms.
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. Further- more, 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.
Multi-Cluster Overlapping K-Means Extension Algorithm (MCOKE)
Clustering involves the partitioning of n objects into k clusters. Many clustering algorithms use hard-partitioning techniques where each object is assigned to one cluster. In this paper, we propose an overlapping algorithm MCOKE which allows objects to belong to one or more clusters. The algorithm is different from fuzzy clustering techniques because objects that overlap are assigned a membership value of 1 (one) as opposed to a fuzzy membership degree. The algorithm is also different from other overlapping algorithms that require a similarity threshold to be defined as a priority which can be difficult to determine by novice users.
Fuzzy Vehicle Routing Problem for Extreme Environment
A fuzzy vehicle routing problem is considered in the possibilistic environment. A new criterion, maximization of expectation of reliability for movement on closed routes is constructed. The objective of the research is to implement a two-stage scheme for solution of this problem. Based on the algorithm of preferences on the first stage, the sample of so-called “promising” routes will be selected. On the second stage, for the selected promising routes new bi-criteria problem will be solved - minimization of total traveled distance and maximization of reliability of routes. The problem will be stated as a fuzzy-partitioning problem. Two possible solutions of this scheme are considered.
Brainbow Image Segmentation Using Bayesian Sequential Partitioning
This paper proposes a data-driven, biology-inspired neural segmentation method of 3D drosophila Brainbow images. We use Bayesian Sequential Partitioning algorithm for probabilistic modeling, which can be used to detect somas and to eliminate cross talk effects. This work attempts to develop an automatic methodology for neuron image segmentation, which nowadays still lacks a complete solution due to the complexity of the image. The proposed method does not need any predetermined, risk-prone thresholds since biological information is inherently included in the image processing procedure. Therefore, it is less sensitive to variations in neuron morphology; meanwhile, its flexibility would be beneficial for tracing the intertwining structure of neurons.
Simulation Data Summarization Based on Spatial Histograms
In order to analyze large-scale scientific data, research
on data exploration and visualization has gained popularity. In this
paper, we focus on the exploration and visualization of scientific
simulation data, and define a spatial V-Optimal histogram for
data summarization. We propose histogram construction algorithms
based on a general binary hierarchical partitioning as well as
a more specific one, the l-grid partitioning. For effective data
summarization and efficient data visualization in scientific data
analysis, we propose an optimal algorithm as well as a heuristic
algorithm for histogram construction. To verify the effectiveness and
efficiency of the proposed methods, we conduct experiments on the
massive evacuation simulation data.
Simulation Data Summarization Based on Spatial Histograms
In order to analyze large-scale scientific data, research on data exploration and visualization has gained popularity. In this paper, we focus on the exploration and visualization of scientific simulation data and define a spatial V-Optimal histogram for data summarization. We propose histogram construction algorithms based on a general binary hierarchical partitioning as well as a more specific one, the l-grid partitioning. For effective data summarization and efficient data visualization in scientific data analysis, we propose an optimal algorithm as well as a heuristic algorithm for histogram construction. To verify the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed methods, we conduct experiments on the massive evacuation simulation data.
Shape Management Method of Large Structure Based on Octree Space Partitioning
The objective of the study is to construct the shape management method contributing to the safety of the large structure. In Korea, the research of the shape management is lack because of the new attempted technology. Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) is used for measurements of large structures. TLS provides an efficient way to actively acquire accurate the point clouds of object surfaces or environments. The point clouds provide a basis for rapid modeling in the industrial automation, architecture, construction or maintenance of the civil infrastructures. TLS produce a huge amount of point clouds. Registration, Extraction and Visualization of data require the processing of a massive amount of scan data. The octree can be applied to the shape management of the large structure because the scan data is reduced in the size but, the data attributes are maintained. The octree space partitioning generates the voxel of 3D space, and the voxel is recursively subdivided into eight sub-voxels. The point cloud of scan data was converted to voxel and sampled. The experimental site is located at Sungkyunkwan University. The scanned structure is the steel-frame bridge. The used TLS is Leica ScanStation C10/C5. The scan data was condensed 92%, and the octree model was constructed with 2 millimeter in resolution. This study presents octree space partitioning for handling the point clouds. The basis is created by shape management of the large structures such as double-deck tunnel, building and bridge. The research will be expected to improve the efficiency of structural health monitoring and maintenance. "This work is financially supported by 'U-City Master and Doctor Course Grant Program' and the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (NRF- 2015R1D1A1A01059291)."
Soybean Lecithin Based Reverse Micellar Extraction of Pectinase from Synthetic Solution
Pectinase is an important enzyme which has a wide range of applications including textile processing and bioscouring of cotton fibers, coffee and tea fermentation, purification of plant viruses, oil extraction etc. Selective separation and purification of pectinase from fermentation broth and recover the enzyme form process stream for reuse are cost consuming process in most of the enzyme based industries. It is difficult to identify a suitable medium to enhance enzyme activity and retain its enzyme characteristics during such processes. The cost effective, selective separation of enzymes through the modified Liquid-liquid extraction is of current research interest worldwide. Reverse micellar extraction, globally acclaimed Liquid-liquid extraction technique is well known for its separation and purification of solutes from the feed which offers higher solute specificity and partitioning, ease of operation and recycling of extractants used. Surfactant concentrations above critical micelle concentration to an apolar solvent form micelles and addition of micellar phase to water in turn forms reverse micelles or water-in-oil emulsions. Since, electrostatic interaction plays a major role in the separation/purification of solutes using reverse micelles. These interaction parameters can be altered with the change in pH, addition of cosolvent, surfactant and electrolyte and non-electrolyte. Even though many chemical based commercial surfactant had been utilized for this purpose, the biosurfactants are more suitable for the purification of enzymes which are used in food application. The present work focused on the partitioning of pectinase from the synthetic aqueous solution within the reverse micelle phase formed by a biosurfactant, Soybean Lecithin dissolved in chloroform. The critical micelle concentration of soybean lecithin/chloroform solution was identified through refractive index and density measurements. Effect of surfactant concentrations above and below the critical micelle concentration was considered to study its effect on enzyme activity, enzyme partitioning within the reverse micelle phase. The effect of pH and electrolyte salts on the partitioning behavior was studied by varying the system pH and concentration of different salts during forward and back extraction steps. It was observed that lower concentrations of soybean lecithin enhanced the enzyme activity within the water core of the reverse micelle with maximizing extraction efficiency. The maximum yield of pectinase of 85% with a partitioning coefficient of 5.7 was achieved at 4.8 pH during forward extraction and 88% yield with a partitioning coefficient of 7.1 was observed during backward extraction at a pH value of 5.0. However, addition of salt decreased the enzyme activity and especially at higher salt concentrations enzyme activity declined drastically during both forward and back extraction steps. The results proved that reverse micelles formed by Soybean Lecithin and chloroform may be used for the extraction of pectinase from aqueous solution. Further, the reverse micelles can be considered as nanoreactors to enhance enzyme activity and maximum utilization of substrate at optimized conditions, which are paving a way to process intensification and scale-down.
Macronutrient Accumulation and Partitioning for Six Wheat Genotypes Grown at Contrasting Nitrogen Supply
Partitioning of macro-nutrients in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plant organs have not been extensively studied, particularly for modern genotypes grown under contrasting N supply. Nutrient accumulation and partitioning of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur (P, K, Ca, Mg and S) were determined for six wheat genotypes [12S2-2021, 12S3-3019, 13S3-2026, Discovery, Duchess and Reliance] grown with (200 kg/ha) or without (0 kg/ha) nitrogen (N), in a fully irrigated field experiment in 2017-18 season at Lincoln, New Zealand. Data were collected at three growth stages (GS): tillering (GS21), anthesis (GS60) and grain maturity (GS92). Grain yield varied with both N and genotype; from 6-7.5 t/ha for the 0 kg N/ha crops and 8.1-9.3 t/ha for the 200 kg N/ha treatments. Plant nutrient uptake at maturity responded to both N supply and genotype for all nutrients, except S which did not differ among the genotypes. For example, total P uptake averaged 13.5 (12.4-14.3) kg/ha for the 0 kg N/ha treatments and 17.8 (15.1-19.7) kg/ha when 200 kg N/ha was applied. Similarly, K uptake increased from an average of 23 (21.6-25.3) for the 0 kg N/ha treatments to 34.3 (32.4-40.8) kg/ha when 200 kg N/ha was applied. Similar trends were observed for Ca and Mg. The S content only responded to N supply but not to genotype, increasing from 7.9 kg/ha for the 0 kg N treatments to 12.8 kg/ha when 200 kg N was applied. Relative nutrient content at anthesis compared with those at maturity were 30% for P, 100% for both K and Ca and 34% of Mg. Sulphur content at anthesis decreased 29% with N supply and was highest for genotypes 12S2-2021 compared with the other five genotype. At grain maturity, the ratio of nutrients in grain to total plant nutrient, defined as the nutrient harvest index (NHI) varied with both N supply and genotype. Averaged across treatments, the NHI was 0.96 for P, 0.53 for K, 0.58 for Ca, 0.90 for Mg and 0.85 for S. These results suggest that Ca and K should be provided earlier in the season as there is limited or no uptake after anthesis. These results also show that Ca and K are important for structural functions, while P, Mg and S are remobilised to the grains and become important for quality.
Modeling the Performance of Natural Sand-Bentonite Barriers after Infiltration with Polar and Non-Polar Hydrocarbon Leachates
The complexity of the sand-bentonite liner barrier system calls for an adequate model that reflects the conditions depending on the barrier materials and the characteristics of the permeates which lead to hydraulic conductivity changes when liners infiltrated with polar, no-polar, miscible and immiscible liquids. This paper is dedicated to developing a model for evaluating the hydraulic conductivity in the form of a simple indicator for the compatibility of the liner versus leachate. Based on two liner compositions (95% sand: 5% bentonite; and 90% sand: 10% bentonite), two pressures (40 kPa and 100 kPa), and three leachates: water, ethanol and biofuel. Two characteristics of the leacahtes were used: viscosity of permeate and its octanol-water partitioning coefficient (Kow). Three characteristics of the liners mixtures were evaluated which had impact on the hydraulic conductivity of the liner system: the initial content of bentonite (%), the free swelling index, and the shrinkage limit of the initial liner’s mixture. Engineers can use this modest tool to predict a potential liner failure in sand-bentonite barriers.
Bi-Criteria Vehicle Routing Problem for Possibility Environment
A multiple criteria optimization approach for the solution of the Fuzzy Vehicle Routing Problem (FVRP) is proposed. For the possibility environment the levels of movements between customers are calculated by the constructed simulation interactive algorithm. The first criterion of the bi-criteria optimization problem - minimization of the expectation of total fuzzy travel time on closed routes is constructed for the FVRP. A new, second criterion – maximization of feasibility of movement on the closed routes is constructed by the Choquet finite averaging operator. The FVRP is reduced to the bi-criteria partitioning problem for the so called “promising” routes which were selected from the all admissible closed routes. The convenient selection of the “promising” routes allows us to solve the reduced problem in the real-time computing. For the numerical solution of the bi-criteria partitioning problem the -constraint approach is used. An exact algorithm is implemented based on D. Knuth’s Dancing Links technique and the algorithm DLX. The Main objective was to present the new approach for FVRP, when there are some difficulties while moving on the roads. This approach is called FVRP for extreme conditions (FVRP-EC) on the roads. Also, the aim of this paper was to construct the solving model of the constructed FVRP. Results are illustrated on the numerical example where all Pareto-optimal solutions are found. Also, an approach for more complex model FVRP with time windows was developed. A numerical example is presented in which optimal routes are constructed for extreme conditions on the roads.
CFD Study of Subcooled Boiling Flow at Elevated Pressure Using a Mechanistic Wall Heat Partitioning Model
The wide range of industrial applications involved with boiling flows promotes the necessity of establishing fundamental knowledge in boiling flow phenomena. For this purpose, a number of experimental and numerical researches have been performed to elucidate the underlying physics of this flow. In this paper, the improved wall boiling models, implemented on ANSYS CFX 14.5, were introduced to study subcooled boiling flow at elevated pressure. At the heated wall boundary, the Fractal model, Force balance approach and Mechanistic frequency model are given for predicting the nucleation site density, bubble departure diameter, and bubble departure frequency. The presented wall heat flux partitioning closures were modified to consider the influence of bubble sliding along the wall before the lift-off, which usually happens in the flow boiling. The simulation was performed based on the Two-fluid model, where the standard k-ω SST model was selected for turbulence modelling. Existing experimental data at around 5 bars were chosen to evaluate the accuracy of the presented mechanistic approach. The void fraction and Interfacial Area Concentration (IAC) are in good agreement with the experimental data. However, the predicted bubble velocity and Sauter Mean Diameter (SMD) are over-predicted. This over-prediction may be caused by consideration of only dispersed and spherical bubbles in the simulations. In the future work, the important physical mechanisms of bubbles, such as merging and shrinking during sliding on the heated wall will be incorporated into this mechanistic model to enhance its capability for a wider range of flow prediction.
