International Science Index

Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Paper Detail
Impact of Climate Change on Sea Level Rise along the Coastline of Mumbai City, India

Sea-level rise being one of the most important impacts of anthropogenic induced climate change resulting from global warming and melting of icebergs at Arctic and Antarctic, the investigations done by various researchers both on Indian Coast and elsewhere during the last decade has been reviewed in this paper. The paper aims to ascertain the propensity of consistency of different suggested methods to predict the near-accurate future sea level rise along the coast of Mumbai. Case studies at East Coast, Southern Tip and West and South West coast of India have been reviewed. Coastal Vulnerability Index of several important international places has been compared, which matched with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecasts. The application of Geographic Information System mapping, use of remote sensing technology, both Multi Spectral Scanner and Thematic Mapping data from Landsat classified through Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis Technique for arriving at high, moderate and low Coastal Vulnerability Index at various important coastal cities have been observed. Instead of data driven, hindcast based forecast for Significant Wave Height, additional impact of sea level rise has been suggested. Efficacy and limitations of numerical methods vis-à-vis Artificial Neural Network has been assessed, importance of Root Mean Square error on numerical results is mentioned. Comparing between various computerized methods on forecast results obtained from MIKE 21 has been opined to be more reliable than Delft 3D model.

Cantilever Shoring Piles with Prestressing Strands: An Experimental Approach
Underground space is becoming a necessity nowadays, especially in highly congested urban areas. Retaining underground excavations using shoring systems is essential in order to protect adjoining structures from potential damage or collapse. Reinforced Concrete Piles (RCP) supported by multiple rows of tie-back anchors are commonly used type of shoring systems in deep excavations. However, executing anchors can sometimes be challenging because they might illegally trespass neighboring properties or get obstructed by infrastructure and other underground facilities. A technique is proposed in this paper, and it involves the addition of eccentric high-strength steel strands to the RCP section through ducts without providing the pile with lateral supports. The strands are then vertically stressed externally on the pile cap using a hydraulic jack, creating a compressive strengthening force in the concrete section. An experimental study about the behavior of the shoring wall by pre-stressed piles is presented during the execution of an open excavation in an urban area (Beirut city) followed by numerical analysis using finite element software. Based on the experimental results, this technique is proven to be cost-effective and provides flexible and sustainable construction of shoring works.
Shaking Force Balancing of Mechanisms: An Overview

The balancing of mechanisms is a well-known problem in the field of mechanical engineering because the variable dynamic loads cause vibrations, as well as noise, wear and fatigue of the machines. A mechanical system with unbalance shaking force and shaking moment transmits substantial vibration to the frame. Therefore, the objective of the balancing is to cancel or reduce the variable dynamic reactions transmitted to the frame. The resolution of this problem consists in the balancing of the shaking force and shaking moment. It can be fully or partially, by internal mass redistribution via adding counterweights or by modification of the mechanism's architecture via adding auxiliary structures. The balancing problems are of continue interest to researchers. Several laboratories around the world are very active in this area and new results are published regularly. However, despite its ancient history, mechanism balancing theory continues to be developed and new approaches and solutions are constantly being reported. Various surveys have been published that disclose particularities of balancing methods. The author believes that this is an appropriate moment to present a state of the art of the shaking force balancing studies completed by new research results. This paper presents an overview of methods devoted to the shaking force balancing of mechanisms, as well as the historical aspects of the origins and the evolution of the balancing theory of mechanisms.

Implementation of Cloud Customer Relationship Management in Banking Sector: Strategies, Benefits and Challenges
The cloud customer relationship management (CRM) has emerged as an innovative tool to augment the customer satisfaction and performance of banking systems. Cloud CRM allows to collect, analyze and utilize customer-associated information and update the systems, thereby offer superior customer service. Cloud technologies have invaluable potential to ensure innovative customer experiences, successful collaboration, enhanced speed to marketplace and IT effectiveness. As such, many leading banks have been attracted towards adoption of such innovative and customer-driver solutions to revolutionize their existing business models. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are already implemented or in the process of implementation of cloud CRM. However, many organizations are still reluctant to take such initiative due to the lack of information on the factors influencing its implementation. This paper, therefore, aims to delve into the strategies, benefits and challenges intertwined in the implementation of Cloud CRM in banking sector and provide reliable solutions.
Numerical Modelling of Dust Propagation in the Atmosphere of Tbilisi City in Case of Western Background Light Air

