In the last 20 years, Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) has shown its advantages in product development in different engineering areas such as automation, mechanical, civil and aerospace engineering in terms of digital design automation and cost reduction by automating repetitive design tasks through capturing, integrating, utilising and reusing the existing knowledge required in various aspects of the product design. However, in primary design stages, the descriptive information of a product is discrete and unorganized while knowledge is in various forms instead of pure data. Thus, it is crucial to have an integrated product model which can represent the entire product information and its associated knowledge at the beginning of the product design. One of the shortcomings of the existing product models is a lack of required knowledge representation in various aspects of product design and its mapping to an interoperable schema. To overcome the limitation of the existing product model and methodologies, two key factors are considered. First, the product model must have well-defined classes that can represent the entire product information and its associated knowledge. Second, the product model needs to be represented in an interoperable schema to ensure a steady data exchange between different product modelling platforms and CAD software. This paper introduced a method to provide a general product model as a generative representation of a product, which consists of the geometry information and non-geometry information, through a product modelling framework. The proposed method for capturing the knowledge from the designers through a knowledge file provides a simple and efficient way of collecting and transferring knowledge. Further, the knowledge schema provides a clear view and format on the data that needed to be gathered in order to achieve a unified knowledge exchange between different platforms. This study used a game-based platform to make product modelling environment accessible for non-engineers. Further the paper goes on to test use case based on the proposed game-based product modelling environment to validate the effectiveness among non-engineers.
The use of Digital Technologies in teaching and learning processes is currently a reality, namely in initial teacher training. This study aims at knowing the digital reality of students in initial teacher training in order to improve training in the educational use of ICT and to promote digital technology integration strategies in an educational context. It is part of the IFITIC Project "Innovate with ICT in Initial Teacher Training to Promote Methodological Renewal in Pre-school Education and in the 1st and 2nd Basic Education Cycle" which involves the School of Education, Polytechnic of Porto and Institute of Education, University of Minho. The Project aims at rethinking educational practice with ICT in the initial training of future teachers in order to promote methodological innovation in Pre-school Education and in the 1st and 2nd Cycles of Basic Education. A qualitative methodology was used, in which a questionnaire survey was applied to teachers in initial training. For data analysis, the techniques of content analysis with the support of NVivo software were used. The results point to the following aspects: a) future teachers recognize that they have more technical knowledge about ICT than pedagogical knowledge. This result makes sense if we consider the objective of Basic Education, so that the gaps can be filled in the Master's Course by students who wish to follow the teaching; b) the respondents are aware that the integration of digital resources contributes positively to students' learning and to the life of children and young people, which also promotes preparation in life; c) to be a teacher in the digital age there is a need for the development of digital literacy, lifelong learning and the adoption of new ways of teaching how to learn. Thus, this study aims to contribute to a reflection on the teaching profession in the digital age.
In this article we present a java implementation of video telephony using the SIP protocol (Session Initiation Protocol). After a functional analysis of the SIP protocol, we relied on the work of Italian researchers of University of Parma-Italy to acquire adequate libraries for the development of our own communication tool. In order to optimize the code and improve the prototype, we used, in an incremental approach, test techniques based on a static analysis based on the evaluation of the complexity of the software with the application of metrics and the number cyclomatic of Mccabe. The objective is to promote the emergence of local start-ups producing IP video in a well understood local context. We have arrived at the creation of a video telephony tool whose code is optimized.
Lesson study is used as an instructional technique to promote both student and faculty learning. However, little is known about the usefulness of learning communities in supporting results of lesson study on the self-efficacy and development for tenure-track faculty. This study investigated the impact of participation in a lesson study learning community on 34 new faculty members at a mid-size Midwestern University, specifically regarding implementing lesson study evaluations by new faculty on their reported self-efficacy. Results indicate that participation in a lesson study learning community significantly increased faculty members’ lesson study self-efficacy as well as grant and manuscript production over one academic year. Suggestions for future lesson study around faculty learning communities are discussed.
