The aim of this paper is to compare and discuss better classifier algorithm options for credit risk assessment by applying different Machine Learning techniques. Using records from a Brazilian financial institution, this study uses a database of 5,432 companies that are clients of the bank, where 2,600 clients are classified as non-defaulters, 1,551 are classified as defaulters and 1,281 are temporarily defaulters, meaning that the clients are overdue on their payments for up 180 days. For each case, a total of 15 attributes was considered for a one-against-all assessment using four different techniques: Artificial Neural Networks Multilayer Perceptron (ANN-MLP), Artificial Neural Networks Radial Basis Functions (ANN-RBF), Logistic Regression (LR) and finally Support Vector Machines (SVM). For each method, different parameters were analyzed in order to obtain different results when the best of each technique was compared. Initially the data were coded in thermometer code (numerical attributes) or dummy coding (for nominal attributes). The methods were then evaluated for each parameter and the best result of each technique was compared in terms of accuracy, false positives, false negatives, true positives and true negatives. This comparison showed that the best method, in terms of accuracy, was ANN-RBF (79.20% for non-defaulter classification, 97.74% for defaulters and 75.37% for the temporarily defaulter classification). However, the best accuracy does not always represent the best technique. For instance, on the classification of temporarily defaulters, this technique, in terms of false positives, was surpassed by SVM, which had the lowest rate (0.07%) of false positive classifications. All these intrinsic details are discussed considering the results found, and an overview of what was presented is shown in the conclusion of this study.
The differences in languages play a big role in cross-cultural communication. If meanings are not translated accurately, the risk can be crucial not only on an interpersonal level, but also on the international and political levels. The use of metaphorical language by politicians can cause great confusion, often leading to statements being misconstrued. In these situations, it is the translators who struggle to put forward the intended meaning with clarity and this makes translation an important field to study and analyze when it comes to cross-cultural communication. Owing to the growing importance of language and the power of translation in politics, this research analyzes part of President Bush’s speech in 2001 in which he used the word “Crusade” which caused his statement to be misconstrued. The research uses a discourse analysis of cross-cultural communication literature which provides answers supported by historical, linguistic, and communicative perspectives. The first finding indicates that the word ‘crusade’ carries different meaning and significance in the narratives of the Western world when compared to the Middle East. The second one is that, linguistically, maintaining cultural meanings through translation is quite difficult and challenging. Third, when it comes to the cross-cultural communication perspective, the common and frequent usage of literal translation is a sign of poor strategies being followed in translation training. Based on the example of Bush’s speech, this paper hopes to highlight the weak practices in translation in cross-cultural communication which are still commonly used across the world. Translation studies have to take issues such as this seriously and attempt to find a solution. In every language, there are words and phrases that have cultural, historical and social meanings that are woven into the language. Literal translation is not the solution for this problem because that strategy is unable to convey these meanings in the target language.
An important feature of the exploitation of associated gas as fuel for gas turbine engines is a declining supply. So when exploiting this resource, the divestment of prime movers is very important as the fuel supply diminishes with time. This paper explores the influence of engine degradation on the timing of divestments. Hypothetical but realistic gas turbine engines were modelled with Turbomatch, the Cranfield University gas turbine performance simulation tool. The results were deployed in three degradation scenarios within the TERA (Techno-economic and environmental risk analysis) framework to develop economic models. An optimisation with Genetic Algorithms was carried out to maximize the economic benefit. The results show that degradation will have a significant impact. It will delay the divestment of power plants, while they are running less efficiently. Over a 20 year investment, a decrease of $0.11bn, $0.26bn and $0.45bn (billion US dollars) were observed for the three degradation scenarios as against the clean case.
