International Science Index

1306
10011719
Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in the Contaminated and Uncontaminated Soils
Authors:
Abstract:

Application of health risk assessment methods is important in order to comprehend the risk of human exposure to heavy metals and other dangerous pollutants. Four soil samples were collected at distances of 10, 20, 30 m and the control 100 m away from the dump site at depths of 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 m. The collected soil samples were examined for Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd and Ni using standard methods. The health risks via the main pathways of human exposure to heavy metal were detected using relevant standard equations. Hazard quotient was calculated to determine non-carcinogenic health risk for each individual heavy metal. Life time cancer risk was calculated to determine the cumulative life cancer rating for each exposure pathway. The estimated health risk values for adults and children were generally lower than the reference dose. The calculated hazard quotient for the ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact pathways were less than unity. This means that there is no detrimental concern to the health on human exposure to heavy metals in contaminated soil. The life time cancer risk 5.4 × 10-2 was higher than the acceptable threshold value of 1 × 10-4 which is reflected to have significant health effects on human exposure to heavy metals in contaminated soil. Good hygienic practices are recommended to ease the potential risk to children and adult who are exposed to contaminated soils. Also, the local authorities should be made aware of such health risks for the purpose of planning the management strategy accordingly.

Paper Detail
32
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1305
10011726
Educational Path for Pedagogical Skills: A Football School Experience
Authors:
Abstract:

The current pedagogical culture recognizes an educational scope within the sports practices. It is widely accepted, in the pedagogical culture, that thanks to the acquisition and development of motor skills, it is also possible to exercise abilities that concern the way of facing and managing the difficulties of everyday life. Sport is a peculiar educational environment: the children have the opportunity to discover the possibilities of their body, to correlate with their peers, and to learn how to manage the rules and the relationship with authorities, such as coaches. Educational aspects of the sport concern both non-formal and formal educational environments. Coaches play a critical role in an agonistic sphere: exactly like the competencies developed by the children, coaches have to work on their skills to properly set up the educational scene. Facing these new educational tasks - which are not new per se, but new because they are brought back to awareness - a few questions arise: does the coach have adequate preparation? Is the training of the coach in this specific area appropriate? This contribution aims to explore the issue in depth by focusing on the reality of the Football School. Starting from a possible sense of pedagogical inadequacy detected during a series of meetings with several football clubs in Piedmont (Italy), there have been highlighted some important educational needs within the professional training of sports coaches. It is indeed necessary for the coach to know the processes underlying the educational relationship in order to better understand the centrality of the assessment during the educational intervention and to be able to manage the asymmetry in the coach-athlete relationship. In order to provide a response to these pedagogical needs, a formative plan has been designed to allow both an in-depth study of educational issues and a correct self-evaluation of certain pedagogical skills’ control levels, led by the coach. This plan has been based on particular practices, the Educational Practices of Pre-test (EPP), a specific version of community practices designed for the extracurricular activities. The above-mentioned practices realized through the use of texts meant as pre-tests, promoted a reflection within the group of coaches: they set up real and plausible sports experiences - in particular football, triggering a reflection about the relationship’s object, spaces, and methods. The characteristic aspect of pre-tests is that it is impossible to anticipate the reflection as it is necessarily connected to the personal experience and sensitivity, requiring a strong interest and involvement by participants: situations must be considered by the coaches as possible settings in which they could be found on the field.

Paper Detail
14
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1304
10011736
Preliminary Geotechnical Properties of Uncemented Sandstone Kati Formation
Abstract:
Assessment of geotechnical properties of the subsoil is necessary for generating relevant input for the design and construction of a foundation. It is significant for the future development in the area. The focus of this research is to investigate the preliminary geotechnical properties of the uncemented sandstone from Kati formation at Puncak Iskandar, Seri Iskandar. A series of basic soil tests, oedometer and direct shear box tests were carried out to obtain the soil parameters. The uncemented sandstone of Kati Formation was found to have well-graded and poorly graded sand distribution, depending on the location where the samples were obtained. The sand grains distribution was in a range of 82%-100% while, the specific gravity of the uncemented sandstone is in the range 2.65-2.86. The preconsolidation pressure for USB3 was 990 kPa indicating that the sandstone at USB3 sample had undergone 990 kPa of overburden pressure. The angle of friction for uncemented sandstone was ranging between 23.34°-32.92°.
Paper Detail
9
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1303
10011744
Guidelines for Developing, Supervising, Assessing and Evaluating Capstone Design Project of BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering Program
Abstract:

Inclusion of any design project in an undergraduate electrical and electronic engineering curriculum and producing creative ideas in the final year capstone design projects have received numerous comments at the Board of Accreditation for Engineering and Technical Education (BAETE) several times by the mentors and visiting program evaluator team members at different public and private universities in Bangladesh. To eradicate this deficiency which is needed for getting the program accreditation, a thorough change was required in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) for its BSc in EEE program at Southeast University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. We suggested making changes in the course curriculum titles and contents, emphasizing to include capstone design projects, question setting, examining students through other standard methods, selecting and retaining Outcome-Based Education (OBE)-oriented engineering faculty members, improving laboratories through purchasing new equipment and software as well as developing new experiments for each laboratory courses, and engaging the students to practical designs in various courses and final year projects. This paper reports on capstone design project course objectives, course outcomes, mapping with the program outcomes, cognitive domain of learning, assessment schemes, guidelines, suggestions and recommendations for supervision processes, assessment strategy, and rubric setting, etc. It is expected that this will substantially improve the capstone design projects offering, supervision, and assessment in the undergraduate EEE program to fulfill the arduous requirements of BAETE accreditation based on OBE.

