|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 151|
This study was designed to investigate the relationship between language and children’s construction of the concept of objects, actions, and states. Participants of this study are 120 children whose ages range from 3 to 14 years. Ten children participated from each age group and 10 adults participated as normative group. Data were collected using 28 words which were identified and grouped according to the purpose of this study. Participants were asked the question “What is x?’ for each word in a reserved room. The audio recorded data were transcribed and coded. The data were analyzed primarily qualitatively but quantitatively as well to support qualitative findings. The findings reveal that younger children rely more on their perceptual experience and linguistic input while 7-year-olds and older ones rely more on instructional language in the construction of the concepts related to objects, actions and states. Adults differ from all age groups with their usage of metaphors to refer to objects. It has been noted that linguistic, perceptual and instructional experiences work in an interwoven way but each one seems to be dominant at certain ages.
Usability is one of the most important quality attributes for web-based information systems. Specifically, for e-commerce applications, usability becomes more prominent. In this study, we aimed to explore the features that experienced users seek in e-commerce applications. We used eye tracking method in evaluations. Eye movement data are obtained from the eye-tracking method and analyzed based on task completion time, number of fixations, as well as heat map and gaze plot measures. The results of the analysis show that the eye movements of participants' are too static in certain areas and their areas of interest are scattered in many different places. It has been determined that this causes users to fail to complete their transactions. According to the findings, we outlined the issues to improve the usability of e-commerce websites. Then we propose solutions to identify the issues. In this way, it is expected that e-commerce sites will be developed which will make experienced users more satisfied.
Quality measurement and reporting systems are used in healthcare internationally. In Australia, the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards records and reports hundreds of clinical indicators (CIs) nationally across the healthcare system. These CIs are measures of performance in the clinical setting, and are used as a screening tool to help assess whether a standard of care is being met. Existing analysis and reporting of these CIs incorporate Bayesian methods to address sampling variation; however, such assessments are retrospective in nature, reporting upon the previous six or twelve months of data. The use of Bayesian methods within statistical process control for monitoring systems is an important pursuit to support more timely decision-making. Our research has developed and assessed a new graphical monitoring tool, similar to a control chart, based on the beta-binomial posterior predictive (BBPP) distribution to facilitate the real-time assessment of health care organizational performance via CIs. The BBPP charts have been compared with the traditional Bernoulli CUSUM (BC) chart by simulation. The more traditional “central” and “highest posterior density” (HPD) interval approaches were each considered to define the limits, and the multiple charts were compared via in-control and out-of-control average run lengths (ARLs), assuming that the parameter representing the underlying CI rate (proportion of cases with an event of interest) required estimation. Preliminary results have identified that the BBPP chart with HPD-based control limits provides better out-of-control run length performance than the central interval-based and BC charts. Further, the BC chart’s performance may be improved by using Bayesian parameter estimation of the underlying CI rate.
The present research is a paper on the characterization of aluminum alloy-6063 hybrid metal matrix composites using three different reinforcement materials (SiC, red mud, and fly ash) through stir casting method. The red mud was used in solid form, and particle size range varies between 103-150 µm. During this investigation, fly ash is received from Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant (GNDTP), Bathinda. The study has been done by using Taguchi’s L9 orthogonal array by taking fraction wt.% (SiC 5%, 7.5%, and 10% and Red Mud and Fly Ash 2%, 4%, and 6%) as input parameters with their respective levels. The study of the mechanical properties (tensile strength, impact strength, and microhardness) has been done by using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with the help of MINITAB 17 software. It is revealed that silicon carbide is the most significant parameter followed by red mud and fly ash affecting the mechanical properties, respectively. The fractured surface morphology of the composites using Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) shows that there is a good mixing of reinforcement particles in the matrix. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) was performed to know the presence of the phases of the reinforced material.
This paper attempts to develop a wireless feedback control system as a primary step eventually toward a bio-inspired structure system where inanimate structure behaves like a life form autonomously. It is a standalone wireless control system which is supposed to measure externally caused structural responses, analyze structural state from acquired data, and take its own action on the basis of the analysis with an embedded logic. For an experimental examination of its effectiveness, we applied it on a model of two-span bridge and performed a wireless control test. Experimental tests have been conducted for comparison on both the wireless and the wired system under the conditions of Un-control, Passive-off, Passive-on, and Lyapunov control algorithm. By proving the congruence of the test result of the wireless feedback control system with the wired control system, its control performance was proven to be effective. Besides, it was found to be economical in energy consumption and also autonomous by means of a command algorithm embedded into it, which proves its basic capacity as a bio-inspired system.
Getting the consumer marketing strategy right is a crucial and complex task for firms with a large customer base such as mobile operators in a competitive mobile market. While empirical studies have made efforts to identify key constructs, no geospatial model has been developed to comprehensively assess the viability and interdependency of ground realities regarding the customer, competition, channel and the network quality of mobile operators. With this research, a geo-analytic framework is proposed for strategy formulation and allocation for mobile operators. Firstly, a fuzzy analytic network using a self-organizing feature map clustering technique based on inputs from managers and literature, which depicts the interrelationships amongst ground realities is developed. The model is tested with a mobile operator in the Nigeria mobile market. As a result, a customer-centric geospatial and visualization solution is developed. This provides a consolidated and integrated insight that serves as a transparent, logical and practical guide for strategic, tactical and operational decision making.
This study examined cointegration and causal relationships between economic growth and regular domestic and international passenger air transport in Brazil. Total passengers embarked and disembarked were used as a proxy for air transport activity and gross domestic product (GDP) as a proxy for economic development. The test spanned the period from 2000 to 2015 for domestic passenger traffic and from 1995 to 2015 for international traffic. The results confirm the hypothesis that there is cointegration between passenger traffic series and economic development, showing a bi-directional Granger causal relationship between domestic traffic and economic development and unidirectional influence by economic growth on international passenger air transport demand. Variance decomposition of the series showed that domestic air transport was far more important than international transport to promoting economic development in Brazil.
In the present paper, we investigate the feasibility of a thermal solar driven cold room in Gabes, southern region of Tunisia. The cold room of 109 m3 is refrigerated using an ammonia absorption machine. It is destined to preserve dates during the hot months of the year. A detailed study of the cold room leads previously to the estimation of the cooling load of the proposed storage room in the operating conditions of the region. The next step consists of the estimation of the required heat in the generator of the absorption machine to ensure the desired cold temperature. A thermodynamic analysis was accomplished and complete description of the system is determined. We propose, here, to provide the needed heat thermally from the sun by using vacuum tube collectors. We found that at least 21m² of solar collectors are necessary to accomplish the work of the solar cold room.
This paper investigated the simulation of two-phase interleaved boost converter (IBC) with free and open-source software Scilab/Xcos. By using interleaved method, it can reduce current stress on components, components size, input current ripple and output voltage ripple. The required mathematical model is obtained from the equivalent circuit of its different four modes of operation for simulation. The equivalent circuits are considered in continuous conduction mode (CCM). The average values of the system variables are derived from the state-space equation to find the equilibrium point. Scilab is now becoming more and more popular among students, engineers and scientists because it is open-source software and free of charge. It gives a great convenience because it has powerful computation and simulation function. The waveforms of output voltage, input current and inductors current are obtained by using Scilab/Xcos.
Jatropha curcas L. is one of the crops producing non edible oil which is potential for bio-energy. Jatropha cultivation and development program in Indonesia is facing several problems especially low seed yield resulting in inefficient crop cultivation cost. To cope with the problem, development of high yielding varieties is necessary. Development of varieties to improve seed yield was conducted by hybridization and selection, and resulted in 14 potential genotypes. The yield potential of the 14 genotypes were evaluated and compared with two check varieties. The objective of the evaluation was to find Jatropha hybrids with some characters i.e. productivity higher than check varieties, oil content > 40% and harvesting age ≤ 110 days. Hybridization and individual plant selection were carried out from 2010 to 2014. Evaluation of high yield was conducted in Asembagus experimental station, Situbondo, East Java in three years (2015-2017). The experimental designed was Randomized Complete Block Design with three replication and plot size of 10 m x 8 m. The characters observed were number of capsules per plant, dry seed yield (kg/ha) and seed oil content (%). The results of this experiment indicated that all the hybrids evaluated have higher productivity than check variety IP-3A. There were two superior hybrids i.e. HS-49xSP-65/32 and HS-49xSP-19/28 with highest seed yield per hectare and number of capsules per plant during three years.
PERMATApintar® National Gifted Center is, to the author’s best of knowledge, the first center in Malaysia that provides a platform for Malaysian talented students with high ability in thinking. This center has built a teaching and learning biology curriculum that suits the ability of these gifted students. The level of PERMATApintar® biology curriculum is basically higher than the national biology curriculum. Here, the foundation students are exposed to the PERMATApintar® biology curriculum at the age of as early as 11 years old. This center practices a 4-time-a-year examination system to monitor the academic performances of the students. Generally, most of the time, male students show no or low interest towards biology subject compared to female students. This study is to investigate the association of students’ gender and their academic performances in biology examination. A total of 39 students’ scores in twelve sets of biology examinations in 3 years have been collected and analyzed by using the statistical analysis. Based on the analysis, there are no significant differences between male and female students against the biology academic performances with a significant level of p = 0.05. This indicates that gender is not associated with the scores of biology examinations among the students. Another result showed that the average score for male studenta was higher than the female students. Future research can be done by comparing the biology academic achievement in Malaysian National Examination (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia, SPM) between the Foundation 3 students (Grade 9) and Level 2 students (Grade 11) with similar PERMATApintar® biology curriculum.
The Modernist Movement initially flourished in France, Holland, Germany and the Soviet Union. Many architects and designers were inspired and followed its principles. Two of its most important architects (Gerrit Rietveld and Ludwig Mies van de Rohe) were introduced in this paper. Each did not follow the other’s principles and had their own particular rules; however, they shared the same features of the Modernist International Style, such as Anti-historicism, Abstraction, Technology, Function and Internationalism/ Universality. Key Modernist principles translated into high expectations, which sometimes did not meet the inhabitants’ aspirations of living comfortably; consequently, leading to a conflict and misunderstanding between the designer and their clients’ needs. Therefore, historical case studies (the Schroder and the Farnsworth houses) involving two Modernist pioneer architects have been chosen. This paper is an attempt to explore some of the influential factors affecting buildings design such as: needs, gender, and question concerning commonalities between both designers and their clients. The three aspects and two designers explored here have been chosen because they have been influenced the researchers to understand the impact of those factors on the design process, building’s performance, and the dweller’s satisfaction. This is a descriptive/ analytical research based on two historical comparative case studies that involve several steps such as: key evaluation questions (KEQs), observations, document analysis, etc. The methodology is based on data collation and finding validations. The research aims to state a manifest to regulate the relation between architects and their clients to reach the optimum building performance and functional interior design that suits their clients’ needs, reflects the architects’ character, and the school they belong to. At the end, through the investigation in this paper, the different needs between both the designers and the clients have been seen not only in the building itself but also it could convert the inhabitant’s life in various ways. Moreover, a successful relationship between the architect and their clients could play a significant role in the success of projects. In contrast, not every good design or celebrated building could end up with a successful relationship between the designer and their client or full-fill the inhabitant’s aspirations.
In the context of the government's vision of turning Delhi into a green, privatized and slum free city, giving it a world-class image at par with the global cities of the world, this paper investigates into the various processes and politics of things that went behind defining spaces in the city and attributing an aesthetic image to it. The paper will explore two cases that were forged primarily through the forces of one particular type of power relation. One would be to look at the modernist movement adopted by the Nehruvian government post-independence and the next case will look at special periods like Emergency and Commonwealth games. The study of these cases will help understand the ambivalence embedded in the different rationales of the Government and different powerful agencies adopted in order to build world-classness. Through the study, it will be easier to discern how city spaces were reconfigured in the name of 'good governance'. In this process, it also became important to analyze the double nature of law, both as a protector of people’s rights and as a threat to people. What was interesting to note through the study was that in the process of nation building and creating an image for the city, the government’s policies and programs were mostly aimed at the richer sections of the society and the poorer sections and people from lower income groups kept getting marginalized, subdued, and pushed further away (These marginalized people were pushed away even geographically!). The reconfiguration of city space and attributing an aesthetic character to it, led to an alteration not only in the way in which citizens perceived and engaged with these spaces, but also brought about changes in the way they envisioned their place in the city. Ironically, it was found that every attempt to build any kind of facility for the city’s elite in turn led to an inevitable removal of the marginalized sections of the society as a necessary step to achieve a clean, green and world-class city. The paper questions the claim made by the government for creating a just, equitable city and granting rights to all. An argument is put forth that in the politics of redistribution of space, the city that has been designed is meant for the aspirational middle-class and elite only, who are ideally primed to live in world-class cities. Thus, the aim is to study city spaces, urban form, the associated politics and power plays involved within and understand whether segmented cities are being built in the name of creating sensible, inclusive cities.
