Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 166

Limits Problem Solving in Engineering Careers: Competences and Errors

In this article, the performance and errors are featured and analysed in the limit problems solving of a real-valued function, in correspondence to competency-based education in engineering careers, in the south of Chile. The methodological component is contextualised in a qualitative research, with a descriptive and explorative design, with elaboration, content validation and application of quantitative instruments, consisting of two parallel forms of open answer tests, based on limit application problems. The mathematical competences and errors made by students from five engineering careers from a public University are identified and characterized. Results show better performance only to solve routine-context problem-solving competence, thus they are oriented towards a rational solution or they use a suitable problem-solving method, achieving the correct solution. Regarding errors, most of them are related to techniques and the incorrect use of theorems and definitions of real-valued function limits of real variable.

Eating Habits of Children Aged 10-15 Years in Reference to Nutrition Status

Eating behaviours of people are determined by knowledge gained at different stages of life. Children’s diet is especially important. They have to eat meals regularly. Meals should consist of protein, carbohydrates and fat, and drinking the right amount of water. Mistakes in children’s diets affect their health and may lead to health issues such as diabetes, overweight, obesity or malnutrition. The aim of the study was to assess the eating habits among 10-15-year-old children. To achieve this aim, the study included children aged 10-15 years living in Silesia Province, Poland; the participants consisted of 52.08% girls and 47.92% boys. Authorial questionnaire contains 28 questions about eating habits. The results of 192 students were subjected to analysis. The results show that half of the surveyed students participated in physical activity every day. Most children ate 4-5 meals every day, but the breaks between them were too long (four and more hours). Children generally ate cooked meals. Most children ate first breakfast every day, but only one third of studied children ate a second breakfast daily, while 93.75% ate vegetables at least once a day, 94.79% ate fruit at least once a day, and 79.17% drink a daily glass of milk or more. The study found that the eating behaviours of the surveyed children were unsatisfying. While the children did not participate in physical activity often enough, girls took part slightly more often. Children eat second breakfast not often enough. Younger children (10-12 years old) are doing it more often than the older children (13-15 years old). Gender is not a determinant of the frequency of second breakfast consumption.

Characteristics of the Long-Term Regional Tourism Development in Georgia

Tourism industry development is one of the key priorities in Georgia, as it has positive influence on economic activities. Its contribution is very important for the different regions, as well as for the national economy. Benefits of the tourism industry include new jobs, service development, and increasing tax revenues, etc. The main aim of this research is to review and analyze the potential of the Georgian tourism industry with its long-term strategy and current challenges. To plan activities in a long-term development, it is required to evaluate several factors on the regional and on the national level. Factors include activities, transportation, services, lodging facilities, infrastructure and institutions. The major research contributions are practical estimates about regional tourism development which plays an important role in the integration process with global markets.

Assessment of Breeding Soundness by Comparative Radiography and Ultrasonography of Rabbit Testes

In order to improve the animal protein recommended daily intake of Nigerians, there is an upsurge in breeding of hitherto shunned food animals one of which is the rabbit. Radiography and ultrasonography are tools for diagnosing disease and evaluating the anatomical architecture of parts of the body non-invasively. As the rabbit is becoming a more important food animal, to achieve improved breeding of these animals, the best of the species form a breeding stock and will usually depend on breeding soundness which may be evaluated by assessment of the male reproductive organs by these tools. Four male intact rabbits weighing between 1.2 to 1.5 kg were acquired and acclimatized for 2 weeks. Dorsoventral views of the testes were acquired using a digital radiographic machine and a 5 MHz portable ultrasound scanner was used to acquire images of the testes in longitudinal, sagittal and transverse planes. Radiographic images acquired revealed soft tissue images of the testes in all rabbits. The testes lie in individual scrotal sacs sides on both sides of the midline at the level of the caudal vertebrae and thus are superimposed by caudal vertebrae and the caudal limits of the pelvic girdle. The ultrasonographic images revealed mostly homogenously hypoechogenic testes and a hyperechogenic mediastinum testis. The dorsal and ventral poles of the testes were heterogeneously hypoechogenic and correspond to the epididymis and spermatic cord. The rabbit is unique in the ability to retract the testes particularly when stressed and so careful and stressless handling during the procedures is of paramount importance. The imaging of rabbit testes can be safely done using both imaging methods but ultrasonography is a better method of assessment and evaluation of soundness for breeding.