The existing legal gap regarding thes treatment and final disposal of industrial effluents in Brazil promotes legal uncertainty. The government has not structured itself to guarantee environmental protection. The current legal system and public policies must guarantee the protection of bodies of water and an effective treatment of industrial effluents. This is because economic progress, eco-efficiency and industrial ecology are inseparable. The lack of protection for the water bodies weakens environmental protection, with abuses by companies that do not give due treatment to their effluents, or fail to present the water balance of their factories. It is considered necessary to enact a specific law on industrial effluents related to a National Industrial Effluent Policy, because it is the location of the largest Integrated Industrial Complex in the Southern Hemisphere. The regulation of this subject cannot be limited by decrees of the local Executive Branch, allowing the inspection of the industrial activity or enterprise to be affected fundamentally by environmental self-control, or by private institutions.
Water plays a major role in maintaining life on earth, but it can also serve as a matrix for pathogenic organisms, posing substantial health threats to humans. Although, outbreaks of diseases attributable to drinking water may not be common in industrialized countries, they still occur and can lead to serious acute, chronic, or sometimes fatal health consequences. The analysis of drinking water samples from different regions of Kuwait was performed in this study for bacterial and viral contaminations. Drinking tap water samples were collected from 15 different locations of the six Kuwait governorates. All samples were analyzed by confocal microscopy for the presence of bacteria. The samples were cultured in vitro to detect cultivable organisms. DNA was isolated from the cultured organisms and the identity of the bacteria was determined by sequencing the bacterial 16S rRNA genes, followed by BLAST analysis in the database of NCBI, USA. RNA was extracted from water samples and analyzed by real-time PCR for the detection of viruses with potential health risks, i.e. Astrovirus, Enterovirus, Norovirus, Rotavirus, and Hepatitis A. Confocal microscopy showed the presence of bacteria in some water samples. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing of culture grown organisms, followed by BLAST analysis, identified the presence of several non-pathogenic bacterial species. However, one sample had Acinetobacter baumannii, which often causes opportunistic infections in immunocompromised people, but none of the studied viruses could be detected in the drinking water samples analyzed. The results indicate that drinking water samples analyzed from various locations in Kuwait are relatively safe for drinking and do not contain many harmful pathogens.
Generative Adversarial Net (GAN) has proved to be a powerful machine learning tool in image data analysis and generation. In this paper, we propose to use Conditional Generative Adversarial Net (CGAN) to learn and simulate time series data. The conditions include both categorical and continuous variables with different auxiliary information. Our simulation studies show that CGAN has the capability to learn different types of normal and heavy-tailed distributions, as well as dependent structures of different time series. It also has the capability to generate conditional predictive distributions consistent with training data distributions. We also provide an in-depth discussion on the rationale behind GAN and the neural networks as hierarchical splines to establish a clear connection with existing statistical methods of distribution generation. In practice, CGAN has a wide range of applications in market risk and counterparty risk analysis: it can be applied to learn historical data and generate scenarios for the calculation of Value-at-Risk (VaR) and Expected Shortfall (ES), and it can also predict the movement of the market risk factors. We present a real data analysis including a backtesting to demonstrate that CGAN can outperform Historical Simulation (HS), a popular method in market risk analysis to calculate VaR. CGAN can also be applied in economic time series modeling and forecasting. In this regard, we have included an example of hypothetical shock analysis for economic models and the generation of potential CCAR scenarios by CGAN at the end of the paper.
Perceived risks play a major role in consumer intentions, behaviors, attitudes, and decisions about online shopping in the KSA. This paper investigates the influence of six perceived risk dimensions on Saudi consumers: product risk, information risk, financial risk, privacy and security risk, delivery risk, and terms and conditions risk empirically. To ensure the success of this study, a random survey was distributed to reflect the consumers’ perceived risk and to enable the generalization of the results. Data were collected from 323 respondents in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA): 50 who had never shopped online and 273 who had done so. The results indicated that all six risks influenced the respondents’ perceptions of online shopping. The non-online shoppers perceived financial and delivery risks as the most significant barriers to online shopping. This was followed closely by performance, information, and privacy and security risks. Terms and conditions were perceived as less significant. The online consumers considered delivery and performance risks to be the most significant influences on internet shopping. This was followed closely by information and terms and conditions. Financial and privacy and security risks were perceived as less significant. This paper argues that introducing adequate legal solutions to addressing related problems arising from this study is an urgent need. This may enhance consumer trust in the KSA online market, increase consumers’ intentions regarding online shopping, and improve consumer protection.