Tbilisi, a large city of the South Caucasus, is a junction point connecting Asia and Europe, Russia and republics of the Asia Minor. Over the last years, its atmosphere has been experienced an increasing anthropogenic load. Numerical modeling method is used for study of Tbilisi atmospheric air pollution. By means of 3D non-linear non-steady numerical model a peculiarity of city atmosphere pollution is investigated during background western light air. Dust concentration spatial and time changes are determined. There are identified the zones of high, average and less pollution, dust accumulation areas, transfer directions etc. By numerical modeling, there is shown that the process of air pollution by the dust proceeds in four stages, and they depend on the intensity of motor traffic, the micro-relief of the city, and the location of city mains. In the interval of time 06:00-09:00 the intensive growth, 09:00-15:00 a constancy or weak decrease, 18:00-21:00 an increase, and from 21:00 to 06:00 a reduction of the dust concentrations take place. The highly polluted areas are located in the vicinity of the city center and at some peripherical territories of the city, where the maximum dust concentration at 9PM is equal to 2 maximum allowable concentrations. The similar investigations conducted in case of various meteorological situations will enable us to compile the map of background urban pollution and to elaborate practical measures for ambient air protection.

Select-Low and Select-High Methods for the Wheeled Robot Dynamic States Control

The paper enquires on the two methods of the wheeled robot braking torque control. Those two methods are applied when the adhesion coefficient under left side wheels is different from the adhesion coefficient under the right side wheels. In case of the select-low (SL) method the braking torque on both wheels is controlled by the signals originating from the wheels on the side of the lower adhesion. In the select-high (SH) method the torque is controlled by the signals originating from the wheels on the side of the higher adhesion. The SL method is securing stable and secure robot behaviors during the braking process. However, the efficiency of this method is relatively low. The SH method is more efficient in terms of time and braking distance but in some situations may cause wheels blocking. It is important to monitor the velocity of all wheels and then take a decision about the braking torque distribution accordingly. In case of the SH method the braking torque slope may require significant decrease in order to avoid wheel blocking.

Evaluation of Gingival Hyperplasia Caused by Medications

Purpose: Drug gingival hyperplasia is an uncommon pathology encountered during routine work in dental units. The purpose of this paper is to present the clinical appearance of gingival hyperplasia caused by medications. There are already three classes of medications that cause hyperplasia and based on data from the literature, the clinical cases encountered and included in this study have been compared. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in a total of 311 patients, out of which 182 patients were included in our study, meeting the inclusion criteria. After each patient's history was recorded and it was found that patients were in their knowledge of chronic illness, undergoing treatment of gingivitis hypertrophic drugs was performed with a clinical examination of oral cavity and assessment by vertical and horizontal evaluation according to the periodontal indexes. Results: Of the data collected during the study, it was observed that 97% of patients with gingival hyperplasia are treated with nifedipine. 84% of patients treated with selected medicines and gingival hyperplasia in the oral cavity has been exposed at time period for more than 1 year and 1 month. According to the GOI, in the first rank of this index are about 21% of patients, in the second rank are 52%, in the third rank are 24% and in the fourth grade are 3%. According to the horizontal growth index of gingival hyperplasia, grade 1 included about 61% of patients and grade 2 included about 39% of patients with gingival hyperplasia. Bacterial index divides patients by degrees: grading 0 - 8.2%, grading 1 - 32.4%, grading 2 - 14% and grading 3 - 45.1%. Conclusions: The highest percentage of gingival hyperplasia caused by drugs is due to dosing of nifedipine for a duration of dosing and application for systemic healing for more than 1 year.

A Real-Time Bayesian Decision-Support System for Predicting Suspect Vehicle’s Intended Target Using a Sparse Camera Network