Energy Calculation for Excited Lithium Atom in Position Space
The energy expectation value for Li-like ions systems (Li, Be+ and Be2+) hasbeen calculated and examined within the ground state (1s2sα)^2 S and the excited state (1s3sα)^2 S in position space. The partitioning technique of Hartree-Fock (H-F) has been used for existing wavefnctions.
Mathematical Model and Algorithm for the Berth and Yard Resource Allocation at Seaports
This paper studies a deterministic container transportation problem, jointly optimizing the berth allocation, quay crane assignment and yard storage allocation at container ports. The problem is formulated as an integer program to coordinate the decisions. Because of the large scale, it is then transformed into a set partitioning formulation, and a framework of branchand- price algorithm is provided to solve it.
Effect of Organics on Radionuclide Partitioning in Nuclear Fuel Storage Ponds
Sellafield has a number of fuel storage ponds, some of which have been open to the air for a number of decades. This has caused corrosion of the fuel resulting in a release of some activity into solution, reduced water clarity, and accumulation of sludge at the bottom of the pond consisting of brucite (Mg(OH)2) and other uranium corrosion products. Both of these phases are also present as colloidal material. 90Sr and 137Cs are known to constitute a small volume of the radionuclides present in the pond, but a large fraction of the activity, thus they are most at risk of challenging effluent discharge limits. Organic molecules are known to be present also, due to the ponds being open to the air, with occasional algal blooms restricting visibility further. The contents of the pond need to be retrieved and safely stored, but dealing with such a complex, undefined inventory poses a unique challenge. This work aims to determine and understand the sorption-desorption interactions of 90Sr and 137Cs to brucite and uranium phases, with and without the presence of organic molecules from chemical degradation and bio-organisms. The influence of organics on these interactions has not been widely studied. Partitioning of these radionuclides and organic molecules has been determined through LSC, ICP-AES/MS, and UV-vis spectrophotometry coupled with ultrafiltration in both binary and ternary systems. Further detailed analysis into the surface and bonding environment of these components is being investigated through XAS techniques and PHREEQC modelling. Experiments were conducted in CO2-free or N2 atmosphere across a high pH range in order to best simulate conditions in the pond. Humic acid used in brucite systems demonstrated strong competition against 90Sr for the brucite surface regardless of the order of addition of components. Variance of pH did have a small effect, however this range (10.5-11.5) is close to the pHpzc of brucite, causing the surface to buffer the solution pH towards that value over the course of the experiment. Sorption of 90Sr to UO2 obeyed Ho’s rate equation and demonstrated a slow second-order reaction with respect to the sharing of valence electrons from the strontium atom, with the initial rate clearly dependent on pH, with the equilibrium concentration calculated at close to 100% sorption. There was no influence of humic acid seen when introduced to these systems. Sorption of 137Cs to UO3 was significant, with more than 95% sorbed in just over 24 hours. Again, humic acid showed no influence when introduced into this system. Both brucite and uranium based systems will be studied with the incorporation of cyanobacterial cultures harvested at different stages of growth. Investigation of these systems provides insight into, and understanding of, the effect of organics on radionuclide partitioning to brucite and uranium phases at high pH. The majority of sorption-desorption work for radionuclides has been conducted at neutral to acidic pH values, and mostly without organics. These studies are particularly important for the characterisation of legacy wastes at Sellafield, with a view to their safe retrieval and storage.
Potential Energy Expectation Value for Lithium Excited State (1s2s3s)
The purpose of the present work is to calculate the expectation value of potential energy for different spin states (ααα ≡ βββ, αβα ≡ βαβ) and compare it with spin states (αββ, ααβ ) for lithium excited state (1s2s3s) and Li-like ions (Be+, B+2) using Hartree-Fock wave function by partitioning technique. The result of inter particle expectation value shows linear behaviour with atomic number and for each atom and ion the shows the trend ααα < ααβ < αββ < αβα.
Modified Montgomery for RSA Cryptosystem
Encryption and decryption in RSA are done by modular exponentiation which is achieved by repeated modular multiplication. Hence, efficiency of modular multiplication directly determines the efficiency of RSA cryptosystem. This paper designs a Modified Montgomery Modular multiplication in which addition of operands is computed by 4:2 compressor. The basic logic operations in addition are partitioned over two iterations such that parallel computations are performed. This reduces the critical path delay of proposed Montgomery design. The proposed design and RSA are implemented on Virtex 2 and Virtex 5 FPGAs. The two factors partitioning and parallelism have improved the frequency and throughput of proposed design.
A Blind Three-Dimensional Meshes Watermarking Using the Interquartile Range
We introduce a robust three-dimensional watermarking algorithm for copyright protection and indexing. The basic idea behind our technique is to measure the interquartile range or the spread of the 3D model vertices. The algorithm starts by converting all the vertices to spherical coordinate followed by partitioning them into small groups. The proposed algorithm is slightly altering the interquartile range distribution of the small groups based on predefined watermark. The experimental results on several 3D meshes prove perceptual invisibility and the robustness of the proposed technique against the most common attacks including compression, noise, smoothing, scaling, rotation as well as combinations of these attacks.
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 multi-scale product is based on making the product of the speech wavelet transform coefficients at three successive dyadic scales. We have evaluated our method on the Keele database. Experimental results show the effectiveness of our method presenting a good performance. It shows that the two simple features can find word boundaries, and extracted the segments of the clean speech.
Mathematical Model That Using Scrambling and Message Integrity Methods in Audio Steganography
The success of audio steganography is to ensure imperceptibility of the embedded message in stego file and withstand any form of intentional or un-intentional degradation of message (robustness). Audio steganographic that utilized LSB of audio stream to embed message gain a lot of popularity over the years in meeting the perceptual transparency, robustness and capacity. This research proposes an XLSB technique in order to circumvent the weakness observed in LSB technique. Scrambling technique is introduce in two steps; partitioning the message into blocks followed by permutation each blocks in order to confuse the contents of the message. The message is embedded in the MP3 audio sample. After extracting the message, the permutation codebook is used to re-order it into its original form. Md5sum and SHA-256 are used to verify whether the message is altered or not during transmission. Experimental result shows that the XLSB performs better than LSB.
Biocompatible Ionic Liquids in Liquid-Liquid Extraction of Lactic Acid: A Comparative Study
Ionic liquids consisting of pairs of imidazolium or phosphonium cation and chloride or saccharinate anion were synthesized and compared with respect to their extraction efficiency towards the fermentative L-lactic acid. The acid partitioning in the equilibrated biphasic systems of ionic liquid and water was quantified through the extraction degree and the partition coefficient. The water transfer from the aqueous into the ionic liquid-rich phase was also always followed. The effect of pH, which determines the state of lactic acid in the aqueous source was studied. The effect of other salting-out substances that modify the ionic liquid/water equilibrium was also investigated in view to reveal the best liquid-liquid system with respect to low toxicity, high extraction and back extraction efficiencies and performance simplicity.
System Survivability in Networks in the Context of Defense/Attack Strategies: The Large Scale
We investigate the large scale of networks in the context of network survivability under attack. We use appropriate techniques to evaluate and the attacker-based- and the defender-based-network survivability. The attacker is unaware of the operated links by the defender. Each attacked link has some pre-specified probability to be disconnected. The defender choice is so that to maximize the chance of successfully sending the flow to the destination node. The attacker however will select the cut-set with the highest chance to be disabled in order to partition the network. Moreover, we extend the problem to the case of selecting the best p paths to operate by the defender and the best k cut-sets to target by the attacker, for arbitrary integers p,k > 1. We investigate some variations of the problem and suggest polynomial-time solutions.
Classification Rule Discovery by Using Parallel Ant Colony Optimization
Ant-Miner algorithm that lies under ACO algorithms is used to extract knowledge from data in the form of rules. A variant of Ant-Miner algorithm named as cAnt-MinerPB is used to generate list of rules using pittsburgh approach in order to maintain the rule interaction among the rules that are generated. In this paper, we propose a parallel Ant MinerPB in which Ant colony optimization algorithm runs parallel. In this technique, a data set is divided vertically (i-e attributes) into different subsets. These subsets are created based on the correlation among attributes using Mutual Information (MI). It generates rules in a parallel manner and then merged to form a final list of rules. The results have shown that the proposed technique achieved higher accuracy when compared with original cAnt-MinerPB and also the execution time has also reduced.
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 merge algorithm has the time complexity of O ((r+s) *l) where r and s are the size of merging polygons and l shows the number of intersecting edges removed from the polygonal chain. It will be shown that 1 < l < r+s. 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.
[Keynote Speech]: Feature Selection and Predictive Modeling of Housing Data Using Random Forest
Predictive data analysis and modeling involving machine learning techniques become challenging in presence of too many explanatory variables or features. Presence of too many features in machine learning is known to not only cause algorithms to slow down, but they can also lead to decrease in model prediction accuracy. This study involves housing dataset with 79 quantitative and qualitative features that describe various aspects people consider while buying a new house. Boruta algorithm that supports feature selection using a wrapper approach build around random forest is used in this study. This feature selection process leads to 49 confirmed features which are then used for developing predictive random forest models. The study also explores five different data partitioning ratios and their impact on model accuracy are captured using coefficient of determination (r-square) and root mean square error (rsme).
Image Compression on Region of Interest Based on SPIHT Algorithm
Image abbreviation is utilized for reducing the size of a file without demeaning the quality of the image to an objectionable level. The depletion in file size permits more images to be deposited in a given number of spaces. It also minimizes the time necessary for images to be transferred. Storage of medical images is a most researched area in the current scenario. To store a medical image, there are two parameters on which the image is divided, regions of interest and non-regions of interest. The best way to store an image is to compress it in such a way that no important information is lost. Compression can be done in two ways, namely lossy, and lossless compression. Under that, several compression algorithms are applied. In the paper, two algorithms are used which are, discrete cosine transform, applied to non-region of interest (lossy), and discrete wavelet transform, applied to regions of interest (lossless). The paper introduces SPIHT (set partitioning hierarchical tree) algorithm which is applied onto the wavelet transform to obtain good compression ratio from which an image can be stored efficiently.
Automatic Extraction of Arbitrarily Shaped Buildings from VHR Satellite Imagery
Satellite imagery is one of the emerging technologies which are extensively utilized in various applications such as detection/extraction of man-made structures, monitoring of sensitive areas, creating graphic maps etc. The main approach here is the automated detection of buildings from very high resolution (VHR) optical satellite images. Initially, the shadow, the building and the non-building regions (roads, vegetation etc.) are investigated wherein building extraction is mainly focused. Once all the landscape is collected a trimming process is done so as to eliminate the landscapes that may occur due to non-building objects. Finally the label method is used to extract the building regions. The label method may be altered for efficient building extraction. The images used for the analysis are the ones which are extracted from the sensors having resolution less than 1 meter (VHR). This method provides an efficient way to produce good results. The additional overhead of mid processing is eliminated without compromising the quality of the output to ease the processing steps required and time consumed.
Magnetohydrodynamic Flows in a Conduit with Multiple Channels under a Magnetic Field Applied Perpendicular to the Plane of Flow
This study numerically analyzes a steady-state, three-dimensional liquid-metal magnetohydrodynamic flows in a conduit with multiple channels under a uniform magnetic field. The geometry of the conduit is of a four-parallel-channels system including one inflow channel and three outflow channels. The liquid-metal flows in the inflow channel, then turns 1800 in the transition segment, finally flows into three different outflow channels simultaneously. This kind of channel system can induce counter flow and co-flow, which is rarely investigated before. The axial velocity in the side layer near the first partitioning wall, which is located between the inflow channel and the first outflow channel, is the highest. ‘M-shaped’ velocity profiles are obtained in the side layers of the inflow and outflow channels. The interdependency of the current, fluid velocity, pressure, electric potential is examined in order to describe the electromagnetic characteristics of the liquid-metal flows.
