International Science Index

758
10011035
A Short Survey of Integrating Urban Agriculture and Environmental Planning
Abstract:

The growth of the agricultural sector is known as an essential way to achieve development goals in developing countries. Urban agriculture is a way to reduce the vulnerability of urban populations of the world toward global environmental change. It is a sustainable and efficient system to respond to the environmental, social and economic needs of the city, which leads to urban sustainability. Today, many local and national governments are developing urban agriculture as an effective tool in responding to challenges such as poverty, food security, and environmental problems. In this study, we follow a perspective based on urban agriculture literature in order to indicate the urban agriculture’s benefits in environmental planning strategies in non-western countries like Iran. The methodological approach adopted is based on qualitative approach and documentary studies. A total of 35 articles (mixed quantitative and qualitative methods studies) were studied in final analysis, which are published in relevant journals that focus on this subject. Studies show the wide range of positive benefits of urban agriculture on food security, nutrition outcomes, health outcomes, environmental outcomes, and social capital. However, there was no definitive conclusion about the negative effects of urban agriculture. This paper provides a conceptual and theoretical basis to know about urban agriculture and its roles in environmental planning, and also conclude the benefits of urban agriculture for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers who seek to create spaces in cities for implementation urban agriculture in future.

Paper Detail
116
downloads
757
10011058
Improving Fake News Detection Using K-means and Support Vector Machine Approaches
Abstract:

Fake news and false information are big challenges of all types of media, especially social media. There is a lot of false information, fake likes, views and duplicated accounts as big social networks such as Facebook and Twitter admitted. Most information appearing on social media is doubtful and in some cases misleading. They need to be detected as soon as possible to avoid a negative impact on society. The dimensions of the fake news datasets are growing rapidly, so to obtain a better result of detecting false information with less computation time and complexity, the dimensions need to be reduced. One of the best techniques of reducing data size is using feature selection method. The aim of this technique is to choose a feature subset from the original set to improve the classification performance. In this paper, a feature selection method is proposed with the integration of K-means clustering and Support Vector Machine (SVM) approaches which work in four steps. First, the similarities between all features are calculated. Then, features are divided into several clusters. Next, the final feature set is selected from all clusters, and finally, fake news is classified based on the final feature subset using the SVM method. The proposed method was evaluated by comparing its performance with other state-of-the-art methods on several specific benchmark datasets and the outcome showed a better classification of false information for our work. The detection performance was improved in two aspects. On the one hand, the detection runtime process decreased, and on the other hand, the classification accuracy increased because of the elimination of redundant features and the reduction of datasets dimensions.

Paper Detail
97
downloads
756
10011077
Investigation of Learning Challenges in Building Measurement Unit
Abstract:

The objective of this research is to identify the architecture and construction management students’ learning challenges of the building measurement. This research used the survey data obtained collected from the students who completed the building measurement unit. NVivo qualitative data analysis software was used to identify relevant themes. The analysis of the qualitative data revealed the major learning difficulties such as inadequacy of practice questions for the examination, inability to work as a team, lack of detailed understanding of the prerequisite units, insufficiency of the time allocated for tutorials and incompatibility of lecture and tutorial schedules. The output of this research can be used as a basis for improving the teaching and learning activities in construction measurement units.

Paper Detail
30
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755
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
112
downloads
754
10010994
Food for Thought: Preparing the Brain to Eat New Foods through “Messy” Play
Abstract:

Many children often experience phases of picky eating, food aversions and/or avoidance. For families with children who have special needs, these experiences are often exacerbated, which can lead to feelings that negatively impact a caregiver’s relationship with their child. Within the scope of speech language pathology practice, knowledge of both emotional and feeding development is key. This paper will explore the significance of “messy play” within typical feeding development, and the challenges that may arise if a child does not have the opportunity to engage in this type of exploratory play. This paper will consider several contributing factors that can result in a “picky eater.” Further, research has shown that individuals with special needs, including autism, possess a neurological makeup that differs from that of a typical individual. Because autism is a disorder of relating and communicating due to differences in the limbic system, an individual with special needs may respond to a typical feeding experience as if it is a traumatic event. As a result, broadening one’s dietary repertoire may seem to be an insurmountable challenge. This paper suggests that introducing new foods through exploratory play can help broaden and strengthen diets, as well as improve the feeding experience, of individuals with autism. The DIRFloortimeⓇ methodology stresses the importance of following a child's lead. Within this developmental model, there is a special focus on a person’s individual differences, including the unique way they process the world around them, as well as the significance of therapy occurring within the context of a strong and motivating relationship. Using this child-centered approach, we can support our children in expanding their diets, while simultaneously building upon their cognitive and creative development through playful and respectful interactions that include exposure to foods that differ in color, texture, and smell. Further, this paper explores the importance of exploration, self-feeding and messy play on brain development, both in the context of typically developing individuals and those with disordered development.