This study explores how management addresses psychosocial risks in seven teams of engineers and technicians in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. The sample is from an ongoing quasi-experiment about psychosocial risk management in a manufacturing company in Sweden. Each of the seven teams belongs to one of two clusters: a positive cluster or a negative cluster. The positive cluster reports a significantly positive change in psychosocial risk levels between two time-points and the negative cluster reports a significantly negative change. The data are collected using semi-structured interviews. The results of the computer aided thematic analysis show that there are more differences than similarities when comparing the risk treatment actions taken between the two clusters. Findings show that the managers in the positive cluster use more enabling actions that foster and support formal and informal relationship building. In contrast, managers that use less enabling actions hinder the development of positive group processes and contribute negative changes in psychosocial risk levels. This exploratory study sheds some light on how management can influence significant positive and negative changes in psychosocial risk levels during a risk management process.
Chronic venous diseases (CVD) are one of the common, though controversial problems in medicine. It is generally accepted that this pathology predominantly occurs in women. The issue of excessive weight as a risk factor for CVD is still considered debatable. To the author's best knowledge, today in Ukraine, there are barely any studies that describe the relationship between CVD and obesity. Our study aims to determine the association between age, body composition, obesity and CVD in postmenopausal women. The study was conducted in D. F. Chebotarev Institute of Gerontology, National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine. We have examined 96 postmenopausal women aged 46-85 years (mean age – 66.19 ± 0.96 years), who were divided into two groups depending on the presence of CVD. The women were examined by vascular surgeons. For the diagnosis of CVD, we used clinical, anatomic and pathophysiologic classifications. We also performed clinical, ultrasound and densitometry examinations. We found that the CVD frequency in postmenopausal women increased with age (from 72% in those aged 45-59 years to 84% in those aged 75-89 years). A significant correlation between the total fat mass and age was determined in postmenopausal women with CVD. We also observed a significant correlation between the lower extremities’ fat mass and age in both examined groups. A significant correlation between body mass index and age was determined only in postmenopausal women without CVD.
The concentration of heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Fe, Zn, Cu) in Clarias gariepinus collected from fish markets; Fanibi (Station I) and Fiwasaye (Station II) in Akure metropolis, Ondo state, Nigeria were investigated to ascertain the safety for the consumers. 60 samples were collected from the two markets in three batches (I, II, III) for a period of six months and analyzed for heavy metals in the gills and muscles of the fish. Also, the Health Risk Index (HRI) was used to determine the health risk of these metals to the consumer. The results showed that the investigated metal concentration was higher in station I than station II, except Pb having higher concentration in station II than station I. In both stations, the highest concentration of Fe was recorded in the gills (12.60 ± 1.51; 6.94 ± 1.38) and muscles (3.72 ± 0.09; 3.86 ± 0.33) of samples in batch I. Also, the HRI revealed that consumption of Clarias gariepinus from these study areas did not pose any health risk (HRI < 1). In addition, concentrations of the heavy metals were all below the permissible limits recommended by FAO/WHO.
The inability of organizations to put in place management control measures for Internet of Things (IoT) complexities persists to be a risk concern. Policy makers have been left to scamper in finding measures to combat these security and privacy concerns. IoT forensics is a cumbersome process as there is no standardization of the IoT products, no or limited historical data are stored on the devices. This paper highlights why IoT forensics is a unique adventure and brought out the legal challenges encountered in the investigation process. A quadrant model is presented to study the conflicting aspects in IoT forensics. The model analyses the effectiveness of forensic investigation process versus the admissibility of the evidence integrity; taking into account the user privacy and the providers’ compliance with the laws and regulations. Our analysis concludes that a semi-automated forensic process using machine learning, could eliminate the human factor from the profiling and surveillance processes, and hence resolves the issues of data protection (privacy and confidentiality).
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.