The Phosphatidate Phosphatase Pah1 and Its Regulator Nem1/spo7 Protein Phosphatase Required for Nucleophagy
Nucleophagy selectively degrades nuclear materials, especially nucleolus after nutrient starvation or inactivation of TORC1 kinase in budding yeast. Budding yeast phosphatidate (PA) phosphatase Pah1 that converts PA to diacylglycerol is essential for partitioning of lipid precursors between membrane and storage that is crucial for many aspects of cell growth and development. Pah1 is required for nuclear/ER membrane biogenesis and vacuole function, but whether Pah1 and its activator Nem1/Spo7 protein phosphatase complex are involved in autophagy is largely unknown. Loss of Pah1 causes expansion of the nucleus and fragmentation of the vacuole. Here we show that Pah1 is required for bulk autophagy and nucleophagy after TORC1 inactivation. Loss of Pah1 impaired nucleophagy severely and bulk autophagy to a lesser extent. Loss of the Pah1 activator Nem1-Spo7 protein phosphatase exhibited similar features.
Artificial Intelligent Methodology for Liquid Propellant Engine Design Optimization
This paper represents the methodology based on Artificial Intelligent (AI) applied to Liquid Propellant Engine (LPE) optimization. The AI methodology utilized from Adaptive neural Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS). In this methodology, the optimum objective function means to achieve maximum performance (specific impulse). The independent design variables in ANFIS modeling are combustion chamber pressure and temperature and oxidizer to fuel ratio and output of this modeling are specific impulse that can be applied with other objective functions in LPE design optimization. To this end, the LPE’s parameter has been modeled in ANFIS methodology based on generating fuzzy inference system structure by using grid partitioning, subtractive clustering and Fuzzy C-Means (FCM) clustering for both inferences (Mamdani and Sugeno) and various types of membership functions. The final comparing optimization results shown accuracy and processing run time of the Gaussian ANFIS Methodology between all methods.
Recovery of Value-Added Whey Proteins from Dairy Effluent Using Aqueous Two-Phase System
The remains of cheese production contain nutritional value added proteins viz., α-Lactalbumin, β-Lactoglobulin representing 80- 90% of the total volume of milk entering the process. Although several possibilities for cheese-whey exploitation have been assayed, approximately half of world cheese-whey production is not treated but is discarded as effluent. It is necessary to develop an effective and environmentally benign extraction process for the recovery of value added cheese whey proteins. Recently aqueous two phase system (ATPS) have emerged as potential separation process, particularly in the field of biotechnology due to the mild conditions of the process, short processing time, and ease of scale-up. In order to design an ATPS process for the recovery of cheese whey proteins, development of phase diagram and the effect of system parameters such as pH, types and the concentrations of the phase forming components, temperature, etc., on the partitioning of proteins were addressed in order to maximize the recovery of proteins. Some of the practical problems encountered in the application of aqueous two-phase systems for the recovery of Cheese whey proteins were also discussed.
Relation between Physical and Mechanical Properties of Concrete Paving Stones Using Neuro-Fuzzy Approach
This study investigates the relation between physical and mechanical properties of concrete paving stones using neuro-fuzzy approach. For this purpose 200 samples of concrete paving stones were selected randomly from different sources. The first phase included the determination of physical properties of the samples such as water absorption capacity, porosity and unit weight. After that the indirect tensile strength test and compressive strength test of the samples were performed. İn the second phase, adaptive neuro-fuzzy approach was employed to simulate nonlinear mapping between the above mentioned physical properties and mechanical properties of paving stones. The neuro-fuzzy models uses Sugeno type fuzzy inference system. The models parameters were adapted using hybrid learning algorithm and input space was fuzzyfied by considering grid partitioning. It is concluded based on the observed data and the estimated data through ANFIS models that neuro-fuzzy system exhibits a satisfactory performance.
Routing and Energy Efficiency through Data Coupled Clustering in Large Scale Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs)
A typical wireless sensor networks (WSNs) consists of several tiny and low-power sensors which use radio frequency to perform distributed sensing tasks. The longevity of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) is a major issue that impacts the application of such networks. While routing protocols are striving to save energy by acting on sensor nodes, recent studies show that network lifetime can be enhanced by further involving sink mobility. A common approach for energy efficiency is partitioning the network into clusters with correlated data, where the representative nodes simply transmit or average measurements inside the cluster. In this paper, we propose an energy- efficient homogenous clustering (EHC) technique. In this technique, the decision of each sensor is based on their residual energy and an estimate of how many of its neighboring cluster heads (CHs) will benefit from it being a CH. We, also explore the routing algorithm in clustered WSNs. We show that the proposed schemes significantly outperform current approaches in terms of packet delay, hop count and energy consumption of WSNs.
DOA Estimation Using Golden Section Search
DOA technique is a localization technique used in the communication field. Various algorithms have been developed for direction of arrival estimation like MUSIC, ROOT MUSIC, etc. These algorithms depend on various parameters like antenna array elements, number of snapshots and various others. Basically the MUSIC spectrum is evaluated and peaks obtained are considered as the angle of arrivals. The angles evaluated using this process depends on the scanning interval chosen. The accuracy of the results obtained depends on the coarseness of the interval chosen. In this paper, golden section search is applied to the MUSIC algorithm and therefore, more accurate results are achieved. Initially the coarse DOA estimations is done using the MUSIC algorithm in the range -90 to 90 degree at the interval of 10 degree. After the peaks obtained then fine DOA estimation is done using golden section search. Also, the partitioning method is applied to estimate the number of signals incident on the antenna array. Dependency of the algorithm on the number of snapshots is also being explained. Hence, the accurate results are being determined using this algorithm.
Geochemical Evaluation of Metal Content and Fluorescent Characterization of Dissolved Organic Matter in Lake Sediments
Purpose of this paper is to evaluate the environmental status of a coastal Mediterranean lake, named Koumoundourou, located in the northeastern coast of Elefsis Bay, in the western region of Attiki in Greece, 15 km far from Athens. It is preserved from ancient times having an important archaeological interest. Koumoundourou lake is also considered as a valuable wetland accommodating an abundant flora and fauna, with a variety of bird species including a few world’s threatened ones. Furthermore, it is a heavily modified lake, affected by various anthropogenic pollutant sources which provide industrial, urban and agricultural contaminants. The adjacent oil refineries and the military depot are the major pollution providers furnishing with crude oil spills and leaks. Moreover, the lake accepts a quantity of groundwater leachates from the major landfill of Athens. The environmental status of the lake results from the intensive land uses combined with the permeable lithology of the surrounding area and the existence of karstic springs which discharge calcareous mountains. Sediment samples were collected along the shoreline of the lake using a Van Veen grab stainless steel sampler. They were studied for the determination of the total metal content and the metal fractionation in geochemical phases as well as the characterization of the dissolved organic matter (DOM). These constituents have a significant role in the ecological consideration of the lake. Metals may be responsible for harmful environmental impacts. The metal partitioning offers comprehensive information for the origin, mode of occurrence, biological and physicochemical availability, mobilization and transport of metals. Moreover, DOM has a multifunctional importance interacting with inorganic and organic contaminants leading to biogeochemical and ecological effects. The samples were digested using microwave heating with a suitable laboratory microwave unit. For the total metal content, the samples were treated with a mixture of strong acids. Then, a sequential extraction procedure was applied for the removal of exchangeable, carbonate hosted, reducible, organic/sulphides and residual fractions. Metal content was determined by an ICP-MS (Perkin Elmer, ICP MASS Spectrophotometer NexION 350D). Furthermore, the DOM was removed via a gentle extraction procedure and then it was characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy using a Perkin-Elmer LS 55 luminescence spectrophotometer equipped with the WinLab 4.00.02 software for data processing (Agilent, Cary Eclipse Fluorescence). Mono dimensional emission, excitation, synchronous-scan excitation and total luminescence spectra were recorded for the classification of chromophoric units present in the aqueous extracts. Total metal concentrations were determined and compared with those of the Elefsis gulf sediments. Element partitioning showed the anthropogenic sources and the contaminant bioavailability. All fluorescence spectra, as well as humification indices, were evaluated in detail to find out the nature and origin of DOM. All the results were compared and interpreted to evaluate the environmental quality of Koumoundourou lake and the need for environmental management and protection.
Determination and Qsar Modelling of Partitioning Coefficients for Some Xenobiotics in Soils and Sediments
For organic xenobiotics, sorption to Aldrich humic acid is a key process controlling their mobility, bioavailability, toxicity and fate in the soil. Hydrophobic organic compounds possessing either acid or basic groups can be partially ionized (deprotonated or protonated) within the range of natural soil pH. For neutral and ionogenicxenobiotics including (neutral, acids and bases) sorption coefficients normalized to organic carbon content, Koc, have measured at different pH values. To this end, the batch equilibrium technique has been used, employing SPME combined with GC-MSD as an analytical tool. For most ionogenic compounds, sorption has been affected by both pH and pKa and can be explained through Henderson-Hasselbalch equation. The results demonstrate that when assessing the environmental fate of ionogenic compounds, their pKa and speciation under natural conditions should be taken into account. A new model has developed to predict the relationship between log Koc and pH with full statistical evaluation against other existing predictive models. Neutral solutes have displayed a good fit with the classical model using log Kow as log Koc predictor, whereas acidic and basic compounds have displayed a good fit with the LSER approach and the new proposed model. Measurement limitations of the Batch technique and SPME-GC-MSD have been found with ionic compounds.
Diffusive Transport of VOCs Through Composite Liners
Modern landfills employ a composite liner consisting of a geomembrane overlying a compacted clay liner (CCL) or a geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) as a barrier system. The primary function of a barrier system is to control the contaminant transport from the leachate (dissolved phase) and landfill gas (vapour phase) out of the landfill thereby minimizing the environmental impact. This study is undertaken to investigate the diffusive migration of VOCs through composite liners. VOCs are known hazardous air pollutants were often existing in both the vapour phase and dissolved phase. These compounds are known to diffuse readily through the polymeric geomembranes. The objective of the research is to develop a comprehensive data set of diffusive parameters involved in the diffusion of VOCs in the composite liner (1.5 mm HDPE geomembrane overlying a 30mm compacted clay layer). For this purpose, the study aims to develop a new experimental setup for determining the diffusion characteristics. The key parameters of diffusion (partitioning, diffusion and permeation coefficients) are examined. The diffusion tests are carried out both in aqueous and vapor phase. Finally, an attempt is also made to study the effect of low temperature on the diffusion characteristics.
An Improved K-Means Algorithm for Gene Expression Data Clustering
Data mining technique used in the field of clustering is a subject of active research and assists in biological pattern recognition and extraction of new knowledge from raw data. Clustering means the act of partitioning an unlabeled dataset into groups of similar objects. Each group, called a cluster, consists of objects that are similar between themselves and dissimilar to objects of other groups. Several clustering methods are based on partitional clustering. This category attempts to directly decompose the dataset into a set of disjoint clusters leading to an integer number of clusters that optimizes a given criterion function. The criterion function may emphasize a local or a global structure of the data, and its optimization is an iterative relocation procedure. The K-Means algorithm is one of the most widely used partitional clustering techniques. Since K-Means is extremely sensitive to the initial choice of centers and a poor choice of centers may lead to a local optimum that is quite inferior to the global optimum, we propose a strategy to initiate K-Means centers. The improved K-Means algorithm is compared with the original K-Means, and the results prove how the efficiency has been significantly improved.
Three-Stage Anaerobic Co-digestion of High-Solids Food Waste and Horse Manure
Hydrolysis and acidogenesis are the rate-controlling steps in an anaerobic digestion (AD) process. Considering that the optimum conditions for each stage can be diverse diverse, the development of a multi-stage AD system is likely to the AD efficiency through individual optimization. In this research, we developed a highly integrate three-stage anaerobic digester (HM3) to combine the advantages of dry AD and wet AD for anaerobic co-digestion of food waste and horse manure. The digester design comprised mainly of three chambers - high-solids hydrolysis, high-solids acidogenesis and wet methanogensis. Through comparing the treatment performance with other two control digesters, HM3 presented 11.2 ~22.7% higher methane yield. The improved methane yield was mainly attributed to the functionalized partitioning in the integrated digester, which significantly accelerated the solubilization of solid organic matters and the formation of organic acids, as well as ammonia in the high-solids hydrolytic and acidogenic stage respectively. Additionally, HM3 also showed the highest volatile solids reduction rate among the three digesters. Real-time PCR and pyrosequencing analysis indicated that the abundance and biodiversity of microorganisms including bacteria and archaea in HM3 was much higher than that in the control reactors.
