International Science Index

845
10011349
Attention Based Fully Convolutional Neural Network for Simultaneous Detection and Segmentation of Optic Disc in Retinal Fundus Images
Abstract:
Accurate segmentation of the optic disc is very important for computer-aided diagnosis of several ocular diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and hypertensive retinopathy. The paper presents an accurate and fast optic disc detection and segmentation method using an attention based fully convolutional network. The network is trained from scratch using the fundus images of extended MESSIDOR database and the trained model is used for segmentation of optic disc. The false positives are removed based on morphological operation and shape features. The result is evaluated using three-fold cross-validation on six public fundus image databases such as DIARETDB0, DIARETDB1, DRIVE, AV-INSPIRE, CHASE DB1 and MESSIDOR. The attention based fully convolutional network is robust and effective for detection and segmentation of optic disc in the images affected by diabetic retinopathy and it outperforms existing techniques.
Paper Detail
8
downloads
844
10011354
Driver Readiness in Autonomous Vehicle Take-Overs
Abstract:
Level 3 autonomous vehicles are able to take full responsibility over the control of the vehicle unless a system boundary is reached or a system failure occurs, in which case, the driver is expected to take-over the control of the vehicle. While this happens, the driver is often not aware of the traffic situation or is engaged in a secondary task. Factors affecting the duration and quality of take-overs in these situations have included secondary task type and nature, traffic density, take-over request (TOR) time, and TOR warning type and modality. However, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no prior study examined time buffer for TORs when a system failure occurs immediately before intersections. The first objective of this study is to investigate the effect of time buffer (3 and 7 seconds) on the duration and quality of take-overs when a system failure occurs just prior to intersections. In addition, eye-tracking has become one of the most popular methods to report what individuals view, in what order, for how long, and how often, and it has been utilized in driving simulations with various objectives. However, to the extent of authors’ knowledge, none has compared drivers’ eye gaze behavior in the two different time buffers in order to examine drivers’ attention and comprehension of salient information. The second objective is to understand the driver’s attentional focus on comprehension of salient traffic-related information presented on different parts of the dashboard and on the roads.
Paper Detail
1
downloads
843
10011318
A Qualitative Study of Health-Related Beliefs and Practices among Vegetarians
Abstract:

The process of becoming a vegetarian involves changes in several life aspects, including health. Despite its relevance, however, little research has been carried out to analyze vegetarians' self-perceived health, and even less empirical attention has received in the Romanian population. This study aimed to assess health-related beliefs and practices among vegetarian adults in a Romanian sample. We have undertaken 20 semi-structured interviews (10 males, 10 females) based on a snowball sample with a mean age of 31 years. The interview guide was divided into three sections: causes of adopting the diet, general aspects (beliefs, practices, tensions, and conflicts) and consequences of adopting the diet (significant changes, positive aspects, and difficulties, physical and mental health). Additional anamnestic data were reported by means of a questionnaire. Data analyses were performed using Tropes text analysis software (v. 8.2) and SPSS software (v. 24.0.) Findings showed that most of the participants considered a vegetarian diet as a natural and healthy choice as opposed to meat-eating, which is not healthy, and its consumption should be moderated among omnivores. A higher proportion of participants (65%) had an average body mass index (BMI), and several women even assumed having certain affections that no longer occur after following a vegetarian diet. Moreover, participants admitted having better moods and mental health status, given their self-contentment with the dietary choice. Relatives were perceived as more skeptical about their practices than others, and especially women had this view. This study provides a valuable insight into health-related beliefs and practices and how a vegetarian diet might interact.

Paper Detail
33
downloads
842
10011232
Convergence Analysis of Training Two-Hidden-Layer Partially Over-Parameterized ReLU Networks via Gradient Descent
Authors:
Abstract:
Over-parameterized neural networks have attracted a great deal of attention in recent deep learning theory research, as they challenge the classic perspective of over-fitting when the model has excessive parameters and have gained empirical success in various settings. While a number of theoretical works have been presented to demystify properties of such models, the convergence properties of such models are still far from being thoroughly understood. In this work, we study the convergence properties of training two-hidden-layer partially over-parameterized fully connected networks with the Rectified Linear Unit activation via gradient descent. To our knowledge, this is the first theoretical work to understand convergence properties of deep over-parameterized networks without the equally-wide-hidden-layer assumption and other unrealistic assumptions. We provide a probabilistic lower bound of the widths of hidden layers and proved linear convergence rate of gradient descent. We also conducted experiments on synthetic and real-world datasets to validate our theory.
Paper Detail
116
downloads
841
10011275
Electroencephalography Activity during Sensory Organization Balance Test
Abstract:

Postural balance plays essential role throughout life in daily activities. Somatosensory, visual and vestibular inputs play the fundamental role in maintaining body equilibrium to balance the posture. The aim of this study was to find out electroencephalography (EEG) responses during balance activity of young people during Sensory Organization Balance Test. The outcome of this study will help to create the fitness and neurorehabilitation plan. 25 young people (25 ± 3.1 years) have been analyzed on Balance Master NeuroCom® with the coupling of Brain Vision 32 electrode wireless EEG system during the Sensory Organization Test. From the results it has been found that the balance score of samples is significantly higher under the influence of somatosensory input as compared to visual and vestibular input (p < 0.05). The EEG between somatosensory and visual input to balance the posture showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha and beta activities during somatosensory input in somatosensory, attention and visual functions of the cortex whereas executive and motor functions of the cerebral cortex showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha EEG activity during the visual input. The results suggest that somatosensory and attention function of the cerebral cortex has alpha and beta activity, respectively high during somatosensory and vestibular input in maintaining balance. In patients with balance impairments both physical and cognitive training, including neurofeedback will be helpful to improve balance abilities.

Paper Detail
60
downloads
840
10011276
Self-Organizing Map Network for Wheeled Robot Movement Optimization
Abstract:

The paper investigates the application of the Kohonen’s Self-Organizing Map (SOM) to the wheeled robot starting and braking dynamic states. In securing wheeled robot stability as well as minimum starting and braking time, it is important to ensure correct torque distribution as well as proper slope of braking and driving moments. In this paper, a correct movement distribution has been formulated, securing optimum adhesion coefficient and good transversal stability of a wheeled robot. A neural tuner has been proposed to secure the above properties, although most of the attention is attached to the SOM network application. If the delay of the torque application or torque release is not negligible, it is important to change the rising and falling slopes of the torque. The road/surface condition is also paramount in robot dynamic states control. As the road conditions may randomly change in time, application of the SOM network has been suggested in order to classify the actual road conditions.

Paper Detail
60
downloads
839
10011157
Study of Proton-9,11Li Elastic Scattering at 60~75 MeV/Nucleon
Abstract:

The radial form of nuclear matter distribution, charge and the shape of nuclei are essential properties of nuclei, and hence, are of great attention for several areas of research in nuclear physics. More than last three decades have witnessed a range of experimental means employing leptonic probes (such as muons, electrons etc.) for exploring nuclear charge distributions, whereas the hadronic probes (for example alpha particles, protons, etc.) have been used to investigate the nuclear matter distributions. In this paper, p-9,11Li elastic scattering differential cross sections in the energy range  to  MeV have been studied by means of Coulomb modified Glauber scattering formalism. By applying the semi-phenomenological Bhagwat-Gambhir-Patil [BGP] nuclear density for loosely bound neutron rich 11Li nucleus, the estimated matter radius is found to be 3.446 fm which is quite large as compared to so known experimental value 3.12 fm. The results of microscopic optical model based calculation by applying Bethe-Brueckner–Hartree–Fock formalism (BHF) have also been compared. It should be noted that in most of phenomenological density model used to reproduce the p-11Li differential elastic scattering cross sections data, the calculated matter radius lies between 2.964 and 3.55 fm. The calculated results with phenomenological BGP model density and with nucleon density calculated in the relativistic mean-field (RMF) reproduces p-9Li and p-11Li experimental data quite nicely as compared to Gaussian- Gaussian or Gaussian-Oscillator densities at all energies under consideration. In the approach described here, no free/adjustable parameter has been employed to reproduce the elastic scattering data as against the well-known optical model based studies that involve at least four to six adjustable parameters to match the experimental data. Calculated reaction cross sections σR for p-11Li at these energies are quite large as compared to estimated values reported by earlier works though so far no experimental studies have been performed to measure it.