Road safety performance index is a composite index which combines various indicators of road safety into single number. Development of a road safety performance index using appropriate safety performance indicators is essential to enhance road safety. However, a road safety performance index in developing countries has not been given as much priority as needed. The primary objective of this research is to develop a general Road Safety Performance Index (RSPI) for developing countries based on the facility as well as behavior of road user. The secondary objectives include finding the critical inputs in the RSPI and finding the better method of making the index. In this study, the RSPI is developed by selecting four main safety performance indicators i.e., protective system (seat belt, helmet etc.), road (road width, signalized intersections, number of lanes, speed limit), number of pedestrians, and number of vehicles. Data on these four safety performance indicators were collected using observation survey on a 20 km road section of the National Highway N-125 road Taxila, Pakistan. For the development of this composite index, two methods are used: a) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and b) Equal Weighting (EW) method. PCA is used for extraction, weighting, and linear aggregation of indicators to obtain a single value. An individual index score was calculated for each road section by multiplication of weights and standardized values of each safety performance indicator. However, Simple Average technique was used for weighting and linear aggregation of indicators to develop a RSPI. The road sections are ranked according to RSPI scores using both methods. The two weighting methods are compared, and the PCA method is found to be much more reliable than the Simple Average Technique.
This document seeks to reflect on the urban project from its conceptual identity root. In the first instance, a proposal is made on how the city project is sustained from the conceptual root, from the logos: it opens a way to assimilate the imagination; what we imagine becomes a reality. In this way, firstly, the need to use language as a vehicle for transmitting the stories that sustain us as humanity can be deemed as an important social factor that enables us to social behavior. Secondly, the need to attend to the written language as a mechanism of power, as a means to consolidate a dominant ideology or a political position, is raised; as it served to carry out the modernization project, it is therefore addressed differences between the real and the literate city. Thus, the consolidated urban-architectural project is based on logos, the project, and planning. Considering the importance of materiality and its relation to subjective well-being contextualized from a socio-urban approach, we question ourselves into how we can look at something that is doubtful. From a philosophy perspective, the truth is considered to be nothing more than a matter of correspondence between the observer and the observed. To understand beyond the relative of the gaze, it is necessary to expose different perspectives since it depends on the understanding of what is observed and how it is critically analyzed. Therefore, the analysis of materiality, as a political field, takes a proposal based on this research in the principles in transgenesis: principle of communication, representativeness, security, health, malleability, availability of potentiality or development, conservation, sustainability, economy, harmony, stability, accessibility, justice, legibility, significance, consistency, joint responsibility, connectivity, beauty, among others. The (urban) human being acts because he wants to live in a certain way: in a community, in a fair way, with opportunity for development, with the possibility of managing the environment according to their needs, etc. In order to comply with this principle, it is necessary to design strategies from the principles in transgenesis, which must be named, defined, understood, and socialized by the urban being, the companies, and from themselves. In this way, the technical status of the city in the neoliberal present determines extraordinary conditions for reflecting on an almost emergency scenario created by the impact of cities that, far from being limited to resilient proposals, must aim at the reflection of the urban process that the present social model has generated. Therefore, can we rethink the paradigm of the perception of life quality in the current neoliberal model in the production of the character of public space related to the practices of being urban. What we are trying to do within this document is to build a framework to study under what logic the practices of the social system that make sense of the public space are developed, what the implications of the phenomena of the inscription of action and materialization (and its results over political action between the social and the technical system) are and finally, how we can improve the quality of life of individuals from the urban space.