The Scattering in Flexible Reactive Silencer Containing Rigid Partitioning
The noise emanating from the ducting of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system is often attenuated by using the dissipative silencers. Such devices work well for the high-frequency noise but are less operative in the low-frequency noise range. The present study analyzes a reactive silencer comprising expansion chamber of the elastic membranes partitioned symmetrically by a rigid plate. The Mode-Matching scheme has been developed to solve the governing boundary value problem. The orthogonal and non-orthogonal duct modes of acoustic pressures and normal velocities are matched at interfaces. It enables to recast the differential system into the infinite system of linear algebraic of equations, which is, then truncated and inverted for the solution. The truncated solution is validated through the conservation of energy and reconstruction of matching conditions. The results for scattering energy flux and transmission loss are shown against frequency and the dimensions of the chamber. It is seen that the stop-band of the silencer can be shifted to the broadband by changing the dimensions of the chamber and the properties of the elastic membranes. The modeled reactive silencer is more efficient in low frequency regime where the passive devices are least effective.
A Technique for Image Segmentation Using K-Means Clustering Classification
The paper presents the Technique for Image Segmentation Using K-Means Clustering Classification. The presented algorithms were specific, however, missed the neighboring information and required high-speed computerized machines to run the segmentation algorithms. Clustering is the process of partitioning a group of data points into a small number of clusters. The proposed method is content-aware and feature extraction method which is able to run on low-end computerized machines, simple algorithm, required low-quality streaming, efficient and used for security purpose. It has the capability to highlight the boundary and the object. At first, the user enters the data in the representation of the input. Then in the next step, the digital image is converted into groups clusters. Clusters are divided into many regions. The same categories with same features of clusters are assembled within a group and different clusters are placed in other groups. Finally, the clusters are combined with respect to similar features and then represented in the form of segments. The clustered image depicts the clear representation of the digital image in order to highlight the regions and boundaries of the image. At last, the final image is presented in the form of segments. All colors of the image are separated in clusters.
Chemical Partitioning of Trace Metals in Sub-Surface Sediments of Lake Acigol, Denizli, Turkey
Lake Acıgöl is one of the large saline lacustrine environment in Turkey. Eleven trace metals (Cr, Mn, Fe, Al, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb and As) in 9 surface and subsurface sediment samples from the Lake Acıgöl were analyzed with the bulk and sequential extraction analysis methods by ICP-MS to obtain the metal distribution patterns in this extreme environment. Five stepped sequential extraction technique (1- exchangeable, 2- bond to carbonates, 3- bond to iron and manganese oxides/hydroxides, 4- bond to organic matter and sulphides, and 5- residual fraction incorporated into clay and silicate mineral lattices) was used to characterize the various forms of metals in the
Environmental Impact Assessment of Ambient Particle Industrial Complex Upon Vegetation Near Settling at El-Fatyah,Libya
The present study was undertaken to evaluate the impact of ambient particles emitted from an industrial complex located at El-Fatyah on growth, phytomass partitioning and accumulation, pigment content and nutrient uptake of two economically important crop species; barley (Hordeum vulgare L.Family: Poaceae) and broad bean (Vicia faba L. Family: Fabaceae) growing in the region. It was obvious from the present investigation that chlorophyll and carotenoid content showed significant responses to the industrial dust. Generally, the total pigment content of the two investigated crops in the two locations continually increased till the plant age reached 70 days after sowing then begins to decrease till the end of the growing season..The total uptake of N, P and K in the two studied species decreased in response to industrial dust in the study area compared to control location. In conclusion, barley and broad bean are very sensitive to air pollutants, and may consider as bioindicators for atmospheric pollution. Pollutants caused damage of their leaves, impair plant growth, hindered nutrient uptake and consequently limit primary productivity.
Extractive Bioconversion of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from Ralstonia Eutropha Via Aqueous Two-Phase System-An Integrated Approach
Being biodegradable, non-toxic, renewable and have similar or better properties as commercial plastics, polyhydroxy alkanoates (PHAs) can be a potential game changer in the polymer industry. PHAs are the biodegradable polymer produced by bacteria, which are in interest as a sustainable alternative to petrochemical-derived plastics; however, its commercial value has significantly limited by high production and recovery cost of PHA. Aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) offers different chemical and physical environments, which contains about 80-90% water delivers an excellent environment for partitioning of cells, cell organelles and biologically active substances. Extractive bioconversion via ATPS allows the integration of PHA upstream fermentation and downstream purification process, which reduces production steps and time, thus lead to cost reduction. The ability of Ralstonia eutropha to grow under different ATPS conditions was investigated for its potential to be used in a bioconversion system. Changes in tie-line length (TLL) and a volume ratio (Vr) were shown to have an effect on PHA partition coefficient. High PHA recovery yield of 65% with a relatively high purity of 73% was obtained in PEG 6000/Sodium sulphate system with 42.6 wt/wt % TLL and 1.25 Vr. Extractive bioconversion via ATPS is an attractive approach for the combination of PHA production and recovery process.
The Effect of Traffic on Harmful Metals and Metalloids in the Street Dust and Surface Soil from Urban Areas of Tehran, Iran: Levels, Distribution and Chemical Partitioning Based on Single and Sequential Extraction Procedures
Street dust and surface soil samples were collected from very heavy, heavy, medium and low traffic areas and natural site in Tehran, Iran. These samples were analyzed for some physical–chemical features, total and chemical speciation of selected metals and metalloids (Zn, Al, Sr, Pb, Cu, Cr, Cd, Co, Ni, and V) to study the effect of traffic on their mobility and accumulation in the environment. The pH, electrical conductivity (EC), carbonates and organic carbon (OC) values were similar in soil and dust samples from similar traffic areas. The traffic increases EC contents in dust/soil matrixes but has no effect on concentrations of metals and metalloids in soil samples. Rises in metal and metalloids levels with traffic were found in dust samples. Moreover, the traffic increases the percentage of acid soluble fraction and Fe and Mn oxides associated fractions of Pb and Zn. The mobilization of Cu, Zn, Pb, Cr in dust samples was easier than in soil. The speciation of metals and metalloids except Cd is mainly affected by physicochemical features in soil, although total metals and metalloids affected the speciation in dust samples (except chromium and nickel).
Effect of Lignocellulose-Degrading Bacteria Isolated from Termite Gut on the Nutritive Value of Wheat Straw as Ruminant Feed
This study was conducted to investigate nutritive value of wheat straw processed with termite gut symbiotic bacteria with lignocellulosic-degrading potential including Bacillus licheniformis, Ochrobactrum intermedium and Microbacterium paludicola in vitro. These bacteria were isolated by culturing termite guts contents in different culture media containing different lignin and lignocellulosic materials that had been prepared from water-extracted sawdust and wheat straw. Results showed that incubating wheat straw with all of three isolated bacteria increased (P< 0.05) acid-precipitable polymeric lignin (APPL) compared to control, and highest amount of APPL observed following treatment with B. licheniformis. Highest and lowest (P< 0.05) in vitro gas production and ruminal organic matter digestibility were obtained when treating wheat straw with B. licheniformis and control, respectively. However, other fermentation parameters such as b (i.e., gas production from the insoluble fermentable fractions at 144h), c (i.e., rate of gas production during incubation), ruminal dry matter digestibility, metabolizable energy, partitioning factor, pH and ammonia nitrogen concentration were similar between experimental treatments (P>0.05). It is concluded that processing wheat straw with isolated bacteria improved its nutritive value as ruminants feed.
Aqueous Two Phase Extraction of Jonesia denitrificans Xylanase 6 in PEG 1000/Phosphate System
The impetus for research in the field of bioseparation has been sparked by the difficulty and complexity in the downstream processing of biological products. Indeed, 50% to 90% of the production cost for a typical biological product resides in the purification strategy. There is a need for efficient and economical large scale bioseparation techniques which will achieve high purity and high recovery while maintaining the biological activity of the molecule. One such purification technique which meets these criteria involves the partitioning of biomolecules between two immiscible phases in an aqueous system (ATPS). The Production of xylanases is carried out in 500ml of a liquid medium based on birchwood xylan. In each ATPS, PEG 1000 is added to a mixture consisting of dipotassium phosphate, sodium chloride and the culture medium inoculated with the strain Jonesia denitrificans, the mixture was adjusted to different pH. The concentration of PEG 1000 was varied: 8 to 16 % and the NaCl percentages are also varied from 2 to 4% while maintaining the other parameters constant. The results showed that the best ATPS for purification of xylanases is composed of PEG 1000 at 8.33%, 13.14 % of K2HPO4, 1.62% NaCl at pH 7. We obtained a yield of 96.62 %, a partition coefficient of 86.66 and a purification factor of 2.9. The zymogram showed that the activity is mainly detected in the top phase.
Obioma's 'The Fishermen' and the Redefinition of African Postcolonial Narrative Tragedy
If there is a modern world literary culture that has so tremendously patronized the tragic mode, it has to be that of Africa, and this has been largely true to the extent that the African socio-historical process has been given strong projection by its literature and other art forms. From the three-century-long transatlantic slave trade which brutally translocated millions of Africans to the ‘outermost parts of the earth’, to the vicious partitioning of Africa among European powers and the subsequent imposition of colonial authority on a pulverized people, Africa has really been at the receiving end of the big negatives of global transactions. The African tale has largely been one long tragic narrative. However, the postcolonial African tragic saga has presented an interesting variety of forms and approaches, which have seen to the production of some of the most thought-provoking and acclaimed African novels of the late 20th and early 21st century. Some of the defining characteristics of the African tragic prose has been: the exploration of the many neocolonial implications of the African contemporary existence; the significance of the robust interplay between the essentially foreign, and the originally indigenous elements of the modern African society; and the implosive aftermaths of the individual modern African’s attempt to rationalize his position at the centre of a very complex society. Obioma’s incredible novel, The Fishermen, is in many ways, a classic of the African postcolonial narrative tragedy. The reasons for this bold categorization would occupy the present paper.
Research and Innovation Centre
Maize is among the most economically important crops and at the same time one of the most sensitive to soil deficiency in zinc. In this paper, the impact of the foliar zinc application in the form of zinc hydroxy nitrate suspension on the micro and macro elements partitioning in maize leaves and grain was studied during spring maize season, 2017. The impact of the foliar zinc fertilization on the grain yield and quality was estimated too. The experiment was performed by the randomized block design with 8 variants in 3 replications. Seven suspension solutions whit different Zn concentration were used, including ZnO suspension and zinc hydroxyl nitrate alone or nixed with other nutrients. Fertilization and irrigation were the same for all variants. The Zn content and the content of selected micro (Cu, Fe) and macro (Ca, Mg, P and K) elements in maize leaves were determined two weeks after the first spraying (5-6 sheets), two weeks after the second spraying (9-10 sheets) and after harvesting. It was concluded that the synthesized zinc hydroxy nitrate demonstrates potential as the long-term foliar fertilizer. A significant (p < 0.05) effect of zinc accumulation in maize leaves by foliar zinc application during the first growth stage was found, followed by its reutilization to other plants organs during the second growth stage. Significant export of Cu, P, and K from lower and middle leaves was observed. The content of Ca and Mg remains constant in the whole longevity period, while the content of Fe decreases sharply.
Analysis of the Elastic Energy Released and Characterization of the Eruptive Episodes Intensity’s during 2014-2015 at El Reventador Volcano, Ecuador
The elastic energy released through Strombolian explosions has been quite studied, detailing various processes, sources, and precursory events at several volcanoes. We realized an analysis based on the relative partitioning of the elastic energy radiated into the atmosphere and ground by Strombolian-type explosions recorded at El Reventador volcano, using infrasound and seismic signals at high and moderate seismicity episodes during intense eruptive stages of explosive and effusive activity. Our results show that considerable values of Volcano Acoustic-Seismic Ratio (VASR or η) are obtained at high seismicity stages. VASR is a physical diagnostic of explosive degassing that we used to compare eruption mechanisms at El Reventador volcano for two datasets of explosions recorded at a Broad-Band BB seismic and infrasonic station located at ~5 kilometers from the vent. We conclude that the acoustic energy EA released during explosive activity (VASR η = 0.47, standard deviation σ = 0.8) is higher than the EA released during effusive activity; therefore, producing the highest values of η. Furthermore, we realized the analysis and characterization of the eruptive intensity for two episodes at high seismicity, calculating a η three-time higher for an episode of effusive activity with an occasional explosive component (η = 0.32, and σ = 0.42), than a η for an episode of only effusive activity (η = 0.11, and σ = 0.18), but more energetic.