We present a decision-support tool to assist an operator in the detection and tracking of a suspect vehicle traveling to an unknown target destination. Multiple data sources, such as traffic cameras, traffic information, weather, etc., are integrated and processed in real-time to infer a suspect’s intended destination chosen from a list of pre-determined high-value targets. Previously, we presented our work in the detection and tracking of vehicles using traffic and airborne cameras. Here, we focus on the fusion and processing of that information to predict a suspect’s behavior. The network of cameras is represented by a directional graph, where the edges correspond to direct road connections between the nodes and the edge weights are proportional to the average time it takes to travel from one node to another. For our experiments, we construct our graph based on the greater Los Angeles subset of the Caltrans’s “Performance Measurement System” (PeMS) dataset. We propose a Bayesian approach where a posterior probability for each target is continuously updated based on detections of the suspect in the live video feeds. Additionally, we introduce the concept of ‘soft interventions’, inspired by the field of Causal Inference. Soft interventions are herein defined as interventions that do not immediately interfere with the suspect’s movements; rather, a soft intervention may induce the suspect into making a new decision, ultimately making their intent more transparent. For example, a soft intervention could be temporarily closing a road a few blocks from the suspect’s current location, which may require the suspect to change their current course. The objective of these interventions is to gain the maximum amount of information about the suspect’s intent in the shortest possible time. Our system currently operates in a human-on-the-loop mode where at each step, a set of recommendations are presented to the operator to aid in decision-making. In principle, the system could operate autonomously, only prompting the operator for critical decisions, allowing the system to significantly scale up to larger areas and multiple suspects. Once the intended target is identified with sufficient confidence, the vehicle is reported to the authorities to take further action. Other recommendations include a selection of road closures, i.e., soft interventions, or to continue monitoring. We evaluate the performance of the proposed system using simulated scenarios where the suspect, starting at random locations, takes a noisy shortest path to their intended target. In all scenarios, the suspect’s intended target is unknown to our system. The decision thresholds are selected to maximize the chances of determining the suspect’s intended target in the minimum amount of time and with the smallest number of interventions. We conclude by discussing the limitations of our current approach to motivate a machine learning approach, based on reinforcement learning in order to relax some of the current limiting assumptions.

Chemistry and Biological Activity of Feed Additive for Poultry Farming

Essential oils are one of the most important groups of biologically active substances present in plants. Due to the chemical diversity of components, essential oils and their preparations have a wide spectrum of pharmacological action. They have bactericidal, antiviral, fungicidal, antiprotozoal, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, sedative and other activities. They are expectorant, spasmolytic, sedative, hypotensive, secretion enhancing, antioxidant remedies. Based on preliminary pharmacological studies, we have developed a formulation called “Phytobiotic” containing essential oils, a feed additive for poultry as an alternative to antibiotics. Phytobiotic is a water-soluble powder containing a composition of essential oils of thyme, clary, monarda and auxiliary substances: dry extract of liquorice and inhalation lactose. On this stage of research, the goal was to study the chemical composition of provided phytobiotic, identify the main substances and determine their quantity, investigate the biological activity of phytobiotic through in vitro and in vivo studies. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, 38 components were identified in phytobiotic, representing acyclic-, monocyclic-, bicyclic-, and sesquiterpenes. Together with identification of main active substances, their quantitative content was determined, including acyclic terpene alcohol β-linalool, acyclic terpene ketone linalyl acetate, monocyclic terpenes: D-limonene and γ-terpinene, monocyclic aromatic terpene thymol. Provided phytobiotic has pronounced and at the same time broad spectrum of antibacterial activity. In the cell model, phytobiotic showed weak antioxidant activity, and it was stronger in the ORAC (chemical model) tests. Meanwhile anti-inflammatory activity was also observed. When fowls were supplied feed enriched with phytobiotic, it was observed that gained weight of the chickens in the experimental group exceeded the same data for the control group during the entire period of the experiment. The survival rate of broilers in the experimental group during the growth period was 98% compared to -94% in the control group. As a result of conducted researches probable four different mechanisms which are important for the action of phytobiotics were identified: sensory, metabolic, antioxidant and antibacterial action. General toxic, possible local irritant and allergenic effects of phytobiotic were also investigated. Performed assays proved that formulation is safe.

Manual Pit Emptiers and Their Heath: Profiles, Determinants and Interventions

The global sanitation workforce bridges the gap between sanitation infrastructure and the provision of sanitation services through essential public service work. Manual pit emptiers often perform the work at the cost of their dignity, safety, and health as their work requires repeated heavy physical activities such as lifting, carrying, pulling, and pushing. This exposes them to occupational and environmental health hazards and risking illness, injury, and death. The study will extend the studies by presenting occupational health risks and suggestions for improvement in informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya. This is a qualitative study conducted among sanitation stakeholders in Korogocho, Mukuru and Kibera informal settlements in Nairobi. Data were captured using digital voice recorders, transcribed and thematically analysed. The discussion notes were further supported by observational notes made during the interviews. These formed the basis for a robust picture of occupational health of manual pit emptiers; a lack or inappropriate use of protective clothing, and prolonged duration of working hours were described to contribute to the occupational health hazard. To continue working, manual pit emptiers had devised coping strategies which include working in groups, improvised protective clothing, sharing the available protective clothing, working at night and consuming alcohol drinks while at work. Many of these strategies are detrimental to their health. Occupational health hazards among pit emptiers are key for effective working and is as a result of a lack of collaboration amongst stakeholders linked to health, safety and lack of PPE of pit emptiers. Collaborations amongst sanitation stakeholders is paramount for health, safety, and in ensuring the provision and use of personal protective devices.

