Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.
Vendor (supplier) selection is a group decision-making (GDM) process, in which, based on some predetermined criteria, the experts’ preferences are provided in order to rank and choose the most desirable suppliers. In the real business environment, our attitudes or our choices would be made in an uncertain and indecisive situation could not be expressed in a crisp framework. Intuitionistic fuzzy sets (IFSs) could handle such situations in the best way. VIKOR method was developed to solve multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) problems. This method, which is used to determine the compromised feasible solution with respect to the conflicting criteria, introduces a multi-criteria ranking index based on the particular measure of 'closeness' to the 'ideal solution'. Until now, there has been a little investigation of VIKOR with IFS, therefore we extended the intuitionistic fuzzy (IF) VIKOR to solve vendor selection problem under IF GDM environment. The present study intends to develop an IF VIKOR method in a GDM situation. Therefore, a model is presented to calculate the criterion weights based on entropy measure. Then, the interval-valued intuitionistic fuzzy weighted geometric (IFWG) operator utilized to obtain the total decision matrix. In the next stage, an approach based on the positive idle intuitionistic fuzzy number (PIIFN) and negative idle intuitionistic fuzzy number (NIIFN) was developed. Finally, the application of the proposed method to solve a vendor selection problem illustrated.
The paper will focus on management of heritage that integrates the local community, and argue towards an obligation to integrate this social aspect in heritage management. By broadening the understanding of heritage, a sustainable heritage management takes its departure in more than a continual conservation of the physicality of heritage. The social aspect, or the local community, is in many govern heritage management situations being overlooked and it is not managed through community based urban planning methods, e.g.: citizen-inclusion, a transparent process, informative and inviting initiatives, etc. Historical sites are often being described by embracing terms such as “ours” and “us”: “our history” and “a history that is part of us”. Heritage is not something static, it is a link between the life that has been lived in the historical frames, and the life that is defining it today. This view on heritage is rooted in the strive to ensure that heritage sites, besides securing the national historical interest, have a value for those people who are affected by it: living in it or visiting it. Antigua Guatemala is a UNESCO-defined heritage site and this site is being ‘threatened’ by tourism, habitation and recreation. In other words: ‘the use’ of the site is considered a threat of the preservation of the heritage. Contradictory the same types of use (tourism and habitation) can also be considered development ability, and perhaps even a sustainable management solution. ‘The use’ of heritage is interlinked with the perspective that heritage sites ought to have a value for people today. In other words, the heritage sites should be comprised of a contemporary substance. Heritage is entwined in its context of physical structures and the social layer. A synergy between the use of heritage and the knowledge about the heritage can generate a sustainable preservation solution. The paper will exemplify this symbiosis with different examples of a heritage management that is centred around a local community inclusion. The inclusive method is not new in architectural planning and it refers to a top-down and bottom-up balance in decision making. It can be endeavoured through designs of an inclusive nature. Catalyst architecture is a planning method that strives to move the process of design solutions into the public space. Through process-orientated designs, or catalyst designs, the community can gain an insight into the process or be invited to participate in the process. A balance between bottom-up and top-down in the development process of a heritage site can, in relation to management measures, be understood to generate a socially sustainable solution. The ownership and engagement that can be created among the local community, along with the use that ultimately can gain an economic benefit, can delegate the maintenance and preservation. Informative, inclusive and transparent planning methods can generate a heritage management that is long-term due to the collective understanding and effort. This method handles sustainable management on two levels: the current preservation necessities and the long-term management, while ensuring a value for people today.
The shift towards decision making (DM) based on artificial intelligence (AI) techniques will change the way in which consumer markets and our societies function. Through AI, predictive analytics is being used by businesses to identify these patterns and major trends with the objective to improve the DM and influence future business outcomes. This paper proposes an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) approach to predict the success of telemarketing calls for selling bank long-term deposits. To validate the proposed model, we uses the bank marketing data of 41188 phone calls. The ANN attains 98.93% of accuracy which outperforms other conventional classifiers and confirms that it is credible and valuable approach for telemarketing campaign managers.
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.
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.
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.