This paper has its objectives to reveal contents and personality suitable to women’s newspapers. The research methodology employed in this study is the questionnaire which is derived from a literature review related to newspapers, graphic elements method for print media design and 12 sample sizes of different daily newspapers. In order to acquire an in-depth understanding and comprehensible view of desirable for a women’s newspaper design, graphic elements that related to that personality as well as other preferable elements for a women’s newspaper, including seven editorial Many Thai newspapers were offer a women’s documentary and column space. With its feminine looks, most of them appeared with warm tones and friendly mood through their headlines, contents, illustrations and graphics. The study found that most desirable personalities for a women’s newspaper design in Thailand are: Modern, Chic and Natural. Each personality has significant graphic elements as follows: 1. Modern: significant elements of modern personality comprises of the composition with graduation pattern which creates attractiveness by using an anomalous alignment layout grid and outstanding structure to create focal points and dynamic movement. Dark to black color that has narrowed, limited hue coupled with bright color tones. The round shape of the Thai font style was suitable for this concept. Such Thai fonts have harmonious proportion and consistent stroke with the urban-polite look. 2. Chic: significant elements of chic personality comprises of the proper composition with distinctive scale, using rhythmic repetition and a contrast of scale to draw in reader attention. Vivid and bright color tones with extensive hues coupled with similar color tones and round shape of the Thai font style with a light stroke and consistent line. 3. Natural: significant elements of natural personality comprises of the proper composition using rhythmic repetition that creates a focal point through striking images and harmonious perspective. Warm color tones with restricted hues that appear to look natural. Duo tone color was suitable through the gradually increasing gradient. The Thai style with hand writing font was suitable through the inconsistent stroke. There are 10 types of daily content that were revealed to be the most desirable for Thai women readers, these are: Daily News, Economics News, Education News, Entertainment News, International news, Political News, Public Health News, Scientific News, Social News and Sports News. As well, there are 16 topics identified as very desirable for Thai women readers, such as: Art and Culture, Automobile, Classified, Special Scoop, Editorial, Advertisement, Entertainment, Health and Quality of Life, History, Horoscope, Lifestyle and Fashion, Literature, Nature - Environment and Tourism, Night Life, Stars and Jet Set Gossip, Women’s Issue.
Begomoviruses are economically important plant viruses that infect dicotyledonous plants and exclusively transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Here, replicative form was isolated from Okra, Cotton, Tomato plants and whitefly infected with Begomoviruses. Using coat protein specific primers (AV1), the viral infection was verified with amplicon at 450 bp. The sequence of OLCuV-AV1 gene was recorded and received an accession number (FJ441605) from Genebank. The phylogenetic tree of OLCuV was closely related to Okra leaf curl virus previously isolated from Cameroon and USA with nucleotide sequence identity of 92%. The protein purification was carried out using His-Tag methodology by using Affinity Chromatography. The purified protein was separated on SDS-PAGE analysis and an enriched expected size of band at 30 kDa was observed. Furthermore, RAPD and SDS-PAGE were used to detect genetic variability between different hosts of okra leaf curl virus (OLCuV), cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV), tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCuV) and the whitefly vector. Finally, the present study would help to understand the relationship between the whitefly and different economical crops in Egypt.
This study assesses the major ecological zones in Nigeria with the view to understanding the spatial pattern of vegetation zones and the implications on conservation within the period of sixteen (16) years. Satellite images used for this study were acquired from the SPOT-VEGETATION between 1998 and 2013. The annual NDVI images selected for this study were derived from SPOT-4 sensor and were acquired within the same season (November) in order to reduce differences in spectral reflectance due to seasonal variations. The images were sliced into five classes based on literatures and knowledge of the area (i.e. <0.16 Non-Vegetated areas; 0.16-0.22 Sahel Savannah; 0.22-0.40 Sudan Savannah, 0.40-0.47 Guinea Savannah and >0.47 Forest Zone). Classification of the 1998 and 2013 images into forested and non forested areas showed that forested area decrease from 511,691 km2 in 1998 to 478,360 km2 in 2013. Differencing change detection method was performed on 1998 and 2013 NDVI images to identify areas of ecological concern. The result shows that areas undergoing vegetation degradation covers an area of 73,062 km2 while areas witnessing some form restoration cover an area of 86,315 km2. The result also shows that there is a weak correlation between rainfall and the vegetation zones. The non-vegetated areas have a correlation coefficient (r) of 0.0088, Sahel Savannah belt 0.1988, Sudan Savannah belt -0.3343, Guinea Savannah belt 0.0328 and Forest belt 0.2635. The low correlation can be associated with the encroachment of the Sudan Savannah belt into the forest belt of South-eastern part of the country as revealed by the image analysis. The degradation of the forest vegetation is therefore responsible for the serious erosion problems witnessed in the South-east. The study recommends constant monitoring of vegetation and strict enforcement of environmental laws in the country.
Worldwide, improving tourism competitiveness has been on the agendas of many stakeholders of the hotel sector, and they seem to have agreed that one of the best ways to compete is via the implementation of electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM). In so doing, the organizations enjoy strategic positioning on the competitive market by managing better not only the customers but, other business components including knowledge and employee management. Over the recent years, the tourism industry in Mauritius has witnessed a drastic economic boom at international and national levels; providing a new outlook to boost business performance through existing and potential customers. E-CRM has been one of the management tools used to achieving this position. Thus, this insightful context- Mauritius- was opted for the study. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of e-CRM as a strategic tool in the hotel sector in Mauritius through the implementation of business strategy to create competitive advantage and impact on the business performance. To achieve the objectives of the study, a quantitative research methodology was adopted and the research revealed that e-CRM is indeed an effective strategic tool in the hotel industry in Mauritius that can provide a competitive advantage and impact positively on the organization’s performance.
This paper describes the design and application of a short in-class project conducted in Algoma University’s Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) course taught at the Bachelor of Computer Science. The project was based on the Maker Movement (people using and reusing electronic components and everyday materials to tinker with technology and make interactive applications), where students applied low-cost and easy-to-use electronic components, the Arduino Uno microcontroller board, software tools, and everyday objects. Students collaborated in small teams by completing hands-on activities with them, making an interactive walking cane for blind people. At the end of the course, students filled out a Technology Acceptance Model version 2 (TAM2) questionnaire where they evaluated microcontroller boards’ applications in HCI classes. We also asked them about applying the Maker Movement in HCI classes. Results showed overall students’ positive opinions and response about using microcontroller boards in HCI classes. We strongly suggest that every HCI course should include practical activities related to tinkering with technology such as applying microcontroller boards, where students actively and constructively participate in teams for achieving learning objectives.
The deployable descent technology is a lightweight entry method using an inflatable heat shield. The heatshield consists of a pressurized core which is covered by different layers of thermal insulation and flexible ablative materials in order to protect against the thermal loads. In this paper, both aluminum and silicon-aluminum aerogels were prepared by freeze-drying method. The latter material has bigger specific surface area and nano-scale pores. Mullite fibers are used as the reinforcing fibers to prepare the aerogel matrix to improve composite flexibility. The flexible composite materials were performed as an insulation layer to an underlying aramid fabric by a thermal shock test at a heat flux density of 120 kW/m2 and uniaxial tensile test. These results show that the aramid fabric with untreated mullite fibers as the thermal protective layer is completely carbonized at the heat of about 60 s. The aramid fabric as a thermal resistance layer of the composite material still has good mechanical properties at the same heat condition.
In this paper, an interactive in-car interface called HoloDash is presented. It is intended to provide information and infotainment in both autonomous vehicles and ‘connected cars’, vehicles equipped with Internet access via cellular services. The research focuses on the development of interactive avatars for this system and its gesture-based control system. This is a case study for the development of a possible human-centred means of presenting a connected or autonomous vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics through a projected ‘holographic’ infotainment system. This system is termed a Holographic Human Vehicle Interface (HHIV), as it utilises a dashboard projection unit and gesture detection. The research also examines the suitability for gestures in an automotive environment, given that it might be used in both driver-controlled and driverless vehicles. Using Human Centred Design methods, questions were posed to test subjects and preferences discovered in terms of the gesture interface and the user experience for passengers within the vehicle. These affirm the benefits of this mode of visual communication for both connected and driverless cars.
Digital multimedia contents such as image, video, and audio can be tampered easily due to the availability of powerful editing softwares. Multimedia forensics is devoted to analyze these contents by using various digital forensic techniques in order to validate their authenticity. Digital image forensics is dedicated to investigate the reliability of digital images by analyzing the integrity of data and by reconstructing the historical information of an image related to its acquisition phase. In this paper, a survey is carried out on the forgery detection by considering the most recent and promising digital image forensic techniques.
Today, Short Message Service (SMS) is an important means of communication. SMS is not only used in informal environment for communication and transaction, but it is also used in formal environments such as institutions, organizations, companies, and business world as a tool for communication and transactions. Therefore, there is a need to secure the information that is being transmitted through this medium to ensure security of information both in transit and at rest. But, encryption has been identified as a means to provide security to SMS messages in transit and at rest. Several past researches have proposed and developed several encryption algorithms for SMS and Information Security. This research aims at comparing the performance of common Asymmetric encryption algorithms on SMS security. The research employs the use of three algorithms, namely RSA, McEliece, and RABIN. Several experiments were performed on SMS of various sizes on android mobile device. The experimental results show that each of the three techniques has different key generation, encryption, and decryption times. The efficiency of an algorithm is determined by the time that it takes for encryption, decryption, and key generation. The best algorithm can be chosen based on the least time required for encryption. The obtained results show the least time when McEliece size 4096 is used. RABIN size 4096 gives most time for encryption and so it is the least effective algorithm when considering encryption. Also, the research shows that McEliece size 2048 has the least time for key generation, and hence, it is the best algorithm as relating to key generation. The result of the algorithms also shows that RSA size 1024 is the most preferable algorithm in terms of decryption as it gives the least time for decryption.
Aerodynamic stability coefficients are necessary to be known before any unmanned aircraft flight is performed. This requires expertise on aerodynamics and stability control of the aircraft. To enable efficacious performance of aircraft requires that a well-defined flight path and aerodynamics should be defined beforehand. This paper presents a study on the aerodynamics of an unmanned aero vehicle (UAV) during flight conditions. Current research holds comparative studies of different parameters for flight aerodynamic, measured using two different open source analytical software programs. These software packages are DATCOM and XLRF5, which help in depicting the flight aerodynamic variables. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was also used to perform aerodynamic analysis for which Star CCM+ was used. Output trends of the study demonstrate high accuracies between the two software programs with that of CFD. It can be seen that the Coefficient of Lift (CL) obtained from DATCOM and XFLR is similar to CL of CFD simulation. In the similar manner, other potential aerodynamic stability parameters obtained from analytical software are in good agreement with CFD.
In this paper, the average input current mode control is proposed for two-phase interleaved boost converter with two separate input inductors operating in continuous conduction mode (CCM). The required mathematical model is obtained from the equivalent circuits of its different four modes of operation. The small ripple approximation is derived to find the transfer functions from dynamic model using switching function. In average input current mode control, the inner current loop and outer voltage loop are designed with PI controller using bode analysis. Anti-windup structure is applied for PI controllers in control system. Moreover, the simulation work is carried out by MATLAB/Simulink. And, the hardware prototype is implemented by using low-cost microcontroller Arduino Nano. Finally, the laboratory prototype, available from the local market, is constructed to validate the mathematical model. The results show that the output voltage response is the faster rise time and settling time with acceptable overshoot.
Chemical doping with different elements and compounds at various amounts represents the most suitable approach to improve the superconducting properties of bismuth-based superconductors for technological applications. In this paper, the influence of partial substitution of Sr(BO2)2 for SrO on the phase formation kinetics and transport properties of (Bi,Pb)-2223 HTS has been studied for the first time. Samples with nominal composition Bi1.7Pb0.3Sr2-xCa2Cu3Oy[Sr(BO2)2]x, x=0, 0.0375, 0.075, 0.15, 0.25, were prepared by the standard solid state processing. The appropriate mixtures were calcined at 845 oC for 40 h. The resulting materials were pressed into pellets and annealed at 837 oC for 30 h in air. Superconducting properties of undoped (reference) and Sr(BO2)2-doped (Bi,Pb)-2223 compounds were investigated through X-ray diffraction (XRD), resistivity (ρ) and transport critical current density (Jc) measurements. The surface morphology changes in the prepared samples were examined by scanning electron microscope (SEM). XRD and Jc studies have shown that the low level Sr(BO2)2 doping (x=0.0375-0.075) to the Sr-site promotes the formation of high-Tc phase and leads to the enhancement of current carrying capacity in (Bi,Pb)-2223 HTS. The doped sample with x=0.0375 has the best performance compared to other prepared samples. The estimated volume fraction of (Bi,Pb)-2223 phase increases from ~25 % for reference specimen to ~70 % for x=0.0375. Moreover, strong increase in the self-field Jc value was observed for this dopant amount (Jc=340 A/cm2), compared to an undoped sample (Jc=110 A/cm2). Pronounced enhancement of superconducting properties of (Bi,Pb)-2223 superconductor can be attributed to the acceleration of high-Tc phase formation as well as the improvement of inter-grain connectivity by small amounts of Sr(BO2)2 dopant.