Paper Detail
5
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1302
10011756
An Effective Decision-Making Strategy Based on Multi-Objective Optimization for Commercial Vehicles in Highway Scenarios
Abstract:

Maneuver decision-making plays a critical role in high-performance intelligent driving. This paper proposes a risk assessment-based decision-making network (RADMN) to address the problem of driving strategy for the commercial vehicle. RADMN integrates two networks, aiming at identifying the risk degree of collision and rollover and providing decisions to ensure the effectiveness and reliability of driving strategy. In the risk assessment module, risk degrees of the backward collision, forward collision and rollover are quantified for hazard recognition. In the decision module, a deep reinforcement learning based on multi-objective optimization (DRL-MOO) algorithm is designed, which comprehensively considers the risk degree and motion states of each traffic participant. To evaluate the performance of the proposed framework, Prescan/Simulink joint simulation was conducted in highway scenarios. Experimental results validate the effectiveness and reliability of the proposed RADMN. The output driving strategy can guarantee the safety and provide key technical support for the realization of autonomous driving of commercial vehicles.

1301
10011625
Assessing and Evaluating the Course Outcomes of Electrical Circuit Course for Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering Program
Abstract:

At present, it is an imperative and stimulating task to grow the concepts and skills of undergraduate students in any course. Educators must build up students' higher-order complex and critical thinking abilities. But many of them find it difficult to assess and evaluate these abilities of students who undertake their courses during undergraduate studies. In this research work, a simple assessment and evaluation process for the electrical circuit course of the undergraduate Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) program is reported using the Outcome-Based Education (OBE) approach. The methodology of the work, course contents design, course outcomes (COs) preparation and mapping it with program outcomes (POs), question setting following Bloom's taxonomy, assessment strategy of the students, CO and PO evaluation records, statistics, and charts have been reported for a student-cohort of electrical circuit course taken in Spring 2019 Semester at EEE Department of Southeast University (SEU). It is found that the benchmark fixed by the course instructor has been achieved by the students of that course through CO assessment and evaluation. Recommendations of the course teacher for further quality enhancement based on CO achievement are also presented.

Paper Detail
63
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1300
10011632
A Machine Learning Based Framework for Education Levelling in Multicultural Countries: UAE as a Case Study
Abstract:

In Abu Dhabi, there are many different education curriculums where sector of private schools and quality assurance is supervising many private schools in Abu Dhabi for many nationalities. As there are many different education curriculums in Abu Dhabi to meet expats’ needs, there are different requirements for registration and success. In addition, there are different age groups for starting education in each curriculum. In fact, each curriculum has a different number of years, assessment techniques, reassessment rules, and exam boards. Currently, students that transfer curriculums are not being placed in the right year group due to different start and end dates of each academic year and their date of birth for each year group is different for each curriculum and as a result, we find students that are either younger or older for that year group which therefore creates gaps in their learning and performance. In addition, there is not a way of storing student data throughout their academic journey so that schools can track the student learning process. In this paper, we propose to develop a computational framework applicable in multicultural countries such as UAE in which multi-education systems are implemented. The ultimate goal is to use cloud and fog computing technology integrated with Artificial Intelligence techniques of Machine Learning to aid in a smooth transition when assigning students to their year groups, and provide leveling and differentiation information of students who relocate from a particular education curriculum to another, whilst also having the ability to store and access student data from anywhere throughout their academic journey.

Paper Detail
85
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1299
10011655
Survey of Access Controls in Cloud Computing
Abstract:
Cloud computing is one of the most significant technologies that the world deals with, in different sectors with different purposes and capabilities. The cloud faces various challenges in securing data from unauthorized access or modification. Consequently, security risks and levels have greatly increased. Therefore, cloud service providers (CSPs) and users need secure mechanisms that ensure that data are kept secret and safe from any disclosures or exploits. For this reason, CSPs need a number of techniques and technologies to manage and secure access to the cloud services to achieve security goals, such as confidentiality, integrity, identity access management (IAM), etc. Therefore, this paper will review and explore various access controls implemented in a cloud environment that achieve different security purposes. The methodology followed in this survey was conducting an assessment, evaluation, and comparison between those access controls mechanisms and technologies based on different factors, such as the security goals it achieves, usability, and cost-effectiveness. This assessment resulted in the fact that the technology used in an access control affects the security goals it achieves as well as there is no one access control method that achieves all security goals. Consequently, such a comparison would help decision-makers to choose properly the access controls that meet their requirements.
Paper Detail
48
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1298
10011683
Irrigation Water Quality Evaluation Based on Multivariate Statistical Analysis: A Case Study of Jiaokou Irrigation District
Abstract:

Groundwater is main source of water supply in the Guanzhong Basin, China. To investigate the quality of groundwater for agricultural purposes in Jiaokou Irrigation District located in the east of the Guanzhong Basin, 141 groundwater samples were collected for analysis of major ions (K+, Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, SO42-, Cl-, HCO3-, and CO32-), pH, and total dissolved solids (TDS). Sodium percentage (Na%), residual sodium carbonate (RSC), magnesium hazard (MH), and potential salinity (PS) were applied for irrigation water quality assessment. In addition, multivariate statistical techniques were used to identify the underlying hydrogeochemical processes. Results show that the content of TDS mainly depends on Cl-, Na+, Mg2+, and SO42-, and the HCO3- content is generally high except for the eastern sand area. These are responsible for complex hydrogeochemical processes, such as dissolution of carbonate minerals (dolomite and calcite), gypsum, halite, and silicate minerals, the cation exchange, as well as evaporation and concentration. The average evaluation levels of Na%, RSC, MH, and PS for irrigation water quality are doubtful, good, unsuitable, and injurious to unsatisfactory, respectively. Therefore, it is necessary for decision makers to comprehensively consider the indicators and thus reasonably evaluate the irrigation water quality.

Paper Detail
48
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1297
10011693
An Epidemiological Study on an Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Linked to Dinner Served at a Senior High School in Accra
Abstract:

Background: An outbreak of gastroenteritis occurred in December 2019 after students of a Senior High School in Accra were served with kenkey and fish during their dinner. An investigation was conducted to characterize the affected people, the source of contamination, the etiologic food and agent. Methods: An epidemiological study was conducted with cases selected from the student population who were ill. Controls were selected from among students who also ate from the school canteen during dinner but were not ill. Food history of each case and control was taken to assess their exposure status. Epi Info 7 was used to analyze the data obtained from the outbreak. Attack rates and odds ratios were calculated to determine the risk of foodborne infection for each of the foods consumed by the population. The source of contamination of the foods was ascertained by conducting an environmental risk assessment at the school. Results: Data were obtained from 126 students, out of which 57 (45.2%) were cases and 69 (54.8%) were controls. The cases presented with symptoms such as diarrhea (85.96%), abdominal cramps (66.67%), vomiting (50.88%), headache (21.05%), fever (17.86%) and nausea (3.51%). The peak incubation period was 18 hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of 6 and 50 hours respectively. From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, non-typhoidal salmonellosis was suspected. Multivariate analysis indicated that the illness was associated with the consumption of the fried fish served, however this was statistically insignificant (AOR 3.1.00, P = 0.159). No stool, blood or food samples were available for organism isolation and confirmation of suspected etiologic agent. The environmental risk assessment indicated poor hand washing practices on the part of both the food handlers and students. Conclusion: The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of the fried fish that might have been contaminated with Salmonella sp. as a result of poor hand washing practices in the school.

Paper Detail
29
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1296
10011697
Intraoperative ICG-NIR Fluorescence Angiography Visualization of Intestinal Perfusion in Primary Pull-Through for Hirschsprung Disease
Abstract:

Purpose: Assessment of anastomotic perfusion in Hirschsprung disease using Indocyanine Green (ICG)-near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence angiography. Introduction: Anastomotic stricture and leak are well-known complications of Hirschsprung pull-through procedures. Complications are due to tension, infection, and/or poor perfusion. While a surgeon can visually determine and control the amount of tension and contamination, assessment of perfusion is subject to surgeon determination. Intraoperative use of ICG-NIR enhances this decision-making process by illustrating perfusion intensity and adequacy in the pulled-through bowel segment. This technique, proven to reduce anastomotic stricture and leak in adults, has not been studied in children to our knowledge. ICG, an FDA approved, nontoxic, non-immunogenic, intravascular (IV) dye, has been used in adults and children for over 60 years, with few side effects. ICG-NIR was used in this report to demonstrate the adequacy of perfusion during transanal pullthrough for Hirschsprung’s disease. Method: 8 patients with Hirschsprung disease were evaluated with ICG-NIR technology. Levels of affected area ranged from sigmoid to total colonic Hirschsprung disease. After leveling, but prior to anastomosis, ICG was administered at 1.25 mg (< 2 mg/kg) and perfusion visualized using an NIR camera, before and during anastomosis. Video and photo imaging was performed and perfusion of the bowel was compared to surrounding tissues. This showed the degree of perfusion and demarcation of perfused and non-perfused bowel. The anastomosis was completed uneventfully and the patients all did well. Results: There were no complications of stricture or leak. 5 of 8 patients (62.5%) had modification of the plan based on ICG-NIR imaging. Conclusion: Technologies that enhance surgeons’ ability to visualize bowel perfusion prior to anastomosis in Hirschsprung’s patients may help reduce post-operative complications. Further studies are needed to assess the potential benefits.