Paper Detail
99
downloads
838
10011171
Numerical Study of Steel Structures Responses to External Explosions
Abstract:

Due to the constant increase in terrorist attacks, the research and engineering communities have given significant attention to building performance under explosions. This paper presents a methodology for studying and simulating the dynamic responses of steel structures during external detonations, particularly for accurately investigating the impact of incrementing charge weight on the members total behavior, resistance and failure. Prediction damage method was introduced to evaluate the damage level of the steel members based on five scenarios of explosions. Johnson–Cook strength and failure model have been used as well as ABAQUS finite element code to simulate the explicit dynamic analysis, and antecedent field tests were used to verify the acceptance and accuracy of the proposed material strength and failure model. Based on the structural response, evaluation criteria such as deflection, vertical displacement, drift index, and damage level; the obtained results show the vulnerability of steel columns and un-braced steel frames which are designed and optimized to carry dead and live load to resist and endure blast loading.

Paper Detail
104
downloads
837
10011176
Concept to Enhance the Project Success and Promote the Implementation of Success Factors in Infrastructure Projects
Abstract:

Infrastructure projects are often subjected to delays and cost overruns and mistakenly described as unsuccessful projects. These projects have many peculiarities such as public attention, impact on the environment, subjected to special regulations, etc. They also deal with several stakeholders with different motivations and face unique risks. With this in mind we need to reconsider our approach to manage them, define their success factors and implement these success factors. Infrastructure projects are not only lacking a unified meaning of project success or a definition of success factors, but also a clear method to implement these factors. This paper investigates this gap and introduces a concept to implement success factors in an efficient way, taking into consideration the specific characteristics of infrastructure projects. This concept consists of six enablers such as project organization, project team, project management workflow, contract management, communication and knowledge transfer and project documentations. These enablers allow other success factors to be efficiently implemented in projects. In conclusion, this paper provides project managers as well as company managers with a tool to define and implement success factors efficiently in their projects, along with upgrading their assets for the coming projects. This tool consists of processes and validated checklists to ensure the best use of company resources and knowledge. Due to the special features of infrastructure projects this tool will be tested in the German infrastructure market. However, it is meant to be adaptable to other markets and industries.

Paper Detail
146
downloads
836
10011135
Morphology of Indian Female Athletes of Different Track and Field Events
Abstract:

Participation in games and sports in the contemporary times has become more competing with the developed scientific knowledge, skills and methods, along with the equipment and applied research in the field. In spite of India being a large country having vast resources and potential, its performance in the world of sports on the whole needs sincere attention for better achievements. Beside numerous factors responsible for the dismal performance of a sportsperson, the physique and body composition, including the size, shape and form are known to play a significant role. The present investigation was undertaken to study the specific morphological characteristics of Indian female Track and Field athletes. A total of 300 athletes were randomly selected as sample for the purpose of the study from the six events having 50 athletes in each event including 100m., 400m., Shot Put, Discus Throw, Long Jump and High Jump. The study included body weight, body fat percentage, lean body weight, endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy as variables. The data were computed statistically by using Mean, Standard Deviation and Analysis of Variance. The post-hoc analysis was conducted where the F-ratio was found to be significant at .05 level. The study concluded that there is a significant difference with regard to the selected variables among the Indian female athletes of different track and field events.

Paper Detail
109
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835
10010978
An Evaluation of a Psychotherapeutic Service for Engineering Students: The Role of Race, Gender and Language
Authors:
Abstract:
Mental health in higher education has received increasing attention over the past few decades. The high academic demands of the engineering degree, coupled with students’ mental health challenges, have led to higher education institutions offering psychotherapeutic services to students. This paper discusses an evaluation of the psychotherapy service at the University of Cape Town. The aim was to determine (i) the efficacy of the service; and (ii) the impact of race, gender, and language of the therapist on the students’ therapeutic process. An online survey was sent to 109 students who attended psychotherapy. The majority expressed favorable experiences of psychotherapy, with reports of increased capacity to engage with their academic work. Most students did not experience the gender, race, or language of the psychologists to be barriers to their therapy. The findings point to a need for ongoing psychological support for students.
Paper Detail
249
downloads
834
10010992
Performance Analysis of Three Absorption Heat Pump Cycles, Full and Partial Loads Operations
Abstract:

The environmental concerns related to global warming and ozone layer depletion along with the growing worldwide demand for heating and cooling have brought an increasing attention toward ecological and efficient Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Furthermore, since space heating accounts for a considerable part of the European primary/final energy use, it has been identified as one of the sectors with the most challenging targets in energy use reduction. Heat pumps are commonly considered as a technology able to contribute to the achievement of the targets. Current research focuses on the full load operation and seasonal performance assessment of three gas-driven absorption heat pump cycles. To do this, investigations of the gas-driven air-source ammonia-water absorption heat pump systems for small-scale space heating applications are presented. For each of the presented cycles, both full-load under various temperature conditions and seasonal performances are predicted by means of numerical simulations. It has been considered that small capacity appliances are usually equipped with fixed geometry restrictors, meaning that the solution mass flow rate is driven by the pressure difference across the associated restrictor valve. Results show that gas utilization efficiency (GUE) of the cycles varies between 1.2 and 1.7 for both full and partial loads and vapor exchange (VX) cycle is found to achieve the highest efficiency. It is noticed that, for typical space heating applications, heat pumps operate over a wide range of capacities and thermal lifts. Thus, partially, the novelty introduced in the paper is the investigation based on a seasonal performance approach, following the method prescribed in a recent European standard (EN 12309). The overall result is a modest variation in the seasonal performance for analyzed cycles, from 1.427 (single-effect) to 1.493 (vapor-exchange).

Paper Detail
167
downloads
833
10011011
Human Factors Considerations in New Generation Fighter Planes to Enhance Combat Effectiveness
Abstract:

Role of fighter planes in modern network centric military warfare scenarios has changed significantly in the recent past. New generation fighter planes have multirole capability of engaging both air and ground targets with high precision. Multirole aircraft undertakes missions such as Air to Air combat, Air defense, Air to Surface role (including Air interdiction, Close air support, Maritime attack, Suppression and Destruction of enemy air defense), Reconnaissance, Electronic warfare missions, etc. Designers have primarily focused on development of technologies to enhance the combat performance of the fighter planes and very little attention is given to human factor aspects of technologies. Unique physical and psychological challenges are imposed on the pilots to meet operational requirements during these missions. Newly evolved technologies have enhanced aircraft performance in terms of its speed, firepower, stealth, electronic warfare, situational awareness, and vulnerability reduction capabilities. This paper highlights the impact of emerging technologies on human factors for various military operations and missions. Technologies such as ‘cooperative knowledge-based systems’ to aid pilot’s decision making in military conflict scenarios as well as simulation technologies to enhance human performance is also studied as a part of research work. Current and emerging pilot protection technologies and systems which form part of the integrated life support systems in new generation fighter planes is discussed. System safety analysis application to quantify the human reliability in military operations is also studied.

Paper Detail
194
downloads
832
10010961
Creation of GaxCo1-xZnSe0.4 (x = 0.1, 0.3, 0.5) Nanoparticles Using Pulse Laser Ablation Method
Abstract:

To date, nanomaterials have received extensive attention over the years because of their wide application. Various nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, nanowire, nanoring, nanostars and other nanostructures have begun to be systematically studied. The preparation of these materials by chemical methods is not only costly, but also has a long cycle and high toxicity. At the same time, preparation of nanoparticles of multi-doped composites has been limited due to the special structure of the materials. In order to prepare multi-doped composites with the same structure as macro-materials and simplify the preparation method, the GaxCo1-xZnSe0.4 (x = 0.1, 0.3, 0.5) nanoparticles are prepared by Pulse Laser Ablation (PLA) method. The particle component and structure are systematically investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectra, which show that the success of our preparation and the same concentration between nanoparticles (NPs) and target. Morphology of the NPs characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) indicates the circular-shaped particles in preparation. Fluorescence properties are reflected by PL spectra, which demonstrate the best performance in concentration of Ga0.3Co0.3ZnSe0.4. Therefore, all the results suggest that PLA is promising to prepare the multi-NPs since it can modulate performance of NPs.