Memristor-A Promising Candidate for Neural Circuits in Neuromorphic Computing Systems

The advancements in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technology has led to an evolution of an intelligent era. Neural networks, having the computational power and learning ability similar to the brain is one of the key AI technologies. Neuromorphic computing system (NCS) consists of the synaptic device, neuronal circuit, and neuromorphic architecture. Memristor are a promising candidate for neuromorphic computing systems, but when it comes to neuromorphic computing, the conductance behavior of the synaptic memristor or neuronal memristor needs to be studied thoroughly in order to fathom the neuroscience or computer science. Furthermore, there is a need of more simulation work for utilizing the existing device properties and providing guidance to the development of future devices for different performance requirements. Hence, development of NCS needs more simulation work to make use of existing device properties. This work aims to provide an insight to build neuronal circuits using memristors to achieve a Memristor based NCS.  Here we throw a light on the research conducted in the field of memristors for building analog and digital circuits in order to motivate the research in the field of NCS by building memristor based neural circuits for advanced AI applications. This literature is a step in the direction where we describe the various Key findings about memristors and its analog and digital circuits implemented over the years which can be further utilized in implementing the neuronal circuits in the NCS. This work aims to help the electronic circuit designers to understand how the research progressed in memristors and how these findings can be used in implementing the neuronal circuits meant for the recent progress in the NCS.

Work-Related Shoulder Lesions and Labor Lawsuits in Brazil: Cross-Sectional Study on Worker Health Actions Developed by Employers
Introduction: The present study had the objective to present the profile of workers with shoulder disorders related to labor lawsuits in Brazil. The study analyzed the association between the worker’s health and the actions performed by the companies related to injured professional. The research method performed a retrospective, cross-sectional and quantitative database analysis. The documents of labor lawsuits with shoulder injury registered at the Regional Labor Court in the 15th region (Campinas - São Paulo) were submitted to the medical examination and evaluated during the period from 2012 until 2015. The data collected were age, gender, onset of symptoms, length of service, current occupation, type of shoulder injury, referred complaints, type of acromion, associated or related diseases, company actions as CAT (workplace accident communication), compliance of NR7 by the organization (Environmental Risk Prevention Program - PPRA and Medical Coordination Program in Occupational Health - PCMSO). Results: From the 93 workers evaluated, there was a prevalence of men (58.1%), with a mean age of 42.6 y-o, and 54.8% were included in the age group 35-49 years. Regarding the length of work time in the company, 66.7% have worked for more than 5 years. There was an association between gender and current occupational status (p < 0.005), with predominance of women in household occupation (13 vs. 2) and predominance of unemployed men in job search situation (24 vs. 10) and reintegrated to work by judicial decision (8 vs. 2). There was also a correlation between pain and functional limitation (p < 0.01). There was a positive association of PPRA with the complaint of functional limitation and negative association with pain (p < 0.04). There was also a correlation between the sedentary lifestyle and the presence of PCMSO and PPRA (p < 0.04), and the absence of CAT in the companies (p < 0.001). It was concluded that the appearance or aggravation of osseous and articular shoulder pathologies in workers who have undertaken labor law suits seem to be associated with individual habits or inadequate labor practices. These data can help preventing the occurrence of these lesions by implementing local health promotion policies at work.
Students’ Perceptions of the Use of Social Media in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia
This paper examined the attitudes of using social media tools to support learning at a university in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it investigated the students’ current usage of these tools and examined the barriers they could face during the use of social media tools in the education process. Participants in this study were 42 university students. A web-based survey was used to collect data for this study. The results indicate that all of the students were familiar with social media and had used at least one type of social media for learning. It was found out that all students had very positive attitudes towards the use of social media and welcomed using these tools as a supplementary to the curriculum. However, the results indicated that the major barriers to using these tools in learning were distraction, opposing Islamic religious teachings, privacy issues, and cyberbullying. The study recommended that this study could be replicated at other Saudi universities to investigate factors and barriers that might affect Saudi students’ attitudes toward using social media to support learning.
Multi-Objective Optimization of Run-of-River Small-Hydropower Plants Considering Both Investment Cost and Annual Energy Generation