Paper Detail
29
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1295
10011702
Improving Cyber Resilience in Mobile Field Hospitals: Towards an Assessment Model
Abstract:

The Mobile field hospital is critical in terms of managing emergencies in crisis. It is a sub-section of the main hospitals and the health sector, tasked with delivering responsive, immediate, and efficient medical services during a crisis. With the aim to prevent further crisis, the assessment of the cyber assets follows different methods, to distinguish its strengths and weaknesses, and in turn achieve cyber resiliency. The work focuses on assessments of cyber resilience in field hospitals with trends growing in both the field hospital and the health sector in general. This creates opportunities for the adverse attackers and the response improvement objectives for attaining cyber resilience, as the assessments allow users and stakeholders to know the level of risks with regards to its cyber assets. Thus, the purpose is to show the possible threat vectors which open up opportunities, with contrast to current trends in the assessment of the mobile field hospitals’ cyber assets.

Paper Detail
29
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1294
10011551
Portfolio Management for Construction Company during Covid-19 Using AHP Technique
Abstract:

In general, Covid-19 created many financial and non-financial damages to the economy and community. Level and severity of covid-19 as pandemic case varies over the region and due to different types of the projects. Covid-19 virus emerged as one of the most imperative risk management factors word-wide recently. Therefore, as part of portfolio management assessment, it is essential to evaluate severity of such risk on the project and program in portfolio management level to avoid any risky portfolio. Covid-19 appeared very effectively in South America, part of Europe and Middle East. Such pandemic infection affected the whole universe, due to lock down, interruption in supply chain management, health and safety requirements, transportations and commercial impacts. Therefore, this research proposes Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to analyze and assess such pandemic case like Covid-19 and its impacts on the construction projects. The AHP technique uses four sub-criteria: Health and safety, commercial risk, completion risk and contractual risk to evaluate the project and program. The result will provide the decision makers with information which project has higher or lower risk in case of Covid-19 and pandemic scenario. Therefore, the decision makers can have most feasible solution based on effective weighted criteria for project selection within their portfolio to match with the organization’s strategies.

Paper Detail
135
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1293
10011557
A Deep-Learning Based Prediction of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma with Electronic Health Records from the State of Maine
Abstract:

Predicting the risk of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma (PA) in advance can benefit the quality of care and potentially reduce population mortality and morbidity. The aim of this study was to develop and prospectively validate a risk prediction model to identify patients at risk of new incident PA as early as 3 months before the onset of PA in a statewide, general population in Maine. The PA prediction model was developed using Deep Neural Networks, a deep learning algorithm, with a 2-year electronic-health-record (EHR) cohort. Prospective results showed that our model identified 54.35% of all inpatient episodes of PA, and 91.20% of all PA that required subsequent chemoradiotherapy, with a lead-time of up to 3 months and a true alert of 67.62%. The risk assessment tool has attained an improved discriminative ability. It can be immediately deployed to the health system to provide automatic early warnings to adults at risk of PA. It has potential to identify personalized risk factors to facilitate customized PA interventions.

Paper Detail
104
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1292
10011559
Assessment of Psychomotor Development of Preschool Children: A Review of Eight Psychomotor Developmental Tools
Abstract:

The assessment of psychomotor development allows us to identify children with motor delays, helps us to monitor progress in time and prepare suitable intervention programs. The foundation of psychomotor development lies in pre-school age and is crucial for child´s further cognitive and social development. Many assessment tools of psychomotor development have been developed over the years. Some of them are easy screening tools; others are more complex and sophisticated. The purpose of this review is to describe the history of psychomotor assessment, specify preschool children´s psychomotor evaluation and review eight psychomotor development assessment tools for preschool children (Denver II., DEMOST-PRE, TGMD -2/3, BOT-2, MABC-2, PDMS-2, KTK, MOT 4-6). The selection of test depends on purpose and context in which is the assessment planned.

Paper Detail
128
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1291
10011585
An Ontology for Investment in Chinese Steel Company
Abstract:

In the era of big data, public investors are faced with more complicated information related to investment decisions than ever before. To survive in the fierce competition, it has become increasingly urgent for investors to combine multi-source knowledge and evaluate the companies’ true value efficiently. For this, a rule-based ontology reasoning method is proposed to support steel companies’ value assessment. Considering the delay in financial disclosure and based on cost-benefit analysis, this paper introduces the supply chain enterprises financial analysis and constructs the ontology model used to value the value of steel company. In addition, domain knowledge is formally expressed with the help of Web Ontology Language (OWL) language and SWRL (Semantic Web Rule Language) rules. Finally, a case study on a steel company in China proved the effectiveness of the method we proposed.