Paper Detail
128
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831
10011088
The Layout Analysis of Handwriting Characters and the Fusion of Multi-style Ancient Books’ Background
Abstract:

Ancient books are significant culture inheritors and their background textures convey the potential history information. However, multi-style texture recovery of ancient books has received little attention. Restricted by insufficient ancient textures and complex handling process, the generation of ancient textures confronts with new challenges. For instance, training without sufficient data usually brings about overfitting or mode collapse, so some of the outputs are prone to be fake. Recently, image generation and style transfer based on deep learning are widely applied in computer vision. Breakthroughs within the field make it possible to conduct research upon multi-style texture recovery of ancient books. Under the circumstances, we proposed a network of layout analysis and image fusion system. Firstly, we trained models by using Deep Convolution Generative against Networks (DCGAN) to synthesize multi-style ancient textures; then, we analyzed layouts based on the Position Rearrangement (PR) algorithm that we proposed to adjust the layout structure of foreground content; at last, we realized our goal by fusing rearranged foreground texts and generated background. In experiments, diversified samples such as ancient Yi, Jurchen, Seal were selected as our training sets. Then, the performances of different fine-turning models were gradually improved by adjusting DCGAN model in parameters as well as structures. In order to evaluate the results scientifically, cross entropy loss function and Fréchet Inception Distance (FID) are selected to be our assessment criteria. Eventually, we got model M8 with lowest FID score. Compared with DCGAN model proposed by Radford at el., the FID score of M8 improved by 19.26%, enhancing the quality of the synthetic images profoundly.

Paper Detail
86
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830
10010833
Current Status of Industry 4.0 in Material Handling Automation and In-house Logistics
Abstract:
In the last decade, a new industrial revolution seems to be emerging, supported -once again- by the rapid advancements of Information Technology in the areas of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication permitting large numbers of intelligent devices, e.g. sensors to communicate with each other and take decisions without any or minimum indirect human intervention. The advent of these technologies have triggered the emergence of a new category of hybrid (cyber-physical) manufacturing systems, combining advanced manufacturing techniques with innovative M2M applications based on the Internet of Things (IoT), under the umbrella term Industry 4.0. Even though the topic of Industry 4.0 has attracted much attention during the last few years, the attempts of providing a systematic literature review of the subject are scarce. In this paper, we present the authors’ initial study of the field with a special focus on the use and applications of Industry 4.0 principles in material handling automations and in-house logistics. Research shows that despite the vivid discussion and attractiveness of the subject, there are still many challenges and issues that have to be addressed before Industry 4.0 becomes standardized and widely applicable.
Paper Detail
301
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829
10010838
A Survey of Key Challenges of Adopting Agile in Global Software Development: A Case Study with Malaysia Perspective
Authors:
Abstract:
Agile methodology is the current most popular technique in software development projects. Agile methods in software development bring optimistic impact on software performances, quality and customer satisfaction. There are some organizations and small-medium enterprises adopting agile into their local software development projects as well as in distributed software development projects. Adopting agile methods in local software development projects is valuable. However, agile global software deployment needs an attention. There are different key challenges in agile global software development that need to resolve and enhance the global software development cycles. The proposed systematic literature review investigates all key challenges of agile in global software development. Moreover, a quantitative methodology (an actual survey) targeted to present a real case scenario of these particular key challenges faced by one of the software houses that is BestWeb Malaysia. The outcomes of systematic literature and the results of quantitative methodology are compared with each other to evaluate if the key challenges pointed out in systematic review still exist. The proposed research and its exploratory results can assist small medium enterprises to avoid these challenges by adopting the best practices in their global software development projects. Moreover, it is helpful for novice researchers to get valuable information altogether.
Paper Detail
230
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828
10010750
Elimination of Low Order Harmonics in Multilevel Inverter Using Nature-Inspired Metaheuristic Algorithm
Abstract:

Nature-inspired metaheuristic algorithms, particularly those founded on swarm intelligence, have attracted much attention over the past decade. Firefly algorithm has appeared in approximately seven years ago, its literature has enlarged considerably with different applications. It is inspired by the behavior of fireflies. The aim of this paper is the application of firefly algorithm for solving a nonlinear algebraic system. This resolution is needed to study the Selective Harmonic Eliminated Pulse Width Modulation strategy (SHEPWM) to eliminate the low order harmonics; results have been applied on multilevel inverters. The final results from simulations indicate the elimination of the low order harmonics as desired. Finally, experimental results are presented to confirm the simulation results and validate the efficaciousness of the proposed approach.

Paper Detail
140
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827
10010757
Professional Management on Ecotourism and Conservation to Ensure the Future of Komodo National Park
Abstract:

Komodo National Park can be associated with the implementation of ecotourism program. The result of Principal Components Analysis is synthesized, tested, and compared to the basic concept of ecotourism with some field adjustments. Principal aspects of professional management should involve ecotourism and wildlife welfare. The awareness should be focused on the future of the Natural Park as 7th Wonder Natural Heritage and its wildlife components, free from human wastes and beneficial to wildlife and local people. According to perceptions and expectations of visitors from various results of tourism programs, the visitor’s perceptions showed that the tourism management in Komodo National Park should pay more attention to visitor's satisfaction and expectation and gives positive impact directly to the ecosystem sustainability, local community and transparency to the conservation program.