Nowadays, a great concern is placed on the harmfulness of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) which attacks human bodies. Nanocarbon materials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers (CNFs) and graphene, have been considered promising alternatives to shielding materials because of their excellent electrical conductivities, very high surface areas and low densities. In the present work, carbon nanofibers have been synthesized from solutions of Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/ N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) by electrospinning method. The carbon nanofibers have been stabilized by oxidation at 250 °C for 2 h in air and carbonized at 750 °C for 1 h in H2/N2. We present the fabrication and characterization of transparent and ultraviolet (UV) shielding CNF/polymer composites. The content of CNF filler has been varied from 0.2% to 0.6 % by weight. UV Spectroscopy has been performed to study the effect of composition on the transmittance of polymer composites.
Aedes aegypti larval survival rate was assessed after exposure to blastopores or conidia (mineral oil-in-water formulation or aqueous suspension) of Beauveria bassiana CG 479 propagules (blastospores or conidia). Here, mineral oil was used in the fungal formulation to control Aedes aegypti larvae. 1%, 0.5% or 0.1% mineral oil-in-water solutions were used to evaluate mineral oil toxicity for mosquito larvae. In the oil toxicity test, 0.1% mineral oil solution reduced only 4.5% larval survival; accordingly, this concentration was chosen for fungal oil-in-water formulations. Aqueous suspensions were prepared using 0.01% Tween 80® in sterile dechlorinated water. A. aegypti larvae (L2) were exposed in aqueous suspensions or mineral oil-in-water fungal formulations at 1×107 propagules mL-1; the survival rate (assessed daily, for 7 days) and the median survival time (S50) were calculated. Seven days after the treatment, mosquito larvae survival rates were 8.56%, 16.22%, 58%, and 42.56% after exposure to oil-in-water blastospores, oil-in-water conidia, blastospores aqueous suspension and conidia aqueous suspension (respectively). Larvae exposed to 0.01% Tween 80® had 100% survival rate and the ones treated with 0.1% mineral oil-in-water had 95.11% survival rate. Larvae treated with conidia (regardless the presence of oil) or treated with blastospores formulation had survival median time (S50) ranging from one to two days. S50 was not determined (ND) when larvae were exposed to blastospores aqueous suspension, 0.01% Tween 80® (aqueous control) or 0.1% mineral oil-in-water formulation (oil control). B. bassiana conidia and blastospores (mineral oil-in-water formulated or suspended in water) had potential to control A. aegypti mosquito larvae, despite mineral oil-in-water formulation yielded better results in comparison to aqueous suspensions. Here, B. bassiana CG 479 isolate is suggested as a potential biocontrol agent of A. aegypti mosquito larvae.
Selecting the most suitable welding process usually depends on experiences or common application in similar companies. However, this approach generally ignores many criteria that can be affecting the suitable welding process selection. Therefore, knowledge automation through knowledge-based systems will significantly improve the decision-making process. The aims of this research propose integrated data envelopment analysis (DEA) and fuzzy credibility constrained programming approach for identifying the best welding process for stainless steel storage tank in the food and beverage industry. The proposed approach uses fuzzy concept and credibility measure to deal with uncertain data from experts' judgment. Furthermore, 12 parameters are used to determine the most appropriate welding processes among six competitive welding processes.
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is potential vegetables to develop, because it has high economic value and has the potential to be exported. There is a decrease in tomato productivity due to unfavorable growth conditions such as bacterial wilt, fusarium wilt, high humidity, high temperature and inappropriate production technology. Grafting technology is one alternative technology. In addition to being able to control the disease in the soil, grafting is also able to increase the growth and yield of production. Besides, it is also necessary to know the economic benefits if using grafting technology. A promising eggplant rootstock for tomato grafting is Solanum torvum. S. torvum is selected as a rootstock with high compatibility. The purpose of this research is to know the effect of grafting several varieties of tomatoes with Solanum torvum as a rootstock. The experiment was conducted in Agricultural Extension Center Pare. Experimental Garden of Pare Kediri sub-district from July to early December 2016. The materials used were tomato Cervo varieties, Karina, Timoty, and Solanum torvum. Economic analysis, growth, and yield including plant height, number of leaves, percentage of disease and tomato production were used as performance measures. The study showed that grafting tomato Timoty scion with Solanum torvum as rootstock had higher production. Financially, grafting tomato Timoty and Cervo scion had higher profit about. 28,6% and 16,3% compared to Timoty and Cervo variety treatment without grafting.
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether firms applying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), provide high-quality and comparable earnings information that is useful for decision making of information users relative to firms applying local Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Focus is placed on the earnings quality of listed firms in several developed countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). Except for Japan and the US, the adoption of IFRS is mandatory for listed firms in these countries. In Japan, the application of IFRS is allowed for specific listed firms. In the US, the foreign firms listed on the US securities market are permitted to apply IFRS but the listed domestic firms are prohibited from doing so. In this paper, the differences in earnings quality are compared between firms applying local GAAP and those applying IFRS in each country and industry category, and the reasons of differences in earnings quality are analyzed using various factors. The results show that, although the earnings quality of firms applying IFRS is higher than that of firms applying local GAAP, this varies with country and industry category. Thus, even if a single set of global accounting standards is used for all listed firms worldwide, it is difficult to establish comparability of financial information among global firms. These findings imply that various circumstances surrounding firms, industries, and countries etc. influence business operations and affect the differences in earnings quality.
Currently, LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft» is implementing a comprehensive program for the development of offshore fields of the Kaliningrad region. This is largely associated with the depletion of the resource base of land in the region, as well as the positive results of geological investigation surrounding the Baltic Sea area and the data on the volume of hydrocarbon recovery from a single offshore field are working on the Kaliningrad region – D-6 «Kravtsovskoye».The article analyzes the main stages of the LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft»’s development program for the development of the hydrocarbon resources of the region's shelf and suggests an optimization algorithm that allows managing a multi-criteria process of development of shelf deposits. The algorithm is formed on the basis of the problem of sequential decision making, which is a section of dynamic programming. Application of the algorithm during the consolidation of the initial data, the elaboration of project documentation, the further exploration and development of offshore fields will allow to optimize the complex of technical and technological solutions and increase the economic efficiency of the field development project implemented by LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft».
Websites are becoming a major component of an organization’s success in our ever globalizing competitive world. The website symbolizes an organization, interacting or projecting an organization’s principles, culture, values, vision, and perspectives. It is an interface connecting organizations and their clients. The university, as an academic institution, makes use of a website to communicate and offer computing services to its stakeholders (students, staff, host community, university management etc). Unfortunately, website designers often give more consideration to the technology, organizational structure and business objectives of the university than to the usability of the site. Website designers end up designing university websites which do not meet the needs of the primary users. This empirical study investigated the Benue State University website from the point view of students. This research was realized by using a standardized website usability questionnaire based on the five factors of usability defined by WAMMI (Website Analysis and Measurement Inventory): attractiveness, controllability, efficiency, learnability and helpfulness. The result of the investigation showed that the university website (https://portal.bsum.edu.ng/) has neutral usability level because of the usability issues associated with the website. The research recommended feasible solutions to improve the usability of the website from the users’ perspective and also provided a modified usability model that will be used for better evaluation of the Benue State University website.
The development of a quantum key distribution (QKD) system on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) platform is the subject of this paper. A quantum cryptographic protocol is designed based on the properties of quantum information and the characteristics of FPGAs. The proposed protocol performs key extraction, reconciliation, error correction, and privacy amplification tasks to generate a perfectly secret final key. We modeled the presence of the spy in our system with a strategy to reveal some of the exchanged information without being noticed. Using an FPGA card with a 100 MHz clock frequency, we have demonstrated the evolution of the error rate as well as the amounts of mutual information (between the two interlocutors and that of the spy) passing from one step to another in the key generation process.
In this paper, a frequency-dependent and tunable phase shifter is proposed and numerically analyzed. The key devices are the dual-polarization binary phase shift keying modulator (DP-BPSK) and the fiber Bragg grating (FBG). The phase-frequency response of the FBG is employed to determine the frequency-dependent phase shift. The simulation results show that a linear phase shift of the recovered output microwave signal which depends on the frequency of the input RF signal is achieved. In addition, by adjusting the power of the RF signal, the full range phase shift from 0° to 360° can be realized. This structure shows the spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) of 70.90 dB·Hz2/3 and 72.11 dB·Hz2/3 under different RF powers.
Opinion formation in complex social networks may exhibit complex system dynamics even when based on some simplest system evolution models. An interesting and important issue is the effects of the initial state on the final steady-state opinion distribution. By carrying out extensive simulations and providing necessary discussions, we show that, while different initial opinion distributions certainly make differences to opinion evolution in social systems without noises, in systems with noises, given enough time, different initial states basically do not contribute to making any significant differences in the final steady state. Instead, it is the basal distribution of the preferred opinions that contributes to deciding the final state of the systems. We briefly explain the reasons leading to the observed conclusions. Such an observation contradicts with a long-term belief on the roles of system initial state in opinion formation, demonstrating the dominating role that opinion mutation can play in opinion formation given enough time. The observation may help to better understand certain observations of opinion evolution dynamics in real-life social networks.
Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) drill bits are extensively used in the oil and gas industry as well as the mining industry. Industry engineers continually improve upon PDC drill bit designs and hydraulic conditions. Optimized injection nozzles play a key role in improving the drilling performance and efficiency of these ever changing PDC drill bits. In the first part of this study, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling is performed to investigate the hydrodynamic characteristics of drilling fluid flow around the PDC drill bit. An Open-source CFD software – OpenFOAM simulates the flow around the drill bit, based on the field input data. A specifically developed console application integrates the entire CFD process including, domain extraction, meshing, and solving governing equations and post-processing. The results from the OpenFOAM solver are then compared with that of the ANSYS Fluent software. The data from both software programs agree. The second part of the paper describes the parametric study of the PDC drill bit nozzle to determine the effect of parameters such as number of nozzles, nozzle velocity, nozzle radial position and orientations on the flow field characteristics and bit washing patterns. After analyzing a series of nozzle configurations, the best configuration is identified and recommendations are made for modifying the PDC bit design.
Image registration is an important topic for many imaging systems and computer vision applications. The standard image registration techniques such as Mutual information/ Normalized mutual information -based methods have a limited performance because they do not consider the spatial information or the relationships between the neighbouring pixels or voxels. In addition, the amount of image noise may significantly affect the registration accuracy. Therefore, this paper proposes an efficient method that explicitly considers the relationships between the adjacent pixels, where the gradient information of the reference and scene images is extracted first, and then the cosine similarity of the extracted gradient information is computed and used to improve the accuracy of the standard normalized mutual information measure. Our experimental results on different data types (i.e. CT, MRI and thermal images) show that the proposed method outperforms a number of image registration techniques in terms of the accuracy.
The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in tertiary institutions by lecturers and students has become a necessity for the enhancement of quality teaching and learning. This study examined availability, accessibility and utilization of ICT in Teaching-Learning Islamic Studies in Colleges of Education, North-East, Nigeria. The study adopted multi-stage sampling technique, in which, five out of the eleven Colleges of Education (both Federal and State owned) were purposively selected for the study. Primary data was drawn from the respondents by the use of questionnaire, interviews and observations. The results of the study, generally, indicate that the availability and accessibility to ICT facilities in Colleges of Education in North-East, Nigeria, especially in teaching/learning delivery of Islamic studies were relatively inadequate and rare to lecturers and students. The study further reveals that the respondents’ level of utilization of ICT is low and only few computer packages and internet services were involved in the ICT utilization, which is yet to reach the real expected situation of the globalization and advancement in the application of ICT if compared to other parts of the world, as far as the teaching and learning of Islamic studies is concerned. Observations and conclusion were drawn from the findings and finally, recommendations on how to improve on ICT availability, accessibility and utilization in teaching/ learning were suggested.
Japan’s semiconductor industries have developed greatly in recent years. Many were started from a Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) that found at a good circumstance and now become the prosperous industries in the world. Sustainable growth factors that support the creation of spirit value inside the Japanese company were strongly embedded through performance. Those factors were not clearly defined among each company. A series of literature research conducted to explore quantitative text mining about the definition of sustainable growth factors. Sustainable criteria were developed from previous research to verify the definition of the factors. A typical frame work was proposed as a systematical approach to develop sustainable growth factor in a specific company. Result of approach was review in certain period shows that factors influenced in sustainable growth was importance for the company to achieve the goal.
Next generation bio-alcohols produced from non-food based sources like cellulosic biomass are promising renewable energy sources. The present study investigates engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions of a small single cylinder direct injection diesel engine fueled by four kinds of next generation bio-alcohol isomer and diesel fuel blends with a constant blending ratio of 3:7 (mass). The tested bio-alcohol isomers here are n-butanol and iso-butanol (C4 alcohol), and n-pentanol and iso-pentanol (C5 alcohol). To obtain simultaneous reductions in NOx and smoke emissions, the experiments employed supercharging combined with EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). The boost pressures were fixed at two conditions, 100 kPa (naturally aspirated operation) and 120 kPa (supercharged operation) provided with a roots blower type supercharger. The EGR rates were varied from 0 to 25% using a cooled EGR technique. The results showed that both with and without supercharging, all the bio-alcohol blended diesel fuels improved the trade-off relation between NOx and smoke emissions at all EGR rates while maintaining good engine performance, when compared with diesel fuel operation. It was also found that regardless of boost pressure and EGR rate, the ignition delays of the tested bio-alcohol isomer blends are in the order of iso-butanol > n-butanol > iso-pentanol > n-pentanol. Overall, it was concluded that, except for the changes in the ignition delays the influence of bio-alcohol isomer blends on the engine performance, combustion characteristics, and emissions are relatively small.