Paper Detail
74
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1290
10011590
Seismic Fragility Assessment of Strongback Steel Braced Frames Subjected to Near-Field Earthquakes
Abstract:

In this paper, seismic fragility assessment of a recently developed hybrid structural system, known as the strongback system (SBS) is investigated. In this system, to mitigate the occurrence of the soft-story mechanism and improve the distribution of story drifts over the height of the structure, an elastic vertical truss is formed. The strengthened members of the braced span are designed to remain substantially elastic during levels of excitation where soft-story mechanisms are likely to occur and impose a nearly uniform story drift distribution. Due to the distinctive characteristics of near-field ground motions, it seems to be necessary to study the effect of these records on seismic performance of the SBS. To this end, a set of 56 near-field ground motion records suggested by FEMA P695 methodology is used. For fragility assessment, nonlinear dynamic analyses are carried out in OpenSEES based on the recommended procedure in HAZUS technical manual. Four damage states including slight, moderate, extensive, and complete damage (collapse) are considered. To evaluate each damage state, inter-story drift ratio and floor acceleration are implemented as engineering demand parameters. Further, to extend the evaluation of the collapse state of the system, a different collapse criterion suggested in FEMA P695 is applied. It is concluded that SBS can significantly increase the collapse capacity and consequently decrease the collapse risk of the structure during its life time. Comparing the observing mean annual frequency (MAF) of exceedance of each damage state against the allowable values presented in performance-based design methods, it is found that using the elastic vertical truss, improves the structural response effectively.

Paper Detail
80
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1289
10011598
Heavy Metal Contents in Vegetable Oils of Kazakhstan Origin and Life Risk Assessment
Abstract:

The accumulation of heavy metals in food is a constant problem in many parts of the world. Vegetable oils are widely used, both for cooking and for processing in the food industry, meeting the main dietary requirements. One of the main chemical pollutants, heavy metals, is usually found in vegetable oils. These chemical pollutants are carcinogenic, teratogenic and immunotoxic, harmful to consumption and have a negative effect on human health even in trace amounts. Residues of these substances can easily accumulate in vegetable oil during cultivation, processing and storage. In this article, the content of the concentration of heavy metal ions in vegetable oils of Kazakhstan production is studied: sunflower, rapeseed, safflower and linseed oil. Heavy metals: arsenic, cadmium, lead and nickel, were determined in three repetitions by the method of flame atomic absorption. Analysis of vegetable oil samples revealed that the largest lead contamination (Pb) was determined to be 0.065 mg/kg in linseed oil. The content of cadmium (Cd) in the largest amount of 0.009 mg/kg was found in safflower oil. Arsenic (As) content was determined in rapeseed and safflower oils at 0.003 mg/kg, and arsenic (As) was not detected in linseed and sunflower oil. The nickel (Ni) content in the largest amount of 0.433 mg/kg was in linseed oil. The heavy metal contents in the test samples complied with the requirements of regulatory documents for vegetable oils. An assessment of the health risk of vegetable oils with a daily consumption of 36 g per day shows that all samples of vegetable oils produced in Kazakhstan are safe for consumption. But further monitoring is needed, since all these metals are toxic and their harmful effects become apparent only after several years of exposure.

Paper Detail
52
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1288
10011497
Multi-Agent Searching Adaptation Using Levy Flight and Inferential Reasoning
Abstract:

In this paper, we describe how to achieve knowledge understanding and prediction (Situation Awareness (SA)) for multiple-agents conducting searching activity using Bayesian inferential reasoning and learning. Bayesian Belief Network was used to monitor agents' knowledge about their environment, and cases are recorded for the network training using expectation-maximisation or gradient descent algorithm. The well trained network will be used for decision making and environmental situation prediction. Forest fire searching by multiple UAVs was the use case. UAVs are tasked to explore a forest and find a fire for urgent actions by the fire wardens. The paper focused on two problems: (i) effective agents’ path planning strategy and (ii) knowledge understanding and prediction (SA). The path planning problem by inspiring animal mode of foraging using Lévy distribution augmented with Bayesian reasoning was fully described in this paper. Results proof that the Lévy flight strategy performs better than the previous fixed-pattern (e.g., parallel sweeps) approaches in terms of energy and time utilisation. We also introduced a waypoint assessment strategy called k-previous waypoints assessment. It improves the performance of the ordinary levy flight by saving agent’s resources and mission time through redundant search avoidance. The agents (UAVs) are to report their mission knowledge at the central server for interpretation and prediction purposes. Bayesian reasoning and learning were used for the SA and results proof effectiveness in different environments scenario in terms of prediction and effective knowledge representation. The prediction accuracy was measured using learning error rate, logarithm loss, and Brier score and the result proves that little agents mission that can be used for prediction within the same or different environment. Finally, we described a situation-based knowledge visualization and prediction technique for heterogeneous multi-UAV mission. While this paper proves linkage of Bayesian reasoning and learning with SA and effective searching strategy, future works is focusing on simplifying the architecture.

Paper Detail
67
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1287
10011507
A Socio-Technical Approach to Cyber-Risk Assessment
Abstract:

Evaluating the levels of cyber-security risks within an enterprise is most important in protecting its information system, services and all its digital assets against security incidents (e.g. accidents, malicious acts, massive cyber-attacks). The existing risk assessment methodologies (e.g. eBIOS, OCTAVE, CRAMM, NIST-800) adopt a technical approach considering as attack factors only the capability, intention and target of the attacker, and not paying attention to the attacker’s psychological profile and personality traits. In this paper, a socio-technical approach is proposed in cyber risk assessment, in order to achieve more realistic risk estimates by considering the personality traits of the attackers. In particular, based upon principles from investigative psychology and behavioural science, a multi-dimensional, extended, quantifiable model for an attacker’s profile is developed, which becomes an additional factor in the cyber risk level calculation.