Lean Manufacturing: Systematic Layout Planning Application to an Assembly Line Layout of a Welding Industry

The purpose of this paper is to present the process of elaborating the layout of an assembly line of a welding industry using the principles of lean manufacturing as the main driver. The objective of this paper is relevant since the current layout of the assembly line causes non-productive times for operators, being related to the lean waste of unnecessary movements. The methodology used for the project development was Project-based Learning (PBL), which is an active way of learning focused on real problems. The process of selecting the methodology for layout planning was developed considering three criteria to evaluate the most relevant one for this paper's goal. As a result of this evaluation, Systematic Layout Planning was selected, and three steps were added to it – Value Stream Mapping for the current situation and after layout changed and the definition of lean tools and layout type. This inclusion was to consider lean manufacturing in the layout redesign of the industry. The layout change resulted in an increase in the value-adding time of operations carried out in the sector, reduction in movement times between previous and final assemblies, and in cost savings regarding the man-hour value of the employees, which can be invested in productive hours instead of movement times.

Experimental Study on the Variation of Young's Modulus of Hollow Clay Brick Obtained from Static and Dynamic Tests

In parallel with the appearance of new materials, brick masonry had and still has an essential part of the construction market today, with new technical challenges in designing bricks to meet additional requirements. Being used in structural applications, predicting the performance of clay brick masonry allows a significant cost reduction, in terms of practical experimentation. The behavior of masonry walls depends on the behavior of their elementary components, such as bricks, joints, and coatings. Therefore, it is necessary to consider it at different scales (from the scale of the intrinsic material to the real scale of the wall) and then to develop appropriate models, using numerical simulations. The work presented in this paper focuses on the mechanical characterization of the terracotta material at ambient temperature. As a result, the static Young’s modulus obtained from the flexural test shows different values in comparison with the compression test, as well as with the dynamic Young’s modulus obtained from the Impulse excitation of vibration test. Moreover, the Young's modulus varies according to the direction in which samples are extracted, where the values in the extrusion direction diverge from the ones in the orthogonal directions. Based on these results, hollow bricks can be considered as transversely isotropic bimodulus material.

The User Acceptance of Autonomous Shuttles in Pretoria

Autonomous vehicles look set to drastically alter the way we move people and goods, in urban as well as rural areas. However, little has been written about Africa with this regard. Moreover, in order for this new technology to be adopted, user acceptance is vital. The current research examines the user acceptance of autonomous minibus shuttles, as a solution for first/last mile public transport in Pretoria, South Africa. Of the respondents surveyed, only 2.31% perceived them as not useful. Respondents showed more interest in using these shuttles in combination with the bus rapid transit system (75.4%) as opposed to other modes of public transportation (40%). The significance of these findings is that they can help ensure that the implementation of autonomous public transport in South Africa is adapted to the local user. Furthermore, these findings could be adapted for other South African cities and other cities across the continent.

Soil Quality Status under Dryland Vegetation of Yabello District, Southern Ethiopia

The current research has investigated the soil quality status under dryland vegetation of Yabello district, Southern Ethiopia in which we should identify the nature and extent of salinity problem of the area for further research bases. About 48 soil samples were taken from 0-30, 31-60, 61-90 and 91-120 cm soil depths by opening 12 representative soil profile pits at 1.5 m depth. Soil color, texture, bulk density, Soil Organic Carbon (SOC), Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), Na, K, Mg, Ca, CaCO3, gypsum (CaSO4), pH, Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR), Exchangeable Sodium Percentage (ESP) were analyzed. The dominant soil texture was silty-clay-loam.  Bulk density varied from 1.1 to 1.31 g/cm3. High SOC content was observed in 0-30 cm. The soil pH ranged from 7.1 to 8.6. The electrical conductivity shows indirect relationship with soil depth while CaCO3 and CaSO4 concentrations were observed in a direct relationship with depth. About 41% are non-saline, 38.31% saline, 15.23% saline-sodic and 5.46% sodic soils. Na concentration in saline soils was greater than Ca and Mg in all the soil depths. Ca and Mg contents were higher above 60 cm soil depth in non-saline soils. The concentrations of SO2-4 and HCO-3 were observed to be higher at the most lower depth than upper. SAR value tends to be higher at lower depths in saline and saline-sodic soils, but decreases at lower depth of the non-saline soils. The distribution of ESP above 60 cm depth was in an increasing order in saline and saline-sodic soils. The result of the research has shown the direction to which extent of salinity we should consider for the Commiphora plant species we want to grow on the area. 