India has the most year-round favorable sunny conditions along with the second-highest solar irradiation in the world, the country holds the potential to become the global solar hub. The solar and wind-based generation capacity has skyrocketed in India with the successful effort of the Ministry of Renewable Energy, whereas the potential of rooftop based solar power generation has yet to be explored for proposed solar cities in India. The research aims to analyze the gap in the energy scenario in Jodhpur City and proposes interventions of solar energy generation systems as a catalyst for urban development. The research is based on the system concept which deals with simulation between the city system as a whole and its interactions between different subsystems. A system-dynamics based mathematical model is developed by identifying the control parameters using regression and correlation analysis to assess the gap in energy sector. The base model validation is done using the past 10 years timeline data collected from secondary sources. Further, energy consumption and solar energy generation-based projection are made for testing different scenarios to conclude the feasibility for maintaining the city level energy independence till 2031.
Financial Inclusion is considered a key pillar for development in most countries around the world. Access to affordable financial services in a country’s economy can be a driver to overcome poverty and reduce income inequalities, and thus increase economic growth. Nevertheless, the number of financially excluded populations in developing countries continues to be very high. This paper explores the role of Financial Technology (Fintech) as a key driver for achieving financial inclusion in developing countries post the COVID-19 pandemic with an emphasis on four East African countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. The research paper is inspired by the positive disruption caused by the pandemic, which has compelled societies in East Africa to adapt and embrace the use of financial technology innovations, specifically Mobile Money Services (MMS), to access financial services. MMS has been further migrated and integrated with other financial technology innovations such as Mobile Banking, Micro Savings, and Loans, and Insurance, to mention but a few. These innovations have been adopted across key sectors such as commerce, health care, or agriculture. The research paper will highlight the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that are behind MMS, along with numerous innovative products and services being offered to the customers. It will also highlight the regulatory framework under which these innovations are being governed to ensure the safety of the customers' funds.
There has been a recent rise in ‘audience-centric’ and immersive storytelling. This indicates audiences are gaining interest in experiencing real adventure with everything that encompasses the struggle, the new friendships, skill development, and growth. This paper examines two themed alternate reality games created by a group of students at the University of Southern California as an experiment in how to design an adventure and to evaluate its impact on participants. The experiences combined immersive improvisational theatre and live-action roleplaying to create socially aware experiences within the timespan of four hours, using Harry Potter and mythology as themes. In each experiment, over 500 players simultaneously embarked on quests -a series of challenges including puzzle-solving, scavenger-hunting, and character interactions- to join a narrative faction. While playing, the participants were asked to choose faction alignments based on the characters they interacted with, as well as their own backgrounds and moral values. During the narrative finale, the impact of their individual choices on the larger story and game were revealed. After the conclusion of each experience, participants filled out questionnaires and were interviewed. Through this, it was discovered that participants developed transferable problem-solving, team-work, and persuasion skills. They also learned about the theme of the experience and reflected on their own moral values and judgment-making abilities after they realized the consequences of their actions in the game-world, inspiring some participants to make changes outside of it. This reveals that alternative reality games can lead to socialization, educational development, and real-world change in a variety of contexts when implemented correctly. This experiment has begun to discover the value of alternate reality games in a real-world context and to develop a reproducible format to continue to create such an impact.
Old age retirement pensions are an important concern among the Swiss but estimating one’s income after retirement is difficult due to the Swiss insurance system’s complexity. This project’s aim is to prepare for developing a digital platform that will allow individuals to plan for retirement in a simplified manner. The main objective of the platform will be to give individuals the tools to check that their savings and retirement benefits will allow them to continue the lifestyle to which they are accustomed once they are retired. The research results from qualitative (focus group) and quantitative (survey) methodologies, recommend the scope and functionalities for a digital platform to be developed. A main outcome is the need to limit the platform’s scope to old-age pension only (excluding survivors’ or disability pensions, for instance). Furthermore, an outcome regarding the functionalities is the proposition of scenarios such as early retirement, changes to income, or modifications to personal status. The development of the digital platform will be a subsequent project.