Paper Detail
86
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753
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
63
downloads
752
10010929
Evaluations of 3D Concrete Printing Produced in the Environment of United Arab Emirates
Abstract:

3D concrete printing is one of the most innovative and modern techniques in the field of construction that achieved several milestones in that field for the following advantages: saving project’s time, ability to execute complicated shapes, reduce waste and low cost. However, the concept of 3D printing in UAE is relatively new where construction teams, including clients, consultants, and contractors, do not have the required knowledge and experience in the field. This is the most significant obstacle for the construction parties, which make them refrained from using 3D concrete printing compared to conventional concreting methods. This study shows the historical development of the 3D concrete printing, its advantages, and the challenges facing this innovation. Concrete mixes and materials have been proposed and evaluated to select the best combination for successful 3D concrete printing. The main characteristics of the 3D concrete printing in the fresh and hardened states are considered, such as slump test, flow table, compressive strength, tensile, and flexural strengths. There is need to assess the structural stability of the 3D concrete by testing the bond between interlayers of the concrete.  

Paper Detail
93
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751
10010863
The Role of Food System in Promoting Environmental Planning
Abstract:

Today, many local and national governments are developing urban agriculture as an effective tool in responding to challenges such as food security, poverty and environmental problems. In fact, urban agriculture plays an important role in food system, which can provide citizens' income and become one of the components of economic, social and environmental systems. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the urban agriculture and urban food systems in order to understand the impact of urban foods production on environmental planning in non-western city region context. To achieve such objective, we carry out a case study in Mashhad city of Iran by using qualitative approaches. A survey on documentary studies and planning tools integrate with face to face interview with experts which explain the role of food system in environmental planning process. The paper extends the use of food in the environmental planning, specifically to examine this role to create agricultural garden as a mean to improve agricultural system in non-western country. The paper is concluded with a set of recommendations for researchers and policymakers who seek to create spaces in order to implement urban agriculture in cities for food justice.

Paper Detail
155
downloads
750
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.

749
10010798
A Corpus-Based Approach to Understanding Market Access in Fisheries and Aquaculture: A Systematic Literature Review
Abstract:

Although fisheries and aquaculture studies might seem marginal to international business (IB) studies in general, fisheries and aquaculture IB (FAIB) management is currently facing increasing pressure to meet global demand and consumption for fish in the next coming decades. In part address to this challenge, the purpose of this systematic review of literature (SLR) study is to investigate the use of the term ‘market access’ in its context of use in the generic literature and business sector discourse, in comparison to the more specific literature and discourse in fisheries, aquaculture and seafood. This SLR aims to uncover the knowledge/interest gaps between the academic subject discourses and business sector practices. Corpus driven in methodology and using a triangulation method of three different text analysis software including AntConc, VOSviewer and Web of Science (WoS) analytics, the SLR results indicate a gap in conceptual knowledge and business practices in how ‘market access’ is conceived and used in the context of the pharmaceutical healthcare industry and FAIB research and practice. While it is acknowledged that the product orientation of different business sectors might differ, this SLR study works with the assumption that both business sectors are global in orientation. These business sectors are complex in their operations from product to market. This SLR suggests a conceptual model in understanding the challenges, the potential barriers as well as avenues for solutions to developing market access for FAIB.