The Journey from Lean Manufacturing to Industry 4.0: The Rail Manufacturing Process in Mexico

Nowadays, Lean Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 are very important in every country. One of the main benefits is continued market presence. It has been identified that there is a need to change existing educational programs, as well as update the knowledge and skills of existing employees. It should be borne in mind that behind each technological improvement, there is a human being. Human talent cannot be neglected. The main objectives of this article are to review the link between Lean Manufacturing, the incorporation of Industry 4.0 and the steps to follow to implement it; analyze the current situation and study the implications and benefits of this new trend, with a particular focus on Mexico. Lean Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 implementation waves must always take care of the most important capital – intellectual capital. The methodology used in this article comprised the following steps: reviewing the reality of the fourth industrial revolution, reviewing employees’ skills on the journey to become world-class, and analyzing the situation in Mexico. Lean Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 were studied not as exclusive concepts, but as complementary ones. The methodological framework used is focused on motivating companies’ collaborators to guarantee common results, innovate, and remain in the market in the face of new requirements from company stakeholders. The key findings were that both trends emphasize the need to improve communication across the entire company and incorporate new technologies into everyday work, from the shop floor to administrative staff, to help improve processes. Taking care of people, activities and processes will bring a company success. In the specific case of Mexico, companies in all sectors need to be aware of and implement technological improvements according to their specific needs. Low-cost labor represents one of the most typical barriers. In conclusion, companies must build a roadmap according to their strategy and needs to achieve their short, medium- and long-term goals.

A Mixed-Methods Approach to Developing and Evaluating an SME Business Support Model for Innovation in Rural England

Cumbria is a geo-political county in Northwest England within which the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is located. Whilst the area has a formidable reputation for natural beauty and historic assets, the innovation ecosystem is described as ‘patchy’ for a number of reasons. The county is one of the largest in England by area and is sparsely populated. This paper describes the needs, development and delivery of an SME business-support programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria. The Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP) Project has been designed to respond to the nuanced needs of SMEs in this locale, whilst promoting the adoption of research and innovation. CUSP utilizes a funnel method to support rural businesses with access to university innovation intervention. CUSP has been built on a three-tier model: Communicate, Collaborate and Create. The paper describes this project in detail and presents results in terms of output indicators achieved, a beneficiary telephone survey and wider economic forecasts. From a pragmatic point-of-view, the paper provides experiences and reflections of those people who are delivering and evaluating knowledge exchange. The authors discuss some of the benefits, challenges and implications for both policy makers and practitioners. Finally, the paper aims to serve as an invitation to others who may consider adopting a similar method of university-industry collaboration in their own region.

Integrated Grey Rational Analysis-Standard Deviation Method for Handover in Heterogeneous Networks
The dense deployment of small cells is a promising solution to enhance the coverage and capacity of the heterogeneous networks (HetNets). However, the unplanned deployment could bring new challenges to the network ranging from interference, unnecessary handovers and handover failures. This will cause a degradation in the quality of service (QoS) delivered to the end user. In this paper, we propose an integrated Grey Rational Analysis Standard Deviation based handover method (GRA-SD) for HetNet. The proposed method integrates the Standard Deviation (SD) technique to acquire the weight of the handover metrics and the GRA method to select the best handover base station. The performance of the GRA-SD method is evaluated and compared with the traditional Multiple Attribute Decision Making (MADM) methods including Simple Additive Weighting (SAW) and VIKOR methods. Results reveal that the proposed method has outperformed the other methods in terms of minimizing the number of frequent unnecessary handovers and handover failures, in addition to improving the energy efficiency.
Handover for Dense Small Cells Heterogeneous Networks: A Power-Efficient Game Theoretical Approach
In this paper, a non-cooperative game method is formulated where all players compete to transmit at higher power. Every base station represents a player in the game. The game is solved by obtaining the Nash equilibrium (NE) where the game converges to optimality. The proposed method, named Power Efficient Handover Game Theoretic (PEHO-GT) approach, aims to control the handover in dense small cell networks. Players optimize their payoff by adjusting the transmission power to improve the performance in terms of throughput, handover, power consumption and load balancing. To select the desired transmission power for a player, the payoff function considers the gain of increasing the transmission power. Then, the cell selection takes place by deploying Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). A game theoretical method is implemented for heterogeneous networks to validate the improvement obtained. Results reveal that the proposed method gives a throughput improvement while reducing the power consumption and minimizing the frequent handover.
The Influence of Job Recognition and Job Motivation on Organizational Commitment in Public Sector: The Mediation Role of Employee Engagement
It is an established fact that organizations across the globe consider employees as their assets and try to advance their well-being. However, the local firms of developing countries are mostly profit oriented and do not have much concern about their employees’ engagement or commitment. Like other developing countries, the local organizations of Pakistan are also less concerned about the well-being of their employees. Especially public sector organizations lack concern regarding engagement, satisfaction or commitment of the employees. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the impact of job recognition and job motivation on organizational commitment in the mediation role of employee engagement. The data were collected from land record officers of board of revenue, Punjab, Pakistan. Structured questionnaire was used to collect data through physically visiting land record officers and also through the internet. A total of 318 land record officers’ responses were finalized to perform data analysis. The data were analyzed through confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling technique. The findings revealed that job recognition and job motivation have direct as well as indirect positive and significant impact on organizational commitment. The limitations, practical implications and future research indications are also explained.
Geometric Contrast of a 3D Model Obtained by Means of Digital Photogrametry with a Quasimetric Camera on UAV Classical Methods