The challenging task in educational institutions is to maximize the high performance of students and minimize the failure rate of poor-performing students. An effective method to leverage this task is to know student learning patterns with highly influencing factors and get an early prediction of student learning outcomes at the timely stage for setting up policies for improvement. Educational data mining (EDM) is an emerging disciplinary field of data mining, statistics, and machine learning concerned with extracting useful knowledge and information for the sake of improvement and development in the education environment. The study is of this work is to propose techniques in EDM and integrate it into a web-based system for predicting poor-performing students. A comparative study of prediction models is conducted. Subsequently, high performing models are developed to get higher performance. The hybrid random forest (Hybrid RF) produces the most successful classification. For the context of intervention and improving the learning outcomes, a feature selection method MICHI, which is the combination of mutual information (MI) and chi-square (CHI) algorithms based on the ranked feature scores, is introduced to select a dominant feature set that improves the performance of prediction and uses the obtained dominant set as information for intervention. By using the proposed techniques of EDM, an academic performance prediction system (APPS) is subsequently developed for educational stockholders to get an early prediction of student learning outcomes for timely intervention. Experimental outcomes and evaluation surveys report the effectiveness and usefulness of the developed system. The system is used to help educational stakeholders and related individuals for intervening and improving student performance.
Bridges, as an essential part of road infrastructures, are affected by various deterioration mechanisms over time due to the changes in their performance. As changes in performance can have many negative impacts on society, it is essential to be able to evaluate and measure the performance of bridges throughout their life. This evaluation includes the development or the choice of the appropriate performance indicators, which, in turn, are measured based on the selection of appropriate models for the existing deterioration mechanism. The purpose of this article is a statistical study of indicators and deterioration mechanisms of bridges in order to discover further research capacities in bridges performance assessment. For this purpose, some of the most common indicators of bridge performance, including reliability, risk, vulnerability, robustness, and resilience, were selected. The researches performed on each index based on the desired deterioration mechanisms and hazards were comprehensively reviewed. In addition, the formulation of the indicators and their relationship with each other were studied. The research conducted on the mentioned indicators were classified from the point of view of deterministic or probabilistic method, the level of study (element level, object level, etc.), and the type of hazard and the deterioration mechanism of interest. For each of the indicators, a number of challenges and recommendations were presented according to the review of previous studies.
Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD) is a psychiatric disorder with unknown etiology that mainly affects children in the first three years of life. Alterations of amino acid levels are believed to contribute to ASD. The levels of six essential amino acids (methionine, histidine, valine, leucine, threonine, and phenylalanine), five conditional amino acids (proline, tyrosine, glutamine, cysteine, and cystine), and five non-essential amino acids (asparagine, aspartic acid, alanine, serine, and glutamic acid) in hair samples of children with ASD (n = 25) were analyzed and compared to corresponding levels in healthy age-matched controls (n = 25). The results showed that the levels of methionine, alanine, and asparagine were significantly lower in the hair samples of ASD group compared to those of the control group (p ≤ 0.05). However, the levels of glutamic acid were significantly higher in the ASD group than the control group (p ≤ 0.05). The current findings could contribute towards further understanding of ASD etiology and provide specialists with a hair amino acid profile utilized as a biomarker for early diagnosis of ASD. Such biomarkers could participate in future developments of therapies that reduce ASD-related symptoms.
The web created by sport in academics has made it difficult for it to be separated from adolescent educational development. The enthusiasm expressed towards sport by students in higher institutions is quite enormous. Primarily, academic performance should be the pride of all students but whether sports affect the academic performance of student-athletes remain an unknown fact. This study investigated the influence of sports participation on academic performance among Afe Babalola University student-athletes. Ex post facto research design was used. Two groups of students were used for the study; Student-athlete (SA) and Regular Students (RS). Purposive sampling technique was used to select 224 student-athletes, only those that are regular in the university sports team training were considered and their records (i.e. name, department, level, matriculation number, and phone number) were collected through the assistance of their coaches. For the regular students, purposive sampling technique was used to select 224 participants, only those that have no interest in sports were considered and their records were retrieved from the college registration officer. The first and second semester examination results of the two groups were compared in 10 general study courses without their knowledge, using descriptive statistics of frequency counts, mean, and standard deviation. Out of the 10 compared courses, 7 courses result showed no significant difference between students-athlete and regular students while student-athletes perform better in 3 practically oriented courses. Sports role in academics is quite significant. Exposure to sports can help build the confidence that athletes need especially when it comes to practical courses. Student-athletes can perform better in academics if the environment is friendly and not intimidating. Lecturers and coaches need to work together in order to build a well cultured and intelligent graduate.