Paper Detail
163
downloads
748
10010799
Communication in a Heterogeneous Ad Hoc Network
Abstract:
Wireless networks are getting more and more used in every new technology or feature, especially those without infrastructure (Ad hoc mode) which provide a low cost alternative to the infrastructure mode wireless networks and a great flexibility for application domains such as environmental monitoring, smart cities, precision agriculture, and so on. These application domains present a common characteristic which is the need of coexistence and intercommunication between modules belonging to different types of ad hoc networks like wireless sensor networks, mesh networks, mobile ad hoc networks, vehicular ad hoc networks, etc. This vision to bring to life such heterogeneous networks will make humanity duties easier but its development path is full of challenges. One of these challenges is the communication complexity between its components due to the lack of common or compatible protocols standard. This article proposes a new patented routing protocol based on the OLSR standard in order to resolve the heterogeneous ad hoc networks communication issue. This new protocol is applied on a specific network architecture composed of MANET, VANET, and FANET.
Paper Detail
111
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747
10010803
Public Service Ethics in Public Administration: An Empirical Investigation
Authors:
Abstract:

The increasing concern of public sector reforms brings new challenges to public service ethics in developing countries not only at central level but also at local level. This paper aims to identify perceptions on public service ethics of public officials and examines more generally the understanding of public servants in Pakistan towards public service ethics in local public organizations. The study uses an independently administered structured questionnaire to collect data to know the extent of the recognition of public service ethics in local organizations. A total of 150 completed questionnaires are analyzed received from public servants working at the local level in Pakistan. The analysis explores how traditional, social patterns and cultural ethics can provide us with a rounded picture of the main antecedents, moderators of public service ethics in Pakistan. Moreover, the findings of this study contribute in association of public service ethics which are crucial in ongoing political and administrative culture of Pakistan, the most crucial core for public organizational ethical climate. This study also has numerous implications for local public administration and it highlights the importance of expanding research agenda on public service ethics in developing settings with challenging institutional contexts with imperfect training and operating environments. This study may well be particularly important for practice of public service ethics in developing countries in public administration. To the best of author’s knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to provide an initial step in practical implications to emphasize relevant public service ethics in public administration in developing transparent and accountable organization.

Paper Detail
268
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746
10010806
Applications of Drones in Infrastructures: Challenges and Opportunities
Abstract:

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also referred to as drones, equipped with various kinds of advanced detecting or surveying systems, are effective and low-cost in data acquisition, data delivery and sharing, which can benefit the building of infrastructures. This paper will give an overview of applications of drones in planning, designing, construction and maintenance of infrastructures. The drone platform, detecting and surveying systems, and post-data processing systems will be introduced, followed by cases with details of the applications. Challenges from different aspects will be addressed. Opportunities of drones in infrastructure include but not limited to the following. Firstly, UAVs equipped with high definition cameras or other detecting equipment are capable of inspecting the hard to reach infrastructure assets. Secondly, UAVs can be used as effective tools to survey and map the landscape to collect necessary information before infrastructure construction. Furthermore, an UAV or multi-UVAs are useful in construction management. UVAs can also be used in collecting roads and building information by taking high-resolution photos for future infrastructure planning. UAVs can be used to provide reliable and dynamic traffic information, which is potentially helpful in building smart cities. The main challenges are: limited flight time, the robustness of signal, post data analyze, multi-drone collaboration, weather condition, distractions to the traffic caused by drones. This paper aims to help owners, designers, engineers and architects to improve the building process of infrastructures for higher efficiency and better performance.

Paper Detail
147
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745
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
152
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744
10010834
Adversarial Disentanglement Using Latent Classifier for Pose-Independent Representation
Abstract:
The large pose discrepancy is one of the critical challenges in face recognition during video surveillance. Due to the entanglement of pose attributes with identity information, the conventional approaches for pose-independent representation lack in providing quality results in recognizing largely posed faces. In this paper, we propose a practical approach to disentangle the pose attribute from the identity information followed by synthesis of a face using a classifier network in latent space. The proposed approach employs a modified generative adversarial network framework consisting of an encoder-decoder structure embedded with a classifier in manifold space for carrying out factorization on the latent encoding. It can be further generalized to other face and non-face attributes for real-life video frames containing faces with significant attribute variations. Experimental results and comparison with state of the art in the field prove that the learned representation of the proposed approach synthesizes more compelling perceptual images through a combination of adversarial and classification losses.
Paper Detail
66
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743
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
123
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742
10010839
Incorporating Circular Economy into Passive Design Strategies in Tropical Nigeria
Abstract:

The natural environment is in need for an urgent rescue due to dilapidation and recession of resources. Passive design strategies have proven to be one of the effective ways to reduce CO2 emissions and to improve building performance. On the other hand, there is a huge drop in material availability due to poor recycling culture. Consequently, building waste pose environmental hazard due to unrecycled building materials from construction and deconstruction. Buildings are seen to be material banks for a circular economy, therefore incorporating circular economy into passive housing will not only safe guide the climate but also improve resource efficiency. The study focuses on incorporating a circular economy in passive design strategies for an affordable energy and resource efficient residential building in Nigeria. Carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration is still on the increase as buildings are responsible for a significant amount of this emission globally. Therefore, prompt measures need to be taken to combat the effect of global warming and associated threats. Nigeria is rapidly growing in human population, resources on the other hand have receded greatly, and there is an abrupt need for recycling even in the built environment. It is necessary that Nigeria responds to these challenges effectively and efficiently considering building resource and energy. Passive design strategies were assessed using simulations to obtain qualitative and quantitative data which were inferred to case studies as it relates to the Nigeria climate. Building materials were analysed using the ReSOLVE model in order to explore possible recycling phase. This provided relevant information and strategies to illustrate the possibility of circular economy in passive buildings. The study offers an alternative approach, as it is the general principle for the reworking of an economy on ecological lines in passive housing and by closing material loops in circular economy.

Paper Detail
114
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741
10010735
Educating the Educators: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Enhance Science Teaching
Abstract:

In a rapid-changing world, science teachers face considerable challenges. In addition to the basic curriculum, there must be included several transversal themes, which demand creative and innovative strategies to be arranged and integrated to traditional disciplines. In Brazil, nuclear science is still a controversial theme, and teachers themselves seem to be unaware of the issue, most often perpetuating prejudice, errors and misconceptions. This article presents the authors’ experience in the development of an interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal to include nuclear science in the basic curriculum, in a transversal and integrating way. The methodology applied was based on the analysis of several normative documents that define the requirements of essential learning, competences and skills of basic education for all schools in Brazil. The didactic materials and resources were developed according to the best practices to improve learning processes privileging constructivist educational techniques, with emphasis on active learning process, collaborative learning and learning through research. The material consists of an illustrated book for students, a book for teachers and a manual with activities that can articulate nuclear science to different disciplines: Portuguese, mathematics, science, art, English, history and geography. The content counts on high scientific rigor and articulate nuclear technology with topics of interest to society in the most diverse spheres, such as food supply, public health, food safety and foreign trade. Moreover, this pedagogical proposal takes advantage of the potential value of digital technologies, implementing QR codes that excite and challenge students of all ages, improving interaction and engagement. The expected results include the education of the educators for nuclear science communication in a transversal and integrating way, demystifying nuclear technology in a contextualized and significant approach. It is expected that the interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal contributes to improving attitudes towards knowledge construction, privileging reconstructive questioning, fostering a culture of systematic curiosity and encouraging critical thinking skills.

Paper Detail
136
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740
10010771
Researching International PhD Algerian Students’ Communication Challenges in Speaking When Discussing and Interacting with Their British Peers: A Researcher’s Interpretive Perspective through the Use of Semi-Structured Interview
Authors:
Abstract:

This paper addresses the issue of the speaking challenges that the Algerian PhD students experience during their studies abroad, particularly in UK territory; more specifically, this study describes how these students may deal with such challenges and whether the cultural differences is one core reason in such dilemma or not. To this end, an understanding and interpretation of what actually encompasses both linguistic interference and cultural differences are required. Throughout the paper there is an attempt to explain the theoretical basis of the interpretive research and to theoretically discuss the pivotal use of the interview, as a data collection tool, in interpretive research. Thus, the central issue of this study is to frame the theoretical perspective of the interpretive research through the discussion of PhD Algerian’s communication and interaction challenges in the EFL context. This study is a corner stone for other research studies to further investigate the issue related to communication challenges because no specific findings will be pointed out in this research.