Decision Making System for Clinical Datasets
Computer Aided decision making system is used to enhance diagnosis and prognosis of diseases and also to assist clinicians and junior doctors in clinical decision making. Medical Data used for decision making should be definite and consistent. Data Mining and soft computing techniques are used for cleaning the data and for incorporating human reasoning in decision making systems. Fuzzy rule based inference technique can be used for classification in order to incorporate human reasoning in the decision making process.
In this work, missing values are imputed using the mean or mode of the attribute. The data are normalized using min-ma normalization to improve the design and efficiency of the fuzzy inference system. The fuzzy inference system is used to handle the uncertainties that exist in the medical data. Equal-width-partitioning is used to partition the attribute values into appropriate fuzzy intervals. Fuzzy rules are generated using Class Based Associative rule mining algorithm. The system is trained and tested using heart disease data set from the University of California at Irvine (UCI) Machine Learning Repository. The data was split using a hold out approach into training and testing data. From the experimental results it can be inferred that classification using fuzzy inference system performs better than trivial IF-THEN rule based classification approaches. Furthermore it is observed that the use of fuzzy logic and fuzzy inference mechanism handles uncertainty and also resembles human decision making. The system can be used in the absence of a clinical expert to assist junior doctors and clinicians in clinical decision making.
Population Structure Analysis of Pakistani Indigenous Cattle Population by Using High Density SNP Array
Genetic differences associated with speciation, breed formation or local adaptation can help to preserve and effective utilization of animals in selection programs. Analyses of population structure and breed diversity have provided insight into the origin and evolution of cattle. In this study, we used a high-density panel of SNP markers to examine population structure and diversity among ten Pakistani indigenous cattle breeds. In total, 25 individuals from three cattle populations, including Achi (n=08), Bhagnari (n=04) and Cholistani (n=13) were genotyped for 777, 962 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Population structure was examined using the linkage model in the program STRUCTURE. After characterizing SNP polymorphism in the different populations, we performed a detailed analysis of genetic structure at both the individual and population levels. The whole-genome SNP panel identified several levels of population substructure in the set of examined cattle breeds. We further searched for spatial patterns of genetic diversity among these breeds under the recently developed spatial principal component analysis framework. Overall, such high throughput genotyping data confirmed a clear partitioning of the cattle genetic diversity into distinct breeds. The resulting complex historical origins associated with both natural and artificial selection have led to the differentiation of numerous different cattle breeds displaying a broad phenotypic variety over a short period of time.
Spatial Object-Oriented Template Matching Algorithm Using Normalized Cross-Correlation Criterion for Tracking Aerial Image Scene
Leaning on the development of aerial laser scanning in the Philippine geospatial industry, researches about remote sensing and machine vision technology became a trend. Object detection via template matching is one of its application which characterized to be fast and in real time. The paper purposely attempts to provide application for robust pattern matching algorithm based on the normalized cross correlation (NCC) criterion function subjected in Object-based image analysis (OBIA) utilizing high-resolution aerial imagery and low density LiDAR data. The height information from laser scanning provides effective partitioning order, thus improving the hierarchal class feature pattern which allows to skip unnecessary calculation. Since detection is executed in the object-oriented platform, mathematical morphology and multi-level filter algorithms were established to effectively avoid the influence of noise, small distortion and fluctuating image saturation that affect the rate of recognition of features. Furthermore, the scheme is evaluated to recognized the performance in different situations and inspect the computational complexities of the algorithms. Its effectiveness is demonstrated in areas of Misamis Oriental province, achieving an overall accuracy of 91% above. Also, the garnered results portray the potential and efficiency of the implemented algorithm under different lighting conditions.
Phosphate Bonded Hemp (Cannabis sativa) Fibre Composites
The properties of Hemp (Cannabis sativa) in phosphate bonded composites were investigated in this research. Hemp hurds were collected from the Hemporium institute for research, South Africa. The hurds were air-dried and shredded using a hammer mill. The shives were screened into different particle sizes and were treated separately with 5% solution of acetic anhydride and sodium hydroxide. The binding matrix was prepared using a reactive magnesia, phosphoric acid, class S fly ash and unslaked lime. The treated and untreated hemp fibers were mixed thoroughly in different ratios with the inorganic matrix. Boric acid and excess water were used to retard and control the rate of the reaction and the setting of the binder. The Hemp composite was formed in a rectangular mold and compressed at room temperature at a pressure of 100KPa. After de-molding the composites, they were cured in a conditioning room for 96 h. Physical and mechanical tests were conducted to evaluate the properties of the composites. A central composite design (CCD) was used to determine the best conditions to optimize the performance of the composites. Thereafter, these combinations were applied in the production of the composites, and the properties were evaluated. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to carry out the advance examination of the behavior of the composites while X-ray diffractometry (XRD) was used to analyze the reaction pathway in the composites. The results revealed that all properties of phosphate bonded Hemp composites exceeded the LD-1 grade classification of particle boards. The proposed product can be used for ceiling, partitioning, wall claddings and underlayment.
Application of Hydrological Model in Support of Streamflow Allocation in Arid Watersheds in Northwestern China
Spatial heterogeneity of landscape significantly affects watershed hydrological processes, particularly in high elevation and cold mountainous watersheds such as the inland river (terminal lake) basins in Northwest China, where the upper reach mountainous areas are the main source of streamflow for the downstream agricultural oases and desert ecosystems. Thus, it is essential to take into account spatial variations of hydrological processes in streamflow allocation at the watershed scale. This paper adapts the Distributed Large Basin Runoff Model (DLBRM) to the Heihe River Watershed, the second largest inland river with a drainage area of about 128,000 km2 in Northwest China, for understanding the transfer and partitioning mechanism among the glacier and snowmelt, surface runoff, evapotranspiration, and groundwater recharge among the upper, middle, and lower reaches in the study area. Results indicate that the upper reach Qilian Mountain area is the main source of streamflow for the middle reach agricultural oasis and downstream desert areas. Large withdrawals for agricultural irrigation in the middle reach had significantly depleted river flow for the lower reach desert ecosystems. Innovative conservation and enforcement programs need to be undertaken to ensure the successful implementation of water allocation plan of delivering 0.95 x 109 m3 of water downstream annually by the State Council in the Heihe River Watershed.
A Graph Library Development Based on the Service-Oriented Architecture: Used for Representation of the Biological Systems in the Computer Algorithms
Considering the usage of graph-based approaches in systems and synthetic biology, and the various types of the graphs employed by them, a comprehensive graph library based on the three-tier architecture (3TA) was previously introduced for full representation of the biological systems. Although proposing a 3TA-based graph library, three following reasons motivated us to redesign the graph library based on the service-oriented architecture (SOA): (1) Maintaining the accuracy of the data related to an input graph (including its edges, its vertices, its topology, etc.) without involving the end user: Since, in the case of using 3TA, the library files are available to the end users, they may be utilized incorrectly, and consequently, the invalid graph data will be provided to the computer algorithms. However, considering the usage of the SOA, the operation of the graph registration is specified as a service by encapsulation of the library files. In other words, overall control operations needed for registration of the valid data will be the responsibility of the services. (2) Partitioning of the library product into some different parts: Considering 3TA, a whole library product was provided in general. While here, the product can be divided into smaller ones, such as an AND/OR graph drawing service, and each one can be provided individually. As a result, the end user will be able to select any parts of the library product, instead of all features, to add it to a project. (3) Reduction of the complexities: While using 3TA, several other libraries must be needed to add for connecting to the database, responsibility of the provision of the needed library resources in the SOA-based graph library is entrusted with the services by themselves. Therefore, the end user who wants to use the graph library is not involved with its complexity. In the end, in order to make the library easier to control in the system, and to restrict the end user from accessing the files, it was preferred to use the service-oriented architecture (SOA) over the three-tier architecture (3TA) and to redevelop the previously proposed graph library based on it.
Data Mining Spatial: Unsupervised Classification of Geographic Data
In recent years, the volume of geospatial information is increasing due to the evolution of communication technologies and information, this information is presented often by geographic information systems (GIS) and stored on of spatial databases (BDS). The classical data mining revealed a weakness in knowledge extraction at these enormous amounts of data due to the particularity of these spatial entities, which are characterized by the interdependence between them (1st law of geography). This gave rise to spatial data mining. Spatial data mining is a process of analyzing geographic data, which allows the extraction of knowledge and spatial relationships from geospatial data, including methods of this process we distinguish the monothematic and thematic, geo- Clustering is one of the main tasks of spatial data mining, which is registered in the part of the monothematic method. It includes geo-spatial entities similar in the same class and it affects more dissimilar to the different classes. In other words, maximize intra-class similarity and minimize inter similarity classes. Taking account of the particularity of geo-spatial data. Two approaches to geo-clustering exist, the dynamic processing of data involves applying algorithms designed for the direct treatment of spatial data, and the approach based on the spatial data pre-processing, which consists of applying clustering algorithms classic pre-processed data (by integration of spatial relationships). This approach (based on pre-treatment) is quite complex in different cases, so the search for approximate solutions involves the use of approximation algorithms, including the algorithms we are interested in dedicated approaches (clustering methods for partitioning and methods for density) and approaching bees (biomimetic approach), our study is proposed to design very significant to this problem, using different algorithms for automatically detecting geo-spatial neighborhood in order to implement the method of geo- clustering by pre-treatment, and the application of the bees algorithm to this problem for the first time in the field of geo-spatial.
The Effect of "Trait" Variance of Personality on Depression: Application of the Trait-State-Occasion Modeling
Both preexisting cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of personality-depression relationship have suffered from one main limitation: they ignored the stability of the construct of interest (e.g., personality and depression) can be expected to influence the estimate of the association between personality and depression. To address this limitation, the Trait-State-Occasion (TSO) modeling was adopted to analyze the sources of variance of the focused constructs. A TSO modeling was operated by partitioning a state variance into time-invariant (trait) and time-variant (occasion) components. Within a TSO framework, it is possible to predict change on the part of construct that really changes (i.e., time-variant variance), when controlling the trait variances. 750 high school students were followed for 4 waves over six-month intervals. The baseline data (T1) were collected from the senior high schools (aged 14 to 15 years). Participants were given Beck Depression Inventory and Big Five Inventory at each assessment. TSO modeling revealed that 70~78% of the variance in personality (five constructs) was stable over follow-up period; however, 57~61% of the variance in depression was stable. For personality construct, there were 7.6% to 8.4% of the total variance from the autoregressive occasion factors; for depression construct there were 15.2% to 18.1% of the total variance from the autoregressive occasion factors. Additionally, results showed that when controlling initial symptom severity, the time-invariant components of all five dimensions of personality were predictive of change in depression (Extraversion: B= .32, Openness: B = -.21, Agreeableness: B = -.27, Conscientious: B = -.36, Neuroticism: B = .39). Because five dimensions of personality shared some variance, the models in which all five dimensions of personality were simultaneous to predict change in depression were investigated. The time-invariant components of five dimensions were still significant predictors for change in depression (Extraversion: B = .30, Openness: B = -.24, Agreeableness: B = -.28, Conscientious: B = -.35, Neuroticism: B = .42). In sum, the majority of the variability of personality was stable over 2 years. Individuals with the greater tendency of Extraversion and Neuroticism have higher degrees of depression; individuals with the greater tendency of Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientious have lower degrees of depression.
Changes in Forest Cover Regulate Streamflow in Central Nigerian Gallery Forests
Gallery forests in sub-Saharan Africa are drastically disappearing due to intensive anthropogenic activities thus reducing ecosystem services, one of which is water provisioning. The role played by forest cover in regulating streamflow and water yield is not well understood, especially in West Africa. This pioneering 2-year study investigated the interrelationships between plant cover and hydrology in protected and unprotected gallery forests. Rainfall, streamflow, and evapotranspiration (ET) measurements/estimates over 2015-2016 were obtained to form a water balance for both catchments. In addition, transpiration in the protected gallery forest with high vegetation cover was calculated from stomatal conductance readings of selected species chosen from plot level data of plant diversity and abundance. Results showed that annual streamflow was significantly higher in the unprotected site than the protected site, even when normalized by catchment area. However, streamflow commenced earlier and lasted longer in the protected site than the degraded unprotected site, suggesting regulation by the greater tree density in the protected site. Streamflow correlated strongly with rainfall with the highest peak in August. As expected, transpiration measurements were less than potential evapotranspiration estimates, while rainfall exceeded ET in the water cycle. The water balance partitioning suggests that the lower vegetation cover in the unprotected catchment leads to a larger runoff in the rainy season and less infiltration, thereby leading to streams drying up earlier, than in the protected catchment. This baseline information is important in understanding the contribution of plants in water cycle regulation, for modeling integrative water management in applied research and natural resource management in sustaining water resources with changing the land cover and climate uncertainties in this data-poor region.