The article deals with the database, which was created by the authors, related to biodiversity of some families of useful plants (medicinal, aromatic, spices, dye and poisonous) existing in Georgia considering important taxonomy. Our country is also rich with endemic genera. The results of monitoring of the phytogenetic resources to reveal perspective species and situation of endemic species and resources are also discussed in this paper. To get some new medicinal and preventive treatments using plant raw material in the phytomedicine, phytocosmetics and phytoculinary, the unique phytogenetic resources should be protected because the application of useful plants is becoming irreversible. This can be observed along with intensification and sustainable use of ethnobotanical traditions and promotion of phytoproduction based on the international requirements on biodiversity (Convention on Biological Diversity - CBD). Though Georgian phytopharmacy has the centuries-old traditions, today it is becoming the main concern.
The geographical location of Bangladesh makes it one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Climate-induced phenomena mainly affect the south-central region of Bangladesh (Laxmipur district) where they have begun to occur more frequently. The aim of the study was to identify the hydro-climatic factors that lead to weather-related disasters in the coastal areas and analyse the consequences of these factors on coastal livelihoods, with possible adaptation options using participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools. The present study showed several disasters such as land erosion, depressions and cyclones, coastal flooding, storm surge, and precipitation. The frequency of these disasters is of a noticeable rate. Surveys have also discovered that land erosion is ongoing. Tidal water is being introduced directly into the mainland, and as a result of the salt intrusion, production capacity is declining. The coastal belt is an important area for fishing activities, but due to changed fishing times and a lack of Alternative Income Generating Activities (AIGAs), people have been forced to search for alternative livelihood options by taking both short-term and long-term adaptation options. Therefore, in order to increase awareness and minimize the losses, vulnerable communities must be fully incorporated into disaster response strategies. The government as well as national and international donor organizations should come forward and resolve the present situation of these vulnerable groups since otherwise, they will have to endure endless and miserable suffering due to the effects of climate change ahead in their lives.
Generation of high DC voltages is necessary for testing the insulation material of high voltage AC transmission lines with long lengths. The harmonic and ripple contents of the output DC voltage supplied by high voltage DC circuits require the use of costly capacitors to smooth the output voltage after rectification. This paper proposes a new modular multiplier high voltage DC generator with embedded Cockcroft-Walton circuits that achieve a negligible harmonic and ripple contents of the output DC voltage without the need for costly filters to produce a nearly constant output voltage. In this new topology, Cockcroft-Walton modules are connected in series to produce a high DC output voltage. The modules are supplied by low input AC voltage sources that have the same magnitude and frequency and shifted from each other by a certain angle to eliminate the harmonics from the output voltage. The small ripple factor is provided by the smoothing column capacitors and the phase shifted input voltages of the cascaded modules. The constituent harmonics within each module are determined using Fourier analysis. The viability of the proposed DC generator for testing purposes and the effectiveness of the cascaded connection are confirmed by numerical simulations using MATLAB/Simulink.
A huge portion of old masonry buildings in Bangladesh are vulnerable to earthquake. In most of the cases these buildings contain unreinforced masonry wall which are most likely to be subjected to earthquake damages. Due to deterioration of mortar joint and aging, shear resistance of these unreinforced masonry walls dwindle. So, retrofitting of these old buildings has become an important issue. Among many researched and experimented techniques, ferrocement retrofitting can be a low cost technique in context of the economic condition of Bangladesh. This study aims at investigating the behavior of ferrocement retrofitted unconfined URM walls under different types of cyclic loading. Four 725 mm × 725 mm masonry wall units were prepared with bricks jointed by stretcher bond with 12.5 mm mortar between two adjacent layers of bricks. To compare the effectiveness of ferrocement retrofitting a particular type wire mesh was used in this experiment which is 20 gauge woven wire mesh with 12.5 mm × 12.5 mm square opening. After retrofitting with ferrocement these wall units were tested by applying cyclic deformation along the diagonals of the specimens. Then a comparative study was performed between the retrofitted specimens and control specimens for both partially reversed cyclic load condition and cyclic compression load condition. The experiment results show that ultimate load carrying capacities of ferrocement retrofitted specimens are 35% and 27% greater than the control specimen under partially reversed cyclic loading and cyclic compression respectively. And before failure the deformations of ferrocement retrofitted specimens are 43% and 33% greater than the control specimen under reversed cyclic loading and cyclic compression respectively. Therefore, the test results show that the ultimate load carrying capacity and ductility of ferrocement retrofitted specimens have improved.
The ever-increasing presence and use of information and communication technology (ICT) influences the different social relationships of today's society. Gender differences are especially important from the viewpoint of modern society since ICT can either deepen the existing inequalities or diminish them. In a developed Western world, gender equality has been a well-focused area for decades in many parts of society including education, employment or politics and has led to a decrease in the inequality of women and men in these and other areas. The area of digital equality, or inequality for that matter, is one of the areas where gender differences still exist in many countries of the world. The research presented in this paper focuses on Slovenia, one of the smallest EU member states, being an average achiever in the area of e-society according to the many different European benchmarking indexes. On the other hand, Slovenia is working in an alignment with many European gender equality guidelines and showing good results. The results of our research are based on the analysis of survey data from 2014 to 2017 dealing with Slovenian citizens and their households and the use of ICT. Considering gender issues, the synthesis showed that cultural differences influence some measured ICT indicators but on the other hand the differences are low and only sometimes statistically significant.
Group task is one method to create the conducive environment for the active teaching-learning process. Performing group task with active involvement of students will benefit the students in many ways. However, in most cases all students do not participate actively in the group task, and hence the intended benefits are not acquired. This paper presents the improvements of students’ participation in the group task and learning from the group task by introducing different techniques to enhance students’ participation. For the purpose of this research Carpentry and Joinery II (WT-392) course from Wood Technology Department at Adama Science and Technology University was selected, and five groups were formed. Ten group tasks were prepared and the first five group tasks were distributed to the five groups in the first day without introducing the techniques that are used to enhance participation of students in the group task. On another day, the other five group tasks were distributed to the same groups and various techniques were introduced to enhance students’ participation in the group task. The improvements of students’ learning from the group task after the implementation of the techniques. After implementing the techniques the evaluation showed that significant improvements were obtained in the students’ participation and learning from the group task.
This study examines two bilingual phenomena in the narratives of Arabic Hebrew and Hebrew-English bilingual adults in Israel: CO memories and code-switching (CS). The study examined these phenomena in the context of autobiographical memory, using a cue word technique. Student experimenters held two sessions in the homes of the participants. In separate language sessions, the participant was asked to look first at each of 16 cue words and then to state a concrete memory. After stating the memory, participants reported whether their memories were in the same language of the experiment session or different. Memories were classified as ‘Crossovers’ (CO) or ‘Same Language’ (SL) according to participants' self-reports. Participants were also required to elaborate about the setting, interlocutors and other languages involved in the specific memory. Beyond replicating the procedure of cuing technique, one memory from a specific lifespan period was chosen per participant, and the participant was required to provide further details about it. For the more detailed memories, CS count was conducted. Both bilingual groups confirmed the Reminiscence Bump phenomenon, retrieving more memories in the 10-30 age period. CO memories prevailed in second language sessions (L2). Same language memories were more abundant in first language sessions (L1). Higher CS frequency was found in L2 sessions. Finally, as predicted, 'individual' CS was prevalent in L2 sessions, but 'community-based' CS was not higher in L1 sessions. The two bilingual measures in this study, crossovers, and CS came from different research traditions, the former from an experimental paradigm in the psychology of autobiographical memory based on self-reported judgments, the latter a behavioral measure from linguistics. This merger of approaches offers new insight into the field of bilingual autobiographical memory. In addition, the study attempted to shed light on the investigation of motivations for CS, beginning with Walters’ SPPL Model and concluding with a distinction between ‘community-based’ and individual motivations.
Head office overhead (HOOH) is an indirect cost and is recovered through individual project billings by the contractor. Delay in a project impacts the absorption of HOOH cost allocated to that particular project and thus diminishes the expected profit of the contractor. This unabsorbed HOOH cost is later claimed by contractors as damages. The subjective nature of the available formulae to compute unabsorbed HOOH is the difficulty that contractors and owners face and thus dispute it. The paper attempts to bring together the rationale of various HOOH formulae by gathering contractor’s HOOH cost data on all of its project, using case study approach and comparing variations in values of HOOH using scenario analysis. The case study approach uses project data collected from four construction projects of a contractor in India to calculate unabsorbed HOOH costs from various available formulae. Scenario analysis provides further variations in HOOH values after considering two independent situations mainly scope changes and new projects during the delay period. Interestingly, one of the findings in this study reveals that, in spite of HOOH getting absorbed by additional works available during the period of delay, a few formulae depict an increase in the value of unabsorbed HOOH, neglecting any absorption by the increase in scope. This indicates that these formulae are inappropriate for use in case of a change to the scope of work. Results of this study can help both parties in deciding on an appropriate formula more objectively, considering the events on a project causing the delay and contractor's position in respect of obtaining new projects.
Light olefins are important building blocks for chemical industry. Direct conversion of syngas to light olefins has been investigated for decades. Meanwhile, the limit for light olefins selectivity described by Anderson-Schulz-Flory (ASF) distribution model is still a great challenge to conventional Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The emerging strategy called oxide-zeolite concept (OX-ZEO) is a promising way to get rid of this limit. ZnCrOx was prepared by co-precipitation method and (NH4)2CO3 was used as precipitant. SAPO-34 was prepared by hydrothermal synthesis, and Tetraethylammonium hydroxide (TEAOH) was used as template, while silica sol, pseudo-boehmite, and phosphoric acid were Al, Si and P source, respectively. The bifunctional catalyst was prepared by mechanical mixing of ZnCrOx and SAPO-34. Catalytic reactions were carried out under H2/CO=2, 380 ℃, 1 MPa and 6000 mL·gcat-1·h-1 in a fixed-bed reactor with a quartz lining. Catalysts were characterized by XRD, N2 adsorption-desorption, NH3-TPD, H2-TPR, and CO-TPD. The addition of Al as structure promoter enhances CO conversion and selectivity to light olefins. Zn/Cr ratio, which decides the active component content and chemisorption property of the catalyst, influences CO conversion and selectivity to light olefins at the same time. C2-4= distribution of 86% among hydrocarbons at CO conversion of 14% was reached when Zn/Cr=1.5.
The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion proposed that the role of health services should shift the focus from cure to prevention. Nowadays, besides having physical examinations, people could also conduct genetic tests to provide important information for diagnosing, treating, and/or preventing illnesses. However, because of the incompletion of the Chinese Genetic Database, people in Taiwan were still unfamiliar with genetic testing. The purposes of the present study were to: (1) Figure out people’s attitudes towards genetic testing. (2) Examine factors that influence people’s intention to pursue genetic testing by means of the Health Belief Model (HBM). A pilot study was conducted on 249 Taiwanese in 2017 to test the feasibility of the self-developed instrument. The reliability and construct validity of scores on the self-developed questionnaire revealed that this HBM-based questionnaire with 40 items was a well-developed instrument. A total of 542 participants were recruited and the valid participants were 535 (99%) between the ages of 20 and 86. Descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, two-way contingency table analysis, Pearson’s correlation, and stepwise multiple regression analysis were used in this study. The main results were that only 32 participants (6%) had already undergone genetic testing; moreover, their attitude towards genetic testing was more positive than those who did not have the experience. Compared with people who never underwent genetic tests, those who had gone for genetic testing had higher self-efficacy, greater intention to pursue genetic testing, had academic majors in health-related fields, had chronic and genetic diseases, possessed Catastrophic Illness Cards, and all of them had heard about genetic testing. The variables that best predicted people’s intention to pursue genetic testing were cues to action, self-efficacy, and perceived benefits (the three variables all correlated with one another positively at high magnitudes). To sum up, the HBM could be effective in designing and identifying the needs and priorities of the target population to pursue genetic testing.