This paper presents the techno-economic evaluation of run-of-river small-hydropower plants. In this regard, a multi-objective optimization procedure is proposed for the optimal sizing of the hydropower plants, and NSGAII is employed as the optimization algorithm. Annual generated energy and investment cost are considered as the objective functions, and number of generator units (n) and nominal turbine flow rate (QT) constitute the decision variables. Site of Yeripao in Benin is considered as the case study. We have categorized the river of this site using its environmental characteristics: gross head, and first quartile, median, third quartile and mean of flow. Effects of each decision variable on the objective functions are analysed. The results gave Pareto Front which represents the trade-offs between annual energy generation and the investment cost of hydropower plants, as well as the recommended optimal solutions. We noted that with the increase of the annual energy generation, the investment cost rises. Thus, maximizing energy generation is contradictory with minimizing the investment cost. Moreover, we have noted that the solutions of Pareto Front are grouped according to the number of generator units (n). The results also illustrate that the costs per kWh are grouped according to the n and rise with the increase of the nominal turbine flow rate. The lowest investment costs per kWh are obtained for n equal to one and are between 0.065 and 0.180 €/kWh. Following the values of n (equal to 1, 2, 3 or 4), the investment cost and investment cost per kWh increase almost linearly with increasing the nominal turbine flowrate while annual generated. Energy increases logarithmically with increasing of the nominal turbine flowrate. This study made for the Yeripao river can be applied to other rivers with their own characteristics.

State Estimation Solution with Optimal Allocation of Phasor Measurement Units Considering Zero Injection Bus Modeling

This paper presents state estimation with Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) allocation to obtain complete observability of network. A matrix is designed with modeling of zero injection constraints to minimize PMU allocations. State estimation algorithm is developed with optimal allocation of PMUs to find accurate states of network. The incorporation of PMU into traditional state estimation process improves accuracy and computational performance for large power systems. The nonlinearity integrated with zero injection (ZI) constraints is remodeled to linear frame to optimize number of PMUs. The problem of optimal PMU allocation is regarded with modeling of ZI constraints, PMU loss or line outage, cost factor and redundant measurements. The proposed state estimation with optimal PMU allocation has been compared with traditional state estimation process to show its importance. MATLAB programming on IEEE 14, 30, 57, and 118 bus networks is implemented out by Binary Integer Programming (BIP) method and compared with other methods to show its effectiveness.

A Genetic Algorithm Approach Considering Zero Injection Bus Constraint Modeling for Optimal Phasor Measurement Unit Placement

This paper presents optimal Phasor Measurement Unit (PMU) Placement in network using a genetic algorithm approach as it is infeasible and require high installation cost to place PMUs at every bus in network. This paper proposes optimal PMU allocation considering observability and redundancy utilizing Genetic Algorithm (GA) approach. The nonlinear constraints of buses are modeled to give accurate results. Constraints associated with Zero Injection (ZI) buses and radial buses are modeled to optimize number of locations for PMU placement. GA is modeled with ZI bus constraints to minimize number of locations without losing complete observability. Redundancy of every bus in network is computed to show optimum redundancy of complete system network. The performance of method is measured by Bus Observability Index (BOI) and Complete System Observability Performance Index (CSOPI). MATLAB simulations are carried out on IEEE -14, -30 and -57 bus-systems and compared with other methods in literature survey to show the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

The Emerging Global Judicial Ethics: Issues and Problems
In many states around the world, actions to improve judicial ethics are developing significantly through the production of professional standards for judges. The quest to improve the ethics of judges is legitimate. However, as this development tends to be very important at the moment, some risks it presents must be highlighted. Indeed, if the objective of improving Judges’ Ethics is legitimate, it can also lead to banalization of justice, reinforcement of criticism against the judiciary and to broach incidentally the question of the limits of judgment, which is most perilous for the independence of the judiciary. This research, based on case studies, interviews with judges and an analysis of the literature on this topic (mainly from the United States of America and European Union Member States), tends to draw attention to the fact that the result of the development of these professional standards is that the ethical requirements of judges become ethical requirements of justice, which is an undesirable effect of which we must be aware, in order to prevent it.
Frequency Reconfigurable Multiband Patch Antenna Using PIN-Diode for ITS Applications
A frequency reconfigurable multiband antenna for intelligent transportation system (ITS) applications is proposed in this paper. A PIN-diode is used for reconfigurability. Centre frequencies are 1.38, 1.98, 2.89, 3.86, and 4.34 GHz in “ON” state of Diode and 1.56, 2.16, 2.88, 3.91 and 4.45 GHz in “OFF” state. Achieved maximum bandwidth is 18%. The maximum gain of the proposed antenna is 2.7 dBi in “ON” state and 3.95 dBi in “OFF” state of the diode. The antenna is simulated, fabricated, and tested in the lab. Measured and simulated results are in good confirmation.
Study Habits and Level of Difficulty Encountered by Maltese Students Studying Biology Advanced Level Topics