Paper Detail
293
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826
10010651
Measurement and Evaluation of Outdoor Lighting Environment at Night in Residential Community in China: A Case Study of Hangzhou
Abstract:

With the improvement of living quality and demand for nighttime activities in China, the current situation of outdoor lighting environment at night needs to be assessed. Lighting environment at night plays an important role to guarantee night safety. Two typical residential communities in Hangzhou were selected. A comprehensive test method of outdoor lighting environment at night was established. The road, fitness area, landscape, playground and entrance were included. Field measurements and questionnaires were conducted in these two residential communities. The characteristics of residents’ habits and the subjective evaluation on different aspects of outdoor lighting environment at night were collected via questionnaire. A safety evaluation system on the outdoor lighting environment at night in the residential community was established. The results show that there is a big difference in illumination in different areas. The lighting uniformities of roads cannot meet the requirement of lighting standard in China. Residents pay more attention to the lighting environment of the fitness area and road than others. This study can provide guidance for the design and management of outdoor lighting environment at night.

Paper Detail
195
downloads
825
10010657
Overtopping Protection Systems for Overflow Earth Dams
Abstract:

Overtopping is known as one the most important reasons for the failure of earth dams. In some cases, it has resulted in heavy damages and losses. Therefore, enhancing the safety of earth dams against overtopping has received much attention in the past four decades. In this paper, at first, the overtopping phenomena and its destructive consequences will be introduced. Then, overtopping failure mechanism of embankments will be described. Finally, different types of protection systems for stabilization of earth dams against overtopping will be presented. These include timber cribs, riprap and gabions, reinforced earth, roller compacted concrete, and the precast concrete blocks.

Paper Detail
213
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824
10010684
Clinical Utility of Salivary Cytokines for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Abstract:
The goal of this study was to examine the possibility of salivary cytokines for the screening of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. We carried out a case-control study, including 19 children with ADHD and 17 healthy children (controls). A multiplex bead array immunoassay was used to conduct a multi-analysis of 27 different salivary cytokines. Six salivary cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, IL12p70, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)) were significantly associated with the presence of ADHD (p < 0.05). An informative salivary cytokine panel was developed using VEGF by logistic regression analysis (odds ratio: 0.251). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that assessment of a panel using VEGF showed “good” capability for discriminating between ADHD patients and controls (area under the curve: 0.778). ADHD has been hypothesized to be associated with reduced cerebral blood flow in the frontal cortex, due to reduced VEGF levels. Our study highlights the possibility of utilizing differential salivary cytokine levels for point-of-care testing (POCT) of biomarkers in children with ADHD.
Paper Detail
152
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823
10010685
Quantification of Biomethane Potential from Anaerobic Digestion of Food Waste at Vaal University of Technology
Abstract:

The global urbanisation and worldwide economic growth have caused a high rate of food waste generation, resulting in environmental pollution. Food waste disposed on landfills decomposes to produce methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas. Inadequate waste management practices contribute to food waste polluting the environment. Thus effective organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) management and treatment are attracting widespread attention in many countries. This problem can be minimised by the employment of anaerobic digestion process, since food waste is rich in organic matter and highly biodegradable, resulting in energy generation and waste volume reduction. The current study investigated the Biomethane Potential (BMP) of the Vaal University of Technology canteen food waste using anaerobic digestion. Tests were performed on canteen food waste, as a substrate, with total solids (TS) of 22%, volatile solids (VS) of 21% and moisture content of 78%. The tests were performed in batch reactors, at a mesophilic temperature of 37 °C, with two different types of inoculum, primary and digested sludge. The resulting CH4 yields for both food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge were equal, being 357 Nml/g VS. This indicated that food waste form this canteen is rich in organic and highly biodegradable. Hence it can be used as a substrate for the anaerobic digestion process. The food waste with digested sludge and primary sludge both fitted the first order kinetic model with k for primary sludge inoculated food waste being 0.278 day-1 with R2 of 0.98, whereas k for digested sludge inoculated food waste being 0.034 day-1, with R2 of 0.847.