This paper presents the development of a low-cost monitoring system for a hydroponic urban vertical farm, enabling its automation and a quantitative assessment of the farm performance. Urban farming has seen increasing interest in the last decade thanks to the development of energy efficient and affordable LED lights; however, the optimal configuration of such systems (i.e. amount of nutrients, light-on time, ambient temperature etc.) is mostly based on the farmers’ experience and empirical guidelines. Moreover, even if simple, the maintenance of such systems is labor intensive as it requires water to be topped-up periodically, mixing of the nutrients etc. To unlock the full potential of urban farming, a quantitative understanding of the role that each variable plays in the growth of the plants is needed, together with a higher degree of automation. The low-cost monitoring system proposed in this paper is a step toward filling this knowledge and technological gap, as it enables collection of sensor data related to water and air temperature, water level, humidity, pressure, light intensity, pH and electric conductivity without requiring any human intervention. More sensors and actuators can also easily be added thanks to the modular design of the proposed platform. Data can be accessed remotely via a simple web interface. The proposed platform can be used both for quantitatively optimizing the setup of the farms and for automating some of the most labor-intensive maintenance activities. Moreover, such monitoring system can also potentially be used for high-level decision making, once enough data are collected.
Organizations support their operations and decision making on the data they have at their disposal, so the quality of these data is remarkably important and Data Quality (DQ) is currently a relevant issue, the literature being unanimous in pointing out that poor DQ can result in large costs for organizations. The literature review identified and described 24 Critical Success Factors (CSF) for Data Quality Management (DQM) that were presented to a panel of experts, who ordered them according to their degree of importance, using the Delphi method with the Q-sort technique, based on an online questionnaire. The study shows that the five most important CSF for DQM are: definition of appropriate policies and standards, control of inputs, definition of a strategic plan for DQ, organizational culture focused on quality of the data and obtaining top management commitment and support.
Public sector tendering has traditionally been conducted using manual paper-based processes which are known to be inefficient, less transparent and more prone to manipulations and errors. The advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web has led to the development of numerous e-Tendering systems that addressed some of the problems associated with the manual paper-based tendering system. However, most of these systems rarely support the evaluation of tenders and where they do it is mostly based on the single decision maker which is not suitable in public sector tendering, where for the sake of objectivity, transparency, and fairness, it is required that the evaluation is conducted through a tender evaluation committee. Currently, in Nigeria, the public tendering process in general and the evaluation of tenders, in particular, are largely conducted using manual paper-based processes. Automating these manual-based processes to digital-based processes can help in enhancing the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. This paper is part of a larger study to develop an electronic tendering system that supports the whole tendering lifecycle based on Nigerian procurement law. Specifically, this paper presents the design and implementation of part of the system that supports group evaluation of tenders based on a technique called fuzzy multi-attributes group decision making. The system was developed using Object-Oriented methodologies and Unified Modelling Language and hypothetically applied in the evaluation of technical and financial proposals submitted by bidders. The system was validated by professionals with extensive experiences in public sector procurement. The results of the validation showed that the system called NPS-eTender has an average rating of 74% with respect to correct and accurate modelling of the existing manual tendering domain and an average rating of 67.6% with respect to its potential to enhance the proficiency of public sector tendering in Nigeria. Thus, based on the results of the validation, the automation of the evaluation process to support tender evaluation committee is achievable and can lead to a more proficient public sector tendering system.
Traffic congestion pricing in urban streets is one of the most suitable options for solving the traffic problems and environment pollutions in the cities of the country. Unlike its acceptable outcomes, there are problems concerning the necessity to pay by the mass. Regarding the fact that public response in order to succeed in this strategy is so influential, studying their response and behavior to get the feedback and improve the strategies is of great importance. In this study, a questionnaire was used to examine the public reactions to the traffic congestion pricing schemes at the center of Tehran metropolis and the factors involved in people’s decision making in accepting or rejecting the congestion pricing schemes were assessed based on the data obtained from the questionnaire as well as the international experiences. Then, by analyzing and comparing the schemes, guidelines to reduce public objections to them are discussed. The results of reviewing and evaluating the public reactions show that all the pros and cons must be considered to guarantee the success of these projects. Consequently, with targeted public education and consciousness-raising advertisements, prior to initiating a scheme and ensuring the mechanism of the implementation after the start of the project, the initial opposition is reduced and, with the gradual emergence of the real and tangible benefits of its implementation, users’ satisfaction will increase.