Urban Impervious and its Impact on Storm Water Drainage Systems
Surface imperviousness in urban area brings significant changes in storm water drainage systems and some recent studies reveals that the impervious surfaces that passes the storm water runoff directly to drainage systems through storm water collection systems, called directly connected impervious area (DCIA) is an effective parameter rather than total impervious areas (TIA) for computation of surface runoff. In the present study, extension of DCIA and TIA were computed for a small sub-urban area of Agartala, the capital of state Tripura. Total impervious surfaces covering the study area were identified on the existing storm water drainage map from landuse map of the study area in association with field assessments. Also, DCIA assessed through field survey were compared to DCIA computed by empirical relationships provided by other investigators. For the assessment of DCIA in the study area two methods were adopted. First, partitioning the study area into four drainage sub-zones based on average basin slope and laying of existing storm water drainage systems. In the second method, the entire study area was divided into small grids. Each grid or parcel comprised of 20m× 20m area. Total impervious surfaces were delineated from landuse map in association with on-site assessments for efficient determination of DCIA within each sub-area and grid. There was a wide variation in percent connectivity of TIA across each sub-drainage zone and grid. In the present study, total impervious area comprises 36.23% of the study area, in which 21.85% of the total study area is connected to storm water collection systems. Total pervious area (TPA) and others comprise 53.20% and 10.56% of the total area, respectively. TIA recorded by field assessment (36.23%) was considerably higher than that calculated from the available land use map (22%). From the analysis of recoded data, it is observed that the average percentage of connectivity (% DCIA with respect to TIA) is 60.31 %. The analysis also reveals that the observed DCIA lies below the line of optimal impervious surface connectivity for a sub-urban area provided by other investigators and which indicate the probable reason of water logging conditions in many parts of the study area during monsoon period.
Carbonaceous Monolithic Multi-Channel Denuders as a Gas-Particle Partitioning Tool for the Occupational Sampling of Aerosols from Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds
Aerosols from hazardous semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC) may occur in workplace air and can simultaneously be found as particle and gas phase. For health risk assessment, it is necessary to collect particles and gases separately. This can be achieved by using a denuder for the gas phase collection, combined with a filter and an adsorber for particle collection. The study focused on the suitability of carbonaceous monolithic multi-channel denuders, so-called Novacarb™-Denuders (MastCarbon International Ltd., Guilford, UK), to achieve gas-particle separation. Particle transmission efficiency experiments were performed with polystyrene latex (PSL) particles (size range 0.51-3 µm), while the time dependent gas phase collection efficiency was analysed for polar and nonpolar SVOC (mass concentrations 7-10 mg/m3) over 2 h at 5 or 10 l/min. The experimental gas phase collection efficiency was also compared with theoretical predictions. For n-hexadecane (C16), the gas phase collection efficiency was max. 91 % for one denuder and max. 98 % for two denuders, while for diethylene glycol (DEG), a maximal gas phase collection efficiency of 93 % for one denuder and 97 % for two denuders was observed. At 5 l/min higher gas phase collection efficiencies were achieved than at 10 l/min. The deviations between the theoretical and experimental gas phase collection efficiencies were up to 5 % for C16 and 23 % for DEG. Since the theoretical efficiency depends on the geometric shape and length of the denuder, flow rate and diffusion coefficients of the tested substances, the obtained values define an upper limit which could be reached. Regarding the particle transmission through the denuders, the use of one denuder showed transmission efficiencies around 98 % for 1-3 µm particle diameters. The use of three denuders resulted in transmission efficiencies from 93-97 % for the same particle sizes. In summary, NovaCarb™-Denuders are well applicable for sampling aerosols of polar/nonpolar substances with particle diameters ≤3 µm and flow rates of 5 l/min or lower. These properties and their compact size make them suitable for use in personal aerosol samplers. This work is supported by the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), research contract FP371.
Adaptation of Projection Profile Algorithm for Skewed Handwritten Text Line Detection
Text line segmentation is an important step in document image processing. It represents a labeling process that assigns the same label using distance metric probability to spatially aligned units. Text line detection techniques have successfully been implemented mainly in printed documents. However, processing of the handwritten texts especially unconstrained documents has remained a key problem. This is because the unconstrained hand-written text lines are often not uniformly skewed. The spaces between text lines may not be obvious, complicated by the nature of handwriting and, overlapping ascenders and/or descenders of some characters. Hence, text lines detection and segmentation represents a leading challenge in handwritten document image processing. Text line detection methods that rely on the traditional global projection profile of the text document cannot efficiently confront with the problem of variable skew angles between different text lines. Hence, the formulation of a horizontal line as a separator is often not efficient. This paper presents a technique to segment a handwritten document into distinct lines of text. The proposed algorithm starts, by partitioning the initial text image into columns, across its width into chunks of about 5% each. At each vertical strip of 5%, the histogram of horizontal runs is projected. We have worked with the assumption that text appearing in a single strip is almost parallel to each other. The algorithm developed provides a sliding window through the first vertical strip on the left side of the page. It runs through to identify the new minimum corresponding to a valley in the projection profile. Each valley would represent the starting point of the orientation line and the ending point is the minimum point on the projection profile of the next vertical strip. The derived text-lines traverse around any obstructing handwritten vertical strips of connected component by associating it to either the line above or below. A decision of associating such connected component is made by the probability obtained from a distance metric decision. The technique outperforms the global projection profile for text line segmentation and it is robust to handle skewed documents and those with lines running into each other.
Habitat Suitability, Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Two Sympatric Fruit Bat Species Reveal the Need of an Urgent Conservation Action
The Livingstone's flying fox (Pteropus livingstonii) and the Comorian fruit bat (P.seychellensis comorensis) are two endemic fruit bat species among the mostly threatened animals of the Comoros archipelagos. Despite their role as important ecosystem service providers like all flying fox species as pollinators and seed dispersers, little is known about their ecologies, population genetics and structures making difficult the development of evidence-based conservation strategies. In this study, we assess spatial distribution and ecological niche of both species using Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) based on the recent Ensemble of Small Models (ESMs) approach using presence-only data. Population structure and genetic diversity of the two species were assessed using both mitochondrial and microsatellite markers based on non-invasive genetic samples. Our ESMs highlight a clear niche partitioning of the two sympatric species. Livingstone’s flying fox has a very limited distribution, restricted on steep slope of natural forests at high elevation. On the contrary, the Comorian fruit bat has a relatively large geographic range spread over low elevations in farmlands and villages. Our genetic analysis shows a low genetic diversity for both fruit bats species. They also show that the Livingstone’s flying fox population of the two islands were genetically isolated while no evidence of genetic differentiation was detected for the Comorian fruit bats between islands. Our results support the idea that natural habitat loss, especially the natural forest loss and fragmentation are the important factors impacting the distribution of the Livingstone’s flying fox by limiting its foraging area and reducing its potential roosting sites. On the contrary, the Comorian fruit bats seem to be favored by human activities probably because its diets are less specialized. By this study, we concluded that the Livingstone’s flying fox species and its habitat are of high priority in term of conservation at the Comoros archipelagos scale.
Single and Sequential Extraction for Potassium Fractionation and Nano-Clay Flocculation Structure
Potassium (K) is a known macro nutrient and essential element for plant growth. Single leaching and modified sequential extraction schemes have been developed to estimate the relative phase associations of soil samples. The sequential extraction process is a step in analyzing the partitioning of metals affected by environmental conditions, but it is not a tool for estimation of K bioavailability. While, traditional single leaching method has been used to classify K speciation for a long time, it depend on its availability to the plants and use for potash fertilizer recommendation rate. Clay mineral in soil is a factor for controlling soil fertility. The change of the micro-structure of clay minerals during various environment (i.e. swelling or shrinking) is characterized using Transmission X-Ray Microscopy (TXM). The objective of this study are to 1) compare the distribution of K speciation between single leaching and sequential extraction process 2) determined clay particle flocculation structure before/after suspension with K+ using TXM. Four tropical soil samples: farming without K fertilizer (10 years), long term applied K fertilizer (10 years; 168-240 kg K2O ha-1 year-1), red soil (450-500 kg K2O ha-1 year-1) and forest soil were selected. The results showed that the amount of K speciation by single leaching method were high in mineral K, HNO3 K, Non-exchangeable K, NH4OAc K, exchangeable K and water soluble K respectively. Sequential extraction process indicated that most K speciations in soil were associated with residual, organic matter, Fe or Mn oxide and exchangeable fractions and K associate fraction with carbonate was not detected in tropical soil samples. In farming long term applied K fertilizer and red soil were higher exchangeable K than farming long term without K fertilizer and forest soil. The results indicated that one way to increase the available K (water soluble K and exchangeable K) should apply K fertilizer and organic fertilizer for providing available K. The two-dimension of TXM image of clay particles suspension with K+ shows that the aggregation structure of clay mineral closed-void cellular networks. The porous cellular structure of soil aggregates in 1 M KCl solution had large and very larger empty voids than in 0.025 M KCl and deionized water respectively. TXM nanotomography is a new technique can be useful in the field as a tool for better understanding of clay mineral micro-structure.
Multi-Residue Analysis (GC-ECD) of Some Organochlorine Pesticides in Commercial Broiler Meat Marketed in Shivamogga City, Karnataka State, India
Organochlorine (OC) insecticides are among the most important organotoxins and make a large group of pesticides. Physicochemical properties of these toxins, especially their lipophilicity, facilitate the absorption and storage of these toxins in the meat thus possess public health threat to humans. The presence of these toxins in broiler meat can be a quantitative and qualitative index for the presence of these toxins in animal bodies, which is attributed to Waste water of irrigation after spraying the crops, contaminated animal feeds with pesticides, polluted air are the potential sources of residues in animal products. Fifty broiler meat samples were collected from different retail outlets of Bengaluru city, Karnataka state, in ice cold conditions and later stored under -20°C until analysis. All the samples were subjected to Gas Chromatograph attached to Electron Capture Detector(GC-ECD, VARIAN make) screening and quantification of OC pesticides viz; Alachlor, Aldrin, Alpha-BHC, Beta-BHC, Dieldrin, Delta-BHC, o,p-DDE, p,p-DDE, o,p-DDD, p,p-DDD, o,p-DDT, p,p-DDT, Endosulfan-I, Endosulfan-II, Endosulfan Sulphate and Lindane(all the standards were procured from Merck). Extraction was undertaken by blending fifty grams (g) of meat sample with 50g Sodium Sulphate anahydrous, 120 ml of n-hexane, 120 ml acetone for 15 mins, extract is washed with distilled water and sample moisture is dried by sodium sulphate anahydrous, partitioning is done with 25 ml petroleum ether, 10 ml acetonitrile and 15 ml n-hexane shake vigorously for two minutes, sample clean up was done with florosil column. The reconstituted samples (using n-hexane) (Merck chem) were injected to Gas Chromatograph–Electron Capture Detector(GC-ECD). The present study reveals that, among the fifty chicken samples subjected for analysis, 60% (15/50), 32% (8/50), 28% (7/50), 20% (5/50) and 16% (4/50) of samples contaminated with DDTs, Delta-BHC, Dieldrin, Aldrin and Alachlor respectively. DDT metabolites, Delta-BHC were the most frequently detected OC pesticides. The detected levels of the pesticides were below the levels of MRL(according to Export Council of India notification for fresh poultry meat).
Estimates of (Co)Variance Components and Genetic Parameters for Body Weights and Growth Efficiency Traits in the New Zealand White Rabbits
The genetic parameters of growth traits in the New Zealand White rabbits maintained at Sheep Breeding and Research Station, Sandynallah, The Nilgiris, India were estimated by partitioning the variance and covariance components. The (co)variance components of body weights at weaning (W42), post-weaning (W70) and marketing (W135) age and growth efficiency traits viz., average daily gain (ADG), relative growth rate (RGR) and Kleiber ratio (KR) estimated on a daily basis at different age intervals (1=42 to 70 days; 2=70 to 135 days and 3=42 to 135 days) from weaning to marketing were estimated by restricted maximum likelihood, fitting six animal models with various combinations of direct and maternal effects. Data were collected over a period of 15 years (1998 to 2012). A log-likelihood ratio test was used to select the most appropriate univariate model for each trait, which was subsequently used in bivariate analysis. Heritability estimates for W42, W70 and W135 were 0.42 ± 0.07, 0.40 ± 0.08 and 0.27 ± 0.07, respectively. Heritability estimates of growth efficiency traits were moderate to high (0.18 to 0.42). Of the total phenotypic variation, maternal genetic effect contributed 14 to 32% for early body weight traits (W42 and W70) and ADG1. The contribution of maternal permanent environmental effect varied from 6 to 18% for W42 and for all the growth efficiency traits except for KR2. Maternal permanent environmental effect on most of the growth efficiency traits was a carryover effect of maternal care during weaning. Direct maternal genetic correlations, for the traits in which maternal genetic effect was significant, were moderate to high in magnitude and negative in direction. Maternal effect declined as the age of the animal increased. The estimates of total heritability and maternal across year repeatability for growth traits were moderate and an optimum rate of genetic progress seems possible in the herd by mass selection. The estimates of genetic and phenotypic correlations among body weight traits were moderate to high and positive; among growth efficiency traits were low to high with varying directions; between body weights and growth efficiency traits were very low to high in magnitude and mostly negative in direction. Moderate to high heritability and higher genetic correlation in body weight traits promise good scope for genetic improvement provided measures are taken to keep the inbreeding at the lowest level.