Paper Detail
234
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822
10010566
Investigating the Effective Parameters in Determining the Type of Traffic Congestion Pricing Schemes in Urban Streets
Abstract:
Traffic congestion pricing – as a strategy in travel demand management in urban areas to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and noise pollution – has drawn many attentions towards itself. Unlike the satisfying findings in this method, there are still problems in determining the best functional congestion pricing scheme with regard to the situation. The so-called problems in this process will result in further complications and even the scheme failure. That is why having proper knowledge of the significance of congestion pricing schemes and the effective factors in choosing them can lead to the success of this strategy. In this study, first, a variety of traffic congestion pricing schemes and their components are introduced; then, their functional usage is discussed. Next, by analyzing and comparing the barriers, limitations and advantages, the selection criteria of pricing schemes are described. The results, accordingly, show that the selection of the best scheme depends on various parameters. Finally, based on examining the effective parameters, it is concluded that the implementation of area-based schemes (cordon and zonal) has been more successful in non-diversion of traffic. That is considering the topology of the cities and the fact that traffic congestion is often created in the city centers, area-based schemes would be notably functional and appropriate.
Paper Detail
173
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821
10010595
Amino Acid Based Biodegradable Amphiphilic Polymers and Micelles as Drug Delivery Systems: Synthesis and Study
Abstract:

Nanotherapy is an actual newest mode of treatment numerous diseases using nanoparticles (NPs) loading with different pharmaceuticals. NPs of biodegradable polymeric micelles (PMs) are gaining increased attention for their numerous and attractive abilities to be used in a variety of applications in the various fields of medicine. The present paper deals with the synthesis of a class of biodegradable micelle-forming polymers, namely ABA triblock-copolymer in which A-blocks represent amino-poly(ethylene glycol) (H2N-PEG) and B-block is biodegradable amino acid-based poly(ester amide) constituted of α-amino acid – L-phenylalanine. The obtained copolymer formed micelles of 70±4 nm size at 10 mg/mL concentration.

Paper Detail
182
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820
10010631
The Role of Organizational Culture in Facilitating Employee Job Satisfaction in Emerald Group
Abstract:

The importance of having a good organizational culture that supports employee job satisfaction has fascinated both the business and academic world because of a tantalizing promise: culture can be fundamental to the enhancement of financial performance. This promise has led to growing interest for both researchers and practitioners in attempting to understand the influence of organizational culture on employees’ satisfaction and organizational performance. Even though the relationship between organizational culture and employee job satisfaction have gained attention in the literature, the majority of studies have been conducted within manufacturing organizations and tend to oversee the impact of culture on employee job satisfaction in a service-based environment. Thus, the main driving force of this study was to explore the role of organizational culture types in facilitating employee job satisfaction at Emerald Publishing Group. Interviews qualitative data analysis indicated that Emerald’s culture dominated by adhocracy and clan culture values. In addition, the findings provided evidence, which demonstrated that group and adhocracy organizational culture types play key roles in facilitating employee job satisfaction in a service-based environment.

Paper Detail
516
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819
10010640
The Effectiveness of Therapeutic Exercise on Motor Skills and Attention of Male Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) involve myriad aberrant perceptual, cognitive, linguistic, and social behaviors. The term spectrum emphasizes that the disabilities associated with ASD fall on a continuum from relatively mild to severe. People with ASD may display stereotyped behaviors such as twirling, spinning objects, flapping the hands, and rocking. The individuals with ASD exhibit communication problems due to repetitive/restricted behaviors. Children with ASD who lack the motivation to learn, who do not enjoy physical challenges, or whose sensory perception results in confusing or unpleasant feedback from movement may not become sufficiently motivated to practice motor activities. As a result, they may show both a delay in developing certain motor skills. Additionally, attention is an important component of learning. As far as children with ASD have problems in joint attention, many education-based programs are needed to consider some aspects of attention and motor activities development for students with ASD. These programs focus on the basic movement skills that are crucial for the future development of the more complex skills needed in games, dance, sports, gymnastics, active play, and recreational physical activities. The purpose of the present research was to determine the effectiveness of therapeutic exercise on motor skills and attention of male students with ASD. This was an experimental study with a control group. The population consisted of 8-10 year-old male students with ASD and 30 subjects were selected randomly from an available center suitable for the children with ASD. They were evaluated by the Basic Motor Ability Test (BMAT) and Persian version of computerized Stroop color-word test and randomly assigned to an experimental and control group (15 students in per group). The experimental group participated in 16 therapeutic exercise sessions and received therapeutic exercise program (twice a week; each lasting for 45 minutes) designed based on the Spark motor program while the control group did not. All subjects were evaluated by BMAT and Stroop color-word test after the last session again. The collected data were analyzed by using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). The results of MANCOVA showed that experimental and control groups had a significant difference in motor skills and at least one of the components of attention (correct responses, incorrect responses, no responses, the reaction time of congruent words and reaction time of incongruent words in the Stroop test). The findings showed that the therapeutic exercise had a significant effect on motor skills and all components of attention in students with ASD. We can conclude that the therapeutic exercise led to promote the motor skills and attention of students with ASD, so it is necessary to design or plan such programs for ASD students to prevent their communication or academic problems.