Energy is the basic element for any country’s economic development. India is one of the most populated countries, and is dependent on fossil fuel and nuclear-based energy generation. The energy sector faces huge challenges and is dependent on the import of energy from neighboring countries to fulfill the gap in demand and supply. India has huge setbacks for efficient energy generation, distribution, and consumption, therefore they consume more quantity of energy to produce the same amount of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to the developed countries. Technology and technique use, availability, and affordability in the various sectors are varying according to their economic status. In this paper, an attempt is made to quantify the domestic electrical energy consumption in Jodhpur, India. Survey research methods have been employed and stratified sampling technique-based households were chosen for conducting the investigation. Pre-tested survey schedules are used to investigate the grassroots level study. The collected data are analyzed by employing statistical techniques. Thereafter, a multiple regression model is developed to understand the functions of total electricity consumption in the domestic sector corresponding to other independent variables including electrical appliances, age of the building, household size, education, etc. The study resulted in identifying the governing variable in energy consumption at the household level and their relationship with the efficiency of household-based electrical and energy appliances. The analysis is concluded with the recommendation for optimizing the gap in peak electrical demand and supply in the domestic sector.
Sustainability of construction projects is an important issue to be addressed since the sector will continue to be developed in the coming years, especially in developing countries. Thus, it is significant to discover approaches and solutions for improving sustainability. Currently, the construction industry is the largest consumer of natural resources. This is the same in other countries in the Gulf region, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has limited natural resources such as water, electricity, etc. Recently, the UAE has taken several actions in order to implement sustainable initiatives within its construction industry. Within the industry, the contractors’ role is significant in promoting sustainable development by taking the responsibility to minimize their negative impacts on the environment and society, and maximize their economic distribution. In this research, sustainability will be studied as an important key to bring competitive advantages to contracting organizations. The contractors should understand the need to improve their sustainable performance in order to expand their business competitiveness. Competitiveness at the construction project level refers to a contractor’s ability to compete for a project. There is less focus on how to improve contractors’ competitiveness by implementing sustainable construction practices. Based on an inclusive literature review on the relationship between sustainability performance and business competitiveness, this research will conduct a study of sustainable practice in the construction industry and the relationship between sustainability performance and business competitiveness in order to develop a framework for evaluating how contractors can improve their competitiveness in terms of more efficient processes, enhancements in productivity, and lower costs of compliance in order to reduce the initial project cost and obtain market opportunities in the UAE. The research findings will provide a framework that can be a useful guideline for contractors to develop their sustainability policy, strategy and practice for meeting the increased requirements for sustainable development in construction.
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.