This research seeks to identify how money laundering activities are executed through the real estate sector. This article provides academics with literature on the topic and provides scholars, and practitioners with a better understanding of the risks and challenges involved. Data are gathered through survey in the Middle East and North Africa region and review of the available research. The results of the analysis will help identifying the factors attracting criminals to the real estate sector and develop an understanding of the methods used to launder illicit funds through this sector and the indicators of suspicion for reporting entities. Further analysis reveals the risks posed by money laundering and terrorist financing on the real estate sector and challenges facing states in this regard.
One of the most risky areas in Aswan is Abouelreesh, which is suffering from flood disasters, as heavy deluge inundates urban areas causing considerable damage to buildings and infrastructure. Moreover, the main problem was the urban sprawl towards this risky area. This paper aims to identify the urban areas located in the risk areas prone to flash floods. Analyzing this phenomenon needs a lot of data to ensure satisfactory results; however, in this case the official data and field data were limited, and therefore, free sources of satellite data were used. This paper used ArcGIS tools to obtain the storm water drains network by analyzing DEM files. Additionally, historical imagery in Google Earth was studied to determine the age of each building. The last step was to overlay the urban area layer and the storm water drains layer to identify the vulnerable areas. The results of this study would be helpful to urban planners and government officials to make the disasters risk estimation and develop primary plans to recover the risky area, especially urban areas located in torrents.
The growth and expansion of the industrial facilities comes proportional to the market increasing demand of products and services. Furthermore, raw material producers such as oil companies usually undergo massive revamping projects to maintain a synchronized supply. These revamping projects are usually delivered through challenging construction projects held and associated with daily site risks related to the construction process. Henceforth, a case study related to these risks and corresponding on-spot corrective measurements has been made on a certain number of construction project contractors at Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) to derive the benefits and overall effectiveness of the on-spot corrective measurements during the construction phase of a project, and how would the same help in avoiding major incidents, ensuring a smooth, cost effective and on time delivery of the project. Findings of this case study shall have an added value to the overall risk management process by minimizing the daily site risks that may affect the project lead time, resulting in an undisturbed on-site construction process.
A well-defined insulin resistance (IR) is one of the requirements for the good understanding and evaluation of metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, underlying causes for the development of IR are not clear. Endothelial dysfunction also participates in the pathogenesis of this disease. IR indices are being determined in various obesity groups and also in diagnosing MetS. Components of MetS have been well established and used in adult studies. However, there are some ambiguities particularly in the field of pediatrics. The aims of this study were to compare the performance of fasting blood glucose (FBG), one of MetS components, with some other IR indices and check whether FBG may be replaced by some other parameter or ratio for a better evaluation of pediatric MetS. Five-hundred and forty-nine children were involved in the study. Five groups were constituted. Groups 109, 40, 100, 166, 110, 24 children were included in normal-body mass index (N-BMI), overweight (OW), obese (OB), morbid obese (MO), MetS with two components (MetS2) and MetS with three components (MetS3) groups, respectively. Age and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used for the classification of obesity groups. MetS components were determined. Aside from one of the MetS components-FBG, eight measures of IR [homeostatic model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR), homeostatic model assessment of beta cell function (HOMA-%β), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), insulin (INS), insulin-to-FBG ratio (INS/FBG), the product of fasting triglyceride and glucose (TyG) index, McAuley index] were evaluated. Statistical analyses were performed. A p value less than 0.05 was accepted as the statistically significance degree. Mean values for BMI of the groups were 15.7 kg/m2, 21.0 kg/m2, 24.7 kg/m2, 27.1 kg/m2, 28.7 kg/m2, 30.4 kg/m2 for N-BMI, OW, OB, MO, MetS2, MetS3, respectively. Differences between the groups were significant (p < 0.001). The only exception was MetS2-MetS3 couple, in spite of an increase detected in MetS3 group. Waist-to-hip circumference ratios significantly differed only for N-BMI vs, OB, MO, MetS2; OW vs MO; OB vs MO, MetS2 couples. ALT and ALT/AST did not differ significantly among MO-MetS2-MetS3. HOMA-%β differed only between MO and MetS2. INS/FBG, McAuley index and TyG were not significant between MetS2 and MetS3. HOMA-IR and FBG were not significant between MO and MetS2. INS was the only parameter, which showed statistically significant differences between MO-MetS2, MO-MetS3, and MetS2-MetS3. In conclusion, these findings have suggested that FBG presently considered as one of the five MetS components, may be replaced by INS during the evaluation of pediatric morbid obesity and MetS.