Modeling the Acquisition of Expertise in a Sequential Decision-Making Task
Our daily interaction with computational interfaces is plagued of situations in which we go from inexperienced users to experts through self-motivated exploration of the same task. In many of these interactions, we must learn to find our way through a sequence of decisions and actions before obtaining the desired result. For instance, when drawing cash from an ATM machine, choices are presented in a step-by-step fashion so that a specific sequence of actions must be performed in order to produce the expected outcome. But, as they become experts in the use of such interfaces, do users adopt specific search and learning strategies? Moreover, if so, can we use this information to follow the process of expertise development and, eventually, predict future actions? This would be a critical step towards building truly adaptive interfaces that can facilitate interaction at different moments of the learning curve. Furthermore, it could provide a window into potential mechanisms underlying decision-making behavior in real world scenarios. Here we tackle this question using a simple game interface that instantiates a 4-level binary decision tree (BDT) sequential decision-making task. Participants have to explore the interface and discover an underlying concept-icon mapping in order to complete the game. We develop a Hidden Markov Model (HMM)-based approach whereby a set of stereotyped, hierarchically related search behaviors act as hidden states. Using this model, we are able to track the decision-making process as participants explore, learn and develop expertise in the use of the interface. Our results show that partitioning the problem space into such stereotyped strategies is sufficient to capture a host of exploratory and learning behaviors. Moreover, using the modular architecture of stereotyped strategies as a Mixture of Experts, we are able to simultaneously ask the experts about the user's most probable future actions. We show that for those participants that learn the task, it becomes possible to predict their next decision, above chance, approximately halfway through the game. Our long-term goal is, on the basis of a better understanding of real-world decision-making processes, to inform the construction of interfaces that can establish dynamic conversations with their users in order to facilitate the development of expertise.
Modeling and Implementation of a Hierarchical Safety Controller for Human Machine Collaboration
This paper primarily describes the concept of a hierarchical safety control (HSC) in discrete manufacturing to up-hold productivity with human intervention and machine failures using a systematic approach, through increasing the system availability and using additional knowledge on machines so as to improve the human machine collaboration (HMC). It also highlights the implemented PLC safety algorithm, in applying this generic concept to a concrete pro-duction line using a lab demonstrator called FATIE (Factory Automation Test and Integration Environment). Furthermore, the paper describes a model and provide a systematic representation of human-machine collabora-tion in discrete manufacturing and to this end, the Hierarchical Safety Control concept is proposed. This offers a ge-neric description of human-machine collaboration based on Finite State Machines (FSM) that can be applied to vari-ous discrete manufacturing lines instead of using ad-hoc solutions for each line. With its reusability, flexibility, and extendibility, the Hierarchical Safety Control scheme allows upholding productivity while maintaining safety with reduced engineering effort compared to existing solutions. The approach to the solution begins with a successful partitioning of different zones around the Integrated Manufacturing System (IMS), which are defined by operator tasks and the risk assessment, used to describe the location of the human operator and thus to identify the related po-tential hazards and trigger the corresponding safety functions to mitigate it. This includes selective reduced speed zones and stop zones, and in addition with the hierarchical safety control scheme and advanced safety functions such as safe standstill and safe reduced speed are used to achieve the main goals in improving the safe Human Ma-chine Collaboration and increasing the productivity. In a sample scenarios, It is shown that an increase of productivity in the order of 2.5% is already possible with a hi-erarchical safety control, which consequently under a given assumptions, a total sum of 213 € could be saved for each intervention, compared to a protective stop reaction. Thereby the loss is reduced by 22.8%, if occasional haz-ard can be refined in a hierarchical way. Furthermore, production downtime due to temporary unavailability of safety devices can be avoided with safety failover that can save millions per year. Moreover, the paper highlights the proof of the development, implementation and application of the concept on the lab demonstrator (FATIE), where it is realized on the new safety PLCs, Drive Units, HMI as well as Safety devices in addition to the main components of the IMS.
Evaluation of Invasive Tree Species for Production of Phosphate Bonded Composites
Invasive alien tree species are currently being cleared in South Africa as a result of the forest and water imbalances. These species grow wildly constituting about 40% of total forest area. They compete with the ecosystem for natural resources and are considered as ecosystem engineers by rapidly changing disturbance regimes. As such, they are harvested for commercial uses but much of it is wasted because of their form and structure. The waste is being sold to local communities as fuel wood. These species can be considered as potential feedstock for the production of phosphate bonded composites. The presence of bark in wood-based composites leads to undesirable properties, and debarking as an option can be cost implicative. This study investigates the potentials of these invasive species processed without debarking on some fundamental properties of wood-based panels. Some invasive alien tree species were collected from EC Biomass, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. They include Acacia mearnsii (Black wattle), A. longifolia (Long-leaved wattle), A. cyclops (Red-eyed wattle), A. saligna (Golden-wreath wattle) and Eucalyptus globulus (Blue gum). The logs were chipped as received. The chips were hammer-milled and screened through a 1 mm sieve. The wood particles were conditioned and the quantity of bark in the wood was determined. The binding matrix was prepared using a reactive magnesia, phosphoric acid and class S fly ash. The materials were mixed and poured into a metallic mould. The composite within the mould was compressed at room temperature at a pressure of 200 KPa. After initial setting which took about 5 minutes, the composite board was demoulded and air-cured for 72 h. The cured product was thereafter conditioned at 20°C and 70% relative humidity for 48 h. Test of physical and strength properties were conducted on the composite boards. The effect of binder formulation and fly ash content on the properties of the boards was studied using fitted response surface technology, according to a central composite experimental design (CCD) at a fixed wood loading of 75% (w/w) of total inorganic contents. The results showed that phosphate/magnesia ratio of 3:1 and fly ash content of 10% was required to obtain a product of good properties and sufficient strength for intended applications. The proposed products can be used for ceilings, partitioning and insulating wall panels.
Quantifying the Effects of Canopy Cover and Cover Crop Species on Water Use Partitioning in Micro-Sprinkler Irrigated Orchards in South Africa
South Africa is a dry country and yet it is ranked as the 8th largest exporter of fresh apples (Malus Domestica) globally. Prime apple producing regions are in the Eastern and Western Cape Provinces of the country where all the fruit is grown under irrigation. Climate change models predict increasingly drier future conditions in these regions and the frequency and severity of droughts is expected to increase. For the sustainability and growth of the fruit industry it is important to minimize non-beneficial water losses from the orchard floor. The aims of this study were firstly to compare the water use of cover crop species used in South African orchards for which there is currently no information. The second aim was to investigate how orchard water use (evapotranspiration) was partitioned into beneficial (tree transpiration) and non-beneficial (orchard floor evaporation) water uses for micro-sprinkler irrigated orchards with different canopy covers. This information is important in order to explore opportunities to minimize non-beneficial water losses. Six cover crop species (four exotic and two indigenous) were grown in 2 L pots in a greenhouse. Cover crop transpiration was measured using the gravimetric method on clear days. To establish how water use was partitioned in orchards, evapotranspiration (ET) was measured using an open path eddy covariance system, while tree transpiration was measured hourly throughout the season (October to June) on six trees per orchard using the heat ratio sap flow method. On selected clear days, soil evaporation was measured hourly from sunrise to sunset using six micro-lysimeters situated at different wet/dry and sun/shade positions on the orchard floor. Transpiration of cover crops was measured using miniature (2 mm Ø) stem heat balance sap flow gauges. The greenhouse study showed that exotic cover crops had significantly higher (p < 0.01) average transpiration rates (~3.7 L/m2/d) than the indigenous species (~ 2.2 L/m²/d). In young non-bearing orchards, orchard floor evaporative fluxes accounted for more than 60% of orchard ET while this ranged from 10 to 30% in mature orchards with a high canopy cover. While exotic cover crops are preferred by most farmers, this study shows that they use larger quantities of water than indigenous species. This in turn contributes to a larger orchard floor evaporation flux. In young orchards non-beneficial losses can be minimized by adopting drip or short range micro-sprinkler methods that reduce the wetted soil fraction thereby conserving water.
Diversity and Phylogenetic Placement of Seven Inocybe (Inocybaceae, Fungi) from Benin
Climate change and human actions cause the extinction of wild mushrooms. In Benin, the diversity of fungi is large and may still contain species new to science but the inventory effort remains low and focuses on particularly edible species (Russula, Lactarius, Lactifluus, and also Amanita). In addition, inventories have started recently and some groups of fungi are not sufficiently sampled, however, the degradation of fungal habitat continues to increase and some species are already disappearing. (Yorou and De Kesel, 2011), however, the degradation of fungi habitat continues to increase and some species may disappear without being known. This genus (Inocybe) overlooked has a worldwide distribution and includes more than 700 species with many undiscovered or poorly known species worldwide and particularly in tropical Africa. It is therefore important to orient the inventory to other genera or important families such as Inocybe (Fungi, Agaricales) in order to highlight their diversity and also to know their phylogenetic positions with a combined approach of gene regions. This study aims to evaluate the species richness and phylogenetic position of Inocybe species and affiliated taxa in West Africa. Thus, in North Benin, we visited the Forest Reserve of Ouémé Supérieur, the Okpara forest and the Alibori Supérieur Forest Reserve. In the center, we targeted the Forest Reserve of Toui-Kilibo. The surveys have been carried during the raining season in the study area meaning from June to October. A total of 24 taxa were collected, photographed and described. The DNA was extracted, the Polymerase Chain Reaction was carried out using primers (ITS1-F, ITS4-B) for Internal transcribed spacer (ITS), (LROR, LWRB, LR7, LR5) for nuclear ribosomal (LSU), (RPB2-f5F, RPB2-b6F, RPB2- b6R2, RPB2-b7R) for RNA polymerase II gene (RPB2) and sequenced. The ITS sequences of the 24 collections of Inocybaceae were edited in Staden and all the sequences were aligned and edited with Aliview v1.17. The sequences were examined by eye for sufficient similarity to be considered the same species. 13 different species were present in the collections. In addition, sequences similar to the ITS sequences of the thirteen final species were searched using BLAST. The nLSU and RPB2 markers for these species have been inserted in a complete alignment, where species from all major Inocybaceae clades as well as from all continents except Antarctica are present. Our new sequences for nLSU and RPB2 have been manually aligned in this dataset. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using the RAxML v7.2.6 maximum likelihood software. Bootstrap replications have been set to 100 and no partitioning of the dataset has been performed. The resulting tree was viewed and edited with FigTree v1.4.3. The preliminary tree resulting from the analysis of maximum likelihood shows us that these species coming from Benin are much diversified and are distributed in four different clades (Inosperma, Inocybe, Mallocybe and Pseudosperma) on the seven clades of Inocybaceae but the phylogeny position of 7 is currently known. This study marks the diversity of Inocybe in Benin and the investigations will continue and a protection plan will be developed in the coming years.