A pre-treatment stage prior to reverse osmosis (RO) is very important to ensure the long-term performance of the RO membranes in any wastewater treatment using RO. This study aims to evaluate the application of the Actiflo® clarifier as part of a pre-treatment unit in mining operations. It involves performing analytical testing on RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo® unit. Water samples prior to RO plant stage were obtained on different dates from Costerfield mining operations in Victoria, Australia. Tests were conducted in an independent laboratory to determine the concentration of various compounds in RO feed water before and after installation of Actiflo® unit during the entire evaluated period from December 2015 to June 2018. Water quality analysis shows that the quality of RO feed water has remarkably improved since installation of Actiflo® clarifier. Suspended solids (SS) and turbidity removal efficiencies has been improved by 91 and 85 percent respectively in pre-treatment system since the installation of Actiflo®. The Actiflo® clarifier proved to be a valuable part of pre-treatment system prior to RO. It has the potential to conveniently condition the mining wastewater prior to RO unit, and reduce the risk of RO physical failure and irreversible fouling. Consequently, reliable and durable operation of RO unit with minimum requirement for RO membrane replacement is expected with Actiflo® in use.
Earthquakes are considered to be the most destructive rapid-onset disasters human beings are exposed to. The amount of loss it brings in is sufficient to take careful considerations for designing of structures and facilities. Seismic Hazard Analysis is one such tool which can be used for earthquake resistant design. Ground Response Analysis is one of the most crucial and decisive steps for seismic hazard analysis. Rapar district of Kutch, Gujarat falls in Zone 5 of earthquake zone map of India and thus has high seismicity because of which it is selected for analysis. In total 8 bore-log data were studied at different locations in and around Rapar district. Different soil engineering properties were analyzed and relevant empirical correlations were used to calculate maximum shear modulus (Gmax) and shear wave velocity (Vs) for the soil layers. The soil was modeled using Pressure-Dependent Modified Kodner Zelasko (MKZ) model and the reference curve used for fitting was Seed and Idriss (1970) for sand and Darendeli (2001) for clay. Both Equivalent linear (EL), as well as Non-linear (NL) ground response analysis, has been carried out with Masing Hysteretic Re/Unloading formulation for comparison. Commercially available DEEPSOIL v. 7.0 software is used for this analysis. In this study an attempt is made to quantify ground response regarding generated acceleration time-history at top of the soil column, Response spectra calculation at 5 % damping and Fourier amplitude spectrum calculation. Moreover, the variation of Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA), Maximum Displacement, Maximum Strain (in %), Maximum Stress Ratio, Mobilized Shear Stress with depth is also calculated. From the study, PGA values estimated in rocky strata are nearly same as bedrock motion and marginal amplification is observed in sandy silt and silty clays by both analyses. The NL analysis gives conservative results of maximum displacement as compared to EL analysis. Maximum strain predicted by both studies is very close to each other. And overall NL analysis is more efficient and realistic because it follows the actual hyperbolic stress-strain relationship, considers stiffness degradation and mobilizes stresses generated due to pore water pressure.
In recent years, China has made great efforts to cultivate and develop the housing rental market, especially the rental-type public housing, which has been paid attention to by all sectors of the society. This paper takes Hangzhou rental-type public housing as the research object, and divides it into three development stages according to the different supply modes of rental-type public housing. Through data collection and field research, the paper summarizes the spatial characteristics of rental-type public housing from the five perspectives of spatial planning, spatial layout, spatial integration, spatial organization and spatial configuration. On this basis, the paper proposes the optimization of the spatial layout. The study concludes that the spatial layout of rental-type public housing should be coordinated with the development of urban planning. When planning and constructing, it is necessary to select more mixed construction modes, to be properly centralized, and to improve the surrounding transportation service facilities. It is hoped that the recommendations in this paper will provide a reference for the further development of rental-type public housing in Hangzhou.
Over the last 40 years, there has been a trend in landscape architecture which supporters do not perceive the role of pro-ecological or postmodern solutions in the design of public green spaces as an essential goal, shifting their attention to the 'sculptural' shaping of areas with the use of slopes, hills, embankments, and other forms of terrain. This group of designers can be considered avant-garde, which in its activities refers to land art. Initial research shows that such applications are particularly frequent in places of former post-industrial sites and landfills, utilizing materials such as debris and post-mining waste in their construction. Due to the high degradation of the environment surrounding modern man, the brownfields are a challenge and a field of interest for the representatives of landscape architecture avant-garde, who through their projects try to recover lost lands by means of transformations supported by engineering and ecological knowledge to create places where nature can develop again. The analysis of a dozen or so facilities made it possible to come up with an important conclusion: apart from the cultural aspects (including artistic activities), the green areas formally referring to the land are important in the process of remediation of post-industrial sites and waste recycling (e. g. from construction sites). In these processes, there is also a potential for applying the concept of Natural Based Solutions, i.e. solutions allowing for the natural development of the site in such a way as to use it to cope with environmental problems, such as e.g. air pollution, soil phytoremediation and climate change. The paper presents examples of modern parks, whose compositions are based on shaping the surface of the terrain in a way referring to the land art, at the same time providing an example of brownfields reuse and application of waste recycling. For the purposes of object analysis, research methods such as historical-interpretation studies, case studies, qualitative research or the method of logical argumentation were used. The obtained results provide information about the role that landscape architecture can have in the process of remediation of degraded areas, at the same time guaranteeing the benefits, such as the shaping of landscapes attractive in terms of visual appearance, low costs of implementation, and improvement of the natural environment quality.
The probability distributions are the best method for forecasting of extreme hydrologic phenomena such as rainfall and flood flows. In this research, in order to determine suitable probability distribution for estimating of annual extreme rainfall and flood flows (discharge) series with different return periods, precipitation with 40 and discharge with 58 years time period had been collected from Karkheh River at Iran. After homogeneity and adequacy tests, data have been analyzed by Stormwater Management and Design Aid (SMADA) software and residual sum of squares (R.S.S). The best probability distribution was Log Pearson Type III with R.S.S value (145.91) and value (13.67) for peak discharge and Log Pearson Type III with R.S.S values (141.08) and (8.95) for maximum discharge in Jelogir Majin and Pole Zal stations, respectively. The best distribution for maximum precipitation in Jelogir Majin and Pole Zal stations was Log Pearson Type III distribution with R.S.S values (1.74&1.90) and then Pearson Type III distribution with R.S.S values (1.53&1.69). Overall, the Log Pearson Type III distributions are acceptable distribution types for representing statistics of extreme hydrologic phenomena in Karkheh River at Iran with the Pearson Type III distribution as a potential alternative.
The paper presents design and production of thin-walled U-profile footbridge made of UHPFRC. The main structure of the bridge is one prefabricated shell structure made of UHPFRC with dispersed steel fibers without any conventional reinforcement. The span of the bridge structure is 10 m and the clear width of 1.5 m. The thickness of the UHPFRC shell structure oscillated in an interval of 30-45 mm. Several calculations were made during the bridge design and compared with the experiments. For the purpose of verifying the calculations, a segment of 1.5 m was first produced, followed by the whole footbridge for testing. After the load tests were done, the design was optimized to cast the final footbridge.
The late detection and subjectivity of the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) imposed a difficulty for the children’s clinical and familiar environment. The results showed in this paper, are part of a research project about the assessment and training of social skills in children with ASD, whose overall goal is the use of virtual environments together with physiological measures in order to find a new model of objective ASD assessment based on implicit brain processes measures. In particular, this work tries to contribute by studying the differences and changes in the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) and Eye Tracking (ET) between a typical development group (TD group) and an ASD group (ASD group) after several combined stimuli using a low cost Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE). Subjects were exposed to a virtual environment that showed natural scenes that stimulated visual, auditory and olfactory perceptual system. By exposing them to the IVE, subjects showed natural behaviors while measuring SCR and ET. This study compared measures of subjects diagnosed with ASD (N = 18) with a control group of subjects with typical development (N=10) when exposed to three different conditions: only visual (V), visual and auditory (VA) and visual, auditory and olfactory (VAO) stimulation. Correlations between SCR and ET measures were also correlated with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) test. SCR measures showed significant differences among the experimental condition between groups. The ASD group presented higher level of SCR while we did not find significant differences between groups regarding DF. We found high significant correlations among all the experimental conditions in SCR measures and the subscale of ADOS test of imagination and symbolic thinking. Regarding the correlation between ET measures and ADOS test, the results showed significant relationship between VA condition and communication scores.
Many people lost their life caused by environmental pollution every year. The negative effects of environmental crises appear to be much higher in Asian countries. The most important environmental issue in the developing countries and especially in Tehran, to our best knowledge, is air pollution that has affected many aspects of life in society. Environmental topics related to technology’s development have been salient issues among the main concerns of designers. Green facades are the most considerable solutions which designers and architectures are focused on, all over the world. But there are lots of behavioral and psychological problems about this point. In this line, this excavation has tried to reveal the cultural and psychological influences of green façade in developing countries like Tehran. Green façades in developing countries are so useless, although they are so expensive. As a matter of fact, users consider green facade as a decorative item. This research is an attempt to recognize the reasons which show green façades as worthless element. Also, some solutions are presented to promote green façades in the developing countries as an intrinsic solution. There are so many environmental threats, especially about air pollution, for a city as Tehran, which might be solved by green facades.
Polyoxymethylene dimethyl ethers (PODEn) as clean diesel additive can improve the combustion efficiency and quality of diesel fuel and alleviate the problem of atmospheric pollution. Considering synthetic routes, PODE production from methanol and formaldehyde is regarded as the most economical and promising synthetic route. However, methanol used for synthesizing PODE can produce water, which causes the loss of active center of catalyst and hydrolysis of PODEn in the production process. Macroporous strong acidic cation exchange resin catalyst was prepared, which has comparative advantages over other common solid acid catalysts in terms of stability and catalytic efficiency for synthesizing PODE. Catalytic reactions were carried out under 353 K, 1 MPa and 3mL·gcat-1·h-1 in a fixed bed reactor. Methanol conversion and PODE3-6 selectivity reached 49.91% and 23.43%, respectively. Catalyst lifetime evaluation showed that resin catalyst retained its catalytic activity for 20 days without significant changes and catalytic activity of completely deactivated resin catalyst can basically return to previous level by simple acid regeneration. The acid exchange capacities of original and deactivated catalyst were 2.5191 and 0.0979 mmol·g-1, respectively, while regenerated catalyst reached 2.0430 mmol·g-1, indicating that the main reason for resin catalyst deactivation is that Brønsted acid sites of original resin catalyst were temporarily replaced by non-hydrogen ion cations. A separation process consisting of extraction and distillation for PODE3-6 product was designed for separation of water and unreacted formaldehyde from reactive mixture and purification of PODE3-6, respectively. The concentration of PODE3-6 in final product can reach up to 97%. These results indicate that the scale-up production of PODE3-6 from methanol and formaldehyde solution is feasible.
SSZ-13 materials with different Si/Al ratio were prepared by varying the composition of aluminosilicate precursor solutions upon hydrothermal treatment at 150 °C. The Si/Al ratio of the initial system was systematically changed from 12.5 to infinity in order to study the limits of Al composition in precursor solutions for constructing CHA structure. The intermediates and final products were investigated by complementary techniques such as XRD, HRTEM, FESEM, and chemical analysis. NH3-TPD was used to study the Brønsted acidity of SSZ-13 samples with different Si/Al ratios. The effect of the Si/Al ratio on the precursor species, ultimate crystal size, morphology and yield was investigated. The results revealed that Al species determine the nucleation rate and the number of nuclei, which is tied to the morphology and yield of SSZ-13. The size of SSZ-13 increased and the yield decreased as the Si/Al ratio was improved. Varying Si/Al ratio of the initial system is a facile, commercially viable method of tailoring SSZ-13 crystal size and morphology. Furthermore, SSZ-13 materials with different Si/Al ratio were tested as catalysts for the methanol to olefins (MTO) reaction at 350 °C. SSZ-13 with the Si/Al ratio of 35 shows the best MTO catalytic performance.
This work deals with the designing of an efficient low noise amplifier for 10.00 GHz applications. The amplifier is designed using Gallium Arsenide High Electron Mobility Transistor (GaAs HEMT) ATF – 36077 with inductive source degeneration technique which is one of the techniques to improve the stability of the potentially unstable device and make it unconditionally stable. Also, different substrates are used for designing the LNA to identify the suitable substrate that gives optimum results. It is observed that the noise immunity is more in Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) designed using RT Duroid 5880 substrate. This design resulted in noise figure of 0.859 dB and power gain of 15.530 dB. The comparative analysis of the LNA design is discussed in this paper.
Due to variations in damage mechanisms in the microscale, the behavior of fiber-reinforced composites is nonlinear and difficult to model. To make use of computational advantages, homogenization method is applied to the micro-scale model in order to minimize the cost at the expense of detail of local microscale phenomena. In this paper, the effective stiffness is calculated using the homogenization of nonlinear behavior of a composite representative volume element (RVE) containing fiber-matrix debonding. The damage modes for the RVE are considered by using cohesive elements and contacts for the cohesive behavior of the interface between fiber and matrix. To predict more realistic responses of composite materials, different random distributions of fibers are proposed besides square and hexagonal arrays. It was shown that in some cases, there is quite different damage behavior in different fiber distributions. A comprehensive comparison has been made between different graphs.