Paper Detail
115
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739
10010662
Challenges for Interface Designers in Designing Sensor Dashboards in the Context of Industry 4.0
Abstract:

Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution that focuses on interconnectivity of machine to machine, human to machine and human to human via Internet of Things (IoT). Technologies of industry 4.0 facilitate communication between human and machine through IoT and forms Cyber-Physical Production System (CPPS). In CPPS, multiple shop floors sensor data are connected through IoT and displayed through sensor dashboard to the operator. These sensor dashboards have enormous amount of information to be presented which becomes complex for operators to perform monitoring, controlling and interpretation tasks. Designing handheld sensor dashboards for supervision task will become a challenge for the interface designers. This paper reports emerging technologies of industry 4.0, changing context of increasing information complexity in consecutive industrial revolutions and upcoming design challenges for interface designers in context of Industry 4.0. Authors conclude that information complexity of sensor dashboards design has increased with consecutive industrial revolutions and designs of sensor dashboard causes cognitive load on users. Designing such complex dashboards interfaces in Industry 4.0 context will become main challenges for the interface designers.

Paper Detail
131
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738
10010675
Triple Intercell Bar for Electrometallurgical Processes: A Design to Increase PV Energy Utilization
Abstract:

PV energy prices are declining rapidly. To take advantage of the benefits of those prices and lower the carbon footprint, operational practices must be modified. Undoubtedly, it challenges the electrowinning practice to operate at constant current throughout the day. This work presents a technology that contributes in providing modulation capacity to the electrode current distribution system. This is to raise the day time dc current and lower it at night. The system is a triple intercell bar that operates in current-source mode. The design is a capping board free dogbone type of bar that ensures an operation free of short circuits, hot swapability repairs and improved current balance. This current-source system eliminates the resetting currents circulating in equipotential bars. Twin auxiliary connectors are added to the main connectors providing secure current paths to bypass faulty or impaired contacts. All system conductive elements are positioned over a baseboard offering a large heat sink area to the ventilation of a facility. The system works with lower temperature than a conventional busbar. Of these attributes, the cathode current balance property stands out and is paramount for day/night modulation and the use of photovoltaic energy. A design based on a 3D finite element method model predicting electric and thermal performance under various industrial scenarios is presented. Preliminary results obtained in an electrowinning facility with industrial prototypes are included.

Paper Detail
73
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737
10010554
Recent Trends on Security Constrained Economic Dispatch: A Bibliographic Review
Abstract:
This paper presents a survey of articles, books and reports, which articulate the recent trends and aspects of Security Constrained Economic Dispatch (SCED). The period under consideration is 2008 through 2018. This is done to provide an up-to-date review of the recent major advancements in SCED, the state-of-the-art since 2008, identify further challenging developments needed in smarter grids, and indicate ways to address these challenges. This study consists of three areas of interest, which are very important and relevant for articulating the recent trends of SCED. These areas are: (i) SCED of power system with integrated renewable energy sources (IRES), (ii) SCED with post contingency corrective actions and (iii) Artificial intelligence based SCED.
Paper Detail
281
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736
10010592
The Role of Fluid Catalytic Cracking in Process Optimisation for Petroleum Refineries
Abstract:

Petroleum refining is a chemical process in which the raw material (crude oil) is converted to finished commercial products for end users. The fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit is a key asset in refineries, requiring optimised processes in the context of engineering design. Following the first stage of separation of crude oil in a distillation tower, an additional 40 per cent quantity is attainable in the gasoline pool with further conversion of the downgraded product of crude oil (residue from the distillation tower) using a catalyst in the FCC process. Effective removal of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon and heavy metals from FCC gasoline requires greater separation efficiency and involves an enormous environmental significance. The FCC unit is primarily a reactor and regeneration system which employs cyclone systems for separation.  Catalyst losses in FCC cyclones lead to high particulate matter emission on the regenerator side and fines carryover into the product on the reactor side. This paper aims at demonstrating the importance of FCC unit design criteria in terms of technical performance and compliance with environmental legislation. A systematic review of state-of-the-art FCC technology was carried out, identifying its key technical challenges and sources of emissions.  Case studies of petroleum refineries in Nigeria were assessed against selected global case studies. The review highlights the need for further modelling investigations to help improve FCC design to more effectively meet product specification requirements while complying with stricter environmental legislation.