Paper Detail
269
downloads
818
10010444
Achieving Environmentally Sustainable Supply Chain in Textile and Apparel Industries
Abstract:
Most of the manufacturing entities cause negative footprint to nature that demand due attention. Textile industries have one of the longest supply chains and bear the liability of significant environmental impact to our planet. Issues of environmental safety, scarcity of energy and resources, and demand for eco-friendly products have driven research to search for safe and suitable alternatives in apparel processing. Consumer awareness, increased pressure from fashion brands and actions from local legislative authorities have somewhat been able to improve the practices. Objective of this paper is to reveal the best selection of raw materials and methods of production, taking environmental sustainability into account. Methodology used in this study is exploratory in nature based on personal experience, field visits in the factories of Bangladesh and secondary sources. Findings are limited to exploring better alternatives to conventional operations of a Readymade Garment manufacturing, from fibre selection to final product delivery, therefore showing some ways of achieving greener environment in the supply chain of a clothing industry.
Paper Detail
448
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817
10010476
Scope, Relevance and Sustainability of Decentralized Renewable Energy Systems in Developing Economies: Imperatives from Indian Case Studies
Abstract:

‘Energy for all’, is a global issue of concern for the past many years. Despite the number of technological advancements and innovations, significant numbers of people are living without access to electricity around the world. India, an emerging economy, tops the list of nations having the maximum number of residents living off the grid, thus raising global attention in past few years to provide clean and sustainable energy access solutions to all of its residents. It is evident from developed economies that centralized planning and electrification alone is not sufficient for meeting energy security. Implementation of off-grid and consumer-driven energy models like Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) systems have played a significant role in meeting the national energy demand in developed nations. Cases of DRE systems have been reported in developing countries like India for the past few years. This paper attempts to profile the status of DRE projects in the Indian context with their scope and relevance to ensure universal electrification. Diversified cases of DRE projects, particularly solar, biomass and micro hydro are identified in different Indian states. Critical factors affecting the sustainability of DRE projects are extracted with their interlinkages in the context of developers, beneficiaries and promoters involved in such projects. Socio-techno-economic indicators are identified through similar cases in the context of DRE projects. Exploratory factor analysis is performed to evaluate the critical sustainability factors followed by regression analysis to establish the relationship between the dependent and independent factors. The generated EFA-Regression model provides a basis to develop the sustainability and replicability framework for broader coverage of DRE projects in developing nations in order to attain the goal of universal electrification with least carbon emissions.

Paper Detail
297
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816
10010483
EEG-Based Screening Tool for School Student’s Brain Disorders Using Machine Learning Algorithms
Abstract:

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, and autism affect millions of children worldwide, many of which are undiagnosed despite the fact that all of these disorders are detectable in early childhood. Late diagnosis can cause severe problems due to the late treatment and to the misconceptions and lack of awareness as a whole towards these disorders. Moreover, electroencephalography (EEG) has played a vital role in the assessment of neural function in children. Therefore, quantitative EEG measurement will be utilized as a tool for use in the evaluation of patients who may have ADHD, epilepsy, and autism. We propose a screening tool that uses EEG signals and machine learning algorithms to detect these disorders at an early age in an automated manner. The proposed classifiers used with epilepsy as a step taken for the work done so far, provided an accuracy of approximately 97% using SVM, Naïve Bayes and Decision tree, while 98% using KNN, which gives hope for the work yet to be conducted.

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361
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