On the Influence of Sleep Habits for Predicting Preterm Births: A Machine Learning Approach
Births occurring before the 37th week of gestation are considered preterm births. A threat of preterm is defined as the beginning of regular uterine contractions, dilation and cervical effacement between 23 and 36 gestation weeks. To author's best knowledge, the factors that determine the beginning of the birth are not completely defined yet. In particular, the incidence of sleep habits on preterm births is weekly studied. The aim of this study is to develop a model to predict the factors affecting premature delivery on pregnancy, based on the above potential risk factors, including those derived from sleep habits and light exposure at night (introduced as 12 variables obtained by a telephone survey using two questionnaires previously used by other authors). Thus, three groups of variables were included in the study (maternal, fetal and sleep habits). The study was approved by Research Ethics Committee of the Principado of Asturias (Spain). An observational, retrospective and descriptive study was performed with 481 births between January 1, 2015 and May 10, 2016 in the University Central Hospital of Asturias (Spain). A statistical analysis using SPSS was carried out to compare qualitative and quantitative variables between preterm and term delivery. Chi-square test qualitative variable and t-test for quantitative variables were applied. Statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) between preterm vs. term births were found for primiparity, multi-parity, kind of conception, place of residence or premature rupture of membranes and interruption during nights. In addition to the statistical analysis, machine learning methods to look for a prediction model were tested. In particular, tree based models were applied as the trade-off between performance and interpretability is especially suitable for this study. C5.0, recursive partitioning, random forest and tree bag models were analysed using caret R-package. Cross validation with 10-folds and parameter tuning to optimize the methods were applied. In addition, different noise reduction methods were applied to the initial data using NoiseFiltersR package. The best performance was obtained by C5.0 method with Accuracy 0.91, Sensitivity 0.93, Specificity 0.89 and Precision 0.91. Some well known preterm birth factors were identified: Cervix Dilation, maternal BMI, Premature rupture of membranes or nuchal translucency analysis in the first trimester. The model also identifies other new factors related to sleep habits such as light through window, bedtime on working days, usage of electronic devices before sleeping from Mondays to Fridays or change of sleeping habits reflected in the number of hours, in the depth of sleep or in the lighting of the room. IF dilation < = 2.95 AND usage of electronic devices before sleeping from Mondays to Friday = YES and change of sleeping habits = YES, then preterm is one of the predicting rules obtained by C5.0. In this work a model for predicting preterm births is developed. It is based on machine learning together with noise reduction techniques. The method maximizing the performance is the one selected. This model shows the influence of variables related to sleep habits in preterm prediction.
The Impact of Riparian Alien Plant Removal on Aquatic Invertebrate Communities in the Upper Reaches of Luvuvhu River Catchment, Limpopo Province
Alien invasive plants (IAP’s) have considerable negative impacts on freshwater habitats and South Africa has implemented an innovative Work for Water (WfW) programme for the systematic removal of these plants aimed at, amongst other objectives, restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services in these threatened habitats. These restoration processes are expensive and have to be evidence-based. In this study in-stream macroinvertebrate and adult Odonata assemblages were used as indicators of restoration success by quantifying the response of biodiversity metrics for these two groups to the removal of IAP’s in a strategic water resource of South Africa that is extensively invaded by invasive alien plants (IAP’s). The study consisted of a replicated design that included 45 sampling units, viz. 15 invaded, 15 uninvaded and 15 cleared sites stratified across the upper reaches of six sub-catchments of the Luvuvhu river catchment, Limpopo Province. Cleared sites were only considered if they received at least two WfW treatments in the last 3 years. The Benthic macroinvertebrate and adult Odonate assemblages in each of these sampling were surveyed from between November and March, 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 respectively. Generalized Linear Models (GLM) with a log link function and Poisson error distribution were done for metrics (invaded, cleared, and uninvaded) whose residuals were not normally distributed or had unequal variance and for abundance. RDA was done for EPTO genera (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera and Odonata) and adult Odonata species abundance. GLM was done to for the abundance of Genera and Odonates that had the association with the RDA environmental factors. Sixty four benthic macroinvertebrate families, 57 EPTO genera, and 45 adult Odonata species were recorded across all 45 sampling units. There was no significant difference between the SASS5 total score, ASPT, and family richness of the three invasion classes. Although clearing only had a weak positive effect on the adult Odonate species richness it had a positive impact on DBI scores. These differences were mainly the result of significantly larger DBI scores in the cleared sites as compared to the invaded sites. Results suggest that water quality is positively impacted by repeated clearing pointing to the importance of follow up procedures after initial clearing. Adult Odonate diversity as measured by richness, endemicity, threat and distribution respond positively to all forms of the clearing. The clearing had a significant impact on Odonate assemblage structure but did not affect EPTO structure. Variation partitioning showed that 21.8% of the variation in EPTO assemblage can be explained by spatial and environmental variables, 16% of the variation in Odonate structure was explained by spatial and environmental variables. The response of the diversity metrics to clearing increased in significance at finer taxonomic resolutions, particularly of adult Odonates whose metrics significantly improved with clearing and whose structure responded to both invasion and clearing. The study recommends the use of DBI for surveying river health when hydraulic biotopes are poor.
Chronic Impact of Silver Nanoparticle on Aerobic Wastewater Biofilm
The application of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in personal care products, various household and industrial products has resulted in an inevitable environmental exposure of such engineered nanoparticles (ENPs). Ag ENPs, released via household and industrial wastes, reach water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs), yet the fate and transport of ENPs in WRRFs and their potential risk in the biological wastewater processes are poorly understood. Accordingly, our main objective was to elucidate the impact of long-term continuous exposure to AgNPs on biological activity of aerobic wastewater biofilm. The fate, transport and toxicity of 10 μg.L-1and 100 μg.L-1 PVP-stabilized AgNPs (50 nm) were evaluated in an attached growth biological treatment process, using lab-scale moving bed bioreactors (MBBRs). Two MBBR systems for organic matter removal were fed with a synthetic influent and operated at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 180 min and 60% volumetric filling ratio of Anox-K5 carriers with specific surface area of 800 m2/m3. Both reactors were operated for 85 days after reaching steady state conditions to develop a mature biofilm. The impact of AgNPs on the biological performance of the MBBRs was characterized over a period of 64 days in terms of the filtered biodegradable COD (SCOD) removal efficiency, the biofilm viability and key enzymatic activities (α-glucosidase and protease). The AgNPs were quantitatively characterized using single-particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (spICP-MS), determining simultaneously the particle size distribution, particle concentration and dissolved silver content in influent, bioreactor and effluent samples. The generation of reactive oxygen species and the oxidative stress were assessed as the proposed toxicity mechanism of AgNPs. Results indicated that a low concentration of AgNPs (10 μg.L-1) did not significantly affect the SCOD removal efficiency whereas a significant reduction in treatment efficiency (37%) was observed at 100 μg.L-1AgNPs. Neither the viability nor the enzymatic activities of biofilm were affected at 10 μg.L-1AgNPs but a higher concentration of AgNPs induced cell membrane integrity damage resulting in 31% loss of viability and reduced α-glucosidase and protease enzymatic activities by 31% and 29%, respectively, over the 64-day exposure period. The elevated intercellular ROS in biofilm at a higher AgNPs concentration over time was consistent with a reduced biological biofilm performance, confirming the occurrence of a nanoparticle-induced oxidative stress in the heterotrophic biofilm. The spICP-MS analysis demonstrated a decrease in the nanoparticles concentration over the first 25 days, indicating a significant partitioning of AgNPs into the biofilm matrix in both reactors. The concentration of nanoparticles increased in effluent of both reactors after 25 days, however, indicating a decreased retention capacity of AgNPs in biofilm. The observed significant detachment of biofilm also contributed to a higher release of nanoparticles due to cell-wall destabilizing properties of AgNPs as an antimicrobial agent. The removal efficiency of PVP-AgNPs and the biofilm biological responses were a function of nanoparticle concentration and exposure time. This study contributes to a better understanding of the fate and behavior of AgNPs in biological wastewater processes, providing key information that can be used to predict the environmental risks of ENPs in aquatic ecosystems.
Large-Scale Simulations of Turbulence Using Discontinuous Spectral Element Method
Turbulence can be observed in a variety fluid motions in nature and industrial applications. Recent investment in high-speed aircraft and propulsion systems has revitalized fundamental research on turbulent flows. In these systems, capturing chaotic fluid structures with different length and time scales is accomplished through the Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) approach since it accurately simulates flows down to smallest dissipative scales, i.e., Kolmogorov’s scales. The discontinuous spectral element method (DSEM) is a high-order technique that uses spectral functions for approximating the solution. The DSEM code has been developed by our research group over the course of more than two decades. Recently, the code has been improved to run large cases in the order of billions of solution points. Running big simulations requires a considerable amount of RAM. Therefore, the DSEM code must be highly parallelized and able to start on multiple computational nodes on an HPC cluster with distributed memory. However, some pre-processing procedures, such as determining global element information, creating a global face list, and assigning global partitioning and element connection information of the domain for communication, must be done sequentially with a single processing core. A separate code has been written to perform the pre-processing procedures on a local machine. It stores the minimum amount of information that is required for the DSEM code to start in parallel, extracted from the mesh file, into text files (pre-files). It packs integer type information with a Stream Binary format in pre-files that are portable between machines. The files are generated to ensure fast read performance on different file-systems, such as Lustre and General Parallel File System (GPFS). A new subroutine has been added to the DSEM code to read the startup files using parallel MPI I/O, for Lustre, in a way that each MPI rank acquires its information from the file in parallel. In case of GPFS, in each computational node, a single MPI rank reads data from the file, which is specifically generated for the computational node, and send them to other ranks on the node using point to point non-blocking MPI communication. This way, communication takes place locally on each node and signals do not cross the switches of the cluster. The read subroutine has been tested on Argonne National Laboratory’s Mira (GPFS), National Center for Supercomputing Application’s Blue Waters (Lustre), San Diego Supercomputer Center’s Comet (Lustre), and UIC’s Extreme (Lustre). The tests showed that one file per node is suited for GPFS and parallel MPI I/O is the best choice for Lustre file system. The DSEM code relies on heavily optimized linear algebra operation such as matrix-matrix and matrix-vector products for calculation of the solution in every time-step. For this, the code can either make use of its matrix math library, BLAS, Intel MKL, or ATLAS. This fact and the discontinuous nature of the method makes the DSEM code run efficiently in parallel. The results of weak scaling tests performed on Blue Waters showed a scalable and efficient performance of the code in parallel computing.
A Risk-Based Comprehensive Framework for the Assessment of the Security of Multi-Modal Transport Systems
The challenges of the rapid growth in the demand for transport has traditionally been seen within the context of the problems of congestion, air quality, climate change, safety, and affordability. However, there are increasing threats including those related to crime such as cyber-attacks that threaten the security of the transport of people and goods. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper presents for the first time, a comprehensive framework for the assessment of the current and future security issues of multi-modal transport systems. The approach or method proposed is based on a structured framework starting with a detailed specification of the transport asset map (transport system architecture), followed by the identification of vulnerabilities. The asset map and vulnerabilities are used to identify the various approaches for exploitation of the vulnerabilities, leading to the creation of a set of threat scenarios. The threat scenarios are then transformed into risks and their categories, and include insights for their mitigation. The consideration of the mitigation space is holistic and includes the formulation of appropriate policies and tactics and/or technical interventions. The quality of the framework is ensured through a structured and logical process that identifies the stakeholders, reviews the relevant documents including policies and identifies gaps, incorporates targeted surveys to augment the reviews, and uses subject matter experts for validation. The approach to categorising security risks is an extension of the current methods that are typically employed. Specifically, the partitioning of risks into either physical or cyber categories is too limited for developing mitigation policies and tactics/interventions for transport systems where an interplay between physical and cyber processes is very often the norm. This interplay is rapidly taking on increasing significance for security as the emergence of cyber-physical technologies, are shaping the future of all transport modes. Examples include: Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) in road transport; the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) in rail transport; Automatic Identification System (AIS) in maritime transport; advanced Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) technologies in air transport; and the Internet of Things (IoT). The framework adopts a risk categorisation scheme that considers risks as falling within the following threat→impact relationships: Physical→Physical, Cyber→Cyber, Cyber→Physical, and Physical→Cyber). Thus the framework enables a more complete risk picture to be developed for today’s transport systems and, more importantly, is readily extendable to account for emerging trends in the sector that will define future transport systems. The framework facilitates the audit and retro-fitting of mitigations in current transport operations and the analysis of security management options for the next generation of Transport enabling strategic aspirations such as systems with security-by-design and co-design of safety and security to be achieved. An initial application of the framework to transport systems has shown that intra-modal consideration of security measures is sub-optimal and that a holistic and multi-modal approach that also addresses the intersections/transition points of such networks is required as their vulnerability is high. This is in-line with traveler-centric transport service provision, widely accepted as the future of mobility services. In summary, a risk-based framework is proposed for use by the stakeholders to comprehensively and holistically assess the security of transport systems. It requires a detailed understanding of the transport architecture to enable a detailed vulnerabilities analysis to be undertaken, creates threat scenarios and transforms them into risks which form the basis for the formulation of interventions.