Building information modelling (BIM) is a new technology to enhance the efficiency of project management in the construction industry. In addition to the potential benefits of this useful technology, there are various risks and obstacles to applying it in construction projects. In this study, a decision making approach is presented for risk assessment in BIM adoption in construction projects. Various risk factors of exerting BIM during different phases of the project lifecycle are identified with the help of Delphi method, experts’ opinions and related literature. Afterward, Shannon’s entropy and Fuzzy TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Situation) are applied to derive priorities of the identified risk factors. Results indicated that lack of knowledge between professional engineers about workflows in BIM and conflict of opinions between different stakeholders are the risk factors with the highest priority.
Since 2011, in the name of ‘humanitarianism’ and deaths in the Mediterranean Sea, the legal and political justification delivered by Greece to manage the refugee crisis is pre-emptive interception. Although part of the EU, Greece adopted its own strategy. These practices have also created high risks for migrants generally resulting in non-rescue episodes and push-back practices having lethal consequences to the life of the irregular migrant. Thus, this article provides an analysis of the Greek ‘compassionate border work’ policy, a practice known as push-back. It is argued that these push-back practices violate international obligations, notably the ‘right to life’, the ‘duty to search and rescue’, the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and the principle of non-refoulement.
Uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the lung in the form of tumor can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Patients with Lung Cancer (LC) have an average of five years life span expectancy provided diagnosis, detection and prediction, which reduces many treatment options to risk of invasive surgery increasing survival rate. Computed Tomography (CT), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for earlier detection of cancer are common. Gaussian filter along with median filter used for smoothing and noise removal, Histogram Equalization (HE) for image enhancement gives the best results without inviting further opinions. Lung cavities are extracted and the background portion other than two lung cavities is completely removed with right and left lungs segmented separately. Region properties measurements area, perimeter, diameter, centroid and eccentricity measured for the tumor segmented image, while texture is characterized by Gray-Level Co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM) functions, feature extraction provides Region of Interest (ROI) given as input to classifier. Two levels of classifications, K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) is used for determining patient condition as normal or abnormal, while Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) is used for identifying the cancer stage is employed. Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) algorithm is used for the main feature extraction leading to best efficiency. The developed technology finds encouraging results for real time information and on line detection for future research.
The financial sector is exposed to the risk of cyber-attacks like any other industrial sector. Furthermore, the topic of CybeRisk (cyber risk) has become particularly relevant given that Information Technology (IT) attacks have increased drastically in recent years, and cannot be stopped by single organizations requiring a response at international and national level. IT risk is never a matter purely for the IT manager, although he clearly plays a key role. A bank's risk management function requires a thorough understanding of the evolving risks as well as the tools and practical techniques available to address them. Upon the request of European and national legislation regarding CybeRisk in the financial system, banks are therefore called upon to strengthen the operational model for CybeRisk management. This will require an important change with a more intense collaboration with the structures that deal with information security for the development of an ad hoc system for the evaluation and control of this type of risk. The aim of the work is to propose a framework for the management and control of CybeRisk that will bridge the gap in the literature regarding the understanding and consideration of CybeRisk as an integral part of business management. The IT function has a strong relevance in the management of CybeRisk, which is perceived mainly as operational risk, but with a positive tendency on the part of risk management to the identification of CybeRisk assessment methods that are increasingly complete, quantitative and able to better describe the possible impacts on the business. The paper provides answers to the research questions: Is it possible to define a CybeRisk governance structure able to support the comparison between risk and security? How can the relationships between IT assets be integrated into a cyberisk assessment framework to guarantee a system of protection and risks control? From a methodological point of view, this research uses a case study approach. The choice of “Monte dei Paschi di Siena” was determined by the specific features of one of Italy’s biggest lenders. It is chosen to use an intensive research strategy: an in-depth study of reality. The case study methodology is an empirical approach to explore a complex and current phenomenon that develops over time. The use of cases has also the advantage of allowing the deepening of aspects concerning the "how" and "why" of contemporary events, on which the scholar has little control. The research bases on quantitative data and qualitative information obtained through semi-structured interviews of an open-ended nature and questionnaires to directors, members of the audit committee, risk, IT and compliance managers, and those responsible for internal audit function and anti-money laundering. The added value of the paper can be seen in the development of a framework based on a mapping of IT assets from which it is possible to identify their relationships for purposes of a more effective management and control of cyber risk.