The Flash Flood Guidance (FFG) provides the rainfall amount of a given duration necessary to cause flooding. The approach is based on the development of rainfall-runoff curves, which helps us to find out the rainfall amount that would cause flooding. An alternative approach, mostly experimented with Italian Alpine catchments, is based on determining threshold discharges from past events and on finding whether or not an oncoming flood has its magnitude more than some critical discharge thresholds found beforehand. Both approaches suffer from large uncertainties in forecasting flash floods as, due to the simplistic approach followed, the same rainfall amount may or may not cause flooding. This uncertainty leads to the question whether a probabilistic model is preferable over a deterministic one in forecasting flash floods. We propose the use of a Bayesian probabilistic approach in flash flood forecasting. A prior probability of flooding is derived based on historical data. Additional information, such as antecedent moisture condition (AMC) and rainfall amount over any rainfall thresholds are used in computing the likelihood of observing these conditions given a flash flood has occurred. Finally, the posterior probability of flooding is computed using the prior probability and the likelihood. The variation of the computed posterior probability with rainfall amount and AMC presents the suitability of the approach in decision making in an uncertain environment. The methodology has been applied to the Posina basin in Italy. From the promising results obtained, we can conclude that the Bayesian approach in flash flood forecasting provides more realistic forecasting over the FFG.
Air pollution, particularly with dust, is one of the biggest issues Tehran is dealing with, and the city's green space which consists of trees has a critical role in absorption of it. The question this study aimed to investigate was which tree species the highest uptake capacity of the dust and carbon have suspended in the air. On this basis, 30 samples of trees from two different districts in Tehran were collected, and after washing and centrifuging, the samples were oven dried. The results of the study revealed that Ulmus minor had the highest amount of deposited dust in both districts. In addition, it was found that in Chamran district Ailanthus altissima and in Gandi district Ulmus minor has had the highest absorption of deposited carbon. Therefore, it could be argued that decision making on the selection of species for urban green spaces should take the above-mentioned parameters into account.
The world is expected to experience growth in the number of ageing population, and this will bring about high cost of providing care for these valuable citizens. In addition, many of these live with chronic diseases that come with old age. Providing adequate care in the face of rising costs and dwindling personnel can be challenging. However, advances in technologies and emergence of the Internet of Things are providing a way to address these challenges while improving care giving. This study proposes the integration of recommendation systems into homecare to provide real-time recommendations for effective management of people receiving care at home and those living with chronic diseases. Using the simplified Training Logic Concept, stakeholders and requirements were identified. Specific requirements were gathered from people living with cancer. The solution designed has two components namely home and community, to enhance recommendations sharing for effective care giving. The community component of the design was implemented with the development of a mobile app called Recommendations Sharing Community for Aged and Chronically Ill People (ReSCAP). This component has illustrated the possibility of real-time recommendations, improved recommendations sharing among care receivers and between a physician and care receivers. Full implementation will increase access to health data for better care decision making.
This paper studies the concept of intrapreneurship discovery for innovation and technology development related to the manufacturing industries set up in the center of Italy, in Marche Region. The study underlined the key drivers of the innovation process and the main factors that influence innovation. Starting from a literature study on open innovation, this paper examines the role of human capital to support company’s development. The empirical part of the study is based on a survey to 151 manufacturing companies that represent the 34% of that universe at the regional level. The survey underlined the main KPI’s that influence companies in their decision processes; then tools for these decision processes are presented.