For any country in the world, it has become a priority to protect the critical infrastructure from looming risks of terrorism. In any infrastructure system, the structural elements like lower floors, exterior columns, walls etc. are key elements which are the most susceptible to damage due to blast load. The present study revisits the state of art review of the design and analysis of reinforced concrete panels subjected to blast loading. Various aspects in association with blast loading on structure, i.e. estimation of blast load, experimental works carried out previously, the numerical simulation tools, various material models, etc. are considered for exploring the current practices adopted worldwide. Discussion on various parametric studies to investigate the effect of reinforcement ratios, thickness of slab, different charge weight and standoff distance is also made. It was observed that for the simulation of blast load, CONWEP blast function or equivalent numerical equations were successfully employed by many researchers. The study of literature indicates that the researches were carried out using experimental works and numerical simulation using well known generalized finite element methods, i.e. LS-DYNA, ABAQUS, AUTODYN. Many researchers recommended to use concrete damage model to represent concrete and plastic kinematic material model to represent steel under action of blast loads for most of the numerical simulations. Most of the studies reveal that the increase reinforcement ratio, thickness of slab, standoff distance was resulted in better blast resistance performance of reinforced concrete panel. The study summarizes the various research results and appends the present state of knowledge for the structures exposed to blast loading.
Wearable robotics is a potential solution in aiding gait rehabilitation of lower limbs dyskinesia patients, such as knee osteoarthritis or stroke afflicted patients. Many wearable robots have been developed in the form of rigid exoskeletons, but their bulk devices, high cost and control complexity hinder their popularity in the field of gait rehabilitation. Thus, the development of a portable, compliant and low-cost wearable robot for gait rehabilitation is necessary. Inspired by Chinese traditional folding fans and balloon inflators, the authors present an inflatable, foldable and variable stiffness knee exosuit (IFVSKE) in this paper. The pneumatic actuator of IFVSKE was fabricated in the shape of folding fans by using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) fabric materials. The geometric and mechanical properties of IFVSKE were characterized with experimental methods. To assist the knee joint smartly, an intelligent control profile for IFVSKE was proposed based on the concept of full-cycle energy management of the biomechanical energy during human movement. The biomechanical energy of knee joints in a walking gait cycle of patients could be collected and released to assist the joint motion just by adjusting the inner pressure of IFVSKE. Finally, a healthy subject was involved to walk with and without the IFVSKE to evaluate the assisting effects.
Over the last few years, the amount of data available on the globe has been increased rapidly. This came up with the emergence of recent concepts, such as the big data and the Internet of Things, which have furnished a suitable solution for the availability of data all over the world. However, managing this massive amount of data remains a challenge due to their large verity of types and distribution. Therefore, locating the required file particularly from the first trial turned to be a not easy task, due to the large similarities of names for different files distributed on the web. Consequently, the accuracy and speed of search have been negatively affected. This work presents a method using Electroencephalography signals to locate the files based on their contents. Giving the concept of natural mind waves processing, this work analyses the mind wave signals of different people, analyzing them and extracting their most appropriate features using multi-objective metaheuristic algorithm, and then classifying them using artificial neural network to distinguish among files with similar names. The aim of this work is to provide the ability to find the files based on their contents using human thoughts only. Implementing this approach and testing it on real people proved its ability to find the desired files accurately within noticeably shorter time and retrieve them as a first choice for the user.
The distributed manufacturing methodology brings a new concept of decentralized manufacturing operations close to the proximity of end users. A preliminary scale, to measure distributed capacity and evaluate positioning of firms, is developed in this research. In the first part of the paper, a literature review has been performed which highlights the explorative nature of the studies conducted to present definitions and classifications due to novelty of this topic. From literature, five dimensions of distributed manufacturing development stages have been identified: localization, manufacturing technologies, customization and personalization, digitalization and democratization of design. Based on these determinants a conceptual scale is proposed to measure the status of distributed manufacturing of a generic firm. A multiple case study is then conducted in two steps to test the conceptual scale and to identify the corresponding level of distributed potential in each case study firm.
Concept of knowledge is discovered from conducted study for successive Competition in Sri Lankan Non-State Higher Educational Institutes. The Concept discovered out of collected Knowledge Management Practices from Emerald inside likewise reputed literatures and of Non-State Higher Educational sector. A test is conducted to reveal existences and its reason behind of these collected practices in Sri Lankan Non-State Higher Education Institutes. Further, unavailability of such study and uncertain on number of participants for data collection in the Sri Lankan context contributed selection of research method as qualitative method, which used attributes of Delphi Method to manage those likewise uncertainty. Data are collected under Dramaturgical Method, which contributes efficient usage of the Delphi method. Grounded theory is selected as data analysis techniques, which is conducted in intermixed discourse to manage different perspectives of data that are collected systematically through perspective and modified snowball sampling techniques. Data are then analysed using Grounded Theory Development Techniques in Intermix discourses to manage differences in Data. Consequently, Agreement in the results of Grounded theories and of finding in the Foreign Study is discovered in the analysis whereas present study conducted as Qualitative Research and The Foreign Study conducted as Quantitative Research. As such, the Present study widens the discovery in the Foreign Study. Further, having discovered reason behind of the existences, the Present result shows Concept for Knowledge from Sri Lankan Non-State sector to manage higher educational Institutes in successful manner.
Background: Excessive and inappropriate use of antimicrobial agents among hospitalized patients remains an important patient safety and public health issue worldwide. Not only does this behavior incur unnecessary cost but it is also associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study is to obtain an insight into the prescribing patterns of antibiotics in surgical and medical wards, to help identify a scope for improvement in service delivery. Method: A simple point prevalence survey included a convenience sample of 200 patients admitted to medical and surgical wards in a government teaching hospital in Baghdad between October 2017 and April 2018. Data were collected by a trained pharmacy intern using a standardized form. Patient’s demographics and details of the prescribed antibiotics, including dose, frequency of dosing and route of administration, were reported. Patients were included if they had been admitted at least 24 hours before the survey. Patients under 18 years of age, having a diagnosis of cancer or shock, or being admitted to the intensive care unit, were excluded. Data were checked and entered by the authors into Excel and were subjected to frequency analysis, which was carried out on anonymized data to protect patient confidentiality. Results: Overall, 88.5% of patients (n=177) received 293 antibiotics during their hospital admission, with a small variation between wards (80%-97%). The average number of antibiotics prescribed per patient was 1.65, ranging from 1.3 for medical patients to 1.95 for surgical patients. Parenteral third-generation cephalosporins were the most commonly prescribed at a rate of 54.3% (n=159) followed by nitroimidazole 29.4% (n=86), quinolones 7.5% (n=22) and macrolides 4.4% (n=13), while carbapenems and aminoglycosides were the least prescribed together accounting for only 4.4% (n=13). The intravenous route was the most common route of administration, used for 96.6% of patients (n=171). Indications were reported in only 63.8% of cases. Culture to identify pathogenic organisms was employed in only 0.5% of cases. Conclusion: Broad-spectrum antibiotics are prescribed at an alarming rate. This practice may provoke antibiotic resistance and adversely affect the patient outcome. Implementation of an antibiotic stewardship program is warranted to enhance the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of antimicrobial agents.
By the emergence of the debate over the failure of Regionalism in the late 1970s, Critical Regionalism was introduced as a different way to respond to the state of architecture in the post-war era. Critical Regionalism is most often understood as a discourse that not only mediates the language of modern architecture with the local cultures but also revives the relation between architecture and spectator as indexed by capitalism. Since the inception of Critical Regionalism, a large number of architectural practices have emerged around the globe; however, the work of the well-known Portuguese architect, Álvaro Siza, is considered as a unique case amongst works associated with the discourse of Critical Regionalism. This paper intends to respond to a number of questions, including; what are the origins of Critical Regionalism? How does Siza’s design strategy correspond to the thematic of Critical Regionalism? How does Siza recover the relation between object and subject in most of his projects? Using Siza’s housing project for the Malagueira district in Évora, Portugal, this article will attempt to answer these questions, and highlight Alvaro Siza’s design procedure which goes beyond the existing discourse of Critical Regionalism and contributes to our understanding of this practice.
A transient three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is developed to determine the velocity and temperature distribution in different positions cold room during pre-cooling of dates. The turbulence model used is the k-ω Shear Stress Transport (SST) with the standard wall function, the air. The numerical results obtained show that cooling rate is not uniform inside the room; the product at the medium of room has a slower cooling rate. This cooling heterogeneity has a large effect on the energy consumption during cold storage.
The Roma people are a nomadic ethnic group native to India, and they are one of the most prevalent minorities in Europe. In the past, Roma were enslaved and they were imprisoned in concentration camps during the Holocaust; today, Roma are subject to hate crimes and are denied access to healthcare, education, and proper housing. The aim of this project is to analyze how the public perception of the Roma people may be influenced by antiziganist and pro-Roma institutions in Europe. In order to carry out this project, we used social network analysis to build two large social networks: The antiziganist network, which is composed of institutions that oppress and racialize Roma, and the pro-Roma network, which is composed of institutions that advocate for and protect Roma rights. Measures of centrality, density, and modularity were obtained to determine which of the two social networks is exerting the greatest influence on the public’s perception of Roma in European societies. Furthermore, data on hate crimes on Roma were gathered from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We analyzed the trends in hate crimes on Roma for several European countries for 2009-2015 in order to see whether or not there have been changes in the public’s perception of Roma, thus helping us evaluate which of the two social networks has been more influential. Overall, the results suggest that there is a greater and faster exchange of information in the pro-Roma network. However, when taking the hate crimes into account, the impact of the pro-Roma institutions is ambiguous, due to differing patterns among European countries, suggesting that the impact of the pro-Roma network is inconsistent. Despite antiziganist institutions having a slower flow of information, the hate crime patterns also suggest that the antiziganist network has a higher impact on certain countries, which may be due to institutions outside the political sphere boosting the spread of antiziganist ideas and information to the European public.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) presents today a very attractive and motivating field of research. It is basically based on Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) in which the routing task is the major analysis topic. In fact, it directly affects the effectiveness and the lifetime of the network. This paper, developed from recent works and based on extensive researches, proposes a taxonomy of routing protocols in WSNs. Our main contribution is that we propose a classification model based on nine classes namely application type, delivery mode, initiator of communication, network architecture, path establishment (route discovery), network topology (structure), protocol operation, next hop selection and latency-awareness and energy-efficient routing protocols. In order to provide a total classification pattern to serve as reference for network designers, each class is subdivided into possible subclasses, presented, and discussed using different parameters such as purposes and characteristics.
The issue of inclusion - segregation in the current Czech educational system is highly actual due to changes in legislation. It applies primarily to pupils with special educational needs, but it should also apply to pupils with giftedness. The paper presents chosen results of an exploratory survey that was carried out on a convenience sample of 1101 Czech teachers working in lower secondary education (ISCED2). The rate of teachers´ agreement with segregation of gifted pupils in the education system was monitored during this investigation. A validated questionnaire of our own design was used for the purpose of this investigation. The results were compared across groups of teachers in terms of selected variables. Results show that 36,3 % of teachers incline to segregation (rather than inclusion) of gifted pupils. Teachers who are not educated in this field and have no experience in teaching gifted pupils tend to support their segregation more in comparison with other teachers. Teachers of specialized schools for gifted pupils paradoxically agree with segregation to a slightly lesser extent than teachers from traditional schools, but they also manifest the most hesitant attitude in this issue. Preferences for segregation of gifted pupils are not related to attitudes toward gifted pupils or teachers' self-evaluation in terms of care for the gifted. Investigation indicates that the issue of education of gifted children and their inclusion in the educational system needs more space within the further education of teachers.
Access to the mass transit system, including rapid elevated and underground transport has become an outstanding issue for many cities. The mass transit access development should focus on behavioral responses of the different passenger groups. Moreover, it should consider about the appearance of intent-oriented action related accessibility that was explored from user’s satisfaction and attitudes related to services quality. This study aims to evaluate mass transit accessibility from passenger’s satisfaction, therefore, understanding the passenger’s attitudes about mass transit accessibility. The study area of this research is Bangkok Mass Transit system (BTS Skytrain) at Saphan Taksin station. 200 passengers at Saphan Taksin station were asked to rate the questionnaires survey that considers accessibility aspects of convenience, safety, feeder connectivity, and other dimensions. The survey was to find out the passenger attitudes and satisfaction for access to the BTS station, and the result shows several factors that influence the passenger choice of using the BTS as a public transportation mode and passenger’s opinion that needs to concern for the development mass transit system and accessibility performance.
The objective of the study was based on the hydrological routing modelling for the continuous monitoring of the hydrological situation in the Moudjar river catchment, especially during floods with Hydrologic Engineering Center–Hydrologic Modelling Systems (HEC-HMS). The HEC-GeoHMS was used to transform data from geographic information system (GIS) to HEC-HMS for delineating and modelling the catchment river in order to estimate the runoff volume, which is used as inputs to the hydrological routing model. Two hydrological routing models were used, namely Muskingum and Muskingum routing models, for conducting this study. In this study, a comparison between the parameters of the Muskingum and Muskingum-Cunge routing models in HEC-HMS was used for modelling flood routing in the Moudjar river catchment and determining the relationship between these parameters and the physical characteristics of the river. The results indicate that the effects of input parameters such as the weighting factor "X" and travel time "K" on the output results are more significant, where the Muskingum routing model was more sensitive to input parameters than the Muskingum-Cunge routing model. This study can contribute to understand and improve the knowledge of the mechanisms of river floods, especially in ungauged river catchments.