Decision-making occurs several times an hour when working in high risk industry and an erroneous choice might have undesirable outcomes for people and the environment surrounding the industrial plant. Industrial decisions are very often made in a context of acute stress. Time pressure is a crucial stressor leading decision makers sometimes to boost up the decision-making process and if it is not possible then shift to the simplest strategy. We thus found it interesting to update the characterization of the stress factors impairing decision-making at Chinon Nuclear Power Plant (France) in order to optimize decision making contexts and/or associated processes. The investigation was based on the analysis of reports addressing safety events over the last 3 years. Among 93 reports, those explicitly addressing decision-making issues were identified. Characterization of each event was undertaken in terms of three criteria: stressors, biases impairing decision making and weaknesses of the decision-making process. The statistical analysis showed that biases were distributed over 10 possibilities among which the hypothesis confirmation bias was clearly salient. No significant correlation was found between criteria. The analysis indicated that the main stressor was time pressure and highlights an unexpected form of stressor: the trust asymmetry principle of the expert. The analysis led to the conclusion that this stressor impaired decision-making from a psychological angle rather than from a physiological angle: it induces defensive bias of self-esteem, self-protection associated with a bias of confirmation. This leads to the hypothesis that this stressor can intervene in some cases without being detected, and to the hypothesis that other stressors of the same kind might occur without being detected too. Further investigations addressing these hypotheses are considered. The analysis also led to the conclusion that dealing with these issues implied i) decision-making methods being well known to the workers and automated and ii) the decision-making tools being well known and strictly applied. Training was thus adjusted.
Improving the performance of Winter Road Maintenance (WRM) can increase the traffic safety and reduce the cost as well as environmental impacts. This study evaluates the efficiency of WRM technique, named salting, in the Arctic area by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), which is a non-parametric linear method to measure the efficiencies of decision-making units (DMUs) based on handling multiple inputs and multiple outputs at the same time that their associated weights are not known. Here, roads are considered as DMUs for which the efficiency must be determined. The three input variables considered are traffic flow, road area and WRM cost. In addition, the two output variables included are level of safety in the roads and environment impacts resulted from WRM, which is also considered as an uncontrollable factor in the second scenario. The results show the performance of DMUs from the most efficient WRM to the inefficient/least efficient one and this information provides decision makers with technical support and the required suggested improvements for inefficient WRM, in order to achieve a cost-effective WRM and a safe road transportation during wintertime in the Arctic areas.
Microbial contamination of ready-to-eat foods and beverages sold by street vendors has become an important public health issue. In developing countries including South Africa, health risks related to such kinds of foods are thought to be common. Thus, this study assessed knowledge, attitude and practices of street food vendors. Street vendors in the city of Mangaung Metro were investigated in order to assess their knowledge, attitudes and handling practices. A semi-structured questionnaire and checklist were used in interviews to determine the status of the vending sites and associa. ted food-handling practices. Data was collected by means of a face-to-face interview. The majority of respondents were black females. Hundred percent (100%) of the participants did not have any food safety training. However, street vendors showed a positive attitude towards food safety. Despite the positive attitude, vendors showed some non-compliance when it comes to handling food. During the survey, it was also observed that the vending stalls lack basic infrastructures like toilets and potable water that is currently a major problem. This study indicates a need for improvements in the environmental conditions at these sites to prevent foodborne diseases. Moreover, based on the results observed food safety and food hygiene training or workshops for street vendors are highly recommended.