Diagnosis and deciding about diseases in medical fields is facing innate uncertainty which can affect the whole process of treatment. This decision is made based on expert knowledge and the way in which an expert interprets the patient's condition, and the interpretation of the various experts from the patient's condition may be different. Fuzzy logic can provide mathematical modeling for many concepts, variables, and systems that are unclear and ambiguous and also it can provide a framework for reasoning, inference, control, and decision making in conditions of uncertainty. In systems with high uncertainty and high complexity, fuzzy logic is a suitable method for modeling. In this paper, we use type-2 fuzzy logic for uncertainty modeling that is in diagnosis of leukemia. The proposed system uses an indirect-direct approach and consists of two stages: In the first stage, the inference of blood test state is determined. In this step, we use an indirect approach where the rules are extracted automatically by implementing a clustering approach. In the second stage, signs of leukemia, duration of disease until its progress and the output of the first stage are combined and the final diagnosis of the system is obtained. In this stage, the system uses a direct approach and final diagnosis is determined by the expert. The obtained results show that the type-2 fuzzy expert system can diagnose leukemia with the average accuracy about 97%.
Today, business executives need to have useful information to make better decisions. Banks have also been using information tools so that they can direct the decision-making process in order to achieve their desired goals by rapidly extracting information from sources with the help of business intelligence. The research seeks to investigate whether there is a relationship between the quality of decision making and the business intelligence capabilities of Mellat Bank. Each of the factors studied is divided into several components, and these and their relationships are measured by a questionnaire. The statistical population of this study consists of all managers and experts of Mellat Bank's General Departments (including 190 people) who use commercial intelligence reports. The sample size of this study was 123 randomly determined by statistical method. In this research, relevant statistical inference has been used for data analysis and hypothesis testing. In the first stage, using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, the normalization of the data was investigated and in the next stage, the construct validity of both variables and their resulting indexes were verified using confirmatory factor analysis. Finally, using the structural equation modeling and Pearson's correlation coefficient, the research hypotheses were tested. The results confirmed the existence of a positive relationship between decision quality and business intelligence capabilities in Mellat Bank. Among the various capabilities, including data quality, correlation with other systems, user access, flexibility and risk management support, the flexibility of the business intelligence system was the most correlated with the dependent variable of the present research. This shows that it is necessary for Mellat Bank to pay more attention to choose the required business intelligence systems with high flexibility in terms of the ability to submit custom formatted reports. Subsequently, the quality of data on business intelligence systems showed the strongest relationship with quality of decision making. Therefore, improving the quality of data, including the source of data internally or externally, the type of data in quantitative or qualitative terms, the credibility of the data and perceptions of who uses the business intelligence system, improves the quality of decision making in Mellat Bank.
The challenge for everyone involved in preserving the ecosystem is to find creative ways to protect and restore the remaining ecosystems while accommodating and enhancing the country social and economic well-being. Frequent fires of anthropogenic origin have been affecting the ecosystems in many countries adversely. Hence adopting ways of decision making such as Multicriteria Decision Making (MCDM) is appropriate since it will enhance the evaluation and analysis of fire risk and hazard of the ecosystem. In this paper, fire risk and hazard data from the West Gonja area of Ghana were used in some of the methods (Analytical Hierarchy Process, Compromise Programming, and Grey Relational Analysis (GRA) for MCDM evaluation and analysis to determine the optimal weight method for fire risk and hazard. Ranking of the land cover types was carried out using; Fire Hazard, Fire Fighting Capacity and Response Risk Criteria. Pairwise comparison under Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to determine the weight of the various criteria. Weights for sub-criteria were also obtained by the pairwise comparison method. The results were optimised using GRA and Compromise Programming (CP). The results from each method, hybrid GRA and CP, were compared and it was established that all methods were satisfactory in terms of optimisation of weight. The most optimal method for spatial multicriteria evaluation was the hybrid GRA method. Thus, a hybrid AHP and GRA method is more effective method for ranking alternatives in MCDM than the hybrid AHP and CP method.
In this research, the Balkan peninsula countries' developmental integration into European Union represents the strategic economic development objectives of the countries in the region. In order to objectively analyze the level of economic development competition of Balkan Peninsula countries, the mathematical compromise programming technique of multicriteria evaluation is used in this ranking problem. The primary aim of this research is to explain the role and significance of the multicriteria method evaluation using a real example of compromise solutions. Using the mathematical compromise programming technique, twelve countries of the Balkan Peninsula are economically evaluated and mutually compared. The economic development evaluation of the countries is performed according to five evaluation criteria forming the basis for economic development evaluation. The multiattribute model is solved using the mathematical compromise programming technique for producing different Pareto solutions. The results obtained by the multicriteria evaluation gives the possibility of identification and evaluation of the most eminent economic development indicators for each country separately. Finally, in this way, the proposed method has proved to be a successful model for the evaluation of the Balkan peninsula countries' economic development competition.