This research was performed to investigate the study habits and level of difficulty perceived by post-secondary students in Biology at Advanced-level topics after completing their first year of study. At the end of a two-year ‘sixth form’ course, Maltese students sit for the Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC) Advanced-level biology exam as a requirement to pursue science-related studies at the University of Malta. The sample was composed of 23 students (16 taking Chemistry and seven taking some ‘Other’ subject at the Advanced Level). The cohort comprised seven males and 16 females. A questionnaire constructed by the authors, was answered anonymously during the last lecture at the end of the first year of study, in May 2016. The Chi square test revealed that gender plays no effect on the various study habits (c2 (6) = 5.873, p = 0.438). ‘Reading both notes and textbooks’ was the most common method adopted by males (71.4%), whereas ‘Writing notes on each topic’ was that mostly used by females (81.3%). The Mann-Whitney U test showed no significant difference in the study habits of students and the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course (p = 0.231). Statistical difference was found with the One-ANOVA test when comparing the mean assessment mark obtained at the end of the first year course when students are clustered by their Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) grade (p < 0.001). Those obtaining a SEC grade of 2 and 3 got the highest mean assessment of 68.33% and 66.9%, respectively [SEC grading is 1-7, where 1 is the highest]. The Friedman test was used to compare the mean difficulty rating scores provided for the difficulty of each topic. The mean difficulty rating score ranges from 1 to 4, where the larger the mean rating score, the higher the difficulty. When considering the whole group of students, nine topics out of 21 were perceived as significantly more difficult than the other topics. Protein synthesis, DNA Replication and Biomolecules were the most difficult, in that order. The Mann-Whitney U test revealed that the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules is significantly lower for students taking Chemistry compared to those not choosing the subject (p = 0.018). Protein Synthesis was claimed as the most difficult by Chemistry students and Biomolecules by those not studying Chemistry. DNA Replication was the second most difficult topic perceived by both groups. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine the effect of gender on the perceived level of difficulty in comprehending various topics. It was found that females have significantly more difficulty in comprehending Biomolecules than males (p=0.039). Protein synthesis was perceived as the most difficult topic by males (mean difficulty rating score = 3.14), while Biomolecules, DNA Replication and Protein synthesis were of equal difficulty for females (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Males and females perceived DNA Replication as equally difficult (mean difficulty rating score = 3.00). Discovering the students’ study habits and perceived level of difficulty of specific topics is vital for the lecturer to offer guidance that leads to higher academic achievement.

The Use of Lane-Centering to Assure the Visible Light Communication Connectivity for a Platoon of Autonomous Vehicles
The new emerging Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology has been subjected to intensive investigation, evaluation, and lately, deployed in the context of convoy-based applications for Intelligent Transportations Systems (ITS). The technology limitations were defined and supported by different solutions proposals to enhance the crucial alignment and mobility limitations. In this paper, we propose the incorporation of VLC technology and Lane-Centering (LC) technique to assure the VLC-connectivity by keeping the autonomous vehicle aligned to the lane center using vision-based lane detection in a convoy-based formation. Such combination can ensure the optical communication connectivity with a lateral error less than 30 cm. As soon as the road lanes are detectable, the evaluated system showed stable behavior independently from the inter-vehicle distances and without the need for any exchanged information of the remote vehicles. The evaluation of the proposed system is verified using VLC prototype and an empirical result of LC running application over 60 km in Madrid M40 highway.
Third Places for Social Sustainability: A Planning Framework Based on Local and International Comparisons

Social sustainability, as an independent perspective of sustainable development, has gained some acknowledgement, becoming an important aspect in sustainable urban planning internationally. However, limited research aiming at promoting social sustainability within urban areas exists within the South African context. This is mainly due to the different perspectives of sustainable development (e.g., Environmental, Economic, and Social) not being equally prioritized by policy makers and supported by implementation strategies, guidelines, and planning frameworks. The enhancement of social sustainability within urban areas relies on urban dweller satisfaction and the quality of urban life. Inclusive cities with high-quality public spaces are proposed within this research through implementing the third place theory. Third places are introduced as any place other than our homes (first place) and work (second place) and have become an integrated part of sustainable urban planning. As Third Places consist of every place 'in between', the approach has taken on a large role of the everyday life of city residents, and the importance of planning for such places can only be measured through identifying and highlighting the social sustainability benefits thereof. The aim of this research paper is to introduce third place planning within the urban area to ultimately enhance social sustainability. Selected background planning approaches influencing the planning of third places will briefly be touched on, as the focus will be placed on the social sustainability benefits provided through third place planning within an urban setting. The study will commence by defining and introducing the concept of third places within urban areas as well as a discussion on social sustainability, acting as one of the three perspectives of sustainable development. This will gain the researcher an improved understanding on social sustainability in order for the study to flow into an integrated discussion of the benefits Third places provide in terms of social sustainability and the impact it has on improved quality of life within urban areas. Finally, a visual case study comparison of local and international examples of third places identified will be illustrated. These international case studies will contribute towards the conclusion of this study where a local gap analysis will be formulated, based on local third place evidence and international best practices in order to formulate a strategic planning framework on improving social sustainability through third place planning within the local South African context.