In this paper, we report the experimental results on using complementary Golay coded signals at 7.5 MHz to detect breast microcalcifications of 50 µm size. Simulations using complementary Golay coded signals show perfect consistence with the experimental results, confirming the improved signal to noise ratio for complementary Golay coded signals. For improving the success on detecting the microcalcifications, orthogonal complementary Golay sequences having cross-correlation for minimum interference are used as coded signals and compared to tone burst pulse of equal energy in terms of resolution under weak signal conditions. The measurements are conducted using an experimental ultrasound research scanner, Digital Phased Array System (DiPhAS) having 256 channels, a phased array transducer with 7.5 MHz center frequency and the results obtained through experiments are validated by Field-II simulation software. In addition, to investigate the superiority of coded signals in terms of resolution, multipurpose tissue equivalent phantom containing series of monofilament nylon targets, 240 µm in diameter, and cyst-like objects with attenuation of 0.5 dB/[MHz x cm] is used in the experiments. We obtained ultrasound images of monofilament nylon targets for the evaluation of resolution. Simulation and experimental results show that it is possible to differentiate closely positioned small targets with increased success by using coded excitation in very weak signal conditions.
This case study explores the impact of two major computer software programs Learn to Speak English and Learn English Spelling and Pronunciation, and some Internet search engines such as Google on mending the decoding and spelling deficiency of Simon X, a dyslexic student. The improvement in decoding and spelling may result in better reading comprehension and composition writing. Some computer programs and Internet materials can help regain the missing awareness and consequently restore his self-confidence and self-esteem. In addition, this study provides a systematic plan comprising a set of activities (four computer programs and Internet materials) which address the problem from the lowest to the highest levels of phoneme and phonological awareness. Four methods of data collection (accounts, observations, published tests, and interviews) create the triangulation to validly and reliably collect data before the plan, during the plan, and after the plan. The data collected are analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Sometimes the analysis is either quantitative or qualitative, and some other times a combination of both. Tables and figures are utilized to provide a clear and uncomplicated illustration of some data. The improvement in the decoding, spelling, reading comprehension, and composition writing skills that occurred is proved through the use of authentic materials performed by the student under study. Such materials are a comparison between two sample passages written by the learner before and after the plan, a genuine computer chat conversation, and the scores of the academic year that followed the execution of the plan. Based on these results, the researcher recommends further studies on other Lebanese dyslexic learners using the computer to mend their language problem in order to design and make a most reliable software program that can address this disability more efficiently and successfully.
Introduction: Endometrial Cancer is a common gynecologic malignancy primarily treated with complete surgical staging, which may include complete pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy. The role of lymphadenectomy is controversial, especially the intraoperative indications for the procedure. Three factors are important in decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy: Myometrial invasion, maximum tumor dimension, and histology. Many institutions incorporate these criteria in varying degrees in the decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy. This investigation assesses the use of intraoperatively measured MTD with and without pre-operative histologic grade. Methods: This study compared retrospectively EEC patients with intraoperatively measured MTD ≤2 cm to those with MTD >2 cm from January 1, 2002 to August 31, 2017. This assessment compared those with MTD ≤ 2cm with endometrial biopsy (EB) grade 1-2 to patients with MTD > 2cm with EB grade 3. Lymph node metastasis (LNM), recurrence, and survival were compared in these groups. Results: This study reviewed 222 patient cases. In tumors > 2 cm, LNM occurred in 20% cases while in tumors ≤ 2 cm, LNM was found in 6% cases (p=0.04). Recurrence and mean survival based on last follow up visit in these two groups were not statistically different (p=0.78 and 0.36 respectively). Data demonstrated a trend that when combined with preoperative EB International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grade, a higher proportion of patients with EB FIGO Grade 3 and MTD > 2 cm had LNM compared to those with EB FIGO Grade 1-2 and MTD ≤ 2 cm (43% vs, 11%, p=0.06). LNM was found in 15% of cases in which lymphadenectomy was performed based on current practices, whereas if the criteria of EB FIGO 3 and MTD > 2 cm were used the incidence of LNM would have been 44% cases. However, using this criterion, two patients would not have had their nodal metastases detected. Compared to the current practice, the sensitivity and specificity of the proposed criteria would be 60% and 81%, respectively. The PPV and NPV would be 43% and 90%, respectively. Conclusion: The results indicate that MTD combined with EB FIGO grade can detect LNM in a higher proportion of cases when compared to current practice. MTD combined with EB FIGO grade may eliminate the need of frozen section sampling in a substantial number of cases.
The study reported here investigated social cognitive theory (SCT) in the context of Vocational Rehab (VR) for people with disabilities. The prime purpose was to increase knowledge of VR phenomena and make recommendations for improving VR services. The sample consisted of 242 persons with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) who completed questionnaires. A further 32 participants were Trainers. Analysis of questionnaire data was carried out using factor analysis, multiple regression analysis, and thematic analysis. The analysis suggested that, in motivational terms, and consistent with research carried out in other academic contexts, self-efficacy was the best predictor of VR performance. The author concludes that that VR self-efficacy predicted VR training performance.
The use of recycled concrete aggregates (RCAs) in hot-mix asphalt (HMA) production could ease natural aggregate shortage and maintain sustainability in modern societies. However, it was the attached cement mortar and other impurities that make the RCAs behave differently than high-quality aggregates. Therefore, different upgrading treatments were suggested to enhance its properties before being used in HMA production. Disappointedly, some of these treatments had caused degradation to some RCA properties. In order to avoid degradation, a coating technique is developed. This technique is based on combining of two main treatments, so it is named as double coating technique (DCT). Dosages of 0%, 20%, 40% and 60% uncoated RCA, RCA coated with Cement Slag Paste (CSP), and Double Coated Recycled Concrete Aggregates (DCRCAs) in place of granite aggregates were evaluated. The results indicated that the DCT improves strength and reduces water absorption of the DCRCAs compared with uncoated RCAs and RCA coated with CSP. In addition, the DCRCA asphalt mixtures exhibit stability values higher than those obtained for mixes made with granite aggregates, uncoated RCAs and RCAs coated with CSP. Also, the DCRCA asphalt mixtures require less bitumen to achieve the optimum bitumen content (OBC) than those manufactured with uncoated RCA and RCA-coated with CSP. Although the results obtained were encouraging, more testing is required in order to examine the effect of the DCT on performance properties of DCRCA- asphalt mixtures such as rutting and fatigue.
Income smoothing represents an attempt on the part of the company's management to reduce variations in earnings through the manipulation of the accounting principles. In this study, we aimed to measure income smoothing practices in a sample of 30 French joint stock companies during the period (2007-2009), we used Dummy variables method and “ECKEL” model to measure income smoothing practices and Binomial test accourding to SPSS program, to confirm or refute our hypothesis. This study concluded that there are no significant statistical indicators of income smoothing practices in the sample studied of French companies during the period (2007-2009), so the income series in the same sample studied of is characterized by stability and non-volatility without any intervention of management through accounting manipulation. However, this type of accounting manipulation should be taken into account and efforts should be made by control bodies to apply Eckel model and generalize its use at the global level.
Diagnosis error problem is frequent and one of the most important safety problems today. One of the main objectives of our work is to propose an ontological representation that takes into account the diagnostic criteria in order to improve the diagnostic. We choose pneumonia disease since it is one of the frequent diseases affected by diagnosis errors and have harmful effects on patients. To achieve our aim, we use a semi-automated method to integrate diverse knowledge sources that include publically available pneumonia disease guidelines from international repositories, biomedical ontologies and electronic health records. We follow the principles of the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry. The resulting ontology covers symptoms and signs, all the types of pneumonia, antecedents, pathogens, and diagnostic testing. The first evaluation results show that most of the terms are covered by the ontology. This work is still in progress and represents a first and major step toward a development of a diagnosis decision support system for pneumonia.
Risk assessment and the knowledge provided through this process is a crucial part of any decision-making process in the management of risks and uncertainties. Failure in assessment of risks can cause inadequacy in the entire process of risk management, which in turn can lead to failure in achieving organisational objectives as well as having significant damaging consequences on populations affected by the potential risks being assessed. The choice of tools and techniques in risk assessment can influence the degree and scope of decision-making and subsequently the risk response strategy. There are various available qualitative and quantitative tools and techniques that are deployed within the broad process of risk assessment. The sheer diversity of tools and techniques available to practitioners makes it difficult for organisations to consistently employ the most appropriate methods. This tools and techniques adaptation is rendered more difficult in public risk regulation organisations due to the sensitive and complex nature of their activities. This is particularly the case in areas relating to the environment, food, and human health and safety, when organisational goals are tied up with societal, political and individuals’ goals at national and international levels. Hence, recognising, analysing and evaluating different decision support tools and techniques employed in assessing risks in public risk management organisations was considered. This research is part of a mixed method study which aimed to examine the perception of risk assessment and the extent to which organisations practise risk assessment’ tools and techniques. The study adopted a semi-structured questionnaire with qualitative and quantitative data analysis to include a range of public risk regulation organisations from the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The results indicated the public risk management organisations mainly use diverse tools and techniques in the risk assessment process. The primary hazard analysis; brainstorming; hazard analysis and critical control points were described as the most practiced risk identification techniques. Within qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, the participants named the expert judgement, risk probability and impact assessment, sensitivity analysis and data gathering and representation as the most practised techniques.
Traditionally, Ghana is a marine fishing country. The fishing industry dominated by artisanal marine fishing helps Ghana to meet its fish and protein requirements. Also, it provides employment for most coastal dwellers that depend on fishing as their main economic enterprise. Nonetheless, the marine fishing industry is confronted with challenges that have contributed to a declining fish production in recent past decade. Bad fishing practices and the general limited knowledge on sustainable management of fisheries resources are the limiting factors that affect sustainable fish production and sustainable marine biodiversity management in Ghana. This paper discusses the challenges and strategies for attaining and maintaining sustainable marine fishing in Ghana as well as the state of marine fishing in Ghana. It concludes that an increase in the level of involvement of local fishers in the management of fisheries resources of the country could help local fishers to employ sustainable fisheries resources exploitation methods that could result in an improvement in the spatio-economic development and wellbeing of affected fishing communities in particular and Ghana in general.
The impact of common buildings on climate and environment has prompted people to get involved in the green building standards aimed at implementing rating tools or certifications. Thus, green building rating systems were introduced to the construction industry, and the demand for certified green buildings has increased gradually and succeeded considerably in enhancing people’s environmental awareness. However, the existing certification process has been unsatisfactory in attracting stakeholders and/or professionals who are actively engaged in adopting a rating system. It is because they have faced recurring barriers regarding limited information in understanding the rating process, time-consuming procedures and higher costs, which have a direct influence on pursuing green building rating systems. To promote the achievement of green building certifications within the building industry more successfully, this paper aims at designing a Pre-Assessment Tool (PAT) framework that can help stakeholders and/or professionals engaged in the construction industry to clarify their basic knowledge, timeframe and extra costs needed to activate a green building certification. First, taking the first steps towards the rating tool seems to be complicated because of upfront commitment to understanding the overall rating procedure is required. This conceptual PAT framework can increase basic knowledge of the rating tool and the certification process, mainly in terms of all resources or information of each credit requirements. Second, the assessment process of rating tools is generally known as a “lengthy and time-consuming system”, contributing to unenthusiastic reactions concerning green building projects. The proposed framework can predict the timeframe needed to identify how long it will take for a green project to process each credit requirement and the documentation required from the beginning of the certification process to final approval. Finally, most people often have the initial perception that pursuing green building certification costs more than constructing a non-green building, which makes it more difficult to execute rating tools. To overcome this issue, this PAT will help users to estimate the extra expenses such as certification fees and third-party contributions based on the track of the amount of time it takes to implement the rating tool throughout all the related stages. Also, it can prevent unexpected or hidden costs occurring in the process of assessment. Therefore, this proposed PAT framework can be recommended as an effective method to support the decision-making of inexperienced users and play an important role in promoting green building certification.
Class III malocclusion shows both skeletal and dentoalveolar component. Sketal Class III malocclusion can have variants in different region, maxilla or mandibular. Skeletal Class III malocclusion during growth period is considered to treat to prevent its severity in adulthood. Orthopedics treatment of skeletal Class III malocclusion in growing patient can be treated by using reverse twin block with expansion screw to modify the growth pattern. The objective of this case report was to describe the functional correction of skeletal Class III maloclussion using reverse twin block with expansion screw in growing patient. A patient with concave profile came with a chief complaint of aesthetic problems. The cephalometric analysis showed that patient had skeletal Class III malocclusion (ANB -50, SNA 75º, Wits appraisal -3 mm) with anterior cross bite and deep bite (overjet -3 mm, overbite 6 mm). In this case report, the patient was treated with reverse twin block appliance with expansion screw. After three months of treatment, the skeletal problems have been corrected (ANB -1°), overjet, overbite and aesthetic were improved. Reverse twin block appliance with expansion screw can be used as orthopedics treatment for skeletal Class III malocclusion in growing patient and can improve the aesthetic with great satisfaction which was the main complaint in this patient.