Decision making on the true planning of the public transportation systems to serve potential users is a must for metropolitan areas. To take attraction of travelers to projected modes of transport, adequately fair overall travel times should be provided. In this fashion, other benefits such as lower traffic congestion, road safety and lower noise and atmospheric pollution may be earned. The congestion which comes with increasing demand of public transportation is becoming a part of our lives and making residents’ life difficult. Hence, regulations should be done to reduce this congestion. To provide a constructive and balanced regulation in public transportation systems, right stations should be located in right places. In this study, it is aimed to design and implement a Decision Support System (DSS) Application to determine the optimal bus stop places for public transport in Istanbul which is one of the biggest and oldest cities in the world. Required information is gathered from IETT (Istanbul Electricity, Tram and Tunnel) Enterprises which manages all public transportation services in Istanbul Metropolitan Area. By using the most real-like values, cost assignments are made. The cost is calculated with the help of equations produced by bi-level optimization model. For this study, 300 buses, 300 drivers, 10 lines and 110 stops are used. The user cost of each station and the operator cost taken place in lines are calculated. Some components like cost, security and noise pollution are considered as significant factors affecting the solution of set covering problem which is mentioned for identifying and locating the minimum number of possible bus stops. Preliminary research and model development for this study refers to previously published article of the corresponding author. Model results are represented with the intent of decision support to the specialists on locating stops effectively.
Currently, LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft» is implementing a comprehensive program for the development of offshore fields of the Kaliningrad region. This is largely associated with the depletion of the resource base of land in the region, as well as the positive results of geological investigation surrounding the Baltic Sea area and the data on the volume of hydrocarbon recovery from a single offshore field are working on the Kaliningrad region – D-6 «Kravtsovskoye».The article analyzes the main stages of the LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft»’s development program for the development of the hydrocarbon resources of the region's shelf and suggests an optimization algorithm that allows managing a multi-criteria process of development of shelf deposits. The algorithm is formed on the basis of the problem of sequential decision making, which is a section of dynamic programming. Application of the algorithm during the consolidation of the initial data, the elaboration of project documentation, the further exploration and development of offshore fields will allow to optimize the complex of technical and technological solutions and increase the economic efficiency of the field development project implemented by LLC «Lukoil-Kaliningradmorneft».
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether firms applying International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), provide high-quality and comparable earnings information that is useful for decision making of information users relative to firms applying local Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Focus is placed on the earnings quality of listed firms in several developed countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). Except for Japan and the US, the adoption of IFRS is mandatory for listed firms in these countries. In Japan, the application of IFRS is allowed for specific listed firms. In the US, the foreign firms listed on the US securities market are permitted to apply IFRS but the listed domestic firms are prohibited from doing so. In this paper, the differences in earnings quality are compared between firms applying local GAAP and those applying IFRS in each country and industry category, and the reasons of differences in earnings quality are analyzed using various factors. The results show that, although the earnings quality of firms applying IFRS is higher than that of firms applying local GAAP, this varies with country and industry category. Thus, even if a single set of global accounting standards is used for all listed firms worldwide, it is difficult to establish comparability of financial information among global firms. These findings imply that various circumstances surrounding firms, industries, and countries etc. influence business operations and affect the differences in earnings quality.
Getting the consumer marketing strategy right is a crucial and complex task for firms with a large customer base such as mobile operators in a competitive mobile market. While empirical studies have made efforts to identify key constructs, no geospatial model has been developed to comprehensively assess the viability and interdependency of ground realities regarding the customer, competition, channel and the network quality of mobile operators. With this research, a geo-analytic framework is proposed for strategy formulation and allocation for mobile operators. Firstly, a fuzzy analytic network using a self-organizing feature map clustering technique based on inputs from managers and literature, which depicts the interrelationships amongst ground realities is developed. The model is tested with a mobile operator in the Nigeria mobile market. As a result, a customer-centric geospatial and visualization solution is developed. This provides a consolidated and integrated insight that serves as a transparent, logical and practical guide for strategic, tactical and operational decision making.