Paper Detail
186
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10011525
Physiological Effects on Scientist Astronaut Candidates: Hypobaric Training Assessment
Abstract:

This paper is addressed to expanding our understanding of the effects of hypoxia training on our bodies to better model its dynamics and leverage some of its implications and effects on human health. Hypoxia training is a recommended practice for military and civilian pilots that allow them to recognize their early hypoxia signs and symptoms, and Scientist Astronaut Candidates (SACs) who underwent hypobaric hypoxia (HH) exposure as part of a training activity for prospective suborbital flight applications. This observational-analytical study describes physiologic responses and symptoms experienced by a SAC group before, during and after HH exposure and proposes a model for assessing predicted versus observed physiological responses. A group of individuals with diverse Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) backgrounds conducted a hypobaric training session to an altitude up to 22,000 ft (FL220) or 6,705 meters, where heart rate (HR), breathing rate (BR) and core temperature (Tc) were monitored with the use of a chest strap sensor pre and post HH exposure. A pulse oximeter registered levels of saturation of oxygen (SpO2), number and duration of desaturations during the HH chamber flight. Hypoxia symptoms as described by the SACs during the HH training session were also registered. This data allowed to generate a preliminary predictive model of the oxygen desaturation and O2 pressure curve for each subject, which consists of a sixth-order polynomial fit during exposure, and a fifth or fourth-order polynomial fit during recovery. Data analysis showed that HR and BR showed no significant differences between pre and post HH exposure in most of the SACs, while Tc measures showed slight but consistent decrement changes. All subjects registered SpO2 greater than 94% for the majority of their individual HH exposures, but all of them presented at least one clinically significant desaturation (SpO2 < 85% for more than 5 seconds) and half of the individuals showed SpO2 below 87% for at least 30% of their HH exposure time. Finally, real time collection of HH symptoms presented temperature somatosensory perceptions (SP) for 65% of individuals, and task-focus issues for 52.5% of individuals as the most common HH indications. 95% of the subjects experienced HH onset symptoms below FL180; all participants achieved full recovery of HH symptoms within 1 minute of donning their O2 mask. The current HH study performed on this group of individuals suggests a rapid and fully reversible physiologic response after HH exposure as expected and obtained in previous studies. Our data showed consistent results between predicted versus observed SpO2 curves during HH suggesting a mathematical function that may be used to model HH performance deficiencies. During the HH study, real-time HH symptoms were registered providing evidenced SP and task focusing as the earliest and most common indicators. Finally, an assessment of HH signs of symptoms in a group of heterogeneous, non-pilot individuals showed similar results to previous studies in homogeneous populations of pilots.

Paper Detail
60
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10011537
Artificial Intelligence-Based Chest X-Ray Test of COVID-19 Patients
Abstract:

The management of COVID-19 patients based on chest imaging is emerging as an essential tool for evaluating the spread of the pandemic which has gripped the global community. It has already been used to monitor the situation of COVID-19 patients who have issues in respiratory status. There has been increase to use chest imaging for medical triage of patients who are showing moderate-severe clinical COVID-19 features, this is due to the fast dispersal of the pandemic to all continents and communities. This article demonstrates the development of machine learning techniques for the test of COVID-19 patients using Chest X-Ray (CXR) images in nearly real-time, to distinguish the COVID-19 infection with a significantly high level of accuracy. The testing performance has covered a combination of different datasets of CXR images of positive COVID-19 patients, patients with viral and bacterial infections, also, people with a clear chest. The proposed AI scheme successfully distinguishes CXR scans of COVID-19 infected patients from CXR scans of viral and bacterial based pneumonia as well as normal cases with an average accuracy of 94.43%, sensitivity 95%, and specificity 93.86%. Predicted decisions would be supported by visual evidence to help clinicians speed up the initial assessment process of new suspected cases, especially in a resource-constrained environment.

Paper Detail
127
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10011539
Meteorological Risk Assessment for Ships with Fuzzy Logic Designer
Abstract:

Fuzzy Logic, an advanced method to support decision-making, is used by various scientists in many disciplines. Fuzzy programming is a product of fuzzy logic, fuzzy rules, and implication. In marine science, fuzzy programming for ships is dramatically increasing together with autonomous ship studies. In this paper, a program to support the decision-making process for ship navigation has been designed. The program is produced in fuzzy logic and rules, by taking the marine accidents and expert opinions into account. After the program was designed, the program was tested by 46 ship accidents reported by the Transportation Safety Investigation Center of Turkey. Wind speed, sea condition, visibility, day/night ratio have been used as input data. They have been converted into a risk factor within the Fuzzy Logic Designer application and fuzzy rules set by marine experts. Finally, the expert's meteorological risk factor for each accident is compared with the program's risk factor, and the error rate was calculated. The main objective of this study is to improve the navigational safety of ships, by using the advance decision support model. According to the study result, fuzzy programming is a robust model that supports safe navigation.