In this research, TRACE code with the interface code-SNAP was used to simulate and analyze the SBO (station blackout) accident which occurred in Maanshan PWR (pressurized water reactor) nuclear power plant (NPP). There are four main steps in this research. First, the SBO accident data of Maanshan NPP were collected. Second, the TRACE/SNAP model of Maanshan NPP was established by using these data. Third, this TRACE/SNAP model was used to perform the simulation and analysis of SBO accident. Finally, the simulation and analysis of SBO with mitigation equipments was performed. The analysis results of TRACE are consistent with the data of Maanshan NPP. The mitigation equipments of Maanshan can maintain the safety of Maanshan in the SBO according to the TRACE predictions.
In this research, the RASCAL code was used to simulate and analyze the postulated UF6 fire accident which may occur in the Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER). There are four main steps in this research. In the first step, the UF6 data of INER were collected. In the second step, the RASCAL analysis methodology and model was established by using these data. Third, this RASCAL model was used to perform the simulation and analysis of the postulated UF6 fire accident. Three cases were simulated and analyzed in this step. Finally, the analysis results of RASCAL were compared with the hazardous levels of the chemicals. According to the compared results of three cases, Case 3 has the maximum danger in human health.
The Internet has grown into a powerful medium for information dispersion and social interaction that leads to a rapid growth of social media which allows users to easily post their emotions and perspectives regarding certain topics online. Our research aims at using natural language processing and text mining techniques to explore the public emotions expressed on Twitter by analyzing the sentiment behind tweets. In this paper, we propose a composite kernel method that integrates tree kernel with the linear kernel to simultaneously exploit both the tree representation and the distributed emotion keyword representation to analyze the syntactic and content information in tweets. The experiment results demonstrate that our method can effectively detect public emotion of tweets while outperforming the other compared methods.
Ceramic, polymer and composite nanofibers are nowadays begun to be utilized in many fields of nanotechnology. By the means of dimensions, these fibers are as small as nano scale but because of having large surface area and microstructural characteristics, they provide unique mechanic, optical, magnetic, electronic and chemical properties. In terms of nanofiber production, electrospinning has been the most widely used technique in recent years. In this study, carbon nanofibers have been synthesized from solutions of Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)/ N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) by electrospinning method. The carbon nanofibers have been stabilized by oxidation at 250 °C for 2 h in air and carbonized at 750 °C for 1 h in H2/N2. Images of carbon nanofibers have been taken with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The images have been analyzed to study the fiber morphology and to determine the distribution of the fiber diameter using FibraQuant 1.3 software. Then polymer composites have been produced from mixture of carbon nanofibers and silicone polymer. The final polymer composites have been characterized by X-ray diffraction method and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) measurements. These results have been reported and discussed. At result, homogeneous carbon nanofibers with 100-167 nm of diameter were obtained with optimized electrospinning conditions.
The concept of financial inclusion has been tabled in the whole world where practitioners, academicians, policy makers and economists are working hard to look for the best possible opportunities in order to enable the whole society to be in the banking cycle. The Islamic banking system is considered to be one of the said opportunities. Countries like the United Kingdom, United States of America, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the whole of the United Arab Emirates and many African countries have accommodated the aspect of Islamic banking in the conventional banking system as one of the financial inclusion strategies. This paper tries to analyse the current state of affairs of the Islamic Banking system in Tanzania in order to understand the improvement of the provision of Islamic banking products and services in the said country. The paper discusses the historical background of the banking system in Tanzania, the level of penetration of banking products and services and the coming of the Islamic banking system in the country. Furthermore, the paper discusses banking regulatory bodies, legal instruments governing banking operations as well as number of legal challenges facing Islamic banking operations in the country. Following a critical literature review, the paper discovered that there is no legal instrument which talks about the introduction and provision of Islamic banking system in Tanzania. Furthermore, the Islamic banking system was considered as a banking product which is absolutely incorrect because Islamic banking is considered to be as a banking system of its own. In addition to that, it has been discovered that lack of a proper regulatory system and legal instruments to harmonize the conventional and Islamic banking systems has resulted in the closure of one Islamic window in the country, which in the end affects the credibility of the newly introduced banking system. In its conclusive remarks, the paper suggests that Tanzania should work on all legal challenges affecting the smooth operations of the Islamic banking system. This can be in a way of adopting various Islamic banking legal models which are used in countries like Malaysia and others, or a borrowing legal harmonization process which has been adopted by the UK, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya.
Knee orthotics play an important role in aiding in the recovery of those with knee injuries, especially athletes. However, structural knee orthotics is often very expensive, ranging between $300 and $800. The primary reason for this project was to answer the question: can 3D printed orthotics represent a viable and cost-effective alternative to present structural knee orthotics? The primary objective for this research project was to design a knee orthotic for athletes with knee injuries for a low-cost under $100 and evaluate its effectiveness. The initial design for the orthotic was done in SolidWorks, a computer-aided design (CAD) software available at Loyola Marymount University. After this design was completed, finite element analysis (FEA) was utilized to understand how normal stresses placed upon the knee affected the orthotic. The knee orthotic was then adjusted and redesigned to meet a specified factor-of-safety of 3.25 based on the data gathered during FEA and literature sources. Once the FEA was completed and the orthotic was redesigned based from the data gathered, the next step was to move on to 3D-printing the first design of the knee brace. Subsequently, physical therapy movement trials were used to evaluate physical performance. Using the data from these movement trials, the CAD design of the brace was refined to accommodate the design requirements. The final goal of this research means to explore the possibility of replacing high-cost, outsourced knee orthotics with a readily available low-cost alternative.
Early detection of cancer could save human life and quality in insidious cases by advanced biomedical imaging techniques. Designing targeted detection system is necessary in order to protect of healthy cells. Electrospun nanofibers are efficient and targetable nanocarriers which have important properties such as nanometric diameter, mechanical properties, elasticity, porosity and surface area to volume ratio. In the present study, indocyanine green (ICG) organic dye was stabilized and encapsulated in polymer matrix which polyethylene oxide (PEO) and chitosan (CHI) multilayer nanofibers via co-axial electrospinning method at one step. The co-axial electrospun nanofibers were characterized as morphological (SEM), molecular (FT-IR), and entrapment efficiency of Indocyanine Green (ICG) (confocal imaging). Controlled release profile of PEO/CHI/ICG nanofiber was also evaluated up to 40 hours.
Optimization is an important tool in making decisions and in analysing physical systems. In mathematical terms, an optimization problem is the problem of finding the best solution from among the set of all feasible solutions. The paper discusses the Whale Optimization Algorithm (WOA), and its applications in different fields. The algorithm is tested using MATLAB because of its unique and powerful features. The benchmark functions used in WOA algorithm are grouped as: unimodal (F1-F7), multimodal (F8-F13), and fixed-dimension multimodal (F14-F23). Out of these benchmark functions, we show the experimental results for F7, F11, and F19 for different number of iterations. The search space and objective space for the selected function are drawn, and finally, the best solution as well as the best optimal value of the objective function found by WOA is presented. The algorithmic results demonstrate that the WOA performs better than the state-of-the-art meta-heuristic and conventional algorithms.
Pyrolysis of waste oil is an effective process to produce high quality liquid fuels. In this work, pyrolysis experiments of waste oil over Y zeolite were carried out in a semi-batch reactor under a flow of nitrogen at atmospheric pressure and at different reaction temperatures (350-450 oC). The products were gas, liquid fuel, and residue. Only liquid fuel was further characterized for its composition and properties by using gas chromatography, thermogravimetric analyzer, and bomb calorimeter. Experimental results indicated that the pyrolysis reaction temperature significantly affected both yield and composition distribution of pyrolysis oil. An increase in reaction temperature resulted in increased fuel yield, especially gasoline fraction. To obtain high amount of fuel, the optimal reaction temperature should be higher than 350 oC. A presence of Y zeolite in the system enhanced the cracking activity. In addition, the pyrolysis oil yield is proportional to the catalyst quantity.
Many of the regeneration failures in conifers are often being attributed to heavy insect attack and pathogens during the period of seed formation and under storage conditions. Conifer berries and seed insects occur throughout the known range of the hosts and also limit the production of seed for nursery stock. On occasion, even entire seed crops are lost due to insect attacks. The berry and seeds of both the species have been found to be infected with insects. Recently, heavy damage to the berry and seeds of Juniper and Chilgoza Pine was observed in the field as well as in stored conditions, leading to reduction in the viability of seeds to germinate. Both the species are under great threat and regeneration of the species is very low. Due to lack of adequate literature, the study on the damage potential of seed insects was urgently required to know the exact status of the insect-pests attacking seeds/berries of both the pine species so as to develop pest management practices against the insect pests attack. As both the species are also under threat and are fighting for survival, so the study is important to develop management practices for the insect-pests of seeds/berries of Juniper and Chilgoza pine so as to evaluate in the nursery, as these species form major vegetation of their distribution zones. A six-year study on the management of insect pests of seeds of Chilgoza revealed that seeds of this species are prone to insect pests mainly borers. During present investigations, it was recorded that cones of are heavily attacked only by Dioryctria abietella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in natural conditions, but seeds which are economically important are heavily infected, (sometimes up to 100% damage was also recorded) by insect borer, Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and is recorded for the first time ‘to author’s best knowledge’ infesting the stored Chilgoza seeds. Similarly, Juniper berries and seeds were heavily attacked only by a single borer, Homaloxestis cholopis (Lepidoptera: Lecithoceridae) recorded as a new report in natural habitat as well as in stored conditions. During the present investigation details of insect pest attack on Juniper and Chilgoza pine seeds and berries was observed and suitable management practices were also developed to contain the insect-pests attack.
The aim of this research is to remediation of the cadmium (Cd) pollution in agricultural soils by using barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plant. For this purpose, a pot experiment was done in greenhouse conditions. Cadmium (100 mg/kg) as CdSO4.8H2O forms was applied to each pot and incubated during 30 days. Then Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) chelate was applied to each pot at five doses (0, 3, 6, 8 and 10 mmol/kg) 20 days before harvesting time of the barley plants. The plants were harvested after two months planting. According to the pot experiment results, Cd and Zn amounts of barley plant increased with increasing EDTA application and Zn and Cd contents of barley 20,13 and 1,35 mg/kg for 0 mmol /kg EDTA; 58,61 and 113,24 mg/kg for 10 mmol/kg EDTA doses, respectively. On the other hand, Cd and Zn concentrations of experiment soil increased with EDTA application to the soil samples. Zinc and Cd concentrations of soil 0,31 and 0,021 mg/kg for 0 mmol /kg EDTA; 2,39 and 67,40 mg/kg for 10 mmol/kg EDTA doses, respectively. These increases were found to be statistically significant at the level of 1 %. According to the results of the pot experiment, some heavy metal especially Cd pollution of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plant province can be remediated by the phytoextraction method.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) aims to combine biological and chemical strategies and measures, hence highlighting the study of acute toxicity and sub-lethal effects of pesticides comprehensively. The present research focused on the side effects of thiamethoxam and pirimicarb sub-lethal concentrations on demographic parameters of Diaeretiella rapae (McIntosh Laboratory) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Adult parasitoids were exposed to LC25 of insecticides as well as distilled water as the control. The results showed that thiamethoxam adversely affected population parameters (r, λ, R0, T), adults' longevity, females' oviposition period and mean fecundity, and a similar trend was obtained for pirimicarb with the exception of generation time (T), the latter did not significantly change compared to the control. The intrinsic rate of increase (r) in the control and those treated with pirimicarb and thiamethoxam were 0.2801, 0.2064, 0.1525 days-1, respectively, and the sex ratio was biased toward females in all treatments. Furthermore, none of the insecticides influenced total pre-oviposition period (TPOP) and offspring emergence rate. In general, these results indicated that both insecticides potentially distort the demographic parameters of the parasitoid even at sub-lethal concentrations, and then they should not be considered for IPM program in the presence of D. rapae.
Recent innovations in the field of technology led to the use of wireless sensor networks in various applications, which consists of a number of small, very tiny, low-cost, non-tamper proof and resource constrained sensor nodes. These nodes are often distributed and deployed in an unattended environment, so as to collaborate with each other to share data or information. Amidst various applications, wireless sensor network finds a major role in monitoring battle field in military applications. As these non-tamperproof nodes are deployed in an unattended location, they are vulnerable to many security attacks. Amongst many security attacks, the node replication attack seems to be more threatening to the network users. Node Replication attack is caused by an attacker, who catches one true node, duplicates the first certification and cryptographic materials, makes at least one or more copies of the caught node and spots them at certain key positions in the system to screen or disturb the network operations. Preventing the occurrence of such node replication attacks in network is a challenging task. In this survey article, we provide the classification of detection schemes and also explore the various schemes proposed in each category. Also, we compare the various detection schemes against certain evaluation parameters and also its limitations. Finally, we provide some suggestions for carrying out future research work against such attacks.