The coordination and development of ecological-living-industrial land uses are the premise foundations for the formulation and implementation of the current land space planning, and more attention should be paid to plateau mountainous areas. This research is based on spatial analysis technology and landscape pattern index method taking Yuxi city, a typical mountainous plateau as the research area. By using relevant software such as ArcGIS10.5, Fragstats 4.2 and the four remote sensing images of Yuxi city in 1980, 1995, 2005 and 2015, the temporal-spatial evolution and differentiation pattern of ecological-living-industrial land applications have been discussed. The research results show that: (1) From the perspective of land use type change, ecological land of Yuxi city has been the main source of land from 1980 to 2015, which totally occupies more than 78%. During this period, the spatial structure of the ecological-living-industrial land changed significantly, namely, the living land. Its land area increased significantly from 0.83% of the total area in 1980 to 1.25% in 2015, the change range of ecological land and industrial land is relatively small. (2) In terms of land use landscape pattern transfer matrix, from 1980 to 2015, the industrial land and ecological land in Yuxi city have been gradually transferred to living land. (3) In the aspect of landscape pattern changes, various landscape pattern indexes of Yuxi city indicate that the fragmentation degree of landscape pattern of the ecological-living-industrial land in this region is increasing. The degree of agglomeration goes down, and the landscape types have changed from being relatively simple to relatively rich. The landscape is more diverse, but the patch size is uneven, meanwhile, the integrity of the ecological space is destroyed.
With the technology evolving every day and with the increase in global competition, industries are always under the pressure to be the best. They need to provide good quality products at competitive prices, when and how the customer wants them. In order to achieve this level of service, products and their respective supply chain processes need to be flexible and evolvable; otherwise changes will be extremely expensive, slow and with many combinatorial effects. Those combinatorial effects impact the whole organizational structure, from a management, financial, documentation, logistics and specially the information system Enterprise Requirement Planning (ERP) perspective. By applying the normalized system concept/theory to segments of the supply chain, we believe minimal effects, especially at the time of launching an organization global software project. The purpose of this paper is to point out that if an organization wants to develop a software from scratch or implement an existing ERP software for their business needs and if their business processes are normalized and modular then most probably this will yield to a normalized and modular software system that can be easily modified when the business evolves. Another important goal of this paper is to increase the awareness regarding the design of the business processes in a software implementation project. If the blueprints created are normalized then the software developers and configurators will use those modular blueprints to map them into modular software. This paper only prepares the ground for further studies; the above concept will be supported by going through the steps of developing, configuring and/or implementing a software system for an organization by using two methods: The Software Development Lifecycle method (SDLC) and the Accelerated SAP implementation method (ASAP). Both methods start with the customer requirements, then blue printing of its business processes and finally mapping those processes into a software system. Since those requirements and processes are the starting point of the implementation process, then normalizing those processes will end up in a normalizing software.
Over the last decades, biomedical engineering prosthetics become one of the most essential grounds. Prosthetic hands are rapidly evolving. Therefore, for designing prosthetic components, it is essential to improve quality such as make it affordable and improve patient comfort and mobility by making them lightweight and easy to wear. In this paper, we proposed a myoelectric controlled prosthesis hand. We can fabricate and manufacture customized cost-effective, small volumes of 3D printed hand which is interesting. The total weight of an adult hand is about 1000 gm including a battery. The prosthetic hand is built up with low-cost materials and techniques, the cost of manufacturing will be approximately US$145. The hand can grip objects of different shapes and sizes. The 3D printed hand can rotate its wrist like a human hand. The prosthetic hand is capable of showing some types of human gestures.
This survey was conducted to explore the hypothesis that excessive screen exposure combined with a subsequent decrease in parent-child interaction during infancy might be associated with autism. The main questions being asked are: Were children with autism exposed to long hours of screen time during the first 2 years of life? And what was the reason(s) for exposure at such an early age? Other variables were also addressed in this survey. An Arabic questionnaire was administered online (June 2019) via a Facebook page, relatively well-known in Arab countries. 1725 parents of children diagnosed with autism participated in this survey. Results show that 80.9% of children surveyed who were diagnosed with autism had been exposed to screens for long periods of time during the first 2 years of life. It can be inferred from the results of this survey that over-exposure to screens disrupt the parent-child interaction which is shown to be associated with ASD. The results of this survey highlight the harmful effects of screen exposure during infancy and the importance of parent-child interaction during the critical period of brain development. This paper attempts to further explore the connection between parent-child interaction and ASD, as well as serve as a call for further research and investigation of the relation between screens and parent-child interactions during infancy and Autism.