Paper Detail
79
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10011540
Battery Energy Storage System Economic Benefits Assessment on a Network Frequency Control
Abstract:
Here a methodology is considered aiming at evaluating the economic benefit of the provision of a primary frequency control unit using a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). In this methodology, two control types (basic and hysteresis) are implemented and the corresponding minimum energy storage system power allowing to maintain the frequency drop inside a given threshold under a given contingency is identified and compared using DigSilent’s PowerFactory software. Following this step, the corresponding energy storage capacity (in MWh) is calculated. As PowerFactory is dedicated to dynamic simulation for transient analysis, a first order model related to the IEEE 9 bus grid used for the analysis under PowerFactory is characterized and implemented on MATLAB-Simulink. Primary frequency control is simulated using the two control types over one-month grid's frequency deviation data on this Simulink model. This simulation results in the energy throughput both basic and hysteresis BESSs. It emerges that the 15 minutes operation band of the battery capacity allocated to frequency control is sufficient under the considered disturbances. A sensitivity analysis on the width of the control deadband is then performed for the two control types. The deadband width variation leads to an identical sizing with the hysteresis control showing a better frequency control at the cost of a higher delivered throughput compared to the basic control. An economic analysis comparing the cost of the sized BESS to the potential revenues is then performed.
Paper Detail
93
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10011541
Government of Ghana’s Budget: An Assessment of Its Compliance with Fundamental Budgeting Principles
Abstract:

Public sector budgeting, all over the world, is underpinned by some universally accepted principles of sound budget management such as budget unity, universality, annuality, and a balanced budget. These traditional principles, though fundamental, had, in recent years, been augmented by the more modern principles of budgeting within fiscal objective, alignment with medium-term strategic plans as well as the observance of such related concepts as transparency, openness and accessibility. In this paper, we have endeavored to shed light, from literature and practice, on the meaning and purposes of such fundamental budgeting principles. We have also assessed the extent to which the Government of Ghana’s budget complies with the four traditional principles of budget unity, universality, annuality, and a balanced budget and the three out of the ten modern principles of budgetary governance of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). We did so by using a qualitative method of review and analysis of existing documents and the performance assessment reports on Ghana’s Public Financial Management (PFM) measured using such frameworks as the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA), the Open Budget Survey (OBS) and its Index (OBI), the reports and action plans of Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT). Other performance assessment reports that were relied on included, but not limited to, the Joint Evaluation Report of PFM in Ghana, 2001-2010, and the Joint Evaluation of Budget Support to Ghana, 2005-2015. We have, through this paper, brought to the fore the lessons that could be learned on how those budgetary principles undergird the Government of Ghana’s budget formulation, execution, accounting, control, and oversight. These lessons include, but are not limited to, the need for both scholars and practitioners in the PFM space to be aware of the impact of those principles on public sector budgeting.

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10011436
A Conceptual Design of a Self-Centering Centre Plate
Abstract:
Turning maneuvers originate higher forces exerted on the rail and the loss of locomotive energy, at a rate that is function of several parameters that influence the magnitude of the developed horizontal wheel-rail forces, including the friction at the centre plate and the bogie´s yaw stiffness. However, such a friction at the contact surfaces of the centre plate is needed to mitigate the hunting phenomenon when the train moves on straight track segments. In this paper, a self-centering centre plate is proposed, consisting of a lubricated centre plate, equipped with a spring- and damper-based self-centering mechanism. Simulation results of the proposed mechanism suggest that the energy performance in turns of a train car equipped with such self-centering centre plate is comparatively better, as the peak friction forces linked to the dry friction at the contact surfaces of current centre plate designs, are avoided. The assessment of the hunting performance of the proposed device in straight track segments is proposed as the continuation of this work.
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96
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10011453
Physiological Effects during Aerobatic Flights on Science Astronaut Candidates
Abstract:

Spaceflight is considered the last frontier in terms of science, technology, and engineering. But it is also the next frontier in terms of human physiology and performance. After more than 200,000 years humans have evolved under earth’s gravity and atmospheric conditions, spaceflight poses environmental stresses for which human physiology is not adapted. Hypoxia, accelerations, and radiation are among such stressors, our research involves suborbital flights aiming to develop effective countermeasures in order to assure sustainable human space presence. The physiologic baseline of spaceflight participants is subject to great variability driven by age, gender, fitness, and metabolic reserve. The objective of the present study is to characterize different physiologic variables in a population of STEM practitioners during an aerobatic flight. Cardiovascular and pulmonary responses were determined in Science Astronaut Candidates (SACs) during unusual attitude aerobatic flight indoctrination. Physiologic data recordings from 20 subjects participating in high-G flight training were analyzed. These recordings were registered by wearable sensor-vest that monitored electrocardiographic tracings (ECGs), signs of dysrhythmias or other electric disturbances during all the flight. The same cardiovascular parameters were also collected approximately 10 min pre-flight, during each high-G/unusual attitude maneuver and 10 min after the flights. The ratio (pre-flight/in-flight/post-flight) of the cardiovascular responses was calculated for comparison of inter-individual differences. The resulting tracings depicting the cardiovascular responses of the subjects were compared against the G-loads (Gs) during the aerobatic flights to analyze cardiovascular variability aspects and fluid/pressure shifts due to the high Gs. In-flight ECG revealed cardiac variability patterns associated with rapid Gs onset in terms of reduced heart rate (HR) and some scattered dysrhythmic patterns (15% premature ventricular contractions-type) that were considered as triggered physiological responses to high-G/unusual attitude training and some were considered as instrument artifact. Variation events were observed in subjects during the +Gz and –Gz maneuvers and these may be due to preload and afterload, sudden shift. Our data reveal that aerobatic flight influenced the breathing rate of the subject, due in part by the various levels of energy expenditure due to the increased use of muscle work during these aerobatic maneuvers. Noteworthy was the high heterogeneity in the different physiological responses among a relatively small group of SACs exposed to similar aerobatic flights with similar Gs exposures. The cardiovascular responses clearly demonstrated that SACs were subjected to significant flight stress. Routine ECG monitoring during high-G/unusual attitude flight training is recommended to capture pathology underlying dangerous dysrhythmias in suborbital flight safety. More research is currently being conducted to further facilitate the development of robust medical screening, medical risk assessment approaches, and suborbital flight training in the context of the evolving commercial human suborbital spaceflight industry. A more mature and integrative medical assessment method is required to understand the physiology state and response variability among highly diverse populations of prospective suborbital flight participants.

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96
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10011348
Assessment of the Administration and Services of Public Access Computers in Academic Libraries in Kaduna State, Nigeria
Abstract:

This study is posed to explore the practice of Public Access Computers (PACs) in academic libraries in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The study aimed to determine the computers and other tools available, their services and challenges of the practices. Three questions were framed to identify number of public computers and tools available, their services and problems faced during the practice. The study used qualitative research design along with semi-constructed interview and observation as tools for data collection. Descriptive analysis was employed to analyze the data. The sample size of the study comprises 52 librarian and IT staff from the seven academic institutions in Kaduna State. The findings revealed that, PACs were provided for access to the Internet, digital resources, library catalogue and training services. The study further explored that, despite the limit number of the computers, users were not allowed to enjoy many services. The study recommends that libraries in Kaduna state should provide more public computers to be able to cover the population of their users; libraries should allow users to use the computers without limitations and restrictions.

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127
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10011355
Assessment of Energy Consumption in Cluster Redevelopment: A Case Study of Bhendi Bazar in Mumbai
Abstract:

Cluster Redevelopment is a new concept in the city of Mumbai. Its regulations were laid down by the government in 2009. The concept of cluster redevelopment encompasses a group of buildings defined by a boundary as specified by the municipal authority (in this case, Mumbai), which may be dilapidated or approved for redevelopment. The study analyses the effect of cluster redevelopment in the form of renewal of old group of buildings as compared to refurbishment or restoration - on energy consumption. The methodology includes methods of assessment to determine increase or decrease in energy consumption in cluster redevelopment based on different criteria such as carpet area of the units, building envelope and its architectural elements. Results show that as the area and number of units increase the Energy consumption increases and the EPI (energy performance index) decreases as compared to the base case. The energy consumption per unit area declines by 29% in the proposed cluster redevelopment as compared to the original settlement. It is recommended that although the development is spacious and provides more light and ventilation, aspects such as glass type, traditional architectural features and consumer behavior are critical in the reduction of energy consumption.

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128
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10011360
Preliminary Geophysical Assessment of Soil Contaminants around Wacot Rice Factory Argungu, North-Western Nigeria
Abstract:
Geophysical investigation was carried out at wacot rice factory Argungu north-western Nigeria, using the 2D electrical resistivity method. The area falls between latitude 12˚44′23ʺN to 12˚44′50ʺN and longitude 4032′18′′E to 4032′39′′E covering a total area of about 1.85 km. Two profiles were carried out with Wenner configuration using resistivity meter (Ohmega). The data obtained from the study area were modeled using RES2DIVN software which gave an automatic interpretation of the apparent resistivity data. The inverse resistivity models of the profiles show the high resistivity values ranging from 208 Ωm to 651 Ωm. These high resistivity values in the overburden were due to dryness and compactness of the strata that lead to consolidation, which is an indication that the area is free from leachate contaminations. However, from the inverse model, there are regions of low resistivity values (1 Ωm to 18 Ωm), these zones were observed and identified as clayey and the most contaminated zones. The regions of low resistivity thereby indicated the leachate plume or the highly leachate concentrated zones due to similar resistivity values in both clayey and leachate. The regions of leachate are mainly from the factory into the surrounding area and its groundwater. The maximum leachate infiltration was found at depths 1 m to 15.9 m (P1) and 6 m to 15.9 m (P2) vertically, as well as distance along the profiles from 67 m to 75 m (P1), 155 m to 180 m (P1), and 115 m to 192 m (P2) laterally.
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127
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