Paper Detail
194
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735
10010601
The South African Polycentric Water Resource Governance-Management Nexus: Parlaying an Institutional Agent and Structured Social Engagement
Abstract:

South Africa, a water scarce country, experiences the phenomenon that its life supporting natural water resources is seriously threatened by the users that are totally dependent on it. South Africa is globally applauded to have of the best and most progressive water laws and policies. There are however growing concerns regarding natural water resource quality deterioration and a critical void in the management of natural resources and compliance to policies due to increasing institutional uncertainties and failures. These are in accordance with concerns of many South African researchers and practitioners that call for a change in paradigm from talk to practice and a more constructive, practical approach to governance challenges in the management of water resources. A qualitative theory-building case study through longitudinal action research was conducted from 2014 to 2017. The research assessed whether a strategic positioned institutional agent can be parlayed to facilitate and execute WRM on catchment level by engaging multiple stakeholders in a polycentric setting. Through a critical realist approach a distinction was made between ex ante self-deterministic human behaviour in the realist realm, and ex post governance-management in the constructivist realm. A congruence analysis, including Toulmin’s method of argumentation analysis, was utilised. The study evaluated the unique case of a self-steering local water management institution, the Impala Water Users Association (WUA) in the Pongola River catchment in the northern part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Exploiting prevailing water resource threats, it expanded its ancillary functions from 20,000 to 300,000 ha. Embarking on WRM activities, it addressed natural water system quality assessments, social awareness, knowledge support, and threats, such as: soil erosion, waste and effluent into water systems, coal mining, and water security dimensions; through structured engagement with 21 different catchment stakeholders. By implementing a proposed polycentric governance-management model on a catchment scale, the WUA achieved to fill the void. It developed a foundation and capacity to protect the resilience of the natural environment that is critical for freshwater resources to ensure long-term water security of the Pongola River basin. Further work is recommended on appropriate statutory delegations, mechanisms of sustainable funding, sufficient penetration of knowledge to local levels to catalyse behaviour change, incentivised support from professionals, back-to-back expansion of WUAs to alleviate scale and cost burdens, and the creation of catchment data monitoring and compilation centres.

Paper Detail
156
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734
10010629
Identification of Risks Associated with Process Automation Systems
Abstract:

A need exists to identify the sources of risks associated with the process automation systems within petrochemical companies or similar energy related industries. These companies use many different process automation technologies in its value chain. A crucial part of the process automation system is the information technology component featuring in the supervisory control layer. The ever-changing technology within the process automation layers and the rate at which it advances pose a risk to safe and predictable automation system performance. The age of the automation equipment also provides challenges to the operations and maintenance managers of the plant due to obsolescence and unavailability of spare parts. The main objective of this research was to determine the risk sources associated with the equipment that is part of the process automation systems. A secondary objective was to establish whether technology managers and technicians were aware of the risks and share the same viewpoint on the importance of the risks associated with automation systems. A conceptual model for risk sources of automation systems was formulated from models and frameworks in literature. This model comprised six categories of risk which forms the basis for identifying specific risks. This model was used to develop a questionnaire that was sent to 172 instrument technicians and technology managers in the company to obtain primary data. 75 completed and useful responses were received. These responses were analyzed statistically to determine the highest risk sources and to determine whether there was difference in opinion between technology managers and technicians. The most important risks that were revealed in this study are: 1) the lack of skilled technicians, 2) integration capability of third-party system software, 3) reliability of the process automation hardware, 4) excessive costs pertaining to performing maintenance and migrations on process automation systems, and 5) requirements of having third-party communication interfacing compatibility as well as real-time communication networks.

Paper Detail
201
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733
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.

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10010460
Research of the Factors Affecting the Administrative Capacity of Enterprises in the Logistic Sector of Bulgaria
Abstract:

The human factor plays a major role in boosting the competitive capacity of logistic enterprises. This is of particular importance when it comes to logistic companies. On the one hand they should be strictly compliant with legislation; on the other hand, they should be competitive in terms of pricing and of delivery timelines. Moreover, their policies should allow them to be as flexible as possible. All these circumstances are reason for very serious challenges for the qualification, motivation and experience of the human resources, working in logistic companies or in logistic departments of trade and industrial enterprises. The geographic place of Bulgaria puts it in position of a country with some specific competitive advantages in the goods transport from Europe to Asia and back. Along with it, there is a number of logistic companies, that operate in this sphere in Bulgaria. In the current paper, the authors aim to establish the condition of the administrative capacity and human resources in the logistic companies and logistic departments of trade and industrial companies in Bulgaria in order to propose some guidelines for improving of their effectiveness. Due to independent empirical research, conducted in Bulgarian logistic, trade and industrial enterprises, the authors investigate both the impact degree and the interdependence of various factors that characterize the administrative capacity. The study is conducted with a prepared questionnaire, in format of direct interview with the respondents. The volume of the poll is 50 respondents, representatives of: general managers of industrial or trade enterprises; logistic managers of industrial or trade enterprises; general managers of forwarding companies – either with own or with hired transport; experts from Bulgarian association of logistics; logistic lobbyist and scientists of the relevant area. The data are gathered for 3 months, then arranged by a specialized software program and analyzed by preset criteria. Based on the results of this methodological toolbox, it can be claimed that there is a correlation between the individual criteria. Also, a commitment between the administrative capacity and other factors that determine the competitiveness of the studied companies is established. In this paper, the authors present results of the empirical research that concerns the number and the workload in the logistic departments of the enterprises. Also, what is commented is the experience, related to logistic processes management and human resources competence. Moreover, the overload level of the logistic specialists is analyzed as one of the main threats for making mistakes and losing clients. The paper stands behind the thesis that there is indispensability of forming an effective and efficient administrative capacity, based on the number, qualification, experience and motivation of the staff in the logistic companies. The paper ends with recommendations about the qualification and experience of the specialists in logistic departments; providing effective and efficient administrative capacity in the logistic departments; interdependence of the human factor and the other factors that influence the enterprise competitiveness.

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153
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10010462
Ways for the Development of the Audit Quality Control System through the Analysis of Ongoing Problems, Experience and Challenges: Example of the Republic of Georgia
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Abstract:

Audit is an independent inspection of the financial statement of the audited person and expresses the opinion of an auditor on the reliability of this statement. The auditor’s activity (auditor’s service) is realized by auditing organizations, individual auditors in connection to conduction of an audit and rendering of audit accompanying services. The profession of auditor means a high level of responsibility for rendered service. Results of decisions made by information users depend on the quality of the auditor’s conclusion. Owners, investors, creditors, and society rely on the opinion of the auditor under the condition that inspection was conducted with good quality. Therefore, the existence of the well-functioning audit quality control system for the administering of the audit is an important issue. An efficient audit quality control system is a substantial challenge that many countries face worldwide, especially those states where these systems are being formed within the respective reform program. The presented article reflects on the best practices of the leading countries, the assumptions and recommendations for the financial accounting, reporting and audit; current reforms in Georgia are made based on this comparative analysis.

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178
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10010464
Meeting Criminogenic Needs to Reduce Recidivism: The Diversion of Vulnerable Offenders from the Criminal Justice System into Care
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Abstract:

Once in touch with the Criminal Justice System, offenders with mental disorder tend to return to custody more often than nondisordered individuals, which suggests they have not been receiving appropriate treatment in prison. In this scenario, diverting individuals into care as early as possible in their trajectory seems to be the appropriate approach to rehabilitate mentally unwell offenders and alleviate overcrowded prisons. This paper builds on an ethnographic research investigating the challenges encountered by practitioners working to divert offenders into care while attempting to establish cross-boundary interactions with professionals in the Criminal Justice System and Mental Health Services in the UK. Drawing upon the findings of the study, this paper suggests the development of adequate tools to enable liaison between agencies which ultimately results in successful interventions.

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165
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729
10010475
Evaluation of Settlement of Coastal Embankments Using Finite Elements Method
Abstract:

Coastal embankments play an important role in coastal structures by reducing the effect of the wave forces and controlling the movement of sediments. Many coastal areas are underlain by weak and compressible soils. Estimation of during construction settlement of coastal embankments is highly important in design and safety control of embankments and appurtenant structures. Accordingly, selecting and establishing of an appropriate model with a reasonable level of complication is one of the challenges for engineers. Although there are advanced models in the literature regarding design of embankments, there is not enough information on the prediction of their associated settlement, particularly in coastal areas having considerable soft soils. Marine engineering study in Iran is important due to the existence of two important coastal areas located in the northern and southern parts of the country. In the present study, the validity of Terzaghi’s consolidation theory has been investigated. In addition, the settlement of these coastal embankments during construction is predicted by using special methods in PLAXIS software by the help of appropriate boundary conditions and soil layers. The results indicate that, for the existing soil condition at the site, some parameters are important to be considered in analysis. Consequently, a model is introduced to estimate the settlement of the embankments in such geotechnical conditions.

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