Nowadays, the use of drones has been extended to practically any human activity. One of the main applications is focused on the surveying field. In this regard, software programs that process the images captured by the sensor from the drone in an almost automatic way have been developed and commercialized, but they only allow contrasting the results through control points. This work proposes the contrast of a 3D model obtained from a flight developed by a drone and a non-metric camera (due to its low cost), with a second model that is obtained by means of the historically-endorsed classical methods. In addition to this, the contrast is developed over a certain territory with a significant unevenness, so as to test the model generated with photogrammetry, and considering that photogrammetry with drones finds more difficulties in terms of accuracy in this kind of situations. Distances, heights, surfaces and volumes are measured on the basis of the 3D models generated, and the results are contrasted. The differences are about 0.2% for the measurement of distances and heights, 0.3% for surfaces and 0.6% when measuring volumes. Although they are not important, they do not meet the order of magnitude that is presented by salespeople.

Random Access in IoT Using Naïve Bayes Classification

This paper deals with the random access procedure in next-generation networks and presents the solution to reduce total service time (TST) which is one of the most important performance metrics in current and future internet of things (IoT) based networks. The proposed solution focuses on the calculation of optimal transmission probability which maximizes the success probability and reduces TST. It uses the information of several idle preambles in every time slot, and based on it, it estimates the number of backlogged IoT devices using Naïve Bayes estimation which is a type of supervised learning in the machine learning domain. The estimation of backlogged devices is necessary since optimal transmission probability depends on it and the eNodeB does not have information about it. The simulations are carried out in MATLAB which verify that the proposed solution gives excellent performance.

Radioactivity Assessment of Sediments in Negombo Lagoon Sri Lanka

The distributions of naturally occurring and anthropogenic radioactive materials were determined in surface sediments taken at 27 different locations along the bank of Negombo Lagoon in Sri Lanka. Hydrographic parameters of lagoon water and the grain size analyses of the sediment samples were also carried out for this study. The conductivity of the adjacent water was varied from 13.6 mS/cm to 55.4 mS/cm near to the southern end and the northern end of the lagoon, respectively, and equally salinity levels varied from 7.2 psu to 32.1 psu. The average pH in the water was 7.6 and average water temperature was 28.7 °C. The grain size analysis emphasized the mass fractions of the samples as sand (60.9%), fine sand (30.6%) and fine silt+clay (1.3%) in the sampling locations. The surface sediment samples of wet weight, 1 kg each from upper 5-10 cm layer, were oven dried at 105 °C for 24 hours to get a constant weight, homogenized and sieved through a 2 mm sieve (IAEA technical series no. 295). The radioactivity concentrations were determined using gamma spectrometry technique. Ultra Low Background Broad Energy High Purity Ge Detector, BEGe (Model BE5030, Canberra) was used for radioactivity measurement with Canberra Industries' Laboratory Source-less Calibration Software (LabSOCS) mathematical efficiency calibration approach and Geometry composer software. The mean activity concentration was found to be 24 ± 4, 67 ± 9, 181 ± 10, 59 ± 8, 3.5 ± 0.4 and 0.47 ± 0.08 Bq/kg for 238U, 232Th, 40K, 210Pb, 235U and 137Cs respectively. The mean absorbed dose rate in air, radium equivalent activity, external hazard index, annual gonadal dose equivalent and annual effective dose equivalent were 60.8 nGy/h, 137.3 Bq/kg, 0.4, 425.3 mSv/year and 74.6 mSv/year, respectively. The results of this study will provide baseline information on the natural and artificial radioactive isotopes and environmental pollution associated with information on radiological risk.