E-learning platforms, such as Blackboard have two major shortcomings: limited data capture as a result of the limitations of SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and lack of incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms which could lead to better course adaptations. With the recent development of Experience Application Programming Interface (xAPI), a large amount of additional types of data can be captured and that opens a window of possibilities from which online education can benefit. In a corporate setting, where companies invest billions on the learning and development of their employees, some learner behaviours can be troublesome for they can hinder the knowledge development of a learner. Behaviours that hinder the knowledge development also raise ambiguity about learner’s knowledge mastery, specifically those related to gaming the system. Furthermore, a company receives little benefit from their investment if employees are passing courses without possessing the required knowledge and potential compliance risks may arise. Using xAPI and rules derived from a state-of-the-art review, we identified three learner behaviours, primarily related to guessing, in a corporate compliance course. The identified behaviours are: trying each option for a question, specifically for multiple-choice questions; selecting a single option for all the questions on the test; and continuously repeating tests upon failing as opposed to going over the learning material. These behaviours were detected on learners who repeated the test at least 4 times before passing the course. These findings suggest that gauging the mastery of a learner from multiple-choice questions test scores alone is a naive approach. Thus, next steps will consider the incorporation of additional data points, knowledge estimation models to model knowledge mastery of a learner more accurately, and analysis of the data for correlations between knowledge development and identified learner behaviours. Additional work could explore how learner behaviours could be utilised to make changes to a course. For example, course content may require modifications (certain sections of learning material may be shown to not be helpful to many learners to master the learning outcomes aimed at) or course design (such as the type and duration of feedback).
This paper outlines the approaches taken to assess multi-hazard assessments. There is currently confusion in assessing multi-hazard impacts, and so this study aims to determine which of the available options are the most useful. The paper uses an international literature search, and analysis of current multi-hazard assessments and a case study to illustrate the effectiveness of the chosen method. Findings from this study will help those wanting to assess multi-hazards to undertake a straightforward approach. The paper is significant as it helps to interpret the various approaches and concludes with the preferred method. Many people in the world live in hazardous environments and are susceptible to disasters. Unfortunately, when a disaster strikes it is often compounded by additional cascading hazards, thus people would confront more than one hazard simultaneously. Hazards include natural hazards (earthquakes, floods, etc.) or cascading human-made hazards (for example, Natural Hazard Triggering Technological disasters (Natech) such as fire, explosion, toxic release). Multi-hazards have a more destructive impact on urban areas than one hazard alone. In addition, climate change is creating links between different disasters such as causing landslide dams and debris flows leading to more destructive incidents. Much of the prevailing literature deals with only one hazard at a time. However, recently sophisticated multi-hazard assessments have started to appear. Given that multi-hazards occur, it is essential to take multi-hazard risk assessment under consideration. This paper aims to review the multi-hazard assessment methods through articles published to date and categorize the strengths and disadvantages of using these methods in risk assessment. Napier City is selected as a case study to demonstrate the necessity of using multi-hazard risk assessments. In order to assess multi-hazard risk assessments, first, the current multi-hazard risk assessment methods were described. Next, the drawbacks of these multi-hazard risk assessments were outlined. Finally, the improvements to current multi-hazard risk assessments to date were summarised. Generally, the main problem of multi-hazard risk assessment is to make a valid assumption of risk from the interactions of different hazards. Currently, risk assessment studies have started to assess multi-hazard situations, but drawbacks such as uncertainty and lack of data show the necessity for more precise risk assessment. It should be noted that ignoring or partial considering multi-hazards in risk assessment will lead to an overestimate or overlook in resilient and recovery action managements.