A Resource Survey of Lateritic Soils and Impact Evaluation toward Community Members Living Nearby the Excavation Pits

The objectives of the research are to find the basic engineering properties of lateritic soil and to predict the impact on community members who live nearby the excavation pits in the area of Amphur Pak Thor, Ratchaburi Province in the western area of Thailand. The research was conducted by collecting soil samples from four excavation pits for basic engineering properties, testing and collecting questionnaire data from 120 community members who live nearby the excavation pits, and applying statistical analysis. The results found that the basic engineering properties of lateritic soil can be classified into silt soil type which is cohesionless as the loess or collapsible soil which is not suitable to be used for a pavement structure for commuting highway because it could lead to structural and functional failure in the long run. In terms of opinion from community members toward the impact, the highest impact was on the dust from excavation activities. The prediction from the logistic regression in terms of impact on community members was at 84.32 which can be adapted and applied onto other areas with the same context as a guideline for risk prevention and risk communication since it could impact the infrastructures and also impact the health of community members.

Innovative Fabric Integrated Thermal Storage Systems and Applications

In northern European climates, domestic space heating and hot water represents a significant proportion of total primary total primary energy use and meeting these demands from a national electricity grid network supplied by renewable energy sources provides an opportunity for a significant reduction in EU CO2 emissions. However, in order to adapt to the intermittent nature of renewable energy generation and to avoid co-incident peak electricity usage from consumers that may exceed current capacity, the demand for heat must be decoupled from its generation. Storage of heat within the fabric of dwellings for use some hours, or days, later provides a route to complete decoupling of demand from supply and facilitates the greatly increased use of renewable energy generation into a local or national electricity network. The integration of thermal energy storage into the building fabric for retrieval at a later time requires much evaluation of the many competing thermal, physical, and practical considerations such as the profile and magnitude of heat demand, the duration of storage, charging and discharging rate, storage media, space allocation, etc. In this paper, the authors report investigations of thermal storage in building fabric using concrete material and present an evaluation of several factors that impact upon performance including heating pipe layout, heating fluid flow velocity, storage geometry, thermo-physical material properties, and also present an investigation of alternative storage materials and alternative heat transfer fluids. Reducing the heating pipe spacing from 200 mm to 100 mm enhances the stored energy by 25% and high-performance Vacuum Insulation results in heat loss flux of less than 3 W/m2, compared to 22 W/m2 for the more conventional EPS insulation. Dense concrete achieved the greatest storage capacity, relative to medium and light-weight alternatives, although a material thickness of 100 mm required more than 5 hours to charge fully. Layers of 25 mm and 50 mm thickness can be charged in 2 hours, or less, facilitating a fast response that could, aggregated across multiple dwellings, provide significant and valuable reduction in demand from grid-generated electricity in expected periods of high demand and potentially eliminate the need for additional new generating capacity from conventional sources such as gas, coal, or nuclear.

Antimicrobial and Aroma Finishing of Organic Cotton Knits Using Vetiver Oil Microcapsules for Health Care Textiles