Influences on Occupational Identity through Trans and Gender Diverse Identity: A Qualitative Study about Work Experiences of Trans and Gender Diverse Individuals
Work experiences and satisfaction as well as the feeling of belonging has been narrowly explored from the perspective of trans and gender diverse individuals. Hence, the study investigates the relationship of values, attitudes, and norms of occupational environments and the working identity of trans and gender diverse people of the Australian workforce. Based on 22 semi-structured interviews with trans and gender diverse individuals regarding their work and career experiences, a first insight about their feeling of belonging through commonality in the workplace could be established. Communality between the values, attitudes and norms of a trans and gender diverse individuals working identities and profession, organization and working environment could increase the feeling of belonging. Further reflection and evaluation of trans and gender diverse identities in the workplace need to be considered to create an equitable and inclusive workplace of the future. Consequently, an essential development step for the future of work and its fundamental values of diversity, inclusion, and belonging will consist of the acknowledgement and inclusion of trans and gender diverse people as part of a broader social identity of the workplace.
Territories' Challenges and Opportunities to Promote Circular Economy in the Building Sector

The rapid development of cities implies significant material inflows and outflows. The construction sector is one of the main consumers of raw materials and producers of waste. The waste from the building sector, for its quantity and potential for recovery, constitutes significant deposits requiring major efforts, by combining different actors, to achieve the circular economy's objectives. It is necessary to understand and know the current construction actors' knowledge of stocks, urban metabolism, deposits, and recovery practices in this context. This article aims to explore the role of local governments in planning strategies by facilitating a circular economy. In particular, the principal opportunities and challenges of communities for applying the principles of the circular economy in the building sector will be identified. The approach used for the study was to conduct semi-structured interviews with those responsible for circular economy projects within local administrations of some communities in France. The results show territories' involvement in the inclusion and application of the principles of the circular economy in the building sector. The main challenges encountered are numerous, hence the importance of having identified and described them so that the different actors can work to meet them.

Experimental Observation on Air-Conditioning Using Radiant Chilled Ceiling in Hot Humid Climate

Radiant chilled ceiling (RCC) has been perceived to save more energy and provide better thermal comfort than the traditional air conditioning system. However, its application has been rather limited by some reasons e.g., the scarce information about the thermal characteristic in the radiant room and the local climate influence on the system performance, etc. To bridge such gap, an office-like experiment room with a RCC was constructed in the hot and humid climate of Thailand. This paper presents exemplarily results from the RCC experiments to give an insight into the thermal environment in a radiant room and the cooling load associated to maintain the room's comfort condition. It gave a demonstration of the RCC system operation for its application to achieve thermal comfort in offices in a hot humid climate, as well.

An Effort at Improving Reliability of Laboratory Data in Titrimetric Analysis for Zinc Sulphate Tablets Using Validated Spreadsheet Calculators

The requirement for maintaining data integrity in laboratory operations is critical for regulatory compliance. Automation of procedures reduces incidence of human errors. Quality control laboratories located in low-income economies may face some barriers in attempts to automate their processes. Since data from quality control tests on pharmaceutical products are used in making regulatory decisions, it is important that laboratory reports are accurate and reliable. Zinc Sulphate (ZnSO4) tablets is used in treatment of diarrhea in pediatric population, and as an adjunct therapy for COVID-19 regimen. Unfortunately, zinc content in these formulations is determined titrimetrically; a manual analytical procedure. The assay for ZnSO4 tablets involves time-consuming steps that contain mathematical formulae prone to calculation errors. To achieve consistency, save costs, and improve data integrity, validated spreadsheets were developed to simplify the two critical steps in the analysis of ZnSO4 tablets: standardization of 0.1M Sodium Edetate (EDTA) solution, and the complexometric titration assay procedure. The assay method in the United States Pharmacopoeia was used to create a process flow for ZnSO4 tablets. For each step in the process, different formulae were input into two spreadsheets to automate calculations. Further checks were created within the automated system to ensure validity of replicate analysis in titrimetric procedures. Validations were conducted using five data sets of manually computed assay results. The acceptance criteria set for the protocol were met. Significant p-values (p < 0.05, α = 0.05, at 95% Confidence Interval) were obtained from students’ t-test evaluation of the mean values for manual-calculated and spreadsheet results at all levels of the analysis flow. Right-first-time analysis and principles of data integrity were enhanced by use of the validated spreadsheet calculators in titrimetric evaluations of ZnSO4 tablets. Human errors were minimized in calculations when procedures were automated in quality control laboratories. The assay procedure for the formulation was achieved in a time-efficient manner with greater level of accuracy. This project is expected to promote cost savings for laboratory business models.