The Canadian Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) use some portions of NUREG/CR-6850 in carrying out Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA). An assessment for the applicability of NUREG/CR-6850 to CANDU reactors was performed and a CANDU Fire PRA was introduced. There are 19 operating CANDU reactors in Canada at five sites (Bruce A, Bruce B, Darlington, Pickering and Point Lepreau). A fire load density survey was done for all Fire Safe Shutdown Analysis (FSSA) fire zones in all CANDU sites in Canada. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 557 proposes that a fire load survey must be conducted by either the weighing method or the inventory method or a combination of both. The combination method results in the most accurate values for fire loads. An updated CANDU Fire PRA model is demonstrated in this paper that includes the fuel survey in all Canadian CANDU stations. A qualitative screening step for the CANDU fire PRA is illustrated in this paper to include any fire events that can damage any part of the emergency power supply in addition to FSSA cables.
The construction industry and housing subsector are fraught with risks that have the potential of negatively impacting on the achievement of project objectives. The success or otherwise of most construction projects depends to large extent on how well these risks have been managed. The recent paradigm shift by the subsector to use of formal risk management approach in contrast to hitherto developed rules of thumb means that risks must not only be identified but also properly assessed and responded to in a systematic manner. The study focused on identifying risks associated with housing development projects and prioritisation assessment of the identified risks in order to provide basis for informed decision. The study used a three-step identification framework: review of literature for similar projects, expert consultation and questionnaire based survey to identify potential risk factors. Delphi survey method was employed in carrying out the relative prioritization assessment of the risks factors using computer-based Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) software. The results show that 19 out of the 50 risks significantly impact on housing development projects. The study concludes that although significant numbers of risk factors have been identified as having relevance and impacting to housing construction projects, economic risk group and, in particular, ‘changes in demand for houses’ is prioritised by most developers as posing a threat to the achievement of their housing development objectives. Unless these risks are carefully managed, their effects will continue to impede success in these projects. The study recommends the adoption and use of the combination of multi-technique identification framework and AHP prioritization assessment methodology as a suitable model for the assessment of risks in housing development projects.
Iraq is a middle income country where the road safety issue is considered one of the leading causes of deaths. To control the road risk issue, the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, General Statistical Organization started to organise a collection system of traffic accidents data with details related to their causes and severity. These data are published as an annual report. In this paper, a review of the available crash data in Iraq will be presented. The available data represent the rate of accidents in aggregated level and classified according to their types, road users’ details, and crash severity, type of vehicles, causes and number of causalities. The review is according to the types of models used in road safety studies and research, and according to the required road safety data in the road constructions tasks. The available data are also compared with the road safety dataset published in the United Kingdom as an example of developed country. It is concluded that the data in Iraq are suitable for descriptive and exploratory models, aggregated level comparison analysis, and evaluation and monitoring the progress of the overall traffic safety performance. However, important traffic safety studies require disaggregated level of data and details related to the factors of the likelihood of traffic crashes. Some studies require spatial geographic details such as the location of the accidents which is essential in ranking the roads according to their level of safety, and name the most dangerous roads in Iraq which requires tactic plan to control this issue. Global Road safety agencies interested in solve this problem in low and middle-income countries have designed road safety assessment methodologies which are basing on the road attributes data only. Therefore, in this research it is recommended to use one of these methodologies.
The International Accounting Standards Board updated the conceptual framework for financial reporting. The main reason behind it is to resolve the tasks of the accounting, which are caused by the market development and business-transactions of a new economic content. Also, the investors call for higher transparency of information and responsibility for the results in order to make a more accurate risk assessment and forecast. All these make it necessary to further develop the conceptual framework for financial reporting so that the users get useful information. The market development and certain shortcomings of the conceptual framework revealed in practice require its reconsideration and finding new solutions. Some issues and concepts, such as disclosure and supply of information, its qualitative characteristics, assessment, and measurement uncertainty had to be supplemented and perfected. The criteria of recognition of certain elements (assets and liabilities) of reporting had to be updated, too and all this is set out in the updated edition of the conceptual framework for financial reporting, a comprehensive collection of concepts underlying preparation of the financial statement. The main objective of conceptual framework revision is to improve financial reporting and development of clear concepts package. This will support International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to set common “Approach & Reflection” for similar transactions on the basis of mutually accepted concepts. As a result, companies will be able to develop coherent accounting policies for those transactions or events that are occurred from particular deals to which no standard is used or when standard allows choice of accounting policy.