Eco-friendly textiles are gaining importance among the consumers and textile manufacturers in the healthcare sector due to increased environmental pollution which leads to several health and environmental hazards. Hence, the research was designed to cultivate and develop the organic cotton knit, to prepare and characterize the Vetiver oil microcapsules for textile finishing and to access the wash durability of finished knits. The cotton SAHANA variety grown under organic production systems was processed and spun into 30 single yarn dyed with four natural colorants (Arecanut slurry, Eucalyptus leaves, Pomegranate rind and Indigo) and eco dyed yarn was further used for development of single jersy knitted fabric. Vetiveria zizanioides is an aromatic grass which is being traditionally used in medicine and perfumery. Vetiver essential oil was used for preparation of microcapsules by interfacial polymerization technique subjected to Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Thermo Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) for characterization of microcapsules. The knitted fabric was finished with vetiver oil microcapsules by exhaust and pad dry cure methods. The finished organic knit was assessed for laundering on antimicrobial efficiency and aroma intensity. GCMS spectral analysis showed that, diethyl phthalate (28%) was the major compound found in vetiver oil followed by isoaromadendrene epoxide (7.72%), beta-vetivenene (6.92%), solavetivone (5.58%), aromadenderene, azulene and khusimol. Bioassay explained that, the vetiver oil and diluted vetiver oil possessed greater zone of inhibition against S. aureus and E. coli than the coconut oil. FTRI spectra of vetiver oil and microcapsules possessed similar peaks viz., C-H, C=C & C꞊O stretching and additionally oil microcapsules possessed the peak of 3331.24 cm-1 at 91.14 transmittance was attributed to N-H stretches. TGA of oil microcapsules revealed that, there was a minimum weight loss (5.835%) recorded at 467.09°C compared to vetiver oil i.e., -3.026% at the temperature of 396.24°C. The shape of the microcapsules was regular and round, some were spherical in shape and few were rounded by small aggregates. Irrespective of methods of application, organic cotton knits finished with microcapsules by pad dry cure method showed maximum zone of inhibition compared to knits finished by exhaust method against S. aureus and E. coli. The antimicrobial activity of the finished samples was subjected to multiple washing which indicated that knits finished with pad dry cure method showed a zone of inhibition even after 20th wash and better aroma retention compared to knits finished with the exhaust method of application. Further, the group of respondents rated that the 5th washed samples had the greater aroma intensity in both the methods than the other samples. Thus, the vetiver microencapsulated organic cotton knits are free from hazardous chemicals and have multi-functional properties that can be suitable for medical and healthcare textiles.

Robust and Transparent Spread Spectrum Audio Watermarking

In this paper, we propose a blind and robust audio watermarking scheme based on spread spectrum in Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) domain. Watermarks are embedded in the low-frequency coefficients, which is less audible. The key idea is dividing the audio signal into small frames, and magnitude of the 6th level of DWT approximation coefficients is modifying based upon the Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technique. Also, the psychoacoustic model for enhancing in imperceptibility, as well as Savitsky-Golay filter for increasing accuracy in extraction, is used. The experimental results illustrate high robustness against most common attacks, i.e. Gaussian noise addition, Low pass filter, Resampling, Requantizing, MP3 compression, without significant perceptual distortion (ODG is higher than -1). The proposed scheme has about 83 bps data payload.

Sustainable Development, China’s Emerging Role via One Belt, One Road

The rapid economic and technological development of any country depends on access to cheap sources of energy. Competition for access to petroleum resources is always accompanied by numerous environmental risks. These factors have caused more attention to environmental issues and sustainable development in petroleum contracts and activities. Nowadays, a sign of developed countries is adhering to the principles and rules of international environmental law and sustainable development of commercial contracts. China has entered into play through the massive project plan, One Belt, One Road. China is becoming a new emerging power in the world. China's bilateral investment treaties have an impact on environmental rights and sustainable development through regional and international foreign direct investment. The aim of this research is to examine China's key position to promote and improve environmental principles and international law and sustainable development in the energy sector in the world through the initiative, One Belt, One Road. Based on this hypothesis, it seems that in the near future, China's investment bilateral investment treaties will become popular investment model used in global trade, especially in the field of energy and sustainable development. They will replace the European and American models. The research method is including literature review, analytical and descriptive methods.

Effect of Social Media on the Study Habits of Students of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri

There has been considerable anxiety in society that social media distracts from education and reduces the social skills of young people. Following this, educators have sought ways to mitigate its negative effects on educational attainment while incorporating its positive aspects into the learning process. This study sought to examine the impact of social media on the study habits of students of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. The research design involved survey technique where questionnaires were used to collect data from a sample of the student population. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the data. Spearman’s Rho was the specific tool used for analysis. It was presented in frequency tables and bar charts. Findings from variables investigated showed that at p<0.5, social media usage had a significant impact on the study habits of students of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. This indicated the need for stakeholders in the community to employ counselling and other proactive measures to ensure that students maintained proper focus on their primary assignment for schooling.