Exploring the Perspective of Service Quality in mHealth Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The impact of COVID-19 has a significant effect on all sectors of society globally. Health information technology (HIT) has become an effective health strategy in this age of distancing. In this regard, Mobile Health (mHealth) plays a critical role in managing patient and provider workflows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the users' perception of service quality about mHealth services plays a significant role in shaping confidence and subsequent behaviors regarding the mHealth users' intention of use. This study's objective was to explore levels of user attributes analyzed by a qualitative method of how health practitioners and patients are satisfied or dissatisfied with using mHealth services; and analyzed the users' intention in the context of Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research explores the experienced usability of a mHealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study uses qualitative methods that include in-depth and semi-structured interviews that investigate participants' perceptions and experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. The five cases consisted of health practitioners, clinic staff, and patients' experiences using mHealth services. This study encourages participants to discuss issues related to the research question by asking open-ended questions, usually in one-to-one interviews. The findings show the positive and negative attributes of mHealth service quality. Hence, the significant importance of patients' and health practitioners' issues on several dimensions of perceived service quality is system quality, information quality, and interaction quality. A concept map for perceptions regards to emergency uses' intention of mHealth services process is depicted. The findings revealed that users pay more attention to "Medical care", "ease of use" and "utilitarian benefits" and have less importance for "Admissions and Convenience" and "Social influence". To improve mHealth services, the mHealth providers and health practitioners should better manage users' experiences to enhance mHealth services. This research contributes to the understanding of service quality issues in mHealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Modified Genome-Scale Metabolic Model of Escherichia coli by Adding Hyaluronic Acid Biosynthesis-Related Enzymes (GLMU2 and HYAD) from Pasteurella multocida
Hyaluronic acid (HA) consists of linear heteropolysaccharides repeat of D-glucuronic acid and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. HA has various useful properties to maintain skin elasticity and moisture, reduce inflammation, and lubricate the movement of various body parts without causing immunogenic allergy. HA can be found in several animal tissues as well as in the capsule component of some bacteria including Pasteurella multocida. This study aimed to modify a genome-scale metabolic model of Escherichia coli using computational simulation and flux analysis methods to predict HA productivity under different carbon sources and nitrogen supplement by the addition of two enzymes (GLMU2 and HYAD) from P. multocida to improve the HA production under the specified amount of carbon sources and nitrogen supplements. Result revealed that threonine and aspartate supplement raised the HA production by 12.186%. Our analyses proposed the genome-scale metabolic model is useful for improving the HA production and narrows the number of conditions to be tested further.
Improving Subjective Bias Detection Using Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory

Detecting subjectively biased statements is a vital task. This is because this kind of bias, when present in the text or other forms of information dissemination media such as news, social media, scientific texts, and encyclopedias, can weaken trust in the information and stir conflicts amongst consumers. Subjective bias detection is also critical for many Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks like sentiment analysis, opinion identification, and bias neutralization. Having a system that can adequately detect subjectivity in text will boost research in the above-mentioned areas significantly. It can also come in handy for platforms like Wikipedia, where the use of neutral language is of importance. The goal of this work is to identify the subjectively biased language in text on a sentence level. With machine learning, we can solve complex AI problems, making it a good fit for the problem of subjective bias detection. A key step in this approach is to train a classifier based on BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) as upstream model. BERT by itself can be used as a classifier; however, in this study, we use BERT as data preprocessor as well as an embedding generator for a Bi-LSTM (Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory) network incorporated with attention mechanism. This approach produces a deeper and better classifier. We evaluate the effectiveness of our model using the Wiki Neutrality Corpus (WNC), which was compiled from Wikipedia edits that removed various biased instances from sentences as a benchmark dataset, with which we also compare our model to existing approaches. Experimental analysis indicates an improved performance, as our model achieved state-of-the-art accuracy in detecting subjective bias. This study focuses on the English language, but the model can be fine-tuned to accommodate other languages.