During the last 10 years, in spite of the economic crisis, the number of tourists arriving in Greece has increased, particularly during the tourist season from April to October. In this paper, the number of annual tourist arrivals is studied to explore their preferences with regard to the month of travel, the selected destinations, as well the amount of money spent. The collected data are processed with statistical methods, yielding numerical and graphical results. From the computation of statistical parameters and the forecasting with exponential smoothing, useful conclusions are arrived at that can be used by the Greek tourism authorities, as well as by tourist organizations, for planning purposes for the coming years. The results of this paper and the computed forecast can also be used for decision making by private tourist enterprises that are investing in Greece. With regard to the statistical methods, the method of Simple Exponential Smoothing of time series of data is employed. The search for a best forecast for 2017 and 2018 provides the value of the smoothing coefficient. For all statistical computations and graphics Microsoft Excel is used.
This study investigated the relation between processing information and fitness level of active (fit) and sedentary (unfit) children drawn from rural and urban areas in Botswana. It was hypothesized that fit children would display faster simple reaction time (SRT), choice reaction times (CRT) and movement times (SMT). 60, third grade children (7.0 – 9.0 years) were initially selected and based upon fitness testing, 45 participated in the study (15 each of fit urban, unfit urban, fit rural). All children completed anthropometric measures, skinfold testing and submaximal cycle ergometer testing. The cognitive testing included SRT, CRT, SMT and Choice Movement Time (CMT) and memory sequence length. Results indicated that the rural fit group exhibited faster SMT than the urban fit and unfit groups. For CRT, both fit groups were faster than the unfit group. Collectively, the study shows that the relationship that exists between physical fitness and cognitive function amongst the elderly can tentatively be extended to the pediatric population. Physical fitness could be a factor in the speed at which we process information, including decision making, even in children.
The implementation of lean manufacturing initiatives has produced significant impacts in improving operational performance and reducing manufacturing wastes in the production process. However, selecting an appropriate set of lean strategies is critical to avoid misapplication of the lean manufacturing techniques and consequential increase in non-value-adding activities. To the author’s best knowledge, there is currently no methodology to select lean strategies that considers their impacts on manufacturing wastes and performance metrics simultaneously. In this research, a multi-objective methodology is proposed that suggests an appropriate set of lean initiatives based on their impacts on performance metrics and manufacturing wastes and within manufacturers’ resource limitation. The proposed methodology in this research suggests the best set of lean initiatives for implementation that have highest impacts on identified critical performance metrics and manufacturing wastes. Therefore, manufacturers can assure that implementing suggested lean tools improves their production performance and reduces manufacturing wastes at the same time. A case study was conducted to show the effectiveness and validate the proposed model and methodologies.
From August to December of 2016, a diagnostic and strategic planning study was carried out on the supply chain of the company Agropecuaria GABO S.A. de C.V. The final product of the study was the development of the strategic plan and a project portfolio to meet the demands of the three links in the supply chain of the Roma tomato exported annually to the United States of America. In this project, the strategic objective of ensuring the proper handling of the product was selected and one of the goals associated with this was the employment of quantitative methods to support decision making. Considering the antecedents, the objective of this case study was to develop a model to analyze the behavioral dynamics in the distribution chain, from the logistics of storage and shipment of Roma tomato in 81-case pallets (11.5 kg per case), to the two pre-cooling rooms and eventual loading onto transports, seeking to reduce the bottleneck and the associated costs by means of a dynamic interface. The methodology used was that of system dynamics, considering four phases that were adapted to the purpose of the study: 1) the conceptualization phase; 2) the formulation phase; 3) the evaluation phase; and 4) the communication phase. The main practical conclusions lead to the possibility of reducing both the bottlenecks in the cooling rooms and the costs by simulating scenarios and modifying certain policies. Furthermore, the creation of the dynamic interface between the model and the stakeholders was achieved by generating interaction with buttons and simple instructions that allow making modifications and observing diverse behaviors.