The Effect of Soil Contamination on Chemical Composition and Quality of Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa) Fruits

A field study was conducted to evaluate the chemical composition and quality of the Aronia fruits, as well as the possibilities of Aronia cultivation on soils contaminated with heavy metals. The experiment was performed on an agricultural field contaminated by the Non-Ferrous-Metal Works (NFMW) near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The study included four varieties of Aronia; Aron variety, Hugin variety, Viking variety and Nero variety. The Aronia was cultivated according to the conventional technology on areas at a different distance from the source of pollution NFMW- Plovdiv (1 km, 3.5 km, and 15 km). The concentrations of macroelements, microelements, and heavy metals in Aronia fruits were determined. The dry matter content, ash, sugars, proteins, and fats were also determined. Aronia is a crop that is tolerant to heavy metals and can successfully be grown on soils contaminated with heavy metals. The increased content of heavy metals in the soil leads to less absorption of the nutrients (Ca, Mg and P) in the fruit of the Aronia. Soil pollution with heavy metals does not affect the quality of the Aronia fruit varieties.

Case Study of the Exercise Habits and Aging Anxiety of Taiwanese Insurance Agents

The rapid aging of the population is a common trend in the world. However, the progress of modern medical technology has increased the average life expectancy. The global population structure has changed dramatically, and the elderly population has risen rapidly. In the face of rapid population growth, it must be noted issues of the aging population must face up to, which are the physiological, psychological, and social problems associated with aging. This study aims to investigate how insurance agents are actively dealing with an aging society, their own aging anxiety, and their exercise habits. Purposive sampling was the sampling method of this study, a total of 204 respondents were surveyed and 204 valid surveys were returned. The returned valid ratio was 100%. Statistical method included descriptive statistics, t-test, and one-way ANOVA. The results of the study found that the insurance agent’s age, seniority, exercise habits to aging anxiety are significantly different.

The Role of Paraphrase in Interpreting Students’ Writing

To improve students’ skill, writing is the most challenging skill to be developed. The reason is that besides helping the students to develop their skill, this activity also helps them to express themselves. This paper depicts how paraphrasing is very helpful to interpret students’ writing. Syntactic units, used tenses and meanings will indeed change once the writings were paraphrased. The objectives of this research are to reveal the inappropriate structure of syntactic units, to show what types of sentences the students often make, and to show how paraphrasing can help to infer the message. The methodology of this research is descriptive qualitative research. In addition, theories of linguistics are also included. This includes theory of Syntax to describe syntactic units and tenses and theory of Semantics to describe theories of meaning and how paraphrasing works. The theories of general linguistics, grammar and writing are also provided to support the theories of Syntax and Semantics. The results of this research are concerned with how the message is received in the end. The message written in the students’ essay is not clear because of the improper structure of syntactic units and use of incorrect of tenses. The students tend to use simple sentences, compound sentences and complex sentences with a few mistakes in their writing. In addition, they tend to create unnecessary phrases. The last point is that this research shows how paraphrase works to attain complete meaning of a sentence.

Innovation in Information Technology Services: Framework to Improve the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Information Technology Service Management Processes, Projects and Decision Support Management

In a dynamic market of Information Technology (IT) Service and with high quality demands and high performance requirements in decreasing costs, it is imperative that IT companies invest organizational effort in order to increase the effectiveness of their Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) processes through the improvement of ITSM project management and through solid support to the strategic decision-making process of IT directors. In this article, the author presents an analysis of common issues of IT companies around the world, with strategic needs of information unmet that provoke their ITSM processes and projects management that do not achieve the effectiveness and efficiency expected of their results. In response to the issues raised, the author proposes a framework consisting of an innovative theoretical framework model of ITSM management and a technological solution aligned to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) good practices guidance and ISO/IEC 20000-1 requirements. The article describes a research that proves the proposed framework is able to integrate, manage and coordinate in a holistic way, measurable and auditable, all ITSM processes and projects of IT organization and utilize the effectiveness assessment achieved for their strategic decision-making process increasing the process maturity level and improving the capacity of an efficient management.

The Use of the Limit Cycles of Dynamic Systems for Formation of Program Trajectories of Points Feet of the Anthropomorphous Robot

The movement of points feet of the anthropomorphous robot in space occurs along some stable trajectory of a known form. A large number of modifications to the methods of control of biped robots indicate the fundamental complexity of the problem of stability of the program trajectory and, consequently, the stability of the control for the deviation for this trajectory. Existing gait generators use piecewise interpolation of program trajectories. This leads to jumps in the acceleration at the boundaries of sites. Another interpolation can be realized using differential equations with fractional derivatives. In work, the approach to synthesis of generators of program trajectories is considered. The resulting system of nonlinear differential equations describes a smooth trajectory of movement having rectilinear sites. The method is based on the theory of an asymptotic stability of invariant sets. The stability of such systems in the area of localization of oscillatory processes is investigated. The boundary of the area is a bounded closed surface. In the corresponding subspaces of the oscillatory circuits, the resulting stable limit cycles are curves having rectilinear sites. The solution of the problem is carried out by means of synthesis of a set of the continuous smooth controls with feedback. The necessary geometry of closed trajectories of movement is obtained due to the introduction of high-order nonlinearities in the control of stabilization systems. The offered method was used for the generation of trajectories of movement of point’s feet of the anthropomorphous robot. The synthesis of the robot's program movement was carried out by means of the inverse method.

A Study of the Costs and Benefits of Smart City Projects Including the Scenario of Public-Private Partnerships

A smart city project embraces benefits and costs which can be classified under direct and indirect categories. Externalities come into the picture, but they are often difficult to quantify. Despite this barrier, policy makers need to carry out cost-benefit analysis to justify the huge investments needed to make a city smart. The recent trend is towards the engagement of the private sector to utilize their resources and expertise, especially in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) areas, where innovations blossom. This study focuses on the identification of costs (on a life cycle basis) and benefits associated with smart city project developments based on a comprehensive literature review and case studies, where public-private partnerships would warrant consideration, the related costs and benefits are highlighted. The findings will be useful for policy makers of cities.

Resilience in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease in Hemodialysis

Chronic Kidney Disease is considered a serious public health problem. The exploitation of resilience has been guided by studies conducted in various contexts, especially in hemodialysis, since the impact of diagnosis and restrictions produced during the treatment process because, despite advances in treatment, remains the stigma of the disease and the feeling of pain, hopelessness, low self-esteem and disability. The objective was to evaluate the level of resilience of patients in chronic renal dialysis. This is a descriptive, correlational, cross and quantitative research. The sample consisted of 100 patients from a Renal Replacement Therapy Unit in the countryside of São Paulo. For data collection were used the characterization instrument of Participants and the Resilience Scale. There was a predominance of males (70.0%) were Caucasian (45.0%) and had completed elementary education (34.0%). The average score obtained through the Resilience Scale was 131.3 (± 20.06) points. The resiliency level submitted may be considered satisfactory. It is expected that this study will assist in the preparation of programs and actions in order to avoid possible situations of crises faced by chronic renal patients.

Dynamic State Estimation with Optimal PMU and Conventional Measurements for Complete Observability

This paper presents a Generalized Binary Integer Linear Programming (GBILP) method for optimal allocation of Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) and to generate Dynamic State Estimation (DSE) solution with complete observability. The GBILP method is formulated with Zero Injection Bus (ZIB) constraints to reduce the number of locations for placement of PMUs in the case of normal and single line contingency. The integration of PMU and conventional measurements is modeled in DSE process to estimate accurate states of the system. To estimate the dynamic behavior of the power system with proposed method, load change up to 40% considered at a bus in the power system network. The proposed DSE method is compared with traditional Weighted Least Squares (WLS) state estimation method in presence of load changes to show the impact of PMU measurements. MATLAB simulations are carried out on IEEE 14, 30, 57, and 118 bus systems to prove the validity of the proposed approach.

Fruit Growing in Romania and Its Role for Rural Communities’ Development

The importance of fruit trees and bushes growing for Romania is due the concordance that exists between the different ecological conditions in natural basins, and the requirements of different species and varieties. There are, in Romania, natural areas dedicated to the main trees species: plum, apple, pear, cherry, sour cherry, finding optimal conditions for harnessing the potential of fruitfulness, making fruit quality both in terms of ratio commercial, and content in active principles. The share of fruits crops in the world economy of agricultural production is due primarily to the role of fruits in nourishment for human, and in the prevention and combating of diseases, in increasing the national income of cultivator countries and to improve comfort for human life. For Romania, the perspectives of the sector are positive, and are due to European funding opportunities, which provide farmers a specialized program that meets the needs of development and modernization of fruit growing industry, cultivation technology and equipment, organization and grouping of producers, creating storage facilities, conditioning, marketing and the joint use of fresh fruit. This paper shows the evolution of fruit growing, in Romania compared to other states. The document presents the current situation of the main tree species both in terms of surface but also of the productions and the role that this activity may have for the development of rural communities.

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